Monday, May 30, 2005

Multicultural Conservatism

Jordan has a great post on why the Maori Party is not left-wing:
It seems to me that the Maori Party's ambition is to work back towards an illusory golden past of Maoridom, where individuality is subsumed under collective whanau, hapu and iwi identities. This is highlighted by the constant references to whanau, hapu and iwi in their speeches; by their hostility to the inevitable effects of modernity and the Enlightenment on Maori society; by their desire to see social services dominated by a Maori "Aristocracy" (also known as iwi-based service agencies) rather than the universal services provided by the welfare state.

A more conservative - in fact reactionary - approach to politics is hard to imagine. If a pakeha-based party was out campaigning for the restoration of the great landed estates as there were in England; supporting the putting of economic and social power back in the hands of the elites; undermining the national institutions of common citizenship that bind us together - that party would be laughed out of political existence within minutes.

As I responded in comments, I'm disappointed by how many so-called "liberals" are willing to embrace cultural conservatism when the culture in question is non-Western. It's a betrayal of all the Left stands for.

(See also my past posts on affirmative aristocracy and cultural integration.)


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