Inclusiveness: A Harmful Ideology

We hear a lot about inclusiveness, but the topic is never discussed analytically. The idea seems to be that it’s warm and fuzzy and what Jesus would do, so it’s obviously a good thing. The result is that our world is being remade for the sake of a goal that hasn’t been thought through. With that in mind, it seems sensible to ask what it is, what it does, and where it comes from.

The nature of inclusiveness is fairly simple: it’s the egalitarian welfare state applied to the social environment. It tells us that every one of us has the right to experience his social environment as equally accepting and affirming, so everyone is required to make sure things turn out that way.

With that in mind, inclusiveness demands changes that go to the heart of how people deal with each other. For example, it doesn’t like the idea that particular kinds of people can be more or less suitable for particular positions. More and less suitable means discrimination, and training and job redesign are supposed to take care of whatever issues there are. So if you’re running the Navy you’re expected to put women not only on submarines but in the SEALs. If there seem to be issues, it’s your job to find a way around them.

Nor does inclusiveness want people to rely on complementary qualities when they form functional relationships. Some people don’t have those qualities, and that leaves them out. So specific understandings of marriage and family have to go. Love and connectedness take many forms, and none can be preferred to any other. If you think the natural and traditional view of marriage is better that means you hate people who like something else. Nor does inclusiveness like old boy networks and so on. The idea seems to be that people who live and work together should build relationships based exclusively on common humanity, impersonal qualifications like academic degrees, and common devotion to fairness, diversity, and organizational mission statements.

AgainstInclusivenessCoverWith that in mind, inclusiveness doesn’t like particular culture. That’s the reason for the war against Christmas. If culture functions, so Christians do Christian things in any setting that matters, that excludes others. Human relations have to become a combination of individual choice, managerial know-how, and psychological and social therapy that applies the same way to everyone everywhere. If Lapps and Basques work better with Lapps and Basques, because they see things the same way and have similar habits, that has to change as well. The result is that the cooperative habits and informal knowledge that develop within culture, and provide the basis for the specific achievements of every civilization, have to be done away with as exclusionary.

The whole project is disconnected from reality. It’s at odds with how human life works, so it can be relied on to make people cruder, stupider, less functional, and more isolated. At some level people know that, so most people find inclusiveness and its demands stupid and disruptive. But if it makes no sense, and people know it, why are so many intelligent, experienced, and responsible people so firmly committed to it?

People sometimes say it’s because of the media, or social pressure, or competitive status seeking (“I’m better than you are because I’m more egalitarian”). All that’s true in its way, but why do those forces all point in the direction they do? Resentment mongering might explain some of it, but resentments are universal, and they’re normally ignored or suppressed unless they’re considered justified. If someone resents the depiction of Christians or social conservatives on TV, he’s a right-wing hater, and he can go stew.

To some extent the situation can be explained on semi-Marxist grounds. People whose position and wealth comes from money, bureaucratic status, and professional qualifications want to get rid of other competing principles of authority like family, religion, local community, and particular culture. They don’t like distinctions and connections like sex, culture, and religion that don’t lend themselves to quantification, supervision, and control by those at the top.

So it’s not surprising that people at the top like inclusiveness, which says in effect that all those messy opaque distinctions, connections, and authorities have to be done away with. Everything has to be put on a bureaucratic or monetary basis so it can be supervised and controlled. Experts, bureaucrats, lawyers, managers, therapists, and people with tons of money should run everything, because they’re the ones who run the only institutions that are allowed to work.

And in fact the great age of inclusiveness has turned out to be the great age of inequality based on money, organizational position, educational certification, and so on. Inclusiveness has helped destroy connections among ordinary people, and with them the habits, attitudes, and arrangements that help them lead orderly, decent, and productive lives. In contrast, the connections and distinctions that are necessary for liberal institutions to function are exempt from inclusivist demands. The result is that the last couple of decades have made Oprah a billionaire, and also reduced the average life expectancy of uneducated white women by five years.

Still, that explanation is not completely satisfying either. If the populace turns into a mass of troubled and not-so-functional people, like the ones Charles Murray and Theodore Dalrymple write about, that’s not helpful to people who are trying to run things. Also, and more basically, people at the top really do believe in inclusiveness. It’s viewed as an essential part of what it means to be a legitimate human being, and the higher someone’s IQ and the more years of schooling he has the more fervently he is likely to believe in it. It evidently has to do with the basic ways educated public thought makes sense of human life, and its causes must be very basic indeed. They have to do with fundamental concepts of what’s real, reasonable, and valuable that precede all particular judgments of reality and practicality.

So what’s going on? At bottom, inclusiveness comes out of the same attempt to make knowledge rigorous and human action sovereign over nature that led to modern science and technology. That may sound paradoxical, since warm and fuzzy inclusiveness and hard-edged science seem very different from each other, but it’s nonetheless clear. The inclusivist demands mentioned above all insist on abolishing the effect of traditional social arrangements that can’t be made clear and controllable, like those relating to sex, family, religion, and particular culture. Instead, we’re supposed to have enlightenment, which means rule by arrangements that supposedly are simply rational, like neutral expert bureaucracies.

The point of the newer arrangements is supposed to be achieving whatever goals people happen to have. We’re not going to base anything on questionable claims about highest goods, natural law, or objective moral order. Instead, we’ll go with preferences, which are concrete and demonstrable. Once we do that, though, equality becomes the obvious standard: people equally have preferences, and their preferences are equally such, so all people and their preferences have an equal claim to fulfillment. (An exception is that preferences that don’t fit the system, like Catholic views on marriage, get stomped on.)

