Today, I published an extended column on the logical progression in American history from the American founding to Reconstruction to the Civil Rights movement and our contemporary conflicts over race. Here’s an excerpt:
The grand idea of Civil Rights for everyone enjoys almost universal uncritical adulation in the United States. Part of the reason for this is that people who oppose the law – either explicitly or implicitly through their behavior – will quickly discover that their property rights have been severely restricted. The term ‘civil rights’ is really a program of the restriction of rights which creates certain conditions under which the state can seize or redistribute property, whether it happens to be corporate or personal. A corporate, government, or nonprofit leader must terminate an employee who can be shown to be discriminatory against protected classes of people.
The racist is a boogeyman that’s popular to hate. Anyone who can proclaim that they don’t discriminate immediately enjoys a warm feeling of being on the good side of society.
‘Racism’ tends to be portrayed as a universal evil that has been overcome by the march of rational philosophy, much like how the development of sewer systems and indoor plumbing made it so that people no longer dump feces on the streets (except in contemporary, high-tech San Francisco).
Also, I’m working on a couple book reviews that I should have up here over the next couple weeks. I’m trying to change the way that I work so that I spend a lot more time in focused organization, planning, and research than I just do writing off the top of my head from a list of topics.