Tyranny in Our Time

There is a saying among jurists that hard cases make bad law.  Similarly, every book critic knows that the best books make for hard reviewing.  Faced with a truly fine work, the reviewer is tempted simply to reproduce the author’s thesis in abbreviation, while scattering as many of the most quotable sentences as space allows.  Which is not what the craft of reviewing is about.

The Tyranny of Liberalism, published in 2008, established James Kalb, a writer and attorney, as one of the most incisive social, intellectual, and political critics of the 21st century.  Against Inclusiveness furthers the argument of the first book, while expanding upon it in interesting directions.  The book’s thesis, briefly stated, is that what we call “diversity” is not diverse at all but, instead, a monolithic concept, matching and reflecting the monolithic thought of the increasingly monolithic social structure that has been developing and imposing it upon Western society for a generation at least.

In Mr. Kalb’s dictionary, diversity is a synonym for what he calls “inclusivism” or “advanced liberalism,” which in turn may be understood as an elaborate version of Rousseau’s vision of man and society, updated for the postmodern age.  Quite by chance, I alternated a second reading of Against Inclusiveness with a first reading...

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