The diversity we don’t see is killing us

Everybody accepts that the peoples of the world are diverse in visible ways. We come in different colors, body shapes, and types of hair.

We observe, even if we do not talk about it, that the different peoples of the world enjoy different levels of success in modern economies derived from the European model. Europe, Israel and the white former English colonies know how to make it work. East Asia has been catching up quickly. Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa are trailing. There are any number of narratives to account for these differences, but at least people generally see them.

Last, and deadliest is the supposition among all peoples that other people are temperamentally like themselves. We Europeans developed a high level of altruism. Violence in European societies diminished remarkably over the last millennium, and levels of trust rose as we consolidated from duchies to princedoms to kingdoms. Business depended on trust, and commerce flourished. To us, a high level of trust is the only thing that makes sense. Our deadly flaw is to believe that other people think the same way.

The Jews are historically literate and legalistic. They have taught and followed their own moral law for three millennia. They do not understand people who simply do not recognize the rule of law. Jews are bankers and financiers. They do not have much sympathy for people who do not understand the terms of a mortgage or credit card debt. Time after time they are surprised by the reemergence of antisemitism, resentment of their success.

East Asians are quite xenophobic. They have a tendency to see their own nation – Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese – as the only true humans, and to regard others as uncultured barbarians. Only reluctantly do they expand their sphere of moral consideration beyond their own people. The Japanese had no difficulty visiting unspeakable cruelty on the Chinese and the British in World War II. With the slow decline of Pax Americana, they are going at each other once again. They have certainly never internalized the brotherhood of man concept advanced by Western proponents of the New World order. Their people invariably come first.

American Indians are intensely tribal. Western individualism, the celebration of individual achievement in education and career, remains foreign to them. They had a difficult time adapting to European civilization in the five centuries since its introduction. We simply cannot celebrate their diversity in the context of a western market economy. They are not temperamentally adapted for it.

Arab societies are also quite tribal. They do not trust outsiders. One consequence is a high level of cousin marriage, which depresses intelligence. Another appears to be an inborn, genetic predisposition to hatred and religious fanaticism. We Europeans cannot understand the hatred that Arabs have for Jews, or even that Shiites have for Sunnis. It is our conceit that if they only understood their own self-interest, they would give up their hatreds. We remain oblivious to the fact that centuries of our preaching haven’t changed a thing. Hatred is in their DNA.

European colonialization did not affect the fact that black Africans are very tribal. They do not have much trust even among their own tribes, and they have almost none at all between tribes. Intertribal violence was endemic in Africa, and violence remains a constant in every African city. It is impossible for whites to conceive of a worldview in which violence makes sense; it appears impossible for Africans to conceive of a world in which it does not.

Our European proclivity to look for universal solutions blinds us to the fact that no other people in the world do so. We give, and they gladly take. It is a paradigm that worked when we were rich beyond the measure of any other societies. With the burgeoning population of the third world, and the rise of other economies, it has stopped working. We are, however, so much captive to our own genetically programmed altruism that we refuse to see. We refuse to see that people are different even in very obvious ways, and doubly refuse to recognize invisible differences. Those differences will kill us.

Short Bibliography:
Evolution and Ethics
Clash of Civilizations
Cultures and Organizations
Race, Evolution and Behavior
Face to Face with Race
Before the Dawn
A Troublesome Inheritance
Racism, Guilt, Self-Hatred and Self-Deceit


5 thoughts on “The diversity we don’t see is killing us

  1. Thank you!

    I loved “Pathological Altruism” by Barbara Oakley. She was talking at the level of individuals, not societies, but it translates quite directly. She had a chapter by Satoishi Kanazawa, who has a pretty good set of explanations in “the Intelligence Paradox” why smart people are their own worst enemies.

    • A quote pulled off a review of Kanazawa’s chapter,
      “For instance, children born to very bright women are more likely to suffer from low birth weight, have motor development deficiencies, and have social and behavioral problems than children born to women of average or slightly-higher-than-average intelligence. ”

      With my limited research on this topic, I will comment from my experience, intellligent women are very busy and have no time for children. Perhaps you noticed in Ukraine it is rare for a child to studder and at a very early age children in ukraine can form compelex sentences. In America children used to have communication skills, but the last couple of decades, even in the best suburban areas children have very poor communicsation skills. It is the fast paced “succesful” lifestyle. It is starting to happen in eastern Europe too.

      20 years ago in easter Europe they had no cable TV or internet and the TV they did have was on a few hours in the morning and afternoon and then a few hours in the evening. At Christmas time most families sang Christmass carols, not much now.

      I suspect that people that are intelligent and come from a professional family of more than one generation, those men and women have a more stable lifestyle since there has been genrational routines. The modern era has allowed upward mobility in one genration and money and or intteligence was farily easy to aquire, A stable routine takes generations to aquire. An unstable family bacdground that is “succesful” or an unstable faily background in the ghetto produces some of the same results, confused children.

  2. Your analysis fits the data points collected over my years in Bethesda. Our son’s playmates watch TV. Monster High, of all things, for a three and a five year old. There is no TV in our house. I spend a vast amount of time reading to him (3 languages), singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, walking and the like. There aren’t any guarantees, but it feels like the right thing to do.

    • Sounds like your doing a great job, another thing though about intelligent people, not only are they too busy to relate to thier children they have a tendency to communicate in a intellectual style, that too confuses children. Being too busy is a problem in most all modern societies and most all levels of intelligence

      Here is a must read article from John Schindler’s blog. It covers many points you and I raised, particularly in this current post.
      The article starts off with Pope Francis’ speach in Strausburg and goes into multiculturism, far right and other topics. Here is just one quote,

      ” at current birth rates, in fewer decades than anybody wants to imagine, much of Europe will be aged and infirm, and in severe financial crisis for no reason other than a lack of Europeans.”

      Although pursuit of wealth and intelligence is good, like hitting the jackpot on a slot machine over and over again, success pursude to the level it has creats not just demographic problems but many others too. It produces it’s own failures.

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