Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Seawall against a rising tide of demands for inclusion

Politics since Trump has epitomized the tightening of the noose of the majority - most often portrayed as white, male and Christian. The image - frequently violent and hateful - has overtaken both America and Europe. The battle is largely confined to a division between whites and colours, haves and have-nots, east and west. The mosaic of the porcelain dinner plate has become complicated. On almost every level - gender, race, religion and sexual preference - the erstwhile traditions are being disrupted and it is only a matter of time before the majority becomes the minority. The speediest shift is among the millennials but it is predicted that all other distinctions will follow. The strength in numbers is changing.

"At 37% millennials are currently the largest generation in the workforce. They make over a quarter of the population in Canada and the most educated among them are women – they make up the majority in professions. In 2019, millennials will make up the largest block of voters."

As a member of a minority (at least one which is marketed as contrary to the more popular majority) I have perhaps an enlarged sympathy for the plight of others. I confess however that my so-called empathy is seriously lacking - but in this respect I am at least part of the majority.  What is more significant is that my ambition as a minority is no different from the ambition of the majority.  I have never asked for more than others, just to be included. It is no accident that the constitutional elevation of this aspiration is such trite entitlement as getting a wedding cake made.

“…the Emperors of Blefuscu did frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of making a Schism in Religion, by offending against a fundamental Doctrine of our great Prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth Chapter of the Brundecal (which is their Alcoran). This, however, is thought to be a mere Strain upon the Text: For the Words are these; That all true believers shall break their Eggs at the convenient End; and which is the convenient End, seems, in my humble Opinion, to be left to every Man’s Conscience, or at least in the Power of the chief Magistrate to determine.”

Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift

The relieving nature of this driving equality for inclusion is that it seldom if ever demands a violation of others.  By contrast it is more guaranteed to foment improvement and tranquillity. To imagine that anything turns on how I eat an egg or whether I am white, tanned or black is preposterous.  This isn't wholesale submission to imperceptible diminution. Rather it imparts a reasoned solution to an inevitable result.  As well it affords the opportunity to raise quality of performance among us all.  There will always be those who work harder, who achieve more, who think more clearly, who care for detail. But it is undeniable that raising the standards of existence of us all will inevitably translate into universal advantage.

The genuine capacity of others is their willingness to understand and cooperate. If that amounts to irreligious behaviour or racism or materialism, then so be it. In my view, standing hard upon one's beliefs is the greater threat to development.  Not only is it utterly impractical and irrational, it further denies us the path to greatness.

It is likely misguided to presume that such cherished goals as universal health care, free tuition, affordable housing and freedom of expression and religion are attainable without stepping on the foot of someone.  But I cannot imagine that the penalty if any is suffered by those who believe they shouldn't have to share what was wrought by their own hard work. Any argument limiting that entitlement to only whites or Christians - or the rich - is patently absurd. Regrettably the shallowness of many people is irreconcilable. The "bleeding heart liberals" will never convince them.  As a result education on both sides is required. I grant that nobody should be expected to buy without knowing what they're getting. But I am equally convinced that the argument in favour of inclusion is the only way to rise above trivial differences.

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