"Ethnic diversity harms a country's social trust"?

Jul 2011
This article was published by a big Canadian newspaper in recent days, denounced by many people as racist and such, pulled down by the paper, and apologized for by their bosses:

Sometimes they get too much publicity, but can you blame them? The Danes just seem to get things right. But even the Danes can make mistakes.

A decade ago the fundamental belief among Danes toward Muslim immigrants was that these newcomers would see how wonderful Denmark was and naturally want to become Danish as quickly as possible.

This turned out to be naively wrong. At least half of all Muslims polled across various western European countries believe today that their Shariah law is more important than national law, according to the Gatestone Institute. In other words, a not insignificant proportion of Muslim immigrants have no intention of assimilating into any western society, including Denmark.

Danes have pushed back. Losing the integrity of their society — one of the best in the world by all measures — was on the line. Requirements to obtain citizenship increased. A new insistence that immigrant children go to Danish public schools instead of religious schools was implemented. Social benefits were rescinded for those who didn’t comply. This was only the beginning. But the Danes are not alone.

Many western nations assumed that increasing ethnic and cultural diversity through immigration would be beneficial. The dogma of diversity, tolerance and inclusion assumed that all members of the society wanted to be included as equal citizens. Yet, instead of diversity being a blessing, many found that they’ve ended up with a lot of arrogant people living in their countries with no intention of letting go of their previous cultures, animosities, preferences, and pretensions.

Let’s give the devil his due. Diversity, tolerance and inclusion was actually a commendable perspective. It assumed the dominant society was leaving people out of full participation.

It was a valid critique. In response to inequalities, real or otherwise, measures were taken that would include everyone. Affirmative action, political correctness and anti-bias training became the tools for inculcating tolerance and inclusion. Helpful? Somewhat. Yet, the most important question was overlooked: What if some did not actually want to be included?

Denmark recognized this problem long ago, and is now finding practical solutions. It knows what it was — a country that worked very well when it was homogeneous, where everyone wanted to be and was a part of the society. They spoke the same language, understood the same customs and traditions, and held the same beliefs. The result was that people trusted each other and the economy flourished.

In fact, social trust corresponds more closely than any other factor to predicting economic prosperity. Harvard economists Alberto Alesina and co-authors from a paper titled, Fractionalization, argued that greater diversity leads to stunted economic growth. In other words, diversity is a weakness as far as the economy is concerned.

In 1981 The World Values Survey began an investigation into cross-cultural beliefs, values and motivations, and has since shown that societies with high social trust are not only more economically productive but also happier. The most successful are homogeneous countries, not the diverse ones.

Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia is always at the top of those rankings. They, shine a beacon on the fact that trust is what makes society great. Interestingly, Scandinavian countries are becoming even more trusting. Canada, Great Britain, the U.S. and Australia are all going in the opposite direction. In Canada, we are becoming less trusting of one other.

If a society wants high social trust and the benefits of stability, productivity, and happiness, there are apparently two factors that stand out. According to macrosociology researcher Jan Delhey at Otto von Geuricke University in Magdeburg, Germany — Protestantism and low ethnic diversity — are the top two criteria.

Setting aside the part about Protestantism, low ethnic diversity as a single factor fits Denmark, Japan and Hungary quite well. Social trust is, unsurprisingly, relatively high in all. But not all those countries are Protestant. There are other factors at work.

So is it possible for a country to have diversity and social trust at the same time?

Studies by researchers Hooghe, Reeskens and Stolle in a 2008 paper indicate that ethnic diversity in and of itself is not inherently destabilizing, at a national level. A country can indeed have multiple ethnicities and still have high social trust. But there is a catch.

It is at the neighbourhood scale where high ethnic diversity erodes trust, according to researchers Peter Thisted Dinesson and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov from 2015. The more direct the interaction with diversity, the more social trust drops. This accounts for why people segregate themselves into ethnic enclaves. People like to be around others who are the same as them. Those overwhelmed by newcomers that are not like themselves, lose trust and soon move out.

This is quite a paradox. Diversity at a national level does not necessarily erode trust but at the neighbourhood level it does. How can this be?

Switzerland is a good example of this paradox in action. With four recognized ethnicities — German, French, Italian and Romansh — they also have high levels of social trust. How? It’s simple. Each ethnicity has its own geography and government. It does not mix ethnicities, nor does one try to control the others.

If a country wants diversity, expect enclaves to form. This may work out fine in the long run, as it has in Switzerland. Or it may turn into a bloody mess, as it repeatedly does in the Balkans. The other option is low diversity.

Denmark had the latter. It worked well. Now, it wants it back again and that will require its immigrants to integrate. Those who don’t will have to leave.

