Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Move the center of gravity by being extreme

One of the platitudes that irritates me the most is the one that goes something like "American politics are increasingly characterized by extremes as the middle has disappeared, yet the best way is always somewhere in the middle." I've heard the politician that grates my nerves the worst (Jack Danforth), use this on three separate occasions over the past month or so.

While such an airy statement is supposed to bring ideologues in from the extremes, rationally it should do the exact opposite. If the correct position is in effect an averaging of the total opinion, those on the extremes should be as radical/reactionary as possible.

Initially, you're far-left and I'm far-right. The moderate view is thus the right one. Responding to Danforth's advice, you shift to a moderate-left stance. I, on the other hand, in inebriated zeal, move even further right. So now the view somewhere between that of the moderate-right and far-right is the best one.

No wonder the GOP was in the minority while this guy was in charge.

(Terse tackiness)


Angry Al said...

BTW Crush,

An interesting quote on the looming anti-meritocratic affirmative action catastrophe in the US, which we've been talking about in our recent discussion. I know you've cited Steve Sailer here before, who is IMHO one of the most underrated intellectuals in the US, and a friend recently sent me a quote from Steve that I think captures the gloom that I and so many of the other "white strivers" in the US see in regard to this policy:

"Politics will become more volatile and ugly as disputes over ideology—like today’s stem cell issue, which is the kind of benign moral controversy we will look back on with envy—are shunted aside by Yugoslavian-style grappling over the red meat: which races get which government goodies, and which races pay for them."

Steve was apparently referring to the massive growth in affirmative action burdens with the US demographic shift, and he's right on the money. I as a contractor, and my friends as engineers, students or university officials, have all been caught shocked and flat-footed at the viciousness and increasing pervasiveness of affirmative action in the United States, and I suspect that Steve's observation has a lot to do with it. As the US White population dwindles, and both Black and Latino populations grow rapidly, not only does the burden on individual whites (and a subset of Asians) get worse and worse-- whites in the USA must also be portrayed as increasingly evil and deserving of punishment to help provide the rhetorical basis of AA.

The notion of the "stabilization" of the Black population in the USA is a myth-- Black TFR in the US is indeed close to replacement, but that of Whites is much lower as I noted before, *and* Blacks have actually had the highest population growth in recent years as a consequence of immigration. The Caribbean countries and Africa have been big suppliers of US immigrants, so much so that states like Minnesota (weirdly enough) now have enormous Somali and/or Sudanese communities, and every one of these people is eligible for affirmative action benefits at the direct expense of the White population. "Diversity" the bean-counting lobby make sure of this.

What I find so frustrating, is that there's absolutely no practical solution. Even if by some miracle we could get rid of affirmative action tomorrow-- which we couldn't, it's so firmly entrenched that nothing short of a complete sweep and alteration of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches at all levels of government would be needed to make even modest change-- there would be nothing less than raging race riots in US streets. So we're stuck with this horrid progression to mediocrity and anti-meritocracy as fewer and fewer productive white workers must shoulder the burden. Worst of all, it's the "striver" whites who don't have family connections, and who make it on their own, who are hit the hardest and are objects of the worst hatred.

Again, the viciousness of the resistance to halting AA programs is depressing. At my friend's university, where he suggested the most modest reforms to the AA structure as a member of the admissions committee (e.g., maybe, JUST MAYBE the university should give some fair consideration to some poor rural White kids who had made it on their own), he was basically hounded from the place for his heresy, and even his family was basically attacked by the pit bulls in the university "Diversity" departments. It's little wonder-- those positions on "Faculty and Student Diversity" at universities are among the highest-paid at any institution of higher education. Furthermore, Diversity Coordinators at universities are among the highest-paid and fastest growing jobs in general. This Diversity push is as strong in meritocratic professions (like science and engineering) as it is in the more fuzzy fields-- if you look at the classified ads in the back of scientific journals, practically every single one declares itself "an affirmative action employer," and if you happen to be white (and especially male), you instantly move to the back of the line, as my friend at the university Ad-Com told me. It's a perfect storm that reinforces itself.

Already I, as an Ivy-League educated small business owner, have had to survive a gauntlet of affirmative action at every step in my training and career, and it's never been more ruthless than in my current contracting work, where you are almost literally thrown to the dogs if you don't have some sort of "underrepresented minority" background. It also has a big effect on hiring-- for my 3 recent openings, I was basically compelled to hire "minority" workers to ensure I was in compliance with AA regulations, lest I be sued and be forced out of business. One of the 3 new hires actually turned out to be great-- he was a Latino who speaks perfect Spanish, is well-trained with a technical vocational background in drafting and has been an enormous asset in winning customers. I would have hired him w/o any AA push. But the other two "minority hires" have been absolute disasters, yet my own legal counsel indicated I'd be in trouble if I looked elsewhere, and I don't dare fire or even reprimand them. OTOH, any of my White employees is liable to be fired or demoted anytime I want-- sad but true. I won't fire them b/c frankly they're great employees, but in a big company that's decided to lay off workers, you can easily guess who stays and who goes. An interesting article on this topic in the WSJ (in the schools), where infractions by "preferred minorities" are ignored, while there's zero tolerance for even modest slip-ups by "targeted" whites-- http://www.opinionjournal.com/federation/feature/?id=110009145

