Australia’s humanitarian (refugee) program 2016-2017

Submission to the Federal Government’s pre-budget consultations[i]

Frank Salter, 27 March 2016

I am a political scientist with a specialty in ethnic diversity and conflict. I have published research on the effects of ethnic diversity in relation to multiculturalism, welfare, and organised crime, in addition to ethical dimensions.[ii]

Australia’s refugee program has become so large and permanent that, per capita, it surpasses in scale many countries’ normal immigration intakes. Yet the Government’s policy is to increase the base level intake from 13,750 to 18,750 by 2018-2019, which does not include the planned special intake of 12,000 Syrians in 2016-2017. Australia is taking in refugees at the rate of 1% of its population every 17 years, soon to be every 13 years. This is not a new situation. In 1986 Australia was already taking more refugees for permanent settlement than any other country, 8 per 1000 population, or 1% of Australia’s population every 13 years.[iii]

The refugee intake is so large that it constitutes a form of immigration, though of an exceptional kind. Cumulatively, our refugee intake is sufficiently large to affect economic performance, community identity, and social stability. But compared to many normal immigrants, refugees are not generally screened for economic and social compatibility. However imperfect the regular immigration program – and it has deficiencies – its selection criteria protect Australia’s way of life much better than those applied to refugees.

This submission will argue that as presently configured in size and makeup, Australia’s refugee intake is having negative impacts on those variables. A fundamental rethink is needed to make the humanitarian program compatible with national security and social cohesion.

The submission consists of the following parts:

  • General costs of ethno-religious diversity;
  • Specific costs of diversity caused by the present refugee program;
  • Australia’s social fragmentation and government’s ahistorical rhetoric;
  • Refugee advocacy organizations;
  • Policy recommendations.


General costs of ethno-religious diversity

As presently configured, Australia’s refugee program is contributing to Australia’s ethno-religious diversity. To understand the special costs imposed by refugees, it is necessary to be familiar with the state of sociological research into the general costs of ethnic diversity. “Ethnicity” is often misunderstood. In this submission I adopt the mainstream definition which includes the following elements: a named population sharing belief in descent from common ancestors, a shared history, and sharing distinctive elements of culture, which usually includes religion.[iv] Thus ethnicity is simultaneously conditioned by history and culture and beliefs about shared descent.

A full analysis of the impacts of ethnic diversity is beyond the scope of the present submission, though a summary and sources are available in my recent analysis of the European refugee crisis.[v] In that analysis I summarise the social impact of rising ethno-religious diversity under six headings: rising social conflict; more crime from some immigrant groups; weakened social welfare net; greater ethnic inequality; racialised politics; and reduced civil liberties. Some of these headings are discussed below.

Numerous studies that compare societies around the world show that as diversity rises, social cohesion and trust tend to fall. At the same time, ethnic conflict occurs more frequently. The best known academic study of the costs of diversity was published by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam in 2007.[vi] Putnam surveyed a large sample of US citizens in many cities. He found that diversity undermined social capital, which consists of neighbours participating in group social activities, helping and trusting one another. These findings have not always been replicated at the national level, but refined methods have confirmed the results at the neighbourhood level.[vii]

A converging series of studies using biosocial theory and methods preceded and confirmed Putnam’s finding, while adding the dimensions of inter-ethnic conflict, degraded welfare and economic measures.[viii] A recent confirmation by Finnish sociologist Tatu Vanhanen compared rates of ethnic conflict in 176 societies in the year 2010. Conflict was broadly defined, to include discrimination, the formation of ethnic parties and interest groups (racialised politics), as well as ethnic violence and civil war. Vanhanen found that ethnic diversity explained 66% of global variation in ethnic conflict, while other variables, such as per capita income, level of human development, and level of democratization, explained only 6 to 16% of the variation. In other words, much of the difference between united peaceful countries and those riven by ethnic conflict is the latters’ ethnic diversity.

Australia is not immune from the costs of diversity. Repeated studies by Australian academics find that ethnic diversity undermines social capital. An example is research conducted by Andrew Leigh, professor of economics at the Australian National University before becoming Labor’s Shadow Assistant Treasurer.[ix] Another example is work done by Professor Andrew Markus, at Monash University, who manages the Scanlon Foundation surveys of social cohesion, conducted since 2007. The surveys find that areas of high immigration settlement undergo a loss of social trust and other measures of cohesion. “This finding supports Putnam’s interpretation that ethnic diversity has a significant negative impact on social cohesion.” [x]

One cost of diversity deserving attention is the loss of civil liberties. In immigrant societies governments come under pressure to suppress “hate speech”, which can include statements of opinion and fact. In Australia Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act allows prosecution of individuals who state something “reasonably likely … to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people” based on their “race, colour or national or ethnic origin”. The Section has been used by some minorities to silence their critics. And several minority leaders combined to defeat the Abbott government’s attempt to reform Section 18C in order to continue silencing critics.[xi] Whether or not one agrees with such legislation it is evidence of ethnic conflict.

Specific costs of diversity caused by the present refugee program

These costs of diversity are magnified by the refugee intake because refugees are not selected to suit Australia’s needs. The points system and employer nominations used to select many regular immigrants reduces the diversity of the intake by nationality and class, compared to what would result from random selection of immigrants from around the world.[xii] English language is an advantage in the points-tested independent sub-programs of the skilled intake, and in most of the other sub-programs of the skilled intake, as is possession of occupational skills. It is more difficult to acquire these skills in countries in developing economies, such as are common in Africa and the Middle East and parts of Asia. At the same time societies with small middle classes are more prone to authoritarian regimes and civil wars, major causes of refugee flows. As a result of these factors, a much higher proportion of refugees find it difficult to find work or fit into society in Australia. They are more likely to come from Africa and the Middle East, and more likely to be Muslims, increasing Australia’s ethno-religious diversity more rapidly (per capita intake) than does normal immigration.

Also relevant is evidence that conflict is intensified when the antagonistic parties have different religions.[xiii] The resulting dysfunction has been inflicted on working class suburbs in the large cities.

The result is that refugees and their descendants are more prone to indigence and crime, especially those from Africa and the Middle East. One only need follow the news to document the harm done. Recently Sudanese and Pacific Islander[xiv] youth rioted in Melbourne (Saturday 12 March 2016), overwhelming police. There were similar riots in Melbourne by African youth on New Year in 2014, when Salvation Army staff described the situation as resembling a “war zone”. Most of the Africans originate from refugees taken in from Sudan and other trouble spots in Africa. Sudan is a largely Muslim society. Further back, another problem group has been Lebanese Muslims whose parents were accepted as refugees by the Fraser government in the 1980s. The result has been chronic unemployment and criminality, including the tribal pack rapes of Anglo girls.[xv]

Problems with integrating Sudanese were admitted by Kevin Andrews, the Immigration Minister in the Howard Government, in 2007. The Sudanese intake was reduced before all applications from Africa were suspended for a year. This was in response to problems with Somali refugees, also Muslims. At the time Andrews explained that “some groups don’t seem to be settling and adjusting into the Australian way of life as quickly as we would hope”. That has proven to be an understatement. These examples of poor integration by African and Arab refugees continue to scar Australian communities. They were grievous errors of judgment by governments on both sides of politics.

The fallout from bad refugee policy is a real and continuing threat. NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas, the senior officer responsible for diversity issues, warned in August 2015 that terrorism was a real possibility wherever Muslim communities develop. He pointed out that the terror threat was not limited to big cities, but to emerging “Middle Eastern” communities in regional centres, such as Newcastle, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour, Wagga and Dubbo. He was especially concerned about refugees, young men who had fled conflict zones such as Somalia, Afghanistan and the Middle East. They were especially vulnerable to being recruited by criminals and extremists, he said. The risk posed by these communities would remain for generations, Kaldas stated.[xvi] Kaldas did not explain why Middle Eastern refugee groups pose the greatest risk, why they suffer economic and educational failure, nor why they will remain such a persistent threat to their local communities and to Australia. Such analysis is not part of the policing function. But it is critical to the formulation of prudent policy.

No wonder Australian public opinion has hardened against illegal immigrants. It is also becoming more negative towards legal immigration, especially of Muslims.[xvii] According to a qualitative survey of 1,349 respondents conducted by the Australian Institute for Progress, in 2015 only 8% of citizens thought that Muslim immigration had been good for Australia. Forty eight percent thought it had been bad for Australia.[xviii] That this is a selective reaction against Muslims is indicated by the previously mentioned Scanlon Surveys, which found in 2014 that 11.5% of respondents in immigrant areas expressed strongly negative attitudes towards Muslims, but only 2% were similarly critical of Buddhists.[xix]

This negative reaction to Muslims is not only or largely due to terrorism. It is mostly due to a failure to integrate into Australian society and economy. The problem was described by journalist Greg Sheridan in 2011, well before home-grown Islamic terrorism took its first victims.[xx] Until then Sheridan had been a leading exponent of multiculturalism and the diverse immigration that feeds it. Sheridan reported many examples of anti-social behavior by Muslim Australians in his neighbourhood near the Lakemba Mosque, in Sydney. These included racially-motivated attacks against Anglo Australians. He interviewed a senior police officer who reported that Arabs in the Lakemba area of Sydney presented a severe policing problem, with high rates of violent crime.

Like the other costs of ethno-religious diversity, restricted civil liberties can also be attributed disproportionately to Australia’s refugee intake. Groups that feel especially threatened by Islamist extremism are lobbying for ever tighter restrictions on racial vilification. In October 2015, six ethnic and cultural organizations joined with the peak Jewish organization in NSW to call for stronger criminal sanctions to be applied against expressions of racial hatred. This was in response to the NSW authorities’ failure to prosecute a leader of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, who sermonised that Muslims should engage in jihad to “rid” the world of “Jewish hidden evil”.[xxi] None of the six complainant organizations was Islamic or Arabic, indicating that the immigrant community has become polarised between two camps, Muslims and non-Muslims. As we have seen, the growth of the Muslim community is significantly accelerated by Australia’s large refugee intake. Stiffening laws against racial hatred seems common sense for citizens subjected to virulent verbal attacks, which could incite violence. Unfortunately the effect is to limit freedom of speech, a basic civil liberty. Organic social cohesion is far preferable to that imposed by coercive social controls, such as the Racial Discrimination Act, its Orwellian section 18C, and the associated apparatus of commissioners and courts. But natural cohesion requires vigilance in selecting immigrants and refugees.

Financial costs are also special to refugees. Beyond the substantial cost of training, housing and welfare is the need to invest in infrastructure. In a modern society such as Australia, infrastructure includes not only water, gas, electricity, and telecom lines, but power generation, schools and teachers, roads, police and courts. Economist Jane O’Sullivan estimates those costs to total more than $100,000 for every new citizen.[xxii] These costs apply to all immigrants but those admitted under the general program are likely to begin to repay those costs not long after arriving. A much lower proportion of refugees become productive members of the workforce. Many never pay into the system. Australians should be informed that their largesse towards refugees as presently chosen not only has severe social impacts, but financial ones also.

This has resulted from the policy of excluding a significant fraction of Australia’s immigration intake, the 5-10% made up of humanitarian cases, from responsible selection criteria.

Australia’s social fragmentation and government’s ahistorical rhetoric

The present Federal Government implicitly admitted to a crisis in social cohesion when, in 2014-2015, it consulted the public on how citizenship might be used to reduce Islamic terrorism. Those who wrote the discussion paper were ambitious. They demanded that citizenship, a legalistic concept, should alone be sufficient to foster love of country and respect for other Australians. The paper was full of the usual multicultural platitudes, such as: “As a nation, we have found unity in our diversity and respect in our differences.” Continued immigration was “non-negotiable”, the paper declared.[xxiii]

Readers might never guess that the same fallacious citizenship doctrine – that legal statutes can substitute for organic ties developed over centuries – allowed the social fragmentation being experienced by Australia and many other Western societies. The paper did not let on that homegrown terrorists had attacked police and civilians in Melbourne and Sydney, that security agencies had warned that further attacks were probable, that hardened jihadist fighters would be returning to Australia from the Middle East, that the NSW police expert on diversity issues believed the threat from radicalised Muslims would last for generations, that surveys had shown that the more diverse a suburb the lower its occupants’ sense of security and cohesion, and that the negative reaction of third-generation Australians against Muslims was especially strong.[xxiv] The authors of the paper did not connect these many signs of an unravelling society with immigration and multicultural policies, the overt racialisation of electoral politics, or with decades of high refugee intakes. The authors – the Australian Government – were clueless about the relevance of Australia’s falling level of volunteering[xxv] and about the difference between a nation and a (political) state.[xxvi]

The same ideology – a version of citizenism – was part and parcel of the multicultural experiment initiated by the Fraser government in the 1970s against the will of the Australian people, that has given us rising social chaos and home-grown terrorism, where young people born and raised in Australia join overseas terrorist groups. It is no coincidence that the same Fraser government initiated a permanent refugee intake coordinated with the United Nations.

It should be noted that Australia ratified the UN Refugee Convention in 1954, at a time when people smugglers and long-distance flows of refugees were almost unknown. It is widely acknowledged among responsible analysts that the UN Convention is a failure, that it is undermining the national interests of receiving nations and promoting people smugglers.[xxvii] By handing over some control to the UN, a body with a long track record of anti-Western bias, Australia has yielded control of an important part of its immigration program to people who do not share our national interests.

Poor governance of refugee issues has been associated with rhetoric divorced from history. In initiating the consultation over the humanitarian intake, the Minister for Immigration, the Hon. Peter Dutton, boasted of the success of Australia’s original refugee program, after WWII, implying that we should continue to accept large intakes from around the world. As noted earlier, the Government has announced that our already high intake will be increased to 18,750 places by 2018-19 (again, not including the special intake of 12,000 Syrians).[xxviii] Dutton did not note that the post-WWII program was made to conform with the selection criteria applied to immigrants at that time. Refugees were chosen to be culturally assimilable. In other words, the refugee intake was made part of the immigration program. The abandonment of that principle in the 1970s had dangerous social consequences for Australia, contributing to a rapid rise in ethno-religious diversity, the transformation of cohesive local communities and rising levels of ethnic conflict.

