Sunday, September 9, 2007 38 Comments

The real meaning of diversity

The last post may have struck some readers as over the top. But this one will be even more fun. However, there are some prerequisites: Dante, corruption.

One hypothesis of UR is that wholesale disinformation is rife in modern Western society. This hypothesis is not the sort that gets confirmed or refuted with statistics and p-values. It's a rhetorical perspective, not a data set. It makes no pretense of mathematical ineluctability. It is certainly not "science." Nonetheless, I like the word "hypothesis" because it expresses a sort of humility before reality, a Socratic sense of starting from scratch.

Starting from scratch, then: diversity. Let's borrow Lev Navrozov's trick of italicizing these questionable words. We don't know, again, if there is anything corrupt about the word diversity. But surely we are permitted to question it.

There's a fun experiment in diversity that you can try in your own home. All you need is a blender, a spoon, and about $30. Take the $30, go to Safeway, and buy four or five pints of ice cream, preferably ultra-premium (Ben & Jerry's works well), of all different flavors. Chocolate, strawberry, Cherry Garcia, Funky Monkey, and so on. Using the spoon, scoop some ice cream from each of the pints into the blender, until it's about half full. When you are done, lick the spoon, and make sure it is not in the blender - this will make a very loud noise, and may void your warranty.

Observe the blender carefully. Are its contents diverse? Then: turn it on. Use a high-speed setting such as "Puree," "Macerate," "Exsquatulate," etc. Run the blender for at least thirty seconds, then stop it and let the contents settle. Observe them again. Are they diverse? Are they more, or less, diverse than they were before?

If you perform this experiment properly, you will observe that before the experiment, the ice cream was variegated. Afterward, it was homogenized. These are distinct culinary states - that much is clear. But which would you characterize as more diverse?

In its modern political meaning, diversity clearly refers to a state of homogenization. Your organization is diverse inasmuch as its percentages of various racial groups match the percentages in the blender as a whole. In a properly diversified society, there are no big blobs of strawberry or Chunky Monkey. The blend is uniform and uniformly distributed.

Now isn't this interesting? Don't you think most people in the benighted past, lacking our advanced modern understanding of diversity - which dates, to be exact, to 1978 - would have described the ice cream as more "diverse" before you turned the blender on? Hm.

But perhaps this is just a strange word usage. (An inversion, to be precise.) To qualify as actual corruption, diversity has to have a real meaning which has nothing to do with ice cream, and which cannot be admitted openly lest all and sundry react in fear, shock and horror.

Ice cream aside, the modern meaning of diversity is not concealed at all. Diversity means that official and officially-regulated institutions should grant distinctive privileges to persons of certain races. It has not one, but two, formal meanings.

The first formal meaning of diversity, which is the meaning Lewis Powell invented in 1978, and is still the legal meaning in the United States, is that a racially blended environment is intangibly essential to the development of personal character, and thus can and should be encouraged in institutions of every sort.

The second formal meaning of diversity, which is generally illegal in the US but is often assumed to be legal, like driving 75 on the 101 or smoking weed at a Phish concert, is that granting privileges to persons of certain races is essential to a fair and just society, because it compensates for past events in which legal penalties were inflicted on a similar racial basis. Since these past injustices appear to have left a permanent mark on our society, as measured by various statistical imbalances, justice demands an attempt to compensate for them.

I will let these formal meanings stand. They are what they are. You believe them or you don't. Surely anyone reading this blog has been exhaustively exposed to both, and I'm sure nothing I can say could make either of them any more or less credible.

Rather, I think a more interesting way to explore the hypothesis of corruption is to take it as a given, and to ask: supposing diversity has a real meaning, what might that meaning be?

To this end, allow me to borrow another trick from Lev Navrozov, which is to discuss patterns of official favoritism by using the word aryan for groups relatively favored by the authorities, and jewish for groups relatively disfavored by the authorities.

