With news that Queensland Islamic authorities are urging their followers to vote “No” to same sex marriage, the levels of cognitive dissonance among many on the left are starting to become painful. It’s now undeniable that a grand coalition of everyone who isn’t a rich, straight white male is an untenable concept. This essay examines why.
For the past couple of decades, leftist groups across the world have looked for solidarity on the basis of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This logic has inspired the “tolerant left” to make a show of solidarity towards any and all groups that had a grudge against the people running the world – commonly agreed to be rich, straight, white men.
This has led to the left adopting the idea of inclusiveness as a moral virtue. Any and all alliances with people who hated the Establishment had to be entertained. It didn’t matter if they were women, gay, black, Muslim or anything else, just as long as they wanted to overturn the status quo.
However, this grand political dream to remake the world in one’s image fell apart, as such schemes inevitably do, because it ran into inexorable silver laws of psychology.
It can be stated as a psychological rule that, the larger and more diverse any given group, the weaker the bonds of solidarity that hold it together will be, and the smaller and more pure any given group, the stronger those bonds of solidarity will be.
This is obviously true if we look at the extremes. At one far extreme we could consider the nuclear family to be the smallest group with the strongest solidarity. Parents are often ready to kill if that is necessary to protect their offspring, and “brother” is used as a gesture of common bonds in all kinds of ideological movements, so it’s easy to see how this small, extremely exclusive group has the highest solidarity.
The reason why you can’t just let a random person into your family and have them considered one of you is because this would increase the degree of diversity of the group to the point where such extremely strong bonds of solidarity are no longer tenable because the necessary level of trust isn’t there.
The obvious reason for this is because the already existing members of the family have next to nothing in common with a random person, so there’s no special reason to trust them.
At the the other far extreme we could consider the human species to be the largest group with the weakest solidarity. Indeed, we can see here that people generally don’t care at all if they hear that someone on the other side of the world died, unless that person had something in common with them, such as a native language or racial origin.
Further evidence for this can be observed if we place the nation states along a line with a familial level of solidarity (highly discriminating and strong) at one end and a universal level of solidarity (undiscriminating and weak) at the other.
Here it can be seen that the nations that cast the net of citizenship over an extremely broad set of different people (USA, Brazil, South Africa, Russia) have the lowest levels of solidarity, measured by the unwillingness of the wealthy to contribute to the communal welfare in the form of taxes, and by the willingness with which the poor use lethal violence on other citizens.
It can also be seen that the nations that cast this net more exclusively, such as only over a small, homogenous ethnic group (Scandinavia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Canada), have the highest levels of solidarity, measured by an egalitarian culture and low levels of interpersonal violence.
Fitting this trend, countries with moderate levels of diversity (Argentina, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Chile) are in the middle.
There’s no escaping this silver law: the more inclusive the group, the weaker the bonds of solidarity, and the less inclusive the group, the stronger the bonds of solidarity.
The idea of trying to include as many people in the wider group as possible is essentially a feminine idea, and this is why it is generally associated with the left. It’s a form of horizontalisation that seeks to remove all distinctions from people in order to homogenise us into an easily malleable ball of putty.
However, we can now see the limitations of it. The motivation behind this idea is ostensibly to avoid making people feel bad on account of being excluded, but the flipside of it is that no-one ever feels good on account of being included.
This has led to a situation where Muslim immigrants, considered by the trend-setters among the left to be allies on account of a mutual Christian enemy, will vote against the rights of other leftist allies if those allies are homosexuals. It is a tremendous irony that these religious fundamentalists, allowed into the country because of a desire to display the virtue of tolerance, do not share the belief in the value of that tolerance, and so are now acting to maintain intolerance towards groups they consider outsiders.
With the recent wave of immigration having made our societies much more diverse, we have correspondingly lost much of the solidarity that used to provide us with a sense of society and community. The net has been cast so wide, thanks to a fanatical ideology that believes it can erase all human uniqueness, that it cannot keep hold of what it covers.
In other words, the inevitable consequence of trying to treat everyone like your brother is that your brother can no longer count on a brotherly level of exclusive solidarity from you, and will have to settle for much less. People who believe that inclusiveness is necessarily a virtue might therefore want to be careful what they wish for.