Refugee advocacy organizations

The Minister deserves praise for opening up the humanitarian program to democratic consultation. For too long the process has been an elite conclave, “conducted in quiet consultation with refugee, church and ethnic community groups”.[xxix] Ian Rintoul, spokesman for the Refugee Action Coalition, is worried that allowing the public to express its views might introduce a proposal to reduce intake numbers. Fear of the public is understandable, because consultations have been monopolised by individuals and organization who act as advocates for refugees, without taking into consideration the interests of the Australian people. Neither have governments seen fit to include in the consultation process bodies that place Australia’s interests first. This has been the case since the 1980s or earlier, and helps explain the extremity of refugee policy since that time. To better make this point, this section examines perhaps the most important refugee advocacy body, the Refugee Council of Australia.

The Refugee Council is the peak non-government agency focusing on refugees. It is typical of bodies supporting generous humanitarian intakes. It holds a privileged position in the consultation process, being invited annually since 1984 by federal governments to provide advice on policy for the upcoming year.[xxx] The RCOA boasts of consulting with stakeholders around Australia on the needs of refugees, how Australia might better meet their needs, for example in the post-arrival settlement process, and how large the intake should be.

Striking – by its absence – is any consideration of how refugees harm Australia or consultation with bodies motivated to provide relevant information. The RCOA treats its role as advocacy for refugees, unqualified by concern for Australia. They promote ever larger refugee intakes in an open-ended manner. For example, in September 2015 the RCOA president, Phil Glendenning, criticised Australia for not taking an additional 20,000 refugees from Syria, despite this country having one of the most generous resettlement program on a per capita basis in the world. He accused Australia of having a special responsibility to open its borders to refugees because it indirectly contributed to the war in Syria, ignoring the fact that Australian forces were deployed against the terrorists. He praised Germany for taking in almost one million refugees, implying that doing so was responsible policy. These views went uncorrected by the ABC interviewer.[xxxi] RCOA and the ABC were engaged in advocacy for refugees, not formulating responsible policy that treats Australia and other Western societies as stakeholders with real interests to protect.

A responsible approach that balances refugee interests with those of the Australian people is left to the Federal Government. But until recently no government, from either side of politics, has sought out advice from those who advocate for Australian national interests. It is a scandalous record. To its credit, the present Coalition government cut funding to the RCOA in 2014 after belatedly realizing it to be an advocacy group. The powerful interests behind the body maintained its core revenues of $888,000 in the 2015 financial year.[xxxii] The Government is now opening consultation to allow the public to voice opinions.

In 2015 the RCOA had over 200 institutional members.[xxxiii] These included a cross-section of humanitarian bodies, with human rights bodies and churches well represented. There was also a large number of ethnic lobbies, consisting of 45 pro-immigration and pro-multiculturalism groups, advocating for minority ethnic groups, and 21 ethnic associations which also advocate for non-Anglo minorities.[xxxiv] It is remarkable that not one member organization represents the Australian majority or the Australian national interest. Why is protecting Australians not considered a humanitarian goal? Equally remarkable is the moral contradiction that allows humanitarians to work cheek by jowl with tribally-motivated ethnocentrists, who are interested mainly in benefiting a particular people or group of peoples. These ethnic activists pay lip service to universalist ideals but their ethnic organizations have very different motivations to their Christian and other humanitarian allies. For the multicultural lobby, humanitarian rhetoric is often a vehicle for advancing ethnic interests. They are happy that the same vehicle rides roughshod over Australians’ national sentiments, which they view as tribal competition. But how, in good conscience, can the genuine humanitarians in the RCOA facilitate tribal aggression, especially when directed against their own nation? The RCOA appears to be morally corrupt and disloyal to Australia, yet is the peak NGO advising on refugee policy; it is treated with respect by the mainstream media and politicians.

Policy recommendations

The Government’s briefing paper asks those making submissions to answer detailed questions concerning refugee policy.[xxxv] This assumes an insider’s knowledge of the system, which is unfair to most Australians wishing to express an opinion. It is also inappropriate that the questions do not canvass opposition to the system as a whole.

Instead of answering these questions in detail, I shall recommend broad principles for reforming the refugee program, and note those principles’ likely impact.

In the foregoing analysis I have argued that the refugee intake constitutes a sizable immigration program in its own right. That program’s exemption from normal immigration criteria has harmed the fabric of Australia’s society. Governments should put Australia’s national interests first.

Any sizeable refugee intake – more than dozens annually – should be subjected to the same criteria that have been relatively successful in choosing peaceful, productive immigrants. Any improvements made to the normal immigration program would then automatically flow onto selection of refugees.

Australia should withdraw from the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and work towards a new agreement that respects national interests.[xxxvi] In addition, the planned intake of 12,000 Syrian refugees should be reassessed. The Government has belatedly indicated its intention of allocating most places to non-Muslim minorities but that degree of selectivity falls short of the criteria applied to immigrants.

The effect of applying immigration-standard criteria will be drastically to reduce the refugee intake. Some of the resulting savings, which will be large, should be switched to funding humanitarian assistance overseas, especially in our region.

A practical and moral consideration in deciding refugee policy is the very large numbers involved. By the end of 2014, UNHCR estimated that, globally, there were 59.5 million people displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, generalised violence or human rights violations. Of these, 19.5 million were classed as refugees (i.e. outside their country of origin), 38.2 million as internally displaced, and about 1.8 million were asylum seekers. To those numbers must be added those economic migrants who pose as humanitarian cases. A large fraction of the million-plus individuals who entered Europe in 2015 during the Syrian crisis were not from Syria, but from Africa, Lebanon, Afghanistan, even as far away as Pakistan.

This continuing humanitarian disaster confronts those with good will. Given that resources are limited, should a tiny number of cases be raised to the pinnacle of living conditions offered by citizenship in a first world economy, or should a much larger number, many hundreds of times larger, be given emergency aid in or near their countries of origin. Australian governments have adopted the first option, the luxury option, at the cost of abandoning millions to their fate and diminishing the security and cohesion of their own society.

Where legally feasible, recent refugee intakes should be reversed, with individuals who have not yet become citizens being placed overseas by a dedicated bureaucracy. A truly humanitarian program must take into account the security, prosperity and unity of the Australian people.



[i], accessed 19 Feb. 2016.

[ii] Salter, F. K., Ed. (2002). Risky transactions. Trust, kinship, and ethnicity. Oxford and New York, Berghahn.

Salter, F. K., Ed. (2004). Welfare, ethnicity, & altruism: New data & evolutionary theory. London, Frank Cass.

Salter, F. K. (2008). “Westermarck’s altruism: Charity releasers, moral emotions, and the welfare ethic.” Politics and the Life Sciences 27(2): 28-46.

See Frank Salter’s experience and publications at:

[iii] World Refugee Survey, US Committee for Refugees, 1986. As reported by John Masanauskas (1990). “What to do with the world’s refugees?”, The Age, 14 June.

[iv] Smith, A. D. (1986). The ethnic origins of nations. Oxford, Basil Blackwell, pp. 22-30.

[v] Salter, F. K. (2016). Germany’s jeopardy: Could the immigrant influx “end European civilization”?, Social Technologies,, 6 January.

[vi] Putnam, R. D. (2007). “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and community in the twenty-first century. The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize lecture.” Scandinavian Political Studies 30: 137-174.

[vii] Laurence, J. and L. Bentley (2015). “Does ethnic diversity have a negative effect on attitudes towards the community? A longitudinal analysis of the causal claims within the ethnic diversity and social cohesion debate.” European Sociological Review.

[viii] Salter (2002; 2004), op cit.

[ix] Leigh, A. (2006). “Diversity, trust and redistribution.” Dialogue: Academy of Social Sciences in Australia 25(3): 43-49.

The finding was confirmed by:

Healy, E. (2007). “Ethnic diversity and social cohesion in Melbourne.” People and Place 15(4): 49-64.

[x] Markus, Andrew (2012). 2012 Scanlon Survey, Local Areas Report, p. 21.

[xi] Salter, F. K. (2014). Section 18C, multiculturalism and power. Quadrant Online.

[xii] The regular immigration program is more amenable to national interests despite serious shortcomings. New Zealand immigrants enter freely with minimal screening, due to the special relationship between the two countries. The growing social and economic incompatibilities of Pacific Islanders in Australia originates from this lack of selection. Another deficiency in the regular immigration program is that the points-based component of the general intake has been reduced in favour of employer nominations, which opens the process to corruption. See:

Birrell, B., E. Healy, et al. (2011). Immigration and the resources boom mark 2. Melbourne, Centre for Population and Urban Research: 49 pp.,

Also, many skilled migrants from non-English speaking countries (NESC) are slow to find employment in their fields of specialization. Indeed, a major component of the NESC program, students who have studied in Australia, are the least successful in finding employment in their professions. See:

Birrell, B. and E. Healy (2008). “How are skilled migrants doing?” People and Place 16(1): Supplement, 19 pp.

[xiii] Rummel, R. J. (1997). “Is collective violence correlated with social pluralism?”Journal of Peace Research 34(3): 163-176.

[xiv] Most Pacific Islanders come to Australia from New Zealand, and thus are not screened for economic or social compatibility.

[xv] Martin Chulov, “Rape menace from the melting pot”, The Weekend Australian, 18-19 August 2001.

[xvi] Dan Box, “Police set sights on extremist risk in regional migrant communities”, The Australian, 13 Aug. 2015, p. 7., accessed 24 Feb. 2016.

[xvii] 2012 Scanlon Survey, Local Areas Report, p. 30.

[xviii] Young, G. (2015). Australian attitudes to immigration. Brisbane, Australian Institute for Progress: 33 pp.,, p. 22. Accessed 20 March 2016.

[xix] 2014 Scanlon Local Area Survey, p. 4.

[xx] Sheridan, G. (2011). How I lost faith in multiculturalism. The Australian. Sydney, News Limited.

[xxi] Anthony Klan, “Ethnic push to boost race hate laws”, The Australian, 2 Oct. 2015, p. 2., accessed 24 Feb. 2016.

[xxii] O’Sullivan, J. (2012). “The burden of durable asset acquisition in growing populations.” Economic Affairs(February): 31-37.

O’Sullivan, J. (2015). Submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into migrant intake into Australia. Brisbane,

[xxiii] Discussion paper: Australian citizenship – Your right, your responsibility.

[xxiv] 2014 Scanlon Local Area Survey, op cit., p. 4.

[xxv] Volunteers decline for the first time: Australian Bureau of Statistics”, SMH 3 July 2015.–australian-bureau-of-statistics-20150703-gi47cw.html

[xxvi] Salter, F. K. (2015). Towards a Ministry of Emigration – Australian citizenship and domestic terrorism. Submission to government inquiry into Citizenship Policy, conducted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Canberra,

[xxvii] Khalid Koser (2015). “Australia and the 1951 Refugee Convention” Lowy Institute for International Policy. 30 April., accessed 20 March 2016.

[xxviii] Jared Owens, “Public input invited on refugee intake size”, The Australian, 18 Feb. 2016, p. 5.

[xxix] Owens, op cit.

[xxx], accessed 19 Feb. 2016.

The 2015 submission:

One-sided advocacy is also evident in its 2001 submission: file:///C:/Users/Frank/Desktop/http—, accessed 19 Feb. 2016.

[xxxi], accessed 19 Feb. 2016.

[xxxii], accessed 19 Feb. 2016.

Refugee Council of Australia Financial Statements for year ended June 2015:, accessed 19 Feb. 2016.

[xxxiii] Refugee Council of Australia Annual Report 1014/15, pp. 13-14., accessed 19 Feb. 2016.

[xxxiv] The count is based on organisations’ names.

[xxxv] Questions asked of the public by the government’s briefing paper.

  1. In your view, how many places should Australia attribute to the offshore component of its Humanitarian Programme?
  2. What do you think should be the proportion split between the Special Humanitarian Programme and Refugee categories in the offshore component of its Humanitarian Programme?
  3. To which regions (Africa, Asia or Middle East) do you think most places should be allocated?
  4. In your view, how important is the Woman at Risk programme?
  5. Should the available places under the Community Proposal Pilot be increased?
  6. Do you have other comments, particularly on the offshore component of the 2016-17 Programme?

[xxxvi] Reforming the 1951 Refugee Convention is proposed by Koser, op cit.

Constraints on human behavior and the biological nature of man

Frank Salter, 18 March 2016.  The following letter from 1992 had scholarly import but was never published. It reveals some of the nature-nurture debate that has taken place in the specialised field of legal behaviour, in particular with regard to human evolution, innate behaviour, and ethology. The debate continues, though legal studies continues to deny the relevance of biology, as do the humanities and soft social sciences (sociology, cultural anthropology, political science). At the time Hubert Markl (1938-2015) was president of the Max Planck Society, Germany’s peak scientific research organisation, at which I was undertaking post-doctoral research.  My letter responded to the following publication:

Markl, H. (1983). Constraints on human behavior and the biological nature of man. Law, Biology and Culture. The Evolution of Law. M. Gruter and P. Bohannan. Santa Barbara, Ross-Erikson: 90-100.


Prof. Dr. Hubert Markl
Department of Biology
University of Konstanz, Germany

26 Oct. 1992

Dear Prof. Markl,

I’ve just read your chapter “Constraints on human behavior and the biological nature of man” in Gruter and Bohannan (1983), Law, Biology and Culture. The Evolution of Law. In that chapter you argue against the usefulness of biological approaches to the study of legal behaviour. I am working in this area of research and am interested to know whether you still hold the views expressed in that paper.

In case your position is unchanged, let me be so bold as to offer a critique of your paper.

