Heirs of the Conquerors

June 23, 2020 at 1:41 pm (By Amba) ()

The surfacing of the full extent of racism (into white recognition), like Atlantis rising, is amazing. Shocking what separate lives black and white people still lead, what separate countries we live in. The complacency with which the white country has lived with its knee on the neck of the black. Police forces are the point of the knee, but all the weight behind it is the history of the theft of labor to build the wealth the white country enjoys.

Heirs of the conquerors. All white people partake of being this, to varying degrees (the white working poor, because they sold their souls to have someone beneath them, to participate at least symbolically in the pillage). And when you bring it up to them, they basically say, “Why not?”

Aren’t all of us the heirs of survivors, that is, of the successful crimes of our ancestors? Jacques used to quote one of the French novelists, I forget which: “At the root of every great fortune lies a crime.” This must be true collectively as well. Yes, there may be lineages of honest yeoman and craftspeople but the structure of history remains basically feudal: To which warlord did you swear your fealty in exchange for protection?

13 Comments

  1. Polly said,

    I don’t know, there seems to be some kind of truth in some of it, but so exaggerated and one-sided. It really reminds of me of parts of the Communist Manifesto, or something like that.

    (And, like everything progressives are saying these days, so unfair to the police in general. It makes me very sad to see how the police are being demonized now. What a difficult and dangerous job, and they are expected to be super-human and infallible.)

    I try to look at all the current issues from the perspective of nature, and of human nature. I try to keep ideology out of my mind, as much as possible.

    I keep bringing up the Frans de Waal chimpanzee book and video. They are our closest relatives, and yes there is competition and fighting in their groups, but there is also love and cooperation. It’s the same with us.

    The ONLY reason, it seems to me, that our history has been so violent and cruel is our ever-advancing technology. Agriculture made it possible for our species to over-run the earth, and weapons made it possible for some groups to dominate others.

    If not for our technology, we would be living in the same balance of love and hate, cooperation and competition, as all the other earth creatures.

    Obviously we can’t be against technology, because that is part of our nature. But at least put the blame where it belongs. Blaming and resenting the winners, the conquerors, the rich, the successful — that will never solve anything.

    That’s just my opinion. My opinions can change, but I have completely rejected Marxism, I think for good reasons, and I don’t expect I will ever be a Marxist. Not sure I should call this post Marxist, especially since God only knows what Marx really was saying. But hating the rich and powerful is definitely a big part of it.

  2. amba12 said,

    I have also completely rejected Marxism, for the record. “Equality” cannot be enforced. But there need to be checks—moral and legal—on the tendency for the powerful, any powerful, to become more and more powerful without merit—just by inertia—more and more corrupt, and less accountable.

    Marx did say one good thing, IMO: “The conditions of existence determine consciousness.” He means the material conditions. “Determine” is a little too strong, but not much. I have traveled up and down the class scale and I find this statement to be very true, including of myself.

    White people in America are the heirs of the winners, once they are accepted as white, even if they didn’t come here until after 1900. They didn’t make it that way but they shouldn’t be priding themselves that it’s 100% personally earned and deserved. They, we, should recognize that others don’t remotely have the same opportunities and freedoms.

    Yes, it’s true that technology has vastly amplified the harm our aggression can do, the inequalities between combatants, and the stakes in terms of wealth.

    I also believe the human imagination itself is like an echo chamber that amplifies animal impulses and makes them malignant. Animals seek pleasure for the sake of survival and reproduction and then are sated. Humans pursue pleasure for pleasure’s sake and there’s no end or limit to it. We don’t live in the present and we have the ability to think, “I want that again. I want more.”

  3. Polly said,

    I agree there have to be checks on the powerful, and they have become terribly corrupt. That is what the American founders were trying to prevent, but somehow there are too many loopholes.

    I do not think success is 100% earned and deserved. Obviously there is luck involved and some get a lot of help from their parents. But being hard working and responsible is a very big part of it, and should not be minimized. I know that a lazy person can get rich by inheriting money, and I know that a hard working person can be devastated by sickness and misfortune. But that does not negate the importance of being responsible.

    No one knows why American blacks are less successful than other minorities. It’s easy to blame it all on slavery and racism, but we really do not know. I think there is also a cultural element. An angry, resentful attitude might prevent some of them from assimilating into the mainstream white culture (just a theory, not saying this is a fact).

