Video: "APA Convention Keynote 2016"--American Psychological Association featuring Jonathan Haidt, PhD, New York University, "What Is Happening to Our Country? How Psychology Can Respond to Political Polarization, Incivility and Intolerance" (54 minutes). His Power Point slides can be found here.
DIVERSITY + PROXIMITY = WAR: I'm sure that most of my readers have previously seen the title I have used for this post. The basic concept is that it is impossible to maintain peace among diverse populations living in close and unrestricted proximity to one another. Diversity does not solely relate to race, but also to ideology and culture. Many people are beginning to recognize this truth. Some have advanced ideas to correct the problem, others have declared the problem so intractable to be unsolvable, and yet others appear to just want to follow the formula to its natural conclusion. Here are some recent articles that I have come across addressing these issues:
- "A Slow Drifting Apart" (Page 1) (Page 2)--Taki's Magazine. The author, James Miller, is where I came across a reference to the video I've linked to above. Miller writes:
Should America fall apart (God forfend!), Jonathan Haidt will be the doom merchant who rang the alarm bell the loudest.
The social psychologist just gave a remarkably prescient—and depressing—keynote speech on the state of our country heading into prime election season. Speaking before the American Psychological Association, Haidt dissected the cause behind political strife in America.
His diagnosis on our national health? Not good; maybe even terminal.
It’s more cliché than buntings on July 4th to say that we’re living in a politically divisive age. But facts are facts: The country is more polarized than ever. Haidt provides reams of data showing that half the nation looks at the other half with unbridled contempt. Not since the Civil War have voters, and their elected representatives, viewed their political rivals with such malice.
Sadly, I’m not as sanguine as Haidt about our ability to rally around a common cause. The West, I believe, is too far gone. In America, most native citizens have accepted the notion that their country is a propositional nation, and not one of common kin, faith, and ethnicity. So they are susceptible to the pull of uncompromising ideologies.
Just think: Will gays ever accept religious believers who believe them damned to hell? Will Black Lives Matter and its allies ever get over their grievance with white supremacy? Will illegal immigrants ever self-deport peacefully as long as public officials bait them into coming here and domestic employers hire them?
I see no scenario where these differences can be overcome. What we require is more viscosity. What we’re seeing is heightened tension.
If this rising anxiety doesn’t soon abate, we will be headed toward what Terry Teachout calls a “soft disunion.” Grown tired of living next to each other, Red America and Blue America will agree to an amicable split. There will be no civil war; just a slow drifting apart.
- "Diversity: History's Pathway to Chaos"--Victor Davis Hanson at Townhall. Dr. Hanson writes:
Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history.
The Roman Empire worked as long as Iberians, Greeks, Jews, Gauls and myriad other African, Asian and European communities spoke Latin, cherished habeas corpus and saw being Roman as preferable to identifying with their own particular tribe. By the fifth century, diversity had won out but would soon prove a fatal liability.
Rome disintegrated when it became unable to assimilate new influxes of northern European tribes. Newcomers had no intention of giving up their Gothic, Hunnish or Vandal identities.
The propaganda of history's multicultural empires -- the Ottoman, the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian, the British and the Soviet -- was never the strength of their diversity. To avoid chaos, their governments bragged about the religious, ideological or royal advantages of unity, not diversity.
Nor did more modern quagmires like Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Rwanda or Yugoslavia boast that they were "diverse." Instead, their strongman leaders naturally claimed that they shared an all-encompassing commonality.
When such coerced harmony failed, these nations suffered the even worse consequences of diversity, as tribes and sects turned murderously upon each other.
For some reason, contemporary America believes that it can reject its uniquely successful melting pot to embrace a historically dangerous and discredited salad-bowl separatism.
Hanson goes on to discuss the current destructive political climate of victim-hood and identity politics, asking if we will see whites (who he acknowledges are fast becoming a minority) begin to assert white identity politics. He calls for everyone to step back from the precipice of identity politics (i.e., tribal politics), and return to the "melting pot."
Although Hanson is a professor of history, what he seems to have ignored is that America's "melting pot" was a myth. From its inception and until the 1960s, the United States has tried to strictly control immigration to ensure that the people entering the United States were compatible with the existing culture. The "melting pot" worked because the similarities between the various Western European nations/cultures were sufficient to allow for a common culture; and the numbers of immigrants that were not Western Europeans was sufficiently small to never threaten the status quo. That is no longer the case, and is only going to get worse. For instance, Hillary Clinton has called for a 550 percent expansion of the number of Syrian refugees admitted to the country; that is, potentially importing 620,000.
