July 2, 2007

My new VDARE.com column on Robert D. Putnam's long-awaited paper on diversity and community

Diversity is Disunity ... and Dumbness

One striking aspect of the last six weeks' debate is how decisively patriotic immigration reformers won the intellectual battle. The inanity of the other side's talking points, based as they were on mindless sentimentalism toward illegal immigrants and mindless hatred toward patriots, was never more obvious.

One of the roles that VDARE.COM plays in the broad immigration restrictionist coalition is to be the Research & Development arm. By choosing this untrodden path, far from the highway of political correctness, we're able to follow logical connections all the way through - an opportunity denied to all those who heed the big signs in their heads flashing "Uh-Oh, Better Not Go There, Bad for My Career."

Nothing illustrates the vapidity of mainstream intellectualizing about immigration than the ironic story of social science superstar Robert D. Putnam.

Last month. Putnam finally published an article about his lavishly-funded 2000 survey of 41 American communities that found that ethnic diversity, especially immigrant diversity, damages trust and "social capital."

Putnam's data is important, but the spin he worked on for five years to prevent it from being used by "racists and anti-immigration activists" is in some ways even more significant. ...

But Putnam's third section -- "Becoming Comfortable with Diversity" -- is even worse. It mostly repeats the Ellis Island clich├ęs about how the immigration of a century ago all worked out fine and dandy, so what's to worry about the new immigration "in the medium to long run?"

But how can the “medium to long run” arrive to overcome the negative effects of diversity if the government continues to keep the pedal to the metal on letting in low human capital immigrants?

Not surprisingly, Putnam only vaguely mentions the immigration restriction acts of 1921 and 1924 that played such a huge role.

Furthermore, I am tired of intellectuals in Boston, New York, and Washington D.C acting as if Mexicans in America are such an utter novelty that nobody could possibly have any indication of how they will turn out, so who can say they won't progress just like Italians and Jews?

Well, anybody in the Southwest can. To presume there's no long-term data on Hispanics, like Putnam does, is just ignorant. ...

East Los Angeles, for example, has been heavily Mexican since the Mexican Revolution. PBS reported:

"Its present day population also has been one of the most entrenched and stable communities of the greater Los Angeles area over the past 50 to 75 years. East Los Angeles is … the largest Hispanic community in the United States."

East LA is not Detroit -- which the forest is partly retaking -- but hardly is it New Jersey, which the Ellis Island immigrants have made into one of the most successful states in the country.

Here's a good test of the chestnut that Mexican immigrants are going to turn out just like the old Jewish immigrants: Long ago, East LA had a Jewish immigrant community, which arrived about the same time as its Mexican immigrants. According to PBS, in East LA after WWI:

"In many instances, Jews and Mexicans went to school together, played sports together, traded with each other, and particularly among the left wing thinkers, met and organized together."

For some reason, though, eighty years later, the descendents of East LA's Jewish immigrants are living in Beverly Hills and Malibu, while the descendents of East LA's Mexican immigrants are in Van Nuys or still stuck in East LA.

In summary, the first rule of rationality when you find you are digging a hole for yourself is … stop digging.
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My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

23 comments:

Bagpuss said...

Just a look at the number and type of organisations that funded the study would indicate that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Anonymous said...

"Putnam's data is important." "Data," is plural, Steve.

jody said...

this is easy to see in any of the new "brazil" cities in the US. it's easier to strike up a conversation with a stranger of the same race, to seek their help in school or in shops and stores, to have neighbors of the same race. you anticipate they will respond better and you're more likely to trust what they say and do.

people in "brazil" cities clearly self segregate by race at school and outside of work.

Jane said...

My God, East LA sounds like it might someday be as bad as . . . South Boston. We'll have to wait to find out, of course, since the Irish ghetto lasted over 150 years.

Anonymous said...

