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Critical Race Theory’s new disguise A rebranded campaign for 'equity' is just as divisive

Affirmative action has failed (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Affirmative action has failed (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)


October 7, 2021   5 mins

Does “critical race theory” (CRT) really exist? Not according to Ralph Northam, the Governor of Virginia. CRT, he recently told The New York Times, “is a dog whistle that the Republicans are using to frighten people. What I’m interested in is equity.”

But rather than convince anyone about the non-existence of CRT, his comments merely confirmed something else: namely, CRT’s remarkable ability to shape-shift into whatever form its advocates choose. For Northam, CRT might not exist — but that’s only because it has undergone a rebranding.

Indeed, while many on the Right have obsessed over the rise of CRT in the past year, a different abbreviation has quickly become entrenched in America’s schools and colleges: “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI).

Part of its purpose appears to be to sow confusion among opponents of CRT. It has certainly riled the conservative Heritage Foundation. In its recent guide on “How to identify Critical Race Theory”, it warns of a “new tactic” deployed by the movement’s defenders: they “now deny that the curricula and training programs in question form part of CRT, insisting that the ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)’ programs of trainers such as Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo are distinct from the academic work of professors such as Derrick Bell, Kimberle Crenshaw, and other CRT architects”.

Certainly, regardless of which trendy three-letter term you prefer to describe the latest iteration of America’s obsession with race, the goal in each case is the same: to shift away from meritocracy in favour of an equality of outcome system.

But implementing a grievance model into our youth education curriculum will not fix the problems it purports to solve. There is, after all, a dearth of evidence suggesting that DEI programmes advance diversity, equity or inclusion. In fact, if DEI programmes in schools have similar results as DEI corporate training, they might be not only ineffective, but potentially harmful.

This shift is due to the clear failure of affirmative action policies. First introduced more than 50 years ago, they were intended to create equal opportunities for a black community said to be held back by the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws. Suffice it to say that they failed. Today, only 26% of black American’s have a Bachelor’s degree, 10% lower than the national average. More than half of black households earn less than $50,000 annually, and the labour force participation rate for black men is 3.3% lower than for white men; it has actually shrunk by 11.6% since the early 1970’s. Only four CEOs from Fortune 500 companies are black.

Instead of providing opportunities for black students, affirmative action threw many students into the deep-end of schools where they lacked the educational foundation to succeed. Frequently, as Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr have observed, they were mismatched: “Large racial preferences backfire[d] against many, and perhaps, most recipients, to the point that they learn less
 usually get much lower grades, rank toward the bottom of the class, and far more often drop out.”

But rather than recognise the failure of this approach, its proponents have chosen to double down. Without analysing why affirmative action failed to produce equal opportunity for black students, and without trying to identify solutions that would be more impactful, those interested in CRT and DEI only wish to manipulate the system further.

Instead of focusing on ways to lift black students up as individuals with agency, ability and choice, they believe the system must reorient itself to produce the desired outcome, starting with kindergarten. It is dependent on the magnification of barriers and tension between racial groups — something which I suspect is psychologically damaging to both white and black students.

For white students, the blame of slavery and Jim Crow laws are laid at their feet. Bari Weiss recently revealed a number of shocking cases of how this manifests itself in schools, but one in particular caught my eye: “A Fieldston student says that students are often told ‘if you are white and male, you are second in line to speak.’ This is considered a normal and necessary redistribution of power.” But it is far from “normal” or “necessary”. Putting the atrocious sins of America’s past on the shoulders of children and teenagers is a form of child abuse.

For black children, the situation is no better. Students are being taught that it is the system, not their own effort and abilities, that will determine their future in life. This discourages hard work, motivation, ambition and aspiration. It also breeds distrust and hostility towards white teachers, further truncating their abilities to learn and progress in school. As Ian Rowe points out, “the narrative that white people ‘hold the power’ conveys a wrongheaded notion of white superiority and creates an illusion of black dependency on white largesse”.

And in the schools themselves, this often leads to physical segregation. Paul Rossi, a former teacher at Grace Church High School in New York, recently described how “racially segregated sessions” were “commonplace” at his school. Down in Atlanta, meanwhile, last month a concerned mother filed a lawsuit alleging that black students at Mary Lin Elementary School were being assigned to only two of the six second-grade classes.

But “you can’t treat one group of students based on race differently than other groups”, as her attorney eloquently put it. After all, any ideology that separates people due to their immutable characteristics will not lift up minority students, but drag society down into neo-segregation. Indeed, it’s hardly surprising that students today seem more anxious, scared and lacking in confidence than any previous generation for which we have data.

Nevertheless, the grievance model methods are spreading through American schools like wildfire. Take Ralph Northam’s state of Virginia, which is implementing the “Road Map to Equity”, which suggests that making equity is more important to education than academics. Perhaps that’s why Virginia legislators passed a bill this year that requires all educators to “complete instruction or training in cultural competency and with an endorsement in history and social sciences to complete instruction in African American history”.

Rather than push race to the foreground of education, anti-racists would do better to cultivate a learning environment for students where the focus is on being kind and respectful. Real diversity and inclusion are more likely to flourish when students are taught to help their fellow classmates — rather than view them through a crudely racialised prism.

Last week, I spoke to Katharine Birbalsingh, the Headmistress of the remarkable Michaela Community School, which serves families from disadvantaged backgrounds and achieves incredible results. When I asked Katharine what their secret was, she told me: “We’re very traditional. We believe in things like belonging. We believe in personal responsibility in a sense of duty to your family, to your community.”

And that is what it comes down to. All children and students want to belong. But demonising white students and re-segregating black students does the very opposite: it divides far more than it unites.