One preference almost everyone has is a preference for the esteem of other people, so that has to be equalized as well. Esteem, after all, has to do with value, and value is now thought to be subjective and therefore changeable through training. And since people give social respect very high priority, that kind of equality should get high priority as well. Exclusion violates that equality, so it cannot be tolerated. So in a very few steps rationalizing ways of thought applied to the construction of social environment bring us to inclusiveness. Our current situation is thus a natural outcome of the attempt to abolish tradition, revelation, and natural law in favor of simply giving people what they want. It seems we’re stuck with it until current ways of thinking change in absolutely fundamental ways.

James Kalb

By

James Kalb is a lawyer, independent scholar, and Catholic convert who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command (ISI Books, 2008), and, most recently, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It (Angelico Press, 2013).

  • Prof_Override

    As always, extremely well written and thought provoking, but … I really wasn’t buying into the thesis until the 3rd to last paragraph and the tie in to science. Being trained as an engineer, this put the pieces into place. In a metric driven world, that which can’t be measured or controlled for has to be driven out of the equation.

    • tamsin

      Like a drunk searching for his keys under the lamppost, we focus on equality that can be measured, and is therefore material, e.g. wealth. We have no scientific tools to measure other human goods, such as freedom or liberty, let alone value them relative to wealth. So, for instance, freedom can only be measured as “freedom from want” of material goods.

      A sense of liberty, of being free to exercise your free will, is hard to measure, so it is not measured. The default assumption is that the absence of material goods is the absence of freedom is the presence of structural oppression of some groups by other groups, which is amenable to redistribution schemes. Under the lamppost.

  • Steven Jonathan

    The hypocrisy is that these people exclude anyone who doesn’t include everyone because their driving first principle is that everyone ought to be included in everything, we will end completely divided.
    At my school, a poor migrant Spanish speaking community, we were told by our administration that we are to treat our students with the same expectations as the wealthy schools across town- when we pointed out such vast a stark differences that require different treatments, they answered “we know that is true, but you have to believe the opposite is true or that is racism.” And I kid you not, this was delivered with welling up tears of empathy and perceived injustice.
    It really does come down to “conquering nature” and conforming reality to ideology. No better way to truncate humanity or to exclude the Creator.
    .
    Thank you for a very important article Dr. Kalb!

    • cs

      You really miss the point — you were being asked (reasonably) to hold the same possibility of ultimate outcomes for the poor Latino kids in your school as you would for their more advantaged counterparts. Final outcome, implying that these kids have the same underlying native intelligence & ability to learn as others. Given their very different social circumstances, they would indeed require different & more supports to get there — and a just society would provide those. How is this not the Christian perspective?

  • lifeknight

    Excellent article! Thank you.

  • publiusnj

    A Modest Proposal: If there are going to be women on submarines and in the Seals, as the author notes, we need to change the Draft law and the rules on assignment of people to combat arms. Fighting and fighting qualities should be seen as neither male nor female. In other words, it is no more manly to defend one’s nation than it is to style hair. So, all gender differences should be deemed irrelevant. Going beyond the military for a moment, a corollary of this “gender-blindness” is that the Government should stop collecting gender information and should render all bathrooms unisex. If we are going to keep collecting gender/sexual orientation information in the military situation, it should be so that the “straight men” who have done the dying for this country for the last 200+ years should be given a pass on any further dying. Women have never been drafted before nor had gays; it is time they did the dying that has been disproportionately done by males. Straight males should have the opportunity to refuse a combat arms assignment should there be a gay or straight female available for the role.

    If the Government is going to ignore the obvious undue burden straight males have carried, then it is time for straight males to identify with females and gays by simply defining themselves as women. After all, as more state legislatures are beginning to claim, sex is not so much a matter of biology but of identity.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Your modest proposal is *exactly* why I was for the Equal Rights Amendment in grade school- and precisely why the adults at the time defeated it.

      I have to wonder, if the ERA was proposed today, would it pass?

      • Adam__Baum

        Even grade school, I knew the ERA was a hghly theatrical attempt at division.

    • slainte

      But when the draft notice arrives in the mail with your daughter’s name on it….

      • Adam__Baum

        That’s coming. Bet on it, unless we have an android army.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Begun, this drone war has.

          • Adam__Baum

            A drone is not an anthropomorphic robot (andtroid).

            • TheodoreSeeber

              A drone, properly programed, can replace a human soldier entirely for guarding an ethics-free all kill zone.

              • Adam__Baum

                I don’t care. It’s not what I’m talking about. Once again, stay on point.

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  I would attempt to make a joke about US Robotics in their competition with RUR, but I fear it would go over your head, and I don’t remember enough of Isaac Asimov’s work to remember what the first R stood for anyway (the UR stands for Usiform Robots, and the story was about how androids were horrendously expensive when all you really needed was a smart vacuum cleaner).

                  • Adam__Baum

                    The essential element of jocularity is truth. You are incapable of jocularity.

                    Once again, simply unable to stay on point.

        • slainte

          Hey, how did you manage to amend and supplement a post which did not contain a post script when originally posted?

          • Adam__Baum

            Being logged into diquus should display “edit”. I have horrible proof-reading skills, it comes in handy.

      • publiusnj

        She and everybody like her are the right persons to whom your question should be directed….

        • slainte

          I responded to your “modest proposal” which fleshed out the ideology of inclusivity and gave it traction. The statement I made describes the logical end that flows from your proposal.
          Is the “she” you’re referring to …Oprah Winfrey?

