Is equal rights the road not taken?

In the thread, “Why Baltimore is in such bad shape, Karl J. writes, in part:

The problem with the past 50 years is that the ideal of equal rights was abandoned almost as soon as it became politically feasible. Black agitation for civil rights morphed into the struggle for “Black Power,” and white liberals aimed to produce equality, not of rights, but of results. The result has been “Affirmative Action” in its various forms: which is to say, racial separatism combined with coercive egalitarianism.

Why and how all this happened is a long, sad, twisted story. The upshot, though, is that equal rights is the road not taken.

To which I reply:

If you believe that, if you believe that the liberalism we have now is only “actually existing liberalism” and that we have not yet tried “true liberalism,” then you are a right-liberal who hasn’t had second thoughts. As I wrote in my article, “How the 1964 Civil Rights Act made racial group entitlements inevitable,” the only way that invidious discrimination against blacks could have been removed without resulting in the anti-white, racial-socialist system we have now, would have been for the civil rights legislation and the accompanying ideological goals to have been much far less reaching than they actually were. The white majority needed to say something like the following:

“We are removing certain unfair treatment of blacks, but this does not mean that we are aiming at a system of total non-discrimination and racial equality. America is a white-majority country with a white, Anglo-European based majority culture and a strong belief in individual rights. If that culture is to survive, along with its belief in individual rights, equality of rights cannot be our supreme principle, since that will inexorably lead to a demand for group equality of outcome and for the destruction of the majority culture which stands in the way of such group equality. Therefore equality can be safely promoted only insofar as it does not threaten the basic cultural character of the country. Our highest principle is not equality. Our highest principle is the good, particularly the good of the United States. If equality is made the highest principle, it will inevitably destroy the majority culture and lead to racial socialism, thus fatally harming the United States.”

See Karl’s full comment, along with James N.’s and my further replies, in the original thread.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 25, 2012 12:17 PM | Send

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