Posts Tagged ‘robert putnam’

Diversity Destroys Social Order

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Following up on the work of Robert Putnam and Peter Thisted Dinesen, a new study from Sweden reminds us that diversity obliterates social order:

Respondents said they feel the least affinity with people with different ethnic backgrounds, who practice a different religion, or who were brought up in other cultures.

Overall, however, researchers said the study shows that “social cohesion is strong” in Sweden, because 95 per cent of respondents said they feel like a part of society.

The groups which were least likely to profess a sense of belonging to Swedish society were people on low incomes, and people who hold citizenship of nations other than Sweden.

In other words, we understand people like ourselves, because out of the ten million attributes assigned to a human being, we have the most in common with those like ourselves, and therefore do not need to ask, negotiate or legally arbitrate decisions. We can simply act as our instinct commands, knowing that we are roughly correct according to the values of our group.

When this condition is suspended — like breaking surface tension in water — then we no longer know that what we instinctively think is right to do will in fact be rewarded by the group. At that point, the only safe response is to not act, which creates a kind of “active apathy” in which people ignore disasters and threats around themselves and focus on social, political and economic symbols which unite the group instead because they are simpler and more universal.

Diversity never works. It always fragments a society, makes the citizens cowed and paranoid, and results in ongoing low-grade racial conflict culminating in the collapse of the society. No one wins, but the stupid monkey inside of all humanity will keep trying to win. That is just how he is wired.

For the past two centuries, our future direction has been determined by what people think is good because it beats back nature and asserts a human omniform in its place. When we exclude all forms but the human, we stop fearing natural selection, disease, randomness and other threats to the continuity of us as perceiving, choice-making entities. Diversity is just part of this human projection.

However, as liberal democracy fades away and tribalism takes its place, diversity is failing, and so we can finally see research confirming what common sense told us centuries ago.

Diversity Sabotages Community

Friday, October 16th, 2015


Democracy = diversity. More accurately, diversity is a form of democracy that we might call the democratization of race. First, the individual is equal; then, that transcends cultural norms. Finally, it transcends genetic norms.

There is only one problem: in the process, it destroys the civilization around it. As the thesis of Dr. Eitan Adres from the School of Political Sciences at the University of Haifa, reveals, diversity — in addition to genetic and cultural genocide — also destroys any sense of social trust and work toward shared goals. In other words, diversity makes citizens into sociopaths:

The findings showed that the more people consider themselves to adhere to the values of globalization, consumerism, and individualism, and the more they regard themselves as “citizens of the world” exposed to globalization, the less likely they are to contribute to public goods and the more likely they are to seek to be “free riders” on the contributions of others.

This finding was particularly apparent in the first experiment, when the participants were divided into groups and received 100 tokens each. The participants were asked to choose an amount from their 100 tokens to be pooled in a communal pot. The total amount donated would be doubled and this doubled amount would be distributed evenly among all participants, no matter how much each one contributed. Thus each individual received the equal portion of the communal pot together with the tokens they did not contribute to the pot. The collective interest in this situation is that each participant will contribute all their tokens to the collective pot. The individual interest is not to contribute anything, and to add the money shared from the pot to the 100 tokens. The study found that 30 percent of German participants and 25 percent of the Australians preferred to keep all their tokens to themselves. By contrast, only 3.6 percent of the Columbians and 12 percent of the Israelis chose to do so.

When societies are united by culture, and its genetic antecedent and consequence, heritage/race/ethnicity, people have an interest in working together — and a trust that other people are on the same page. This identity enables them to see each other as part of the same biological entity, like a species within an ecosystem, and thus bound up in the same interests. Under that system, social trust is high and so participation in social commons such as civilization-building is possible. In addition, the individual has a high degree of trust in other people, as the less locked-down societies of even a generation ago displayed.

The Adres study is compatible with what Robert Putnam found in his landmark study, E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century”, which found that diversity decreases trust and the tendency to interact with social commons or other people, even among members of the same race:

New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’. Trust (even of one’s own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. In the long run, however, successful immigrant societies have overcome such fragmentation by creating new, cross-cutting forms of social solidarity and more encompassing identities. Illustrations of becoming comfortable with diversity are drawn from the US military, religious institutions, and earlier waves of American immigration.

