|American Renaissance magazine|
|Vol. 18, No. 12||December 2007|
What Science Says About Diversity, Part II
Results are in: Diversity brings conflict.
Part I described how humans, animals, and even plants behave in ways that benefit their close kin. The very structures of the brain appear to be designed to distinguish between genetically related and genetically distant groups, and this is reflected in strong preferences for one’s own race. In multi-racial societies, a clear racial identity appears to confer psychological advantages that mixed-race people do not enjoy.
Part II describes how ethnic preferences affect societies.
What are the implications of strong ethnic identity for multi-racial and multi-ethnic societies? Tatu Vanhanen of the University of Tampere, Finland, has probably researched the effects of ethnic diversity more systematically than anyone else. In a classic, book-length study, he ranked no fewer than 148 countries according to both ethnic diversity and levels of conflict. Not surprisingly, he found correlations in the 0.5 to 0.9 range for the two variables, with homogeneous countries like Japan and Iceland showing very low levels of conflict, while highly diverse countries like Lebanon and Sudan are wracked with strife (see “The Anatomy of Ethnic Conflict,” AR, June 2002).
Prof. Vanhanen found ethnic conflict in all diverse societies, and believes it reflects human nature: “Interest conflicts between ethnic groups are inevitable because ethnic groups are genetic kinship groups and because the struggle for existence concerns the survival of our own genes through our own and our relatives’ descendants.”
One of Prof. Vanhanen’s goals has been to discover what kind of economic or political institutions best defuse ethnic tensions, but he has concluded that they have little effect on conflict. Wealthy, democratic countries suffer from sectarian strife as much as poor, authoritarian ones. Oppressive regimes such as the Soviet Union or Tito’s Yugoslavia or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq can produce an appearance of harmony, but ethnic identification often grows stronger under attempts to eradicate it. Prof Vanhanen concludes:
“In ethnic conflicts, people seem to follow a similar behavior pattern across all existing developmental, civilizational, and cultural boundaries. The more the population is divided into separate ethnic groups, the more they seem to become organized along ethnic lines in interest conflicts, and the more often they tend to resort to violence in ethnic conflicts.”
And likewise: “Ethnic nepotism belongs to human nature and … it is independent from the level of socioeconomic development (modernization) and also from the degree of democratization.”
The United Nations has approached the question from a different angle. For the period 1989 to 1992, it found there were no fewer than 82 conflicts that had each resulted in at least 1,000 deaths. Of these, 79, or 96 percent, were ethnic or religious conflicts that took place within the borders of recognized states. Only three were cross-border conflicts. Wars between nations can be vastly bloodier, of course, but they are almost always ethnic conflicts as well. In our time, however, internal ethnic bloodshed is much more common than war between nations. Internal struggles of this kind are now the greatest threat to the survival of most nations. As J. Philippe Rushton has argued, “The politics of ethnic identity are increasingly replacing the politics of class as the major threat to the stability of nations.”
The United States is not exempt from the negative effects of diversity. Robert Putnam of Harvard did a large-scale study of 41 different American communities that ranged from the extreme homogeneity of rural South Dakota to the very mixed populations of such places as Los Angeles. He found a firm correlation between homogeneity and level of trust, with the greatest distrust in the most racially diverse areas. He was not happy with these results, and checked his findings by controlling for other variables that might affect levels of trust, such as poverty, age, crime rates, population densities, education, commuting time, home ownership, etc. He found that none of these had much effect on trust, and concluded that “diversity per se has a major effect.”
In extensive surveys in these 41 communities, Prof. Putnam found that as racial diversity increases, there is a consistent pattern of lower levels of happiness, withdrawal from community life, and less confidence in local leaders and news media (see “Diversity Destroys Trust,” AR, September 2007).
Prof. Putnam cited other studies that have found people in “diverse” workgroups—not only of race but also age and professional background—are less loyal to the group, more likely to resign, and generally less satisfied than people who work with people like themselves. He also noted a study that found carpooling is less common in racially-mixed neighborhoods. Carpooling means counting on your neighbors, and people are more likely to trust people like themselves. Studies from Australia, Sweden, and Canada also show that ethnic diversity lowers levels of trust, and the same effect is found in non-Western countries.
Dora Costa of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Matthew Kahn of Tufts University analyzed 15 recent studies of the impact of diversity on social cohesion. They found that every study had “the same punch line: heterogeneity reduces civic engagement. In more diverse communities, people participate less as measured by how they allocate their time, their money, their voting and their willingness to take risks to help others.”
Similar research has uncovered what has come to be known as “the Florida effect,” or the unwillingness of taxpayers to fund public projects if the beneficiaries are of a different race. Maine, Vermont, and West Virginia are the most racially homogeneous states, and spend the highest proportion or gross state product on public education. “There does seem to be a correlation,” says Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau.
James Poterba of MIT has found that public spending on education falls as the percentage of elderly people without children rises. He notes, however, that the effect “is particularly large when the elderly residents and the school-age population are from different racial groups”—which is notably the case in Florida.
There is a widespread conviction that charity begins at home, that is to say, with one’s own people. A study of begging in Moscow, for example, found that Russians are more likely to give money to fellow Russians than to Central Asians or others who do not look like them. Likewise, it has long been theorized that welfare programs are more generous in Europe because European countries have traditionally been more homogeneous than the United States, and that people are less resistant to paying for welfare if the beneficiaries are racially and culturally like themselves. As a percentage of national wealth, all social transfers in the United States , including food stamps, pensions, medical care, etc. are about a third less than in Italy, France or Belgium, and even less generous than in Scandinavia. Alberto Alesina and Edward Glaeser have used statistical regression techniques to conclude that about half the difference is explained by greater American diversity, and the other half by weaker leftist political parties.
This is not to say Americans are stingy; they give more to charity than Europeans do. However, they prefer to give to specific groups. Many Jews and blacks give largely or even exclusively to ethnic charities. There are no specifically white charities, but much church giving is essentially ethnic. Church congregations are often homogeneous, which means that offerings for aid within the congregation stay within the ethnic group.
There is a field of study called “happiness research,” which tries to analyze what makes people happy. Prof. Michael Hagerty of the University of California at Davis surveyed decades of international happiness research and found that “for the most part, the top-rated countries are small and homogeneous.” The happiest people are the Danes. “People there have a similar world view and a similar religion, so that it’s easier for them to communicate and to understand each other’s motives,” he explains. “They don’t have race problems, they don’t have crime problems, and they have political freedom.”
A sense of kinship is an important source of harmony. In the conclusion of his 148-country survey Tatu Vanhanen wrote, “It is easier to establish harmonious social relations in ethnically homogeneous societies than in ethnically divided ones because people are more helpful towards each other in ethnically homogeneous societies.”
There can, of course, be many different kinds of division in a country: language, religion, race, class, etc. However, of all these, race seems to be the most difficult to bridge. Prof. Vanhanen explains that this is because racial divisions are tens of thousands of years old, and are immediately visible. “The more a population is ethnically divided and the more ethnic groups differ from each other genetically, the higher the probability and intensity of conflicts between ethnic groups,” he explains.
Milica Zarkovic Bookman, who is an expert on ethnic struggle, especially in the Balkans, also underlines the significance of race:
“Assimilation takes place in the spheres of religion and language most easily and is most successful among people who are culturally similar to the dominant group. When race is the distinguishing feature, assimilation efforts become irrelevant.”
Like many others, J. Philippe Rushton traces this tendency back far into the evolutionary past: “For millennia, racism was not a word,” he says, “it was a way of life.”
