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Thursday, March 8, A.D. 2012
A Dollop of Good Sense

I have lessened my postings during lent to two a week instead of three. As such, I have been amassing a collection of articles to discuss, and the expanding list of links in my Firefox bookmarks has triggered some O.C.D. anxiety. So, I present you the posts without substantive commentary. The following are posts from View from the Right and The Orthosphere that I recommend.

“Replying to Richard Lynn’s argument that higher-IQ people are atheists” by Auster on View from the Right.

“Romney’s threatening whiteness” on View from the Right, wherein Auster discusses Lee Siebel’s “What’s Race Got to Do with It?” By the way, Siebel’s article was rather fancied by our new correspondent from the netherworld, Grünald.

“Only a mass apostasy from liberalism can save us” by Kristor on View from the Right.

“Are whites brain-dead—or toiling under the reign of fear?” by Auster on View from the Right. I note with interest how liberalism’s reign varies among different cultural (and likely class) backgrounds. It makes me appreciate having been born and bred in Cincinnati, where white guilt is noticeably lacking in a great portion of the population.

“Why whites allow blacks to get away with the racial double standard” on View from the Right, where Auster suggests how “right-liberal” whites who believe in a color blind society should respond to racially conscious tribal affirmations like the “African-Americans for Obama” campaign:

This is completely unacceptable. The rule that we all subscribed to coming out of the Civil Rights movement was that Americans must practice race-blindness and avoid race-conscious speech and behavior, at least in the public square. Whites have followed this rule religiously: they never speak about the collective interests of whites or make negative generalizations about people of other races. And when an occasional white person breaks that rule, he is instantly fired or otherwise ostracized. Yet blacks openly speak about the collective interests of blacks, and collectively blame whites for blacks’ problems. Blacks such as Cornel West address each other as “brother” in public settings where there are both whites and blacks, thus using an in-group identifier of a type that is totally forbidden to whites. Blacks have formed innumerable black-only professional organizations, which whites wouldn’t dream of doing. The government has created “African-American History Month,” and a vast system of special group recognition of blacks as blacks. And now President Obama forms a race-conscious black political organization to help in his election. And he does this, even while piously declaring that he supports an America where we “all play by the same rules”! And, by the way, that “we all play by the same rules” America is an America where (according to the Weekly Standard) blacks are admitted into elite colleges with SAT scores a standard deviation lower than those of whites and Asians.

Blacks cannot have it both ways: they cannot demand that whites be race-blind and race-neutral, while blacks continue to be aggressively race-conscious themselves and gain massive favors and privileges in this society by a race-conscious, pro-black double standard. Since blacks (along with their elite liberal facilitators) do not feel themselves bound by the race-blindness rule, then whites should no longer bound by it either.

“Streep looking like an empress” on View from the Right, where Auster writes of his admiration for Streep’s unmodern basking in pride after winning her Oscar. In an interesting tangent, Auster notes:

The demeanor and personality of people, both well known and not, are expressions of our culture, our way of being. Never to remark on these things—and mainstream conservatives virtually never remark on them—is to make oneself blind to the reality in which we live. That reality does not just consist in facts, principles, political positions, and statistics. It consists of qualities. Contemporary people are blind and indifferent to qualities. And maybe the reason they are indifferent to qualities, is that qualities cannot be equalized. They cannot be technically and rationally arranged. The modern mind says it’s best to deal only with that which can be technically and rationally managed, and to ignore everything else.

Here’s an example of this that I was discussing with an intelligent liberal acquaintance the other day. I said to him that it seemed to me that even as recording and playing technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, the actual quality of sound we hear is much worse, for example, iTunes. Confirming my subjective impression, he replied that iTunes only contain 60 percent of the sound data contained in CDs (and for course CD’s contain far less of the original sound than vinyl recordings). Further, he said, no one cares. No one is bothered by or even notices the poor sound quality of iTunes. People are so excited and satisfied by the technical aspects of iTunes—being able to have so many recordings in a portable format wherever you go, and so on—that the actual quality of the music they are hearing doesn’t matter to them.

“Credo: Before all Worlds” on The Orthosphere in which Kristor ponders eternity.

“The Good, the Real, & the Fake Economy” on The Orthosphere where Kristor examines the waste of regulatory regimes and offers a simple but powerful critique of libertarianism. Moreover, Kristor provides an excellent test for any public policy:

Where there is in respect to the finer points of policy any doubt remaining, a simple thought experiment can quickly tell us whether a given option ought to be ruled out. All we need to do is ask ourselves, as between two otherwise completely similar societies, and holding all other things equal, if one of them allows the behavior in question while the other does not, which of them will prevail. Such questions generally answer themselves.

Notice that the question is not, what policy would be nicer or more fair, but what policy would be prudent – would, i.e., lead to the prosperity and prevalent success of society against its competitors, and vis-à-vis the challenges posed by the natural environment. Such questions of policy confront any form of government. The issue, then, is not whether legislative authority ought to be, or is optimally, vested in a monarch, an oligarchy, or a Parliament, or whatever; for any such authority would have to make the same decisions about policy. When we ask what form government should take, we should understand ourselves as asking which form of government would be most likely to make prudent policy – i.e., policy that leads us, individually and corporately, toward the Good.

To which I replied:

Your policy test is so obvious and self evident. Why is it never taken? Indeed, why is it so fastidiously ignored?

Has the success of the West made its people so stupid about reality? Just as trust fund babies need not develop virtue because their inherited money shields them from the consequences of their poor choices, our society’s wealth, bequeathed to us by our ancestors, has blinded us to necessity.

We are spoilt children of woe.

“Liberals’ new/old god: Moloch” on View from the Right where Auster considers the evil that surrounds us.

“Is it really true that feminists think pregnancy is an injustice to women from which society must rescue them?” by Auster on View from the Right with a link to the invaluable Mark Richardson of Oz Conservative: “Anna Smajdor: pregnancy is unjust.” Children of woe, indeed!

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, March 8, Anno Domini 2012
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