Jeffrey A. Tucker: How Much Homogeneity Does Society Need?

It feels strange writing about this topic, some 25 years after I had it completely settled in my mind. But nothing is ever really settled, I suppose. The claim that I had long ago concluded was a basic historical and economic fallacy is back in a big way. The claim is that society needs homogeneity to be orderly and free. It is a core claim of the alt-right and its sympathizers (and, in a different way, of the alt-left). It is what leads them to reject freedom as a path forward and embrace state control of demographics.

It’s completely wrong. If you have ever been confronted with this claim, I’m writing this article for you.

Here’s the anecdote from my past. Before his death, the now-famous “social nationalist” writer and theorist, and self-proclaimed fascist, Samuel Francis and I were talking at some luncheon. I was prattling on about liberty as usual. And he interrupted me and said, paraphrasing: “Human rights and liberty are slogans we use. Much more fundamental is demographics. You have to have homogeneity for society to be orderly and operate properly. Without that, you can forget about rights and liberties.”

Was Francis Right?

Liberty is not the outgrowth of homogeneity. It is the solution to a seeming problem of heterogeneity.

I said nothing because I hadn’t really thought much about that. Was this right? You don’t hear such claims in college. People who talk like this are politically incorrect, and don’t say such things in polite company. This thinking leads to forbidden thoughts, and trends toward the celebration of civic sins like racism, sexism, and xenophobia. So I had never really come to terms with it. I didn’t have to. But that also meant that I was caught off guard. I sat there a bit confused.

It took a few days but I happened upon a realization. Liberty is not the outgrowth of homogeneity. It is the solution to the seeming problem of heterogeneity. Liberty creates institutions like commercial settings, opportunities for trade and exchange, settings for mutually beneficial trade and learning. It is precisely how liberty reconciles differences among people–and creates wealth out of disagreement–that is the very source of its great magic.

Why is there not chaos? Why is there coexistence? 

Think back to the end of the religious wars. Enlightenment thinkers proposed that the solution to religious difference is not the burning of heretics and the imposition of an official creed. It was to allow people to believe whatever they wanted so long as they didn’t hurt others. And the system worked. How many other ways would this idea of freedom work? Gradually, it came to be rolled out to affect speech, the press, and trade. Eventually it led to broad emancipation of slaves and women. It created a new world, in which the power of the state was restrained and contained, and dismantled the old world of imposed hierarchy.

You don’t have to know history. Visit the bustling commercial district of any major American city and observe the crazy quilt of ethnicity, language, religion, race, and culture, where people are around buying, selling, and associating according to their own lights. Why is there not chaos? Why is there coexistence? Because the presence of commercial freedom allows everyone to pursue his or her own self interest in a way that also benefits others. Here is the beauty of the invisible hand at work.

The claim that liberty is preconditioned on the sameness of the population is to wish away the very problem that liberty is much adept at solving. After all, what is the problem that social order is trying to solve? It seeks to provide a setting in which people thrive as individuals even as the entire group is granted an opportunity for a better life. Differences between people are solved by freedom. This was an insight that changed the world for the better.

The trouble is that a homogeneous and isolated tribal unit managed from the top will always be poor.

In fact, I realized, if you have a small tribe of that same race, language, religion, and cultural norms, the question of liberty does not have to be raised at all. Group coordination happens due to personal knowledge, verbal communication, and shared expectations of other’s similar needs, and it usually features a single leader.

The trouble is that a homogeneous and isolated tribal unit managed from the top will always be poor–mostly living hand to mouth, as small tribes in the Amazon do today–because the model doesn’t permit the expansion of the division of labor. It can work under some rarified conditions. But for the most part, life under imposed homogeneity eventually defaults to what Thomas Hobbes said of the state of nature: nasty, brutish, and short.

The Drive to Integrate

Liberty, on the other hand, rewards ever more integration of people of all kinds. It becomes profitable for everyone to do so. You are free to feel bigotry, racism, loathing of all other religious views, of different lifestyles and so. But when it comes to improving your life, you prefer dealing with the Jewish doctor than having a heart attack, grabbing lunch at the Moroccan restaurant, hiring the Mexican immigrant to tile your bathroom, listening to your favorite African-American pop band, and so on. And guess what? Gradually under these conditions, the primitive and tribalist ethos begins to subside.

This is precisely why any regime that seeks to enforce homogeneity must necessarily turn against the market and toward force. Recall that the Nazi Party had at first only encouraged peaceful boycotts of Jewish businesses, protest signs in front of stores, and so on, and laid out explicit instructions that no one be hurt. That didn’t work. The Nurenberg Laws were a desperate measure to address the “problem” that the market wouldn’t work to exclude people.

There is another insight that makes the whole claim about homogeneity a bit silly. As it turns out, no one is the same. And you know this. Think of a friend who shares the same religion, race, language, and sex, and think about your different values. There is always the possibility for conflict because no two people are alike. Your friendships survive despite this because you value your friendship more than being enemies. Expand that model to the whole of the social order and you begin to understand how and why differences lead not to conflict, disorder, and acrimony but rather to friendship, prosperity, and enlightenment.