The conclusion that race is a serious and possibly permanent social fault line is not a popular one in the social sciences. Many scholars have downplayed its importance, and have insisted that class differences are the real cause of social conflict. Political scientist Walker Connor, who has taught at Harvard, Dartmouth, and Cambridge, criticized his colleagues for ignoring ethnic loyalty, for which he uses the term ethnonationalism. He wrote of “the school of thought called ‘nation-building’ that dominated the literature on political development, particularly in the United States after the Second World War:”
“The near total disregard of ethnonationalism that characterized the school, which numbered so many leading political scientists of the time, still astonishes. Again we encounter that divorce between intellectual theory and the real world.”
He explained further:
“To the degree that ethnic identity is given recognition, it is apt to be as a somewhat unimportant and ephemeral nuisance that will unquestionably give way to a common identity uniting all inhabitants of the state, regardless of ethnic heritage, as modern communication and transportation networks link the state’s various parts more closely.”
He argued, instead, that when ethnic groups come into closer contact it tends to intensify group consciousness: “There is little evidence of modern communications destroying ethnic consciousness, and much evidence of their augmenting it.” Prof. Connor came close to saying that any scholar who ignores ethnic loyalty is dishonest:
“[H]e perceives those trends that he deems desirable as actually occurring, regardless of the factual situation. If the fact of ethnic nationalism is not compatible with his vision, it can thus be willed away. … [T]he treatment calls for total disregard or cavalier dismissal of the undesired facts.”
This harsh judgment may not be entirely unwarranted. Robert Putnam, mentioned above for his research on how racial diversity decreases trust in American neighborhoods, waited five years to publish his data. It may have been an interview with the Financial Times of London that finally forced his hand. The paper quoted him as saying he was studying ways to show how the bad effects of diversity could be overcome, and that it “would have been irresponsible to publish without that.” Prof. Putnam was displeased with his findings, and worked very hard to find something other than racial diversity to explain why people in Lewiston, Maine trusted each other more than people in Los Angeles.
Setting aside the reluctance academics may have for publishing data that conflict with current political fantasies, Prof. Connor wrote that scholars discount racial or ethnic loyalty because of “the inherent limitations of rational inquiry into the realm of group identity.” Social scientists like to analyze political and economic interests because they are clear and rational, but Prof. Connor argues that “explanations of behavior in terms of pressure groups, elite ambitions, and rational choice theory hint not at all at the passions that motivate Kurdish, Tamil, and Tigre guerrillas or Basque, Corsican, Irish, and Palestinian terrorists.”
Prof. Connor quotes Chateaubriand, writing in the 18th century: “Men don’t allow themselves to be killed for their interests; they allow themselves to be killed for their passions.” Prof. Connor adds that group loyalty is evoked “not through appeals to reason but through appeals to the emotions (appeals not to the mind but to the blood).” Academics do not like the unquantifiable, the emotional, the primitive, even if these things drive men harder than the practical and the rational.
Sigmund Freud founded virtually all of psychotherapy on introspection and self-analysis, so one would expect him to be able to explain his own feelings, no matter how unquantifiable or primitive. In one area, however, he baffled himself; he could not explain group loyalty. He wrote that he was “irresistibly” bonded to Jews and Jewishness, by “many obscure and emotional forces, which were the more powerful the less they could be expressed in words, as well as by a clear consciousness of inner identity, a deep realization of sharing the same psychic structure.” Freud was writing before the days of genetic similarity theory, but he was describing what would now be called kinship bonds.
Perhaps he was right to say that the more powerful these bonds are the less they can be expressed in words. They are the feelings of artists and fanatics—and of ordinary people—but they do not lend themselves to precise analysis. By refusing to take seriously that which they cannot analyze, social scientists misread how real societies function.
Prof. Connor defined a nation as “the largest group that can command a person’s loyalty because of felt kinship ties; it is, from this perspective, the fully extended family.” Families are built on the most primitive emotions; genetic bonds tie them together. By likening race, nation, or ethnicity to “the fully extended family,” Prof. Connor captured some of its power. As Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster at Coleraine has noted, “[ethnic] conflicts have defied explanation by the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and economics . … [G]enetic similarity theory represents a major advance in the understanding of these conflicts.”
It also helps explain changes in international borders. The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia all split into ethnic nations. Cyprus has been essentially divided into Greek and Turkish enclaves. The Flemings want independence from the Walloons of Belgium as do the French-speaking Quebeckers from English-speaking Canada. There are innumerable conflicts—in Sri Lanka, Chechnya, Tibet, Iraq, Sudan—that reflect the desires of people to govern themselves, to celebrate their own heritage and culture, to live within smaller boundaries where they can remain among their own people.
Those rare cases of merger rather than division are driven by the same ethnic passions. Reunification of the two Germanys and Vietnams demonstrated the power of common blood. Within the two Koreas, there is a similarly deep yearning for union that will no doubt be satisfied when the aberrant regime in the north collapses.
Many people profess to believe that diversity—whether of race, language, or ethnicity—is a great advantage for a country. So many people say they believe this that one would expect this view to be buttressed by extensive social science research. It is not. The preceding summary (including Part I, which appeared in the previous issue) is not a selective account only of research that discredits diversity. There simply is no research that suggests diversity increases community cohesiveness, that the brain ignores race, or that diverse countries are happier and more peaceful than homogeneous ones. Praise for diversity is often nothing more than an unsupported assertion of its benefits.
As we have seen, in the United States both businesses and universities insist that a mix of races, religions, ethnicities, etc., is a huge boost to productivity and learning, but there is little evidence for this.
Thomas A. Kochan, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has probably studied corporate diversity more extensively than anyone. His conclusion after a five-year study? “The diversity industry is built on sand.” Prof. Kochan initially contacted 20 major companies that have publicly committed themselves to diversity, and was astonished to find that not one had done a serious study of how diversity increased profits. He learned that managers are afraid that race-related research could bring on lawsuits, but that another reason they do not look for results is &ldquldquo;because people simply want to believe that diversity works.”
Like other researchers, he noted “the negative consequences of diversity, such as higher turnover and greater conflict in the workplace,” and concluded that even if the best managers were able to overcome these problems there was no evidence diversity leads to greater profits. “The business case rhetoric for diversity is simply naive and overdone,” he says, noting that the estimated $8 billion a year spent on diversity training does not even protect businesses from discrimination suits, much less boost profits.
What about campus diversity? Attempts to measure its advantages are few and disappointing. Stanley Rothman, Seymour Martin Lipset, and Neil Nevitte used data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the correlation between student satisfaction with their education and the number of blacks on campus. Their findings: “As the proportion of black students rose, student satisfaction with their university experience dropped, as did their assessments of the quality of their education and the work ethic of their peers. In addition, the higher the enrollment diversity, the more likely students were to say that they personally experienced discrimination.” A greater mix of minorities is at least believed to make black students feel more comfortable, but the authors found that even this is uncertain: “Diversity appears to increase complaints of unfair treatment among white students without reducing them among black students.”
When scholars do not merely assert that diversity is an advantage but try to explain why it is so, their arguments are surprisingly weak. Let us return to Robert Putnam of Harvard. His main argument in favor of diversity was to say that large numbers of ethnic Europeans immigrated to a largely-WASP United States around the turn of the 20th century, and assimilated successfully. This is not a defense or a celebration of diversity. After several generations, Poles, Irishmen, and Italians became largely indistinguishable from WASPs, not just in language, but in earnings, education, and likelihood of marrying outside their ancestral group (Jews retained greater distinctiveness, but moved in the same direction). The newcomers became like the majority, and diversity largely disappeared. It disappeared because it was a source of tension and conflict, not a source of strength.
