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F R O M    T H E    E D I T O R
Against Empire
The conservative case for diversity
 September 2000

The Republican Convention this year had a noticeably different feel from past years; this time, the GOP played up its diversity, trying to make itself more appealing to Hispanic voters in particular. Some critics of the convention claim that the GOP sold out  -- that they're trying to become the Democratic Party. What these critics miss is that only the Right can claim multiculturalism. 

There are two aspects of ethics: how an individual regulates himself, and how people interact with one another. The area of self-regulation is morality, and government concerns the interactions of groups of people. We can deal with either morality and government in two ways: we can let people do whatever they please, or we can insist that there is one right way and set about trying to make people conform to this right way. 

The Left cries to us, "Do your own thing!" "Express yourself!" "Break the mold!" In short, whatever a particular person chooses to do, whatever feels right to him is moral -- for him. There are no absolute standards of morality in the Leftist universe, and the Right is oppressive for insisting on a universal morality. For this reason, the Right is considered to be the group that would destroy all cultures besides our own. 

But Leftists have this funny habit of talking about human rights; they have this strange way of declaring a form of government to be the best one for every nation. Marx urged the workers of the world to unite. Jefferson supported the French Revolutionaries, because they were democrats. Jefferson urged the spread of the American Revolution to Europe because what was right for the Americans was right for the Europeans. In the Leftist mind, some form of government, whether it be communism or democracy, would be right for humanity, for ever. 

How oppressive. Under the Leftist model, no decisions can be made by a nation; communism did not significantly differ from Cuba to Yugoslavia to the USSR. There is no distinctive Cuban mark on communism; just the mark of Castro. The reality of Cuba has been stripped away by the Left. 

In the Leftist philosophical system, there is room for only two levels of interactions; the level of the individual and the level of humanity. The entire Leftist project is one to institute freedom and equality. Leftists differ on what freedom means; a Marxist will say that freedom from want is the good. A libertarian will say that freedom from others is critical. But the Left agrees that this freedom must be instituted at the individual level. 

Equality is another term that the Left squabbles over; a democrat believes in "equality of oppritunity", while the Communist trusts in "equality of circumstance." Leftists believe that only the government can institute any kind of equality; experience has shown otherwise. 

By accepting the idea of a universal standard of morality, the Right is able to be multi-cultural.  From the starting point of universal morality, it is easy to move on to other organizations that are greater than the self, but less than the human race. The Right acknowledges authorities other than self and government; culture cannot be sustained without that acknowledgment. 

There is a very strong parallel between the idea of a family and the idea of a nation; each individual shares a common history, common loves, a common religion, a common language with the others. Both the family and the nation would be destroyed under the Leftist scheme of empire-building. 

The family and the nation are the only sources of culture -- culture being the traditions that are passed down from one generation to the next.  Culture is the set of quirks that rise up from a group of people who have been together for a long time. Of course, culture changes with time; but it changes slowly and gradually. No one can change a culture consciously—schemes ranging from Prohibition to the French Revolutionaries' new names for the months failed. 

So it is the Right that respects culture. Contrary to popular belief, the Right does allow for many cultures. Some things, like modesty, are part of the universal system of morality. But modesty is often expressed in clothing, and clothing is part of culture, which does change. In some societies, certain parts of the body are covered, to prevent others from looking at them. In other societies, those same body parts are not covered—to cover them would draw attention to them. The sense of modesty is there in both societies—it is expressed in different ways. And those different ways make up culture. 

The Left believes in relative morality, but absolute government. The Right allows for many types of regime (though not all; some, like Communism, are immoral, while others, like direct democracy, are unwise), but all governed by one moral code. It is for this reason that the GOP should have embraced the multicultural image long ago—that image belongs much more to them than it does to the Democrats. 

—Emily Grant, Editor-in-Chief
 

 
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