There has been a huge movement of people all over the world following the work and employment created by the global markets, millions of new people have moved over to the UK during the last decade, fears that racist nationalist political parties would make significant gains at the ballot box never materialised, in fact the BNP are now a party in the Political wilderness in terms of their popularity. This isn’t to say that Britian is a perfect model of multiculturalism, but what it does say is that there is a level of tolerance and acceptance which is developing and therefore I believe that there is a little bit of room for optimism regarding multicultural Britian. There is no conceivable reason why people from different cultures cannot practice their cultural norms on any given land mass. For me multiculturalism has always been about allowing people to be what they are regardless of cultural, religious, ethnic backgrounds. People have been crossing continents and settling in new countries for thousands of years, so multiculturalism is not by any means new phenomena. I believe that one of the main obstacles to achieving a harmonious multiculturalism comes from the idea that Nations some how have a fixed identity that we must adhere and conform to.
Cultural identity and multiculturalism
There are no such things as fixed national identities, people have very different perceptions of what identity is on a personal level, for example I myself am not patriotic but, I like many elements of the culture that I was brought up in, and equally I dislike some of the culture that I was brought up in. I also admire elements of culture from outside of the UK and can strongly relate to them, similarly someone who grew up in the street as I did is now a staunch Nationalist though, not within the context of Race and identity politics of the BNP. For some it is religion that informs their cultural identity, for others it can be politics tied into a historical movement that provides stimulus for theirs. To even think that this can all be swept together into one convenient model of identity and our perceptions of the identities of others is both unworkable and absurd, multiculturalism is all about diversity, and diversity is good for human beings.
Has multiculturalism failed?
Multiculturalism has not failed, it is how the world came to be, millions of people from different nations and cultural background made the world that we all live in today. The main reason why people like German Chancellor Angela Murkal and UK Prime minister David Cameron believe that multiculturalism has failed is that they are part of a growing tide of anti-immigration and Xenophobic Nationalism that has developed from the migrations of peoples who are moving round the globe to follow jobs and employment in a globalised world. There is some rank hypocrisy at work here, it was the Neoliberal form of capitalism that has uprooted people from their countries and forced them to follow the work in whichever country it was occurring, the same Neoliberals then have the gall to complain about immigrants, the same immigrants who the Neoliberals have ruthlessly exploited and made billions of pounds in profit from.
A multicultural future
People from all cultures love and care about the families and each other, so this is the baseline of our common and shared values, people from all cultures have a sense of Justice and equality for all, so here we share a semblance of Universalism within our values system, and people from all cultures know that collective work and action makes the world go round. There have been some hiccups with some elements of multiculturalism where communities both indigenous and new coming are resisting getting to know the new people who have settled in their areas, but we are in a great position to sit down and talk, to create a future that we our neighbours are our neighbours regardless of where they come from. Multiculturalism has the potential to bring all sorts of disparate groups of people together, anything that has the power to create associations and communities is a valuable tool for helping to bring about a harmonious future for all people.