Friday, August 28, 2015

If This Goes On Part 2: Further Thoughts

     As I noted in the previous essay -- and yes, I did get a ton of email accusing me of everything from racism to genocidal inclinations – sometimes a “trend” is merely a mental construct. Such a construct arises from incomplete or selective vision. No one’s vision is complete, and quite likely everyone who’s ever lived or will live selects which developments he’ll deem significant and which ones he’ll elect to ignore.

     No less a thinker than Thomas Sowell has called our attention to the danger of extrapolating without plumbing causative agencies:

     [I]f the temperature has risen by 10 degrees since dawn today, an extrapolation will show that we will all be burned to a crisp before the end of the month, if this trend continues. Extrapolations are the last refuge of a groundless argument. In the real world everything depends on where we are now, at what rate we are moving, in what direction, and – most important of all – what is the specific nature of the process generating the numbers being extrapolated. [From The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy]

     Mark Twain made the same point in a more humorous fashion:

     In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old O├Âlitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. [From Life On The Mississippi]

     Thus, in extrapolating the rising tide of black violence and rejection of the constraints of the law, I might be ignoring important causative processes which would, if properly understood, invalidate my extrapolation to an all-out racial cleansing. So let’s spend a few words on possible countervailing processes to my nightmare scenario.

     Significant videos have been posted, in the wake of both the Ferguson and Baltimore rioting, that showed black women condemning the lawlessness of other blacks. One of those videos showed a mother figuratively dragging her son home after discovering his involvement in the chaos. Black figures of national standing have been reported as condemning all such race-based disorder. So persons such as the odious Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton don’t have the megaphone to themselves.

     Are the media scales balanced? I don’t think so. The Left’s beloved Narrative of racial oppression still commands the heights. Nevertheless it is important that we note that The Narrative is not without opposition.

     Many commentators have expounded on the seeming death of the rule of law – i.e., the concept that invalidates personal identity, wealth, and position as qualifiers to the legality of one’s deeds. If these commentators are reaching any audience other than the already-like-minded, they might have a salutary effect. However, it’s difficult to know whether that’s the case, even after a change in public opinion and attitudes can be detected.

     A rising fraction of Americans are opting to go armed when in public. More, a rising fraction of the states and major municipalities are easing their requirements and restrictions on doing so. Armed societies tend toward public order; the probable price for public lawlessness being obviously too high. Those regions that have made it easier to go armed have benefited markedly in reduced rates of crime of all sorts.

     That having been said, the largest of America’s cities retain their hostile laws and attitudes toward the armed citizen. However, the contrast those cities make with the more firearm-friendly municipalities could eventually have an effect on the laws of the former, to say nothing of the effect on the re-election prospects of anti-firearms-rights politicians.

     The immediate aftermath of the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman incident was marked by a decline in the acceptability of “neighborhood watch” arrangements. Apparently, the prospect of public denunciation and legal jeopardy merely for guarding one’s neighborhood deterred some Americans from participating in neighborhood self-protection agreements. However, while that decline was widely noted in the Main Stream Media, we haven’t heard about more recent trends in such things. My own district of Long Island, New York appears to have returned to its previous approval of the neighborhood watch...if, indeed, that approval ever declined at all.

     Finally, we have seen armed squads of the Oath Keepers patrolling districts where racially-based rioting has occurred. Despite the disapproval of the “authorities,” their presence appears to have exerted a calming influence on those districts...and a hefty fraction of the Oath Keepers seen on such patrols have been black. The effect on young black males, the most common perpetrators of race-based rioting, is difficult to estimate.

     Do the above influences and observable developments indicate that all will soon be well? I would say not. They strike me as being constructive but insufficient. It will take more than the countervailing words and actions we’ve seen to date, and there’s no guarantee that more will arrive.

     Localities with significant Negro populations, especially those in urban and semi-urban districts, would be well advised to beware. Current racial animosities and tensions suggest that it won’t take much to touch off riots such as those that have afflicted Baltimore and Ferguson. Moreover, we’ve had it demonstrated to us that the police aren’t guaranteed to act swiftly or decisively to quell an outbreak of mass violence. Much will depend on the political dynamics of the afflicted district, especially the alignments and characters of the persons in high office.

     No matter what might eventuate, it will always be the case that each of us is his first and most reliable defender...possibly the only one. It would be well to keep that in mind.


Backwoods Engineer said...

I think that, in the main, the effects of the phenomena you noted above, Fran, would be to delay and perhaps mitigate the severity of an all-but inevitable race war. When it comes to relief from such a horror, I suppose we will take what we can get.

Tom DeGisi said...

As someone who is one quarter Irish, I say we need a black Dagger John.

Unknown said...

Liberia is an independent country. I really doubt they would allow thousands of criminals and illiterate neer-do-wells to be shipped to them.
That leaves door number two.

Unknown said...

Blacks are what? 13% of the population?

A little simple math is in order for all sides contemplating a race war, especially the Negroes.


Unknown said...

Fred posted this: