This paper says that many black Americans are conservative in their political ideology but given the marriage of conservatism and racism in the Republican Party avoid that party and vote for the Democratic Party. It says that some of the ideas stood for by liberals are revolting to many black conservatives. The question now is how to dissociate the Republican Party from racism so as to make it once more appealing to black conservatives.
Is Liberalism Always Good For Black Folk?
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
In the USA the Democratic Party (America’s version of liberal party...which is different from the British notion of liberal party) practically has a lock on black folk’s votes; they typically obtain upwards of ninety percent of the black vote (Obama obtained 96% of the black vote). This was not always so.
It was the Republican Party, the Party of Lincoln that fought slavery and gave black folk emancipation from slavery. Black folk used to flock to the Republican Party until Roosevelt’s party realignment in the 1930s and finally after Goldwater’s overt racism in the 1964 Presidential election (he was opposed to civil rights bills); in the 1964 election black folk flocked to the Party of Lyndon Johnson (he championed civil rights bills) where they have remained ever since.
When black folk flocked to the Democratic Party white folks (in the South) who used to be primarily members of the Democratic Party flocked to the Republican Party. The two parties are now realigned, one representing progressivism and the other representing racism. The Republican Party used to be the liberal progressive party; the Democratic Party used to be the racist party; those roles have switched parties.
One understands why black folk vote for the Democratic Party (the Party represents some semblance of fairness in the land) but the question remains: is it good for black folks to always vote for liberals?
To answer this question I have to explicate what political parties and political ideologies are and how they operate in America. So bear with me as I do what may seem unnecessary elaboration of the subject; I like to look at an issue as completely as is possible.
Europe before the 1700s was ruled by Kings and aristocrats (who claimed divine right to rule the people) so debate about the nature of political parties was out of the question.
In 1776 Americans separated from their mother country, England and her king, George 111. Americans opted to be democratic (please don’t laugh; let us accept America’s rhetoric that it is democratic; America is a plutocracy). England fought its thirteen colonies but lost and America emerged an independent country. In 1787 a new federal constitution was written to replace the old Articles of Confederation under which the colonies had operated. A new government was formed; Congress was elected and George Washington was selected the President. Members of Congress immediately fell into two factions: Federalists and Anti federalists. These two factions became the basis of the current two political parties in America.
The Anti-Federalists wanted each state to be more or less independent of the central government; they wanted America to still be a confederation of sorts whereby states told the center what it did and not the other way around (they were and still are characterized by belief in state rights, a code word for maintaining slavery). The other faction championed a strong federal government and weak states.
The folks from the East Coast such as Adams, Hamilton etc. were the leaders of the Federalists faction whereas folks from southern slave states, such as Thomas Jefferson, were in favor of strong states (they did not want the central government to interfere in their practice of slavery). Thus, right from the get go of the Republic the North East was different from the South.
The federalist and anti-federalist parties evolved to what we now call the two parties of America. In the 1820s President Andrew Jackson essentially transformed the anti-federalists to the Democratic Party. In the 1850s President Abraham Lincoln transformed the (Whig) federalist’s party to the Republican Party. Thus, since the 1860s America has had two political Parties: The Democratic Party (originally in the South) and The Republican Party (originally in the North East).
In the 1930s President Franklyn Delano Roosevelt was elected the president of these United States of America. He began to realign the political parties; the realignment was completed in the 1960s.
Party realignment means rearranging the focus of the party and who joins it. In the past the Republican Party fought for what we now call liberal policies and Democrats were the party of the South, the Dixie party, the party of Jim Crow, but with the realignment roles were changed. These days the focus of the two parties have changed: Republicans have embraced the role of championing white interests and opposing black interests and as would be expected white racists (especially in the South) flocked to the Republican Party.
When Democrats like LBJ (President Johnson) tried to extend civil rights to black folks white Southerners in droves left the Democratic Party of their fathers and joined the Republican Party of Northerners and transformed it into a racist party. Thus, today the Democratic Party appears to be concentrated outside the South (where it originated).
The West coast, from California to Oregon and Washington generally vote Democratic Party; the Northeast generally votes Democratic Party.
