The View From 1776
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Diversity is another word battered beyond recognition by liberals and progressives. Orwellian NewSpeak has made the word diversity into a bangalore torpedo to undermine the defenses guarding civilized society.
Liberal-socialists, with our educational system in the vanguard, have made diversity into an end in itself, a principle of materialistic social justice.
In education, for example, the goal of diversity is elevated to a higher status than providing the best possible education for students. Diversity is, not an educational principle, but a correlate to Lenin’s program to create the New Soviet Man via material factors imposed by intellectuals. Students are somehow to be made better by the corruption of a system that supposedly is devoted to academic excellence.
As economist Thomas Sowell has so articulately observed many times, poorly prepared students, of whatever race, gain nothing by being admitted to colleges with academic standards beyond their reach. Either the better students are held back, or the poorly prepared students are discouraged and eventually drop out. Nothing is gained by the mendacity of liberal-progressive educators giving every student a minimum grade of B. Victims of grade-inflation have simply been set up for failure and embittered cynicism in real-world job competition.
Less well prepared students can get a good education at colleges with less stringent academic standards. Students who earn Bs and As in those colleges can have the priceless gift of real self-respect based on their own hard work.
Diversity of the liberal-progressive stripe has disastrous consequences for the survival of the United States. Economically we see its results in the widening gap between linguistic, mathematical, and scientific competence of average American graduates and their overseas counterparts. In an increasingly technical world, the United States is suffering, not only from inflated production costs arising from the welfare state and unionism, but from falling behind in the innovation curve.
We can celebrate the diversity of our student bodies, but at the cost of fewer and fewer Nobel Prizes for science awarded to Americans in the future, along with more and more manufacturing transferred overseas.
At a more fundamental level, diversity is moral relativism masquerading as virtue. Liberal-progressives paint diversity as a democratic principle of equality. It is, in fact, the opposite. Rather than supporting an equal opportunity on the basis of merit, the doctrine of diversity confers special privileges based on non-essential factors such race and ethnicity.
Morality, a unifying factor essential for social survival, is replaced by the selfishness implicit in diversity, which subtly teaches the view that gratifying personal desires is more important than voluntarily working with others for the common good.
If any culture, and any set of moral standards (except, of course, for those of Judeo-Christianity), is as good as the next, why should we be surprised when business executives behave as they did in Enron and Tyco? If highly-qualified students are passed over in the college admission process for manifestly less qualified students, only for reasons of diversity, how can qualified students avoid cynicism about society’s rules?
The Latin roots of the word diversity mean to bend apart, to diverge, in other words the opposite of unity. In that sense, diversity is opposed to the concept of the United States itself: e pluribus unum, i.e., one nation from many colonies and many peoples.
Had diversity in the liberal-progressive sense been the order of the day, there would have been no War of Independence in 1776 and no Constitution in 1787-89. The colonies would have remained independent units, relishing their diversity, but unable to resist the tyranny imposed by Parliament and George III.
How did we fall off the tracks?
In the early decades of the 20th century, Columbia University sociologist Franz Boas and his acolytes Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead sold the modernist intellectuals in Greenwich Village the socialistic hypothesis that cultures and human behavior standards are relativistic and merely the product of their surrounding material circumstances of economy and geography.
Materialistic factors ? government regulation, income redistribution, and education ? were theoretically capable of perfecting society, but only if society’s common cultural standards could first be removed. The unifying characteristics that Tocqueville observed in Democracy in America in 1833 ? the Christian religion and respect for tradition and the rule of law ? had to give way to the intellectual vision of a Brave New World.
Along with diversity, we got the doctrine of multi-cultural education in the 1970s.
Diversity as an iconic end in itself leaves us defenseless against La Raza’s Reconquista movement to impose Hispanic culture and the Spanish language upon the Southwestern and Western states and, ultimately, to separate them from the United States and incorporate them into Mexico.
Worse, the doctrine of diversity supports the anti-Americanism rampant on American college campuses. Making diversity an educational goal leaves students convinced that 9/11 was our fault, that al Queda was merely redressing justifiable grievances against the feeble vestiges of Judaism and Christianity in our nation.
None of that is to disparage the multitudes of national, racial,ethnic, and linguistic origins of our burgeoning population. It is to say rather that those people coming here from so many different parts of the world do so to enjoy the benefits of living in a nation unified by common understandings about morality, private property rights, the rule of law, individual responsibility, and the work ethic.
Far better than the liberal-progressive worship of diversity is returning to the paradigm of the melting pot that prevailed at the beginning of the 20th century. Let every national, ethnic, and language group proudly celebrate its heritage and pass that heritage along to its children. But let all of us be unified, not divided, as one nation seeking the common good.