Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Racism is Alive and Thriving on the Left

Students of change

This heading and sub-heading, published in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, should tell you all you need to know about the content of the accompanying article, written by William H. Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a “population studies professor” at the University of Michigan.

The op-ed was originally published for the Los Angeles Times (12/29/15) under the title, “The new racial generation gap.”

“America needs to invest” means, of course, the government needs to seize your money through taxes, and spend it according to the politicians’ criteria. But that’s not the worst of it.

The message to the young of this explicitly racist article is: Your identity is not your self-made character or your chosen values, goals, ideas, actions, or accomplishments. Your identity is your racial tribe. You as an individual are irrelevant. You do not have an independent mind and the capability of exercising it. You are not capable of taking care of yourself. You are nothing beyond what is expected of you by your tribal leaders. Your destiny is tied up in your genes or your blood, not your personal moral character, choices, values, and dreams.

Welcome to the Left’s “diversity” movement.

And you’re entitled: The world owes you a living. You need government force to seize the wealth of others to “invest” in your “education”—i.e., to indoctrinate you in your tribal identity, your hopeless ineptitude, your inherent victimhood, and, above all, the idea that the government rather than the self-interested initiative of free individuals is the source of success, wealth, prosperity, the ”middle class.” “Investing in the success of today's diverse youth is critical for the entire nation, which needs a productive labor force and its attendant contributions to Medicare, Social Security and other programs,” states Frey in a thoroughly collectivist statement. Message to today’s young: Your goal is the good of the nation, not your own flourishing.

How do you replace a free society with an authoritarian socialist state? Replace individualism with collectivism as the culture’s dominant method of personal identification. Ayn Rand identified the nature and causes of tribalism, or collectivism:

What are the nature and the causes of modern tribalism? Philosophically, tribalism is the product of irrationalism and collectivism. It is a logical consequence of modern philosophy. If men accept the notion that reason is not valid, what is to guide them and how are they to live?

Obviously, they will seek to join some group—any group—which claims the ability to lead them and to provide some sort of knowledge acquired by some sort of unspecified means. If men accept the notion that the individual is helpless, intellectually and morally, that he has no mind and no rights, that he is nothing, but the group is all, and his only moral significance lies in selfless service to the group—they will be pulled obediently to join a group. But which group? Well, if you believe that you have no mind and no moral value, you cannot have the confidence to make choices—so the only thing for you to do is to join an unchosen group, the group into which you were born, the group to which you were predestined to belong by the sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient power of your body chemistry.

This, of course, is racism. But if your group is small enough, it will not be called “racism”: it will be called “ethnicity.”

Tribalism is as old as human history but, until recent decades, has always been foreign to American culture. Not any more. That’s what produced this article. What else would one expect from a “population studies professor?” That’s what we get, courtesy of government funding of higher education with our tax dollars.

And we have the “Depression- and World War II” voting generation to thank for that. The opening two paragraphs of The new racial generation gap read:

In the 1960s, a flip but still effective aphorism summed up the rebelliousness of youth: “Don't trust anyone over 30.” As it turns out, that admonition is a much more fitting bumper sticker for today's student activists than it was 50 years ago. Young people now — the post-millennials — face a far deeper generational divide than the one that separated baby boomers from their parents. And the nation faces a far more serious crisis if that divide cannot be bridged.

The wave of mostly white, mostly middle-class boomers that flooded college campuses in the 1960s got swept up in a variety of causes — Vietnam, civil rights, feminism. They questioned authority in ways their Depression- and World War II-era parents never did. Yet it could be argued that most of them had little reason in general to object to the status quo. They had benefited from post-World War II prosperity and government programs, such as the GI Bill, that allowed their parents to raise them in comfortable suburban homes and send them to free, decent public schools. Later, Great Society initiatives such as the Higher Education Act of 1965 enabled them to attend college in historic numbers at a reasonable cost, and there were jobs in the offing after graduation.

The “Greatest Generation” at work. Today, the chickens are coming home to roost, in the form of the tribal-minded, entitlement-demanding student college protestors, indoctrinated in collectivism and entitlement by old 1960s hippy professors.

Frey doesn’t identify it explicitly. But the “far deeper generational divide” of today is a divide between an increasingly collectivist/socialist-minded youth—as exemplified by young peoples’ overwhelming attraction to Bernie Sanders—and the remnants of individualism/capitalism still clung to by the older generation. And frey comes down on the side of collectivism/tribalism. “White boomers,” Frey argues, are too concerned with “smaller government with limited services and lower taxes,” rather than “a larger government that offers more services.”

But if these older remnants favor smaller government, we can’t count on them to counter the collectivist tide. After all, they gave us government funding of college and the Great Society and are very protective of their Social Security and Medicare. If the direction of the country is to be changed, it is the young, developing minds that need to be reached. Yes, they need to break with the older generation; the alleged champions of “smaller government with limited services and lower taxes” who started us down the road to “larger government that offers more services.” It’s hard given the Left’s dominance in higher education. Fortunately, we “liberal rightists”—as Craig Biddle aptly identified the pro-liberty side—have a philosophy perfectly suited to young formative minds, Ayn Rand’s radical philosophy of Objectivism. A philosophy of reason and individualism is the only antidote to the rise of tribalism in American society.

Related Reading:

Peter Schwartz’s chapters “Gender Tribalism” (p. 205) and “Multicultural Nihilism” (p. 245) in Return of the Primitive—Ayn Rand

Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice—Craig Biddle for The Objective Standard


Mike Kevitt said...

I think it must be admitted that it's white males, from the late 19th. century to today, who brought about today's statist regime. It's THEIR chickens that are coming home to roost. So, white males' 'salvation' lies in establishing individual rights, 100%, and the laissez-faire that will follow, for the first time in history. If this doesn't happen, white males will have everybody else's company. They'll all have their chickens out there coming home to roost. But, with individual rights, nobody will have such chickens to come home to roost, and everybody will have common ground, and company of their choice.

Anonymous said...

White males? They have been the least in voting for the expansion of the welfare state. It's women, blacks and Hispanics that are most responsible for the welfare state. (Contrary to pro immigration propoganda, Hispanics vote left because they are left. Just look at the Pew data.)

-Steve Jackson

Mike Kevitt said...

Anonymous: You're probably right, but I was referring to the intellectual, political and, generally, the professional leadership since the late 19th. century. They're the ones who've been pushing most for statism and welfare for over 100 years for everybody to vote on. Most of that leadership, as it turns out, just happen to be white males, bringing bad ideas back here from Europe where they got their bad educations. They spread those bad ideas throughout U.S. academia. Women and people of color have lapped up those ideas, but white males have, too, though to a lesser extent, so they've been least in voting for welfare.