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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mailvox: a leftist responds

DH couldn't quite keep his response to Live by the Science within the Blogger comment character limits, so he emailed it to me.  It's almost alarmingly reasonable and helps explain some of the appeal of the Left, particularly to the young, that is so inexplicable to we libertarian extremists.
Thank you for bringing this topic up.  It's not a very often discussed topic within leftist circles for many reasons.  Within my close circle of elite, liberal friends we do get together to drink artisianally crafted authentic middle-ages mead we often discuss this topic, but only in hushed tones.  Between puffs on our organically grown, locally sourced, hand stretched tobacco, we speak quietly of the science itself, and the implications.

First, my initial point, if it was not clear, is that there exists legal equality before the law.  Sadly, at this point American law and history, this has been reduced to "Congress has the ability to regulate all people equally, but may or may not do so".  I believe this is the basis for your comments regarding the "legal fiction" of equality.   My view on this is that this state has come about as a result of two forces:  1) a few holdouts of the anti-feminist line of thinking, who have managed to pass or hold onto, pre-feminist laws and customs; and 2) feminist and other activists who have decided to "work the refs" to obtain a favorable outcome, in contradiction to their claims about wanting only to be equal.  The point remains is that the leftist ideal is "equality before the law", not "equality of outcomes".  

This is a difficult topic to discuss in liberal circles because of racial hucksters.  With no exceptions the racial hucksters are all leftists and liberals.   It is often uncomfortable to own the sludge of your ideological party, but nonetheless, these buffoons are mine to own.  It is beyond question that you cannot discuss any of these matters with this cohort, under any preconditions.   I generally find solace in the fact that we share the revulsion towards the types who hiss "raciss" at every turn.

My objection was founded on the basis that leftists and liberals like myself recognize that most stereotypes are correct.

For example, I am a bleeding heart liberal.  If an unfortunate looking soul solicits me, I will do almost anything they ask.  My wife often remarks that I must have a glow that only grifters can see.  At the gas station, when I have parked my electric-only golf-cart sized car to run in and get some chai or tofu, I am often approached by someone with a hard luck story asking if they can have a dollar or two for gas so they can get home to their babies, or back to work, or whatever.  More often than not I fill their tank.  When the local church - not mine, I am not religious - had storm damage and needed donations for a new roof I split my emergency fund and donated timbers I had obtained for a DIY project. 

The same is true not only of this stereotype, but of most of them.  I won't restate them, but you can imagine what they are.  Because they are rooted in observation and obtained over the ages they are more often accurate.  When I learned that the genetics of racial attributes are fairly well established I was not surprised.  As with many things, conventional wisdom tends to be accurate.  However, despite this, we on the left seek to carve race and race relations out of the realm of the biological sciences, and instead, keep them in the realm of social pseudo-science.  Frankly, we do not trust the masses with the information, nor even our own elite.  It is rope enough to hang oneself, or in this case, one's neighbors.  But why deny our natural selves, and our natural desires?  We seek a compassionate compromise - that is based outside of science and history.  We seek a balance between our biological instincts that tell us to divide by race and attributes, and the rational knowledge that there is an at least equal value to be had people with attributes that are unlike our own.  We do not yield the ground that there is a clearly and universally superior sub-species group [although, logic dictates that one could develop, over long timescales].  This compromise is the "content of one's character" test.  And really, except for a small number of hardcore bigots, that's how I see most people, liberal, conservative or otherwise, operate their relations. 

This test and the collective result of individuals' decisions to live by it are the reason why today a small slice of minorities have the opportunity to access the more affluent, more socially rewarding, and more culturally powerful anglo-American tradition.  As Derbyshire pointed out, there is a high-demand for minorities who are exemplars of their respective race.   At the top end of the societal power scale, people of all races mix well.  Within my circle of latte-sipping effette liberal friends, RGIII would fit in just fine, and he would be warmly welcomed.  That is because there is a very small difference between a successful black, and his white counterpart.  They both live in the same areas, kids both go to the same schools, etc.  The main difference is the statistical improbabilities involved.  For the white businessman, it is somewhat more likely that he ended up where he did.  For the black businessman, it was quite a bit more unlikely that he ended up where did.   Two racially divergent alpha's share a lot more in common than one white alpha and what black delta.  At the bottom end of society - the low-class whites, the low-class blacks, the low-class hispanics - well, we never really expected them to mix well to begin with.  Our long-term preference would be for them to reduce numbers through birth control and abortions.   And again, this is where the "content of one's character" test comes back into play.  I wouldn't want my children significantly interacting with people in this cohort, because more often than not, their character matches their lot.  When that stereotype fails, I am happy to make exceptions. 

Many leftists and liberals will often say things like "racism is evil", without realizing they are being irrational.  In many cases the MPAI-variety leftist will really mean they think racism is evil, but for those of who think about it more deeply, what we really mean are "the manifestations of racism are unpleasant" - those things are violent segregation, and racial hucksterisms, and the damage to human dignity that is done by systematic racism (i.e. 'No blacks allowed').  This was what I meant by the "what to do about it" department.   I recognize racism as an inherent element of the human condition, and as such, the desire itself is not "evil" to the extent that evil exists in the world.   This is also my point regarding malice and ill-will.  I would never fault a person for moving out of a declining neighborhood, being overrun with low-class minorities.   This is because it's not built on ill-will or malice, it's based on a desire to preserve what one's already got.   It gets much more sticky when you ask, well why not prevent the minorities from moving into the place where you relocate?  That way, you won't have to repeat the activity years down the road.  This is difficult because it prevents the "content of one's character" test - which is the basis for equality of opportunity and thus the basis for the rational leftist preference for race relations.

The civil rights era is precipitated on violations of what many view as the God-given right of free association.  You have lost the legal basis, in many cases, to decide with whom you shall associate, do business with, and conduct your lives with.   Even though racial tensions were largely localized, the liberals of the 1960's and 1970's were successful in working the refs to get the Federal government to trade a good chunk of freedom of association on the altar of equality of opportunity.  This may have short-term benefits, but many leftists recognize that the intellectual  and legal footing for this is very weak.

Many of the most upsetting facets of liberalism in America are centered around the victimization of the majority, in the name of equality of opportunity.  This often comes at the expense of equality before the law, which is troubling.  These are things like quotas, affirmative action, and preferences built upon normalizing access to outcomes deemed favorable by favored minorities.  I have often argued that enforcing these mandates puts the entire concept of "equality before the law" in jeopardy, and it seems that with the growing documentation and understanding of the biological aspects of race, this is becoming more likely.   The  rational leftist has no choice but to acknowledge that these preferences must be dispatched.  As the understanding of sub-species race expand, so too will the demands of the minorities, until the point where equality of opportunity is worthless (a point which we may well have already passed).  The leftist solution is to refocus policies and society around equality of opportunity and to do so while preserving  and enhancing equality before the law.   In this way, we can balance the natural desire to separate unto ourselves with the compassionate compromise of the "content of one's character" test.  Civilized people will be welcome to organize themselves according to their preference and to maximize productivity and commerce, and the low-classes will remain largely as they are today - defactor segregated.  Over the longer timescales, intermixing will average out the various attributes and produce generations of citizens with more average abilities, with fewer deviations from that average.

It is unfortunate that all cannot engage openly and honestly in this debate, and for that reason, I recognize the inherent weakness of the leftist liberal position.  VD is exactly right when he claims that honest and forthright discussion on this topic is not currently permissible, and that the blame for that lies largely on the side of the left.  MPAI is true, but especially so for many on "my side".
What an eloquent elegy for his own side.  The fact is that discourse is rendered impossible when, as soon as one speaks one's mind, the interlocutor points, shrieks, and rules not only the thought, but the speaker as well, out of bounds.  This is the intrinsic problem with the Latin proverb qui tacet consentire videtur and the idea that silence indicates consent; it creates an incentive for forcing silence and thereby creating the public impression of consent.  After all, if no one is speaking out against the iron-fisted rule of Stalin, everyone must be consenting to it, correct?

And the problem of the "content of one's character" test is even more obvious.  One's character by what moral standard?  The Left's position sounds noble enough, at least as described by DH, but when practiced by those who reject the traditional Western moral standard, it becomes inescapably incoherent.

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165 Comments:

Blogger Shimshon February 12, 2013 3:34 AM  

Vox, is DH for real? He sounds like the leftist equivalent of NAWALT (NALALT), except that they really are all like that, except for him and his small cohort of mead-sipping effetes (DH, your description of your bonafides, true or not, is hilarious; nice writing skillz there). But was the mead fair trade?

Anonymous Toby Temple February 12, 2013 3:34 AM  

It is unfortunate that all cannot engage openly and honestly in this debate, and for that reason, I recognize the inherent weakness of the leftist liberal position. VD is exactly right when he claims that honest and forthright discussion on this topic is not currently permissible, and that the blame for that lies largely on the side of the left. MPAI is true, but especially so for many on "my side".

I applaud you, dh, for being able to admit that much.

Anonymous Krul February 12, 2013 3:40 AM  

It's almost alarmingly reasonable and helps explain some of the appeal of the Left, particularly to the young, that is so inexplicable to we libertarian extremists.

I'm afraid I'm still in the dark on that.

DH, what leftist positions do you hold, if you don't mind the question? I don't see much in the way of endorsement for specifically leftist positions in the email.

Anonymous rho February 12, 2013 3:46 AM  

I know he's half joking, but:

Within my close circle of elite, liberal friends we do get together to drink artisianally crafted authentic middle-ages mead we often discuss this topic, but only in hushed tones. Between puffs on our organically grown, locally sourced, hand stretched tobacco, we speak quietly of the science itself, and the implications.

dh should ask somebody sometime who makes that artisanal mead, or who grows and delivers the "hand stretched" tobacco. dh should count penises and measure melanin levels. Don't forget to include the people who bought it from the producers and (non-ironically) sold it to you!

Confusing racism and sexism as like is a mistake. Racial differences are not the same as differences in sexes. It's an easy error to make, if only because "racist! sexist! bigot! homophobe!" tend to arrive on the same bus.

Anonymous HongKongCharlie February 12, 2013 3:49 AM  

Somehow this article leaves me feeling sorry for dh.

HKC

Anonymous TheExpat February 12, 2013 3:50 AM  

without realizing they are being irrational. In many cases the MPAI-variety leftist will really mean they think racism is evil, but for those of who think about it more deeply, what we really mean are "the manifestations of racism are unpleasant" - those things are violent segregation, and racial hucksterisms, and the damage to human dignity that is done by systematic racism (i.e. 'No blacks allowed').

Note the example given ('No blacks allowed') and what it implies about the so-called "manifestations of racism." This displays the most inherent bias of the left - the failure to realize that non-whites are some of the biggest racists of all, and that anti-white racism has been socially and legally institutionalized.

The rest of dh's response is similarly as notable for what it doesn't say (and thereby implies) as what it does. I don't even think this is intentional, or at least conscious - I think that dh is truly trying to be rational and reasonable. The problem is that desired bias is difficult to overcome for anyone - left, right or center.

Anonymous ENthePeasant February 12, 2013 3:57 AM  

Very honest from my experience. Having shared a bed with a liberal woman or two I've heard these same arguments/justifications/explanations in private moments. The problem comes in that they are destroying the very thing they are trying to preserve, which is a wealthy liberal society. They are constantly living off the backs of the majority which historically won't carry the load forever. It's also quite interesting to hear the views of our Hispanic invaders. They believe with all their hearts that black people are lazy and worthless. This past weekend I even had one tell me, "We are going to do the jobs that blacks won't do and we will do them well, which they can't." In part he was joking but in part he was very serious. So Liberals in the name of making their power felt by running the country are bringing in the very people who believe least in what they are doing. Somehow I don't see this ending well for anyone, but hey at least he's trying... right???

Anonymous Peter Garstig February 12, 2013 4:14 AM  

I think this is the central theme for liberals (it's also typical that it comes into the discussion 'as an example'. It's important for them to make sure that people understand this about them:

For example, I am a bleeding heart liberal. If an unfortunate looking soul solicits me, I will do almost anything they ask.

So dh, what makes you think that this makes a bleeding heart liberal? Why do you think it doesn't apply to, let's say, VD?

What is excluded (as you do almost anything)? And when you do what they ask for, do you think you help them or do you think you help yourself? Do you think 'what they ask for' is the only way to help them? If no, is it the best way?

Anonymous Krul February 12, 2013 4:36 AM  

Re: Peter Garstig,

You raise an interesting issue. I've observed that the act of giving to others may have several different motivations, which perhaps offer a clue to the personal character and political convictions of the giver.

For example, one may be motivated by generosity. A man may be brimming with such happiness and gratitude over his good fortune that he seeks to share with others. The act of sharing and spreading the happiness around pleases him, like Scrooge after the visitations.

A man may also be motivated by compassionate concern for others -I think this is DH's motivation. Such a giver feels empathetic for the misfortunes of others, and his giving is a means of improving their situation.

A man may also be motivated by a sense of duty. The Christian 10% tithe.

Finally, a man may be motivated by guilt. He could feel guilty of his good fortune in the knowledge of the misfortune of others, but mere practicality prevents him from disowning his wealth.

I suppose a man might also wish to have others think that he is generous, empathetic, dutiful, or guilty for practical PR reasons even if he doesn't actually feel this way.

I can't parse it, but I'm thinking that there is some relationship between the types of motivation one feels for sharing and his political convictions.

Anonymous Peter Garstig February 12, 2013 4:42 AM  

Krul: there could be a relation between kind of motivation and political conviction. But I wouldn't necessarily speak of 'motivation' but more about 'incentive'.

Alos, I'm more interested on the contradictions in dh's statements. For instance, how does give what they ask for makes any sense when you also agree that MPAI?

