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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:18 am
 


I know this title is provocative, but bear with me. If you have reacted strongly to it, then it is to you I am directing this post.

I was going to start off with the standard disclaimer about my thinking diversity is a good thing. But no, not this time. This time I am going to start from a neutral position and pose the question exactly as stated in the title.

I'm writing this because I saw an exchange in another forum recently where someone asked pretty much the same question, and was responded to by a progressive with an explanation of the benefits of diversity, multiculturalism, etc. No name calling. No outrage. No imputing of evil motives. Just a straight up answer to a sincere question. It was incredibly refreshing to see a progressive treat diversity as something that has to be argued for, rather than a self-evident "good thing" or secular matter of faith.

If you are a progressive and your first impulse is to answer this question with accusations of xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and so on or to ask the person asking it to "check their privilege", please evaluate the likely consequences of that approach. You may make yourself feel good by responding in that way, but you are going to leave the person who asked the question pissed off and dismissive of anything else you have to say.

Diversity has benefits to society and to the individuals within in. It helps make people more open to change and different perspectives. For a trading country like Canada, there are economic benefits too. Note that none of these are subjective value judgements like "it makes us better people".

It also has downsides and challenges. It increases social complexity and can impose communication burdens in relation to a more homogeneous society. It makes social cohesion more difficult to achieve.

To argue that there are only benefits and no downsides is to be intellectually dishonest. As with anything (particularly something that represents change in relation to a previous status quo), it needs to be demonstrated that the pluses outweigh the minuses, and that the minuses can be managed. To manage the minuses, however, one must first acknowledge that they exist.

The other habit to avoid is reflexively passing judgement on communities that are, for various non-discriminatory reasons, more ethnically and culturally homogeneous that our large urban centres. The absence of diversity does not make a community less virtuous or less "Canadian" than those that are more multi-ethnic and multicultural. Small town Southern Ontario, for instance, is not going to have the same cultural makeup as downtown Toronto.

If you're a progressive who believes passionately in diversity, my suggestion (which you are of course free to ignore) is to have a good answer ready (perhaps even rehearsed) for the question "Why is diversity a good thing?" That may help you to resist the emotional urge to lash out or shut down the person asking the question. We all get upset to a degree when someone questions something we feel very strongly about. But to respond with reason and a good-faith assumption that the person you're talking to is not a neo-Nazi or "alt-right" type is the better way to go.

I say this as someone who disagrees with progressives on many things. So I'm obviously not trying to help you win arguments and convince people. I'm simply trying to help you see that many of the people you disagree with are also well-meaning people interested in exploring ideas.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:04 am
 


Thank you! First long post I have finished in a long time as it's the first in a while to not degenerate into some kind of awful neo-political name calling by line two. Worth while also because it made me reflect on why I (we) do the things we do. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:13 am
 


Individualist wrote:

Diversity has benefits to society and to the individuals within in. It helps make people more open to change and different perspectives. For a trading country like Canada, there are economic benefits too. Note that none of these are subjective value judgements like "it makes us better people".

It also has downsides and challenges. It increases social complexity and can impose communication burdens in relation to a more homogeneous society. It makes social cohesion more difficult to achieve..


Not bad, I could elaborate on the above but I think everyone gets the general idea. The downsides are manageable and only exist because people choose to make them exist. For example when anglos or francophones stir up controversies over signs in the other language. The signs aren't the problem, the dual languages aren't the problem; the people choosing to scream and protest and fight over the signs because they refuse to tolerate diversity are the problem. Many of the problems "caused by" diversity are really caused by people who oppose diversity and so their opposition ends up being the justification for their opposition.

Of course on the individual level there will be accommodation issues just as there are for children, the elderly, people with medical conditions, disabilities, etc. But for some reason certain groups only get fired up when it comes to race, religion or gender but it's really not different. The people directly involved in the issue will come to some sort of resolution one way or the other and there's no reason for The Sun or Ezra Levant or anyone else to get involved and turn it into an "us vs them" race war.


Back to the original question, diversity as a concept doesn't just apply to hot-button topics like race, religion, gender etc. It applies to ideas and experiences and values. The opposite of diversity is conformity. When you strip race, religion and gender out of the equation, most people in modern western democracies, even conservatives, will claim to value diversity over conformity. Conformity is out, at least on a societal scale.

