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February 09, 2022

Diversity is Our Strength [Joe Mannix]

It's a common refrain and the rallying cry of the entire ruling class. It is said with passionate sincerity by Leftist rubes, with the smiling affability of a con man by the elites, with a sarcastic eye-roll by the based and with the dry-mouthed terror of a hostage filming a proof-of-life video by the masses. But what does it actually mean, and what is its basis?

There is a basis for the conclusion that diversity is our strength, and it is to reduce "idiosyncratic risk." This is a category of risk to which you are exposed when you have homogeneity. This is usually used as an investment term, so use that as an example. Suppose you're invested entirely in oil. Now suppose there's a unique risk to oil - for example, the government puts a 50% tax on all things oil to tackle climate change. Now you're screwed. You have nothing that isn't oil and your exposure to the heretofore unknown risk is total.

How do you manage idiosyncratic risk? Diversity. Be in multiple asset classes. Grow various different kinds of crops. Have multiple kinds of people in your organization. This is a big reason why big companies bring in outsiders for some of their executive positions: to get experience and methods from other places to avoid being killed by their own institutional blindness. Diversity brings its own problems, too. It can be bad for efficiency, it can cause friction and tension within the ranks, it can increase stress in an organization, etc. As with all things, balance is fairly important.

But this is not what "diversity is our strength" means when it is uttered as a holy phrase by the Left. Where diversity really counts - as a risk-management concept - the Left-type of "diversity" is wildly ineffective. It is only superficial diversity. It doesn't matter if 25% of your workforce is black and 15% is trans if everyone thinks the same things. That is not diversity of thought, opinion, method, approach, ambition, etc. The "diversity is our strength" crowd is remarkably non-diverse where it counts: ideas.

This is a reason that places with a political monoculture have bad outcomes. It doesn't matter that there are plenty of minorities in Californian government, because everybody walks the same path and has the same goals and the same perspectives. The system becomes brittle, fragile and unable even to effectively frame questions. To borrow from Rumsfeld, the number of "unknown unknowns" accumulate rapidly in the absence of diversity, because to know them requires knowledge that does not exist in the monoculture.

In a very real sense, diversity is our strength - but "diversity" doesn't mean what the high priests of the diversity cult say it means. That priesthood has but one definition of diversity: the superficial one. Diversity of thought and ideas is not a strength to them, it is oppression and supremacism. To the priesthood, actual diversity is their enemy and only perfect conformity is acceptable.

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posted by Open Blogger at 04:50 PM

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