Diversity & Democracy

Food for Thought

According to a video I watched, Lebanon’s economy was falling apart even before the massive explosion, mainly because of political corruption where every religious sect tried to gain at the expense of the others. Many who can flee are fleeing the country, including doctors and nurses.

It seems that many nations who have trouble organizing themselves share this problem where lack of power or lawlessness is taken as an opportunity to gain at the expense of others. Apparently, this is happening now in South Africa also.

We speak of “diversity” as a virtue, but, in most cases, it leads to this type of situation; the diversity of values, beliefs, religions, and political views divide the country into multiple groups without mutual respect. In such a nation, empowering people will inevitably lead to corruption because they only care about their own groups. Democracy would not work. It would require a militant dictator to keep everyone in line.

Japan, on the other hand, is a highly homogenous society where looting or violence is rarely seen even after major natural disasters. There are no out-groups they can exploit, and the social consequences of exploiting their neighbors are severe. It’s easy for them to organize themselves even without strong leadership. Lack of diversity has its disadvantages but, it’s certainly advantageous for security and stability.

I believe diversity worked in the US because Americans needed each other in order to survive. Even beyond survival, living under the mature gaze of Europeans, Americans had to rely on one another to grow up fast and prove themselves. They had no choice but to set their differences aside and help each other.

But unfortunately, this is changing. The contempt and disrespect between liberals and conservatives, I’m afraid, have reached a point of no return. I’m not sure if it’s repairable. Given any disaster that could cause a power vacuum, I could imagine people looting the businesses and homes of outgroups because they are only too happy to see them perish, and they are likely to blame each other for the disaster too.

I’m not sure if America is still capable of managing its diversity.