Anonymous Toolbox February 12, 2013 4:49 AM  

Vox's last sentence is the proper summation of DH's founding difference. When a moral standard is merely "man's reasoning"; it comes from within the individual man. Even collectively, a majority decision that something is moral or right or evil, is still at its base, based on a man generated code of conduct. Enforcing this upon other men is always tyranny.

Conversely, the West's moral code came explicitly from its Christian roots. The code comes from without: God's revelation to man of His laws and righteousness. This, therefore, is a fixed code with all arguments of interpretation, etc. sourcing the revelation as authoritative.

Men's reasoning changes. God's laws do not. This is a very fundamental divide that crosses the camp lines. To me, it is sad that it is not the great dividing factor. I blame the church.

Anonymous TangoMan February 12, 2013 5:23 AM  

DH is giving too much credit to liberals when he paints them as accepting many of the propositions which he acknowledges. I give him credit for analyzing the situation as he has done but I can't in good conscience see how to extend that same credit to the broader group which honestly oppose many of his statements e.g. (that leftists and liberals like myself recognize that most stereotypes are correct.)

We do not yield the ground that there is a clearly and universally superior sub-species group

Not so fast there. When Cochran, Harpending & Hardy published their Jewish intelligence paper, it was, considering the topic, fairly well received. The presumption that Jews could be more intelligent than other groups wasn't shocking to all, wasn't rejected by all, wasn't denounced by all, and so ground was yielded. The reciprocal of a group being more intelligent than the mean is a group which is less intelligent than the population mean and this proposition is dynamite. A rational thinker though would recognize the mathematical difficulty of variance from the mean resulting in groups being able to be above the mean but prohibited from being below the mean. The parsimonious conclusion here is that many people are engaged in a battle between Public Lies and Private Truths and that actively work to advance public lies. So the question becomes, on which ground won't you yield, what you believe in private or what you advocate for in public?

They both live in the same areas, kids both go to the same schools, etc. The main difference is the statistical improbabilities involved.

True so far as it goes but this leaves out other important factors which do intersect with how we live our lives. The most relevant factor here is the life paths of the children. The US Supreme Court is pondering this issue right now with Univ. of Texas vs. Fisher. The children of many privileged blacks and Hispanics are being out-competed for admission to UT Austin by the children of the white middle and lower class. Regardless of whether the minority parents achieved their socioeconomic success via merit or via some enhanced "hands-up" program, their children are not succeeding either by merit or by the same "hands-up" program which enabled the parents to succeed. These children are regressing to towards their population mean. This has implications on many levels including how upper class whites and blacks interact.

Anonymous The Great Martini February 12, 2013 5:25 AM  

Like others, I'm wondering just what credibility DH actually has as a liberal. Stopping to help the elderly across the street and giving change to panhandlers does not a liberal make. Do you support taxing rich people and established social programs to aid the destitute and unfortunate? Now, there would be a solid credit as a liberal (and rather contentious here).

Yes, I'm afraid I must fisk:


My objection was founded on the basis that leftists and liberals like myself recognize that most stereotypes are correct.


Stereotypes are usually correct, that is, they usually signify something that is statistically accurate. However, they are not fixed, and I think this is a major mistake you make and carry over into the rest of your comment. There is even something called "stereotype threat," which is posited as a causal element that can perpetuate stereotype even in the absence of other causal factors. That is, stereotypes can self-propagate.


More often than not I fill their tank.


As others have indicated, this doesn't make you a liberal, bleeding heart or no. It just means you're a nice guy.


Our long-term preference would be for them to reduce numbers through birth control and abortions.


Yowch. I'm not sure what latte-sipping effetes you're hanging with, but I think you need an upgrade. Liberals may not entirely buy the nurture over nature line, but this seems to be a revisit to negative eugenics, and liberals are no more partial to it than conservatives, as I tried to argue in the other post.


but for those of who think about it more deeply, what we really mean are "the manifestations of racism are unpleasant"


Well, the manifestations can also be evil, although I agree that the proneness to racism isn't itself evil since we are all still racist to one extent or another, and I don't believe we are all evil because of it. Like fear, it is what you do with that emotion that determines your character. If you give in to it and deliberately express it with unthinking cruelty, then you are a racist, and evil.


You have lost the legal basis, in many cases, to decide with whom you shall associate, do business with, and conduct your lives with. Even though racial tensions were largely localized, the liberals of the 1960's and 1970's were successful in working the refs to get the Federal government to trade a good chunk of freedom of association on the altar of equality of opportunity. This may have short-term benefits, but many leftists recognize that the intellectual and legal footing for this is very weak.


Not as weak as the counterargument, which is predicated on property rights. This is a toss-up. It's the freedom that a citizen has to enter any establishment vs. the freedom that an owner has to kick you out for no objective reason. So it's freedom vs. freedom. One of them won. Personally, I think the right one.


These are things like quotas, affirmative action, and preferences built upon normalizing access to outcomes deemed favorable by favored minorities....The rational leftist has no choice but to acknowledge that these preferences must be dispatched.


In many cases "the rational leftist" already has, since affirmative action was never meant as a permanent fixture of society. Likewise, quotas as a permanent fixture in work and general culture I think will eventually fade as an issue. First I think percentages will eventually equilibrate to levels that will actually make sense according to known factors. Here I think will be the holy grail of inequality that Vox longs for. Certain walks of life will just have heterogeneous composition for known reasons, and people will finally accept it, but I do believe that in many instances they will be percentages far closer to demographic than today.

Anonymous TangoMan February 12, 2013 5:25 AM  

I wouldn't want my children significantly interacting with people in this cohort, because more often than not, their character matches their lot.

See above. The odds are pretty good that when the children of upper class whites are socializing with the children of upper class blacks that they are mismatching on the character metric that you wish to focus on. Water finds its own level and so do interpersonal relationships and this is why we see a lot more social dysfunction in the children of upper class blacks than upper class whites for parents matched on many metrics.

I would never fault a person for moving out of a declining neighborhood, being overrun with low-class minorities.

But your ideological compatriots are working to impose integration on the housing market. Fair Housing and Section 8 housing statutes are undermining the ability of people to form their own communities. In a sense you can run but the liberals will never allow you to hide, they'll track you down and shove some diversity down your throat because they say it's good for you.

This may have short-term benefits, but many leftists recognize that the intellectual and legal footing for this is very weak.

Again, you're too generous with your praise. I've been involved in these discussions for a long time and you're the first liberal who has made such an admission. I've never encountered this in my personal life, I've never encountered your position in on-line discussions and I've never seen any such admission in the press or in academic writing. If many leftists share this recognition then we should put them in charge of national security and have them safeguarding our nation's secrets for they're doing a damn fine job of keeping this viewpoint secret.

This often comes at the expense of equality before the law, which is troubling.

You point to an intellectual offense. Yes, people can be upset by seeing an unfairness play out but the impact is mostly restricted to their sense of fair play being offended. The impact which you neglect is the one which plays out in the emotional realm, the accusation or presumption of wrong doing that falls on people, especially white people, as a result of the intellectual regime that liberals have foisted upon society. To be specific, to remove biology from consideration with respect to racial differences in the social realm leaves us to explain why these racial differences exist and the answer invariably settles on white racism. Whites are overtly and covertly working to oppress minorities. Being accused of something that you're not doing tends to upset people quite a bit more than sensing that the rules of the game are not completely fair.

If the rules are unfair but they don't really disadvantage you, you can overlook the unfair rules but when you're being actively blamed for harming people then you want to push back, you feel anger at the false allegation, and you resent the people who are accusing you. The negative feelings are a reaction to what is directed at you.

Anonymous TangoMan February 12, 2013 5:27 AM  

The rational leftist has no choice but to acknowledge that these preferences must be dispatched.

You may be a rational leftist and this may be your position but I'm not convinced that you characterize your movement accurately nor that your decision is actually rational. This is, I believe, a problem which actually has no fair solution. More below.

The leftist solution is to refocus policies and society around equality of opportunity and to do so while preserving and enhancing equality before the law.

Again, I see no evidence that this is the leftist solution. It may be your solution, and if so then you're deviating from the left. The leftist solution is to legislate equality of outcome. I could fill volumes with examples for you. All you have is your statement of good faith. I'm inclined to believe the evidence on the ground rather than your statement.

But let me take your argument and address it. In a fair system, a system characterized by equality before the law and the clearing of the decks to remove impediments to equality of opportunity the end result will always produce unequal outcomes. We're now back to square one, or almost there. Life is more serious than a game. When people engage in sports they can accept losing in a fair game because the game is only a minor part of their existence. Losing in life though is a bitter pill to swallow and telling the losers in life that the outcome that they're experiencing is the result of a fair system provides them no solace. They want fair outcomes. You think it's fair to have fair rules. They think it's fair to have fair outcomes. There's no way to square this circle. This is the sweet aroma of diversity.

the low-classes will remain largely as they are today - defacto segregated.

In a fair system the class distinctions are going to have significant overlap with race. The class distinctions within a racial group are not as explosive as the class distinctions marrying onto racial distinctions because now these distinctions are highly visible.

Over the longer timescales, intermixing will average out the various attributes and produce generations of citizens with more average abilities, with fewer deviations from that average.

I see no evidence of this. What I see evidence of is assortative mating. Intergenerational social mobility declines as assortative mating increases and to the degree that socioeconomic outcomes are heritable the convergence that you're wishing for is going to be moving in the opposite direction, especially in a system which has purged equal outcome social engineering from the toolbox of the reformer.

Blogger James Dixon February 12, 2013 6:12 AM  

> Vox, is DH for real?

As far as I can tell from his comments here, yes.

Anonymous ericcs February 12, 2013 6:23 AM  

Dh is either (1) a prime example of Lawrence Auster's Unprincipled Exception, or (2) a typical disingenuous leftist liar. So let's give him the benefit of the doubt, and investigate option (1).

Leftist such as dh absolutely refuse to acknowledge the basis, rationale, and process of true liberalism. Liberalism inherently has no limits. Once it achieves some immediate aim, it then has no choice but to move incrementally further to some more egregious manifestation of same, thereby producing the infamous ratchet effect. That is why liberalism is also inevitably totalitarian. The whole issue is of course vociferously denied by most liberals, because they not only refuse to acknowledge the true goals, process, and history of liberalism, but perhaps more importantly because they usually operate under the Unprincipled Exception. Since this is not my idea, I'll quote from Lawrence Auster who first stated it as such...

"The unprincipled exception is a non-liberal value or assertion, not explicitly identified as non-liberal, that liberals use to escape the inconvenient, personally harmful, or suicidal consequences of their own liberalism without questioning liberalism itself."

In the case of dh, his specialty appears to be leftist lawfare. His more generalized screed to VD is nothing more than a transparent apologia. The logical holes it contains are many and varied, and are already being identified by prior commenters. It is meant to both placate the masses and to rationalize his own cognitive dissonance to himself.

Good luck with all that, dh.

Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 6:39 AM  

Vox, is DH for real?

Yes. So is Tad. I don't sockpuppet. Not here, not anywhere.

Blogger Lamarck Leland February 12, 2013 6:43 AM  

"The point remains is that the leftist ideal is "equality before the law", not "equality of outcomes". "

Well, at least in my country the leftists are openly pushing for "equality" of outcome.
I often hear from my college professors: "The State must treat different people differently so we can achieve true equality".

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 6:50 AM  

Greencarman here


DH is a classic VD toadie. And the extremists here are falling for his anecdotes hook, line, and sinker.


Carry on...

Anonymous Roundtine February 12, 2013 6:51 AM  

I have thought everything dh wrote. if i was talking to a liberal, I would sound almost exactly the same. This gets back to the biased media, it is often unintentional. any conservative is bathed in leftist thought, many have already thought the same thoughts. Maybe dh would not be surprised,but I'd guess 70% of tea partiers agree with most of what he wrote.

Anonymous daddynichol February 12, 2013 7:14 AM  

@Greencarman

Greencarman here


"DH is a classic VD toadie. And the extremists here are falling for his anecdotes hook, line, and sinker.


Carry on..."


Do you have evidence rather than just opinion?


You must have missed Vox's earlier post:
"Vox, is DH for real?

Yes. So is Tad. I don't sockpuppet. Not here, not anywhere."



Anonymous The Great Martini February 12, 2013 7:34 AM  

"DH is a classic VD toadie. And the extremists here are falling for his anecdotes hook, line, and sinker.


Carry on..."

Do you have evidence rather than just opinion?


Let's just say his credentials as a true liberal are rather questionable. For one thing, he invokes "Game," which no card carrying liberal would ever adopt without either incredulity or very strong skepticism. Even I, quite skeptical of unexamined feminist claims, don't tacitly assume a folk evo-psych developed by a bunch of pick up artists with the intent to get laid equals general commentary about society. The fact that DH does says a lot.

Anonymous Joe Doakes February 12, 2013 7:34 AM  

This all sounds good, and yet . . . the low-income housing projects are built along inner city public transit lines that run to the welfare office, not in leafy suburban communities where the White Liberal Middle Class lives.

Liberals ahbor the concept of relegating minorities to plantations - in their own neighborhoods. Build the plantations where the darkies can live with their own kind, where they'll be more comfortable in their own culture. We'll toss them a few coppers every now and then to keep them peaceful. Not in so many words, but in practice.

It worked with Blacks for so long that Liberals can't understand why it doesn't work with other undesirables such as Muslims. That miscalculation is going to cause lots of trouble down the road.

