In recent weeks, talk of an impending race war has become commonplace -- far more so than one would expect from the people of a deliberately multiracial, multi-ethnic nation. Moreover, in light of the multiple nationwide attacks on innocent Caucasians by Negroes (including gangs and impromptu bands of Negroes), it cannot be waved aside as mere scare-mongering. In short, though the probability is difficult to assess, a race war looks more likely today than ever before in American history.
Similarly, political forces have whipped up the notion of a "war on women" among left-leaning women. This is being done specifically for electoral advantage, but its effect cannot be contained to that subject alone. American women have been made steadily more aware that American men's overall opinion of them is considerably lower than their own. Thus, women are accumulating reasons to fear that genuine hostility is growing up between the sexes, perhaps to the point that men might soon seek to do women objective damage.
Not very pleasant thoughts, are they? No, I didn't think so.
Of course, quite a lot of this tension is propelled by political forces. Race tensions are deliberately fomented by race-hustlers such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who seek to enlarge their own public profiles and political influence thereby. Tensions between the sexes, though they've been rising since the emergence of gender-war feminism, are getting a big boost from the Democrats' need to run a negative campaign in this year of Our Lord 2012. Were it possible to subtract politics and political aspirations from the mix, racial and gender relations would be far more amicable than they are today.
However, even with current politics excluded, tensions would still exist. Groups as disparate as Caucasians and Negroes, or as men and women, must always feel some uncertainty about their standing with one another. Such uncertainty sometimes manifests itself in ugly ways.
I'm about to step out onto a slender limb, so I'll understand perfectly if you choose not to accompany me any further.
A population acquires its group-generic characteristics from adapting to its habitat. Only after shifting to a substantially different habitat will those characteristics experience any pressure to change.
Among anthropologists, the above are non-controversial statements. However, if given specific application to race, they suddenly become "unspeakable truths," the sort of statement that can instantly trigger denunciation, ostracism, or worse. Yet they remain true, and possess great explanatory power.
For example, the Negro race originated in the world's hotter, wetter climates. Energy and water are the fundamentals of life on Earth: the more of them are available in a given locale, the more abundant will life be in that locale. This, too, is non-controversial. So the Negro race's origins are in a habitat where life of all sorts was plentifully supplied with its basic necessities: the jungle.
The jungle is a very dangerous place specifically because it teems with life of all sorts, from microbes to giant predators. Technology can make it more survivable, but the dangers cannot be eradicated without eradicating the jungle itself. For a non-technological or pre-technological population, the dangers cannot easily be addressed through defensive measures. If a jungle population is to survive, it must grow faster than it's being worn down by the hazards of its habitat. This impels two adaptations:
- A high birth rate.
A tribal allegiance attempts to marshal a defense against both predatory species and competing tribes. A high birth rate attacks the problem of loss of population to predation and disease. Both of these characterized pre-technological jungle societies. (In a fascinating parallel, we can see race-independent, slightly weaker forms of these adaptations in pre-technological farming communities in the colonial-era United States.)
The Caucasian race, wherever it may have germinated, spread swiftly through the more temperate climates of the world. Less energy and less water meant less life, and therefore less exposure to the hazards of predation and disease than obtain in the jungle. Thus, the pressure on pre-technological Caucasians to form small, tightly-bound tribes and produce large numbers of infants was less than on their Negro cousins. Caucasian societies tended toward larger, more inclusive structures; Caucasian birth rates tended to be less than those of Negroes. Thousands of years of adaptation to their respective habitats cemented these differences rather firmly.
Adaptations of this sort tend to persist for some time even when the environmental pressures that evoked them have been altered, whether by technology or relocation. The new conditions "need time" to work on the adapted population through natural selection. That usually takes several generations, at least. More, the re-adaptation can be slowed or thwarted by other forces, which has happened to both Caucasians and Negroes.
When Caucasians penetrated to interior Africa, they brought their technology with them. Along with the survival pressures that militate toward tribalism and a high birth rate, jungle conditions also impede the development of technology. In consequence, the new arrivals weren't only lighter-skinned; they also commanded machines and tools of considerably greater power than those wielded by the indigenes. The Euro-colonization of Africa could not have happened otherwise; neither could the persistence of recognizably European enclaves, which mimicked European communities of the Old World nations from which their populaces derived. The imported technology allowed Europeans in Africa to resist the pressures to which the indigenous populations had adapted willy-nilly.
