The Slog continues his scatter-gun attack on ideologically based bigotry

The charts that follow represent classic examples of assumptive tribal thinking. I’m not having a go at Bloomberg per se, by the way: rather, at the blinkered thinking unable to see the alternative interpretation of the content.

I’m not a socialist of any hue and I have always had a low opinion of the South American version of it: but US reporting about Venezuela has always been biased in the same way as it is about Ukraine, Poland and Hungary: the American élite comes down like a ton of bricks on any régime that has a popular, anti-colonial leader.

Hugo Chavez was commercially illiterate, but he did care genuinely about the poor in his country. And as always, of course, Washington went out of its way to make life difficult for him. Following his death, Venezuela finds itself in a President/Assembly standoff…and years of incontinent idealism are coming home to roost. One can almost hear the glee with which that dilemma is pointed out in this first chart:


Although Boombust calls this their ‘misery’ index, the word is not one that comes back from research: the opening assumption is that if you have 153% inflation, you must be miserable. Actually, most of the misery in Venezuela comes from the same place it always does in centrally ‘planned’ economies: the incompetently corrupt distribution of goods and services.

I’m sure the Venezuelans are far from happy at the minute, but then the country’s unemployment rate is 6% and falling. The Greek bar above shows they have deflation and 28% unemployment: I don’t think the Hellenics are happy about that, but I do not doubt that every monetarist in Europe and the US assumes the south American mess is greater than that of ClubMed. In my opinion, they are quite wrong: Greece’s debt keeps getting bigger, the Italian debt is now also obviously unsustainable, and Spain as both a country and a banking system is crumbling. The ramifications of Teutonic austerity anti-logic in ClubMed are infinitely greater than those of budgetary incontinence and well-meaning claptrap in Venezuela. And, as it happens, the country’s debt to gdp ratio is just 50%; there are EU members who would die to have those numbers.

So much for the dig at neoliberal thinking: now for a swipe at liberal, right-on pc assumptions about the systemic and the cultural. Once again in this second illustration, the assumption is that we’d all like to be millionaires. I have indeed been rich and poor…..and yes, rich is better. But today far less so than in my previous life – I have enough for what I want, so (other stressful events aside) I have more peace of mind.

The real giveaway of the mindset in this chart however is the bald asertion – itself unconsciously racist – that insists ‘Race Matters’. Frankly, that’s bollocks:


To deconstruct this crude attempt to draw a causal relationship where there isn’t a proven one:

  1. The ‘Race matters’ thing is – like most of what one sees on the Left – a slogan. It would fit nicely on a placard in the sort of tedious ‘demo’ still yelling the same slogans as were endlessly repeated in 1968 in Paris and 1981 in Yorkshire. What it’s trying to say is that systemic race prejudice against Hispanics and Blacks in the US holds back their progress.
  2. The flaw in the argument is that the equally daft takeout from this chart for Wannabe millionaires is “marry into an Asian family” and hope for dark-skinned children. Yet this result for ‘Indo-Asians’ would be the same if you’d conducted the research in East Africa, the UK Midlands, or even the old Nationalist South African régime: that Indo-Pak culture always thrives in business.
  3. Notably missing from the comparisons is ‘Jewish’. On far smaller numbers admittedly, I would hazard a guess that the figure would be above 25%. Up the ante to ‘billionaires’ and the figure would be – what? – 70+%?
  4. The real, and eternally uncomfortable, question this chart asks (but liberals never want to answer it) is that, in the 21st century, cultural factors far outweigh those of systemic racism.

These are all broad brush-strokes, so if I may I’d like to narrow them down to some specifics that are empirically supported by over half a century of objective research in the West….but still treated with the use of eyepatches and wrong-way-round telescopes by the Left.

The issue of gender in black education and employment is telling: females do significantly better than males in achieving diploma results, and the satisfactory completion of career training. Open-minded, free-thinking observers now accept that the key factor in play here is Afro-Caribbean paternal absence in loose familial structures. That is a cultural fact. Young black men join gangs because they lack self-esteem and look to gang leaders to fufil the father role…and of course, because they are desperate.

Attitudes are created on both sides of the prejudice conflict by previous experience. Abuse from neglectful fathers gives some young blacks a heavy cross to bear, and doubts among employers about employing them in turn stems from indifferent experiences with truculent and undisciplined black male employees in the past. I have professionally interviewed many of the old ILEA’s teachers in the past, and their classroom experiences of the syndrome I describe were exactly the same.

Race and skin colour are dayglo red herrings put up by both the BNP and the likes of Diane Abbott to disguise one simple fact: culture – especially familial, parental and eduational culture – is a far greater driver of life success or failure than any other factor.

Finally – and this too is important – notwithstanding all the above highly controversial observations, individual wiring even within a culture will often vary massively from the archetype. My own father was a ragged-arsed Irish Catholic brought up in a grubby Salford slum. He had decent parents, but then so did many of his contemporaries who drifted into bitterness and – in two cases – the hangman’s noose. But Pop’s insight and perseverance – and a very wise wife – brought a better life to him, and far greater opportunities for my brother and I.

Not everyone is lucky enough to be blessed with that, and sadly, 90+% of life is still about luck. The big helping hand for my generation growing up in the 1950s was the genuinely level playing field of Grammar, Technical and Trade schooling – a horses for courses system destroyed by socialist public schoolboys, and then perverted and underfunded by Thatcher, Blair and Cameron….all of whom also went to private schools. The same private school system that Jeremy Corbyn went through, and into which Diana Abbott entrusted her privileged children.

This has been another in the long line of posts here since 2009 pointing out why the only way out of its torpor for what’s left of Britain now is to destroy the Party ideologies, reengineer the aims and practice of education, start insisting that more people accept personal responsibility, and adopt a pragmatically utilitarian approach to the mutualist community as a building block.

It’s probably alienated at least 60% of readers, but it didn’t set out to.

Yesterday at The Slog: The higher-level game being played behind Brexit