The experience of the European ethnics highlights the importance of race, which several studies cited above have found to be the most difficult social barrier to overcome. While whites were becoming essentially indistinguishable from each other, two non-white racial groups that had been in America far longer than the immigrants—Indians and blacks—were not assimilating. To this day, they maintain distinct identities.
The scientific evidence is clear: Human beings have deep-rooted tribal instincts. They prefer to live in homogeneous communities. Societies with distinct racial and ethnic populations suffer from conflicts from which homogenous ones are spared. There are intellectuals and bohemians who defy these instincts and enjoy diversity, but they are a minority. Why do Americans (and others) persist in claiming that diversity is a great advantage?
Why Deny the Obvious?
There are several reasons. In the 1950s and 1960s, when segregation was being dismantled, many people believed integration would be achieved within a generation. At that time, there were few Hispanics or Asians but with a population of blacks and whites, the United States could be described as “diverse.” It seemed vastly more forward-looking to think of this as an advantage to be cultivated rather than a defect to be endured. Americans hoped that race relations were entering a new era, in which people of different races would learn from and cooperate with each other.
It was appealing to think our country was embarking on a morally superior course. Human history is the history of warfare—between nations, tribes, religions, and empires. Many Americans firmly believed that reconciliation between blacks and whites would lead to a higher realm of human possibility.
After the immigration reforms of 1965 opened the United States to vast numbers of non-Europeans, our country became more diverse than anyone in the 1950s could have imagined. Diversity lead to conflict more often than to harmony, but it would have been a repudiation not only of our new immigration policy but of the civil rights ideals of the 1950s and 1960s to state the obvious: that diversity causes serious problems.
Americans are proud of their country and do not like to think it has made a grave mistake. As examples of ethnic and racial tension continued to accumulate, and as the civil rights vision of effortless integration faded, some people began to deny what was happening, or at least to hope that with enough exhortations to “celebrate diversity,” an increasingly serious disadvantage could be transformed into a benefit.
At the same time, in a society in which “racism” was becoming a virtually unforgivable crime, to draw unfavorable conclusions about diversity was sure to lead to charges of “racism.” It became common to say not only that diversity was our strength but that it was our greatest strength—something that was obviously not true and that would have astonished any American from the colonial era through the 1950s.
Some groups had an obvious interest in claiming that diversity was a strength: immigrants and non-whites. It was they, after all, who provided the diversity, and they took immediately to the idea that their presence was a priceless gift to the country. There is breath-taking arrogance in this view—that the United States was lifeless and incomplete before Hispanics or Asians came—but it is not unusual for recent immigrants to explain to the descendants of old stock Americans that diversity is central to our identity.
At the same time, it became nearly impossible for the presumed beneficiaries of diversity to decline the gift. To admit that diversity is a source of tension was, in effect, to look a black man or an immigrant in the face and say, “The country would be better off with fewer people like you.” Even if our society did not “celebrate diversity,” this would be appalling manners. In a country in which every pillar of society agreed that diversity was a great gift, it came to be seen as reprehensible.
By the turn of the 21st century, therefore, something that was very doubtful and certainly unproven had become unassailable doctrine. The mantra of diversity was so widely repeated that professors and business executives repeated it in the teeth of the evidence. Robert Putnam at first disbelieved his findings and then feared to publish them. Xerox and Chrysler, who otherwise do their sums with very sharp pencils, poured resources and moral energy into fruitless programs they dared not even evaluate. This is the kind of behavior we associate with divination and astrology.
The national commitment to diversity is now so great that to point out its weaknesses is an act of subversion. Many people are incapable even of facing the evidence, much less of making a psychological break with orthodoxy and accepting it. In all fairness, it is not hard to understand why. To renounce what has become virtually the state religion is to face a hideous possibility: that the United States has been hurtling down the wrong path for half a century.
Humans have a deep yearning to believe that their leaders act wisely, that the institutions of their society are good, that their country has a bright future. Many are unable to believe that so many leaders and prominent figures can have been mistaken.
J.B.S. Haldane noted with a smile that there are four stages new ideas go through before they are accepted: 1. This is worthless nonsense. 2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view. 3. This is true, but quite unimportant. 4. I always said so. The realization that diversity is not a strength is somewhere between stages one and two, but the evidence for it is so overwhelming that it will eventually reach stage four.
When that happens, all Western societies will have to answer questions that many now find too terrifying to face: If diversity is a weakness, and all our efforts to increase it have been a mistake, what do we do now? Can diversity be reversed? If so, how? Can it be reversed humanely? Or must we simply carry on, but more humbly and with fewer illusions?
The longer we wait before dealing sensibly with these questions, the fewer choices we will have.
Making Sense of the Past
History in light of race and IQ.
Michael Hart, Understanding Human History, Washington Summit Publishers, 2007, 483 pp., $34.95 (softcover, $24.95)
“The differences in average intelligence that evolved between the human races have been a major factor in the course of human history and prehistory. Any theory that ignores these differences, or denies their existence, will therefore be unable to explain various major aspects of history.” So begins Michael Hart’s ambitious and remarkably successful account of who did what—and more importantly why—over the last 30,000 years.
This is first and foremost a history book, which attempts to cover in a single volume everything of real importance that happened up until modern times. This would be a challenge even for a professional historian, but Dr. Hart, whose PhD is in astronomy, carries it off gracefully and engagingly. No doubt his experience as a teacher of history of science and his research for an earlier book on the 100 men he considers the most important in human history were useful preparation. This is a good, concise study of the main events of our past.
What sets Dr. Hart apart is his analysis of history in the light of racial differences in intelligence. Just as Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen can solve problems that baffle development economists because they understand race and IQ (see “Survival of the Fittest,” AR, June 2007), Dr. Hart finds patterns and offers explanations for what would otherwise seem random.
Understanding Human History therefore begins with an introduction to race, intelligence, and genetics. After an excellent summary, Dr. Hart writes that “the overall evidence in favor of this conclusion [that there is a substantial genetic contribution to racial differences in average IQ] is so great that no one would dispute the point if it were not an issue that aroused strong emotions on ideological grounds.” Both the past and present make much more sense once it is understood that human populations that evolved in the demandingly cold environments of Europe and North Asia are more intelligent than those that were not winnowed by the challenges of surviving cold winters. (See “Northwest Passage,” AR, June 2006, for a review of this theory.)
Out of Africa
All authorities agree that Homo sapiens first appeared in Africa approximately 100,000 years ago and then migrated to the other continents. Dr. Hart gives a good description of what is known about evolution from Homo erectus on, and traces early human migration routes in some detail. The indigenous populations of Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and Australia, for example, were never out of warm climates on their way out of Africa, and therefore did not evolve high intelligence. Dr. Hart notes that these populations are all more closely related to each other than to North Asians, and that the latter are actually more closely related to Caucasians than to Southeast Asians.
The effects on intelligence of having left sub-Saharan Africa for more demanding environments began to appear at the end of the Paleolithic period. Dr. Hart notes that such stone-age inventions as cave painting, sewing needles, bows and arrows, harpoons, fishhooks, and pottery, which appeared from 13,000 to 32,000 years ago, all arose well north of the Sahara.
Perhaps the greatest change in human life, however, occurred during what is called the Neolithic revolution, or the transition to agriculture. Until then, humans lived at the subsistence level in hunter-gatherer bands of 20 to 80. The switch to farming meant that people could grow more food than their families could eat, and this surplus led to the rise of specialized trades and crafts, and the establishment of cities. Human life changed dramatically.
