Green Room

Capitalism Versus Racism

posted at 10:53 pm on August 20, 2009 by

The political atmosphere crackles with charges of racism. President Obama’s functionaries and allies make dark insinuations about the racial motives behind all opposition to his agenda. Tea party protests against Big Government are portrayed as thinly veiled Klan rallies. The boycott of Glenn Beck’s TV show is based on the idea that calling a black liberal Democrat racist is, itself, an act of indefensible racism. The hilariously incompetent and biased MSNBC network was so desperate to portray town hall protesters as racists that it framed the image of a black man holding a rifle to obscure his face, then tried to pass him off as an armed white supremacist.

It’s not surprising to see desperate Democrats throw gasoline on America’s simmering racial fires, in a last-ditch effort to reverse their political fortunes. The Left believes debates are won when the other side is silenced, not when those listening to the debate are persuaded. Charges of racism would not be one of their preferred weapons, if a climate of tension didn’t exist to make them effective. Racism consistently ranks near the top of issues Americans say they are concerned about. Reducing racial tensions will require building a society that is the exact opposite of the one Barack Obama favors. No system of politics and economics is more hostile to racism than classical liberalism combined with free-market capitalism… and none provides a more fertile breeding ground for tension between races, sexes, religions, and other groups than big-government socialism.

In a capitalist society, racism is both morally offensive and stupid. People might harbor some prejudices in their minds – and really, how many of us can say we go through our whole lives without having a single racist thought? However, overt expressions of racism are foolish, because they are detrimental to the success of both individuals and companies. It makes no sense to deprive your company of skilled employees by discriminating against their skin color, or drive off large numbers of prospective customers by insulting them. It’s equally stupid for an individual to pass up career opportunities, or forfeit the ability to collaborate with talented peers, due to blind prejudice. Over time, those who persist in such foolishness will inevitably fall behind those who rise above it.

Legendary economist Thomas Sowell has written extensively about the pressures free markets bring to bear against discrimination, even in the absence of legal penalties for such behavior. Of course, no system is perfect, and the sun will never rise on a world that doesn’t include a few blockheads scowling at each other for petty, superficial reasons… but we can aspire to build a world where the pursuit of excellence helps the human heart escape the undertow of ancient hatreds. A great nation does not require the absence of unjust men… only their irrelevance.

By contrast, while racism is still a moral outrage in a socialist society, it is not stupid. Collectivist systems reward tribal groups for maintaining their solidarity, and working as a bloc to exert pressure on the State, in exchange for rewards. Racial animosity is a brutally effective technique for maintaining solidarity – it has been proven across all the bloody centuries of human civilization. In an economy controlled by the State, the ability to deliver packages of votes, or arrange political pressure through organized demonstrations, is incredibly valuable. Barack Obama spent years baking in the furnace of Jeremiah Wright’s racial hatred because it gave him vital political power in Chicago. His presence in that church, and the financial support he offered it, were morally reprehensible… but not pointless.

The racial theories of the Left state that members of preferred minority groups are immune to charges of racism, due to prior oppression. They are indulged in behaviors that would be considered totally unacceptable for less favored ethnic groups. Those behaviors allow them to organize, and maintain group discipline, far more effectively. The Democrat Party requires over eighty per cent of the black vote for its political survival. It ensures that kind of loyalty through political activities in churches, vicious insults directed at “inauthentic” blacks, and the maintenance of explicitly racial organizations like the NAACP. All of those techniques would be greeted as unspeakable hate crimes by liberals, if whites practiced them. No one should want to practice them. We should be more interested in national associations for the advancement of everyone… or, more to the point, anyone.

The liberal would say that concessions to preferred minority groups are necessary, to compensate for past discrimination. In the shadow of the total State, those concessions will drag on forever, because they bring too much power to those who provide them. Retributive “social justice” for the sins of the 50s and 60s is one thing “progressives” will never progress beyond. Like tobacco, state-sanctioned discrimination is too useful to be outlawed by Big Government, no matter how poisonous it is. We can only honor the ideal of a just and color-blind society by accepting it in total. The proposition that “all men are created equal” is not improved by appending a list of exceptions and qualifications.

