Just like the culture and identity of universities changed with affirmative action and diversity efforts, the same is true is a country.

The same issue that Richard hates about affirmative action in acedemia is ultimately the same of immigration and America. America was altered through immigration before Hart-Cellar. That immigration led to something like Hart-Cellar being past (and for the universities changing for the worse in the 60s).

America was the product of a very particular group of people from one small region of the world. It didn't get founded anywhere else. Other countries can't even merely adopt it and make it work, let alone produce it.

It is now declining in large part due to immigration altering the country, as well as government policies favoring immigrants over natives. South Asians have qualified for SBA loans by mere virtue of their nation origin since the 1980s. It makes no sense, just like filling quotas spots for blacks with people from Ghana.

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Re: immigration. Aside from the issues raised by Prof. Wax, immigration and multiculturalism *in and of themselves* make society worse by lowering social trust. See Putnam's research on this subject. Freedom of association is not a solution to this, merely a coping mechanism to mitigate the damage.

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Your comment about assimilation reminded me of some observations by Rakib Ehsan (a sort of dissident sociology writer living and working in Britain).

He compared three groups of post-WW2 immigrants to Britain - black Carribeans, subcontinental Hindus from India, and subcontinental Muslims from Pakistan/Bangladesh - and concluded that there appears to be an assimilation "sweet spot" whereby the ideal outcome is for immigrants and their descendants to adopt the good, functional and prosocial elements of the majority culture, but to retain the elements of their own cultures that are superior to the host culture.

So: black immigrants assimilated TOO well - they have the highest rates of intermarriage with whites, for example, and follow the mainstream secular culture, but this simply means that they have adopted all the worst elements of that mainstream culture, especially at the lower socioeconomic end of the class system (e.g. family breakdown, illegitimacy, crime). They have simply replaced one set of pathologies with another.

At the other extreme, you have Muslims who are totally unassimilated - this means that (to their relative credit) they are yet to be mind-poisoned by feminism, wokeness, and LGBT ideology, but neither have they committed to becoming part of functional mainstream British society.

In the middle, the Goldilocks option as it were, you have the Indian-origin Hindus who have assimilated to the positive elements of the host culture (e.g. hard work, capitalism, self-sufficiency, educational ambition, law-abiding), but have kept traditional social values too (e.g. very low rates of divorce or illegitimate birth, very little indulgence of wokeness or trans nonsense). Sometimes they marry whites, sometimes they don't, but this seems to be irrelevant either way. Politicians like Rishi Sunak or Priti Patel are platonic ideals of this level of assimilation.

Whilst there are critiques of this overall categorisation to be made, I found it to be an insightful take on the subject, and generally I think Ehsan is a writer worth reading for his heterodox views.

(See, e.g. here: https://capx.co/is-integration-always-a-good-thing-its-complicated/)

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The missing piece is that America is an empire these days, not a republic. America has a large geopolitical swath, with something like 800 bases in foreign lands, and American ("multinational") corporations are doing business all over the world. Free trade and open borders, beyond jets and carriers, are part of the lubricant that allows that to happen. The institutional power centers support the status quo, and if anything seek to expand it. You can't very well say, we want to trade with you but don't obtain a green card in my country. There is also an ideological justification in all of this diversity, with attacks on other countries for human rights violations and for oppression of ethnic minorities.

Republicans and Democrats are not going to oppose these institutional power centers, they won't even oppose donors. It is possible if Buchanan had won in 92, something could have been done, but Buchanan didn't win, and you could even say that Buchanan not winning was baked into the outcome back then. I know Hanania doesn't like all this "leftist" discussion of economics, but the Ayn Rand fantasy is that you have a bunch of rugged individualist tycoons running everything, when in the real world, you have George Soros and EEOC and Raytheon.

Wokeness will take care of itself, the same way metastatic cancer ends. No political solution is possible, anymore than there is a political solution to stage IV lung cancer. The Empire is not going to survive with idiots running it, and with ideological purity and toadyism being the sole criterion in awarding decision-making authority. The only real question is whether the idiots will start a nuclear war on their way out.

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Great interview.

It would have been interesting if you had asked about how much the issue of elite competition informs Wax's skepticism or hostility to immigration. Currently most of the competition for Jewish American elites for elite positions comes from Asian immigrants and descendants. It seems that liberal Jewish elites' advocacy of affirmative action for underrepresented minorities curbs competition from Asians to an extent, while more right wing Jewish elites like Wax respond by opposing immigration.

Also regarding the issue of an assimilationist party, how possible or likely is it if there is at least some demand on the right for an implicitly white indentitarian party? Being too welcoming or assimilationist and simply having too many non-white voters could conflict with conservative/right wing voters who want to some extent an at least implicitly white identitarian party.

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To correct Professor Wax, low corruption is also the norm in East Asia - specifically, those countries that belong to Chinese-derived civilization.

And as someone who studied at an East Asian plurality college, even 10 years ago, the Asian character of the student body felt like a force of normality pushing back against the neuroses of white liberal America that would otherwise have dominated the campus.