If you don't believe in conformity and group think, then by definition you believe in diversity. If you believe in diversity it's pretty dishonest to exclude certain areas like race, religion and gender. That's like someone saying they believe in rights and freedoms, except they support slavery.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:39 am
 


v


Last edited by Lemmy on Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:52 pm
 


Canada is not a diverse country.

Canada is a White dominated Judeo Christian society with a British Legal System
(exept in Quebec, but it is 95% the same)

There are no provisions for Aboriginal Laws in Canada, nor Buddhists, nor Islam
or anything else.

There are no provisions to accept any statutory holidays except Christian ones.




Besides, what do with dissenters, groups that refuse to accept the vision being presented ?

And how do you get around the simple fact that humans are hard wired to prefer their
own groups ?

Multiculturalism is a lot like Communism; looks pretty wonderful in theory,
doesn't work so well in practise.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:37 pm
 


martin14 wrote:
Canada is not a diverse country.


Image

Quote:
There are no provisions for Aboriginal Laws in Canada,

Image

Quote:
There are no provisions to accept any statutory holidays except Christian ones.


Image


Quote:
Besides, what do with dissenters, groups that refuse to accept the vision being presented ?


Just exactly what vision would that be, and presented by whom? Why must something be done with people who dissent? In a democracy people are allowed to dissent.

Quote:
And how do you get around the simple fact that humans are hard wired to prefer their
own groups ?
. Humans are also hard-wired to beat their wives and kids, and to rape, steal, enslave and murder, and yet somehow we've overcome those impulses.

Also the "group" is imaginary, not natural. You choose to believe that certain people are in your "group" and others aren't, but that is just your belief that others might not share.

Quote:
Multiculturalism is a lot like Communism; looks pretty wonderful in theory,
doesn't work so well in practise.


It seems to be working well actually. And it's always in practice anyway. Look at all of the people around the world who imitate US Hollywood movies, fashion and music, especially in conservative monocultures. There's never been such a thing as "preserving culture". Culture is always evolving and changing and borrowing from other cultures.


Last edited by BeaverFever on Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:55 pm
 


WTF are you asking for, it's 2017?
I'm fucking OLD and everybody's parents or grandparents spoke a different language and/or dressed funny when I was a kid. I'm talking back in the 1950s an 1960s.
And what's it got to do with 'progressives'?

If you're elementary classmates weren't all different colours then you're the fucking wierdo. FOAD

As for Martin, we know he must've snuck in from some Idaho Ayran redoubt.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:08 pm
 


herbie wrote:
As for Martin, we know he must've snuck in from some Idaho Ayran redoubt.



Individualist wrote:
If you are a progressive and your first impulse is to answer this question with accusations of xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and so on or to ask the person asking it to "check their privilege", please evaluate the likely consequences of that approach. You may make yourself feel good by responding



Took him all of 3 minutes. Herbie feel good now. Herbie needs the john now. Herbie needs more Kleenex now. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:41 pm
 


Oh I don't have to accuse you of being racist. You do a much better job all by yourself.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:50 am
 


BeaverFever wrote:
Not bad, I could elaborate on the above but I think everyone gets the general idea. The downsides are manageable and only exist because people choose to make them exist. For example when anglos or francophones stir up controversies over signs in the other language. The signs aren't the problem, the dual languages aren't the problem; the people choosing to scream and protest and fight over the signs because they refuse to tolerate diversity are the problem. Many of the problems "caused by" diversity are really caused by people who oppose diversity and so their opposition ends up being the justification for their opposition.


So the only downside of diversity is the people who oppose it or are uncomfortable with it? Really?

Then I suppose the only problem with the binary gender model are those outliers who insist on asserting non-binary identities. The fact that so many people have a clear preference for those most like themselves (which some argue has a biological basis) *is* a downside of diversity as a concept, just like the human libido is a problem who those who promote a lifestyle of chastity for religious reasons.

