Category: the nature of conflict

The Nature of Conflict Analysis

A very brief review.

I received a copy of the complete paper on this subject from a trusted correspondent [once again: thank you], and I want to make some comments about it.  I’ll be brief and provide a rather “shallow” analysis of this work, and wait for more detailed analyses from those whose expertise are more relevant for understanding this type of work.  

I will make one major criticism of this paper, despite my approval of the intellectual honesty of the authors. The writing is turgid, difficult, and overly complex.  This contrasts to the clear, crisp, and comprehensible style of Salter’s On Genetic Interests or MacDonald’s trilogy on the Jews.  Powerful writing on important topics, where the authors attempt to illuminate truth rather than obfuscate, must be clear and readily understandable. If one must read sentences and paragraphs over and over again in order to try and grasp what the authors’ points are, those authors failed in one of their essential fundamentals and have done a disservice to the material and to the readers.
The authors show a linear correlation between increasing genetic diversity and increased conflict, a correlation that holds with outliers removed. Various factors are controlled for, including categories designated by the authors as geography, institutional factors, and ethnolinguistic fragmentation. The observed correlation remains; further, the authors spend considerable time evaluating their data, by subjecting it to “robustness checks.”  In summary, it seems that their data are sound.
The authors note various mechanisms whereby genetic diversity can enhance conflict, and none of this should come to any surprise to the informed.  First, consistent with the work of Putnam and Salter, genetic diversity can decease trust and cooperation in a society.  It is known that investment in social welfare and other collective social goods decreases with increased diversity, and Putnam’s “bowling alone” thesis is familiar to honest students of the diversity problem.  Thus, diversity decreases “social capital” beneath a threshold necessary to deal with the varied problems and individual and group “grievances” inevitable in any complex society. 

I have previously written on other forums about my thesis that at least part of the reason of the “amoral familism” in Southern Italy, and lessened investment in social goods and cooperation in Southern Europe as a whole, is due to the greater genetic diversity in that part of Europe compared to the north.  It’s not that the people are directly measuring that diversity, but are (consciously or subconsciously) using imperfect but practical proxies for it, such as phenotype.  To put it crudely, and somewhat tongue-in-cheek, if one of your co-ethnics looks like Rudy Giuliani and another looks like Osama bin Laden, then it should be obvious that there is a significant degree of genetic heterogeneity there, and that the degree of relatedness is depressed compared to other regions where phenotypes are less divergent. There is decreased motivation to invest in social goods when uncertainty exists as to how related you are to those around you, and this can become ingrained in a (dysfunctional) culture over time.  Thus, even though intra-ethnic genetic diversity will typically be a small fraction of inter-ethnic/racial diversity, a relatively large degree of intra-ethnic genetic heterogeneity likely had corrosive effects on in-group altruism and cooperation throughout history. When the degree of group heterogeneity is relatively high, then it would be more prudent to invest more in self (selfishness) and family (amoral familism) at the expense of societal well-being. Note the use of “relatively” here, as everything needs to be taken into context. Given we live today in an age of globalism, mass migration, and clash of civilizations, even intra-racial heterogeneity – never mind the much smaller intra-ethnic heterogeneity – pales in significance in light of the massive differences in genetic profiles existing between continental population groups. Hence, in a age of inter-racial competition and conflict, the salience of intra-group differences is expected to be greatly diminished.
Another reason for the genefic diversity-conflict correlation is that genetic diversity reflects “interpersonal divergence in preferences for public goods and restributive policies,” thus leading to conflict.  One can reflect on the differences between genetically divergent groups in America toward such policies (although this touches upon point one as well, since part of the reluctance of American Whites to embrace social spending is the justifiable fear that the benefits of such would accrue to the Colored population). A third reason is that genetic diversity affects the inter-group prevalence of traits (e.g., IQ and behavior) that influence success, and this leads to increased economic inequality and hence inter-group conflict and societal instability.
In addition, and obviously, over time, genetic diversity stimulates the formation of defined ethnic groups, each with distinctive histories, cultures, and overall phenotypes, and once defined ethnic identities are established, social group theory will predict conflict among these groups.  After all, “social science” experiments have demonstrated that even artificially created groups, thrown together for no logical reason, can develop among their members strong in-group preferences and solidarity, with distaste and suspicion to the out-group. How much stronger these preferences if such groups are actually based upon real genetic gradients?
The authors also make the obvious point that the ability of genetic diversity itself to be predictive of group conflict diminishes if one instead focuses on the above-mentioned more proximate causes of conflict.  That essentially confirms that the above-mentioned proximate mechanisms are the major mediators of the genetic diversity-conflict effect, and that these proximate issues (number of ethnic groups, trust, preferences, distribution in ability) taken together can substitute for genetic diversity. However, this does nothing except confirm that genetic diversity is the ultimate cause of all these more proximate explanatory mechanisms.
In summary, genetic diversity is correlated to increased conflict, with plausible mechanisms discussed. With all the other studies demonstrating the dangers of diversity, it is clear that diversity is a devastating weakness and multiculturalism is a failure. Who promotes this weakness and failure, particularly in Western societies?
The Left Globalists want to use mass immigration to “elect a new people” so as to promote a political agenda rejected by the native electorate.  In addition, these leftists hate Western civilization, hate Whites (in many cases, self-hatred), and/or have some sort of bizarre utopian vision of a raceless and classless future society.  The Right Globalists want cheap labor, a completely unhindered flow of labor and capital and profits, a global marketplace, and no “particularist” restrictions on the “free market” – which to them is akin to a religion. These rightists, through deception and/or self-deception, preach that any “acceptable” nationalism must be “civic” and not ethnic; they view all peoples as inter-changeable commodities in an economic-oriented worldview. Then we have the Colored Activists (and here I include the Jews), who hate Whites and the West, who want to increase the numbers and power of their own peoples and cultures, and who have very ethnically-interested reasons to promote “diversity and multiculturalism.”

The rest of us are under no obligation to accept this. All the data show that not only does “diversity” harm ultimate interests, but there is no proximate benefit; in fact, “diversity” as practiced in multiculturalism is destructive at the proximate level as well.

The Nature of Conflict

Interesting paper.

This research establishes that the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrastate conflicts in the modern era reflect the long shadow of prehistory. Exploiting variations across national populations, it demonstrates that genetic diversity, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, has contributed significantly to the frequency, incidence, and onset of both overall and ethnic civil conflict over the last half-century, accounting for a large set of geographical and institutional correlates of conflict, as well as measures of economic development. Furthermore, the analysis establishes the significant contribution of genetic diversity to the intensity of social unrest and to the incidence of intragroup factional conflict. These findings arguably reflect the contribution of genetic diversity to the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups in the national population; the adverse influence of genetic diversity on interpersonal trust and cooperation; the contribution of genetic diversity to divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies; and the potential impact of genetic diversity on economic inequality within a society.