What is ethnopluralism?
Ethnopluralism is the normative idea that every ethnic group has the right to be different:
- In opposition to imperialism and colonialism, it disallows the invasion of other ethnic groups; it values diversity on a global scale.
- In opposition to multiculturalism, it disallows mass immigration that undermines the host group’s ethnocultural identity.
- In opposition to racism, it disallows judgment of other ethnic groups; no ethnicity is superior or inferior to another.
Simply put, ethnopluralists say to other ethnic groups, “You leave us alone and we leave you alone.” In reality, of course, this entails conflict. In particular, an incoming cultural invasion demands ethnical self-defense.
Is ethnopluralism morally wrong?
Ethnopluralism rejects the universalist vision of all men being politically equal, which seems to violate the impartial moral principle of maximizing universal well-being; but it doesn’t.
The ethical premise of ethnopluralism holds that ethnocultural identity is vital for a person’s well-being. Humans have a deep need for belonging, so it’s best for everyone to protect the organic identities that fulfill that need. Thus, ethnopluralists have a right-wing hypothesis of how to maximize general well-being.
Leftists assume that it’s best for an individual to be treated as such: fundamentally dignified as an ethnically neutralized, asocial, abstract being with inalienable rights. Conservatives assume that it’s best for an individual to be treated as a social creature: fundamentally embedded in an ethnocultural context. Both might have the same moral goal (human flourishing), but different approaches to reaching it.
Which hypothesis is right?
On the one hand, some facts about human nature support the ethnopluralist approach:
- Multiculturalism doesn’t challenge but oppose our tribal instincts, which causes a loss of meaning and impairs societal well-being through inhibition, alienation, depression, social anxiety, etc.
- Homogeneous societies are more cohesive, with stronger bonds of trust and more effective cooperation.
- Humans are hard-wired to think in terms of us vs. them. The will to overcome all in-group mentality is anti-human.
On the other hand, we must take into account how heterogeneous most Western societies already are, particularly in urban areas. What measures would have to be taken to abolish multiculturalism and how does this factor in to the equation of maximum well-being?
As always, I want you to think for yourself. Is my analysis correct that the tacit ethics of ethnopluralism demands the maximization of well-being and that, consequently, the disagreement between the left and the right lies in how that mutual goal is best accomplished? Who has the more accurate view of human nature and what evidence do we have for each of the two competing hypotheses?
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