Multiculturalism, as practiced by liberals, is like diet coke. Liberals want to have tolerance without disturbance. They want to embrace the other without risk. They want love without uncertainty. They yearn for capitalism with a human face, without inequality and exploitation.
Love is predicated upon the negativity of the other. Love begins with the act of falling, which entails negativity — the other, the unknown. By the same token, embracing immigrants must be a painful act. It requires confrontation with a different notion of human, economy, gender, and history. You cannot understand immigrants without understanding terrorism. You cannot embrace immigrants without embracing their violence.
To live together is to cope with each other. In the end, you may not “agree” with some of their violence. Nonetheless, there is a difference between living with the other and choosing to be next to the other when convenient. Liberals always choose the latter. I will accept immigrants, but I won’t live next to them or speak their language. I will pick and choose which aspects to embrace.
Living together requires violence. It must hurt both physically and psychologically. You do not pick and choose your family. Living together under democracy requires a familial bond, rather than a group of disjointed, self-interested consumers. A good fight with a family member transforms your understanding of them and yourself. In this way, multiculturalism must be a transformative act.
Co-habitation is a radical gesture that transforms all parties. For example, the re-unification of Korea would fundamentally transform both Korea’s. Too often, many argue for re-unification along economic lines. That a re-unified Korea will become a major economic power. However, this argument misses the radical potential of re-unification. Re-unification means that we, Koreans, now live outside the shadow of major powers. It means that we get to forge a new path as new people. We will need to change our language, history, and politics. Everyone needs to change in a re-unified Korea. It will be a painful process, and it won’t always be pretty. Nevertheless, it is worthy, because it is a radical and transformative step forward. Instead of repeating the history of division and conflict, we have a chance to create a history of re-conciliation.
In the same vein, diversity in America is not an act of charity. It is a leap towards the future. It is an act of transformation for both Americans and immigrants. Unfortunately, diversity is, nowadays, understood by liberal capitalist terms. Under such terms, diversity is an act of charity or a consumer good. The immigrant will always be judged by the liberal human: do you understand our manners? are you non-violent? Anything that disturbs the liberal capitalist norm will be re-packaged into a consumer good. Various acts of violence will be sold as terrorism or “consequences of american interventions.” Islam will be reduced to either “barbarism” or “just like Christianity.” The complexities of violence or religion are lost, only memes and sound-bites remain. We will not be challenged by different conceptions of religion or violence. Instead, we will merely judge them on our terms. This is a society without love. It is a pornographic society that produces sameness. There is no future for such a society. Time does not flow; it lingers. Perhaps, it is time for us to restart the flow of time. To embark on a future that is essentially unknown, uncharted, and unexplored.