Paleo Retiree writes:
We here at UR enjoy tracking and marveling at the phenomenon of Diversity. What an overwhelming spectacle it has become, and what a lot of cultural and political energy it has attracted and absorbed. How to account for this? Can Diversity be compared to a case of mass hypnosis? How much more can Diversity grow? Can Diversity be said to have attained the status of a religion?
A somewhat more abstract question that Diversity-mania often has me wondering about: Though I’d like to think that ruling is something that can be done in a totally practical way, maybe that isn’t true. Perhaps it’s possible that elites need a cause to rule in the name of. Seen in that light, Diversity is the noble ideal our elites are asking us to sacrifice — er, devote — ourselves to. It’s part of how they’re pulling the wool over our eyes. Is this anything we should put up with?
Just to be clear for those who aren’t entirely in the UR groove: “Diversity” in the sense I’m currently using the term has zero to do with actual diversity. We here at UR are all about enjoying a wide range of cultures, peoples and cultural products; we recognize that contending with a variegated world is a mostly unavoidable part of dealing with Life Today; and there isn’t a one of us who isn’t 150% in favor of treating other people (psychos, sociopaths, greedheads and bankers excepted) with cordiality and respect. We’re a pretty diverse crew ourselves here at UR, in fact. It’s how we like to roll, and it’s the kind of party we most enjoy throwing.
No, Diversity in the sense we’re using the term when we’re exploding with merriment, amazement and ridicule is the current Cult of Diversity: ie., not a general, sweet-natured appreciation of the world’s breadth and depth but a conviction that everything evil in life is caused by non-Diversity, and that the solution to all the problems we face is an application — by force, if necessary (and it often is) — of Diversity. Diversity, in other words, as an always-and-everywhere Good Thing; as a not-to-be-questioned and vitally necessary goal to strive for; and as a one-stop remedy for all that ails us.
(BTW, if you chuckle and say “No such thing exists,” then you’re either blind or you aren’t inhabiting the same planet that the rest of us are. Diversity is one of those “it’s the water we’re swimming in” things — hard to notice until you do, but a huge part of the gestalt we inhabit today.)
Where the automatic goodness of Diversity goes, common sense and common experience say: Surely you’re kidding. Though I enjoy my diverse life in NYC, managing it is a major pain in the ass. Most people simply aren’t going to want to devote the amount of energy I regularly do to figuring out ways of effectively communicating and co-habiting with people who speak different languages and have vastly different assumptions and habits. For easily-understandable reasons, people — most people, that is, and on average — generally prefer the company of their own kind, whatever they conceive “their own kind” to be. I may like living a Bohemian, diverse life, but I know that I’m in what will always be a minority, and I’m OK with that. My lifestyle may suit me well — but why would I try (or even want) to impose it on anyone else? Why shouldn’t people be as free to live as it suits them as I’m free to live as it suits me?
Besides, that idea that Diversity is always and everywhere a desirable goal? Sez who? Who was it who got to proclaim Diversity as priority #1? What if I have different priorities? Even if it is an important value, who gets to define and enforce it? And what becomes of those who don’t share the ideal?
Diversity runs into the same inherent logical problem that liberalism does. In the case of liberalism: how can liberalism make room for the un-liberal, let alone for the anti-liberal? In the case of Diversity: how can there be a place within Diversity for the non-Diverse, let alone the anti-Diverse? In order to achieve a liberal or Diverse utopia, opponents of liberalism and Diversity apparently have to be gotten rid of. Isn’t that not just … unfortunate but a betrayal of the cause? And doesn’t it reveal that at the heart of liberalism is something illiberal (the intolerance of that which isn’t liberal), and that at the heart of Diversity there’s something non-Diverse?
Practically speaking: If Diversity were achieved worldwide, what would then be Diverse about it? When I go to the grocery store, I’m grateful that the vegetable department is non-diverse (it contains only vegetables), and that the meat, dairy and paper-products sections are too. A Diversity attack on grocery stores would result in everything in the store being mooshed together into one hard-to-use, hard-to-enjoy and very annoying mass. I wouldn’t want to shop at such a store, and I don’t want to inhabit the Diverse world our betters seem to have in mind for us. The world is already a darned diverse place. What’s to be gained by ensuring that every square centimeter on its surface replicates that larger diversity?
The Diversity mania is such a demented thing that I’m left wondering: How long can it go on? When an ideology exists in flagrant defiance of human nature something will eventually break or snap back, after all; insane projects generate their own reaction. Question Du Jour: Which deserves more blame for the ugliness towards women that sometimes crops up in the Game world: the Game movement itself, or the loony feminism against which the Game movement is reacting?
Diversity is something that lots of bright, tough-minded people, bless their hearts, have been marveling at and chortling over for a long time already. But aside from some brave bloggers and a very few journalists and opinionators, the exasperation has largely been expressed in private. As we all know, if the Diversity Police is genuinely good at anything, it’s at ruining careers and lives. So one of the most cheering events of the last week was seeing some realism about Diversity show up in a mainstream publication. Does the publication of this article represent a genuine crack in the walls of the Cathedral? (Great quote: “After 20 million-plus simulations, the authors found that the same basic answer kept coming back: The more diverse or integrated a neighborhood is, the less socially cohesive it becomes, while the more homogenous or segregated it is, the more socially cohesive.” Shockeroo, right?) Hard to know, but maybe I can be forgiven for feeling hopeful. And — not to be too cynical — if Diversity does crumble, what new delusion will replace it? Because surely we everyday people can’t be trusted to live our lives and do our jobs in a modest, clear-eyed fashion, and in accordance with our own preferences and standards. Nope, that’s something that just can’t be tolerated.
- HBD*Chick rounds up a lot of the recent news and has a lot of fun at the expense of the Diversity brigade. Her sweetly giddy tone reminds me of a point I like to make about the virtues and benefits of humor. It’s this: The moment a big percentage of we Everyday People stop taking our lords and masters seriously is the moment they stop wielding psychological and emotional power over us. Laughter is a much-underused way of making a political statement. (Back in the ’60s and early ’70s I was a big fan of the Yippies, who made their points with absurdist, theater-type “happenings.”) Imagine, for example, a Presidential debate where the audience reacts not with the usual earnestness and concern but hilarity. “Can you believe what he/she just said?” “We’re being offered these idiots again? What a hoot!” “Get a load of this crock of shit.” What would the parties, the pundits and the press — the Cathedral — make of such an event? They might continue to own most of the guns, but in one stroke they’d find themselves unable to pretend to have any kind of moral authority whatsoever over the rest of us.
- Where marveling at Diversity (and so much other of questioning of PC) goes, Steve Sailer has been the point guy. I think Steve as a writer has hit a wonderful new plateau in recent months, by the way: he’s droll and bemused in often hilarious fashion, yet he’s as fearless, smart and incisive as ever. Here he is back in 2007.
- Ed West’s book on the history of the Diversity phenomenon is a very good (and pleasingly brief) one.
- In his own new book, Jim Kalb is brilliant on the ways the Diversity cult is impoverishing instead of enriching life.