Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Oct/09

20

It’s not always better in Europe (?)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someoneShare on TumblrShare on Google+

Matt Yglesias makes an observation that many colored people I have known have made (including family members):

There’s often a kind of conventional idea on the left that the United States is an unusually racist society. And I think there’s also often a kind of image of Europe as a place where more of the progressive agenda has been achieved than in the USA. But I think that you’ll find if you look at Europe through the eyes of the liberal agenda that while the German left has certainly been more successful than the American left at securing universal health care, it’s been much less successful at promoting a tolerant, integrated, multicultural society. And allowing for the errors implicit in making any kind of sweeping generalization, I’d say that’s pretty generally the case across Europe. This Swiss People’s Party campaign poster would, I think, make Jesse Helms blush. And I’m not even sure which of the Northern League posters from Italy is the most egregious.

It’s not only on the Left, many Europeans think that the United States is particularly racist, until you point out to them that Americans are actually less anti-immigrant and more pro-diversity than most Europeans. This isn’t that unknown of a concept, years ago Jonah Goldberg argued for a pro-immigrant policy because it would dampen any tendency toward socialism. This sort of argument is to me a classic illustration of overemphasis on the power of the free market totally extracted and abstracted from concrete real world institutions and societies (and Goldberg isn’t even a libertarian).

Just a reminder to everyone on the Left and the Right that we don’t live in the world of Dr. Pangloss, there are trade-offs in this world.

10 comments

  • Joseph Marshall · October 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Actually, I really didn’t need that much of a reminder. The serious difference is merely that here people will really put up a fuss about anything they believe to be racist. And this is a good thing. This actually has greatly undermined real racism here. Anybody who doesn’t believe this should simply find and take a look at the newsreel footage of the crowds in the 1950′s and 1960′s that gathered when some tiny black child had to be escorted to school by U.S.Marshals for her own safety.

    I have living memories of that America and the real racism that was everywhere. I try to unearth them as little as I can. They don’t help me to sleep at night.

  • Mark in Spokane · October 20, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Don’t forget old-fashioned European ethnocentrism, either. I was speaking to a young man from northern Bavaria last summer and he was describing his town to me. He said that the town had seen a large influx of immigrants in recent years — Turks and Russians. He was absolutely convinced that the Turks had a better shot at becoming Germans down the road than the Russians did. He was convinced that the Turks were more European than the Russians were. An interesting perspective, but not an unusual one based on my conversations with people from Germany.

  • Mark in Spokane · October 20, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    One more thing, in Europe the kind of social-welfare policies that we here in America associate with the Left aren’t necessarily considered leftist. Who invented the modern welfare state? Bismark, who I don’t think would generally be classified as a lefty.

  • Dave · October 21, 2009 at 3:37 am

    “Colored” people?

  • Author comment by David Hume · October 21, 2009 at 4:54 am

    “Colored” people?

    if you are one, you can use it :-) additionally, it’s used outside the united states, and since we’re talking on an international scale….

  • Pitchfork Pat Faces Progressives With Pitchforks « Around The Sphere · October 21, 2009 at 9:45 am

    [...] Razib Khan at Secular Right: It’s not only on the Left, many Europeans think that the United States is particularly racist, until you point out to them that Americans are actually less anti-immigrant and more pro-diversity than most Europeans. This isn’t that unknown of a concept, years ago Jonah Goldberg argued for a pro-immigrant policy because it would dampen any tendency toward socialism. This sort of argument is to me a classic illustration of overemphasis on the power of the free market totally extracted and abstracted from concrete real world institutions and societies (and Goldberg isn’t even a libertarian). [...]

  • Big "AL" McCormick · October 21, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    There would be nothing wrong with open borders if the US still had the Constitutional Right to Freedom of Association.

  • Constant · October 22, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Re “colored” – the latest term (going by the posts at the “racefail 09″ blowup) seems to be “people of color”, abbreviated to “POC”. So we seem to have almost come full circuit.

  • Constant · October 22, 2009 at 5:23 am

    “many Europeans think that the United States is particularly racist”

    As you point it out, they have it backwards. Not just Europe, but the world in general. Remember what happened between the Hutus and the Tutsis. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    If Europeans think that American society is particularly racist, this may be due to a combination of

    1) European ignorance and thoughtlessness (encouraged by state-controlled media, which tells them what to think)

    2) American obsession with racism. Europeans see Americans decry racism day in and day out, and they conclude (wrongly) that the greater noise about racism corresponds to greater actual racism, when in fact it corresponds to a greater effort to overcome racism.

  • F. Le Mur · October 24, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I thought the phrase ‘people of color’ was libtard Newspeak until I saw it in a late 1700′s essay in Thwaite’s ‘Early Western Travels’ – that link has this:

    “The American Society for the Colonization of the Free People of Color of the United States was Organized in Washington, December 1816.”

    “Early Western Travels” (30-some volumes) is a great read, esp. the early essays.

<<

>>

Theme Design by devolux.nh2.me