Politics

The Virtues of Disunity

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A Truth Not Welcome: People do not like being with those different from themselves. Sometimes, briefly, we find it interesting, as in traveling, but for extended periods, no. This distaste pervades society, often unnoticed, with consequences.

Instances of untogetherness:

People cluster by intelligence. With high consistency, we choose mates of intelligence close to our own. Likewise with friends: If you have an IQ of 100, or 150, you are unlikely to have friends of 150, or 100. Bright people join Mensa not from snobbery but because they want to be around people like themselves. On the internet this takes the form of distributed cognitive stratification in which people from around the globe congregate by intelligence.

A woman I knew while living in the Heart of Darkness once said, “In Washington, you assume that everyone is in the ninety-ninth percentile.” She herself was, and her friends were chemists, high-end journalists, authors, and so on. She meant her remark as shorthand for a common sort of clustering.

People associate by age. We rarely have close friends who differ from us by more than ten years. People of fifty shrink in horror at the thought of being trapped in a bar full of screaming twenty-year-olds–and vice versa. Teenagers suffer their parents because they have to, and escape at every opportunity–to the relief of the parents. It isn’t dislike, just a lack of much in common.

Men and women would rather not be with each other too much. In social and domestic settings, yes. Men would prefer to work with other men had they the choice. Men do not want to go fishing with women, or drink beer and argue politics, and when it comes to talking about their feelings, most men would rather die. Women presumably prefer their own.

Male and female homosexuals choose to associate with each other, thus gay bars.

We prefer to spend time with people of our own level of education. If you have a doctorate, you probably have no friends who are graduates only of high school–and vice versa. The same goes for white-collar and blue-collar people. Few bus drivers socialize with lawyers.

We prefer to be with our own race. Look at what people do, not what they say. Blacks do not find the company of white people compelling, and the most liberal of whites spend ninety-five percent of discretionary time with other whites. If whites do spend time with blacks, those will be of their own age, educational level, accent and, except in couples, sex. They will probably feel self-conscious anyway.

The cultures of blacks and whites differ starkly and any association occurs only to the extent that the blacks simulate the culture of whites. Distance is proportional to difference. Whites and Asians socialize more easily than blacks and whites because they have more in common.

We spend our time with people of our own culture. Jews flock together. We have Chinatown, Little Saigon, Little Italy. Good ol’ boys and Boston Brahmins do not party together.

We tend to spend our time with others of our own level of wealth. If you drive a Lexus, you likely do not have friends with second-hand clunkers.

There is worse than lack of socializing. Diversity is not a strength but, when separation is not possible, perhaps the planet’s chief cause of butchery and hatred. Think for example Sunnis and Shias, Tamils and Sinhalese, Jews and Moslems in Palestine, Kurds and Turks, Turks and Armenians, blacks and whites in America, Catalans and Spaniards, Basques and Spaniards, Tutsis and Hutus in Burundi, Francophones and Anglophones in Canada, Moslems and Hindus in Kashmir, Russians and Chechens, Mexicans and Anglos in Arizona, Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, and so on.

For that matter, Trump’s supporters and haters cannot stand each other’s company. In general, liberals and conservatives coexist at best uneasily in social situations.

Clearly the domestic tranquility would better be served by letting people and peoples associate as they chose, and in some cases taking measure to ensure separation.

Instead we have elevated almost to the status of religion the idea that people are indistinguishable, or should be, and must be forced into association. This is said to be the natural or at least desirable state of humanity, even though it clearly is not what we really want. On ideological grounds we imagine a world that cannot exist, and try to move into it. When it doesn’t work, we try to force it. This causes endless resentment and unhappiness and sometimes hatred. Yet any who openly do not want to be with those unlike themselves are called racists, sexists, Islamophobes, homophobes, snobs, and so on.

If a group of men are sitting around shooting the breeze and a woman shows up, the conversational dynamics change. The men will speak differently, talk of different things, be wary. Yet heaven help them if they say that sometimes they don’t want female company.

In the military the consequences of forced togetherness are grave, and not just in that women can’t do many of the things required of soldiers. Thirteen men in a squad will work easily together to get a job done. Add a woman and all the men will compete for her sexual favors, even if she isn’t using them, which is possible.

If we permitted freedom of association, we would have bars and clubs for men only, and for women only, as well as for both as people chose. Men would not care if women had segregated bars for themselves, but, what with feminism, women feel compelled to force themselves on men.

In universities we equally see natural human resistance to mandated association. In particular blacks increasingly demand their own fraternities, student centers, graduation ceremonies, and departments of Black Studies. Thus we have the silly spectacle of universities struggling to recruit diversity which, once recruited, struggles to segregate itself.

As noted, ease of association is inversely proportional to difference, and difference is a sort of vector sum of many things: social and economic status, skin color, native fluency in English, sex and sexual orientation, and so on.

Our current policy of compulsory amalgamation is fueled both by resentment and ideology. Women and blacks think they endure discrimination by men and whites and so insist on inclusion they really do not much want. The result is lawsuits, and sometimes far worse. Cities burn because we insist on employing white policemen in black regions.

Much of today’s anger would diminish if we allowed people to live in neighborhoods of their own kind, and study in schools of their own kind, and be policed by their own kind, and to establish clubs as they like. We could call this something like, oh, say, “freedom.”

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