The strict sameness of diversity 18

On the political left, fair is foul and foul is fair.

The left likes to use words to mean their opposites. Communist dictatorships like to call themselves “democratic” republics. It’s a cynical tease, because it shows that they know democracy is better than dictatorship.

A cynical lefty euphemism much in use in America is “diversity”. It should mean “variety”, but what it has come to mean in practice is its opposite  – “orthodoxy”: a strict doctrinal uniformity of opinion.

The doctrine has achieved enormous success in the universities, which are no longer open to new ideas, no longer allow free debate, no longer question fixed assumptions. That’s what they once existed for. Now they are temples of political correctness, safes for the secure locking up of leftist doctrine.They want a sterile mix of ethnicities and of as many genders as semantic ingenuity can invent, but not a fertile mix of ideas. They recognize only one set of ideas as correct. To question it is heresy.

Steps towards enforcing this kind of “diversity” in the news media have been proposed by the Obama administration. Charles Krauthammer deplores the move in this video clip:

Here the doctrine of diversity is examined by Victor Davis Hanson:

Diversity has become corporatized on American campuses, with scores of bureaucrats and administrators accentuating different pedigrees and ancestries. That’s odd, because diversity does not mean any more “variety” or “points of difference,” at least as it used to be defined.

Instead, diversity has become … synonymous with orthodoxy and intolerance, especially of political thought.

When campuses sloganeer “celebrate diversity,” that does not mean encouraging all sorts of political views. …

Do colleges routinely invite graduation speakers who are skeptical of man-made global warming, and have reservations about present abortion laws, gay marriage or illegal immigration – if only for the sake of ensuring diverse views?

Nor does diversity mean consistently ensuring that institutions should reflect “what America looks like.” …

Do we really want all institutions to weigh diversity rather than merit so that coveted spots reflect the race and gender percentages of American society? …

Gender disparity is absolutely stunning on American campuses. Women now earn about 61 percent of all associate degrees and 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees. With such disproportionate gender representation, do we need outreach offices on campus to weigh maleness in admissions? Should college presidents investigate whether the campus has become an insidiously hostile place for men? …

If ethnic, rather than class, pedigrees provide an edge, how do we ascertain them in today’s melting-pot culture? Does the one-quarter Latino student, the recent arrival from Jamaica or the fourth-generation Japanese-American deserve special consideration as “diverse”? And if so, over whom? The Punjabi-American? The Arab-American? The gay rich kid? The coal miner’s daughter? Or the generic American who chooses not to broadcast his profile?

Does Diversity Inc. rely on genetic testing, family documents, general appearance, accented names, trilled pronunciation or just personal assurance to pass judgment on who should be advantaged in any measurement of diversity?

In such an illiberal, tribally obsessed and ideologically based value system, it is not hard to see why and how careerists such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and activist Ward Churchill were able to fabricate helpful Native American ancestries.

Diversity came into vogue after affirmative action became unworkable in the 1980s. Given the multiplicity of ethnicities, huge influxes of new immigrants and a growing rate of intermarriage, it became almost impossible to adjudicate historical grievances and dole out legal remedies. So just creating “diversity” – without much worry over how to define it – avoided the contradictions.

But diversity is not only incoherent; it is also ironic. On a campus short of resources, the industry of diversity and related “studies” classes that focus on gender or racial differences and grievances crowd out exactly the sort of disciplines that provide the skills – mastery of languages, literature, science, engineering, business and math – that best prep non-traditional graduates for a shot at well-compensated careers.

And here Jonah Goldberg writes on the same subject:

Cancel the philosophy courses, people. Oh, and we’re going to be shuttering the political science, religion and pre-law departments too. We’ll keep some of the English and history folks on for a while longer, but they should probably keep their resumes handy.

Because, you see, they are of no use anymore. We have the answers to the big questions, so why keep pretending there’s anything left to discuss?

At least that’s where Erin Ching, a student at Swarthmore College, seems to be coming down. Her school invited a famous [or infamous – ed] left-wing Princeton professor, Cornel West, and a famous right-wing Princeton professor, Robert George, to have a debate. The two men are friends, and by all accounts they had an utterly civil exchange of ideas. But that only made the whole thing even more outrageous.

