Thomas Sowell

One of the most ominous developments of our time has been the multicultural dogma that all cultures are equal. It is one of the many unsubstantiated assertions that have become fashionable among self-congratulatory elites, with hard evidence being neither asked for nor offered.

But, however much such assertions minister to the egos of the intelligentsia and the careers of politicians and race hustlers, the multicultural dogma is a huge barrier to the advancement of groups who are lagging economically, educationally and otherwise.

Sean Hannity FREE

Once you have said that the various economic, educational and other "gaps" and "disparities" of lagging groups are not due to either genes or cultures, what is left but the sins of other people?

Sins are never hard to find, among any group of human beings. But whether that actually helps those who are lagging, or just leads them into the blind alley of resentment, is another question.

None of this is peculiar to the United States or to our times. In centuries past, it was common in parts of Eastern Europe for Germans or other Western Europeans to be a majority of the population in various Eastern European cities, while the Slavic majority predominated in the surrounding countrysides.

Even in times and places where the Germans and other Western Europeans were not a numerical majority in Eastern European cities, or in Baltic cities like Riga, they were clearly an economic and cultural elite in business, industry and the professions.

They simply had the skills and education that most of the indigenous peoples of Eastern Europe and the Baltic did not have.

At that point, the German language, like other Western European languages, had a vastly larger store of written knowledge than the languages of Eastern Europe, which developed written versions centuries later than the languages of Western Europe.

One obvious way for individuals born into the local indigenous culture to advance themselves was to acquire the language and culture of the Germans, using the skills and knowledge available in that language to advance themselves. This is what many did.

What this said was that cultures were not equal, at least not at that point in history, and contrary to the multicultural dogmas of our time.

Nor was this path to individual and group advancement peculiar to Eastern Europe. In 18th century Scotland, the great philosopher David Hume urged his fellow Scots to learn the English language, in order to advance themselves, individually and collectively.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate