Compare this to another example of an oppressed group suddenly becoming less oppressed:. But an apparent corollary is that it casts doubt on the externalist hypothesis of racial income gaps. And, in fact, not all races have a racial income gap, and not all those who do have it in the direction an externalist theory would predict.
Jews and Asians faced astounding levels of discrimination when they first came to the United States, but both groups recovered quickly and both now do significantly better than average white Americans. In fact, Jews and Chinese are interesting in that both groups are widely scattered, both groups often find themselves in very hostile countries, and yet both groups are usually more successful than the native population wherever they go income and education statistics available upon request. Whether it is Chinese in Malaysia or Jews in France, they seem to do unusually well for themselves despite the constant discrimination.
If this is an experiment to distinguish between culturalist and externalist positions, it is a very well replicated one. This difference in the success of immigrant groups is often closely correlated with the success of the countries they come from. Japan is very rich and advanced, Europe quite rich and advanced, Latin America not so rich or advanced, and Africa least rich and advanced of all.
Charlotte sun herald ( 08-06-2018 )
It is pretty amazing that white people manage to modulate their oppression in quite this precise a way, especially when it includes oppressing themselves. And much of the difference between groups is in areas one would expect to be resistant to oppression. Unlucky groups tend to have higher teenage pregnancy rates, more drug use, and greater intra-group violence, even when comparing similar economic strata.
The externalist hypothesis as a collection of natural factors a la Jared Diamond may have merit, but as an oppression-based explanation for modern-day group differences, it fails miserably. Nevertheless, the people who dismiss the biological hypothesis as obviously stupid and totally discredited by which I mean everyone are doing it a disservice.
For a sympathetic and extraordinarily impressive defense of the biological hypothesis I recommend this unpublished and unpublishable review article. I will add that I am extremely interested in comprehensive takedowns of that article preferably a full fisking and that if you have any counterevidence to it at all you should post it in the comments and I will be eternally grateful. The culturalist hypothesis avoids the pitfalls of both the externalist and biological explanations. Unlike the externalists, it can explain why some minority groups are so successful and why group success correlates across societies and immigrant populations.
And unlike the biologicalists, it can explain the striking differences between biologically similar groups like the Mormons and the non-Mormon Americans, or the Sikhs and the non-Sikh Indians. Obama was born to an African father and a white mother, raised in Indonesia, and then grew up in Hawaii.
Change the memeplexes and you can make a New Guinean population achieve Chinese-level outcomes — or vice versa. Well, the plan mentioned in the last paragraph of the last section — throw Chinese memes at the people of New Guinea until they achieve Chinese-style outcomes — higher income, less teenage pregnancy, lower crime rates. You could try exposing them to Chinese people and the Chinese way of life until some of it stuck. On the other hand, in somewhere more like America, one could be forgiven for immediately rounding this off to some kind of dictatorial brainwashing policy of stealing New Guinean infants away from their homes and locking them in some horrible orphanage run by Chinese people who beat them every time they try to identify with their family or native culture until eventually they absorb Chinese culture through osmosis.
This sounds bad. So in theory, all we need to do is wait for the unstoppable monster to get them. It worked for the Irish, who were once viewed with as much racism as any Hispanic or Arab is today. It worked for the Italians, who were once thought of as creepy Papist semi-retarded mafia goons until everyone decided no, they were indistinguishable from everyone else. And it should be able to work for everyone else. Moved by this ideology, the government did everything it could to help minorities avoid assimilation and to shame and thwart anyone trying to get them to assimilate.
So they sent the white teachers off to whiter areas and hiring only black teachers for the black schools, and — sure enough — test scores plummeted further. California had a sort of similar problem when I was growing up.
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Most schools were required to teach our large Hispanic immigrant population using bilingual education — that is, teaching them in their native Spanish until they were ready to learn English. There was a huge ruckus where the people in favor of this change were accused of being vile racists who hated Mexicans and wanted to destroy Mexican culture. And sure enough, as soon as the Hispanics started getting integrated with everyone else and taught in English, test scores went way up.
If the majority culture has useful memes that help protect people against school dropout, crime, and other bad life outcomes, that is a really bad thing to do. Is this sort of dystopia the inevitable result of trying to use culturalist theories to equalize group outcomes?
The progressive campaign to demonize assimilation and make it taboo to even talk about some cultures being better adapted than others prevents the natural solution to inequality which worked for the Irish and the Asians and the Jews from working for the minorities of today. In a healthy society, immigrants will be encouraged to assimilate to the majority culture, and after a brief period of disorientation will be just as successful and well-adapted as everyone else.