I think this is part of what's been pushing so many of my Ivy-League and professional friends with language skills to Continental Europe-- it's the principle. Economic dynamism varies from decade to decade (Europe was more of a dynamo in the 1970's than the US, the reverse of the current situation), but Europe and the USA really do differ fundamentally in this resorting to AA in the US. This just doesn't happen in Europe, not even in France-- in fact, the French have been furiously resistant to AA and have beaten back every attempt to introduce it recently. Nicholas Sarkozy, who did yeoman's work in pushing through that French high-IQ immigration reform bill (which was really the work of the National Front party in devising it), at one time tried to suggest introducing AA in France to appease the restless Arabs. He was shouted down and humiliated with the suggestion, so much so that he's quite as a mouse about it now.

IOW, opposition to AA is ingrained in Europe, giving the place a more meritocratic feel. Whatever Europe's current economic doldrums, just the principle seems to have been a big draw to my emigration-inclining friends and acquaintances, though admittedly the meritocratic push is probably stronger in the Central Rhenish plain than elsewhere (maybe why so many of my old friends are now in Germany and Austria, or in northern French Alsatian places like Strasbourg that share much of that culture). In a particularly cruel irony (in my mind at least), a good number of the expats who've now emigrated to Germany or Austria are German-Americans, Italian-Americans or Scandinavian-Americans themselves. Their ancestors (or the parents of one of them, who emigrated to the US back in the late 1940's) probably saw the USA as the land of opportunity in earlier centuries, compared to the rigidly class-stratified European countries. Now, with affirmative action, dysgenic marriage/divorce laws and the anti-meritocratic pop culture of the US basically killing the meritocracy in the United States, their descendants have been moving in the opposite direction, back to European countries that have resisted the affirmative action siren song.

I frankly look at my own two kids, especially my son, with some dejection because I sense the future will be horribly worse for both of them as they encounter the worst sort of public and private sector discrimination as US demographics change irrevocably against them. I've stayed in the US myself b/c I still have found this to be a land of opportunity for me, but my view has darkened significantly in the past 3 years as not only demographic changes, but the deep-rooted nature of affirmative action have taken hold across just about every industry. Why should I pay so much in taxes from my hard-earned income, to support a regime in the US (federal and state), that so intensely works against the interest of me and especially my children? As Steve Sailer was hinting, this is basically demographic warfare against hard-working whites here, and I find myself increasingly, every day, wondering why I still remain to effectively support it.

Anonymous said...

One of the platitudes that irritates me the most...

How about complaints about partisanship and/or being partisan?

The purpose of having a pluralistic system is to give people a choice, which means having partisan politics -- people and parties with different opinions and policies to choose from.

crush41 said...


That black immigrants are awarded the protection of disparate impact in private industry and stare decisis regarding contractors touching government money in one way or another is indefensible. How have white Minnesotans possibly discriminated against the Sudanese? Of course, irrational racism has all but been eliminated (at least that directed against various minorities by whites) over the last half-century yet black unemployment, criminality, illegitimacy, etc are worse today than when the Moynihan report was released four decades ago.

While most baby boomers and even GenXers I'm acquainted with are sheepish about 'racial insensitivity', (empirical/rational commentary regarding racial differences, opposition to affirmative action, advocation of a merit immigration system, etc) I feel little need for restraint. I (and my entire generation) have no blood on our hands--the only irrational racism I've seen is that directed against whites by other whites and blacks.

Time to fire those diversity trainers, or whatever sobriquet/Orwellian title they enjoy--their programs don't work.

To share a bit of my own personal experience--a friend who was a regional manager for one of the largest food companies in America relays to me that it has become standard to do everything possible to avoid hiring non-Asian, non-whites, especially black females (who are virtually impossible to reprimand or dismiss). The risk is too great. Grab a few tokens but that's it. As per usual, the most talented (in this case blacks) get hammered the hardest.

Resentment builds as white men accurately perceive themselves to be increasingly surrounded by incompetence, and their collective opinions of the AA beneficiaries naturally declines.

crush41 said...


Well, a large chunk of the left is hostile toward free expression.

Use the innate disposition toward 'values' or manners against those somewhere on the right, encouraging them to be more 'tolerant' and 'accepting' of opposing viewpoints while refusing to do so yourself. That's the plan, right?

nzconservative said...

Angry al, your observation that some US citizens are moving back to Europe because the US is becoming less egalitarian is depressingly ironic.

In the 19th century people moved out of Europe to North America and Australasia to get away from ethnic and class divisions and land monopoly.

In New Zealand, the 'baby-boomer retirement affirmative action showdown' is also likely to hard hard in the next decade, as the poorer Polynesian proportion of the population is growing much faster than the European share.

Hence, the mainstream centre-right wants to par back benefits to Maori so that non-indigenous Polynesians don't try and join the party.

There is a real danger that many whites will start disappearing en masse to Australia- as a number already do every time there is a recession.