All this talk of doing away with diversity is a shibboleth. There is no pure race, no truly orthodox religion, no one language without variation, no final unity between any two people in thought, word, or deed. No one acts or thinks as a group or collective. The social world will be, always and forever, a constellation of difference. We need the best possible social system for dealing with and making something beautiful come of it.

The New Realization

I was so pleased to work through the problem in my own mind. As with most intellectual conflict, you end up better off as a result. I came away with a greater appreciation and understanding of what liberty means for the world. Further studies reinforced my conviction that the whole purpose of liberty is to make radical heterogeneity work for everyone.

This is why I became so enraptured by the Convivencia, the 700 period before the High Middle Ages when Islam, Judaism, and Christianity coexisted to their mutual betterment (that all groups benefited from the association is not in dispute, despite the ongoing debate about just how much tolerance for difference there really was).

To understand the awesome power of heterogeneity is to adopt a different outlook on society itself. It is to embrace the core liberal claim: society doesn’t need top-down management because it contains within itself the capacity for its own management. You come to be enraptured by Frederic Bastiat’s emphasis on harmony as the means by which we live better lives.

The opponents of liberty have been barking up this tree for some 200 years.

In contrast, the mental posture that homogeneity is a necessary condition leads to a series of strange obsessions over unending conflicts in society. You begin to exaggerate them in your mind. It seems like you are surrounded by a plethora of intractable wars. There is a war between blacks and whites, men and women, gays and straights, Christianity and Islam, the abled and disabled, our nation and their nation, and so on. This is the very mindset that the left and right have in common.

And guess what? If you build a large state, these conflicts do indeed appear to be more real than they are, simply because the state pits people against each other. You begin to hate that group because its members didn’t vote for your candidate, it gets more of the tax loot, it favors various forms of imposition on your liberty. Thanks to this interventionist state, you feel as if you are surrounded by enemies and lose track of the possibility for human understanding.

Freedom and Difference

Let’s return to the original claim by Mr. Francis, now widely shared and promoted by the alt-right and its sympathizers. It turns out that this is nothing new. The opponents of liberty have been barking up this tree for some 200 years, as I explain in my new book.

“You have to have homogeneity for society to be orderly and operate properly,” Francis says. This claim amounts to a rejection of liberalism itself. So let’s correct this. You have to have liberty to deal with the inescapable reality of heterogeneity. It’s the longing for sameness that leads to conflict, despotism, and impoverished human lives.

Postscript: for readers interested in the liberal theory of society, its origin and development, I highly recommend the first third of Mises’s Socialism. Here he formulates a theory of cooperation and what he called the law of association, which are powerful elaborations on the theory of the division of labor. The result is a robust and serious social theory–one that Mises himself never again explained in this degree of depth in any of his works. I personally find it the best explanation of society and property and progress I’ve read. 

Jeffrey A. Tucker


Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, economics adviser to FreeSociety.com, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books, most recently Right-Wing Collectivism: The Other Threat to Liberty, with a preface by Deirdre McCloskey (FEE 2017). He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

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83 Responses to Jeffrey A. Tucker: How Much Homogeneity Does Society Need?

  1. LordAzrael

    Society certainly requires a certain degree of common interest – otherwise it ceases to be a society. We see this with the demographic experiments of Europe, where mass immigration combined with the welfare states has caused a collapse of that common bond.

  2. Tim Neilson

    No one acts or thinks as a group or collective.

    See Arky’s great post below about zebras and Hollywood. Then decide whether Arky or Tucker is talking about the real world.

  3. Tim Neilson

    Thanks to this interventionist state, you feel as if you are surrounded by enemies

    Antifa, Apex gang, … what’s with the “you feel as if”?

  4. Fisky

    In contrast, the mental posture that homogeneity is a necessary condition leads to a series of strange obsessions over unending conflicts in society.

    Ironically, it’s the loudest promoters of “diversity” who are doing the most to stoke conflicts in society, and to ban freedom of speech/association.

    “You have to have homogeneity for society to be orderly and operate properly,” Francis says. This claim amounts to a rejection of liberalism itself. So let’s correct this. You have to have liberty to deal with the inescapable reality of heterogeneity. It’s the longing for sameness that leads to conflict, despotism, and impoverished human lives.

    But the reality is that, taking the US as an example, the generations polling most in favour of freedom of speech (the Silent and Greatest Generations) are the most homogeneous. Whereas the more heterogeneous succeeding generations, especially the Most Diverse Evah Millenials, are by far the most hostile to free speech.

    So I’m not sure how to square that with the “libertarian” faith.