A focus on personal responsibility also goes a long way, both for students and for those looking to help. When watching some of the Virginia Department of Education webinars on equity earlier this week, I heard no mention of empowering or helping individual black children. The conversations revolved around “personal reflection” and “doing the work”, with little explanation of what this means in real life. There was no mention of tutoring, mentoring or guiding struggling students.

If we are going to have an honest conversation about elevating black students, we must throw out buzzwords such as “equity” and start talking about practical solutions. There is, after all, a genuine appetite for this: a recent Pew report found that 76% of Americans said that “racial and ethnic diversity is good for the country”.

And that will only be achieved by encouraging community service and involvement, and requiring teachers to focus on respect and academic rigour within their classrooms. What we must not do, however, is outsource education to a three-letter abbreviation, be it CRT or DEI. They are shallow, short-sighted and performative — and, most importantly, will do nothing to improve the futures of our children


Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an UnHerd columnist. She is also the Founder of the AHA Foundation, and host of The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast. Her Substack is called Restoration.

Ayaan

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J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

How does the author survive in this world?
Her Unherd biographical summary says she’s on the faculty at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. How can a black woman who espouses such common sense views walk across that ultra liberal campus without a bodyguard? (No, I’m not being facetious).

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

She’s faced far more dangerous opponents in her life than the wimpy wokes creeping around America’s campuses.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

True, but she doesn’t have to face them. The cancel brigade will just demand her sacking (which I can accept, though I disagree with them).
The problem is the number of organisations which cravenly give in and either demand an apology (unwarranted) or sack the person responsible (this I can’t accept, as it is stifling freedom of speech).

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
2 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

And you point is? They are a pressure group not a police force

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

Check their entry on co house shows 9 officers and 4 resignations, mostly double barrelled WASP surnames. Though they hide their personal details as is allowed in uk company law they are almost certain to fetch up against something hard given their stated aims: hurting people who don’t agree with them.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

You are spot on…across the peice, not just in race relations very small groups of activists are able to use the feedback loop that flows ceaselessly between MSM, especially TV and Radio news, and social media to amplify extremely sparsely supported views. Everyone knows this and while *debates* consist of media commentary on whatever it may be extreme climate protests, the whole Transphobe thing, or race, it stays superheated and incendiary. Have the same debate with any selection of people in the real world and it is overwhelmingly often a calm and dispassionate exchange. Social media isn’t ‘bad’..we’re on it here…but it needs to be viewed differently from the way it is at the moment, not least by a number of newsrooms who create the news agenda each day.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

I guess you’d not familiar with the Hoover Institution. Yes, it’s located at Stanford, but look into what it does and who else is among its academic staff, and you’ll see that it is in part because she was already being vilified by the Left (such as it is these days) for all manner of things (e.g. her critique of Islam, based on what the woke like to call “lived experience”) that the Hoover Institution hired her. Demands for her sacking would be met with politely worded derision from the Hoover Institution.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
2 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

They have mobs to back them.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

Why would you accept their unreasonable, undemocratic demand? Your conclusion is at odds with your opening para. And she does face threats even now.

Mathilda Eklund
Mathilda Eklund
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Listen to interviews with her, Ayaan has lived one of the most fascinating lives and has indeed spent most of it needing body guards.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I think Ayaan Hirisi Ali does use bodyguards ever since she was a Dutch legislator and her professional partner Leo Van Gogh was stabbed to death by an Islamacist
.she speaks truth to power.

Last edited 2 years ago by Cathy Carron
Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Stanford may be ultra liberal (“progressive” would probably be a better word than “liberal”) but I don’t believe that the Hoover Institution is. They have a number of fairly conservative scholars in their ranks.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

“Progressive” or “Liberal” functionally are “Marxist”. At The Farm (Stanford) the Hoover Institution is a lion in a den of Daniels! God bless ’em.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

so is victor david hanson, a well known conservative commentator and writer.

Bob Rowlands
Bob Rowlands
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Because she is such a threat to common sense she does have to have security. Unbelievable in this century but true

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

If you haven’t read or listened to her book, “Heretic”, I recommend anyone to do so. It tells you why she has the strength to do what she does. She is peerless.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

If only the voices of this author and writers such as Dr Thomas Sowell and many others could drown out the grievance-mongers race relations would be greatly improved. Unfortunately, a malign army of race baiters have captured the heights in the US peddling failed nostrums and failed solutions. Unfortunately too many are now promoting the poison over here. Until it is accepted that there is only one race – the human race with various shades of skin colour will we all be able to advance together. Why cling to absurd 18th Century racial classifications as a foundation for any social science today?

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I agree. As I was reading this I could imagine Tom Sowell saying exactly the same.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Indeed, we can go much further back than the author and Dr. Sowell. Booker T. Washington wrote on how there was a civil rights establishment which didn’t want the patient (black society, I presume) to get well, for their professions depended on perpetual illness.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

There’s a lot of that self interested quango hopping type of person who pops up in these debates in the guise of *expert* or *commentator* , chosen by in-a-hurry researchers and newsrooms looking for comments on whatever the moment’s hyper-velocity news agenda item may be.

