Recently, I argued that Scott Adams' defense of the view that "diversity is our strength" is as weak as could be. Now I see that neo-conservative Max Boot has tried the same thing. Both are responses to Tucker Carlson's diversity skepticism.
Since Boot's argument is written, in contrast to Adams' videorecording, it's more carefully done, but it's ends up just as dumb and dishonest.
Of course, Boot's first move is to claim that Tucker merely parrots neo-Nazi talking points. Boot is a classy thinker.
The way these people make "diversity is our strength" seem credible is to cherry-pick their examples and to equivocate: they use various meanings of diversity when it suits them. They use it to mean diversity of opinion when they give of examples of stifling uniformity. Boot relies on this meaning when he cites North Korea as an example.
Of course, Boot is cherry-picking here. These guys never focus on the typical situation. Yes, competition of different opinions can help a country arrive at better decisions, but normal countries have more than enough diversity to generate different perspectives. A typical country does not need to import millions of aliens to achieve sufficient diversity. Plus, more to the point, what you need for good decisions is smart people. A very diverse group of dummies is not going to cut it.
Boot conveniently ignores the general tendency: across countries, ethnic heterogeneity correlates with dysfunctional conflict. As a Jew, Boot should be aware of the fact that ethnic heterogeneity predicts genocide. I don't need to cherry-pick to make my point: Everyone knows it's a general truth.
Next, Boot cites the examples of South Korea and Japan. They are aging and need young immigrants to help pay the bills. Here, "diversity" means cheap labor. He conveniently ignores the cost side of the ledger and the long-term consequences of importing huge, alien populations. Poor immigrants are very costly to welfare states, and, again, the consequences over the long haul are likely to be dysfunctional conflict and a society that ends up worse off.
Boot's next move is to sing the praises of America's genius immigrants. He goes all the way back to Levi Strauss to make his point. Again, equivocation. Diversity here means "geniuses." He's cherry-picking. According to a study by Jason Richwine, the average IQ of US immigrants is somewhere between 91 and 94. A person with IQ in the low 90s is suited to do a low-skill job--not to be the next Alexander Graham Bell.
Boot does manage to cite one study that found that public companies with more ethnic and gender diversity have higher profitability. I'll give him credit here -- he's debating in a serious way, for once -- but one study can find anything, and it might be the case that strong, profitable companies can afford the luxury of promoting more diverse leadership. The causal mechanism here seems unlikely: What is it about more minorities and women that would translate into more profit? The only answers that have any credibility are that these people understand minority/female customer desires better, or if "minorities" include large numbers of high IQ individuals (e.g., East Asians, South Asians).
Finally, he argues that diversity strengthens our national security. If the NYPD is made up of Arabic, Pashto, Farsi, and Urdu speakers, we will be safer. In other words, the grave security problems caused by diversity can be addressed a little better with diversity. Lame.
UPDATE: Boot, like Adams, finishes with the point that diversity in the US is inevitable. This is practically an admission that diversity is a weakness -- a weakness we must live with. Like others, part of this "inevitability" is the tens of millions of legal and illegal immigrants who haven't come yet. To the PC-minded, even our future policy choices are inevitabilities. We're somehow paralyzed. There is no way we can change course with respect to mass immigration. So much dishonesty by these people.
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