Dr. Sowell’s three part series is a must read for those interested in the analysis of the current state of western civilization:
The social degeneration that he describes comes as an unintended consequence for the liberal left whose ideology forms the basis of the policies that are a root cause of this turmoil. The chaos and anarchy that we’ve seen recently is only a logical conclusion of those policies, but create an environment in which even the cultural elites cannot survive, especially if they truly ascribe to those policies in practice. (How would they defend themselves against such mobs if they themselves are unarmed, as they believe everyone else should be?) Emphases added in the excerpts below.
From Part I:
The prevailing social dogma is that disparities in outcomes between races can only be due to disparities in how these races are treated. In other words, there cannot possibly be any differences in behavior. But if black and white Americans had exactly the same behavior patterns, they would be the only two groups on this planet that are the same.
Translation: the facts are otherwise. Reality does not confirm the social dogma when all the evidence is evaluated.
From Part II:
Today’s politically correct intelligentsia will tell you that the reason for this alienation and lashing out is that there are great disparities and inequities that need to be addressed.
But such barbarism was not nearly as widespread two generations ago, in the middle of the 20th century. Were there no disparities or inequities then? Actually there were more.
What is different today is that there has been — for decades — a steady drumbeat of media and political hype about differences in income, education and other outcomes, blaming these differences on oppression against those with fewer achievements or lesser prosperity.
Moreover, there has been a growing tolerance of lawlessness and a growing intolerance toward the idea that people who are lagging need to take steps to raise themselves up, instead of trying to pull others down.
From Part III:
Our elites often advise us to learn from other countries. They usually mean that we should imitate other countries. But it may be far more important to learn from their mistakes — the biggest of which may be listening to fashionable nonsense from the smug intelligentsia.
These countries show us where that smug nonsense leads. It may be a sneak preview of our own future.
"Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."
Translation: Pride goeth before destruction! (Proverbs 16:18)
And for those who have been reading The Interface for awhile, I would suggest that a significant part of the problem is the public education system that is more concerned about Johnny’s self-esteem rather than his character (the former is based on feelings, the latter, on objective behavior), that teaches what to believe rather than how to think, and that has an agenda at variance with how reality works. For more details, see my series on Amusing Ourselves to Death.
Interestingly, recent readers will note that I quite frequently give you editorial cartoons on various and sundry issues, trying to present the best of the best (or at least those that speak to me most clearly…as warped as my sense of humor is). I have been unable to find, or recall, any cartoons on this matter (maybe I missed them?).
Charles Krauthammer knocks it out of the park with his latest commentary on the political scene. He starts off with:
Of all the endlessly repeated conventional wisdom in today’s Washington, the most lazy, stupid and ubiquitous is that our politics is broken.
On the contrary. Our political system is working well (I make no such claims for our economy), indeed, precisely as designed — profound changes in popular will translated into law that alters the nation’s political direction.
The process has been messy, loud, disputatious and often rancorous. So what? In the end, the system works. Exhibit A is Wisconsin. Exhibit B is Washington itself.
He concludes with:
Democratic politics was never meant to be an exercise in aesthetics. Not just ugly, moan the critics, but oh so slow. True, again. It took months. And will take more. The supercommittee doesn’t report until Thanksgiving. The next election is more than a year away.
But the American system was designed to make a full turn of the carrier difficult and deliberate. Moreover, without this long ugly process, the debt issue wouldn’t even be on the table. We’d still be whistling our way to Greece.
Instead, a nation staring at insolvency is finally stirring itself to action, and not without spirited opposition. Great issues are being decided as constitutionally designed.
The process is working. Notice how the loudest complaints about "broken politics" come from those who lost the debate. It’s understandable for sore losers to rage against the machine. But there’s no need for the rest of us to parrot their petulance.
In between, he supports his assertions with a withering analysis and common sense observations. Read the whole thing.
…then you are a.) really old, b.) a true geek, or c.) both!
Check out this article in which a modern geek attempts to use the above for 21st century tasks. The results may surprise you.
Why, you may ask, even bother doing this? Because today is the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the IBM 5150, which box of electronics started our whole computer era.