ArticlePDF Available


  • The University of New Brunswick, Saint John
The Occidental Quarterly Summer 2018 Volume 18, Number 2
Summer 2018
Vol. 18, No. 2
$20 per copy
The Pan-Hellenic Struggle for Freedom in the Persian Wars
Guillaume Durocher
Authentic Heidegger vs. Inauthentic Fake News
Tom SunicTom Sunic
Ted Gold and the Jews of Weatherman
Eric Nemmersdorf
Steven Pinkers Anti-Enlightenment Attack on White Identitarians Steven Pinkers Anti-Enlightenment Attack on White Identitarians
Review of Enlightenment Now:
The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
by Steven Pinker
Ricardo Duchesne
Genesis of the Radical Left
Review of Review of Revolutionary Yiddishland: A History of Jewish Radicalism
by Alain Brossat and Sylvia Klingberg
Brenton Sanderson
Understanding Western Decline
Review of Review of The Rhythm of the West:
A Biohistory of the Modern Era, AD 1600 to the Present
by Michael A. Woodley et al.
Nelson Rosit
Greek Biopolitics and Its Fall
Review of On the Origins of Greek Biopolitics:
A Reinterpretation of the History of BiopowerA Reinterpretation of the History of Biopower
by Mika Ojakangas
Guillaume Durocher
VOLUME 18, NO. 2 SUMMER 2018
The Pan-Hellenic Struggle for Guillaume Durocher 3
Freedom in the Persian Wars
Authentic Heidegger vs. Inauthentic Tom Sunic 21
“Fake News”
Ted Gold and the Jews of Weatherman Eric Nemmersdorf 35
Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Ricardo Duchesne 49
Attack on White Identitarians
Review of Enlightenment Now: The Case
for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
by Steven Pinker
Genesis of the Radical Left Brenton Sanderson 69
Review of Revolutionary Yiddishland:
A History of Jewish Radicalism
by Alain Brossat and Sylvia Klingberg
Understanding Western Decline Nelson Rosit 97
Review of The Rhythm of the West: A Biohistory
of the Modern Era, AD 1600 to the Present
by Michael A. Woodley et al.
Greek Biopolitics and Its Fall Guillaume Durocher 103
Review of On the Origins of Greek
Biopolitics: A Reinterpretation of the
History of Biopower by Mika Ojakangas
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker
New York: Penguin Random House, 2018
Reviewed by Ricardo Duchesne
With the publication of Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker has deci-
sively established himself as a leading public intellectual in the United
States. On the surface, this book is a data-packed defense of the success of
the Enlightenment project defined as a way of living that cherishes the
use of reason against dogma; the promotion of healthy, happy, and stim-
ulating lives against “progressophobia” and pessimism; scientific evi-
dence against ideological deception; and empathy for the suffering of oth-
ers against narrow self-interest. But for me, this book is a calculated attack
against White “populists” who are sick of the suppression of facts, the
fake news, the irrationalism, and the immoral misuse of Enlightenment
ideals by a left-right globalist establishment hell-bent on ramming
through immigrant diversity across the Western world without demo-
cratic consent.
Pinker identifies nationalists, populists, Trump supporters, and the Alt
Right as the biggest “enemy” of the Enlightenment ideals of science, rea-
son, and humanism. He does not view Islamic peoples and radical leftists
as intrinsic enemies. Islamic nations today are embracing a “new Enlight-
enment” in line with their own “more tolerant, cosmopolitan, and inter-
nally peaceful” history, as compared to that of the “Christian West,”
which only started a liberal trajectory with the rise of modern science in
the seventeenth century (439). Pinker does not see leftists as intrinsic en-
emies either. Their problem is lack of appreciation for the progress the
Enlightenment has brought to humanity. Leftists sometimes get out of
hand in keeping conservative globalists out of universities, but we can
only be thankful to “intellectual liberals” for being “at the forefront of
many forms of progress . . . such as democracy, social insurance, religious
tolerance, the abolition of slavery . . . the decline of war, and the expan-
sion of human and civil rights” (373).
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
It is the “resurgent” ideology of “authoritarian populism,” ethnic na-
tionalism, and “political tribalism” among Whites that constitute “the
most insidious form of irrationality today” (383). I will show in this re-
view, however, that it is Pinker who is the enemy of the ideals of the En-
lightenment, misinterpreting these ideals as if they were projects for the
creation of a race-mixed humanity on European lands. He complains that
the “ideals of the Enlightenment are treated by today’s intellectuals with
indifference, skepticism, and sometimes contempt” (6). But it is he who
extemporaneously alters the definition of cosmopolitanism to mean that
all White nations must become “multicultural and multiethnic.” There is
nothing in the Enlightenment requiring European nationalists (who be-
lieve in peaceful cultural exchanges among nations) to welcome immigra-
tion and diversity. Pinker’s claim that European national pride and ethnic
identity led to parochialism and intellectual narrowness can be catego-
rized as a form of irrational indoctrination obscuring the actual origins of
Enlightenment ideals within ethnically homogeneous European nations.
Pinker compiles an incredible array of statistics and graphs showing
that “the world is about a hundred times wealthier today than it was two
centuries ago”; that “poverty among racial minorities has fallen”; that
“Americans are half as likely to be murdered as they were two dozen
years ago”; that “Americans became 96 percent less likely to be killed in
a car accident . . . 99 percent less likely to die in a plane crash”; that 83
percent in the world can read and write today as compared to only 12
percent in the early in the nineteenth century; that Americans today work
22 fewer hours a week than they did a few decades ago; that as societies
have become wealthier “they have emitted fewer pollutants, cleared
fewer forests, spilled less oil, set aside more preserves, extinguished fewer
species”; that the “world’s nuclear stockpiles have been reduced by 85
percent”to list only some of the many numbers he collects from “data
Enlightenment Now is mostly about demonstrating that “the world has
made spectacular progress in every single measure of human well-being”
(52). Pinker is at his best in this effort. We identitarians, however, respect
the standards of rationality too much to believe that this progress was an
achievement “of all of humanity.” We disagree that it is “tribalist rather
than cosmopolitan” to emphasize that Enlightenment ideas came
uniquely from Europe. It is Pinker, not us, who can be legitimately ac-
cused of disrespect against the standing scholarship when he cavalierly
writes that “Enlightenment ideals have been articulated in non-Western
civilizations at many times in history” (29).
