Multiculturalism is Nonsense

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Norsefire, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    That was, uh, "surprising"

    It comes from #123 above. The portion missing after the ellipse is, "... that's all it is."

    I doubt you could from the outset. But I could be wrong. Now that I've jogged your memory about your own post, would you like to try again? Maybe correct the, uh, "context"?

    So explain, please, forced integration by shunning and stern looks, or whatever the hell it is you think you mean.
     
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  3. Scaramouche Registered Member

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    Geneticists love it too. As does anyone who likes fact rather than silly forum crap about stereotypes.
     
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  5. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    So you don't know what "forced integration" means, Tiassa? Do you remember reading ancient history in high school, about the 60s and 70s in the USA? ...the black riots and the black protests and the black marches in Alabama, etc? Well, soon after all of that stuff, the federal government, without ever consulting the people of the USA, without ever taking a vote or even a poll, created laws to ....FORCE.... people to accept blacks into their communities and their societies ...even if they didn't want to. See? Forced.

    Now, after being forced into integration for 50 years or so, some people are dumb enough to call the USA a "multi-cultural" country. We're not multi-cultural, we're a collection of various cultures and races and ethnic groups and religions that usually live in little enclaves, like the ghettos, in some of our major cities. And most of them hate all of the other groups! Integrated? No, hell no! Forced to live together, yeah, that's it. See? Forced integration.

    Baron Max
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I can't imagine what it's like down in Texas, but every time you open your mouth I say, "Thank the goddess I don't have to live there." I've spent the last fifty years in two of America's most prominent cities, Los Angeles and Washington, and the integration phenomenon there is nothing like the one you describe. Both cities had had riots that aggravated racial tension and both of them had communities that needed to be dragged kicking and screaming out of their Stone Age tribalism--the isolated wealthy enclaves in L.A.'s San Gabriel Valley and the phalanx of Religious Redneck Retards in Washington's Virginia suburbs. But once the first generation of children got used to being among people who didn't look like them, the boundaries between the neighborhoods began to blur.

    Today these cities' "ghettos" are not typically defined by skin color or ancestry, but more usually by first-generation immigrants who aren't fluent in English and don't understand what half the products in an American supermarket are, and whose children refuse to learn their parents' language and move out of those ghettos at the first opportunity. Everywhere I go--office, club, entertainment, restaurant, store, community meeting, or right outside my front door--I see a nearly perfect microcosm of America. A majority (sometimes a bare majority) of light-skinned people with deep family roots here, a couple of people of African ancestry and a couple of Latinos (some of both with deeper family roots than mine), several people from various East Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African countries, a couple of Soviet Bloc refugees, and a few I can't even identify. And they're not hanging out in little groups, they're all talking to each other and some are even dating or already married.

    Sadly, the only place where I really see tribalism is, predictably, the nearby country road we call "Church Row." There's a Chinese church, a Korean church, a Latino church, one that is full of Afro-Americans, and a couple of others. And bear in mind that all of these people speak English as well as we do and aren't sticking with "their own kind" just so they can understand the sermon.

    We may never completely overcome racism since it is, after all, a manifestation of the pack-social instinct that defines our species of nomadic hunter-gatherers. It's a massive transcendence of our nature to live in harmony and cooperation with people we have not trusted and cared for since birth, particularly those who, by their appearance and speech, clearly could not possibly be long-lost members of our own pack. So we should be congratulated for having gotten as far as we have. Transcending nature is what civilization is all about, and we override our instincts with reasoned and learned behavior every day.

    In my observation, the biggest obstacle to multiculturalism is Abrahamic religion. Its holy books are full of exhortations to love everyone, but it just doesn't quite work out that way in practice. Whenever you see an American city in the news with racial problems--Dearborn comes to mind--most of the time you'll find the tribal tradition of intolerance among the Abrahamic religions at the bottom of it.
     
