Monday, January 08, 2007

Multiculturalism doesn't make vibrant communities but defensive ones

(Excerpt from an article by Steve Sailer )

"In the presence of [ethnic] diversity, we hunker down. We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it's not just that we don't trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don't trust people who do look like us".

-Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam

It was one of the more irony-laden incidents in the history of celebrity social scientists. While in Sweden to receive a $50,000 academic prize as political science professor of the year, Harvard's Robert D. Putnam, a former Carter administration official who made his reputation writing about the decline of social trust in America in his bestseller Bowling Alone, confessed to Financial Times columnist John Lloyd that his latest research discovery-that ethnic diversity decreases trust and co-operation in communities-was so explosive that for the last half decade he hadn't dared announce it "until he could develop proposals to compensate for the negative effects of diversity, saying it `would have been irresponsible to publish without that.'" In a column headlined "Harvard study paints bleak picture of ethnic diversity," Lloyd summarized the results of the largest study ever of "civic engagement," a survey of 26,200 people in 40 American communities:

When the data were adjusted for class, income and other factors, they showed that the more people of different races lived in the same community, the greater the loss of trust. `They don't trust the local mayor, they don't trust the local paper, they don't trust other people and they don't trust institutions,' said Prof Putnam. `The only thing there's more of is protest marches and TV watching.'

Lloyd noted, "Prof Putnam found trust was lowest in Los Angeles, `the most diverse human habitation in human history.'" As if to prove his own point that diversity creates minefields of mistrust, Putnam later protested to the Harvard Crimson that the Financial Times essay left him feeling betrayed, calling it "by two degrees of magnitude, the worst experience I have ever had with the media." To Putnam's horror, hundreds of "racists and anti-immigrant activists" sent him e-mails congratulating him for finally coming clean about his findings.

Lloyd stoutly stood by his reporting, and Putnam couldn't cite any mistakes of fact, just a failure to accentuate the positive. It was "almost criminal," Putnam grumbled, that Lloyd had not sufficiently emphasized the spin that he had spent five years concocting. Yet considering the quality of Putnam's talking points that Lloyd did pass on, perhaps the journalist was being merciful in not giving the professor more rope with which to hang himself. For example, Putnam's line-"What we shouldn't do is to say that they [immigrants] should be more like us. We should construct a new us"-sounds like a weak parody of Bertolt Brecht's parody of Communist propaganda after the failed 1953 uprising against the East German puppet regime: "Would it not be easier for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?"

Before Putnam hid his study away, his research had appeared on March 1, 2001 in a Los Angeles Times article entitled "Love Thy Neighbor? Not in L.A." Reporter Peter Y. Hong recounted, "Those who live in more homogeneous places, such as New Hampshire, Montana or Lewiston, Maine, do more with friends and are more involved in community affairs or politics than residents of more cosmopolitan areas, the study said."


The original reports of Putnam's findings are here and here.


Brookes News Update

The US economy, consumer spending and the GDP fallacy: It has become the received wisdom that increased consumption more than offset the spending decline that the Clinton recession brought about. This is dangerous nonsense and that can only end in another recession
Imports and trade deficits: the good and the bad: The protectionist injunction against "free trade at any cost" is ridiculous. Free trade never takes place "at any cost". Trade only occurs up to that point where the cost of trading exceeds the benefits
Augusto Pinochet: the untold story: Even now the media cannot tell the truth about Allende's efforts to turn Chile into a Stalinist Gulag. As for leftists, history also teaches us that when they get even a small taste of their own medicine, their moaning and whining and sniveling becomes a worldwide cause celebre
US elections reveal a growing discontent: Congress appears to be that problem. They are out of control making promises they can't keep, spending the growth in revenues from a good economy as fast as they can on pork for their financial supporters
Opening the doors of Islam: The neurosis of Islamofascism can only be eradicated from within Islam by Moslems themselves. Ijtihad is how they are going to do it, how they are going to open the doors of Islam after being closed for a thousand years and bring it into the 21st century
Will the US dollar collapse?: The US dollar is having a hard time of it. But why is this so? Why has the dollar been falling? The basic argument is that the trade deficit is unsustainable and is driving down the dollar. But this does not tell us what is driving the deficits



Israel 'has plans for Iran nuke strike': "Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper said. Citing what it said were several Israeli military sources, the paper said two Israeli air force squadrons had been training to blow up an enrichment plant in Natanz using low-yield nuclear "bunker busters". Two other sites, a heavy water plant at Arak and a uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, would be targeted with conventional bombs, the Sunday Times said. [STACLU has a lot of discussion about how much credence can be attached to this story]

The right minimum wage: "Democrats consider the minimum-wage increase a signature issue. But the minimum wage should be the same everywhere: $0. Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities' prices. Washington, which has its hands full delivering the mail and defending the shores, should let the market do well what Washington does poorly"



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason

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