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Against Inclusiveness

I’ve got a new book out, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It. It develops some of the arguments from The Tyranny of Liberalism and applies them in a more focused way to debunk our supreme moral principle, or what now seems to count as such. Since it’s published by a Catholic press I could get more specific about the principles for keeping the various aspects of human relations in balance other than attempting to suppress one or another of them because it might cause trouble.


Equality and Catholicism

I have yet another piece at Catholic World Report, this one on equality and Catholicism. It points out that the progressive understanding of equality is at odds with Catholicism, good sense, good order, human well-being, and what not else, because it demands the abolition of all significant social institutions other than global markets and expert bureaucracies.


Does inclusiveness include?

Here’s a study that may be more interesting than the author realizes: people in Ann Arbor, Michigan, presumably mostly quite liberal, literally don’t realize that people whose politics differ from their own react to cold the same way they do. Does that explain the Gulag, or am I wrong in my immediate reaction that (at least at present) leftists are particularly likely to consider their opponents not-really-human?

Justly or not, the result puts me in mind of Jonathan Haidt’s finding that liberal respondents incorrectly predict the rationales given by conservatives for their positions, whereas moderates and conservatives characterize the rationales given by liberals accurately.


Inclusiveness and the ens realissimum

[The tenth in a series on inclusiveness.]

I’ve said that inclusiveness has a religious quality. To say it is a kind of religion is not to say it works well as one. Religion defines the place of man in the world, but inclusiveness reflects the modern outlook, which has difficulty dealing with such issues. It likes unitary theories that lead to clear conclusions, so it tries to dissolve the world into man or man into the world. Neither makes sense, so moderns—including liberals—oscillate between the two and settle on neither.


Alternate modernities: a retrospective

Political modernity is based on rejection of the premodern belief that man participates in some sort of higher nature. As such, it can take several forms. Liberalism is the form that has won, but not the only one that has existed.

If we get rid of the transcendent, we might view man as fundamentally biological or historical, or as self-created in some way. Moderns have therefore tried to base social order on biology, history, or the triumph of the will.


Inclusiveness: A Book to Be

Here is a series of pieces on “inclusiveness,” which I intend to work up into a book.


Toward an Anti-Inclusivist Right

[The ninth in a series on inclusiveness.]

Western societies treat liberal ideals of freedom, equality, diversity, tolerance, and inclusiveness as uniquely authoritative. Those ideals increasingly trump all other considerations and silence all criticism.

As a practical matter, they mean rule by experts, bureaucrats, and commercial interests that promise to give everyone what he wants, as much and as equally as possible. Other authorities aren’t rational and neutral enough.


Where is inclusiveness taking us?

[The eighth in a series on inclusiveness.]

What’s it like to live in a modern, diverse, tolerant, vibrant, inclusive, multicultural society? Everyday experience in early twenty-first century America is enough to sketch the situation in bold strokes.

Growing up absurd

Such a society lacks sustaining stories, symbols, and models of a good life, and indeed intentionally eradicates them. Such things are racist, since they reflect the specifics of a particular culture, and sexist and heteronormative, since they express fundamental patterns of human life. They’re also theocratic, since they connect the order of human life to a particular understanding of the order of the world.


Inclusiveness and Catholicism

[The seventh in a series on inclusiveness.]

The Catholic view of the world has lasted a long time and supported many good things, so the Catholic view of antidiscrimination and inclusiveness ought to matter to anyone interested in those topics.

But what is “the Catholic view”? The phrase can refer to anything from the view that best fits the overall Catholic understanding of the world to the average view of all Catholics at a particular time and place. As a day-to-day matter, people mostly take it to be the view expressed by Catholic functionaries. If the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops puts out a statement, that’s the Catholic position.

Recent pronouncements


The inclusivist regime

[The sixth in a series on inclusiveness.]

A common leftist claim is that established social and moral principles serve the interests of the ruling classes. The claim isn’t applied to principles of which the left approves. In particular, it’s not applied to inclusiveness. That’s unfortunate, because it’s obvious that inclusiveness serves governing elites by eliminating competitors and justifying an elaborate system of irresponsible control by those at the top.