(I'm aware that this is flirting with Godwin's Law. Actually, if you knew my real name and you searched the archives of rec.arts.sf-lovers around 1991-1992, you would find all kinds of violent flamewars between Mike Godwin and the teenage Mencius, none of whose content I recall in the slightest. I never much liked Godwin, and I can say the same of Godwin's Law. National Socialism, after all, was one of the great corrupt philosophical systems of the 20th century. Surely if we are interested in patterns of official corruption it makes no sense to exclude this treasure trove of case studies. The Third Reich is especially useful because it is (a) defunct and thus mostly harmless, and (b) much less closely related to Universalism than the other great tyranny, Marxism, which is at least a sibling and maybe even a branch of Universalism.)

So, with Navrozov's transformation, and normalizing synonyms to diversity, here is a recent story from the San Francisco Chronicle (August 22, 2007):
The California Supreme Court took up its first diversity case in almost seven years today, agreeing to decide the legality of San Francisco's program that grants preferences for aryan contractors.

The court granted a hearing on appeals by two companies that say the city ordinance violates Proposition 209, the 1996 initiative that outlawed aryan preferences in public contracting, employment and education.

A Superior Court judge overturned the ordinance in 2004. But a state appeals court ruled in April that the city might be able to justify diversity, despite Prop. 209, if it could show that the program was needed to counteract a history of discrimination.

In that case, the appeals court said, Prop. 209 might be overridden by the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

San Francisco has had programs to increase aryans' share of city contracts since 1984, and has faced continual legal challenges from jewish contractors. The current ordinance, passed in 2003, gives aryan-owned companies a 10 percent advantage in competitive bids.

It also requires contractors to hire a certain percentage of subcontracting firms that are not owned by jews, or to show that they have made a good-faith effort to meet those goals.

In hearings that led to passage of the ordinance, the city's Human Rights Commission reported that companies owned by aryans were substantially under-represented in city contracts, despite two decades of diversity.

The commission found evidence that city staffers had failed to enforce diversity and had unfairly blamed aryan-owned firms for delays in projects. It also said some jewish contractors had violated or tried to evade the subcontracting requirements.

The ordinance has been suspended since the Superior Court ruling in July 2004. The case is being closely watched by other local governments.

Prop. 209 was upheld by a federal appeals court in 1997. In November 2000, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that that initiative barred state and local outreach programs that recruited aryan companies for government contracts, even if the companies were not given any bidding preferences.
What's especially nice about the Navrozov transformation is that you can apply it to the entire argument for and against diversity.

For example, a defender of diversity might argue that diversity is necessary because of an easily-demonstrated pattern of economic and political domination by jews. His opponent might respond that these statistical imbalances, while they certainly exist, are not evidence of jewish criminality, and thus fair cause for a system of compensation in which jews must pay back their ill-gotten gains to the aryans they have obviously victimized, but rather evidence of some biological advantage of jews, which naturally makes them more successful than aryans in our modern globalized economy. Endless fun can be had with this game.

But it hasn't really brought us any closer to establishing the real meaning of diversity. It is just an invidious comparison. We are all familiar with the ways in which one corrupt regime used racial bean-counting as a political tool. However, our society is so different from 1930s Germany that we'd expect the analogy to fall apart on a closer look, which it obligingly does. For example, jews were a minority in Germany, at least if the general population is considered rather than just greasy, hook-nosed bankers, and they are a majority in our society, at least if we consider that society as just America and Europe, rather than the planet as a whole. (Of course, the supporters of diversity would rather consider the planet as a whole, but let's forget that one for the moment.)

An interesting clue, however, is provided by a passage in a little book called Freedom Forgotten and Remembered (1943), by one Helmut Kuhn. Kuhn himself is quite forgotten, at least so far as La Wik knows, but here is his bio, from the back cover:
Born in Lueben, Silesia, in 1899, Helmut Kuhn joined the German army in 1914 and served as an officer from 1915 to 1919. After returning to civilian life he studied languages, history, and philosophy at Breslau, Innsbruck, and Berlin, receiving his Ph.D. in 1923. In 1930 he was appointed lecturer on philosophy at the University of Berlin, and Secretary of the Kant Society, an international association. In the following years he taught philosophy and published a book on Socrates and other philosophical works. At the same time he participated in the political life of the capital and came in contact with leaders of the Republic.

