A minister in the Baillieu Liberal Government here in Victoria, Nick Kotsiras, wants a new number plate slogan for Victoria. His suggestion? "Victoria - The Multicultural Capital".
Is multiculturalism really something distinctive to Victoria? Nick Kotsiras believes it to be so:
"That's who we are, I don't think we should step back," he told the Herald Sun.
"If we are supportive of it, then we should yell it out nice and loud to the rest of the world that we are the multicultural capital.
"We are different to other states and more importantly we are different to other countries," he said.
That sounds delusional. Multiculturalism has been adopted just about everywhere throughout the Western world. If Mr Kotsiras got out and travelled to New York or Sydney or London he'd find that multiculturalism existed in those places too.
So why would Mr Kotsiras assert something so dubious? I think it's because there are moderns who want things both ways. They want to support multiculturalism but they also want a meaningful communal identity. They "solve" the problem with the pretence that their own society is somehow uniquely multicultural. The emotional or psychological need of wanting it to be so overrides common sense.