Re: Social Engineering (was: Different patriarchy Model)

PioneerTom (
23 Dec 1994 17:47:26 -0500 (Camilla Cracchiolo) writes:

"I find it interesting that you attribute the problems African Americans
are currently facing to the end of Jim Crow housing laws and the civil
rights movement, and not to the loss of high paying industrial jobs, US
capital flight, and the continuing gross inequities in the funding of

As far as social engineering is concerned, it sounds like you think that
all attempts at social change are hopeless."


Please do not believe I find change hopeless, or even that I find that
attempts to change are too dangerous. By the way, I was a supporter of
both the housing laws and many other coercive changes between 1961 and
1981. My point is that however well meant these were, and I promise ,
we did mean well, the results were not anything like what we had hoped.

I do not attribute _all_ of the negative changes to breaking Jim Crow
housing by coercion, just a lot more than many hierarchies are willing to
accept. Large amounts of blame are available to put on the shoulders of
those who told newly urbanized black families that they didn't have to
"be like whitey". This sort of epithet was commonly used against young
co-workers of mine who made sure they got to work on time, by leaving the
carousing of an evening at an early hour. It was unfortunately supported
by much of the "radical black leaders" rhetoric, and was very
damaging to the education and carreers of many who did give in to it.

That is just one small example of refusing to adapt to the requirements
of an urban marketplace. Distraction by the feedback loops of coercion
and resentment also has a lot to answer for in many of the later "Civil
Rights" laws. The key that I seem to observe in this is that when more
total coercion is introduced into society the results will badly distort
the original purposes of the measure, however benign in intention.

As I noted farther back in this thread, the key is to plan for greater
total freedom in a society, not just coercing one group to benefit
another, even in recompense for past grievances, especially past
grievances against the actions of those long dead.

As to:

1.)"the loss of high paying industrial jobs"

2.) "US capital flight"
3.) "the continuing gross inequities in the funding of education."

The first two are newly evolving circumstances in a global marketplace.
ALL "good Jobs", in fact the very social institution called "a Job"
is now proving inadequate to the demands of the expanded marketplace,
while capital "flight" is a natural condition of the spread of the
continuing industrial revolution throughout the world.

The last is a real argument, but is valid only in an environment where the
less well-funded schools do not teach a respect for and an enthusiasm for
participating in the marketplace at whatever skill level an individual is
at. This requires no new funds, it is an attitude that must be taught by
example! Many students who manage to maintain these cultural essentials
do well in spite of having been in a low-funding level school. The
incompetence of many public schools to teach these essential cultural
attributes at widely varying levels of funding has been widely commented
on. The problem there is not nearly as much the funding level, as the
fact observed by myself and others that many, in some places most, of the
academic hierarchie's members have a deep-seated suspicion and/or scorn
for many of these cultural attributes themselves.

Change that helps everyone is possible! We will not find the way to it
on the short-cuts of coercive measures, no matter how well meant.

Tom Billings