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Is Hypocrisy Preferrable to Honesty?

2016 June 2

Ok, this.

Right. Now, Bill Clinton, whom some call the “first Black President” signed a crime bill based on the myth of teen (black) superpredators, which included three strikes laws and a huge amount of money for local policing and prisons.

That crime bill was emulated and led directly and indirectly to huge incarceration of blacks, massive-over policing of black communities, and the destruction of black families.

What Bill Clinton DID, which Hillary Clinton supported, was terrible for African Americans. Absolutely devastating.

Now, no question, Donald Trump is saying shit important people aren’t supposed to say. I despise racism, and Donald is saying a lot of racist shit.

But the Clintons did stuff that terribly hurt poor black communities. Now, maybe Bill loved blacks but just happened to accidentally fuck them sideways. That’s certainly possible. I don’t know the man’s soul. But his actions towards blacks were terrible.

I don’t know if honest racism is better, in the sense that it makes racism more socially acceptable. But it does have the simple virtue of being honest and getting it out. American politics has been driven by racism since, well, forever. But there is a hypocritical stream of racist action and rhetoric from Nixon that has never ended.

It was all dog-whistle. Say “welfare moms” and wink, and voters knew you were saying blacks. Welfare Reform was also about punishing blacks (poor whites just got caught in the crossfire).

America’s economic history since the end of the post-war era can be read in racial terms. Blacks came to the city, whites fled to the suburbs, and enough of them switched votes to Republicans (the Reagan Democrats) to elect Reagan, in order to keep their suburban home prices up.

This is all of a piece.

Racism is stupid. It is contemptible. But few politicians have done more harm to blacks than Clinton or Mario Cuomo, the great Liberal governor with his three strikes law.

So I’m not going to get super-worked up that Trump is honestly saying what many think, and the attitudes which “liberal” politicians acted upon.


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29 Responses
  1. June 2, 2016

    Is hypocrisy preferable to honesty? I get the impression that this is a rhetorical question. But in the American political system, the answer is far from obvious.

  2. Ian Welsh permalink
    June 2, 2016

    Well, I did say one can make the case that it is.

    But if so, it’s marginal. And lots of members of minorities seem to prefer honest bigots, or at least say they do.

    Let us, however, at least recognize it is hypocrisy and that the actions of too many liberals (Sanders voted for the crime bill, though not Welfare Reform) were despicable and harmed minorities terribly.

  3. V. Arnold permalink
    June 2, 2016

    And lots of members of minorities seem to prefer honest bigots, or at least say they do. Ian

    That’s been my experience and I believe it to be true.
    The first affirmation was in H.S. in 1959 and again in 1994/5. Both black mails and both from the deep south. Both then living in Oregon.
    In the south, they knew where they stood; up north? No idea and very cautious because of the blatant hypocrisy they experienced…

  4. SnarkyShark permalink
    June 2, 2016

    Yep….Here in the deep south blacks prefer the open bigots to the north eastern closet bigots.
    At least you know what your dealing with.

    Hypocrisy is always bad and honesty always good.

    “But in the American political system, the answer is far from obvious.”

    Which is why the APS is rotten and evil and on its way out.

  5. SnarkyShark permalink
    June 2, 2016

    I should say the APS in its current bastardized form.

  6. Steeleweed permalink
    June 2, 2016

    More than one Trump supporter has celebrated the idea that with Donald spouting so much racism, they are now free to be as bigoted as they like – they no longer have to suppress their racism. Like the poor, racists will always be with us and when it was – theoretically – not PC it was close enough to the surface for anyone to recognize. And the children picked it up from their parents, naturally. However, it’s moved from ‘admission of bigotry’ to ‘celebration of bigotry’ and that multiplies the problem beyond one racist teaching his hids – he’s now teaching all kids. The major isssue is not whether racism exists or even the extent of racism. The issue is whether it should be allowed ot affect public policy.

    And hypocrisy? Trump is not talking racism for the sake of honesty, but as a way to capitalize on a strong emotional issue with his prospective followers. Trump is so personally dishonest we don’t really know if he is racist.

