There’s a head scratching conundrum that seems to have the media so puzzled and perplexed. And that confusion centers on just why there’s been no wholesale or even random acts of looting in Japan after those devastating earthquakes rocked the island nation. Today, survivors are still struggling with a lack of food, clothing, and drinking water let alone all those other ‘necessities’ that we’ve come to expect from modern life. Yet no one is mugging their nearest neighbor nor sifting through what’s left of other people’s possessions. So how can such exemplary behavior under such adverse conditions be possible in this day and age of Gimme Gimme and Where’s Mine?
Many of the talking turkeys on cable and elsewhere have explained away this pulling-together phenomenon by pointing to the Japanese penchant for collectivism or by proffering the Japanese proclivity for passive obedience to authority. But there is yet another theory that the media has failed to mention that offers an interesting take on the Japanese bent for order and civility.
Robert Putnam, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, completed a comprehensive research study examining the role of ethnic diversity and its impact on community trust. Putnam, who is a steadfast adherent to the fundamental precepts of the Church of Progressivism, was shocked and dismayed to discover that his research basically blew to smithereens the multicultural creed.
Putnam’s research was published under the title Diversity and Trust Within Communities. In short, this study found that more diversity within a community has a correlation to less trust both between and within ethnic groups. The research also shows that low trust with high diversity leads to:
- Lower confidence in local government, local leaders, and the local news media.
- Lower political efficacy – that is, lower confidence in one’s own influence.
- Lower frequency of registering to vote, but more interest and knowledge about politics and more participation in protest marches and social reform groups.
- Less expectation that others will cooperate to solve dilemmas of collective action (e.g., voluntary conservation to ease a water or energy shortage).
- Less likelihood of working on a community project.
- Less likelihood of giving to charity or volunteering.
- Fewer close friends and confidants.
- Less happiness and lower perceived quality of life.
- More time spent watching television and more agreement that “television is my most important form of entertainment”. Wikipedia
Do any of the above societal symptoms seem remotely familiar? Putnam’s research is dead on target in describing the American cultural landscape today. For decades, we’ve been treated to a non-stop brass band of militaristic marshal music on the theme of diversity. We’ve been indoctrinated ad nauseam on just how gloriously wonderful diversity is for the nation, the community, and the workplace. But the definition of diversity has morphed well beyond the basic precept of ensuring non-discriminatory behavior and providing all people with an equal opportunity for personal and economic success. Today, the liberal mantra of diversity has mushroomed into a multicultural quagmire of tribalistic competition and a sonorous clash of values.
But what can any of this tell us about the propensity to loot or not loot during a national emergency? Can the answer simply be one of ethnic homogeneity or a propensity toward collectivism or a subservience to authority?
Well, I think that homogeneity does indeed play a major role in deciding the outcome of each individual citizen’s response to a disaster or to any other stimulus. But I believe that it’s the cultural homogeneity of shared values and a sense of community that drives either productive or destructive behavior.
Over the past 40 plus years, US culture has fragmented into a Babel of battling multicultural factions all birthed by a homegrown anti-American progressive putsch. Our sense of a shared national destiny and an overarching set of common values has been offset by a balkanized grouping of sacred victim subsets sustaining eternal gripes against the very country and culture they feed upon.
Japanese society, like any other, has its dark side. But Japan fosters a national sense of cultural cohesiveness that imparts to all its members an integral connection with the whole. Unfortunately, here in the USA, despite the progressive Gaia gobbledygook on display, the very uniqueness of American culture that has provided so many advantages for so many people is under siege. The spoiled parasites that feast upon America’s exceptionalism also seek her demise.
Multiculturalism or the Melting Pot? These two concepts define our struggle.