The South and the islands of little population in the center of the country generally vote Republican. Since most Americans live on either of the Coasts so the Democratic Party is still strong despite the fact that in area of land the Republicans are larger (these days the two areas are called red states and blue states; red for Republican and blue for Democratic).
America is characterized by the presence of two large political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party; third parties occasionally spring up but the political culture does not encourage them hence tend to die with the death of the strong personalities that generated them. The two main political parties make life very difficult for other would be political parties; enormous obstacles are placed on the path of those trying to form new political parties, such as obtaining impossible number of signatures of citizens to even register their party.
Politics is war by peaceful means so the current two parties see any other party (say, socialist, communist) as a challenge and fight and destroy them. Such is political realism so let us not shed tears for these matters.
Although I am not interested in explicating the role of political parties in the human polity, since political parties carry political ideologies and we are here dealing with political ideologies, I am obligated to define political parties, albeit briefly.
Political parties are associations of men and women with similar political ideology: people who have similar belief as to how their government and society ought to be organized. Each of us has an idea as to how he wants his government to be organized. The individual joins the political party whose ideas of how the human polity ought to be organized fits his own ideas.
Political ideologies represent certain philosophical beliefs regarding human nature, and how society ought to be organized; those beliefs inform the various political parties; thus people gravitate to political parties/ideologies that fit their perception of social reality.
Political parties compete for political offices and the one that wins forms the government and tries to get the government to do those things it believes governments should do.
Since other political parties have different political ideologies obviously they do not always appreciate what the party in power does so they oppose it and campaign to win the next election and dismantle its public polices and replaces them with its own public policies. These way political parties are at war with each other and the battle continues ad infinitum.
As long as human beings are different and have different perceptions of the role of government they would probably form different parties to fight and capture the governments.
Political parties articulate their member’s aspirations, campaign and capture governments and run governments.
Interests groups, unlike political parties, do not want to form governments but try to influence the government’s public policies in their favor. Interest group politics though like political party politics is different in this one instance: it wants to influence government but not form government; political parties want to form governments.
Since political parties are rooted in political ideologies, let me spend some time talking about political ideologies.
A political ideology is a philosophy (not a science) of how society and its government ought to be organized. Each of us has an idea of what he thinks human beings ought to be like, how people ought to behave, how societies ought to be organized and how governments ought to be organized. Please note that I said how society “ought to be”; what ought to be is not what is.
What is, is in the realm of science (science studies what is, not what should be); what ought to be is a wish; a wish is in the realm of beliefs.
Science does not ask the question why, but how. For example, the question why do people live is not a scientific question; it is in the realm of philosophy and religion; only the individual can answer the question why he lives or why he should live (he can always kill himself).
Science answers the question how; we see a world that exists; why it exists we do not know but we can understand how it operates. Once we study and understand how the world operates we can devise technologies to manipulate the laws of the world and in so doing adapt to it more effectively.
Political ideology is not and cannot be a science for it represents men’s hopes and wishes of how things ought to be but not how they are in fact.
Men have different conceptions of who human beings are (human nature), how society ought to be organized and how governments ought to be organized. There are infinite political ideologies but for the sake of simplicity let us discuss the major ones: liberalism, conservatism, socialism, communism, fascism and also economic ideologies, such as mercantilism, capitalism and corporatism.
Political liberals have a certain image of human beings and ideas on how they should be governed. They tend to believe in the power of the environment; the environment is seen as having great impact on people’s lives. Your inherited body and your social experience are environmental forces that you do not have control over. Those two environmental forces influence you a whole lot. Your inherited body probably affects how smart or dumb you are; your social experiences probably determine what schools you attended hence what kind of work you obtain and your life chances and outcomes.
Liberals see us as victims of our environment. They therefore want to use the power of government to ameliorate the effects of environmental forces arrayed against us.
We know that we must go to school to obtain information with which we obtain jobs. The poor do not have the money to pay high school feels. Liberals therefore want to enact public policies that say that society should pay for all children’s school fees.
Liberals want to use the power of government to give most people advantages that otherwise they do not have. Liberals want to give all children public education; give all people health insurance; give the poor subsidized housing and public transportation and so on.
Simply stated, the liberal wants to use the government to help the people. This seems nice, does it not; why would anyone oppose any of these liberal do good ideas?
