The Atlas Society Asks Eric Kaufmann

November 30, 2022 00:57:48
The Atlas Society Asks Eric Kaufmann
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Eric Kaufmann

Nov 30 2022 | 00:57:48

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Eric Kaufmann is a Canadian Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute. A specialist on cultural politics, religious and national identity, and demography, Kaufmann has authored, co-authored, and edited nine books, including The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America and Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello everyone, and welcome to the 130th episode of the Atlas Society Asked, my name is Jennifer Anju Grossman. My friends call me Jag. I'm the CEO of the Atlas Society. We are the leading non-profit organization introducing young people to the ideas of Iron Rand in fun, creative ways, like graphic novels and animated videos. Today we are joined by Eric Kaufman from London, I believe <laugh>. Uh, before we get started, and before I even introduce my guest, I wanted to remind all of you who are watching us on Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube. You can use the comment section to type in your questions. Uh, you can go ahead and get started to be at the top of the queue, and we'll get to as many questions as we can. Okay. Eric Kaufman is a Canadian professor of politics at Burke Beck College, university of London, and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is a specialist on cultural, politics, religious and national identity, uh, and demography. Professor Kaufman has authored, uh, and co-authored many, many books, including the Rise and Fall of the Anglo-American Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth, and his latest book, white Shift, populism, immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. Eric, thank you for joining us. I know it's a little bit late there and a lot going on, but, uh, we're, we're just thrilled to have you. Speaker 1 00:01:47 That's okay. Thanks sir. Thanks very much for having me. Glad to be here. Speaker 0 00:01:53 So, um, I already felt a bit of kinship with you. We share a mixed heritage, Jewish father, lapsed Catholic mother, but you <laugh> but you have a much more interesting mix of ethnicities and your background. You also grew up in different countries around the world. So, um, I'd love to learn a little bit about your origin story and how your experience growing up may have influenced your interest in ethnic, cultural and politic political demography. Speaker 1 00:02:24 Well, thanks Jennifer. Yeah, I mean, like you say, I, I am on the one hand, you know, secular Jewish dead and lapse Catholic mom. Uh, but sort of as you said beneath that, I mean, my mom's side, she's sort of half Costa Rican and half Chinese, and, and they, they met in Hong Kong and she's from Macau, which is a Portuguese colony. So, yeah, I, I, and I grew up a lot of my early years. My dad was in Tokyo as a, with a Canadian embassy and then with a, uh, a Canadian firm. So I sort of spent, you know, a total of eight years in the far east, uh, growing up. So that kind of gives you a, a different outlook. And one of the things it, it clearly does is you don't take nation as for granted, and you're more aware of national identity. Speaker 1 00:03:09 And so that, that's kind of the beginning really of interest in nations and national difference. So, you know, I went to an international school, every, every country has its booth, so you're more aware of national difference, I think, growing up abroad. Um, but yeah, so that was kind of maybe the, the sort of early, uh, origins perhaps of this interested national identity as a topic. Um, and then I, I wasn't initially gonna be an academic and for by hooking by crook I wound up at the London School of Economics and, and studying, um, uh, well, sociology and political science. And I sort of gravitated towards the study of nationalism, which, uh, there's an individual called Anthony Smith who's a leading, he's passed away a few years ago. He was a leading theorist of nationalism, and there were a number of others like Ernest Gilner as well. Speaker 1 00:03:56 So it was sort of a center for the study of this. I just kind of accidentally bumped into that. Um, so that was fortuitous. Um, and then of course, I guess on the ethnic side, you know, having, having a few different elements in my background growing up in a suburb of, uh, Vancouver that was predominantly what you would call WASP or British ancestry and population, no, you know, being aware of some differences there. And then also being in a city that was like some US cities going undergoing rapid ethnic change, say from, you know, overwhelmingly, you know, European to having a larger Chinese component in the population. So these are all things that might have influenced my interests. Um, and then, yeah, I did my, my doctorate at LSC looking at this confluence of migration and national identity. Uh, and then that then led into my first book, the Rise and Fall of Anglo America, which is really about the, the decline of the WASP as an ethnic group in the United States, demographically, politically in the 20th century. Speaker 0 00:04:59 Yeah, it's, it's interesting. And Canada is its own special case. Um, perhaps we'll get to explore some of those differences, um, in terms of their approach to multiculturalism. But I see that these themes are evolving throughout, uh, your three books and the book that you wrote in 2010, uh, shall the Religious Inherit the Earth, you discussed how on average some religious groups tend to have more children than their secular counterparts. Um, how have those projections held up 12 years, uh, later, and how might the higher fertility rates of say, HERI Jews, the Amish Mormons, impact the demographic and political change you explore in White Shift? Speaker 1 00:05:50 Yeah, yeah, very interesting. So I, what I would say is that book, the Shah Religious Inherit the Earth, was a little bit of a departure in the sense that I was looking more at, um, religious differences within ethnic groups. Um, so as you see ultra-Orthodox Jews versus secular Jews, conservative Protestants versus lapsed or liberal protestants, you know, that's, that's sort of the kind of difference I was looking at. So it was a little bit moving away from the ethnic politics, but what you see is, yeah, substantial fertility rate differences. And if anything, I think those have widened and not declined, um, since I wrote. Um, and so yeah, we've, we've, you've just seen, well, I mean, an example, a good example would be the Jewish population of the UK and us, um, which is projected to become majority ultra-Orthodox in the second half of our century. Speaker 1 00:06:45 That's an example of the process I talk about, which is really through higher, uh, differential birth rates. Um, religious demo really is powering this change, and there have been examples of that in the past as well. If you look at