  7. Adam Eran permalink
    June 2, 2016

    I know from first hand experience that some of the objects of prejudice prefer honest bigotry to smarmy denialism (“Oh, I’m not prejudiced!”) The truth is that pre-judging is integral to human perception (see Shankar Vedantam’s The Hidden Brain), just as obsessing about sex (porn) or sugar is built into human software. What matters is whether we let these buggy bits of human software run things, or acknowledge them for what they are: occasions for humility.

    Meanwhile, I recommend Thomas Frank’s Listen Liberal – or – What Ever Happened to the Party of the People for the complete story about the Clintons’ abandoning FDR’s legacy.

    a little sample of Frank’s book:

    “Far from resisting the emergence of the new caste system, Clinton escalated the drug war beyond what conservatives had imagined possible a decade earlier. As the Justice Policy Institute has observed, “the Clinton Administration’s ‘tough on crime’ policies resulted in the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history.“ [9]

    [footnote] *According to a 2014 study of the age of mass incarceration, big increases in sentence length have “no material deterrent effect” on crime and do not reduce the crime rate. See The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring causes and Consequences, a study by the National Research Council of the National Academies, 2014.

    p.118 “Toil hopelessly or go to prison: that is life at the bottom, thanks to Bill Clinton.”

  8. Shh permalink
    June 2, 2016

    Racism is a simple fact. Rhetoric, lies, hypocrisy, and good intentions do nothing to ameliorate the harm it causes.

    Traditionally, we avoid talking about it directly and couch reprehensible policy in thinly veiled rhetoric. This so far has worked for those who “hate” racism, yet are perfectly content with the social injustice and misery perpetrated anyway.

    Usually, these folks like to focus on the rhetoric when expressing their “outrage!” and avoid any real discussion of why it’s wrong, what the real consequences are, and how to “fix” it. By which, of course, the mean to ignore the problem.

    There’s an endemic lack of compassion for the plight of Black Americans and others (prols du jour), especially contemptible, in my view, as part of the embedded neo-liberal fantasy that people are solely responsible for their economic success and failures. Quite often found in conjunction with the belief that money and status provide meaning to life.

    Trump may be providing an unintentional benefit by actually forcing an expansion of the dialectic to focus on the core issues of racism and, maybe, if we’re lucky, we can unbundle some of the conflated ideas behind what racism is and what it isn’t. I won’t go into that here, but I do think that there are several expressions of racism that are getting worse and will cause a tipping point in American “race relations.”

    It’s not simply the smug tolerance of racist commentary by the complicit media, but the long over due (and highly attenuated) attention to the continued, rampant oppression of blacks through police violence, predatory lending, criminal education failures, failure to hold police accountable for outright murder, loss of civil rights through disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, etc., etc., that lead inexorably to yet another bloody confrontation. It is not a needless confrontation either.

    So let Trump whip up the soulless, petty racism of ignorant, mean-spirited white supremacists. Champion his ignorant yelping as a goad to forcing a conversation that, by definition, cannot be made in polite company. There will be no movement in this space without violence. Never has been, never will be. Racism can only be eradicated by raising children together without stigmatizing them once the secondary sex characteristics kick in. Is there a white family anywhere in the world that has to have “the talk” with their 10 year old?

  9. WIlliam J. Blythe, III permalink
    June 2, 2016

    “Hypocrisy” is an exceptionally poor choice of words. This isn’t “saying one thing and doing another”– which implies a disconnect between the ego and the id– or the reluctance to apply your beliefs to your own actions when it is inconvenient to do so.

    What the Clintons did (and still do) was deliberate dissembling to achieve a secret agenda. That’s a different order of magnitude.

    Let me offer a metaphor. In wartime. if you capture an enemy soldier– someone who has openly declared allegiance to a different power– you are still obligated by the Geneva Convention to treat them decently and (if possible) exchange prisoners.

    A spy– something who conceals their true loyalty in order to act against you– can be tried and executed.

    Donald Trump says he wants to repeal Dodd-Frank. Hillary Clinton says that she wants to improve it in ways she does not explain– which seem unlikely, given her past behavior. Which of the two is an enemy combatant and which is the spy?

  10. Synoia permalink
    June 2, 2016

    I prefer the bigotry and racism in the open.

    At lease we can use sunlight as potential disinfectant.

    The hidden racism of the Clinton is much more corrosive, because first it must become visible, and then disinfected.

    I view this as a description of attitudes in the South: “Toil hopelessly or go to prison.”

    I’ve liven in many places. The worst racism I have encountered was in Dallas, TX. It was institutionalized in their society.

    Three Cities describe it: Highland park, University Park and Dallas, Especially Soutn East Dallas along the Trinity River (No flood berms).

  11. reslez permalink
    June 2, 2016

    There’s a distinction between “racism and bigotry being out in the open” to “racism and bigotry being socially approved”. Commenters seem to be in favor of the first without realizing how it (inevitably in my mind) leads to the second. Once racists have social cover they immediately institute policies along racial lines. The same goes for sexism.

    “Shh” said this: “Traditionally, we avoid talking about [racism] directly and couch reprehensible policy in thinly veiled rhetoric.” What “traditionally” do you mean? “Traditionally” racism and bigory were socially accepted and a ticket to votes. It’s only since the rise of “PC culture” in the 90s that it became socially unacceptable to profess racist beliefs. Before that they were tolerated, though color blindness was certainly an ideal it was honored more in the breach than in practice.

    Does that mean I’d prefer my leaders to be hypocritical racists instead of overt racists? No, I’m saying I don’t want racist leaders at all. Hugh’s shit sandwich comes to mind. Choose one? I’d rather starve. And no, I certainly do not believe racism is an inherent part of human nature. Racism was deliberately inculcated to divide white workers from black workers to benefit the malevolent rich in the early colonies. If racism is so inevitable why didn’t it exist in Roman empire? Racism is wrong, teach your kids it’s wrong, and don’t vote for people who divide you along color lines while they steal you blind.

  12. Ian Welsh permalink
    June 2, 2016

    The Black Congressional Caucus is particularly in the pockets of payday lenders, as it happens.

    Once more, mere “identity” is not enough to guarantee integrity and good policies absent interest or integrity.

  13. S Brennan permalink
    June 2, 2016

    I had a similar set of remarks on Trump at https://philebersole ‘s blog in response to his reprint of a Ben Fountain article for The Guardian in which we are told that Trump is going to cause mayhem, while ignoring the “war eternal” policy of the Democrats Obama/Hilary.

    S Brennan Says:
    May 31, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Reply

    According to Ben Fountain, Trump who has never started a war, but who has instead offered-up “red-meat” rhetoric that has secured him the GOP nomination, is singled out while those* who have started many wars [and precursor actions] that have killed millions and created conditions for an apocalyptic war are written out of history.

    Indeed Trump has a long rhetorical anti-war trail prior to his attempt to secure GOP monies [Go watch UTube’s vids from the early 90’s onward. Oh that’s right, research Trumps past…no way, totally uncool.].

    Ben Fountain’s myopia may indeed be informed by a supreme ignorance, but it’s far more likely, it’s willful ignorance which is what results when a partisan hack uses the dead and the wounded as fodder for his personal gain. Had Ben served a day, he’d be your typical back-stabbing buddy…but not a day of service makes him EXACTLY what he claims to despise in his pro-Hillary[**] screed.

    *[B-Clinton/M-Albright]; [Bush-II/Cheney]; [Obama/Hillary].

    **By her conspicuous absence

  14. Shh permalink
    June 2, 2016

    @reslez

    To clarify my use of “traditionally,” I’m using it within the previous 3-5 generation cycle where the open advocacy for racist social policy was tempered into more rhetorical phrasing for purely political reasons. Coincides with many social upheavals in the post industrial turn to modernism. (circa 1890/1910-1945)

    Certainly there’s far more nuance to the cycles of social acceptability – the when and where tolerances have been accepted and refuted. The South still is openly racist in my experience, the urban core of any major city far less so…and the implications and ramification of racist policy are also starkly different.

    If I have to caveat the use of the word, I’d say that the fashion of open discussion of racist policy went out the door with the holocaust – at least for polite society in public. Certainly the tradition within my family (poor Hispanic on my father’s side and Australian “Irish royalty” on me mum’s) was to not draw attention to oneself as having any taint of either lower social caste or racial impurity. Merely a self preservation tactic.

    Not at all analogous to the black oppression, the Japanese internment, the brutal subjugation of our kindred south of the Border and certainly not in line with what Muslims can expect for the next 15 years at least. Unless of course we can somehow overcome the inertia of ignorance.

    Too, doesn’t have much bearing on Ian’s point. Getting bogged down on non-core considerations is merely digression. 🙂

  15. Synoia permalink
    June 2, 2016

    reslez: And no, I certainly do not believe racism is an inherent part of human nature.

    Sadly “Not Like US” and the consequences appear a part of Human Nature.

    The US actions-by-drone on brown people in the ME are nothing but a form of Racism.

    We seem to be “wired” to be in small groups.

  16. Bill Hicks permalink
    June 2, 2016

    As a far left progressive, I’ve always preferred politicians who will try to stab me in the front to those I know will stab me in the back. At least that way there is no confusion about who the enemy is.

    Witness how the antiwar movement completely dried up once Obama was elected and never took to the streets to protest the Libya & ISIS bombings or the drone assassination program. They basically made it easy for the asshole, excuse me, Nobel Peace Prize winner.

  17. Hugh permalink
    June 2, 2016

    The few Trump supporters I have talked to have said that they liked Trump because he wasn’t “politically correct”. It’s not so much they are being racist as anti-elitist. They are pissed about American jobs being shipped to China and going to illegals here at home. And they are pissed that they get told they can’t even refer to these illegals as illegals, that the politically correct term is undocumented. They wonder why there is all this hubbub about which bathroom someone can use which they see as a minor issue when there seems to be dead silence on much a more important subject, like actually doing something that might create jobs, good jobs here in the US.

    There is a fair amount of inconsistency in their support of Trump because Trump has used plenty of illegals to build and staff his real estate projects. And his support of low tax rates for the rich, which is I think his most recent stand (he has gone back and forth on this and many other issues) are guaranteed to harm his supporters and worsen their lives. But however self-servingly he does it, he is the only one who rails against the elites as being the problem, and his supporters respond to this, because the elites are the problem. Sanders gets points for railing against the rich but he really hasn’t addressed much or at all the role of the elites in bringing down the country.

    The media are out to get Trump just as they openly ignore Sanders. Their most recent attacks have been aimed at the sincerity of his support for veterans and his litigiousness. If these can be portrayed as Trump going against the little guy then they might get some traction. The problem is that for many Trump supporters the media are just another part of the elite out to get them, and by extension, their candidate.

    As for racism/bigotry vs hypocrisy, I would say both are evil. The chief difference is that hypocrisy is associated more with the elites while racism/bigotry is tied to the non-elites. I see both as weapons of class war because they are used to divide us against ourselves for the benefit of a few.

  18. Shh permalink
    June 2, 2016

    Hugh said ” It’s not so much they are being racist as anti-elitist.”

    This is a key point.

    On balance, great swaths of people consider racism the lesser evil when weighed against lost prosperity. Clinton is a racist and we see that in policies she backs. Trump is a racist and we see that in his vitriol. So racism’s not a determining factor for anyone.

  19. Steeleweed permalink
    June 2, 2016

    @Synoia: If they’re not part of ‘our group”, they are enemy or potential enemy. (And/or targets). That’s why any group exceeding Dunbar’s Number can’t seem to behave decently.

  20. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    June 2, 2016

    The mainstream view of race is deluded or purposely dishonest. Blacks commit more violent crime, thus you would expect they’d be imprisoned more. So the left makes an issue of the different rates of imprisonment by race, and then label anyone who counters with the different rates of violent crime by race a “racist”. Being a “racist” is the worst thing in the world, and so thus ends the debate. Hence no honest debate in the mainstream is possible.

    The same dynamic plays out with immigration. Trump points out that Mexico isn’t sending their best, and some are actual violent criminals and rapists. This is a simple statement of fact combined with a policy preference that we restrict immigration by building a wall. The left is unwilling or unable to counter this policy argument on its merits, so as usual they just cry “racist”. This is the essence of PC, a restriction of debate to within (usually unpopular) parameters preferred by the left.

