A liberal Jew’s Christmas wish for America
What is the end of multiculturalism, what is the origin of multiculturalism, and how can we stop and reverse its progress over us? These thoughts were set off when VFR reader Ben sent this article about the Seattle airport Christmas tree controversy and told me I had to read the following comment by Elizabeth LaZella of Gold Bar, Washington:
As a Jew I am totally dismayed to find that in this world of great diversity we have to fight to be recognized.What we have here is the undiluted liberal Jewish credo, coming right from the heart, which has been openly expressed by more and more Jews in the last decade or so as the majority culture has faded and Jews have felt at complete liberty to reveal their true feelings and desires. Just as various Jews have been saying that as Jews they are morally obligated to seek open borders, Elizabeth LaZella declares that as a Jew she seeks the imposition of a systematic and uniform diversity on every city and hamlet in the land, on “each and every town, city, little bitty or big,” a pattern that implicitly goes beyond holiday symbols to become an all-embracing multicultural paradigm. But her pro-minority imperialism doesn’t stop there. In an unconscious confirmation of the anti-Semitic narrative, she declares that she wants the Jews to be the vanguard of this program of cultural dismemberment—first the Menorah shall be installed alongside the Christmas symbols, then, once the doors to diversity have been opened by the Jews, the symbols of all the other religions as well. The idea is that all religions shall be equal, all cultures shall be equal, and there shall not be a single nook or cranny in American society where Christianity will not be swamped by other religions and where the American majority culture will not be swamped by other cultures. So assured is LaZella that there is no intact majority culture that will resent her declaration of intent to wipe out every jot and tittle of American particularity, especially Christian particularity, that she feels completely at ease speaking these outrageous things.
Now I wouldn’t especially blame LaZella if she were just seeking the inclusion of Jewish symbols, like the rabbi at the Seattle-Tacoma airport. Given how America’s former majority culture has retreated from the scene on one front after another, such behavior by an ethnic/religious minority looking out for itself would seem rational, if regrettable. But LaZella’s all-encompassing multicultural program, including Islam and everything else under the sun, goes beyond any rational self-interest. It is a form of hyper-diversity, an embrace of cultural chaos that would destroy what’s left of our culture and thus ultimately harm the Jews as well. Yet, as irrational as this hyper-diversity program is, it too results from the fact that the majority culture has decamped, leaving no common allegiances in place and no common rule to put bounds around minority self-assertion, bounds that were once accepted as a matter of course in this country, enforced by the majority culture and by the minorities themselves. Thus minority cultural aggression—whether the relatively rational though still destructive type in which various groups seek the public validation of their culture alongside and as the presumed equal of the majority culture, or the extreme LaZella type that aims to impose an insane multicultural paradigm on every atom of American society—has been engendered by, and is moving into the cultural void left by, the ongoing suicide of the majority culture.
All is not lost, however. The path we have taken toward this calamity also shows us the way out of it. The majority culture gave up its identity and authority as a result of its leaders and ordinary members ceasing to love it and to believe in it and to assert its standards as authoritative. It follows that the majority culture can be regained if its members and spokesmen believe in it and stand for it once again. This restoration of a damaged or lost cultural order is the work of traditionalism.
Impossible, you say? That’s because you’re thinking in terms of some complete cultural restoration; and from where we sit now, that indeed seems impossible. But what is possible is that we, even at this moment, can start pushing back against the dominant anti-culture, by rejecting its anti-standards and assserting the good standards that were still operative in this country not that long ago. But unlike the majority culture of the past, which could rely on shared habits and attitudes transmitted from previous generations, and which was shoved aside by liberalism because it had no articulated principles to pose against liberalism’s articulated principles, we restorationists must act on the basis of conscious and articulated principles. We must know what we are doing.
The anti-culture won because the American culture stopped believing in itself and asserting itself. If it started asserting itself again, if traditionalism became active in relation to the prevailing liberalism instead of passive and reactive, everything would be different. The key to saving our culture is this change of direction.
Tom S. writes:
The ultimate irony of LaZella’s position is that, if Christianity is ever demoralized and demoted as she wishes it to be, that will mean that conservative Christians in the U.S. have lost—which will mean that Israel, and the Jewish people, are doomed. Never has liberalism as death wish been so clearly put forth. Every Jew should want a strong, believing, traditional Christian America, because only this kind of America will provide a haven of freedom for the Jews, and a strong ally for Israel. It was that terrible, repressive “Christian” 1940s and 1950s America that helped establish Israel, welcomed many Holocaust survivors, produced the freest and safest environment that Jews had ever known. It’s in modern, “liberal” multi-culti America where anti-Semitism is on the rise, where Muslims attack Jews on campus, where ex-Presidents compare Israel’s situation with the Palestinians to South African apartheit. La Zella’s love of liberalism is obviously stronger that her love of her people. Whatever happened to “Is it good for the Jews?”LA replies:
VFR’s analysis of liberalism provides the answer to your question: Jews (including Israelis) dropped their unprincipled exception to liberalism, under which they had cared about their own ethnic peoplehood, which is not a liberal idea, and became consistent in their liberalism, and thus suicidal.Jason writes from New Jersey:
Merry Christmas Mr. Auster.James N. writes, under the subject line “A contrary thought about Elizabeth LaZella”:
An incident in fifth grade (1961) made a huge impression on me. Our class was doing the Nativity Story as the school Christmas play. A boy named Michael W. was cast as one of the kings.LA replies:
That’s not contrary to anything I’ve said. I agree with James.Mark P. writes:
What Jews like LaZella don’t understand is that liberalism reduces all religion to a purely private matter, an act of personal consolation, a bunch of colorful nonsense designed to make stupid people feel good. This, of course, contradicts the daily experience of billions of people and history, but liberals are foolish this way. Thus, they honestly think that religion is not important in the conduct of daily life.LA replies:
My understanding is that the Zionist movement was not based on religion or the Bible at all, but purely on the fact that the Jews were a historically existing people who had historically lived on that land. True, the Jews came into existence as a people because of religion, but I don’t think that that was emphasized in Zionism.Ben writes:
Your whole analysis of her words and why this is happening is why I love VFR, it’s not just sitting around hand wringing throwing your hands up in the air and saying “I just can’t understand this!” It’s explaining why it happened and gives ways how to reverse it. Good work and Merry Christmas.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 22, 2006 11:58 PM | Send