54 / CHRONICLESnRainbow or Thunderstorm?nReaders of American newspapersncould easily conclude that racialnand ethnic conflicts are peculiar tonSouth Africa and the United States,nwith an occasional flare-up in Londonnor India. The truth is thatngovernments everywhere find it difficultnto superimpose the modernnidea of nationhood upon the ancientnrealities of race and tribe. AsnDonald L. Horowitz points out innEthnic Groups in Conflict (Universitynof California Press; Berkeley;n$25.00), “Ethnicity is at the centernof politics in country after country,na potent source of challenges to thencohesion of states and of internationalntension.” Horowitz’s booknprovides a valuable and longoverduencross-cultural analysis ofnethnic conflict, focusing especiallynon its manifestations in Asia, Africa,nand the Caribbean.nBecause of “the ideological heritagenof the post-EnlightenmentnWest,” both liberal democrats andnorthodox Marxists expected ethnicnconsciousness to wane in the postcolonialnworld. But whether thencountry is Malaysia or Sri Lanka,nTanzania or Guyana, Horowitznfinds the persistence of ethnicncleavages that cut deeper than thosenof economic class, territorial proximity,nor even religion. In manynThird World states, ethnic groupsnthat banded together to oust thenEuropean colonists wasted littlentime turning against one another.nThe results do not encourage muchnconfidence in Jesse Jackson’s “RainbownCoalition.” Ethnic clashesnhave virtually killed democracy innmost of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean,nand communist revolutionariesnnow resort to “the labeling ofnentire ethnic groups as progressivenor reactionary.” As a professor ofnlaw and political science at DukenUniversity, Horowitz understandsnonly too well that books like hisnreceive “only the reluctant attentionnreserved for distasteful subjects.”nBut this study, the fruit of 20nyears of research, deserves seriousnREVISIONSndiscussion as a probing analysis of anfundamental human reality. To ignorenthis reality is to risk whatnReinhold Niebuhr called (in referencento fascism) “the revenge of anneglected idea.”nLonger exposure to the philosophiesnof individualism, nationalism,ncapitalism, and Marxism havenweakened the political importancenof ethnic identity in Western Europenand North America. Yet Horowitznrightiy insists that “even in thenWest, ethnicity continues to be annorganizing principle, supplementingnthe weak bonds of egalitariannindividualism.” Indeed, as nativenbirthrates plummet andnAfrican, Indian, and Turkish “guestnworkers” multiply, even the land ofn”Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity”nis rediscovering the strength of ethnicnpassions.nMeanwhile, power brokers in thenU.S. play minority politics, as thenNew Immigration of Hispanics andnAsians drive up the stakes of thengame. Hispanics in the UnitednStates: A New Social Agendan(Transaction; New Brunswick, NJ;n$12.95), edited by Pastora San JuannCafiferty and William C. Mc-nCready, clarifies some of the issues,nespecially the fight over bilingualneducation and the changing politicalnrole of the Catholic Church innthe Southwest. Unfortunately, toonoften the contributors are contentnwith citing a few statistical trends,nquoting Marxian cliches about thenprimacy of economics, or advocatingnmore voter registration drives.nMore illuminating than this superficialnfascination with the political,ndemographic, and economic statusnof Hispanics is the all-too-brief discussionnof “the dominant valuesnof Mexican-American culture.”nThese Hispanic values, we are’told,ndefine a “set of rules and justificationsn. . . antithetical to dominantnWhite middle-class culture.”nInstead of wondering how to getnmore Hispanics into the votingnbooth, we might need to start askingnwhat place voting and parliamentarynpractice would hold in annnHispanic United States. For as Horowitznshows, deeply divided societiesnhold elections rarely, and thennonly as a type of ethnic census.nOur own Federal government alreadynkeeps an ethnic census,nthough we are assured that the purposenis that of ending discrimination.nArmed with their statisticalnevidence. Federal officials are evennwilling to use coercive integrationnand preferential treatment of minoritiesnso as to create the desirednsocial homogeneity. In Education:nAssumptions Versus History (HoovernInstitution Press; Stanford;n$8.95), the Black economist ThomasnSowell exposes the fraudulentnreasoning and the dubious results ofnforced busing and “affirmative action”nprograms in the schools. Henshows that Black students werendoing quite well at some segregatednschools (including one within walkingndistance of the Supreme Court)nand that the current use of doublenstandards favoring Black studentsnand teachers merely reinforces racismnwhile cheating capable Blacksnout of proper recognition.nEven more persuasive on thenissue than Sowell’s analysis is Horowitz’snsurvey of preferential ethnicnpolicies in other countries. InnTelanganas, Malaysia, Tanzania,nand elsewhere, Horowitz finds thatnpreferential ethnic policies havenconsistently eroded standards ofnperformance as they “have arousednmore ethnic conflict than they assuaged,nparticularly because proposalsnfor preferences often emanatenfrom politicians not as a response tonpopular demands, but as a means ofnmobilizing political support.” Globally,nit appears that affirmative actionnis an equal-opportunity disaster.nAlthough government officialsneverywhere insist that their ethnicnpreferences are only a temporarynexpedient, “preferences once adoptednare difficult to reverse, evennwhen . . . policymakers becomenconvinced that reversal is warranted.n” To all appearances, ethnic conflictnwill be here for a long time—nand so will affirmative action. ccn