Capitalism and Diversity

Socialism and diversity are all the rage in politics today. Yet the two do not go together. Ever. In fact, those who preach the benefits and value of diversity ought to extol how free markets create diversity and help sustain it.

The history of the battle between free economics and collectivized, or controlled, economics is also a battle between diversity and ethnic homogenization. From ancient times to the present, cities and lands that were purveyors of open economics were also diverse and multicultural places. The inverse is true of all the places that practiced closed and collectivized forms of economics. The simple verdict of economics and history is that free economics leads to diversity and controlled economics—beyond stifling economic prosperity—leads to the eradication of diversity.

Ancient Athens was a diverse and multilingual place. Why? Because Athens was a center of commerce and trade in the ancient Mediterranean World. In Pericles’ funeral oration, imagined by Thucydides in his History of the Peloponnesian War, talks about how Athens was a city free and open to the world. Her traders went to faraway lands and returned with a great variety of goods and exotic riches, along with allowing for foreign cities to establish trade outposts in Athens to help facilitate international commerce.

The same was true of Carthage, Rome, and Constantinople, and eventually Venice and Genoa during the Renaissance. From Antiquity to the birth of modernity, the cities that were centers of international commerce and trade were remarkably diverse and multicultural. Constantinople famously had multiple ethnic quarters and traders often needed half a dozen interpreters to barter and trade in the marketplace. Renaissance Italy and southern France were diverse places because the cities with their ports opened to the world saw a great influx of not only goods but diverse peoples to facilitate trade and commerce.

The ascendancy of Northwest Europe was not so much due to the adoption of the Protestant religion, as some like to argue, but the adoption of open and free systems of commerce and trade. Hugo Grotius, the great Dutch theologian and philosopher, is perhaps best remembered for his articulation that international free trade is demanded by natural law. When Amsterdam followed his advice, it became the center of global commerce before being superseded by London.

New York City has long been the multicultural metropolis of the New World. In the years of early settlement and early America, New York City contained Dutch, French, Swedish, German, and, of course, English and American peoples and traders. The economic opportunities of New York City brought people from faraway lands to its fabled isle of gold streets and endless opportunities.

The antithesis to Athens was Sparta. Sparta, beyond being militaristic, was the first quasi-communist ethnostate in the world. The Spartans were extreme collectivists and were not open to outsiders. They rejected help from their fellow Greeks, the Athenians most especially, and ruled over their society with an iron fist and will. Where Athens was a city of “daring, progress, and the arts,” Sparta was a city of collectivized agriculture, a militaristic elite, and a servile underclass.

Before the Russian Revolution transformed Russia into a totalitarian state, lively cities like Saint Petersburg became hollow cities bereft of the former foreign quarters and diverse populations which fueled its development. The Protestant and Catholic churches that had been constructed to serve the need of Europeans of other religious affiliations during their travel and business enterprises closed and were destroyed by the Bolsheviks who equally purged all non-Russians. (Not to mention that the other Europeans were regarded as decadent ideologues of the bourgeoisie.)

Likewise, Havana was a sprawling city of diversity in the middle of the treasure trove that was the Caribbean. Havana was the city of gold beyond being a multicultural haven that drew peoples from all over the world to its magnificent beaches and hotels. After the socialist revolution that swept the island, Castro’s revolution also saw the end of multicultural Havana. The diverse peoples fled or were compelled to leave by force. Others were “assimilated” in the name of anti-racism, including the banning of Afro-Caribbean hairstyles and barring practitioners of traditional religion from joining the Communist Party as, ironically, the means of their liberation and movement into an “equal” society.

Socialists would retort that these cities were suffering under capitalist tyranny. Such arguments shift the empirical and historical reality that free economics always coincides with diversification and multiculturalism, while controlled and collectivized economics—in other words, socialist economics—see the purgation of formerly diverse cities into hollow homogenous ethnostate hellholes or, in other instances, the once vibrant diverse quarters slid into a quiet death.

The fact that self-described “socialists” in America are blind to this reality testifies to their ignorance. Those who like diversity, as most socialists claim, ought to be the biggest supporters of the free market. For one of the fruits of the free market is diversity. Instead, if their economic programs were ever to be implanted as they would like, they would see the mass destruction of the diversity and multiculturalism which they claim to champion. Likewise, proponents of isolation and protectionist economic policies generally know that such policies tend to stymie, or prevent, diversification and multiculturalization.

Everywhere that market economies have been adopted, diversity and multiculturalism have followed. Everywhere where collectivized and controlled economics has been imposed by revolution, diversity and multiculturalism have been destroyed. Irony and reality, of course, are always lost to the fanatically blind and the ignorantly ideological. Michel Foucault, who realized this late in his life, became a champion of California capitalism for precisely this reason; and because capitalism and homosexuality often go hand-in-hand.

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