On Wednesday I posted a brief critique of Thomas Sowell's theory about black culture being responsible for black under-achievement. Yesterday I put up two further comments on the subject by Steve Sailer and Star Parker. A reader has however reminded me of what is probably the most important factor:
"Sailer's comment that today's behavior is "an African thing" is just as much of a "stretch" as Sowell's saying it was a "Redneck thing". Neither has had serious influence for over 200 years. Blacks were long past the "Redneck thing" and the "African Thing" at the time our "welfare state" began. Their behavior is an "American thing", brought on by welfare state".
In fact, that comment reminded me of an earlier post harking back to something that most Americans have probably now forgotten: That characteristic black behaviour in America was up until around 50 years ago roughly the opposite of what it is now. See here. So where was the "African" and "cracker" culture then? Did it have opposite results then to what it has now? My correspondent is clearly right: Objective circumstances (to use a Marxist term!) matter most and current self-destructive African behaviour is not the result of ANY long-standing culture but rather the result of the perverse incentives that American Leftists have created with indiscriminate welfare policies, affirmative action, anti-American education, racial quotas on policing and the promotion of a "victim" mentality among minorities generally. And I think it is clear that even the influence of genetics pales into insignificance compared with the effect of the positive and negative incentive systems that society sets up for people.
MORE FUN WITH THE ANGRY LEFT:
I noted yesterday on LEFTISTS AS ELITISTS how Liberal Avenger has put up another of his fact-free streams of abuse -- this time in response to a critical article by Debbie Schlussel about Marla Ruzicka, the Leftist "martyr" recently killed by the Islamic nutjobs in Iraq. The avenging one has also added a link to the bottom of his post recommending an article by Raimondo which he recommends as a good "fisking" of the Schlussel article. Here are some choice comments from early on in the Raimondo article:
"Yeah, Debbie, Marla was a real blonde � unlike your haggish self. And she was young � again, unlike yourself, in spite of the few pounds of makeup you slosh on your tired old forty-if-you're-a-day face. But recognizing the roots (if you'll pardon the expression) of Schlussel's schadenfreude would require a "reality check" on Debbie Dye-job's part, which is not about to happen. Apart from outright envy, however, what exactly is Schlussel's beef?".
With irrelevant ad hominem garbage like that masquerading as an argument I certainly felt no need to read any further at that point. Coming from someone as messed-up as Raimondo, however, the hate-speech did not at all surprise me.
I have not myself taken any interest in the life and times of Ms Ruzicka but from the extensive and detailed information provided by Debbie Schlussel, I suspect that, far from being a martyr, she was just another self-promoting bigmouth hiding behind a front of "compassion" in the usual Leftist way. There is a picture of her on Raimondo's site which could almost have been designed to portray a self-promoting bigmouth.
The Avenger wrote to me in response to the above and asked how I could condemn what he and Raimondo said when I also came to derogatory conclusions about Ruzicka and Raimondo -- which is a fair question. I replied: "I have no difficulties at all with derisive judgments about people. I make them about Leftists all the time. It is abuse AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR facts and argument that leaves me cold -- and which I deride. In the case of both Raimondo and Ruzicka, I linked to fact-filled articles to give the sources of information on which I based my conclusions".
Unbelievable self-deception and reality-denial. Just listen to what Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the recent Democrat vice-Presidential nominee, has to say about free speech and compare it with the constant attacks on anything conservative that occur almost daily on Left-dominated American university and college campuses: "Democrats are simply good and decent people. And good and decent people want everyone to do well -- those who agree with them and those who do not. We fight for the right of voices with which we disagree to speak out, for the right of people to say things we don't believe to be true, even for the right to be malicious and mean-spirited." Just look at today's post on EDUCATION WATCH for starters.
Dennis Prager has compiled a list of "liberal" opinions of the sort that commonly appear in America's mainstream newspapers and suggests that few Americans would agree with most of them. They are pretty absurd when spelt out and I think he is right that they are very much minority views. I wouldn't mind designing a survey to test out properly how popular they really are if anybody living in the USA feels like helping me with that. I live just a bit too far away to do it all myself. People willing to go doorknocking or able to pay others to do so would be what I would need.
Canadian ignoramuses: The CBC has recently broadcast a programme comparing neo-conservative philosopher Leo Strauss with the Islamic fundamentalist Sayyid Qutb -- a very stretched comparison indeed. They could make a much better case for saying that Islam and Judaism have a lot in common but that would have no propaganda value, of course.
Islamic "scholar" convicted of urging holy war on US: "An Islamic scholar who prosecutors said enjoyed 'rock star' status among a group of young Muslim men in Virginia was convicted Tuesday of exhorting his followers in the days after Sept. 11 to join the Taliban and fight U.S. troops. The convictions against Ali al-Timimi, 41, carry a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison without parole. But the judge left open the possibility that she will toss out some of the counts. The jury reached its verdict after seven days of deliberations and convicted al-Timimi of all 10 counts."
Leftist antisemitism in Britain: "Although egalitarian, cosmopolitan, and internationalist principles are common to all variants of socialist doctrine, these have not immunised the Left from antisemitism.... The shift from the politics of class to the politics of identity has meant that the Left's main imperative has been to express solidarity and seek out alliances with those groups opposed to the dominance of the United States. In this worldview, America is regarded as the main foe. Any concerns about the political ideas and affiliations of such groups have been subordinated to the larger goal of anti-Americanism. A wide range of organisations have, therefore, been branded as worthy of support, from Latin American populists like the Frente Sandinista (FSLN) in Nicaragua to Arab nationalists, of both conservative and radical hues, in Syria, Iraq, Libya and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). In recent years, this comradeship has been extended by large sections of the Left to the Islamist movements and their followers in Europe. As the old Arab proverb would have it, 'My Enemy's Enemy is My Friend.' The contemporary alliance between the western Left and nationalist and religious radicals in the Middle East is of special concern here. Arab and Muslim radicals have always denied that Israel, uniquely among the states in the international system, has the right to exist. That position is shared by a large proportion of western Leftists."
Jonah Goldberg takes a good swipe at the "Iraq as Vietnam" kneejerk that is so common on the Left.
There is a very pointed article here by a professor of criminology showing the extensive similarities between Leftists and juvenile delinquents.
In my latest quote on MARXWORDS we see that Engels advocated war between Germany and France.
For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and LEFTISTS AS ELITISTS. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here
That power only, not principles, is what matters to Leftist movers and shakers is perfectly shown by the 2004 Kerry campaign. They put up a man whose policies seemed to be 99% the same as George Bush's even though the Left have previously disagreed violently with those policies. "Whatever it takes" is their rule.
Leftist ideologues are phonies. For most of them all that they want is to sound good. They don't care about doing good. That's why they do so much harm. They don't really care what the results of their policies are as long as they are seen as having good intentions and can con "the masses" into giving them power.
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist"
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