On Diversity

“I get tired of hearing about ‘diversity,'” Mr. Bates said. “It’s time we admitted that, as Americans, we share certain core values, and if you don’t share those values you shouldn’t be here.”

Mr. Magundi disagreed. “Diversity is the key to a healthy democracy. No, I’ll state it more baldly: democracy is tyranny without diversity. When like-minded people gather in a group, the first thing they want to do is enforce conformity—which is very easy to do when most of the people think the same thoughts, and the outsiders are few and powerless. And it feels good to be one of that powerful majority—until the others find that one tiny point on which you differ from them, and kill you for it.

“No, the only way to secure freedom is to limit the natural tyranny of the mob, and the only effective way to do that is by dividing the mob. Our Constitution had the good fortune to be drafted when the different sections of the country not only were not of like mind, but in fact could barely agree on anything. Because the disagreements were irreconcilable, our Constitution is a mess, full of irrational compromises that no sane thinker would propose. Yet, for all its faults, it works in the main, and gives each of us a kind of personal freedom that most of the world still envies, whatever they may think of our military adventures. It continues to work mostly because many of our differences are still irreconcilable, and we all know that the only way to preserve our own freedom from the tyranny of those other people is to preserve freedom for everyone. Liberty is a delicate flower, and it does not grow well in a homogeneous society.

“If you asked me to prescribe an elixir for perpetual liberty, my prescription would be this: that if at any time the current population of the country shows signs of too much agreement on the really important things of life, a large influx of new immigrants should be brought in from some other part of the world to break up our shared core values.”

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One thought on “On Diversity

  1. As Mr. Magundi spoke, several people at the bus stop turned away. Some smiled furtively; a few blushed. They were inconspicuous people. We had never noticed them before, and we did not notice them at the time. Months later, on December 26th, Mr. Magundi discovered a collection of items on his doorstep. There was a ceramic cat that arched its back when he picked it up. A wooden angel did not wait, but flew inside when the door was opened. The outermost of a nesting doll was the smallest he had seen; the second-to-innermost required a microscope, and the innermost could only be surmised.

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