Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The God that Failed

The God that Failed, a book of essays published in 1950, tells the story of how some famous Western intellectuals, initially champions of communism, became disillusioned with this ideology. Arthur Koestler joined the communist party in Germany to gain a sense of belonging and solidarity and to assuage his bourgeios guilt. He later ended up in a Spanish prison after fighting against Franco's forces. This caused him to turn away from his communist faith. He recounts what he learned from his communist experience:

The lesson taught be this type of experience, when put into words, always appears under the dowdy guise of perennial commonplaces: that man is a reality, mankind an abstraction; that men cannot be treated as units in operations of political arithmetic because they behave like the symbols for zero and the infinite, which dislocates all mathematical operations; that the end justifies the means only within very narrow limits; that ethics is not a function of social utility, and charity not a petty-bourgeois sentiment but the gravitational force which keeps civilization in its orbit. Nothing can sound more flat-footed that such verbalizations of a knowledge which is not of a verbal nature; yet every single on of these trivial statements was incompatible with the communist faith which I held.

I don't want to sound hyperbolic, but this reminded me of the diversity movement. The diversity movement, as with many other movements eminating from our universities today, is suffused with Marxist thought, and has definite totalitarian impulses (hence K-State's ranking as a red light school for free speech).

The lessons which Koestler learned from his communist sojourn are imminently applicable here. "Man is a reality, mankind an abstraction." Yes, as students we are each individuals, unique and possessed of multitudinous talents and experiences, not to be defined by our group affiliations that the diversophiles would impose on us, of African-American, Hispanic, Jew etc. We are each of us qualified or unqualified based on our abilities as individuals, not on the color of our skin, as the diversophiles would have us believe. Race is not a proxy for thought, and the best type of classroom "diversity" is that achieved when the best and brightest are admitted, irregardless of the proportionality of races involved.

We, as individuals, will not be used in the "political arithmetic" of proportional classroom representation and affirmative action, because we "behave like the symbols for zero and the infinite, which dislocates all mathematical operations." And, yes, "end justifies the means only within very narrow limits," and affirmative action falls miles outside these limits.

"Ethics is not a function of social utility" but, rather, is comprised of absolute rights and wrongs, regardless of whether some people enjoy following the rules or where taught to believe a certain way. Some people and cultures are condemnable for what they do and believe, and they will be condemned, despite the moral relativism inherent in the diversity movement.

Diversity is not communism, for obvious reasons. But, I think that it does classify as a sort of smiley-faced totalitarianism. Its boot will stamp on the face of human liberty, but it will do so while bearing a rainbow flag and whistling a joyful hymn to the hollow Goddess of diversity.

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