An editorial by Ross Douthat (Oregonian via New York Times Oct. 18th, 2011) comes much closer to the truth about “diversity” than we normally see in the MSM. Speaking of the fate of Christian communities in the Middle East, Douthat explains the latest hardships in the context of an ongoing ethnic alignment along national borders, which has been going on for a long time.
Peace comes at a terrible price for diverse groups
… This is a familiar story in the Middle East, where any sort of popular sovereignty has tended to unleash the furies and drive minorities into exile. From Lebanon to North Africa, the Arab world’s Christian enclaves have been shrinking steadily since decolonization…
More important, though, this is a familiar story for the modern world as a whole – a case of what National Review’s John Derbyshire calls “modernity versus diversity.” For all the bright talk about multicultural mosaics, the age of globalization has also been an age of unprecedented religious and racial sorting – sometimes by choice, more often at gunpoint. Indeed, the causes of democracy and international peace have often been intimately tied to ethnic cleansing: Both have gained ground not in spite of mass migrations and mass murders, but because of them.
This is a point worth keeping in mind when reading the Big Idea book of the moment, Steven Pinker’s “Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.” Pinker marshals an impressive amount of data to demonstrate that human civilization has become steadily less violent, that the years since 1945 have been particularly pacific, and that contemporary Europe has achieved an unprecedented level of tranquility.
What Pinker glosses over, though, is the price that’s been paid for these advances. With the partial exception of immigrant societies like the U.S., mass democracy seems to depend on ethno-religious solidarity in a way that older forms of government did not. The most successful modern nation-states have often gained stability at the expense of diversity, driving out or even murdering their minorities on the road to peaceful coexistence with their neighbors.
Europe’s era of unexpected harmony, in particular, may have been made possible by the decades of expulsions and genocide that preceded it. As Jerry Z. Muller pointed out in a 2008 essay for Foreign Affairs, the horrors of the two world wars effectively rationalized the Continent’s borders, replacing the old multi-ethnic states, and eliminating – often all too literally – minority populations and polyglot regions. A decade of civil war and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia completed the process…
Along the same lines, the developing world’s worst outbreaks of ethno-religious violence… are often associated with transitions from dictatorships or monarchies to some sort of popular rule. And from Kashmir to the West Bank, Kurdistan to Congo, the globe’s enduring trouble spots are usually places where ethno-religious communities and political borders can’t be made to line up.
Whether we root for this process to take its course depends on how we weigh the hope of a better future against the peoples who are likely to suffer, flee and disappear along the way. Europe’s long peace is an extraordinary achievement – but was it worth the wars and genocides and forced migrations that made it possible?
In short, Douthat interprets the existence of many ethnic groups within the same borders as “diversity”, which he sees as a good thing. He carefully avoids telling us why this “diversity” is a good thing – such that its loss should be called a “price”. As a matter of fact, he has noticed the same patterns that Jared Taylor notes in his recent book, “White Identity“. But, while Taylor reaches the logical conclusion – that ethnic diversity is the source of conflict – Douthat tries to cling to his worship of diversity while, at the same time, admitting that millions have suffered and died because of it.
I would love to ask Douthat what his opinion is regarding the borders of Africa, which were drawn by European colonial powers – reportedly in order to throw diverse tribes together within the same nations. According to Douthat, this would be a good thing – because it brought the Africans the blessing of “diversity”. Or was it a good thing for Europe but not for Africa?
His assertion that the U.S. is an (partial) exception to the rule is, at best, premature. Perhaps he is unaware of the countless Americans who have been murdered, robbed or raped as a consequence of diversity. If so, then his ignorance is by choice; the information is readily available on the internet. For those of us who do not choose ignorance, it is obvious that the U.S. is not an exception. Fluoridated water and Big Macs cannot change human nature, nor can Congress legislate it away. Americans will pay the bitter price of ethnic diversity just as have others.
I wonder if, decades from now, another columnist will ask if the Great Ethnic War of 2030, which killed millions and left Europe and America in ruins, was too great a price to pay for the relative tranquility that followed. In the meantime, the diversicrats are frantically busy importing multitudes of foreigners and mixing up the borders even more – in order to set the stage for just such a war. If Douthat is among them, then he weeps for the suffering that he, himself, encourages.
Ross Douthat appears to be a confused man – or perhaps he is trying to provide a hint, to his readers, that diversity is not all it’s cracked up to be.