  8. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Let's make sure that I understand you properly, Fraggle. What you seem to be saying here is that you approve of governments that force its citizens to do things that they don't like or want to do ...like integrate with others that they don't like. And further, you approve of a nation continuing that policy of forcing of its citizens to do those things that they don't want to do for some 50 years, five decades, or more.

    And now, after that long, painful 50 years, and there's some meager signs of that forced integration actually working, you're in a celebatory mood over it? You're actually happy that a government used force on its citizens for 50 years to achieve something that few of its citizens wanted in the first place?

    I'm curious, Fraggle, ...Iran is now having some problems with its citizens accepting the government there. Would you, perhaps, suggest that Iran do something similar ...force her people to accept the new government for, oh, some 50 years, to see if they'll really like it? D:

    Perhaps there are other countries in the world where a method of force like that might work for them. Nigeria, perhaps? Rwanda, maybe? Somalia? I'll give it some thought and maybe get back to you for your recommendations or suggestions.

    Don't matter the cause, Fraggle. And even if it is religion, if that's what the people want, then surely they're entitled to it. But, damn, you're not actually suggesting that the gov undertake another 50 years of forcing the citizens into giving up their religion???

    You really like this "Government Forcing the People" policy, huh?

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    Baron Max
     
  9. mordea Registered Senior Member

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    So you're saying that the U.S Government utilised force to implement policies regarding integration? Wow, you just vindicated Baron Max's position.
     
  10. Scaramouche Registered Member

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    Stone Age tribalism? You mean the urge to push our own genes forward against those of other groups? That is a natural tendency which exists for very good reason, and still applies today. There's limited space at the watering hole, and the water level is only going down, while more and more people are wanting a piece.
     
  11. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    I guess it depends on what you mean by "multiculturalism".

    The idea that all cultures are equally accomplished and worthwhile is provably untrue. But I believe that people have a right to live by whatever culture they want (clothing, food, religion, etc.) provided that they don't violate the rights of others.
     
  12. Norsefire Salam Shalom Salom Registered Senior Member

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    You are confusing multiculturalism with multiracialism.
     
  13. Cowboy My Aim Is True Valued Senior Member

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    I agree that, in a lot of ways, America is a collection of cultures and races that keep to themselves. I spent most of my life living in a relatively diverse area and I've seen this with my own eyes.

    I disagree, in a lot of ways, about your assessment of government-mandated integration. I believe that Americans who prefer the company of their own have every right to relocate, form intentional communities, hire who they want to, etc. But when it comes to publicly-funded institutions (public schools, parks, government offices, the military, etc.), every citizen should be treated equally under the law. No American should be barred from his local school because he's the wrong color, for example. It's all paid for by taxpayer money and nobody should be forced to subsidize their own mistreatment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    No, that wasn't my point and for the sake of this argument I might try to remain neutral on that issue. I was very narrowly responding to your assertion that integration hasn't worked, that all the government accomplished was to set new standards for allowable interference in personal decisions, and ironically they didn't achieve their stated goal. I think for the most part they did achieve it.
    You have to be able to compartmentalize to stand to live here. Otherwise you'd be in a constant state of guilt over the Indians and Mexicans.

    One of the most important things that must happen for civilization to advance is for tribal hostility to be replaced by cosmopolitanism. By that objective measure the USA is a far better place than it was in my youth. I can celebrate the fact that we've come this far and still not approve of the way it happened.

    I understand your point. Much of Latin America waited a generation longer to free its slaves than we did, and thereby was able to do it peacefully, as slavery became economically unviable, and today they all come in various shades of tan. Their absorption of immigrant groups was generally more straightforward than ours; some of Mexico's revolutionary heroes had German names like Guzman, and Brazil had a president named Kubitschek at a time when many of us were loth to elect one with an friendly and familiar Irish surname.