evangelical Protestants in the United States, that was, there's a, a good paper by, um, Michael h and, and Andrew Greeley and Melissa Wilde, which really shows that three quarters of the growth of conservative Protestantism in the US and the 20th century was demographic through higher birth rates. Uh, and, and that was one of the reasons you had this shift from about one in three Protestants being conservative to two and three, uh, in the course of the 20th century. So yeah, those are just some examples and I don't see any change in that, incidentally. I mean, if you look at developed com countries in the west today, the difference between those who are, uh, regular religious attenders and those who are sort of non-religious or religious nuns is sort of on the, on the scale of about a half child, or in some cases, a full child taking over generations that'll have a, have quite a substantial effect. Speaker 0 00:07:53 I think you talked about, um, it as kind of time capsule whiteness. Is that correct? Speaker 1 00:08:00 Well, so there's the, there's the, the religious side of things. So you have this, what this leads to is a big expansion in, uh, religiously conservative populations. But then the question is how does that affect, uh, the ethnic picture? Cause what we have going on in terms of ethnicity is, um, clearly a decline in white majorities across the west, whether in the us whether in Europe. So you have this declining white majorities, but then a, a lot of these, what I call endogenous growth, religious sex, these very fundamentalist world denying sex like the Amish, like the Ultra-Orthodox Jews, they're almost entirely European origin. And so these are the groups that are very much defying this shift to below replacement fertility rates. And so if you run projections ahead, it's, if nothing changes, then these groups are going to be a very large chunk of the population that's going ahead two centuries. Speaker 1 00:08:57 Right? So that's assuming things change, but in Israel or in the Jewish world, it's gonna happen a lot quicker. So it could be, as I mentioned, the the UK and American Jewish Diaspora, uh, is projected to go majority ultra-Orthodox in the second half of the century. That's really only 50 years, well, 30 to 50 years away. Um, it'll take a little longer for that to happen to, uh, Christianity. But, you know, if you really look at the projections, if things continue as they are, you know, there could be 300 million Amish in the US in the 22 hundreds. Now, of course, that assumes a lot, but their birth rates, the birth rates of these groups, uh, do not decline as they get wealthier. As the society gets better educated, they, the ultra-Orthodox in Israel have maintained in a modern society with modern contraception and health and education, you know, birth rates 6.5 to seven children per woman on average. Speaker 0 00:09:54 All right. Now I'd really like to dive into white ship population immigration and the future of white majorities. I'm actually on my second reading as there is Speaker 1 00:10:06 <laugh>. Good for you. Speaker 0 00:10:07 There's a lot, a lot to absorb. Uh, and I also though found the way that you approach your subject to be refreshing in that it's both, um, deeply researched, but also kind of open minded and even handed, uh, as you unpack issues that are often avoided because of stigma and political correctness. So first, what is white shift and how can a better understanding of both the demographic changes underway and majority reaction to them help lower to lower the temperature on political polarization and contribute to a more informed public policy debate? Speaker 1 00:10:51 Well, thanks. Thank Jennifer. Yeah, I mean, the basic meaning of white shift, the white shift 1.0 if you like, is what's happening in our century, which is the decline of white majority groups in, uh, Europe and North America and a Australasia. And, and so just in terms of the trajectory, you're probably familiar with the US trajectory, which is something like have 50% of the population being non-Hispanic white around 2050, the number jumps around, et cetera. Something very similar is happening in can say Canada, Australia, New Zealand are also going to be kind majority minority sometime around mid century, maybe slightly later for Australia, um, in Europe, it'll happen towards the end of the century. Um, so that's really quite substantial given that, particularly when we think of Western Europe, I mean, immigrant populations in most West European countries, one to 2% of the total in 1900. Speaker 1 00:11:48 And you know that it's extremely small. So this is something quite, uh, quite new. And even though there has have been small migrations to Western European countries, generally speaking, the the scale is much, much higher. I mean, the, for as an example, the Jews who came to Britain in the turn of the 20th century, I think at the peak were going at about 10 to 15,000 per year. Um, whereas the immigration levels, snap migration levels in Britain have been above 250,000 since 1997, and this just this year it hit 500,000. So I mean, the scale is of, of a completely different order of magnitude. Um, now that's sort of really the change which is reconfiguring our politics because battles over the rate of this ethnic change as symbolized by the issue of immigration, are central to understanding the rise of, uh, right wing populism across the west. Speaker 1 00:12:44 Whether that's Brexit, whether that's Trump, whether that's lap pen, whether that's the Swedish Sweden Democrats. Um, this immigration is at the heart of this. And, and in the book, I really look at large scale survey data where you can generalize. And what you can do is look at who votes say for the Sweden Democrats versus other parties. And there was a survey that showed, you know, 99% of Sweden Democrat voters say immigration should be reduced, um, a hundred percent of alternative for Germany voters in the, in the 20, I think it was 2018, Bavarian election might have that date wrong, uh, agreed with the statement, Germany is gradually losing its culture. So this sort of cultural, psychological underpinning to immigration opinion, which in turn is underpinning the populous vote, is absolutely vital for understanding what's happening. And in that context, what occurs is instead of talking just about left right economics, welfare state versus low tax, um, that, that conversation was very much a later 20th century conversation. We've seen a sort of reconfiguration from, from that economic access to a cultural access, which we might call globalist nationalist. Some have said open close, some have, you know, that liberal conservative cultural dimension which cuts across the old economic dimension. So what you find is a lot of, in fact, slightly left of center economically working class voters voting for national populist parties off the right, because they're attracted to their cultural message. Um, and yeah, Speaker 0 00:14:25 Yeah, it's tricky because, uh, you