With Hitler's advent to power in 1933, Mr. Kuhn joined the militant group which, under Pastor Niemoller, resisted the nazification of Christianity. But opposition to the all-powerful Nazi regime soon became a forlorn hope. The Kant Society was "co-ordinated" [gleichgeschaltet], and the universities were forced into political alignment. A research award for the study of British Hegelianism granted to Mr. Kuhn by the German Academy at Munich afforded welcome opportunity to go abroad; and he left Germany for good.

After a brief stay in England he came to this country to complete the "History of Aesthetics," a work on which he collaborated with Professor K.E. Gilbert of Duke University. Subsequently he was invited to join the Philosophy Department at the University of North Carolina.
I would expect Professor Kuhn to have some fascinating thoughts on National Socialism. Wouldn't you? Well, he does, and here's one of them:
Under the Republic an almost unlimited frankness in public utterances was tolerated and a considerable confusion of the mind, unfeigned and unabashed, was bared to everyone's inspection. Under the Dictatorship only one idea of political and philosophical relevance could be safely expressed. As a result, public utterances became uniform and, in the same proportion, insincere. The land was infested with lies, ranging all the way from the successful self-deception that blurs the distinction between good faith and fraud, through the many shades and degrees of hypocrisy and opportunism to the full-fledged, deliberate, and, so to speak, honest lie. The way in which the new dishonesty expressed itself was equally varied. There was the omission of words which otherwise had been uttered, a mere inflection of the voice, an ambiguous turn of the phrase, a subtle innuendo or the indispensable lifting of the hand for the Hitler salute. And again there was the blatant opportunism of those whom the popular voice called "more-than-a-hundred-percent Nazis," the change of mind overnight, the betrayal of ancient loyalties. Just as each single concession seemed puny and too insignificant to deserve the name of a lie, the habit of insincerity, like a contagious disease, infected the whole body of national life. You are going to publish a book? See to it that the references to works by Jewish scholars are discarded. You are a banker? You will have to add at least one party member to the managing board. Mr. S. will retire if you do so? Well, considering his former political affiliations, this may be good sense on his part. You are a journalist? Practice Talleyrand's art of using words which conceal your thought rather than revealing it. And whatever and whosoever you are, stop being an overscrupulous stickler, or else you will court disaster for yourself without doing good to anyone else. And if you cannot help singing out of tune, do so under your breath. A putrid, slimy layer of lies was spreading over all domains and phases of German life. Language was adulterated and depraved. The ring of candor, kindliness and generosity seemed to have gone out of words which the new propaganda had mustered for its purposes.
Now isn't that interesting? Doesn't that remind you of a few things? Did you happen to focus in on the same sentence I did?
You will have to add at least one party member to the managing board.
I feel like we are starting to get a little warm, here. Do you feel like we're getting warm? Does this maybe ring a distant, far-off bell in some ancient, long-disused and deeply sleepy, but not quite perfectly anesthetized or utterly atrophied, lobe of your cerebrum?

The problem with the simple Navrozov transformation is that while the Third Reich was clearly run by Aryans, the United States is clearly not run by aryans. I know what the circle of power and privilege looks like. It bears a remarkable resemblance to the customer base of Burning Man. Suffice it to say that an aryan burner is enough the rara avis to deserve his own column-inch in the Chron.

However, if we think of diversity as not a racial power tool, but a political power tool, it starts to make a good deal more sense.

Certainly not every party member is an aryan. Most of them, in fact, are not. Nor is it absolutely guaranteed that every single aryan will be a party member. But most of them, in fact, are.

Moreover, for the last 30 years or so, our universities - which are certainly quite well "co-ordinated," at least if the standard of "co-ordination" is diversity - have been in the business of operating aryan studies programs. These happen to bear a remarkable resemblance to party training. And since diversity, by definition, means that the average aryan is less qualified than his or her fellow students, the attraction of aryan studies is obvious - further increasing the identity of aryan with parteigenosse.

Moreover, one of the interesting phenomena that accompanies diversity is sensitivity. Perhaps the real meaning of sensitivity is that it's professionally quite imprudent to sing out of tune within the auditory sphere of a party member.

