Sunday, December 27, 2009

Civics 101

Victor Davis Hanson doesn't like Liberalism:

It works like this: The ghetto resident, the denizen of the barrio, the abandoned and divorced waitress with three young children, can all chart their poverty and unhappiness not to accident, fate, bad luck, bad decisions, poor judgment, illegality or drug use, or simple tragedy, but rather exclusively to a system that is rigged to ensure oppression on the basis of race, class, and gender—often insidious and unfathomable except to the sensitive and gifted academic or community organizer.

So Obama combines the age-old belief that the state is there to level the playing field (rather than protect the rights of the individual and secure the safety of the people from foreign threats), with the postmodern notion that government must recompensate those by fiat on the basis on their race or class or gender. Remember all that, and everything from the Professor Gates incident, to the dutiful attendance at the foot of Rev. Wright to Van Jones become logical rather than aberrant. Michelle Obama could make $300,000 and she will always be more a victim than the Appalachian coal miner who earns $30,000, by virtue of her race and gender.

Apparently he doesn't comprehend liberalism.

Quick civics lesson:

White supremacists legally oppress minorities up through the 60's. Laws passed, culture slowly changes. "Legacy of oppression" still exists: high levels of minority poverty & dysfunction relative to whites. Liberals react against history of oppression and continue culture war: political correctness. After a few decades racism becomes socially unacceptable: miscegenation no longer considered terrible; conservatives "no longer see race".

Yet inequalities still exist: minorities fall behind in almost every indicator of demographic success. Paleo-liberals continue to argue its all because of active racism. Neo-liberals point to cultural and institutional factors that perpetuate poverty. Social research supports this thesis: general "risk-factors" are hypothesized to predict social outcomes; education, wealth, race are linked to success.

Conservatives deny that any of this is a factor. They "have a buddy" who grew up poor and is now wealthy; his daddy beat him but he didn't whine about it! They see liberals talking about inequality and dismiss it as a fantasy: everyone can succeed. They see liberal notions of equality as relics of a bygone era which doesn't exist anymore: Michelle Obama is doing great, Appalachian whites are suffering; race doesn't matter.

Yet this hypothesis would predict that all races would have equal rates of success. As would all incomes, educations, family backgrounds, etc: if "a buddy of mine" can truly be extrapolated to larger society. But they do not. The results contradict the hypothesis.

The liberal hypothesis predicts that success will be correlated with wealth, race, education, etc. It is. Year after year. This is a scientific fact. Race is just one factor of many; A bright black girl with a good family who goes to Harvard will almost always do better than a poor white man whose dad is drunk and drops out of school.

These are facts. They prove liberalism. Why conservatives continue to exist in their present form can only be explained by psychology. There is only so much you can do with people who continue to believe that 2 + 2 = 5.

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