know, for those of us who want to make the case for, uh, less government and for lower taxes and for more capitalism, um, you know, this whole shift has taken the conversation to another place. And I think until we really understand what's going on and find a way to address it, um, we're it's at a loss, like, oh, do we just kind of make the case and try to lump in with these people or so, um, so it's interesting, and I, and I, I think that there is sort of this, uh, sense of kind of an adversarial, um, dynamic going on as well. In, in white shift, you observed, uh, that quote, the progressive storyline for white majorities is a morality tale celebrating their demise end quote. And you argue that, um, much of today's populist reaction stems directly or indirectly from this, you know, repulsion at this kind of, uh, celebration. So unpack that dynamic for us, if you would. Speaker 1 00:15:40 Well, this is, yeah, so basically the book is about the intersection of ethnic and national identity, but particularly what I'm focusing on, our ethnic majorities who have not received as much attention from a lot of academics. Um, and so ethnic major is how they're affected by migration and demographic shifts. But then the third element is ideology and the role of the cultural left in all this, because cultural left ideology has evolved over time. Uh, but it's been a very powerful force, particularly since the mid 1960s. And so what you saw as the left becoming a little less concerned with, um, for example, the proletariat and the working class and becoming more concerned with identity, identity groups chiefly around race, but also gender and sexuality. Um, the concerns around race, which are emerging in the sort of late sixties start to lead to a situation where discussions of immigration are start, are beginning to be painted as racist and illegitimate. Speaker 1 00:16:43 And therefore talking about restriction is, is something you don't do in polite society. And that narrowing of democratic debate of the Everton window of what you are allowed to debate in, in a democratic society then means these, these topics are not being debated by mainstream parties because mainstream politicians, they wanna be respected by, or respectable in polite society, in the media and so on. Now, what that actually does, however, is a bit like in the Soviet Union where you can only make, you know, one color pair of pants while a black marketeer is gonna pop up to supply the blue jeans and the other things people want. And so similarly in this case, if the main parties aren't talking about immigration levels, then a black marketeer politician, ie or populist, is gonna pop up to provide that. Uh, and it may be somebody, you know, like a Trump in the US or Sweden, Democrats in Sweden, you know, in 2013 when they were getting large scale, beginning to get larger influxes from, um, other parts of the world, the interior minister in the moderate conservative government said, well, we, we should probably have a discussion about immigration levels, um, in Sweden. Speaker 1 00:17:53 And he was sort of shadowed down as a racist in the papers. And then the next year, the Sweden Democrats, the populous party kind of came in, burst onto the scene with 12 point a half percent. And in, in just most recent election, they were on 20% and, and are looking like they're gonna be in the governing coalition. That's an example of, of what I'm talking about is where the mainstream really didn't feel comfortable addressing an issue a lot of voters wanted to address, then the, that creates a vacuum that the populace will fill. And so the rise of populism, it would be very hard to imagine that if the mainstream parties were on top of this issue and, and having a debate that said, okay, well, we hear the voices of people who want slower ethnic change, people who want faster change, we're gonna somehow meet in the middle. But that debate doesn't happen because of all of the taboos that surround this subject. Um, so yeah, and that's one of the reasons I say that political correctness is in some ways a force that creates populism because populism is, is is popping into this, uh, vacuum created by these speech restrictions. Speaker 0 00:18:59 So, sticking with the ideology for a second, um, where did this, this progressive storyline, not just a sort of obsession with minority identities, but a kind of denigration of, uh, white identity. Uh, you talk about the origins in terms of left modernism. We've talked about it in terms of postmodernism, um, with leftist adapting the conflict dynamics of Marxism after, you know, Marxist economics was discredited and adapting that to identity politics. Are we talking about the same thing? Is it just a difference of, of definitions and terms? Speaker 1 00:19:43 Yeah, really good question. I think there's an overlap, right? So I think you can actually, I mean, I do in the book, I take it back to the World War I period. And the first kind of bohemian intellectuals who were modernist left modernism is in, in my view, a distinct ideology from socialism, because left modernism combines two elements, one of which is a sort of identity based or cultural leftism, which had a different feel to it prior to the 1960s, but it was there, but in a different way. And then this modernism, which is this strong anti-d pursuit of the new and different. And so what you saw in the, amongst this group of bohemian intellectuals known as the young intellectuals, they were very much icon classic. One of their beliefs was that the wasp group of which they were more or less all members. Speaker 1 00:20:34 So Randolph born is, is an example. He's a key figure. He's of a New England Yankee background, like many of these intellectuals. Um, but he says, well, our group is kind of boring. They, they don't create any, anything interesting. They just wanna, wanna ban, ban alcohol and dance. And they're very, uh, not a particularly interesting, quite a parochial group. So this is a sort of first example of somebody denigrating their own group in a way. Um, and then that takes hold in the 1920s once you have, you know, Protestant initiated legislation like the prohibition of alcohol and the 1924 immigration restrictions that come in. Um, and there was a real attack on white Protestant America by these generally white Protestant origin intellectuals. That's kind of the origin. But it had a different feel in the sense that their main line of attack was this group is sort of boring and they have no culture, and they're, they're not very interesting. Speaker 1 00:21:30 Now if you fast forward, that was sort of the paradigm through the twenties and arguably even through the beats in the fifties. And it's not till we get to the mid 1960s with black power radicalism, that the feel of it becomes much more recognizable. So you already had an anti wasp paradigm, but then in the mid sixties you get someone like Susan Sontag sort of saying, oh, white people are a cancer on the planet, and the US