Inclusivity And Exclusivity - Where Do You Really Stand?

Inclusivity and Exclusivity - Where Do You Really Stand?

Recently I was examining several of my past Hubs. I detected an interesting and subtle underlying theme among a few of them. This theme involved whether people preferred to include people of other groups or exclude them. We normally think about inclusion and exclusion when the subjects of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation are involved. These areas of prejudice and bigotry certainly apply. They also apply to more arcane and complex global issues such as trade, immigration, and foreign relations.

Inclusivity is a term often associated with individuals with liberal political leanings. Exclusivity is a term often associated with individuals of conservative political leanings. These views often hold true but certainly not always. Contradictory actions are often observed for both groups when we mix domestic and global issues. Sometimes opinions contradict between these two arenas as well as inside each arena. Within these contradictions lies the conundrum that many people with varying political views face even if they do not always recognize it. Most of these differences reside between individual social views and their own economic interests.

I will seek to explore all of these differences within this Hub. The differing views upon inclusivity and exclusivity will be examined first domestically followed by the global realm. I will then examine the contradictions that Liberals and Conservatives face with these issues. Finally I will describe my own opinions on these subjects and how I reconcile these contradictions.

Liberals have traditionally embraced inclusivity in regards to their views on racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual preference equality. They have championed this stance unwaveringly. Labor unions in the United States have usually been allies of theirs. They have also voiced these same egalitarian views. Unfortunately, exclusionary tendencies rear their ugly heads when economic pressures pervade their world views. The current immigration reform debate has revealed this exclusionary stance.

Labor unions have voiced strong reservations against giving undocumented immigrants a legalized status. Their arguments have stressed that these new workers would threaten the jobs of many of their union members. This may be the case but this is an extremely exclusionary policy. Is it not true that many of these new workers are likely to become union members in the future? The bottom line is that these unions tend to look at the short term economic impacts on their current members and not on the long term inclusionary benefits.

Most opponents of immigration reform are Conservatives that look at this issue in a similar way. They claim that these immigrants steal jobs and get free benefits. Conservative businessmen are all in favor of immigration reform. They need and want this cheap labor to run their businesses more profitably. This is an inclusive stance. Self interest creates strange bedfellows.

Do not get me wrong. Most union people have very inclusionary views on most issues including race and ethnicity. Many people of all different political and philosophical stripes change their views when their economic well being comes into play. Interestingly this same tendency has been witnessed over the last few decades regarding white flight from the cities after integration policies were introduced.

I would now like to examine the complexity of views on the global scene regarding inclusivity and exclusivity. First I would like to view the varying opinions on foreign relations with other nations and organizations. Most Liberals believe in our membership and participation in the United Nations (UN). They believe that it is one of the best ways to promote peace and understanding among nations. Solving global problems such as poverty and disease are also positive influences that the UN promotes.

Conservatives are much more hesitant about UN membership. They fear that our government may become much more globalized. They also consider United Nations funding to be a waste of time because of its perceived ineffectiveness. United States foreign aid is viewed by both Liberals and Conservatives in a similarly skewed fashion.

A second global area that reverses these inclusionary and exclusionary tendencies is trade policy. Republican and Democratic administrations have all pursued free trade policies for the past sixty years to lower trader barriers and create and sign trade agreements. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was negotiated by the major western nations following World War II to promote the lowering of trade restrictions and elimination of preferences among the signing nations. It was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 but retained these same purposes and goals. 159 nations are now members of the WTO.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was agreed to and signed by the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It took effect in 1994. These and other trade agreements have been vociferously opposed to by Liberal groups on the grounds that they cause American workers to lose their jobs. I consider this to be a very exclusionary political stance because it props up American jobs artificially over foreign jobs in certain industries. This policy may not be overtly prejudiced but it does exclude other groups for economic reasons. Therefore it is still exclusionary.

Furthermore this policy ignores the economic reality of lower paying jobs continually moving to underdeveloped countries with inherently cheaper wage rates. These liberal labor unions would be much better served by stressing increased educational funding both for young students and older displaced workers. This way we can expand our higher technology job base and ensure that we grow and retain these lucrative jobs.

