James Kalb: Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It

Jared Taylor writes:

Against Inclusiveness, by independent scholar James Kalb, is one of the most quietly subversive books to be published in many years. It is perhaps most remarkable for what it takes for granted: Of course race, nation, family, sex, erotic orientation, and religion are fundamental aspects of human identity, and of course healthy people discriminate. The “inclusivist” orthodoxy of our times, which commands us to pretend these things do not matter, is therefore inhuman and tyrannical.

Jim Kalb has a website at JimKalb.com. He writes regularly for Crisis magazine. His previous book came out in 2008: The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command.

Here’s a transcript of parts of our discussion.

Jim: “I don’t think I ever had this big transformation. It was step by step. I became increasingly aware that people are different and the pieties we are expected to adhere to don’t make sense.”

Luke: “Why and when did you convert to Catholicism?”

Jim: “About eight or nine years [ago]. It was a slow process. It was not a Road to Damascus kind of thing. It was a matter of things coming into focus and the outlook of the Church seemed to be the way things seemed to be, the way things made most sense, where what was in the world could be given due credit and brought into an organized system enabling you to act reasonably and to know where you were and what you should be doing. It was a slow process of coming out of confusion into focus and having things become more concrete so that it became stupid to not be in the church when I was already there intellectually.”

“It didn’t make sense to think of the world as purely material. We ourselves never treat it that way. We act as those some things are better than other things. Things have purpose. We don’t just have invent. If the world has purpose and an orientation, it is hard to make sense of that without God. Then, what is the most persuasive idea of God? You need some sort of revelation. Human thought by itself wanders off into strange directions.”

“We all live long enough to [realize] that not only do we not control what happens to us, we don’t control our thoughts, actions, or the situations we get into or what we do about it. You have to put yourself into a setting that gives things definition. You have to have something to look to.”

Luke: “Was there a time when you realized that race was more than a social construct?”

Jim: “There was. That there were real differences. I had always accepted the general view that there aren’t, and then I was reading Ibn Khaldoun he was describing different peoples and his descriptions weren’t that different from the descriptions we’re supposed to avoid today. It all sounded real. It made it seem ridiculous that this was all an invention.”

I shift the conversation to the Civil Rights movement.

Jim: “The things people said in favor of the Civil Rights movement always seemed exaggerated to me. The pieties didn’t seem quite true. It seemed that they were leaving out things. I’ve come now to a clearer idea of how that comes about. My views on a lot of particulars my views haven’t changed, they’ve become clearer.”

“The reason that Brown vs. The Board of Education [1954 Supreme Court case] seems so unquestionable today is this background understanding of society and human life as a bunch of separate individuals, each of whom is what he is and has whatever impulses and abilities he has, and therefore you need a totally individualized order organized by markets and bureaucracies… If people came to understand the role of ethnic and cultural community in life, which would bring with it the need for some political caution to maintain peace among various communities, then Brown vs Board wouldn’t seem so quite simply right and people wouldn’t know what to make of it… If you didn’t have the universal rule that you can never look at race, then people will look at nothing else. That’s nonsensical. Life is more complex than that and if people had more of an understanding of that complexity, we could talk about something like Brown vs. Board.”

“When [Civil Rights] became a matter of preferences and quotas, that didn’t seem good. It didn’t seem likely to lead to better human relations. It didn’t seem justice. It didn’t seem what anybody had signed on to. The [Voting Rights Act of 1965] was not something I had particular feelings about at the time.”

Luke: “Have you ever been politically active?”

Jim: “No.”

“I’m not that active of a person. I’m contemplative.”

“Race as such has never been something I’ve been that interested in. It’s not something I feel like I can add much to.”

Luke: “Are you really saying that you’ve never found race interesting or are you saying that I do not need the aggravation that comes with dealing with something that is so uncomfortable?”

Jim: “Good question, but I think it is mostly the former.”

Luke: “Do you ever wonder why Jews are better at these things [politics, etc]?”

Jim: “It seems clear that on average, they are smarter than most. They’re also emotionally different. More interested in drama and argument, more personally assertive, more opinionated, more ideas, more enterprising. And then their basic situation, a group of people in a Christian civilization and the basis of civilization does not go their way and in some basic way, they’re going to want to transform it. Between energy, intelligence and enterprise, the situation of being an outsider, it naturally gives rise to radicalism when they enter the larger society.”

Luke: “How do you think we Jews in our heart of hearts regard you non-Jews?”

Jim: “Some Jews don’t like non-Jews at all. Some people think I’m Jewish so you hear resentful and dismissive things about non-Jews. You really can’t trust them. For the Jews to have survived, they have to have more cohesion than most. For some, it takes the form of a negative view of others, but what the distribution is I don’t know.”

Luke: “How do you feel about Jesus Christ?”

Jim: “He’s extremely difficult to understand, he’s dramatic, he’s what you expect God to be if He became human. He does striking things.”

Luke: “Have we had an election in this country that affected your happiness?”

Jim: “Not a lot.”

Luke: “Do you think Islam is compatible with the West?”

Jim: “No, not at all. It’s got its own grip on reality, that reality is arbitrary because God is arbitrary, man is powerless, the rules we have to follow don’t have any reason behind them. The basic outlook eats away at any high civilization. Islamic civilization tended to run down after all the Jews and Christians got tired of being subject to Sharia and converted. The more Islam spread, the more it ran down.”

“Intellectual life is not lively in Islamic countries.”

Luke: “What do you think about making the practice of Islam illegal in the United States?”

Jim: “It seems like a bad idea. I’m not eager to have lots of Muslims move here. It seems crazy to make Turkey a part of the European Union.”

We talk about common weaknesses among Christian intellectuals.

Jim: “An intellectual who is not first concerned with truth is going to have some problems.”

“The tendency to baptize too many practices. Was Martin Luther King really the great Christian leader of the past 500 years? It seems to me he wasn’t.”

“The idea that the Civil Rights movement in its ultimate goal is this great manifestation of all that is best in Christian thought just doesn’t make sense. You’re trying to join two separate things — the basic liberal idea of equality due to the interachangability of all desires and the Christian concept are quite different.”

Luke: “What is the minimum IQ needed to be a Christian?”

Jim: “I don’t think it has to be too high.”

Luke: “You just need the faith of a little child?”

Jim: “Yes.”

Luke: “America’s demographics have changed dramatically over the past 50 years. Is America as likely to be great in the years ahead with a different population?”

Jim: “It seems unlikely. When you have this enormous diversity of population, it seems that you have less cohesion, less mutual trust, fewer common memories to hold people together, fewer common loyalties, more emphasis on jockeying for position with other groups, more jealousy.”

Luke: “Are you saying that racial diversity is not our strength?”

Jim: “It obviously isn’t. That’s obviously silly. Very large and deep racial divisions aren’t helpful. It’s bizarre that people would think that multiplying them is going to give us a big interest.”

Luke: “Everybody organizes in their group interest but whites. Why?”

Jim: “Until 50 years ago, America was 90% white and 10% black. When you think of the country as yours, you don’t think of yourself as organizing in group interest. You just think of running the country.”

Luke: “Have you traveled much outside of the United States, and if so, how has that affected your philosophy?”

Jim: “I was in Afghanistan in 1969-1971 with the Peace Corps. If you live in a place like that for a while, you come home and see your home with different eyes. You don’t take things for granted as much. You see that this is a particular way of organizing things that is not inevitable. You are less likely to get absorbed completely by whatever the accepted ways of looking at things are.”

Luke: “Who are the leading Christian public intellectuals?”

Jim: “My feeling about the Church in America is that we are all so mediocre.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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