You consider biological contributions to the analysis of legal behaviour to be limited in principle for three reasons. Each of these reasons contains theoretically-based insights which do demonstrate limitations. Of particular power is your refutation of sweeping, general claims by sociobiologists and other evolutionists regarding the innateness of normative and legal behaviour. However, it seems to me that the three points fail to show an overall limitation of biology, broadly defined. Taking each point in turn:

(1) (From your abstract) “Since laws are cognitive constructs of the human mind which must be verbalized to become effective, man is the only species in which legal behaviour can be studied. All inferences from animal behaviour studies and from evolutionary considerations are highly speculative with respect to human legal behaviour.”

It is true that laws are cognitive constructs. Indeed it is appropriate, I think, to see laws as a form of social technology. As such they are not (biologically) evolved individual or social characteristics. And since non-human species do [NOT] have such techniques for formulating social rules, in this sense no cross-species comparison is possible. We cannot compare the legal cultures of, say, chimpanzee and human societies. However, these facts leave considerable room for biological contributions to the analysis of components of legal behaviour which are shared with other species.

Mechanisms of rule-governed behaviour are amenable to cross-species comparisons. Rule behaviour need not involve explicit formulation of rules. Members of a group which is delineated in a dominance hierarchy are displaying a capacity for learning and following rules, since a dominance relationship involves learning from experiences of conflict and applying that knowledge to managing relationship in subsequent interactions. More generally, a great number of species are capable of displaying (and inferring) rules of reinforcement and aversiveness, as countless Pavlovian/Skinnerian experiments have shown. Closer to home, primate studies have shown that chimpanzees and some cercopithecines are capable of inferring complex rules in social relationships. A well known example is Franz de Waal’s (Waal 1982; Waal 1986) studies of chimpanzees, in which he found that mature males used strategic alliances to manage dominance relations. Further, alpha males would establish and enforce self-serving (though unspoken) rules, such as: you must not groom that male!

Triadic dominance has clear application to institutions, particularly to their legal culture. It is no coincidence that all laws specify punishments for violators. In societies with sufficient surplus for group task specialization (ie. civilizations) laws are monitored and enforced by police and judiciary. This legal apparatus is only present in human societies but the behavioural mechanisms, at least as they involve dominance, appear to be comparable. (Of course there are other behavioural and motivational factors: conscience, habit, economics.) Comparison is particularly valuable when it is realized that hunter-collector societies, despite possessing speech and thus being able to articulate rules, lack a legal apparatus. In place of police and judiciary, rules are enforced face-to-face using mechanisms of dominance and affiliation, in a manner comparable to hunter-collector groups of other species.

While it is true that legal systems are not natural, the entities (humans) they manipulate are, and the cues which act to limit and coordinate human behaviour must be simulacra of evolved social signals. That is why the science of social signalling, ethology and biologically-oriented social psychology, are especially well suited to the analysis of legal systems.

(2) “In the ontogenetic development of human behaviour there is adaptation of the behaviour to the environment, including culture. There seems no reliable procedure to factor out their relative contribution, particularly since genetic adaptation can be easily phenocopied. Therefore it is only rarely possible to separate a ‘biological’ component of human behaviour from a ‘cultural’ one.”

With regard to your second point about ontogeny, it would seem that advances in method and theory are overtaking the difficulties of untangling nature from nurture in legal behaviour. Behavioural genetics and behavioural endocrinology are delineating heritable and developmental predictors of crime-related behaviours such as alcohol abuse as well as counter-intuitive characteristics such as political preferences and types of rule-breaking such as petty theft and violence (Bohman, Cloninger et al. 1982; Gabrielli and Mednick 1983; Brennan, Mednick et al. 1986; Ellis 1986; Martin, Eaves et al. 1986; Bain, Langevin et al. 1987; Dabbs, Frady et al. 1987; Mednick, Gabrielli et al. 1987; Dabbs, Ruback et al. 1988; Moffitt and Mednick 1988; Fishbein 1990; Ellis 1991) . The emerging lesson is not the naive one that criminality and lawful conduct are inborn, but that legal regimes set environmental conditions which filter out and classify as criminal categories of people based on their patterns of behaviour which sometimes have biological correlates (eg. propensity to include violence in one’s repertoire of aggressive behaviour rather than verbal insult).

(3) Most theories pertaining to the evolution of behaviour in animals (and more so in man) are ‘weak’ theories with some retrodictive but little predictive power; they allow us to define probable modes for behavioral averages but say little about the behaviour of individuals, which is at issue in legal considerations.”

Any theory which successfully predicts average behaviour must be of relevance to law makers and law enforcement agencies. It follows that the biological study of emotions which finds cross-cultural universals in emotional experience and expression (Izard 1979; Fridlund and Izard 1983; Izard, Kagan et al. 1984; Ekman 1989; Izard 1990) has a contribution to make to legislators and administrators everywhere.

In conclusion, imagine for the sake of argument that there are no innate predispositions for law-abidingness or criminality, that human social behaviour is effectively plastic or culture-based. That would certainly limit the applicability of biological theories of legal behaviour as a special category of behaviour. But it would still leave a major role for biology in analyzing the underlying learning process, its physiological (psychobiological) underpinnings, and at the evolutionary level, the phylogeny of behavioural plasticity. In one sense there would be no such thing as a biology of legal behaviour per se. But the same could be said for any basic discipline: there can be no sociology or psychology of legal behaviour because those disciplines can be applied to any number of social phenomena. On the contrary, we find it sensible to speak of a sociological and a psychological approach to jurisprudence. By analogy, at the minimum, there must be a substantial role for biology in studying legal behaviour as well as other deliberate, planned social phenomena.

But biology’s role is more particular in its relevance to law than that. The basic motivational and emotional mechanisms of rule-governed, including normative, behaviour are species specific, as are the physiological mechanisms and primary expression clusters by which they are signalled. Legal culture varies between societies, but the behavioural building blocks from which these diverse systems are constructed are universal. The architectural analogy can be carried further. The limited variety of building materials is reflected in the limited variety of legal systems. There are many different punishment mechanisms in use, but all systems rely on punishment of one kind or another and to some degree. Likewise, conscience or internalized norms is universal, at least to stable systems.

I hope I haven’t strained your busy schedule too much with this lengthy letter.

Yours sincerely, Frank Salter



Bain, J., R. Langevin, et al. (1987). Sex hormones in murderers and assaulters. Behavioral Science and the Law, 5, 95-101.

Bohman, M., C. . Cloninger, et al. (1982). Predisposition to petty criminality in Swedish adoptees 1. Genetic and environmental heterogeneity. Archives of General Psychiatry, 39, 1233-1241.

Brennan, P., S. A. Mednick, et al. (1986). Congenital determinants of violent and property offending. In The Development and Treatment of Childhood Aggression, (ed. D. Pepler), Erlbaum, New York.

Dabbs, J. M., R. L. Frady, et al. (1987). Saliva testosterone and criminal violence in young adult prison inmates. Psychosomatic Medicine, 49, 174-182.

Dabbs, J. M., R. B. Ruback, et al. (1988). Saliva testosterone and criminal violence among women. Personality and Individual Differences, 9, 269-75.

Ekman, P. (1989). The argument and evidence about universals in facial expressions of emotion. In Handbook of Social Psychophysiology, (ed. H. Wagner and A. Manstead), pp. 143-164. Wiley, New York.

Ellis, L. (1986). Evolution and the nonlegal equivalents of aggressive criminal behavior. Aggressive Behavior, 12, 57-71.

Ellis, L. (1991). Monoamine oxidase and criminality: Identifying an apparent biological marker for antisocial behavior. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 28, 227-251.

Fishbein, D. H. (1990). Biological Perspectives in Criminology. Criminology, 28, 27-72.

Fridlund, A. J. and C. E. Izard (1983). Electromyographic studies of facial expressions of emotions and patterns of emotion. In Social Psychophysiology: A Sourcebook, (ed. J. T. Cacioppo and R. E. Petty), pp. 243-86. Guilford Press, New York.

Gabrielli, W. F. J. and S. A. Mednick (1983). Genetic correlates of criminal behavior. American Behavioral Scientist, 27, 59-74.

Izard, C., E. J. Kagan, et al. (1984). Emotions, Cognition, and Behavior, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Izard, C. E. (1979). Expression of emotions as a transcultural language in social interaction and theatrical performance. In Aspects of Nonverbal Communication, (ed. W. von Raffler-Engle), Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam.

Izard, C. E. (1990). Facial expressions and the regulation of emotions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 487-489.

Martin, N. G., L. J. Eaves, et al. (1986). Transmission of social attitudes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 83, 4364-4368.

Mednick, S. A., W. F. Gabrielli, et al. (1987). Genetic factors in the etiology of criminal behavior. In The Causes of Crime, (ed. S. A. Mednick, T. E. Moffitt and S. A. Stack), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Moffitt, T. E. and S. A. Mednick, Ed. (1988). Biological Contributions to Crime Causation. Martinus Nijhoff. Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Waal, F. B. M. d. (1982). Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes, Jonathan Cape, London.

Waal, F. B. M. d. (1986). The integration of dominance and social bonding in primates. Quarterly Review of biology, 61, 459-479.

Deutschlands Wagnis: Könnte der Zustrom an Immigranten „Das Ende der europäischen Zivilisation“ sein?

Following is the German translation of “Germany’s Jeopardy”:



Einleitung: Düstere Vorhersagen

Sozialer Konflikt

Mehr Verbrechen

Verringerte Sozialleistungen

Größere ethnische Ungleichheit

Rassisch verformte Politik

Eingeschränkte Bürgerrechte

Nutzen? Argumente für offene Grenzen

Ergebnis: Wagnis. Wird Europa überleben?


Einleitung: Düstere Vorhersagen

Mein Name ist Frank Salter. Ich bin ein australischer Ethologe. Dies bedeutet, dass ich biologische Ansätze in die Untersuchung von Gesellschaft und Politik mit einbeziehe. Ich habe einen Großteil meiner Karriere mit Forschungen an einem Max Planck Institut in Deutschland und mit Lehre dort, in anderen europäischen Ländern und in den USA verbracht. Eines meiner Forschungsgebiete ist ethnische Solidarität und Konflikt sowie die Art und Weise wie dieses Phänomen demokratische Sozialstaaten beeinflusst.

In diesem Vortrag diskutiere ich die düsteren Vorhersagen, die über den massiven Zustrom an Immigranten und Flüchtlingen gemacht worden, welche derzeit noch immer nach Deutschland und in andere europäische Länder aus dem Mittleren Osten, Afrika und Asien einreisen. Viele von ihnen schwärmen nach der Einreise aus und überqueren die alten europäischen Ländergrenzen, welche aufgrund der Schengen-Abkommen nicht mehr bewacht werden. Trotz der Welle guten Willens und Gastfreundschaft, die von Millionen Deutschen und anderen Europäern gezeigt wurde, glauben einige, dass diese Situation zum Ende der europäischen Zivilisation führen könnte. Diese Vorhersagen wurden nicht nur von fremdenfeindlichen Ideologen sondern auch von moderaten Politkern gemacht.

Ein Beispiel ist Tony Abbot, bis vor kurzem der Premierminister Australiens. Bei einer Ansprach in London forderte er die Europäer auf ihre Grenzen zu schließen um einen „katastrophalen Fehler“ zu vermeiden. Er stellte fest, dass der Schutz der Grenzen „einiger Gewalt benötigen wird; er wird massive Logistik und Ausgaben benötigen; er wird an unserem Gewissen nagen – nichtsdestotrotz ist dies der einzige Weg um eine menschliche Welle daran zu hindern sich durch Europa zu ergießen und es vielleicht für immer zu verändern.“ [i]

Eigenartigerweise erklären weder Abbot noch andere Kommentatoren, wieso dieser Zustrom so schädlich sein wird. Das gleiche gilt für Angela Merkels Argument für die Öffnung der Grenzen. Wo war hier die nüchterne Analyse und transparente Beurteilung von Kosten und Nutzen?

In diesem Vortrag versuche ich eine Beurteilung, indem ich Forschungen nachvollziehe, die sich mit der Art und Weise befassen, in welcher ethnische Vielfalt dazu tendiert, sozialen Konflikt und Kriminalität zu vergrößern, soziale Sicherungssysteme zu untergraben, ethnische Ungleichheit zu verschlimmern und bürgerliche Freiheiten auszuhöhlen. Ich vergleiche dann diese Kosten mit den Vorteilen massenhafter Immigration aus der Dritten Welt, die von Angela Merkel und ihren Unterstützern geltend gemacht werden.

Sozialer Konflikt

Tragische Ereignisse in jüngster Zeit, die Angriffe in Paris inklusive, lassen Terrorismus als die offensichtlichste und nächst liegende Bedrohung erscheinen. Die überwiegende Mehrheit der Ankömmlinge sind Muslime. Obwohl die meisten Muslime keine Terroristen sind, sind viel Terroristen Muslime. Generell erhöht zunehmende ethnische Vielfalt die Chance, dass die Eine oder Andere Minderheit die Außenpolitik der Regierung ablehnen wird. Tragödien sind das Ergebnis, wenn auch nur eine kleine Gruppe unzufriedener Individuen Gewalt anwendet.

Allerdings ist Terrorismus höchstwahrscheinlich nicht der wesentliche Schaden, der aus der gegenwärtigen Immigration folgen wird. Der wesentliche Effekt wird das Zerbrechen der psychologischen Bindungen der Nationalität sein, wodurch die Staatsbürgerschaft zu einem ausgehöhlten Legalismus wird. Dies ist so, weil zunehmende ethnische Vielfalt nicht nur mit Gewalt wie Terrorismus und Bürgerkrieg assoziiert wird, sondern mit einem generellen Verlust an sozialem Zusammenhalt. Aber beginnen wir mit der Gewalt.