          • publiusnj

            I was responding to the question you had asked about my daughter. So the antecedent was clear.

            In all events, those who insist on elimination of sensible gender distinctions such as whether women should serve in the combat arms should answer the question.

            If women are deemed capable of serving in the combat arms, it should not be on an exception basis–not just those who want to serve (perhaps to make their path up the career ladder a surer one)–because it isn’t for guys. Guys have never gotten such a “woman’s prerogative” of serving or not serving in the infantry: if “you are in the Army now,” you should be as much available to be cannon fodder as any other dogface. And women should have an equal opportunity to be drafted as men, as the Supreme Court has recognized. The USSC upheld women’s exclusion from the Draft precisely because they were not deemed fit to serve in the combat arms…not back then. So a broadened more equal Draft Law will require legislation now that they have changed the combat arms rule, but that is a change the democrats have very cynically avoided despite their passion for equality. Maybe somebody will file a new law suit now that Obama has permitted GI Janes.

            • slainte

              Masculine men know that their protective nature will compel them to assist a woman on the front lines of combat when her feminine nature causes her to either reflexibly draw back from violence or she becomes injured. In both instances I would submit that a man’s efforts to protect a woman in distress while engaged in battle will result in one or both being killed.
              Military hierarchy recognizes this calculation and has thus historically resisted women in combat. The fate of women captured in war (rape, etc.) is yet another reason.
              I would submit that a woman can serve in the armed forces in those positions which are properly aligned with her nature and physicality. The assessment is one of degree and proportionality.
              My reference to “your daughter” was a universal reference to every person’s daughter but it was specifically directed to men who are fathers and aware of what awaits their little girls on the front lines. Men and women both must take a stand against women in combat; to do otherwise is a costly mistake. And I make these statements as a woman.

              • publiusnj

                As my Modest Proposal establishes, it is no more “masculine” to fight or to protect women than it is to cut or style hair. As we now know, either gender can fight and die for their country. So, it is hopelessly old fashioned to think that the boys who died on Normandy Beach were dying to protect women. Rather, they were dying for Liberty and the American Way of Life: the right to sleep with and even marry the boy in the foxhole next to them and so their female sexual partners could kill any children that were the product of their intercourse (at least up until the child was born).

                BTW, if you want to challenge–as a woman–the recent Obama rulings allowing women to serve in combat positions (if they so choose), then you need to recognize a “Modest Proposal” when you encounter one. Clearly, the democrats who push gender de-stereotyping when it is convenient, will engage in a lot more deceptive argumentation than I have.

                All you say is true, women should not be allowed in combat. Not just for the reasons you lay out but because it is unfair to the men who would have to serve next to them. Any male who volunteers or is forced into the combat arms should know that the troops on either side of him are competent fighters, not products of affirmative action. If we want to engage in a grand experiment, we ought to have separate female (or gay) infantry battalions. Let’s see how they do before we force regular American infantry troops to risk their lives even more than they already do by serving in the same units.

                • slainte

                  I don’t disagree with you; in fact I agree with all of your points.
                  This flattening out of society and the abject refusal to recognize legitimate differences based on objective human nature is fundamentally destructive of society. It is disfunctional to assume that things that are Not Equal are called Equal and we are obliged to accept lies and call them truth. We are barred by political correctness from saying that “The Emperor Is Indeed Naked”.
                  The phenomenom is almost in the same category as the suicidal nature of national spending without limitation…ie., the sort of deficit spending and recurring national debt limit increases that keep presenting in the U.S. We intuitively know that the logical end of these acts will overwhelm society (a la Cloward and Piven) yet we pretend all is well and carry on. We are confronted with acts purposed toward Nihilism….(Rules for Radicals, Alinsky).
                  What is the antidote for the Nihilism of a world being driven to self destruction? where objective truth is purposely ignored?

                  • publiusnj

                    The antidote is objective truth. However, because OT is purposely ignored, we must present it in new ways. That is what I was trying to do with “A Modest Proposal.” Objective truth is women don’t want to be drafted and then thrown in combat units as cannon fodder because they are the equal of men (little issues like upper body strength being blinked), yet that is the end point to which the no difference rights theory ineluctably leads.

                    The most preposterous “right” is the right to determine for oneself one’s sexual identity irrespective of one’s genitalia. If one’s gender doesn’t depend on one’s genitalia, the simple solution to gender inequality is for persons with genitalia traditionally deemed to be “male” to be taught they are women (and or vice-versa), then all issues of gender inequality will be just irrelevant (if not an invasion of a citizen’s most personal right to determine one’s own gender identity for “him”/”herself”). A first step: the State should just ignore gender identity in all forms the citizenry is required to fill out since it is just a matter of choice anyway. And then it should prohibit anyone else from asking questions about gender identity. Then the State should prohibit use of pronouns that are gender specific on any state-licensed radio, tv or cable stations in just the way a more benighted age prohibited George Carlin’s seven words. After all, true gender equality is what our boys (or girls) died for in our wars.

                    • Slainte

                      Your proposal makes sense; the will of political leadership though is to stay on the destructive path. An empowered church should be the logical catalyst to lead people away from the edge of the cliff, but we are not hearing the message from the pulpits, at least not yet. We have to pray hard for the conversion of political leadershop and the polity…for their timely awakening. I will give more thought to your proposal.

  • poetcomic1

    Without God we are all numbers and numbers get ‘crunched’. The process is a Satanic one, dehumanization, whatever the color.

