Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Out Of One, Many

Even the security of tenure will not protect a Harvard professor against the rampaging mobs of humanities professors and graduate students who will descend upon Harvard Yard screaming for the heretic to be drawn and quartered

For he has blasphemed against the holy doctrine of multicultural diversity, and must be brought to judgment:

A bleak picture of the corrosive effects of ethnic diversity has been revealed in research by Harvard University’s Robert Putnam, one of the world’s most influential political scientists.

His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone – from their next-door neighbour to the mayor.

This is a contentious finding in the current climate of concern about the benefits of immigration. Professor Putnam told the Financial Times he had delayed publishing his research until he could develop proposals to compensate for the negative effects of diversity, saying it “would have been irresponsible to publish without that”.

The core message of the research was that, “in the presence of diversity, we hunker down”, he said. “We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.”


When the data were adjusted for class, income and other factors, they showed that the more people of different races lived in the same community, the greater the loss of trust. “They don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust institutions,” said Prof Putnam. “The only thing there’s more of is protest marches and TV watching.”

Anyone who lives in Toronto will understand Dr. Putnam's thesis instinctively. The general unfriendliness, the common incivility, the self-segregation into enclaves--all of these facts give the lie to all the propaganda of Toronto as the model city of multicultural tolerance and acceptance.

Some degree of alienation from one's neighbours is perhaps an unavoidable consequence of urbanization. But when you don't even share basic cultural assumptions with the people next door, how can you really trust them?

Source: Financial Times


Aaron Unruh said...

How often do children get told that diversity is the key to tolerance? That once we are exposed to those we hate, we'll come to love them?

x2para said...

just another flawed concept in the lexicon of the looney left joining employment equity and man-made global warming