Farming first began 10,000 to 11,000 years ago, with the domestication of wild wheat and barley in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates. The first farm animals were goats, followed by sheep and pigs. Cattle and horses, which are larger and harder to tame came later. Dogs were probably domesticated about the time farming began, but cats were probably not domesticated for another 6,000 years.
Dr. Hart writes that farming spread from the Middle East to Europe and Africa, but that it arose independently in China and in Central America. Dr. Hart notes that it also began independently in the isolated highlands of New Guinea, but many thousands of years later than in the Middle East.
The cities and specialized trades that agriculture could support eventually led to another critically important development: writing. Invented around 3,400 BC in Sumeria (now in Southern Iraq), writing first appeared as cumbersome pictograms—the Egyptians developed their version around 3,100 BC. The first proper alphabet was for a north Semitic language, and did not appear until around 1,600 BC. This was the source of the famous Phoenician alphabet, from which both Greek and Latin script are probably derived. The Chinese invented writing independently of the Middle East—probably around 1,500 BC—as did the Central American Indians around 700 BC.
The Middle East was therefore the source for some of the most vitally important human breakthroughs: farming, writing, irrigation, metalworking, weaving, the alphabet, the arch, iron-making, and glass-making. For some 4,000 years, until the Greeks caught up around 300 BC, the Middle East was the most advanced place on earth. If the Hart thesis is correct, and intelligence is higher in cold climates, why did these advances not take place first in Europe or North Asia?
Dr. Hart argues that the critical first step—agriculture—required three things: a population of sufficiently high intelligence, a long growing season, and the presence of promising food crops. Europe had only the first of these, and therefore both the concept of agriculture and the crops themselves had to be introduced from the Middle East. It was not until some 5,000 years after agriculture began in the Fertile Crescent that it finally reached the northernmost parts of Europe. In China, there were good food crops—millet and rice—but the growing season was short. The inhabitants were nevertheless smart enough to adopt agriculture independently not long after it appeared in the Middle East.
Farming arose in Central America several thousand years later but not, writes Dr. Hart, because of low intelligence of the inhabitants. The MesoAmericans had come across the Alaska land bridge, and spent a good part of their evolutionary history in cold climates. What delayed agriculture was the absence of promising grains. The wild ancestor of today’s corn, teosinte, took thousands of years of domestication to become a satisfactory food crop.
The Middle East’s head start in agriculture led to many advances over other parts of the world. This, says Dr. Hart, is why it pulled so far ahead of more northerly areas where the inhabitants were more intelligent.
The most influential group of humans who ever lived may have been the Indo-Europeans. A combination of linguistic research and archeology traces their origins to perhaps 6,000 years ago, in the area north of the Black and Caspian Seas. Some people believe the first speakers of a proto-Indo-European language may have been the Kurgan people. Whoever they were, by about the time of Christ, the Indo-Europeans were “the tribe that conquered a continent.” Dr. Hart points out that they conquered far more than that. Not only did they populate Europe, they were most of the population of Persia, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, established the Roman and Parthian empires, and controlled most of the Middle East and North Africa. By 200 AD, however, their expansion came to an end, and the Indo-Europeans later lost control of North Africa and the Middle East, and Europe itself was threatened by Huns, Arabs, and Mongols. It was only by about 1500 that Indo-Europeans—in this case, the European branch of that group—regained the initiative. Dr. Hart is unequivocal: it was the intelligence Indo-Europeans had evolved to survive cold climates that permitted their extraordinary expansion.
Greece and Rome are, of course, the iconic Indo-European achievements of antiquity. The real flowering of Greek genius, and the contributions of almost all of the names we associate with the golden age, were during what amounted to a very short period: from the first war against Persia in 546 BC until the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War in 404 BC. It was during this century and a half that Greeks laid the foundations of Western Civilization, and their achievements in science, astronomy, and mathematics were not surpassed for another 1,600 years. Some would say their philosophy and drama are still unsurpassed. Dr. Hart argues that the Greeks were probably no more intelligent than other Europeans, but merely benefited from geography: They were close enough to Egypt and the Middle East to build on the best knowledge then available.
It is not easy to credit this explanation. Most of the great figures of ancient Greece lived in Athens, a city-state that probably never had an adult male citizen population of more than 20,000 (the total population, including slaves, may have been 150,000 or more), and the contributions to world knowledge of this tiny group is surely more disproportionate than any other. We may never fully understand what gave rise to Greek genius.
In the case of Rome, it is the decline that baffles historians. Most empires have been overwhelmed by superior power, but the Romans were defeated by peoples far less advanced than themselves, who fielded armies much smaller than ones Rome had beaten in the past. Dr. Hart catalogues some of the causes of the collapse—replacement of the national religion by Christianity, increasing multi-nationalism that undercut patriotism, widespread corruption—but we are still left with a mystery. Whatever the explanation, the abdication of the last Roman emperor in 476 AD marked the beginning of the Dark Ages, during which Europe lost its position as the most advanced part of the world, and fell behind both the Arabs and the Chinese.
What was Rome’s greatest contribution to the West? Unlike those who cite law and engineering, Dr. Hart argues that Emperor Constantine’s legalization of Christianity in 313 AD and its subsequent spread throughout the empire was Rome’s most significant legacy.
The destruction of Rome was not the first time a civilization was laid waste by barbarians who took centuries to reach the level of the people they had conquered. The 12th century BC Dorian invaders who later created Greek civilization destroyed the earlier Mycenaean culture and plunged Greece into a “dark age” that lasted 300 years. In both cases, the conquerers could not read the writing of the conquered, and this slowed their absorption of higher civilization.
The Modern Era
By about 1100, Europe had recovered its strength and was pushing back the Muslims. The Crusades, begun in 1099, brought Europe into close contact with Arabs, and led to the reintroduction of classical Greek science and mathematics. These rediscoveries were an important impetus to the Renaissance, and by the 12th century, Europe had begun great cathedrals such as Notre Dame. The Balkans, under Muslim rule, did not benefit from the Renaissance, nor did Russia, which was isolated and controlled by Mongols, but by 1450 Europe had regained its position as world leader.
Understanding Human History concludes with an account of the modern era. After Gutenberg invented movable type in the 15th century (type was already in use in China but unknown in the West), virtually every significant advance in industry, science, and navigation was made by Europeans.
In this context, Dr. Hart asks why Europe and not China? The Chinese were as intelligent as whites, and had been well ahead of Europe for centuries. In Kubilai Kahn’s time, China must have seemed the most promising candidate for progress. Dr. Hart notes, however, that the Chinese language, with its thousands of ideograms, is not suited to printing (which is why movable type was not widely used in China), whereas all European languages benefited enormously from the printing press. He adds that the Chinese had never shown much interest in astronomy or mathematics, which became the basis for the Scientific Revolution. China also had a relatively small coastline and extensive internal trade, so did not have the same need as Europe for navigation and exploration. Finally, China was unified and at peace, whereas the warring kingdoms of Europe were always looking for better weapons.
The Scientific Revolution in Europe nevertheless raises other questions. During the Renaissance, the continent’s best minds were devoted to the arts and humanities. Why, beginning in the 1600s, did they turn to science? Dr. Hart suggests that the heliocentrism controversy caught the European imagination because it was far more than a scientific problem. By redefining man’s place in the universe, it challenged the Catholic church. Dr. Hart suggests that it was this 50-year controversy that directed European thinking towards astronomy, mathematics, and the laws of physics.
