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Statement of Purpose

John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

Laura Carroll
Mark Bauerlein
Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Walter Benn Michaels’ The Trouble With Diversity: A Valve Book Event

Posted by Scott Eric Kaufman on 09/28/06 at 05:10 PM

Starting on Monday, October 2nd, the Valve will play host to a discussion of Walter Benn Michaels’ The Trouble With Diversity.  Several Valve regulars will participate, as will a number of prominent scholars from outside the discipline.  Dr. Michaels has graciously agreed to respond to posts and comments.  If you have read The Trouble With Diversity or the first chapter, recently published in The American Prospect, and would like to participate, contact me with your proposal. 


Comments

Redistribution of wealth?  Deemphasizing racial diversity as an admissions criterion?  Capping private earnings?

Great ideas, but as Michaels himself notes, these are patently un-American. 

He’s also preaching to the choir.

By on 09/28/06 at 09:55 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Mr. Gatsby—if that *is* your real name—I agree with you. 

The major problem with Michaels’ new work is that he assumes the universal validity of wealth redistribution as either a political, economic, or ethical truth.

To a good capitalist liberal, Michaels’ argument doesn’t hold up.  The cap-lib would simply argue, “Affirmitive action is necessary because blacks were not allowed to compete in the free market on equal terms until maybe 30 years ago.  Poor whites have no such excuse.”

Michaels’ assumptions were OK when he was largely writing literacy criticism.  He didn’t need to prove the need for wealth redistribution when he was only pointing out the lingering racialism of contemporary identity politics.  But now that he’s entering the public policy/political science sphere, he’ll need to do the real work of proving why, for example, Hayek and Milton Friedman are wrong.

By on 09/29/06 at 01:12 PM | Permanent link to this comment

I think Michaels’ intentions are honorbale; he’s just too much of an idealist.  At least, that’s the way he comes across in this essay.

The universal validity of wealth redistribution *seems* plausible.  And perhaps the ensuing chapters of The Trouble With Diversity do attempt the “real work” of disproving Nobel laureates.

But there just seems a gap between Michaels’ humanistic critique and the exigencies of capitalism.

By on 09/29/06 at 07:13 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Walter Michaels was interviewed on CBC Radio this Sunday. I discoved my saviour, someone who can say capitalism should be fettered and still make a living.  In a better world should elitists have rights - specifically for them?  If your or my parents left us large sums of money, would not we be allowed to spend it on our kids teeth or give them a good education?  I think we should - there are ways of moderating this - taxes and a more open discussion - some kind of media.

By on 01/07/07 at 06:58 PM | Permanent link to this comment

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