Monday, January 24, 2011
  Jane Jacobs needed

Sociologist Jane Jacobs (and many others) have used a sort of A/B experiment to distinguish innate characteristics of an ethnic group from the characteristics forced by their usual rulers.

Find two cohesive communities of the same group, living under very different kinds of government. Ask: do these people fail at home and flourish in diaspora? If so, their usual native government is the limiting factor.

Or do they perform roughly the same in both places? If so, their own characteristics are the limiting factor.

Korea is the purest laboratory-quality experiment. Not even a diaspora, so geography and weather aren't variables. Same people on the same land, divided in half by an arbitrary boundary; horrible government imposed on one half, decent government on the other. Under horrible government they simply starved. Under decent government, they became the most competent country in the world.

Chinese are the classic example of better performance outside the native land. Their native government has been oppressive most of the time, stifling progress. When they gather in other countries, they quickly show all kinds of superior talents for business and science. Thus the problem (until very recently) has been the government.

Africans are the opposite. Native governments in Africa are oppressive, but Africans in other countries are still corrupt, unintelligent and violent. Crime rates in black communities of the West are identical to crime rates in natively-ruled African countries. Thus the problem is innate characteristics.

= = = = =

After anguishing over the "Fighting Hamster" clip, I started thinking about Slavs in this context. Clearly the native Russian gov't has been consistently oppressive for many centuries, with a peak of nastiness during the Soviet era. The alcohol-fueled demographic suicide of Russia is an obvious result. But what happens when they gather elsewhere?

Spokane should be a good experiment for some Jane Jacobs type. Since 1989, Spokane went from zero Slavic to 15% "fresh" Slavic. The local Russians (and Bosnians, Ukranians, etc) don't stand out. They haven't taken over the drunk tank; they work very hard, start small businesses, and keep their houses neat. Aside from language and sometimes costume, the only way you can spot them is by the smoke!

This webpage caught my attention as a sort of icon ... or should that be икон? ... of Slavic flowering in this area. Look at the top picture. Now compare with Fighting Hamster.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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