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
The article Pinker cites in support of this claim is “Enlightenment in
Global History: A Historiographical Critique” by Sebastian Conrad.1 I
happen to have examined this article in great detail, as a very revealing
sample of the way historians today are rewriting the history of the West
to promote the idea that all cultures were more or less equal participants
in the making of modernity in the context of multiracial classrooms re-
quiring a “sensitive learning environment.2 It is worth quoting a longish
passage from Conrad’s article, both for what it says about Pinker’s misin-
terpretation of the historical meaning of the Enlightenment and for what
it says about his misleading employment of the ideal of cosmopolitanism.
Conrad’s arguments must be exposed: not only are they historically
false, but they provide us with an opportunity to suggest that the
values of the Enlightenment are peculiarly European, rooted in this
continent’s history, and not universally true and applicable to hu-
manity. For one thing, these values are inconsistent with Conrad’s
style of research. Honest reflection based on reason and open in-
quiry shows that the Enlightenment was exclusively European. The
great thinkers of the Enlightenment were aristocratic representa-
tives of their people with a sense of rooted history and lineage. They
did not believe (except for a rare few) that all the peoples of the Earth
were members of a race-less humanity in equal possession of reason.
When they wrote of “mankind,” they meant “European-kind.”
When they said that “only a true cosmopolitan can be a good citi-
zen,” they meant that European nationals should enlarge their focus
and consider Europe “as a great republic.” . . .
What concerns Conrad, however, is the promotion of a history in
which the diverse cultures of the world can be seen as equal partic-
ipants in the making of the Enlightenment. Conrad wants to carry
to its logical conclusion the allegedly “universal” ideals of the En-
lightenment, hoping to persuade Westerners that the equality and
the brotherhood of mankind require the promotion of a Global En-
lightenment. . . .3
1 Sebastian Conrad, “Enlightenment in Global History: A Historiographical Cri-
tique,” The American Historical Review 117, no. 4 (October 2012): 9991027.
2 Ricardo Duchesne, “Multicultural Historians: The Assault on Western Civilization
and Defilement of the Historical Profession, Part II: The Scientific Revolution and the
Enlightenment,” The Occidental Quarterly 13, no. 4 (20132014): 331.
3 Ibid., 17.
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
Conrad’s historiographical study is a travesty intended to dis-
solve European specificity by way of a sophomoric use of sources.4
In another article, “The Enlightenment from a New Right Perspective,”
I explain at length that Enlightenment thinkers were the first to attempt a
scientific conception of human nature structured by racial classifications,
culminating in Immanuel Kant’s anthropological justification of his “crit-
ical” argument that only European peoples were capable of becoming ra-
tional moral legislators of their actions and elevating themselves above
the causality of nature and the unreflective customs of tribalist cultures.5
Kant’s cosmopolitan promotion of peaceful relations among nations and
opposition to the slave trade can in no way be interpreted as a call for a
globalist, race-mixed order in the West.
We all know that Western science spread outside the West and that
some non-Western countries have successfully assimilated Western tech-
nologies in a self-sustaining manner. Pinker is correct that “any reasoning
individual” can engage with Enlightenment ideals, but it is a stretch to
infer from this that non-Western peoples are equal to Europeans in their
inclination to enlightenment virtues or even their capacity for
knowledge.6 Anyone who has walked along the stacks of university li-
braries and examined the countless books written in the disciplines Euro-
peans singularly originated, will know that Whites are responsible for al-
most all the high-quality scholarship produced in the world, at least 90 to
95 percent. One has to wonder why Pinker attacks with such vehemence
White critics of immigrant diversification, singling them out as the most
“insidious enemies” of the Enlightenment, at the same time that he insists
that the Enlightenment is well-established in such countries as Japan,
South Korea, and Taiwan, even though the enlightened elites of these na-
tions cherish their own ethnic identities and reject immigrant multicultur-
Why does Pinker insist that European national identity must be civic,
4 Ibid., 24.
5 Ricardo Duchesne, “The Enlightenment from a New Right Perspective,” in North
American New Right, vol. 2 (San Francisco: Counter-Currents Publishing, 2017).
6 Many of my publications are efforts to identify and explain why Europeans have
been the most creative in all the endeavors of human life since the aristocratic, horse-
riding, expansive culture of Indo-Europeans in prehistoric times. See, for example, Faust-
ian Man in a Multicultural Age (London: Arktos Media, 2017).
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
based on political values alone, without ever mentioning the ethnic state
of Israel7 with its massive wall and regular deportation of non-Jewish im-
migrants?8 At the core of the Enlightenment ideal, he says, is the expecta-
tion that one should provide reasons for one’s beliefs. What are Pinker’s
reasons for his selective demonization of European identitarians?9 There
is a lot of psychological projection in Enlightenment Now. Pinker projects
his own irrational feelings about protecting Jewish identity onto White
identitarians, pretending he is the embodiment of Enlightenment ideals,
while calling European populists “blatantly irrational” and “tribal,” but
never caring to “adduce reasons” as to why populists may want to protect
their culture. His portrayal of Nietzsche as a juvenile thinker who “argued
that it’s good to be a callous, egoistic, megalomaniacal sociopath” (444) can
be categorized as a callous and egoistic treatment of the scholarship on
Nietzsche. Why would books on Nietzsche occupy so many shelves
across all Western universities, written mostly by academics who are lib-
eral and who embrace Enlightenment values, if he was just some guy call-
ing for “heroic glory by exterminating some chattering dwarves”?
One does not have to be a blatant opponent of the Enlightenment to be
doubtful of Pinker’s smug pretension he knows what the meaning of life
is. I don’t deny the vast majority of humans superficially agree that lead-
ing a “long, healthy, happy, rich, and stimulating life” (418) is most im-
portant. Refrigeration, electricity, toilets, vaccinations, computers, and air
travel are all great achievements original to Europeans. It is hardly sur-
prising that the spread of these European innovations has improved the
lives of millions outside the West, and that Pinker was able to come up
with statistics demonstrating this. Only the loony left pretends the Third
World has not benefited from Western knowledge. But one should not
minimize the longing of aristocratic individuals throughout Western
7 A simple question promoters of diversity never ask is: why they identify European
ethnic nationalism with “neo-Nazism” at the same time that they praise the ethnic state
of Israel as the only democratically free state in the Middle East?
8 Daniel Estrin, “Israel Gives African Asylum-Seekers a Choice: Deportation or Jail,”
NPR (February 22, 2018).