Fakten aus zahlreichen Studien zeigen, dass umso ethnisch vielfältiger eine Gesellschaft wird, desto mehr das Konfliktrisiko zunimmt und korrespondierend das Formen von Einigkeit schwerer wird. Bürgerkrieg ist unwahrscheinlicher in homogenen Gesellschaften. Forscher haben versucht dieses Risiko zu quantifizieren.

Eine weltweite Studie von Rudolf Rummel an der University of Hawai aus den 1990ern, maß auf welche Weise 109 Größen zu extremer kollektiver Gewalt (Aufstände und Bürgerkriege) zwischen 1932 und 1982 beitrugen; das ist eine Periode von 50 Jahren. Er fand heraus, dass ein Fünftel der Variation in kollektiver Gewalt von nur einer Größe ausgelöst wurde, der Anzahl an ethnischen Gruppen in der Gesellschaft. Konflikte wurden intensiver, wenn die Konfliktparteien verschiedenen Religionen anhingen.[ii] Dieses Ergebnis ist offensichtlich relevant für die gegenwärtige Situation, in der Muslime in ein weites gehend christliches und säkulares Europa strömen.

Eine Studie gegenwärtiger Gesellschaften des finnischen Soziologen Tatu Vanhanen untersuchte ethnische Konflikte mit einer weiter gefassten Definition die Diskriminierung, ethnische Parteien und Interessengruppen, als auch ethnische Gewalt und Bürgerkrieg beinhaltete. Auf Basis evolutionärer Theorie vermutete Vanhanen, das Vielfalt eine Konfliktzunahme auslösen würde. Vanhanen fand heraus, dass unter den 176 Gesellschaften die er untersuchte 2010 zwei Drittel der Variation ethnischer Konflikte durch ethnische Vielfalt erklärt wurde.[iii] In anderen Worten, ein Großteil der Unterschiede zwischen friedlichen Ländern und solchen, die von ethnischen Konflikten gespalten werden, ist die ethnische Vielfalt letzterer.

Eine ähnliche Wirkung von Vielfalt ist verringerte Kooperation und vermindertes „soziales Kapital“, der Umfang in dem Menschen einander unterstützen. Wenn Heterogenität zunimmt, verringert sich die Mitwirkung in Vereinen und Freiwilligen Netzwerken. Menschen werden isoliert  und weniger vertrauensvoll. Diese Wirkung ist am stärksten in Stadtteilen, in denen Menschen verschiedener ethnischer Gruppen erleben.[iv] In anderen Worten: Unwissenheit oder Isolation sind nicht die Ursachen ethnischen Unfriedens, sondern Kontakt mit anderen Kulturen, also auch Ausländern die in ein Heimatterritorium in großer Zahl einreisen.

Die deutsche Regierung sollte die Tendenz ethnischer Vielfalt sozialen Konflikt auszulösen kennen, da diese Tendenz von deutschen Forschungsinstitutionen untersucht wurde. Beispielsweise haben Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, ein Professor der Max Planck Gesellschaft und Kollegen wie  Johan van der Dennen, an der Universität von Groningen in den Niederlanden, über Jahrzehnte die Auswirkungen kultureller Vermischung auf Ethnozentrismus und Xenophobie in anonymen Massengesellschaften untersucht. Beide haben gewarnt, dass das Vermischen verschiedener Ethnien im großen Maßstab die soziale Stabilität verringert und den innergesellschaftlichen Frieden bedroht.

Einige der Untersuchungen die ich angeführt habe wurden von evolutionärer Theorie inspiriert. Dies ist ein wichtiger Ansatz der lange aus den Sozialwissenschaften ausgenommen wurde. Die menschliche Psychologie entwickelte sich im Kontext ethnisch homogener Gruppen. Aus dieser Perspektive ist die Vielfalt, die jetzt von modernen Eliten aufgezwungen wird, unnatürlich im evolutionären Zeitmaßstab. Dieses unnatürliche Maß der Vielfalt ist gemäß evolutionärer Theorie verantwortlich für einen Teil der Konflikte. Eine weitere Bestätigung  dieser evolutionären Hypothese ist die Erkenntnis, dass genetische Vielfalt (getrennt von kultureller Vielfalt) mit gesellschaftlichem Konflikt korreliert. Da ethnische Gruppen Reservoire genetischer Ähnlichkeit sind,[v] erhöht die Vermischung solcher Reservoire die genetische Variation innerhalb einer Gesellschaft und verursacht größeren gesellschaftlichen Konflikt, wie neue weltweite Forschungen zeigen.[vi]

Stärkere Ursachen als genetische Vielfalt sind kulturelle, wirtschaftliche und historische Faktoren, welche das Wohlwollen, das Deutsche, Schweden und andere Europäer syrischen Flüchtlingen 2015 entgegenbrachten, erklären. Allerdings können diese Faktoren kurzfristig beträchtlich schwanken, während es viele Generationen dauern kann, bis genetische Ungleichheiten nachlassen.

Mehr Verbrechen

Verbrechen ist ein gesellschaftlicher Konflikt, in welchem der Aggressor das Gesetz bricht. Die Bilanz von nicht-westlichen Immigranten begangener Verbrechen ist nicht beruhigend.

Ein beunruhigender Trend in Frankreich, das Europas größte muslimische Bevölkerung hat, ist die Zunahme von  sog. „no-go areas“, Gebiete die zu betreten sich selbst die Polizei nur in großen Verbänden traut. Außerdem gibt es in Frankreich und Großbritannien öfters Ausschreitungen, die so  umfassend und gewalttätig sind, dass die Polizei die Kontrolle verliert. Diese Zeiträume des Massenkonflikts entsprechen Aufständen.

Wenn sich Bevölkerungsgruppen aus weniger kompatiblen Kulturen absondern und neue Generationen heranwachsen, gibt es den Trend der Ausprägung von Parallelgesellschaften. Großzügige Sozialleistungen und Multikulturalismus verschlimmern die Kriminalität von Immigranten, die oftmals in der zweiten Generation zunimmt.

Zwischen 1997 und 2013 kam es in massivem Maßstab zu organisierter sexueller Ausbeutung weißer Mädchen in der englischen Stadt Rotherham in South Yorkshire, hauptsächlich durch muslimische Männer pakistanischer Abstammung. Bis zu 1400 Mädchen, teilweise nur 12 Jahre alt, wurden durch mehrere Männer vergewaltigt und verschleppt.

Schweden und Dänemark bieten ebenfalls einen Vorgeschmack dessen, was man in Deutschland von der Aufnahme nicht überprüfter Immigranten aus inkompatiblen Kulturen erwarten kann. Die Mehrheit der in Schweden des Mordes, der Vergewaltigung und des Raubes angeklagten Personen sind Immigranten, obwohl Immigranten nur 16 Prozent der Bevölkerung ausmachen.[vii]

Immigranten aus verschiedenen Ländern begehen in Dänemark Verbrechen mit wesentlich höherer Häufigkeit als ethnische Dänen. Das gilt besonders für Immigranten aus Afrika und dem Mittleren Osten.[viii] Die höchste Häufigkeit des Gesetzesbruchs zeigten Kinder von Immigranten aus nicht-westlichen Ländern. Personen der Altersgruppe 15-19 waren um 93 Prozent überrepräsentiert, Personen der Altersgruppe 20-29 um 130 Prozent und Personen zwischen 30 und 39 Jahren waren um 135 Prozent überrepräsentiert. Ethnische Dänen waren in allen diesen Alterskategorien unterrepräsentiert.

Für Deutschland sind Fakten zu Kriminalität weniger zugänglich, aber unbestätigte Berichte legen nahe, dass 2011 Asylbewerber 3,3 Prozent aller Verbrechen begingen, wesentlich mehr als ihr Anteil an der Bevölkerung.[ix] 2014 war diese bereits hohe Zahl auf 7,7 Prozent aller Verbrechen angewachsen. Im gleichen Zeitraum hat sich die Zahl der Angriffe und Ladendiebstähle in Deutschland mehr als verdoppelt.[x]

Verringerte Sozialleistungen

Offensichtlich wird der Zustrom von Millionen armer Menschen das Sozialbudget belasten. Europäer, die ihr ganzes Leben Sozialversicherungsbeiträge bezahlt haben, werden bald die Gesundheitsversorgung, die Unterbringung, die Arbeitslosenunterstützung und die Altersunterstützung für Millionen Personen bezahlen die nie zu diesen Versicherungen beigetragen haben. Wird der Zustrom nicht gestoppt wird dies einen astronomischen Reichtumstransfer auslösen, solange das Sozialsystem überlebt.

Es wird möglicherweise nicht lange überleben, da die europäischen Regierungen bereits hoch verschuldet sind und hohe Sozialausgaben verwalten. 2013, das letzte Jahr für das Daten zur Verfügung stehen, betrug der Anteil der Bruttostaatsschulden am Bruttoinlandsprodukt in Österreich 81%, in Belgien 104%, in Frankreich 92%, in Deutschland 77%, in Italien 128%, in Spanien 92% und im Vereinigten Königreich  87%.[xi]

In Schweden beträgt die Staatsverschuldung nur um 39% des Bruttoinlandsprodukts, aber die dortigen Immigranten aus Afrika und dem Mittleren Osten belasten das Budget. Diese Immigranten machen ca. 16% des Bevölkerung aus, beanspruchen aber 58% der Sozialausgaben. Dies ist ein großer Reichtumstransfer zu Ungunsten ethnischer Schweden.[xii] Dieser Transfer ist eine schlechte Investition da ca. 48% der Immigranten in arbeitsfähigen Alter arbeitslos sind. Sogar nach 15 Jahren im Land sind noch immer 40% arbeitslos.

Doch Sozialleistungen sind noch fragiler als diese Zahlen nahelegen.

Forschungen der deutschen Max Planck Gesellschaft legen nahe, dass ethnischer Wandel durch Immigration die Motivation der Steuerzahler wandeln wird, indem ihre Bereitschaft Sozialleistungen zu unterstützen nachlässt. Vergleiche der Sozialsysteme weltweit zeigt, dass mit der Zunahme ethnischer Vielfalt Sozialleistungen dazu neigen, zu sinken.[xiii]

Nicht nur Sozialleistungen nehmen ab, sondern alle Dienstleistungen die auf Abgaben für öffentliche Güter basieren. Dies beinhaltet die Kooperation mit der Polizei, Wohlfahrtsorganisationen, medizinische und militärische Autoritäten.

Entwicklungshilfe, die nichts anderes als internationale Sozialleistungen sind, ist sogar noch fragiler. Entwicklungshilfe steht stark in einer negativen Beziehung mit der ethnischen Vielfalt der Geberländer.[xiv]

Die Ironie könnte nicht grausamer sein. Indem europäische Länder eine große Zahl von Personen aus nicht-westlichen Kulturen aufnehmen, die danach streben von großzügigen Sozialleistungen zu profitieren, riskieren sie nicht nur den Verlust inländischer Sozialleistungen für Einheimische und Immigranten gleichermaßen sondern verringern auch die Entwicklungshilfe für die Heimatländer der Immigranten. Es ist eine „Lose-Lose“ Strategie.

Größere ethnische Ungleichheit

Ethnische Ungleichheit, eine wesentliche Ursache gesellschaftlicher Konflikte, wird als Ergebnis des gegenwärtigen Zustroms zunehmen. Wenn eine ethnische Gruppe es nicht schafft nach einigen Generationen Einkommensgleichheit zu erreichen, sind tief verinnerlichte Feindseligkeit und eine niedrige Schwelle für zivilen Ungehorsam die Folge. Dies könnte die Ursache für die höhere Kriminalität der Kinder von Immigranten verglichen mit ihren Eltern sein.

Einmal mehr gibt es keine Entschuldigung für Unwissenheit, da Deutschland einen einheimischen Lehrer für die Ursachen ethnischer Ungleichheit hat. Thilo Sarrazin war SPD-Politiker und bis 2010  Mitglied des Vorstandes der deutschen Bundesbank, das Jahr in dem er ein Buch mit dem Titel Deutschland schafft sich ab: Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen veröffentlichte.[xv] Sarrazin dokumentierte die langsame Geschwindigkeit der Integration türkischer Immigranten in die deutsche Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft, ihre unverhältnismäßige Abhängigkeit von Sozialleistungen der Regierung und ihre höhere Fruchtbarkeit. Er fand heraus, dass diese langsame Assimilation von der islamischen Religion verursacht wurde und dass schlechtere Bildungserfolge auf hartnäckige ethnische Traditionen zurückzuführen waren.[xvi] Als er dies schrieb war Angela Merkel bereits deutsche Kanzlerin. Sie verurteilte Sarrazin und befürwortete seine Entlassung aus dem Vorstand der deutschen Bundesbank, ein Omen für ihre Intoleranz und Radikalität 2015.

Es ist sicher, dass der gegenwärtige Zustrom die ethnische Schichtung in Deutschland und Europa sprunghaft ansteigen lassen wird. Wenn dies nur auf schlechte Sprachkenntnisse und unzureichende Bildung zurückzuführen wäre, könnte die Ungleichheit innerhalb einer oder zwei Generationen überwunden werden (auch dies wäre ein schrecklicher Angriff auf die Empfängerländer). Aber viele der Immigranten stammen aus Bevölkerungen mit einer langen Geschichte schlechter Bildungs- und Wirtschaftsleistungen. Dies ist vermutlich die Folge chronischer ethnischer Schichtung die an despotische Reiche erinnert.[xvii] Indem Deutschland und Europa eine neue Unterschicht importieren, schaffen sie ihre egalitären nationalen Gesellschaften ab.

