NEW COLUMN, “Murray’s Empirical Wisdom Confirms ‘Into The Cannibal’s Pot’s’ Analytical Truths,” is currently on Townhall.com, WND.COM, The Unz Review, American Renaissance, and CNSNews, created by two conservative greats, Brent Bozell III and Terry Jeffrey.
My 2011 book, “Into the cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” rests on two axiomatic truths, and I excerpt (pp 40-41 & 126-128, 2011):
“In all, no color should be given to the claim that race is not a factor in the incidence of crime in the US and in South Africa. The vulgar individualist will contend that such broad statements about aggregate group characteristics are collectivist, ergo false. He would be wrong.”
“Generalizations,” I continued, “provided they are substantiated by hard evidence, not hunches, are not incorrect. Science relies on the ability to generalize to the larger population observations drawn from a representative sample. People make prudent decisions in their daily lives based on probabilities and generalities. That one chooses not to live in a particular crime-riddled county or country in no way implies that one considers all individual residents there to be criminals, only that a sensible determination has been made, based on statistically significant data, as to where scarce and precious resources—one’s life and property—are best invested.” (“Into The Cannibal’s Pot,” pp 40-41)
In short, generalizations about certain group characteristics are, in aggregate, valid. These, however, do not contradict the imperative to treat each and every individual as an individual.
In his infinite wisdom, but with a different—strictly empirical approach—social scientist Charles Murray has ushered into mainstream this very same truth. In a luminous little book, “Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America,” Murray counsels precisely that:
“…when mean differences between groups are real, it is absolutely essential to resist generalization; it is essential to accept the reality of documented group differences but to insist on thinking of and treating every person as an individual.”
Next, in “Into the cannibal’s Pot,” I explained that we conservatives and libertarians who oppose affirmative action, set asides and quotas, because of our unfettered fealty for a merit-based, free-market based society are, sadly, promoting “half-truths,” as I put it. Here’s why:
“Free market economists have long since insisted that the rational, self-interest of individuals in private enterprise is always not to discriminate. ‘The market is color-blind,’ said Milton Friedman. ‘No one who goes to the market to buy bread knows or cares whether the wheat was grown by a Jew, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or atheist; by whites or blacks.’ As Thomas Sowell put it, ‘prejudice is free, but discrimination has costs.’” (ITCP pp. 126-128)
Inherent in these arguments, I had argued, in 2011, is that, while not untrue, they are incomplete, mere half-truths: …
…“Arguably, however, [our] good economists … are still offering up a half-truth. Rational self-interest does indeed propel people, however prejudiced, to set aside bias and put their scarce resources to the best use. But to state simply that ‘discrimination is bad for business’ [and that a pure, free-market meritocracy would solve the problem of racial underrepresentation] is to present an incomplete picture.” …
… READ THE REST… NEW COLUMN, “Murray’s Empirical Wisdom Confirms ‘Into The Cannibal’s Pot’s’ Analytical Truths,” is currently on Townhall.com, WND.COM, The Unz Review, American Renaissance, and CNSNews
UPDATE (6/21/021): I am thankful for having quality readers. My writing has drawn wonderful people; giving, good people. Writes one such soul:
Ilana it’s a very brutal world for someone like yourself. When I said that you are alone, I didn’t mean that in the sense that you are banished to isolation or similar. I meant you are unique, you stand out, have value, yet the many are abject cretins, and will never comprehend you, couldn’t give a damn, and on account of their low level of culture will never encounter the likes of you till the end of time. This does not signify you should cease being the thinker that you are, for you must continue, whenever it occurs to you, to impart your intelligence to us. Your great worth will always find fruition somewhere with someone.
So kind and so soulful and, above all, giving. This is a giving person who really wants to impart strength, where he perceives that it’s waning. And he is not alone. “Musil Protege” is such a gem of a friend. Kerry Crowel, too, and David Vance: what a pro. Online, there are Matt Ray and Dissident Mama: good people who “drop by” to strengthen me and give of themselves.
I hope that these fine people find me as loyal a friend as I find them.