Anonymous Brendan February 12, 2013 7:41 AM  

At the bottom end of society - the low-class whites, the low-class blacks, the low-class hispanics - well, we never really expected them to mix well to begin with. Our long-term preference would be for them to reduce numbers through birth control and abortions. And again, this is where the "content of one's character" test comes back into play. I wouldn't want my children significantly interacting with people in this cohort, because more often than not, their character matches their lot. When that stereotype fails, I am happy to make exceptions.

This is the most telling passage in the entire post, really.

Blogger James Dixon February 12, 2013 7:49 AM  

> Our long-term preference would be for them to reduce numbers through birth control and abortions. And again, this is where the "content of one's character" test comes back into play. I wouldn't want my children significantly interacting with people in this cohort, because more often than not, their character matches their lot. When that stereotype fails, I am happy to make exceptions.

Let me ask one simple question, dh: How can the stereotype fail if all the kids are not born or aborted?

Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 7:51 AM  

Let's just say his credentials as a true liberal are rather questionable.

It is fascinating, informative, and directly relevant to the subject matter to note that the immediate response of one liberal to an apparently more moderate liberal is: "no true liberal!"

Anonymous ericcs February 12, 2013 7:54 AM  

BTW, I trust that both dh and Tad are getting suitable remuneration from the Cyber-Warriors for Obama committee. Who knows, maybe even a framed auto-signed photo of the semi-hemi-demigod halfrican Himself, suitable for genuflecting five times a day!!!!

Anonymous Mr Green Man February 12, 2013 8:18 AM  

It's good to know the reasons why they destroyed the country. It's also interesting that they despise their brownshirts, but I guess that is to be expected.

Anonymous Mr Green Man February 12, 2013 8:21 AM  

This Leftist definition of "content of character" -- that really is measured by the sum total contributed to the public treasury, right? Or is it the amount you would owe to the public treasury if you did not engage in tax fraud?

Anonymous The Great Martini February 12, 2013 8:24 AM  


It is fascinating, informative, and directly relevant to the subject matter to note that the immediate response of one liberal to an apparently more moderate liberal is: "no true liberal!"


Well, we'll see. I'll refrain from putting any more words in his/her mouth. Maybe things will get clearer after his responses. It's not like you can just conjure liberalism out of thin air. There really are a few things you have to sign on to in order to get your liberal merit badge, and so far DH has demonstrated, like, none of them(?) except that he likes helping people, is sorry that racial stereotypes are true and doesn't count it against people to flee low class minorities...and so on. Everything liberals are famous for!

Anonymous Roundtine February 12, 2013 8:32 AM  

It is fascinating, informative, and directly relevant to the subject matter to note that the immediate response of one liberal to an apparently more moderate liberal is: "no true liberal!"

Well, dh is definitely a crimethinker. He's openly entertaining hate thought in that email. No True Liberal would do that, they'd immediately crimestop.

Blogger IM2L844 February 12, 2013 8:41 AM  

That was funny.

Anonymous Mr Green Man February 12, 2013 8:44 AM  

@Martini

No, he agrees in using the bottom against the middle to achieve his goals, and then liquidating the bottom. That's the 20th century manifestation of liberalism in practice.

Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 8:47 AM  

Everything liberals are famous for!

He isn't religious and goes out of his way to avoid associating with lower-class blacks while simultaneously feeling sorry for them, that sounds pretty liberal, in the American political sense, to me.

Blogger James Dixon February 12, 2013 8:57 AM  

> ...that sounds pretty liberal, in the American political sense, to me.

I believe dh has also stated that he supports repealing the second amendment.

Anonymous RC February 12, 2013 9:03 AM  

For example, I am a bleeding heart liberal. If an unfortunate looking soul solicits me, I will do almost anything they ask. My wife often remarks that I must have a glow that only grifters can see. At the gas station, when I have parked my electric-only golf-cart sized car to run in and get some chai or tofu, I am often approached by someone with a hard luck story asking if they can have a dollar or two for gas so they can get home to their babies, or back to work, or whatever. More often than not I fill their tank. When the local church - not mine, I am not religious - had storm damage and needed donations for a new roof I split my emergency fund and donated timbers I had obtained for a DIY project." - dh

First, I believe there is hope that dh will throw his professed ideology over the side at some point in his journey; however, I do find his implication that only a bleeding heart liberal would shoot gas in a needy person's car fascinating.

What do you think a Christian would do in like circumstances dh, hand them a tract and wish them well?

Blogger Shimshon February 12, 2013 9:12 AM  

He's also against quotas and affirmative action. Next thing he'll be saying is that it's also perfectly normal for liberals to support Ron Paul and want to End the Fed (and the Empire for good measure).

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein February 12, 2013 9:16 AM  

Not as weak as the counterargument, which is predicated on property rights. This is a toss-up. It's the freedom that a citizen has to enter any establishment vs. the freedom that an owner has to kick you out for no objective reason. So it's freedom vs. freedom. One of them won. Personally, I think the right one

//facepalm

Please tell me you have a home based business. And a well stocked liquor cabinet.

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 9:16 AM  

I blame the church.--Toolbox

I blame the seminaries where church leaders-to-be are taught that "God loves the whole world, has a wonderful plan for it, wants everyone to be happy and successful and eagerly desires to take everyone to Heaven to be with Him." God's mercy seeks only to annihilate His justice.

This Sunday School lesson is not lost on politicians who frame the civics debate as being "Equality of outcome (happiness) trumps equality before the law." Clearly this is a self-defeating proposition because men such as dh are unhappy about the law being put to self-serving ends.

The problem will not go away until seminaries begin teaching that a righteous and holy God reprobates some few of the wicked, plans to deliver them to lasting torment and does not desire their repentance in the least. When men come to understand that bad behavior produces destructive results, their sympathy for bad actors will end.

This is not to say there is no sphere for charity and good works toward those who have suffered unforeseen misfortune but these mercies cannot be exacted at gunpoint without violating the prohibition on theft--THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.

I do not expect too many self-described liberal will understand the link between Judeo-Christian culture and political liberty, although dh seems to have taken one very small step in this realization. As Vox points out, "content of character" will have to be predicated on some immutable standard. In a world of flux, God and His law are the only constants. Therefore, when we can decipher the "character of one's content" (is the inner man obedient to God), we will have a model for interpreting the "content of one's character."

MALTHUS

Blogger Shimshon February 12, 2013 9:17 AM  

By the way, I didn't think you were sock-puppeting. I am wondering if DH is exaggerating for effect.

At the gas station, when I have parked my electric-only golf-cart sized car to run in and get some chai or tofu, I am often approached by someone with a hard luck story asking if they can have a dollar or two for gas so they can get home to their babies, or back to work, or whatever. More often than not I fill their tank. When the local church - not mine, I am not religious - had storm damage and needed donations for a new roof I split my emergency fund and donated timbers I had obtained for a DIY project."

I can't tell which of his (wonderfully colorful) prose is real and which is satire. Maybe he's really a crunchy granola (and very well-off, apparently) old-school liberal with a heart of gold (as long as the unfortunates do not pollute his neighborhood, a sentiment I can understand). Or maybe he's a libertarian or conservative in drag.

Anonymous jack February 12, 2013 9:22 AM  

VD February 12, 2013 6:39 AM

Vox, is DH for real?

Yes. So is Tad. I don't sockpuppet. Not here, not anywhere.

OK: In the past I have speculated that VD might be the driving engine behind such as Tad and [Amanda?]. He seems to shoot straight here and I will accept that he does not 'sockpuppet' as he stated it.
I will probably have to look up the exact meaning of sockpuppet but do get the meaning from context.
So, I apologize. Not that VD needs or wants my apology. It does sooth my sense of personal guilt a bit sense I was sure VD was those people mentioned above. It just seems they came onto the scene in too timely a manner with just what was needed to stir the pot.
I think that, after TPTB shut down the internet most of us will go into withdrawal shock for some time; then, perhaps, subscribe to the modern committees of correspondence.
Finally, I can go and eat my breakfast...

Anonymous Merle Haggard February 12, 2013 9:23 AM  

DH is a liberal with a sense of humor who can poke fun at himself. Thus the suspicion. It's a rare thing among that crowd. There's some hyperbole and self-satire in the e-mail, but in absence of any concrete evidence to the contrary it's legit.

Anonymous Dissident February 12, 2013 9:27 AM  

I live in DC. Elite effeminate liberals do not want equality under the law and absolutely do want equality of outcome. Unless your a non-elite white male; then you deserve neither. I enjoying their women, though.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 9:28 AM  

Let's just say his credentials as a true liberal are rather questionable. For one thing, he invokes "Game," which no card carrying liberal would ever adopt without either incredulity or very strong skepticism. Even I, quite skeptical of unexamined feminist claims, don't tacitly assume a folk evo-psych developed by a bunch of pick up artists with the intent to get laid equals general commentary about society. The fact that DH does says a lot.

I had an experience earlier in life that broke me of my feminist ways. I successfully white knighted myself into a violent situation on behalf of a lady, on my college campus. I participated in a coarse, angry, violent fight and the attacker was fatally wounded. Afterwards the lovely young lady was an unbearable jerk. I wasn't expecting effusive love and sexual favors, but I wasn't expecting to be angrily denounced either as part of a system of patriarchal violence and "might makes right problem solving". She successfully trained me that next time I see a lady being assaulted and raped I will snap a photo and then slut shame her on Facebook.

It is true that this has broken me of feminism, which does make me somewhat unusual in the sense most leftists. I would point out, that American liberalism is marked by feminism, but proper European and Scandinavian leftists find it roundly absurd that American liberals are also reflexively feminist. I have an acquaintance who is a proto-typical Frenchman socialist who was livid when he saw a low-class American liberal allowing his live in girlfriend to split wood with an axe.

Anonymous The other skeptic February 12, 2013 9:28 AM  

OT: Dorner thought to have fled to Mexico and to have an associate

Anonymous Orion February 12, 2013 9:28 AM  

DH has the misfortune of being a Menshivik. One may disagree with much of there platform but you could at least argue with them with some expectation of being heard. The sad truth is that the bulk of the left here is Bolshevik. We all know what happens next.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan February 12, 2013 9:32 AM  

I find the various views and motivations for charity to be the most interesting aspect of this conversation.

I had an elderly neighbor who shared many of dh's views. He gave much time to various charitable activities that catered to the less capable blacks in that town.

One day after he'd had a few too many drinks, I goaded him into a red faced rage, where all his inner nazi demons came vomiting out, and it turned out he was a complete and utter racist who believed blacks were incapable of taking care of themselves.

I should say I did not mean to goad him. (nor did I necessarily disagree with him) I was just asking a few questions about his reasons for putting his time into trying to help mostly morbidly obese people who were content to sponge up what was given to them by people like him.

It was an eye opener.

(BTW, my position was that the people needed to eat less, not more. Thus, his efforts towards doling out more food to them was actually hurting them, rather than helping them) This is what set him off.

I convinced him to go sign up for charitable work at the local hospital, where he is enjoying his contributions much more.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 9:33 AM  

He's also against quotas and affirmative action. Next thing he'll be saying is that it's also perfectly normal for liberals to support Ron Paul and want to End the Fed (and the Empire for good measure).

Party politics has distorted the boundaries of liberalism and leftist thought to the point where whoever is atop of the Democratic party is essentially the definition of the platform.

I share many of the politics and priorities of the Democratic party, but not all of them. Of all the people on the right running for President in 2012, Ron Paul agreed with more policies that I support than anyone else, by a long shot. But of course I am an Obama voter. The residual support levels for his policies stem from the fact that we are both anti-neoconservatives.

Blogger IM2L844 February 12, 2013 9:33 AM  

What do you think a Christian would do in like circumstances dh, hand them a tract and wish them well?

Exactly!

I may not be a very good man,
but I don't hide my head in the sand
I try to extend a helping hand
to my fellow man
whenever I can
and I like flan
if it's not Mexi-can
I can't help it if I'm better than
that.

Now, I'm off to buy my wife that Pitbull and launch my career in vanilla rap

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 9:37 AM  

Let me ask one simple question, dh: How can the stereotype fail if all the kids are not born or aborted?

It does tend to fail. I am fortunate enough to live an unconventional lifestyle, which permits a lot of travel, and the result is I have the pleasure of making acquaintances normally not available to folks who don't travel. I do not expect that all of the kids are suppressed anytime soon.

Blogger Shimshon February 12, 2013 9:39 AM  

What do you believe that is uniquely liberal? Abortion? Some libertarians support this too. Atheism? Again, some libertarians. Maybe you're really a Walter Block-style (or some more moderate example) libertarian rather than a hippy?

Anonymous Daniel February 12, 2013 9:40 AM  

dh, I can't imagine that such voiced opinions won't eventually get you voted off the island, but thanks for the story - a better, more sober insight into that world I have not read, in part because the "official" stories of its appeal were published by self-absorbed self-hagiographers, but in part because liberalism rests on two of the shifting sands you address: issues of "character" and artificial equality.

Thanks.

My question is this, and I mean it with all respect (though I'm having a rough time looking for the right words, so forgive me if it sounds wrong): when you were killing that man, what was the content of your character? How should the victim have measured it?

Anonymous alexamenos February 12, 2013 9:41 AM  

DH is like a gnostic heretic attending the orthodox services, reciting orthodox catechisms all the while harbouring doctrines that would make Carpocrates blush. Hence the reaction by Green Martini, these doctrines aren't for the rank and file.

At the bottom end of society - the low-class whites, the low-class blacks, the low-class hispanics - well, we never really expected them to mix well to begin with. Our long-term preference would be for them to reduce numbers through birth control and abortions...

Many leftists and liberals will often say things like "racism is evil", without realizing they are being irrational.


It seems to me 'many leftists and liberals' kind of have a point in this regard, at least as long as your preferences are unapologetically eugenic. Eugenics and racism are indeed a nasty mix.