9 Early in 2016 Pinker issued a statement entitled “Against Selective Demonization”
condemning the double standards of those who advocate boycotts, divestments, and
sanctions against Israel for its policies towards Palestinians but who ignore the “worse”
human rights violations of nations such as Pakistan, China, and Russia.
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
history for great deeds, what Spengler and Hegel called a drive for imma-
terial recognition, no matter the hardship and dangers involved, the pain
and material sacrifices. This aristocratic spirit explains why Europeans
have been responsible for almost all of the greatest accomplishments in
Ordinary individuals also want something more than pleasure and
longevity, though they may not always articulate this longing in the opin-
ion surveys Pinker relies on for his “scientific” conclusions. Pinker has to
admit that “more than two-thirds of Americans deny that they are very
happy, around the same proportion as seventy years ago” (325)despite
the fact that over these years, Americans experienced dramatic progress
“in every single measurement.” He tries to downplay the rising American
suicide rate over the last decades by averaging suicide rates across three
countries in the West. But whichever way one cuts it, one would expect
Americans (and Europeans) to be many times happier if it is really true
that humans value increasing comfort and longevity absolutely. He really
can’t explain why drug addiction has remained steadily high among
Americans over the decades, and why the group with the highest rates of
drug overdose is “middle-aged, less-educated, non-urban white Ameri-
cans.” His only answer is that they are “globalization’s losers.”
Many of the measures of human well-being Pinker analyzes concern
the obvious benefits that modernization has brought to formerly pre-in-
dustrial, or pre-affluent societies: the spread of Westernization. The sta-
tistics on the state of psychological well-being in affluent societies with
more comforts, a few extra months of life, increasing globalization, and
more bathrooms are not very good, actually. Some of these trends were
predicted by critics of the idea of progress, such as Nietzsche and Speng-
ler. Here are some trends with links to sources:
“Chronic loneliness is a modern-day epidemic.”10
“Rates of depression and anxiety among teenagers have increased
70 percent in the past 25 years.”11
10 Laura Entis, “Chronic Loneliness Is a Modern-Day Epidemic,” Fortune (June 22,
11 Geraldine Bedell, “Teenage Mental-Health Crisis: Rates of Depression Have Soared
in Past 25 Years,” The Independent (February 22, 2016).
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
“Since 1999, there has been a staggering rise in the prevalence of
obesity. The United States will not be escaping the obesity epidemic
crisis anytime soon: Nearly 40% of adults and 19% of youth are
obese, the highest rate the country has ever seen in all adults.”12
“Declining testosterone levels in men not part of normal aging.”13
“Sperm counts among Western men have halved in last 40 years
The civil rights movement notwithstanding: in 1940, Black illegiti-
macy stood at 14 percent; in 1965, it stood at 25 percent; today, 75
percent of Black children are born to single mothers. White rates
have gone up from 3 percent in 1960 to 29 percent today.15
Incarceration has increased over 500 percent in the United States
over the last 40 years.16 “The number of black men in jail has grown
fivefold in the past 20 years, to the point where more black men are
behind bars than are enrolled in colleges or universities.”17
There has been “an across-the-board collapse of standards in
12 Victoria Larned, “Obesity Among All US Adults Reaches All-Time High,” CNN
(October 13, 2017).
13 “Declining Testosterone Levels in Men Not Part of Normal Aging,” Science Daily
(June 23, 2012).
14 Nicolas Davis, “Sperm Counts Among Western Men Have Halved in Last 40
YearsStudy,” The Guardian (July 25, 2017).
15 Walter E. Williams, “The True Black Tragedy: Illegitimacy of Nearly 75%,” CNS (May 19, 2015).
16 “Fact Sheet: Trends in U.S. Corrections,” The Sentencing Project (January 01, 2016).
17 Fox Butterfield, “Study Finds Big Increase in Black Men as Inmates Since 1980,”
New York Times (August 28, 2002).
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
American education over the last 40 to 45 years.”18
“Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in
nearly 30 years, with increases in every age group except older
Deaths from opioid use have skyrocketed in recent years, now
claiming over 60,000 mainly White working-class people and caus-
ing a decline in life expectancy.20
Enlightenment Now was written directly as a counterweight to popu-
lism. Pinker identifies populism as an ideology that “looks backward to
an age in which the nation was ethnically homogeneous” (334). He groups
together the ideas of Trump’s “uneducated voters” with the ideas of Nie-
tzsche, Heidegger, and Schmitt in arguing that the “counter-Enlighten-
ment” is a movement that does not respect truth and science. Throughout
the book, he takes shots at Trump for “demonizing immigrants” and Mus-
lims, and for employing a “tribalistic” discourse in his mobilization “of
an aggrieved and shrinking demographic” (lower-middle-class and rural
White Americans). But rather than offering any statistics on the supposed
benefits diversity has brought to the “losers of globalization,” he tells his
readers that globalization requires immigration, and that globalization “is
a tide that is impossible for any ruler to order back” (337), as if the rest of
the globalizing world is committed to racial diversification.
What is worse, he glowingly looks forward to the demographic decline
of Whites across the West as the one trend that will eventually defeat pop-
ulism and make the Enlightenment unstoppable. After noting that most
of the Trump voters who singled out “immigration” and “terrorism” as
the most important issues were “uneducated” and aging White males,
and that support for Trump, Brexit, and European populist parties “falls
18 Marc Tucker, “Why Have American Educational Standards Collapsed?” Education
Week (April 23, 2015).
19 Sabrina Tavernese, “U.S. Suicide Rates Surges to 30-Year High,” New York Times
(April 22, 2016).
20 Rob Stein, “Life Expectancy Drops Again as Opioid Deaths Surge in U.S.,” NPR
(December 21, 2017).
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
off dramatically with year of birth” (because “education exposes people
in young adulthood to other races and cultures”), Pinker disparagingly
says, “Populism is an old [White] man’s movement . . . sometimes society
advances funeral by funeral” (34143). On the other hand, he looks for-
ward to the mobilization of “African Americans,” “Hispanics,” and im-
migrants in future elections to uphold the highest ideals of the Enlighten-
ment, “respect for vetted fact and reasoned argument.” The Alt Right has
a “youngish membership,” but in the face of these demographic trends, it
will remain an “electoral nonentity.”
