The Melting Pot Goes Cold

Progressives tend to believe that all cultures are equally virtuous because they are composed of equally, inherently noble human beings.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes as follows, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• All cultures are equally virtuous because they are composed of equally, inherently noble human beings.

The unconscious logic branching out of this belief is:

• It is arrogant to judge other cultures because they are composed of equally, inherently noble human beings.
• It is arrogant to judge the products of other cultures and subcultures because they are composed of equally, inherently noble human beings.
• It is better to have cultural diversity than to group together around a common culture because all cultures are equally virtuous.
• We should join together into one world filled with diverse and equally virtuous cultures.
• All ideas are equally virtuous, since all cultures are equally virtuous, and all ideas are dependent on culture.

 

Cover of Theater Programme for Israel Zangwill...

Cover of Theater Programme for Israel Zangwill’s play “The Melting Pot” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traditional Americans believed in America the “melting pot.” As Michael Medved explains in an article titled No, America’s Never Been a MultiCultural Society, the term was popularized in a 1908 melodramatic hit adaptation of Romeo and Juliet – The Melting Pot by Israel Zangwill – about two lovers in New York city who come together despite their very different origins.* The impassioned Romeo stand-in, David, tells his lover,

Understand that America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming! Here you stand. . . in your fifty groups, with your fifty languages and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians – into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.**

Later, gazing out at the Statue of Liberty, David elaborates:

It is the Fires of God round His Crucible! There she lies, the great Melting-Pot – listen! Can’t you hear the roaring and the bubbling? There gapes her mouth – the harbor where a thousand mammoth feeders come from the ends of the world to pour in their human freight. Ah, what a stirring and a seething!. . . how the great Alchemist melts and fuses them with his purging flame! Here shall they all unite to build the Republic of Man and the Kingdom of God!***

Since all subcultures are equally virtuous to newthinkers, they see no reason to group around shared cultural ideals.

As traditional American culture is usurped, America’s cultural melting pot is beginning to go cold. Since all subcultures are equally virtuous to newthinkers, they see no reason to group around shared cultural ideals. Instead of a common cultural standard, newthink assumes a cultural equality among all aspects of its various subcultures.

That “all men are created equal” (“men” in the sense of mankind meant women too) was a pillar of the traditional American worldview. People inherently have equal worth. But, contrary to newthink’s tenets, all cultures are not created equal, and, though one is nearly certain to be accused of arrogance and racism by progressives for saying so, it’s not an arrogant or racist assertion – human equality, yes; cultural equality, no.

* Michael Medved, “No, America’s never been a multicultural society”, Townhall.com, http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelmedved/2007/10/10/no,_americas_never_been_a_multicultural_society, October 10, 2007.

** Israel Zangwill, The Melting Pot, (The MacMillan Company, 1909), p. 37.

***Ibid., pp. 198-199.

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