    • Jerry Reiter

      I was confused until I looked at your screen name, mr. comic. lol

  • TheodoreSeeber

    As usual, the liberals twisted the meaning of inclusiveness, and now clueless conservatives are using the new meaning to deny an entire concept without making an exception for the true meaning of inclusiveness.

    True social inclusiveness is Catholic. It is saying that while those who will not work, should not eat, those who CANNOT work, should eat. It’s about equalities of outcomes, not opportunities. It’s about the right to be the best you you can be, even if you only have half a brain (and yes, I know a certain libertarian is going to jump all over this) as I do.

    It’s about making sure people who would normally be excluded from society due to nature but not sin, join us at the Table of the Supper of the Lamb.

    That’s totally different than the type of exclusive inclusiveness that the liberals have been preaching, but it needs to be said that this missive against inclusiveness, is not against the universal nature of the church.

    • Adam__Baum

      I don’t know about any libertarians, but I’ll take a shot at this:

      ‘even if you only have half a brain”

      That would be really important to you.

  • Vinnie

    “The result is that the last couple of decades have made Oprah a billionaire, and also reduced the average life expectancy of uneducated white women by five years.”
    That’s not an “exemption” that’s part of the goal of “liberal institutions.” This is just redistribution – righting past wrongs in their minds. “Equality” and “inclusiveness” are only what they define it to be. Look at the derision toward Columbus Day and Thanksgiving.

  • Adam__Baum

    Here’s how diversity really works.

    More than fifteen years ago, I sat on an employee recreation board. The company provided us with a quarterly stipend, and we received and selected proposals for recreational activities, such as concerts, day trips, and the like. We would generally subsidized the cost of the activity 20% or so. The HR manager (TB) sat on the Board as a non-voting advisor.

    We received a proposal to subsidize a concert being held by a historic Church that had established a 501(c)(3) to raise funds-and this is important here-to stabilize and restore the STRUCTURE prior to the application to become a Basilica.

    The singer I think was Julio Iglesias. Tame as pop music went.

    When the proposal was read, TB awoke from her normal slumber and began asking a series of questions she generally didn’t ask. When she heard it was sponsored by a charity, she attempted to divert it to the “community services” committee. She finally exercised some unstated power to reject the proposal, based upon the capacity of the sponsor to “offend” people.

    I pointed out that we never question the nature of the sponsor of the concert or for that matter the group, and some of them had reputations for having drunken melees or having their way with roadies.

    I pointed out some people were offended by “gay pride” month, to which she responded “are you offended?”. I responded “are you anti-Catholic and perhaps you should be a public school principal, and if it anybody was offended, company policy precluded cross burnings. I decided I was going to war.

    I then proceeded to take a half of a day off, find her boss (who worked in corporate HQ) and described the incident to him intimating that I was fully prepared to go as high as necessary. Typical for HR, he said I needed to “confront” her again, and make my case, if you wouldn’t change her mind, have her call him while I was there.
    I scheduled the meeting and we did the same dance, until she was tired and sAid “at some point, you just have to accept my decision”. I then got to live the highlight of my work career. “Actually, Terri, I don’t, because I took the liberty of call your boss and he agrees with me and wants you to call him now”.

    She never screwed with me again. She was eventually removed from HR, and we both left that place.

    • Art Deco

      Some very dubious characters work in the personnel office.

      One thing I do not get. Why are about 97% of the people who work in personnel female?

      • Adam__Baum

        It favors the type of petty tyrant, I mean individual that used to apply their compulsions in useful ways, such as attending to overdue books.
        Best description I ever heard about HR was from Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. “like lawyers, but without the charm and verbal skills”.

        • Art Deco

          I am still confused. The personnel officers where I have worked generally did not have much authority over anyone and their counseling and mediation services were largely fictional. They did have some useful employees who knew a great deal about the esoterica of benefit plans.

          I know some people in the library skunkworks and I paraphrase their wisdom.The balance of character and personality types has changed over time. (In my own case, I recall my father telling me 30-odd years ago that the troublesome school librarian he and I had dealt with was the standard type when he was in high school; she was one of three where I attended (the other two being congenial); admittedly, she had to put up with a great deal of disrespect).

          The trouble you get in libraries is that the vocational training is largely humbug (but an excuse for the wage scales and strange and artificial division of labor), that aspects of the trade neither attract nor retain people with administrative talent (which means the director is more-often-than-not someone scarcely anyone in the office respects and on is occasion frankly injurious to others’ productivity), that there are not any operational measures of competence (so division of labor often turns on petty turf fights), and that the people attracted to the trade are often not very goal oriented (so division of labor turns on petty turf fights).

          The people attracted to the trade and retained within it commonly (not modally) have one of three sets of defects. You get the melancholy sorts who are contending with the understanding that if they had been intended for better things, they’d have done those things; you get the sorts loath to acknowledge that they have agreeable office employment and that they have less industry than others with more normal jobs (or exhibit very little industry themselves, or are pre-occupied with busywork); and you get the obnoxious and petty women picking fights with other people. The sort of person you are talking about really is not very common in that trade (one out of nine in one of my informants’ workplaces, one out of thirty-five in another), but they can stink up an office.

          • Adam__Baum

            “I am still confused. The personnel officers where I have worked generally did not have much authority over anyone and their counseling and mediation services were largely fictional.”

            Anywhere I worked as well. HR mediation is a fiction. Everybody knew a “PIP” (performance improvent plan) was a de facto termination notice.

            It was my experience at that place that there was a certain amount of management distate for managing, at least doing the “yucky” stuff.