Fortunately, we do not require the blessing of high-powered politicians to set aside our country’s racial obsessions and grievances. That’s the point. We can only achieve freedom and equality by changing the government, not by sitting around and waiting for it to change us. The Left would have us believe the goal of social justice requires us to cleanse every prejudiced thought from every human mind, and since that goal is impossible, their demand for power to pursue it will be endless. I believe there is no better way to conquer ignorance and resentment than to build a climate of prosperity and opportunity, where people of all backgrounds can join in the constructive pursuit of a better life. It’s not a perfect, magical, universal antidote to prejudice – nothing is, and anyone who tells you otherwise is playing you for a fool. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It only has to be good enough to whet our appetite for making it even better.

If there’s one positive attribute of humanity I’ve never lost any faith in, it’s the ability to discard useless things. The best way to make blind hatred seem useless to the vast majority of people is to make it senseless. That will never happen in a socialist nation, because tribalism is not senseless for people who depend on the favor of the State for prosperity, or even subsistence. One need only look at Europe to see how much ugly, murderous hatred bubbles in the state-subsidized cauldron of a permanent welfare underclass. The rise of the super-state has already divided Americans into too many warring factions…. and now the Left wants to give the State the power to dispense health care, throwing one more haunch of meat into the pit for the peasants to fight over.

Socialists like to taunt capitalists by saying the only color they care about is green. Hallelujah, and amen.

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Comment pages: 1 2

oh s%it again

YES I CAN

seesalrun on August 21, 2009 at 11:40 PM

Doctor Zero;

Collectivist systems reward tribal groups for maintaining their solidarity, and working as a bloc to exert pressure on the State, in exchange for rewards

Truer words were never spoken. A great article.

Give my regards to Mrs Zero and all the little digits at home.

westerncanadian on August 21, 2009 at 11:43 PM

And interestingly enough, the economic situation of American blacks improved more under Ronald Reagan than under any other President. According to the National Review:

From the end of 1982 to 1989, black unemployment dropped 9 percentage points (from 20.4 percent to 11.4 percent), Hispanic unemployment dropped 7.3 percentage points (from 15.3 percent to 8.0 percent), while white unemployment dropped by only 4.0 percentage points. . . . A black entrepreneurial class flourished. According to the Census Bureau, the number of black-owned businesses increased from 308,000 in 1982 to 424,000 in 1987, a 38 percent rise. At the same time, the total number of firms in the U.S. rose by only 14 percent. Receipts by black-owned firms more than doubled, from $9.6 billion to $19.8 billion. . . . From 1980 to 1990, the median income of black households grew 31 percent above inflation, compared to 19 percent growth for white households.

http://www.nationalreview.com/reagan/rubensteinc200406101426.asp

Sharke on August 21, 2009 at 11:50 PM

Legendary economist Thomas Sowell has written extensively about the pressures free markets bring to bear against discrimination, even in the absence of legal penalties for such behavior.

Let’s not forget also about the 17,000 word pamphlet George Reisman published under the title Capitalism: The Cure for Racism.

Classical Liberal? Isn’t that more less a Libertarian or Conservative of today?

El Guapo on August 21, 2009 at 9:27 PM

Not even close. Libertarians believe government is a necessary evil at best, or an unnecessary evil at worst. Classical Liberals such as myself believe that proper government is a necessary good. (In what sense can something that is necessary be called evil, anyhow?) Classical Liberals have a clear conception, one based upon economic science, of what government should and should not do. Libertarianism is a hodge-podge of mutually-contradictory ideologies founded upon godknowswhat.