- "Milwaukee"--Fred On Everything. Fred Reed begins his article by noting that, however the media tries to hide it, we are in a race war. However, he sees no way out of it, and no return to the mythical "melting pot" even if it ever could have worked. He writes:
I can think of no way to solve the country’s racial disaster. Can you?
Ritual chantings about racism, discrimination, white privilege, institutional racism, and so on are neither a program nor a solution. (Incidentally, why is “Kill Whitey” not racist?) Neither is documenting the intense racism of blacks, interracial-rape ratios, crime, and low scores on promotional examinations.
For the moment, let us assume that all of the complaints of blacks and their allies are correct. All right. We have done that. Now what?
There seems to be no solution. The underlying problem that will not go away is that blacks as a race have not shown themselves able to function in a modern society. Degrees and exceptions yes, but the central fact remains. One is not supposed to say this, and would that it were not true, but it is.
In particular they have lagged far behind academically. Attribute causation as you wish. The condition remains. It has proved impervious to every conceivable social program. For this reason affirmative action has become an entitlement rather than an entry point. For this reason the blacks in the blighted cities will never be employable. Everything works against them, most potently their own attitudes. Joblessness rises among better qualified whites. Obama brings in more Latinos to compete with blacks.
Further, those in the ghettos show little disposition either to study or to work. This also is an obvious truth that one must not utter. A Mexican woman will work as a maid until she figures out something better; a black woman will not. A young Salvadoran man will make his way up Central America, through Mexican police likely to beat him, ride the Train of Death to the US border, and sneak into a country whose language he does not understand to work construction and send money back to his family. A black in Chicago won’t buy a Greyhound ticket to the same job. Yes, there are reasons. A condition does not go way merely because there is a reason for it.
It isn’t working.
Does anyone, black or white, man or woman, Left or Right, see any hope of change? Apparently not, since discussion consists entirely of vituperation. Squalling about conservative racism or liberal hypocrisy does nothing at all to change anything at all. Blacks, the only ones who could render their schools orderly, or make their children do their homework, or persuade their women to essay matrimony, do not.
The cultural divide appears unbridgeable. Blacks are a self-aware, aggrieved, and angry people widely apart from the civilization of whites. They have little desire for assimilation and indeed actively reject it. In Mexico, blacks speak normal Spanish and, in France, normal French. In America, Dat be actin’ white. They give their children strange names, Latoyota and Keeshawn, to maintain distance from whites. Their music is both frequently obscene and frequently hostile to whites. “Acting white,” as for example by studying, is punitively disdained. This is not headed for comfortable multicultural commensalism.
The core of blackness seems to consist of, first, a belief that all of their travails spring from the malignity of whites and, second, that whites owe it to them to solve their problems.
In politics, the focus is entirely on cosmetics. For example, Obama has ordered the Justice Department to use “justice-involved youth” instead of “juvenile delinquent,” and to cease using the word “Negro.” How this will improve literacy in the ghetto is not clear. He wants schools to suspend black and white students proportionately, being unhappy that blacks are suspended at higher rates. His is the quintessential black point of view: Everything springs from racism, of which blacks don’t have any, and the solution is a federal regulation.
Obama never says that black kids ought to study more or that black women ought to behave responsibly in childbearing. He clearly believes them incapable of it, a position is indistinguishable from that of the KKK. They both seem to be right.
Why should things be otherwise? Blacks have no roots in European civilization, nor in African, if any[.] Slavery decultured the slaves, leading to a free-floating miasma of American blacknism. This is unfortunate, which changes nothing.The denomination “African-American” serves more to separate them from whites than to link them to Africa. American African might be more realistic.
The racial experiment has failed. We must not say so, but I suspect that most of us know it. To admit it would be to concede the unspeakable. The horrible question arises again: What now?
It is apparent that nothing of any use in going to be done and probably that nothing can be done. The police? Pulling all police out of black neighborhoods would end complaints of racism by cops. It would also leave the ghettos utterly controlled by criminals. Take your choice.
