The Perils of Diversity: Immigration and Human Nature by Byron M. Roth

Steve Sailer writes:

I’ve written about immigration roughly every couple of weeks for eleven years now. So I’m constantly confronted by the fear that, after a half million or so words, there can’t possibly be anything left to say. But the subject of who and how many populate a country is so far-reaching—so fundamentally tied to innumerable questions—that in fact inspiration is unfailing.

That immigration is the most intellectually stimulating of all political topics is demonstrated by Byron M. Roth’s ambitious new book, The Perils of Diversity: Immigration and Human Nature. Roth, a professor of psychology emeritus at Dowling College in New York, has written a sober, yet sobering summa on immigration.

F. Roger Devlin writes:

The seismic shift now transforming the demographics of Europe and the United States is likely to leave a more permanent mark on our civilization than even the two world wars of the last century. The survivors of those conflicts returned to a life that was poorer than before, but otherwise much the same. This is never the case when one ethnic group displaces another. Barring wide-spread violence, the effects of large-scale immigration are irreversible. Byron Roth is therefore right to note in The Perils of Diversity that our current pattern of immigration is therefore “of world historical significance that will affect future generations for centuries to come.”

Mr. Roth, who is professor emeritus of psychology at Dowling College on Long Island, offers us a cornucopia of information and argument about the threat immigration poses to our civilization. Three chapters summarize the relevant racial science, three longer chapters recount the history of immigration to America and Europe, and the conclusion predicts the consequences of current trends. Though long and ambitious, The Perils of Diversity reads easily, and rewards the reader with a thorough grasp of the crisis we face.

I call Dr. Roth Wednesday morning.

Luke: “What led you to write this book?”

Byron: “I wasn’t that much interested in immigration as my belief that contrary to most social scientists who believe that society shapes human beings, I’ve long believed that societies reflect the human beings living in them. Societies have to accommodate the strengths and weaknesses of their human populations. I developed that idea. I started writing about it ten years ago. Immigration was becoming an important issue. America was changing dramatically.”

“If you believe that the nature of a people determines the nature of society, if you change the people, you are going to change society.”

“I started teaching [Psychology] in 1967. I came out of graduate school wrapped up in behavioristic thinking and a little bit of Freudian thinking, but shortly after I began teaching, it’s hard to say things that sound foolish, I soon realized that none of these theories that were popular held any water.”

According to

Behaviorism can perhaps be best summed up by the following quote from the famous psychologist John B. Watson:

“Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select — doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.”
–John Watson, Behaviorism, 1930

Byron: “I was very influenced by two books that came out in the mid ’70s — Sociobiology by E.O. Wilson and The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. I started using them in my classes. The more I studied them, the more I became convinced that they were correct. And I’m even more convinced now.”

Luke: “What percentage of your peers held similar views?”

Byron: “It depends on what you mean by ‘peers.’ If you mean social psychologists, maybe 5%. If you define peers by people who share similar interests in literature, I’d say probably half, but it’s growing, particularly in anthropology and sociology. People are recognizing the value of the evolutionary approaches… The discovery of specific genes that have specific effects on intelligence and law-abidingness, it’s becoming harder to deny that genetics plays a major role in individual behavior, and if you have culture-wide genetic patterns, they are bound to influence the culture. If you have a society in which a lot of people are more prone to criminality than other societies, you are going to have to have a different society. A place like Europe, say France, or England, which had a low crime rate, the bobbies didn’t even carry guns until about 20 years ago, they are going to have different problems when they import people who have a greater proportion of people who have a greater propensity to criminal behavior. It takes a while for a society to adjust. I don’t think they’ve adjusted yet in places like France. They haven’t made the understanding they have to change policing techniques and educational processes. In the United States, we still haven’t quite known how to deal with the fact that you have two different populations, blacks and whites, who come to school with different talents and different abilities and their propensities to misbehave. You spend billions of dollars trying to change the gap and the government can’t do it. We have an Attorney General who thinks it is a scandal that black kids get reprimanded more than white kids.”

Luke: “Is the Attorney General similarly troubled by the higher proportion of whites who are disciplinary problems compared to Orientals?”