Other researchers have found similar results. Neal and Neal found that diversity destroys a sense of community, following what one might expect with a loss of trust and loss of the sense of shared purpose and values:

Using agent-based modeling to simulate neighborhoods and neighborhood social network formation, we explore whether the community-diversity dialectic emerges from two principles of relationship formation: homophily and proximity. The model suggests that when people form relationships with similar and nearby others, the contexts that offer opportunities to develop a respect for diversity are different from the contexts that foster a sense of community.

Looking more closely at this relationship, a study from Denmark finds that diversity lowers distrust in local areas, although the effect dissipates in a larger society where other factors influence distrust.

The results show that ethnic diversity in the micro-context affects trust negatively, while the effect vanishes in larger contextual units. This supports the conjecture that interethnic exposure underlies the negative relationship between ethnic diversity in residential contexts and social trust.

The researchers found that localized diversity affects localized distrust, and remote diversity fades into the background of generalized distrust which has multiple causes, including disintegration of social order and general alienation. In other words, where people are most vulnerable — near their homes, shopping and work — is where they stop caring when their society becomes diverse.

If we had been studying the effects of democracy for centuries, we would have likely found similar results. The more people are granularized and taken outside of a social context and made into equal people, the more they see themselves as independent actors working against a hostile world. In so doing, they abandon the thought of society as any kind of shared endeavor and start to see it like a shopping mall: a place they pay for where they can make certain demands, but someone else is responsible for upkeep. In addition, this increases criminality as they see themselves as victims of this condition and “revenge” themselves upon society with inaction, petty thefts and sabotage of their own performance, as looking out over a sea of cube slaves can show us every day.

Our civilization is just beginning to awaken to the horror that diversity and before it, democracy, has wrought upon us. Where we once could trust in society to have our interests at hand, it is now a combination of boss, taxman and competing individual that threatens our well-being. As a result, we do not act to keep it up but engage in “game playing” behavior against it, trying to get the best of it and emerge with some kind of profit. This sort of social disorder will grind its citizens against one another until no society remains.

While democracy sounds good on paper, what equality does is divide individuals by creating a fallacy that we must rely on and enforce on each other, while recognizing the natural difference between people gives us each a place. Egalitarians confused the medieval idea of equal before the law, or that rich men do not get to buy their way out of breaking laws where the poor cannot, with the notion that all people must be made equal by law and subsidy. Even equal before the law is suspect, as someone with a lifetime of good deeds deserves a break in a case where someone with a lifetime of bad deeds should be viewed with suspicion, because equality of that sort severs us from the context of our existence and the history by which our neighbors know us and judge us. Nature provides a model here, which is that people associate with those they trust and do whatever they can to exclude others; our concept of equality clashes with that, but in trying to banish that evil, we create a greater one.

Egalitarianism is the god of our time

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015


Those of us who talk about cause->effect logic recognize its power in understanding human behavior. For example, you are not free of a hated enemy (effect) until you replace the role it serves that perpetuates it (cause). Such is the case with our modern atheist, liberal and consumer-oriented society.

We have replaced all ancient gods with a single one: equality. To act in such a way as to offend equality causes people to retreat from you as if in fear of diseases or demonic possession; conversely, any activity can be justified in the name of upholding or expanding equality, regardless of its outcome. That is the key to the religious nature of egalitarianism: it is not measured in real-world results, but in the symbol itself, much like God who provides the only case where the symbol is enclosed by its referent.

For example, consider the case of education. Politicians get tears in their eyes and pound tables when the test scores come in. But what did they expect? Mathematics themselves opposes them: for any given curriculum, there must be some winners and some losers, with the number determined by how difficult it is. If you dumb it down so that everyone gets an A, it becomes worthless. People do not have the same abilities, especially not in the narrow competition for memorizing and repeating material.

Or contemplate politics. We insist that a popularity contest — “democracy” — can determine the best course of action. This denies the fact that people vote for what they understand, and most understand very little, which reduces actionable items to the over-simplified and generally reality-denying. But to mention this is to offend the god Equality and to bring on the wrath of his followers who are only too happy to have a witch-hunt.

Even in employment we engage in the fiction of equality. We like to think that we can sit down with a piece of paper that tells us everything about a candidate with specially marked fields, and that we can then hire anyone who matches those traits. These however are mere abilities, and tell us nothing about the person and how they will work with others in the team, or even how they would do in a situation as particular and unique as the average workplace.

