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Comments on the poll

I expected there would be more “others” with this poll than previous polls, and so far I’ve been right. I do hope that if you vote that way you’ll say what you think the true account is. People are puzzled by “inclusiveness,” so their theories are all over the place, and a list of some of them would be interesting.

I naturally think my explanation is correct, that “inclusiveness” is simply one aspect of the subjection of all social connections to technological standards. It’s required by fairness and needed to handle diversity only in the case of principles of discrimination that serve no legitimate social function. So it applies to categories like sex and particular culture, but not to categories like which and what kind of school you went to, only if non-technocratic categories like the former lack legitimate social function. It seems that would be true only in a technocratic society. Certainly everyone has always thought categories like sex and inherited community were important. Were they all simply in error?

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Comments

I think you’re more or less right on this one, but you’re missing something.

For starters, to quibble, I’m not sure this is the best way to express the question: “subjection of all social connections to technological standards.” How can technology set social standards? The Islamic world use (admittedly they cannot produce) cell phones, modern drugs, and airplanes, etc., and that does not make them like us. It is a question of the social standards that the technocratic forces of “inclusivism” think are appropriate to a technological society.

The historical revelation from which the cult of inclusiveness or white guilt follows was the Holocaust. It is the fear of what modern technology can achieve when applied to a mix of (utopian) ideology and (racial) prejudice, with victims stripped of all meaningful social distinctions save their emaciated nakedness as sign of their detested and absolute victim status, and shoveled like so many sticks into ovens. So, inclusiveness begins as the fear of subjection of social connections to some dehumanizing “technological” or technocratic standards.

But, white guilt does not react to this by re-establishing an order with respected social differentiations because that would still entail some arbitrary or historical social differentiations. And, however minimally violent someone, like Mr. Kalb, may imagine a proper social order to be, the cult of “inclusiveness” is fixated on the Holocaust revelation of the absolute moral difference between oppressor and a morally unquestionable victim status. Instead of any traditional order, what is desired is to claim the absolute victim status of “the Jews” while no longer according it to the Jews of today who have again become all too successful, individually differentiated.

“Inclusiveness” is to blackmail the technocratic order and say, you can only have your new technology (the driving force of the market economy) if those of us who can successfully claim victim status will do well by it. Want to have scientific research at Harvard? Better insure women and minorities have equal access to jobs in it, and consumer possibilities from it. The competent individual, like the Jew, Larry Summers, must be made an actual victim (though pc forces will never call him that) if he refuses a full and absolute recognition of the new in-groups’ victim status.

“Technological standards”, whatever they might be in the ethics that must come before the adoption of new technology, could surely be well served by an ethical order that promoted the many Larry Summerss instead of the women Summers victims. It is the confluence of a market system that needs new technology, and a particular postmodern victimary ideology that defines the applications and standards of technologies, that gives us the cult of inclusiveness. In the end, for all we know, the result may be a return to the original model, some kind of anti-market Nazi-Sharia application of (what will soon become a static) technology, and violent social differentiation.

I’ve written a blog entry in response to this comment.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

What about inclusiveness as the mandating of feminine “niceness” rather than the mandating of the neutrality of technological standards? I’ve tended to have a hard time reconciling your description of liberalism as a rational system with the observation that so much of it is based on emotion (e.g. the “jarring dissonance” mechanism you describe in your anti-racism essay). Maybe you’re describing the rationality of the system at its fundamental level (a social system doesn’t have the a single human consciousness to animate it so it can’t behave emotionally) and I’m thinking of how such as system works itself out in the everyday world with interactions involving real people.

My company (the culture of big corporations is quite liberal) got rid of all tobacco on company property and aggressively pushed “quit-smoking” campaigns but hasn’t done the equivalent with, say, junk food. There’s lots of diabetes-causing sweets and fats pushed on us at company events, meetings, etc. And I don’t expect this to change because it wouldn’t be “nice” to target fat people with a campaign. We have a literal zero-tolerance policy on tobacco but not on twinkies. It’s probably ok to target smokers because most of them are old, leather-skinned white men and it’s ok to be a little hard-hearted to them.

Maybe my “nice” and your “fair” are the same thing. In the big (liberal) picture, it’s “fair” to bias procedures for realizing neutrality against things that are established since their long-lasting social dominance is a testimony to their lack of fairness.

Also, since liberalism is a religion and people don’t like the assumptions their religion makes to be attacked, I can see how it would work itself out in an emotional way at the level of individual interactions.

It’s an interesting issue. Basically, though, I think niceness is not self-defining so it’s secondary. I agree there’s something feminine about it. What’s feminine is that it has to do with responding to a situation that exists for other reasons and trying to pretty it up and make everyone comfortable with it.

“Niceness” means fitting in with expectations so feelings don’t get jarred. It might require almost anything depending on time and place. I don’t think it explains its own demands. It might mean excluding blacks or horror at the thought, demanding sexual propriety or rejecting the concept.

It mostly just shows a setting in which people feel they have to do what they’re told in all the minor details of life without questioning anything. As such it fits a comprehensively managed bureaucratic state. Maybe that’s one reason votes for women historically have meant a tendency toward big government and socialists are so big on female equality.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Another form of currently popular “niceness” is the hyper-emphasis on charity (both volunteerism and the aspect of charity that used to be called alms). I’m not sure if it’s really about moral demonstrations and feeling good about ourselves but it all comes off rather like liberal Episcopalianism.

My company’s gotten really big on charity campaigns and guilting us into participating. It’s a relatively new thing and it seems to be emphasized more and more each year and it’s all real feminized with lots of tugging at the heartstrings.

I’ve also read that among the wealthy elite, status is now demonstrated by how much you give to charity rather than by material possessions.

This seems like a different phenomena than “fitting in with expectations so feelings don’t get jarred.”

This is not to say that charity is not good. But why do we seem to have charity on steroids as an aspect of advanced liberalism?