Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Diverse Auckland: are we there yet?

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Monocultures, not so good.

    Well, they're pretty good for mass production of food. That's how we're doing it here. So the "goodness" comes back to "good for what? Good for whom?" yet again. Of course it's not good for diversity - by definition.

    I think it means living where there is a common bond with those around you

    It's pretty much "Not living in cities". Which makes proving that cities erode the communal sense easy, but doesn't make a convincing argument in itself that diverse cities are bad places. Indeed, the hostility of tight knit communities to outsiders, in the sense you are describing, may be one of the main reasons that cities grow so large by comparison. They have to take all the "rejects". Which ends up being most people on the planet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Sacha,

    But, of course, this is the result of computer simulations of reality, not reality itself. Our identities, social relationships and actual neighborhoods are far more complex than simulations can get at.

    That doesn't support the argument one way or the other, it is like saying "these are only computer simulations of what happens to climate as C02 increases, not reality itself".

    This large (30,000 people) empirical study appears to support it.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/world/americas/05iht-diversity.1.6986248.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Frank Salter calls it The War Against Human Nature
    http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2012/11/the-war-against-human-nature-iii/

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s pretty much “Not living in cities”. Which makes proving that cities erode the communal sense easy, but doesn’t make a convincing argument in itself that diverse cities are bad places. Indeed, the hostility of tight knit communities to outsiders, in the sense you are describing, may be one of the main reasons that cities grow so large by comparison. They have to take all the “rejects”. Which ends up being most people on the planet.

    I see what you are getting at and I often wonder why if life in the country is so good why do masses leave to go to cities? It seems to be for economic reasons.
    There may also be another reason relating to our evolutionary past excitement(I remember moving to the city as a kid and hearing my first ambulance at night and then visiting L.A and listening to the buzz about freeway traffic, police chases in process etc ).
    But cities are also about communities. A healthy community isn't an optional extra or second best to diversity.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to jh,

    I see what you are getting at and I often wonder why if life in the country is so good why do masses leave to go to cities? It seems to be for economic reasons.
    There may also be another reason relating to our evolutionary past excitement

    Life the in the country ain't so good in a lot of ways: your access to and quality of education, healthcare and culture is likely to be poorer. Schools and hospitals won't be as well equipped, movies and bands don't play, there are no art galleries. And if you're young, there aren't many people your age.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Also, the economic reasons are not some insignificant thing. Most rural people live in small towns, often in real poverty. Finding work can be difficult - a single business closure can destroy a town. Finding interesting work can be more difficult still. Being poor in the country can be a whole lot worse than in the city.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    I love PAS, but it's times like this, with one person relentlessly banging a drum on and on and on, that I wish there were a "block" feature.

    Since most of it was tl/dr to me, I'll just respond to the last part: diversity can be about other things than race. Culture is about more than national or ethnic origins. A lot of people leave rural areas FOR the diversity of cities. Forget being trans in a small country town (still amazed by Georgina Beyer in Carterton, though). If you want to be a gay man and something other than the town hairdresser, ditto.

    All those gay men who went in search of (arts-related) culture in Europe in the 50s and 60s. The gay men who went to Australia in the 70s.

    For making the oddments in your own society feel a little less odd, (liberal-type) diversity is a good thing. As far as I'm concerned, it was no golden paradise when NZ was a junior Britain, with rugby, racing and beer, short back and sides, and whaddaraya "mate".

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to TracyMac,

    I'm thinking the Robert Putman study included cities.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh,

    Diversity: "Are we Getting There":

    First, Goodhart demolishes what he calls the “immigrationist myth”. This is the proposition, spun by the political elite for the last quarter century, that Britain is a mongrel nation that has always been open to outside arrivals. As he painstakingly demonstrates, this is almost completely untrue: “From 1066 until 1950 immigration was almost non-existent – about 50,000 Huguenots in the 16th and 17th century, about 150,000 Jews in two waves, and perhaps one million or more Irish over 200 years, during which time they were internal migrants within one state.” More immigrants now arrive on British shores in a single year than they did in the entire period from 1066 to 1950, excluding wartime flows and the Irish.

    Second, Goodhart challenges the proposition that immigration is by definition good for the economy. The evidence is mixed: “Immigration has made Britain livelier and more dynamic than it would otherwise have been, but it has not clearly made it richer or more content. Indeed, large-scale immigration has exacerbated many of the undesirable aspects of British economic life: poverty, inequality, low productivity, lack of training and employer short-termism. The country would still have functioned perfectly well with half the levels of poor-country immigration we have experienced – it would have been more monochrome, a bit more equal and a lot more Irish”.

