The Case For Black Patriotism by Glenn C. Loury

I totally respect this man.

https://www.firstthings.com/article/2022/01/the-case-for-black-patriotism

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I always read Lowery’s commentaries and I always come away with the feeling that the “America” of his imagination (as well as my own) has long since passed. The America Lowery talks about died 60 years ago and cannot be resurrected. It was never as bad as it is now being portrayed, never as good we remember it but it was certainly better than it is now. Many of us began severing our emotional attachment to the US in 1968 and time has not given us any reason to regret our choice.

After that, we began selling our souls for money and security. But the money has been steadily devaluated, the security has proved to be illusory and none of us really likes what the US has become. The vast majority of us dread being faced with another choice between a Trump and a Biden but that is certainly what we will be getting next time and likely the time after that - should the US last that long.

If Lowery’s and probably my own position could be put to a plebiscite it would likely win but if it should be proposed as an act of Congress, it would never come to a vote; it being too controversial in the minds of the governing class, likely contrary to a long line of Supreme Court decisions and certain to impair the profits of the financial sector and business community.

Lowery also consistently elides over the long train of disastrous Supreme Court rulings that began in the 1930s that served only to degrade local government, religion and the family and exalt Lowery’s economics, unlimited immigration, an all powerful and profoundly unrepresentative federal government, an unaccountable administrative state and a very predatory species capitalism.

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I wonder how many other Black intellectuals agree with his views (in whole or part) but are too intimidated by the Woke consensus to say so. That said, the growing number of heterodox thinkers about race provides some grounds for optimism that the fever will eventually break.

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Agreed, and in my view it goes beyond the Woke, it permeates huge chunk of our society. There’s real pressure put on Blacks to not go off the reservation. It can’t be fun to be accused of “acting white” or being an Uncle Tom.

Thus my admiration for the author is not just because I admire his views, but also his courage in presenting them.

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Part of the problem for African Americans seems to me to be one of diluted constituency- because they have to share power within a broad coalition their actual needs are never met. It begins with choice in schools. It doesn’t matter whether you are a proponent of charters or against them- there are other ways of providing choice and remedying the poorly run schools with systems like catchment areas for state schools.

Similarly, the headlong pursuit of Education as the means of Black Empowerment does a disservice to African American communities because in any demographic (other than perhaps some Asian groups and for Jewish people) the Higher Education Industrial Complex is simply not going to serve the needs of the majority of the community in any meaningful way. But because the official party line of the Democratic Party is that people are infinitely malleable and can learn anything if given the opportunity, huge proportions of White, Latino and African American young people remain systemically underserved.

Here’s the problem with that dynamic. Communities with high proportions of fathers seem to operate an unofficial voluntary safety net for the kids (and boys in particular) who fall through the cracks of K-12. This results in employment which is both better paid and at higher rates- and the cycle is self-perpetuating, because only men with stable well-paid jobs get married and stay married.

But here is the real rub. The perfidious notion of racial IQ gaps will only close to the degree that the other camp will be forced to concede defeat when the proof is demonstrated on an empirical basis. And whilst liberal elites have correctly intuited that the socio-economic is at the root of problem they have incorrectly diagnosed the problem as being on the economic side of the problem. They couldn’t be more wrong- although economic circumstances do play a role, it is mainly through the ability to opt into communities with high rates of fathers.

Dr Raj Chetty’s research on social mobility proves this- indirectly at least. But there is also a wealth of new data coming out from various sources which tends to suggest that it’s both the ability of two parents to remove negative environmental factors far more effectively than one- plus, the ability of two parents to be able to invest more time in their child’s development. Worst of all, there seems to be an amplifier effect in play which seems to operate through the mechanism of the peer group. I could show you the Swedish sibling adoption study which led me to this conclusion but I won’t- because it’s evidence is tenuous and only constitutes a smoking gun when added to all the other cumulative evidence.

Instead, I will show you one of James Flynn’s last collaborations, although to be fair much of the credit should really fall to Michael Shayer, whose research into precipitous IQ declines in advanced nations goes back quite a way:

The decline is not genetics. Contrary to popular opinion, smarter parents tend to self-sort and actually have more kids than those further down the cognitive spectrum. Feminism is a far more likely candidate. I know this might be hard to hear, but if you walk into any Early Learning Centre in the UK then you will find books full of plucky and adventurous girls with dim but loyal boys as sidekicks, but not a story about a heroic boy in sight- and none of the tales of swords, war, tanks and pilots which used to captivate boys long enough to convince them to read for pleasure. And it not by coincidence that the declines in IQ are higher for boys than they are for girls.

Generally, we might intuit that a multimedia environment plays a role, but we’ve been deliberately sabotaging our kids as well ourselves- by allowing persistent nonsenses like social construction and third-wave feminism beyond equality and free choice to play an outsized role in our culture. Don’t get me wrong- there are persistent discriminatory practices still in place- such as the fact that women with children find it extremely difficult to find a track to obtain their PhD which doesn’t require a fulltime commitment- but we’ve made mountains out of molehills and harmed our sons as a result.

Have we stigmatised motherhood, and parenting more generally to the extent that quality parenting overall has been in freefall, especially amongst elites? We just don’t have the data- but it might be fair to assume that elite men are also likely to be working longer hours just to keep up- they also seem to be the ones most likely to ignore arbitrary legal limits to working hours per week- given that nobody in this social class would ever even think about suing their employer for this particular reason. Plus, it’s common sense to consider that if all parents in the house are too tired to engage in that really important highly engaged parenting every night, rather than just for a few hours at weekends, then kids are going to suffer.

It’s a complex social soup- but it seems to me that we would have seem a much faster closing of the IQ gap if it hadn’t been for the meddling of higher status women influencing other women further down the socio-economic spectrum into believing that monogamy, marriage and fathers were all unnecessary for raising kids.