Rassisch verformte Politik

Eine Politik der offenen Tür wird von selbst ernannten Antirassisten wie Angela Merkel und ihren Verbündeten in der extremen Linken vertreten. Die Protestierenden der Antifa, die PEGIDA und andere Konservative niederschreien, halten es für selbstverständlich, dass Grenzen für alle die kommen offen sein sollten. Aber ein sicheres Ergebnis des neuen Zustroms von Immigranten ist die weitere rassische Verformung der Politik und zunehmender demographischer Druck auf ethnische Europäer. Rassische Verformung wird die Form von Sektiererei, ethnischen Parteien, Multikulturalismus, Indoktrination in den Schulen, politische Korrektheit und Förderungsmaßnahmen für Minderheiten – Diskriminierung die Ergebnisse angleichen soll annehmen. Rassisch verformte Politik ist bereits eine Tatsache des Lebens in vielfältigen Gesellschaften wie Großbritannien, Frankreich, die Vereinigten Staaten und Australien.

Während der gesamten bekannten Geschichte haben Gesellschaften Immigration kontrolliert, besonders wenn es um große Zahlen ging. Die Politik der offenen Tür von Angela Merkel und Francois Hollande ist ein unverantwortliches gesellschaftliches Experiment, dass bereits eine Ermüdung des Mitleids [Compassion Fatigue, auch als secondary traumatic stress bekannt] auslöst. Nationalistische und gegen Immigration gerichtete Parteien befinden sich in Österreich, Belgien, Großbritannien, Dänemark, Frankreich, Griechenland,  Ungarn, Italien, Polen, der Slowakei, Schweden und in der Schweiz im Aufstieg.

Die weiter oben diskutierte ethnische Ungleichheit ist eine wichtige Ursache rassischer Verformung [von Politik]. Arme Immigrantengruppen, speziell solche die kulturell oder rassisch sichtbar sind, werden  in der zweiten Generation empfänglich für Radikalisierung durch Ideologien die ihre Beschwerden legitimieren. Diese Ideologien helfen Immigranten ihren niedrigen sozioökonomischen Status und ihr Gefühl der Entfremdung zu rationalisieren, indem sie diese zu Opfern von weißen Rassismus erklären. Diese Ideologien werden aus Universitäten, aus Schulen, aus den Medien, von Sozialarbeitern, von Politikern und ethnischen Führern übernommen.

Opferideologien erzeugen zudem Angst und Schuldgefühle in Weißen, indem sie ihre ethnische Identitäten – und nur ihre ethnischen Identitäten – mit Extremismus und Faschismus verbinden.[xviii] Dies ist unfair, da weiße Mehrheiten meist weniger ethnozentrisch sind als Minderheiten.

Der Mythos der Opferrolle von Minderheiten konditioniert die weiße Mehrheit Immigration in einem Umfang das zum Bevölkerungsaustausch ausreicht zu akzeptieren. Diese Doktrinen waren in englisch-sprachigen Ländern und weiten Teilen Westeuropas seit der Kulturrevolution der 1960er und 1970er einflussreich.

Währenddessen hat Einwanderungspolitik in Deutschland den undemokratischen Politikmodus ausgelöst, der in westlichen Ländern für ethnische Politik typisch ist. Es ist kein Referendum geplant um Deutschen eine Wahl bezüglich ihrem Schicksal zu geben. Mit wenigen Ausnahmen haben Bürger noch nicht einmal die Möglichkeit gegen die Politik der offenen Tür abzustimmen, da  die großen Parteien  offene Grenzen unterstützen. Deutsche, die ein Mitspracherecht in der Einwanderungsdebatte haben wollen, müssen für neue Parteien stimmen, die noch nicht von Interessengruppen [special interests] übernommen worden sind.

Eingeschränkte Bürgerrechte

Zunehmende Vielfalt unterhöhlt Bürgerrechte. Wo immer die ursprünglich staatsbildende ethnische Gruppe die Kontrolle über Immigration  verloren hat, geraten Regierungen unter den Druck der politischen Linken und ihrer Wähler in den Minderheiten sog. Hatespeech [politisch inkorrekte freie Meinungsäußerung] zu unterdrücken, wobei Hatespeech auch Meinungen und Fakten beinhalten kann. Die Einschränkung der freien Meinungsäußerung geht der Zunahme der Immigration im Verdrängungsmaßstab [replacement level immigration] voraus und hilft diese auszulösen. Sie ist aber sicher auch eine Folge von Vielfalt.

Einschränkungen der Meinungsäußerung haben eine abschreckende Wirkung auf die öffentliche Debatte. Die Millionen, die jetzt nach Deutschland und Europa fluten, sind Begünstigte dieser Unterdrückung. Ihre Anwesenheit wird den Druck auf Regierungen hart gegen beunruhigte Einheimische vorzugehen nur noch vergrößern. Die dem harten Durchgreifen zugrunde liegende Ursache, wird die Zunahme massiven endemischen gesellschaftlichen Konflikts sein. Ein gesellschaftlicher Konflikt der komplett vorhersagbar ist und tatsächlich von Sozialwissenschaftlern vorhergesagt wurde.

Nutzen? Argumente für offene Grenzen

Werden diese Kosten vom Nutzen, den Angela Merkel und ihre Unterstützer anführen, überwogen? Sechs Argumente wurden angeführt um Deutsche zu überzeugen den Zustrom hinzunehmen.

1. Das erste Argument ist Merkels Behauptung, dass Deutschland und Europa moralisch verpflichtet sind echte Flüchtlinge anzusiedeln. Es gibt offensichtlich eine moralische Pflicht zu helfen, aber das Argument, dass Flüchtlinge in Europa angesiedelt werden müssen scheitert aus zwei einfachen Gründen. Erstens sind viele der Ankommenden keine Flüchtlinge sondern wirtschaftliche Immigranten. Zweitens folgt aus den hohen Kosten die der Zustrom für einheimische Deutsche verursacht, dass eine moralische Politik die Interessen beider Seiten optimieren muss und nicht das Wohlergehen der Immigranten auf Kosten der gastgebenden Gesellschaft maximiert. Schließlich ist die erste Pflicht von Regierungen in Demokratien ihre Wähler zu beschützen. Deutschland und die EU könnten Flüchtlingen in oder nahe ihren eigenen Ländern helfen.

2. Das zweite Argument ist Merkels Behauptung, dass Deutschland profitieren wird, indem es ein und für alle mal das Erbe des Nazismus abwirft. Dies ist ein abscheuliches Argument, da Deutsche unschuldig am Völkermord sind, es sei denn man akzeptiert die nationalsozialistische Doktrin rassischer Kollektivschuld. Die entgegengesetzte Wirkung ist wahrscheinlicher. Die Verunglimpfung ethnischer Deutscher könnte zunehmen, da Merkel eine neue Ära rassisch verformter Politik ausgelöst hat, in der Befürworter von massenhafter Immigration aus der Dritten Welt den Opferrollen Narrativ nutzen wird um die Mehrheit zum Schweigen zu bringen.

3. Das dritte Argument wurde vom deutschen Innenminister Mitte September 2015 ausgesprochen.[xix] Er behauptete, dass die Regierung keine Wahl hätte außer jede Anzahl an Flüchtlingen anzunehmen, da Artikel 16a, Paragraph 1 des deutschen Grundgesetzes aussagt, dass „Personen die aus politischen Gründen verfolgt werden Asyl erhalten sollen.“ Dies ist ein strikt legalistisches Argument, da, wie wir gesehen haben, es keine moralische Pflicht gibt eine große Zahl an Flüchtlingen in Deutschland anzusiedeln. Lassen sie uns einen genaueren Blick auf das Gesetz werfen. Paragraph 2 des Artikels 16a des Grundgesetzes präzisiert, das Paragraph 1 nicht auf Personen zutrifft, welche die Bundesrepublik „aus einem Mitgliedsstaat der Europäischen Gemeinschaft“ betreten. [xx] Die überwiegende Mehrheit der Flüchtlinge die Deutschland betreten sind durch andere EU Staaten gekommen. Deutschland hatte das Recht sie an der Einreise zu hindern, aber die Regierung Merkel setzte die Dublin Regelung aus, die verlangt, das Asylbewerber in das europäische Land ihrer Erstankunft zurückgeführt werden.[xxi] Wie konnte Deutschland das EU-Gesetz ursprünglich annehmen wenn es seinem Grundgesetz widersprach? Wie konnte die Dublin Regelung so einfach ausgesetzt werden, wenn sie andererseits dem Artikel 16a des Grundgesetzes entspricht?[xxii] Offensichtlich können Deutschland und die EU legal ihre Grenzen beschützen. Es sind Merkel und andere führende Politiker der EU die den Zustrom erlaubt haben, nicht irgendein Gesetz.

4. Das vierte Argument wurde von Merkel und dem Vorstandsvorsitzenden von Mercedes Dieter Zetsche vorgebracht, der behauptete, dass Flüchtlinge zu produktiven Arbeitern werden würden. Zetsche sagte: „Sie könnten wie die Gastarbeiter vor einigen Jahrzehnten uns helfen unseren Wohlstand zu erhalten und zu mehren. Deutschland kann schließlich nicht mehr alle verfügbaren Arbeitsstellen besetzen.“ Dies ist eine utopische Spekulation, die der bisherigen Erfahrung und unserem Wissen über kulturelle Unterschiede widerspricht. Es ist wahrscheinlicher, dass Deutschland mit Gemeinschaften von Immigranten belastet wird die an hoher Arbeitslosigkeit leiden und in unqualifizierten Berufen mit niedriger Produktivität konzentriert sind.

5. Das fünfte Argument ist sogar noch radikaler. Es wurde vom Demographen Stephan Sievert vom Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung vorgebracht. Sievert äußerte sich optimistisch, dass Deutschlands Bevölkerung zumindest nach Jahrzehnten der Stagnation wieder wuchs.[xxiii] Sievert gibt nicht zu, dass die von ihm angedeutete Politik die rasante demographische Verdrängung der deutschen ethnischen Familie mit sich bringt, effektiv ein schrittweiser kultureller Völkermord. Hätte das deutsche Volk die Möglichkeit über diese Politik abzustimmen würde eventuell eine Mehrheit dem deutschen Autor Botho Strauss zustimmen, der ausführte, dass er es vorzieht unter seinem eigenen Volk zu leben, selbst wenn es schrumpft, als unter einem erzwungenen kulturellen Mix zu leben.[xxiv]

6. Ein sechstes Argument wurde von Merkel in ihrer Neujahrsansprache für 2016 angeführt. Es handelt sich um das offene Grenzen Mantra, dass Immigration generell gut ist. Merkel sagte, dass: „Länder immer von erfolgreicher Immigration profitiert hätten, sowohl wirtschaftlich als auch gesellschaftlich.“[xxv] Es ist ein Zeichen für Gefahr wenn hoch gebildete Personen auf Tautologien zurückgreifen, wie eben, dass erfolgreiche Immigration erfolgreich ist. Tatsächlich sind Einwanderungsgesellschaften – Amerika, Australien, Kanada, die Niederlande, Frankreich und andere – weit in dem Prozess fortgeschritten ihre Gründungskulturen zu Minderheiten zu machen, ohne ihnen eine demokratische Wahl zu lassen. Merkel folgte zudem der üblichen Pro-Immigrationsargumentation, indem sie ihre Kritiker der „Kälte oder sogar des Hasses“ bezichtigte, womit sie nahe legte von wärmeren Emotionen motiviert zu sein. Zudem deutete sie eine neue umfassende Definition dessen an, was es bedeutet Deutsch zu sein, ein kluger Schachzug für eine Person die zu einer demographischen Transformation entschlossen ist. Bei diesen letzten Äußerungen wurden andere Elemente des Pro-Immigrationsmantras ausgelassen die aber sicherlich bald folgen werden, wie das Vielfalt Stärke ist, oder das deutsche Identität das gleiche wie die deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft ist, oder das Schulkinder zu Toleranz erzogen werden müssen, oder das Immigranten die deutsche Kultur vor einseitiger kultureller Verarmung bewahren. Diese Argumente und Behauptungen sind vollkommen normal in westlichen Gesellschaften, deren politische Klassen sie der Massenimmigration geöffnet haben.

Diese sechs angeblichen Vorteile massiver, ungefilterter Immigration sind typisch für das intellektuelle Level von Argumenten für offene Grenzen in anderen westlichen Ländern. Das derartige oberflächliche und manchmal verlogene Rhetorik von intelligenten Individuen geäußert wird, wäre ohne ihr Beinahe-Monopol über den Medienzugang, infolge ideologischer Intoleranz, die offene Debatten seit Jahrzehnten unterdrückt, unmöglich.

Ergebnis: Wagnis. Wird Europa überleben?

Das bis hierher überprüfte Beweismaterial legt nahe, dass ernste Warnungen nicht übertrieben sind. Die ethnische Transformation die jetzt Deutschland und dem Rest Europas von ihren politischen Klassen aufgezwungen wird, wird, falls man sie fortsetzt, die europäische Kultur und die europäische Lebensweise stark schädigen. Gegenargumente hierzu sind fadenscheinig und scheitern komplett daran sich mit den Risiken auseinanderzusetzen. Kommentatoren übertreiben nicht, wenn sie warnen, dass die Europäische Zivilisation, das Ergebnis von drei Jahrtausenden kultureller Evolution, in Gefahr ist.

Hoffentlich setzt sich der gesunde Menschenverstand durch so das Journalisten und Politiker respektvoll den Sorgen und Erwartungen der Bevölkerung zuhören. Vielleicht erholen sich Merkel und Hollande von ihrer moralischen Manie und befreien sich von Interessengruppen [special interests] lange genug um die Flut zurückgehen zu lassen. Vielleicht wird die EU eine konservative Immigrationspolitik formulieren, die nicht vor allem den Interessen von Immigranten, Minderheiten und der Wirtschaft dient, sondern auch die Europäer respektiert, indem sie ihre Identitäten, ihre Kulturen, ihren inneren [domestic] Frieden, Gleichheit und nationalen Zusammenhalt bewahrt. Es ist wahrscheinlicher, dass statt der intellektuell korrupten politischen Klasse die Wähler das Problem lösen werden und dass neue Parteien die Macht erhalten werden die nationale Souveränität vom gescheiterten EU Projekt zurückzuerobern. In diesem Fall wird die EU zusammenbrechen, sobald einzelne Nationen Schritte ergreifen sich vor dem Schengen-Abkommen zu schützen, das jetzt mehr eine tödliche Bedrohung anstatt einer Verheißung ist. Dies könnte die Grundlage einer neuen Trans-Europäischen Bewegung sein, welche die Identitäten und Lebensweisen individueller Nationen und Europas als Ganzem beschützt.