Which might - just might - explain why it's so important to have a homogeneous distribution of party members in each and every walk of life. Including diversity training, which under this hypothesis is in fact political education, conveniently brought to you in the workplace, in case you happened to miss this vital educational experience.

Furthermore, this hypothesis - which, let's not forget, is only a hypothesis - also explains why all American universities, even private ones which could easily find ways to shirk or duck their diversity responsibilities, are so eager to pursue multicultural students. What universities really care about is their power and status. They want alumni whose path to the top will be greased. And who better than aryans?

So this is the hypothesis. It is only a hypothesis. It's just a thought, man. You can think it for a little while, than say "nah," and go back to formal meaning #1 or #2. It won't hurt you at all. (Try not to do it when there are any party members around, though.)

And it's important to note that, if diversity really is best understood as a political power tool, it certainly doesn't imply that those who promote diversity understand this at all. Au contraire - all the best disinformation is unconscious. Conscious conspiracies happen, but they are rare and tend to be small. Belief in the formal meanings of diversity is widespread, and as far as I can tell it's perfectly sincere.

However, there's another simple and accurate corruption test that diversity fails. We can call it the Ogre Test, after this little ditty by W.H. Auden (1968):
Words About Words

The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one deed is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master speech.

About a subjugated plain,
Among the desperate and slain,
The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
While drivel gushes from his lips.
If you need an example to demonstrate this result, you may not live on the same planet as me.

38 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always felt "co-ordinate" was a poor translation of gleichschalten, though it seems to have become entrench. "Re-align" would be better, IMO. At any rate, it sounds more like the sort of thing we would say.

- intellectual pariah

September 9, 2007 at 8:33 PM  
Anonymous TGGP said...

Wow! All of your other posts claiming to be subversive were rather laughable and reminded me of Jim Goad's The Underground is a Lie. This is serious though: The Polygon manufactures racial animosity by recruiting minorities as its Stasi. If I thought things were as unstable as you do, this is what I would think would result in fighting in the streets. Since you do think like that, I wonder how you can put this stuff out in good conscience? "Someone was going to say it even if I didn't"? My limited experience tells me that most minorities don't really see themselves as serving in some larger project and can't be relied on by the Polygon.

I don't think Nazism can be considered a great ("meaning large or immense, we used it in the pejorative sense!") philosophy of the 20th century, because it doesn't really constitute much of a philosophy. It didn't have a Marx or even a Mussolini. I just made a post about that sort of thing here.

I don't think Burning Man attendees are being pruned for power either. That seems a bit weird and you can't get as much respect from the broader populace when they know you as a Burner. If you're content to be a mid-level knowledge worker it works fine though.

September 9, 2007 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger C. Van Carter said...

When I hear the word 'diversity' I reach for my gun. I also think of Richard M. Weaver's essay Life without Prejudice (pdf).

September 9, 2007 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Jewish Atheist said...

I believe you refute your own argument:

The problem with the simple Navrozov transformation is that while the Third Reich was clearly run by Aryans, the United States is clearly not run by aryans.

You see this, and you write this, and then you proceed as if it had never occurred to you. None of these swapping games make any sense if you are swapping complete opposites.

Let's take the germ model, but replace "germs" with "human cells:"

You go to the doctor and he gives you some medicine to kill the human cells that are threatening your germs. He instructs you to stay awake all night and run a marathon the next day to weaken your human cells so that the germs can better take over.

See, obviously it must be a bad thing to fight germs because if we simply swap germs for human cells, it's clearly ludicrous.

September 10, 2007 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Re; "...if diversity really is best understood as a political power tool, it certainly doesn't imply that those who promote diversity understand this at all."

I think they understand it, but with what they believe to be good intentions. On the other hand, those to whom it is applied understand it completely. The result is that its every use undermines the core belief in the meta-community. The necessary application of force, and the environment of fear thus created, will be their undoing.

I think you are absolutely correct that the universalists have been on a roll for the past ten or twelve decades, and that they have won the field. But I don't think its over. What I see is the beginnings of an individualist reformation. There is much evidence of the political power of the universalists, and much evidence that the resistance to that power is growing.

