Constantin von Hoffmeister explores ethnopluralism, a philosophy advocating the inherent value of every culture, as exemplified historically by empires like Rome and the Soviet Union.
The essay was originally published here.
In today’s interconnected global society, conversations about cultural and racial differences can, unfortunately, descend into hostility and polarization. Yet, at the heart of some philosophical perspectives lies a potent antidote to this divisiveness: ethnopluralism. Rooted in an understanding that cultural differences are not hierarchical but parallel, ethnopluralism promotes the idea that every culture has its unique value and intrinsic worth. With its origins in the writings of thinkers like Alain de Benoist and Henning Eichberg, ethnopluralism emerges not just as a theory but as a rallying call against the monocultural homogenization of globalism and as an affirmation of cultural identities.
Alain de Benoist, a prominent figure of the French New Right, has championed the idea of the “right to difference.” In his works, he frequently confronts the issue of racism, not by negating the existence of diverse ethnic and cultural identities, but by celebrating them. For de Benoist, the struggle is not about the superiority of one race over another, but about the authentic expression and survival of every unique cultural identity. By pushing back against universalism and its tendency to level down differences, de Benoist’s perspective on ethnopluralism posits that the defense of one’s own culture should never be at the expense of others.
Similarly, Henning Eichberg, a German sociologist and cultural critic, has expanded the horizons of this dialogue by asserting the primacy of the lived experience of different communities. Eichberg’s ethnopluralism is not merely an intellectual exercise; it is a call to recognize and cherish the “politics of identity” — an understanding that communities, like individuals, have their own narratives, experiences, and worldviews that deserve respect.