by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Few Romans in the late decades of their 5th-century A.D. empire celebrated their newfound “diversity” of marauding Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Huns, and Vandals.
These tribes en masse had crossed the unsecured Rhine and Danube borders to harvest Roman bounty without a care about what had created it.
Their agendas were focused on destroying the civilization they overran rather than peacefully integrating into and perpetuating the Empire.
Ironically, Rome’s prior greatness had been due to the extension of citizenship to diverse people throughout Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
Millions had been assimilated, integrated, and intermarried and often superseded the original Italians of the early Roman Republic. Such fractious diversity had led to unity around the idea of Rome.
New citizens learned to enjoy the advantages of habeas corpus, sophisticated roads, aqueducts, and public architecture, and the security offered by the legions.
The unity of these diverse peoples fused into a single culture that empowered Rome. In contrast, the later disunity of hundreds of thousands of tribal people flooding into and dividing Rome doomed it.
To meet the challenge of a multiracial society, the only viable pathway to a stable civilization of racially and ethnically different people is a single, shared culture.
Some nations can find collective success as a single homogenous people like Japan or Switzerland.
Or equally, but with more difficulty, nations can prosper with heterodox peoples — but only if united by a single, inclusive culture as the American melting-pot once attested.
But a baleful third option — a multicultural society of diverse, unassimilated, and often rival tribes — historically is a prescription for collective suicide.
We are beginning to see just that in America, as it sheds the melting pot, and adopts the salad bowl of unassimilated and warring tribes.