Thursday, 11 May 2017

Looks like you need more diversity over here

The basic purpose of Gleichschaltung was to make sure there was no space in society in which antisocial perspectives can flourish. It wasn’t difficult to be an anti-Nazi in the Third Reich. But you had to keep the grumbling to yourself. And you definitely weren’t allowed to mingle with other anti-Nazis to share your pathetic bellyaching about the new Germany.

The problem was that German society back then, like any society, contained many organisations which had nothing to do with politics. And in those circles, it wasn’t long before antisocial misinformation sprung up and began to flourish.

No problem! Everything could be Nazified. Racism is evil, pretty much everyone would agree with that. But then again, any method of social control can be used for good or evil. It can be used to eliminate good anti-Nazis or evil racists. And by the time 1938 rolled around in Germany, anti-Nazis were about as shunned as, say, segregationists in the US in 1978. Nobody wants to be on the losing team.

In his diaries, Victor Klemperer says even the cat magazines were, by the mid-1930s, writing about the “German Cat.” Companies weren’t immune from Gleichschaltung either. Does your corporation have a board? It better have at least one Parteigenosse (party member) on it. And how many Parteigenosse occupy positions at university departments? Looks like you need some more diversity.

Of course, I’m not saying that diversity is a method of social control. Perish the thought! Its goal is to “heal deep spiritual wounds,” and to “correct the evils of the past,” such as segregation, lynching and questionable soft toys. Those damn racist gollywogs.

And if we’re going to be honest, members of historically disadvantaged groups and Parteigenosses are pretty much used in the same way these days. Victims and potential victims of racism, sexism and homophobia have all kinds of diverse perspectives on society. Which is why they need to be included. It has nothing to do with power. At least, that’s the party line, anyway…

But it’s pretty much impossible to live in a modern society, have any kind of professional career or even personal life, and be anything but a secret racist. And I can’t help thinking that diversity has a lot to do with this.

Of course, we’re all about progress – ethical, artistic and scientific. Diversity definitely cannot conflict with progress. Diversity is progress! And so is science. And perhaps one way to clear this up would be to require that all researchers in sensitive and easily misinterpreted fields are diverse individuals. Obviously, the investigators (Parteigenosse) themselves are in the best possible position to verify this information. A perfect feedback loop.

So in the future, institutions should consider requiring scientists to submit their own DNA profiles, to show disadvantaged ancestry, as a precondition of funding. Surely this is a simple and foolproof way to ensure the data isn’t misinterpreted. And if there are no disadvantaged investigators in the field? Well – that doesn’t look good at all…

Or maybe the better option is to create and follow law. The rule of law is blind to colour, class or caste. As someone once put it, the purpose of law is to defend a million men against one, or one against a million. The day we abandoned this principle was the day we descended into murder and anarchy, and no step back toward safety and freedom can be taken but on its terms.

But that’s not exactly a popular opinion these days.

I have an experiment for you, dear reader. Do an image search in Google for Muslim Mom and Child, Asian Mom and child, Black Mom and child…

-----Then try “White Mom and child”…

Now try an image search in Google for Happy Asian Women, Happy Black Women…

-----Then try “Happy White Women”- scroll all the way down…

Notice anything about the male they tend to pair the final category with 99% of the time? Makes it easy to understand why kids these days think it’s “so natural” and “no big deal” to “embrace multiculturalism.”

I don’t know how much the “mom” spelling (Americanised, as opposed to anglicised “mum”) has to do with the results. But if you think diversity is a “nice thing to do” and there isn’t a synopsis toward which society is moving, perhaps a Google algorithm can convince you. Or do you still think Google is just a handful of code?

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