    Most of our ancestors were so glad to get here, in spite of being despised. At least they had freedom they didn’t have in the old country. They worked very hard, they tried very hard to be American. And that includes all races of immigrants, not just white Europeans.

    Maybe American blacks really do have a special and insurmountable problem because of slavery and racism. Or maybe not. I am just not sure that completely explains it. Liberals want the answer to be clear and simple, but I don’t think it is.

    And we also do not know how much racism there is among police. As far as I know, no one has determined that Chauvin is a racist. He had a lot of complaints for excessive force, but that says nothing about his real reason for killing Floyd. Sure there are bad cops who should be disciplined or fired. But that doesn’t mean most cops are racists. Some probably are, most probably are not.

    So I don’t understand what the protests really are about. Maybe it’s really about the inequality and unfairness, and the current economic crisis. Mistakenly thinking it’s all caused by racism. But I don’t think it is.

  4. amba12 said,

    Black Americans do NOT have an “insurmountable problem”! Look how many of them are very successful! The media tends to exaggerate the poor, unemployed, gang stereotype. It’s exactly as if you portrayed the white working class predominantly as wife-beating opioid addicts.

    “Hard work” and “character” and all that isn’t summoned out of a void. The individual has to be willing, but they also need some encouragement, some security, someone who believes in them so they can believe in themselves. Black or white, people who pull themselves out of trauma and deprivation have courage and determination, and they almost always also have encouragement, help and support.

    When the white working class lost jobs, church, family structure, and respect. they went to hell in a generation or two. Black Americans have been disadvantaged for 400 years. Most who succeed have family, church, a strong parent, or a rare teacher or youth worker who encourages and challenges them—just like white people.

  5. amba12 said,

    And let’s say you do work hard and succeed, and you get stopped because you can’t possibly own the nice car you’re driving, you must have stolen it. This happens to black people REGULARLY. And if you aren’t extremely submissive to the point of humiliation, move slowly and explain every move before you make it, you can get shot dead.

  6. Polly said,

    Of course most black Americans are successful. Only a small percentage of them bring the average down. Some of them do not get the encouragement, for whatever reason.

    “Most who succeed have family, church, a strong parent, or a rare teacher or youth worker who encourages and challenges them—just like white people.”

    Then that is what blacks should be trying to get for all black families. Instead of trying to get help from, and blaming, the white majority. Instead of encouraging anger and resentment and victimhood.

    And by the way, lots of people overcome disadvantages without anyone encouraging them. But of course, it is much better to have social support.

  7. Polly said,

    “And if you aren’t extremely submissive to the point of humiliation, move slowly and explain every move before you make it, you can get shot dead.”

    I would only believe that if I saw actual evidence. It sounds like an exaggeration.

  8. Polly said,

    No, police are not regularly killing blacks just because they didn’t move slowly and act extremely submissive. No. I would have to see real evidence to believe that.

  9. amba12 said,

    All that is pretty typical of what white people continue to say, even after viewing the videos. We just can’t believe it, don’t want to believe our eyes.

  10. Polly said,

    Which videos are you talking about? The Chauvin video?

  11. Polly said,

    It would require scientific research to know how often things happen. That’s the only way to know. Watching one or several videos, without knowing the context or what people are thinking, does not tell you what generally happens.

  12. amba12 said,

    Philando Castile, Sandra Bland for starters.

  13. Polly said,

    It’s hard to find convincing evidence either way. Giving examples without any comparisons is not scientific.

    Maybe I can explain it this way: police are probably more suspicious of men than of women, in general, regardless of race. And they probably are more suspicious of younger men than of older men. This is because violent crimes are more likely committed by young men, of any race.

    So of course there is profiling. Little old ladies are very seldom violent criminals. I doubt that black little old ladies get hassled by police very much. But young black men probably do. And maybe young white men also.

    You can’t expect police not to profile, it’s an important part of their job and they probably would not survive if they didn’t. And it’s very hard to figure out how much of the profiling is unjustified and unfair.

    Giving examples where blacks were killed unfairly by police doesn’t help. You would have to compare that to cases where whites were killed unfairly by police. And where blacks were killed unfairly by black police. Etc. Without comparisons, the examples don’t mean very much.

    I did find research showing that blacks are as likely to be killed by black cops as by white cops. If that research is accurate, it means that racism is not a factor in police killings of blacks.

    I think this subject is so emotional that people are not trying to be scientific.

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