Monday, January 18, 2010

Government and racism

It occurred to me today that most if not all forms of racism are driven and sponsored by activist government -- and in fact, the dynamics of the private sector are largely anti-racist.

Slavery seems to be the clearest example. In order for slavery to exist, the government must establish and enforce the "right" of one person to own another. If the government does not pursue runaway slaves, they are no longer slaves. If the government charges masters with battery when they beat their slaves, false imprisonment when they hold them against their will, and rape when they sexually abuse them (as they would with citizens outside the legally protected "master-slave" relationship), there would be no slavery. Without government sanction, slavery is impossible.

Another example is "nationalism" -- the sense that the "French" need to protect and advance their rights against the "Germans" by going to war and taking their lands. But who really benefits when a state gains land? Not the people -- the STATE. Say France takes 1000 hectares from Germany. Who now owns that land? The State. And they can distribute it as they wish -- most likely, to those who are in good with the political elite. Without governments to fight over land, the notion of the "French" taking land from the "Germans" would be meaningless.

Then of course we have "Jim Crowe" laws -- again, the GOVERNMENT placing one group into a subserviant legal status.

Then of course you have the use of race by politicians to galvanize support for themselves. In Africa, this is particularly vivid as many many politicians run on a tribal, rather than an ideological, platform.

It's less obvious, but no less effective in Western politics. The Far Right often advances policies that unfairly benefit the Majority (e.g. immigration caps and English only legislation), while the Far Left often advances policies that unfairly benefit Minoroties and those in the Majority who can be manipulated into feeling guilty about being in the Majority (e.g. affirmative action, "national apologies," and "hate crime" legislation). Ultimately, they are advancing policies that pit the majority against minorities, when in fact those policies either harm everyone concerned or do nothing substantive at all.

In the private sector, of course, none of this works. Money is money, no matter who gives it to you. A business that only buys or sells to one race will be at a distinct competitive disadvantage with respect to companies willing to buy and sell based purely on price and merit. Racism is not profitable. Wars of nationalism are expensive, and disrupt profitable trade and tourism. Simply, ordinary people live better and richer without racism to limit their opportunities for commerce and social intercourse.

I wonder. Without political interests to manipulate us into racism, would there be any?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.