La extraña muerte del multiculturalismo

Una ideología que sostiene que las personas de culturas diferentes deben vivir en comunidades separadas dentro de un país, no deben interesarse unas por otras y no deben criticarse unas a otras es a un tiempo equivocada e inviable. Naturalmente, los defensores más reflexivos del multiculturalismo nunca imaginaron que una comunidad cultural pudiera o debiese substituir a una comunidad política. Pensaban que, mientras todo el mundo cumpliese la ley, no era necesario que los ciudadanos tuviesen una sola jerarquía de valores.

El ideal del multiculturalismo en casa se repitió con una ideología del relativismo cultural en el extranjero, en particular en los decenios de 1970 y 1980, que evolucionó a hurtadillas hasta constituir una forma de racismo moral, según el cual los europeos blancos merecían la democracia liberal, pero los pueblos de culturas diferentes debían esperar al respecto. Los dictadores africanos podían hacer cosas espantosas, pero no acababan de recibir una condena de muchos intelectuales europeos, porque la crítica entrañaba arrogancia cultural.

Los Países Bajos, donde yo nací, se han visto tal vez más divididos por el debate sobre el multiculturalismo que ningún otro país. El asesinato del director de cine Theo van Gogh hace dos años y medio por un criminal islamista ha dado pie para un debate desgarrador sobre la sólida tradición del país en materia de tolerancia y acceso fácil para los solicitantes de asilo.

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