Linguist and historian MacDonald King Aston explores the origins of one of the most influential movements of our age on pages 252-53 of his book Yankee Babylon. Aston employs his ‘Yankee Myth’ concept (which he describes as ‘the fictional narrative of the Pure White North and the Depraved Cruel South, and in particular how the mythos of the angelic Pure White North created and sustained the bulk of what historians call “the American identity”) to delve into utopian and millennialist aspects of multiculturalism that are linked to the idea of the Northern Redeemer:
Multiculturalism is a legacy not only of the 1960s, but of the Yankee Myth, which provided the foundation for the 1960s, for multiculturalism is among other things yet another example of the Puritan-Yankee millennialist zeal. “Multiculturalists are convinced,” wrote [Alvin J] Schmidt, “that their philosophy will usher in a new millennium, enabling people to overcome cultural prejudice and discrimination… a utopia, one without ‘inequality’ and cultural imperialism. Once more, the Northern Redeemer can not control his paternalistic impulse to impose his own utopianism upon the rest of us. The new multicultural America will thus create a utopia which is noncapitalistic, non-Eurocentric, nonoppressive, and egalitarian. The citizens of Utopia, Sir Thomas Moore had written, were true levellers, so that “no man ought to seek his own conveniences so eagerly as as to prejudice others….” The goal of the multiculturalist should be obvious: to destroy American and Western (Eurocentric) culture, to overturn “cultural imperialism.” In this sense, multiculturalism is simply an offshoot of Marxism, with its philosophy of radical egalitarianism extended to the cultural level. Multiculturalism is, therefore, neo-Marxism of the Herbert Marcuse variety which raised its ugly head during the 1960s and which also is still very much with us. At bottom, neo-Marxist multiculturalism is another expression the left’s exceeding hatred of tradition and specifically cultural values distilled over time within the European tradition. Multiculturalism is also a relativistic philosophy (a philosophy of the Enlightenment), insisting that knowledge and truth are not constant principles, but can be interpreted on-the-fly. As such, multiculturalism takes its lead from the pagan Enlightenment thinkers… who proved to be a decisive influence on the construction of the Yankee Myth, especially the Northerner Redeemer part of the myth. Just as Marx, building upon Hegel, attempted to overturn the knowledge and truth of the Christian world by arguing that one’s social existence is determinative of one’s consciousness, so multiculturalists argue that no one culture determines either truth or knowledge: all cultures are morally equal, from the cannibal to the Third Reich.
Of course, since all cultures are not equal, multiculturalism must enforce its Northern Redemption through violence and coercion, an old Puritan and Yankee technique. Its Gestapo is known as political correctness, which punishes speech and behaviour critical of non-Western or minority cultures with “hate crimes,” “speech codes,” and all the rest of the political correct arsenal.