It would further seem to me that the clear minded approach to this conundrum would be to allow that which is grounded in reality and disavow that which is a highly dubious social scheme.

Anonymous Stilicho February 12, 2013 9:41 AM  

Over the longer timescales, intermixing will average out the various attributes and produce generations of citizens with more average abilities, with fewer deviations from that average

dh, you see the probable flaw this, don't you? This sounds very similar to the melting pot myth. Auto-segregation, being an observable practice, would tend negate such an effect. Sure, there will be mixing to one degree or another, but the mixed offspring (regardless of which factors are being mixed; race, socio-economic status, etc.) will tend to identify with and prefer one group over the others. The flow would occurs in all directions amongst groups, so there could be inter-group mobility without losing the various groups' separate identities. How "authentically black" would Dr. Huxstable's descendants be after a few generations of living in upper middle class suburbia, going to med school, B-school, law school etc., socializing with and occasionally marrying their predominantly white neighbors? And those descendants who did not follow that path would naturally tend to identify with and the "authentically black" group and be excluded from the groups to which their suburbanite relatives belonged. The process works the other way as well. Human nature is what it is and the natural tendency is to segregate ourselves.

Blogger Shimshon February 12, 2013 9:41 AM  

Anti-neoconservative?! Doesn't that describe the vast majority of the Dread Ilk?

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 9:43 AM  

First, I believe there is hope that dh will throw his professed ideology over the side at some point in his journey; however, I do find his implication that only a bleeding heart liberal would shoot gas in a needy person's car fascinating.

What do you think a Christian would do in like circumstances dh, hand them a tract and wish them well?


I assume that when people ask me for gas money, they really want it for drugs or booze. That's why I fill their tank and pay directly. I assume it's part of a scam.

I didn't mean to imply a Christian do would anything else, I don't know really what most Christians would do. I think in general most people tell the person to get lost. I know that most liberals avoid the situation completely.

Anonymous Edjamacator February 12, 2013 9:44 AM  

You know, if it wasn't for the overly emotional nature of leftism, someone like DH should be able to simply see that leftism is a failure because it simply doesn't work.

But, there's always that pride that blinds leftists to that fact because if they admitted that to themselves, they'd have to admit they were wrong, and I have yet to see one liberal ever admit that.

Anonymous Stilicho February 12, 2013 9:46 AM  

It is true that this has broken me of feminism, which does make me somewhat unusual in the sense most leftists.

A significant portion of the "manosphere" consists of white knights who were mugged by feminism.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 9:46 AM  

Stilicho-

I think the melting pot myth is more centered around 1st, 2nd and maybe 3rd generations. When I say long timescales, I mean, as a scientist. Let's talk about 10's of generations, as a basis.

Look at a family with an impressive heritage going back at least 200 years - the Bushes. The recent patriarch was a Senator and an Ambassador, when that meant something. Next generation was a Congressman and a President. Next generation was two governors and at least 1 President. Next generation is 50% mixed-race.

Anonymous Josh February 12, 2013 9:54 AM  

DH's views are conventionally progressive, particularly the progressivism of Shaw, Dewey, etc.

Anonymous Stilicho February 12, 2013 10:02 AM  

dh, you describe something similar to a reversion to the mean through mixing races. Why hasn't it happened already given the time scale of human history? I, on the other hand, would expect any such reversion to the mean to generally occur within groups, not between them.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 10:04 AM  

dh, you describe something similar to a reversion to the mean through mixing races. Why hasn't it happened already given the time scale of human history? I, on the other hand, would expect any such reversion to the mean to generally occur within groups, not between them.

It's been biologically recent that intermixing has started to happen. I am not a biologist, so I could be wrong. Maybe this will never happen.

Blogger JDC February 12, 2013 10:05 AM  

It is fascinating, informative, and directly relevant to the subject matter to note that the immediate response of one liberal to an apparently more moderate liberal is: "no true liberal!"

Reminds me of the comments made by Rob Parker regarding RGIII - "not a real brother - cuz he doesn't completely follow our playbook."

Years ago whilst in school, I took a community building class as part of my degree requirements. This particular class was working the the Isiah group in St. Paul, MN. The groups stated mission, "ISAIAH is a vehicle for congregations, clergy, and people of faith to act collectively and powerfully towards racial and economic equity in the state of Minnesota."

It was explained to me that the groups main foci are fair-wages and suitable housing for the less advantaged. OK, I thought, this sounds pretty good. At the first meeting, people introduced themselves and shared who they were. One woman stood and proudly stated that she and her congregation had been recently reinstated as a congregation in good standing (meaning they could vote, etc).

They were placed on double-secret non-violent comfy chair probation because their senior pastor (the aforementioned woman) had declared herself to be homosexual (this was when the ELCA officially didn't approve of gay clergy).

Out of the thirty people in the room, 29 stood up and cheered - and then had another standing ovation for this gal. I did not stand up or clap. In a small group I was asked why I didn't display the enthusiasm that was required from someone who would work for fair wages and suitable housing .

I simply stated that I didn't support the idea of homosexual pastors, and that my understanding of scripture led me to the conclusion that this was in fact condemned by God.

I was asked to leave. I gladly left. (I finished the class by writing a paper on the notion of fair wages and affordable housing). The message was clear - if you are going to work with us (liberals) you must tow the entire party line or risk being ostracized and more importantly, labeled a sexiss, raciss, bigot.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 10:08 AM  

Anti-neoconservative?! Doesn't that describe the vast majority of the Dread Ilk?

Yes. One of the reasons I come here. Any group who thinks Dick Cheney is an idiot can't be all bad.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 10:15 AM  

What is excluded (as you do almost anything)? And when you do what they ask for, do you think you help them or do you think you help yourself? Do you think 'what they ask for' is the only way to help them? If no, is it the best way?

This is something that I can't answer, because I have no idea. I think one of the values liberals find in government is that it is an intermediary between groups who wants things, and those who are expected to provide them. If I carried all my assets with me everywhere I went, I would almost certainly be bankrupt within a day or so.

Blogger vandelay February 12, 2013 10:20 AM  

I'll take dh's word for it that he's a liberal, even though I'm only a part time reader of the comments here, and am not particularly familiar with anyone's tendencies or backstories. However, I think it's worth noting that it's not only doctrinaire leftists but most of those who self-identify as liberal in modern American society who would condemn dh's statements here and denounce him as a racist, nazi right-winger. That doesn't mean he's not a liberal in some sense, just that he's not a liberal in the most commonly understood sense.

Anonymous Toolbox February 12, 2013 10:20 AM  

Malthus:

I blame the church is the short answer. It's a longer discussion of course.

Anonymous Josh February 12, 2013 10:28 AM  

it is an intermediary between groups who wants things, and those who are expected to provide them.

There is another such intermediary for that transaction - the free market.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan February 12, 2013 10:30 AM  

"I assume that when people ask me for gas money, they really want it for drugs or booze. That's why I fill their tank and pay directly. I assume it's part of a scam."

Okay.

If you assume he's scamming you, and yet you help him, you seem to be trying to help him against his own wishes.

Perhaps you know what is better for him than he does. Because of your superior nature.

See, this is what makes you a liberal.

I figure if his character is such that if he is going to scam me, I'm not interested in helping him.

That's why I put the kibosh on handouts to the step kids. Each time we paid a utility bill or house payment for them, I noticed their weight went up a notch, and they smoked a few more cigarettes.

You see, when you free up someone's spending money, by purchasing their necessities, they simply use their own money to buy smokes.

For some reason progressives don't get this.

Blogger JDC February 12, 2013 10:30 AM  

DH - I certainly appreciate your thoughtful and honest remarks. IMO it's rare that liberals or conservatives honestly look at their own shortcomings.

Anonymous Merle Haggard February 12, 2013 10:32 AM  

DH, you fatally wounded an aggressive man? That's some hard core white-knighting.

Perhaps I've been had.

Anonymous Porky February 12, 2013 10:32 AM  

There's that false notion again - liberal means buying nice things for people, conservative means hoarding your wealth like Scrooge McDuck and telling the poor to pound sand.


MPAI indeed, dh.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 10:33 AM  

VD--

And the problem of the "content of one's character" test is even more obvious. One's character by what moral standard? The Left's position sounds noble enough, at least as described by DH, but when practiced by those who reject the traditional Western moral standard, it becomes inescapably incoherent.

Yes, I had previously not considered this before you introduced me to the concept of the parasitic ethos. Since then I have been contemplating this, and have not come to a satisfactory conclusion.

One thing that suggests there is the possibility of carrying on the western Christian moral and ethical tradition without the faith or biblical aspects of Christianity is the development of what I would call quasi-Christian new-age social churches. I recently visited one and it was somewhat interesting. It was a church in the sense that it has a big sign out front that says "Church", but it was decidedly not denominational. The pastor was not a typical priest-type. There was very little orthodoxy, and literally no scripture. The entire congregation self-identified as Christian, but as far as I can tell, they don't actually do anything but praise him through upbeat contemporary music, good production values, inspiration speeches, personal testimony about overcoming difficulties, passing the collection plate, and venerating the symbols of Christianity. And this wasn't a small group. Probably 8-10k attendees.

Now, for sure, many of the people were probably simply parroting the faith tradition they were born into. But, there were many young people, and I knew of some that were essentially first-time first-generation church-goers. Superficially, they have similar qualities as Christians. More humble than most, more charity orientated than most, more ethical than most.

I have no explanation what drew these people together. But is it completely out of the question that this type of service would continue long after the decline is complete? And without the supporting societal legacy of Christianity, would it matter?

The underlying problem is the reason I am not a militant atheist.

Anonymous Noah B. February 12, 2013 10:41 AM  

"I have no explanation what drew these people together."

And in all likelihood, neither do they. This is why churches of this sort are unlikely to endure. When one embraces all the worst aspects of humanity, they devalue and eventually despise what is good.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 10:42 AM  

See, this is what makes you a liberal.

Yes, this is why I included it, as an example of a stereotype that is essentially true.

Anonymous alexamenos February 12, 2013 10:43 AM  

...I had previously not considered this before you introduced me to the concept of the parasitic ethos. Since then I have been contemplating this, and have not come to a satisfactory conclusion.

FWIW, I have a somewhat satisfactory conclusion to the problem of the parasitic ethos...don't be an idiot and try to kill the freaking host.

"Quasi-Christian new age social churches" -- aka pagan throwbacks with indoor plumbing, and it's debatable how long the indoor plumbing will continue to work.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 10:44 AM  

And in all likelihood, neither do they. This is why churches of this sort are unlikely to endure. When one embraces all the worst aspects of humanity, they devalue and eventually despise what is good.

That's probably true...

Anonymous the bandit February 12, 2013 10:55 AM  

DH, I realize you weren't making a contrast, but as an interesting side note, my knowledge that I am probably being scammed leaves me as stingy and suspicious as the conservative strawman. But my Christianity leaves the guy with a tank full of gas (or a grocery cart full of food or a warm bed to sleep in that cold night). I have long thought that Christianity is ironically the only force capable of producing the compassionate compromise liberalism seeks.

Thanks for hanging around here and giving us things to think about as well.

Anonymous the bandit February 12, 2013 10:57 AM  

...that might read more understandably as "the strawman conservative." Meh.

Anonymous Peter Garstig February 12, 2013 11:05 AM  

This is something that I can't answer, because I have no idea. I think one of the values liberals find in government is that it is an intermediary between groups who wants things, and those who are expected to provide them. If I carried all my assets with me everywhere I went, I would almost certainly be bankrupt within a day or so.

Maybe the questions were too hard, or impossible to answer. So here's hopefully an easier one:
If an unfortunate looking soul solicits me, I will do almost anything they ask

If this lost soul asks you to kill the shop owner and get you all the money from the shop, will you do it? Will you do it if it doesn't involve killing?

Or in other words: what does it take for you to refuse a request?

Blogger James Dixon February 12, 2013 11:08 AM  

> One thing that suggests there is the possibility of carrying on the western Christian moral and ethical tradition without the faith or biblical aspects of Christianity is the development of what I would call quasi-Christian new-age social churches...

Probably a vain hope, dh. Those type of churches almost inevitably devolve into what the Episcopal church has become. They are a vehicle for doing good works among men, but have no foundation to determine what actually is a good work and what is not. As such, they're not capable of carrying on the tradition.

Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 11:09 AM  

I have no explanation what drew these people together. But is it completely out of the question that this type of service would continue long after the decline is complete? And without the supporting societal legacy of Christianity, would it matter?

Yes. See the Unitarian Church for details. That "church" will be all but dead by the third generation. This is one of the great problems with liberals, including you. They have short time preferences, so they are literally unable to anticipate the consequences of their policies and actions.

Unless it blows up immediately in their faces, they say: "see, it wasn't a disaster after all!" Then when it all goes to hell a decade later, they scratch their heads and say: "well, who could have seen that coming?" This is why historical ignorance or historical revisionism is almost required to remain a true left-liberal.

Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 11:12 AM  

I have a somewhat satisfactory conclusion to the problem of the parasitic ethos...don't be an idiot and try to kill the freaking host.

I desperately wish it wasn't necessary for you to point this out.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 11:12 AM  

If this lost soul asks you to kill the shop owner and get you all the money from the shop, will you do it? Will you do it if it doesn't involve killing?

Or in other words: what does it take for you to refuse a request?


Why would the person ask you to do something that would result in that? I would just as easily give them the money.

