06.12a. Mark Steyn on the Multicultural View of the State. . Mark Steyn, in an essay on Canada, captures a big American problem, what he call the "Clintonian view of the state", "as arbiter and distributor of largesse". This, by the way, is the class ethnic city machine view-- the government is a pot of money to be divided amongst one's friends and allies.

Multiculturalism? Itís been official federal government policy since 1971. Back then, Canadians used to explain that whereas America was a melting pot, Canada was a salad bowl--whether Italian-Canadians, Ukrainian-Canadians, or Haitian-Canadians, we were all freestanding vegetables linked only by a metaphorical maple-flavored salad dressing slopping around our feet. It has been amazing to me to see how swiftly and unobtrusively the salad bowl thesis has dribbled south of the forty-ninth parallel and virtually eliminated one of the most fiercely held principles of the Republic: E Pluribus Unum. The Clintonian view of the state--as a collection of disparate group identities in need of a strong central government to act as arbiter and distributor of largesse--is quintessentially Canadian.

Is this also the Austro-Hungarian empire? It was evolving in that direction, at least.

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