is a, is a, is an racist society to its core, this kind of radical stuff that, uh, you didn't find back with the young intellectuals. So this time it has a much more leftist edge. It's about oppressors and oppressed. Uh, it has much more of that language. So I think we, we have a, a changing of that, um, culture of majority repudiation to be much more aggressive, borrowing very much from the, both the black power radicalism and the European anti-colonial, because don't forget, the Europe, the European empires were decolonizing at this time. Speaker 1 00:22:28 And this third world socialism was less Marxist and more kind of about the third world lump and proletariat versus the West. That was the paradigm. All of that was the, the, the Western left ibid that, so France Funnel's book 1961, the Wretched of the Earth, which is sort of this third world is socialism, was the forward, was written by Jean Paul Sar, who was a western leftist. And so you get that cross-fertilization. Um, so yeah, and then since the mid sixties then you just have had a ratcheting up the scaling up of all this. So when Michael Brewer, or, or people like that, or Sarah j is, is, uh, taking a shot at white people, that's now in a tradition that goes back to the sort of mid to late sixties. But it's just that there are more of these people around, because more of them have been produced in the graduate schools. Speaker 1 00:23:21 Um, and you've got social media. And for all these reasons, we're just hearing more and more of this anti-white rhetoric, critical race theory of course, which generates a lot of this as well, has migrated off campus into the media and into schools, uh, which is somewhat of a more recent development. But I, what I would say is these ideas have been circulating for some time, and they also impinge of course, on the immigration discussion now for the Democratic party to, to, to deport illegal immigrants is much more difficult than under even Obama, because this ideology has really percolated really right into the party. Speaker 0 00:23:58 So, uh, returning to populism, and of course, historically there has been left wing populism, resentment of financial elites, and, uh, belief in the muscular, you know, uh, classes proletariat, why today are right wing populists doing better than than left wing populists. Speaker 1 00:24:24 Yeah. So we are seeing some left wing populism. You can think about Jeremy Corbin in Britain, Sanders in the US or series, uh, in Greece. But in general, the right populism is doing a lot better. Why is that? I think because a lot of the issues, I mean, the left populism thrives on economic issues for the most part, the right populism is largely an immigration and ethnic change driven phenomenon, and that is just much more present. I, I, I suppose because of this, the pace and scale of demographic change, um, is just a lot more advanced now. Um, and so that simply gives a plausibility and lens, I, I, I, I think has created more fertile soil for the rise of the populist. Right. It's also worth saying by the way that, I mean, the populist left has some force, um, but perhaps some of the, the, you know, the raw deprivation isn't as acute now as it might have been in earlier. Speaker 0 00:25:24 One of the issues that we focus on a lot here at the Atlas Society is envy. And I don't know if you're familiar with the German sociologist, Rainer Zeman. Uh, I interviewed him recently about his book, the Rich in Public Opinion, which looked at levels of envy in different countries, assigning a social envy coefficient, even looking at levels of envy within different generations in those, uh, countries. So traditionally, populism is thought of, as I mentioned, an antipathy against elites, including economic elites. But from my reading of your book, it doesn't seem like envy or an obsession about income inequality is a major driver of the new right wing populism. Is that right? Speaker 1 00:26:11 Yeah, that's right. I mean, I, if you look at the data, um, people who have high incomes, low incomes, uh, there's no real difference in terms of the likelihood of them voting for populous, you know, economic factors, whether you've lost a job, uh, that's not a major driver. And likewise in the, the economic structure of a particular country, whether it's a high, you know, a relatively unequal country, um, you know, like the United States, let's say, compared to a country, they're very strong welfare state and more equality like Sweden, that too is not a major predictor, um, of, of whether somebody is gonna vote populous. We've seen populous movements in the, in the north of Europe, uh, which has the strong welfare state in the south of Europe where it's not as strong, um, and in the United States. So, yeah, I, I I think the, the, the evidence is overwhelmingly that this is not about economic resentment or envy. Speaker 1 00:27:07 Um, and and to the extent that that exists, that's gonna be more, uh, of a left populist issue. This is mainly about these cultural issues about cultural change being too rapid for people, um, than the sense that they're losing the country. They've known. One of the best questions for picking out sympathy towards, uh, right wing populism is to ask, well, things were better, you know, things in America were better in the past, but especially American culture was better in the past. That, that kind of a question, uh, is, is is much better than anything economic isolating who will support these parties Speaker 0 00:27:42 To give us a context for, uh, current concerns about immigration. Is there a point in modern history where the numbers sharply increased? And if so, why is that? Speaker 1 00:27:54 Well, we're seeing, yeah, significant population movements, um, north south migration in the world right now. Um, you know, compared to 1970, it's been, I think, sort of a doubling of, of the share of people who were born in the global south, living in the global north. Even though migration around the world, the share of people who were born in another country around the world hasn't changed that much actually. Um, so yeah, we are definitely seeing an increase in migration numbers and of course, the kind of, especially from non-traditional sources. So, you know, up until the 1970s, um, immigration to North America was predominantly from Europe, uh, and now it is overwhelmingly eight, the tune of 80% from outside of Europe. So there's just a, a longer cultural distance there. And that certainly plays into this because it's that it, it's part of the population that sees, uh, difference as disorderly change as loss. Speaker 1 00:28:49 And that's very psychological and it's significantly heritable actually. This is not necessarily something that people can be taught out of. Um, and Karen Stenner in her book, the authoritarian dynamic makes this point that, um, because of the heritability of these dispositions, there's a certain part of the population that simply responds negatively to these kinds of developments. Now, it