Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Diversity Diversion

To be "Liberal" used to mean to be open-minded, generous, and compassionate. The Liberal man was open to new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new technology. He saw the discrepancy in means between himself and those less fortunate, and was moved to assist them. The goal of the Liberal man has always been a just society governed by enlightened kindness rather than by selfish ambition. That's still the liberal self-image, but the reality has largely become overwhelmed by strident voices of those out to prove a symbolic point, giving the appearance of concern yet caring not one whit for the betterment of their fellow man.

Why has modern Liberalism become such a joke that its very name is a byword?

Liberals have once again been diverted on the road to the promised land of the just society. As usual, they have fallen for their favorite logical fallacy, mistaking an outcome for its cause. Believing [cite] that the strongest and most free societies are ones with diverse subcultures, they incorrectly reason that diversity is the cause of the strength. They believe that diversity causes freedom.

The proposition that diversity is most present in the strongest and freest cultures, even if granted, does not imply that diversity made those cultures strong or free. Rather, freedom is the cause of both the strength and the diversity. Diversity is the golden child of freedom, and not the other way around.

When we speak of diversity, what is it that we mean? There are several types of diversity:
biological, random, natural, racial/type, geographical, skill / educational. It is a mistake to conflate these types of diversity, or to assume that one kind necessarily implies another.

Norman L. Johnson,writing on his research into diversity, cites social insects, ecosystems, social networks, and distributed economies as examples of systems in which diversity is crucial. Yet bee hives and ant colonies are remarkable for their lack of diversity. Their survival strategy is to treat individuals as common parts, indistinguishable, and dispensable. And while ecosystems and distributed economies are complex, modeling human society on them assumes a similarity that may or may not be present.

Strength doesn't require diversity, but unity. Diversity can provide added capability and resilience under changing circumstances, but it can also weaken. In fact, diverse communities show the least amount of trust, meaning that those communities are literally the weakest, not the strongest.

The problem with citing the strength of natural biodiversity or other such examples as argument for social diversity is that diversity is a good fit for only certain problems. Diversity within a group helps it adjust to changing conditions, but not if those conditions are designed carefully. Attacks against an entire diverse group require that the group be bound together. The more diverse a group, the more difficult unity is.

It is impossible to have diversity without strife. It's a tautology to say that people who have different points of view will disagree. This diversity leads inexorably to infighting. History is replete with wars between groups that are indistinguishable to outsiders, yet which differ too much to peacefully coexist.

Diversity is a by-product of our intentional decision to be free individuals. That freedom, and not the diversity, is what generates our strength. It is freedom that allows prosperity; diversity is at best unrelated to it. It is freedom which motivates the soldier to defend his country; diversity is at best not a factor in that, either. Perhaps you can teach me how diversity gives strength.

An attempt to remove diversity must need be an attack on freedom, but not all attacks on freedom target diversity. Diversity is an indicator, not a cause.

But the Liberal movement has been so smitten with the diversity bug that they see diversity as more important than freedom.

Conservatives are comfortable with both freedom and diversity. We want billions of free, diverse groups of 1.

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TexasFred said...

Blog Roll Update Problems

Dan Kauffman said...

When we speak of diversity, what is it that we mean?
I guess I will find out that Monday when it seems I will be attending a corporate mandatory diversity training meeting.

America's meme USED to be the melting pot

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