One would think that, in tying the Enlightenment project so closely
with diversity, Pinker would bring up statistics addressing specifically
the ways immigration has promoted science and humanism. But because
he relies primarily on statistics measuring long-term trends, and because
the arrival of Third World immigrants only started in earnest two to three
decades ago, he averages out of existence many of the statistical maladies
identitarians have noted about diversification in Europe. One needs
shorter time series data to detect trends associated with immigration per
se. One should also avoid statistics informing us about average national
crime rates, welfare spending, and rapes, including general surveys about
a nation’s “racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, and authoritarian” at-
titudes. By his own leftist criteria, one has to ask: Have Muslim and Afri-
can immigrants really contributed to a “less racist, sexist, homophobic,
and authoritarian” Europe?
It is revealingly odd that someone who claims to be deeply concerned
with “humanity” and “truth” does not care to offer a single figure about
the systematic raping of White girls by migrants, the massive costs immi-
grant integration21 has entailed, the continuously low educational attain-
ments of certain ethnic groups,22 the incredibly deceptive efforts of “En-
lightenment” historians to rewrite the histories of European nations as
immigrant nations,23 the increasing reality of no-go zones across various
21 Soeren Kern, “Germany’s Migrant Rape Crisis: January 2017. Tolerating a “Rape
Culture” to Sustain a Politically Correct Stance on Mass Immigration,Gatestone Institute
(February 13, 2017).
22 Nima Gholam Ali Pour, “Welcome to Sweden: Eldorado for Immigrants!” Gatestone
Institute (February 18, 2017).
23 Katrin Elger, “Survey Shows Alarming Lack of Integration in Germany,” Spiegel
Online (January 26, 2009).
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
European countries,24 and the number of mainstream journalists and ac-
ademics who have disgracefully remained silent over the prevalence of
child grooming rape gangs across Britain.25
Pinker relies on a quantitative study by Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max
Roser, “Trust,”26 to argue that increased education has made Westerners
“more enlightened,” “more likely to vote, volunteer . . . belong to civic
associations . . . and community organizations” (235). This study informs
us that in educated countries such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland,
“more than 60% of respondents think that people can be trusted,”
whereas in less educated countries “such as Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador
and Peru, less than 10% think that is the case.” It was likely on the basis
of this one contrast that Pinker tried to portray Westerners today as more
trusting and civic-minded. But when we look at trends inside Europe, this
study actually says that “the percentage of the population in OECD [Or-
ganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries
(mostly Western countries) reporting confidence in the national govern-
ment went down every year in the period 20092013.” When it comes to
the United States, this study says that “today, trust in the government in
the US is at historically low levels. . . . people in the US seem to trust each
other less today than 40 years ago.” Pinker wants us to believe that diver-
sity is correlated with increases in trust and participation in community
associations. But this study says that in the UK “associations with volun-
tary organisations declined significantly . . . the percentage of the UK
population that is active with one or more organization fell from 52% in
1993 to 43% in 2012.”
Pinker claims that his book is all about demonstrating through the
sheer use of data that “the Enlightenment has worked.” Why does he
overlook what the actual data say? I have no problem accepting generally
24 We now have a book on a topic establishment academics and politicians continue
to pretend is a non-topic: Raheem Kassam, No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a
Neighborhood Near You (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2017).
25 The mass-raping of British White girls is not some past phenomenon restricted to
Rotherham, but a widespread reality in multiple localities, in Rochdale, Oxfordshire,
Telford, and other places the media prefers to ignore. See Douglas Murray, “The BBC’s
Shameful Silence on the Telford Sex Scandal,” The Spectator (March 12, 2018).
26 Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser, “Trust,” (2016).
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
the claim that “the Enlightenment has workedas long as we separate
the Enlightenment from the emerging anti-Enlightenment statistical
trends associated with immigrant diversification. This act of misinterpret-
ing data about declining trust speaks loudly about the supreme aim of
Enlightenment Now: promote the idea that ethnic diversification is
founded on truth and science. Conversely, promote the idea that opposi-
tion to ethnic diversification is founded on irrationalism and Nietzschean
sociopathology. Pinker really likes surveys, but why did he ignore the
most extensive survey yet conducted on the effects of diversity on trust
and civic participation, Robert D. Putnam’s 2007 “E Pluribus Unum: Di-
versity and Community in the Twenty-first Century”?27 Was it because,
after conducting 30,000 interviews over a five-year period, Putnam con-
cluded that the greater the diversity, the greater the distrust; the more
diversity, the less civic engagement?
The Enlightenment defined as increased ethnic diversity is not work-
ing. This is no longer an isolated study. In “Diversity Is Destroying the
Cohesion and Social Capital of Western Nations,” I assessed the merits of
many studies coming after Putnam’s.28 A key point in this article was that
the entire research establishment is dedicated to the “successful” comple-
tion of diversification and that the academics working on these studies
are servants of the state, terrified at the thought of affirming their White
identity; and yet the evidence coming out is not looking good for diversity
I also observed in this article an inverted anti-White logic in the way
the evidence is interpreted: negative reactions by Whites against the ef-
fects of diversity are not counted as negative evidence if the diversifica-
tion is seen to benefit non-Whites. Rather, negative reactions by Whites
count as evidence that Whites are not accepting diversity and that they
need more education and more diversity against the perils of racism. Be-
low I will offer a short, annotated bibliography of additional studies. Keep
in mind that diversification is still a relatively new experiment; Europe
27 Robert D. Putnam, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-
first Century,” Scandinavian Political Studies 30, no. 2 (June 2007): 13774; Michael Jonas
offers a very good summary of Putnam’s findings in “The Downside of Diversity,” Bos- News (August 5, 2007).
28 Ricardo Duchesne, “Diversity Is Destroying the Cohesion and Social Capital of
Western Nations,” Council of European Canadians (November 10, 2017).
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
only intensified mass immigration after 20002001; the studies coming
out are still looking at diversification in its early stages; and yet the verdict
emerging is that Pinker’s interpretation of the Enlightenment is not work-
ing, and moreover, that increasing diversity in Europe (and America) is
confirming Putnam’s conclusions.
“Does Ethnic Diversity Have a Negative Effect on Attitudes To-
wards the Community? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Causal
Claims within the Ethnic Diversity Social Cohesion Debate.”29 The
abstract notes that prior studies “demonstrate a negative association
between community ethnic diversity and indicators of social cohe-
sion (especially attitudes towards neighbours and the community),
suggesting diversity causes a decline in social cohesion.” The find-
ing of this article is that “changes in community diversity do lead to
changes in attitudes towards the community . . . Increasing diversity
undermines attitudes among stayers [those who stay in the commu-
nity].” By contrast, “individuals who move from a diverse to a ho-
mogeneous community report improved attitudes.”
“Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: Evidence from the Micro-Con-
text.”30 “We argue that residential exposure to ethnic diversity re-
duces social trust.”
“Ethnic Diversity and Its Impact on Community Social Cohesion
and Neighbourly Exchange.”31 According to this study of Austral-
ian suburbs in Brisbane: “Our results provide at least partial support
for Putnam’s thesis.”
“School Ethnic Diversity and White Students’ Civic Attitudes in
England.”32 Two highlights of this article are: “Diverse schools do
not make White British students more inclusive in their attitudes on
immigrants” and “diverse schools reduce trust in people of one’s
29 James Laurence and Lee Bentley, “Does Ethnic Diversity Have a Negative Effect on
Attitudes Towards the Community? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Causal Claims
within the Ethnic Diversity Social Cohesion Debate,” European Sociological Review 32, no.
1 (2016): 5467, 54.
30 Peter Thisted Dinesen and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov, “Ethnic Diversity and So-
cial Trust: Evidence from the Micro-Context,” American Sociological Review 80, no. 3
(2015): 55073, 550.
31 Rebecca Wickes, Renee Zahnow, Gentry White, and Lorraine Mazerolle, “Ethnic
Diversity and Its Impact on Community Social Cohesion and Neighbourly Exchange,”
Journal of Urban Affairs 36, no. 1 (2014): 5178, 51.
32 Jan Germen Jaanmat, “School Ethnic Diversity and White Students’ Civic Attitudes
in England,” Social Science Research 49 (January 2015): 97109, 97.
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
own age.”
“Ethnic Diversity, Economic and Cultural Contexts, and Social
Trust: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Evidence from European
Regions, 2002–2010.”33 “Using survey data from the European So-
cial Survey 20022010 merged with immigration figures from the
European Labour Force Survey, this study [reveals] . . . an increase
in immigration is related to a decrease in social trust.”
“Volunteering Hits Lowest Rate in More Than 10 Years.”34 “As of
September 2013, 25.4 percent of all Americans 16 and older had vol-
unteered with an organization at least once in the prior year, accord-
ing to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the
lowest rate of volunteering the annual report has found since it was
first conducted in 2002.”
“Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: A Critical Review of the Litera-
ture and Suggestions for a Research Agenda.35 “In this chapter we
critically review the empirical evidence for a negative relationship
between contextual ethnic diversity (measured locally within coun-
tries) and social trust. We cautiously conclude that there are indica-
tions of a negative relationship . . .” I suggest they must be cautious
for fear they will be fired.
“Does Ethnic Diversity in Local Areas Residential Areas Erode Trust
in Other People?”36 “The results show that interethnic exposure in
33 Conrad Ziller, “Ethnic Diversity, Economic and Cultural Contexts, and Social
Trust: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Evidence from European Regions, 20022010,”
Social Forces 93, no. 3 (2015): 121140, 1211.
34 “Volunteering Hits Lowest Rate in More Than 10 Years,” U.S. News (February 26,
35 Peter Thisted Dinesen and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov, “Ethnic Diversity and So-
cial Trust: A Critical Review of the Literature and Suggestions for a Research Agenda,”
in The Oxford Handbook of Social and Political Trust, ed. Eric M. Uslaner (forthcoming): 1
31, 1.
36 Peter Thisted Dinesen and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov, “Does Ethnic Diversity in
Local Areas Residential Areas Erode Trust in Other People?,” Carlsberg Foundation (Feb-
ruary 5, 2016).
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
immediate residential surroundingsdown to a few hundred me-
tres within the place of residencereduces social trust among na-
tive Danes.”
There are many additional studies showing that greater diversity in-
creases mistrust and reduces social cohesion.37 It should not be surprising
that some studies challenge Putnam’s conclusion. Yet, as I argued in “Di-
versity Is Destroying the Cohesion and Social Capital of Western Na-
tions,” none of these studies have demonstrated that diversity increases
social cohesion. At most, they have produced some evidence that ethnic
diversity “does not, with any certainty, erode social capital.”38 This is a
rather lame conclusion considering the endless paeans to multicultural-
ism and the vast resources dedicated to diversification. It bears repeating
that one of Pinker’s central claims is that diversity is essential to the suc-
cessful completion of the ideals of the Enlightenment. He says that “the
claim that ethnic uniformity leads to cultural excellence is as wrong as an
idea can be” (450). How about the claim that the Enlightenment was sin-
gularly the product of White males in European nations with zero diver-
sification programs?
37 The following studies may hesitate in their conclusions due to an obvious political
climate that maligns any overt criticism of diversity, but their overall message is that
diversity has a negative effect on community cohesion: Bram Lancee and Jaap Dronkers,
“Ethnic, Religious and Economic Diversity in Dutch Neighbourhoods: Explaining Qual-
ity of Contact with Neighbours, Trust in the Neighbourhood and Inter-Ethnic Trust,”
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37, no. 4 (2011): 597618; Dora L. Costa and Mat-
thew E. Kahn, “Civic Engagement and Community Heterogeneity: An Economist’s Per-
spective,” Perspective on Politics 1, no. 1 (March 2003): 10311; Jan Delhey and Kenneth
Newton, “Predicting Cross-National Levels of Social Trust: Global Pattern or Nordic Ex-
ceptionalism?” European Sociological Review 21, no. 4 (September 2005): 31127; Edward
Fieldhouse and David Cutts, “Does Diversity Damage Social Capital? A Comparative
Study of Neighbourhood Diversity and Social Capital in the U.S. and Britain,” Canadian
Journal of Political Science 43, no. 2 (June 2010): 289318; Marc Hooghe, Tim Reeskens,
Dietlind Stolle, and Anne Trappers, “Ethnic Diversity and Generalized Trust in Europe:
A Cross-National Multilevel Study,” Comparative Political Studies 42, no. 2 (February
2009): 198223; Tom W. Rice and Brent Steele, “White Ethnic Diversity and Community
Attachment in Small Iowa Towns,Social Science Quarterly 82, no. 2 (June 2001): 397407;
Perola Öberg, Sven Oskarsson, and Torsten Svensson, “Similarity vs. Homogeneity:
Contextual Effects in Explaining Trust,” European Political Science Review 3, no. 3 (No-
vember 2011): 34569.
38 Vilius Semenas, “Ethnic Diversity and Social Capital at the Community Level: Ef-
fects and Implications for Policymakers,” Inquiries Journal 6, no. 4 (2016).
