Finally, a little more on cultural nationalism and assimilation.
There’s an unconscious or conscious assumption with your average native born Anglo Australian that migrants will be seduced by the clearly superior Australian way of life by the second generation.
I see a lot of the emotional backlash to multiculturalism as being the growing realisation amongst your average native born Anglo Australian that this is not going to be the case. The backlash is understandable because it kicks into play insecurities about the Australian way of life and culture vis-a-vis maturity, history, depth, intellectual complexity, aesthetic merit and general interest.
Of course, many of those very outspoken against multiculturalism tend to hide their emotional drivers behind concerns of harmonious cultural integration especially wrt Islam. Which I of course agree are worthy and important issues to consider and debate. However, the shrillness, insistence and defensiveness of their tones indicates to me that there are other emotional drivers behind their strident opposition and fears of multiculturalism. Now that those critics are coming out with increasingly explicit calls for assimilation, I’m more convinced that it really is an attempt to defend the Australian way of life and to assert its natural superiority.
Dont get me wrong, I love the Australian way of life and its alleged culture for its intellectual simplicity, its lack of history (and denial of massive parts of it), the shallowness of its sand and sea worship, the emotional immaturity of its simpleminded devotion to mateship and the ANZAC tradition, its completely infantile absorption with beer and sport, the massive hypocrisy of its valued bush as heart of the nation sentiments, its complacent moronic Kath and Kim middleclassness, its homophobic cartoon cutout brand of masculinity and callow but now sadly dwindling assumptions of innate superiority.
But really chaps, it’s just not going to play for much longer.
There are better alternatives and no matter how much you call for assimilation (and assuming that people have choice), if that’s the only offering you have, you’re not going to get a lot of takers. Too much competition in this free market, y’know.
Sure, you could close the door and institute a blanket no non-Aussie thinker type ban for newcomers but the masses who dont think like you are already here, breeding quicker than you lot are and generally not being all that interested in your fine traditions.
What I reckon they will be interested in however, is getting along peacefully, respecting each other’s traditions* and food (even if it more likely that the food is more appreciated), making a good quid in a stable political environment, coming down hard on dickheads of all sorts and generally making fun of old insecure assimilationist dinosaurs. All of which kinda sounds like multiculturalism to me.
*ok, maybe I’m not adhering to that one myself in this entry. profuse apologies.