could be other kinds of diversity, could be ideological diversity, but there is a, people are sort, are wired. So give you an example. You can even have people look at dots on a screen, um, if you prefer dots that don't have a regular pattern versus those that are more ordered, if your desk is messy versus tidy, if you like dress codes in tennis tournaments or not. All of that actually is connected to views on immigration. And so it's, it's kind of very interesting. But these are not things, and, and as center points out thinking that you were going through some program of education, uh, you know, you know, teach this out of people, actually, it has the reverse effect, um, of reactance. And, and there've been a number of psychological experiments that show the more you push this idea that, oh, you, you know, if you say Trump is a racist, if you say the Confederate flag is racist, you actually get a backlash effect and more people supporting these things in these psychological experiments. Um, and so it's just very, so I think this is really a lot of what's happening is you, you're getting rapid demographic change interacting with certain kinds of human psychology. Speaker 0 00:30:23 All right. Well, I'm gonna have to ask for patients from our audience because I know I ask for questions, but, uh, as I mentioned, I'm on my second reading of this book and I'll be reading it again after that cuz there is just so much to, to get into. We could, we could have a three hour interview and we wouldn't even get to it. Um, but I do wanna get to, uh, similarities and differences between how immigration fueled populism, uh, played out in both the UK's Brexit and the 2016 election of Trump. Speaker 1 00:30:56 Yeah, I think these things are much more similar than different. Um, and so for example, the same characteristics which predict a Brexit voter will predict a Trump voter. So a question like things in written were better in the past, a question even views on death penalty are a much stronger predictor of your support for a Trump or Brexit, uh, than anything economic, such as whether you've lost a job or you're richer poor or, and so yeah, just very powerful similarities and, and we see them also. And of course the issue of immigration, uh, being an absolutely key predictor. Um, so I think these things are both very similar. And, and, and you can also look at the fact that in both countries, the mainstream parties were arguably not, um, you know, so in the United States case for example, there was a lot of difficulty in talking about the immigration issue within the Republican party. Speaker 1 00:31:54 Uh, it was seen that the Republican party wanted to pursue an interventionist foreign policy, for example, NeoCon conservatism, low tax and religious conservatism. But it was very reticent to, to really sort of pursue immigration restriction. And that's kind where Trump, who was the only candidate that made immigration central. Now it's not that wrongly and other candidates didn't talk about it at all, but it was a subsidiary issue. Trump really goes right after this, and he also goes after political correctness, and you see a lot of these sorts of dynamics happening with European populous white parties as well. Um, and they're doing the same thing. And, and so I think there is that connection really between the two. So I see the two as much more similar than different, whereas if you were to compare a figure like George W. Bush to a European conservative, there's a massive difference between those two because the issues George W. Bush was talking about, like religion had absolutely no resonance, uh, in Europe, whereas these issues around immigration and ethnic change are exactly the same issues. And in that sense, I think Trump is a much more European figure, uh, than a George W. Bush. Speaker 0 00:33:00 I I thought that was interesting in your book when you talked about, um, when we arrived in history at Trump that the politics of the United States actually became more recognizable and intelligible to Europeans, right. Than, uh, than previously, you know? Speaker 1 00:33:18 Right. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:33:21 <laugh>. All right, promise, I'm gonna get to some of these questions. Uh, Jake Stein on Facebook is talking about a speech maybe that you gave earlier this year on survey showing, um, how bad or not as bad current political correctness won't cancel culture. Is, does that ring a bell? And what was the main takeaway? Speaker 1 00:33:43 Yes. Um, so, well, essentially what's occurred is you've had an evolution of political correctness of the eighties and nineties. The dial's gone from about an eight to about an 11 <laugh>. Um, because there are simply more graduates of sort of the, the radical programs. And also I think the other thing to bear in mind is these were being talked about in academia. Uh, so there's a great study by David Rza that looks at millions of academic abstracts and also millions of newspaper articles. And you can see that the academics were, were talking about sexism and racism at very high levels from the seventies and eighties and nineties. But then in the mid 2010s, the newspapers got hold of it where they really weren't paying much attention. And so these ideas from the campus really spread off campus. The ideas I call cultural socialism, including these, this anti whiteness, really migrates, you know, big way into the press, partly cuz of social media, because social media connects academics and journalists, but also because the newspapers are moving to a more click bait eyeballs model of revenue generation and less of a classified ads model. Speaker 1 00:34:51 And so they're going for more partisan appeals. Uh, all of that allows these radical ideas to migrate off campus. But the, what what I would say is these ideas, these hot, the sort of cancel culture are only working because of a substrate, an existing, um, what I kind of call a banal wokeness or banal cultural socialism, which was already there from the sixties, which involved hypersensitivity to anything that might offend minority groups that's already in there in the sixties. Racial sensitivity training is there from the seventies. And affirmative action, disparate impact, all of this lingo and all of these, these precedents and, and high sensitivity is already there in the population and in whenever activists try to go crazy on it, in the past they were never really resisted. So there are episodes of academics being canceled as early as the 1960s, and certainly in the 1970s, never any real pushback because of the power of the taboos, which was already established. It's just that there were fewer foot soldiers, uh, and they were less well organized. Social media and everything allows them to organize. And there are more graduates, um, of these radical programs which produce more foot soldiers. Speaker 0 00:36:07 All right. Alex tremor on Twitter asks for data showing the relationship between the number of immigrants and how