Doch bisher waren diese Erwägungen Angela Merkel und ihren Unterstützern fremd. Sie verkauft ihre Politik der offenen Tür als humanitäre Maßnahme. Doch in Wahrheit ist dies eine grausame Politik die höchstwahrscheinlich Leiden in Deutschland und Europa herbeiführen wird. Sie hat darin versagt die Interessen einzelner europäischer Nationen oder Europas als Ganzem in Betracht zu ziehen. Die europäische politische Klasse hat effektiv die aggressivste Form des Multikulturalismus gewählt, in welcher die Elite eine Allianz mit Minderheiten eingeht um die Mehrheit zu beherrschen.

Die Leiden, welche die Politik der offenen Tür herbeiführen wird – die Ungleichheit, inklusive des besonderen Übels der ethnischen Schichtung, der Zusammenbruch des Sozialstaates, die Kriminalität, die Elendsviertel und No-Go-Areas, die Erniedrigung der Frauen, die rassische Verformung der Politik, das Sinken der Löhne, der Verlust an nationalem Zusammenhalt, das zunehmende Gefühl des Verlustes und der Entfremdung unter Deutschen und Immigranten gleicher maßen, die beschleunigte Verdrängung von Europäern in ihren alten Heimatländern, die Beschränkung der Bürgerrechte und das allgegenwärtige Chaos – all dies wird Generationen währen.

Merkel ist in doppeltem Sinne grausam, da sie Entwicklungsländer ihrer gebildeteren und unternehmerisch begabteren Bürger beraubt. Der unausweichliche Rückgang europäischer Entwicklungshilfe, ausgelöst durch die Stagnation europäischer Wirtschaften und einem Verlust an sozialem Kapital, wird armen Ländern weltweit schaden.

Eine verantwortungsvolle Politik würde der britischen Strategie ähneln, Flüchtlingen in oder nahe bei ihren eigenen Ländern zu helfen, während gleichzeitig die Immigration nach Europa beschränkt wird. Es sollte allerdings festgehalten werden, dass in Großbritannien die Immigration durch andere Personengruppen als Flüchtlingen außer Kontrolle ist.

Die Situation in Deutschland ist trotz des gegenwärtig niedrigen Maßes an Vielfalt bedrohlicher aufgrund Deutschlands giftiger politischer Kultur. Deutschlands Chancen auf Erholung – was bedeutet eine tragfähige Immigrationspolitik durchzusetzen – richten sich danach, wie die folgenden Fragen durch die kommenden Ereignisse beantwortet werden.

Wie lange wird es dauern, bis aus der gegenwärtigen Reaktion auf die Ereignisse eine mächtige politische Kraft wird? Wie lange wird es dauern, bis Deutschlands Führung den Zorn des Volkes spürt, der durch die Aussicht auf die Transformation des Landes provoziert wird? Sollte die Reaktion auf die Ereignisse sich intensivieren, stellt sich die Frage, ob die Bürger lange genug mobilisiert bleiben um politische Organisationen aufzubauen die mächtig genug sind um die Situation zu bereinigen? Werden sie in der Lage sein einen politischen Druck auf Merkel und die politische Klasse aufzubauen, der ausreicht um die von der Elite gebotenen Anreize zu neutralisieren? Werden sie hierzu trotz unaufhörlicher Angriffe durch die Massenmedien und die Eliten des Bildungssektors fähig sein? Werden sie lange genug fokussiert bleiben die Regelungen der EU neu zu verhandeln oder Deutschland aus diesen zu entfernen? Werden sie lange genug beharren um Verfassungsänderungen durchzusetzen, die Deutschland als das Heimatland des deutschen Volkes definieren und rechtliche Abhilfe gegen politische Führer ermöglicht, die demographische Verdrängung herbeizuführen versuchen?

Unabhängig von einer Unterbrechung des Zustroms sollten Deutsche und Europäer sich über die tiefen Ursachen dieses Desasters und über Wege zur Vermeidung einer Wiederholung informieren.



[i] Phillip Hudson, “Europe must follow our lead on turnbacks: Abbott”, The Australian, 28 Oct. 2015, p. 2.

[ii] Rummel, R. J. (1997). “Is collective violence correlated with social pluralism?” Journal of Peace Research 34(3): 163-176.

[iii] Vanhanen, T. (2012). Ethnic conflicts: Their biological roots in ethnic nepotism. London, Ulster Institute for Social Research.

[iv] Dinesen, P. T. and K. M. Soenerskov (2015). “Ethnic diversity and social trust: Evidence from the micro-context.” American Sociological Review. DOI: 10.1177/0003122415577989.

[v] Salter, F. K. and H. Harpending (2013). “J. P. Rushton’s theory of ethnic nepotism.” Personality and Individual Differences 55: 256-260.

[vi] Arbatli, C. E., Q. Ashraf and O. Galor (2015). The nature of conflict. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 21079. Abstract:, text:

[vii] Interview of Tino Sanandaji by Margaret Wente, “Sweden’s ugly immigration problem”, The Globe and Mail [Canada], 11 Sept. 2015.

And see Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (2005). “Crime among people born in Sweden and abroad” (Swedish).

[viii] Danish Statistical Yearbook, 2015:

[ix] In 2014 Germany received 44,000 applications for asylum. It accepted 6,995 applications for asylum and rejected 37,340.,_2014_(number,_rounded_figures)_YB15_IV.png

[x] Assaults rose from 3,863 to 9,655, shoplifting from 4,974 to 13,894. Nick Cater, “Nightmare behind the diversity dream revealed”, The Australian, 13 Oct. 2015, p. 12.

[xi] UK Office for National Statistics. “How much gross debt did the EU28 countries have in 2013?”

[xii] Interview of Sanandaji, op cit.

[xiii] Sanderson, S. K. and T. Vanhanen (2004). Reconciling the differences between Sanderson’s and Vanhanen’s results. Welfare, ethnicity, and altruism. New data and evolutionary theory. F. K. Salter (ed.). London, Frank Cass: 119-120.

[xiv] Salter, F. K. (2004). Ethnic diversity, foreign aid, economic growth, social stability, and population policy: A perspective on W. Masters and M. McMillan’s findings. Op cit.

[xv] Sarrazin, Thilo (2010). Deutschland schafft sich ab: Wie wir unser Land aufs Spiel setzen [Germany abolishes itself: How we risk losing our country]. Berlin, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt.

[xvi] Herrnstein, R. and C. Murray (1994). The bell curve. Intelligence and class structure in American life. New York, Free Press.

Gottfredson, L. S. (1997). “Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life.” Intelligence 24(1): 79-132.

[xvii] Lynn, R. (2005). Race differences in intelligence: An evolutionary analysis. Augusta, GA, Washington Summit Publishers.

[xviii] Duchesne, R. (2015). “The Greek-Roman invention of civic identity versus the current demotion of European identity.” The Occidental Quarterly 15(3): 37-71.

[xix] The Interior Minister was Dr. Thomas de Maizière. “Die Fluechtlinge”, Radio BR2, “Tagesgesprech”, 14 Sept. 2015.

[xx] Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany.

[xxi]„Die Regierung Merkel setzte am 24.08.2015 die Dublin Regel aus, so dass es möglich wurde die Asylanträge syrischer Flüchtlinge in Deutschland zu bearbeiten bzw. die Flüchtlinge in Deutschland aufzunehmen.“

[xxii] In early October 2015, Merkel sidelined de Maizière from the leadership of a new ministry charged with managing the immigrant crisis. He had been critical of immigrant behaviour and the way the intake was being managed, so Merkel appointed someone closer to her who could be trusted to share her enthusiasm for keeping Germany’s door unconditionally open.

[xxiii] Bojan Pancevski, “Ghosts of Gastarbeiter prime Germany for influx”, The Sunday Times, reprinted in The Australian, 14 Sept. 2015, p. 7.

[xxiv] Botho Strauss: “Ich möchte lieber in einem aussterbenden Volk leben als in einem, das aus vorwiegend ökonomisch-demografischen Spekulationen mit fremden Völkern aufgemischt, verjüngt wird, einem vitalen.“ Zitiert in Pancevski, “Merkel fights to keep door open as German fear of migrants grows”, op cit.

[xxv] “Merkel defends migrant stand”, The Weekend Australian, 2-3 January 2016, p. 10.


What Ethology Can Do for Organisations


1)      Introduction

2)      History of the ethological approach

3)      Services offered by Social Technologies Pty Ltd

4)      Affordability of services



In an earlier post I summarised a recent Report indicating that heightened negative emotions and the stress that flows from them compromise mental wellbeing in organisations, reducing productivity. The annual cost to Australian business is $10.9 billion.[1] Substantial productivity benefits would be yielded by maintaining a mentally healthy workplace. Those benefits multiply if one includes morale as a part of mental well being. The Report hints at this when it recommends a “positive workplace”, though it does not provide details, such as how to operationalise or measure this characteristic.

The Report recommended tactics for improving mental wellbeing, mostly curative. The preventative actions, such as exercise, are not focused on at-risk personnel. This is a major shortcoming in the Report because prevention is better than cure.

In the previous post I recommended a complementary two-part strategy: analysing organisations to identify patterns of negative emotions and stress; and, based on this analysis, changing (only) those aspects of the organisation to reduce systemic negative affect. I recommended the behavioural science of ethology as a discipline suited to carrying out this strategy.

Ethology is the biological study of behaviour. In previous academic research I developed methods for observing emotional expressions and predicting their physiological correlates in many types of work organisation, as reported in my book Emotions in Command[2]. The theory helps identify immediate causes of such emotions as well as the larger systemic cause of human nature interacting with an organisation’s structure and processes. The approach is applicable to leadership in politics as well as in organisations.[3]

Observational method is a strength of ethology. While the mental health profile of an organisation can be approximated using questionnaire instruments such as the Kessler 6 Test for anxiety and depression, survey instruments alone are not reliable. That is partly because of a widespread reluctance to disclose mental ill health. In a recent study of 15,000 young Australians, over 60 per cent of those suffering mental conditions were reluctant to seek information or support, even from online and telephone counselling hotlines.[4] Ethology can complement these tests by identifying emotional stress points that can cause or exacerbate mental conditions. Typically the cause is an individual or procedure or recurring situation that induces negative emotions. Examples are the humiliation suffered by a manager whose authority is undermined or the fear and sadness in counter staff subjected to client aggression. Where observation is difficult these behaviours can be reported via interview.

History of the ethological approach

“Ethology” is not a word commonly used in management studies but ethological ideas have a deep connection with organisational analysis and practice.

1)      Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915), the founder of the scientific management movement, pioneered quantitative analysis of work roles employing ethology-like naturalistic observation. However, Taylor’s theories were deficient in the area of social relations.

2)      The German social scientist Max Weber (1864-1920), whose work is foundational to the sociology of organisations, drew on personal observations of organisation life. His concept of charismatic leadership overlaps behavioural elements of dominance. This is contrasted with his concept of legal-rational administrative behaviour that is relatively detached from dominance and attendant emotions.

3)      The Human Relations movement of management research that originated with the Hawthorne studies (1924-1932) conducted by Elton Mayo (1880-1949) also used field observations to test hypotheses and make discoveries. Its emphasis of natural human groups and interpersonal communication resembles ethological theory.

4)      Abraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) influential theory of the hierarchy of needs had origins in his study of non-human primates,[5] presaging the use of primate models in management theory.[6]

5)      Antony Jay, who popularised management theory by co-writing the British television series Yes Minister, adopted an explicitly ethological perspective in his earlier book Corporation Man (subtitle: Why His Ancient Tribal Impulses Dominate the Life of the Modern Corporation).[7] His approach was developed further by American social scientists Gary Bernhard and Kalman Glantz.[8]

6)      Lionel Tiger, an American sociologist, has advised the U.S. Department of Defence on small-group dynamics based on his ethological study of “male bonds” evolved in hunting bands.[9] With anthropologist Robin Fox he identified some of the stresses incurred when people are constrained by artificial bureaucratic structures.[10]

7)      Stanley Milgram (1933-1984) explained the findings of his famous obedience studies by referring to evolved predispositions and dominance, drawing on early ethologists. He noted that authority, like dominance, is MODULAR, the same behaviours being shown at all levels in a hierarchy.[11]

8)      The “body language” movement began in the 1970s. In Australia Allan Pease made behavioural research on self presentation accessible to a broad public with advice on a range of issues from making a good impression through posture and dress to avoiding cultural misunderstandings.[12]

9)      Bob Deutsch, an American alumnus of the Max Planck Research Centre for Human Ethology, has for many years consulted to VIPs on self presentation, including the Emperor of Japan.

10)  In 1990 Frank Salter consulted to the Australian Taxation Office and the Family Court of Australia upon completion of his doctoral dissertation on organisational ethology. The subject in both cases was aggression shown by the public to counter staff.

11)  Evolutionary psychology, a field overlapping ethology, is inspiring a rethink of management based on social instincts. Nigel Nicholson, a professor at the London School of Management, is a leading theoretician in this endeavour.[13] The Australian human resource professional Andrew O’Keeffe is applying evolutionary psychology in this country, [14] advising on such topics as overcoming internal rivalry, organisational change, creative uses of gossip, and performance appraisal.

