Placebo Politics creates the illusion that social ills are being cured when, in reality, no remedy has actually been administered — or worse yet, the remedy is worse than the ‘ailment’. Contemporary examples of Placebo Politics are:
- The push, by Muslims in the United Nations — and their apologists, elsewhere — to outlaw criticism of religion.
- The spread, in Europe, of multiculturalism (as opposed to pluralism) as a means to accommodate minority groups (namely, Muslims).
- Social and political pressure to teach Intelligent Design alongside biology.
- Affirmative Action and its insidious replacement, the social doctrine of White Male Privilege.
Muslims have inverted (in)tolerance, turning it on its head, and their Western apologists are stumbling all over themselves to help by limiting our freedom of speech. The same apologists bend over backwards to accommodate Muslim immigrants who won’t reciprocate by accommodating their host countries. In mindless orgies of political correctitude, these countries go so far as to allow Sharia Law within their Muslim communities. Here, in the U.S., the public is so afraid of offending fundamentalist Christians that we’re in danger of allowing them to teach bogus science in our public schools. And, finally, the main thrust of this post: the self-flagellating guilt-trip known as ‘White Male Privilege’ (which replaces the old self-flagellating guilt-trip known as Affirmative Action).
I believe government should provide services only if they’re necessary. Providing a safety net to care for those who can’t care for themselves is one of those necessary services. The following is addressed to the rest of us who possess fit minds and bodies.
Affirmative Action represents decades of faulty policy that mistook equal opportunity for equal results. The Supreme Court has finally recognized this fact and has struck down ‘discriminatory affirmative action’ (i.e. affirmative action with potential for reverse discrimination).
We have a wide range of laws to protect the interests of minorities. This does not mean that all groups will eventually compete and win equally or proportionately. For instance, Jews are ridiculously over-represented in Nobel prizes. Does this mean the Nobel committee should withhold future prizes to Jews? Of course not! Jewish excellence in science benefits us all.
Anti-discrimination laws have been producing slow but sure progress in the U.S. Women and minorities have made significant inroads (sometimes even achieving equality) in all the former bastions of good-ol’-boy networks. Hell, even the President is black and has an Arab surname. Everybody is free to succeed and realize his/her potential. If somebody tries to discriminate against you and hold you back, you have legal recourse. We have addressed the ills (discrimination) and leveled the playing field of opportunity. Now . . . if only everybody would seize those opportunities proportionately and equally . . .
We could always do more, of course. Why not make ALL education free? You could be a career student and get multiple doctorates, if you like. No charge. What the heck, give students room, board and monthly allowance too so that disadvantaged youths can get the same education as rich kids. That way, there would be no educational disadvantages in the job market. Huh? What’s that you say? Not feasible? Who will pay for it? Oh, yeah, well . . . never mind.
No single group — not even atheists — define me adequately. Hell, if there were some combination of groups that defined me, the same combination would not define you. I am not a group. I am a person. An individual. As an individual, I want our laws to guarantee equal opportunity for all. I want everybody to compete as they choose and are able. What I don’t want are laws that guarantee the results of that competition. We need to fix problems . . . not competitions. That means adjusting the rules — NOT the scores.
And we HAVE adjusted the rules (anti-discrimination laws). We’ll continue to do so as long as we can identify rules that need changing. But that’s a far cry from adjusting the results. An imbalance in results may not even be something we can or should legislate away. Perhaps the imbalance, as with the Jews and science, has cultural explanations. Are we to legislate culture now too?
Some immigrant groups achieve more and enjoy a higher standard of living than other immigrant groups. Is this because of some ‘privilege’? Nope. They achieve more because their cultures value education and hard work more.
We are not a democracy of groups: we’re a democracy of individuals. We’re diverse people who stand or fall based on our own merits. That’s the way it is in nature and that’s the way it should be in human society. We should not be constrained by our greatest common denominator. It’s excellence that makes the difference in our achievements: any policy or law that stifles excellence is bound to fail — as well it should.
The law enforces, and needs to continue to enforce, equal opportunity for individuals — NOT for groups. If incongruencies develop, then we need to address the CAUSE — NOT the results. That’s like applying a band-aid to a rattlesnake bite. It will look like you’ve done something helpful but, meanwhile, the venom is spreading.
Discriminatory affirmative action has been struck down by the Supreme Court, so White Male Privilege has reared its ugly head to replace it — just as Intelligent Design reared its ugly head to replace creationism (also struck down by the Supreme Court). It’s the same bad idea concealed behind a new label. Excellence should be rewarded WITHOUT REGARD FOR RACE, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, RELIGION, AGE OR CREED. The best person for the job: the contract to the best company or proposal. Period. Fixing society’s woes by compromising excellence is a wrongheaded idea spearheaded by leftist apologists who expect us to feel guilty for being born white and/or male.
I’m male but I’m not white. Regardless, I recognize a bad idea when I see one. Multiculturalism instead of pluralism? Bad idea. Sacrificing freedoms or education to religions? Bad idea. Capping excellence for racial or gender reasons? Ridiculous. If there’s 10 positions available and the 10 best candidates (by objective standards) are all white, then all those candidates should get those positions even if the city is 50% black. Of course, the same applies if the 10 best candidates are all black, asian, hispanic or whatever.
The world doesn’t owe anybody a living . . . but you’re free to make one for yourself.
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