Christine Thomas
Christine Thomas
2 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Anybody who has done any kind of market and/or academic research can testify to the practice of quoting others who in turn also relied upon quoting others as supporting evidence to justify their arguments ad.finitum. ‘Truth’ becomes like the Titanic sinking gradually ever deeper out of sight whilst commentators rearrange their theoretical deckchairs.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

CRT appeals to mediocre minds who want a simple explanation for complex situations. Like Nazism, it breeds hate trough extravagant racial conspiracies. Like Marxism, it finds an energy source in the basest human instinct: resentment. CRT is like a cult, but also a business. The CRT industry has grown so large that demand outstrips supply. To solve this supply problem, the woke offer us the magical thinking of systemic racism, i.e. racism without racists.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

I listened to a video of Mattias Desmet yesterday and he was saying these views need an enemy and hatred to survive. It was called “Why do so many still buy into the narrative”, a bit long but worth looking for.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Sadly it’s only when these racists, wokists, warmists etc have caused blood to spill that the normal majority hits back. That’s how we got rid of most of the nazis, soviet commies and active kkk chapters

Last edited 2 years ago by mike otter
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

How do I loathe thee, “knee-taker”, let me count the ways.

gavin.thomas
gavin.thomas
2 years ago

Someone once had a dream that a person would be judged by their character and not the colour of their skin…

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  gavin.thomas

MLK’s reputation is about to take a huge hit, in 2027, I think. In 2027, federal papers related to his life/death will be revealed (50 years after his death), and the odds are that MLK will be revealed as a major FBI informant with a colorful personal life and someone who gave up others for his own political gain. It’s never good to be named as an FBI informant.
My source is some uni historian who is an hagiographer of MLK–deep, deep reverence, but still with at least some ethics in that history must be accurate (1619 Project–are you listening?) –but somehow some documents leaked out, with the promise of more to come in 2027. I think we will have to be prepared to tear his statues down, re-name the roads, etc.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

why don’t you name your source and reveal what was said rather than hinting that the FBI might be going to dish dirt on MLK. Actually we know they did back while he was still alive, fortunately LBJ knew enough of the FBI to be deeply sceptical and not play their games. All you are doing is is that tedious game of “I know something you don’t”

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

Not playing hide the ball. Just something I heard on BBC some time ago. Have no memory of who it was, just filed it away for future reference. Tedious game? Just sharing some info–stay tuned until 2027. Why so hostile?

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
2 years ago
Reply to  gavin.thomas

Let’s briefly consider the strenuous efforts made by the South to ensure the US Constitution could never be legally amended. These efforts must have failed miserably seeing as how the constitution has been amended some 27 times. Is it difficult? Yes it is. Considering that there was, for a period of time, a constitutional prohibition on alcohol, it can’t be that difficult. It does take time which sends those seeking immediate gratification off the rails.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  gavin.thomas

I’ll need to start understanding this subject, but it’s great to hear a different point of view to get some balance

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  gavin.thomas

The anti-racists would call Dr King an Uncle Tom today. Just as with feminism’s unspoken but blatant “if you don’t agree with me then you are the enemy and zero respect will be given regardless of me declaring that i fight for your right to be respected”.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Superficial piece. One of the main problems is the Orwellian use or misuse of language, which skillfully plays on white guilt. Since I am not an adherent to the woke religion, I don’t have any white or other guilt and am quick to tell people they can F@#$ off. But many, whites especially, see or hear Black Lives Matter and want to join, to show how not racist they are–the same reason they voted for Obama. They haven’t been to the website to see that BLM is unabashedly a communist organization, against the family, against the American way of life. Look at the picture with the article: 4 whites on their knees! The only thing missing is some black people whom the whites could kneel before as they wash their feet. The original sin, the collective guilt of all whites, whenever born.
Also troublesome in this piece is the use of “we.” “If we are going to have an honest conversation about elevating black students…..” Who is “we?” It’s not me.
Before I was born, blacks in America often had a hard time. But they had resiliency (R4UC–this is a saying I’d like to spread at the uni–Resiliency for Uni C….). The black community, somewhat separate and apart, had their own doctors, dentists, lawyers, businessmen, barbers–and these people did well and “gave back” in spite of the obstacles that US society then threw at them. Two parent families were the norm, and perhaps more importantly, there was a concept of “shame,” which was sort of what Bill Cosby was saying (before he started drugging those girls, or maybe while he was doing that), pull up your pants, sit up straight, study, work hard, show up–a sort of Jordan Peterson for blacks. He may have been an imperfect messenger, but his message was largely correct.
In the past 50+ years it has been the mission of the federal govt. in America, other governments in other Western countries, to lift up blacks. Utter and complete failure. And let’s abandon the fiction that living with and getting to know those of other races means that “we” will all join hands and sing Kumbaya. I have lived in close proximity to black Americans in the same condo association for many years. Over time, I have come to hate them, as individuals–and they me–for reasons entirely unrelated to race. Perhaps with different blacks–or someone other than me–things might have worked out better. But if whites choose to live in “white neighborhoods” and blacks choose to live in “black neighborhoods,” is that necessarily a bad thing? A good thing? It’s not segregation unless it’s mandated by the government.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Joyce
Frederick B
Frederick B
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

The best comment yet on this article. Well said.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Frederick B

Thank you for your kind thoughts! I agree with you!

Frederick B
Frederick B
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Somehow I suspected that you might.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Frederick B

Suspicions proved correct. I’m a bit puffed out now, having had a letter in The New York Times yesterday.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I’ll say it again “ for reasons entirely unrelated to race.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Can you explain? Don’t understand.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I hate many human behaviours: the hatred is of the behaviour: nothing to do with some innate attribute of the perpetrator/s.

Red Reynard
Red Reynard
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

“…pull up your pants, sit up straight, study, work hard, show up…”
Nah! It’s easier to whine, and game the system so that it changes to suit the unworthy.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Thomas Sowell has written about this. Before the “civil rights movement” and the expansion of social welfare programs under LBJ, blacks in the US had comparatively high levels of family formation and employment. Of course, no one will ever admit to this. These programmes have created a much bigger problem than what they aimed to solve; they always do. Rather than lift up black people, they drag everyone down.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

A stopped clock is right once a day. In George W. Bush’s administration they coined a good phrase “the soft bigotry of low expectations”.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

Actually, usually twice , unless I suppose you still have a digital clock
.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

Totally agree and am keen to add the vast majority of those who’ve suffered racist abuse/or discrimination don’t hold a grudge because it only stops achievement if u let it. Never stopped my wife and I and is much less prevalent in our kids lives than ours. Wokists will use any grievance as leverage be it lived racist experience or defending grooming gangs because they will never win a peaceful argument or election due the better nature of most humans.They are the true racists and need dealt with as such.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