12)  In their book Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman and colleagues argue for innate responses to leadership that explain the benefits of emotional intelligence. They identify six leadership styles, each with its emotional impact on the group (“resonance”).[15]

13)  Behavioural ecology also offers insights bearing on management, for example 2006 research by the Canadian research group led by R. E. White.[16]

14)  In 2008 Mark van Vugt, Robert Hogan and Robert B. Kaiser presented an evolutionary theory of leadership and followship that attributes a good deal to individual differences in personality.[17]  The leadership-followship combination likely evolved because it yielded more competitive groups and thus greater genetic fitness for all group members.  Hogan is the author of the industry-standard Hogan Personality Inventory, which also takes into account biosocial factors.[18]

15)  (Many of these management applications are reviewed in Emotions in Command.[19])

Summary of ethological services

The above precedents indicate that ethology can help identify stress and several other behavioural issues in organisations. Ethology deserves a place alongside other disciplines in assisting the management process. That place is not yet fully developed because ethology is not a mainstream subject in the social sciences or business schools. However the discipline already has some uses. The following services are offered by Social Technologies consultancy.

1)      Teaching ethological theory and methods. These have direct applications to management and organisational design, and offer new perspectives to HR and L&D professionals. Subjects include:

a)      Theory: Evolved sociality compared to the artificiality of formal organisations.

b)      Theory: Emotions and hierarchy.

c)      Theory: Types of directives with different emotional impacts.

d)     Theory: Aggression, bullying, conflict.

e)      Theory: Gender and sex differences. Signals and releasers. Scope for self-presentation.

f)       Theory: Gender. Social technologies to enhance the authority of men and women.

g)      Theory: Stress, its causes advertent and inadvertent; use in power games; and counter-measures.

h)      Theory: Motivations and how they are engaged by organisations.

i)        Theory: Ethnic ties and conflict; signals and responses; building multi-ethnic teams.

j)        Method: Choosing observational categories (what to look for). Obtrusiveness. Qualitative versus quantitative.

2)      Leadership development by coaching or teaching. Subjects include:

a)      Self presentation, behavioural and non-behavioural.

b)      Effective authority styles compatible with personality.

3)      Stress analysisidentifying negative affect and its behavioural and environmental causes, including architecture and office layout. Training, coaching and change solutions.

4)      Training in body language (reading others, knowing and shaping yourself).

These services can only be delivered by trained professionals. Unfortunately ethology is not taught in departments of public administration or business studies, which severely restricts the supply of service providers. Little wonder that ethological services are yet to be packaged for the management market. The development of a full range of targeted ethological solutions must await the establishment of relevant courses across the disciplines that provide training that bears on management.

Cost of observational methods

Quantitative observational methods are costly.[20] A serviceable substitute is qualitative analysis performed by a trained organisational ethologist whose judgments compare well with quantitative analyses,[21] another reason to introduce ethology courses in business schools. Another way to reduce costs is for the ethologist to collaborate with the organisation’s human resources professional or other officer familiar with the organisation’s structures and personnel.

A useful introduction to the subject is to consider a particular behavioural aspect and how it affects work relations and can (or can’t) be managed for desirable ends. One such behaviour is eye contact (gaze). That is the subject of the next post.

Frank Salter


[1] PriceWaterhouse Coopers (2014). Report: Creating a mentally healthy workplace. Canberra, National Mental Health Commission, 20 March: 46 pp. Available at:

[2] Salter, F. K. (2008/1995). Emotions in command: Biology, bureaucracy, and cultural evolution. New York, Transaction.

[3] Stewart, P. A., F. K. Salter and M. Mehu (2010). The face as a focus of political communication: Evolutionary perspectives, experimental methods, and the ethological approach Sourcebook for political communication research: Methods, measures, and analytical techniques. E. P. Bucy and R. L. Holbert. New York and London, Routledge: 165-193.

[4] Patricia Karvelas (2014). Girls twice as likely to be mentally ill. The Australian, 18 June, p. 5.

[5] Maslow, A. (1940). “Dominance-quality and social behavior in infra-human primates.” Journal of Social Psychology 11: 313-324.

[6] White, R. E. and B. D. Pierce (2000). “On Maslow, monkeys, and evolution.” Academy of Management Review 25: 696-701.

[7] Jay, A. (1975/1971). Corporation man; who he is, what he does, why his ancient tribal impulses dominate the life of the modern corporation. Harmondsworth, Penguin.

[8] Bernhard, J. G. and K. Glantz (1992). Staying human in the organization: Our biological heritage and the workplace. Westport, CN, Praeger.

[9]Tiger, L. (1989/1969). Men in groups. New York and London, Marion Boyars.

[10] Tiger, L. and R. Fox (1989/1971). The imperial animal. New York, Henry Holt & Company.

[11] Milgram, S. (1974). Obedience to Authority. An Experimental View. New York, Harper & Row, pp. 23-5, 28-30.

[12] Pease, A. and B. Pease (2011). Body language in the work place, Pease International.

[13] Nicholson, N. (1998). “How hardwired is human behavior?” Harvard Business Review(July-August): 135-147. See the consulting website:

Nicholson, N. (2000). Executive instinct: Managing the human animal in the information age. New York, Random House.

[14] O’Keeffe, A. (2011). Hardwired humans: Successful leadership using human instincts. Sydney, Roundtable Press.

[15] Goleman, D., R. Boyatzis and A. McKee (2013). Primal leadership, with a new preface by the authors: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence, Harvard Business Review.

[16] Pierce, B. D. and R. E. White (2006). “Resource context contestability and emergent social structure: An empirical investigation of an evolutionary theory.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 27: 221-239.

[17] Vugt, M. V., R. Hogan and R. B. Kaiser (2008). “Leadership, followship, and evolution.” American Psychologist 63(3): 182-196.

[18], accessed 16 July 2014.

Hogan, R. (2007). Personality and the fate of organizations. Mahway, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum.

[19] Salter, F. K. (2008/1995). Emotions in command: Biology, bureaucracy, and cultural evolution. New York, Transaction, pp. 99-107.

[20] Quantitative analysis of the distribution of emotions in an organisation is most feasible for medium and large organisations using limited sampling of work groups.

[21] Part of the training is to judge which research questions are amenable to qualitative methods.

Ethology, Emotions and Organisations

In the last post I summarised a recent Report indicating that heightened negative emotions at work cause or exacerbate anxiety and depression that cost Australian businesses an estimated $10.9 billion annually.[i]  I noted that the behavioural-science discipline of ethology is especially suited to analysing emotions in organisations.

This post briefly outlines the behavioural science discipline of ethology and the more pertinent discipline of human ethology. It provides resources for further exploration of these subjects.

An inspiring introduction to ethology is a 2010 lecture by Robert Sapolsky[ii] at Stanford University. Sapolsky explains how ethology developed in the 1930s when animal psychology was dominated by behaviourism, a theory in which animals and humans are blank slates able to have any behaviour imposed upon them through reinforcement. Evidence for this consisted of experiments on caged rodents. In contrast, the early ethologists began by looking at animals in their natural environments, before experimenting to test various hypotheses. Sapolsky followed in this tradition in the 1980s and 1990s in his study of baboons in the wild. By measuring hormone levels he made important discoveries about how personality affects dominance and stress, at least in baboons.[iii]

Blank slate assumptions have persisted in Western social science, including management theory, despite being falsified scientifically many decades ago.[iv] The longevity of blank slatism in the social sciences is due to their rejecting biology after the 1940s.[v]

Modern ethology was pioneered from the 1930s to the 1950s by Nikko Tinbergen, Karl von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz, who jointly won the 1973 Nobel Prize. They were all from continental Europe, though Charles Darwin published a ground-breaking study of human emotions as early as 1872.

A theoretical innovation of the early ethologists was the concept of the “fixed action pattern”. Contrary to behaviourism, many behaviours are genetically programmed and emerge spontaneously in the developing organism, including humans. An example is human facial emotions. The six basic emotions emerge without learning in all human populations, and are then refined through social experience.[vi] The innateness of the emotions is demonstrated by studies of children born deaf and blind, who nevertheless show the basic emotions. The fact that foetuses smile before they are born makes a blank slate explanation for them highly implausible. The ethological study of humans grew from the foundations laid in studying animals. A leading textbook on the subject is by the Austrian ethologist Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, titled simply Human Ethology.[vii]

Human ethology deploys the usual methods of social science research such as interview and questionnaire but also emphasises naturalistic observation and physiological measures. Naturalistic observation was greatly facilitated in quantity and quality by the movie camera and subsequently by low-cost video recording. Audio-visual recording is now a core method in the study of politics and organisations.[viii]

Also distinctive are ethological concepts, which are often drawn from animal studies. Even when studying behaviours closely associated with humans, such as speech, culture and religion, ethology adopts a biological and cross-species perspective. The result is theory that is universally applicable and which integrates non-verbal behaviour, psychology and physiology.

Its integrative character makes ethology especially useful for analysing the health effects of organisations. An example is research into interactions within organisations that links:

1)      Interactants’ rank;

2)      Whether the interaction is competitive or cooperative; and

3)      The emotions being express.

The original research conducated by Salter studied four basic emotions: happiness, anger, sadness and fear. Recent research led by American organisational ethologist Patrick Stewart included disgust, another basic emotion.[ix] The relationship between rank, type of interaction and emotion is shown in the following table. (Click to enlarge.)


Ethological theory allows organisations to be categorised according to the behavioural systems they engage to motivate subordinates. Three important behavioural concepts are reciprocity, dominance, and affiliation, interactions and relationships found in many species including humans. The following behavioural typology comes from Emotions in Command.[x]   (Click to enlarge.)

3-D typology-1

The typology is part of “infrastructure theory” which I developed in Emotions in Command. The theory conceives organisations as resting on the three behavioural systems named above – reciprocity, dominance, and affiliation. These involve motivational systems of the same name that are reliably associated with emotions. Work groups and whole organisations can be categorised according to the behavioural systems used to motivate employees.

One early realisation among ethologists was that humans are a cultural species par excellence who construct elements of their environment. Alone among the species, humans began devising techniques, culturally-transmissible techniques, for influencing their own behaviour. All human societies are based on culturally-transmitted rules, part of the “social technologies” we manufacture with the same brain that invented physical technologies of shelters, knives and digging sticks.

The study of social technologies has several origins, including the Machiavellian school of political philosophy, 19th century English liberal thinkers such as Jeremy Bentham and his pantechnicon, and most scientifically the European and American schools of ethology. I review the history of social technology theory in Emotions in Command (chapters 1 and 2).

This cultural component means that the ethological study of organisations is not focused solely on “body language” but also on the organisational environment, and interactions between them. Although members of organisations are seen as evolved organisms with a repertoire of innate behaviours, they inhabit the artificial environment of organisations conflicts can arise between innate predispositions and work conditions. The ethological perspective has contributed to the critique of formal organisations for their tendency to impose inhuman conditions, including rigid hierarchies and impersonal relationships. (Discussed in the next post.)

The ethological analysis of organisation has made several other findings. All directives have the same segments, beginning with gaining the attention of the subordinate and ending with monitoring of task performance. The segments are shown in the diagrams below, first without feedback and then with feedback.  (Click to enlarge.)



One hypothesis generated by the research is that all successful managerial systems work by elaborating one or more directive segments. In complex organizations specialised staff and sometimes whole departments function to attract attention, instruct in work skills or monitor performance. These findings confirm the ethological principle that an organism can only be communicated with using its evolved communication repertoire.

The next post summarises how ethology can assist the management of organisations.



[i] Pricewaterhouse Coopers (2014). Report: Creating a mentally healthy workplace. Canberra, National Mental Health Commission, 20 March: 46 pp. Available at:

[ii] Robert Sapolsky (2010). Ethology. Circa 60 minutes., accessed 28 May 2014.

[iii] Sapolsky, R. M. (1990). “Stress in the wild.” Scientific American 262(January): 106-113.

Sapolsky, R. M. (1991). “Testicular function, social rank and personality among wild baboons.” Psychoneuroendocrinology 16: 281-293.

[iv] Pinker, S. (2002). The blank slate: The modern denial of human nature. Viking.

[v] Salter, F. K. (2012). “The war against human nature in the social sciences.” Quadrant 56(6).

[vi] Recent research indicates that only four emotions are fixed action patterns. Jack, R. E., O. G. B. Garrod and P. G. Schyns (2014). “Dynamic Facial Expressions of Emotion Transmit an Evolving Hierarchy of Signals over Time.” Current Biology, accessed 1 April 2014. Discussed at:

[vii] Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. (1989/1984). Human ethology. New York, Aldine de Gruyter.

[viii] Salter, F. K. (1996). “Drawn by light”: Visual recording methods in biopolitics. Research in biopolitics IV. A. Somit and S. A. Peterson. Greenwich, CN, JAI Press: 23-59.

[ix] Stewart, P. A., F. K. Salter and M. Mehu (2009). “Taking leaders at face value: Ethology and the analysis of televised leader display.” Politics and the Life Sciences 28(1): 48-74.

[x] Salter, F. K. (2008/1995). Emotions in command: Biology, bureaucracy, and cultural evolution. New York, Transaction, p. 454.

Mental Health, Emotions and Business Productivity

A recent high level Report makes a strong connection between emotional stressors at work and productivity. A consortium of researchers led by the consultancy Pricewaterhouse Coopers studied the impact of reduced mental health on absenteeism, presenteeism (underperforming at work), and workers’ compensation claims.[1] A headline finding is that every $1 invested in mental health returns $2.30 in saved costs. Poor mental health costs Australian business $10.9 billion annually.

Providing a mentally healthy workplace is a rational business investment. To bring this point home, the Report provides some statistics of the prevalence of mental health conditions.[2] Some remarkable facts are:

1)      In a 12-month period, 20% of Australians experience a mental health condition.

2)      45% of Australians in the age range 16-85 experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives.

The data came from the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing conducted in 2007,[3] when the economy was still booming one year before the 2008 financial crisis. The survey reports high rates of conditions caused or exacerbated by stress, such as can occur at work. Mental illness is a “clinically diagnosable disorder that significantly interferes with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities”.[4] Milder conditions can also reduce productivity. Anything that reduces mental wellbeing, such as low morale, is likely increase costs.

