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Multiculturalism and Innovation

July 26, 2011

The bombing and massacre in Norway on July 22 once again pierce the veil of normalcy that surrounds us in our daily lives. My wife and I, having stayed in a hotel last summer only a few blocks away from the bombing site, felt the shock in a very personal way. But it was the apparent motive of the terrorist, namely to protest the growing multiculturalism of Norwegian society, that compelled me to put pen to paper. For not only are the actions of this poor, misguided assassin wrong, they are based on a right-wing ideology that undermines the innovative and creative spirit on which the future prosperity of Norway—and indeed all of Western Europe—depend.

My reasoning is breathtakingly simple. One of the essential attributes of all organic life on Earth is a capacity for innovation. From the origin of life itself to the present, organisms that adapted creatively to dynamic changes in their environment flourished, and those that did not perished. The more diverse the organism, the more adaptable; the more adaptable, the more robust.

So now you catch my drift. Human cultures are also organic. Multiculturalism, therefore, actually strengthens a society, not weakens it. It opens a society up to creative possibilities that would otherwise never see the light of day. Right-wing ideologues, whether they are Norwegian, Chinese, or American, are weakening their respective country’s future in the very name of strengthening it. One can only marvel at the irony of it all. The same goes for left-wing extremism, by the way. Don’t get me started on that. . . .

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