“Wokists … are the true racists and need dealt with as such.”
Damn right. We need to start treating wokists the way we treat people like Nick Griffin.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

My own bizarre form of “neurodiversity” subjected me to life eroding discrimination, not privilege.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago

the ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)’ programs of trainers such as Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo are distinct from the academic work of professors such as Derrick Bell, Kimberle Crenshaw, and other CRT architects”.
The most astounding element in all of this is that CRT and DEI are the undemonstrated manifestations of a worldview (applied postmodernism) that is different to the now liberal Western enlightenment worldview that we all share that recognises objective reality, truth, reason and logic and the scientific method of knowledge production.
The ‘programs’ are purely ideological in nature and as such their axioms and core concepts are not empirically derived, they are untested and undemonstrated to correspond to reality. IMO, they are the teaching tools of a belief system and can be rejected as such.

Last edited 2 years ago by michael stanwick
Mike Bell
Mike Bell
2 years ago

Agreed. See my comment above.

Cheryl Bulman
Cheryl Bulman
2 years ago

What needs to be said here is that 70% of black children in America grow up with only one parent in the home. CRT can’t change this fact, only black families themselves can change this and I believe Thomas Sowell research on this; children who grow up with only one parent do not succeed as well as children who grow up with two parents.

David B
David B
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Bulman

Raj Chetty is the researcher you are looking for here. Fathers in homes are vital, but more importantly, prevalent fathers in communities can compensate for individual paternal absences.

Last edited 2 years ago by David B
Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Bulman

that’s not just black people, it’s becoming epidemic among lower class anglos too with the same disastrous results.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

From the article: “All children and students want to belong.” Then, from the following paragraph, in relation to the impression gleaned from DoE webinars from Virginia: “There was no mention of tutoring, mentoring or guiding struggling students.”
And in a flash, it’s all over. Childhood, I mean. Seven years you are a teenager, only. Before computers and mobile phones, summer days, especially for the very young, seemed to stretch. The term, endless summer days, was a more recognisable one in the olden days. Great if you were well-off, a drag if you were poor and living among concrete blocks, back then. Now with computers and mobile devices galore, the people don’t look up at the sky, whether rich or poor. The ridiculously tiny, tyrannical screen has made folks’ brains fuzzy. So this idiocy of not seeing the wood for the trees comes along. It just seems strange that as technology opens up potentially the world, to the average American, the angrier or more despondent he or she has become. Everything American is angrier and cynical, from your latest TV dramas to pop music. Everything has been politicised. Is this the same for, say, German tv production and German pop music? It might mimic the latest American ways to a degree. But could you imagine demonising German youngsters in the 2020s for what their great- or great-great-grand-parents did or not do in the 1930s and 1940s? After all the hard work Germans have put into rehabilitating themselves in the eyes of the world, becoming obvious from the late 1950s, through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s? Ask any average European teenager today who was Chancellor before Merkel, they would probably be stumped. In their mind, thanks to technology bizarrely enough, all they might know is something about Germany now, and the rest is from the 1930s and 40s. So it’s easy now, more than thirty or forty years ago, to drum up talk of German nefariousness and pin shame on young Germans today, in spite of everything. That’s what has happened in America of late. The pinning of blame has gained traction. We can google anything but focus on nothing. But it’s easy to find something and focus on it. And that something can be detrimental in the first instance, depending on the nature of its presentation. The sins, the crimes, of the past, moreover, are brought to your device in colour, even from, say, the 1930s.
What about music? Would black artists, as in professional black musicians, from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, have countenanced a manufactured approach to helping them climb higher up the good old pop charts, for every batch of records sold, compared with their rivals in pop who were white? They would have resented that approach, I’m sure! Many smiles were evident back then, most evident on TV or on record sleeve covers. There was a sense of pride, something new in the air, that no doubt riled the activists of the day. But the happy were on the up, that was the sense. The old Top 40 or hit parade or whatever you might have called it, was a most obvious sign of good times ahead, and of how good times could be. It, the old pop charts, represented a level playing field. Where all were free to dip a toe into it, if one wanted.
Where else in the world, other than in America, was that vibrancy happening back then? Yet America ought to feel ashamed of itself today? Should Germany again? The kids are not alright, so? Leave them kids alone!

Last edited 2 years ago by Dustshoe Richinrut
Red Reynard
Red Reynard
2 years ago

“We can google anything but focus on nothing.”
Bravo, what a great sound-bite; I think I’ll purloin it – if that’s okay with you.

Andrew D
Andrew D
2 years ago

I’m so bored with all this, how do we make it go away?

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

As far as BBC Radio 4 is concerned, one simply stops listening.

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Yes – I stopped listening to the CBC in Canada 2 years ago. It was always biased to the ‘left’ – but in recent years it became akin to listening to a Christian radio network – one endless progressive sermon after another.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I suspect there are plenty of things black people are bored of having to cope with.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

I suspect there are plenty of things white people are bored of having to cope with.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

CRT among them.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

Fatherhood and studying hard at school are not amongst those things, that blacks are having to “cope” with

Jacob Smith
Jacob Smith
2 years ago

A-freaking-men!