Dr. Hart raises a similar question about the Industrial Revolution. Why in England? He writes that only England met all of the following criteria: It had a high average IQ. It did not practice slavery, and therefore had a built-in need for labor-saving advances. It had gone through the intellectual ferment of the Renaissance and Reformation, which stimulated free thinking. It was united—unlike Germany or Italy—and had, in effect, an internal free-trade zone. It had plenty of coal and iron ore. Finally, it had a tradition of property rights, which meant that the profits of industrialization would stay in the pockets of entrepreneurs and risk-takers. It was, of course, the Industrial Revolution that led to the dominance of Europe over the rest of the world.
Dr. Hart evaluates the achievements of other peoples of the past. The Arabs, for example, he finds notable for their conquests. In just the hundred years from Mohammed’s death in 632 to the battle of Tours in 732, Muslims had conquered Turkey, Afghanistan, parts of Central Asia, all of North Africa, a large part of Persia, the Iberian peninsula, and were stopped only in central France. This is a remarkable record, but Dr. Hart argues that because most of these conquests did not last, they must have been achieved only because their targets were temporarily weak, not because the Arabs were strong. He adds that although Arabs produced remarkable architecture, lyric poetry, and decorative arts, they added very little to science, mechanics, or astronomy. Although they were more advanced than Europeans from about 600 to 1300, they did not progress beyond the science of the Greeks, nor did they invent anything significant.
Dr. Hart considers China the West’s only real civilizational rival. It produced many important innovations: paper, movable type, gunpowder, cast iron, the compass, and the use of coal as a fuel. Dr. Hart writes that the invention of paper in 105 AD gave the Chinese a head start that lasted for centuries because they had a monopoly on the best medium for storing knowledge. Under the Tang dynasty (618-907), he writes, China was clearly more advanced than any other place on earth. Marco Polo’s 13th century accounts of the court of Kubilai Khan frankly acknowledged its superiority over anything in the West.
Kubilai, grandson of Genghis, ruled the largest empire the world has ever seen. It broke up shortly after his death, but by the 17th century, Mongol-derived people controlled even more territory than Kubilai had, including the Ottoman empire, Manchu China, and Mughal India (Mughal is the Persian word for Mongol). The Mughals and Ottomans were largely absorbed by the peoples they ruled, but their dominance was undisputed. Dr. Hart argues that the Mongol conquests required a high average intelligence bred in the harsh plains of north Asia. Like the Indo-Europeans of more than 5,000 years earlier, they were a hugely dynamic people that left its mark on vast regions to the south.
Another group Dr. Hart recognizes for remarkable but narrow accomplishment is the Polynesians who settled the Pacific islands, sometimes after voyages of thousands of miles. Not even the Phoenicians or Vikings rivaled their exploits. Dr. Hart points out that Pacific islands were without domesticable plants or animals, which means pioneers brought them. These were therefore deliberate voyages of colonization; distant islands were not accidentally populated by sailors blown off course.
There are also human populations distinguished by how little they have contributed. Reports of pre-contact sub-Saharan Africans are consistent: No tribe in that vast area had the wheel, writing, a calendar, or a mechanical device of any kind. Metal working had been introduced from the north, but in all of black Africa there were no two-story buildings and no monuments to compare even with the stone statues of Easter Island. Dr. Hart notes that Madagascar is 250 miles off the African coast, but Africans never settled it. Instead, it was populated from 3,000 miles away by Southeast Asians who arrived around 500 AD. Africans continue to be largely incapable of absorbing the science and technology of others, and have not added to it.
Australian aborigines were even more primitive than Africans when whites first found them. They were living in the old stone age, which is to say they did not work metal and had no domesticated crops. They had invented one thing: the boomerang, which they used as a weapon. The Tasmanians were more primitive still. About 10,000 years ago, when sea levels were lower, Tasmania was connected to Australia. When the ocean rose, the Tasmanians were unable to cross the Bass Strait. During their 10,000 years of separation, they became even more primitive than before: They forgot how to make sewing needles and fishhooks.
Understanding Human History concludes with an unremarkable prediction: Races that have contributed the most will continue to do so, and vice versa. One could argue further, however, that unless whites give up certain illusions they will fall to permanent second-tier status behind the North Asians. For the last 50 years, whites have persisted in believing—or at least pretended to believe—that genes have nothing to do with a group’s contributions to civilization. They have made dangerously dysgenic assumptions: that all immigrants are equally desirable, that dimwits should have as many children as geniuses, and that eugenics is immoral. North Asians, especially the Chinese, have no such illusions. As Dr. Hart points out, Western Man has had some very good innings. If he does not wake up from a foolish sentimentality, he will find that his days as a maker of history are over.
Switzerland for the Swiss
Christoph Blocher and the SVP.
The most successful modern Euro-pean nationalist party is not the French National Front or the Danish People’s Party. It is not the Belgian Vlaams Belang or even the Austrian Freedom Party. It is the Swiss People’s Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP in German, Union Démocratique du Centre or UDC in French). Formed out of a merger between the Farmers, Artisans, and Citizens’ Party and the Democratic Party in 1971, the SVP was originally a centrist agrarian party of modest political attainments. It generally got 10 to 15 percent of the vote, and was the smallest party in the seven-man Swiss Federal Council. (The Federal Council, elected by parliament, is the executive branch of the Swiss government. The three largest parties each get two of the seven seats and the fourth largest party gets one. This “magic formula” ensures that major decisions require agreement across party lines.)
Since the 1980s, the party has been strongly influenced by its unofficial leader, Christoph Blocher. Mr. Blocher joined the SVP in the 1970s, became the leader of the Zurich branch in 1977, and was first elected to parliament in 1979. The son of a pastor and holding a Ph.D. in jurisprudence, Mr. Blocher became a billionaire as head of the plastics company EMS Chemie. Forbes puts his fortune at $1.4 billion, making him the ninth richest man in Switzerland.
Mr. Blocher became widely known to the public in 1986 when he founded the lobbying group Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland. Through this group, Mr. Blocher financed national referenda opposing UN and EU membership, the abolition of the Swiss army, and the use of Swiss troops for UN peacekeeping operations. Although he does not hold an official position within the party, Mr. Blocher is its chief spokesman and guiding force.
Under his leadership, the party has moved firmly to the right, campaigning for strict national sovereignty and opposing Third World immigration and easy asylum. The more the party spoke out against immigration and asylum, and the more racially explicit its appeals became—a 1999 campaign poster showed brown hands tearing up a Swiss flag—the more votes it won. The breakthrough came in 1999, when the SVP got 22.5 percent of the vote, and became the second-largest party with 44 seats, behind the Socialists’ 51. Four years later, the SVP won 27 percent of the vote, and with 55 seats, became the largest party in the 200-seat parliament. Based on its new size and strength, the SVP got a second member on the Federal Council. Mr. Blocher became justice minister, joining the SVP’s Samuel Schmid, who had served since 2000 as defense minister.
The 2007 parliamentary campaign was as hard hitting as ever, built around the now-famous black-sheep poster that was condemned across Europe and in the UN as “racist” (see AR, October and November 2007). Brushing off accusations of fascism and Nazism, the SVP increased its vote by 2.3 percent, winning 29 percent, and increasing its parliamentary delegation by seven, for a total of 62. The next largest party, the Socialists, won just 19 percent of the vote, down 3.8 percent from 2003.
What accounts for the SVP’s success? The Swiss are very patriotic and take immense pride in their country. Although tolerant of outsiders, they do not want them to change the country; they want Switzerland to stay Swiss. Foreigners now make up 20 percent of the population, and many Swiss think that is enough. More than half of all criminal convictions in 2005 were of foreigners, and nearly 69 percent of jail inmates are foreign born. Foreigners are three times more likely than native Swiss to be on welfare. The SVP appeals to ordinary, patriotic Swiss voters.