many actually integrate into the society they enter, which gets to, you know, the various ways of, uh, handling white shift, whether it's sort of the, the salad bowl or the melting pot. Speaker 1 00:36:31 Well, it's a tricky one to say that, you know, more rapid immigration leads to an ethnic diversification of the population. Whereas, you know, like in the US when you had that immigration pause between the mid twenties and the mid sixties, eventually that led to ethnic neighborhoods breaking up more intermarriage, particularly across lines like Protestant, Catholic, Jew, which had been relatively unheard of. And that melting process, what that that then does is it reduces diversity in the population. Uh, and so you get this sense of, um, yeah, if there's less diversity, then there's less of a driver for the kind of right wing populism we see. So it, and it, it takes some time because I think a lot of this is due to multiple generations. So it takes many generations for immigrant groups to eventually start to move out of their areas, but especially to intermarry and especially to change their identity. Speaker 1 00:37:28 Um, and what we've seen really in the last, oh, well it's certainly in Europe in the last 20 years, but in the US as well with the rising foreign born population share, um, is that you're getting a rise rise in this diversity and the esteem assimilation is not proceeding fast enough to sort of affect that. And I think that's the equation really. Um, now whether a country pursues the salad bowl or the melting pot, I actually don't think that makes much difference what the politicians talk about in France, they say we are the republic, and in Britain or in Canada, they say multiculturalism on the ground. I don't think it makes an enormous difference, really. I think that we, in fact, it's, it's very difficult to find any government led integration program that really makes a vast difference, perhaps in Singapore where the government can tell you where to live. They make sure that every housing block is, is perfectly representative of the total population. There's absolutely no segregation, okay? But in a free society where people can choose where to live, you're gonna have segregation and it's only a matter a question of time, multiple generations that that will break down. Speaker 0 00:38:42 So, uh, getting back to the situation in the US given biden's defeat of Trump, uh, and the recent muted midterm gains by populous Republicans in particular, uh, does that mean that the populist moment has faded, uh, or that the issue of immigration despite the, um, images of utter anarchy at our southern border, uh, has lost its salience? Speaker 1 00:39:10 I think definitely not. Um, what I would say however is this, is that when people are worried about a pandemic or they're worried about the cost of living because of a war in Ukraine and because of supply chain constraints and things like that, when the economy is a bigger issue than immigration is, a smaller issue actually is the relationship we see. So right now we're still living through, uh, an economic, a difficult economic situation. We've had a pandemic. All of those things are things that tend to dampen not increase populism. Um, now as that starts to fade and, and it will at some point fade as an issue, we will be back to normal economic, uh, times and inflation will be, will start to go down, then I would expect concern of the economy will start to decline. And that's what happened prior to, uh, Brexit, prior to Trump, is people were less concerned about the economy. Speaker 1 00:40:08 Cuz after the 7 0 8 crash, the economy had started to fade in people's minds as a big issue. And so that gives more room for other issues to come up. So I actually think we are, we are actually at the beginning of a period where we're gonna be returning back to what we saw prior to 2016. Now, I'll give you an example from Britain Immigration, people's concern over immigration, which had risen steadily up until the Brexit vote then went into substantial decline because a, the government had to implement Brexit, it had to worry about the economy, then the pandemic hit. Now we've got cost of living cuz of the Ukraine, Russia war. But now what's occurred, there's been very high immigration and just in the last little while immigration's shot back up the agenda, um, I would predict this is gonna happen in Europe as well. Speaker 1 00:40:57 And these questions, no, they absolutely haven't gone away. Not only that, they've been overlayed by the secondary culture wars battle over speech boundaries, over critical race and gender theory, which I think is mapping on top of these battles over immigration and diversity. So I would predict now it might be Ron DeSantis instead of Trump, for example. I think Trump himself and his, his personal characteristics and perhaps some of, you know, his obsession with his image and things and, and questioning the election and all this sort of stuff, no doubt had an impact on how well the Republicans did. But I think if you see a person like DeSantis in there, um, he will be pushing these issues just as hard and I think we'll probably have success with them. Speaker 0 00:41:41 All right. Now, one of the very interesting dynamics, uh, that you talked about, I I mentioned up at the top, uh, if you are interested actually in less government, less redistribution. Um, but let's look at the flip side of that. Uh, if you are, uh, progressive and, and you want more spending and more government intervention and regulation on climate change, let's talk a little bit about the relationship between rapid immigration driven demographic change and social trust and how does that play into the progressive dilemma that you describe in your book? Speaker 1 00:42:22 Right. So this is really a debate which I, I, Robert Putnam, the Harvard political scientist raised, he kept seeing in the data and now it's very well established is areas that are more diverse, let's say a a a local neighborhood. The higher the diversity level, the lower people's trust in each other, that is if you ask people how much do you, how much can people be trusted? If you left a wallet on the street, would it be returned? And even people have done experiments where they leave wallets on the street, right? And so in all of these measures, you get a lower trust outcome in a more diverse community. Now, what's less clear is what happens at the national level because you can have diversity, but it's very pop, you know, very concentrated in certain urban areas and most populations unaffected. Um, what, but, but so it's not yet clear whether the greater diversity at the, at the national level feeds into loss of trust at the national level. Speaker 1 00:43:23 However, we do see relationships between, for example, greater diversity at the national level leading perhaps to, uh, the rise of populism and, and that rise of populism partly being predicated on low trust in elites, which is partly based on their inability