Alas, a government that provides for the people what they need must be a big and powerful government. Yes, no?
A powerful government may not be good for your psychological health for it can tell you what to do. After the terrorists 9-11 attacks at New York, the US government passed the Patriots Act; that legislation enables the government to actually listen to people’s telephones, routinely read their emails, know where they go to on the Internet, what books they check out of libraries etc. Folk’s civil liberties are eroded by big governments.
In the former Soviet Union government was so powerful that the people had no civil liberties, no civil rights, and no nothing! The people were slaves of the monolithic communist government.
The conservative political ideology wants to conserve what is good in society and limit the size of government so that it does not overwhelm the people’s civil liberties.
In the 1600s, England was going through bloody revolutions. The king’s head was chopped off and Oliver Cromwell ruled as a dictator. There was an intellectual debate as to the proper role of government. These debates shape what in the Anglo-Saxon world we now call political philosophy (add Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics and Machiavelli’s Prince).
Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) tells us that man in the state of nature is a predatory animal and the strong enslaved or killed the weak and a band of the weak killed the strong and thus life was nasty, brutish and short for all people. People did not like the general insecurity they lived in and selected one of them and made him their king and gave him the right to make laws that protected all of them; the king, Leviathan, monster was authorized to arrest, try and kill those who oppose his laws; he is to do whatever he does in the pursuit of giving the people social security. In pursuit of security, Hobbes tells us, people should have a king; indeed, an absolute monarch for it takes a strong government to get people not to harm each other.
Hobbes has a point but his envisaged government was too powerful for the individual’s good; absolute monarchs do oppress the people. John Locke (Second Essay on Government) came along and said that Hobbes is correct; however, the only way to prevent oppression is to have a clear delineation of the proper function of government; and give government limited functional areas and leave the individual to be. Yes, we need government otherwise we kill each other but we can limit our government to performing only umpire role, punish those who did not play by the rules but otherwise not be too powerful. Locke is associated with the idea of limited, small government.
While the English men were deliberating on the nature of Government the French were also doing the same. Jean Jacques Rousseau (Social Contract) in 1760 wrote that everywhere civilized men are found they live in chains (whereas they are born free). How did this come to be? He attributed our slavery in society to the existence of Kings and aristocrats. Thus, he wants us to off the heads of monarchs and aristocrats so as to regain our will to rule ourselves. You see the red man, the Indian in America, the noble savage as Rousseau called him, lived free whereas the so-called civilized people of Europe lived like the slaves of their kings.
Rousseau’s writing led to the chopping off of the French King’s head and the chopping of his wife’s head from its beautiful neck. Let the masses eat cake.
Ideas have power. Rousseau is generally seen as the pen that brought about the French revolution. Alas, when that revolution began it kind of went out of Control. In 1789 the French threw out the rascals that lived at what we now call the Louvre in Paris and at Versailles thirty miles away in the country side. The Jacobins went crazy and were guillotining any person seen as having benefited from the ancient regime. Even mere intellectuals were seen as positing the ideas that supported the ancient regime and were guillotined.
The Irish man, Edmund Burke, a Tory member of the English Parliament was horrified by what he saw going on in France. He wrote a book of reflections on the French revolution, a book that is now the Conservative bible.
Burke began by telling us that society evolved over thousands of years. Generally, accepted culture has been tested by time and seen as useful. Institutions that survive are those that serve some social good. Now, in the French revolution the Jacobins simply threw out old institutions regardless of the good they serve society and the result was chaos, a chaos that only a return to some sort of monarchy (Napoleon Bonaparte’s interregnum) arrested.
Burke is telling us that there are things in our world that do us some good and that we should hesitate throwing them away just because a neurotic like Rousseau said that we could have an ideal society on earth. Do not throw the baby away (just because it cries) with the bathwater. Try to figure out what is good in your world and preserve it and then change what must be changed, for the alternative is chaos and anarchy, a return to Hobbes state of Nature (that calls for a new King as the French got in Napoleon and the Russians got in Joseph Stalin).
The political conservative embraces Locke’s and Burke’s ideas. The conservative says, in effect, let us have government but a limited government with carefully delineated roles lest it become too big and destroy our civil liberties; and let us conserve what is good in our past.
