Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Diversity = Catch-22

In the wake of the Paris massacre last week, many sources are complaining that diversity is a lost cause and can never work.  Fred Reed's take on the matter expresses what many are feeling.

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?

. . .

In America today we see huge homogeneous pools of Negro and Hispanic population and culture. The 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.

There's more at the link.

That's a pretty gloomy prognostication;  but many seem to share it.  I don't.  I've seen people of all races and cultures work together, successfully, to achieve a common goal;  and I've also seen the opposite side of the coin, where people of different races and cultures hated each other enough to attack, maim and kill one another at every opportunity.  I believe the latter is not inevitable unless we allow it to become inevitable;  and very often it's our choices, more than those of others, that determine the outcome.  As Jesus put it:  "And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?"

Stratfor has a thoughtful analysis of the problem of diversity in Europe in the light of events in Paris last week.  It calls it 'A War Between Two Worlds'.  Here's an excerpt, published with their permission.

Not all Muslims — not even most Muslims — are responsible for this. But all who committed these acts were Muslims claiming to speak for Muslims. One might say this is a Muslim problem and then hold the Muslims responsible for solving it. But what happens if they don't? And so the moral debate spins endlessly.

This dilemma is compounded by Europe's hidden secret: The Europeans do not see Muslims from North Africa or Turkey as Europeans, nor do they intend to allow them to be Europeans. The European solution to their isolation is the concept of multiculturalism — on the surface a most liberal notion, and in practice, a movement for both cultural fragmentation and ghettoization.

. . .

But the dirty secret of multiculturalism was that its consequence was to perpetuate Muslim isolation. And it was not the intention of Muslims to become Europeans, even if they could. They came to make money, not become French. The shallowness of the European postwar values system thereby becomes the horror show that occurred in Paris last week.

The Role of Ideology

But while the Europeans have particular issues with Islam, and have had them for more than 1,000 years, there is a more generalizable problem. Christianity has been sapped of its evangelical zeal and no longer uses the sword to kill and convert its enemies. At least parts of Islam retain that zeal. And saying that not all Muslims share this vision does not solve the problem. Enough Muslims share that fervency to endanger the lives of those they despise, and this tendency toward violence cannot be tolerated by either their Western targets or by Muslims who refuse to subscribe to a jihadist ideology. And there is no way to distinguish those who might kill from those who won't. The Muslim community might be able to make this distinction, but a 25-year-old European or American policeman cannot. And the Muslims either can't or won't police themselves. Therefore, we are left in a state of war. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called this a war on radical Islam. If only they wore uniforms or bore distinctive birthmarks, then fighting only the radical Islamists would not be a problem. But Valls' distinctions notwithstanding, the world can either accept periodic attacks, or see the entire Muslim community as a potential threat until proven otherwise. These are terrible choices, but history is filled with them. Calling for a war on radical Islamists is like calling for war on the followers of Jean-Paul Sartre. Exactly what do they look like?

. . .

Something must be done. I don't know what needs to be done, but I suspect I know what is coming. First, if it is true that Islam is merely responding to crimes against it, those crimes are not new and certainly didn't originate in the creation of Israel, the invasion of Iraq or recent events. This has been going on far longer than that. For instance, the Assassins were a secret Islamic order to make war on individuals they saw as Muslim heretics. There is nothing new in what is going on, and it will not end if peace comes to Iraq, Muslims occupy Kashmir or Israel is destroyed. Nor is secularism about to sweep the Islamic world. The Arab Spring was a Western fantasy that the collapse of communism in 1989 was repeating itself in the Islamic world with the same results. There are certainly Muslim liberals and secularists. However, they do not control events — no single group does — and it is the events, not the theory, that shape our lives.

Europe's sense of nation is rooted in shared history, language, ethnicity and yes, in Christianity or its heir, secularism. Europe has no concept of the nation except for these things, and Muslims share in none of them. It is difficult to imagine another outcome save for another round of ghettoization and deportation. This is repulsive to the European sensibility now, but certainly not alien to European history. Unable to distinguish radical Muslims from other Muslims, Europe will increasingly and unintentionally move in this direction.

Paradoxically, this will be exactly what the radical Muslims want because it will strengthen their position in the Islamic world in general, and North Africa and Turkey in particular. But the alternative to not strengthening the radical Islamists is living with the threat of death if they are offended. And that is not going to be endured in Europe.

Again, more at the link - and very well worth reading.

The essence of dealing with diversity is practicality.  Many of the wilder solutions being tossed around the Internet at the moment are completely and utterly impractical.  You can't expel all Muslims from Europe or the USA - there are literally millions of them, and it would be practically impossible to round them all up (not to mention so costly an exercise that it's literally unaffordable).  Equally, there's no way to kill them all (as some wilder commenters have proposed).  For a start, they'd fight back, and you'd have a civil war all over again.  I've seen how that works out in practice.  You don't want to go there.  Trust me on that.

I think the only way to address problems of multiple faiths is to look for common ground between those faiths.  There is one - the Golden Rule.  It exists in Christianity:

"Just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise."

and also in Islam:

A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don't do to them."

This, of course, requires that those who profess a particular faith adhere to it.  John Adams put his finger on that problem as it affects the USA.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Looking at the present imbroglio over our relations with Islam, I'd say President Adams had a point.  Few of those saying the most - not to mention the most vitriolic - are displaying 'moral and religious' characteristics . . . to our shame as a nation, IMHO.  That may explain why some are so willing to countenance wholly unconstitutional treatment of the Muslims among our citizens and legal residents.



RM said...

Well put, indeed. One of the challenges of freedom is not the sometimes necessity of eradicating a threat, though I will admit, if only for the sake of argument, that such a necessity can exist. Rather, true freedom requires that I be willing to allow others to be free as well. To do so, I have to think in terms of individuals rather than groups. I find it interesting, and more than a little distressing, that some our more conservative bloggers and pundits will decry the liberal tendency to think and speak in terms of groups when there has been some domestic gun related tragedy, only to do the same thing when some outrage has been committed by a group claiming to do so in the name of Islam. Consistency is such an elusive target, it seems...

Rolf said...

Of course “diversity” is working. It’s just that most people mistake what the goal of the people implementing diversity training desire (not the rank-and-file dupes, but the people behind it all) for the betterment of the nation. If the goal is national strength and individual competence, self-reliance, and respectability then it’s obviously a colossal failure, but if you postulate “Cloward-Piven” then it is a major success. Either the people at the top are all total idiots who are utterly unable to see the obvious facts of reality right before their eyes, or they see that reality and are all but rubbing their hands like Monty Burns at the opportunities coming down the pike.

Where you see different people working together to achieve common goals, you are stipulating the existence of common goals. I see radically different populations with not just different clothes, languages, and melanin content, they have radically different goals and values. It’s like “how do you compromise with a rapist? He only sticks it half-way in?” How does caseworker find the common ground between the welfare rat and the hard worker, when the government hack’s job depends on maintaining dependency?

The left defines people via identity politics, in order to divide and weaken them, sow distrust, and bring down the strong much more than building the weak. Critical theory is all about criticizing, never about proposing or implementing actual testable or effective solutions. The left labels, groups, and "out-groups" the strong, the independent, and those that just want to be left alone to marginalize them, while trying to force them to support the failures, the weak, and the toxic.

Most libertarians don't care about skin color or what church you go to, they DO care what you do and what your associates do. If you can't police your own, then, well, someone else might have to do it for you.....