It is worth identifying these disorders to better understand how they might be exacerbated or improved by workplace experiences.

Anxiety disorders affect 14.4% of Australians every year. These consist of:

  1. Panic disorder (2.6%)
  2. Agoraphobia (2.8%)
  3. Social phobia (4.7%)
  4. Generalised anxiety disorder (2.7%)
  5. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (1.9%)
  6. Post-traumatic stress disorder (6.4%)[5]


Of these, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 are sensitive to stressful emotional experiences. Most anxiety disorders are associated with feelings that can be induced in organisations: “tension, distress or nervousness”.[6]

Affective disorders affect 6.2% of Australians every year. These consist of:

  1. Depressive episode (4.1%)
  2. Dysthymia (chronic mild depression) (1.3%)
  3. Bipolar affective disorder (1.8%)[7]


All affective disorders are sensitive to negative emotional experiences – being triggered by them and contributing to them.

The Survey shows significant age and sex differences. The 25-34 age group suffered most mental health problems (18% per year). Women are especially vulnerable to anxiety disorders. In the age range 25-34 they show almost twice the frequency shown by men.[8] They are also more liable to affective disorders, except for the bipolar condition. In the age range 16-24, women show almost twice the prevalence of affective disorder shown by men. This disparity is confirmed by a study – the Youth Mental Health Report –of 15,000 young people aged 15 to 19 who completed the Kessler 6 Test for anxiety and depression. Indications of mental illness were reported by 14 per cent of males and 26 per cent of females.[9]

The Youth Report confirmed the connection between mental ill health and negative emotional experiences. Young people with an adverse Kessler 6 Test score are more likely to express concern about bullying, emotional abuse and family conflict.

Industries differ in prevalence and type of mental ill health. Overall prevalence is highest in the financial and insurance sector, where 33% of employees experiencing it per year. It is almost as prevalent in electricity, gas, water and waste services (EGWW, 31.6%) and information media and telecommunication (31.5%). Anxiety conditions are most common in the IT, media, financial and insurance, and EGWW sectors. Affective disorders (especially depression) are most prevalent in financial and insurance, IT, and EGWW industries. Full statistics on prevalence are provided in Appendix C of the Report.

Return on investment in mental wellbeing, if efficiently targeted, can be substantial. A 33% reduction in absenteeism, presenteeism and workers’ compensation across the country would yield the following returns. A person with a mild mental health condition will work 10 more productive hours per year, with a moderate condition 52.5 more productive hours and 2 fewer days absent per year, and with a severe condition 127.5 more productive hours and 13 fewer days absent per year.

Further return on investment can be expected from the higher morale that flows from mental wellbeing. The Report calls these benefits “intangibles” though group morale is a known positive indicator for raised productivity and, as argued in future posts, is measurable and predictable given the right analytic tools.

In summary, the data indicate that negative emotional experience is a major cause of lost mental wellbeing and therefore lost work productivity. Mental disorder can be brought into organisations and it can be caused or exacerbated by them. Either way, it lowers their productivity and reduces the wellbeing of the team. That is why a dollar spent on remedies returns, on average, $2.30.

Affordable solutions

The Report recommended “organisational change” to safeguard mental health, and identified seven actions for achieving this:

  1. Worksite physical activity programs;
  2. Coaching and mentoring programs;
  3. Mental health first aid and education;
  4. Resilience training;
  5. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) based return-to-work programs;
  6. Well-being checks or health screenings;
  7. Encouraging employee involvement.


Actions 1, 3 and 7 can be used preventatively. Omitted from the list are two key preventative measures: analysing an organisation to identify patterns of negative emotions and stress; and, based on this analysis, making minimal changes to the organisation to reduce systemic negative affect. These measures are briefly indicated in the HeadsUp website (see below).

All of these actions can be costly and difficult to execute, especially the last two. Surveying, interviewing and observing staff costs time and disrupts work flow. Changing organisations also costs time and stress, and without a guiding theory and associated data-gathering methods might need to be repeated until the right constellation is hit upon.

Size of organisation and cost of investing in mental health

The need for efficient screening methods and valid theory is not as urgent when the incidence of mental health conditions is high. Remedial and preventative actions can yield strong returns on investment, even when those actions are not targeted. This is the case for small organisation in the EGWW and IT industries and for medium sized organisations in the public administration and safety, mining, and EGWW industries.

Return on investment is more variable in large organisations. It is high for public administration and safety and mining industries but more often low in other industries.[10] The Report does not offer an explanation for these low returns The Report does not suggest that large organisations are generally immune to mental health problems. On the contrary, it recommends remedial actions in large organisations based on decentralised monitoring and leadership of mental health programs.[11] Taken together, this part of the Report indicates an analytical deficit, perhaps originating in mainstream management theory. That impression is reinforced by the HeadsUp website’s vagueness on the subject. It states, without elaborating, that organisations can create a mentally healthy workplace by identifying and minimising workplace risks to mental health. And the website states that employers are legally required to provide a mentally safe and healthy workplace as part of their responsibilities under work health and safety legislation.[12] Again elaboration is not provided.

Perhaps large organisations with moderate mental health issues do not respond well to remedial efforts because their negative-affect hot spots and mental health conditions are not very detectable or predictable using existing methods and theories.

Cost-efficient prevention requires a theory of how organisations shape emotions. Such a theory would allow managers to predict where negative affect is likely to occur, focusing attention where it is most needed. And it would indicate the minimum organisational changes needed to reduce mental ill health.

Such an analysis was developed by Frank Salter in his book Emotions in Command: Biology, Bureaucracy, and Cultural Evolution (Transaction 2008). The analysis identifies causal links between authority and emotions, both positive and negative, in work organisations. The book also develops observational methods for analysing emotions in numerous work contexts.

The analysis is situated within the discipline of human ethology. Ethology is the biological study of behaviour, pioneered by scholars such as Charles Darwin, Konrad Lorenz, Demond Morris, Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt and Robert Hinde. The discipline overlaps urban anthropology and biopolitics.

Ethology is integrative, showing the connections between social relationship (e.g. leader-follower), physiology (e.g. stress and wellbeing), emotional expression and corresponding psychological experience (happiness, fear etc.). Emotions in Command shows that different organisations arouse different emotions but also distribute emotions in different patterns among employees. A fundamental finding is that organisations distribute emotions unevenly among leaders and followers.

Ethological analysis can identify stress risks and help design new structures and routines to reduce those risks. Observation of relevant behaviours is needed to identify structural and behavioural factors that raise the risk of conflict and stress, which in turn raises the incidence of mental health conditions. The theory also allows an analyst to use observational data to categorise organisations according to the types of behavioural systems used to manage employees. This categorisation provides some predictability of negative emotions and associated stress likely to be experienced.

The next posting outlines the discipline of ethology, followed by a post that sets out how ethological theory and methods can help detect emotional stressors and change organisations to reduce their effects.

Frank Salter




[1] Pricewaterhouse Coopers (2014). Report: Creating a mentally healthy workplace. Canberra, National Mental Health Commission, 20 March: 46 pp. Available at:

[2] PwC Report, p. v.

[3] ABS (2007). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, Table 1, 23 October 2008,$File/43260_2007.pdf, accessed 28 May 2014.

[4] Survey of Mental Health, p. 4.

[5] Individuals can have more than one condition.

[6] Survey of Mental Health, p. 10.

[7] Individuals can have more than one condition.

[8] Survey of Mental Health, p. 9.

[9] The Report was prepared by the NSW Mental Health Commission. Patricia Karvelas (2014). Girls twice as likely to be mentally ill. The Australian, 18 June, p. 5.

[10] Detailed returns on investment in mental health are provided in the Report, Appendix E.

[11] Report, p. viii. Regarding large organisations’ low return on investment, the Report states that actions might need to be implemented on a team or group basis and engaging local “champions” to ensure that the investment “remains targeted amongst employees”.

[12], accessed 5 June 2014.

Advances in Reading Emotions

In January 2014 researchers at Glasgow University’s Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology questioned the long-held theory that human have six basic emotions.[1] Research scientists Rachael E. Jack, Oliver G. B. Garrod, and Philippe G. Schyns argued that children initially show four biologically-based emotions. With social experience they develop two more. The initial four instinctive emotional expressions are fear/surprise, sadness, happiness, and anger/disgust. Later surprise and disgust are signalled as separate emotions.

In this theory there are only four basic or innate emotions, not the usual six identified by psychologists.

In March 2014 other researchers developed an algorithm that allows computers to read human emotions, even complex ones formed by blending the primary facial expressions. Shichuan Du, Yong Tao, and Aleix M. Martinez at Ohio State University, went a long way to proving a theory originally developed by Austrian ethologist Konrad Lorenz, that facial expressions can be blended.[2]

The team had their computer code the facial expressions of 5,000 photographs of 230 people. The result was 15 compound emotions, including “sadly angry”, “fearfully surprised”, and “happily disgusted”. All are distinct blends of the basic six expressions. And all are formed by contractions of muscles in the face specialised for form the patterns we call emotional expressions.

These studies are the latest in a long series of exhaustive research stretching back to Charles Darwin’s ground breaking treatise, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in 1872.

Studies such as the two reviewed here bring the day closer when computers – personal computers – will be able to read the emotions of those using them. The new methods might also help diagnose and study such conditions as schizophrenia, autism and trauma.

However, computers are still not nearly as clever as children or even dogs, who are evolved to detect human emotions. By 18 months of age, toddlers can tell when an adult is faking a smile. Dogs are better judges of human emotions than are chimpanzees.

People are generally good at detecting emotions, though women are generally more adept than men. What we lack is a theory of social situations able to interpret our observations. Such a theory, to be reviewed in future posts, is needed to explain which emotions are aroused by which social situations.[3]

Frank Salter, 1st April 2014


[1] “Dynamic Facial Expressions of Emotion Transmit an Evolving Hierarchy of Signals over Time”, Current Biology., accessed 1 April 2014.

[2] “Compound facial expressions of emotion”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).

[3] Salter, F. K. (2008/1995). Emotions in command: Biology, bureaucracy, and cultural evolution. New York, Transaction.


Parliamentary Passion

Unusual emotions were displayed last week in Federal Parliament. Moral emotions. We are used to anger, sneering, joviality, and copious amounts of straight-faced dull neutrality but not since ex-prime minister Julia Gillard’s speech in October 2012 when she accused Tony Abbott of misogyny have we seen such a display of righteous indignation.

The immediate cause was an Opposition censure motion directed at the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop. Leader of Opposition Business, Tony Burke, accused Bishop of being incompetent, showing partiality, and acting as an “instrument of the Liberal Party”. The demeanour of both sides of the House and of Madam Speaker can be viewed during many interactions on

It was the alleged partiality towards the Government that aroused indignation. Why? Two hypotheses come to mind. Both were suggested in Parliament.

The first hypothesis is that the Speakerdid show partiality. The Opposition cited evidence for this, often as running commentary on the Speaker’s behaviour. For example, at one point Opposition frontbencher Tony Burke protested to the Speaker that she had expelled an Opposition member unfairly. Paraphrasing: “You asked her whether she wanted to leave the House, and when she replied you expelled her!” Other evidence cited is that Bishop had expelled 99 Opposition MPs but no Government MP, a greater than usual ratio. Also, she continues to attend Government party room meetings, breaking a tradition of speakers standing down from such party duties.

The second hypothesis is gamesmanship by the Opposition. The Leader of the Government Business, Christopher Pyne, implied that the Opposition was not genuine in its criticism of the Speaker. He stated that this was a “stunt”, a form of gamesmanship. Evidence for this interpretation is that Tony Burke likened Bronwyn Bishop to a villainous English headmistress on her first day as Speaker.

The Opposition might have felt emboldened to attack the Speaker because of their intuition that she lacked authority with their constituents. They might have felt that the mud would stick – not because she was being grossly unfair but because her peremptory manner was readily interpretable as such, especially for some Labor loyalists.

Characteristics of Bronwyn Bishop fit this interpretation. Bronwyn Bishop is an upper class Anglo lady. Given that the Labor Party is experienced at playing identity politics it is not unreasonable to suppose that they judge her class, ethnicity and sex to be red rags to some Labor voters. From this perspective, baiting the Speaker might be seen as a tactic that will pay dividends, much like Julia Gillard’s attack on Tony Abbott’s “misogyny” was meant to elicit sympathy from women.

Without a formal comparative study this observer cannot test these hypotheses.

But both hypotheses reflect on the wisdom of the Westminster tradition. Whether the Speaker was guilty as charged or the Opposition unfairly accused her of partiality in order to undermine her authority, impartiality is prescribed in that tradition and for very good reasons.[1]

Parliaments dispense great wealth and power that affect the lives of millions. It is therefore not surprising that contests for advantage within them can become heated. Members of those parliaments are usually people of talent and energy, capable of holding their own in debate and intellectual contest. Regulating their debates requires not only skill but power. But a parliament is not a dictatorship or a politbureau or a corporate board. In a democracy parliament must be self-governing within the constitutional frame, able to censure a government that has lost support, able to eject an MP who is disruptive, able to call an election that replaces the government.

Parliaments in the Westminster tradition appoint their own speakers whose authority relies on receiving continuing support from the parliament. Speakers are appointed by governments and can continue in power despite unpopularity if the government so wishes. But speakers who rely on coercion often rule over unruly houses. The most productive parliaments are managed by speakers who are respected for their fairness. That depends on them enforcing rules in an impartial manner. That is why in making their criticisms the Opposition displayed moral emotions, instead of the usual mix. They were asserting not that the Speaker lacked power but fairness and the legitimacy and trust that brings.

[1] Salter, F. K. (2008/1995). Emotions in command: Biology, bureaucracy, and cultural evolution. New Brunswick, Transaction Publishers. Chapter 8: “Chairmen’s command of meeting procedure: The challenge of aggression”.