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Samizdata quote of the day

The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the black family the way the welfare state has.

Walter Williams

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14 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mrs. Davis

    It’s doing much the same for the white family. It’s just that the blacks had a head start.

  • Apache

    Thomas Sowell has been saying this for decades. Still, empiricism isn’t the lefts strong point. They live by emotion.

  • Paul Marks

    Thank you Patrick.

    The comment by Walter Williams is clearly true – the collapse of the family among black people in the United States since the 1950s can not be blamed on slavery and Jim Crow, as (if these were the reasons) things would be getting better not getting worse over the last 60 years.

    Of course now academia had moved on – after decades of pretending that more and more statism (“Social Reform”, “Social Justice”) would help the family, they now celebrate the collapse of the family, both among black people and among white people

    Indeed I suspect that the destruction of the family (and all other cultural institutions that stand between the individual and the collective) was the real goal of the “reformers” from the start.

    They always wanted endless millions of “atomised” people dependent on the state.

    The West is not dying a natural death – Western Civilisation is being murdered. Murdered by the Frankfurt School “liberals” (interesting how Marxists are now called “liberals”) in both the education system, the media, and in government structures. Although YES it is often the spread of Frankfurt School ideas (“Critical Theory” and so on) rather than formal infiltration.

    As for the Welfare schemes – Francis Fox Piven (a later mentor of Barack Obama) openly admitted to being part of the Marxist tradition, and as far back as the 1960s was celebrating the chance to get as many people dependent on government as possible, by the effect of the “Great Society” schemes of destroying Civil Society (especially the family) – with the help of the education system and …..

    The objective?

    To destroy “capitalism” of course – Francis Fox Piven and co were always open about that. It was just that most “practical” people were not listening.

    One feels like the man at the end of the first “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” film. Calling out to the public…..

    “They are trying to destroy you, you families, your children……”

    Only to get the response “you are crazy”, “you are paranoid”, “you are drunk”……

    The West is not dying a natural death – the West is being murdered.

  • Alsadius

    The welfare state has done bad things, no question, as has the war on drugs. But “worse than slavery”? That’s nonsense.

  • Darrell

    “I’ll have those n*****s voting Democrat for the next 200 years”–LBJ

  • Alisa

    The welfare state has done bad things, no question, as has the war on drugs. But “worse than slavery”? That’s nonsense.

    That’s not what the quote says though: it does not compare welfare to slavery, but rather specifically the effects of both on the institution of family – which are two completely different things.

  • Thailover

    Alsadius, you should pay more attention to specific language. Dr. Williams wrote “…has decimated the black family…”

    That’s a fact. Civilization (not “society”, but civilization) begins with the intact family, and parents providing a safe, secure environment in which children learn empathy, compassion and wisdom, and how to relate to others in a civilized way. That requires an interpersonal relationship. Sorry hillary, “a village” can’t do that. Destroy the nuclear family and you destroy civilization.

    Consider, civilized people follow just laws because they WANT to. They’re guidelines for the civilized. Criminals, on the other hand, are people who willfully IGNORE laws and the consequeces for ignoring thereof. This is why law cannot make people civilized. Make more laws, and the criminals just have more laws to ignore. Ever increasing penalty for breaking laws don’t make people civilized either, it just makes them resentful, and there comes a point where the penalties exceed the severity of the crime, then the state becomes the criminal, i.e. the violator of individual rights.

    All this from a non-conservative, “rabid” atheist…imagine that.

  • Julie near Chicago

    According to what I’ve read, many American (at least) slaveholders at least did try to keep the slave families intact. Partly because breaking up families would cause more resentment among the slaves, and partly, I think, to keep the men on the straight & narrow.

    Alisa points out the distinction. As long as we are talking about the Negro family specifically, under slavery specifically vs. in the years since the advent of the so-called “Great Society” specifically, I believe it’s true that the proportion of families with both the father and mother present and maintaining some sort of parental relationship with their children was much higher under slavery than it is now.

    Dr. Sowell and Dr. Williams have both attested to the fact that the Negro family was in very good shape in the decades before T.G.S., and that the “blacks” of that era were on the whole gaining ground economically as well.

  • CaptDMO

    “… and that the “blacks” of that era were on the whole gaining ground economically as well.”
    Well, the slave owners that just happened to be Negros certainly were!

  • CaptDMO
    November 4, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    “… and that the “blacks” of that era were on the whole gaining ground economically as well.”
    Well, the slave owners that just happened to be Negros certainly were!

    The Great Society (TGS) was kicked off by Lyndon Johnson. That was about a century after the Civil War (and slavery) met a formal end. The Harlem Renaissance got underway in the 1920s (as close as you can date Renaissances, anyway). The decades before T.G.S. had few slave owners in the USA, black or white, unless you expand “decades” to mean “centuries”.

  • It’s doing much the same for the white family. It’s just that the blacks had a head start. (Mrs. Davis, November 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm)

    They certainly attacked the family in general. An interesting question is why the black family – whose stats were respectable in the first century after slavery – was so much more immediately and strongly affected, given that the attack’s ideology was in theory the same for both. One idea is that US liberals claimed to be the friends of blacks, and people are more easily misled by supposed friends. Another is that, because of history, blacks had lesser reserves of social confidence from their past with which to resist any current social trend. One can combine these explanations.

  • The Jannie

    Just following the Great Plan; nothing to see here, move along now . . . .

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thank you, Ellen. You’ve explained exactly what I had in mind.

    . . .

    Niall, very interesting points. Thanks.

  • Paul Marks

    The basic fact remains – if slavery and Jim Crow, not the Welfare State, were the cause of the breakdown of the family among American black people then why has this (family breakdown) being getting WORSE for 60 years?

    And, as I have pointed out, the leftist academics and policy makers have gone from falsely claiming that “Social Reform” (i.e. ever bigger government) will help such things as the cultural institution that is the traditional family, to CELEBRATING such things as the collapse of the traditional family – among blacks and among whites.

    The true aim of the left, the destruction of Civil Society and its replacement by “atomised” individuals dependent on the political collective (the replacement of true communities with political communities) is laid open.

    In short our opponents are not intellectually mistaken – they are evil.

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