How the left portrays the good as the bad; why Obama sees producers as parasites; and why blacks make the most devoted leftists

To the left, success has become the Mark of Cain. Where success once used to be proof of good character, it is now proof of bad character. To succeed is to steal. Anyone who has achieved more than those around him has unfairly taken from them. And the more he succeeds, the more he has to feel guilty about and the more he must atone through social justice.
— Daniel Greenfield, “Israel’s ‘You Built It’ Culture”

The reason the left feels this way about success is that their own success has been largely based on stealing and other forms of injustice. Consider the Obamas. Without special privileges for blacks, would Michelle Robinson have gotten into Princeton and then Harvard Law School? Would she have had a sinecure at some Chicago hospital pulling in two or three hundred grand a year as a diversity bureaucrat? Without special privileges for blacks, would Barry Seotoro / Barack Obama have been admitted into Columbia College and then Harvard Law School and then become the president of the Harvard Law Review? Without the massive literary help he undoubtedly received from William Ayers, would Obama have been able to “write” a book that won him a reputation as a sensitive literary talent? Without the media covering up for him, would Obama’s presidential candidacy have survived the Reverend Wright revelations in March 2008? And on and on. Obama’s own success is based on lies, special favors, and no real achievement. So it makes sense that he thinks that the same is true of everyone else.

And the same pattern applies to blacks generally. Other than in the areas of entertainment, sports, and self-promotion, blacks are generally incapable of achievement beyond the mediocre. They don’t know what it is to create something, to build something, to achieve at a high level. Most of what they get, they get through manipulation of other people and—ever since we constructed our present system of black preferences—through special favors. Most of blacks’ success is due to the fact that they live in a white country which creates the surplus wealth which, transferred to blacks, makes U.S. blacks the wealthiest blacks on earth. Being incapable of high-level accomplishment themselves, blacks cannot conceive of the reality of high-level accomplishment, and therefore they assume that anyone who has achieved notable success and wealth got it only by being given it.

Blacks did not invent leftism. But because of their lack of significant abilities and their dependence on others, they make the strongest leftists of any ethnic or racial group.

- end of initial entry -

Bruce B. writes:

You end this entry with:

“But because of their lack of significant abilities and their dependence on others, they make the strongest leftists of any ethnic or racial group.”

Are they really leftists or do they just want things for themselves? They don’t agitate for more goodies for groups that are of lower socio-economic status than themselves (e.g. Indians). They don’t support LGBT rights or “tolerance.” They just seem to want more for themselves.

LA replies:

Blacks as an organized community certainly are part of the left and support the entire leftist agenda. For example, didn’t the NAACP recently sign on to homosexual “marriage”? And notwithstanding the oft-noted fact that mass Hispanic immigration is economically bad for blacks, all black politicians are on board with open immigration.

August 9

Paul K. writes:

I agree with Bruce B. that blacks are not so much leftists as they are in favor of whatever they feel benefits them. Sure, black leaders follow the party line on issues like gay marriage, but black preachers are still largely opposed to it and the average black is as homo-hostile as ever. It reminds me of the way politically appointed police chiefs toe the liberal line but the average cop does not.

It’s true that blacks don’t seem to oppose Mexican immigration. I don’t think that that’s out of liberalism but out of their hostility to whites and the schadenfreude they savor as they watch whites dispossessed. There doesn’t seem to be much love lost between the two groups on the street level, where gangs form along racial lines and kill each other.

Do blacks care whether the United States is fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan? I don’t think so, except that they resent money being spent on wars rather than on them.

Do blacks care about climate change? Are blacks pro-feminist? I don’t think so.

Dean Ericson writes:

You wrote:

Blacks did not invent leftism. But because of their lack of significant abilities and their dependence on others, they make the strongest leftists of any ethnic or racial group.

Have to disagree with you there, Professor Auster. Blacks are not liberals or leftist, generally. They are tribal traditionalists. Blacks don’t care about abstract ideologies. That’s a white thing. They do like getting their goodies and they know on which side their bread is buttered and who butters it for them. They also are good at following orders and doing what the boss tells them to do. That’s why they made, and make, such good slaves. Only now the white liberal has bought them and keeps them on the liberal plantation where, as long as they do what liberals tell them to do, they get their liberal-supplied goodies. On their own, blacks are quite traditional, abhor homosexuality, hate change, the women go to work in the fields and the men sit around and yak or go fishing and fall asleep. Nothing wrong with that. But now blacks are bought and paid for and so they agree to go along with homosex and whatever else his liberal overlords tell him to. Even blacks in Africa are being bought up by Western liberals. In Uganda in 2009 legislation was proposed stiffening laws against homosex, including the death penalty. Western liberals threw a screaming fit and threatened to cut off all their financial aid. That put the fear of Massa into them and the bill has been killed (although homosex remains unlawful there, as it is in most black African countries). Even the ANC in South Africa, which is frequently described as Marxist, could be better understood as simply African tribal government with a frosting of Western intellectual fad just to impress the mzungu (white man). Barack Obama senior picked up some Marxism in his youth, but he got it was the cold war 50s-60s and he thought it was a ticket to power. It was no such thing and you won’t find any home grown Marxists in Kenya today. Blacks have their faults but at least they aren’t (thank God) liberals. That’s a mark in their favor.

Robert R. writes:

Bruce B.’s comment is very cogent, I think, although perhaps he didn’t word it properly. Those who support Leftist governments consist of two groups, those who do so for reasons of “social justice” and those who BENEFIT from “social justice.” African-Americans, I believe fall almost entirely in the latter group. Back in the day, Union workers also fell in this latter group, as well.

D. Edwards writes:

You wrote:

“The reason the left feels this way about success is that their own success has been largely based on stealing and other forms of injustice.”

You write this about the Obamas but looking at the elites of the Democratic party the Obamas are not alone. There’s Elizabeth Warren and her faux Cherokee history that obtain for her positions in the ivy league. There’s John Kerry who married into fortunes the latest being a leftist widow who married a rich Republican. Perhaps John Edwards and his fortune obtain by convincing a jury something ridiculous. Or Harry Reid who on a $200,000 salary built a fortune in the tens of millions. Or Bill Clinton with a fortune of hundreds of millions for speaking. Not a productive citizen in the lot. The grifter party. The movie The Sting comes to mind with what happened in November 2008. All the grifters came together for the greatest sting ever.

Buck writes:

What’s the meaning of this ongoing discussion; that blacks brought down America? How in hell did the mediocre, outnumbered (in the West), civilizationally challenged black man achieve that?

White men are cowards and supplicant weaklings. We no longer esteem our own future. We long ago submitted to our fear of the unknown and to guilt. We weren’t sure, and still aren’t, of what we are afraid, but we are afraid. There is no other explanation. There is a mature doubt and uncertainly about whether or not we belong in authority, or whether or not the source of our authority is real. It also appears that the superior civilizational skills of the white man have topped out a la the Peter Principle. Structural mismanagement and unlimited exceptions to principle, have unleashed everything abhorrent and previously constrained. We’re no longer in control of anything meaningful in our society. We’re housebound and afraid, or submissive dhimmies. The only alternative seems to be self-destructive or suicidal, or to simply retreat as deeply into our own minds as we can.

LA replies:

Buck writes:

“We weren’t sure, and still aren’t, of what we are afraid, but we are afraid.”


“You shall flee, though none pursues.” (Leviticus 26:17)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 08, 2012 09:02 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):