Thursday, April 22, 2004

Ditching Diversity: Will elites return to racism?, by John Derbyshire

National Review

Not a huge Derbyshire fan myself, but I liked this article. He essentially argues that the high-IQ types will soon rebel against diversity and multiculturalism, but because they're unprincipled, they might very well become racists instead. I don't if any of that is true, but it's an interesting read.

However, one part is a little off:

"And then there is the fact, not quite respectable to mention in polite company, but indubitable none the less, that quite a number of our cognitive elites are Jewish. American Jews have been great supporters of multiculturalism, for reasons perfectly easy to understand. If Jews collectively learned a lesson from the 20th century, it was the terrible danger inherent in being the one conspicuously successful minority in an otherwise-homogenous society. So: The less homogenous the better! Bring on multiculturalism! Unfortunately, if you open the doors of your nation to all the cultures of the world in the early 21st century, and invite them to "celebrate their diversity" on your soil, you might find that an alarmingly high proportion of them are Muslims with viciously antisemitic opinions. Multiculturalism? Hmm, let's rethink this..."

I think this oversimplifies things a good deal. Besides the obvious "Jews don't all think the same thing" critique, I don't see how there could be a prevalent strain of relativism in a community that has seen evil in it's clearest form (and continues to see it to this day in Israel). Oh sure liberalism is popular, and inclusiveness makes everyone feel good, but when push comes to shove, Jews aren't going to tow the ultra-liberal line and say terrorists are "misunderstood." I think we would see a fairly united front on that question.

In fact, one of the most interesting thinkers on this subject was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who eventually came to the University of Chicago - Leo Strauss. In Natural Right and History, he sought to understand what mindset could bring about the horrors he'd seen. You probably know the rest. But if you don't, suffice it to say the conspiracy began.

If you'd like to read a little Strauss, if for no other reason than to see what gets Brian Leiter so hot under the collar, here's a link:

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