  21. Kevin Block-Schwenk permalink
    June 2, 2016

    In theory I agree with the racism implicit in the crime bill, etc. However, given how much better Hillary Clinton has done in the primaries than Bernie Sanders (who was on the right side), it gives me pause. If most folks in the groups which are supposed victims of this seem to be prefer it to the alternative, who am I to complain?

  22. Norcal_Steve permalink
    June 2, 2016

    Please don’t confuse this comment with the above oversimplification of using crime stats to prove that Blacks should be profiled and illegally searched then railroaded through a rich man’s justice system to produce crime stats that ‘prove’ that Blacks should be imprisoned at ever increasing rates. Never mind the racially skewed hyper-criminalization of behavior common in the black community like using crack cocaine.

    But correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Bill Clinton get huge support in the Black communities and doesn’t Hillary still reap this support for the most part? This is not directly related to your main point at all, but I believe that a big aspect of the problem of race based injustice and the mass over-incarceration of black Americans is the class based understanding of the problem in the black community itself. I.e. those communities which were suffering from high crime rates really wanted protection and they themselves strongly supported the procrustean justice and law enforcement exemplified by 3 strikes laws, stop and frisk policing, etc. etc.

    I may be oversimplifying just a bit but I think that middle class blacks really wanted protection from criminal gangs and the lumpen elements in their communities, and hence they went right along with the policies of criminalization, plea bargain enforced justice and mass incarceration of the black community. Living with bad crime problems like violent gangs involved in retail drug trafficking those people don’t have the luxury of worrying about the long term consequences of over-incarceration, disenfranchisement, long term economic consequences to the community of super high rates of criminalization of such a large part of the community. Hence they supported and still support Clinton and barely murmured when Obama did almost nothing to even suggest fixing the problem which now of course is much worse as includes a more and more bloated prison-economic complex of the for profit incarceration sector now in business in every state.

    Not only are the black communities largely powerless to do anything about the racial inequalities in and caused by the justice system, but for the most part they don’t even have a systemic view and understanding of how this dooms them. They are too ideologically compromised to understand the problem let alone try to attack it at the roots. And they don’t have the luxury of being able to see far enough to even want to fight back against draconian law and order – first and foremost they want to be able to live their lives in peace without becoming victims of crime.

    I don’t think that the black community for the most part even have the understanding and unity of viewpoint to know the nature of the beast. I write at risk of completely misunderstand and misrepresenting people whose thinking and behavior I analyze at some distance, but just from what I’ve seen from growing up in West Philly, and most specifically the clear lack of any systematic pressure put even on a black president, plus the little I’ve read about the attitudes toward drastic policing from within ‘the black community’ it just seems pretty clear that there’s a huge divide and the black community is first of all, divided by class into those most heavily victimized by skewed justice and those who suffer it almost willingly as the cost of suppressing violent crime. If the black community itself is largely “going along with the program” and buying into the way law enforcement and justice is dished out, how could things be any different?

  23. June 3, 2016

    “Blacks commit more violent crime, thus you would expect they’d be imprisoned more.” Are you sure that is true? Blacks certainly are arrested for more violent crimes, but does that mean that they commit more? Are all of those arrests of blacks actually the result of violent crimes, and do the same percentage of violent crimes committed by whites result in arrests as those committed by blacks?

  24. reslez permalink
    June 3, 2016

    Racism is just as constructed as nationalism. It has pretensions to biology but fails. If racism was purely kin preference you wouldn’t end up with instances where bigoted grandparents reject a half-black grandchild. Calling it kin preference is specious — elites use the same specious logic when they wonder if poor children are genetically inferior because they do worse in school.

  25. Hugh permalink
    June 3, 2016

    Various thoughts: Whites commit many more violent crimes than blacks because there are many more whites than blacks. There remains, however, a very large race based difference in sentencing for those crimes. There is also an unstated subtext of what a violent crime is. For example, the most common form of violent crime is domestic battery. Oops, I bet you forgot about that one, Blizzard. I don’t anyone who contends that blacks are more likely to commit domestic battery than whites.

    There is also economic correlation and per capita crime rates. Do you think that drug-addled parts of poor, rural America are less dangerous per capita than still segregated parts of many US cities?