            She was exercising arrogated power, not formal authority.

            It’s a huge problem when staff positions make line decisions.

            http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?PowerVersusAuthority

      • tamsin

        It helps a company hit their diversity target when all their other jobs require STEM skills.

        • Art Deco

          Places I have worked had ample supplies of men and women in professional and administrative positions. There are trades that are predominantly male or female and even some that are exclusively male or female. However, salaried positions at these places were ever a mix – except for the personnel office.

          • Adam__Baum

            I think you are missing how this works, Art. Some sex imbalances are bad and must be remediated at all costs. Others are just natural outcomes.

            I keep asking my RN wife if her employer has any outreach to attract men to nursing. Once derided as a “pink collar” occupation, it is now a highly professional and specialized occupation. Some specializations and management are six figure jobs.

            An experienced RN will makes excellent money, and there’s always opportunities to pick up shifts as way to deal with contingencies.

            The answer is always the same “no, not really”.

            Meanwhile, my state accounting society is still running programs for women like it’s the days when a female accounting student was an oddity.

            Over 50% of all accounting graduates are female, so the complaint is there aren’t enough managers and partners.

            • Art Deco

              Read Stanley Kurtz on this point. Nursing is a vocation, not a profession, and attempting to turn it into a profession injured it.

              Men do not belong in nursing schools. Send them to physician’s assistant programs and medical technicians’ programs.

              • Adam__Baum

                Many men thrive in the go-go environment of trauma or anaesthesiology. Many jobs are vocations.

    • Objectivetruth

      Good job, A-B! You’re confrontation with HR is a good example of what “Church Militant” should be! I find it puzzling when an organization celebrates “gay pride month” yet calls giving Christmas Day off as the “winter holiday.”

      • Adam__Baum

        Thanks.

        Of course, I confess it wasn’t always principled.

        I was one of the stellar members of a group of dozen or so then newbies that just couldn’t go along with managerial machinations.

        The company was at a point where they were emphasizing degrees, and many of the established middle management lacked them-and were very threatened-we were referred to as the “college hires from hell’. Also there was a geographical relocation of this operation.

        They once launched this project based on the book “Re-engineering the Corporation”. It involved among other things, covering the walls with six-foot wide rolls of butcher paper, and flow charting everything. The executives would then come and review the charts and pretend that they had a command of that intricate detail. It really was the “Emporer’s New Clothes” and excellent preparation for the pretentions of the present administration.

        The project was called “WEFICS” (Workflow Enhancement for Improved Customer Service). When there was a mid-project “intervention” to save this silliness, one of my cohorts said that the the problem was the lack of commitment to excellence. That individual said it should have been “Workflow Enhancement for UNEXCELLED Customer Service. We all snickered as we realized what that meant for the acronym. The suits caught on after the meeting.

        • Art Deco

          I have never quite understood why corporation executives seem to have an affinity for fad literature and ‘motivational speakers’. Scott Adams has made a good living lampooning this. He does not have to do much research. He has masses of e-mail contacts who send him stories from their workplaces.

          • Adam__Baum

            I never got the fads either. Or the jargon, “new paradigm”. My special favorite is the use of the word “partner” as a verb. Sounds like something that used to be a vice crime.

            As an aside, we had the old Pac Tel as a client. As Dilbert became prominent (and resonant), our client service staff would ask about Adams. The story was that he chafed in cubicle life, and Dilbert was catharsis. After a while, he no longer had to rely on personal experience and then realized he had a new career.

            He speaks for many people. “Office Space” is a cult classic for the same reason. Your name is Michael Bolton?

      • Adam__Baum

        P.S. Same company had a divorced/remaried Catholic lamenting her inability to receive and another individual who felt her father’s divorce and remarriage left him excluded- tell us-in a “diversity class”, that Catholics and Christians had to be on-guard against a bias to judgment.
        They were also one of the early celebrators of the made up holiday “Kwanzaa”, Interesting that a “Kwanza” is actually a unit of currency (Angola).

  • Adam__Baum

    “Still, that explanation is not completely satisfying either. If the populace turns into a mass of troubled and not-so-functional people, like the ones Charles Murray and Theodore Dalrymple write about, that’s not helpful to people who are trying to run things.”

    This particular paragraph, I find troubling, it strikes me as naive.

    The “people that are trying to run things”, aka Angelo Codevilla’s “Ruling Class” aren’t trying to run things, they are trying to acquire and keep power.

    Dependency and dysfunction make for a powerless, pliable and reliable voter base of supplicants seeking baubles, rather than unruly citizens who foot the bill and demanding answers about Senator Blowhard’s earmarks and other profligate spending.

    • They don’t want the citizens to be unruly, but they do want them to be functional enough to foot the bill. Also, “people that are trying to run things” include all sorts of people who are actually trying to accomplish something. And even those who aren’t trying to accomplish much at least prefer it when there aren’t any problems they have to worry about.

      • Adam__Baum

        I agree they don’t want them to be unruly. That’s why we have the hydra of endless labrythine rules and dependency, Exhaust and divide the productive and pacify and unify the unproductive.

        The great problem of our age is that those footing the bill are the unborn, so from a politician point of view vote buying schemes are costless and invaluable fiscal pacifiers.

        I remember having a conversation with somebody who had a long standing relationship with a state legislator who never quite seemed as committed to fiscal restraint in the chamber as he did on the campaign trail. Asked about the disparity, in a particular vote that was a litmus test case of ridiculous spending, said legislator replied something about the continuance of subsidized baubles being necessary to avoid riots.