Effects of inclusiveness

[The fifth in a series on inclusiveness.]

Inclusiveness and diversity help dissolve particular connections in favor of universal formal institutions like world markets and transnational bureaucracies. The effort is part of the general advanced liberal project, and its intent is to recreate human connections on a basis that is more rational and fosters freedom, diversity, and individual identity.


Inclusiveness and reason

[The fourth in a series on inclusiveness.]

The demand for inclusiveness is often attributed to emotion, but something so systematic and persistent can only be based on principle.

No one explains very clearly what the principle is, so it’s evidently something taken for granted. The peremptory nature of antidiscrimination, together with the irrelevance of practical considerations, confirms that its basic principle must be quite fundamental.


Antidiscrimination and inclusiveness

[The third in a series on inclusiveness.]

As I showed in my last piece in this series, prejudice and discrimination are natural, normal, and beneficial in the same way other basic principles that order human life—like private property and government—are natural, normal, and beneficial.

Here are some examples of prejudice and discrimination:

  • Expecting different things of men and women, and sometimes treating them differently.
  • Believing that the differences are complementary, and adapted to enduring unions that are basic to everyday life, social order, and the continuation of the species.
  • Giving specific legal recognition and other support to such unions.

Traditional distinctions

[The second in a series on inclusiveness.]

Liberals claim to oppose discrimination, but feel free to make the distinctions they think make sense. Financial, bureaucratic, and institutional criteria are OK, or so they believe, but natural and traditional criteria are not. You can choose a Yale man over a Harvard man—the schools are a bit different, so their products must differ—but not a Yale man over a Yale woman.


Where was the Church?

A blast from the past: a group of working-class Catholic mothers, protesting against an obvious gross violation of Catholic social teaching regarding subsidiarity and the primary authority and responsibility of parents for the education of their children, pray the rosary on their knees. Then the cops go after them. The local bishop must have been side by side with his people, right?


Inclusiveness: an introduction

[The following is the first of what will likely be a sporadic series of longish entries.]

Liberals believe that the benefits of society should be equally available to all. They have recently come to hold that it is a basic responsibility of government and indeed all institutions to make them so. Failure to do so is support for oppression through participation in a system of inequality.

The demands of the resulting campaign for equality have broadened with time. They now include inclusiveness, which can be understood as an attempt to achieve comprehensive political, economic, and social equality among groups by integrating each of them into all social activities at all levels.


Inclusiveness and thought control

Inclusiveness is radically inconsistent with free thought and speech. The problem is quite fundamental. To question the principle of equal inclusion is to put some people’s standing in question and ipso facto to exclude them from full equality with those whose standing is not in question. A regime of inclusiveness must therefore suppress questioning of its principles to exist at all.


Stereotype and individual

We describe things by their roles, but they are more than their roles. Iron, for example, has a role in the functioning of the human body, the earth, and the universe as a whole. To describe it is to say how it acts in connection with other things. On the other hand, it is also a substantial thing that does not reduce without remainder to what it does.

What applies to a chemical element applies all the more to human beings. We cannot identify, describe, or deal with people without reference to their participation in systems larger than themselves. We nonetheless recognize that they are more than the sum of their relationships. That is what makes them real.


Inclusiveness and technology

A technological society naturally favors inclusiveness. In such a society:

  • Mass media, mass markets, mass education, the welfare state, and other large impersonal arrangements simplify the principles of social relations. The social order comes to seem a straightforward universal structure, like an organizational chart, to be judged and reconfigured by reference to universal standards.
  • Easy travel, mass tourism, and global markets dissolve stable local patterns in favor of individual choice within a universal abstract order that treats everything as interchangeable with everything else.

Is "discrimination" merely negative?

Many people claim discrimination is merely negative: “white,” for example, means “not colored,” where “colored” refers to those whose exclusion constitutes “white” as a category. On such a view discrimination has to do with artificial categories. There are academics who make even sex a social construction.



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