September 10, 2007 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

What JA said.

There are plenty of good arguments to use against affirmative action and diversity, so I don't really see the point of extremely strained analogies with Nazi Germany. The goals of Nazi racial laws were the exact opposite of the universalist ones (promoting racial uniformity rather than diversity), so it feels particularly strained.

September 10, 2007 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Studd Beefpile said...

I think you are absolutely correct that the universalists have been on a roll for the past ten or twelve decades, and that they have won the field. But I don't think its over. What I see is the beginnings of an individualist reformation. There is much evidence of the political power of the universalists, and much evidence that the resistance to that power is growing.

I desperately want this to be true, which is why I refuse to believe it can be, in the proper spirit of Overcoming Bias. If it isn't true, the future is grim. Hopefully it won't get too bad till after I'm dead.

I don't think Burning Man attendees are being pruned for power either. That seems a bit weird and you can't get as much respect from the broader populace when they know you as a Burner. If you're content to be a mid-level knowledge worker it works fine though.

Mencius' point was that the burners are overwhelmingly white, upper-middle class, and Brahmin. Such a description would apply equally well to, say, Congress.

I don't think Nazism can be considered a great ("meaning large or immense, we used it in the pejorative sense!") philosophy of the 20th century, because it doesn't really constitute much of a philosophy. It didn't have a Marx or even a Mussolini. I just made a post about that sort of thing here.

Unfortunately, Facism and Nazism have been conflated in the popular mind, like Racist and Bigot, or Right Wing and Conservative, and so many other political concepts. Actually, now that I think about it, there is probably a great post in the late 20th century's tendancy to compress political thought this way. Anyhow, Nazism (defined as Facism practiced by Hitler and crew) was never terribly coherent or popular, but National Socialism remained popular for many years in much of the developing world (particularly the Middle East and Latin America), and can be witnessed today in places like Venezuela Bolivia.

Anyhow, I can't buy the argument that diversity has a point anymore. It started out with one, but the whole aparatus has taken on a life of its own, and even the people that are nominally in charge of the whole project have drunk so deep of the Kool-Aid that they can't say what the point is. It is simply a vehicle to political power/patronage. Your ice cream analogy applies much better to the old left integrationist ideal than it ever did to the multiculturalist.

September 10, 2007 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger drank said...

I think you're fairly seriously misreading academia's commitment to diversity when you say

What universities really care about is their power and status. They want alumni whose path to the top will be greased. And who better than aryans?

Without exception, the academics and administrators that I've know or heard on the subject hold the two formal meanings of diversity that you list. Especially the second one. I've never really picked up hints that they are insincere in this belief.

If anything, academics would be more likely to say that contemporary America is still a racist society where minorities are unlikely to reach "the top". So I think you're pretty wide of the mark in this analysis of the motives of universities.

I think Al Sharpton probably has the view of diversity that you're describing - a means of acquiring and holding power in institutions that would otherwise be hostile towards him. But that's not what's animating the bulk of people who champion diversity.

September 10, 2007 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Randy said...

SB,

You may be correct that it can't possibly be true, but let me give you a couple of examples;

Globalism. This is not the one world that the universalists want. This is individuals going around the universalist road blocks to make deals in their own best interest.

The Internet. Individuals bypassing the official communications (propaganda) channels. I also expect that the internet will revolutionize learning over the next decade in conjuntion with the home schooling movement and the rising cost of higher education.

Unfunded Liabilities. The universalist's pet programs are about to hit the wall. When it happens, we will have a generation that no longer associates government with security.

September 10, 2007 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous tggp said...

This post was surprising in how far it went, but not especially so considering the source. Via the Hoover Hog I just came across a defense of The Color of Crime from a self-described revolutionary leftist and anti-racist. Now how about that?

Speaking of lefties, why don't you have commenter mtraven's site on your blogroll? You've got bbroadside, who only has a livejournal page.

September 10, 2007 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous TGGP said...