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago

I long ago decided only to worry about things I was responsible for and could possibly change. As a white woman and a manager, I worked in a non racist way appointing the best candidates regardless of ethnicity, faith etc. That way everyone hated me because I refused to be stereotyped myself or inflict it on others. I enjoyed my work and did it well – later on all those I appointed and trained got promoted and worked in the same way as I had done.
We were not academics but Prison Chaplains – prison is great leveller.

kevind@netspace.net.au Donnelly
kevind@netspace.net.au Donnelly
2 years ago

Hello from Melbourne, Australia the longest locked down city in the world at over 246 days. Years ago governments and education departments pushed multiculturalism on the basis there was nothing special or unique about Western culture. All immigrants had to be embraced and allowed to live their own cultures and traditions. Given the backlash the expression now used is ‘diversity and difference’ – Orwell got it right, if you can control language you control how people think. Best wishes, Kevin

Steve White
Steve White
2 years ago

Brighton and Hove Council attempt to smuggle identarian political activism into their schools

Brighton and Hove anti-racist school strategy, recommended for adoption by the local authority on 9 November 2020 as part of a five-year plan, is no more than attempt to smuggle identarian political activism into the schools.

The new recommendations, if adopted, are a disguised and adapted version of Critical Race Theory dressed up as anti-racism. Critical Race Theory, which is best summed up by James Lindsay as “ an academic discipline that holds that the United States (and the western democracies) were founded on racism, white supremacy, and patriarchy and those forces are at the root of our society today.” The tactic used to smuggle this dangerous nonsense into schools is typical of supporters of this approach. That is the presentation of motte and baily fallacy – the motte-and-bailey fallacy (named after the motte-and-bailey castle) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy where an arguer conflates two positions that share similarities, one modest and easy to defend (the “motte”) and one much more controversial (the “bailey”). The language of anti-racism in reality means political activism will be actively imported into the classroom in order to promote a racially charged identarian view of the world to both teachers and students.

Within the report are clues about the real intention behind the strategy. Some clues are in the language used and some are in the authors quoted in the guidance, they all have an obvious political agenda. Authors such as Lander, and Wah. Another author cited is D. Gilborn who uses Critical Race Theory as the basis for a 2008 book Gillborn, Racism and Education – Coincidence or Conspiracy? Routledge,where a “colour blind approach is discouraged in favour of CRT. Another publication cited in the report to the local authority and used as guiding the anti-racist strategy is Lander, V. (2014) Initial Teacher Education: The Practice of Whiteness. Advancing Race and Ethnicity in Education: Palgrave MacMillan. Also, Moncrieffe M, Asare, Y, Dunford, R and Youssef, H (2019) Decolonising the Curriculum, University of Brighton is another clear example of Critical Race Theory, which lies behind the anti-racist strategy but in reality, pushes an entirely different agenda.
It is important to identify and resist the importation of dangerous and divisive ideas because the purpose of educationis to prepare people for life, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to contribute to a thriving society. This means “real knowledge” and “real skill” not indoctrination or a one-sided political message. It makes sense to decide what politics to be active in or not, once knowledge and skills have been learned in order to equip people to think for themselves – it is certainly not the job of schools to tell students ‘what to think” but “how to think”. In other words, a liberal scientific education where the knowledge has been and continues to be open to scientific scrutiny – school curriculums should be based upon this and not opinion or political bias.

The Critical Race Theory activists see things in an entirely different way. CRT is an outpost of Post Modernism, sometimes described as applied Post Modernism. It differs from Marxism but shares some of the same activist features. For example, Marx stated “the philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point is to change it. On page 3 of Critical race theory: anintroduction / Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic ; it states “unlike some academic disciplines, critical race theory contains an activist dimension. It not only tries to understand our social situation, but to change it; it sets out only to ascertain how society organizes itself along racial lines and hierarchies, but to transform it for the better.

This means that both children and staff should be used as Guinea pigs according to the activist promoting this theory in order to change the world according to their vision. That vision is best described as an equity utopia brought about by indoctrination and disruption of the existing system, including education where they have a large audience to indoctrinate.
We are told in the report that ‘The strategy will aim to both prevent and mitigate the racism within the educational system and to support more effectively those in school communities experiencing racism.’ This begs the question – just how much racism is in the system? The report certainly states that the racism is institutional and systemic but can cite no examples. It just takes it for granted, presumably basing this on the fact that there are small differences in outcomes for different racial groups. This does not prove racism but only proves that the system produces different outcomes. The underlying reasons for this are complex and multiple – to reduce this complexity to systemic racism without evidence is dishonest and ideological.
Not much detail of the strategy is given in the report but some of the areas have a clear indication of the dubious thinking. We are told that the strategy includes activity in the following areas:
support for educators of colour,
workforce development and training for school staff and governors,
curriculum review and decolonisation,
developing pupil and student racial literacy,

