Unity in diversity
Unity in diversity (Latin: unitas in varietate) is a political motto advocating federalism or multiculturalism. The phrase is a deliberate oxymoron, the rhetorical combination of two antonyms, unitas "unity, oneness" and varietas "variety, variousness".
The phrase can be traced to Leibniz, who uses it as a definition of "harmony" (Harmonia est unitas in varietate) in his Elementa verae pietatis, sive de amore dei super omnia (1677/8). In modern politics it was first used, as In varietate unitas, by Ernesto Teodoro Moneta in the context of Italian Unification. In 1943 it invoked by Adélard Godbout, Premier of Quebec, in the context of the situation of French Canadians within Canada. The variant In varietate concordia was adopted as the motto of the European Union in 2000.
History of usage
|“||How does the dual relationship of the French Canadians make them an element of strength and order, and therefore of unity, in our joint civilization, which necessarily includes not only Canada and the British Commonwealth of Nations, but also the United States, the Latin republics of America and liberated France?||”|
The phrase has since become somewhat of a staple of Canadian multiculturalism in general.  The phrase was invoked in the Interdisciplinary Research Seminar at Wilfrid Laurier University in the 1970s. Ervin Laszlo presented his paper entitled "Framework for a General Systems Theory of World Order" (1974) as one of the first seminar Papers that led to the establishment of the IRS in 1975. The motto of the province of Saskatchewan, adopted in 1986, is a variation, Multis e gentibus vires (from many peoples, strength).
When the Apartheid of Republic of South Africa celebrated 20 years of independence on 31 May 1981, the theme of the celebrations was "unity in diversity". Anti-apartheid campaigners denounced the motto as a cynical attempt to explain away the inequalities in South African life and called on runners of the Comrades Marathon to protest at the co-option of the event by wearing a black armband. The winner of the race, Bruce Fordyce, was one of those wearing a black armband. The term has since been incorporated into the preamble of the 1996 Constitution of South Africa as a central tenet of post-Apartheid South Africa.
In 2000, the European Union adopted 'United in Diversity' (Latin: In varietate concordia) as official motto, a reference to the many and diverse member states of the Union in terms of culture. Apart from its English form, the European Union's motto is also official in 23 other languages. "Unity in diversity" was selected by means of a competition involving students from member nations. According to the European Union official website
|“||It signifies how Europeans have come together, in the form of the EU, to work for peace and prosperity, while at the same time being enriched by the continent's many different cultures, traditions and languages.||”|
- ed. Grua (1948) I.12/A VI.4.1358. Leibniz glosses the definition with Harmonia est cum multa ad quandam unitatem revocantur "'Harmony' is when many [things] are restored to some kind of unity".
- i.e. the EU replaced varietas by concordia "concord, cordial accord" in the Latin version and inverted word order. In the English version unity was retained (French unité).
- "European Motto in varietate concordia", Eurominority, 2004, retrieved 10 January 2014
- Effendi, Shoghi (1938), The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, ISBN 0-87743-231-7, retrieved 10 January 2014 Effendi, Shoghi (1938), "Unity in Diversity", World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, pp. 41–42, ISBN 0-87743-231-7, retrieved 10 January 2014
- Godbout 1943.
- Godbout, Adelard (April 1943), Canada: Unity in Diversity, 21 (3), Council on Foreign Relations, retrieved 10 January 2014 "Gwich'in Tribal Council Annual Report 2012 - 2013: Unity through diversity" (PDF), Gwich’in Tribal Council, 2013, retrieved 5 September 2014 Roxanne, Lalonde (April 1994), "Edited extract from M.A. thesis", Unity in Diversity: Acceptance and Integration in an Era of Intolerance and Fragmentation, Ottawa, Ontario: Department of Geography, Carleton University, retrieved 9 January 2014
- Nyiri, Nicolas A.; Preece, Rod (1977), Unity in Diversity, 1, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, ISBN 0-88920-058-0, retrieved 14 February 2012
- Morgan, Brad (nd), Bruce Fordyce: Comrades King