When people argue against multiculturalism, they often project themselves. They think their inability to handle human differences is universal and sectarian conflicts are mundane in diverse places.
Another one of their favourite argument is citing the success of South Korea and Japan. They argue the countries’ near 100% homogeneity is the reason why they are globally successful.
Of course, there are multiple issues with that assertion.
Issue number one: success is relative. While South Korea and Japan have wealth and greater soft power than my country Indonesia does, I will never be envious of their high suicide rates, drinking cultures, stressful student life, severe school bullying and, in this case of Japan, strong history of fascism and historical denialism.
Issue number two: correlation does not equal causation. Those people never provide evidences. They simply connect two things and expect others to believe it at face value. Life is also complicatedly interconnected; even if homogeneity is a factor, it is definitely not the only factor.
Issue number three: even if I accept that shallow definition of success and correlation equals causation, I still don’t see how it proves the inherent superiority of South Korea and Japan.
If homogeneity brings prosperity as they claim it does, then it is comparable to wealth we are born into.
Both give us unbelievably massive leverages. Children born into wealth have better access to education and they can pursue their passions without financial worry. Due to the stricter conformity, homogenous societies have an easier time achieving their collective goals.
Neither wealth nor homogeneity is inherently bad. But, praising a country’s homogeneity is like praising someone for coming from a wealthy family.
You basically praise someone for being born with cheat codes.
Personally, I don’t believe we must commend people who can find common grounds despite their stark differences. Not only I consider that to be a bare minimum, I also don’t want them to pat themselves on the back.
But, I would rather reserve my praise for them. Considering they are the ones who do extra efforts, it is just sensical.
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