    Third, Goodhart shows how British voters have never been asked about immigration. Indeed they have frequently been misled or lied to by the authorities on a subject that has completely changed the nature of their communities. This helps to explain why so many people regard political parties as useless.

    Finally, Goodhart is utterly devastating on the enormity of the demographic transformation of Britain achieved by Tony Blair and New Labour after 1997. The total number of non-European immigrants during the half century after 1948 was approximately two million. From 1997 to 2012 net immigration has been approximately four million. To put this another way: twice the number of immigrants have come to Britain in the 15 years since 1997 than in the previous 50.

    Net immigration to Britain, just 48,000 in 1997, rose to 148,000 in 1998, and advanced even more sharply thereafter. As Goodhart shows this was no accident. It was down to deliberate government policy. The primary purpose rule, introduced by Margaret Thatcher to slow down immigration in the Eighties, was abolished in a payback to Labour’s South Asian voters.

    Most important of all was the decision to open the labour market to Eastern European and Baltic states seven years before we were legally required to. Labour ministers made a series of profoundly misleading statements about the consequences of this decision, saying that no more than 13,000 new workers would arrive. The true figure was 1.5million.

    Goodhart argues that “in 30 years’ time New Labour’s immigration policy will almost certainly be seen as its primary legacy”. And yet there was no serious discussion in cabinet, and scarcely any mention of immigration in Labour’s 1997 or 2001 election manifestos. In a cruel paradox, the losers from this policy were Labour voters who suddenly found themselves priced out of jobs and confronted with competition for housing and key public services such as education and health.

    For the economic elite (a category that includes Guardian columnists and BBC grandees) immigration brought many advantages. Their lavish salaries allow them to buy their way out of public education and the NHS while immigration means an abundance of labour, higher corporate profits and cheaper domestic help.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/9986465/The-British-Dream-by-David-Goodhart-and-The-Diversity-Illusion-by-Ed-West-review.html
    It looks as though U.K is getting there (in a waking up sense) faster than Aotearoa.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jh,

    The UK is vastly less diverse than NZ. Not sure what case it is you believe you're making.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Sacha,

    The UK is vastly less diverse than NZ. Not sure what case it is you believe you’re making.

    The article reviews The British Dream by David Goodhart and The Diversity Illusion by Ed West.

    Only in the last two or three years has it become possible to discuss immigration in a sensible way. Part of the reason for this change is the courageous stand taken by David Goodhart. In 2004, Goodhart wrote an article in Prospect, the Blairite magazine he founded, that challenged the assumption that immigration is always a good thing.

    Goodhart posed a troubling question: does immigration threaten the social solidarity that Left-wingers claim to cherish? In a relatively homogenous society, as Britain was during and after the Second World War, people will help each other out because they share values. In a highly diverse society this sense of community – so necessary for the consent the welfare state requires – is undermined. There is therefore (so Goodhart argued) a contradiction between the progressive support for both “diversity” and “community”.

    When the article appeared Goodhart was, needless to say, accused of being a racist. But his argument (inspired by the Conservative MP David Willetts) has been impossible to ignore. It has forced the Labour Party to think again about immigration.

    It applies also to New Zealand as NZ has undergone a similar process:

    The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

    He said Labour's relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration" but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working class vote".

    As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jh,

    people will help each other out because they share values. In a highly diverse society this sense of community – so necessary for the consent the welfare state requires – is undermined

    Only if you believe different cultures don't share similar human values. How come you seem so invested in wanting monoculturalism?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Sacha,

    As oxytocin comes into sharper focus, its social radius of action turns out to have definite limits. The love and trust it promotes are not toward the world in general, just toward a person’s in-group. Oxytocin turns out to be the hormone of the clan, not of universal brotherhood. Psychologists trying to specify its role have now concluded it is the agent of ethnocentrism.
    //
    Despite the limitation on oxytocin’s social reach, its effect seems to be achieved more through inducing feelings of loyalty to the in-group than by fomenting hatred of the out-group. The Dutch researchers found some evidence that it enhances negative feelings, but this was not conclusive. “Oxytocin creates intergroup bias primarily because it motivates in-group favoritism and because it motivates out-group derogation,” they write.
    //
    What does it mean that a chemical basis for ethnocentrism is embedded in the human brain? “In the ancestral environment it was very important for people to detect in others whether they had a long-term commitment to the group,” Dr. De Dreu said. “Ethnocentrism is a very basic part of humans, and it’s not something we can change by education. That doesn’t mean that the negative aspects of it should be taken for granted.”