(Materials will include: For example; PSHE materials are being developed to support secondary students to understand the structural nature of racism, and racial literacy training is planned for equality leads and educators of colour in schools. Racial literacy training either through the council training offer or commissioned training by April 2021. This will ensure that all support offered to schools comes from a place of understanding systemic racism and so all can play a part in challenging it.
school policy review,
Incident reporting and support for BAME pupils and students and their parents.
Some of the above seem particularly worth commenting upon. According to (Gilborn 2008), whose work is a key shaper of the strategy, ‘Racial literacy training is required for all staff. Key aspects of racial literacy include a historical understanding of the construction of ‘race’, an understanding of structural/systemic racism and an understanding of contemporary manifestations and reproductions of ‘race’ both in and out of schools. This is in contrast to ‘colour blind’ approaches that have dominated race equality strategies in recent decades’. What could be the outcome of this training?
It can only be for the staff to understand “the truth”, which for the activists hoping to smuggle this training into schools – the truth of Critical Race Theory, which is a theory that asserts the United States (and the western democracies) were founded on racism, white supremacy, and patriarchy and those forces are at the root of our society today.’ Presumably, the PSHE materials for students are also along the same lines. This approach is divisive in the extreme.
The strategy states that the broad aims of diversifying and decolonising the curriculum is to teach a more inclusive, accurate and balanced world view. (move away from a Eurocentric approach) In reality, it is less inclusive, one sided and the opposite of factual. Decolonisation, which comes from Critical Rave Theory, and is incidentally and tellingly is supported by the National Education Union in their 2019 Conference, asserts that the whole education system is designed to promote “white supremacy”. If this is taken to the extreme it would replace science with faith and facts with opinion on the basis of the alleged “egalitarian approach”, which states that all voices are equally valid, especially the voices of the authentically oppressed. A dangerous direction indeed. If opinion is manufactured at the expense of a liberal scientific and tested curriculum it ceases to be of value and can only result in more division and chaos.
The final aspect of the Brighton and Hove Strategy that needs commenting on is Reporting Incidents. The strategy states that studies show that many teachers understand racism as individual prejudice thereby only recognise racism in schools when it appears in the use of racial slurs or other overt incidents as opposed to a recognition of systemic inequalities and bias (Lander, 2014; Asare, 2009). This limited understanding contributes to the way issues/concerns are understood and handled. Towards this end the strategy wants to enable BAME parents and student to be able to report all incidents of a racial nature with no barriers in reporting. Create focus groups to gather information on the lived experience of BAME students and create a system of staff allies.
In reality, in the name of social inclusion, which usually means diversity, equity and inclusion, a climate of increased racial sensitivity is being created. It means restricted speech and segregated spaces. This will be brought about by turning up the racial sensitivity through the measures in the strategy outlined above. The idea is that no protected victim group will encounter any discomfort or anything that will make them feel excluded. They must encounter nothing that seems offensive or their trained allies deem offensive on their behalf. This is based on the idea that racism is everywhere, all spaces are racist because they are dominated by whiteness including the curriculum, which supports white supremacy. Another likely outcome could be compelled speech. We have seen these outcomes in US and British universities already and must make sure they don’t enter our schools the training will no doubt assert that victim groups can feel unsafe if there isn’t compelled speech.
All of these outcomes must be resisted if they enter our schools via a pseudo anti-racist strategies. We are fortunate that other Local Authorities have not adopted the Brighton and Hove approach. Brighton parents and teachers need to reject this set of ideas. They must also be resisted before they enter other schools via other local authorities.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve White

people need to be encouraged to run for the school boards and change it from within.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Kat L

Difficult to do, without being subverted by the Dark Side. Mark Twain was known to say, “First, God invented idiots. That was for practice. Then he invented School boards.”

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

we have to play the long game. here in america we have not taught history as it should be taught and people don’t see their place in it. the fact is that most of societies children will attend the public schools and they will outnumber the rest. the implications of that should be clear and we need to do what we can to take it over, else all will be lost.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago

In the US, Democrats have decided that patronage union jobs for white teachers are more important than educating black children in the inner city. This failure to educate has led to the failure of affirmative action. If people aren’t qualified to do a job, no amount of preference in hiring will keep them in a job.
Charter and voucher schools have shown that they can out perform government run teachers’ union schools consistently. In many cities, there are waiting lists to get into the charter and voucher schools. Admissions to these preferred schools is by lottery.
Teachers’ unions put up political barriers to limit the capacity of charter and voucher schools. Im Milwaukee, the public schools were forbidden to rent or sell vacant schools to charter schools. In New York, the number of students in charter schools is limited by law. In general, the NEA and AFT demand that charter schools be limited or even shut down, often as part of local strike demands. Since the Democrats depend on Teachers’ unions for campaign contributions and workers, the teachers get the limits they want.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago

Many teachers are so dim, they don’t realize how they are being played by their unions. In suit-happy USA, teachers could never individualy afford their liability insurance. Union membership picks that up. It’s a protection racket of such audacity that it takes the Mafia’s breath away. Dupes and tools. If you don’t know you need a very long spoon indeed, to sup with the Devil — what the hell are you doing teaching my child?

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago

Calling everything “equality” or “fairness” was bad enough.

“Marriage equality”, “fair trade” etc, pushed by people who despise marriage as an institution and think trade is theft.

Substituting “equity” for “equality” got my BS nostrils twitching immediately, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

It’s the old totalitarian tactic of using a word that doesn’t actually mean what it appears to mean, and trying to own the redefinition. Then making belligerent accusations against anyone who calls it out.

Last edited 2 years ago by Brendan O'Leary
John Hicks
John Hicks
2 years ago

Children once could figure out the dumb adults and their dumb ideas; those with parents who cared. Maybe we need more of those caring parents.

Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  John Hicks

we need those caring parents to run for school board.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

CRT is the curriculum of a subjugated nation. It’s about creating a guilt-ridden slave mentality in the young who are being taught to not only be silent to the fact that the their quality of life is being much reduced, but also programmed to feel that they probably deserve it due to the transgressions of their ancestors.

Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 years ago

Another really smart piece from Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The way things are going, it doesn’t seem like we can stop DEI dogma from consuming and permanently altering already damaged institutions (like our awful public education system). I don’t think there’s any way to stop DEI. Our public education system, which is already an embarrassment, may be irreparably damaged by this shift from education to racial segregation and collectivist indoctrination. It is my stupidly optimistic view that maybe, just maybe, after the fires go out we can start anew and finally build schools where black kids can get an education.