In the context of America, conservatives define government as only allowed to perform one function: give the people national security (via strong police, jails, judges, military etc.); American conservatives do not want government to even provide public education to the people (they oppose things like health insurance for all, welfare for the poor etc.).
The American conservative sees the Christian religion Americans inherited from the Jews as having served them well in the past and that it should not be thrown out just because scientists (who tend to be environmentalists, liberals) say that there is no God. As Dostoyevsky said in Brothers Karamazov, if there is no God and his heaven and hell, there is no such thing as natural morality and every person can do whatever he wants to do, even kill people (unless he fears being killed by those he sets out to kill).
In contemporary America godless folks do whatever makes them feel good. Why not, they say, there is no God, we are just animals who live and die; we were evolved like other animals and that is all there is to us. The earth in time would dry up, the sun would die, the universe would die and everything would die, so as Horace says let us live today for tomorrow we die.
Hedonism is the current philosophy of Godless America. The Conservative says: wait a minute, we are destroying ourselves by listening to all these seeming rational ideas; regardless of whether God exists or not religion helps to make society a loveable place, the alternative is chaos.
Simply stated, Conservatives want to preserve their religion and morality, even as radical science tells them that there is no God and that morality does not exist in nature.
Conservatives tend to embrace free enterprise economy for they think that it is conducive to civil liberties; liberals tend to embrace mixed economy (capitalism and some government regulations). The division of conservatives and liberals in America is really sham; the American is conservative in spirit; liberals are mini conservatives; they are not bold liberals as in Europe; bold liberals slid into socialism. I call American Liberals half-hearted conservatives and that accounts for their tendency to seem wimpy and gutless; they are always responding to what the more aggressive and warrior like conservative say and do. As Sharon Angle said: they need to “manup”, man!
Socialism began after the industrial revolution. James Watt figured out a way to use steam to run engines and that led to a revolution in how industries are organized in England. We can now bring thousands of people to work in one place and give them power to do their work.
The industrial revolution is generally seen as having begun around 1746. The industrial revolution changed society more than any other event in human affairs, now people were brought together to work at factories, factories owned by individuals (the craftsman is replaced by the factory mass producer with no attachment to his product). Folks left their villages in England and migrated to the industrial urban centers to seek work. They left their yeomanry (and whatever freedom they had) to go become wage slaves. Folks worked sixteen or more hours a day and were paid meager wages and worked in incredibly unhygienic milieu. Even children as young as ten were working alongside their parents in factories and mines. As a result folk’s life span was less than forty.
Men of goodwill observed the new industrial slavery that the age of industry had turned folks. Folks like Fourier and Proudhon in France and Robert Owen in England spoke out against the
terrible conditions workers worked in. Fredrick Engle, a rich boy socialist ((his German father had factories in England) ran into a journalist called Karl Marx (he used to write for American newspapers) and the two of them formed a holy alliance whereby Engle came up with the money that Marx lived on so that Marx spent all his days in the Libraries in London and wrote and wrote until only he can understand what he wrote (do you understand what the man said in Der Capital).
Socialism and communism simply said that a few owned the means of production (property) and the many are now like slaves; it asked for the means of production to be owned by the people.
Marx wrote eloquently about how the people ought to get together and take over the factories they worked in (see the Communist Manifesto, 1848) but the fact was that many of those workers cannot run a mom and pop store even if you gave it to them for free. Business is a culture, a skill that you can acquire but may not already have. Marx himself almost starved to death for he could not feed himself. The point is that in the real world not all people can run factories.
People have different skill sets and in every organization, as Joseph Schumpeter pointed out, those with more information and skill set rise to the top. (I got up at 5 AM in the morning and in less than three hours wrote this essay; if it would take you a week to write a similar essay you and I are not in the same space.) In the real world some folks have more ability than others and ought to be paid accordingly; it is nice to talk about paying every person the same pay but the fact is that not every person is a Steve Jobs and can come up with electronic gismos. If you disregard peoples different abilities and keep on talking what makes you feel good, the need to treat all people as the same, such as pay them the same before you know it you would have killed the goose that laid the golden egg, killed gifted folk’s incentives and all live as unproductive Nigerians. Folks will be equal in their poverty; where there is wealth there is always social stratification.