Wow, am I glad I came across that Robert Lindsay stuff! I remember when you talked about how it can be hard the understand the alien thoughts of the past, and here we have a preserved specimen of it. Check out his post on Russian neo-Nazis and the fight between Nazis and Commies (his allegiance is to the latter). This is Old Left, red in tooth and claw, not what we have now. It's "You're either a Nazi or a Commie, and the insufficiently anti-Nazi will be purged", which is why he's so willing to make the same digs at the lumpenproletariat underclass that white nationalists engage in. He flat out admits that Stalin massacred tons of innocent people, but that's excusable because so many others really had to die. He seems to hate all the same things about the modern left that you do, but traces it to their turning away from Ye Olde Communiste Iron Fiste, and can't understand why people today consider his correct Marxism to be borderline-Nazism.

In case Lindsay reads this post, I apologize that my description likely sounds like a twisted bizarro version of what you actually believe. I don't actually bear you any animosity. My way of thinking is simply so far off that reading your posts is a little like learning about a black hole by noticing the wobbling it causes in the orbit of a nearby star. I plan on reading more of your writings to gain a better understanding.

September 10, 2007 at 9:32 PM  
Anonymous TGGP said...

I couldn't resist linking to another Lindsay post on communism. It's almost refreshing to here someone stick up for Stalin and Mao like that. Everything we know is wrong! Joseph Stalin, while responsible for the Holodomor, was the world's greatest humanitarian!

Despite all that, Mencius, you'll be pleased to know he supports the elimination of third world self-described "Marxists" (surely Arab/Muslim Nazis in actuality) thugs in Iraq.

September 10, 2007 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Studd Beefpile said...

Globalism. This is not the one world that the universalists want. This is individuals going around the universalist road blocks to make deals in their own best interest.

Definately right, and keeping Globalism from derailing is probably the most important long term political action that can be taken today, but Universalism doesn't need to totally derail globalization. They just need to crap it up a little, year by year, until the comparative advantage of foreign declines to a level where they can control it. Its tricky though, it upsets a great many established interests, from all sides of the political spectrum, all of whom want just one exception here or just one little standard there...



The Internet. Individuals bypassing the official communications (propaganda) channels. I also expect that the internet will revolutionize learning over the next decade in conjuntion with the home schooling movement and the rising cost of higher education.


Again, also not part of the plan, but the Internet can spread bad ideas just as fast as it can spread good ones, and the bad ideas tend to be more contagious. That said, the Internet is essential for globalization and likely to stay mostly free as long as its under ICANN so keeping it there is also extremely important.

As for reforming education, I can see the internet making PRACTICAL education cheaper and more available, like University of Phoenix and other for profit schools. This is a good thing but I have a hard time seeing the Internet changing PRESTIDGIOUS schooling all that much. The elite schools have enough money to operate on their own for a long time coming.


Unfunded Liabilities. The universalist's pet programs are about to hit the wall. When it happens, we will have a generation that no longer associates government with security.


I suspect benefits will decline and taxes will increase, and there won't be a giant crisis. The Universalist machine will take some hits, but it already doles out much less free money than it used to and keeps moving. Nixon, Carter, and Reagan all had a Social Security "crisis" and all responded by raising taxes.

I think there's a chance Randy and not an insignificant one, but humans have an incredible destructive desire to tell other people how to live their lives. This tends to mean that libertarianism is never a popular philosophy, and is the biggest obstacle I can see to a functioning neocameralist state. I worry that both of those modes of thought have the same flaw as Communism, Wonderful theory. Wrong species.

September 10, 2007 at 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Matt Simpson said...

Lets sum up this post in a sentence:

"Diversity is an implicit conspiracy, perpetuated by both educational institutions and the media, and used by many to gain power."

I may have been more shocked by this post if I didn't already believe that statement, but a great post nonetheless.

I fail to see how diversity isn't corruption, probably because I don't quite understand the allusion at the end of the post. The only thing I could come up with is that there is no disinformation in this case. I don't think this is accurate, though- there is plenty of disinformation, not only about what particular policies actually accomplish, but about what real point of diversity is anyway.

September 11, 2007 at 12:30 AM  
Blogger Conrad H. Roth said...

