Re: Social Engineering (was: Different patriarchy Model)

PioneerTom (
23 Dec 1994 02:49:59 -0500 (Gerold Firl) writes:

In article <3dbcdn$>
(PioneerTom) writes:

" my impression is that the economy of all the west
african coastal states, which were the wealthiest and most powerful in
africa, was built around the capture and export of slaves. When the trade
was abolished, the entire society suffered, not just the elites. In fact,
would expect that in such circumstances the elites would suffer less than
the commoners, who would be expected to make-up whatever shortfall was
experienced in the lifestyle of the elite."

While it is true that all of these _dominant_ societies were tied to the
slavers, there was a much larger population to be preyed upon, this
usually being tribes less well organized militarily than the Ashanti, etc.
In addition, the warfare of slave raiding itself was a deterrent to many
of the social and economic day-to-day investments that would improve
peoples lives over a short period of time. As an example, remember how
much people in the countryside (as opposed to Mogadishu) revived their
prosperity under the few months of protection from U.S. forces. It did
collapse when those forces were no longer there to suppress clan warriors.
I believe that the slowing of slave raid induced combat would have had
much the same effect.

>In contrast, regarding the effects of the civil rights laws in the 1960's
>one can note that the negative effects did not appear until the first
>law was augmented by far more divisive and coercive laws of the late

"Which laws did you have in mind? Are you thinking of bussing? How did it
affect the black community?"

Not primarily bussing, but the housing laws, which opened up to more
experienced and economically integrated black families much housing
which poor blacks could not follow them to, because of price. They were
thus deprived of immediate models of how-to-make-it in the city
marketplace. This happened at exactly the time that the Urban League,
originally formed to promote exactly such skills among black families
newly come from the farms of the South, turned it's primary attention to
more political action. Admittedly, it still does some of it's old useful
function, but not enough that you here about that side much at all. Of
course, the resentment of many to the bussing and affirmative action laws
has also contributed to the back-and forth distraction from learning the
skills of city life and the marketplace.

"In my mental image, I see black american culture given structure by the
external forces of bigotry directed against it; once these forces
disappeared, or at least significantly diminished, black culture seems to
have fallen apart. The same attitudes which work well under oppressive
conditions may be self-destructive in a free society."

This image is quite common, but I must beg to differ with it as reality.
The economically successful two-thirds of american "black" culture had
much the same attributes of success that successful groups within the
american "white" culture had. Conversely, the one-third of the black
population that has contributed to the negative image in the press has
done so by failing, for a number of reasons, to adopt the cultural
attributes that make for success in the marketplace, and the city.

While racial oppression did contribute to suppressing adoption of
pro-market values in many people (both in oppressed blacks and in many
of those who used the presence of "too many niggers" as an excuse for
their own lack of success), it shaped, by extreme distraction, and in some
cases well justified fear, black habits of attention, not black culture,
since "culture" is what cultures you up to live successfully in your
environment. From 1960 onwards that environment was predominately the
city and the marketplace. Too many in all ethnic and racial sub-groups
still resist adaptation to the realities of that environment.