Karl Marx studied George Hegel’s philosophy (see the Phenomenology of Spirit, for example). He could not obtain a job with that abstract nonsense and tried his hands at writing for American newspapers (as their European reporter). Still fascinated with Hegel’s historical dialecticism he said that he stood Hegel on his head and wrote what he called dialectic materialism. He talked about how history progresses through the clash of economic interests.
In primitive society all were equal. Then a few strong persons enslaved others and created the first class-based society and consequent class war. The oppressed naturally hated their oppressors hence there was conflict. Eventually, the two forces, slave owners and slaves resolved their conflict in a new society, a synthesis of the old and the new, the thesis (old) and the challenger (antithesis). As Marx saw it, this is how society progressed, always through economic wars.
The slave society gave way to the feudal society and that too saw conflict between feudal lords and the serfs. The result of that conflict was the emergence of the Bourgeoisie. The bourgeois class (middle class) in turn is now oppressing the proletariat (landless workers) and the result would be socialism.
Marx visualized a situation where the oppressed wage slaves had had enough and rebelled against their work masters. V.I. Lenin recognized that the masses would have to wait forever if they felt that they could overthrow their oppressors. As he saw it, an intellectual class from the bourgeoisie who identified with the masses should organize a political party and use it as a vanguard to do for the workers what they could not do for themselves. Left alone the workers could only attain trade union consciousness and worse many would have false consciousness.
(American policemen are usually recruited from the poor, the lowest class in society; they are trained and given guns to control those in their class, their fellow poor folks; they treat the poor worse that the rich do; they behave as if they are members of the ruling class even as they would be arrested if they tried to enter the gated communities of the rich. Further, think about prison guards who beat up on prisoners; the guards come from the same lumpen proletariat as the prisoners. I tell you, the masses do not know what is good for them; they do not even know what their self- interests are; they do not know who is fighting for them...the recent Occupy Wall Street folks were fighting to make sure that financially strapped cities do not lay off police officers, firemen and teachers but the same police were beating up on the occupy folks! False consciousness in the oppressed is very real, so despite Lenin’s seeming elitism in saying that only the middle class should lead the poor he makes sense.)
Lenin did exactly what he preached by forming the Russian Bolshevik Party who in 1917 drove off their rivals, Kerensky’s Menshevik Party and wrestled power away from them and formed the new class rulers of Russia. Five years later Lenin died and the brute called Joseph Stalin took over and transformed his comrades into slaves working for him.
Revolutions almost always degenerate to dictatorship; see, Fidel Castro is still ruling in Cuba, fifty something years after he seized “power for the masses”.
The difference between socialism and communism is semantic. Both want social control of the means of production, that is, they want social ownership of property. It appears that socialists want to go about attaining their end through democratic means whereas communists want a bloody revolution that overthrows the current social order (economic status quo) and the masses take over the control of society (do the masses ever take control of society or is it the case that their leaders, such as Lenin, Stalin, Castro and Mao Test Tung take control and dominate the people).
Communism emphasized public ownership of all property whereas socialism appears to accept some social structure where all are not the same. Both isms still have to figure out a way to accomplish their goals and not destroy the incentive to work hard hence produce the wealth to be shared. We all need a world as the poetic Marx said where every person worked six hours a day, went fishing in the afternoon, walked in flower gardens in the evening, read poetry at night and generally lived like the rich. The problem is where the wealth to be redistributed has to come from. The poor are seldom the generators of wealth.
In every society only a few are smart and certainly only a few have the ability to come up with ideas that benefit every person. Not every college freshman could do what Bull Gates and Paul Allen did: write mathematical equations that resulted in today’s Microsoft products. Some are innovators and many are consumers; folks have to be rewarded accordingly.
In a nutshell, fascism is extreme nationalism. The fascist believes that the nation state produced people and that people ought to serve it. His nation comes first than the individual’s welfare. In pursuit of national power and prestige fascist leaders can go to war and use the individual as fodder to wage such wars. The individual is dispensable in the service of the fatherland.
Benito Mussolini is generally seen as the initiator of fascism after the First World War. Adolf Hitler and his national socialists did the same in Germany.
