Sunday, August 10, 2008

America for Americans

Dr. Yeagley has a nice Journal entry up entitled "Russia for Russians" in which he declares the importance of race consciousness, as opposed to race denial, in any well functioning society. Hence the title of this post.

Dr. Yeagley writes:

Letting anyone in the world come and live here--especially illegally, is essentially giving away what others have earned. This is criminal on the part of our government. While it is a good thing to care for the poor, one cannot eliminate poverty. Poor people might take some responsibility and stop multiplying irresponsibly and self-destructively. Poor people can exercise a little discipline, can they not? It is arrogant and self-righteous to think otherwise. After all, charity is for the poor, not for the conscience of the rich.

In a comment to the article (not yet posted at the time of this writing) I wrote, as I've written numerous times before, that wealth is often squandered away by those who acquire it via inheritance rather than earning it through their own industry and labor, independent of anyone else. It seems to me that the old adage "easy come, easy go" is particularly applicable in this case of inherited wealth. But I want to speak to the idea that the poor are capable of exercising discipline in this entry...

Yeagley says it is "arrogant and self-righteous" to think that poor people are incapable of exercising discipline and self-restraint. I definately agree with this, but not only is it arrogant to think otherwise, it is, in my humble opinion, uncharitable to give the poor reasons to not exercise self-restraint, which is to say that what many Americans deem to be "charitable" is in reality "uncharitable." Indeed, what we've come to call "humanitarianism" is very often, perhaps more often than not, it seems to me, its very opposite.

On that note, I was involved in a discussion a few years ago in another forum in which one individual was arguing that homosexuals, being wired as they are, cannot control their impulses to engage in sexually deviant acts. In other words, according to this individual, homosexuals are less human than the rest of us in that they, unlike the rest of us, simply cannot exercise self-restraint when it comes to their abberant sexual desires and behaviorisms. And as I wrote in response to this individual, "you're claiming that homosexuals are less human than you and me, what gives you the right, and upon what basis do you deny that homosexuals are less human than other humans?" As I recall, this individual responded by citing some scientific study conducted on fruit flies or some such. Again, homosexuals are not fruit flies, they're human beings like the rest of us human beings, which is to say that like the rest of us, homosexuals are moral beings, endowed with minds capable of reasoning and with free will. Because homosexuals choose to act on their perverse impulses is no indication that they're biologically incapable of restraining themselves or of even completely abstaining from sexual acts of any kind when necessary.

This is different than saying that a given race of people is not particularly inclined to be self-governing and independent, and so on and so forth. I've written before that I don't believe the Iraqis, for instance, are capable of self-government in the American sense of the term. What I mean by that is this: you can't take a person (or a nation) which is accustomed to living in bondage, self-inflicted or otherwise, and expect him to all of a sudden and immediately, once set free, begin to exercise all those qualities which mark self-governing, independent peoples and nations.

I've used the analogy of a prison inmate before to illustrate the point. Irrespective of whether he is guilty or innocent, a prison inmate who has spent a considerable amount of time in prison has, by necessity, learned certain survival techniques -- techniques which are generally unnecessary in a normal free society -- during his confinement. Turning such a person loose after thirty years of incarceration with the expectation that he'll immediately, or within a few years, be able to adjust to life outside the confines of his former prison environment and live a normal self-governing, independent lifestyle is unreasonable. Indeed, most of us don't expect this from former prisoners anyhow, which is the reason we don't give them complete freedom immediately upon their release from prison.

So why would we believe it about Iraqis or Mexicans?

Is it because we consider former prisoners to be criminals and guilty and therefore less trustworthy, as opposed to the Iraqis and Mexicans who were held in bondage in their native lands due to no fault or guilt of their own? I don't know, but as I said in the case of the prison inmate, whether he's actually guilty of a crime or not is irrelevant to the point. You can't expect him, after thirty years of incarceration, to just walk out of prison a "free man," free of all those tendencies and characteristics he learned merely to survive in prison, most of which are probably less than laudable to say the least. Does this make him "incapable" of exercising self-restraint? No; it simply means that he, like someone who engages in homosexual acts, has grown accustomed to indulging his baser instincts, which makes it all the more difficult to reform him.


Call Me Mom said...

Terry, you said "...Iraqis and Mexicans who were held in bondage in their native lands due to no fault or guilt of their own?"

I'm not sure I entirely agree. God holds us accountable for our own actions as well as our inactions. When a ruler is ruling contrary to the stated will of God, the people have a duty to defy him/her/it. Even atheists will admit to having a sense of right and wrong(which disproves their atheism-but I digress) so they are without excuse.

However, I will grant you that even the Lord led the people of Israel through the desert for a while before bringing them to their land. (If you look at a map, you can see He directed them the longer way around from the beginning of that sojourn.)

Slaves and prisoners have the advantage of knowing that they are (or have been) slaves and prisoners. The Iraqis and Mexicans have been told that they are a free people while under oppression and so are unable to recognize the difference between lies and the truth. That is one reason why I think they would need time to acclimate to true freedom.

Another is that leadership is a learned skill. The only responsibility oppressed people are accustomed to exercising for themselves is keeping their heads down and avoiding being noticed. Leadership requires a willingness to put oneself forward with the recognition that one will make mistakes. It takes time for people to see the necessity of taking that risk and more time to realize that the taking of such a risk need not be fatal. There is no immediate threat of death for not standing up to take a leadership position, but where the opposite has been true for a long time, it is very difficult to make that move.

Terry Morris said...

Mom, you wrote:

Terry, you said "...Iraqis and Mexicans who were held in bondage in their native lands due to no fault or guilt of their own?"

I wondered how long it would take for someone to challenge that line. Not very long, obviously. ;-)

I agree with you, of course. Iraqis and Mexicans have played a vital role in their own self-destructive practices in their own countries. Why would we presume that they would act elsewise here?