Morality and rights
“Much as we might value both heterogeneity and social capital, assuming that the one will or should encourage the other may be a form of wishful thinking.
“That is because morality and rights arise from different sources. [. . .] [M]orality arises from sympathy among like-minded persons: first the family, then friends and colleagues. Rights, on the other hand, grow from convictions about how we ought to manage relations with people not like us, convictions that are nourished by education, religion, and experience.
“People who celebrate diversity (and its parallel, multiculturalism) are endorsing only one part of what it means to be a complete human being, neglecting morality (and its parallel, group and national pride). Just as we cannot be whole persons if we deny the fundamental rights of others, so we cannot be whole persons if we live in ways that discourage decency, cooperation and charity.
“In every society, people must arrange for tradeoffs between desirable but mutually inconsistent goals. [. . .] When it comes to the competing values of diversity and the formation of social capital, as when it comes to other arrangements in a democracy, balance is all.”
— James Q. Wilson, writing on “Bowling With Others,” in the October issue of Commentary