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Attacking Diversity of Thought: To Liberals, 'Diversity' Really Means Intellectual Conformity
National Review ^ | 02/21/2014 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 02/21/2014 7:26:37 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Cancel the philosophy courses, people. Oh, and we’re going to be shuttering the political science, religion, and pre-law departments too. We’ll keep some of the English and history folks on for a while longer, but they should probably keep their résumés handy.

Because, you see, they are of no use anymore. We have the answers to the big questions, so why keep pretending there’s anything left to discuss?

At least that’s where Erin Ching, a student at Swarthmore College, seems to be coming down. Her school invited a famous left-wing Princeton professor, Cornel West, and a famous right-wing Princeton professor, Robert George, to have a debate. The two men are friends, and by all accounts they had an utterly civil exchange of ideas. But that only made the whole thing even more outrageous.

“What really bothered me is, the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion,” Ching told the Daily Gazette, the school’s newspaper. “I don’t think we should be tolerating [George’s] conservative views because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society.”

Swarthmore must be so proud.

Over at Harvard, another young lady has similar views. Harvard Crimson editorial writer Sandra Y. L. Korn recently called for getting rid of academic freedom in favor of something called “academic justice.”

“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom’?” Korn asks.

Helpfully, she answers her own question: “When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue.”

One could easily dismiss these students as part of that long and glorious American tradition of smart young people saying stupid things. As Oscar Wilde remarked, “In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.”

But we all know that this nonsense didn’t spring ex nihilo from their imaginations. As Allan Bloom showed a quarter century ago in The Closing of the American Mind, these ideas are taught.

Indeed, we are now up to our knees in this Orwellian bilge. Diversity means conformity.

Let me invoke personal privilege by citing a slightly dated example. When the Los Angeles Times picked me up as a columnist in 2005, Barbra Streisand publicly canceled her subscription in protest (I’m proud to say). You see, Streisand’s friend, iconic left-wing columnist Robert Scheer, had been let go. And I was one of the new columnists brought on board. This was an outrage.

“The greater Southern California community is one that not only proudly embraces its diversity, but demands it,” Streisand wrote to the Times in a syntactically impaired rant that read a bit like one of those letters I occasionally get from prison inmates who’ve memorized words from a thesaurus without fully understanding what they mean. “Your publisher’s decision to fire Robert Scheer is a great disservice to the spirit of our community. . . . So although the number of contributors to your op-ed pages may have increased, in firing Robert Sheer [sic] and putting Jonah Goldberg in his place, the gamut of voices has undeniably been diluted.”

Nearly a decade later, I still don’t know what it means to dilute a gamut of voices. But I do know what she meant by “diversity.” It means: “people who agree with me.” It’s lazy and insipid shorthand for “left wing.” After all, by the normal metrics of identity politics — race, religion, gender — Scheer and I are largely interchangeable. Where we differ is ideology. And ideological diversity is the only kind of diversity the Left finds offensive.

Which brings us back to the sages of Swarthmore and Harvard. They at least understand that ideological diversity is actually, like, you know, a thing. They just think it’s a bad thing.

More pernicious, however, is that they believe the question of justice is a settled matter. We know what justice is, so why let serious people debate it anymore? The millennia-old dialogue between Aristotle, Plato, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Rawls, Rorty, Hayek et al.? Shut it down, people. Or at least if the conversation heads in a direction where the Korns, Chings, and Streisands smell “oppression” — as defined solely by the Left — then it must not be “put up with.” Diversity demands that diversity of opinion not be tolerated anymore.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of The Tyranny of Clichés, now on sale in paperback

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: college; diversity; liberalism

1 posted on 02/21/2014 7:26:37 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

“What really bothered me is, the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion,” Ching told the Daily Gazette, the school’s newspaper. “I don’t think we should be tolerating [George’s] conservative views because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society.”

Prove it..

2 posted on 02/21/2014 7:34:20 AM PST by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I go to sign up for the American Revolution 2014 and the Crusades 2014?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Wow. What a revelation.