So, is excluding certain people from one’s society a requirement? The short answer is absolutely. The long and more reasonable answer is if you do let people into your country then make sure they hold similar values — compatibility. Make sure they want to fit into your society fully and completely — cohesion. With these two requirements satisfied, and with a sprinkle of Protestantism, the country will be well on its way to generating high levels of social trust.

Can Canada learn from Denmark? The jury is out. But the minimum requirement is that we say goodbye to diversity, tolerance and inclusion if we wish to be a society that can rebuild the trust we used to have in one another and start accepting a new norm for immigration policy — compatibility, cohesion and social trust.
Mark Hecht: Ethnic diversity harms a country's social trust, economic well-being, argues professor

You can read the Letters to Editor and online comments in responce here: Letters, Sept. 9: No place for fearmongering on the editorial pages

I actually came across it when saw an Al Jazeera article also responding to it: Canada's collaborators

You know, it IS an interesting article, to me.

He is not ENTIRELY wrong, IMHO.

Diversity, in my opinion, is a good thing, overall.

But, molding humans together in a melting pot of a nation is sorta like mixing drinks for a cocktail: you have to know what you are doing, and do it right, and then it comes out nice looking and tasty; otherwise, you just get an ugly, disgusting mess...

I look here, for instance, at my own homeland, at the Caucasus. The author brings up the Balkans, ex-Yugoslavia, to be specific. Well, the Caucasus is an even more complex hodge-podge of various ethnic groups, religions, etc. And, since the late 80s-early 90s, as Soviet Union fell apart, and stable security institutions suddenly went away, much of that region proceeded to fucking drown itself in blood, in ethnic-based civil wars, all over the place:
War in Abkhazia (1992–1993) - Wikipedia
1991–1992 South Ossetia War - Wikipedia
Nagorno-Karabakh War - Wikipedia
East Prigorodny Conflict - Wikipedia
War in Abkhazia (1998) - Wikipedia
First Chechen War - Wikipedia
War of Dagestan - Wikipedia
Second Chechen War - Wikipedia

Ethnic allegiance was equally complex, in many of these conflicts; for example, in Abkhazia, my own birth republic, during the wars with Georgia, there was the "Bagramyan Battalion", made up of Abkhazian ethnic Armenians, including my mom's own male relatives

In Abkhazia, the Battalion is remembered and reharded with gratitude and pride, for their apparent courage in battle and such; while among the Georgians, the Bagarmyanians are reviled for alleged brutalities towards Georgian civilians, especially young women, whom they (according to claims in Georgian media, at least) subjected to sexual violence, including gang rapes...

But, anyway, the Bagramyan Battalion also fought, viciously, against fellow Armenians from Georgia proper, many of whom were in militias loyal to the Georgian government

Which, from all I know, didn't stop plenty of those guys, Armenians from both sides, later also fighting TOGETHER against the Azeris in Karabakh

lol That's "diversity", Caucasus style... hehe

The ethnic hatreds over there are INTENSE. They persist to this day, many of them, between Armenians and Azers, and Abkhazs and Georgians.

Here, in Donbass, in East Ukraine, Abkhaz fighter on the Russian/separatist side, with Georgian guy they captured, who been fighting for Ukraine there

From info I was able to gleam online about this pic, the Georgian didn't make it. The Abkhazs asked the Russian commanders if can keep him, the Russians told them the dude had no intel value and they can do with him as they pleased and... well... lets just say I don't envy the poor SOB, his death would NOT have been quick or pretty... In fairness, I would safely guess that the pro-Ukraine Georgian units over there would likely have treated an Abkhaz or Ossetian they got their hands on no better, for sure...

Yeah, Caucasus is an awesome example of diversity gone bad. Very, very bad...

Hell, Russia itself, Russia proper, has had many issues with that.

Moscow itself changed greatly since the 90s; millions of migrant laborers have come from ex-Soviet Central Asia, to do all the work the whites/Slavs don't want to do, from construction

to street cleaning

to dirty menial jobs in health care


Plenty from Caucasus have also moved there in recent times, for the universities and the jobs also (and some bad people, criminals and such, also, sure, yes...); end result is, lot more Muslims in the capital city today, than there ever were; especially this is visible when tens of thousands of them assemble around their Grand Cathedral Mosque on their religious holidays, of course lol

This all, naturally, pisses off Slav nationalist groups; the Muslims are blamed for stealing jobs (in reality, blame the corrupt businessmen and municipal service officials, who hire lost of these guys from Asia, because they are basically slaves, held in subhuman status, and can be paid at most a quarter of what the official wage is supposed to be for their job, by law; with the crooked local Russian boss getting to pocket the rest for himself, off the books...), criminality, etc (basically, think like what Trump blames various "shithole" people for hehe); and it has at times fuelled violence too, the worst came in late December of 2010; when, allegedly, there was a brawl between far right soccer hooligans and young men, students, from Kabardino-Balkaria, from Caucasus, and one of the hooligans was killed; in turn, the hooligans and skinheads went on a rampage of ethnic riots in the city center, swarming, beating, and stabbing any ethnic minority they could find; according to some estimates at least a dozen people, all Muslims, were killed that night, and many more injured

Again, an example of diversity gone way, way wrong; or, I should say, DONE way, way wrong.