I got kicked off of my Alma Mater's alumni sports board [it was in the "lounge" area], for simply starting a thread which included a link to John Leo's piece, over at City Journal:

Bowling With Our Own

PS: On the question of Detroit, if you have a Derbyshire-ean penchant for doom, gloom, and despair, then there are few sites on the entire internet more depressing [yet utterly fascinating and engrossing] than

The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

If you follow all the links, it could take you the better part of an afternoon to absorb the thing [in all its terrible magnitude], but TFRoD offers some truly profound insights into the nature of the human condition [especially as a dynamic, rather than a static, phenomenon].

And it probably gives you a pretty good idea of what Rome looked like, circa 600AD, as The West was hunkering down for about five centuries' worth of the Dark Ages.

[Interesting little factoid that I learned recently, BTW - the Roman Senate is known to have continued meeting for more than 100 years after the fall of the last widely-acknowledged emperor.]

Svigor said...

"Putnam's data is important." "Data," is plural, Steve.

Steve's usage is correct. As the Derb points out, data is a collective singular, like rice and silverware.

But don't worry, your error is so widespread now, it may become fixed and correct before too long.

Svigor said...

My God, East LA sounds like it might someday be as bad as . . . South Boston. We'll have to wait to find out, of course, since the Irish ghetto lasted over 150 years.

I love how people always dredge up the Irish, as if they're anything more than a single data point, and as if they're some kind of wonderful American ideal.

The Irish are STILL playing out their political resentments on the rest of white America.

I have an idea for you Jane - why don't YOU hang around with the immigrants and wait for them to percolate. You can sing Irish diddies while you're at it. I have other ideas.

MarcZ said...

Good for you, Jane! You've shown us all that what you may lack in understanding of the differences between the current immigration situation and the wave preceding it, you more than make up for in cuteness!

tommy said...

LA is a wreck. Check out the stats for the Los Angeles Unified School District's high schools. I went through all the schools and out of those reporting, there are far fewer making "satisfactory progress" under NCLB than the other way around. The standard for "satisfactory progress" under NCLB clearly isn't rigorous. Many of the schools that failed to make progress rank lower in state test scores than those that did. The situation is so bad that out of 200 high schools, you have to get to the letter 'C' on the list before you find the first school to make the grade. Title I schools dot LAUSD like a serious case of chickenpox.

A typical Title I is the absurdly named Albert Einstein Continuity School. Not too many Einsteins here: the school is 89% Hispanic and reports a drop out rate of 50%. (I emphasis the word "reports" since the same metric gives a state average of only 3%. Maybe they mean "per grade level, K-12!") Yet, judging by API scores, even AECS's students look like geniuses compared to some other schools on the list.

Not too many kids are continuing on at View Park Continuation School. The school is 89% black and reports a 90% dropout rate. It failed to make adequate progress under NCLB, but it isn't listed as a Title I. Maybe there just weren't many kids left to test that poorly.

anonymous,

"Putnam's data is important." "Data," is plural, Steve.

Datum is hardly ever used these days, guy. Data is perfectly acceptable usage, plural or singular.

Anonymous said...

Steve:

Richard Posner offers a devastating critique of Putnam in his book "Public Intellectuals". Its offers a penatrating insight into Putnams economy with the actualite and enslavement to PC.

tommy said...

We'll have to wait to find out, of course, since the Irish ghetto lasted over 150 years.

The Irish ghetto did not last over 150 years. The Irish ghetto constantly diminished over 150 years. Unlike the black and Hispanic ghettos, which seem to constantly grow with no end in sight.

Anonymous said...

tommy: The Irish ghetto did not last over 150 years. The Irish ghetto constantly diminished over 150 years.

The folks at the Showtime Network beg to differ:

http://www.sho.com/site/brotherhood/home.do

fwood1 said...

Showtime's Brotherhood is The Sopranos without the humor.

Fred said...

"Showtime's Brotherhood is The Sopranos without the humor."

Brotherhood is like The Sopranos with a plot. I liked The Sopranos, but Brotherhood is better.

JSBolton said...

As diversity goes up in a jurisdiction, community of values will go down.
Without community of values,, trust and fellow-feeling waste away.
The genetic differences increasing between the diversities, also mean that we care less about our neighbors' children and don't want to hear about them.
Women do most of the social talking, and that's what they talk about; so you get less communication even if babelism is not being promoted, and less cooperative activities.