We cannot as post-Enlightenment™ humans face the possibility of natural differences between people. It violates the fundamental idea that unites us which is that each human is the best person to make all decisions for herself. This idea arose when we replaced the order of nature and the divine with a human order. Social order of this type implies that the human is the highest goal, over reality, and therefore, that human choice is more important than real-world results. That was the path we took that branched off from all of past history and arrived at our present state.

In our view, natural differences between us — which are more mathematical, by the nature of most patterns following a Standard Distribution or “Bell Curve” — serve no utility and only serve to divide us. And yet these things evolved with us much like our other abilities. We know natural selection serves to rigorously cleanse, except in extremely isolated populations, unnecessary traits. These have persisted with humans and other groups throughout time, serving like natural selection itself to keep groups in a constant state of imbalance so they do not fall into sameness which can lead to entropy. If we were identical, all striving would cease and so would all ability for our acts to be meaningful.

Other benefits exist to inequality both within and between populations. Inside a population, inequality allows people to specialize, which means that they can devote all of their energy to developing an ability they wish to be unique to them. Inequality occurs both vertically, in terms of general competence (or even general intelligence, or g), but also on a horizontal plane. Out of all the artisans, some will become fine-motor workers like watch-makers and others will be carpenters. But some of the most radical benefits are seen to inequality between populations.

Equality outside the boundaries of a specific population would imply a Universal Human or a person who fits into any society. This idea however conveys the notion of a person without culture, unique abilities or pre-determined inclinations that might cause clash with whatever is the norm elsewhere. It also suggests a generic person, an interchangeable part, as the basis of all societies, rejecting the need for shared culture, heritage, or values. And yet as events in Japan suggest, that trust — formed of a commonality in orientation and philosophy that cannot and does not need to be put into symbols — creates a much better life:

What accounts for this unusual degree of independence? Not self-sufficiency, in fact, but “group reliance,” according to Dwayne Dixon, a cultural anthropologist who wrote his doctoral dissertation on Japanese youth. “[Japanese] kids learn early on that, ideally, any member of the community can be called on to serve or help others,” he says.

This assumption is reinforced at school, where children take turns cleaning and serving lunch instead of relying on staff to perform such duties. This “distributes labor across various shoulders and rotates expectations, while also teaching everyone what it takes to clean a toilet, for instance,” Dixon says.

She wouldn’t let a 9-year-old ride the subway alone in London or New York—just in Tokyo.

If you want to know the solution to the problems socialism claims to address, like class warfare, or even the problems the right bemoans like a lack of public morality, this is it: have people be similar in genetics and culture. That refutes the idea of equality, where the choice of the individual determines fitness to be in a certain society, and replaces it with the notion of cooperation, or the idea that people work together on ideas that they find mutually compelling and over time, those ideas become part of them on a biological level. Without the trust engendered by similarity, people drift apart and become less likely to work together or preserve shared resources.

The now-infamous Robert Putnam study on diversity showed that in diverse populations, trust declined — even among people of the same group. That is because, like surface tension on water, similarity once broken for one becomes broken for all. Society is no longer held together by a mission and values in common, but by compulsion, whether through money or authoritarianism. This path leads to an increasing cycle of tyrannical power, petty rebellion including apathetic performance, and eventual collapse of the higher functions of the society, leaving behind a third-world style ruin.

Diversity also paves the way for a tragedy of the commons:

Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons…As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain…Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another…. But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit–in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.

The only force that can unmake the tragedy of the commons is a sense of shared destiny. We cannot all add as many cows as we would like, because then we kill the resource, and with it our society. Without trust, and a shared sense of purpose and destiny, that sentiment rings hollow. The individual sees no choice but to exploit resources before the other guys get to it, because they are not on his team — they are in fact the enemy. By creating freedom, society removes obligation to the commons. With equality, it destroys the notion of sharing the commons toward a mutual goal, and guarantees accelerating exploitation and ruin.

Danish study finds diversity creates distrust closest to home

Sunday, June 21st, 2015


A recent study from Denmark assesses, much as Robert Putnam did, the impact of diversity and consequent raised levels of distrust on society. As if trying to soften the blow, this study limits impact to very immediate experience:

The results show that ethnic diversity in the micro-context affects trust negatively, while the effect vanishes in larger contextual units. This supports the conjecture that interethnic exposure underlies the negative relationship between ethnic diversity in residential contexts and social trust.