  5. Fisky

    So we are seeing once again, a complete failure of libertarianism to grapple with strategy. This is because many of the core claims of libertarianism are at total odds with reality. Until libertarians find a way to bridge the “reality gap”, we will continue to see a steady erosion of freedom in the name of diversity, and libertarians will have no idea how to explain that.

  6. Fisky

    It’s also worth noting that black and hispanics are not simply against free speech for their own self-interested reasons (although that certainly plays a part), they appear to reject free speech on principle.

    Forty-seven percent of Latinos, 41 percent of African Americans, and 26 percent of whites would favor a law making it illegal to say offensive things about white people in public.

    So libertarians, who have never successfully persuaded anyone of anything, will have their work cut out pushing back against this ingrained opposition to free speech, increasing with each generation.

  7. Fisky

    This is rather funny. White people are most likely to approve of Nazi-punching, and Republicans more than Democrats.

    Is it morally acceptable to punch a Nazi?

    Sixty-eight percent say no––and contrary to those who argue that opposition to punching Nazis is rooted in white privilege, it turns out that Latinos are most averse to Nazi-punching, with 80 percent calling it unacceptable; African Americans are next, with 73 percent calling it unacceptable; and white people are last, with just 56 percent agreeing. Republicans are slightly more likely to find Nazi-punching acceptable than Democrats, 35 percent to 28 percent. Forty-five percent of independents say it’s acceptable.

  8. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    If only reality would bloody well match up with what the text books and the think tanks say.

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    Four comments in a row Fisky?

  10. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    This thread is right in Fisk’s wheelhouse.

  11. Fisky

    The main problem with libertarians is they don’t start with reality and build a philosophy based on that. Instead they start with a moral philosophy and try to impose it on reality. That’s where libertarianism keeps going wrong. Similar to Marxism.

  12. Arnost

    The main problem with libertarians is they don’t start with reality and build a philosophy based on that. Instead they start with a moral philosophy and try to impose it on reality.

    Nice! Liberty quote that…

  13. Phill

    If you want to talk about liberty, then you need to look at factors that tend to erode liberty. You will find that these factors are often a response to eroded homogeneity. Some groups don’t want to assimilate, and tend to live in self imposed isolation from the rest, licensed by the idea of multiculturalism. That is an erosion of homogeneity. Many in these groups sponge off the rest by a parasitic lifetime reliance on welfare which clashes with our instinctive desire for fairness. Some in these groups pose security risks. Laws introduced to manage that risk erode liberty.

  14. “You have to have homogeneity for society to be orderly and operate properly,” Francis says. This claim amounts to a rejection of liberalism itself. So let’s correct this. You have to have liberty to deal with the inescapable reality of heterogeneity.

    As Fisky says, the claim should be put to the test of reality, yet it is rejected on the grounds that it is incompatible with liberalism. This is precisely the ideological blinkers of which we used to deride Marxists, global warmenists, and so on.

  15. Mullumhillbilly

    Those zebras could be so much better off by inviting some hyenas to live amongst them

  16. H B Bear

    Nice! Liberty quote that…

    Don’t hold your breath. Fisky is right though.

  17. Yohan

    Jeffrey Cucker should go back to writing about the wonders of McDonald’s coffee and hacking shower heads.

  18. Ez

    …Group coordination happens due to personal knowledge, verbal communication, and shared expectations of other’s similar needs, and it usually features a single leader.

    The trouble is that a homogeneous and isolated tribal unit managed from the top will always be poor–mostly living hand to mouth, as small tribes in the Amazon do today…

    How did Jeffrey go from: “How Much Homogeneity Does Society Need?” (the article title) to dismissing Homogeneity based on his single example where it’s usually “managed from the top”?

    Comparing apples with apples: How much better/worse do heterogeneous societies “managed from top” fare?

    Also, what is Jeffrey’s argument against? (Homogeneity or against top-down management of all societies?)

  19. jupes

    A homogeneous society is superior to a multicultural society.

    Over history there have been good and bad examples of both, however as a general rule the homogeneous society has less problems.

    Diversity is something that has to be overcome.

  20. Fisky

    You have to use marginal analysis to understand this issue properly. Of the countries that have become more diverse in the last 20 years (i.e. most of the West), has this generally been accompanied by greater freedom of speech, association, etc, or less?

    The best case study is Germany, because they brought in about 2 million Muslims since 2015. Libertarians predict this would lead to greater freedom, but in reality there has been an intensified crackdown on free speech by the government. Worse than ever.

    And we know it’s a causal relationship too, because the governments who are reducing freedom of speech openly justify this on the basis of maintaining harmony in a diverse society. “Hate speech threatens multiculturalism” is what they say.

    So the libertarian movement are wrong yet again. So much wronging, we’re getting sick of all the wronging!

  21. Chris

    Yay for classical liberalism!

  22. Roger

    Liberty is not the outgrowth of homogeneity. It is the solution to a seeming problem of heterogeneity.

    I have a theory too:

    The less homogeneous a society is, the more laws are required to police interactions between people.