    Sometimes it is better to be patient and I will not dispute you on that point. But you get whatcha got, and you might as well make the most of it. So yes, I celebrate the vast improvement in American society since my childhood, when the only time I saw Afro-Americans in the big department stores in Chicago was domestic servants picking something up for the master.
    No. I'm happy about the results but not totally happy about the way we got here. But wait, aren't you the guy who, on another thread, was arguing that the end justifies the means???

    As for "few of its citizens wanting it in the first place," I certainly don't remember it that way. I couldn't tell you which side had the majority but the more distance you put between yourself and the South (always a good idea in any era), the more support the civil rights movement had. In Arizona the schools were already integrated in the 1950s when I arrived; the frontier ethic was still strong and it held that in a tough environment a man must be respected for his strength, not his ancestry. Los Angeles had many happily integrated neighborhoods in the 1960s and Rednecks were not tolerated with grace.

    Janis Ian did a concert in the San Fernando Valley around 1965. When she launched into her song about interracial dating, "Society's Child," a group of Rednecks began taunting her and she eventually broke down in tears and ran off the stage. (She was still a kid.) The rest of the audience threw them out of the hall and chanted for her return.

    Anyway, I strongly dispute your assertion that integration was a minority position that a tyrannical government forced on a resentful population. You (presumably) grew up in Texas, which was hardly a representative sample of the United States, and you can't judge the whole country by the unreconstructed Rebels you lived among.
    Of course not, and this is why although we disagree on the details I'm not ready to say you're wrong about the way we approched integration.

    Of course the biggest part of this problem is that the Civil War created a wound in this country that never healed. 150 years later we still have separate "white" and "black" communities with their own vernacular, music and social customs, and there's still a visible level of enmity between Northerners and Southerners. When a country kills off three percent of its population so that hardly anyone is more than one degree of separation from a war widow or orphan, the reason the war was fought tends to get lost in the grief and anger. Haiti is the only other country in this hemisphere that freed its slaves by violence, and I think it's no coincidence that it's also the only country in which race relations are still an issue. (Race relations between descendants of Europeans and Africans, anyway. They haven't exactly solved the problems stemming from the obliteration of the Aztec and Inca civilizations and the occupation of their land.)
    Surely you've read enough of my posts to know the answer to that question. I support freedom of religion because as crappy as it is, it's better than any imaginable alternative.
    Of course it is. But civilization (starting with its precursor, the Agricultural Revolution) has been an eleven-thousand-year exercise in transcending nature. Not only external nature, by taming fire, creating a food surplus, and inventing roofs, but our internal nature as well. It could be said that the nature of man is his enthusiasm for transcending nature.

    Our pack-social instinct tells us to trust and care for only the couple of dozen pack-mates we have known since birth. The invention of the nature-transcending technology of agriculture both permitted and required us to assemble into larger communities and make peace with people who weren't family. The nature-transcending technology of civilization got us learning to live in harmony and cooperation with total strangers.

    Each of these Paradigm Shifts required us to negotiate with our nature. We reason with our inner caveman that stifling his urge to kill strangers results in more food, comfort, health, safety and entertainment, so it's a rational tradeoff. Occasionally the inner caveman loses his veneer of civilization and does something antisocial, but civilization is robust and easily tolerates the lapse, so long as religion does not coordinate an entire tribe's inner cavemen at once, overwhelming the checks and balances that maintain civilization.

    Today our "packs" have grown to include people on the other side of the planet who are mere abstractions to us, and some day all the packs will merge into a global civilizaton. (This probably can't happen until we find a way to transcend the caveman instinct of religion.)
    The Agricultural Revolution created the first food surplus the earth had ever seen, and our species still produces more food than it needs. The only reason some people don't get their share is their misfortune of living under despotic governments that don't even allow relief shipments to reach them, and the corresponding Stone Age instincts of some people in the rich countries to block their escape route. Correlate this with the prediction that the world population will peak within a century and then start falling, because prosperity is the most effective contraceptive.

