As the issue of co-operation becomes ever more pressing, the quality of intellectual discourse on the topic declines—as Putnam’s self-censorship revealed—precisely because of a lack of trust due to the mounting political power of “the diverse” to punish frank discussion.
I’m relatively optimistic about immigration; perhaps, as some have noted, Texas assimilates people differently than does California. In Nebraska I saw the fruits of what had once been diverse cultures settling into relatively homogeneous ethnic communities, becoming assimilated, and blending within two or three generations. Perhaps this is also because I married into a relatively homogeneous ethnic group, coming from a family that was more diverse (having been in the country a good deal longer), and I see these strands working out in relatively useful and even lovely ways. Of course, this may partially be true because his ethnic group makes much use of the American flag, always precedes any “doings” with pledges of allegiance, singing of the national anthem and other displays that would seem cheesey to any ethnic rights group.
The neo-isolationism position of demagogues like Buchanan and Dobbs bothers me not only because it often seems unpleasant but also because it seems to me deadly to our health as a nation. (Sure we need to do something about the southern border and refusals to notice some of the really bad stuff that is going down there is not unlike our attitude after the Beirut bombing. But solutions need to recognize the vitality and love of work and even traditional family values that are pushing many of those across the border.)
So, Steve Sailer’s essay, “Fragmented Future: Multiculturalism doesn’t make vibrant communities but defensive ones”, which discusses the trust issues many Chicagoboyz analyze, is interesting (if pretty much intuitive in its discussion of human nature). The most disturbing part of the essay has less to do with diversity than with Robert Putnam’s self-censorship. Our unwillingness to look at human history and human nature without blinking is not serving us well.(In The American Conservative, and thanks to A&L.)