Anonymous BillB February 12, 2013 11:13 AM  

What most people miss or confuse is that equal protection under the law in the 14th amendment applies ONLY to state laws. The feds were never given any authority to be involved in interpersonal relationships. Those were left under the power of state governments. The voting rights acts and civil rights act have no legitimate constitutional authority regardless of their supposed benefit to society. But then 99% of the people have no freakin idea about how our system of government is supposed to function so they simply accept what the "bosses" in DC claim, and mill about grazing on the grass.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 11:22 AM  

Yes. See the Unitarian Church for details. That "church" will be all but dead by the third generation. This is one of the great problems with liberals, including you. They have short time preferences, so they are literally unable to anticipate the consequences of their policies and actions.

Yes, this is true. It's easy to care about your kids. And to abstractly care about their kids. And then my interest peters out...

This is one of the many reasons I am not aligned with the militant atheists. But it raises an interesting question for those who don't believe.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 11:24 AM  

The voting rights acts and civil rights act have no legitimate constitutional authority regardless of their supposed benefit to society.

This is basically true. There is a real chance the Supreme Court will overturn the VRA this term.

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 11:26 AM  

dh, you have to realize that putting gasoline into the vehicle of a panhandler is simply not the liberal way. The liberal way is to create a Federal office of gasoline assistance, under the Dept. of HHS, to hire 10,000 or more GS-6's to create, process and distribute gasoline coupons (or nowadays an EBT-style gasoline card) at gas stations in targeted areas. Thus each gallon of gasoline, say $3.50 at the pump, comes with an overhead of $10 for a total cost to the public of $13.50 for each gallon pumped into the tank of a poor soul's vehicle. The self-congratulatory back-patting regarding "Finally poor people can have gasoline!" and general good feelings about having "done something" and "made a statement" follows immediately.

Then, of course, the issue of oil changes arises...

That is the liberal way. To put a gun in my face and pick my pocket in order to buy gasoline for someone else who may or may not need it but who darned sure won't turn down a "free" lunch. And then to call me a racist/bigot/cheapskate for objecting that I can no longer afford to fill up my own tank due to the ever growing cost of filling up other people's cars.

Liberals, in my experience, don't "do" charity. They hire others to "do" charity for them, with someone else's money. This makes you an extreme outlier in the statistical sense, as I'm sure you are already aware.

Thus, your approach can't really be labeled as "liberal".

Borderline Anonyous

Blogger James Dixon February 12, 2013 11:31 AM  

> Thus, your approach can't really be labeled as "liberal".

And yet dh's approach is the classically liberal one. Yet another example of people changing terms to achieve their ends.

Anonymous Noah B. February 12, 2013 11:38 AM  

"Any group who thinks Dick Cheney is an idiot can't be all bad."

Cheney agrees with Obama's drone policy.

Anonymous VD February 12, 2013 12:01 PM  

Vox sees a society of smarter people as better than a society of less-smart people.

Or, alternatively, Vox sees a society of racially and culturally homogenous people as being more sustainable than a society of racially and culturally heterogeneous people.

Blogger Rev. Right February 12, 2013 12:29 PM  

"The point remains is that the leftist ideal is "equality before the law", not "equality of outcomes".

This is demonstrably false, as evidenced by the opinions and actions of the overwhelming majority of leftists, both rank and file and elected elite.

"Many of the most upsetting facets of liberalism in America are centered around the victimization of the majority, in the name of equality of opportunity. This often comes at the expense of equality before the law, which is troubling."

Ah, there we go, that's more like it. But not troubling enough to end quotas, affirmative action, and preferences. Leftist ideals are are always quite ammenable to the needs of the moment.

Blogger Shimshon February 12, 2013 12:33 PM  

Anonymous, regarding the Office of Gas Assistance, at the same time such a law is passed, all voluntary direct assistance will be banned, unless you have a home gasoline disbursement permit, with all required procedures followed.

Anonymous rycamor February 12, 2013 12:40 PM  

OT (on tangent), I have to thank Vox for elucidating the "silence implies consent" concept, both here and at Alpha Game. It was something I had not thought through sufficiently. I see now that it is a dividing line between Old School masculinity and... just about everything else. True civility can only occur in a patriarchal society.

Anonymous Jack Amok February 12, 2013 1:02 PM  

Like others, I'm wondering just what credibility DH actually has as a liberal. Stopping to help the elderly across the street and giving change to panhandlers does not a liberal make

But this does give us an insight into what really makes a liberal. viz, being perceived as a 'good, caring person' being more important than anything else.

That's it. All the various liberal pathologies trace back to the simple fact of not dealing well with personal criticism. The very thought of being criticized can be paralyzing to a liberal. Hence, DH gives money to grifters because he can't face telling them "no." He supports the various injustices of the feminist and racial spoils system because he can't face the thought of being called "not a nice person." Liberals seek to avoid making personal evaluations because they don't ever want to tell someone "I picked the other guy, I thought he was better." Avoiding the social awkwardness of that conversation is paramount.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 1:09 PM  

Ah, there we go, that's more like it. But not troubling enough to end quotas, affirmative action, and preferences. Leftist ideals are are always quite ammenable to the needs of the moment.

If you kept reading you'd shortly get to the part where I advocate for ending those things.

Blogger WATYF February 12, 2013 1:37 PM  

As great of a read as this was, dh gives way too much credit to those that currently make up liberalism/leftism. From what I can observe, he is in a tiny, tiny minority of liberals who share his "willing to admit the obvious" worldview.

These statements, for example, can't be applied to modern liberalism/leftism in any reasonable way:

"The point remains is that the leftist ideal is "equality before the law", not "equality of outcomes"."

This is observably false, based on the policies that leftists actually preach, propagate and support/sign into law.

"The civil rights era is precipitated on violations of what many view as the God-given right of free association.... This may have short-term benefits, but many leftists recognize that the intellectual and legal footing for this is very weak."

I would be shocked to find out that there is a single prominent liberal who is willing to admit this in public, and even more shocked to find out that "many" of the rank-and-file leftists recognize this. Hell, the vast majority of conservatives don't even think this way.

If fact, almost all of dh's email consists of things that are so rarely (if ever) heard coming out of the mouth of a leftist that it was almost hard to accept that he really was a leftist while he was saying it (until he got to the part about reducing unwanted classes through birth control and abortion, of course). :^D

WATYF

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 1:51 PM  

dh
"The point remains is that the leftist ideal is "equality before the law", not "equality of outcomes".

This is a case of words vs. actions.
50 years of actions are very, very, clear, specifically including such USSC decisions as Bakke and Grutter. Decisions that were universally celebrated by liberals words, by the way.

So pardon me if I essentially ignore the words, on a good day, and on a bad day regard the words as a clear example of liberal mendaciousness.

Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous Gen. Kong February 12, 2013 1:52 PM  

Many of the most upsetting facets of liberalism in America are centered around the victimization of the majority, in the name of equality of opportunity. This often comes at the expense of equality before the law, which is troubling. These are things like quotas, affirmative action, and preferences built upon normalizing access to outcomes deemed favorable by favored minorities. I have often argued that enforcing these mandates puts the entire concept of "equality before the law" in jeopardy...

Put it in jeopardy?? Lying nonsense. It's made an utter mockery of equality under the law. It's Animal Farm writ large (some of us are more equal than others). This type of logical and moral contortion merely stands as proof that folks like dh are ultimately liars - masters at practicing Auster's 'unprincipled exception'. More than anything, it stands as a revelation of the actual "content of their character". That moralistic phrase is of course supremely ironic all on its own in light of the fact that the person who made it famous was an utterly loathsome apostate, lying communist, plagiarist, pervert and adulterer would would have been dispatched to his eternal reward much sooner even in a Muslim monarchy.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 1:59 PM  

If fact, almost all of dh's email consists of things that are so rarely (if ever) heard coming out of the mouth of a leftist that it was almost hard to accept that he really was a leftist while he was saying it (until he got to the part about reducing unwanted classes through birth control and abortion, of course). :^D

I do think most of the reason why is because of the racial hucksters that we share the spectrum with. You literally can't discuss this topic, at all.

But actions are pretty indicative. It's basically the premise behind white flight. You don't see liberals of any color sticking around failing neighborhoods.

Blogger JCclimber February 12, 2013 2:07 PM  

I particularly enjoyed the fact that dh is honest enough to explicitly state the subconscious liberal assumption about the lower classes.

I live in the very, very liberal San Francisco area. It is a UNIVERSALLY held opinion that the lower classes (blacks and hispanics, not whites nor asians) are incapable of boot-strapping themselves. It is also unanimous that abortion (family planning) services be pushed as hard as possible in their neighborhoods.

But the only way you will ever get them to admit this is when they are 1) drunk, 2) away from their liberal peers, and/or 3) very, very angry.

At that time, it is very easy to see the gulag and the forced sterilizations just a few votes away in their personal time preferences. Many of them secretly despise and look down on the under classes, and they consciously compensate for this (out of shame) by voting liberal and toeing the strict party line when they aren't drunk or angry.

Anonymous Gen. Kong February 12, 2013 2:08 PM  

WATYF:
I would be shocked to find out that there is a single prominent liberal who is willing to admit this in public, and even more shocked to find out that "many" of the rank-and-file leftists recognize this. Hell, the vast majority of conservatives don't even think this way.

If fact, almost all of dh's email consists of things that are so rarely (if ever) heard coming out of the mouth of a leftist that it was almost hard to accept that he really was a leftist while he was saying it (until he got to the part about reducing unwanted classes through birth control and abortion, of course). :^D


I agree with you here. The opinions and observations expressed by dh in his email are on the far side of the honesty bell-curve for a leftist (let's do keep things in perspective), and so causes one to question if he's really a leftist. Perhaps this is attributable to his holding onto something like a fragment of the older new-deal era liberalism (which was more traditionalist in most respects than today Rove Republicans) as can be found in the speeches of Hubert Humphrey from the 1960s. There's also a leftist writer named Nat Hentoff who now and again makes such admissions - and is naturally routinely attacked by the usual gang for it.

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 2:10 PM  

dh
But actions are pretty indicative. It's basically the premise behind white flight. You don't see liberals of any color sticking around failing neighborhoods.

Actions are indeed indicative. Liberals have no problem fleeing a neighborhood when glorious diversity shows up, and at the same time engaging in a near-ritualistic denunciation of the same action when carried out by a non-liberal.

"It's ok when we do it" is a foundational premise of liberalism, for virtually any form of "it" imaginable. For this reason, I simply find it laughable that liberals really have any understanding of the topic at all.

A simpler explanation for "white flight is ok when UMC liberals do it and it be raciss when working class neighborhoods empty" is obvious: cognitive dissonance.

PS: Who gives the race hucksters so much power, influence, and money? Isn't it liberals? How can people be said to oppose that which they themselves fund, both directly and indirectly?

Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous alexamenos February 12, 2013 2:27 PM  

Actions are indeed indicative. Liberals have no problem fleeing a neighborhood when glorious diversity shows up...

As it pertains to mating and migratory habits, Liberals are virtually indistinguishable from the most ardent racists.

(I'm pretty sure I'm quoting, or paraphrasing, Joe Sobran. Or maybe I'm I'm quoting or paraphrasing someone else quoting or paraphrasing Joe Sobran. Something like that, anyway.)

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 2:28 PM  

Actions are indeed indicative. Liberals have no problem fleeing a neighborhood when glorious diversity shows up, and at the same time engaging in a near-ritualistic denunciation of the same action when carried out by a non-liberal.

I don't think so. I think most people including liberals understand what makes a good neighborhood. It isn't the diversity based on race, it's the decline - from middle class, to low-class.

PS: Who gives the race hucksters so much power, influence, and money? Isn't it liberals? How can people be said to oppose that which they themselves fund, both directly and indirectly?

I blame the conservatives. Look at what his own colleagues did to Derbyshire.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 2:30 PM  

There's also a leftist writer named Nat Hentoff who now and again makes such admissions - and is naturally routinely attacked by the usual gang for it.

Nat Hentoff, interestingly, is published often-ish on WND. We agree on a lot.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 2:32 PM  

At that time, it is very easy to see the gulag and the forced sterilizations just a few votes away in their personal time preferences. Many of them secretly despise and look down on the under classes, and they consciously compensate for this (out of shame) by voting liberal and toeing the strict party line when they aren't drunk or angry.

I don't know about the gulag, but the rest sounds about right. It's very difficult to bring up these topics. There are too many on the side that are happy to cede the ground to racialists. I am talking about the RAINBOW PUSH types.

Blogger WATYF February 12, 2013 2:55 PM  

But actions are pretty indicative. It's basically the premise behind white flight. You don't see liberals of any color sticking around failing neighborhoods.

Yes, they indeed are indicative. And the actions that we can observe from leftists with respect to legislation that they support (en masse) and sign into law indicates that they have a strong propensity towards "equal outcomes".

Sure, like most people, they don't really think their belief systems all the way through and therefore end up engaging in self-contradicting behaviors, but the presence of a self-contradicting behavior (i.e. liberals who practice white flight) does not negate the existence of the worldview (i.e. fighting for equal outcomes).

WATYF

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 3:12 PM  

PS: Who gives the race hucksters so much power, influence, and money? Isn't it liberals? How can people be said to oppose that which they themselves fund, both directly and indirectly?

dh
I blame the conservatives. Look at what his own colleagues did to Derbyshire.

Did Derbyshire pay off Al Sharpton's court-ordered monies after the Tawana Brawley hoax? Was it John Derbyshire who ensured that Al Sharpton would become a major political player in New York City Democratic politics? Did John Derbyshire hire Al Sharpton to go on radio and later TV?

I can ask the same questions regarding Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr., and many other race hucksters. These are not just your allies, your brothers in liberalism, they are creations of liberalism. You, in the group sense, made them what they are.

To claim, after 40+ years of race baiting at all levels, that you really didn't mean for it to turn out this way, is like a man sitting in a wrecked car with a blood alcohol content of 0.3 claiming he "didn't know what happened".