As I mentioned previously, Classical Liberals’ notion of what government should be is founded on economic science. Conservatives, by contrast, get their ideas for what government should and should not do from the book of Leviticus. Classical Liberals embrace capitalism as the best means to cure society of those ills that can be cured. Conservatives, meanwhile, don’t trust capitalism as far as they can throw it, and will destroy it as soon as they are given the chance (see, for instance, any McCain or Huckabee campaign speech, or the records of George W Bush and Sarah Palin).

hicsuget on August 22, 2009 at 12:23 AM

Let’s not forget also about the 17,000 word pamphlet George Reisman published under the title Capitalism: The Cure for Racism.

It seems that was just an excerpt, and not the full article. My apologies. More is available in Ch. 6, Sec. 4 of his textbook, Capitalism.

hicsuget on August 22, 2009 at 12:32 AM

Not even close. Libertarians believe government is a necessary evil at best, or an unnecessary evil at worst. Classical Liberals such as myself believe that proper government is a necessary good. (In what sense can something that is necessary be called evil, anyhow?) Classical Liberals have a clear conception, one based upon economic science, of what government should and should not do. Libertarianism is a hodge-podge of mutually-contradictory ideologies founded upon godknowswhat.

As I mentioned previously, Classical Liberals’ notion of what government should be is founded on economic science. Conservatives, by contrast, get their ideas for what government should and should not do from the book of Leviticus. Classical Liberals embrace capitalism as the best means to cure society of those ills that can be cured. Conservatives, meanwhile, don’t trust capitalism as far as they can throw it, and will destroy it as soon as they are given the chance (see, for instance, any McCain or Huckabee campaign speech, or the records of George W Bush and Sarah Palin).

hicsuget on August 22, 2009 at 12:23 AM

Personally, I’d like to bring the S.S. Conservatism around to starboard, and sail for a good long while, with classical liberals and libertarians sharing hearty mugs of godknowswhat. Eventually we’d have to settle which camp takes the wheel – and that would be a far more stimulating debate than explaining to liberals why tripling a trillion-dollar deficit, and giving the State power to decide who gets how much health care, is a bad idea.

Meanwhile, I hope we can all agree that we need to set a course away from the whirlpool we’ve been circling. I’m really looking forward to the day when my biggest arguments are with libertarians. Their web sites are certainly much less depressing than lefty web sites.

Doctor Zero on August 22, 2009 at 12:49 AM

Blacks were not prone to any of the above prior to the Great Society.

Meremortal on August 21, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Not true, low black intellectual achievement was known by the mid 1800′s and confirmed by the United Nations prior to the “Great Society” (See The Bell Curve, United nations early I.Q. tests) but there were in place sociological barriers erected the church, by society and by the black family holding back social behavior.

None of those barriers exist anymore and short of re-instituting slaverly, which is how they were originally imposed, I don’t see a way to bring them back. As all religious belief fades, the black church is morphing into a White hating, separatist social club based on the teachings of Dr. Cone or Nation of Islam, reflected by “Reverend Wright”. The 95% vote by blacks for Obama must show that there is some lockstep thinking there that will probably never be shifted. White Society seems unable to impose even the importance of monogamy on the black culture as the 70% illegitimacy rate matches Nigeria. In fact even the concept of “illegitimate” births is a European/Asian concept because of the importance of tracing linage for the transfer of property or Heraldic title.

These results are after years of trying making a special effort to protect the feelings of black children, even to the point of exaggerating the contributions of blacks in the history of the U.S.A. and lowering the standards of the schools.

You also avoided the observation about I.Q. and capitalism. Stated as a question: How are any people whose culture is dominated by art and culture that glorifies high impulse crime (home invasion, juvenile violence, instant sexual gratification, drugs, robbery, murder), whose genetic intellectual gifts are such that 80% of the particular population are less intelligent that the average for the greater population, who are dominated by a political party that plays to their fears and inculcates paranoia and thug behavior and rewards tribal voting, supposed to reap any rewards from egalitarianist Capitalism?

