Democrats might not like the future America they have created

At the Spectator blogs, on the future of America.

And yet the huge contradiction is that this dream of ‘every shade of humanity’ is incompatible with the sort of egalitarian society Democrats favour, which depends on high levels of trust. There is a great deal of research into the negative effects of diversity on trust, such as this paper here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. This trust affects how much is spent on public goods, and how much people care for the needy. Trust also has an impact on inequality; then there is the evidence that diversity leads away from progressive institutions and towards autocracy. Do you want your president to be a statsminister or a tsar? Increasing diversity is also one of many reasons cited for political polarisation in the US.

Meanwhile ethnic diversity also leads to lower levels of innovation, while values diversity increases it. What America had in 1776 was high values diversity, and low ethnic diversity, without which the British could easily have divided the colonists. Had the America of 1776 contained ‘every shade of humanity forged into common service’ you’d still have the Queen today.

But since the 1960s, American society has changed rapidly; and trust, or social capital, has declined sharply, inequality has risen and politics has become increasingly extreme. These are troubling trends, yet they are umbilically linked to the faith of the American ruling class outlined by Obama. This ideal is incompatible with an egalitarian, liberal, democratic republic, and instead is pushing you in the direction of Latin America, towards a country of sharp economic inequality, political extremism and low trust.

Read it all there.

What do you think?