Perhaps African Americans really were the crest of the wave in this respect, with bad social programming from above slowing gains they should have made with the Civil Rights era and what we are now seeing is this effect spreading into other demographics. Then again deindustrialisation probably played huge role as well, with groups further up the socio-economics spectrum able to better cling to a semblance of social cohesion, and what we are now witnessing is neoliberalism coming for them. I doubt it- it’s far more likely that African Americans never got the chance for wholesale ‘stepping stone’ generational transformation which other groups managed through the periods of American surplus requirement for low skilled and semi-skilled labour- with deindustrialisation coming at just the wrong time.

Perhaps- it’s pure speculation and wild conjecture- but I do think the sustained decline in reading materials which might foster reading engagement in boys is obscene and amounts to form of long-term intellectual assault on their future prospects. Who cares if they want to read about Vikings or Zulus at eight (after you’ve weaned them into it with comic books). It’s far more important that they learn to read for enjoyment.

The tragedy is we will probably never know. Nobody is motivated to do this research for the simple reason they are deeply afraid the answer is one they won’t like. Personally, I think they are wrong- but that’s just my opinion- I’ve been reading into the topic for a few years now and the is ample data to indicate that we were looking for overly simplistic and facile environmental factors, when we really should have been looking at the subtle and nuanced influence of group dynamics.

Anyway, I think I will link this Swedish Adoption Study and would asked to look in particular at the precipitous drop in IQ which occurs when parental income levels means they lose the ability to self-sort into communities with high levels of parents:

The other thing to bear in mind is this incredible short gem from Robert Plomin author of Blueprint from YouTube:

We know that ‘acting white’ is thing, just as the UK has it’s epithet of ‘coconut’ (culturally parallel to ‘Oreo’). At the same time, we have a persistent theory in education that the only way to pursue equality for Black people is through authentic Blackness- to the extent that many now believe Black British kids shouldn’t learn Shakespeare or that they should learn Stormzy rather than W. H. Auden (I’ve nothing against Stormzy). Don’t get me wrong kids should learn Maya Angelou and hopefully read a little Chinua Achebe as a direct contrast to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (and maybe even watch Apocalypse Now as well)- but anything which limits the range of child’s education is sure to be harmful.

It even extends to the use of vocabulary- in America, white liberals have been shown to subconsciously lower the level of their vocabulary around African Americans out of some mistaken feeling that it might make them feel more comfortable because of their generally lower socio-economic origins, when expanding vocabulary is one of the ways in which we expand our potential (and easily identify other smart people).

And here is the real kicker- we know from looking at ingroup that people from lower class origins and parental educational backgrounds tend to have higher ingroup preferences and that these tendencies actually tend to lead to self-segregation for minority communities- but don’t take my word for it- look at the words of great Black British Intellectual of the Left Trevor Philips when, upon looking it the tricky issue of homegrown Muslim radicalisation he warned that Britain was ‘Sleepwalking towards Segregation’ and creating exactly the right conditions guaranteed to produce worse outcomes.

So we have the narrative legacy of Slavery and Jim Crow- a story guaranteed to rob boys in particular of their agency in their teenage years, because they believe the world is arrayed against them. We have the baleful influence of HUD and the institution of the welfare state, with its unintended consequences of disincentivising both work and fatherhood. Then we have white people trying to help, especially in the area of education- which inevitably leads to significantly more harm when your discipline amounts to a creative guesswork leading to ideological wish fulfilment, when scientific approaches to learning like Cognitive Load Theory are proven to work- the sum of which is that even if knowledge is partially wrong or poorly conceived it is still incredibly valuable out there is the real world.

Those psychologists and social scientists kept looking for environmental factors, but their eyes were too narrowly construed upon material factors, and too afraid to look at the far more persuasive argument of social dynamics and the self-limiting factors of ingroup preference. By decrying Shakespeare, Auden, the West Cannon in general and the Enlightenment in particular they were harming Black people not helping them.

And it’s not because White Ideas are any better- they’ve just been writing it down and printing it for longer. And it was inevitable that any culture armed with literacy and the means of mass distribution of ideas, would produce the tiny number of visionaries necessary to follow the trails of breadcrumbs of the tiny number of ideas which work really, really well and construct a broader structure of knowledge which could lead to the raising of 85% percent of the world’s population up out of poverty.

And if one wants get really technical the British were exceptionally lucky. Not only did they have coal and the means of distributing it cheaply via rivers, but they had also managed to temporarily throw off the yoke of both the absolute power of the sovereign over the state and the absolute authority of religion over knowledge- relegating both the circumstance of reigning rather than ruling. To say that this was a matter of astronomical coincidence and extreme luck is an understatement.

But the irony is despite our material gains and our pretence towards the scientific method we really haven’t come that far. Superstition still abounds we just give it different names. Solution aversion. Preference falsification. Parasite stress, with violence as a social contagion unleashing our hideous authoritarian urges. This last one certainly explains the 1992 Crime Bill, even if Gary Slutkin’s concept of violence as a social contagion hadn’t even been hypothesised at that point, the reaction to violent crime as an effect on populations is writ large and in the Congressional record.

Here’s the thing. Robert Plomin himself points out that we only come to our optimum genetic windfall of intelligence through the mechanism of pursuing interests matched to our intellects and through stimulating friendships. When virtually every social and psychological factor we know of is aligned to prevent certain ethnicities from receiving their full windfall of potential, I think it’s a pretty solid guess to say that we’ve locked entire ethnicities in Western countries into an intellectual and cultural prison of mind.

It’s not that White Supremacy that’s the problem It’s White Stupidity.

Bollocks this one is both too controversial and not good enough to put on my Substack. Still I hope it’s food for thought.

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