GunRunner on August 22, 2009 at 1:06 AM

Ok, time for the next question.

Will the current Obamanic overreach tear the Democrats’ ownership of the ‘black demographic’ apart? Will people finally realize that the people who are promising them utopia want nothing more than someone to rule and enticing them into a new slavery?

njcommuter on August 22, 2009 at 1:17 AM

Conservatives, by contrast, get their ideas for what government should and should not do from the book of Leviticus……Conservatives…….don’t trust capitalism as far as they can throw it, and will destroy it as soon as they are given the chance.

hicsuget on August 22, 2009 at 12:23 AM

???

Good God, what a bunch of uneducated biased malarkey. You sir, wouldn’t know Conservatism if it came up and bit you on your pompous ass.

infidel4life on August 22, 2009 at 1:49 AM

Yes!

Collectivism breeds tribalism, since it posits a fixed quantity of resources, possessed by all, and so pits all against all in securing a share. The fractious, centrifugal forces in a collecivist society are daunting.

By contrast, an open,individualist, free-market society treats wealth as something which can be created, not simply harvested. The money I make is not stolen from someone else, since I require free individuals to choose to do business with me or else I will founder.

Noocyte on August 22, 2009 at 2:01 AM

Wow! I couldn’t say it better myself and I’ve often tried to.
I’m going to have to distribute this one.

Lonetown on August 22, 2009 at 4:41 AM

This is the single best piece I’ve ever read on this issue. The problem is communicating this to the tribal groups that know no other way without enabling their masters to smear us as “racist,” thus continuing the vicious and unproductive cycle of selected groups fighting for scraps from the table.

What the Democrat party and liberalism have done to minority groups, particularly blacks, is noting short of criminal. I am going to pass this article around. This is the truth.

Absolutely brilliant.

moonbat monitor on August 22, 2009 at 7:16 AM

I guess, it depends on your definition of “Green” doesn’t it.

Good Article

franksalterego on August 22, 2009 at 7:44 AM

Wow!

Cinday Blackburn on August 22, 2009 at 8:22 AM

Doc, You knocked another one out of the park!! I don’t even feel worthy of commenting. Keep them coming.

New Patriot on August 22, 2009 at 8:22 AM

Oh, this is off topic and I apologize, but I’m hoping to bring justice to a couple of murderers.

24 years ago a mentally ill man was baited into a fight against a marine black belt, and from what I’ve read, died of his injuries. For some reason, the instructor posted it on youtube recently. It is extremely disturbing and not for the squeamish. And I don’t disturb easily. The instructor, bobby joe blythe, lives in the Hanford, CA area, and the man that attacked him, Willie Dennis, no one has found information on. Please, watch this video and if you’re in the area and feel it warrats some sort of investigation, please contact the appropriate authorities. Again, sorry for being off topic, but this video bothered me so much that I felt compelled to take action. I’m not what most would consider a sympathetic guy or a softie, but beating mentally ill people to death really hits a nerve with me.

Here’s the link. NSFW.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e55_1250787987

moonbat monitor on August 22, 2009 at 8:43 AM

The mentality of the left is: If you voted for Obama you are not a racist. If you didn’t vote for Obama you are a racist … straight up.

redridinghood on August 22, 2009 at 8:56 AM

George Soros just purchased over 2 billion dollars worth of oil stock and guess where they are drilling? BRAZIL. That lefty likes the color green.

mixplix on August 22, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Excellent point, Doc. Let me add that Southern states put in Jim Crow laws to force people to discriminate. The railroads didn’t care what color a passenger was; if he paid for a first-class ticket, he got to sit in the fancy coach like everyone else who paid the same price. The power of government was used to make them segregate their passengers by race, which cost them money.

(They also didn’t care that Elijah McCoy was black; they trusted his lubrication equipment better than anyone else’s because it had a proven record of outperforming them.)