    And it’s not so much about race as it is about a shared culture.

  23. Ez

    This is precisely why any regime that seeks to enforce homogeneity must necessarily turn against the market and toward force.

    It could also be argued that any regime that seeks to enforce heterogeneity must necessarily turn against the market and toward force.

    Successive Australian governments, for example, have sought to enforce heterogeneity and we are surrounded by market distortions, armed enforcers of the regime and denial of basic liberties (eg: 18c).

  24. Yohan

    Robert D. Putnam did academic work years ago that showed the more diverse (i.e less homogeneous) a community was, the less trust, less neighbor interaction, less social interaction there was.

    Putnam was a leftist and did not like the results he got, but he honestly reported them and wrote a book about it called Bowling Alone. His academic results were then replicated with a 0.7 success ratio, i.e confirmed.

  25. Roger

    The less homogeneous a society is, the more laws are required to police interactions between people.

    Not to mention bollards.

  26. Yohan

    Replicating results in the field of social sciences with an 0.7 ratio, when you have every leftist academic desperately trying to get the opposing result, tells you how strong the thesis is.

    But we don’t need data to tell us what every person with minimum cognitive ability knows. A cohesive society does need homogeneity, both racial, cultural and religious.

    That doesn’t mean we need a 100% homogeneous society (who would want that), but once the majority becomes less than 80% you start to see atomization, alienation and social fragmenting, just like we are now in the west.

  27. duncanm

    Homogeneity of what?

    Race, colour, religion, morals, adherence to laws, civic duty?

    Societies seem to function well if there is relatively common (homogeneous) morals, law-abidance, business practices and other social constructs.

    Race, colour, religion and other crap don’t really matter (except where certain religions cross the boundary into the important stuff).

  28. calli

    But when it comes to improving your life, you prefer dealing with the J-wish doctor than having a heart attack, grabbing lunch at the Moroccan restaurant, hiring the Mexican immigrant to tile your bathroom, listening to your favorite African-American pop band, and so on. And guess what? Gradually under these conditions, the primitive and tribalist ethos begins to subside.

    Does it? And with whom? The service provider or the purchaser? The J-wish doctor* is chosen for his skill, not his J-wishness, Moroccan food for its taste, the Mexican because he’s cheap and the music because you like it.

    It doesn’t mean I have to subscribe to all the baggage that comes with these cultures, but they sure as heck bring it with them. And some attempt to impose it on me, whether I like it or not. Not all cultures are created equal and that was rammed home to me on my recent visit to SE Asia.

    By all means invite the third world in. Invite enough and you get the third world, good and hard.

    * I did chuckle at the inclusion of the J-wish doctor. Possibly the least likely person to cr*p over the land that he makes his home.

  29. duncanm

    .. there’s also something to be said of a heterogeneous society where no one culture has an upper hand, versus a strongly bifurcated which typically devolve into ‘us and them’ if there’s not a strong-man to control the situation.

    Think Indians in the South Pacific islands, Rwanda, Slavic States, Muslim vs. Christian and Ireland versus the US, Australia, the UK (maybe less so), etc.

  30. Fisky

    That doesn’t mean we need a 100% homogeneous society (who would want that), but once the majority becomes less than 80% you start to see atomization, alienation and social fragmenting, just like we are now in the west.

    Yohan, I think it’s true there is a Diversity Tipping Point, after which more diversity means less freedom (not just correlates, it is also a causation). It probably varies according to country, but the US arguably reached it about 10-20 years ago.

    The passage of 18C in 1995 (and a number of similar atrocities in the states and territories after that) was an important milestone in this country.

  31. Roger

    Race, colour, religion and other crap don’t really matter (except where certain religions cross the boundary into the important stuff).

    Culture is downstream from religion, duncan. Notions of morality, good citizenship and civic duty historically arose out of religious commitment. See Larry Seidentop’s ‘Inventing the Individual’ for a detailed study of how Western liberalism developed out of Christianity.

  32. Fisky

    Race, colour, religion and other crap don’t really matter (except where certain religions cross the boundary into the important stuff).

    Right. Except where they are used, again and again, as a justification for banning free speech. In almost every country.

    So it appears they do matter after all.

  33. Yohan

    Yohan, I think it’s true there is a Diversity Tipping Point, after which more diversity means less freedom (not just correlates, it is also a causation). It probably varies according to country, but the US arguably reached it about 10-20 years ago.

    And that 10-20 year time you marked coincided exactly with when the US passed through the 80% mark. A tipping point, as you say. They are at 65% now.

    I have said this before, but when there is a clear racial majority there is no need for identity politics (which are by nature disastrous for liberty). But as that racial majority heads towards minority status, identity politics based upon ethnicity becomes ever more extreme.

  34. Fisky

    The only way to revive free speech in this country will be to #shutdowntheimmigrationscam

    If need be, wait until the next property crash, so that libertarians are not allowed lie about the reasons for the crash, but shut the door we will!