Last edited 2 years ago by Mikey Mike
Mike Bell
Mike Bell
2 years ago

It’s important not to look at CRT in isolation. It is just one manifestation of a fundamental paradigm shift from the empiricism (which has created the modern world) to post-modernism (which may destroy the West from within).
When trying to work out, for example, why one racial group is underperforming relative to another, the empiricist would ask: “is racism and factor?” They then look for the evidence.
The post-modernist ASSUMES that racism is the reason and asks:” How is racism acting here?”
It does a similar thing with sexism.
However, what propels post-modernism is not so much the theory as its appeal to natural morality and ‘fairness’. This means that reversing this paradigm shift will require not only a theoretical approach, but also an emotional/moral one which people feel a natural affinity with.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

Since the very start of CRT/DEI going mainstream, my suspicions have been on this not being an effort to lift minorities but rather to demonise the populists. Signs of this become more apparent when I read about things like multi-racial white movements, or black faces of whitesupremacy.It makes it clearer where the actual focus is on. It’s a movement against something rather than for something. This is not to say it hasn’t achieved many good things, but in doing so, it also caused much harm – like everything else. I forecast the shelf life of DEI to be the same as the presence of reactionary populism – no more no less.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago

“What I’m interested in is equity.” The only way to achieve equity is through a totalitarian state and that is where the west is heading unless we stop it.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago

Education should not be in bed with bogus/bankrupt/invented notions. “Diversity” = must look different. “Equity” is just the old Levellers redevivit. A redistributionist heresy. And “Inclusion”? Are we making a plum pudding here? Three of orange peels, five of Sultanas, 1 of Guinness etc. etc. “Phony” may be slightly vulgar diction, but it sinks to an obscenity if put into coercive practice. We teach children how to think, not what to think. Virginia’s system looks like tax-supported tyranny. Certainly not “e ducare”…

Last edited 2 years ago by Liz Walsh
Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

Maybe the pushing of all this angst on the subject of diversity is just a subconscious way to acquire reassurance that we all belong to planet earth and are equal under God’s eyes. We vant to belong. Perhaps the only path to this ultimate harmony is through Christendom, ie the West. It’s just a silly phase we’re going through. Might take ten more years.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
2 years ago

Ali is right about the problems of the new segregation, but is wrong to think that such people can be talked around, or that the powerful who have cravenly surrendered time after time will suddenly see the enormity of the threat and act courageously to counter it.
Over a year ago, Angelo Codevilla’s, “Millenarian Mobs” appeared in the Summer 2020 Claremont Review of Books. It is still the best analysis of what is going on and the terrible struggles ahead.
One doesn’t have to agree with Codevilla’s analysis, but anyone thinking they have a solution should read it (only 3 long pages) and examine their solution in light of what he wrote.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
2 years ago

Northam has been an advocate of black face in the past. Go Google.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
2 years ago

Are there any schools like Michaela Community School in the U.S.?

m aiken
m aiken
2 years ago

What a really excellent article. Its always interesting to read Ali’s pieces.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Other comments suggest this view is very comforting.
What it overlooks is that economic and social outcomes depend significantly on inherited capital in the forms of culture, education and behavioural codes, not just financial and intellectual capital, still less effort.
Re-rigging the system as ‘equity’ would want is just an attempt to correct for the rigging due to inheritances that have little to do with intellectual capacity or effort.
Our real choices are to adopt a wholly meritocratic, sink or swim, system where everyone starts with a clean sheet, at least financially; or to adopt a much more redistributive approach whereby unequal outcomes due to inheritance are moderated by high taxation and much more generous welfare.

Last edited 2 years ago by David McDowell
Mel Shaw
Mel Shaw
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

One aspect of inherited capital, as you put it, is a stable family background and parents who instil a respect for hard work. How would you eliminate those influences in your utopian system?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

Racist! Just kidding, but BLM is much more than a statement that black life has value. It’s stated goal is to further communism and destroy the American way of life, though the theme of destruction has spread throughout the West.
The communist dream has not stopped one of the poverty pimp founders from buying 3 very expensive homes, some of which are in gated communities, I believe.
How do you like them apples?

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

I’m not advocating any system but much higher levels of general taxation and much more generous non-contributory welfare provision would render those advantages less significant.
As I say, the alternative appears to be a much more meritocratic approach and while it would be hard to control meritocracy for the effect of inherited social and cultural capital it would be relatively easy to do so for financial capital.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

I think I’m a pragmatic person, so please tell me a model for us to follow.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

In principle I’d prefer to confront Woke/Equity head-on. The problem is that the current owners/gatekeepers of capital aren’t willing to risk their capital in a fight about culture.
I don’t think meritocracy is achievable if for no other reason than it’s impossible to confiscate inherited financial capital/advantage.
Higher levels of taxation/welfarism are an acceptable but suboptimal solution however I don’t think this could replace the existing order in the longer term because of it’s inherently instability.

Last edited 2 years ago by David McDowell
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

If meritocracy means the best qualified people get the job it should be perfectly achievable. It just does not provide equal outcomes, because the best people are often the best because of their inherited advantages. And parents work quite hard to ensure that this applies to their children.

Dave Corby
Dave Corby
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

Thou shalt not steal.
If you wish to give to such a cause then you are free to do so.
I want to live in a meritocracy where the services I need are provided by the best people.
So let us just work to ensure that there is equal opportunity for all (black and white) to contribute to the best of their ability. Let us NOT distort the system so less able people (black or white) get to positions above their ability.
It all starts with the culture in the home. Then its about the quality of the schools. The rest is pretty well sorted in the West – and where its not, there are good people to fix it with the backing of the law.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

it is not uncommon to blame poverty on people’s moral failings, this is an example. I am sure it makes you feel virtuous.

Red Reynard
Red Reynard
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

I don’t believe that is what was said, at all, by Alan. He merely pointed out that all the findings of studies done on the subject point to the fact that children with two parents do better through education and in early adult life, than those who are raised by just one. Having been a single parent to two children my experience is that for one person the task is exhausting, and ‘keeping on top of the kids’ is more difficult.
Alan never conflated morals with poverty – something which you did with consummate ease; well done.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Shaw

Why is it necessary to state either, in countries which we accept are democratic and subject to the rule of law? It is absurd, as we all know deep down.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

David, did you skip this piece in the article?
This shift is due to the clear failure of affirmative action policies. First introduced more than 50 years ago, they were intended to create equal opportunities for a black community said to be held back by the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws. Suffice it to say that they failed. 
High taxation and generous welfare can’t transfer cultural and intellectual capital. 50 years of affirmative action and its shadows around the world show that those policies don’t do it either.
Katharine Birbalsingh shows what works. Half a world away, Noel Pearson and the Cape York Institute show what works.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Graeme Cant

Not at all. The reason affirmative action has failed is that it’s dependent on equal opportunity rather than equalising outcomes. Too much of outcome depends on factors that have nothing to do with opportunity and much to do with inheritance.