But in an unhealthy society like ours that makes assimilation impossible, a culturalist will be very worried about immigration. In Utopia, everyone eats healthy organic food, respects the environment and one another, lives in harmony with people of other races, and is completely non-violent. One day, the Prime Minister decides to open up immigration to Americans and discourage them from assimilating. They bring their guns, their McDonalds, their megachurches, and their racism.
Soon, some Utopians find their family members dying in the crossfire between American street gangs. The megachurches convert a large portion of the Utopians to evangelical Christianity, and it becomes very difficult to get abortions without being harassed and belittled. Black and homosexual Utopians find themselves the target of American hatred, and worse, some young Utopians begin to get affected by American ideas and treat them the same way.
American litter fills the previously pristine streets, and Americans find some loopholes in the water quality laws and start dumping industrial waste into the rivers. By the time society has settled down, we have a society which is maybe partway between Utopia and America. If you are a culturalist, no.
Utopian culture is better, at least by Utopian standards, than American culture. Although other cultures can often contribute to enrich your own, there is no law of nature saying that only the good parts of other cultures will transfer over and that no other culture can be worse than yours in any way. The Americans were clearly worse than the Utopians, and it was dumb of the Utopians to let so many Americans in without any safeguards. Likewise, there are countries that are worse than America.
Tribal Afghanistan seems like a pretty good example. Pretty much everything about tribal Afghanistan is horrible. Their culture treats women as property, enforces sharia law, and contains honor killings as a fact of life. They tend to kill apostate Muslims and non-Muslims a lot. Not all members of Afghan tribes endorse these things, but the average Afghan tribesperson is much more likely to endorse them than the average American.
If we import a bunch of Afghan tribesmen, their culture is likely to make America a worse place in the same way that American culture makes Utopia a worse place. We are a democracy. Anyone who moves here and gains citizenship eventually gets the right to vote.
- From Sticks and Stones.
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People with values different from ours vote for people and laws different from those we would vote for. Progressives have traditionally viewed any opposition to this as anti-immigrant and racist — and, by total coincidence, most other countries, and therefore most immigrants, are progressive. Imagine a country called Conservia, a sprawling empire of a billion people that has a fifth-dimensional hyperborder with America.
The Conservians are all evangelical Christians who hate abortion, hate gays, hate evolution, and believe all government programs should be cut. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Conservians hop the hyperborder fence and enter America, and sympathetic presidents then pass amnesty laws granting them citizenship. Then gay people stop coming out of the closet, as Conservian restaurants and businesses refuse to serve them and angry Conservian writers and journalists create an anti-gay climate.
Also, Conservians have one pet issue which they promote even more intently than the destruction of secular science — that all Conservians illegally in the United States must be granted voting rights, and that no one should ever block more Conservians from coming to the US.
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Is this fair to the native Berkeleyans? And what if 10 million Conservians move into America?
But it would be enough to have thrown every single Presidential election of the past fifty years to the Republicans — there has never been a Democratic candidate since LBJ who has won the native population by enough of a margin to outweight the votes of ten million Conservians. If there had been no Mexican immigration to the United States over the past few decades, Romney would probaby have won the last election. Would that citizen be racist for even considering this? If not, then pity the poor conservative, who is actually in this exact situation right now.
Because immigration favors progressivism, any opposition to it is racist, but the second we discover the hyperborder with Conservia, the establishment will figure out some reason why allowing immigration is racist. None of this is an argument against immigration. Let any Japanese person who wants move over.
Same with the Russians, and the Jews, and the Indians. The United States used to have a policy sort of like this. It was called the Immigration Act of Its actual specifics were dumb, because it banned for example Asians and Jews, but the principle behind it — groups with good outcomes and who are a good match for our values can immigrate as much as they want, everyone else has a slightly harder time — seems broadly wise. So of course progressives attacked it as racist and Worse Than Hitler and it got repealed in favor of the current policy: everyone has a really hard time immigrating but if anyone sneaks over the border under cover of darkness we grant them citizenship anyway because not doing that would be mean.
This suggests re-examining colonialism. But first, a thought experiment.
Suppose you are going to be reincarnated as a black person if you are already black, as a different black person. You may choose which country you will be born in; the rest is up to Fate. What country do you choose? The top of my list would be Britain, with similar countries like Canada and America close behind. But what if you could only choose among majority-black African countries? Several come to my mind as comparatively liveable.
South Africa. Namibia is your list similar?