  35. I read a piece recently that police in Japan are suffering from intense boredom due to the astoundingly low levels of crime.

    Maybe they should just abandon their demographic isolation and get them some of Tucker’s diversity.

  36. Yohan, I think it’s true there is a Diversity Tipping Point, after which more diversity means less freedom (not just correlates, it is also a causation). It probably varies according to country, but the US arguably reached it about 10-20 years ago.

    Or they reached it in the 19th century. Because less freedom is relative.

    The myth of the proposition nation.

  37. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Fisky, you are quite wrong. Years ago, I adopted the usual cultural norm that ‘drugs are bad’. It was more like osmosis than adoption. Then I started thinking about the USA and prohibition, and read a few books at random from the library, and the failure of reality to conform to our drugs policy (why didn’t the drugs stop after several big busts?) forced me to change my mind- drug-taking should be legal. This libertarian position is now my own position. I arrived at it by thinking. I did not join a libertarian cause, and adopt my new cause’s creeds. Thus libertarians arrive at their philosophy by looking at the world around them.

  38. Alex Davidson

    In this address Hoppe makes the point that the meaning of the term ‘Libertarian’ is in danger of being subverted by what he calls fake or libera-la-la libertarians. At around 29 minutes he expresses some strong opinions about Jeffrey Tucker in this regard…

  39. Yohan

    Hoppe is right. Since he left LVMI, Tucker has sided with the cultural marxist left-libertarians in the culture wars.

  40. max

    Diversity in america before 1913 was good because:

    no big government
    no welfare state
    immigrants where mostly europeans with similar backgrounds
    immigrants where coming in search of better life

    since then most immigrants are coming for different reasons, free money.

    in big government environment, cultures with different backgrounds and values are not going to live peacefully –they will compete for power to exploit another group

    big government, welfare and multiculturalism/diversity are going to create time bomb which
    will explode when economic problems show up.

  41. Norman Church

    I ask you, is there nothing that diversity cannot achieve?

  42. Fisky

    Great lecture by Hoppe! How he must infuriate the phony left-libertarians!

  43. Chris M

    forced me to change my mind- drug-taking should be legal. This libertarian position is now my own position.

    Sure, this stuff never hurt anyone right?

    I’m with you _everything_ should be legal – within the confines of a large cage with one way doors in central Australia. All the Libertarians and Muzz can have as much crack, dope and bombs as they like and create a sweet non-harmonious utopian community.

  44. jupes

    According to Blair, you can identify lefties by their head tilt.

    Check out the head on the dickhead in the photo.

  45. Boambee John

    The quest to create Soviet man having failed, the new quest is to create Diversity man.

    Will we have to wait 70 years to acknowledge failure?

  46. duncanm

    Culture is downstream from religion, duncan

    As an atheist, I do get that. One of the foundation blocks of Western Civilisation as we know it is Christianity and the Protestant work ethic.

    I think, however, that we can move beyond the belief in sky fairies still keep our civil discourse intact. As long as we continue to understand why edicts like the ten commandments are important, regardless of their origins.

    The destruction of history, however, is undoing all of that.

  47. marcus classis

    Mr Tucker, kindly explain Japan. or South Korea. Or Taiwan. Or – especially – Botswana.

    This argument is deeply flawed because it ignores cultural milieu and threat contexts.

    Liberty is not the outgrowth of homogeneity. It is the solution to a seeming problem of heterogeneity.

    There are high civilisations, highly successful cultures, where individual liberty simply has little to no value. This is normally due to the threat environment (enemies or natural) in which that civilisation and culture exists.

    The Americans make this error time and again.

    Take some point in the USA with the average environment (soil, rainfall, fertility, hazardous wildlife, local resources) of the CONUS. Stick 500 settlers there with early 19th century tech and isolate them . Come back in 50 years and you will find a thriving community.

    Do that in Australia and you’ll come back to find their bones. Same with Canada. Same in most places on the planet, in fact.

    Threat environment matters.

    This is a variable Mr Tucker assumes does not exist. There are many others.

    Now, is Liberty the solution to a seeming problem of heterogeneity?

    Good question (for which Mr Tucker does not have a good answer). However, what does ” seeming problem of heterogeneity” actually mean and in what milieu does he mean it?

    I actually think he’s on to something here and that this is an important article – but it is deeply flawed.

    The counter-question is “how does individual liberty deal with an internally robust self-expanding conquest ideology such as Islam” which entirely rejects the concept of individual liberty and will kill anyone within their group who attempt to shift to that position.

    The alt-right is pointing out that “you do not worsen your local threat environment by importing an alien, unassimilable group and expect nothing to change”. In this case, the alt-right have a point at least as powerful as Tucker!

  48. calli

    I think, however, that we can move beyond the belief in sky fairies still keep our civil discourse intact.

    Well, that’s that then.