The differences between Liberal and Conservative groups regarding inclusivity and exclusivity show a marked dichotomy in both their tendencies and their influences. Liberals are naturally inclusive in most areas. They believe that all people and all groups should be included in any organization public or private.

Conservatives are much more libertarian with their views in this area. They feel that organizations and people should be left to satisfy their own needs and desires. Furthermore they feel that government should have no role regulating any organizations concerning their memberships or staffing. Unfortunately these policies often set an atmosphere that leads to segregation, removing services from minority neighborhoods, restriction of minority rights, and many other harmful effects on society.

The tide of American Constitutional history is generally on the liberal side of this issue though there have been many ebbs and flows. Conservatives are often more inclusive when it comes to certain business issues. Primarily this involves trade policy. Business leaders are color blind when it involves promoting advantages for their companies. Freer trade policies open markets and lower wages in most areas. Liberal trade unions oppose free trade policies because of their fear of a flight of jobs to other shores.

Immigration issues offer similar differences. The bottom line is that both Conservative and Liberal camps will often deviate from their usual inclusivity and exclusivity norms if the economic interests of their main constituencies are potentially effected.

Let me begin my final analysis by stating that I consider myself to be politically liberal. I am left of center but not on the extreme left of the political spectrum. Inclusion of all different types of people and groups in all different aspects of society has always been a liberal cause and it is certainly one of mine. My examination of my past Hubs revealed to me a very interesting dichotomy of views that I felt deserving of further investigation.

People of varied political philosophies often have their stances on inclusivity and exclusivity changed due to personal economic circumstances. These changes often remain unrealized to the individual. For example, Liberals consider themselves quite inclusive. Their views change when their pocketbook is effected. Conservative businessmen are often very exclusionary when it comes to many of their political philosophies. These views change on both sides when the subject of immigration reform comes into play.

I was intriqued with this subject and thus I felt an incredible need to explore these contradictions regarding views of inclusivity and exclusivity. Liberals are fierce in their defense of inclusivity. Conservatives are fierce in defending liberty and patriotism. Both of these conservative ideals often promote exclusivity.

As a person who tries fervently to promote inclusivity, I must as a man of integrity examine my own life and political views. I believe that my political views have almost entirely been inclusive. My Hubs portray this inclusivity in my opinion. This includes my stances on racism and bigotry, immigration, trade policies, foreign policy, and many others.

However when I look at my private life it is not quite as inclusive. I seek and often succeed with including people of other groups in my life. I am not as successful as I would like. Society is structured in ways that make inclusivity difficult. I find that these difficulties allow me to fall back into complacent ways. This examination has caused me to see these deficiencies and I vow to improve greatly in this area.

The bottom line is that we all should examine our lives continually to see if we are truly being inclusive in both our political views and in everyday life. Many people will not care to do so and that is their prerogative. Those of us who call ourselves liberal, progressive, and inclusive should be honest with ourselves. Many times self interest and complacency take over and we do not even recognize it. That is why we should conduct these self examinations and adjust accordingly. This is the intellectually honest path. I have done so and I will continue to do so. Hopefully this Hub has opened up some people's minds and hearts to this difficult and confusing subject. I know it has opened my eyes.

More by this Author

Comments 22 comments

Lily Luna profile image

Lily Luna 3 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

Great hub and certainly thought provoking. 'Most of these differences reside between individual social views and their own economic interests.' This quote from your article sums it up entirely for me. What affects our own interests will engage us and affect our inclusivity or exclusivity. I tend to exclude most conservative viewpoints and groups in my life due to my distinct disagreement with their viewpoints although I think of myself as a liberal, a group considered more inclusive. I think its called 'human tendencies' we all like to ignore.

amillar profile image

amillar 3 years ago from Scotland, UK

Hello HSchneider, I enjoyed reading your work again. You always make it interesting and do your best to get the balance right.

