I confess I despise movies and Hollywood in particular. I find it excruciating to sit through a film where a group of overpaid celebrities waste 2 hours of my life pretending to be me. As if pretending wasn’t audacious enough, many will also try to convince us that they are one of us; which in my view is the greater crime. Office Space isn’t one of those films and it does a fantastic job capturing the dreary existence of us worker ants. But I’m not here to review the film, rather, I’m here to discuss how the film deals with the issue of multiculturalism.
The film revolves around the lives of 3 software engineers employed by a soulless software giant in the 90s. This is a snapshot of the company:
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. The company is a reflection of American society at large where the majority are white with a few non white minorities thrown in. The three software engineers comprise of two whites (Peter and Michael) and one immigrant (Sameer). Sameer’s ethnicity remains intentionally ambiguous but if I had to guess, I would assume from his Taviz amulet that he is an Indian Muslim. His ethnicity is never dwelt on except in a few situations where his co-workers have a hard time pronouncing his last name, a running gag throughout the film.
Outside of his accent and last name, Sameer is a honorary white person. He speaks English reasonably well, parties hard with his white friends, and laughs at the same jokes as they do. When stuck in traffic he even attempts to swear in English despite not knowing many swear words. He could of-course just as easily swear in Hindi but that wouldn’t be very American. Sameer is basically attempting to integrate into white America, an endeavour familiar to generations of immigrants to the US. He is never made to feel different on account of his foreign origin and is treated equally by his two close white friends. Office Space presents us with a racial dynamic of a bygone era where immigrants were expected to assimilate. When they made the attempt to assimilate, the majority reciprocated by being inclusive. This movie reminds us that diversity and multiculturalism can be mutually exclusive. This was the wisdom of a bygone era that social justice/leftist dimwits have worked hard to erode away. The leftist media deliberately uses the word “Multiculturalism” synonymously with the word “diversity” so as to convey the idea that there can be no diversity without multiculturalism.
Historically, this assertion is nonsense. The Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, and Persians were all ethnically diverse societies that had one dominant ethnic group. Other ethnic groups were expected to assimilate. Iran for example, is an unapologetically Persian nation despite the presence of other ethnic groups such as the Azeris, Ahwazis, and Jews. The Arab Muslims freely granted their non muslim subjects religious freedom but ensured that the latter knew their subordinate place in the scheme of things. North American society isn’t nearly as oppressive and all society traditionally demands is that immigrants try and assimilate. In reality, multiculturalism isn’t diversity, but a model that accommodates diversity. The other model is integration, a word that is anathema to social justice dimwits and their Cultural Marxist overlords. Integration is a historically tried and tested method that generally works. The Italian labourers of yesterday dominate Toronto’s construction industry today as business owners. Multiculturalism on the other hand has a dismal record of success. I’ve witnessed how Pakistani immigrants self segregate themselves, make a bare minimum effort to improve their English and cling onto their tribal habits with a death grip. During the festival of Eid there would be a flurry of activity on my floor as Pakistani neighbours would exchange greetings as well as food dishes. The white neighbours on that same floor were always excluded. Multiculturalism always leads to the following dead end: Racial harmony through indifference rather than through goodwill. I recall how a Pakistani neighbour once whined about his white colleague who requested him to communicate in English while at work. My neighbour hollered “racism” and the white co-worker went away. Is this truly the North America we want to live in? Would the Japanese or Koreans stand for such behaviour? Are Arabs coddled in the Jewish state of Israel?
Office space gets it right when it portrays a North America that normalizes integration but this is just one part of the equation. While it is reasonable to expect the majority to be tolerant and inclusive, these expectations rest on the premise that the majority will continue to be the majority. It cannot in good conscience be expected of whites to be tolerant and inclusive when the gates of mass immigration are flung open and the threat of the majority becoming the minority looms large over the horizon. Benevolence must only be reciprocated by corresponding obligations and loyalty. This is taking a page out of Confucianism and White North America would be wise to adopt this maxim.