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
Pinker employs the Enlightenment idea that humans have a natural
inclination toward social sympathy for the misfortune of others as a moral
weapon to persuade Whites that they have an obligation (in this age of
affluence and education when this inclination can flourish) to “consider
humanity as a whole” and welcome millions of immigrants into their na-
tions. Pinker does not mention this book, but Gertrude Himmelfarb ar-
gues in The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlighten-
ments that “the distinctive feature of the British Enlightenment” was the
idea that humans have a “moral sense” rooted in their nature “derived
neither from self-interest nor from reason . . . a moral sense that inspired
sympathy, benevolence and compassion for others.”39
This idea underpins Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Vio-
lence Has Declined.40 This book argues that violent behaviors gradually de-
clined over the centuries, with the post-Second World War era being the
most peaceful time ever, because the spread of the Enlightenment nur-
tured this moral sense and promoted empathy in combination with hu-
man reason. Clearly, however, it is one thing to say that our sense of sym-
pathy, our circle of compassion, has expanded with our global awareness
of people in faraway lands; it is another to say that we have nurtured an
innate capacity to spread our sympathy equally across the world. This is
an argument Pinker has formulated specifically for Whites. He even says
that Westerners, “as citizens of the world,” should be prepared to make
sacrifices in their own interests for the sake of a wider humanity outside
their homelands. He admits that “the world’s poor have gotten richer in
part at the expense of the American lower middle class,” and he is aware
that this class of rural Whites has lost against the importation of cheap
immigrant laborers, and that this group has the highest drug addiction
rates. But he does not seem to have much empathy for these Whites. In-
stead, he says that sacrificing rural Whites should be seen as an enlight-
ened “trade-off” by those who are reasonable, urbane, and truthful: “As
citizens of the world considering humanity as a whole, we have to say
that the trade-off [getting the world’s poor and immigrants richer] is
worth it” (113).
It is indeed strange that someone widely known as a critic of the leftist
39 Gertrude Himmelfarb, The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American En-
lightenments (New York: Random House, 2004).
40 Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (New
York: Viking Books, 2011).
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
academic orthodoxy, principally for his “subversive Darwinian claims”41
in The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature that human behavior
is substantially shaped by evolutionary psychological adaptations, is now
so strongly against any form of “tribalist” in-group behavior in favor of a
cosmopolitan ethic.42 It is worth quoting this passage:
Given that we are equipped with the capacity to sympathize with
others, nothing can prevent the circle of sympathy from expanding
from the family and tribe to embrace all of humankind, particularly
as reason goads us into realizing that there can be nothing uniquely
deserving about ourselves or any of the groups to which we belong.
We are forced into cosmopolitanism: accepting our citizenship in the
world. (11)
He wants us to believe he is not suggesting we should change human
nature to overcome in-group tribalism, but only that we can “expand” our
naturally based circle of sympathy from the tribe to the globe. He dis-
misses as a “crude version of evolutionary psychology” the idea that in-
dividual humans have been selected “to sacrifice their interests for the
supremacy of their group” (448). He identifies the idea of in-group pref-
erences with “neo-Nazi parties,” “Romantic nationalism,” and theories of
group selection among evolutionists (“survival of the fittest group”). This
is possibly the most questionable claim of Enlightenment Now. First, as
should already be clear to readers of this review, Pinker is not merely say-
ing that we should sympathize with the suffering of others, in the way the
already enlightened and urbane Japanese and Israelis presumably do. He
is saying that Europeans should expand their circle of fellow-feeling from
their nations to the world to “embrace” millions of immigrants. We need
to be aware that he is holding Whites, and only Whites, to this moral
Secondly, Pinker is wrong that the science of in-group preferences and
out-group derogation is without merit. We all know that Europeans tend
to be more individualistic, less collectivistic in their ethnic awareness, and
that they have a unique capacity to think in universal moral terms, which
is why they originated the Enlightenment, a rational system of law, and
41 These are the words of the renowned cognitive psychologist Daniel Dennett.
42 Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (New York: Pen-
guin Group, 2002).
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
the method of modern science. Non-Europeans are more collective and
racially aware and more inclined to practice ethnic nepotism.43 Pinker is
clearly making the most of this European inclination.
Nevertheless, numerous scientific studies have been coming out in re-
cent years supporting the view that humans generally have a preference
for their ethnic in-group, and that such altruistic dispositions as sharing,
loyalty, caring, and even motherly love, are exhibited primarily and in-
tensively within in-groups rather than toward a universal “we” in disre-
gard for one’s community.
It is not that in-groups needlessly seek to attack out-groups; nor is it
that in-groups have an inborn disposition to hate others. The focus is
much more on positive behaviors within the in-group. In general, in-
group members concentrate on altruism and cooperation within the
group rather than aggression towards outsiders, unless the competing
out-group comes to be seen as a threat.
The research also shows that conflict escalation between ethnic groups
is lower when physical barriers exist between them,44 and much higher
when different groups inhabit the same national territory.45 As Carsten K.
W. De Dreu et al. observe in their widely cited article, “Oxytocin Promotes
Human Ethnocentrism,” the tendency for in-group members is to favor
their own rather than to hate outsiders:
[T]here is good reason to believe that the in-group prejudice effect
is far more basic to human life than is the out-group hate prejudice
effect, and research on human ethnocentrism supported this posi-
tive-negative asymmetry of social discrimination . . . showing that
oxytocin creates intergroup bias primarily because it motivates in-
group favoritism and not because it motivates out-group deroga-
43 Frank Salter, “J. P. Rushton’s Theory of Ethnic Nepotism,” Personality and Individual
Differences 55, no. 3 (July 2013): 25660; Tatu Vanhanen, “Ethnic Nepotism as a Cross-
Cultural Background Factor of Ethnic Conflicts,” Open Journal of Political Science 4, no. 3
(July 2014): 14355.
44 Alex Rutherford et al., “Good Fences: The Importance of Setting Boundaries for
Peaceful Coexistence,” PLOS (May 21, 2014).
45 Tatu Vanhanen, “Domestic Ethnic Conflict and Ethnic Nepotism: A Comparative
Analysis,” Journal of Peace Research 36, no. 1 (January 1999): 5573.