    There's no reason to fight over the water. On the contrary, civilization becomes richer as it absorbs more cultural motifs.

    Humans have an instinct which, AFAIK, is unique among the apes. We are attracted to potential mates who look much different from us. Gorillas, for example, are not, and inbreeding has created some astounding differences in skull shape between tribes. In contrast, we have done a remarkable job of keeping our gene pool stirred.

    Keep up the good work, everybody.
     
  15. Scaramouche Registered Member

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    A bazillion years of evolution worked quite well. A few thousand years of what we currently call civilisation, most of which has involved tribal conflicts and competition anyway (and still does). Yes, lately there has been a lot of pushing the idea that our tribes should include anyone who subscribes to our national agenda, but that is a very recent idea and doesn't seem to be taking very well.
     
  16. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    What tribes? The only tribes are being wiped out. We no longer have a society based on tribes. Hell, I don't think the nation states exist anymore. We have consumerlaborers and places where people have not been transformed into the 'right' kind of consumerlaborers.

    Not taking well. Compared to what?
     
  17. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

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    Bullshit.

    http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1435.html
    http://www.genome.gov/10001551
    http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v36/n11s/full/ng1438.html


    One of the problems with the common social concept of race is that it is based upon an arbitrary selection of characteristics. There is no more scientific validity to categorization based upon skin color and facial features than there is to categorizing people by tongue curling and lactose tolerance. These categories overlap to the point that any particular selection of traits by which to define race is meaningless. Genetic variation also follows a continuous geographic pattern without any point of demarcation. Not only does this highlight, yet again, that categorization is artificial it also means that members of different races that living in close proximity are usually more closely related than members within a single race that live far apart. More variation occurs within groups than between them.

    No one is claiming there aren't phonotypical variations. They are simply arbitrary, unspecific, overlapping, and pretty much meaningless as a means of classification. You might as well pick any random trait or feature.

    ~Raithere
     
  18. Scaramouche Registered Member

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    I look around the world and I see people organised into groups of common interest warring against each other all the time. Most of those groups involve some sort of ancestral commonality.

    Not taking well compared to taking well. It isn't. That's why most of the world is in groups who shit on each other now and then.
     
  19. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    And none of that scientific crap means anything ...because those traits and/or characteristics are quite enough in order to judge another "race" and to hate them and want them out of ones life.

    Few racists that I know care much about genes and DNA and crap like that. Most of them are quite good at picking out the blacks or asians in a vast crowd of people ...and they don't use blood tests or saliva test or any of the scientific bullshit.

    Baron Max
     
  20. Scaramouche Registered Member

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    You're way out of date (2004) there. Seriously. Therefore wrong.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061123115741.htm
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-11/hhmi-gvw112006.php
    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/G...e_Are_More_Different_Than_We_Thought_999.html

    It's not a "social concept". It's a fact of biology.

    A shitload of articles linked from here: http://accidentalhuman.livejournal.com/88908.html

    It's actually based on our biology. That's the thing: our genetic differences show up in clearly visible ways, which we can see quite easily. Look at an average white man and an average black man, and you can see the differences. No matter how hard you might try to pretend otherwise. And those differences are the results of our genes.

    Actually skin colour is the result of your genes, or in some cases radical pop singer surgery. Well, and tanning of course. Same with facial features. Check the links collected on that page for further information.

    So meaningless that drugs have to be specifically developed for each race? That specific races are requested for blood donations?

    No. Consider the Sahara. Thousands of years as a barrier to mass population movements and interbreeding. Result: northern Africans and sub-Saharan Africans are very different. There are a few outliers, such as sub-Saharan types existing in small nomadic tribes across the Sahara, but very few.

    Or consider continents. White people in Europe. Brown people in Africa. Sort of tan people in Asia. Based on geographic locations. Why? Because people in each area spent a shitload of time breeding more among themselves than they did with people in other regions.