“What really bothered me is, the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion,” Ching told the Daily Gazette, the school’s newspaper. “I don’t think we should be tolerating [George’s] conservative views because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society.”

Swarthmore must be so proud.

Over at Harvard, another young lady has similar views. Harvard Crimson editorial writer Sandra Y.L. Korn recently called for getting rid of academic freedom in favor of something called “academic justice”. 

“If our university community opposes racism, sexism and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom’?” Korn asks.

Helpfully, she answers her own question: “When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue.”

One could easily dismiss these students as part of that long and glorious American tradition of smart young people saying stupid things. As Oscar Wilde remarked, “In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.”

But we all know that this nonsense didn’t spring ex nihilo from their imaginations … These ideas are taught.

Indeed, we are now up to our knees in this Orwellian bilge. Diversity means conformity. …

To want “diversity” – the writer sums up – means to listen only to “people who agree with me”  and that means people who are left wing.

[For] the sages of Swarthmore and Harvard …  if the conversation heads in a direction where [they] smell “oppression” – as defined solely by the left – then it must not be “put up with”. 

Diversity demands that diversity of opinion not be tolerated anymore.

  • WmarkW

    On similar subject, Penguin Books has ceased publication in India if its title “The Hindus” claiming that that the Indian laws that prohibit insulting religious belief “make it ncreasingly difficult for any Indian publisher to uphold international standards of free expression.”

    http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/02/21/sacrificing-free-speech-in-the-name-of-free-speech/31043

    Or, as one commenter asks, “maybe Penguin correctly recognizes that sales in Western Europe and North America are mature, whereas developing markets such as India, China, and the Middle East are where the future growth lie. Therefore, going forward, there is less need to cater to Western values, such as unfettered free speech, that are not shared by large swaths of the developing world.

    Seriously, how long do we think that our Western traditions will drive the global conversation?”

    • donl

      As long as THINKING people believe that free speech is a valid and viable unalienable right…irrespective of geography.

  • WmarkW

    Diversity is the belief that traditional values (including free speech and meritocracy) are tools of white hegenomy, and need to be overthrown to replace with demographic quotas.

    • donl

      Do you actually believe this tripe? Wow!

      • WmarkW

        I don’t agree with the diversity agenda, I’m just describing what it is.

        • donl

          My apologies…I maybe interpreting your posts incorrectly. I’m just still very ‘incomplete’ as to your unusually not agreeing with the Krauthammer.

          LOL…failure to communicate.

  • WmarkW

    Unusally, I disagree with Krauthammer.. This is funny to anyone but Fox News.

    “Everything on Fox News is a lie. Even true things, once repeated on Fox News, become lies.” — Lois Griffin, Family Guy (Fox network)

    • liz

      So does that mean that their reporting on Benghazi, for instance, was a lie, and Obama’s “video” excuse, parroted by his propaganda arm, the rest of the media – was the truth??

      • WmarkW

        Note to self: sarcasm is difficult in short comments.

        • Jillian Becker

          We enjoy the sarcasm. It’s your disagreement with Krauthammer that puzzles us. Do you think the government ought to interfere with what goes on the newsrooms?

    • donl

      Hmmm, when Krauthammer gets into his Wm F Buckley mode and defends the FED and central planning…I disagree with him. But when, like in this video, he points out the need for cynicism and concern about this FCC nudge-tactic…I listen and agree. You say you don’t.

      So, rather than pasting a cartoon character quote, which when taken in context from the entire episode – not just 13 seconds – connotes something opposite from the inference you seem to intend, provide some relevance…why, unusually, do you disagree? Say, why would you normally agree?

      So, if sarcasm is difficult in short comments…what’s your point?
      I’m smiling…this should trouble you. LOL

  • donl

    The economy is so large and complex that only experts can manage it – a lie believed true and or accurate by 85%+ of the population (large & complex…so what. It doesn’t need managing and there are no experts that could possibly manage it…that’s what’s wrong.

    Lincoln saved the union and sarted the civil war to end slavery – a lie on both counts. Lincoln created the state and started the war to end states rights in order to impose a mercantilist economic system designed to keep whigs/republicans in power for decades…it worked…Repubs ran everything, into the ground, over 70 years.

