Why intelligent people believe and spread lies about race
What a superb, refreshing article. As an ex-(anti-apartheid) South African - and now proud British citizen - I’m grateful every day for the privilege of living in the UK. And flabbergasted by the Brits around me who appear to hate their country. They simply have no idea. No idea at all.
From Douglas Murray, The War on the West, p. 120:
"It is true that Britain engaged in the slave trade and that it took part in a trade in human beings that was appalling. But as we’ve seen, Britain also led the world in the abolition of that trade. And Britain not only abolished that trade for itself but used its navy to seek to wipe out that trade in all parts of the world the navy could reach. If Britain’s decision to abolish slavery in 1807 was unusual, more unusual by far was her decision to send the Royal Navy around the world, establish the West Africa Squadron based at Freetown, and grow the fleet until a sixth of the ships and seamen of the Royal Navy were employed in the fight against the slave trade.
The cost of this extraordinary decision was not only financial. It was paid for in British lives as well. Between 1808 and 1860, the West Africa Squadron captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 African slaves. They also lost a huge number of personnel themselves. More than 1,500 men of the Royal Navy were killed in action during this period, and the acts of bravery and selfless heroism of those men is worthy of some note, surely? [...]
It is a tale of great heroism that carried on for six decades. Do these efforts count for anything? In the retributive anti-Western game that is currently going on, it seems they do not."
An interesting piece; I've also spent the past decade or more wondering about this phenomenon. Digging deeper, in a psychological sense, I think the underlying question here is why are so many highly educated elites in the West so suffused with guilt? This phenomenon of self-flagellation is so widespread that it can't be purely performative, but is clearly capturing some deep seated need being felt by this class.
The first answer that makes sense to me is that on some level these people are still Christian in that, while they lack the spiritual and mythological underpinnings of the faith, they have, nevertheless, inherited the Christian conscience (i.e. an ever growing sense of guilt). What is an atheist with a biblical sense of guilt to do? Lacking the religious means of discharging this conscience (i.e. praying for forgiveness) they're forced to contrive some other means of relief by looking into recent history to find their "original sin"; hence, "racism".
The other aspect to consider is the hierarchical one. We have a decidedly mediocre crop of human beings who find themselves in positions of privilege and power that former monarchs could hardly have dreamed was even possible. Given that they have no particular qualities that distinguish them they seem to be falling back on that age-old last resort of being "morally superior" to the masses they rule over. They're "not-being-racist" is what they've decided sets them apart from the hoi poloi.
I personally think you are in error Konstantin. We have been tricked into thinking that Stephen Fry is intelligent. I think he is clever enough to fake it, like many middle class, university educated people. Excellent vocabulary. A nice accent. A well placed occasional stutter in his delivery. Frequent use of pretentious words.
But the packaging is a pastiche. I have learnt in the last 20 years, how utterly stupid many professional and educated people. Artistic people are particularly adept at idiocy. We bought into their fakery, because they aligned themselves with a cultural image of intelligence and sophistication. But it occurred to me just how one dimensional these people are. Their stock Pavlovian responses and utter lack of self-awareness is one of my most bizarre epiphanies.
You must read ‘Millenarian Mobs’ by A Codevilla in the Summer 2020 Claremont Review of Books. He describes the phenomenon, it’s history, and where we may be headed
Fry is so far up his left hemisphere* the whole is invisible to him. ("Anton!!!!")
*See Iain McGilchrist's great book; 'The Master and his Emissary - The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World'.
The left has always been caught up with belief that it is only your intentions that matter, not the result; of course the results of poorly thought out good intentions are often catastrophic. Jordan Peterson once said that most new ideas are terrible, but that has never stopped the left from purposing change for the sake of change. The problem is those purposing change usually have no idea why things are being done the way they are in the first place, ignoring that the way things are done is the result of an evolutionary process. Still the left continues to push for arbitrary change, which is why the left has always been the definitive creator of unintended consequences. You stated a perfect example.
There is significant evidence that a person who is imprisoned for a minor or first time offense will emerge from prison more anti social, so the left says don't send petty criminals to jail. The problem with this reasoning is there is no evidence that not punishing a petty criminal has any better results than punishing them. Recent evidence now shows that not punishing petty criminals, exacerbates their antisocial behavior at an even faster rate that imprisonment and it encourages other people to engage in criminal behavior (which often becomes self destructive) because they see there are no consequences. In business school they teach a new manager should make arbitrary changes to show their leadership and if the changes don't work out you can always change things back which will demonstrate you managerial intelligence. The problem with this concept is some changes can have permanent and catastrophic consequences and in politics is can destroy thousands and sometimes millions of livelihoods and even lives.
Has Fry got a new book out?
Not sure about your assessment of Fry, but yep that's an excellent summary.
Personally I think you'd make a hell of a PM, but then you rather have your hands full at the moment. (Has Uncle Francis taken him out for a beer yet? 😁👍🏻)
𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑮𝒓𝒊𝒇𝒕 𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑲𝒆𝒆𝒑𝒔 𝑶𝒏 𝑮𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈
Superb, just superb 😂👍🏻
Very soon after recently discovering you, I realized you have already developed a lot of knowledge re history/cultures/societal norms and inaccuracies for someone who isn't yet 40. I'm thrilled - THRILLED! - you have read/listened to what black Professor Thomas Sowell has to say about the true history of Blacks in America (and slavery in general), etc. He is superb and fearless re hitting the nail on the head. It's too bad that not enough people know about him. Luckily there are other increasingly well known profs/historians like Glenn Loury and John McWhorter who are also black and support most of what Sowell thinks.
I also agree that it really surprises me when some intelligent, supposedly well rounded people come out with startling and disappointing POVs. I increasingly wonder just how much analysis and depth of research many people do. For important subjects, shouldn't a person be willing to spend even 5-10 hours looking for credible sources of information? (I was just getting into the Prof Stephen Kotkin's massive research on Stalin in mid-January, and then the war started. Granted I have the time, but I bet I've spent 150 hours reading books, and listening to various interviews thx to the internet about the history of Russia and Ukraine, etc. But the only person who is interested in talking with me about it is a recent immigrant to Canada - a gentle 72 year old man from Russia who is ashamed of having a Russian passport.
PS. I've done a lot of travelling and have lived in Egypt. I've been treated very well there and not so well. And unfortunately Egyptians have their own class system (e.g. skin colour/class preferences) and have lost their own tolerance for each other.
KK - You made my day with this article! And best to Baby KK and Baby KK's Mommy.
Why is it so hard to understand that the search for Utopia is doomed and always results in the cherished few taking away the liberties and freedoms of the many
Stupidity ignorance and following the herd are neither change or progress, crushing the nonsense of the left and confining it to the trash heap of history would be progress
Konstantin hits the nail on the head as usual
Excellent column, I've shared it multiple times. Thank you.
Why are people so in awe of Stephen Fry? He featured in some great comedy back in the day, but please remember that we are being preached to by a time serving credit card fraudster...and don't forget that he already knew the answers on QI so he's really not as clever as he pretends to be.