Early tensions between black and white arose not merely from anatomical differences, but from the difference Europeans' imported technology made to their way of life and their ability to impose themselves on the natives. Hilaire Belloc's quatrain:
We have got
The Maxim gun,
And they have not.
...has more explanatory power than any number of socio-anthropological treatises.
This inequality in technological mastery compelled the Euro-colonists to seek a rationale for the dominance it conferred upon them. Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "White Man's Burden" is probably the best known expression of that rationale. It wasn't abhorred then, nor should it have been; it merely expressed the difference, so great as to be qualitative, between the moral and social outlooks of the two races Euro-imperialism had thrown together. Indeed, Europeans generally viewed the elevation of the Negro race to equal moral and social stature as a God-given responsibility, regardless of what it might demand from the Caucasian peoples.
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were untroubled by our twenty-first century notions about absolute human equality.
The institution of slavery proved a devastating intrusion into the generally benign system of Euro-imperialism. When Caucasian slavers started cooperating with Negro slavers -- yet another "unspeakable truth" -- it became much more difficult for colonial powers that tolerated the slave trade to pose as wholly benign. (They'd never been "wholly" benign in any event; the desire to profit from the natural resources of the colonized lands had been an incentive to colonization from the first.) Slavery is always a benefit solely to a small, highly privileged group; a power that tolerates it has implicitly aligned itself with the interests of that group. Thus, even in African colonies where Euro-colonization had won substantial "buy-in" from native populations, the colonial power suffered a severe setback in its relations with the Negro population.
(Note that this effect never touched India, though the British ruled it for more than a century. The British Empire did not tolerate the sale of Indians to foreign slave traders, though somewhat milder forms of "domestic" enslavement persisted even under Imperial rule. In consequence, Indians' attitudes toward the British Empire remained moderately favorable even after Mohandas Gandhi started the nativist movement that eventuated in Indian self-rule.)
There was worse to come. Caucasian involvement in the enslavement of Negroes started the admixture of the races in majority-Caucasian nations on the worst imaginable race-relations terms. The effects would persist for many decades; as Demosthenes once said, once you have destroyed a man, it's no simple matter to make him whole again. Nothing is more destructive to good will or the human spirit than slavery. Even the invocation of remote memories of the era of slavery is sufficient to mobilize Negro animosity toward Caucasians, including Caucasians who haven't even an ancestral involvement in the vile practice.
The Negro who crossed the ocean in chains went from his African habitat, the innate ferocity of which had adapted his people toward a tribal outlook and a high birth rate, to a temperate habitat where he was regarded as property: a rightless sub-human who existed for the convenience and profit of his owner. Even should he somehow attain freedom, his incentives for adapting to his new habitat and emulating the practices of the Caucasian majority were minuscule at best. Indeed, he had good reason to feel he was owed by those who had placed him in bondage.
In the United States in our time, the "legacy of slavery" is mostly a cant phrase by which race-hustlers hope to exacerbate racial tensions for political advantage. It does have some effect, but time and the gradual accession of American Negroes to social and economic equality with American Caucasians have devalued it substantially. It's not nearly as potent a divisor as one of the most poignantly well-intentioned yet destructive social policies of all time: welfare.
Federal and state welfare programs do not differentiate the eligibility criteria nor the available benefits according to the race of the beneficiary. Even so, welfarism has had an effect on American Negroes far beyond what it exerted on American Caucasians. The reason is not far to seek.
Welfarism -- the distribution by a government of material benefits to private persons according to legal criteria -- requires a bureaucracy. A welfare bureaucracy incorporates the same sort of incentives as any other bureaucracy: it needs employees dedicated to its purposes, and external supporters who will fight to protect and expand the bureaucracy's mission. The administrators of newborn welfare systems were aware of this, as are all persons in such positions. Therefore, they swiftly sought prospective client populations upon whom they could bestow benefits. The best "hunting grounds" for such populations were in the largest American cities.