    This was one of the very basics of Darwin's work, noticing the differences due to locations in which groups of animals evolved.

    Anyway, just go read those links and catch up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  21. Scaramouche Registered Member

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    I get the objection though. Many people have this automated, reflexive thought process which goes "OMFG!!! Racism is bads! Oh noes! Must deny science and say it's all make believe on the part of nasty racist peoples!!!11". Something like that.
     
  22. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    *** Hey, before anyone reads this, especially you, Fraggle, I want to apologize up front for what seems like a personal attack against Fraggle Rocker. While the words I wrote do appear quite personal, the "you" I used is more general, more like "you liberal doo-gooders". Fraggle, honest, I didn't intent this to come out so personal and I don't know how to fix it without completely redoing it. But even so, you were a little personal, too, weren't you ...when you mentioned your opinion of the people of Texas? Regardless, I didn't intent the following to seem so personal. **

    Well, Fraggle, I'm like Thomas Jefferson on that issue - remember Ol' Tom ...one of the founding fathers of this once-great nation? I believe he said something like, "Cities suck donkey dick. Cities are an abomination, a scourge on the face of this great nation. 90% of the people should live and work on farms - the remaining 10% should provide services for those farmers!" Okay, I might have paraphrase Ol' Tom, but you get the idea.

    But I'm sure that you'd love large cities, Fraggle ...that's where great masses of people are packed into a very small space, and what you like is that there's only a select, powerful few people telling all of the masses what to do, what to say, how to act, how to dress, what to eat, ...., and any of hundreds of other such demands. You seem to love making others do what you think should be done ...and in YOUR idea of what's good and bad ...as evidenced by your last few posts in this thread.

    It's funny, Fraggle, but have you noticed the trends that have grown in the last few decades for people to return to the simply life? Yeah, that started in your early years, didn't it? But it's grown, and it keeps on growing; Organic food, buy local products, farmer's markets, "Three Acres to Independence", ... You might like the cities, Fraggle, but the I think people are trapped there and can't get out. But then, perhaps that's what you like ...you do, after all, like telling other what to do, how to do it, when to do it,.....

    Well, Fraggle, look at it this way, ...if there'd been all that much favorable support, the government wouldn't have had to use force of arms, now would they? But as you can see, even from your own statement above, that you like telling others what to do ...and apparently you like force to be used to do it.

    My best guess is that you protested the Vietnam War, right? If so, then your protest slogans were something like "Stop telling the Vietnamese how to live!" and "Let the Vietnamese determine their own fate!" Am I right, Fraggle? And yet now, here, you're doing exactly what you protested our government doing in SE Asia. Why didn't you demand that the gov leave the southerners alone?

    Then why did the gov have to call in the National Guard, armed with weapons, in order to force the issue? Why was there so much racial conflicts in those early days? And, Fraggle, don't just say that it was an issue in only a few redneck states ...you know that isn't true. Racial division, racial hatred, racial conflict was spread all over this country! Now you want to try to say that most people wanted integration? Bullshit! Integration was forced down their throats and there was/is nothing they can do about it.

    How odd. As is perfectly obvious in your last couple of posts, you seem to love forcing people to do things that they don't want to do. Now you're trying to tell us differently, that you don't like forcing people to do things? Does "hippo-critter" mean anything to you?

    See? You loved forcing that small number of people/rednecks to do what you wanted them to do and be like you wanted them to be. You love making people be like Fraggle, don't you? And you love using physical force ...and yet I'm betting that you protested against the gov doing that in SE Asia in the 60s, didn't you? And you probably protested the US invasion of Iraq, didn't you? ...chanting slogans like "Leave the Iraqis alone!" or "Let the Iraqis decide their own fate!" And, Fraggle, I'll bet you felt/feel proud to have stood up for the rights of those poor Iraqi people, didn't you? Yep, ....hippo-fuckin'-critter.

    Tell me, Fraggle, what's the new stuff that you'd like to force other people to do and/or be now in this new world of ours? Oops, make that "...new world of YOURS". Must be something, Fraggle, because I don't think people like you can just let people alone ...you must want to force some group to do or be something different to what they want. What is it? Let's start a new thread about it?

    ***

    I do wish you'd quit saying it like that, Fraggle. You say it as if all of that has been strictly voluntary and that it's "...learning to live in harmony and cooperation with total strangers." It wasn't and isn't like that ...and I'd like you to quit saying it!! Laws by the thousands, cops with guns and billy clubs, courts, juries, punishments in jail or execution, ..., is what keeps humans living together. ...and it damned sure isn't in "harmony and cooperation" ...it's being forced to do it or else suffer the consequences of the gazillions of laws!

    Oops, but wait a minute ...that forcing others to do things is what you really like, isn't it! Of course you'd like cities and the rats packed tightly into cages ...it's easier to tell the what to do, to keep an eye on them, to grab them if they disobey! Of course you'd like cities. And of course you'd call it "harmony and cooperation" because you're one of those telling everyone else what to do ...as evidenced by your last few posts.

    Baron Max
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Our species is only a couple of hundred thousand years old. Civilization has existed for a significant fraction of that time, more than ten thousand years if you count the Agricultural Revolution, the Paradigm Shift that turned us from tribal nomads into cosmopolitan villagers.

    Civilization involves tribal conflicts but only to the extent that each civilization comprises a "tribe." The number of distinct tribes has been decreasing steadily over the centuries and in my lifetime I've watched most of Europe, the site of many of the bloodiest tribal conflicts in history, become a single tribe.
    That definition certainly doesn't fit the EU. I think it needs some work.
    "Tribe" in the sense of "pack," the small extended-family units our instincts evolved to be comfortable with. We have been negotiating with our inner caveman to enlarge the definition of "tribe" to include, first, nearby packs that resemble us, then strangers who we nonetheless had a lot in common with, later the people Mouche describes who share a national agenda, and now to anyone who seems capable of living in relative harmony and cooperation with us even if we will never see them and only think of them in the abstract. And as I mentioned earlier, occasionally the caveman lapses back into primitive behavior and we do our best to structure civilization to withstand it. Our instincts cannot evolve as fast as civilization, a new organism we created, of which we are the cells.
    Indeed. After examining the skeletons of Paleolithic and Mesolithic humans with modern instruments, some anthropologists insist that more Stone Age adults were killed by other humans than by all other causes combined.
    I understand. And I am rather tribal when it comes to Rednecks. I think Lincoln did this country an enormous disservice by ruling that even though the citizens of a territory can petition to become a state, there is no complementary method for choosing to leave the Union. I think if the Confederacy had been allowed to pursue its fairytale of a medieval feudal economy, using slaves as yeomen since in the Industrial Era no free men volunteered for the jobs, its economy would have collapsed in less than a generation, Queen Victoria would have made them an offer they could not refuse, the slaves would have been automatically free under British law, the Colony would have eventually gained its independence peacefully the same way Canada and Australia did, and today the border between Maryland and Virginia would be as easy to miss as the one between Minnesota and Manitoba. And without the hositility engendered by the Civil War we would all come in shades of tan like the Cubans and Brazilians, and the only people suffering from racism would still, sadly, be the Indians.
    As bright as he was, and even being an inventor, Ol' Tom did not see the Industrial Revolution staring him in the face. He did not foresee that the paradigm of 99% of the human race having "careers" in food production and distribution would be turned upside down within two centuries. Today labor-intensive agriculture is just as unviable economically as slave-labor agriculture was in the 1860s. America could not compete with the rest of the world if we lived the way he described. Especially since we spend about $100,000 educating each American child, they have to work in professions that provide the national economy with a positive return on that investment, and pickin' cotton just ain't it.
    Yes, I love cities, but not for that reason. I love the city I'm in because of the rich culture. I'm a music lover and every week there are more concerts to choose from than I have time for. I'm a musician and even though my band is hardly in a class with Metallica or Kelly Clarkson, we can fill a club and fulfill our own dream of making people happy. I love art, science and history and I have probably spent a cumulative year at the Smithsonian and still haven't seen it all. I love food and I continually discover new cuisines. I'm a linguist and I constantly run into people speaking languages I've never heard. I play go and there are four go clubs within driving distance. I'm not a Christian and I meet plenty of people I can speak freely to without offending them.