The SVP is a rarity in modern politics—a nationalist party that actually governs. Not only is it the largest party in the Swiss government, its other Federal Council member, Samuel Schmid, served as vice president of the Swiss Confederation in 2004 and president (a largely ceremonial one-year post) in 2005. Mr. Blocher is likely to serve a term as president as well.
Other European nationalist parties have not fared so well. The National Front has never been in a French government. The Vlaams Belang is the largest party in Belgium, but the other parties keep it out of government through a “cordon sanitaire” agreement, in which they all refuse to join it in a coalition. (The Swiss Green party has proposed a cordon sanitaire against the SVP, but it is unlikely to get much support.) The Danish People’s Party, under the redoutable Pia Kjærsgaard, is the third largest party in Denmark, with 13 percent of the vote, but has never managed to join a coalition. Austria’s Freedom Party, led by Jörg Haider, shocked the European establishment by taking part in a ruling coalition in 1999, but fell apart shortly thereafter (see “Haider’s Party Stumbles,” AR, January 2003).
It will be difficult to duplicate the SVP’s success. Entirely aside from the fact that few parties are ever blessed with a billionaire who is also a gifted orator and political tactician, the SVP can win election campaigns using racially charged imagery because the Swiss are not as infected with political correctness as other Westerners. As party secretary Gregor Rutz explains, “In Switzerland we are more open and uncomplicated than in other countries. Fortunately we have more liberty in this country. We are more free to discuss such things. If you have to think before you say something, in case it offends someone, that is not good for democracy.”
As the interview on the facing page suggests, however, Switzerland is not entirely out of the woods.
‘This is Our Country’
Interview with Eric Bertinat of the SVP.
Eric Bertinat is an SVP legislator and member of the party’s central committee. He managed the 2007 campaign in Geneva.
Q: The press is saying that with this victory your party will now have to behave responsibly.
A: They would be better off looking into why their friends lost, and how they might behave more responsibly. The media seem to forget that we are not just getting started. This simply confirms our victory in 2003 [when we won 22.5 percent of the vote and became the largest party in Switzerland.] We have already passed the test of participating in a government. With this latest victory, the SVP naturally assumes the role of a governing party. After all, we have just put in an historic performance. With 29 percent of the vote, we have done better than any Swiss party since 1919!
We have been making steady gains since 1995. What is surprising is not our success but the systematic opposition we have faced in the media. We even had to take out newspaper ads to strike a balance with what was written about us. I must tell you that these wonderful people of the press spit in our faces, but are perfectly happy to take our advertising money.
Q: How do you explain your success in the face of such an artillery barrage of media opposition?
A: By the popularity of our positions, which answer the concrete needs of the Swiss people. Also by the successful application in government of our ideas for four years … and by the clumsiness of our political opponents. Our adversaries were so preoccupied with criticizing and denouncing the SVP that they didn’t even propose a political program of their own.
Q: And what is your program?
A: Would you believe that this is the first time in the entire campaign that a journalist has actually asked me that question? We defend the basic values of Christian and Western civilization—without any desire to harm others but without hesitating to affirm our own identity. This is our country.
The SVP has as its goal the well-being of Swiss citizens. We try to apply useful policies that offer our citizens dignity, prosperity, work, security, and the greatest liberty. To that end, we wish to preserve Switzerland. This victory means we can set aside the mirage of European integration, which would be detrimental to our interests.
We also try to reduce government spending. Christoph Blocher has proven as justice minister that it was possible to save 226 million Swiss Francs per year without any loss in effectiveness.
In the area of education, we hope to correct a curriculum that has shifted far too much to the left. This is a long-term project, which cannot be accomplished in just a few years, because we must deal with a bastion of the left. However, we have already brought back grades in schools, instead of the vague comments that passed for grades and that left students dissatisfied.
Also, thanks to the law we introduced that toughened up requirements for asylum, Switzerland gets fewer fake asylum seekers. A new law on immigration will give the Swiss breathing space to protect themselves against mass immigration.
The “sheep” poster was on the front page of every European newspaper. Our opponents thought the poster would destroy our campaign. Everybody pounced on it, thinking they would sink us. But the Swiss aren’t stupid. They listened to the policies we were proposing. And our poster reflects nothing more than federal crime statistics showing that foreigners commit 85.5 percent of the rapes and 50 percent of the murders and other violent crimes. Seventy percent of the prison population are immigrants.
The poster targets only criminals. Foreigners who respect our laws and customs have nothing to fear. The “black sheep” of the popular expression is the one who misbehaves, not all immigrants.
Our voter initiative on the deportation of criminal aliens was a great success. We had 18 months to get 100,000 signatures. Well, we got 200,000 in just three months. And don’t tell me that every third Swiss is a fascist. We talk about the things voters really care about.
Our party also started an initiative that would prohibit building minarets—which are an assault on the Swiss identity—and another that would stop “mass naturalization,” which always means more welfare.
Q: One last question. For a party that has such firm ideas, it is not easy to understand why the French name of your party is the Democratic Union of the Center.
A: [Mr. Bertinat laughs.] That’s part of history. The Democratic Union of the Center was an agrarian party founded in 1917. It was a union of Zurich peasant groups and of German- and French-Swiss democrats. As time went by, our positions became a little more muscular. As you know, in German, the party’s name is Schweizerische Volkspartei, meaning the Swiss People’s Party. Do you like the sound of that better?
|IN THE NEWS|
O Tempora, O Mores!
LA’s ‘Race War’
Like many parts of Los Angeles, the Florence-Firestone area north of Watts went from mostly black to mostly Hispanic in something over a decade. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Hispanic gangs—Florencia 13 and 38th Street—quarreled among themselves and ignored the black gang, the East Coast Crips. Some time in the mid 1990s, however, the Mexican Mafia put out the word that Hispanic gangs were to stop fighting each other and chase out the blacks. The ensuing feud has since grown into something locals call a race war.
“They just see a young man of the opposite race and they shoot,” says Olivia Rosales, a former hate-crimes specialist who has prosecuted many Florencia 13 murders over the last two years. “They don’t stop to question whether or not they are a member of the gang.” Of the 20 cases she has handled, said Miss Rosales, “most of the victims have not been members of the rival gang.” The Florence-Firestone neighborhood of some 60,000 people had 41 homicides in 2005, a higher murder rate than in some of America’s most violent big cities.
Chris Le Grande is pastor of Great Hope Fellowship in Faith, one of Florence-Firestone’s major black churches. He says gang members used to ignore bystanders who were not gang members, but no longer. He says the attitude now is, “I’m deliberately shooting you because of your color.” Timothy Slack, who is black, lives a few blocks from Great Hope Fellowship church. He says Hispanics sometimes drive through shooting at blacks. He no longer lets his children go to the store and never uses alleys. Mr. Slack grew up in Florence-Firestone, when it was mostly black. “They were timid,” he says of Hispanics, “but as their numbers started getting bigger, then they started trying to be tougher. They started thinking they could demand stuff.”
The tension affects everyone. Irv Sitkoff, a local pharmacist, says his employees must treat people of different races exactly the same because the slightest difference leads to charges of favoritism. “You’ve got to very careful,” he says. “Before, we didn’t think about it.”
