More Diversity = Less Welfare?

I
wrote an article in 2001 entitled "Immigration
and Welfare
" recounting a study done by

Frank Salter
(the sociobiologically-oriented
political scientist at the Max Planck Institute in
Germany) on Moscow beggars. Some
were Russians, just like the vast majority of the
pedestrians. Other panhandlers were dressed in the
distinctive garb of

Moldova
, a small former Soviet republic that gained
independence in 1991. Finally, some of the beggars were
darker-skinned Gypsies (also known as

Roma
), who are visibly of South Asian origin.

"Unbeknownst to them, the beggars were being monitored
by a team of ethologists (students of the science of
behavior). The researchers counted each time a passerby
gave money to a beggar. A pattern soon emerged. The
Russian pedestrians preferred to give to their fellow
Russians, with the Moldavians, their fellow Eastern
Europeans, as their second choice. The Asiatic Gypsies
were so

unpopular
that they had to resort to a wide variety
of tactics to scrounge spare change, ranging from
singing and dancing, to importuning tightwads, to
dressing up their children in crutches and eye-patches."

This wasn`t an anomaly. Salter has compiled a broad
array of evidence (summed up in his new

book
Welfare, Ethnicity, and Altruism: New
Findings and Evolutionary Theory
) indicating that
people tend to be more generous to those more closely
related to themselves genealogically. He summed up the
political implications like this:

"The
liberal left supports generous

welfare
but also policies that add to ethnic
heterogeneity, such as

high levels of immigration
. It does not seem to have
occurred to them that they must choose between
maximizing the two."

David Goodhart, the
editor of the fine center-left British magazine

Prospect
, mentioned to me recently that he used
my article in writing his now famous essay in his
February 2004 edition: "Too
diverse?
Is Britain becoming too diverse to sustain
the mutual obligations behind good society and the
welfare state?"
In it, Goodhart echoes Salter:

"A
generous welfare state is not compatible with

open borders
and possibly not even with US-style
mass immigration."

Goodhart`s reasoning is more rigorous than most because
of his respect for both the great

Edmund Burke
and the late

William D. Hamilton
, the English evolutionary
theorist who may eventually emerge as the most
influential English thinker of the second half of the
20th Century:


"Thinking about the conflict between solidarity and
diversity is another way of asking a question as old as
human society itself: who is my brother? With whom do I
share mutual obligations? The traditional conservative
Burkean view is that our affinities ripple out from our
families and localities, to the nation and not very far
beyond. That view is pitted against a liberal
universalist one which sees us in some sense equally
obligated to all human beings from Bolton to Burundi…

Evolutionary psychology
stresses both the
universality of most human traits and – through the
notion of kin selection and reciprocal altruism – the
instinct to favour our own… In any case, Burkeans claim
to have common sense on their side. They argue that we
feel more comfortable with, and are readier to share
with, and sacrifice for, those with whom we have shared
histories and similar values. To put it bluntly – most
of us prefer our own kind."

After Goodhart`s piece
was reprinted in the

Guardian
, it caused a

ruckus
in Britain among the politically and
culturally dominant left. It`s a little hard to figure
why—his policy recommendations are rather weak tea—other
than that nobody had ever had the courage before to say
in polite society such common-sense truths as that
welfare states work best in

homogenous Scandinavian countries
. Goodhart gently
points out that just because "diversity" and
"solidarity" may both be good things, they are
not necessarily

compatible.

Some Americans on the
right have

taken up the cry
that therefore mass immigration
saved us from

socialism
or

European levels
of welfare. Their argument is that
since ethnic diversity tends to corrupt the workings of
government by making politics into a scramble for

tax dollars
and

government jobs
for relatives, as the

history
of Democratic machines in immigrant cities
like Chicago and Boston testifies, that made big
government less popular with voters.

Okay … but you`ve got to
be a truly fanatical libertarian to argue that the more
parasitical and inefficient the government the better.
How about if we had honest, effective government and let
the voters then choose the size of government they
wanted?

Further, this
immigration-prevented-socialism theory is a massive
misreading of American history. There was never
socialism in America because there was never feudalism
in America.

Contra Marx
, the socialist urge grew not out of
capitalism but out of the extreme inequality and
rigidity of the aristocratic system, where the nobility
owned almost all of the land by inheritance. Early in
the century, a hereditary member of the British House of
Lords complained that Prime Minister Lloyd George had
created new Lords solely because they were self-made
millionaires who had only recently

acquired large acreage
s. When asked, "How did
your
ancestor become a Lord?"
he replied
sternly, "With the battle-ax, sir, with the
battle-ax!"

Fortunately, Thomas
Jefferson worked hard to make land ownership extremely
widespread in America,

banning
primogeniture (the English tradition of
leaving

all the real estate
to the eldest son) and setting
up a Federal bureaucracy to sell government land on the

frontier
cheaply to the common man. Combined with
the low population density of 19th Century America, this
kept land costs low, wages high, and opportunity
present. That is the historical basis of America`s vast

middle class
, a foundation being undermined by the
current

mass immigration system
(and let`s not even speak of
President Bush`s Open Borders proposal).

Moreover, America`s
relatively brief experiment with a generous welfare
state was doomed by our African-American population.
America tried to

import the two fundamentals
of the Swedish welfare
state—high welfare payments and an end to social
disapproval of illegitimacy—beginning about 1961. In
parts of the U.S., such as heavily Scandinavian
Minnesota, this worked reasonably well. But American
voters were confronted with stunning speed with the
realization that African-Americans

responded differently
than Swedes did to the new

incentive structures
. Welfare allowed much of
African-American society to revert to African-style
family structures. In Africa, men often expect to be
provided for by their women. One group of African
feminists recently estimated that women do four times as
much work in Sub-Saharan Africa as men do. (See James Q.
Wilson`s recent book

The Marriage Problem
for the

normally covered-up details
on the relationship
between African family structure and African-American
problems.)

With paternal providers
rendered obsolete, the

black crime rate
skyrocketed and urban whites

fled to the suburbs
, selling their homes cheaply at
great damage to their life savings. As early as the 1966
Congressional elections, the voters were in revolt. Over
time, voters had their officials throw a vast number of

dangerous young men
in prison and, in 1996,

cut back on welfare
for single mothers. Social
conditions seem to have stabilized and even improved due
to these illiberal measures as the crime rate has
dropped sharply and the black illegitimacy rate inches
downward.

The conservatism of
current American voters, so widely decried around the
world, stems in large part from this increase in the
black crime rate in the 1960s. The politically correct
way to refer to this historical event is

"white fear of crime,"
as if it was all a

hallucination
. But the statistics are clear that
there is nearly a degree of magnitude difference in the
crime rate between non-Hispanic whites and
African-Americans. Blacks are

imprisoned nine times as much
as non-Hispanic whites
and commit

eight times
as many murders. White Americans do not
accept this behavior as their own.

That is why America is
turning away from a Scandinavian-style welfare state.


[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]