"it's professionally quite imprudent to sing out of tune within the auditory sphere of a party member"

Don't know anything about that...

September 11, 2007 at 3:10 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

SB

Re; "...humans have an incredible destructive desire to tell other people how to live their lives."

Absolutely agreed. What I expect is something similar to what happened in the last reformation in which many discovered that they could communicate with god directly. The result was not a free world, but it was a significant step in that direction.

September 11, 2007 at 5:06 AM  
Anonymous TGGP said...

I apologize for clogging your blog with tangents. I've consolidated my thoughts on the subject at a post on my blog here.

September 11, 2007 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

JA,

The question is: who is the germs, and who is the cells? This is a substantive question. It's not a matter of mere rhetoric.

My point is that the Burning-Man Brahmins find their brown and black allies quite useful. If you believe in Brahmin rule, this is a good thing. If you don't, it's not.

September 11, 2007 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

drank,

Without exception, the academics and administrators that I've know or heard on the subject hold the two formal meanings of diversity that you list. Especially the second one. I've never really picked up hints that they are insincere in this belief.

I agree completely. In fact, if you read down at the end of the post, you'll see where I say this.

Insincerity makes a movement less dangerous, not more dangerous, because insincere movements tend to be less effective. I'm sure Dante was quite sincere when he wrote his tract on monarchism. If he wasn't, many were.

September 11, 2007 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

mtraven,

There are plenty of good arguments to use against affirmative action and diversity, so I don't really see the point of extremely strained analogies with Nazi Germany. The goals of Nazi racial laws were the exact opposite of the universalist ones (promoting racial uniformity rather than diversity), so it feels particularly strained.

The point is not that diversity is Nazism, but that it uses similar tactics to establish its dominance.

The actual content of the belief system is irrelevant. Party members could believe that it's evil to drink alcohol, that our souls are alien space monkeys from Jupiter, that menstruating women are unclean, or whatever. It doesn't matter at all. What matters is that you have to have one on your board, and if Mr. S doesn't like it perhaps he should think about retiring.

September 11, 2007 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

tggp,

The problem with Lindsay is that he's so weird that it's hard to know if he's really a living fossil, or simply sui generis.

I'll be updating my blogroll shortly...

September 11, 2007 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

IP,

That's interesting. I don't know German, but given the meaning I rather like "re-align" better as well.

September 11, 2007 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

Mr. Carter,

Not that you're not my personal hero, and Weaver is no slouch, neither.

But it's interesting to note how the fact that he assumes that the communists understand what they're doing vitiates his argument. In fact they are far more effective when they don't know what they're doing - because when they do, they can't help feeling a little guilty. Which slows 'em down, if nothing else.

September 11, 2007 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

drank,

On reflection I'm not sure I finished my argument. Let me elaborate.

People are amazingly good at aligning their beliefs with their interests. If "affirmative action" was not in the interest of university administrators, they would find a way to evade it. The fact that, to the contrary, they go to great lengths to evade laws which ban it (as in California), is a good indicator that in some way it brings them power and prosperity.

But, again, this does not require them to think about the subject in such mercenary terms. They are, for the most part, perfectly sincere. The human animal at work.

September 11, 2007 at 4:01 PM  
Anonymous tggp said...

Lindsay is weird. But you have to admit that the Nazis and communists of old were plenty weird as well. That's why you recommend reading what they themselves wrote.

September 11, 2007 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Studd Beefpile said...

People are amazingly good at aligning their beliefs with their interests. If "affirmative action" was not in the interest of university administrators, they would find a way to evade it. The fact that, to the contrary, they go to great lengths to evade laws which ban it (as in California), is a good indicator that in some way it brings them power and prosperity.

This is true, however I think that when it comes to white men opposing patriarchy and racism, it's hard to claim they are self interested. I see it as far more likely that they have been drinking from the punchbowl for so long that the thought of those notions being false has never occured to them. Asking someone who has been in academia all his life to doubt diversity would be like asking monk circa 1300 to doubt prayer. You could argue it is in his interest to not rock the boat (see Lawrence Summers) but that means that it isn't diversity itself that benefits college admins, but simply not questioning the orthodoxy that does. Or is that what you meant to say?