One former black gang member, who still lives in the area because he owns property and has family ties, says he expects all blacks will eventually move out. “It’s going to come a time when everybody’s going to have to leave. Everybody’s going to have to go.” [Sam Quinones, “Gang Rivalry Grows into Race War: Battle over the Drug Trade has led to Escalating Violence in Florence-Firestone,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 18, 2007.]
Getting the Message
On October 17, the Prince William County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors (six Republicans and two Democrats) voted unanimously to approve a hotly debated bill that would deny most county services to illegal aliens and authorize county police to enforce immigration laws. The vote came after hours of often emotional testimony on both sides.
Hispanic activists were dumfounded. A crowd of more than 1,000 demonstrators chanting “Si, se puede!” (Yes, we can!) failed to win over a single supervisor. Ricardo Juarez said that his group, Mexicans Without Borders, had done everything it could to prevent the vote. “If there was a failure here,” he said, “it was the authorities’ failure to listen to us.” Supervisor John D. Jenkins said he listened carefully; he just didn’t agree: “I can be persuaded to have sympathy for people. I can’t have sympathy for anyone who breaks the law.”
Supporters of the law say they wanted to make it clear illegal aliens aren’t welcome in the Washington, DC suburban county. They have succeeded. Hispanics—both legal and illegal—have been moving out of Prince William County since July, when the Board of Supervisors gave the county 90 days to decide which services should be off limits to illegals. “There is a mass panic,” says Roberto Catacora, who owns a school that teaches English to Hispanic immigrants. “Those who haven’t already moved away don’t dare step outside their houses.” “I was already thinking of going home, because I was having such a hard time finding work,” says Jose Luis Pubeac, a Salvadoran who jumped the border 18 months ago. “But this law convinced me it was time. [They] hate us so much here.” While some illegals are going back to Mexico or Central America, most are moving to nearby jurisdictions that have not passed such stiff laws.
Aracely Diaz, a grocery store clerk from El Salvador, says she told her real estate agent to sell her townhouse after the vote. “I’ll be selling at a loss. But I don’t care. I no longer have any affection for this place that treats us this way. I just want to get out.” Jose Ventura, another Salvadoran, blames the “anti-immigrant climate” for the loss of his contracting business and the foreclosure on his new house. He had planned to rent out rooms so he could pay the mortgage. “I feel like when this county was growing, when they needed us, they welcomed us Latinos with open arms,” he says. “But now that the county is all grown up and times are hard, it’s totally turned its back on us. They are so ungrateful.” [Nick Miroff and Kristen Mack, Protest Styles Presented a Clash of Cultures, and One Decisively Won, Washington Post, Nov. 4, 2007. N.C. Aizenman, New Fear Leads Both Legal, Illegal Latinos to Leave Pr. William, Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2007.]
Fewer Blacks Enlist
The number of blacks applying to enlist in the Army has dropped 60 percent: from more than 42,000 in 2000 to just over 17,000 in 2005. Of the 17,000 who applied, only 7,500 were accepted. Opposition to the war in Iraq and to President Bush are two reasons for the decline. According to recent polls, 83 percent of blacks say the war was a mistake, and only 9 percent think Mr. Bush is doing a good job. Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, white applications are down 10 percent and Hispanic enlistments are down 7 percent.
Nathaniel Daly, a black New Jersey high-school graduate, says he won’t enlist because the government ignored blacks after Hurricane Katrina. “Why would we go over there and help them [Iraqis], when [the US government] can’t help us over here?” he asks. His friend Brian Jackson says, “It’s not our war. We got our own war here, just staying alive,” referring to the high murder rate in his home town, Philadelphia. Damon Wright, a high school senior in Washington, DC, will not join either. “There’s no guarantee I wouldn’t have to go over there [to Iraq],” he says. “I’m trying to play football in college. I might go over there and lose a leg.”
Some analysts are worried. “African-Americans have been such a key part of the modern military,” says Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution: “That whole culture and value system is at risk in the black community. That is a big, big change. To me, it portends the possibility of a longer-term loss of interest. It can be tough to get it back.”
Blacks are still slightly overrepresented in the military, where they were 14.5 percent of the force in 2005, compared to 12.8 percent of the general population. [Joseph Williams and Kevin Baron, Military Sees Big Decline in Black Enlistees, Boston Globe, Oct. 7, 2007.]
Saving World Cultures
Americans are deeply uneasy about immigration and think it threatens their national culture—as do people all over the world—according to a survey of 45,000 people in 47 countries published by the Pew Research Center on October 4. In 44 of the 47 countries, majorities said government should cut back on immigration. Only South Koreans, Japanese, and Palestinians favor current immigration levels (which are essentially zero). Seventy-five percent of Americans want cuts.
“In today’s rapidly changing world, people from nations rich and poor worry about losing their traditional culture,” the survey reported. Seventy-three percent of Americans fear they are losing their traditional way of life, as do 74 percent of Germans, 75 percent of French, and 77 percent of Britons. In South Korea and Bangladesh, 92 percent worry about losing their culture. Sweden was the only country where fewer than half (49 percent) were worried about losing their way of life. [ Jennifer Harper, Immigration, Loss of Culture, Worry Nations, Washington Times, Oct. 5, 2007.]
Katrina Hits Atlanta
Police say Atlanta is suffering an unprecedented crime wave, and they blame black Katrina refugees. Officers have identified eight criminals, “the worst of the worst,” who have been killing and robbing with AK-47 assault rifles, and even blaze away in public. These are not the sort of crimes to which local police are accustomed, says police chief Richard Pennington, but he knows all about this kind of criminal: He used to run the New Orleans police department. Officers managed to arrest all eight, and with less trouble than Chief Pennington expected. “I’m surprised they weren’t confrontational when we arrested them because they were totally prepared—bullet-proof vests, automatic weapons—the things we don’t normally see here in Atlanta,” he says. [Atlanta Crime Spree Blamed on Katrina, WSB-TV (Atlanta), Oct. 4, 2007.]
James Watson, who won the Nobel Prize in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA, has done the cause of race realism great harm. On October 14, the (London) Sunday Times Magazine quoted him as saying he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours—whereas all the testing says not really.” He also said employers would like to think all their employees are equal but find that blacks are not. [Hunt-Grubbe, C. The Elementary DNA of Dear Dr. Watson, Times Online, October 14, 2007.] When these off-hand remarks produced an outcry, he backed down, apologized, and canceled a tour of Britain to promote his new book, Avoid Boring People. He ran and hid rather than defend the truth.
It is true there was great pressure on Dr. Watson to recant. His employer, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, forced him into retirement (even after the apology). The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) issued a contemptuous statement saying Dr. Watson had promoted “personal prejudices that are racist, vicious and unsupported by science,” adding that “he has failed us in the worst possible way.” No doubt the FAS would have preferred that Dr. Watson commit murder or treason.
And, of course, when the press sought “experts” to comment on Dr. Watson’s remarks, they chose only those they knew would savage him, and none of the respected scientists who would have said Dr. Watson was right. As always, we were treated to the tiresome spectacle of people who know nothing about the research on race and IQ saying well informed views are “bigotry.”
Dr. Watson should have followed the example of his great predecessor, William Shockley, who won the Nobel Prize for inventing the transistor. Late in his career Shockley turned to race, IQ, and heritability, but unlike Dr. Watson, he took a firm stand and stuck to it. He used his immense prestige to speak in every possible forum. He never backed down and never apologized. Shockley went to his grave believing the work he was doing in genetics and intelligence was more important than the transistor.
Shockley had integrity and backbone. Dr. Watson does not.