There are a few points where we might differ. You say, “Their arguments have stressed that these new workers would threaten the jobs of many of their union members”, and “Conservative businessmen are all in favor of immigration reform. They need and want this cheap labor to run their businesses more profitably. This is an inclusive stance." I'd suggest that it's more a pretext than a "stance", albeit in the inclusive camp. I'd also suggest that employers quite cold-bloodedly play workers off against one another. If it’s anything, it’s fundamentally a class war dressed up as the jealousy of workers of different geographic locations. That’s not inclusive; it’s divisive and it’s the oldest trick in the book.

You say, “They [Conservatives] also consider United Nations funding to be a waste of time because of its perceived ineffectiveness". The United Nations can only be effective if all participants take its treaty seriously; they trashed that some time ago; ask the Iraqi people; they know.

Trade agreements would be fine were they to take account of things like relative living standards between competing workers. If petrol/gasoline costs 50p/cents a litre for a worker in the Philippines to drive to work and 130p here in Scotland - that along with myriad other things makes it difficult to compete no matter how amenable we might be to their sweatshop conditions. Yet such aspects never seem on the agenda. If they were on the agenda, how would we know, when it all goes on behind closed doors? Trade agreements seem exclusively concerned with the interests of big business, hence, as far as workers are concerned, it’s a race to the bottom that benefits the rich and effectively kicks democracy into the long grass.

That brings me to the outrageous idea corporations have that they should be able to take governments to court and clean them, and their taxpayers, out financially for passing laws etc that interfere with their profit grubbing.

I want to include everyone except those who want to use inclusiveness as pretext to exclude the vast majority of us (the 99%).

HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your comments, Lily. I try to include all people and groups as well as I can. I do listen to Conservatives as long as they are open to listening to my viewpoint and not resorting to name calling. I believe we can learn from everyone. A true inclusive person will disregard the economic harm it may cause them to include others or other groups. It is where the "rubber meets the road". It is hard to do.

HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I agree with most of your points, Amilar. It is true that businessmen are inclusive when it comes to immigration and trade policy because it suits their business interests. I am not trying to make a point that their motives are benevolent. Simply that they are de facto inclusive. In most things, they are quite exclusive. As far as labor unions and trade policy, yes many countries have much lower wages and lower costs. That is because they are developing and still poor. China is now beginning to lose many jobs to poor nations. It is the circle of development. Developed nations need to educate better and fill higher paying jobs. The only time I feel protectionism is valid is if a country is artificially lowering their prices substantially. I agree that Liberals are much more inclusive in most areas. Thank you for your comments as always, Amilar.

MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Excellent, thoughtful writing. I really like the approach, the analyses, and the ending emphasis on self-examination. Sharing. ~Lurana

HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your kind comments, Lurana. I am very glad you liked the Hub. Thanks also for sharing. I appreciate it.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Great article, HS

I find that progressives may have issues that they are less than progressive about and the same can be said about conservatives. There is no one ideologically untarnished from influence from the opposite pole. But I could easily say what my predominent leanings are, although I can and do deviate sometimes.

You said: Conservatives are fierce in defending liberty and patriotism. Both of these conservative ideals often promote exclusivity.

There really is no need for these concepts to be exlusive in practice, they are that way because of the way the Right interprets them and applies them. I can and will defend liberty and patriotism as well as the next guy.

HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

These terms are not exclusive in practice but the Far Right have co-opted them to falsely lionize themselves and demonize others. Their method is extremely exclusive. We on the Left are as patriotic as anyone and we participate fully in this great country. No need though for jingoism. We are inclusive and invite everyone to participate. At least most of the time. Thank you for your comments, Credence2.

d.william profile image

d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Great article. Everyone should do a self evaluation from time to time, and try to justify to ourselves why we believe the things we do, and adjust those beliefs to be more inclusive, instead of maintaining a view that only promotes more divisiveness.

The most rigid and unyielding in their beliefs, that exclusivity is best, lies in the extremes of both political parties, as well as those who are blindly entrenched in their religious indoctrinations.

We can only hope that those at the extreme ends have the least amount of influence on society in general.

