Changing Patterns in Social Fabric Test Netherlands' Liberal Identity
By Molly Moore
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, June 23, 2007; Page A12
AMSTERDAM -- For years, W.B. Kranendonk was a lone ranger in Dutch politics -- the editor of an orthodox Christian newspaper in a nation that has legalized prostitution, euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage and allows the personal use of marijuana.
Today, with an orthodox Christian political party in the government for the first time, and with immigration anxieties fueling a national search for identity, the country that has been the world's most socially liberal political laboratory is rethinking its anything-goes policies.
And suddenly, Kranendonk no longer seems so all alone.
"People in high political circles are saying it can't be good to have a society so liberal that everything is allowed," said Kranendonk, editor of Reformist Daily and an increasingly influential voice that resonates in the shifting mainstream of Dutch public opinion. "People are saying we should have values; people are asking for more and more rules in society."
Read the whole article here.
Liberal permissive societies are confused and chaotic ones. They either lack or have been stripped of clear social demarcations that allows individuals to identify with the general group and develop a sense of belonging. I know that there are a few rebellious types who do not, or refuse to, identify with the greater group but that is their choice. A society cannot function by catering to ever whim, fetish, and fancy of each and every individual even if they confusingly say that their human rights are being denied.
Liberal permissivism has attacked Dutch identity to such an extent that they no longer know who they are anymore. And if the Dutch don't know who they are then what are they to expect from immigrants to their country? The lack or loss of a national identity creates a void that many individuals will fill by exploiting their ancestral roots, sometimes to stereotypical extremes. The Netherlands have imported a sizeable Muslim population that constitutes about 6% of the total population (about 1 million out of 16 million) with heavy concentrations in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Muslim community is characteristically insular in the Netherlands, as it is here in Canada, with many unable to speak the native Dutch language even after years of residing in the country. But why should they bother? If the Dutch have deemphasized their national character to a state of little importance to favour one of greater social allowances then where is the incentive for Muslims to become Dutch?
The problem is the same here in Canada. Mass immigration and multiculturalism has attacked the Canadian identity so much that we do not know who we are anymore. We moved from under the British wing, to the American wing, and just when we were about to fly on our own multiculturalism clipped our wings. It has created a confused and uncertain national character that one can be born in the Punjab, speak only Punjabi, dress like they do in the Punjab, and carry Indian citizenship yet still be called a Canadian. This says that the Canadian really doesn’t exist and has never existed. What an insult!
This latest development in the Netherlands is good news to me. It means that there is hope for Canada yet.