For our present purposes, fascists want to make their nations great and do not see anything wrong in using the individual to attain their goals.
Fascism tends to work in times of national emergencies when political leaders assume authoritarian and totalitarian powers and use brute force to secure whatever goals they were unable to attain in normal democratic dispensations.
This political and economic ideology essentially marries capitalism with aspects of nationalism. The corporatist wants to develop his country economically; in his soul he knows that free enterprise is the engine of growth but free enterprise is slow and he cannot wait; he wants to develop his country as of yesterday. Thus, he encourages folk to go into business and goes into cahoots with them and gives them money to establish their businesses.
Corporatist states use state resources to develop free enterprise. China is a case in point. The communist government of Beijing actually supplies those with skills the resources to go into capitalist enterprises all for the glory of China. Japan also does that through its powerful ministry of international business (it targets industries it wants to compete at and gives Japanese money to go into them and makes the business environment favorable for them, low taxes etc., and thus in a few years they are as competitive as those in America and elsewhere).
Corporatism is obviously very appealing to third world folks in a hurry to develop their countries.
Mercantilism was the economic ideology that prevailed when Adam Smith waged war on it. Simply stated, nations saw themselves as in competition with each other and used the power of the state to prevent competition. For example, the British Parliament ruled that only English ships should transport certain goods and that those goods first had to come to England before they are re-exported to the thirteen colonies in the Americas! Why not ship tea and rum directly from East India and West India to Boston, Massachusetts; why first carry them to England, in English ships and then return them to America? Just factoring in the cost of transportation alone and you see how expensive mercantilism made goods and services before the Scottish man, Adam smith wrote his book, The Wealth of Nations.
Free enterprise economy
The free enterprise economy, aka capitalism says that individuals are rational actors; they know what is good for them and no one else can tell them what is good for them (Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill built their libertarian philosophy on that view). People will buy what they want, especially what gives them pleasure. Therefore, let the people buy what they desire (demand) and if producers produce what the people want they would sell them and make profits and if not they would be out of business.
Demand should determine supply is the idea. The invisible hand of the market makes sure that goods and services are properly allocated to where they are demanded. Do not use the power of the state to decide what is produced and distributed; let all producers/supplies bring their wares to the market and let folks who want to buy them buy them or else they wasted their time producing them and lost money.
The market is the most efficient means of distributing wealth, Mr. Smith said in 1776 and the founders of the American political economy embraced his economic philosophy, and as they say, the rest is history.
America is the most productive country on planet earth. Look around you and see where the goods you use originated. Americans came up with the Telegraph, Telephone, Electric bulb, improved on Cars that originated in Germany, Airplanes, Radio, Television, Computer, Internet, Microwave ovum, Refrigerator...just look around you and see where what you use were invented.
(How come nothing that we use in today’s world were invented in Africa? How come Igbos boast to be supermen and yet we do not buy anything that they contributed to the world of technology? This is amazing, wouldn’t you say so; we are consumers and not producers!)
So how come Britain and America are the primary source of innovations? Free enterprise system! As Adam Smith sees it, it is free enterprise, that is, government’s hands off the economy that generates wealth for nations; capitalism makes some filthy rich.
Smith was a church man and hoped that the rich would, through philanthropy, help the poor. The rich in America give their money to charity work ((Bill Gates and Warren Buffets made billions and have pooled them together to give to charity); the rich in Nigeria do not give anything to the poor (Babangida is supposed to have obtained billions from his job as the president of Nigeria, is he devoting that money to providing education to his almajiris? No. Nigerian big men know only how to eat until their stomachs become as large as elephants and then explode or nature does them a favor and kills them off through heart attacks, strokes, diabetes etc. Nobody cries when a Nigerian big man dies; in fact, folks rejoice! I have never seen a more heartless and cruel people as Nigerians; no wonder they sold their brothers and sisters into slavery and did not feel bad from doing so!)
Mixed socialist and capitalist economy
In every competition there will be winners and losers. In America there are billionaires and there are folks living on the streets. Is this fine with you?
Moreover, capitalism tends to have periods of astonishing growth, boom followed by burst (recession, depression), so should we do something about this situation, as John Maynard Keynes said that we should (through monetary policy, fiscal policy etc.) or should we leave the forces of supply and demand, the market to correct whatever goes wrong in the economy?
