Racial preference, the policy for which “affirmative action” is a deliberately misleading euphemism, is endorsed by its defenders as a means for achieving many worthy ends. Of one thing there can be no doubt: racial preference has been the chief means by which, since the sixties, American liberalism has committed suicide.
Or rather, a certain kind of liberalism, the multicultural liberalism of multicultural theory and identity politics. Apart from the misappropriated name, this multicultural liberalism has nothing in common with nineteenth-century classical liberalism or twentieth-century social-market liberalism. Under the aegis of multicultural liberalism, the New Deal coalition based on working-class whites has disintegrated and been replaced by a fossilized New Left coalition of upper-middle-class white social liberals and members of the black and Hispanic professional classes addicted to government preferences and corporate tokenism. This Marcusean left coalition of feminists and minorities (minus the college students) is anything but “progressive.” Indeed, it is racist, snobbish, and antidemocratic, authoritarian, and profoundly insincere....
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $29.95 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.