46 Carsten K. W. De Dreu, Lindred L. Greer, Gerben A. Van Kleef, Shaul Shalvi, and
Michel J. J. Handgraaf, “Oxytocin Promotes Human Ethnocentrism,” Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences 108, no. 4 (January 25, 2011): 126266. There is a rapidly
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
Pinker demonizes Europeans who show loyalty to their in-group, but
the cross-cultural data collected by Elizabeth Cashdan “provide no sup-
port for the proposition that out-group hostility is a necessary concomi-
tant of in-group loyalty.”47 Favoring one’s own ethnic group at the ex-
pense of other groups finds expression in a wide variety of human behav-
iors,48 from voting patterns49 to school choice,50 from marriage partners
to choice of neighborhoods.51 There is also extensive evidence that ethno-
centrism is common throughout the animal world,52 including plants.53
Humans favor their own ethnic group because this attitude is evolution-
arily adaptive. This behavior is rooted in biological evolution. It is not a
growing number of papers on the relationship between oxytocin and ethnocentrism.
Chinese academics are starting to be very curious about this relationship. In a recent
study by Xiaole Ma et al., “Oxytocin Increases Liking for a Country’s People and Na-
tional Flag But Not for Other Cultural Symbols or Consumer Products,” it is stated that
“Cultural bias and prejudice provides both the glue which binds large social groups to-
gether as well as laying the foundations for intergroup conflict.” Perhaps an interesting
academic situation is emerging with Western academic studying oxytocin to find ways
to decrease ethnocentrism among Whites while Chinese academics eagerly wanting to
find out whether oxytocin can be used medically to ensure Chinese cultural solidarity
and hegemony in a cucked White world; see Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. (August
5, 2014)
47 Elizabeth Cashdan, “Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study,”
Current Anthropology 42, no. 5 (December 2001): 76065.
48 Miles Hewstone. Mark Rubin, and Hazel Willis, “Intergroup Bias,” Annual Review
of Psychology 53 (February 2002): 575604.
49 Alec Tyson and Shiva Maniam, “Behind Trump’s Victory: Divisions by Race, Gen-
der, Education,” Pew Research Center (November 9, 2016).
50 Beatrice Schindler Rangvid, “School Choice, Universal Vouchers and Native Flight
from Local Schools,” European Sociological Review 26, no. 3 (June 2010): 31935.
51 Tom Jacobs, “‘White Flight’ Remains a Reality,” Pacific Standard (March 6, 2018).
52 Ivan D. Chase, “Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Behavior in Animals,” The
American Naturalist 115, no. 6 (June 1980): 82757.
53 Meredith L. Biedrzycki and Harsh P. Bais, “Kin Recognition in Plants: A Mysteri-
ous Behavior Unsolved,” Journal of Experimental Botany 15, no. 1 (October 2010): 412328.
The authors of this study write: “Biologists have long accepted that diverse animal spe-
cies have evolved means to recognize and interact with other members of their species,
often specifically kin members to enhance their survival. More recently, studies have
shown that various microbes, some of the simplest life forms, also have the ability to
recognize their kin. So why is it surprising that studies have shown that plants, too, can
recognize and interact with their kin?” (4123).
Duchesne, “Steven Pinker’s Anti-Enlightenment Attack”
pathology and should not be seen as defect that must be engineered or
legislated out of existence.
Pinker’s argument carries little appeal among non-Whites, including
Jews. Non-Whites enjoy promoting universalism among Whites while
following their own in-group interests. We have in the Western world a
situation in which millions of immigrants from collectivist cultures are
arriving to compete with a native White population that is less collectivist
and that is continually under intense pressure by a left-right globalist es-
tablishment to avoid any signs of “xenophobic” in-group preferences.
Whites, rather, are expected to encourage non-Whites to affirm their par-
ticular ethnic identity under the benevolence of multicultural humanitar-
ianism. This asymmetrical scenario is leading to the ethnocide of
Whites.54 There is scientific evidence showing, on the basis of “recent
agent-based computer simulations,”55 that in a social setting consisting of
in-groups and out-groups, the ethnocentric strategy of favoring one’s
group at the expense of other groups “dominate” the “selfish strategy of
constant defections,” the “traitorous strategy of cooperation with out-
group, but not in-group, agents,” and the “humanitarian strategy of in-
discriminate cooperation.”
Another study, based on computer simulations, shows that ethnocen-
trics dominate humanitarians with a wide circle of sympathy “by virtue
of directly exploiting” the humanitarian inclination “to cooperate across
group boundaries.” The humanitarians are easy to exploit by ethnocen-
trics because humanitarians are willing to provide benefits to out-group
agents at a cost to their own in-group agents. This study shows, actually,
that European humanitarians can “thrive in the absence of ethnocen-
trism”that is, in the absence of ethnocentric out-groups inside their
Whites were uniquely responsible for the Enlightenment. It was a strat-
egy they developed for themselves in order to overcome the extremely
violent age of religious wars between 1560 and 1715, during which Eu-
rope witnessed only thirty years of international peace. Without the eth-
nocentric collectivism of non-White groups, the humanitarian idea of en-
larging one’s sympathy for Europeans at large was quite successful in
54 Ricardo Duchesne, Canada in Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity, and the Ethnocide of
Euro-Canadians (London: Black House Publishing, 2017).
55 Max Hartshorn, Artem Kaznatcheev, and Thomas Shultz, “The Evolutionary Dom-
inance of Ethnocentric Cooperation,” Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Stimulation
16, no. 3 (June 2013). The words and phrases within quotation marks all come from this
The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 18, no. 2, Summer 2018
minimizing conflicts, both between European nations and among differ-
ent ethnic European groups in America, Australia, New Zealand, and
But the Enlightenment was infiltrated by alien, cultural Marxist princi-
ples after the Second World War, though its origins can be traced back to
before this war. Pinker’s Enlightenment Now may be seen as an ethnocen-
tric strategy to use the Enlightenment against the humanitarian tenden-
cies of Whites, a strategy now employed by multiple immigrant out-
groups to “receive the benefit of humanitarian cooperation while donat-
ing nothing across” their own in-group lines.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Due to its wide-ranging implications for social cohesion in diversifying Western countries, the question of the potential negative consequences of ethnic diversity for social trust is arguably the most contentious question in the literature on social trust. In this chapter we critically review the empirical evidence for a negative relationship between contextual ethnic diversity (measured locally within countries) and social trust. We cautiously conclude that there are indications of a negative relationship, although with important variations across study characteristics including national setting, context unit analyzed, and conditioning on moderating influences. Building on the review, we highlight a number of paths for theoretical and methodological advances, which we argue would push the literature on the relationship between ethnic diversity and social trust forward.