Last edited 2 years ago by David McDowell
Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

You don’t want equalising outcomes. I’m useless at football (something I inherited). The last thing you want is Liverpool forced to play me as a striker because they are required to ‘equalise outcomes’ – something that makes the end point dependent on giving the mediocre a chance, and not skill or effort. (And you don’t want to hear me sing…)
The accumulation of capital into particular families is something else. You don’t solve it by forcing identity conflicts between the unprivileged and underprivileged. Notice how protestors are blocking roads and disrupting normal people’s lives, but are not blocking mansions, or chaining themselves to private boats or jets. Then look at the funding sources.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

Starting everybody with an equal, clean sheet is impossible. But the ‘much more redistributive’ system is routine in Scandinavia. It works very well, and these are not in any way communist countries. It probably helps, though, that these countries are quite homogenous, and do not have strong divisions between enemy groups. It is a good place to be, boys and girls, but it is not necessarily easy to get there.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I largely agree with this comment. Cultural and genetic homogeneity are essential ingredients for a fairer and less troubled society. But how do you unscrew the imposition of multiculturalism and mass immigration of alienated tribes to create that homogeneity?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

Tough one. Denmark, for instance, is against immigration in part for fear of losing the homogeneity. Could be a matter of getting people to feel part of a whole, so that ‘we’ are paying money to each other, rather than being forced to pay it to ‘them’. The US seems to have been historically good at it, melting pot and all, but is apparently 1) culturally very much for individual solutions rather than community ones, and 2) ever more polarised. But them as a European, what the heck do I know? The obvious try would be to push for comon symbols and e.g. directing help by poverty rather than race (even if it went to the same people in the end). Which is of course the opposite of BLM, kneeling, and reparations.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Newsflash: Melting Pot no longer current, considered racist. New concept: Gorgeous Mosaic, where each culture remains distinct. A bit like those shining examples where identity politics ruled: Lebanon, former Yugoslavia, where the spoils were divided up strictly on the basis of race, and that turned out to be a model for Western democracies.
Oh, wait, my bad, didn’t they have Civil Wars? Yeah, now I remember–didn’t turn out so well after all.
Oops. My bad!

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Unfortunately, they are not consistent with the mosaic theme — each group does not support itself. The melting pot was better, and if you look at music, sports, food etc. it is unavoidable and makes for hybrid vigor unobtainable by monoculture. We shall all, in everything, come before that incorruptible judge, Nature, ultimately. It’s just a waste of human capital to raise taxes, because bureaucracy acts as a heat sink. A dollar spent directly works much better than a dollar filtered through the government, where about a nickel survives to do work, so much has dissipated on the way, paper massaging and power base building.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

Again, high taxes work perfectly well in Scandinavia. A dollar spent directly on private health care is actually less efficient than a tax dollar doing the same (US health care spends more money for less outcome than almost any other country). And a dollar spent directly on private security or a superyacht may be more efficient, but who does it benefit?

Of course you might have to do like the premier of (I believe) Slovakia, who abandoned the plan to build a Scandinavian welfare state because his country suffered from ” a fatal shortage of Scandinavians”

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

With respect, I disagree.I am very familiar with Sweden, and the “high taxes” Swedes pay are not higher than in the USA. Swedish taxes include health care, higher education, elder care, etc…. ALL of this is private for middle class or higher–poor get everything free but low quality. I don’t understand how Europe considers America a low tax place: it’s not!
In America there are VERY high taxes and most people get very little for it. Roads/bridges literally falling down in some cases. I’ve often thought the debate should be something like this: This new bridge will cost $3billion, the equivalent of a week in Iraq, 5 days in Afghanistan….

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

A quick look at wikipedia suggests that you may well be right (though international comparisons seem to be fiendishly difficult). Interesting – I did not know that. But then, all I can say is that a high-tax, high-welfare system can work pretty well and does so in Scandinavia (I know Denmark better than Sweden). If the US has a similar tax pressure together with a very patchy health and welfare system, one would wonder where the money goes.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

‘Defense’ I’d guess.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Defense. 1.3% of GDP in Denmark Vs 3.5% in the US.

Nikolai Hegelstad
Nikolai Hegelstad
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It goes to middle-men would be my best educated guess. For instance, corporations are lobbying to keep old ineffective tax return forms in order to keep profiting from them. Another type of middle-men are the private health care insurances.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

Agree completely. The comedian Steve Hughes does a very funny bit about what you mention above–how $ given directly has a much greater impact.
To your larger point about the “mosaic,” spot on. Countries like the US–and Israel–need a common culture and for Israel it is the IDF that melds often VERY different people into an Isreali mentality. Draft in US used to do this to an extent–a common bond–but the geniuses who protested the Vietnam War killed it and saw it as a victory. There is a draft in the US–it’s a poverty draft. Leads to endless, useless wars. In many postal codes (guess which ones), the vast majority of residents–I would say approaching 100%–know NO ONE who serves in the military or overseas. Not healthy.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Joyce
Kat L
Kat L
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

no one is going to work for anything if they cannot pass it on to their descendants. the govt only wastes money on pork projects.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

One of the historical critiques of dynasties is, of course, the fact that families tend to level themselves over a few generations! No artificial dirigiste policies necessary.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

It will take quite a while for the Musks, Zukerbergs, Gateses and Buffetts to do that.