Predictably, the backlash has begun against Chicago’s statement to incoming freshman that neither trigger warnings nor safe spaces are closely held values of the institution. And of course out come also the expected calls for “more diversity” in Chicago’s environs and curricula.
© Aron Hsiao / 2010
Short opinion: diversity has no inherent value that I care about. Diversity purely for diversity’s sake is a form of selfishness and navel-gazing, as of its own account it accomplishes and has accomplished comparatively little for human instrumentalism—certainly nothing to justify that incredible aggregate allocation of resources that it now commands. It is primarily a way of enriching particular individuals for their personal consumption and their personal emotional sustenance. Nothing less, nothing more. Claims related to comparative enrichments do little for me, as enrichments vary in any number of ways that we can slice and dice into demographic strata, race and gender being just some of these, and arbitrarily chosen ones at that from the gestalt perspective. “Diversity” advocates are asking that all of society slow and self-subvert in order to indulge their own feelings of inadequacy or to soothe their own personal experiences of suffering. They are playing the power game while claiming to be playing the justice game.
Screw diversity and all of the diversity talk. Those that argue that we have mistaken the private for the public and vice-versa are spot on. Your skin color, what you do in bed, and so on are purely private matters and have nothing to do with the operation of society. Who cares? Be who you are. Do what you do. Only don’t be it and do it in public, where performance with respect to instrumentality is all that matters. So many claims of having been “discriminated against” are founded on the perceived lack of acceptance of purely private characteristics in the public sphere.
I’ll adopt the position that your private characteristics have no bearing on the public sphere, that the “acceptance” of your private characteristics has no relevance to anything that society ought to particularly care about, and that in general, with a few exceptions related to forms of interaction that actually prevent you from being productive society members, should not even be discussed in the public realm. If your private characteristics are leading to an impoverishment of the public sphere in some way other than the circular (“loss of diversity”), then let’s talk. That is to say that if the fact of your being non-white or LGBT are causing, through thus influenced complications in social interaction, planes to fall out of the sky, areas of the economy to trend downward, or diseases to multiply, then fair enough and fair game and let’s work on it.
If, on the other hand, the fact of your being non-white or LGBT are causing, by way of complications in social interaction, nothing more than “a lack of non-white and LGBT voices in public,” then fuck you. Because race and LGBT have nothing to do with anything. Just as white and straight have nothing to do with anything. They’re purely after-dinner cocktail party trivia and they ought to stay there. Why do you expect your bathroom stall reality or your family history to have anything to do with getting your fucking job done and everyone else doing the same?
This is a massive nexus of distraction and self-indulgence created by misfiring units actively seeking to sow distraction in the midst of the great telos of human survival. Oooh, like that word? Shocked? I’ll say it again: Telos! Telos, telos, telos! Not “human survival” as in you, or as in individuals, but “human survival” as in species.
Let’s put it another way. You are not that important. No one is. What is important is the collective. Family is the smallest of these, but before that and more important, corporate body and community, and before that and more important still, nation, and before that and most important of all, species.
So keep your identity under wraps and perform your function when in public. It is time to walk all this bullshit back.