The race hucksters are a product of liberalism. That's the reality, whether you like it or not.

And the decades, generations, of blind, unquestioning support for the race hucksters gives the lie to any claim that thoughtful liberals understand the implications of genetic variation.

Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 3:16 PM  

but the presence of a self-contradicting behavior (i.e. liberals who practice white flight) does not negate the existence of the worldview (i.e. fighting for equal outcomes).

I am not thrilled with how we go to the present day status quo of equal access to public accommodations, institutions, and for minorities to be full citizens. The legislative and regulatory framework that got us where we are is not ideal and has many problems, which I think I mentioned before.

It's difficult to "blame" anyone for how we got to where we are. The ideal case is that, even though many such as yourself and VD would like a homogenous racial environment, it is not morally acceptable to treat other people as 2nd class citizens and more importantly, as less than fully human, because of their color or racial attributes. It was not high-minded science that was driving much of the famous malice towards blacks, it was simple bigotry.

Faulting blacks and liberals, who were legitimately oppressed in the early 20th century, for not enduring a bit longer while a "better" legal framework for legal equality was achieved, seems especially uncompassionate.

I suspect we differ on what laws and policies enforce "equal outcomes". Can you give one or two examples?

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 3:19 PM  

The race hucksters are a product of liberalism. That's the reality, whether you like it or not.

You asked what gave them their power, not what created them. What gives them the power is the circular firing squad, and then, after that, the inability for people of principle to resist them.

Anonymous alexamenos February 12, 2013 3:43 PM  

I suspect we differ on what laws and policies enforce "equal outcomes". Can you give one or two examples?

I would suggest that the entire educational system for the last 40 years is one prolonged battle for equal outcomes.

That asian kids persistently score better than white kids (outcome) must be the product of systemic discrimination against whitey. It's bad teachers, a biased curricula, poor nutrition, inadequate investment, etc., etc.... It simply cannot be that asian kids are just a little smarter than their white counterparts.

Which is to say, liberals really really want equal opportunity, wherein the only acceptable evidence of equal opportunity is equal outcome, ba dum bum...

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 4:00 PM  

I would suggest that the entire educational system for the last 40 years is one prolonged battle for equal outcomes.

I don't see it. In what way does public education attempt to normalize outcomes?

Anonymous Porky February 12, 2013 4:00 PM  

What gives them the power is the circular firing squad, and then, after that, the inability for people of principle to resist them.

And which one are you, dh?

Blogger tz February 12, 2013 4:02 PM  

He should look at Roman Catholicism. It is pro-peace, but accepts a war can be just. It is strict on behavior, but has a preference for the poor. But it realizes it has to redeem the poor - change the behaviors that create poverty from without and within. For single mothers it would fix the situation but recognize it as evil, not "have a kid, get a check".

That is a reason it has fallen, at least in the USA. When I was hungry you told me to get an EBT card from Obama. When I was homeless you told me to go to Obama and apply for Section 8. When I was ignorant you told me to get a Pell Grant from Obama. When I was disabled you told me Obama would give me SSI...

Remember: (stolen from Kreeft), Judas Iscariot was one of the first 12 bishops, the first to accept a Government grant (30 pieces of silver). And one of the symbols of the bishops office is the Mitre. The other, well lets just say that a Bishops' conference is a gathering of crooks.

Let your head apply a tourniquet to your bleeding heart before your brain dies of hypoxia. It is important to help the downtrodden, the weak, and the poor, but other than any immediate threat to life or limb, the first thing is to fix them spiritually. Encouraging their sin makes you guilty of the same.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 4:04 PM  

And which one are you, dh?

I think I am doing a more than fair job of resisting.

Blogger tz February 12, 2013 4:10 PM  

Also, just look back at the late 1960's and early 1970's cross-district busing experiment. It was judges imposing things to end desegregation, but ended up in block busting (realtors telling whites their neighborhood was going ghetto), white-flight, the re-segregation across the city/county borders, and the destruction of the cities. If a judge didn't order that black children needed to be on a bus 2 hours a day to go to another 95% black school across town (as ended up happening), Detroit, and the other cities might still be viable if not thriving today, and integration would happen naturally.

This is what I throw back at liberals (even thinking ones like Glenn Greenwald) who say judges ought to impose rules to promote equality. It won't ultimately work, at least not without violating civil liberties worse than Stalin did.

Blogger WATYF February 12, 2013 4:11 PM  

I am not thrilled with how we go to the present day status quo of equal access to public accommodations, institutions, and for minorities to be full citizens. The legislative and regulatory framework that got us where we are is not ideal and has many problems, which I think I mentioned before.

My point has nothing to do with your personal views (which are far outside of the leftist norm) and everything to do with what is the leftist norm.

I've had numerous conversations with leftists about equality (specifically with regards to race) and they can't even bring themselves to admit that there are differences among the races, let alone admit that their preferred legislative means of dealing with races are "less than ideal".

The ideal case is that, even though many such as yourself and VD would like a homogenous racial environment, it is not morally acceptable to treat other people as 2nd class citizens and more importantly, as less than fully human, because of their color or racial attributes.

First off, don't make assumptions. Half of my immediate family is of another race and I used to live in Africa (by choice). What I'd "like" and what, throughout history, has been proven to work or not work are two different things.

Second, why is "not treating others like 2nd class citizens due to color" morally better than "adhering to a practice that ensures the survival of your society"?

It was not high-minded science that was driving much of the famous malice towards blacks, it was simple bigotry.

Now, now... you're on a roll with admitting the (unpleasant) obvious and avoiding rhetoric. Don't ruin it now by crying "RACISS!!". Why do you think malice towards blacks existed? Magic? Eeeeevil? Do you think that treating blacks differently sprung, ex nihilo, from the aether one day? I grant you that it wasn't based on scientific studies, but it wasn't based on nothing at all.

Faulting blacks and liberals, who were legitimately oppressed in the early 20th century, for not enduring a bit longer while a "better" legal framework for legal equality was achieved, seems especially uncompassionate.

I fault anyone who attempts to trample upon human liberty, regardless of the reason. You having a tough life isn't an excuse to take away the rights of others.

I suspect we differ on what laws and policies enforce "equal outcomes". Can you give one or two examples?

To be clear, no law can actually enforce equal outcomes. It can only attempt to impose them. But examples would be: The entire Civil Rights Act, Affirmative Action, Title IX, federal aid, subsidies, tax incentives.

Basically, anywhere where one group is doing better than another and a law steps in to say, "This should help out the other groups" is an attempt to create equality of outcomes.

TRUE equality before the law says, "You own yourself and you can do with yourself and your property what you like so long as it does not infringe upon another's life or property". Note that I didn't say, "So long as it does not infringe upon another's preferences, feelings, sensitivities, desires, or idealism".

WATYF

Blogger James Dixon February 12, 2013 4:15 PM  

> I think I am doing a more than fair job of resisting.

That's probably another reason you hang out here. :)

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 4:16 PM  

The race hucksters are a product of liberalism. That's the reality, whether you like it or not.

You asked what gave them their power, not what created them. What gives them the power is the circular firing squad, and then, after that, the inability for people of principle to resist them.

What gives them power is the same thing that created them: liberalism.

What continues to give them power is liberalism.

To claim on the one hand that liberals are powerless to resist their own creation, and on the other that liberals really, really do understand the implications of genetic variation, is self contradictory IMO.

Therefore, your claim regarding liberals and their understanding of genetic variation appears to have no support in reality.

Because if liberals believed as you say, they would not act as they do.

Borderline Anonymous

Blogger tz February 12, 2013 4:17 PM  

dh: I don't see it. In what way does public education attempt to normalize outcomes?

When everyone is totally clueless and dysfunctional they are equal. When some can read, it is inequality, but bringing everyone up to a minimal literacy is so much harder than simply leaving them illiterate, except to the extent they can regurgitate the answers for the standard test.

So public education is now one big cram session for the standardized test so the teachers/schools will get their cash from uncle sugar.

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 4:20 PM  

dh
Faulting blacks and liberals, who were legitimately oppressed in the early 20th century, for not enduring a bit longer while a "better" legal framework for legal equality was achieved, seems especially uncompassionate.

In what way were liberals oppressed in the early 20th century to anything like the effects that Jim Crow had on blacks? Please be specific. I was unaware that Plessy affected people on the basis of political beliefs, for example.

Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 4:32 PM  

dh
it is not morally acceptable to treat other people as 2nd class citizens and more importantly, as less than fully human, because of their color or racial attributes.

Unless they are white. Then it's not only morally acceptable, it is morally mandatory.


That's liberalism at work. And in anticipation of your reply, no, I do not equate the current race-based spoils system with the old Jim Crow segregation system of the pre-1960's South. But the amount of race-based hatred towards whites that is not just tolerated, not just accepted, but increasingly mandated in the US is significant.

Accordingly, it will not surprise me to see some sort of Crow Jim system formalized in the next 20 years, and if such a thing happens, liberals will praise it as "progress towards diversity" even as they use whatever influence they have to protect their own families and friends from the effects.

Borderline Anonymous

Blogger tz February 12, 2013 4:34 PM  

In the 1950s the typical Black family was intact, and even though oppressed with our version of apartheid, was more culturally integrated, so only waited for the world to catch up. Even as late as MLKjr's I have a dream speech, judging upon the content of character, there was more equality than difference.

Instead, now 80% of children in Detroit - that aren't aborted, the KKK killed 3 children but PP kills hundreds daily - are born out of wedlock.

There is a clear, burning, malignant racism, but there is also the cold, dispassionate, scientific, "let me do what I want" racism.

The KKK is the first. Modern liberals are the second. They will do nothing to prevent racial suicide (I do not know the term which means self-inflicted genocide). As far as I can tell, they are like people who see someone on a ledge and yell "Jump!".

Such is ancient. The story of Baalam who told Balak to send whores to cause Israel to sin and thus come under judgment.

I'm not sure I disagree with Vox on immigration other than the root. I would welcome MORE who believe in liberty, personal responsibility, and what tradition dictates is the optimal structure for society. They are not the current crop of Nth generation English. Would that we be invaded by half the population of South America if they would support Ron Paul's policies and vote, even illegally, for those who would implement them (I know the internal contradiction).

Instead, because the warren is rendered sterile from gamma radiation, we accept as many foreign rabbits as will come.

(I know it was in Europe where horses ended up in lasagne, but I wonder if "Mrs. Lovett's [sweeny todd] Burritos" might be made "by" illegal immigrants - remembering the "kosher" meat packing plant in Iowa...).

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 4:40 PM  

In what way were liberals oppressed in the early 20th century to anything like the effects that Jim Crow had on blacks? Please be specific. I was unaware that Plessy affected people on the basis of political beliefs, for example.

Borderline Anonymous


I did not mean what I wrote. What I meant to write was: "Faulting liberals (who passed civils right eras laws) and asking blacks to endure a little bit longer...".

Sorry to confuse, I jumbled two separate concepts.

Anonymous alexamenos February 12, 2013 4:40 PM  

When everyone is totally clueless and dysfunctional they are equal. When some can read, it is inequality, but bringing everyone up to a minimal literacy is so much harder than simply leaving them illiterate, except to the extent they can regurgitate the answers for the standard test.

I don't disagree, but the point I'm making is a bit more elemental.

If we agree that a) there is no such thing as race (or alternatively that all races are equally super smart); and

If we agree that b) everyone should have an equal opportunity to education;

then what should we make of the fact that asians consistently outscore mestizos, and whites consistently outscore blacks?

Obviously, the problem is that mestizos and blacks aren't receiving the same opportunity, right?

Point being, once we start with premise "a", advocating equal opportunity is indistinguishable from advocating equal outcome.

Anonymous ericcs February 12, 2013 4:45 PM  

Borderline Anonymous: "Liberals, in my experience, don't 'do' charity. They hire others to 'do' charity for them, with someone else's money."

Bingo !!!

Liberals are the masters of masturbatory morality.

They invest the almighty State as the infinitely benevolent font of all their so-called morality. Then they feign horror and promptly demonize anyone who doesn't bow down and worship with them, while placing the next brick onto their totalitarian control structure for all the rest of us.

My disgust and revulsion for the left is beyond my ability to put in words. It is my personal belief that all liberals will rot in the fires of Hell forever, Amen. Until then, they should be forced to emigrate to their own separate country, so that the rest of us can start to rebuild a reality-based society based on tradition, monoculture, personal responsibility, meritocracy, equality before the law, objective morality, and liberty.

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 4:50 PM  


dh, you are the one making the assertion, it is up to you to support it with evidence. So when you assert that liberals generally understand the full implications of genetic variation, in other words that they really do understand evolution does not affect humans only from the neck downwards, the onus is on you to support the claim with evidence.

So far, you have demonstrated that a tiny percentage of liberals may understand part of the issue. You have offered no evidence of any broader understanding.

Posters have offered action-based evidence to the effect that liberals don't understand the issue. You have not countered them with any evidence of your own.

If I claim that albino humans are common, and show you a picture of one single albino as "proof", but can't show you more than one or two in real life, then I've pretty much failed to support my claim. You are in the position of an albino who is saying "Oh, gee, there's lots more out there just like me, but they are afraid to be seen in public".

It is not convincing, not so far anyway.

Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 4:55 PM  


dh
I did not mean what I wrote. What I meant to write was: "Faulting liberals (who passed civils right eras laws) and asking blacks to endure a little bit longer...".

Sorry to confuse, I jumbled two separate concepts.

Understood, thanks for the clarification.

Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 5:01 PM  

Now, now... you're on a roll with admitting the (unpleasant) obvious and avoiding rhetoric. Don't ruin it now by crying "RACISS!!". Why do you think malice towards blacks existed? Magic? Eeeeevil? Do you think that treating blacks differently sprung, ex nihilo, from the aether one day? I grant you that it wasn't based on scientific studies, but it wasn't based on nothing at all.

From my own experience, it wasn't based on anything. It was simply based on the status quo. There were I am sure specific grievances that led to specific instances of racial tensions. But as a whole, it was not a measured respone to an issue, it was reflex.

And let's not pretend about reality. In Alabama, let's say, we aren't talking about individuals opting to exclude others from their private or even public establishments. We are talking about state laws that demanded and required segregation, in the explicit services of the superiority of whites. In the infamous "back of the bus" scenario, blacks and whites entered the bus through separate entries, eventually filling by meeting in the middle. When full, the back most rows of blacks were required to stand, and each black row to move back a row, and then the newly displaced row of blacks to stand.

On top of that, the social etiquette is all you really need to know to make this judgement. Blacks were not permitted to address whites by first names, while whites were expected to never address blacks by their courtesy names. There is no practical reason for this. The only reason was to demonstrate and enforce superiority.

This is what I referring to when I spoke of malice. Peaceful separation by attributes does no necessitate malice, which was the hallmark of active and passive racism of the pre-Civil Rights era. Just as I have no specific ill will towards, say, Icelandic people who choose to live in an Icelandic monoline, there is no need to maintain ill will towards minorities in the US.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 5:09 PM  

If we agree that a) there is no such thing as race (or alternatively that all races are equally super smart); andObviously, the problem is that mestizos and blacks aren't receiving the same opportunity, right?

Point being, once we start with premise "a", advocating equal opportunity is indistinguishable from advocating equal outcome.


But we don't accept a. That's the point. My contention is that even liberals accept that all races are not literally equal in attributes.

I agree that we are straying off the path of ensuring opportunity that is equal and we need to correct that.

Let me give you some examples. Two students with similar grades and test scores applying for college. Of different racial backgrounds. The common position liberal position is that the minority should be favored, because it's an "edge" to achieve parity with a favored majority (white) student. I contend that in this case, equal opportunity has been violated, because you are putting an extra value on the achievement of the minority student.

I have the same opinion when a minority student, who will have to use scholarships or grants to afford school, is disfavored over a legacy or wealthy student who is not an equal student.

Blogger Rev. Right February 12, 2013 5:16 PM  

"If you kept reading you'd shortly get to the part where I advocate for ending those things."

Advocating for very quietly apparently, as there is no discernible movement from the left for the actual elimination of race based preferences.

And if you do believe that, then you do not represent the liberal view on the issue.

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 5:22 PM  

My contention is that even liberals accept that all races are not literally equal in attributes.

Yet all the actions taken by liberals in the world of education clearly assume a priori that all races are literally equal in attributes. Case in point: the "math gap". Every article I have ever read, in both scholarly publications and popular press, takes as given that black children are exactly equal to white children in their ability to learn mathematics. Therefore, the difference in white and black math scores must, must be due to some social effect.

The blank-slate premise underlies liberalism.

You have not supported your claim with anything more than "it's true because I say so", while others have refuted your claim with real world actions by liberals.

Try again?

Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous Anonymous February 12, 2013 5:26 PM  

dh
Let me give you some examples. Two students with similar grades and test scores applying for college. Of different racial backgrounds. The common position liberal position is that the minority should be favored, because it's an "edge" to achieve parity with a favored majority (white) student. I contend that in this case, equal opportunity has been violated, because you are putting an extra value on the achievement of the minority student.

I have highlighted in bold a statement in which you refute your own claim. If liberals truly understand what genetic variation means, they would not engage in active racial discrimination against whites. But they do, in the name of "fairness". Therefore, liberals do not believe as you say they do.

I feel your pain. Truly, I do. But you have clearly disproved your own claim.

Borderline Anonymous

Blogger James Jones February 12, 2013 5:39 PM  

DH, I really appreciate this dialogue. This has been one of the best threads in a while here. You seem very well thought out and reasonable, but I feel that you are lost somewhere in the centre.

What I find interesting is the response you get here, which has largely been positive. If you posted your piece on a Liberal blog, you would quickly find yourself in the awkward position of owning an extra arsehole.

Anonymous TangoMan February 12, 2013 6:54 PM  

DH,

I don't see it. In what way does public education attempt to normalize outcomes?

The entire mission of public education has been corrupted. The mission used to be to help each student to reach their potential. The mission now is to close the Achievement Gap. No Child Left Behind carves this into stone - The objectives must be set with the goal of having all students at the proficient level.

So any teacher or school which found a way to increase the performance of students, year to year, but which resulted in a growing disparity between different groups of students, would be classed a failure.

Meanwhile, a teacher or school which closed the gap by suppressing the rate of improvement of the top performing students in comparison to the rate of improvement of the poorly performing students, would be deemed a success.

There are all sorts of mechanisms in place to throttle down top achievement. Peer teaching - the teacher takes the good student and has him slip into neutral gear by tutoring the slower students in class, thus preventing him from widening the gap. No tracking of students means that classroom pacing has to be designed to accommodate the learning styles of the slower students. The difficulty of the proficiency benchmark is lowered resulting in a greater proportion of the class being able to cross over the threshold.

Job #1 is to close the Achievement Gap. To bring about equality of outcome.

Anonymous wEz February 12, 2013 7:06 PM  

I new DH was lying when he said "bleeding heart liberal" and that he was married. Why would such a smart progressive subject himself to an out-dated form of torture that limits ones personal autonom? Blows the mind.

Anonymous paradox February 12, 2013 7:50 PM  

Good grief... Liberal DH understands about dating with in your own ethnic group. Something I obviously failed to instill in my daughter. Who happens to be dating a mulatto. Well, at least a redneck mulatto.

DH if you're an anti-gun liberal you should really reconsider. Vermont is really liberal and they are one of the best gun rights state in the union.

Just don't be one of these freaks :)

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 9:04 PM  

What I find interesting is the response you get here, which has largely been positive. If you posted your piece on a Liberal blog, you would quickly find yourself in the awkward position of owning an extra arsehole.

I have been banned from every major political blog, for far less open exchange of ideas.

Blogger tz February 12, 2013 9:05 PM  

Liberalism is to fight to the last drop of their patients and my blood while movingto the safety of the suburbs or exburbs.


It isn't racial and cultural homogenity, it is which culture. Otherwise you will be the lone surviving cannibal. It is either traditional christianity (or orthodox judiasm or one of the others which lasted), or decline into barbaric chaos.

The parasite always kills the host. The fable of the frog and scorpion comes to mind. Or the naivete of MMT where no oneneeds to produce before they or anyone else can consume.

Anonymous dh February 12, 2013 9:11 PM  

Every article I have ever read, in both scholarly publications and popular press, takes as given that black children are exactly equal to white children in their ability to learn mathematics. Therefore, the difference in white and black math scores must, must be due to some social effect.

This may be true for what you have read, and I think honestly the lack of this type of article is very difficult to find because of the shout-down going on. Look at Larry Summers. He made a far less controversial discussion about gender and wasn't abandoned by everyone on both sides of the political divide.

Also, there are not two mutually exclusive possibilities. I would point you to The Black-White test score gap, it was published around 1998, I think. They look in detail at black children raised in white dual parent hold households, and found that the achievement gap lessens and often disappears. It is almost certainly a two factor problem - culture and social gaps PLUS a genetic difference.

Anonymous TangoMan February 12, 2013 10:01 PM  

They look in detail at black children raised in white dual parent hold households, and found that the achievement gap lessens and often disappears.

I think that you're mistaken as to source (but I'm not definite about this) and that you mean to reference Bouchard's Trans-racial Adoption Studies. What those studies did not find was a disappearance of the gap. If you really do mean the Jenck's book, could you cite a page number please.

Let's treat your claim as accurate for the moment. Black parents exercising their parenting skills fail their children while white adoptive parents raising black adopted children deploy parenting skills which eradicate the gap. This being the case what are you leftists prepared to do about this problem? The Canadians tried this approach with their residential schools for Native children and the Australians forcibly removed Aborigine children from their families in order to break the parent-to-child acculturation cycle and both societies have suffered a lot of grief for those policies.

What are you and your ideological compatriots proposing as a solution to the faulty parenting practices you posit exist in black families which cause the achievement gap in black children?

Anonymous Desiderius February 12, 2013 10:05 PM  

dh,

"I have been banned from every major political blog, for far less open exchange of ideas."

Yeah, this is a Liberal blog. One of the few left.

Looking forward to the day when the Ilk figures it out.

Anonymous Desiderius February 12, 2013 10:19 PM  

dh,

"But of course I am an Obama voter. The residual support levels for his policies stem from the fact that we are both anti-neoconservatives."

Is this a Republic v. Empire thing? An intuition that neo-cons are liberals who have abandoned their post defending against illiberalism within the Left?

I've never understood the nuclear-strength anti-neocon hate, but the extent to which it has utterly warped our polity at the highest levels demands some explanation.

Anonymous Desiderius February 12, 2013 10:24 PM  

TangoMan,

"You point to an intellectual offense. Yes, people can be upset by seeing an unfairness play out but the impact is mostly restricted to their sense of fair play being offended. The impact which you neglect is the one which plays out in the emotional realm, the accusation or presumption of wrong doing that falls on people, especially white people, as a result of the intellectual regime that liberals have foisted upon society. To be specific, to remove biology from consideration with respect to racial differences in the social realm leaves us to explain why these racial differences exist and the answer invariably settles on white racism. Whites are overtly and covertly working to oppress minorities. Being accused of something that you're not doing tends to upset people quite a bit more than sensing that the rules of the game are not completely fair."

This is so money.

VD - if you're looking for a place to plant your flag, this is the hill.

The only thing Tango misses are the results of this state of affairs. If only whites were upset by it!

Anonymous TangoMan February 12, 2013 10:55 PM  

The only thing Tango misses are the results of this state of affairs. If only whites were upset by it!

But they are. Two data points. First, white support for Affirmative Action is declining with time. Look at the exit poll data for State Ballot Measures focused on prohibiting AA. High support amongst minorities and low support amongst whites. Second point. Romney won the white women's vote. Romney won the white youth vote. How could a square Morman capture the majority of the hip young white vote? Young people like to claim that they are the least racially aware generation that every existed and their social networks are racially integrated and yet the majority of white voters in the youth category went for Romney at a time in their life when they are most predisposed to the political ideology of Democrats.

This is a process which is going to unfold over decades - the solidification of racial voting blocs. The die is, in my opinion, cast and the process can't be unraveled. DH's dream of a system characterized a championing of equal opportunity will result in too many losers and when the losers in such contests have greater voting representation than you (and assuming equal propensity to turn out to vote) then that equal opportunity system will be overturned and an even more aggressive equal outcome system will be instituted wholesale. It's already moving along at a good clip, e.g. recent disparate impact financial regulations, racial quotas for medical schools in PPACA, racial quotas in Dodd-Frank, fair housing lawsuits directed at Westchester and Marin counties to import more minority residents.

If you're interested in my more fully fleshed out position on this trend, Derb featured one of my comments in this article.

Now, I believe that these overt measures to impose equal outcomes are going to upset a lot of people because the implicit message is that such strong measures are required because the equal opportunity paradigm is failing due to the entrenched racism of whites who are somehow magically oppressing minorities through as yet undetected means and so, something must be done to combat the proactive measures that whites are deploying in order to harm minorities in society. There's the blame. We see it buried into concepts like institutional racism, white privilege and the blame will become more overt over time.

Anonymous Anonymous February 13, 2013 12:58 AM  

Greencarman here...

VD--Or, alternatively, Vox sees a society of racially and culturally homogenous people as being more sustainable than a society of racially and culturally heterogeneous people.

Regardless of your opinion on this matter, America will continue to incorporate a wide range of ethnic and racial groups into our society, including those poor gay young black girls. And there's nothing you or I can do about this fact.

Anonymous TangoMan February 13, 2013 1:07 AM  

America will continue to incorporate a wide range of ethnic and racial groups into our society, including those poor gay young black girls. And there's nothing you or I can do about this fact.

Explain to me how in your mind the march of multiculturalism has become like an unchangeable force of nature, similar to saying "a dropped object will fall downwards?"

You're referring to choices. The will of the people at this moment in time doesn't tell us anything about the will of the people at some future time. Secondly, the unity or structure of America today doesn't guarantee the continuation of that unity or structure into the future.

Anonymous scoobius dubious February 13, 2013 6:41 AM  

"America will continue to incorporate a wide range of ethnic and racial groups into our society, including those poor gay young black girls. And there's nothing you or I can do about this fact."

Translation: SURRENDER DOROTHY

Why do leftists constantly have this fetish for inevitable, "scientific", infallible inexorable processes that then turn out to be wrong? Why are they so intent on convincing people that resistance is futile, the game is already over and they've already won, when they lose so much of the time?

Anonymous scoobius dubious February 13, 2013 7:02 AM  

w/r/t this more general discussion of dh's ideas, I tend to have the sneaking suspicion that one of the substructural foundations of liberalism (aside from being realistic and venal and wrong so often) is a kind of fear of being the bad guy going forward: they think they're wisely avoiding the Mistakes of the Past, but they forget that the past and the present are not congruent.

Let me give an example. When the Abstract Expressionists were first showing their paintings, a lot of people laughed at them and called them charlatans and said stuff like "my five-year-old could do that!" Then over time, critical opinion changed, they got their fair due in art history, and the people who sneered at them came to be viewed as philistines. So when the next crazy art movements came along, like say Pop or Fluxus or Op Art, people didn't want to be the ones who were the philistines, so they embraced a lot of crap, and guys like Richard Serra were given fame instead of being tarred and feathered.

