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About the Book
Given the enormous struggles, efforts and money expended on the equalities enterprise, why has more progress not been made?
And further, why have things actually become worse in some circumstances?
It is argued this has occurred because:
The values of Equality have been bureaucratized, allowing the liberal principle of ‘live and let live’ to be perverted and put in the service of fear and control.
The Diversity discourse has been hijacked by the libertarians and put in the service of increasing profit, under the guise of liberty and inclusivity.
The equality movements have become apolitical, sidetracked into the project of the indiscriminate celebration and preservation of cultures, in lieu of challenging the status quo within cultures as much as between them.
The versions of psychology and sociology that the equality movements have drawn on are over simple.
The attempts to do away with judgementalism and unfair discrimination have ended up vilifying the capacities for judgment and discrimination per se.
The book walks the thin line between the apologists who deify ‘difference’ and the zealots and bigots who vilify the different, to argue that to create a fairer world, we need to enhance our capacities for discrimination, not stifle them.
Although the work is focussed around equality, it has bigger things to say about the human condition and organizational life in general.
The Virtues of Discrimination
From the back cover
Splendid - a plea for true egalitarianism.
Oliver James, author of The Selfish Capitalist: Origins of Affluenza
This book exposes the ideologues that fight against the principles of equality; it confronts the liberal left which has lost its cutting edge, opting instead for that happy pill, diversity; and it challenges those Britons of colour who are preoccupied with culture and lose sight of issues of power and racism. Meanwhile, prejudice and bigotries continue to blight lives, aided by the Conservatives who are determined to remove the protection provided by the equalities legislation and Human Rights Act. Farhad Dalal’s timely and brave wake up call must be heeded by progressives.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, weekly columnist on the Independent
This is a very important book that should be read by all those who believe they support the equalities agenda. The cause has become progressively bureaucratised with little more critical thought than the inequalities they set out to remedy. Dalal offers us an astute and detailed description of this processes, re-engaging our critical faculties and paving the way for more genuine progress towards human rights. Since the various discourses of political correctness have frequently become coercive and intimidatory, it requires some courage to challenge them from a radical position, risking accusations of giving support to conservatism and prejudice. It must therefore be recognides that this work is not only erudite and engagingly well written but also brave.
Dick Blackwell, Director of the Centre for Psychotherapy and Human Rights
Hurrah, and what a relief at last an intelligent argument for using judgement and discrimination against prevailing multiculturalist dogma and relativist orthodoxies. Thought Paralysis bravely takes on the diversity peddlers and liberals of a certain persuasion, whose constructed taboos too often crush our capacity for discernment and silent criticism. And all this is done without giving succour to the reactionaries, firmly keeping faith with the emancipatory project. Written in a refreshingly accessible way, using a myriad of everyday examples, we are offered a complex defence of Enlightenment values. As I read, I had many virtual arguments with its author. This is a compliment as Dalals writing stimulated endless intellectual challenges. The author invites us to an exchange of ideological fluids, knowing that convictions, however strong, ought to remain open to interrogation and challenge. So read this book and let the critical juices flow.
Claire Fox, Director, Institute of Ideas; panellist, BBC Radio 4s Moral Maze
This book is truly thoughtful as Hannah Arendt might have used the word. With humane clarity and intelligence Dalal exposes the thought-less-ness that bedevils much of our well-intentioned, but ill-conceived, attempts to promote equality. This book is scholarly, well informed, and highly accessible in its style; it is essential reading for anyone involved with the diversity, equality and inclusion agenda so prevalent in todays institutional life.
Patricia Shaw, visiting professor, Copenhagen Business School