  49. bobby b

    “Enlightenment thinkers proposed that the solution to religious difference is not the burning of heretics and the imposition of an official creed. It was to allow people to believe whatever they wanted so long as they didn’t hurt others.”

    Tucker makes it sound as if it is government policies that are impeding the various groups from playing nice together, and that if the governments simply allow people their own individual sets of beliefs (short of hurting each other) then it will be unicorns and rainbows all the way down.

    But that’s not the case. It’s not that the problems of heterogeneity come about because of heavy-handed government. The problems all arise within and between the groups themselves.

    We don’t have inter-group conflict because the government is trying to keep society homogeneous. We have it because the government is actively pushing heterogeneity in a situation where the actual groups are pushing for inter-group conflict.

    He is saying that we ought to get government to stop doing something it’s not doing now. Better that he finds a way to buffer extreme disparities in wealth and inhibit tribal killing urges before he urges government to enforce homogeneity.

  50. Tim Neilson

    I think, however, that we can move beyond the belief in sky fairies still keep our civil discourse intact.

    It’s sad to see someone reveal themselves to have a sub-80 IQ.

  51. duncanm

    Well, that’s that then.

    It’s sad to see someone reveal themselves to have a sub-80 IQ.

    Look – I don’t begrudge the religious – all power to you. I just don’t subscribe.

  52. Yohan

    Tucker makes it sound as if it is government policies that are impeding the various groups from playing nice together, and that if the governments simply allow people their own individual sets of beliefs (short of hurting each other) then it will be unicorns and rainbows all the way down.

    Tucker is living in lefty fantasy land, denying reality. It’s the government that mandates diversity and forced integration. If there was no powerful centralized government, social groups would separate, and we would have less diversity not more.

  53. I would like to know how homogenous is the neighborhood in which Tucker resides. Is he residing among blacks, latinos, Asians, and the like? In other words, does he have any skin in the game? Or is his residence in Atlanta somewhat, how should I say this, homogenous?

    (One is not allowed to include the brown colored help as being evidence of diversity.)

  54. calli

    Look – I don’t begrudge the religious – all power to you. I just don’t subscribe.

    Duncanm, re-read your comment.

    You call for “civil discourse” and in the same sentence dismiss those with religious beliefs with a tawdry undergrad smear.

    It’s nothing to do with subscribing to anything.

  55. Arky

    You don’t have to know history.

    ..
    You moron.

  56. duncanm

    a tawdry undergrad smear.

    mea culpa.

    My apologies for that.

  57. Rabz

    Are Cucker’s pieces posted here to try and make m0nty look like some sort of rational thinker?

  58. Mother Lode

    Culture matters.

    Exactly.

    A common mental ground, agreement on priorities against which choices are made, and the very mental calculus.

    The premium we put on freedoms and the compromises we make.

    Our desire for freedom is cultural.

    There is a reason Africa never produced a free society. And lets forget Islam – freedom is an anathema to those buggers. They shun it with the same determination they shun calmness.

  59. Mother Lode

    we can move beyond the belief in sky fairies

    That is one metaphysical assertion denouncing another.

    I find people who think the ‘sky fairy’ quip smart do not realise this.

  60. Rococo Liberal

    Similar to Marxism.

    Got it one, Fisky.
    Libertarianism is very similar in style to Marxism.

  61. bollux

    It doesn’t help when you start surrounding yourself with people who only want your money and your death. That haven’t figured out yet that when they succeed, and they will, they will turn this country into the same sh**hole that they came from, despite the protestations of Waleed Aly.

  62. Yohan

    Tucker claims to be an anarchist libertarian. He wants no state, with all power derived down to local community e.t.c

    Ask yourself this; if there was no powerful central state, do you think local communities would subsidize the health care and aids drug treatment of promiscuous homosexuals and their alternative lifestyles? Do you think local communities would allow migration of 3rd world muslims, demand women be veiled, ban pork advertising and allow mosques to be build in their towns?

    No, these people and related social groups would simply be expelled from society.

    This is precisely the point Hoppe has always made. If property rights and freedom of association were actually implemented (as Libertarians claim to want) you would see a more conservative society, a less diverse society.

  63. Awake

    Nothing to do with race but rather has to do with shared values. (Civic nationalism??) Values are the foundation of culture.

    Culture can be learned.

    Although, as we are experiencing from world events, there are some group of people who came from countries with cultures that seem to always collide with the values of the west.

  64. Tel

    This is precisely the point Hoppe has always made. If property rights and freedom of association were actually implemented (as Libertarians claim to want) you would see a more conservative society, a less diverse society.

    I disagree, you would see a MORE diverse society, simply because diversity requires that local groups are able to organize themselves and exclude anyone they don’t like. If you force everyone to associate with everyone you get LESS diversity for the obvious reason that any culture unable to assert dominance will slowly but surely be drive out of existence (and they cannot all assert dominance, or at least they cannot all win).