to handle immigration. And so I do think there is a, a relationship between this increase in diversity, uh, that is the immigration outrun, the ability of the society to assimilate and melt, uh, that population. I think that that does seem to be related to the rise of populism and the rise of polarization. Now polarization, for example, it's not just the United States. Canada for example, is now I would argue as polarizes as the United States. If you, if you look at, for example, conservative voters in Canada approval of Justin Trudeau, it is typically in low single digits and has been for a long time. Speaker 1 00:44:22 That is in many ways more extreme even than in the United States. Republicans approval of Biden would be marginally higher than that or, or switching between parties. Uh, now is becoming extremely rare between switching between the conservatives and say the liberals or the ndp, which is the more left socialist party. So I think we're, we're getting, and, and issues are defined increasingly along cultural lines where it's harder to reach agreements. You know, it's harder to reach an agreement on whether to raise or lower the Canadian flag in response to what is perceived to be some kind of issue with indigenous genocide. That's largely, I think, an incorrect read of history. But those issues are much harder to compromise on than the tax rate where people can say, okay, you want it higher, I want it lower. We'll, we'll have a fudge in the middle. Um, and so yeah, I think that there is this relationship between, and it's not strictly speaking the diversity leading to the polarization. Speaker 1 00:45:20 What it is, it is the diversity and, and different attitudes towards the diversity amongst largely the white majority. So the polarization is much more intense within the white population, say in the us uh, African Americans are not particularly polarized, whereas white Americans are, uh, very polarized. And so it's polarization on racial attitudes, not polarization. It's not about white versus black, it's about attitudes to black lives matter. Do you, are you, are you against it? Are you for it? That's the kind of thing that really polarizes, but it has a second order relationship to issues that are around identity. Speaker 0 00:45:58 So, uh, you have talked about how people are less concerned with the economic implications of mass immigration than they are about the rate of cultural change and such concerns historically, uh, have been dismissed, um, or even condemned xenophobic or racist. So what might such knee-jerk reactions miss? For example, you've looked at research that shows, uh, preference or solidarity with one's own ethnic group, uh, does not necessarily equate with an antipathy for another group. Is, is that correct? Speaker 1 00:46:42 Right. Yeah. So, so there tends to be a very knee jerk reaction, particularly on the progressive side to discussing these issues. It's a bit like, so instead of talking about people wanting change faster or slower, the way it's collapsed into this, this dichotomy of you're either an open person or a closed person, if you don't like the rate of change that exists, now you are a closed person. Instead of saying, well, there's a, there's a continuum between people who want it faster and slower and people are on different points on that continuum and we have to meet somewhere in the middle. It's, if you disagree with me, if you are a closed person, then you are a deplorable or you know, that sort of approach, which is very polarizing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and, and if we look at this issue also of attachment to own group, so my own research would show for example, that something like racial identification is very much an outgrowth of ethnic identification. Speaker 1 00:47:41 So if you ask somebody in the US let's say, how attached are you to being Irish? If they're of Irish background, uh, the stronger their attachment to being Irish, the stronger their attachment to being white. Because white is sort of European, which is a bit like an outer skin of an onion to the inner skin, which is Irish. You can do the same thing for, uh, Hispanic American. How attached are you to being Cuban? The more attached you are to being Cuban, the more attached you are to being Hispanic. It's not actually that mysterious and it works the same way across all groups. Um, so yes, it's a bit like extended family. Some people are into their extended family that's meaningful. For others it's not meaningful. Uh, both of those should be fine. And, and they also, I should say, aren't related to hatred or antipathy to outgroups. Speaker 1 00:48:26 So in, in the US American National Election study, which is the gold standard political science data set, uh, people are asked to give a thermometer rating zero to a hundred, how cold or warm are you towards a whole bunch of groups. And, and so the warmer you are, if, if you're a white American, the warmer you are towards white people, actually the slightly warmer you are towards black people or Hispanic people. So there doesn't seem to be this relationship that, you know, if you feel really warm to white people, you're really cold to black and Hispanic people. Well, it doesn't work that way. And, and actually the psychology literature where they've been doing experiments on this for a long time, makes this very clear that in group attachment and outgroup hatred are separate dispositions except where you've got a war going on or direct conflict over resources. And so for example, if you feel really warmly toward the Republicans, yes, you feel cooler towards the Democrats. That's a zero sum relationship in the data. But black, white or, or black or white Hispanic, that's not a a zero sum relationship. And, and yet so often we see these two things lighted and conflated and it's very, it just sort of makes it impossible to have a sort of rational discussion. Speaker 0 00:49:37 I I can imagine, yeah, people calling you racist or xenophobic it, uh, it's not a really, uh, good icebreaker for a production compensation. So, yeah. Um, so, and so what are the downstream possible consequences when people calling for slower immigration, uh, or or less rapid ethnic, uh, change when, when those voices are more marginalized and stigmatized? Speaker 1 00:50:09 Well, I think so, so the first obvious thing that happens is the rise of populism because the mainstream parties are caged in by these speech norms. Fabulous. And the main, yeah, so the mainstream Republicans or conservatives in Britain, you know, if they feel they can't really address this, then the only people that will address it are Nigel Farage or, or, or Donald Trump or a figure who is willing to walk across that red line. Now of course, it's tricky because sometimes you do need to have a red line. You know, there was George Wallace who wanted segregation and, and the main part has said no, and they were right to say no. And eventually public opinion, uh, came and followed. But I, I