The Birth of Three Nations

Diversity: Koom. Bah. Humbug

Regarding the unsurprising slaughter in Paris:

Diversity is a disaster. Why people cannot see this is a mystery. A country can ignore an unfortunate reality, but it cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring it. Why governments allow and even encourage immigration of incompatible populations is a greater mystery. Few things cause more misery, hatred, death, and destruction than does diversity. One may wish it were not so, but it is so.

Some examples of diversity: Chechens and Russians. Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants. Tamils and Sinhalese. French and Moslems. Dutch and Moslems. Swedes and Moslems. Germans and Moslems. Turks and Armenians. Whites and blacks in South African. Ugandans and Indians. Cambodians and Vietnamese. Blacks, whites, and browns in the United States. Jews and Germans. Jews and the rest almost everywhere. Hindus and Moslems. Sunnis and Shias. Turks and Kurds. Tutsis and Hutus. Moslems and Israelis in Palestine.

Note that most of these have caused horrendous bloodshed. Diversity doesn’t work, as a rule catastrophically. Why would any country deliberately seek more of it?

If you point this out, the responses are automatic. “I know some really nice Mexicans/blacks/Moslems etc.” Or “Most Catholics/Protestants/Hindus aren’t terrorists.” True, well, and good. And irrelevant. There were really nice Germans and Jews in the Third Reich. How much did that help?

As a species we do not like diversity, though we may think that we should. People want to be with others like themselves. Difference breeds suspicion, friction arises,and the depraved or disagreeable nature of the other group is blamed.

Distaste for diversity of almost any kind runs through societies. Liberals associate chiefly with liberals, conservatives with conservatives, military people with military people, the rich with the rich, the highly intelligent with the highly intelligent, the young with the young. We may tolerate others if the distinctions are not too great, or if we are not forced into excessive contact. For example, while the Chinese in America are superficially very different from Euro-Americans, they are quiet, courteous, law-abiding, and studious, so little antagonism occurs. But the potential is there, as when they greatly outperform whites academically.

Men of all groups object to marriage of their women to other groups. The women are somewhat less clannish, more willing to marry out-of-group. This can cause bloodshed.

The tendency to drift into antagonism goes far beyond the rational—which just makes it intractable. For example, tens of millions of Hispanics live in the US and clearly are going to stay. Would not American patriots (patriotism being another form of the pack instinct) want them to prove smart, industrious, and eventually good and prosperous citizens? No. If I suggest that Hispanics may not be as awful as hoped, I get furious email (all from men: this too is built-in) insisting that Latinos are, are, areirremediably stupid, criminal, shiftless, hopeless, shriek. That is, distaste for diversity outweighs self-interest.

Examples of such tribalism as an inbred trait abound. Countless Americans loathe the French, without having been to France, speaking a word of French, or having met a Frenchman. The sophisticated detest “rednecks,” largely with no reason that makes sense. Hatred of Jews exceeds by far any harm thought to be caused by Jews. Northerners dislike Southerners. Lesbians detest men. Heterosexual men dislike the company of homosexuals.

Proponents of genetic determinism sometimes try to make these automatic hostilities the result of some evolutionary strategy to maintain the purity of one’s gene pool, but of course it is not. Many groups that dislike each other are genetically indistinguishable.

Those among us who prefer hope to observation invariably insist that dislike springs from some defect in the character of those doing the disliking. If only those awful bigots would learn tolerance. If only we indoctrinated children enough in the schools, surely…. If only we made enough laws, or prosecuted hate crimes, or showed enough harmonious togetherness in movies, surely….

In support of this delusion, they often point out that the Irish and Italians no longer suffer discrimination in America. See? Diversity is no problem. Yet this was not a triumph of toleration, but of assimilation: they stopped being Irish and Italian, and assimilated to the dominant culture.

But assimilation becomes less likely and more difficult as the numbers and concentration of a group increase. Immigrants in small numbers, especially if dispersed, have to live in accord with the dominant culture. They will be seen as interesting rather than as invaders. Nobody hated Mexicans when they were few.

Diversity runs contrary to our instincts, but is usually described as a conflict between niceness and not-niceness. One hears, “But there are no evil cultures. They are just different.” If a culture that practices forcible genital mutilation of girls is not evil, sez me, it will do until evil comes along. But, my prejudices aside, it is true that most cultures are in themselves friendly and pleasant. It just doesn’t make any difference. Usually it is not the nature of the cultures that causes trouble, but the attempt to mix them. This happens even when differences are small. During World War Two, for example, the British became thoroughly sick of American GIs. (“They are overpaid, oversexed, and over here.”)

In America today we see huge homogeneous pools of Negro and Hispanic population and culture. Tthe inhabitants of the massive black ghettoes have virtually no exposure to white America except via television, which means that assimilation is not going to happen. Further, as usually occurs with dense concentrations of a culture, they do not want to assimilate. They have their own music, modes of dress, variant of English, and non-standard names intended to emphasize their distance from whites.

The same to a lesser degree is true of Hispanics. It is also true of American expats, who tend to clump together and have no desire for assimilation. Human nature is human nature.

Aggravating the problem is that the United States no longer has a dominant culture, or at any rate no culture willing to be dominant. This has proved to be a recipe for unending and apparently unendable confrontation with blacks.

Will Hispanics follow the same pattern? They may well. Their numbers and concentration are great enough, they begin to have real political power, and will eventually have a voting majority in the Southwest. They know they are disliked by much of America. Hispanics are more assimilable than blacks; the question is whether they are assimilable enough. If the almost invisible differences between two flavors or Christianity or of Islam can lead to warfare, so may those between Latino and white. And trouble already brews between black and brown.

Diversity. It offers to divide America into three countries, self-aware and, may God preserve us, mutually hostile. We can talk forever about what ought to be. We can leap from a tall building, insisting that we are birds. Yet we live in what is. We are not birds. Reality eventually takes hold. Aye, there’s the rub.

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