Here are some pics, in contrast, of when diversity WORKS, when it is done RIGHT:

Recent photo of boys' basketball team of my high school here in Canada

and here is the girls' volleyball squad too

:D That's Canadian diversity for ya :)

Bianca Andreescu, daughter of immigrants from Romania, and first Canadian to recently win the US Open

That's Canadian diversity :D

The Subban brothers, black Canadians playing in the NHL, that's our diversity up here

Hell, our damn government cabinet is itself, these days, a model picture of that same Canadian diversity

Diversity sure as hell CAN work, and be great. If there's smart and capable leadership at the top, who do it right... ;)

BTW, the author also mentions Japan, but Japan is starting to accept immigrants now too, at least, mostly, from elsewhere in Asia, for now, because they recognize they need it, with their demograohic crisis:

Japan needs immigrants, but do immigrants need Japan? - CNN

That's just the simple reality. Pretty much no developed nation today can sustain its economy (and in many cases - even its population) without immigration. Just, the way it is...
Jul 2011
I thought automation was supposed to be making working people redundant? That was a long post so I'm posting a short response.
Yeah, sorry, really got carried away into the subject haha

Anyhow, automation, yes, that's another big issue...

Even in Russia: Automation May Push 20M Russians Into Unemployment, Study Says - The Moscow Times

Wrote here about all the various robots already entering work there: https://politicalhotwire.com/threads/wtf-mcdonald’s-employee-fired-for-refusing-service-to-paramedics-‘we-don’t-accept-anyone-with-a-badge.212979/post-6592146

Yeah, they may eventually supplant even the poor Central Asian migrants over there... Crazy.

I don;t really even know what to say about that. The world is changing way too fast for me... lol
Jul 2011
We 're along for the ride but is anybody driving?
It's insane, espeically the technological progress. Only in 2007, first iPhone came out. Now, smartphones are everywhere. 2007 was also when I first checked out Facebook. It was in its infancy still, then (and their security was crap; me and others made so many fake accounts, to troll others in our school haha). Look at it now too...
Likes: OlGuy
Jun 2014
Cleveland, Ohio
Ethnic violence in the western part of Russia and the adjoining area is not due to immigration, amirite? I'm not sure why people from these regions cling on so hard to old hatreds, but this has been a feature of the region for centuries.

It's different from Canada opening its citizenship to immigrants, especially refugees. As you experienced, pride in the old country usually sits comfortably with pride in their adopted nation.

Diversity beats the hell out of racism, xenophobia and hatred.
Jul 2011
Ethnic violence in the western part of Russia and the adjoining area is not due to immigration, amirite? I'm not sure why people from these regions cling on so hard to old hatreds, but this has been a feature of the region for centuries.

It's different from Canada opening its citizenship to immigrants, especially refugees. As you experienced, pride in the old country usually sits comfortably with pride in their adopted nation.

Diversity beats the hell out of racism, xenophobia and hatred.
A. Well, depends how RECENT immigration you mean lol

If we take Abkhazia, my old homeland, the main original gist of the conflict between Georgians and ethnic Abkhazs there is about precisely - who lived there first and thus rightfully owns that land: the Georgians claim that whole area always belonged to the Mingrelians (a subgroup of Georgians, Lavrenti Beria was a Mingrelian, for example) and the Apsua (Abkhazs) migrated there later, from Northern Caucasus, and have no claim to any of it; while the Abkhazs say it was the Georgians and Mingrelians who once invaded and occupied their land, centuries ago...

There are beautiful ancient churches and monasteries there, in Abkhazia, you know

They are now subject to dispute between THREE different religious authorities: Georgian Orthodox Church, who claims all of them as their own heritage; Russian Orthodox Church, to whom most of the ethnic Abkhaz Orthodox community have pledged their allegiance after independence; and the Greek/Constantinople Orthodox Church, who is, technically, the "First Among Equals" in the Orthodox Christian World, and have attempted (not very successfully) to mediate there for many years already, and there is also a small minority of Abkhazs (who want independence from BOTH Georgia AND Russia) who have declared loyalty to Constantinople instead.

Nuts, eh? :D

2. Yeah, I hear you about Canada also. The system here is not perfect either, btw. I have raved and ranted myself in another thread about some ungrateful Chinese immigrants waving their red flags at Hong Kong solidarity protesters here.

But, also, those fuckers are a tiny minority among all Chinese here. Literally, few thousand countrywide, at most, among a million and half Chinese-Canadians ;)

So, yeah, mostly, the system here works, and works well, in my opinion :)
Likes: Madeline

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