Good Fences Make Good Neighbours…

Seeing as before an apparently abrupt 180° turn, multiculturalism was political dogma here in the UK it might be informative if we actually take a look at what happens when we try to mix different ethnic groups into the same territory (spoiler: it isn’t good…)

 

To cut a long story short, where political boundaries fail to coincide with ethnic boundaries, you tend to find ethnic conflict.

For example, according to the United Nations there were 82 conflicts between 1989 and 1992 which caused 1,000+ fatalities. Out of these 82 conflicts, 79 (96%) were fought between different ethnic and/or religious groups within the borders of the same state. A mere 3 (4%) were fought across state borders.

 

Take a look at the following graph taken from a book titled Ethnic Conflicts Explained by Ethnic Nepotism, by Finnish political scientist Professor Tatu Vanhanen. He conducted extensive work on the relationship between ethnic heterogeneity and ethnic conflict (and published his results in said book).

 

 

As Prof Tatu Vanhanen says in the book,

“In ethnic conflicts, people seem to follow a similar behavior pattern across all existing developmental, civilizational, and cultural boundaries. The more the population is divided into separate ethnic groups, the more they seem to become organized along ethnic lines in interest conflicts, and the more often they tend to resort to violence in ethnic conflicts.”

Indeed.

He also goes on to say,

“Ethnic nepotism belongs to human nature and … it is independent from the level of socioeconomic development (modernization) and also from the degree of democratization.”

 

And to include another (unrelated) quote – though at this point quite superfluous:

“Diverse peoples worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other – that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent.”

This is actually from Dick Lamm, an American Democratic politician and three time governor of Colorado. It’s from a speech he gave arguing against multiculturalism, in favour of assimilationism (but we’ve already seen what that involves: a complete disintegration of community and social capital.)

 

Now, on to the next piece of research; this one looks at how to actually prevent ethnic conflict (hint: it doesn’t involve multiculturalism.)

Good Fences: The Importance of Setting Boundaries for Peaceful Coexistence

Abstract

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. 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 either guarantee sufficient separation or sufficient mixing [ENR-NW: again see ‘On Diversity’ to see the desirability of going down that road.] 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 violent conflict has led 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

…which corresponds to what we previously said in Why Ethno-Nationalism? Best policy involves separating people out along ethnic lines, and handing them a certain degree of autonomy. Good fences make good neighbours…

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