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.
I wanna know, re: this company:
Are they sufficiently ‘diverse’ for the ‘diversity’ crowd?
Or should they have more men?
Or just more non-whites?
Or is the only thing ‘wrong’ that they have no women in senior management?
Of should they all be replaced by disabled Pakistani lesbians?
How do we know when a company is ‘diverse’ enough for ‘diversity’ purposes?
And did senior management only hire women so they could get tail at work?
I snark and jest, but I’m half-serious, anyway.
The Diversity Industry really *is* an industry. I knew that in the abstract but the details and extent of it came as a surprise to me. Do you suppose there are young people these days who think about their futures and muse, “Hmmm, maybe I’ll go into Diversity …”?
No doubt, sadly, there are.
And if there aren’t already, I can see advanced degrees in ‘Diversity Management’ on the horizon.
@Will S. (November 25, 2013 at 9:18 am)
Statement from our Managing Director…
As Jonathan Edwards noted, Diversity is a wrathful master:
Superdiversity is the next big thing:
How long before Super Duper Diversity With A Cherry on Top is a respected academic discipline?
I didn’t see your comment before I posted my last one to PR, above, but yeah, surely it’s coming.
There was no push toward diversity 100 years ago when the Irish, Italians, and Jews came to the US in mass numbers. What happened?
1). Those groups were forced to Americanize.
2). All of those groups succeeded because of the push to learn English and do well in life because no one was going to give you a break.
3). Virtually everyone in those groups can be sure their success was due to the hard work of them and/or their elders, not because they were there to fill ore-determined quotas.
4). It’s a shame some people in these groups didn’t see all of the above when some of them got behind the push for diversity as the ’70s rolled around.
That’s “pre-determined” quotas. Spell-check ate my assignment.
Oh, diversity and multiculturalism are a deliberate rejection of that approach. Nothing accidental about it. This isn’t something we’ve just stumbled into, it’s a genuine, consciously-designed political project.
And deliberately divisive.
Diversity is a make work program, primarily, for white women with useless liberal arts degrees. The Diversity make work colossus emerged as such women entered the workforce en masse. Scolding is the primary skill those women possess.
Just as Heartiste says, in my experience the first women in the Diversity attack were hired by alpha male managers who hoped to get in the young ladies’ pants by demonstrating how devoted they (the managers) were to the cause of advancing the careers of pretty young white women.
The first Diversity racketeer I met on the job was a young white women straight out of U Michigan, who patrolled the office in search of potential outbreaks of sexual harassment. She flaunted her power by sitting on the tops of mens’ desks, and artfully giving them a view of her panties, and leaning over to show them her tits.
The message was clear: “I can do it and you can’t!”
I was there at the beginning!
Age is a drag but it has a few benefits. For one thing, you can remember life when it wasn’t like what it currently is. There’s a dramatic break between guys who did some of their growing up pre-’70s feminism and guys who did all their growing up after that era, for example. And it seems me that there’s a similar break between people who knew life before Diversity Mania and people who’ve known nothing but.
I’m a bit younger than that, but even I can remember what the world was like in the ’80s, when things weren’t anywhere near as radical as they got in the ’90s and ever since…
>>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?
Every time a feminist uses the phrase “rape culture,” a Game blogger gets his wings.
Great way of putting it.
That is highLARious. And pretty true. Even though most of the Red Pill O’Sphere is beginning to sound like an echo chamber, I still hang around because it’s the only place, it seems, where PC groupthink is challenged.
I would add use of the phrase “male privilege” especially when written by a male.
I am not sure Richard Florida’s belated recognition is a turning point. Reasonable liberals have been willing to discuss this issue fairly for some time. As Sailer points out, Puttnam’s own findings go back a ways, as does David Goodheart’s quite early piece “Too Diverse” from 2004.
What I find most telling about Florida’s piece is that he seems blissfully unaware that not everyone, even on the liberal side, has embraced vibrancy with the his trademarked gusto. I think that’s because he’s got some of the Gladwell problem: his brand requires him to be a pathbreaker with new ideas, so when he is forced in a different direction, it’s all new and it’s all good.
When my ex-wife and I would fight, she would often angrily charge me with the crime of always needing to be right.
Me: That’s not true.
She: Yes it is, You always have to be right.
Me: Not at all. I don’t mind being wrong since when I am I can correct myself . . . . then I can be right again.
(followed by dishes flying in my direction)
Anyway, I have a bit of the Gladwell/Florida gene so I am entitled to laugh at them. Then I can be right again.
Where the piece in The Atlantic goes I’m cheerier than you are about what it might represent. The British (such as Goodheart) have been debating these topics a lot more openly than we’ve been, and the Putnam study didn’t get nearly the coverage here that it should have. And Richard Florida is a bit of a media-lib-class darling … so maybe if HE’s thinking these thoughts then it’s OK for me to think them too.
Since everyone is equal we must all be equally diverse. Now do it you little worm!
Beat me, whip me, herd me!
Minor correction: The Yippies did not make points. Otherwise, here! here!
Heightening the absurdity of some things isn’t “making a point”? Well, maybe it isn’t, probably you’re right. In any case I’d love to see more of an exuberant-absurdist Yippie element in today’s political protests.
Keith Preston had some good stuff to say about the Yippies in a recent podcast. Let me poke you with their points.
“Have you ever noticed that basically everything you are supposed to believe in these days — feminism, diversity, etc. — turns out in practice to just be another way for hot babes, rich guys, super salesmen, cunning financiers, telegenic self-promoters, and charismatic politicians to get even more money and power?” — Steve Sailer
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