However, what they actually found was that localized diversity affects localized distrust, and remote diversity fades into the background of generalized distrust which has multiple causes, including disintegration of social order and general alienation. This is a deft sleight of hand but it features the classic salient attribute of liberal studies, which is misattribution of an existing problem, in this case allowing general unease of society to explain away the loss of trust and general anxiety caused by diversity. It allows diversity to fade into the cloud of negatives created by other social factors and then magically assumes that for this reason, diversity cannot have an effect. Here’s the setup to the argument:

Evidence from trust games in experimental economics shows lower levels of initial trust when the trustee has a different ethnic background than that of the truster (Fershtman and Gneezy 2001). Similarly, studies using cardiovascular or skin conductance responses show higher levels of perceived threat and fear in encounters with opponents of a different ethnic background than the subject (Mendes et al. 2002; Olsson et al. 2005). Socially learned prejudice probably explains part of this tendency (Stanley et. al. 2011), but recent studies also point to its evolutionary roots. These studies show that humans are better at inferring other humans’ thoughts, intentions and feelings if the object belongs to their own ethnic group as opposed to other ethnic groups (Adams et al. 2010). The ability to infer the other’s intentions is a crucial component in building trust in specific others, and it is also likely to increase empathy (Chaio and Mathur 2010), which feeds back and increases trust in specific others further (Barraza and Zak 2009). Importantly, positive experiences with and trust in specific others affect evaluations of the generalized other positively and thus spill over to social trust (Freitag and Traunmüller 2009 ; Glanville and Paxton 2007).

Based on the above, a likely explanation for a negative relationship between residential e xposure to ethnic diversity and social trust originates in the general disposition to evaluate individuals with different ethnic background as less trustworthy. This disposition exists regardless of the level of ethnic diversity in the residential setting. However, being more heavily exposed to people of different ethnic background leads to lower levels of social trust because ethnic background functions as a social cue about the trustworthiness of specific others, which in turn affect the overall assessmen t of the generalized other. The crux of this argument is thus that an evolved and/or learned negative out-group bias affects social trust negatively in the face of residential exposure to people of different ethnic background because more diverse contexts provide cues that lead residents to believe that the generalized other is less trustworthy.

Not surprisingly, they found in inability to measure in larger contexts, where the diversity question itself became statistically inseparable from other forms of social decay:

In other words, in the micro-context, where interethnic exposure is captured more accurately, ethnic diversity has a negative impact on trust, whereas this effect is diluted in contexts of higher aggregation, where exposure is arguably measured more crudely. This supports the notion that interethnic exposure is the mechanism accounting for the negative impact of ethnic diversity on trust.

Surely headlines will be written about this study as a “refutation” of Putnam, but in fact, it confirms Putnam and points out an additional damning fact: if diversity becomes background noise of social decay like other factors, it has a more negative impact that direct polling can identify. As it is, this study — although all studies must be approached with skepticism as most are statistical forgeries representing what their target audience wishes to believe — provides another interesting scope into how diversity (helps) destroy communities.

Where did the “diversity=genocide” meme come from?

Thursday, June 4th, 2015


The left rages as usual, but this time they have found a quality target: the DIVERSITY = WHITE GENOCIDE meme has enraged them, probably for the same reason people usually get upset, which is that it contains enough truth to hit a nerve. The left has fired back with accusations that this is a far-right meme.

But where did it originate? Preliminary research suggests it was either trending back in 2007 or was invented by Ann Coulter in her column titled “Bush’s America: Roach Motel”:

One may assume the new majority will not be such compassionate overlords as the white majority has been. If this sort of drastic change were legally imposed on any group other than white Americans, it would be called genocide. Yet whites are called racists merely for mentioning the fact that current immigration law is intentionally designed to reduce their percentage in the population.

Why is it that the best defenders of majority interests are white and near-white women like Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Pamela Geller? They have seen what life will be like for women and families if the white male patriarchy and its associated cult of wisdom and powerful leadership fades. There will be no future, and they are willing to step out in front and say that.

Over the last seventy years, the “far right” has done nothing but rage around with its own drama and then self-destruct, providing convenient headlines for all who hate the idea of majority-white nations to champion. In fact, there has not been a better tool for the left than the cruel, violent, thoughtless and one-note far-right. If I were the propaganda chairman of the Communist party, I’d send them all bonuses. Each time the far right appears, the majority of mainstream Americans edges left as it recoils in horror.

Instead the reform against progress has been driven by writers like Michel Houellebecq and Ann Coulter, thinkers chipping away at the myth of equality like Stephen Pinker and Robert Putnam, and sociologists hammering away at liberal ideas like Charles Murray and Tom Wolfe. The growth of the diversity=genocide meme shows just how far we have come, since many things can be said now which would have brought flashing red and blue lights back in the 90s, and the methods that have taken us to success.

