Monday, May 18, 2009

'Diversity Through Homogenization'
and the Cowardice of the Elite

At Right of Course (FMJRA Site O' Th' Day at The Other McCain), Chance makes an important observation about Obama at Notre Dame:
The other problem with this whole 'open discussion' argument is the very people making it. These are the same people who see no problem at all with the near monopoly the left holds on the public and secondary education system. There is no open discussion on evolution or global warming, it is taught as absolute fact. I took several Sociology courses at two separate state universities (my college career was long and meandering). There were no opposing arguments offered regarding Karl Marx. I didn’t even hear about Friedrich Hayek (The Road to Serfdom) until after college. These are the same people who invite a man like Mahmoud Ahmadenijad to speak but protest Ann Coulter. These are the same people who attack Carrie Prejean for being against same sex marriage but for breast implants. Open discussion my ass.
Read the whole thing. Way back when, a friend of mine coined the term "diversity through homogenization" to describe the Left's philosophy of multiculturalism. Rather than democratic pluralism -- where different ideas and different people voluntarily cooperate through free institutions -- the progressive fanatic insists that all institutions must be equally diverse.

The problem, of course, is that this approach destroys genuine diversity at its very source. The Boy Scouts must be forced to accept gay scoutmasters, Georgia Tech must pander to the Muslim Students Association, Larry Summers cannot be allowed to question feminist dogma at Harvard, and a Catholic university must have "open discussion" on abortion.

Such mindless multiculturalism advances like a conquering army because anyone who questions it is automatically accused of mala fides (bad faith). This is the psychological terror that Perez Hilton sought to wield against Carrie Prejean or Steve Benen wishes to wield against Rush Limbaugh. And it succeeds because most people are either too mentally lazy to analyze the bogus argument or too cowardly to speak the truth:
  • Mental laziness -- Most people are smart enough to get the visceral sense that there is something fundamentally wrong and dishonest about progressive dogma. But the Ordinary American has a real life to deal with and isn't accustomed to deconstructing abstract concepts like "homophobia" and "social justice." And it is easier for intellectuals ("second-hand dealers in ideas," as Hayek called them) to speak in widely-accepted categorical generalities than to examine the truth-claims hidden within those generalities. Without intellectual leadership, the opposition to fanatical multiculturalism suffers from a lack of prestige. When all the admirably articulate people haphazardly sling around terms like "income disparity" as if they were describing a manifest threat to civil society, why should Joe the Plumber question these categories?
  • Moral cowardice -- The experience of Larry Summers at Harvard is the quintessential example of how the Left wins through intimidation. Summers was a liberal in good standing when he made the mistake of mildly questioning feminist dogma. Feminists believe with religious fervor that "underrepresentation" of women in any field can only be the product of sexist discrimination. This is merely the gynocentric variation of the basic argument of the Left that inequality always equals injustice, a transparent myth of the sort that inspired George Orwell to remark, "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool." Summers' error was to challenge dogma half-heartedly, then to cower defensively when the fanatics howled in rage, rather than speaking with the bold determination of a man convinced of truth. Final score: Feminists 1, Summers 0.
Elitists like Summers are naturally cowards because they are motivated by personal ambition and a desire for prestige. This is why you're never going to get heroic truth from the likes of David Brooks:
In your meteoric ascent through the ranks of the punditocracy, be sure to choose as your friends only those who are important enough to be helpful in your career. Take care never to stake yourself too clearly to any policy position that might be unfashionable with the producers of "Nightline," and avoid directly denouncing any Democrat named Kennedy.
This way, no matter which party is in power, you'll never be out of work and you'll always be invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner because, after all, you're so gosh-darn influential. In short, you will be one of The Republicans Who Really Matter.
What the influential elite count on is that none of their members will ever break ranks and call them out as the dishonest cowards they really are. They further assume that no Ordinary American is smart enough to analyze the elite's output and expose the fraudulence of their "smelly little orthodoxies" (Orwell again).

These assumptions were safe, so long as (a) the only people dealing in second-hand ideas were those who shared the elite's obsession with prestige; and (b) the elite exercised exclusive control over the means of intellectual production. But then the Fairness Doctrine was repealed, Al Gore invented the Internet, and there gradually emerged an Army of Davids -- a hitherto unimagined mass of intelligent people who had "no skin in the game" of elitist ambitions and thus spoke truth fearlessly. Really, why should Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, or Michelle Malkin care what the editors of the New York Times think of them?
"Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself. She is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless, by human interposition, disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them."
-- Thomas Jefferson
Well, there I go again, quoting another right-wing extremist. The editors of Newsweek would never hire somebody who does something like that, so I guess I'm never going to be one of The Republicans Who Really Matter. Diversity through homogenization can never succeed, so long as Ordinary Americans do not discard the weapons of "free argument and debate" by succumbing to the cowardice of elite ambition.

Honest people love truth like they love liberty. Better to freeze in the snow of Valley Forge than to be a lickspittle fawning at the feet of tyrants. Better to die for the truth than live for a lie.
"You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin -- just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain."
-- Ronald Reagan, Oct. 27, 1964
Men with less hope of success have stood courageously in defiance of more powerful foes than we face today. One might hope that more Americans, desiring heroic reknown, would emulate the patriots at Concord Bridge.

Why, then, has ambition become the enemy of courage? Of the great many wise things Ronald Reagan said, he seldom spoke truer words than when he said, "You can accomplish much if you don't care who gets the credit."

It is the selfish craving for credit, the second-rater's lust for awards and honors and praise, that characterizes the cowardice of the elite. David Brooks couldn't stand to be left out of the Atlantic Monthly's weekly salmon-and-risotto affairs, because these are the rewards of elite membership, the validation of his prestige.

Such is the nature of this elite that only cowards ever apply for membership. No one expects honesty from the New York Times, because no honest man (or woman) would seek employment there. Yet this craven, selfish, dishonest path of ambition beckons the "best and brightest," who desire the elite's admiration so much that they learn to prefer smooth lies to rude truth.

So it is that Notre Dame embraces the lie of "open discussion" -- as if the Culture of Death actually believes in "open discussion" -- giving Obama a prestigious forum to proclaim the lie of "common ground," and anyone who dares to disagree will be denounced and ridiculed by the elite.

Question the authority of liberalism, and you will be adjudged guilty of "intolerance," "divisiveness," "incivility" and whatever other accusation of mala fides the elite finds convenient to hurl at you. And you will forever be excluded from the ranks of The Republicans Who Really Matter.


  1. When liberals talk about "open discussion," they mean one thing and only one. We keep yammering until you, the conservative, realize how wrong you are and completely agree with me, the liberal. Were an actual discussion in view here, liberals would have to concede the possibility of what it, to them, the impossible. That the liberal position might not be right.

  2. Cough, cough! You have been infected with the Filthy Blog Pox. Be sure to spread the wealth.

  3. Christopher, I kept thinking about your "We talk, you realize how wrong you are" formulation all weekend.

    I'm a huge fan of your blog, by the way.

  4. Check out
    You'll find an amazingly lot
    of people who believe just
    like you do.

  5. mala fides Excellent on the first try!

    Now that you have Latin well in hand, do your feet feel damp from the Tiber's waters?