Glad to see that NR has finally figured this out.


3 posted on 02/21/2014 7:39:50 AM PST by Howie66 (John Wayne McCornyn...he's just like US! Honest!)
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To: SeekAndFind
“In the end, the gap between reality and ideology meant that the communist parties wound up spouting meaningless slogans they themselves knew made no sense. As the philosopher Roger Scruton argues, Marxism became so cocooned in what George Orwell once called “Newspeak” that it could not be refuted: “Facts no longer made contact with the theory, which had risen above the facts on clouds of nonsense, rather like a theological system. The point was not to believe the theory, but to repeat it ritualistically and in such a way that both belief and doubt became irrelevant… In this way, the concept of truth disappeared from the intellectual landscape, and was replaced by that of power.

Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956, pp 465-466

4 posted on 02/21/2014 7:41:04 AM PST by Noumenon (Resistance. Restoration. Retribution.)
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Diversity ends with color of skin or practice of some religion other than Judaism or Christianity. Diversity of thought is strictly controlled and must never stray from the dominant and settled orthodoxy.

Didn’t an attitude like that lead to the Reformation? The Roman Catholic Church was four hundred years tamping that genie back into the bottle, and in the process, they changed by an enormous, almost immeasurable degree themselves.

5 posted on 02/21/2014 7:41:16 AM PST by alloysteel (Obamacare - Death and Taxes now available online. One-stop shopping at its best!)
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To: SeekAndFind

I was treated to an exact rendition of this recently when I challenged a lefty who, in a discussion about multiculturalism had intoned the tread-worn “diversity is our strength” oxymoron and didn’t actually hold the ability to articulate an explanation of its inner workings.

We went back and forth a couple of times and I realized that this was dogma that he had “learned” by rote.

Finally I asked him (her/it): “How can something that separates and divides us be a net gain”?

His response was not unexpected. He replied (I paraphrase): “Your ways are the old ways. We don’t care about them anymore. Soon you will all die and then we won’t have to listen to you anymore.”

Seeing that there was nowhere left to go, I responded, “In that event who will pay for your pizza and cigarettes?”

Liberalism isn’t just a mental disorder - its an infantile mental disorder.

6 posted on 02/21/2014 7:44:49 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: SeekAndFind

Diversity = Chinese Fire Drill

7 posted on 02/21/2014 9:09:38 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: SeekAndFind
Poet Robert Frost once described characters like Streisand and the other so-called "progressives" who dominate academia and much of our politicis today.

Pity those Harvard and Swarthmore students whose minds have been practically imprisoned by the "progressive" idea of what "diversity" means.

Now would be a good time for conservatives to read Dr. Russell Kirk's "The Conservative Mind, which can be read online, by the way.

In Kirk's last chapter he reviews the works of poets and writers, quoting lines which now seem to bear a striking resemblance to the players on the stage in American politics today.

For instance, in Robert Frost's "A Case for Jefferson," Frost writes of the character Harrison:

"Harrison loves my country too
But wants it all made over new.
. . . .
He dotes on Saturday pork and beans.
But his mind is hardly out of his teens.
With him the love of country means
Blowing it all to smithereens
And having it made over new."

The pseudointellectuals who occupy the White House, the media, and much of Congress fancy themselves "intellectuals."

By their words and actions, however, they display a provinciality reminiscent of that Dr. Kirk recalls from an essay by T.S. Eliot on Virgil:

"In our time, when men seem more than ever to confuse wisdom with knowledge and knowledge with information and to try to solve the problems of life in terms of engineering, there is coming into existence a new kind of provincialism which perhaps deserves a new name. It is a provincialism not of space but of time--one for which history is merely a chronicle of human devices which have served their turn and have been scrapped, one for which the world is the property solely of the living, a property in which the dead hold no share."(Bold added for emphasis)

In today's case, the "provinciality" seems to be limited to the "progressives'" dabbling in and discussing the ideas of Mao, Marx, and other theoreticians and believing they can impose those ideas on a free people.

