Links from Across the Pond, 11/13
Matt Goodwin on borders; Ian Leslie on Audience Capture; Conor Fitzgerald on Feminization; Rob Henderson on how women and men fight differently;
the vast majority of voters are not liberal progressive cosmopolitans who are comfortable living in a borderless world but see themselves instead as national citizens who want to live in a national community which has strong and safe borders.
Most people view national borders as a law-and-order issue. They cannot trust a government that tolerates illegal immigration to stop any other form of crime.
If the cosmopolitans want to encourage legal immigration, there are plenty of policies that can serve that purpose. But choosing to side with illegal immigrants is not going to make you popular.
The next two are courtesy of Ed West.writes,
During the Covid-19 pandemic, scientific experts acquired audiences on Twitter, often made up people predisposed to agree with their basic stance. Pessimists acquired pessimistic followers; optimists acquired optimists. These camps soon became markers of identity, just like pop stars or football clubs are for their fans. That in turn made the experts more rigid in thinking and coarser in expression, since the surest route to growing an audience was to cultivate its sense of righteousness. It’s not that the experts necessarily thought about it this way; they simply learned what felt rewarding what did not. To stray from the audience’s expectations was to invite harsh criticism and abuse. It was more gratifying, and less scary, to give the audience what it wanted.
…To summarise, the modern audience is wilful, relentless, entitled, quick to judge, and prone to extreme opinions. It is a mercurial bully, and it’s the boss.
…These days, we all have an audience to please. It consists of the people we know are following us online, and of the strangers who might see what we post, an audience which may only be conceptual but which exerts a force on us nonetheless. Who knows who, or how many, might come across your next selfie, hot take, or video?
The anxiety generated by this omnipresent audience is acute for those who have yet to develop the inner resources necessary to cope with its demands. Teenagers and young adults, perhaps girls in particular, feel constantly subject to the gaze of multiple others of mysterious number, as in a reverse panopticon. They desire compliments, likes and shares, but even if they get them in abundance, they are haunted by their opposites: criticisms, withheld likes, zero shares.
Consider subscribing to Ian’s newsletter.Conor Fitzgerald writes,
The story of the increase in the number of people being educated, and the increase in the importance of education is fundamentally a story about women. Education has disproportionately uplifted women into the ranks of the “well-credentialed”. If “professional class” as used in this article as a synonym for “educated”, then it is also increasingly synonymous with “women”, as is “highly educated liberal”.
…This article describes the differences in how Men and Women bully (with links to a number of supporting studies). It summarises the differences as:
“Females tend to bully other people indirectly or by using relational aggression. This type of bullying usually includes verbal assaults, ostracizing, spreading rumors, and gossiping—the epitome of mean behavior. Moreover, people that engage in relational aggression disguise their bullying and act in more passive-aggressive ways, which makes this type of bullying more difficult to spot… When it comes to bullying behavior, males tend to choose more physically aggressive methods than females.”
…But it's not clear to me that the primary beneficiaries of polarisation along Sex lines are women. I’m not a feminist but it seems many parts of the culture war waged from the left (and therefore covered by this process) have been weaponsied by individual men for their own interests, or against women's interests.
In his conclusion, he writes,
I can’t be the only person who reads this description of Mean Girl behaviour and notices how it much sounds like the behaviour of Twitter journalists, activists and academics towards their enemies and disfavoured members of their own in-group. The extreme ends of Covid restrictionist enthusisasm and resistance provided some fantastic examples of this process.
females were more likely to say they had been the recipients of indirect aggression (e.g., social exclusion; “wouldn’t pass me the ball during the game,” “teammates went to a restaurant without telling me,” and so on). Unsurprisingly, males were more likely to say that the aggression they received was physical, whereas females were more likely to report that the aggression they experienced was verbal.
A key finding from these studies is that compared to male athletes, female athletes were more likely to experience any form of aggression from their own teammates during a game.
I take the view that men and women have different playing styles. Men like rules and clear criteria for status. You’re either a legal immigrant or you’re not. Women like more informal ways of policing groups. Alice is ok, but I don’t like Barbara (because she is a threat), so we’re not going to let Barbara join our club. I think that for large-scale groups formal rules and clear criteria for status work better than ganging up on someone who offends some people’s sensibilities.
One pragmatic argument against stringent immigration enforcement is that it is likely to fail and backfire for the same reasons the War on Some Drugs has failed and backfired. It fits the template in several ways:
1. The law you're trying to enforce is a malum prohibitum, not a malum in se. You can argue there are indirect bad effects from uncontrolled immigration, and you can argue the same about drugs. But in both cases, the mere act of violating the law is not a harm to others in itself, and the majority of lawbreakers are no threat to anyone.
2. Employing unauthorized immigrants, like selling drugs, is a transaction with willing buyer and willing seller, no direct victims (see (1)), and high economic incentive to conceal. That inherently makes it hard to crack down on, and increases the probability that crackdowns will lead not just to cruelty but to capriciousness and corruption.
3. More generally, it is hard to enforce a law against something that lends itself to both tremendous ingenuity in smuggling tactics and tremendous profits from successful smuggling.
All of these considerations also argue against gun bans; and I have had some success arguing this way against gun-banning with people who do not believe that there is a moral right to gun ownership for self-defense or that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.
1) The electorate would not agree to higher legal immigration amounts (they would also change the nature of immigration, like source country).
Therefore, illegal immigration is “necessary” if you want higher immigration.
The thing to question there is if it’s really “necessary”.
2) While it’s true that higher immigration has some domestic winners on some timescale, I think the main driver of tolerating illegal immigration is the main driver of tolerating crime in general. Nobody wants to do “cruel” things to poor brown people. But the only way to prevent at activity is for the likelihood and magnitude of punishment to exceed the perceived gains of the crime. If moving to America really is worth millions to immigrants, only drastic punishments are going to dissuade.