Thursday, September 3, 2015

"Doug's" Version of Derb's "Cold Civil War"

OK. So I was clicking back on a series of links from Dear Old Derb -- John Derbyshire to you -- on his "Cold Civil War" meme. And he quoted this piece from a comment by "Doug" at EconLog :
Let`s say you were to immigrate to a new country which is essentially divided between two hostile tribes engaged in perpetual low-intensity warfare. We`ll call them Hutus and Tutsis. You have no previous allegiance or affiliation with either tribe.

Let`s also say that one tribe, Tutsis, holds a hegemony on all organs of education and opinion, virtually the entire government bureaucracy and all of popular culture. Many of the most prestigious institutions in the country consist of 95%+ Tutsis. Tutsi organizations like “Harvard University” and “The New York Times” are widely respected by even ardent Hutus.

Now of course there are Hutu organizations and no shortage of powerful Hutu people. But, unlike the reverse, there are virtually no prestigious institutions where Tutsis are excluded. I.e. some prestigious and powerful institutions, like “General Electric” or “Goldman Sachs” may be 2:1 Hutu at most. But any with a 10:1 ratio or more are virtually guaranteed to be far inferior, second-rate and low status institutions or organizations. Examples of these pariahs are “Oral Roberts University”, “Fox News” and “Amway.”

This leads to a strange asymmetry where it is certainly possible to succeed in this society while being Hutu, it almost never hurts to be Tutsi. For example just the other day there was a Tutsi ceremony called “The Academy Awards” that almost exclusively honors Tutsis. Despite this, this ceremony is observed and recognized by Hutus around the country.

A rational, self-interested immigrant to this society would of course choose align himself as a moderate, but reliably loyal Tutsi. Unless you`re a Tutsi extremist, leaning Tutsi will almost never hurt your career or standing except in all but the most malformed, backwards and irrelevant Hutu organizations.

But failure to demonstrate at least general sympathy to the Tutsi side will almost undoubtedly lock you out of many career options and generally draw attention to you in most corners of polite society.
Oy. And Oy. When you read that you think to yourself: why do  I bother? Why belong to the Out group when the scales are so decidedly set in favor of the Ins? Why not just chuck it in and join the progressive ruling class.

OK. There was one thing that is almost encouraging. Doug points out that the "rational, self-interested immigrant" notices that the institutions that are 95% Tutsu are often highly successful places like "Harvard University" whereas institutions that are 95% Hutu are often places like "Oral Roberts University" or "Fox News." Why would you want to associate with Hutus?

But you know what? I think that the 95% game is a mistake. Because the 95% institutions are becoming stupider over time. That will happen to you when you shut yourself up away from the push and shove of opposing ideas. It's better to live in the open-outcry world and deal with the opposition mano-a-mano. You know what I mean: inbreeding; Hapburg lip, etc.

Having said that, the question remains. Why would any discerning immigrant align with the Hutus? In Sean Trende's handy election calculator we get the 2012 presidential election results as: Blacks: 94% Dem; Hispanics: 72% Dem; Asians: 68% Dem.

What is wrong with these people? Why don't they all vote 94% Dem like the African Americans?

I suppose the answer is that the advantage of identifying Tutsi only applies if you are a top-level ruling class type or if you are a client of the welfare state on benefits. And so about 30% of Hispanics and Asians voted for the GOP in 2012, because, well because they actually believe in truth, justice, and the American Way, even if it doesn't pay. There will, of course, be more of them in 2016.

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