Tomy Ward Education
Education for Critical Times
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Saturday, 04 May 2013 20:10

Cultural Pluralism, Education and Misplaced Patriotism: Cultural Pluralism as Colonisation

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 melting pot

Where are the Native Americans?


Cultural Pluralism is supposed to be a good thing. We are all one big happy family in the new world of Cultural Inclusivity, Acceptance and Tolerance. Yea Right!

At the same time, we are all encouraged to view our cultural inclusivity as an element of deep patriotic pride. The Melting Pot theory of Nationhood. Since British Prime Minister Harold McMillan delivered his famous Winds of Change speech to the Colonial South African Government in Cape Town in 1960, colonialism has been portrayed as a thing of the past. We now inhabit the Post-colonial Era, so it is said. Here, in the Post-colonial World, difference is good. Acceptance is holy. And conversely, Exclusivity and Separatism are bad. Here endeth the first lesson. That's the rule! Those are the commandments! Tolerance, Acceptance and Inclusivity. The Holy Trinity of Postmodern theorising and cultural normativity. And all of this makes for a great and strong nationhood. A new kind of nationhood. One not based upon the colour of a person's skin, or their spiritual belief system, but rather on an Ideology - the ideology of Democracy.

What a lovely, cosy picture this all makes. How comforting to believe that (yet again?) the White Western Mind has been able to conceive of a transcendent concept that moves beyond conflict and difference towards the idealised goal of One Nation, Indivisible, Under God....

And what is that One, Indivisible Nation about? It's about material, spiritual and intellectual Imperialism - about plundering the world's resources to benefit a few very rich and powerful individuals while the rest of humanity struggles to merely survive. How can it be that the most powerful nation on the planet, espousing a doctrine of Democracy can wilfully and without sanction violate the sovereign territory of Iraq or Afghanistan (or coming shortly Iran). Isn't there something a little odd and contradictory that this Democracy needs to be imposed? And like all other colonial impositions, isn't it once again being portrayed as "In their own good!" Have we ever wondered what the colonised indigenous peoples of the world who have suffered such impositions for centuries think about the myth of our Great Inclusivity? Those whom we have historically displaced, dispossessed, oppressed, assimilated, murdered and subject to genocide? Those upon whom we have imposed Democracy, the Rule of (European) Law, Property Relations, Christianity, Capitalism? What do they think about all of this generosity on the part of the Western "Democracies"?


The bulk of this PDF is taken from my PHD Dissertation.

To download the PDF click here 

Read 4364 times Last modified on Monday, 03 June 2013 11:29

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