Full-text available
We consider the conditions of peace and violence among ethnic groups, testing a theory designed to predict the locations of violence and interventions that can promote peace. Characterizing the model's success in predicting peace requires examples where peace prevails despite diversity. Switzerland is recognized as a country of peace, stability and prosperity. This is surprising because of its linguistic and religious diversity that in other parts of the world lead to conflict and violence. Here we analyze how peaceful stability is maintained. Our analysis shows that peace does not depend on integrated coexistence, but rather on well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups, allowing for partial autonomy within a single country. In Switzerland, mountains and lakes are an important part of the boundaries between sharply defined linguistic areas. Political canton and circle (sub-canton) boundaries often separate religious groups. Where such boundaries do not appear to be sufficient, we find that specific aspects of the population distribution guarantee either sufficient separation or sufficient mixing to inhibit intergroup violence according to the quantitative theory of conflict. In exactly one region, a porous mountain range does not adequately separate linguistic groups and that region has experienced significant violent conflict, leading to the recent creation of the canton of Jura. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that violence between groups can be inhibited by physical and political boundaries. A similar analysis of the area of the former Yugoslavia shows that during widespread ethnic violence existing political boundaries did not coincide with the boundaries of distinct groups, but peace prevailed in specific areas where they did coincide. The success of peace in Switzerland may serve as a model to resolve conflict in other ethnically diverse countries and regions of the world.
Full-text available
A number of scholars have noted a negative relationship between ethnic diversity and social capital or social trust, especially in the US. Evidence from other countries has been more mixed and sometimes contradictory. In this paper we provide the first Anglo-American comparative analysis of the relationship between neighbourhood diversity and social capital, and show how this relationship varies across ethnic categories. We apply multilevel structural equation models to individual level data from the 2000 Citizen Benchmark Survey for the US and the 2005 Citizenship Survey for Great Britain. The findings suggest that while for attitudinal social capital among Whites the negative underlying relationship with diversity is apparent in both countries, the effect is much weaker or reversed for minority groups. For structural social capital the negative relationship is apparent for minorities but not Whites, but this is mainly attributable to other neighbourhood characteristics.
Diversity has powerful advantages, but may also generate internal tensions and low interpersonal trust. Despite extensive attention to these questions, the relationship between diversity and trust is often misunderstood and findings methodologically flawed. In this article, we specify two different mechanisms and adherent hypotheses. An individual might base her decision to trust on her perceived social similarity in relation to others in the community, that is, a similarity hypothesis. However, in a homogenous context, she might expect trustworthy behavior irrespective of her own social position due to signals of low degrees of social conflict and dense social networks, that is, a homogeneity hypothesis. Prior research has pinpointed only one of these mechanisms. The homogeneity hypothesis has not been explicated, and when the intention has been to test the similarity hypothesis, the homogeneity hypothesis has unintentionally been tested instead. The results are straightforward. While the homogeneity hypothesis is strongly supported, the findings speak against the similarity hypothesis.
Unreciprocated aid among co-ethnics and the emotional intensity of ethnic conflict have long been explanatory challenges to evolutionary science. J.P. Rushton’s theory of assortative ethnic affiliation–altruism, mating and friendship directed towards fellow ethnics–derives from his more general theory of genetic similarity (GST). GST proposes that humans give preferential treatment to others in whom they detect genetic resemblance and that such behavior enhances genetic fitness. The theory coincides with W.D. Hamilton’s theory of inclusive fitness as applied to relations between populations. GST helps explain core features of ethnicity, including its basis in putative kinship and correlation with gene frequencies. Ethnic nepotism due to similarity is a weak social force compared to social identity. However its pervasiveness makes it a potential driver of evolutionary and social change, a potential borne out by sociological studies of the impact of ethnic diversity on social cohesion and public altruism. Genomics confirms the theory for interactions within populations with sufficient genetic diversity, such as ethnically mixed societies. GST applied to ethnicity is promising for further research in evolutionary social science because it unifies evolutionary and behavioral mechanisms in a single theory.
Ethnic conflict seems to be common in all countries of the world where people are divided into separate ethnic groups, that may have a racial, national, linguistic, tribal, religious or caste basis. In this article it is proposed that a significant part of the universality of ethnic conflict can be explained by our evolved predisposition to ethnic nepotism, which can be regarded as an extended form of nepotism. Evolutionary theories of inclusive fitness and kin selection explain the origin and universality of nepotism. The members of an ethnic group tend to favour their group members over non-members because they are more related to their group members than to outsiders. This disposition to favour kin over non-kin becomes important in social life and politics when people and groups of people have to compete for scarce resources. Two hypotheses on political consequences of ethnic nepotism are presented: (1) significant ethnic division tends to lead to ethnic interest conflict in all societies and (2) the more a society is ethnically divided, the more political and other interest conflict tend to become channelled into ethnic lines. These two hypotheses are tested by empirical evidence for 183 contemporary states. The hypothetical concepts `ethnic division' and `ethnic conflict' are operationalized into empirical variables. The results support the two hypotheses. Deviating cases underline the importance of other relevant factors behind ethnic conflict and violence.
This paper provides an overview of the mushrooming economics literature on how community attributes influence the level of civic engagement. Since 1997, at least fifteeen empirical papers have investigated the consequences of heterogeneity for social capital. Social capital has been measured using indicators of group participation such as volunteer activity, organizational membership and activity, entertaining and visiting friends and relatives, and voting and indicators of the strength of network ties such as trust. These papers cover different nations, different social capital measures, and even different centuries. But a common theme emerges across these fifteen studies. More homogeneous communities foster greater levels of social capital production. We provide an overview of this literature and then focus on synthesizing our past work on volunteering and membership with new findings on trust and voting.
Using data from Copenhagen school registers and other sources, I test the hypothesis that Danes are more likely to opt out of their local public school if it has a large concentration of immigrant pupils. The results suggest that, when a rich set of covariates at student, school, and neighbourhood levels is controlled for, up to an immigrant concentration of about 35 per cent in the local school, opting out decisions of Danes are not affected. But, Danes are far more likely to opt out as soon as the concentration exceeds 35 per cent. However, only the 20 per cent of the immigrant population who speak Danish at home respond to higher immigrant concentrations by opting out. These results lend support to the native-flight-from-immigrants hypothesis and suggest that ethnic segregation across schools is increased by Danes’ and immigrants’ differing behaviour.