“Against Inclusiveness” is devoted to analyzing the motives behind the drive for inclusiveness, to demonstrating its contradictions and unworkability, and to exposing its tyrannical effects in everyday life.
Inclusiveness is best described as the notion that distinctions of sex, age, religion, culture, race, ethnicity, sexual preference/orientation, and so forth should be of no consequence in public life. More specifically, it “requires that persons of every race, ethnicity, religious background, sex, disability status, and sexual orientation participate equally in all major social activities, with nearly proportional presence and success …” The only distinctions that matter are distinctions of merit, measured scientifically and identified by credentials that are thought to demonstrate merit. Increasingly, though, even merit is suspect, as it is assumed that all those deficient in merit have been unfairly disadvantaged. Inclusiveness is therefore another term for radical egalitarianism. To publicly oppose “inclusiveness” today is, essentially, a one-way ticket to social, political, and economic marginalization. One is lucky to get away with mere exile and irrelevance while still being able to earn a living.
James Kalb, however, is not intimidated. His latest book is broadside against the “diversity regime”, and his name is on the cover. The strength of “Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It” is that the author understands the worldview of political liberalism and the complex motivations of its acolytes. He writes as someone intimately acquainted with the highest liberal patterns of thought. The best arguments present opposing views with justice, not caricature, and Mr. Kalb works hard to find rational coherence and high motives in the ideologies of those who are actively engaged in the destruction of our civilization. At times, one wonders if he gives them too much credit. Ultimately, though, this is a book that methodically exposes the fatal weaknesses and contradictions of the “inclusiveness” project – weaknesses that have compromised its proponents from the beginning, and which in Mr. Kalb’s opinion, will prove to be its undoing.