... they never have reason to question what they were taught. Their whole life is a progression from one sheltered safe zone to the next: grade school(in a “good” district) => college => job echo chamber full of others like them while living in an isolated suburb with people at the same income they make. They can easily live their whole lives without having to interact with anyone from another caste so that’s what they assume the whole world is like even if it’s actually a very narrow slice. They can never depart from their group consensus or they get exiled by the only group they’ve ever known.This sounds right - for example, it entirely explains the view of the Upper West Side towards "Flyover Country". But there's an implication to this:
Almost invariably, those who are most in favor of ethnic minority interests are those who interact with them least. Or at best, if they are activist/charity types they visit the ghettoes as virtue tourists, not as residents just trying to live. They meet token minorities at work and at school and they model what other races are like based on these outliers. More importantly, they never interact with other races when they are in the majority. You don’t know anything about race until you’re the only white guy in the room. It should be a civic requirement, actually, that everyone have that experience at least once to be in the ethnic minority in a situation like a job, where power matters and you’re not in charge. The moment whites are in the minority, all the rules instantly change. The token ethnic coworkers you thought were buddies change their personality like the flick of a switch once they can smell they rule the roost and only ever promote their own kind. It’s one of the most eye-opening innocence-destroying experiences a sheltered educated person can have. Once you’re along for the ride in an environment controlled by another people, all the fundamental differences between peoples are revealed. As it happens, a deep sense of fair play, altruism, and sympathy for outgroups are almost uniquely Western European traits that more insular tribes can easily take advantage of. 4 years of college opened my eyes to the incredible entitlement of women and the evils of feminism but it wasn’t until I was out in the world on my own that I learned what race and ethnicity means in real life. What any man who has worked jobs in mixed neighborhoods or been to prison knows well, those supposedly the best and brightest of us who make the big decisions are totally clueless about.The one modification I would make to this is that it isn't really about race - it's about culture:
The quote for this [2008 - Borepatch] election season, if we're smart enough to listen, is about the post-Cold War economies:The USSR and East Germany were run by whites, and their economy (and society) were terrible. It's not about race. But history tells us that culture matters:Among the heaviest losers in this period of record-breaking economic growth and technological advance were the countries of the Communist Socialist bloc: the Soviet Union at the bottom of the barrel, Romania and North Korea almost as bad, and a range of satellite victims and emulators struggling to rise above the mess. Best off were probably Czechoslovkia and Hungary, with East Germany (the DDR) and Poland trailing behind. The striking feature of these command economies was the contradiction between system and pretensions on the one hand, performance on the other. The logic was impeccable: experts would plan, zealots would compete in zeal, technology would tame nature, labor would make free, the benefits would accrue to all. From each according to their ability; to each according to his deserts; and eventually, to each according to his needs.
The dream appealed to the victims and critics of capitalism, admittedly a most imperfect system - but as it turned out, far better than the alternatives. Hence the Marxist economies long enjoyed a willful credulous favor among radicals, liberals, and progressives in the advanced industrial nations;
As a public service, here's something that you should read if you really want to make a liberal's head explode like the fembots in Austin Powers. Or understand why the world's economy is the way it is. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, by David Landes. The title is intentionally taken from Adam Smith, but Landes focuses less on describing economics per se, and more on the constraints that a society puts on their economy.These days, to ask these questions is to be accused by Upper West Side types of being racist. That's a (likely intentional) mischaracterization: it's about the culture, stupid.
It traces the history of economic development over the last 1000 years, and asks some very politically incorrect questions:
- Why did China, the world's richest and most powerful country in 1000 AD not only lose her lead, but lose it so badly that it was dismembered by the European (and later resurgent Japanese) powers?
- Why did India, fabulously wealthy and populous, not conquor the west, rather than vice-versa?
- Why did England, an undeveloped backwater as late as 1500 AD, ultimately lead the Industrial Revolution and become the world's most powerful country?
- What explains the vast differences in economic development between the USA and Canada, and other New World countries? After all, in 1700, Mexico's GDP per capita was $450, not far short of the colonies' $490 (1985 dollars). In 1989, Mexico's GDP per capita was $3,500, vs. $18,300 for the USA.
There's a wealth of challenges to the left's ideology in these posts: their comforting assumption that their opponents are uneducated, their comforting assumption that their opponents are racist (and so can be safely ignored), their comforting assumption that since opposition is about race not culture that there can be no principled opposition to unrestricted immigration from other cultures.
And most of all, their comforting assumption that their opponents should be discriminated against, whether by getting them fired from their jobs or by affirmative action giving jobs to someone else.
These are comfortable assumptions because they all allow the Upper West Side types to remain in their cocoon, avoid feeling bad about themselves for the economic distress they cause to much of society, and indeed indulge in an entirely undeserved feeling of smug superiority. That, I suspect, is their true motivator: it's all Rich People's Leftism:
With this new approach in mind, let me contrast Rich People’s Leftism (RPL) with Poor People’s Leftism (PPL).And this is where I depart from agreement with Mr. Dannato - his conclusion seems a bit utopian:
RPL thinks that its goal is to help poor people, while PPL thinks that RPL’s primary goal is to ensure that wealthy leftists dominate and get great jobs.
RPL favors equality and so rejects upward mobility. PPL favors upward mobility via capitalism, since it sees that “egalitarian” schemes never work and are really disguised hierarchies with wealthy leftists at the top.
RPL respects wealthy liberals for wanting to help the poor. PPL observes that these wealthy liberals ensure that they are well paid for what they do and prefers to support wealthy conservatives, who at least are honest about where they are coming from.
If the educated classes were no longer removed from reality, we would see a re-emergence of noblesse oblige, a sense of duty to society as a whole. They would be aware of their superior intellect in a world defined by inequality but also understand how this entails their responsibility to guide the rest rather than throw all the biggest decisions to the ravening crowds. They would understand themselves as the elites of a people rather than worker cog individuals. Armed with this core concept, they would no longer form unholy alliances with foreign tribes against their own kin as they do now. Their false pride and smug virtue posing would evaporate if only they had to test their beliefs against the world.I don't see this - I see them not wanting to give up their bubble world because they are self-interested. They want to continue with cheap inflated self-esteem, and they like the thrill of looking down on the "wrong sort" of people. And so unfortunately I can't really agree that their intellect is superior - after all, the first duty of a proper intellectual is to challenge one's own assumptions. I don't see any appetite for that, so there's no reason to expect the emergence of an enlightened sense of duty to society.
Still, this is an important read, so get on over and read it.