    Nassim Taleb explains this with an easy example: do you get more diversity on the Great Plains of America which are open and everything interacts with everything else? Or do you get more diversity on the Galapagos Islands where many natural barriers exist and small ecosystems remain local?

    Do you see more political correctness inside large corporations where everyone is under the same HR department? Or do you see more political correctness amongst small business owners?

  65. Yohan

    Tel I just think you are willfully ignoring the ‘type’ of diversity under discussion here (what Tucker is constantly inferring to), which is obviously racial and religious. There would be less diversity of that kind in the great plains of America under Libertarian property rights and freedom of association.

    But if you are talking about local diversity, i.e what color and style of house I want to build, what type of school I want to send my kids to, what HR practices we have, yes of course there will be more diversity of that kind. And no one gives a shit about that, because this type of diversity is not forcing vast cultural changes on people and communities.

  66. Yohan

    And to be clear, I say Tucker ‘infers’ this because he plays a bait and switch pretending diversity of culture, i.e having mass 3rd world immigration, is no different than a debate over how many holes you can have in your shower head or what sauce you get at McDonald’s.

    Its ignoring the elephant in the room, while moving the discussion onto stuff no-one cares about.

  67. old bloke

    This is why I became so enraptured by the Convivencia, the 700 period before the High Middle Ages when Islam, Judaism, and Christianity coexisted to their mutual betterment

    Tucker lives in an imaginary world, the Convivencia (co-existence) between Moslem rulers and their [email protected] and Christian slaves (dhimmis) was not a pleasant time for the [email protected] nor the Christians.

    Multiculturalism won’t work when one or more of the component groups hold a suprematist world-view, that applies equally to enforced Sharia and White Supremacism.

  68. Shine a Light

    How many classes does society?
    Enough to estabilsh a ruling class is as far as I can see.

  69. Tel

    Tel I just think you are willfully ignoring the ‘type’ of diversity under discussion here (what Tucker is constantly inferring to), which is obviously racial and religious. There would be less diversity of that kind in the great plains of America under Libertarian property rights and freedom of association.

    No, that’s totally wrong. Let’s look at just racial characteristics and nothing else. Try the experiment at home: get a tall glass and half fill with black coffee, get a second tall glass and half fill with white cream. Now vigorously stir a spoon in the black coffee glass… what do you get? Just the same black coffee, right? The cream is in a separate glass so it doesn’t matter how much you stir the coffee on its own.

    Next step, carefully spoon the cream into the coffee glass and then stand back with hands off. See what happens. A bit of the two will mix at the boundary but overall you still have separate cream and coffee… but put the spoon in and start vigorously mixing again. What comes out? You end up with neither cream nor black coffee but with a brownish mixture of the two.

    But which condition has high diversity? Not the final state where everything is homogeneous brown… that’s the opposite of diversity. And here’s a final point… try stirring the spoon back the other way, can you unmix the cream back out again? I think you will probably find it impossible at that stage.

    So suppose some government “Racial Diversity Department” decides it’s their job to tell you who you can partner with and they work like a big government spoon to force everyone to mix, assigning you with a random partner for your children as chosen by them… what would happen? Well, in several generations racial diversity would rapidly reduce, the population ends up being largely homogeneous, no particular racial characteristics but a mix of all. The end effect of the “Racial Diversity Department” ends up being to REMOVE diversity from the system and instead they enforce uniform sameness.

    Physicists call this “entropy” and also “the arrow of time”.

    Statisticians call this “regression to the mean”.

    Go and look them up. It’s a fundamental law of mathematics, you can’t dodge it. I’m not trying to assign any moral good/bad type of judgment here (although I’m sure some moron will wrongly accuse me) but I’m simply explaining how the principle works. Maybe racial uniformity might lead to world peace or something… but it certainly would NOT be racial diversity. So if you think that diversity is a good thing (and that’s something for each person to consider for themselves) then you must also support the ability for local groups to isolate themselves by using their freedom of association and property rights (which also implies freedom of non-association and the ability to exclude others).

    Libertarian property rights and freedom of association cannot imply a kind of “great plains” one big mixing bowl situation. Groups of people will voluntarily clump together if given their own free choice. Just look at the supposedly highly diverse Sydney population. What sort of people do you find in Chastwood? Mostly Chinese. How about Lakemba? Mostly Lebanese Muslims. How about Cabramatta? Mostly Vietnamese.

    There’s no government rule forcing these groups apart from each other, at any stage they could voluntarily choose to go live together… but mostly they don’t choose that, they hang together in their own groups based on cultural similarity, language, family and also race. That’s where “diversity” comes from… out of people NOT mixing down into homogeneous goo.

  70. test pattern

    ‘does he have any skin in the game’

    There is no such thing as race you stupid, stupid people.

  71. Kneel

    “… drug-taking should be legal.”