        I suspect nothing has changed since Juvenal described “panem et circenses” in Satire X, except our ringmasters have accesses to a still apparently unsated and unfettered appetite for our sovereign debt.

        • Art Deco

          said legislator replied something about the continuance of subsidized baubles being necessary to avoid riots.

          Utterly foolish.

  • Tom Piatak

    An excellent piece.

  • Catholicus

    Excellent article. Right on the target. At most universities the prevailing inclusivity regime would be strong enough to exlude Dr. Kalb from tenure.

  • cestusdei

    As soon as I hear “inclusive” I know I will be excluded. When I hear “diversity” I know they will all think exactly alike.

  • Patty

    Just the first several paragraphs points out the dissolution of free thought and Liberty..which is a thorn for this kind of objective. In short, this objective turns people into unthinking lumps of flesh having no frontal cortex. The whole idea is ‘inhuman’ and extremely UN-Godly.

  • Hugh_Oxford

    Diversity: a load of people with different skin colours and sexual preferences all thinking and believing the same thing.

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  • Inclusiveness means to chose to lose own’s FREEDOM for the sake of the group. In other words, it’s COMMUNISM. In other words, God created us FREE, and people chose SLAVERY. Welcome to Obama’s world!

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    The policy of inclusiveness has deep historical roots in Liberal theory, going back, at least, to l’ Abbé Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès and the French Revolution.

    At his prompting, on 17 June 1789, the Third Estate declared itself the National Assembly. In effect, it told the other two estates that made up the States General, the Clergy and the Nobility, “We, the unprivileged majority, we who are not exempt from taxation, military service and other public duties, we represent the nation; you represent only yourselves and your particular interests.”

    As Lord Acton notes, those who had abolished privilege (and the disabilities of disfavoured groups, like Jews and Protestants) inevitably “condemned as a State within the State, every inner group and community, class or corporation, administering its own affairs.” Thus, the Le Chapelier law of 14 June 1791 made it clear that no intermediary body could stand between the individual, now armed with his natural rights and the nation, now the guarantor of those rights. How otherwise could the republic be, what the decree of 25 September 1791 declared it to be, “one and indivisible”? To insist on any distinction between one citizen and another was henceforth « l’incivisme » ; “Politically incorrect” is, perhaps, the best English translation.

    To this day, anyone who knows France and the French press will know that there is great concern about « Communautarisme » by which they mean ethnic solidarities and allegiances that threaten to override Republican unity.

    • slainte

      You wrote….”To this day, anyone who knows France and the French press will know that there is great concern about « Communautarisme » by which they mean ethnic solidarities and allegiances that threaten to override Republican unity.”

      They recall perhaps the counter-revolution by those loyal Catholic peasants from the Vendee who affirmed their Catholicism and thus rejected the masonic cult of liberty and egalite.
      For refusing to adhere to the National Assembly’s policy of inclusiveness and “Rights” with origens not of God, the resisting Vendee Catholics were gunned down in the countryside or lost their heads to the guillotine so ably administered by Robespierre, of the Fraternite.

      Those Vendee Catholics who would not voluntarily become free and equal (liberte and egalite) were compelled to be made free and equal ……or be killed by the promoters of Inclusivity.

      • Objectivetruth

        Interestingly, there is a large opposition in France to gay marriage. I believe after centuries of trying to put Christ in a box and on the back shelf, the French will do a 180 and realize the Catholicism they’ve jettisoned was the Truth all along.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          « Manif pour tous » the grass-roots organization that opposed SSM, was able to collect 700,000 signatures over three weeks to a petition to the Economic, Social, and Environmental Council and to bring a million protesters onto the streets of Paris, during its demonstrations last April and May. Its spokesperson, Mme Ludovine de la Rochère declared they would continue to fight against the “progress” of which the supporters of SSM speak – “that of merchandising the human body, of wombs for rent” [« celui de la marchandisation du corps, celui des ventres à louer »]

          The passage of the law has done nothing to weaken the opposition of many French people, religious and secular, to the notion of a right to a child: a child, “battery-farmed,” that can be raised in the denial of man-woman complementarity. They remain firmly convinced that the purpose of adoption is to give a family to a child, not to give a child to adults and to defend the right of every child to a father and a mother, « la filiation PME »

          Surrogacy agreements remain illegal. The courts regard as a perversion of the institution of adoption the plenary adoption of a child when this is only “the final phase of an overall process designed to enable a couple to take into their home a child conceived under contract and requiring that child’s abandonment at birth by his or her mother.”

          • Objectivetruth

            Vive la France! Let’s hope there is another French Revolution where they are building beautiful Catholic Cathedrals reaching to the sky.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              French law erects further barriers to the commercialisation of the reproductive process. There can be no ownership of human gametes or embryos; this is excluded by Art 16-1 of the Code Civil, which provides that “The human body, its elements and its products may not form the subject of a patrimonial right.” Nor can they be bought or sold, for Art 16-5 provides that “Agreements that have the effect of bestowing a patrimonial value on the human body, its elements or products are void.” Finally, out of an abundance of caution, Art 16-7 provides that “All agreements relating to procreation or gestation on account of a third party are void.” Then there is Art 1128, ““only things in trade can be the subject of an agreement.”

              No small part of the secular opposition to SSM in France springs from concern that those countries that have made marriage accessible to same-sex couples have all authorized the use of assisted reproduction – even surrogate gestation – to enable same-sex couples to have children. There are fears, almost certainly well-founded, that it could lead to the abandonment of those juridical principles that currently prevent children being treated as articles of commerce, civil status as a matter of private negotiation and women, especially the poor and those in Third-World countries, as brood-mares for the well-to-do. SSM has served to focus public attention on an issue that, in its implications, is by no means confined to same-sex couples.