Mark said...

As diversity goes up in a jurisdiction, community of values will go down. Without community of values,, trust and fellow-feeling waste away.

Culture (including moral values) is like a second language. So in "diverse" societies," every immigrant walks around shouting two languages you can't understand - and while they may eventually learn English, they may never learn the new cultural language, especially if that culture is partly a result of genetics.

Black infidelity, for example? You can see its results reflected all the way back to (at least) the 9th century Kingdom of Ghana, where kingship was determined by matrileneal descent. Why matrilineal decsent? Because infidelity was so rampant that a man never knew that his son was his son - but he always knew that his sister's son was his nephew.

That's one of infinite examples of genetics reflected in culture.

Anonymous said...

Mark -- I would be pretty leery of ascribing cultural traits as genetic, simply because humans seem very adaptable to a broad range of cultural behaviors.

There do seem to be certain social organizations that crop up lots of times: tribe/clan being the most basic, then kingship-clan, then finally bureaucratic state for only a few cultures/peoples (because it's hard to do, and do right).

One example would be the disappearance of the nuclear family in Europe. There is a huge proportion of single mothers in Western Europe, including yes non-Immigrant natives. Nearly 40% of German women who have college degrees will never marry. And of course while Ghanian kings may reckon descent matrilinealy, most assuredly their close genetic cousins of Niger do not. Human behavior seems very flexible. Which is probably an inbuilt genetic adaption itself for a social animal in varying environments.

ST said...

"One striking aspect of the last six weeks' debate is how decisively patriotic immigration reformers won the intellectual battle."

I've not lost an argument since I adopted this approach; simply declare that you have decisively won the debate and insult your opponents. Not only has my success rate skyrocketed, it’s just so easy!

I can’t wait to try it out in other debates.

jody said...

mexico has 100 million people and is on the border. ireland has 4 million people and is across the ocean. they are not very similar.

we won't have to wait to see how east LA turns out, since every city in the US is soon to have a large population of mexican peasants equal to south boston.

more mexican peasants jump the US border in 10 years than there are people in ireland.

Mark said...

Mark -- I would be pretty leery of ascribing cultural traits as genetic, simply because humans seem very adaptable to a broad range of cultural behaviors.

There is culture and then there is culture. I like Christmas for example, but if I had been adopted into a Jewish family at birth I might just as easily have liked Hannukah - no genetic change involved.

Some cultural practices are rooted in genes, however. If a particular race or ethnic group finds it very difficult to practice monogamy within marriage, then you will see weak to non-existent cultural institutions that place a high value on marriage.

Likewise, if a population doesn't succeed at academic endeavors then they're not likely to encourage education among their offspring.

Genetics sets the boundaries of what cultures can do. We celebrate America's ability to assimilate immigrants, without acknowledging that the immigrants we were assimilating were basically our cousins. The Irish were very closely related to the English and Scots, for example.

We fail to accept - it is a thought crime to accept - that our newer immigrants may be physically incapable of adopting American cultural practices.

Mark said...

There is a huge proportion of single mothers in Western Europe, including yes non-Immigrant natives. Nearly 40% of German women who have college degrees will never marry.

Whether German children are born within wedlock or not, I suspect that the number of German men who just plain abandon their children is still very low, especially as compared to the number of black men who do.

Anonymous said...

Also note re current German fertility and family structure that Germany lost a major war just 60 years ago. Being a defeated people has long-lasting repercussions. One, in Germany's case, is the "guilting" (over the Holocaust, over the World War, over being White and Western) that has taken the commanding heights of that country. The feeling "I don't want to bring a child into this world - he might be a second Hitler! Better to have a non-white baby, or none...." hangs in the air like a vague stench.

Don't confuse someone temporarily poisoned by a narcotic and a born retard.

Jun said...

Diversity is Disunity ... and Dumbness

...and increasing levels of paranoia?:

Paranoia on the rise, experts say