When a nation’s population expands, and one of the components of expansion is a widening of ethnic diversity, the resulting mixture of cultural origins and identities can be expected to permit the emergence of progressively varying national identities. Such identities will be projected identities – from within the nation.
There will be some jockeying by long-established cultural communities for positions at the top of an imagined power totem pole. These will be challenged by newer cultural communities seeking competitive places on this pole. As well, strong individuals will seek personal power or influence through appointments by governments to new ethnic structures – which will secure their positions as ethnic community leaders. Ethnic empowerment then becomes the game, with political parties seeking the so-called ethnic vote.
The following extracts are from my last book ‘Musings at Death’s Door’ (2012).
“Multiculturalism has become a divisive term. Instead of being a mere descriptive term for an admixture of ethnic cultures, it has now come to reflect an official policy. This policy enables permanence for ethno-cultural communities with religion-based traditions which are widely divergent from those of the mainstream populace; with the new communities wishing to retain their traditions unmodified by time.
An unsought, and an even undesirable, consequence of this policy is that, instead of converging in time with the socio-political structures of the host population, there develop, by choice, parallel cultural structures. These either delay or deny a desirable eventual integration of these new arrivals into the mainstream populace. The enlarged population is now not a unified people bonded by a shared citizenship and shared civic values.
Ironically, while these introduced communities seek to retain their version of ancestral cultures intact, back in the countries of origin of these new communities, their cultural practices keep evolving.
A further challengeable consequence of multiculturalism as policy occurs when governments place unelected and unpaid self-titled ethnics in management control of migrant settlement policy structures.
Thus, in the former all-white racist nation of Australia, minority segments of the populace now chortle with joy because Australia has recently discovered ‘multiculturalism,’ known to the rest of us as ethnic diversity. Opportunistic politicians now spout about this new wonder of Australia, in order to harvest what they see as the ethnic vote. The ‘professional’ ethnics of Australia form the requisite glee club. Their reward is the government’s multicultural policy and administrative structures attached to that. This is a playground for ambitious self-titled ethnics.”