  • C

    I appreciate the manner in which this is presented by Mr. Kalb. It is easy to see, yet what can one do? Live our lives as we should. As for the comments section, seeing and accepting the incredible inconsistencies and injustices in this world is much easier now than in my younger years. One thing is certain. All will be sorted out in the future. Some of this exists because of selfishness, some ignorance. All due to brokenness. Can one even imagine life without Our Lord having saved us? Only God can keep such a mess from utter destruction. May all be granted sufficient grace to recognize the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

  • cestusdei

    I have an excellent case in point. I just discovered that I am banned at NCR. You know them? The liberals who cry about being silenced yet who hate any dissent from their dissent? They talk about how Rome should “listen” to them, but will not listen to anyone else. They are hypocrites who talk about being inclusive, but exclude anyone who dares disagree with them. They claimed I was just being hyperbolic, but then they proved I was right. I bid farewell to my fans at NCR. How sad, I didn’t even get to say goodbye.

    • Guest

      You are welcome to be inclusive and diversity accepting as long as you do exactly as your relativistic overlords tell you to do. Get it?

      • cestusdei

        Exactly.

    • Dennis Galon

      Cestus, I have just noticed your side of our discussion on a couple of topics have been deleted from NCR, and when I jumped to your Disqus profile, in seems everything from NCR has been deleted. This is only the second time I have seen anyone banned and erased at NCR, and the other fellow issued some absolutely outrages direct threats before getting pulled. He was offensive beyond belief.

      May I ask what happened to you that you were banned? Were you notified that you would be banned? Were you given a reason? Did someone tell you they were going to report one of your posts? Do you have some sense that this or that particular post or group of postings provoked this ban? Were there warning from a moderator that you should avoid X Y or Z before you get yanked?

      • cestusdei

        There was no notification. No reasons given. I think a group has been plotting my removal for some time and complaining at every opportunity. I think that basically they, a gadfly, don’t like gadflies. They seem oblivious that doing this is exactly what they complain that Rome does to dissenters. It is pure hypocrisy, especially given how many have personally insulted me with no repercussions. It proves that they do have a double standard and that what I have been saying is true. Liberals are the most illiberal and do not believe in freedom of speech. I do hope that this makes you take stock of political correctness and realize that when conservatives complain that they are banished from the public square we are not just bloviating. It happens. It happened to me. Now what do you think I will say the next time some liberal whines about how the Vatican shuts down dissent or conservatives won’t listen to them? Conservatives are the ones who stand for freedom of thought and speech. Cheers.

        • Adam__Baum

          “Liberals are the most illiberal and do not believe in freedom of speech.”

          The left is fascist.

          • cestusdei

            I have had several threaten me. They get away with it.

    • Objectivetruth

      Is it National Catholic “Reporter” or “Register” you are banned from? Register is orthodox EWTN, I believe, and Reporter is the more liberal, left leaning, let me tear the pages I don’t like out of the Catechism website. If it’s the Reporter, cestusdei, I will post in there and fill the breach where you have fallen!

      • cestusdei

        The Reporter banned me. The same NCR that cried when Matt Fox was silenced. Now they silence me for my dissent lol.

        You have my blessing to post there and evangelize the heretics. Good luck.

  • I know of no one who likes to patronized, stereotyped or pigeon-holed.

    As a foreigner, attempts at inclusiveness are more offending to me than otherwise. Usually, someone notices my accent, asks where I’m from and then gets into a middle-school, stereotype-filled notion of my country and culture, if they’re not confusing my country with another country. I’ve even been told that I couldn’t possibly be from where I come from for being too fair-skinned or for my accent not being Hispanic, as if all countries in Latin America spoke Spanish.

    And then there are those who ask how Thanksgiving is celebrated in my home-country who get shocked at my answer that a bunch of weirdos in funny hats eating turkey centuries ago in America is completely ignored, much less celebrated. Besides, if they insist on the pseudo-religious aspects of the holiday, I just say that, as a Catholic, I give thanks at least every Sunday.

    The real intent in diversification is to actually encourage foreigners to abandon their original culture, including the language. The goal is assimilation, because, deep down, in a passive-aggressive way, the proponents of diversity loath anything that’s not like them, so they feign interest in the other, nod at them and fully expect them to stop being themselves and become a liberal WASP, pronto.

    • Objectivetruth

      Stay what you are, Augustine. Bring your cultural gifts to our country. But the beautiful thing is even though we have cultural differences, you are Catholic, and I am Catholic. And that is the ground we both stand on, making us brothers. This is the “universality” of Catholicism. We as one, no matter what country or culture we’re from, drop to our knees in worship, adoration, and acclamation at the consecration of the Eucharist. Everything in our lives flows from that, and is secondary to that.

      • Yes! And this is one of the most beautiful things in Catholicism: we, at any time and in any place, are the Church. This video, I think, depicts exactly this and never fails to move me: http://youtu.be/Vs6qZd_xP1w

      • slainte

        Very well said…and from the heart too.

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  • LRC

    To recognize and attempt to deal with “inclusiveness” is to chase the red herring off the side of the ship and drown. It is a fabrication to mollify an ignorant culture that is offended by risk and fearful of engagement.

