Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently asked the honest question “how exactly is ‘diversity’ our ‘strength’?” on his show, and rather than receiving an answer he was immediately pounded by critics as a racist for even having the audacity to ask the question.
There is a scientific answer: diversity is sometimes a strength – because stagnation is bad in the long run. Nevertheless, the advantages of diversity come at a great cost and anyone with any sense should try to minimize its downside.
In nature, fierce competition and constantly shifting environmental conditions mean that the only viable strategy for the long-term survival of a lineage is the ability of individuals to adapt quickly, both behaviorally and genetically. For this reason alone, mutations and changes are an integral part of sustainability.
But it is equally true that most changes are bad. According to the theories of biological evolution, every organism is designed around trying to correct changes, either to correct mutations or perturbations to their environment. Life and society are highly complex systems that no-one understands deeply, and any change in any of their variables are therefore accompanied by unintended consequences, most of which are negative.
Thus, anyone who runs a political campaign under the slogan “change” is in effect saying “I will screw up most things.” The normal state of a stable system is homogeneity and any diversity must be achieved through change.
It means that moving toward diversity in and of itself is not intrinsically a good thing. Mostly it is destructive. Almost all good things in the world are based on homogeneity: shared values, language, culture. In almost all cases change and therefore diversity destroy things that most people deem to be good.
The reason diversity is better than the alternative despite all its negative consequences is the anomalous positive change that comes with it, a black swan – a Newton or an Einstein. These few rare gems make up for the great cost of change and diversity – in these examples of scientific genius, the diversity presented by new ideas has greatly benefitted mankind.
As Dr. Jordan Peterson has pointed out, there is always going to be a “snake in the garden,” representing chaos amid order. We can never get rid of it, so instead we should embrace it and try to manage it in order to turn it into something positive. Chaos represents both destruction and potential, and we should try to minimize its negative aspects while amplifying its most positive features.
The West has historically found a formula for finding the optimal amount of diversity: freedom within the confines of individual rights.
To find the best ideas it is important to allow diverse philosophies to be aired freely, and then refute them by arguments. The effect is to test out new ideas, most of which will be bad, and to strengthen the arguments in favor of good existing ideas. Good theories become stronger when challenged by diversity.
Diversity as a Weapon
However, when the left evangelize that “diversity is our greatest strength” they do not mean any of these things. The reason that critics of Tucker Carlson immediately targeted the topic of race is because in modern discourse, “diversity” has become focused almost exclusively on ethnicity, rather than modes of thought. To ignore diversity of thought and emphasize diversity of skin color has allowed “diversity” to become a euphemism for the breakdown of culture and a thinly-veiled excuse for the policy of open borders between countries. To Carlson’s detractors, diversity is only a sledgehammer to be used to beat people into submission by preying on their compassion for those seeking a better life.
But as we know from biology, change and its resultant diversity need to be managed with caution so that we minimize its damage and maximize its benefits. To achieve that, a sensible immigration policy needs to be in place.