Barack Obama the Liberal spent trillions of American tax payers dollars (actually, he borrowed them and Americans would have to pay them back, or America collapses and those she borrowed from jump out of skyscrapers and die) trying to correct the ginormous mess made by the money bags of Wall Street, speculators, the lords of junk bonds, derivatives, traders on inflated real estate value; should he have done so? Should he have given Detroit (auto industry) billions of dollars to correct their mistake of building humongous cars in a world where small, fuel efficient cars seem what are needed? Why not let all these people experience the pain of their mistakes, why rescue them? (The debate on the proper role of government continues; we are not about to end the debate here!)
Liberals want to use the state to ameliorate the negative side effects of capitalism (such as feed the poor) whereas some conservatives say: let the poor eat cake and starve to death, life is a struggle and the fittest survive and the weak perish; that is all there is to life (until the coming revolution in America chops off the heads of the rich and their agents in Congress and the Supreme Court).
In this brief essay, my goal is not to give a thorough explication of the political and economic ideologies but to define them and thereafter proceed to the theme of my essay: is liberalism good for black folk? If you desire more information on many aspects of politics please see my book, Nigeria’s political economy.
So, should black folks embrace liberalism with gusto? I do not think so. I understand why black folk have gravitated to the Democratic Party but I do not think that aspects of the Democratic Party’s politics are good for black folk. I think that aspects of conservatism are good for black folks.
Conservatives tend to be real men; they are men who have roots in the land. They are men who have worked hard and own property and know how hard it is to acquire property. They want to protect their properties (through laws that reduced individual, corporate and property taxes).
Conservatives tend to be adults who know that society is a social construct that must be maintained with laws and law enforcement and without those people degenerate to natural state and kill off each other. In this light, conservatives support spending on national security (police, courts, judges, jails and prisons, army, navy, air force, national guard etc.).
Conservatives have a pessimistic view of human nature and know that if we stopped spending on national security that law and order would break down and the people return to primitive states. If you stopped spending on the police, courts and jails folks would loot stores today.
If you stopped spending on the military and the country becomes weak, given human beings predatory nature, other nations would take the country over. If America is weak China already has its eyes on it and would gladly march over and take over (it is already taking it over economically...go to Wal-Mart).
We are not venting hot air here; we are not engaging in pure sentimentalism (such as political idealism); we are engaged in political realism. History and human experience shows us that people are savages held in check by laws brutally applied (if you want to see what happens when laws are not applied in a draconian manner go to Nigerian see folks expect God to correct their mistakes, folks who loot the government’s treasury while going to church and pretend to pray to their non-existent gods to save them).
Conservatives tend to be realistic and unsentimental whereas liberals tend to be sentimental and emotional. Look at Barack Obama; that man actually thinks that all religions are equal and talks rubbish about all religions been given equal time. If he were to succeed the various religions would go to war with each other and kill people and return society to anarchy.
A human polity must make up its mind on religious matters. America is a Christian nation; take it or leaves it. On the other hand, the Middle East is Muslim country; take it or leave it.
The Conservative approach to morality is realistic. In extant America the feeling, sentimental, namby-pamby crowd has taken over. They feel the pain of every person and want to rectify that pain. Thus, homosexuals say that they are pained by being prevented from sticking their penises into other men’s anuses and liberals do not see that these folks are sick and want to pass laws to enable them do what they want to do. If allowed they would soon ask for laws permitting them to have sex with boys under six years of age, and thereafter to have sex with animals. These people have a death wish, an atavistic motivation but liberals are now championing their course.
I do not believe that liberals current attitude to the polity is good for black folks. Indeed, at the rate at which black men are becoming feminized the black race is due for extinction. Many black men now see themselves as women for other men to have sex with them! These folks have become living dead persons; they are totally emasculated, thanks to liberals.
Liberals want to make abortion available on demand. One of the unspoken matters is the racial genocide going on in black America; black women have literally stopped producing children, they abort them.
