The League of Nations’ had a body devoted to protecting minority rights in the newly configured states following World War I: ‘The Minority Question Section.’ In 1945, its director, P. De Azcarate, wrote a book about it, ‘The League of Nations and National Minorities: An Experiment.’ The League of Nation’s proto-multiculturalism experiment proved difficult. The reasons teach us valuable culturist lessons, even today.
The League of Nation’s ‘Minority Section’ tried to enforce multiculturalism on the principle of “equality.” Here, Mr. Azcarate is very perceptive. He sees two types of equality: “Negative equality,” protects the minority against unfavorable discriminatory treatment; “Positive equality” requires funds to maintain minority cultures via minority language schooling and such.
Negative equality, the League found, can be difficult to adjudicate. Azcarate tells of Yugoslavian police targeting minority Macedonians. The Macedonians complained to the Leagues’ Minority Section. The discrimination was real. But, the Minority Section found that the ‘Macedonian National Committee’ engaged in “terrorist and revolutionary” activities funded by the neighboring state of Bulgaria.[i] States violating negative equality rights is understandable when hostile foreign neighbors fund terrorists in your territory.
Recent scholarship, resting on the general consensus in western society, chafes at the prospect of any ‘negative’ discrimination. But, negative discrimination, such as that preventing Jews from being allowed to hold certain positions, used to be a norm for western states.[ii] As a Jew, I consider these prohibitions unreasonable overkill. But, I understand the logic. I would not want a Muslim to be Britain’s Minister of Defense or Secretary of State for Education. Even Azcarate himself noted that it was sometimes reasonable to limit minority access to, “public posts, functions, honors, military ranks, etc.”[iii]
Positive equality includes giving minorities the right to "manage and control ... charitable, religious and social institutions, schools and other educational establishments" with their own minority language and religion.4 The problem was that hostile foreign nations would fund these cultural institutions and write curricula that fostered hatred towards the majority culture in the states within which the minorities resided. Germany, for example, pushed a pro-Germany, anti-Polish history curriculum in Poland. Azcárate labeled Germany's use of the multicultural curriculum a "formidable weapon."5
In no situation did the League of Nations' Minority Section, according to Azcárate, regard having minorities as a boon. At best, he reports the presence of minorities as neutral in impact; but usually it is a source of friction. He laments that having minorities was inevitable due to the mixture of people in the Balkans. In Transylvania, for example, the wealthy landholders were Hungarian, while the peasants were Romanian. The two could not be easily torn asunder. But this was seen as a potential for discord, not a reason to celebrate.
According to Azcárate, only one pair of nations made a large decision to counter multiculturalism: Greece and Turkey. Rather than live together, in 1923, these nations exchanged minorities. Greece sent around 500,000 Muslims to Turkey and about 1.5 million Anatolian Greeks were repatriated.6 Thus the only major population exchange Azcárate mentions was between civilizations. Europe's edge was the limit of the League's multicultural experiment.
Mr. Azcárate said that the League's Minority Section "should be not only entirely impartial but free in its origins and constitution from all taint of injustice or privilege."7 To be effective in its multicultural implementation, the League had to be seen as neutral. But, the League itself limited the processing of minority complaints because states that were accused of discriminating too often might leave the League of Nations. Furthermore, Azcárate repeatedly blames Germany for using the Minority Section to rile up Germans in Poland in the years leading up to World War II. We all know how that ended. Even the League wasn't impartial.
Written just after World War II, Azcárate's documentation of the League of Nations' early multicultural experiment with impartiality struggles to help us past minority-majority conflict. In the context of World War II, the book's list of limits to plurality is haunting. The West's current impartiality stance was developed in Francis Fukuyama's 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man.8 Written as the Soviet Union collapsed, Fukayama argued that western democracy and free markets won the Cold War, so now ideological struggle had ended; the whole world now agreed on liberal values.
Impartiality is an impossible, dangerous, and ubiquitous modern western value. Multiculturalists aim at a culturally neutral government via enforcing negative and positive equality domestically. Internationally, the West takes no side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But history has not ended. As Germany used the League of Nations' Minority Section as a "formidable weapon," Islam uses multicultural impartiality and our globalist stance for aggressive purposes. We need to get wise. The West must reject multicultural, globalist neutrality for a realistic culturist preference for our traditional majority culture(s).
1. Azcárate, P. De, League of Nations and National Minorities: An Experiment, (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1945), 68.
2. Fink, Carole, "Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and the International Minority Protection, 1878 – 1938," (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2006).
3. Azcárate, P. De, League of Nations and National Minorities: An Experiment, (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1945), 142.
4. Ibid. 73.
5. Ibid. 151.
6. "Population Exchange Between Greece and Turkey",http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_exchange_between_Greece_and_Turkey
7. Azcárate, P. De, League of Nations and National Minorities: An Experiment, (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1945), 27.
8. Fukuyama, Francis, The End of History and the Last Man, (New York: The Free Press, 1992).
[i] Azcarate, P. De, “League of Nations and National Minorities: An Experiment,” (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1945), 68.
[ii] Fink, Carole, “Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and the International Minority Protection, 1878 – 1938,” (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2006).
[iii] Azcarate, P. De, “League of Nations and National Minorities: An Experiment,” (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1945), 142.