    I recognize that the internet is transforming civilization into a "virtual city" and many of these pursuits can now be accomplished without leaving my chair, and as you can see I spend a lot of time in chair-bound pursuits. I require less face-to-face human contact than my parents' generation did, and I can understand if the kids don't see any value in being at a live concert, just as I'm happy to play in a virtual go club. Perhaps the next generation, or the one after that, will empty the cities and go live in places with more trees and wildlife, while doing all the things I do, and many more, virtually. More power to 'em.

    When I speak of "civilization," of course being from my generation I casually refer to "cities," just as the word itself literally means "the building of cities." But what I mean is the continued transcendence of our pack-social instinct, including an ever greater number of people into my "pack," enlarging the circle of "pack-mates" with whom I live in harmony and cooperation.
    As I mentioned in those posts, I can appreciate the results of what mankind has done in the last few generations, without approving of the specific ways in which they were accomplished. As an extreme example, I find persuasive evidence that America as a whole would be better off today if it had not gone to war to force the demise of slavery. And in discussing that point of view with Afro-Americans, I've had a few think about it and agree. They say, "If I could ask my great-great-grandfather if he would be willing to endure slavery for one more generation, in order to ensure that my generation would be living in a nation in which race is unimportant and has even vanished, as they do in most of the rest of the hemisphere (always of course with the exception of the native people), I think he would have sighed and said, "All right, but you'd better make the most of it'!"
    Oh horse pucky. This has nothing to do with a disdain for civilization. This is the cabal of government and corporations (if there is any more a boundary between those two sectors) swinging us around by our balls, frightening us about preservatives, transfatty acids, secondhand smoke, pollution, and all the other bogeymen they have so imaginatively created.
    Sure, and when they have the chance to "get out," have you noticed how far they go? To the suburbs, where they're still within easy driving distance of civilization. People leave cities for a variety of reasons, but none of them have anything to do with "getting back to the land" or "forsaking civilization." It's usually over one or another failure of our too-big-for-their-britches governments' attempts to provide services that should be left to the private sector. "Free" roads that are congested because nobody has to pay for them. "Free" street cleaning, landscaping, security, education and myriad other efforts that an inefficient, slow-moving, self-serving, top-heavy bureaucracy which also serves as the employer of last resort can't possibly perform well or cost-effectively. Why the hell are poor people encouraged by "the system" to live in cities where land is so expensive? Why does "the system" not naturally lure them out into the country where there are no jobs which they don't qualify for anyway, but they also won't be crowded into warrens, and their children will at least have room to play and even have dogs, and it won't cost us to much to support them?
    Max, I may be an opinionated elitist who goes around telling other people what to do, but I do not have any authority to force them to do it other than my silver-tongued persuasiveness.

