Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Most of this Telegraph article is nonsense: a bunch of luvvy clowns "backed by the Dalai Lama" coming up with daft prescriptions for how we can be happier like "Connect with People", "Do Things for Others".

This part, though, the only part that is based on actual scientific research, is interesting.
Its study – based on the latest scientific research from around the world – defines trust as a “major determinant of happiness in a society”, but warns that the proportion of Britons who believe most of our peers can be trusted has fallen from 60 per cent to 30 per cent over the past half century.


The reason for this loss of trust is painfully obvious. Much of the country has been colonised by third worlders. As the American social scientist Robert Putnam has documented, as diversity increases, trust decreases. People withdraw into themselves. There is no such thing as a diverse community.

Cohesive societies are based on a myriad of things that we never consciously think about, commonalities between people that are simply taken for granted, or social capital as Putnam calls it. But when the third worlders start arriving, we can no longer take them for granted. Trust falls. Community spirit dies. This is one reason why Dave's idiotic Big Society idea is doomed. You don't fill a country up with alien colonists then expect people to launch spontaneous street parties to celebrate the fact. We already had a Big Society. It was called Britain. They killed it.

2 comments:

Johnny Rottenborough said...

Good post. I have lots of favourite Putnam quotes but this is a gem: ‘The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.’

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

Weirdly this comment was classified as spam by the system. I've only just noticed it. Thanks for the link.

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