Considering the growth of contraceptive pills sooner or later women would have no need for marriage, for marriage actually is organized sexual behavior. Young women got pregnant so our ancestors protected them and their children by requiring men to marry them. As science progresses women would have no need for husbands; if they want children artificial insemination would do. If they want to stimulate their sexual organs other women are more efficient in licking them to orgasm or strapping dildos on and sticking them into every orifice in their bodies (mouth, vagina and anus) so that they feel pleasured (and they want you to respect them even as they act worse than beasts; they are despicable and contemptible).
Marriage is an artificial social construct; our ancestors constructed it as the best way to raise children; as a manmade institution marriage is currently being deconstructed by feminist Nazis (who live to have other women suck on them but not to raise children). If the trend continues in a few hundred years society would have broken down and folks reverted to living as animals in the wild. If marriage between man and woman dies all other social institutions die!
Liberals are part of the social forces working for the demise of organized society; conservatives consciously or unconsciously understand what is happening; they know that society is careening towards Gomorrah and is at the precipice of death hence fight same sex marriage, abortion on demand, teenage pregnancy, having children out of wedlock etc. Liberals seem oblivious of the forces they are unleashing on society, forces likely to destroy society as we know it (they would say change it for the better).
I am, saying that given where liberals are taking society to that it is about time black folks say stop to aspects of the liberal agenda that they do not like.
Of course, black folks should not embrace Republican Party’s hardly masked racism (much of the opposition to Obama’s policies, whatever they are) is veiled racism. Republicans have been around and witnessed budget deficits run up since Ronald Reagan but suddenly the Tea Party says it is fighting budget deficit, so why didn’t they fight it when a white man was in the white House?
Of course we should not spend more money than we take in, as the Tea Party tells us; of course we know that limited government is correlated with freedom and Liberty, as the old crank, Ron Paul never ceases telling us; the point is where were these folks when George Bush went to a preemptive war in Iraq? They borrowed the money to fight that unnecessary war! No one is deceived; we all know that the war against Obama is a war against the presence of a black man in the white house.
Be all those observations as they may, the fact remains that aspects of American conservatism (minus racism) is good for the American polity.
Many black folks, me included, are conservative in political ideology. However, because the Republican Party has aspects of racism in it we vote Democratic Party. We would rather not join forces with aspects of the liberal party that to us are disgusting.
True conservatism is for equality of all people; however, it is based on merit. Let there be competition and may the best win. But having done that, true conservatives recognize that if you abandon the losers of society, sooner or later, they would form parties that would chop off your head. Thus helping the losers of this world is really realistic self-protection.
True conservatism allows men and women to run for political offices and elects those deemed well qualified. But true conservatism is not sentimental and wants to grant women’s every wish. It was marriage that made it possible for men to stick around and help raise children so true conservatism wants to preserve marriage despite feminists desire to end marriage and have all women available to lick their vaginas. Adults know that you can only have so much sex before you die from it. Every human behavior that promises freedom also promises slavery and death. Sex must be controlled for women’s good. Nobody needs the incessant sex that depressed feminists think that they need (to stimulate themselves out of their existential depression...they are naturally depressed from perception of life as meaningless and pointless; it is only when God is accepted that life in body can be given any kind of meaning; seeking meaning in sex is like seeking joy in alcohol and drugs; sex is meant for procreation, go ask other animals). Some people go for years without sex.
We need to clarify what conservatism is and remove racism from it and subsequently have black folks join the political party that is truly conservative not racist. I do not believe that many black folks like what the Democratic Party has become: the party of weirdoes who have never seen any alternative life style it does not like.
We need to realign the two political parties and make one truly conservative (which would appeal to black social conservatives like me) and the other liberal (which no doubt would appeal to the liberals of this world). This realignment needs to happen or at least a third party needs to emerge to give folks opportunity to be conservative without being in cahoots with racists.
Charles Montesquieu is correct in seeking a government where powers are divided and the warring parties, each trying to protect its territory, thus guarantee lack of tyranny in the Human polity but we must also make sure that the options (political parties) available to people is not between the angel and the devil. Rational conservatives do not oppose science and the dangers of environmental degradation as yokel American conservatives do.
Rational, aka moderate conservatism is the party that says we need government but let us remember that we formed it to serve us but not to become our masters. Many black folks are part of such moderate conservative party in America and everywhere else in the world.