The market doesn’t care about black and white; it’s too busy paying attention to green.

The Monster on August 22, 2009 at 9:20 AM

The Left believes debates are won when the other side is silenced, not when those listening to the debate are persuaded.

BINGO!

jukin on August 22, 2009 at 9:23 AM

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e55_1250787987

moonbat monitor on August 22, 2009 at 8:43 AM

OT I know, but I saw that clip and it made me mad too. Not the most shocking thing I’ve seen on LiveLeak though. Man I have to stay away from that site. First it was the video of the 5 people burning alive in the car wreak in Russia (still lie awake thinking about it sometimes) and then last night I saw a video of a Vietnamese cop who’d been run over by a truck, been split cleanly in two and was calmly talking to people in the street and moving his arms around. Some great videos on that site but woe be tide you unsuspectingly click on one of the nasties!

Sharke on August 22, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Will people finally realize that the people who are promising them utopia want nothing more than someone to rule and enticing them into a new slavery?

njcommuter on August 22, 2009 at 1:17 AM

I think this question bears repeating, in any forum you can insert it and with any phraseology you can muster, to make people think about their own accountability and the ways their accountability can shrink government. Of course, we’ll have to fight the bureaucrats and lifetime lawmakers to make their fiefdoms smaller but righteous outcry, such as we have seen in the past month over heath care, should go a long way to having them hear us.

Along with shrinking government, we should also be concentrating on shrinking the influence of media monoliths and biased “news” organizations – they are only propaganda outlets and advertising delivery systems at this point.

ExpressoBold on August 22, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Racism, and the claim of it, remains a tool for control:

- By the State to execute suppression of and continued subordination of select ethnic groups/tribes/etc

- By the group/tribe/etc to receive and maintain enduring “Special Status” and favor with the State

In capitalism an individual (of an ethnic group or not) is judged by their personal industry…

PhreeMan on August 22, 2009 at 10:20 AM


(They also didn’t care that Elijah McCoy was black; they trusted his lubrication equipment better than anyone else’s because it had a proven record of outperforming them.)

Black Invention Myth here

As I stated, exaggerating the achomplishments of Africans in the U.S.

GunRunner on August 22, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Sorry, Accomplishments. Fingers tangled!

GunRunner on August 22, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Another standing O for “The Doc”. Brilliant and right on!

amex on August 22, 2009 at 10:30 AM

That mindset sounds like a recipe for endless racial warfare to me, and it’s based on the deeply racist assumption that white people are born with some kind of oppressor gene that pre-disposes them to dominate rather than assimilate.

Doctor Zero on August 21, 2009 at 1:06 PM

That is exactly what many believe. I remember a young black man when I was in Army Basic telling me that white people were really horrible, because we were in Africa enslaving black people, and we should be glad that black people were so forgiving.

Which was not entirely untrue, but I had to point out that that whole system started with Arabs selling slaves and African natives selling slaves they had captured from other tribes.

So yes, many really do believe that white people are inherently evil and abusive.

I’m sure this is in part because professional race-baiters have encouraged that belief.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on August 22, 2009 at 10:46 AM

A common progressive charge is that being “colorblind” is only an excuse for ignoring institutionalized racism. The “melting pot” as they say, is implicitly white in its perspective.

One of our blind spots is refusing to see what Genetics are trying to teach us. The I.Q. disparity between black and White will mean that an advanced, capitalist, Classically Liberal culture will be White and or Asian, leading to black hatred and jealousy always. Freedom, Simplifying of business, the simplifying Government Regulations, will assist all in gaining higher levels of achievement but I don’t believe we can expect inner city blacks that refuse to finish high school or even learn to read, form alliances no higher than a gang and kill for lack a “respect” to find any advancement in a White, European centered culture.

GunRunner on August 21, 2009 at 9:36 PM

I think you’re hugely overestimating the role of IQ. While there are differences between the races, they can only be accurately measured en masse. It should be emphasized again and again that racial differences pale in comparison to individual differences.