Quote:
Back to the original question, diversity as a concept doesn't just apply to hot-button topics like race, religion, gender etc. It applies to ideas and experiences and values. The opposite of diversity is conformity. When you strip race, religion and gender out of the equation, most people in modern western democracies, even conservatives, will claim to value diversity over conformity. Conformity is out, at least on a societal scale.


Ironic, because it is the very diversity of ideas and values you refer to that the progressive left seems to have the most difficulty with, as evidenced by the various authoritarians on the left who have, in the spheres where they have the most power (academia and the arts) enforced a very rigid groupthink on various topics, in particular identity politics. What is "Check your prIvilege" but an order to shut up, often accompanied by implied or explicit threat to one's livelihood, reputation or even liberty? And yes, the right does this too, but they've never claimed to be fans of diversity.

Quote:
If you don't believe in conformity and group think, then by definition you believe in diversity. If you believe in diversity it's pretty dishonest to exclude certain areas like race, religion and gender. That's like someone saying they believe in rights and freedoms, except they support slavery.


The problem is that the left elevates these dimensions of identity above all others, such that "bullying" now only counts if it's considered "punching down" at someone based on race, gender, culture or sexuality. Bullying socially awkward boys and men who happen to be white, straight and cis-gendered is just fine, and even feminists are getting in on the act.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:12 pm
 


Quote:
So the only downside of diversity is the people who oppose it or are uncomfortable with it? Really?

Then I suppose the only problem with the binary gender model are those outliers who insist on asserting non-binary identities

What? I don'[t understand what argument your trying to make with that example. If somebody wants to have an alternative gender identity, it doesn't affect you ...you don't have to like it but it's not your business. It only becomes a problem for society because conservatives people want to make a big a deal out of it and tell these people how to live their lives. If a guy comes to your house and punches you in the face, who is to blame, him for punching you, or you for having a face?

Quote:
The fact that so many people have a clear preference for those most like themselves (which some argue has a biological basis) *is* a downside of diversity as a concept, just like the human libido is a problem who those who promote a lifestyle of chastity for religious reasons.


So what? The entire act of living in an organized society rather than a world of complete chaos and anarchy is that basic impulses are held in check. People check their impulses all the time out of respect for their fellow human beings even without the government to regulate it. And you know what? Eventually those values shape their impulses. Using your libido example, as I suggested in my earlier post, the human libido was also a problem for those who promoted a lifestyle free of rape. Up until fairly recently in our history rape wasn't usually even considered a serious crime; it was considered an unfortunate but natural and inevitable response to women who wear short skirts or allow themselves to be alone with a male. But in 2017, I'm pretty sure most men would consider rape to be a disgusting abomination among the worst moral offences a person can commit, not the tempting forbidden fruit as past generations did for so many millennia.


Quote:
Ironic, because it is the very diversity of ideas and values you refer to that the progressive left seems to have the most difficulty with, as evidenced by the various authoritarians on the left who have, in the spheres where they have the most power (academia and the arts) enforced a very rigid groupthink on various topics, in particular identity politics. What is "Check your prIvilege" but an order to shut up, often accompanied by implied or explicit threat to one's livelihood, reputation or even liberty? And yes, the right does this too, but they've never claimed to be fans of diversity.


Well you unpack a few things here let me get to them in order:

1) From a societal level, e.g. the perspective of the Prime Minister or a neutral third party, society is made up of different groups: some religious, some atheist, different ethnicities, etc. A diverse society means that different groups exist in society and have equal standing to each other - it doesn't mean that each individual group has to be diverse. So a diverse society can be made up many different homogeneous groups, that's pretty much the definition of diversity - different groups in society. Some of those groups may be bigoted and close-minded, some aren't, and as long as none gains control of the whole, it remains diverse.

2) "Various authoritarians on the left". Quick - name them. Who? Some anonymous student protester idiot on youtube? Some professor from a Sun article whose name you can't remember? Tell us, who are these authoritarians who are apparently ruining your life? Have you personally been affected by any of it? Universities have always been incubators for radical ideas and student activists. I agree that a lot of it sounds ridiculous but these people will grow up eventually and settle down. At any rate, it doesn't affect you. Manhy of the people who froth over these university activist stories the most will end their long lives having never even set foot on a university campus . These stories just circulate in the right-wing media because they generate a lot of clicks. NOBODY outside of the universities are affected by them. Let the schools and the students worry about their own problems.

