Saturday, August 31, 2019

“Truths” That Must Be Disputed

     It appalls me how often verifiably untrue claims are put forth under the explicit heading of “truth.” The tactic has a specific intention behind it: to render argument about the asserted “truth” unacceptable. It’s a step beyond the “everybody knows” approach, which remains open to counter-evidence. In that regard it’s a bit like the warmistas’ frequently heard statement that “the science is settled” – which it never is, in the inherent nature of science.

     But as you know, I’m an old dinosaur who maintains that words have an exact meaning, that facts trump theories and opinions, and that the laws of this universe make exceptions for no one’s preferences or feelings. Such positions are intolerable in our happenin’ world. They bruise too many egos. They drive persons of fragile self-regard to seek a “safe space.” They make it supremely important that I be silenced.

     That hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure someone is working on it.

     Here’s the article that’s set me off. I shan’t excerpt it, as it deserves to be read in its entirety. The writer, “Ammo Grrl,” is apparently:

  • smart,
  • and articulate,
  • and well-intentioned.

     That makes her one of the most dangerous persons in America.

     Why dangerous? Because good intentions are a close cousin to wishful thinking. They can deflect the rational faculty from dispassionate observation and inference, and redirect it to rationalizing a course of action that’s at odds with the facts. Good intentions are like that. It’s why they’re the curbstones on the road to Hell.

     Trouble is, the great majority of us have good intentions – and in America those good intentions tend to be of a particular sort. They conform to what C. S. Lewis called the Law of General Benevolence. We want peace, prosperity, and good will to pervade our nation. We don’t want anyone, or any group, to be left out.

     Mind you, I’m in substantial agreement with a couple of Ammo Grrl’s “truths.” Numbers 2 and 3 are assertions against which I’m disinclined to argue, in part because I’m unaware of any facts that would contradict them. But Number 4 is not a “truth;” it’s a question that begins with “if,” whose answer is a matter of opinion. Number 5 is a prediction. Number 6 is historically questionable. Numbers 1 and 7 are verifiably wrong – powered, I would guess, by Ammo Grrl’s fervent desire that they be true.

     Today, you’re a “racist” if you dare to notice that there are differences among the races. Yet those differences exist. They’re plainly visible. Moreover, we make use of them from time to time. The causes for those differences might be a matter worthy of dispute; the differences themselves are objectively verifiable.

     For that reason, Ammo Grrl’s Number 1 “truth” is flatly false. Just one of the visible differences between American blacks and American whites – the vast number of out-of-wedlock births among black women, and the subsequent prevalence of black children raised in single-parent / female-headed households – is critically significant for urban zones’ problems with crime and violence. The refusal to notice facts that are contextually significant would give rise to still worse problems. Refusal to acknowledge facts is like that. That most of those problems would fall upon whites makes Ammo Grrl’s assertion highly a way, self-refuting.

     Number 7 is false as well. We do need further “conversation on race.” What we don’t need are the constraints imposed on such “conversation” by the Left: i.e., the unchallengeable premise that the differences among the races are a consequence of white racism and “privilege.” It is vital that we determine, whether through “conversation” or investigation:

  • What causes the legally and socially significant differences between American blacks and the other races;
  • If something can be done to ameliorate the deficiencies that afflict American blacks, what might it be;
  • If nothing can be done, what we might do to reduce interracial discord even so.

     As Numbers 1 and 7 are the “truths” that most well-intentioned Americans would leap to assert, and would defend a outrance, disputing and refuting them is critical. Yet few have the courage to question them.

     The very worst aspect of contemporary discourse is the Left’s stranglehold on the premises for it: specifically, its strident insistence that certain assertions be accepted without question. With regard to race and racial disparities, it’s my contention that that practice is creating racism of the genuinely harmful variety: the sort that promotes racially-based practices over practices that would take note of individual character and ability:

     When a society makes special provisions for a particular class of persons, such that those persons have a good expectation of not suffering for illegal or antisocial behavior, it has committed the worst imaginable injustice against the persons in that class who honor their society's laws and norms: it has equalized the legal, social, and moral positions of good citizens and thugs. Thus, if ninety percent of such a class is law-abiding and decorous while ten percent is violent, dishonest, or disruptive, the latter category will come to overshadow the former in the perceptions of persons outside the class -- not because ten percent is a majority, but because that anti-social subgroup is identified with the class's special set of privileges.

     The insistence that the American black demographic cohort’s legal and social deficiencies must be the consequence of “white racism” and / or “white privilege” is obstructing a dispassionate, objective search for their causes and the implied remedies. Persons of good will, regardless of their race, their politics, and their preferences, must not go along with it. Doing so makes this outcome more likely. That’s always the way it is with counterfactual dogmas: “truths” that run directly counter to what anyone can see with his own eyes, and hear with his own ears.

     (The linked story is also available in this collection.)



I, as a person who is - visually - literally as "whitebread" as you can get, was once asked if I would have objections to my children marrying a black person. My reply was that if they were similar to Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Candace Owens, Star Parker in intellect, character, morals, and pro-American sentiments I would be fine with that. (Yes, I'm also hoping they marry Jews and, as I've advised them, seek out Jews whose Judaism is stronger than theirs... but this is another matter.)

What's at issue, as I see it, is that the Left's "Great Society" has so corrupted blacks (minorities in general but blacks in particular) that they actively celebrate and laud such bad behaviors. You cannot advance people when families are razed, but this is precisely what the Left has done.

Both Sowell and Williams have pointed out the enormous gains made by blacks in this country post-bellum. This is laudable. But this progress largely stopped, and backslid, after the Left's machinations.

Having said this, it's clear that traits breed true. Black skin color was an evolutionary development in the African sun's light; likewise, the absence of melanin occurred in northern countries where the need for vitamin D took precedence. Other traits doubtless also breed true. If intelligence and abstract thought are not survival traits beyond a "certain shrewdness" they won't develop. That, too, will be selected for over generations.

Confounding this nature-nurture question are things like pre-and-post-natal nutrition (I am relentless in giving my kids vitamins, and surreptitiously hide things like ALA oils and choline in their foods for better brain development; they also eat a lot of meat). Add in culture. Corruption and "thug-life" are praised both in America in the black community, as well as in Africa (and most of the third world). E.g., a friend of mine wants to do his PhD on business development in Africa, so I send articles as I find them - many deal with the raw corruption as well as the tribal nature of the cultures there.

If we believe in America, we believe - however tenuously at this point *cough cough Comey, Clinton, etc.* it may be - in the Rule of Law. Which means we judge individuals.

So what to do? I don't know. But I do know this: there are powerful forces at work attacking the entire sweep of Western Civilization. They must be exposed, fought, and destroyed.


Wow, that was quick! I just posted it.

In regard to evidence of eyes and ears vs. what "must be" believed, I presume you are familiar with this quote:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

— Theodore Dalrymple