    Bruno B. Averbeck, an expert on the brain’s emotional processes at the National Institute of Mental Health, said that the effects of oxytocin described in Dr. De Dreu’s report were interesting but not necessarily dominant. The brain weighs emotional attitudes like those prompted by oxytocin against information available to the conscious mind. If there is no cognitive information in a situation in which a decision has to be made, like whether to trust a stranger about whom nothing is known, the brain will go with the emotional advice from its oxytocin system, but otherwise rational data will be weighed against the influence from oxytocin and may well override it, Dr. Averbeck said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/science/11hormone.html

    Substitute trust for the perceived cost/ benefits of mass migration and it explains the “racism” of people opposed to immigration from Asia rather than the U.K. In the case of people from the U.K it is population pressure related issues but not ethnicity (so much). However it cuts both ways as Asians are just as ethno focused as whites and the more different they are the more other they are and while immigration is spun officially (per business interests and the left), as beneficial to the receiving country the receiving population may see them mainly as competition for resources and as a threat to their identity as the group belonging to a particular place.
    As someone yelled at a rezoning for density meeting recently: "this talk about population growth being beneficial is bullshit! Immigration is occuring for the benefit of property developers and investors"

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Sacha,

    people will help each other out because they share values. In a highly diverse society this sense of community – so necessary for the consent the welfare state requires – is undermined

    Only if you believe different cultures don’t share similar human values. How come you seem so invested in wanting monoculturalism?

    people value their own self preservation, well being and sense of identity over universal values. people are in competition with people.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Sacha,

    Maori were right to be upset over colonisation (in some ways but not in others)

    Ooh, do tell.

    Consider Samoa where (I think) the Chinese built an Olympic sized swimming pool and want to set up casinos. Imagine that the Samoans gain economically but society becomes structured with Porsche driving foreigners at the top. People would rather be poorer but top dog with a sense of territorial ownership and identity.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jh,

    please explain how that refers to your original comment.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Sacha,

    please explain how that refers to your original comment.

    It is a metaphor.
    Maori /colonisation is another (convoluted) topic but it has been used by the left to delegitimize European NZ ("whose country is it anyway").

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to ,

    When somebody uses the phase “the left” in a blog dissucion, It indicates to me that the author will more than likely dismiss anything I have to say, simply because I wear a different colored tee shirt.

    that sounds like a claim of closed mindedness. Left is just a generalisation in absence of a map to wade through different clusters of argument, However you hear things like Veronica Medusa on Asian Report (retorting to some comment unfavourable to Asian immigration): “they didn’t do what was done to the Maoris!!?

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jh,

    monoculture is a loaded word implying monotony.
    Seinfield demonstrates diversity isn't a prerequisite of a successful comedy.
    http://nypost.com/2014/02/05/seinfeld-defends-nearly-all-white-shows-comedian-interviews/

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jh,

    delegitimize European NZ

    so you're saying that some notion of "European" NZ is legitimate?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Sacha,

    so you’re saying that *some notion* of “European” NZ is legitimate?

    Yes.

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    so you’re saying that *some notion* of “European” NZ is legitimate?

    Yes.

    Strictly speaking that is correct. We are still subjects of the Queen of England, we are still regarded as members of the Commonwealth and we have the "Union Jack" on our flag.
    On the subject of the flag, I think discussion of any change should be subsequent to the discussion of New Zealand becoming a republic.
    Regardless of the views on both sides of the argument, surely this should be the "Roadmap" of any discussion on this subject?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to ,

    Too bloody right, so let’s not be getting above our stations here!

    How ever annoying, or even insulting and patronising, you may find that to be it will still be true unless we change that fact. The discussion is not whether we like it or not, although that is an obvious precursor, but how and when we change the sovereignty of our Nation.
    Apart from the fact that this thread is about Auckland and its diversity, not New Zealand and its Sovereighnty.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    She is only old to be my Mother. :-),

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jh,

    and how does that notion relate to the Treaty of Waitangi, for you?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • jh, in reply to Sacha,

    and how does that notion relate to the Treaty of Waitangi, for you?

    The Treaty of Waitangi and immigration

    In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi acknowledged that British subjects were already in New Zealand. Implicit in Māori agreement to the treaty was that more immigrants would come from the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. Some Māori have argued that their ancestors agreed to allow immigration only from the countries named in the preamble to the treaty, and that regulation of immigration from other places is a matter that should be discussed with them as a treaty partner.

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/immigration-regulation/page-1

    Since May 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

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