Byron: “No. When I started studying this stuff, I did cross-country comparisons and the same disparities which exist in the United States, the same rankings in misbehavior and school performance are worldwide. Chinese kids do better in school. Europeans do almost as well, a little more troublesome. Intermediate groups such as Hispanics in the United States, Arabs, South-East Asians, West Asians, don’t do as well. Generally, the females in all these groups that tend to under-perform do better in schools until graduate school. Girls tend to be more well-behaved than boys and accommodate better to institutional settings.”

Luke: “I wonder if Judaism is also a product of the people who created it?”

Byron: “Interesting. I don’t understand the appeal of Orthodox Judaism. The Orthodox Jews are every bit as bright as the secular Jews.”

“Both of my daughters married non-Jews.”

Luke: “Paul Gottfried says the impact of Jews on American culture has been overwhelmingly negative.”

Byron: “On balance, I agree. I don’t like to agree. I’ve read Kevin MacDonald. He’s a creative scholar… I agree with his idea that Jewish culture tends to be an adversarial culture [towards the non-Jewish majority]. I find it unfortunate. I don’t like to say that to my Jewish friends.”

“I was raised in a secular home. Most of my friends were Jewish. At an early age, I began to be annoyed with extreme conformism among my friends. As a reaction, I began to be rebellious and contrary in my thinking and that has influenced my scholarship. Almost always, I take the contrarian view. In most cases, I’ve been correct, especially when it comes to things like genetic affects on human nature and abilities.”

Luke: “It seems that all the major Jewish organizations support immigration amnesty.”

Byron: “Yes. And I am appalled by that. It’s contrary to what most people in the West want. Elite opinion runs contrary to that, and Jews have an important influence on elite opinion. Considering that the largest group of non-European immigrants to Europe are Muslims, many of whom detest Jews and Israel, and make life uncomfortable for Jews in places like Amsterdam, Paris, etc. So not only are the Jewish organizations running counter to popular opinion in their own countries, they are running counter to the interests of their own constituents. That the average Jew doesn’t rebel against it just reinforces my idea that Jews tend to be conformist… Most of the Jews I know go along with that and are very uncomfortable going against the party line.”

“Whenever you have third-world people moving into first-world countries, you have similar problems.”

Luke: “I found Robert Putnam’s research interesting, that [racial] diversity is inversely proportionate to social capital.”

Byron: “I was appalled that he sat on that finding for ten years.”

“The one thing I learned as a young student was that if you do research and it comes contrary to what you expect, you have an obligation more than normal to let your readers know. His results came out different and he sat on it for ten years and he sat on it to try to find a way around it.”

“I have friends in France who looked at my book and were complimentary about the scholarship but they were appalled by my conclusions. They were Jewish, but they reflect [elite opinion]. If they are in elite circles, they have identical attitudes to American liberals. If you talk to the average Frenchman, they’re disgusted about what is going on, just like the average America, but just like the average American, they have no influence. The average citizen of a Western democracy has no influence and no place to turn to find a voice. Good and bad, Jews are influential in elite opinion, even though the number of Jews in places like France are minuscule and yet they have a powerful influence.”

Luke: “How do you explain the comfort perhaps most Jews have with Israel being an ethno-state?”

Byron: “I don’t think most Jews recognize that but because when you bring that up, they look at me with bewilderment. It’s a Jewish state. How could it not be? It’s perfectly legitimate for Jews to want their state to be Jewish and to be ethnically homogeneous but the thought that Europeans might want to have their own ethnic homogeneous mix appalls them as racist, ethnocentric, xenophobic. I’ve never been able to elicit from the Jews I’ve known that there is some inconsistency there. They don’t get it.

“Right now, [Israel] is in the process of exporting huge number of Africans [illegally in Israel back to Africa] and you raise the point that if we made it more difficult for [illegal] hispanic immigrants to work here if we enforced the e-verify program and got serious about border security, many [illegal] hispanics would self-emigrate and move back, ohmigod, if you say that, how can you be so cruel and horrible? Then you point out that the Israelis are sending back Africans by the planeload, it doesn’t register.”

“There is tremendous social pressure against whites expressing any ethnic or racial solidarity, which is unfortunate. As Jared Taylor likes to point out, why not? Every other group looks out for the self-interest, why not whites?”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Immigration, IQ, Jews, Kevin MacDonald. Bookmark the permalink.