All the same, it was amusing to see the panic a few casual words spread through the scientific “establishment.” Dr. Watson could have taken an unorthodox position on anything else—cold fusion, vitamins, cancer treatment—without provoking such a chorus of bellowing. It is like the waning days of the Soviet Union, when every Russian knew Marxism was a fantastic hoax—and therefore had to defend it all the more stupidly and slavishly.
Dr. Watson was right to point out that the scientific noose is tightening on tattered, liberal thinking. He predicted that the genes that code for intelligence will be found in 10 or 15 years, and the controversy will be over. Those who are screaming today will be shown to be the obscurantist bigots they are. But there will be no glory for a man who fled at the first sound of guns.
The Big Greasy
According to the FBI, the number of public corruption cases in the New Orleans area has more than quintupled. Howard Schwartz of the FBI’s New Orleans office says there have been 171 indictments between 2003 and mid-September, 2007, as opposed to only 31 during the previous five years. More than 80 percent of indictments led to guilty pleas or convictions for such crimes as bribery and fraud. Most of the malefactors were elected or appointed officials, including police officers, a former school board president, and city councilmen.
The feds have stepped up anti-corruption efforts ever since billions in post-Katrina money began to flow into the city. They have even put up billboards and run radio ads encouraging citizens to blow the whistle. They work. The FBI gets five to 25 tips a week. No one is sure whether the high conviction rate reflects a real rise in crime or just better enforcement. The FBI has stepped up anti-corruption efforts everywhere; nationally, cases have jumped 49 percent since 2001. [Rick Jarvis, New Orleans Corruption Cases Multiply, October 3, 2007]
Nigel Hastilow is a former editor of the Birmingham Post and was a Conservative Party candidate for Parliament until he praised the late British MP Enoch Powell (see “Listening for an Echo,” AR, May 2001) in a newspaper column:
“When you ask most people in the Black Country [an industrial area in the West Midlands] what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most say immigration. Many insist: ‘Enoch Powell was right.’ Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably. He was right. It has changed dramatically.”
The Labour Party shrieked that the column exposed the Tories’ “racist underbelly” and proved they are “the same old nasty party.”
Conservative leaders forced Mr. Hastilow to resign and apologize. “I am very sorry that any remarks of mine have undermined the progress [party leader] David Cameron has made on the issue of immigration, as on so many other issues,” he said. [Richard Holt, Tory Candidate Resigns Over Race Row, Telegraph (London), Nov. 5, 2007. Brendan Carlin, Parties Row Over Tory Candidate’s Race Remarks, Telegraph (London), Nov. 5, 2007.]
The US Army gets realistic combat training for medics right in downtown Miami. Jackson Memorial Hospital, treats an average of 11 badly mangled people a day, as many as military hospitals in Iraq. Medics see smashed heads, multiple gunshot wounds, and stabbings, and must often work through interpreters. This is perfect training for Iraq. During one shift in October, Army medics treated four police officers shot with an AK-47. One of them died. “That’s exactly what we’re going to see over there,” says Spc. Joshua McCann.
The Army has been using Jackson Memorial for six years. The Navy has a similar program in Los Angeles while the Air Force trains medics in Baltimore, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. [Jennifer Kay, Army Medics Train at Miami Trauma Center, AP, Oct. 25, 2007.]
|LETTERS FROM READERS|
Sir — As a veteran South Africa watcher, I was intrigued with Dan Roodt’s De La Rey article (AR, September 2007). Recently the De La Rey song could be heard in France, when the Springboks triumphed over the Poms in the rugby World Cup. On that occasion Koos De La Rey was doubly vindicated: France was where his Huguenot Protestant ancestors came from, when they were booted out in 1688.
I do take exception, however, to the Anglo bashing, both in the article and in some of the letters published in the October issue. True, Britain in its days of imperial arrogance waged a brutal war on the Boer republics. The Empire’s loyal Dominions, including my own country, responded to the call, and sent many of its finest young men to the veldt to fight because the unity of the Empire was supposedly at stake. An Afrikaner friend, Dirk Van Niekerk, says that most British soldiers did not like fighting the Boers, but had to follow orders. In Britain there was a considerable anti-war movement. Given what I know now, if I had been around back then I probably would have become a secretary to Emily Hobhouse, who visited the concentration camps and campaigned against them.
Still, it is a gross error to keep blaming the Anglo-Saxons for South Africa’s current mess. In the 1980s, there were loud cries for all-out sanctions against the “apartheid state,” including a naval blockade. Who stood against the tide? US President Reagan and British Prime Minister Thatcher. Some of the biggest financial and diplomatic supporters of the ANC and its fronts were Sweden, Norway and Denmark. If these respectable Nordic Social Democrats (especially Sweden’s Olaf Palme, who may have been assassinated by a South African hit team) had had their way, South Africa would have been under ANC rule much sooner.
What of the countries that originally supported the Boers? De Lay Rey had Russian and German volunteers on his side, but in the battles in Angola in the 1970s and 1980s there were Russian and East German “volunteers,” along with the Cubans, fighting on the other side.
From 1899 to 1902, there were Catholic Irish and Irish-American republicans who went to the veldt to fight the hated British, even if it meant fighting for a country called the Oranje Vry Staat. By the 1960s, however, Irish republicanism had turned left. The Irish Republic cut all diplomatic ties with Pretoria, and helped torment South Africa in the UN. By the 1970s and the 1980s, the IRA, operating in British Northern Ireland, was known to have close links with the ANC, with which it exchanged bomb-making information. Some of Belfast’s republican murals openly stated that the ANC and IRA were in “One Struggle.” Now it is Northern Ireland’s bombed-out pro-British Protestants who have been called “Afrikaners,” because of their Calvinist leanings, siege mentality, and loyalty to die Prins van Oranje.
And how about the Netherlands? The Dutch government tried to stop the Anglo-Boer War, and many Dutchmen sent aid to their cousins. This soon changed. The Dutch government was proud of its “anti-apartheid” efforts, and the Dutch press was harder on Pretoria than the British press.
Finally, the Afrikaner could not have survived the apartheid period without the help of English-speaking South Africans. True, some Anglos either left after the country became a republic, or they aided the ANC. Still, most Engels Suid Afrikaners stayed on, worked with their Afrikaner countrymen to keep South Africa’s besieged economy vibrant, and answered the call for national service. For some time, South Africa’s first line of defense was English-speaking Rhodesia, until it was betrayed by the mother country.
The culprit for South Africa’s mess is not Britain, America, or any other country. It is the ideology of multiculturalism, which is destroying us all.
Alex Greer, British Columbia, Canada
Sir — In John Harrison Sims’ review of Oriana Fallaci’s The Force of Reason in the November issue, he quotes her recounting what George Habash, the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), told her in 1972 about a decades-long war that the “Arab Nation” was beginning to wage against the West. Fallaci adduced this as important evidence for a calculated Muslim plan to conquer the West. But George Habash was not a Muslim. Both his parents were Greek Orthodox Christians, and his PFLP explicitly described itself as Marxist-Leninist. The man who had popularized the ideal of a transnational Arab nation was Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt, who, until his death in 1970, was by far the most popular leader in the Arab world. Nasser was no more than a nominal Muslim, if he was that, and his only serious opposition in Egypt was the Muslim Brotherhood. (His successor, Anwar Sadat, was assassinated by the Islamic al-Jihad.)
If Fallaci is correct that an Arab or Third-World plan already existed in the early 1970s to conquer the West through immigration and fertility, it could not have originated in anything inherent in Islam. Islam merely adopted it when it gained ascendancy over Arab and Southeast Asian nationalism.
Professor Steven Farron, Johannesburg, South Africa
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