To the editor ...

This piece strikes a chord! The penultimate paragraph, especially, does it for me, probably because I am a composer. I'd rather die than live in a world without what we know as the symphony.

I'm sick and tired of this stupid ... I mean STOOPID propaganda about diversity. How these concepts end up as such pretzels with zero nutritious value is simply beyond me.

For good or ill, the whole idea is very Western — after all, it's not savage tribalism that wholeheartedly embraces the concept of diversity, is it? Social thinkers (such as Max Weber), in trying to explain the significance of division of labor, used the analogy of a caterpillar versus a higher organism such as man. They pointed out that you can detach any part of the caterpillar and the rest will survive; on the other hand, the organism remains very primitive. It is in higher organisms such as humans where each part "diversifies" and thereby becomes a much more "integrated" part of the whole. Thus emerged the formula, diversity = such-a-good-thing.

Nobody seems to notice a related phenomenon, however: if you take Joe's heart out and put it in Jack, nine times out of ten Jack's organism will reject it — even though the organ functionally serves the same purpose. Human individuals are not mindless meat bundles, such as organs; but one still has to recognize the fact that there has to be some basic "tissue compatibility" among diverse individuals in order for them to coexist.

I, for my part, would not prefer a chimerical creature in which the face was human, the hands were orangutan, the legs were horse, the stomach was cow, the torso was tiger, etc. Thanks, but no thanks! That probably exists only in the morbid and terrible imagination of the Orwellian empire.


Cosmopolitanism, rightly understood, is also very Western, but it is far different from nightmarish "diversity." In a way it symbolizes everything that is admirably European. It is a great delight, for instance, to listen to Korsakow (a Russian) and hear German harmony, an Italian sense of melody, French colors in orchestration, and so forth. It is the superiority of the West's underlying traditions of rational and critical thought that makes it all possible: unlike other cultures, the West concentrates on the essential, existentially critical elements, cuts through the babble, and captures the essence of those "alien" elements. Without prejudice. It then adapts those elements to its organism, in the process enhancing it.

Even in the case of the more recent non-Western success stories, the process of incorporating the successful technologies and social agendas of other cultures is learned from the West. Ironic!

It's educational to look at the stories of failure, too. You don't have to go far; just examine that part of Europe where my roots are: the Balkans. Anyone who happens to possess 2.5 acres of land claims sovereignty, and all the others are "foreign" — when in fact most of them are blood brothers.


Posted January 23, 2002


Strakon replies

Well said! In this important letter K.E. adds to our intellectual toolkit for analyzing our civilization and its fate. His distinction between Dr. Moreau-ish "diversity" and true cosmopolitanism, which requires the retention of healthy Western "DNA," is especially valuable.

January 23, 2002


According to a recent survey by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Red Indians occupy only 11.6 percent of fulltime newsroom jobs, while they constitute almost a third of the nation's population. Think about that the next time your local paper pontificates on the importance of some other company's implementing "affirmative action" policies and meeting federal racial quotas.

Bureaucrat X

January 24, 2002


Strakon replies

Good point.

I'm interested to hear that things are still lagging in the newsroom with respect to Persons of Color. Reminds me of the protracted "diversity" struggle on the newsdesk where I used to work. In those days, "affirmative action" was really all about the blacks (Hispanics were a relatively small blip on the screen), and management tried and tried and tried to find a suitable black candidate, while a 10-person newsdesk, all white, gradually wore down to five. It got so bad that the continued production of the paper, as a product reflecting anything like decent quality, was threatened. Finally the bosses had to settle for a dark-skinned but high-IQ man of Hindu descent, born in Britain and the son of a doctor! (He stayed six months, until he was nabbed by another employer who was equally adept at racial profiling and also able to offer higher pay.)

I was able to derive some amusement from all of that, but it was of a distinctly bitter sort. I and my small band of unloved but competent whites were worked to a frazzle for a year — I actually was starting to experience chest pains from the stress and long hours — as management persisted in searching for a minimally competent, but much more lovable, Negro.

As a result, my loathing of "affirmative action" is more than just intellectual. It's also visceral.


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