    Today, health insurer get away with dropping you from coverage for any reason they like. They have a monoply by state, setup by government regulation. Further, gov’t, in 1904, gave control of the doctors and nurses ovwer to the AMA which is a union based on exclusion. In a free market, health insurers would not drop clients because a competitor would offer a policy that wouldn’t. Likewise, healtcare costs would drop dramatically as they reponded to consumers…not gov’t bureaucratic policy.

    If you are an employee, the worst thing you could do is buy a home. Employers fail, move…remeber, it isn’t your job…it’s the companies job, you’re just in it. If you aren’t an entrepreneur or well off investor…your vocation is employee and your product is the degree of skill you have to sell to an emploer. AND…skill/trade before a degree in art!

    Unions have never been useful. They have always been violent business destroying and consumer price raising outlaw organizations. Period!!!

    Monopoly: There is no such thing, it is an impossibility, inr a free market. (exception – demand is 1/yr for a green chinese fud…only one mfg can be supported. And, if this mfg charges too much…competiitor will appear.) Monopolies are solely created by government intervention.

    Gov’t favored/patronage businesses do not earn profit…they acquire plunder. Profits are the outcome of a successful business satisfying consumers. without profit there is no way to determine what gets made…or when, or where, or how many…

    The point of all this: Lincoln, employment, homeownership, unions, etc are all myths believed by the predominance of americans. They are all myths/lies told by the left and right. It isn’t only the poor that are unaware. In fact the more educated and well off some are the more unaware they are. They had to memorize and pass tests to advance…they had to internally accept the untruths.

    The hardest thing to do is re-educate those who have already been mis-educated!

    Hmmm…are you (generic you) aware? What was the last book you read…on what topic? If all you know about the issues above is what you got in school…hmmm.

    OK…rambling again. Later.

    • Jillian Becker

      All good points, donl. If its rambling, then please ramble on.

    • REALBEING

      I’ve a feeling that the reason that the economy is so “large and complex” is because of the experts and their “creative economics!”

      Our friendly, neighborhood government realizes that we will either believe anything they say, or aren’t sufficiently strong in numbers to defeat their lies.

      For their purposes, Joseph Goebbels words are their ideal: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

      • donl

        Markets are hundreds of millions of people, just in the USA, making trillions of decisions as to satisfying needs and wants. the individual judgments and valuations cannot be quantified or qualified or managed by any planning anything. If you’ve never read the essay “I Pencil” you might get a kick out of the complexity of just one simple item: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/i-pencil/

        Boy, fingers crossed that there are enough of us left. Liz said it, the other side is multiplying exponentially…every new graduating class of droolers for the cause.

        You’re absolutely right…they’ve been telling the lies a long time. This week the Liar-In-Chief, NoBama, is walking about saying the 7 million number (enrollees) has been reached. Right down there with keep doctor, insurance plan etc.

        • REALBEING

          And no one on the left is calling the “usurper-in-chief” on his lies, simply because the regime is telling the lies that these “poor, unaware, downtrodden souls” want to hear!

          And we old timers know that this is exactly how Communism works.

  • REALBEING

    The “Left” as these people are called in this piece use the words which they know will drive their victim-creating agendas. Much like vampires, they must have “blood!” (People’s energy)

    But really, the’re just plain Socialists. Socialists are hungry, touchy-feely Communists looking for a country to take over from someone else who isn’t using it right now. And if they accomplish this, well then shame on us!

    And the poor, unaware, downtrodden soul, groomed by his poor, unaware, downtrodden parents is out there looking for someone to hand him his portion of that “free” American Dream! And hes ripe for the pickin’!

    Its no secret that these “people?” practice the same vulgar trade that would be familiar to any 1870s-era “snake-oil salesmen” still alive out there.

    Wasn’t it P.T. Barnum that said “Theres A Sucker Born Every Minute?”

    • liz

      Yes, and they seem to be multiplying rapidly! It must be by the second, now.
      Civilization is supposed to advance, but we’re caught in an undertow of socialist regression that is sucking us all under.