    Of course it should.
    Two reasons.
    1) pharmacological freedom – who is the govt to decide what I consume and when?
    2) Consider the attitude to various addictions:
    i) alcohol – you’re sick, it’s not your fault
    ii) nicotine – filthy habit, you should give up
    iii) caffeine – don’t speak to him until he’s had 2 cups of coffee
    iv) cocaine etc – filthy scumbag drug addict
    For the first 2, you can get some help and are encouraged by all and sundry to “normalise” your life. 3 no-one even notices. And 4 they will throw you in gaol and exclude you from polite society if they know. All are “substance abuse”. All are addicts.
    Push them all into the same catagory as 1 – you are sick, you need help. If you decide to accept it, there is help for you and a path to rehabilitation. Tax them based on perceived damage/desirability etc.
    Result: drug related crime falls through the floor. Drug related deaths fall through the floor. Drug “cartels” find there is very little to made in the black market, because the penalties for not being licensed are so great most people wont take the risk (as per alcohol and tobacco – it still happens, but it’s fringe) Police spend their time chasing thieves and other truly criminal behaviour.
    Instead we have a “war on drugs”, spending massive resources to achieve – what exactly? Reduced use? No, actually, the reverse. Reduced availability? No, actually the reverse. Keeping them away from people yet to reach their majority? No, actually the reverse. Over 40 years of trying and there is no 5 year period in that whole 40 years where drug (ab)use has declined.
    The answer to this failure is more of the same.
    Definition of insanity, much?

  72. Combine Dave

    Thus libertarians arrive at their philosophy by looking at the world around them.

    So why do increasingly diverse nations increasingly crush freedom of speech and expression?

    Such as Germany targeting online “hate’ following their large influx of “migrants” or Australia with it’s incredibly excessive s18 provisions?

  73. Combine Dave

    Push them all into the same catagory as 1 – you are sick, you need help. If you decide to accept it, there is help for you and a path to rehabilitation. Tax them based on perceived damage/desirability etc.

    Ahh more big government libertarianism!

  74. iampeter

    Liberty is not the outgrowth of homogeneity. It is the solution to a seeming problem of heterogeneity.

    Or as I would put it: liberty is a society that has a rights protecting government.
    That’s the only thing that matters. Not homogeneity, heterogeneity or anything else.

  75. Yohan

    Tel, I see what you are getting at now. My misreading of what you said.

  76. Dave

    A few months back I had a chat with a Chinese girl living in Japan. We discussed a number of economic and political topics. The conclusions were as follows;

    1)The HK people are ungrateful troublemakers that need to be taught a lesson. Ditto Taiwan. When I suggested more US hardware should be sent to Taiwan, and that HK needs to maintain its British legacy, her shock was priceless.
    2) She thought Chinese overseas migration was a good thing. Especially for Australia. She thought it would help relations between us and cause less friction due to our closeness to the USA. Taking that logic and flipping it on its head, I put the following to her. “Ok then, so Australia has what, say approximately 15% of our population ethnic Chinese and growing which is wonderfully enriching to Australia -China cooperation. Now to make co-operation even more significant, will you petition your government to allow in 50 million white Americans (roughly the same equivalent per capita as we allow Chinese). They could move straight into Shanghai and Beijing. Think of the cultural benefits”!

    Her mouth dropped. She literally was horrified at such a suggestion, before laughing and assuming I was merely joking, because the mere suggestion was a joke. I wasn’t smiling.

    Race matters. Culture matters.

  77. David Brewer

    Tucker has one disputed example of Spain in the Middle Ages – and even gets its dates wrong as it occurred over the High Middle Ages, not 700 years before them.

    Against this it’s easy to find many examples of free, relatively homogenous societies, of strife among culturally diverse societies, and of strife emerging in individual societies as heteoregeity increases.

    Freedom as we know it is basically an outcome of Protestantism: it represents the settlement Protestants reached with Catholics after a couple of hundred years of strife. Whether it will survive the fall of Protestantism remains to be seen. Whether it could survive the mass immigration of people who do not believe in it is extremely doubtful.

  78. Mr Black

    This kind of quisling nonsense marks you as an enemy of liberty. There is NOWHERE on earth that is more peaceful and trusting with mixed cultures than with a homogeneous culture. That is all the evidence that is needed to demonstrate both the stupidity and the treacherous deception of this author.

  79. True Aussie

    What do you want to bet Jeffrey Tucker lives in an upper middle class to upper class suburb surrounded mostly by white people of mainly northern Europen extraction with maybe a few j ews, south east asians and maybe one or two token blacks or browns who behave in public exactly like their white neighbours?

  80. Tel

    test pattern #2526528:

    There is no such thing as race you stupid, stupid people.

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2016/12/12/monday-forum-december-12-2016/comment-page-5/#comment-2234379

    Do you know any hypocritical racist scumbags? I’m looking for the type of guy who would say something like “White women are ugly.”

  81. Helen

    No one acts or thinks as a group or collective.

    We do because those who are outside the collective are made to feel very uncomfortable. It takes courage to step outside and stay there.

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