Friday, June 25, 2010

"Diversity" Paves the Road to Serfdom

Yesterday we were treated to the sound of David Miller, Toronto's lefty mayor, blithering on about "diversity." Toronto, he told the world's media who had assembled in town for the G20, is an extremely "diverse" city; so "diverse," he boasted, that we have people here from every country in the G20.

In other words, we have diversity up the ying yang. What he didn't explain (obviously because he didn't feel the need to; because "diversity" is seen to be akin to motherhood and the environment) is how and why "diversity" is good in and of itself--beyond the obvious and delicious benefit of having a more "diverse" choice in restaurants, I mean (that Somali halal take out kebob shop--scrummy!).

In today's National Post, Christopher Hitchens skewers the notion that "diversity" is necessarily a net benefit to society. "The more 'diversity' we impose on society," he writes, "the more uniformity is needed to protect everyone's feelings." (I am reminded of the great Kate's quip that the opposite of diversity is university.) Hitchens quotes Saul Bellow, who invented a fictional business--"The Good Intentions Paving Company"-- to describe "diversity" and its antecedent "multiculturalism" and other squishy feel-good ideas foisted upon us by the virtuous:
I have borne the fortunes of this notorious business in mind while writing this essay, in the course of the composition of which no animals were harmed. Of course I understand that behind the rhetoric and practice of multiculturalism there often stands the admirable ideas of an etiquette of good manners for a various and plural society, and the no-less-noble ambition for the redress of many past wrongs. But in a way, it is precisely this slightly surruptitious aspect of the argument that has become the most objectionable to me. Since when has it not been the case that censorship is justified because it protects minors, or the innocent? Since when has authority not claimed, when imposing trammels and curbs on liberty, that it does so for a wider good and a greater happiness? And since when have such soothing, admonitory, morally superior policies not been reinforced by the threat that, if they are not observed voluntarily, then will be backed up by the ruthless use of force?
Better watch your step, folks. The Good Intentions Paving Company is putting the finishing touches on the "diversity" sidewalk, and the cement is still tacky.

No comments: