https://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haid ... erica_heal
Video and full transcript
Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the morals that form the basis of our political choices. In conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, he describes the patterns of thinking and historical causes that have led to such sharp divisions in America -- and provides a vision for how the country might move forward.
I've select excerpts that relate to one aspect of globalism -- immigration.
JH: So this is, I think, where we're getting at what's possibly the new left-right distinction. I mean, the left-right as we've all inherited it, comes out of the labor versus capital distinction, and the working class, and Marx. But I think what we're seeing now, increasingly, is a divide in all the Western democracies between the people who want to stop at nation, the people who are more parochial -- and I don't mean that in a bad way -- people who have much more of a sense of being rooted, they care about their town, their community and their nation. And then those who are anti-parochial and who -- whenever I get confused, I just think of the John Lennon song "Imagine." "Imagine there's no countries, nothing to kill or die for." And so these are the people who want more global governance, they don't like nation states, they don't like borders. You see this all over Europe as well. There's a great metaphor guy -- actually, his name is Shakespeare -- writing ten years ago in Britain. He had a metaphor: "Are we drawbridge-uppers or drawbridge-downers?"
CA: And so, those of us who grew up with The Beatles and that sort of hippie philosophy of dreaming of a more connected world -- it felt so idealistic and "how could anyone think badly about that?" And what you're saying is that, actually, millions of people today feel that that isn't just silly; it's actually dangerous and wrong, and they're scared of it.
JH: I think the big issue, especially in Europe but also here, is the issue of immigration. And I think this is where we have to look very carefully at the social science about diversity and immigration. Once something becomes politicized, once it becomes something that the left loves and the right -- then even the social scientists can't think straight about it. Now, diversity is good in a lot of ways. It clearly creates more innovation. The American economy has grown enormously from it. Diversity and immigration do a lot of good things. But what the globalists, I think, don't see, what they don't want to see, is that ethnic diversity cuts social capital and trust.
There's a very important study by Robert Putnam, the author of "Bowling Alone," looking at social capital databases. And basically, the more people feel that they are the same, the more they trust each other, the more they can have a redistributionist welfare state. Scandinavian countries are so wonderful because they have this legacy of being small, homogenous countries. And that leads to a progressive welfare state, a set of progressive left-leaning values, which says, "Drawbridge down! The world is a great place. People in Syria are suffering -- we must welcome them in." And it's a beautiful thing. But if, and I was in Sweden this summer, if the discourse in Sweden is fairly politically correct and they can't talk about the downsides, you end up bringing a lot of people in. That's going to cut social capital, it makes it hard to have a welfare state and they might end up, as we have in America, with a racially divided, visibly racially divided, society. So this is all very uncomfortable to talk about. But I think this is the thing, especially in Europe and for us, too, we need to be looking at.
JH: Yes, but I can make it much more palatable by saying it's not necessarily about race. It's about culture. There's wonderful work by a political scientist named Karen Stenner, who shows that when people have a sense that we are all united, we're all the same, there are many people who have a predisposition to authoritarianism. Those people aren't particularly racist when they feel as through there's not a threat to our social and moral order. But if you prime them experimentally by thinking we're coming apart, people are getting more different, then they get more racist, homophobic, they want to kick out the deviants. So it's in part that you get an authoritarian reaction. The left, following through the Lennonist line -- the John Lennon line -- does things that create an authoritarian reaction.
... But the more positive part of that is that I think the localists, or the nationalists, are actually right -- that, if you emphasize our cultural similarity, then race doesn't actually matter very much. So an assimilationist approach to immigration removes a lot of these problems. And if you value having a generous welfare state, you've got to emphasize that we're all the same.
Haidt goes into more and different aspects of this topic in this 2016 keynote address to the APA