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Great interview. I really liked the conversation about whether NOT assimilating immigrants might actually be the more "conservative" posture, given that the ruling ideology of the United States has more or less become woke neo-Marxism.

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I felt the immigration discussion was too much demonstration of attitude rather than a real argument on merits of meritocratic immigration.

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What to do? Legally take away tax-exempt status from educational institutions which discriminate against Republicans, or against legal free speech, as well as no Fed loans, no Fed research.

What can people do? Vote Republican. Tell & show Dem friends that the Democrats are imposing the censors against free speech, and destroying academia.

When Reps gain power - define "diversity" in law to include meaning diverse political opinions. On abortion, on immigration, on affirmative action, on meritocracy; on political parties. Support false advertising lawsuits against colleges which claimed the students would be exposed to diverse viewpoints when there are less than 20% Republican professors.

Great interview, thanks for being free!

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Immigration policy is not about "the labor market". Immigration policy is about the fact that my US citizenship is a valuable asset, one that certain people wish to steal from me and give to their friends.

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Amy is smart and brave, but I'm curious if she has the self-awareness to recognize that the mid century high point that she is describing was brought down by the same dynamics of multiculturalism that she sees on overdrive now. This is an unscientific observation based on my age cohort and personal background, but it sure looks to me like once the Anglos let a critical mass of Catholics and Jews in the country, that altered the dynamic in a way that made Hart-Cellar and its consequences possible.

I'm saying this as an Ellis Islander myself. We did make an effort to assimilate to the Anglo-Protestant norm, but it just wasn't enough to prevent us from actively and passively moving the culture in the direction that led to the floodgates being opened.

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My kids will all be hitting university age in 10-15 years and my question is what I should advise them to do, or to skip the whole process entirely.

I live in Europe, and while US university fads will arrive with a lag of a decade, at least university education is a lot cheaper.

But seriously, what should I advise my kids to do? From what I can tell the humanties and social sciences are are already finished, and hard science with any kind of a social aspect (epidemiology for example) is getting more and politicised. Economics in the "Freakonomics" era used to be all about guys proving counter-intuitive insights via very hard math but now it seems mainly about underrepresented minorities and the like. Law is going in the same direction. The one potential holdout is the business faculty. Profit and loss and balance sheets just can't really be politicised, and the students are much less likely to care too. Engineering is another potential holdout. You can't really talk about the exclusionary politics of circuits and bridges.

I am a strong Caplanian in the sense that I believe general cognitive ability is the biggest explanatory variable and college is for most people just about proving conformity and conscientiousness. So for my own kids I don't think I will explicitly advise not going to college as there would be decades-long earnings penalty. However I am not convinced that the undergrad experience is all that fun compared to working in low-wage employment age the same age. Youth is its very own special privilege.

I would love if some kind of start-up third-level education system would emerge, and emerge quickly. Something that promised to:

1) teach a mix of abstract and vocational topics

2) demonstrate cognitive ability, conformism, and conscientiousness to employers

3) avoid politicised content

I am sadly not all that hopeful

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Great conversation!

You should really talk to Bryan Caplan regarding immigration.

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The idea of white men outperforming other groups in every academic field is a huge exaggeration of a small forbidden kernel of truth.

Women today outnumber men in medical schools, and as far as I know are equally good doctors as men.

The movement to get more women into medicine happened in the 70s under the umbrella of the Feminism of that time. For someone who lived through that time (who had the same political impulses as the readership of your blog), I'm sure the movement would have seemed woke and stupid. Doctors were overwhelmingly men throughout history. Look at these silly women trying to guilt trip their way into the surgeon's gown, inventing dumb fields like gynecology.

Let's give credit where credit's due. Feminism was 95% correct that women's lack of representation across various prestigious fields was due to cultural biases and barriers, rather than biological differences.

Really the only kernel of truth is that Black people have been doing worse than everyone else, with little improvement from affirmative action. Compare white people against other groups and whites don't look so great.

The leap that the principles of the enlightenment are inherent to white men in some essentialist way is really unsubstantiated. Here's an alternative simpler explanation of non-White (including Jews), non-Black university ethnic groups being in support of wokery:

Woke ideology is both appealing (to a certain type of person) on its own, and is dominant and high status in the academy. Many white students are also woke warriors at the barricades (probably a plurality too). For any ethnic group in the US, a portion of them will be leftists because they genuinely buy in to leftism, rather than there being some nefarious group strategy. But why do Non-White, non-Black, economically successful groups like East Asians, South Asians, and Jews buy in proportionally more than Whites? When nebulous White Supremacy is blamed for things, non-Whites can rest assured it's not them being attacked, while a White person is less likely to stomach being villianized. They also feel a certain sense of alienation from society due to being different that woke ideology capitalizes on.

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I hope it does, because there is a world of books to read not written in Western Culture.

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Reading this, I thought of this Ryan Long skit about immigrant parents and their conservative views.


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