Quote:
The problem is that the left elevates these dimensions of identity above all others, such that "bullying" now only counts if it's considered "punching down" at someone based on race, gender, culture or sexuality. Bullying socially awkward boys and men who happen to be white, straight and cis-gendered is just fine, and even feminists are getting in on the act.


That's just not true at all. That's just right-wing lies and myth.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:14 pm
 


The people who want to discuss diversity are the ones that think there's some sort of 'problem' with it.
Usually ones resentful they can't force their narrow-minded beliefs on everyone else, just as beaver points out.

If it bothers you what colour others are, how they dress, what church they attend or who they fuck, you are the problem. Fix yourself.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:40 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:
Quote:
So the only downside of diversity is the people who oppose it or are uncomfortable with it? Really?

Then I suppose the only problem with the binary gender model are those outliers who insist on asserting non-binary identities


What? I don'[t understand what argument your trying to make with that example. If somebody wants to have an alternative gender identity, it doesn't affect you ...you don't have to like it but it's not your business. It only becomes a problem for society because conservatives people want to make a big a deal out of it and tell these people how to live their lives. If a guy comes to your house and punches you in the face, who is to blame, him for punching you, or you for having a face?


What I'm arguing is that telling people they have to embrace diversity (or at least not speak publicly about their concerns regarding such) is also telling them how to live their lives. In the gender example, going from two genders to a number academics and activists seem to be trying to push beyond single-digits does affect people who fall neatly into the status quo, as they are now being asked (or ordered) to use invented pronouns and experience confusion about something as fundamental as washrooms in order to accommodate a relatively small group. We're seeing gender being removed from identity documents when for the vast majority of Canadians it is as least as useful an indicator of one's documented appearance as hair colour, eye colour or height. Many people are going to feel uncomfortable with this, and if they are not allowed to express this discomfort, even in respectful and non-confrontational terms, out of fear of having an army of internet activists mobilize to shut them down as functioning citizens, how are we going to achieve true acceptance?

I am not defending anyone attacking anyone else for being different. I am attacking an authoritarian, dissent-crushing approach to enabling social change.

Quote:
Quote:
The fact that so many people have a clear preference for those most like themselves (which some argue has a biological basis) *is* a downside of diversity as a concept, just like the human libido is a problem who those who promote a lifestyle of chastity for religious reasons.


So what? The entire act of living in an organized society rather than a world of complete chaos and anarchy is that basic impulses are held in check. People check their impulses all the time out of respect for their fellow human beings even without the government to regulate it. And you know what? Eventually those values shape their impulses. Using your libido example, as I suggested in my earlier post, the human libido was also a problem for those who promoted a lifestyle free of rape. Up until fairly recently in our history rape wasn't usually even considered a serious crime; it was considered an unfortunate but natural and inevitable response to women who wear short skirts or allow themselves to be alone with a male. But in 2017, I'm pretty sure most men would consider rape to be a disgusting abomination among the worst moral offences a person can commit, not the tempting forbidden fruit as past generations did for so many millennia.


I thought the consensus was that rape is an act of violence, power and control, with sexuality merely being the vehicle for those things. Yes, people once held reprehensible ideas about rape and sexual consent in general. What helped change that? Dialogue and understanding. Victims speaking out. Debate about what measures would ensure victims were not re-victimized and subject to character assassination by defence lawyers. Some of these are still works in progress.

But do you know what didn't help? The likes of Andrea Dworkin and other radical feminists arguing that men were essentially rapists, and suggesting that there was no such thing as a consensual sex act between a man and a woman. A look at the #notallmen and #yesallwomen hashtags show that this undercurrent of generalization and collective guilt still exists within the feminist community.

My point is that you can't bring about meaningful social change without bringing along some people with you who weren't there from the start. That means you have to *convince* people, including those who are not personally hurt by the status quo. You have to make the case for something you want people to adopt, even if you can't understand how they couldn't want it. Some will never buy, and that's fine. But no one ever changes the world by speaking solely within echo chambers.

