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Topic: How and why multicultural tolerance is superior to monocultural intolerance
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Paul A. Tanner III

Posts: 5,920
Registered: 12/6/04
How and why multicultural tolerance is superior to monocultural intolerance
Posted: Jun 22, 2012 4:19 PM
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In addition to my post

"The violence Haim notes is not of multiculturalism, but of monoculturalism"

where I address the general idea of multiculturalism that the state and the population in general should not embrace the inherently pro-violence philosophy of monoculturalism, a philosophy that decrees that one and only one culture should be allowed to exist, consider what Amy Chua (a darling of conservatives because she is the author of *Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother* - but sadly they misinterpret her intent with that book), the John M. Duff, Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School, says in her prior books

especially her *Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance - and Why They Fall* (2007) to see how and why tolerance of multiple cultures is a necessary condition for a world power to be even greater and be a world hyperpower. She explains how it was tolerance of different cultures that resulted in seven of the world powers of history becoming even greater as the seven world hyperpowers of history, and that the first six fell because they lost their tolerance of different cultures - the seventh hyperpower of history is the US, which is in danger of decline because of increasing intolerance by some segments of US society of different cultures.

In addition to reading this book by Amy Chua and seeing what she says in her lecture at the Levin Institute available in 10 parts at YouTube, where

"Amy Chua: Day of Empire
by Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program"

gives links to all 10 parts, see these two reviews of her book:

"How to Rule the World"


"Chua wonders how different 20th-century history might have been if Hitler had been a tolerant and accommodating conqueror. "By murdering millions of conquered subjects and hundreds of thousands of German citizens," she observes, "the Nazis deprived themselves of incalculable manpower and human capital. ... Germany lost an array of brilliant scientists, including Albert Einstein, Theodore von Karman, Eugene Wigner, Leo Szilard, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller and Lise Meitner, many of whom went on to play an integral role in the construction of the world's first atomic bomb, which the United States used to win the war." It was history's most spectacular example of shooting oneself in the foot.

Further unintended consequences of doctrinaire malice: In 1478, the Inquisition, decreed by papal bull, ended an era of relative tolerance in Spain. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella gave Jews the choice of either converting to Catholism or leaving. Ten years later, the Muslims of Castile were ordered to convert or emigrate. "The Spanish monarchy had officially embraced intolerance," Chua writes, "and for an empire hoping to rise in global pre-eminence, this was a staggeringly bad move.


"This book is a tribute to America's tolerance," Chua writes."

"Tolerant, We Stand"


"Call 'em the Magnificent Seven. There have been many great powers in history but only seven that Amy Chua describes in Day of Empire as hyperpowers, those that have dominated not only their immediate surroundings but all the known world of their time: Persia, Rome, China, the Mongols, the Dutch, the British and the United States. Chua finds they all achieved dominance by similar means, then succumbed to similar ills. The lone exception to this pattern of decline has been America, and that may be only a matter of time. Chua, a Yale law professor, worries that America may now be slipping off the top perch for the same reasons that its predecessors did: Once "a magnet for the world's most energetic and enterprising" people "of all ethnicities and backgrounds," she says, the United States seems to be tipping toward intolerance and "xenophobic backlash."


The Magnificent Seven all obtained the acquiescence, even the support, of diverse peoples stretched over vast territories through what Chua calls "strategic tolerance." They accepted the customs and religious practices of the defeated; they recruited the best and the brightest of their new subjects for government and military service, sharing the riches and other benefits of empire.

This co-opting of human resources is what, to Chua, separates true hyperpowers from other imperial entities, such as the Ming and Mughal empires and medieval Spain. In one small but illuminating example, she notes that at the zenith of China's Tang dynasty in 713 -- "the most magnificent cultural flowering that China would ever see" -- the emperor received a delegation of Arab ambassadors and waived the requirement for them to perform a ceremonial kowtow. Roughly 1,000 years later, by contrast, China's Manchu rulers made the opposite decision, turning away an English envoy because he refused to prostrate himself. The Manchus were less tolerant than the Tang, and far less successful as a result.

Chua charts each hyperpower's decline from the point when its leaders stopped embracing diversity and started repressing part of the population in the name of racial purity or religious orthodoxy. At that moment, she says, the crucial "glue" of an overarching political identity disappeared, and otherwise manageable disputes became mortal.

"If the history of hyperpowers has shown anything, it is the danger of xenophobic backlash," she writes. "Time and again, past world-dominant powers have fallen precisely when their core groups turned intolerant, reasserting their 'true' or 'pure' identity and adopting exclusionary policies toward 'unassimilable' groups. From this point of view, attempts to demonize immigrants or to attribute America's success to 'Anglo-Protestant' virtues is not only misleading (neither the atomic bomb nor Silicon Valley was particularly 'Anglo-Protestant' in origin) but dangerous.""

Message was edited by: Paul A. Tanner III

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