Among the tragedies of the post-Civil War period was the reaction of the cities to the subsequent migration of Negroes toward urban areas, as they sought economic opportunity. Before that diaspora, the cities of the North were largely economically free; in reaction to the influx of Negro labor, they erected legal barriers to economic self-sufficiency that earlier immigrants had not faced. The completion of those barriers would take decades, but step by step, city governments opted to "protect" existing corporations and their pre-existent merchant classes from the newcomers arriving from the South.
The consequence was the steady concentration of the cities' Negro populations into economically depressed zones: ghettoes. Whereas earlier Caucasian immigrants arriving in the port cities had found a freewheeling economic environment in which any man could immediately begin hawking his trade or his wares, America's internal migrants confronted massive difficulties. This even extended to getting employment; the progressive constriction of the cities' economies by regulation put a discouraging pressure on business formation, expansion, and hiring.
Urban Negro ghettoes were thus perfect targets for welfare workers eager to sign large numbers of clients up for the benefits from the new welfare systems. Indeed, so eager were the bureaucracies to enlist this large potential clientele that they established quiet preferential policies for hiring representatives of such ghettoes into their work forces. Owing to their economic disadvantages, those ghetto populations were unusually receptive to the suggestion that they had a "right" to government support. Few stopped to think through the probable effects on their futures, or on the futures of their communities as functioning components in a capitalist society. No one, with the possible exception of one or two exceptionally farsighted analysts, gave a thought to the retardant effect welfare would have on American Negroes' need to adapt to the nation's "habitat:" its social, economic, and political norms.
Every statistical difference in pathologies between America's Caucasian and Negro populations derives, at least in part, from this progression.
Economic separation begets cultural alienation, which is amplified by any tendency toward tribal allegiances. Though the Negro influence on American culture before the burgeoning of welfare was largely agglutinative and positive, its more recent outcroppings have been quite the opposite. In retrospect, it's easy for us of the twenty-first century to laugh at the scare-mongers who shrieked that "jazz is destroying our youth." Those folks should be happy they didn't live to experience rap or hip-hop.
Today, the most prominent aspects of what the media term "black culture" are militantly anti-Caucasian and anti-American. Ironically, by far the greater number of American Negroes has adopted traditional American norms about self-reliance, responsibility, and civic virtue. Indeed, it's a mistake and an injustice to speak of "black America" as if it were a monolithic entity; it's quite sharply divided internally by differential adoption of American norms. But the militants, the demanders of reparations, and the promulgators of overtly anti-American sentiments, get nearly all the air time and column inches.
Racial solidarity is a known phenomenon in all the conventionally recognized races. Though the degree varies, persons of race X will feel an inclination to "protect" their anomalous elements, including overt lawbreakers, against prosecution by persons outside race X. Inasmuch as it's as likely as not that an "anomaly" is the child of one who has successfully adapted to the nation's norms, the consequence pits respectable, law-abiding Negroes against respectable, law-abiding Caucasians, in the service of persons who feel contempt for the former and outright hatred for the latter.
Is it any wonder that there should be racial tension? Is it any wonder, given that our major media have made it their policy to suppress news of black-on-white crimes while aggressively promoting white-on-black crimes (and pseudo-crimes), that there should be so much talk about an impending race war?
There is no Last Graf. America's social policies are so tightly intertwined with the political efforts of special interests that they constitute a Gordian knot. They cannot be unraveled; they must be cut. But slashing apart so large a system, with so many beneficiaries of so many kinds, will take more courage and more resolve than any contemporary American politician possesses. It is the recognition of the insolubility of the problem that, in my estimation, accounts for the recent willingness to speak openly of a possible race war: an armed struggle to reserve the American habitat for one race only.
War, as Sir John Slessor said, is horrible, but not the most horrible of things. Here and there, Americans of all races are beginning to wonder whether a race war, at the end of which one race would be expelled (if not expunged) from the United States, would be less horrible than the perpetuation of today's highly tense, morally indefensible, sporadically violent conditions. Which way of thought will prevail, I cannot foresee. Should such a war come, what would determine its form, the level of its carnage, or its ultimate outcome, I fear to imagine.