    All we are really talking about, and it has always been about this, is power. Simple power. Power has no preferences, only ambitions. Power is offense and purpose. Power includes and excludes with complete equality. Power evangelizes, while traditions proselytize.

    A world that lives by virtual means does not need a reality based on absolute notions, whether they are genetic or not. Think of it as a monetary system. We have traveled from bartering to the bit-coin. As an atheist for fifty-seven years of my life, and now a born-again, charismatic Catholic, I understand all too well how we got to this cultural point. What I find fascinating is that this culture sails with no charted course. I don’t know if I’m on the Santa Maria, the Beagle, the Kon-tiki, or the Dona Paz. If I were an anthropologist; this would be one cool time to record the social history of mankind.

    • A system of power is based on common assumptions that are worth investigating because understanding is good and because they affect what the system does. I agree that the current situation has enormous anthropological interest.

    • slainte

      What caused you to become Catholic after being an atheist for so long?

      You wrote, “…I understand all too well how we got to this cultural point….”
      Please explain how you believe it happened and how to reverse it.

      • LRC

        God was the cause. The story is a little longer than to comment on it here, but my testimony is on my blog – travelsofanewchristian.com. Go to December 15, 2012, and give it a read.

        A culture changes when an idea can permeated through all of the aspects of that culture successfully, and is given a sufficient amount of time to do so without competing ideas. The central idea of humanity since the 1500’s, has been a focus upon self-serving philosophies that promote self-serving technologies. It has an excellent argument to support it. It alleviates many of the historical risks of existence that a culture faces. It does require a degree of loss of human freedom to be successful, but the increment of time reduces the exposure of that loss significantly.

        It has been only in the last fifty years that the exposure has faced criticism, and that is due to mass communications brought about by those self-serving technologies. It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. Only another idea, given enough space and time, can move a culture in another direction. Of course, a catastrophic event would tend to reset the clock, add then absolutes would once again reign in the lives of man.

        I’m not to worry. It is all in God’s plan. Man has no power to change that plan. He can only manage to relieve or further his suffering by his willingness to let God’s will be his guide. That’s his choice, and really his only one.

  • cs

    Whenever I read these defenses of traditional beliefs & practices, I’m struck again by the repeated, false sense of victimization, i.e. powerful liberal elites are eradicating the (good) old & imposing their (bad) new on everyone. The reverse is true — this author, like many, is celebrating a time & place when majority norms were imposed (sometimes de jure & always de facto) on everyone, regardless of individual difference. The complaint then is that this is no longer so — women may abort, gays may marry, etc. The new norm is that everyone remains free to believe & practice as their conscience dictates (very much including those with traditional beliefs), but no one may legislate that for others who believe & practice differently. That’s all. And a very good thing. One might even call it Christian charity & tolerance.

    • Guest

      That is your false god of relativism. Everyone is not free at all. We are slaves to tyranny. We must all bow to your desires no matter how perverse they are and you indoctrinate children

    • What legitimate function do canned arguments serve that deny the possibility there could be anything wrong with current trends that deserves discussion? In fact, of course, every society has to have norms and institutions that demand compliance and exclude people in order to function at all. The question is which work best, and what overall approach to their determination works best. The claim such issues don’t exist is simply an attempt at obfuscation.

    • Objectivetruth

      Yes….relativism…..anything goes….

      CS, what if I came up and punched you hard in the stomach? My “belief and practices” dictate I do that once a day. It’s what i believe, very important to me. You would have no problem with that, would you? You’re not going to legislate that what I am doing is wrong, are you? It would not be very charitable and tolerant of you to stifle and deny my personal, relativistic beliefs, would it?

    • Art Deco

      Whenever I read these defenses of traditional beliefs & practices, I’m struck again by the repeated, false sense of victimization, i.e. powerful liberal elites are eradicating the (good) old & imposing their (bad) new on everyone.

      There is nothing false about it. That is precisely what is happening. Stop lying.

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  • Gail Finke

    Against Inclusiveness is an excellent book, I highly recommend it!

  • Jerry Reiter

    Exclusiveness is the new Catholic ideal? It does not appear so with the new pope. It has been his inclusiveness of love and compassion for the man with the boils, his late night forays to help the homeless, his “who am I to judge?” statement about gays, and though he won’t include women in the priesthood, he recognizes the need to be inclusive of women in the leadership of the church. Praise God Pope Francis is increasing inclusiveness and love and compassion so that ideologues like James Kalb are not seen as the voice of Christ. Jesus included all of the people rejected by the exclusive religious conservative leaders of his day, the Pharisees. This article was racist, exclusive and just plain wrong.

    • Saying the ideology of inclusiveness (the piece says what it means by the expression) is bad isn’t saying excluding is a positive good. It’s saying there are goals that take priority over effacing the human distinctions liberal institutions aren’t interested in.

      Jesus for example presented his message and took up with those who were receptive whoever they might be. If they were Galilean fisherman that was OK and if they were Roman centurions that was OK. He wasn’t much interested in who it was and didn’t insist on equal representation of identity groups among the apostles. Inclusiveness is obsessed with such issues, to the extent that they trump the original message.

      • Jerry Reiter

        “The teaching of the Catholic church is … inclusive.” – James Kalb.
        I guess you were for inclusion before you were against it. lol

        • And it favors the common good, so I must be a communist.

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  • Jerry Reiter

    “Catholic teaching is essentially moderate and inclusive.” – James Kalb, who was for inclusiveness before he was against it. lol

    • Meaning that it pays due respect to all legitimate concerns. And for that reason it is at odds with ideologies such as inclusiveness that refuse to do so.

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