America's written Constitution deserves protectors whose minds are out of "their teens" in terms of their understanding of civilization's long struggle for liberty.

It certainly deserves protectors who do not consider it a "flawed" document because it does not permit the government it structures to run rough shod over the rights of its "KEEPERS, the People" (Justice Story).

Blasting it "all to smithereens" seems to be the goal of the current Administration and so-called "progressives" who control the Executive and one-half of the Legislative branch of government.

The Founders' Constitution's strict limits on coercive power by elected representatives are being ignored and disavowed; the free enterprise system which allowed individual citizens to achieve and excel in their chosen pursuits is being co-opted by elected and unelected bureaucrats; and the rights of conscience, speech, and religion are being trampled as we post here.

"The People" should be debating great ideas such as how to preserve liberty, or, in economic matters, the wisdom of the great moral philosopher, Adam Smith's "Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations." Instead, they are being hoodwinked by a president who believes they are ignorant or foolish enough to believe that deficit spending, debt, and government control will lead to prosperity.

When, in 1776, our ancestors felt the heavy hand of the British government "taking" their earnings, regulating their lives, interfering with their beliefs, and asserting coercive control over their actions, they did not waste their time on such trivia.

They wrote great treatises such as "Thoughts on Government" and "Common Sense." They educated their young on the merits of liberty, as opposed to slavery to government, and they did the groundwork which allowed for a written Constitution for self-government to be ratified in the states only eleven years later.

America is about to be bankrupt, both financially and philosophically, and those who have benefited from the Founders' ideas, who call themselves "conservators" (conservatives) of those ideas, should come together to place those ideas before millions of young people who must participate in voting in November on whether they desire liberty or slavery. Women, youth, men, so-called "seniors"--all need to have the choice presented clearly that this election pits the ideas of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and America's other Founders against the ideas of Marx, Lenin, and Keynes.

There are always "useful idiots." That's what every oppressive regime has relied upon. A "useful idiot" with a big megaphone is more dangerous to liberty than millions of ordinary ones, because of the ability to lull more people into a sense of complacency.

America, awaken! This decades-long battle for your liberty has been engaged. But, for decades, you have allowed the ideas of your liberty to be censored from your nation's textbooks and public discourse.

Our best weapon is contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution which leaves all the power in "the People's" hands. Read them, amplify upon their principles and ideas by accessing the Founders' writings and speeches.

For a quick review of those principles and the nation's first 50 years under its Constitution, consult John Quincy Adams' "Jubilee" Address here, or a recent reprint of a 1987 Bicentennial collection of the Founders' principles, here.

James Madison stated: "Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant—they have been cheated; asleep—they have been surprised; divided—the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson? ... the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government, they should watch over it ... It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free."

8 posted on 02/21/2014 9:15:09 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: rockrr

“Liberalism isn’t just a mental disorder - its an infantile mental disorder.”

Now that’s one for laminating and saving in my wallet!! LOL

9 posted on 02/21/2014 9:15:50 AM PST by Laserman
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To: SeekAndFind

conformity.. like when NRO annointed sainthood on the terrorist Mandela?

10 posted on 02/21/2014 9:19:47 AM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: SeekAndFind

It is a messed up society where people can make it to college and think diversity of opinion means one opinion.

11 posted on 02/21/2014 9:21:10 AM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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Yes, they make statements like this all the time as if it’s a given and doesn’t need any backup - “everybody knows...”.

12 posted on 02/21/2014 9:21:43 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind

Wow - the stupid displayed by these college-educated women is truly mind-boggling. Liberal brainwashing takes hold quickly when there’s little brain to wash.

13 posted on 02/21/2014 5:38:26 PM PST by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: SeekAndFind

“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism


I think they just oppose isms, well except for the commune.

14 posted on 02/21/2014 5:43:22 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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