Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thomas Sowell Opines On Politics, Race & Multiculturalism

Thomas Sowell has written a four part essay covering many aspects raised at the intersection of race and politics. In Part I, Sowell notes that:

Few combinations are more poisonous than race and politics. That combination has torn whole nations apart and led to the slaughters of millions in countries around the world. . . .

Sowell takes Obama to task for leading us deeper into racial politics and condemns the left's unjustified playing of the race card as very dangerous politics indeed.

In Part II, Sowell explains that historically, racial groups with different cultures, sophistication and eduction have varied widely in their degree of success at different points in history. That is actually the norm - and it is not indicative of racism.

In Part III, Sowell notes:

Today's racial dogmas are no more realistic, when they try to dismiss or downplay behavioral and performance differences among racial and ethnic groups, blaming different outcomes on the misdeeds of others. Nothing is easier to find than sins among human beings. But the fatal misstep is to assume that those sins must be the reason for the differences we see.

Sowell goes on to note that historical injustices often proved a boon in disguise. He points to how Western Europe suffered brutally under the yoke of Rome, yet because of Rome, their societies were able to advance much faster through the Middle Ages and Rennisance. Likewise, "the fact that people of African ancestry in the United States have a far higher standard of living than the people of African ancestry still living in sub-Saharan Africa, is due to injustices and abuses inflicted on black Americans' ancestors. " As Sowell concludes:

Causation and morality are two different things, however much they get confused today by politicians and the media."

Lastly, in Part IV, Sowell takes on the evils of multiculturalism:

One of the most ominous developments of our time has been the multicultural dogma that all cultures are equal. It is one of the many unsubstantiated assertions that have become fashionable among self-congratulatory elites, with hard evidence being neither asked for nor offered.

But, however much such assertions minister to the egos of the intelligentsia and the careers of politicians and race hustlers, the multicultural dogma is a huge barrier to the advancement of groups who are lagging economically, educationally and otherwise.

Once you have said that the various economic, educational and other "gaps" and "disparities" of lagging groups are not due to either genes or cultures, what is left but the sins of other people?

Sins are never hard to find, among any group of human beings. But whether that actually helps those who are lagging, or just leads them into the blind alley of resentment, is another question. . . .

Multiculturalism enshrines the sins and grievances approach — and paints the poor into a corner, where they can nurse their resentments, instead of advancing their skills and their prospects. The beneficiaries are politicians and race hustlers.

Do read all four essays. It is Sowell at his best.


OBloodyHell said...

> One of the most ominous developments of our time has been the multicultural dogma that all cultures are equal.

Indeed, it's the "Wronger than wrong" error of reasoning:

It's called Asimov's Axiom, after the noted author Isaac Asimov, who discussed the issue in his book of essays, The Relativity of Wrong.

Put simply -- a statement that equates two errors is wronger than wrong when one of the errors is clearly wronger than the other. As Asimov put it:

* "When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

Applying the notion to this instance:

Are there things wrong with Western Culture? Sure, no question. It's a human-produced construct, so it can't help but have problems. But if you think that Western Culture, particularly because of its errors of the past, is just as bad as Islamic Culture, with its continued, ongoing oppression, brutality, and misogyny is just as wrong as Western Culture, then you're just a f***ing idiot.

suek said...

The other problem is that the Leftist's efforts are designed to divide and conquer. By managing to identify groups, and then cultivate the issues of conflict within those groups that are at odds with society in general, they succeed in establishing points of controversy that are unanswerable, and therefore remain open raw sores. Ignore race? you're racist. Address race? you can't - you aren't black, you don't count. There is no way to address the issue from a rational, logical position. The _only_ acceptable answer is "gimme all you got". This is obviously unacceptable to those whose "gots" they want, and the possibility of igniting a real conflict is elevated. In the confusion of actual bloodletting conflict, they plan to emerge as the leaders who will be the only beneficiaries of such a conflict.

Sowell is the voice of one crying out in the wilderness. I doubt that those who need him most will hear him, but he is a gift to all of us.