Why diversity can never work

Thursday, November 28th, 2013


Our position on this blog and prior statements by our writers has been consistent since 1997: diversity doesn’t work.

This is different from dislike or fear of the elements of diversity, such as “I don’t like black people” or “I think Caucasians are inferior.” It is not a critique of a specific diversity, but diversity itself.

It applies uniformly to diversity of religious, ethnic/racial, cultural, linguistic and even caste distinctions. The rule is that the less variation you have in your society, the healthier and happier it is.

A society which is unified requires the fewest rules, police and government interventions. Culture is a superior method for enforcing values because it does not require enforcers. Ordinary citizens enforce it by ostracizing those who do not meet its standards.

Without that culture, which unifies vital measures as disparate as values system and identity and social pressures, only government can enforce standards. What inevitably results is a Nanny State that makes many rules, sets up lots of detail-fixated bureaucrats, and grows like a cancer, enriching itself.

The problem with diversity is that instead of culture, it chooses anti-culture, or the culture of having no culture. It’s an extension of the idea of freedom, which is that you don’t have any positive goals, but share a negative goal, which is agreeing to have no goals.

A person in a culture afflicted with diversity — known also by its synonyms internationalism, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism — faces an ugly choice: they can either join the culture of non-culture and give up on their own values, or they can retain their own values and be socially ostracized or treated as a stereotype.

Diversity always leads to the same thing. Society simultaneously widens its tolerance while demanding more government interference to enforce basic rules. This becomes too much, and soon third-world levels of criminality, corruption, low hygiene and disorder descend.

Look at most countries on earth. Most of them are of mixed race, culture and religion. Over time, this became an anti-culture which settled on the lowest common denominator, which means that no one has much in common. People just want to get rich and escape such societies. There is no actual joy.

Some time ago, Robert Putnam came out with a study that was so toxic to prevailing attitudes in academia that he has spent the years since it came out fighting for his career. In it, he revealed that diverse societies increase internal alienation and distrust:

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam — famous for “Bowling Alone,” his 2000 book on declining civic engagement — has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

Incorporating different groups means we cannot have a common standard of behavior. This means that we cannot predict society’s response to what we do, and if someone is offended, we lose big.

That translates to “take your toys and go home.” For most people, society has become hostile. As a result, they retreat to gated communities and let the lack of social standards trash public spaces, public expectations, culture and morality.

Total freedom would mean a society with no rules. That means nothing is a crime. Even more, it is means that nothing is shunned. The guy dumping toxic waste in the river may just be expressing his freedom, and if enough other people agree with him, he’s free to do it.

Even more, without cultural standards, people have no identity. Identity helps explain to ourselves and others who we are and what values system we apply. “I don’t pollute, because I’m from this place and I love it,” is a value conveyed only by culture, not government.

Recently, new research came to light which shows the mechanism by which diversity dissolves community (full paper) and replaces it with alienated, atomized individuals:

However, recent theoretical and empirical work has uncovered a community-diversity dialectic wherein the contextual conditions that foster respect for diversity often run in opposition to those that foster sense of community. More specifically, within neighborhoods, residential integration provides opportunities for intergroup contact that are necessary to promote respect for diversity but may prevent the formation of dense interpersonal networks that are necessary to promote sense of community.

There are two contrasting forces here: the need for homogeneity of values in order to build a community, and the desire for diversity. The two work against each other. The more homogenous a community, the less diverse it is, and the more diverse a community is, the less it really is a community.

When communities break down, what is left is the atomized individual. This person cares for nothing other than their immediate wants and desires. They have zero interest in the society around them except as it will impact them through say, higher taxes or fewer entitlements.

As a result, your chance at having a higher society breaks down. What is left is a group of selfish people held together by an economy and a political system but nothing less. This group actively penalizes civic interest and any behavior except individualistic isolation.

This results in a condition of extreme individualism, or narcissism. In this state, we are incapable of forming bonds with each other. Friendship, romance and citizenship are all means to an end, and there is no faith or pride, thus no long-term thinking.

If you wonder why the greatest civilizations are no longer with us, this is what brought them down. Like the apathy that afflicts large corporations, the entropy of volunteer organizations over time, or the stagnation of a social group, diversity is death.

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