The calls for the burning of white neighborhoods do not bode well. Whites often are well armed. Gun sales are way up. Men I know have no desire to shoot anyone but will do so if their homes are threatened.
What now? The Fergusons, Baltimores, and Milwaukees may calm down, but if they do, the underlying situation will not change. Nobody seems to have any more idea than I do what to do about it, which is no idea at all.
- "What Will Happen After November 8th?"--Zero Hedge. The author of this piece (apparently a comment left at Western Rifle Shooters Association) discusses how Trump supporters have been relatively peaceful in responding to verbal provocations and physical attacks in order to avoid a media feeding frenzy, but that this will all change after the election, no matter who wins. From the piece:
But what happens after the election? It matters not who wins. If Hillary Clinton is elected, by hook or by crook, the mass movement harnessed by Donald Trump will be free to respond to physical attacks. If Donald Trump wins the Presidency, there will similarly be no reason to continue to endure physical attacks and humiliations by the street thugs of the Democrats. Whether Trump or Hillary Clinton is in the White House, there will be no reason to hold back.
... Whatever happens after this Presidential election, it will have been unleashed by the corporate elites and their servants in the media and elsewhere. They will be responsible for blood in the streets.
And many will cheer it.
- And a warning that the real race war may not be black versus white: "L.A.’s Dirty Little Brown Secret"--Taki's Magazine. The article begins by noting a recent civil rights indictment against the Big Hazard gang (the Hazard Grande), a Mexican gang that has successfully expelled and kept blacks from living in Boyle Heights, a neighborhood in East L.A. Specifically, "[t]he gang embarked on a campaign of hurling Molotov cocktails at the homes of black residents who didn’t get the message that they weren’t welcome." But, like the famous Sherlock Holmes line about the most significant thing being that a dog did not bark, is the lack of reaction--of outrage--to the racial violence. The author of the article writes:
Folks, we live in interesting times.... Outright racism by Latinos against blacks gets little coverage in the liberal press and no outrage from SJWs, and black “civil rights leaders” are scared shitless to confront it with the same merciless, take-no-prisoners attitude they reserve for every perceived “microaggression” from whites.
We all know this.
What I’d prefer to concentrate on is the fact that the Big Hazard story, and the (non)reaction to it from the usual suspects, slightly, just slightly, lays bare one of L.A.’s dirtiest little secrets: Most nonblack Angelenos are probably rooting for what the gang is doing (the goal if not the methods). I’m neither celebrating nor defending that notion; I’m simply presenting it as the learned observation of a guy who was born in L.A. 47 years ago, and who has always kept his primary residence right here in this city. Among L.A.’s white and Asian residents (for the purpose of this piece, Jews, Persians, and Armenians are counted as white), Mexican neighborhoods are seen as preferable to black neighborhoods.
Mexican neighborhoods, while still not the best places to go jogging at 1 a.m., are generally safer and more productive than black neighborhoods. Again, I’m not celebrating that fact. But it is a fact. As formerly all-black neighborhoods like Compton and Watts have become majority Latino, the crime rate has gone down excepting the increase in crime that comes from localized battles between black and Mexican gangs. That problem will dissipate once one group achieves its desired hegemony, and given the choice, most white Angelenos will root for the Mexicans.
There are several reasons for this. The first is a simple desire for self-preservation. Yes, members of both the black and Latino communities bring crime to the city. Burglaries, car thefts, gang activity, etc. But the black community is an exceptionally angry community. There’s a hatred there, specifically against whites, that leads to an entirely different type of crime…unreasonably, unnecessarily violent crimes targeting whites. Now, you can say what you will about black rage. Hell, call it justified if you want (I’m directing that at my leftist pals). But don’t call it fictional. It exists, and I’d rather not have it in my backyard. The black community has been growing more and more irrational each year, and less willing to get along. Damn near every slight seems to lead to a riot, and there’s seemingly nothing whites can do to mollify the rage. If you’re white and you try to help the black community, you’re a patriarchal racist. If you’re white and you don’t try to help the black community, you’re a neglectful racist. Regardless, you’re already a “privileged” racist anyway by virtue of your skin color.
On the other hand, the Mexican community here is not really all that angry at whites, owing in large part to the fact that so many California Hispanics consider themselves white. Sure, you’ll get a bunch of loud young Mexis who’ll go downtown occasionally to protest immigration laws, but Mexicans here are not race rioters like blacks.