Europe is flooding itself with unassimilable aliens who will destroy Europe because ZOMG WE DON'T WANT TO BE THE NAZIS AGAIN!!!11! Of course the circumstances are entirely different.

American liberals come up with all sorts of insane unworkable racial policies because ZOMG OTHERWISE WE'LL BE JUST LIKE JIM CROW!!

As with all liberalism, there's an element of emotional hysteria lurking within the motivations.

Blogger James Dixon February 13, 2013 8:20 AM  

> Looking forward to the day when the Ilk figures it out.

If you mean Liberal in the classical sense, you are of course correct. But what makes you think we didn't know that?

Anonymous dh February 13, 2013 8:55 AM  

I think that you're mistaken as to source (but I'm not definite about this) and that you mean to reference Bouchard's Trans-racial Adoption Studies. What those studies did not find was a disappearance of the gap. If you really do mean the Jenck's book, could you cite a page number please.

I am talking about Jencks. I took a re-read of the introduction, and the start of Chapter 3, and I think you are correct. I have exaggerated the shrinking of the gap into the elimination of the gap. The introduction definitely oversells the narrowing. The best case for the research in the book is to sort of define the walls of the genetic gap - which is to say, they carve out the best case scenario for black students (white parents, white culture, above average schools) and then narrows the gap, but not closes it.

Blogger James Dixon February 13, 2013 9:45 AM  

> I have exaggerated the shrinking of the gap into the elimination of the gap.

Like I've said before. Dh is honest about his positions.

Anonymous Anonymous February 13, 2013 10:13 AM  

dh, there is also the issue of sample size in the studies in question. A sample that small can be skewed pretty easily by even a few outliers.

In the broader picture, liberals discussing the "math gap" or the "achievement gap", whether in the popular press, or in scholarly journals of education, approach that issue with the blank-slate premise firmly in mind. That is to say, in the issue of nature vs. nurture, liberals even today firmly come down on the side of nurture uber alles. Liberals are people who claim to believe totally in evolution, but who firmly reject the notion that evolution had any effect on humans above the neck. It's strictly "from the neck, downwards", for liberals.

That premise, that position, is ubiquitous within liberalism, and it is the antithesis of what science is steadily revealing about genetics as a factor in intelligence. Therefore, your claim is not proven, and in fact it appears to be disproven.

Vox is right, and you are wrong, on the point of "liberals accept the reality of genetics".


Borderline Anonymous

Anonymous scoobius dubious February 13, 2013 10:47 AM  

I've never really understood all the hand-wringing over the "math gap" and the "achievement gap". What difference does it make to society? There are only so many bank presidents and software engineers that a country needs, and there are plenty of jobs to be done that don't require math proficiency -- ask any Mexican. If blacks were willing to do the sorts of jobs they're actually capable of, instead of refusing to work at all and fobbing that stuff off on immigrants, then they would have a stable working life, which leads to a stable family life, which leads to a stable environment for their kids, who grow up properly and surpass the achievements of their parents, and the next thing you know, after say two generations of stability, there's a lot more blacks leading middle-class and upper-middle class lives. It's what the Irish did.

Everyone (and especially blacks) gets told that they can do anything(and that they're entitled to do anything) when they clearly can't. We don't need any more rappers or athletes, and all the bank-president gigs seem to be taken, sorry. There's plenty of stuff to do in between. We don't need to teach calculus to Shaniquious, we need to teach him to read, to show up on time, to not be a disruptive oversexed pain in the ass, and enough math to balance a checkbook -- so he can get the sort of job that will enable him to have a checking account. Then when he marries and raises his kids properly, Shaniquious Jr. will do a little better than he did, and then Shaniqious III will have a realistic shot at being an actual bank president instead of a dopey useless Diversity Chancellor.

Anonymous dh February 13, 2013 2:39 PM  

I've never really understood all the hand-wringing over the "math gap" and the "achievement gap". What difference does it make to society? There are only so many bank presidents and software engineers that a country needs, and there are plenty of jobs to be done that don't require math proficiency

You have a great point. Popular culture - especially black culture - is openly disdainful of hard work, of jobs that used to be solid middle class or working class.

One problem we have is that the middle class is almost gone - it's on the tipping point. So the best we may be able to afford is working class, which are service jobs.

Anonymous dh February 13, 2013 3:12 PM  

dh, there is also the issue of sample size in the studies in question. A sample that small can be skewed pretty easily by even a few outliers.

Agreed. Studies of exceptional cases like adoptions or whatnot are bound to be problematic and small, which makes them not that useful.

In the broader picture, liberals discussing the "math gap" or the "achievement gap", whether in the popular press, or in scholarly journals of education, approach that issue with the blank-slate premise firmly in mind. That is to say, in the issue of nature vs. nurture, liberals even today firmly come down on the side of nurture uber alles. Liberals are people who claim to believe totally in evolution, but who firmly reject the notion that evolution had any effect on humans above the neck. It's strictly "from the neck, downwards", for liberals.

Well, you have to understand, the link between intelligence "IQ" and education is not established like you may assume. What we are talking about, in genetic differences, is IQ basically. And that doesn't always line up to school achievement. Public education achievement does not necessarily correspond to raw intelligence.

Anonymous TangoMan February 13, 2013 4:50 PM  

Well, you have to understand, the link between intelligence "IQ" and education is not established like you may assume. What we are talking about, in genetic differences, is IQ basically. And that doesn't always line up to school achievement. Public education achievement does not necessarily correspond to raw intelligence.

This is a classic example of making the perfect the enemy of the good. What you're dismissing is the single best predictor of educational outcome, bar none, because it does not predict perfectly.

Studies carried out in the US on the level of prediction of intelligence tests indicate that they are valuable instruments: "psychometric tests are the best predictors of success in school and in the world of work. And what’s more, they are no mean predictors of failure in everyday life, such as falling into poverty or dependence on the state (…). To say that other things are important, apart from intelligence, is not really a challenge until you say precisely what those other things are." According to the APA, standardised measures of intelligence correlate at levels of .50 with school performance, .55 with years of schooling, .54 with work performance, and –.19 with juvenile delinquency. No other psychological variable is capable of producing these correlations.

Anonymous TangoMan February 13, 2013 4:57 PM  

I have exaggerated the shrinking of the gap into the elimination of the gap.

This gap is present in 3 year old children. This means that the gap is not produced by societal factors - not tv, not peer groups, not government, not society, because a 3 year old is not out in the world being exposed to these factors.

If you wish to posit some kind of environmental factor being the agent responsible for the gap, then you have to look into the home and the parenting styles. You hook your hat on black parents having parenting styles which are different from the parenting styles of white parents, specifically white parents who adopt black children.

What you've let slip in your commentary is a response to my question to you of what you propose society do with respect to the parenting styles of blacks. I ask again - if your identification of the problem is correct and your suggestion that the problem could be partially ameliorated by a change in parenting styles, then what EXACTLY is your solution?

Anonymous scoobius dubious February 13, 2013 8:12 PM  

"what you propose society do with respect to the parenting styles of blacks."

Black parenting styles are, regardless of whites or anyone else think about them, simply the result of black people being black people: asking them to change their parenting styles (with the exception of gross outrages, like say Don't let your children starve and Don't put your baby in a microwave oven) begins to approach asking them to stop being who they are, and to be something else. Black parenting styles which whites view as faulty are the result of a natural IQ differential as well as different views and experiences of the world.

If black parenting styles result in a large number of children who can't or won't function successfully in white society, it's probably an indicator that they ought not to be participating in white society; they could find a niche within the parameters of what they're capable of and stick with it, or they could self-segregate into communities built along their own standards (this worked pretty well prior to desegregation); or they could, ya know, emigrate.

What is not acceptable is this endless demand that white society continue to twist itself into impossible knots to satisfy a goal which a) can probably never be achieved, b) has never been stated with satisfactory clarity and honesty, and c) maybe ought not to be achieved, or even attempted.

There's this odd idea in the world that white society, white cultural achievements and political forms and so forth, are the property of everyone on earth. They aren't, they are the property of white people, and the natural expression of a people. This natural expression isn't going to work for other kinds of people, and there's no reason to think it should. Certainly it is immoral to ask white people to destroy their own culture simply to accommodate others whose property it is not.

If there aren't a whole lot of black engineers at NASA, well, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with NASA: white people built NASA, they are under no obligation to surrender it to others. If black people can't succeed or function properly in white society, the realistic solution is for them to not live their lives around white people, or try to do white-people things. There are all sorts of approaches to this; at the extreme end of the spectrum, there is the observation that there are these things called airplanes, which are capable of flying to places like Africa. White people built them, it's true, but they're pretty generous about this sort of stuff and probably wouldn't mind if black people who can't function here took a ride somewhere else on these amazing machines.

Anonymous Desiderius February 14, 2013 6:13 AM  

James Dixon,

"> Looking forward to the day when the Ilk figures it out.

If you mean Liberal in the classical sense, you are of course correct. But what makes you think we didn't know that?"

That's a delta frame at best.

The existence and prominence of Churchianity does not require me to refer to myself as a "classical Christian" nor do I feel any compulsion whatsoever to employ the term "Christian" as an all-purpose condemnation of all Churchian practices.

Anonymous dh February 14, 2013 8:54 AM  

This is a classic example of making the perfect the enemy of the good. What you're dismissing is the single best predictor of educational outcome, bar none, because it does not predict perfectly.

I 0.5-0.55 correlation is certainly very strong, but it means that half the gap is able to be accounted for in other ways - teacher/school quality, the problems in general with public education, environmental/home factors, etc.

I know we are way off base, but let's backup and consider what we are arguing about - if leftists accept racial and genetic realities.

When you hear teachers unions complaining about punishing teachers for low test scores, or rewarding them for high test scores, what are the complaints centered on? The complaint is that it's unfair to judge the teacher by the output of the student.

And that's exactly right based on our conversation - more than half of the educational attainment of the student is based on raw intelligence. Just because the teacher doesn't come out and say "hey, this kid is dumber than a box of rocks, there's no way he is going to produce X result short of random chance filling in the bubbles".

Of course the other part of the complaints are centered on accountability, and the nature of unions, but still, the core complaints are raising the right issues.

I think this is a good example of how we aren't necessarily going to see leftists come out and blast racial minorities - esp. since their is a high correlation between the two - but we are seeing them acknowledge the realities of genetics and how they affect performance, life, and culture.

Anonymous TangoMan February 14, 2013 6:09 PM  

I 0.5-0.55 correlation is certainly very strong, but it means that half the gap is able to be accounted for in other ways - teacher/school quality, the problems in general with public education, environmental/home factors, etc.

Don't invest too heavily into your position quite yet until you account for these flies in the ointment:

1.) There is a difference between the relationship of IQ --> Grades and IQ --> Content Mastery. The best example of this is seen by the grade - mastery gender split. Girls earn higher grades than boys and yet don't match boys in performance on objective tests of knowledge. Grades are clearly capturing something more than content mastery and this works to the advantage of girls.

2.) Life outcomes, such as career, income, etc which are correlated with education are quite often misleading in that the independent variable, education, is not the causal agent at work. The variable is misidentified. When IQ is included as a control, then the income returns to education diminish significantly. When you include further controls on the relationship between content learned and income earned - for instance, learning medicine, learning law, learning engineering, is going to have a different effect on income than learning sociology, learning women's studies, learning art history.

3.) The best way to approach the issue is to isolate the factors and determine their individual influence on grades/mastery/life outcome rather than creating a grab bag of favored leftist tropes and sinking money into the whole grab bag.

if leftists accept racial and genetic realities.

Yeah, let's ask James Watson about that. Who would know better, doctrinaire leftists in charge of education or Watson?

The complaint is that it's unfair to judge the teacher by the output of the student.

Sure, I get that, but the flipside here is that if the teacher is so ineffective at adding value then why are they paid what they're paid? What value are they adding? Teachers can't have it both ways no matter how much they want to have it both ways. They can't think of themselves as professionals whose presence in the classroom is crucial to student outcomes and then object to a pay scheme which focuses on the value added to the student by the teacher.

but we are seeing them acknowledge the realities of genetics and how they affect performance, life, and culture.

We're seeing no such thing.

Anonymous Anonymous February 14, 2013 8:57 PM  


dh
I know we are way off base, but let's backup and consider what we are arguing about - if leftists accept racial and genetic realities.

That is correct.

When you hear teachers unions complaining about punishing teachers for low test scores, or rewarding them for high test scores, what are the complaints centered on? The complaint is that it's unfair to judge the teacher by the output of the student.

This is true. However,it is common for such press statements to blame the parents in a low key way. Blame them how, is the question?

Teachers unions blame some of their students issues on the parenting style, or lack thereof, unlimited access to TV, the Internet, computer games, access to drugs, and other things. They blame the environment of the home, i.e. they critique the nurture of the parents.

I have never, ever read any reference to the parents genetics in any complaint by any teacher's union. If you have, please provide a source.

And that's exactly right based on our conversation - more than half of the educational attainment of the student is based on raw intelligence.

Yes, which is inherited genetically. But no one in the education business ever says that.

Just because the teacher doesn't come out and say "hey, this kid is dumber than a box of rocks, there's no way he is going to produce X result short of random chance filling in the bubbles".

Yes, but it is the environment, the defective nurturing of the home, not the genes of the parents, that come under criticism.

I think this is a good example of how we aren't necessarily going to see leftists come out and blast racial minorities - esp. since their is a high correlation between the two - but we are seeing them acknowledge the realities of genetics and how they affect performance, life, and culture.

I think you are kidding yourself. Or whistling past the graveyard, perhaps.


Borderline Anonymous

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