The other aspect that needs to be more thoroughly examined is the fact that we have allowed the small minority of self serving individuals to take control over our lives in such a manner as to be detrimental to the very survival of the middle class and the ability for everyone to achieve that elusive "American dream".

HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your comments, d.william. You are absolutely spot on that the extremes on the political spectrum generally always feel they are right and thus they exclude others and their ideas. You are also correct that our leaders of today have served the upper corporate class and our middle class is shrinking. The tax policies of the past 30 years has been the major culprit. We must turn this around.

d.william profile image

d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Unfortunately it is easier said than done. Washington has turned a deaf ear to what the "public" wants and needs to survive. The same as many of the states. Here in Florida, since the Zimmerman trial, there are continuing demonstrations in from of the state capital house to at least have a new dialogue about the "stand your ground'' law, and the governor has only made the statement his opinion there is nothing wrong with this law and he has no intention of discussing it with the public.

We can't even depend of those we elect to office anymore, they make empty promises in order to get elected then totally reverse their stance one they get to the white house - both state and federal.

HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

It is very difficult to get our governmental leaders to act because they are often beholden to their campaign donors and certain special interest groups. We as citizens need to be constantly on them especially over hugely important issues such as "stand your ground". They often do react and if they don't, we need to vote them out. But yes, it takes a lot of work and is very difficult. Thank you for your further comments, d.William. Don't despair things can change if enough good people get involved and get loud.

amillar profile image

amillar 3 years ago from Scotland, UK

Hello HSchneider, I wonder what you think of the following quote from one of you compatriots, Mr Paul Craig Roberts:

“Corporations could be taxed on the basis of the geographical location at which value is added to their product. If corporations create the goods abroad that they market to Americans, they would have a high tax rate. If they create value domestically with US labor, they would have a low tax rate. The tax difference could be used to offset the labor cost advantage of offshored production.” It’s from his latest blog. I find him very interesting and he seems to have plenty of background - although they won’t like his ideas in Washington at present.

HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for that link to Mr. Roberts' site, Amilar. His proposal is very interesting and worth looking into. I would be careful in using it to ensure that protectionism does not set in. I would only use it against domestic firms that offshore their production overseas to avoid taxes. My fear with protectionism is that other countries may be reciprocal and attempt to harm us economically. Still I would love to punish these American countries that offshore simply to avoid their obligations to this country. Thank you for your further comments.

tsmog profile image

tsmog 3 years ago from Escondido, CA

Hello HSchneider. Well you went and done it. First you offered to follow me and then you promote critical thinking. I looked for a pan to sift and then discovered a sponge and held onto more than I discovered. I will be looking a bit and a byte further. Seems wheels are turning and the cogs are meshing yet more like a planetary gear system. Maybe a centrifugal clutch is needed with a vari-drive transmission like scooters today.

An awesome article for the internet promoting thought, exercising critical components, and cause for an inward look see for every reader. If you would like the original of 560 words let me know and I'll get it to you. Maybe I will expand further this afternoon.

Thank you HSchneider for the article offering a thought exercise of immense value and worth.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your kind comments and compliments, tsmog. I am glad you appreciated my call for more inward thinking. I believe it is essential for the expansion of one's own character and quality of thought. I would appreciate your sending me or referring me to anything you feel would help me expand on this avenue of thought. Thank you also for your follow and fan mail.

tsmog profile image

tsmog 3 years ago from Escondido, CA

Hello HSchneider. I just sent it via hubpages email. It has been tailored, yet I may expand later with the thought process as an adventure rather than a venture.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you sending it, Tim. There is a lot to absorb with it but I look forward to doing so. I will get back to you later with my feedback.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very thought provoking article and ends with some great advice! Thanks for sharing your interesting analysis of an important topic.

HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your very kind comments, AliciaC. I am very glad you liked my Hub.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

HSchneider, this is really thought provoking. But it is also confusing. I am not like anyone you will ever meet again.

I believe in my what my bible says no matter who that may offend.

No suggesting that would offend you.

Wonderful hub. Voted up, UAI and shared.

HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your compliments, comments, and share, Shyron. Always follow what you know is right.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article