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    I'm a libertarian philosophically and a Libertarian politically, and I do my damnedest to vote for governments which I believe will have the least amount of power to force its citizens to do anything, beyond the basic libertarian philosophy of not initiating force or fraud, respecting property rights, and respecting civil adjudication of more complex issues.
    That only happened in a few places, which of course seem like a lot to you because most (but not all!) of them were in the South or states with huge populations of Southern sympathizers like Kansas. The "force" used in most (but not all!) other places was civil, and the civil resistance to it was notable for its rarity.
    Only among my friends. I marched on civil rights picket lines, but my attitude about anti-war protests was: "If certain people honestly believe that violence is, in come cases, a valid way to resolve disagreements, wouldn't it be the stupidest thing we could do to stand in the street and express our disagreement with them?" I was content to wait for the Baby Boomers to take control by the peaceful strategy of getting older and growing into it.
    Well I do have some respect for the concept of sovereignty. The Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghanis, and everybody else can have the government that they accept as their sovereign, and as long as it doesn't start interfering in America's affairs we should stay out of theirs. Of course I know that Vietnam was trying to recreate itself after colonial rule, and post-colonial nations often go through periods of despotism and other nasty -isms and it is so tempting to try to help them leapfrog into the modern era and bypass all the intermediate steps. But we should have learned from Africa that that doesn't work. The best thing we can do is leave them alone, not because that strategy works so well, but because every other strategy is worse.
    It's not the same because of the sovereignty issue. Except for a few one-percenters, we have all more-or-less made peace with the sovereignty of the U.S. government over its territory, which happens to be where we voluntarily live.
    I was more of a leftist then (one of a handful of libertarians who came from that side of the spectrum and it sure is lonely) so I'm not sure what I would do in a similar situation today. As a minimum, and perhaps this would turn out to be the only viable strategy, I would advocate for the Afro-Americans in the South and the quasi-South exactly the same thing I advocate for the downtrodden people in other countries: encourage them to move over here, where they will be treated better and accepted into the Melting Pot. Without government extortion, racism would certainly still exist in California and New York, but only in pockets, and it would be nothing like what would still exist in Mississippi.
    But the episodes that made front-page news were there precisely because of their rarity. For every Little Rock there were fifty Los Angeleses, where all they did was start busing Euro- and Afro-American kids to each other's schools and the objections were muted because most AngeleƱos at a minimum felt guilty about their own racism and more commonly regarded it as a complex problem requiring slow, measured solutions.
    I'm not sure about that, but a large segment of the population really did, and outside of the South my estimate is that they rivaled the size of the segment that was opposed to it. There was a huge segment of the population that didn't have a strong opinion and were willing to see how the experiment turned out.
    Then I have not expressed myself well. The only way I can force people to do anything is to elect a government that A) wants to do those things and B) is willing to exert the power to force them to do it. We all did things in our youth that seemed like a good idea at the time but didn't turn out that way, and I freely admit to having voted for everyone from LBJ to Reagan (only once) to a series of Peace & Freedom Party candidates whose names I don't remember. But for 25 years I have voted Libertarian, and as I have noted elsewhere, third parties have political power all out of proportion to the number of votes they receive. (Nader arguably threw the 2000 election to The Backward Baby Bush and the Libertarian Senate candidate in Montana threw that election to the Democrats in 2006, destroying its Republican majority. In both cases we felt satisfied that we had helped to gridlock government so the worst it could do to us was take our money. Obviously we were wrong about the Bush victory. As I said, the boundary between the government and the corporations has almost vanished and for eight years we were effectively ruled by the petroleum industry.)
    I hope I have expressed myself more clearly this time. I love telling people what to do, but other than some of our basic obligations under the Constitution I don't "force" them to do anything, and I vote for leaders who will reduce the government's power to force anyone to do anything.
    Since you started out by saying that you didn't mean for your rhetoric to be so personal, and to the extent that it might be personal I have presumably rebutted the charges, I'll stop here.

    I confess to loving civilization, if only for the professionally performed music that's available everywhere 24/7. And I believe that certain laws are necessary for the protection of civilization, such as those against the initiation of force and fraud, and those that facilitate the peaceful and rational resolution of disputes between citizens. Otherwise, no matter how tempting it might seem to try to accomplish something by legislative fiat, it seldom works out well. The Rule of Unintended Consequences is never waived, and the second-order effects of laws usually cause more evil than the evil they were intended to quell.
     

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