The Israeli politician, Abba Eban, once said, “Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources.” A form of this is attributed to Churchill, but there is no evidence he ever said it. References to the apocryphal Churchill quote started appearing in the 1980’s. Like Twain and Voltaire, Churchill gets credit for a lot of pithy sayings, because people believe he would have said them. Regardless of the origin, the assertion is true. Men go to great lengths to avoid the right answer.
We see this with race. Three generations ago, when social reformers and political leaders looked at the condition of the black man, they were presented with three possible explanations. One was biology, the reason most people accepted for the differences between blacks and whites. The other was some form of magic, like God blessed the white race or cursed the black race. The other was culture. The laws and institutions of the nation were rigged against the black man.
It has long been understood by pollsters, marketing men and test designers that when given three options, people will look for the least likely of the three and eliminate that first, so the choice is a binary one. That’s what happened 60 years ago. Magic was eliminated as a possible choice, which left biology and culture. It is also well known that people will always choose the option they want to be true, over the one they wish were not true, despite a mountain of evidence in support of the latter.
Three generations ago our rulers decided that the reason blacks were so far behind whites was culture. They set about changing the laws, creating programs to address past sins, modifying institutions to accommodate blacks and lecturing whites about the sinfulness of racism. The last black to be the victim of Jim Crow, for example, is 75 years old this year. We are reaching the point where no living person was the victim of legal segregation. The majority of blacks now have never experienced real racism.
Blacks would contest that last line and they would have a point. The other day, there was a news story about a white not being properly worshipful of a black. It is these sorts of outrages that perpetuate racism in America. All kidding aside, no black under the age of 50 has had their race used as an impediment to their success. In fact, being black is now an enormous asset for a black person with anything on the ball. The demand for competent blacks far exceeds the supply.
Despite all this, the achievement gap between blacks and whites remains unchanged in measurable areas like education and household wealth. In some areas, like crime, illegitimacy and substance abuse, the gap has grown larger. The gap in SAT scores is higher than ever, despite attempts to rig the tests. For three generations, our betters have rearranged every aspect of American society in an effort to alter the realities of race in America. The results are more of the same.
The only rational conclusion is that culture is not the cause. At the far right of the curve, sure, better social conditions for high IQ blacks have made a difference. For the overwhelming majority of blacks, however, the culture war has been a battle among whites over how much money, in welfare benefits, will be transferred from the white middle-class to blacks. They are no more able to compete in American society than they were when this all started.
That brings us back to the original options. Between culture, biology and magic, our betters, and most Americans, were sure it had to be culture. Now that three generations of social engineering have disproved that argument, we’re left with biology and magic. Our betters, unwilling to accept the reality on the ground are now arguing that the real cause of the racial gap is magic. They don’t call it magic, but that’s what they mean when they chant phrases like “white privilege” and “unconscious bias.”
In fairness, our betters are not embracing oogily-boogily because they believe it. It’s that they cannot bring themselves to embrace biology. Everything about the prevailing orthodoxy depends on the blank slate being true. Even the slightest doubt will cause the whole thing to come crashing down. It’s why kooks like Cordelia Fine get awards for writing books that claim biology is a social construct created by a cabal of white people to oppress women, if women existed, which they don’t.
All human societies need order, otherwise they look like Somalia. Order requires authority and that comes when the people being ruled over accept the people and system that provides order. The king is not going to be king very long if no one accepts his right to rule. Similarly, people will not tolerate a ruling class that is populated by madmen denying reality. This is what brought down the Soviet Empire. Even the beneficiaries of the system could no longer pretend it made any sense.
That’s what is happening today. The reality of race is undermining the moral authority of the system. Everyday, more and more white people wake up from the dream of race denialism. It’s why, despite the lack of sane leaders and a coherent strategy, the alt-right thrives. Whatever their flaws, they are right about the reality of race, which gives them credibility in an age when the ruling class has none. Ironically, it is the weapon of race that gave birth to the current arrangements and it will be race that is its undoing.