By Chuck Rogér
After decades of being herded into “diversity” seminars and “sensitivity” training in the workplace as well as mutliculturalist indoctrination throughout the education system, Americans have had their fill of such high-minded but highly impractical nonsense. And in truth, no special “training” brings people closer together than routine activities that satisfy needs.
The free market best satisfies needs. In a recent post at The Freeman Online, economist Sandy Ikeda writes, “Markets close social distance.” The fact that a capitalist system does the best job minimizing social distance between widely disparate peoples is something that social engineering-obsessed progressives will never grasp.
Clear thinkers find it intuitive that, allowed to function freely, markets naturally bring very different people together to satisfy mutual needs. But this truth is a mundane truth. Too mundane for enlightened types who live not according to reality, but according to pretty hypotheses. In the minds of progressives, closing “social distance” is something to be planned by people anointed with vision.
Ikeda captures the biggest objection that the anointed ones have with capitalism.
The market order is often described as “impersonal.” For example, while getting hired or fired is an undeniably intensely personal experience, what ultimately determines whether one or the other happens in free markets is the demand for the product and the level of competition, not the whim of the employer (who is himself subject to these same forces).
Not controlling who hires whom really ticks off progressives. Allowing something as “impersonal” as actual need for employees to drive the decision to hire is unacceptable to the Barack Obamas, Paul Krugmans, Robert Reichs, and most progressives, who instead believe that employers have a ”social obligation” to hire people who need jobs.
There is at least one more characteristic of free-market capitalism that aggravates progressives. Ikeda observes, “Profit-seeking typically encourages us to interact with people with whom we would not ordinarily associate, or whom we would even dislike.”
Good gosh. First employment decisions and now profits–vulgar profits? Such capitalistic ugliness can’t even be tolerated in the craniums of progressives much less be acknowledged as a factor that brings very different people close together in mutually satisfying activities.
Diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice zealots, as well as other self-appointed fairness police think it their job to force very different people to interact with one another. In other words, voluntary, profit-motivated interaction is bad, even if the profit motive really does bring very different people together. High-minded forced interaction is good, even if the high-mindedness really does set people at each others’ throats as a result of focusing on differences which would otherwise have remained utterly irrelevant.
So goes the “reasoning” inside the head of the typical progressive social engineer.