And if you're hoping to force change on people, then get ready to kill, imprison or dispossess people who don't share your goals, because that is what it takes to get what you want in that way. The better, more Canadian way is to convince enough of those others of the merits of what you're saying to build popular momentum (and perhaps ultimately consensus) behind it. Do you really think Justin Trudeau likes Albertans any more than his father did? That infamous French interview before the election clearly demonstrated otherwise. Why do you think he's gone through such trouble to show Albertans that he doesn't want to step on their throats the way Pierre did? Because he realizes Alberta is not a monolith, and that even if he and his party will never be wildly popular there, there are votes to be had. Oh, and they're Canadians too.

All this aside, you have fallen back on the same sort of reflexive outrage and all-or-nothing reasoning that my initial post was directed at. I get it. It feels good to have flesh-and-blood enemies who can personify the ideas and social forces you oppose. But as painful as it is for someone of my politics to admit it, Justin was right. The people on "the other side" aren't my enemies. They're my neighbours. I'd like to convince at least some of them of the merits of markets, private enterprise, individual liberty, and just plain leaving each other alone. The reason I'm personally fine with diversity is because I see each of us as far more than whatever groups or identity markers those of either side of the spectrum of preoccupied with. Each of us is a minority of one.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:45 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:

Not bad, I could elaborate on the above but I think everyone gets the general idea. The downsides are manageable and only exist because people choose to make them exist. For example when anglos or francophones stir up controversies over signs in the other language. The signs aren't the problem, the dual languages aren't the problem; the people choosing to scream and protest and fight over the signs because they refuse to tolerate diversity are the problem. Many of the problems "caused by" diversity are really caused by people who oppose diversity and so their opposition ends up being the justification for their opposition.

Of course on the individual level there will be accommodation issues just as there are for children, the elderly, people with medical conditions, disabilities, etc. But for some reason certain groups only get fired up when it comes to race, religion or gender but it's really not different. The people directly involved in the issue will come to some sort of resolution one way or the other and there's no reason for The Sun or Ezra Levant or anyone else to get involved and turn it into an "us vs them" race war.


Back to the original question, diversity as a concept doesn't just apply to hot-button topics like race, religion, gender etc. It applies to ideas and experiences and values. The opposite of diversity is conformity. When you strip race, religion and gender out of the equation, most people in modern western democracies, even conservatives, will claim to value diversity over conformity. Conformity is out, at least on a societal scale.

If you don't believe in conformity and group think, then by definition you believe in diversity. If you believe in diversity it's pretty dishonest to exclude certain areas like race, religion and gender. That's like someone saying they believe in rights and freedoms, except they support slavery.


There's the larger question, though, of how much minorities and new arrivals ought to be expected to conform to the social mores of the society they find themselves in. The whole basis for Bill 101 and other language initiatives in Quebec was the perception among Francophone Quebecers that Anglophones and new immigrants did not care about trying to actually try and use the French language, which was and is spoken by a majority of the population. There can be special rights and exemptions for English, as Quebec's language laws have always provided, but those laws emerged out of a perception that the new arrivals did not care about trying to integrate into the established society they were coming to.

The same quite obviously exists in Canada. In the past, we've seen people on these forums talk about immigrants who do not use English in other provinces, voicing many of the very same kinds of complaints that people will give the Franco-Quebecois grief for. The basic frustration is the same-established Canadians are expected to do all the work to accommodate the new arrivals, but new arrivals don't need to do any work to conform, or at least not very much.

We can debate how true that is, but as Individualist points out many people in Canada feel like they can't voice their concerns about it without being accused of being racist, colonialist, patriarchal, etc. That's the real problem here. Quebec is one of the few places that actually has had an open discussion about it, so they're ahead of most of the rest of us on this.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:36 pm
 


JaredMilne wrote:
There can be special rights and exemptions for English, as Quebec's language laws have always provided, but those laws emerged out of a perception that the new arrivals did not care about trying to integrate into the established society they were coming to.


It isn't just that, those laws were created in the 70's, before the masses
of allophones came to Quebec.
Bill 101 was originally brought in to counter the Anglo minority
whose historically created the wealth and held the money, influence and power in Quebec.


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