Our culture does not reward IQ directly. It rewards competence, achievement, and stability. The biggest problem that blacks have had recently in achievement have been poor education, high crime, and a high illegitimacy rate.

Ironically, these problems are primarily caused by the very policies of the Democrats that blacks keep voting for.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on August 22, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Dear Doc Zero,

Re: Promoting identity politics

Last year I attended a meeting between parents and school officials in a town in Massachusetts. They were there to discuss a new curriculum for elementary grades K-6 that introduced concepts of homosexuality and gay marriage, etc. The rather detailed curriculum was barely discussed. The conversation mostly involved parents speaking on behalf of their own various ethnic/racial/sexual/disability interest groups and the special treatment they wished to have afforded to them.
Finally [paraphrased] I said to the superintendent: “I taught middle school in a city neighborhood comprised of one-half first generation immigrants and the rest of second and third generation immigrant families. My goal was to emphasize their membership in ‘Club America’ so as to unify them as a group and encourage their new American identity and values. Your discussion today revolves around pride, empathy and identity of various groups within a classroom. But children in a class need to feel they are all part of a group that has an identity of which to be proud. They need a shared commonality. Does your elementary curriculum address development of American citizenship as a classroom value to give a sense of shared pride and identity to the students as members of ‘Club America’ as opposed to emphasizing their differences?”
His first answer: “Isn’t it great that we have so many people with so many different views here..,” and he tried to take a different question.
I persisted and repeated my curriculum question.
This was his answer, almost verbatim: “Well, Sir, you say you taught social studies in a public school. Then surely you must know how difficult it is to get social studies teachers to agree on anything.
I then asked, “So there is no cohesive elementary school curriculum to foster a sense of shared Americanism among the students?”
Answer: “No.”
Here’s the kicker: The meeting was to discuss a ‘cohesive’ and detailed gay curriculum for the public schools of a town in Massachusetts of which you may have heard. The town is named ‘Lexington.’ It’s next to a town named ‘Concord.’
Apparently someone fired a gunshot there in April of 1775 that some say was ‘heard ’round the world.’ That alone is an acoustically historic event that I would think merits mention by social studies teachers to all local students. I’m told the shot was fired on the ‘green’ there and that something big happened after that. I know for sure that it resulted in the names of two football teams: the New England Patriots and the Concord High School Minutemen.
Unfortunately, the social studies teachers in Lexington cannot agree on behalf of their elementary school students whether or not that ‘shot’ – and the events it triggered to this day – might give rise to a cohesive set of lesson plans designed to give children a sense of common pride and national heritage.
The meeting was held in a Lexington elementary school three days before Memorial Day weekend. As I left the auditorium I scanned the various classroom projects plastered on the hallway walls in vain for themes related to the upcoming patriotic holiday.
On the ‘bright’ side, perhaps someday a fourth grade class there will do murals dedicated to the brawl between cops and gays at the Stonewall Bar in New York. Perhaps the students can engage in a re-enactment of those events. The girls can play the cops, I suppose.
Apparently all of Lexington’s curriculum folks can agree on the essentials of gay marriage and homosexuality necessary to a child’s learning as he progresses from ‘K’ through ’6.’ But the history of America and the pride and identity of citizenship in our great nation is something on which no Lexington social studies educators can agree.
Yup – capitalism is a cure for identity politics and racism – but I think – maybe I’m way out on this – really extreme – but maybe the schools could pitch in and emphasize our American commonality as well. I’ve always loved Churchill’s unifying characterization of our great “American Race.”
Maybe the Lexington teachers could start with a basic vote: America: good country or bad country – pick one and let’s see what approach we can take.
Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson on August 22, 2009 at 11:25 AM

A great nation does not require the absence of unjust men… only their irrelevance.

Love it! Brilliant essay.

Rosmerta on August 22, 2009 at 12:33 PM

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