September 11, 2007 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

tggp,

Lindsay is weird, yes. But he's also somewhat sui generis. He thinks for himself. When studying movements, I'm more interested in the patterns of conformist thinking.

September 12, 2007 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Mencius Moldbug said...

Studd,

Do you have a middle name, too?

It's a bit of both, I think. Yes, your analogy of monks and prayer is pretty close to right. But that's because, if you didn't need to pray, you wouldn't need monks, now, would you?

The same can be said for much of the raison d'etre of the university system. Reshaping society to be wiser and more just is no small aspect of their work. They think of themselves as molders of society, not mere regurgitators of information. Diversity is a big part of this mission, which brings them power and prosperity in the sense that, if it didn't exist, neither would they.

September 12, 2007 at 11:43 PM  
Anonymous PA said...

Diversity is overwhelmingly avoided in the private sphere, as patterns of marriage, fraternization, and residence show. Surely, there must be some kind of congitive dissonance, even in the minds of the most sincere Universalists, between "Celebrate Diversity" and sending your precius to a tony private school. The seeds of Universalism's collapse? (that, and demographic trends)

September 13, 2007 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Cranky Matron said...

I'm really late to this party, but I too have been frustrated that Universalists of my acquaintance never seem to see the conflict between their lily-white lifestyle choices and what they advocate for the unwashed masses.

But everyone is really good at rationalizing their personal lives when they conflict with their politics; Universalists seem to justify the private schools, for instance, by blaming the failures of public schools on redneck bumpkins like, say Jeb Bush.

So they see it as either choosing between "diverse" but Vaisya-normed schools or "white" but "progressive" ones.

Never mind that school policy has been dictated by "progressives" for decades now...

October 3, 2007 at 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Eye of Horus said...

There is in fact no cognitive dissonance involved in the muddle of "diversity" i.e. humanism's pagan god . It is the Machiavellian ploy of divide and conquer in the hands of damn dirty apes who lack the strategist's subtlety! Like a game of chess played using the rules of checkers, all things being equal and none better than the others...
The PC/Marxists are merely fulfilling the program they were fed by their KGB handlers in the 1960's meltdown of civility to open the gates for the Soviet invasion that was supposed to arrive about now - before the USSR collapsed and proved that lies told over and over do not REALLY CHANGE REALITY or the TRUTH.
However, without the undermining of the West, these Marxist fossils of a simpler generation have nothing to account for the years of wasted youth and profligate adulthood they have invested in the now-defunct World-Revolution Global-Village delusion! As the free-traders slit their own throats by laying off the people they expect to buy the Sinocrap Walmart Lead-enhanced products and the Globalists blow their wad over enviro-greenie Heat Death hippie wet dreams, the Socialist future envisioned in the drug-induced haze of the Grateful Death Porno Commune House of Californicating Universalist Colleges seems about as likely as peace in the Middle East nowadays!
If they can not relate to the fact that people are attracted by similarity and that constant grating lies about how groups of people with nothing in common will somehow find traction amongst the young and will not merely be obliterated by a casual inspection into the history of the Balkans, they are not really under any illusion about the incredulity of the "diversity" argument - instead the disconnect between reality and their opinions merely seems to reinforce the delusion amongst PC Crackpots that a great resurgence of Soviet Ideologues in Central America will overnight replace the Soviet Union's now-defunct armies and that the "Red Dawn" of comrade soldiers will soon parachute into their towns and make them the commissars of a new Soviet Amerika!
Because Fidel Castro isn't quite dead and Hugo Chavez is a true believer that will marshal all of the Hispanic gardeners and Afro drug entrepreneurs into a huge professional army led under UN flags to overthrow the USA and bring about a global universalist resurgence - yeah sure OK!? What is that word again?
Ah,yes - moonbats!

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March 2, 2009 at 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! thanks a lot! ^^

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March 2, 2009 at 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

~「朵語‧,最一件事,就。好,你西中瀟灑獨行。

March 6, 2009 at 4:54 AM  

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