think the progressives think in this case, well, we'll just follow that script and we'll just, um, make immigration a toxic subject and then lo and behold, everyone will have to sort of come to our side. But that's not really the way it's turning out with this issue. Cause it's not the same sort of issue as discriminating against people within your own country. This is more about access to membership and at what level it's a different type of question. And so, um, yeah, I would say that the, the results of suppressing that debate is more populous and more polarization, Speaker 0 00:51:21 Uh, and potentially violence right down the road, Speaker 1 00:51:25 Potentially violence too. I mean, there is this question about, you know, radical white nationalist terrorism. Well, and, and, and what we see interestingly is there seems to be an inverse relationship, say between the rise of national populism when national populism is doing well, there seems to be a lower rate of radical white nationalist terrorism that it's not to say there's a very strong correlation, but that seems to be the relationship. So where you have a democratic outlet for some of this sentiment, you'll get less of a, it seems like you get less of a violent element. Um, and I, and I think that this is, this is an example perhaps of where it's better to air these issues. Now, ideally, I would not have the populace taking this on because with the populace, you don't know what you'll get. You might get somebody who's got a lot of problems like a Trump or like, you know, even Sini in Italy, some of the things that he said about immigrants really are counterproductive and racist. Speaker 1 00:52:24 So you've gotta lose canon when you're dealing with popule. You really ideally want to have this within a mainstream party as a, a perspective mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you want accommodation and bargaining over, um, where the level should be now without that. Yeah, you're right, it does introduce, and it also introduces more alienation into the system, more anti-elitist if the elites are perceived on, all the institutions are perceived as upholding this taboo, which is seen as illegitimate, then that de legitimates a lot of the institutions. And we're seeing a little bit of this also around these questions of speech boundaries and critical race and gender. If that's being compounded in schools and incorporations and in government agencies, then those lose trusts. And so, uh, some of the, the findings now about, uh, Republican voters have lost a lot of trust in, uh, media, in universities and schools in a way that wasn't true even say five, 10 years ago. Um, and so that's also not a good thing. Ideally, you want the citizenry to trust the institutions and the elite institutions of the society, Speaker 0 00:53:32 And you want those institutions to be trustworthy too. Right, Speaker 1 00:53:36 Right. Speaker 0 00:53:37 Um, alright, we just have a couple more minutes and I wanna, you know, we've looked back. I wanna look forward. You've called for something, uh, that you term multi vocalism as opposed to multiculturalism or modern civic nationalism. So what are the differences and how might multi vocalism facilitate a more harmonious white shift, if you will? Speaker 1 00:54:00 Well, yeah, so, so this really refers to the national identities. This is the territorial political cultural unit, the United States, for example, as opposed to say, white Americans, which is the ethnic majority. But if we think about national identity as say American, um, part of my argument here is people depending on their ethnic group and their politics are, are going to have a different picture of what's important to them. And, and we see this, for example, you know, people on the left in Britain or America, they're gonna value diversity and immigration as more important national symbols. They are going to say that this is what makes, you know, what makes America is, is the, the ethnic diversity. That will be something that is gonna appeal more to a Democrat and especially a liberal Democrat. Whereas somebody who's in a Republican might value, for example, landscape and history, even to some degree the, the, um, traditional ethnic composition of the country. Speaker 1 00:54:57 Some of these more slow changing, uh, elements are gonna be more important for them. Um, and I think that's actually okay. I mean, you can, my view with multi vocalism is everybody's oriented towards the nation that they're living in, not a homeland somewhere else. So it's not multiculturalism, but I think it's perhaps only natural that people in different parts of the country from different ethnic backgrounds or political backgrounds are gonna be attached to different symbols in the national mix and construct their sense of nation differently. Um, so allowing people to have a different route. So there are many ways to be American, many ways to be British or French or whatever. Um, but what's been occurring, I would argue, is an attempt to shut down certain ways of being. Particularly those people who identify with being many generations in the country or identify with landscape or particular aspects of history, like the arrival of, you know, the Mayflower or, or Western settlement. They try to say that's not a legitimate way to be American. Whereas I, what I would say is actually it is a legitimate way as long as you accept that other people have different ways of being American, that should be perfectly tolerable. Um, and so I think that's my plea for tolerance of different ways of being national, Speaker 0 00:56:12 Which fits perfectly into the open objectiveism that we practice here and promote at the Out society. So this has been fantastic. Again, appreciate it. I know it is late over there in the uk, professor Kaufman. Again, folks, the book is White Shift, populism, immigration, and the Future of White Majorities. I know I promote all of the books, uh, of the authors that we interview here, but you're not gonna regret this one. So I highly recommend the links are in our various feeds, so I really appreciate it. Thank you Professor Kaufman. Speaker 1 00:56:51 Thanks very much. Thanks for your time, Jennifer. Speaker 0 00:56:54 All right. And I wanna thank all of you who joined us, uh, for this 130th episode of the Atla Society. Asks, apologies if I didn't get to, uh, all of your questions. As you could see, I was really into this topic and, uh, if it's any consolation, I had twice as many questions that I wasn't able to get to. Um, so thanks for joining us. If you enjoy this kind of content, the research and the work that we put into it, please consider making a donation to the Out Society tax deductible. Uh, it's that time of year, and please be sure to tune in next week when Dr. Aaron Kati, uh, will join us to discuss his book, the New Abnormal Rise of the Biomedical Security State. On the next episode of the Atla Society asks, thank you.

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