    As for black ambivalence toward policing and the Clintons, blacks want to be safe in their neighborhoods, but they would also like jobs and decent lives. As for black support for the Clintons who undercut these goals, let us remember what the Black Agenda Report out of Chicago calls the black misleadership class who for the maintenance of its own privilege steers them that way. Let us also remember all the equally deluded whites who support the Clintons and the Democrats (or Trump) although all are opposed to their interests too.

    Finally, a rigged, manipulated, deeply anti-democratic Democratic primary system means exactly that. The propaganda line I enjoy the most is the one about Clinton getting 2 1/2 million more votes than Sanders. But the votes in caucus states are not included in this tally. In fact, the Democratic party doesn’t report and has deep sixed these numbers. Because many states have publicly funded but closed primaries, independents are disenfranchized. So again their votes get shaved out of the overall totals. Then there is all the collusion between the state and national Democratic parties and the Clinton campaign. The head of the Democratic party, the DNC, is a Clinton operative, Wasserman-Schultz, and she has acted like one. This has been echoed at the level of the state party machines, and is exemplified by all the shenanigans in Nevada. Finally, there is the scam of the Hillary Victory fund whose sole purpose was to funnel SuperPac money through the backdoor into the Clinton campaign in the primaries.

    You see the flip in the propaganda is not that Clinton has gotten 2 1/2 million votes more than Sanders. In a legitimate contest, that would mean something. It is instead that despite heavy rigging at every level, despite the backing of corrupt party leaders, both black and white, and their machines, Bernie Sanders remains viable and is only 2 1/2 million votes behind Clinton, in the highly stacked and distorted public vote.

  26. Hugh permalink
    June 3, 2016

    I forgot to address one point of Blizzard’s. You don’t need to build a two thousand mile wall with Mexico. The solution has been around and ignored by Washington politicians for years: Enact punitive fines against employers who hire illegal immigrants or discriminate against US citizens of Latino descent. Why hasn’t this been done? Because employers in many industries (manual construction, hotels, restaurants, meatpacking) want cheap, easily controlled labor, and illegals precisely because of their illegal status can face deportation if they don’t accept low wages or if they rock the boat. An added plus from the employers’ point of view is that illegal labor also depresses the wages of US workers.

  27. gaikokumaniakku permalink
    June 5, 2016

    You know, when I was a young man, hypocrisy was deemed the worst of vices,” Finkle-McGraw said. “It was all because of moral relativism. You see, in that sort of a climate, you are not allowed to criticise others-after all, if there is no absolute right and wrong, then what grounds is there for criticism? … Now, this led to a good deal of general frustration, for people are naturally censorious and love nothing better than to criticise others’ shortcomings. And so it was that they seized on hypocrisy and elevated it from a ubiquitous peccadillo into the monarch of all vices. For, you see, even if there is no right and wrong, you can find grounds to criticise another person by contrasting what he has espoused with what he has actually done. In this case, you are not making any judgment whatsoever as to the correctness of his views or the morality of his behaviour-you are merely pointing out that he has said one thing and done another. Virtually all political discourse in the days of my youth was devoted to the ferreting out of hypocrisy.

    We take a somewhat different view of hypocrisy,” Finkle-McGraw continued. “In the late-twentieth-century Weltanschauung, a hypocrite was someone who espoused high moral views as part of a planned campaign of deception-he never held these beliefs sincerely and routinely violated them in privacy. Of course, most hypocrites are not like that. Most of the time it’s a spirit-is-willing, flesh-is-weak sort of thing.”

    “That we occasionally violate our own stated moral code,” Major Napier said, working it through, “does not imply that we are insincere in espousing that code.”

    “Of course not,” Finkle-McGraw said. “It’s perfectly obvious, really. No one ever said that it was easy to hew to a strict code of conduct. Really, the difficulties involved-the missteps we make along the way-are what make it interesting. The internal, and eternal, struggle, between our base impulses and the rigorous demands of our own moral system is quintessentially human. It is how we conduct ourselves in that struggle that determines how we may in time be judged by a higher power.”

    -The Diamond Age

  28. palmarius permalink
    June 9, 2016

    The maelstrom of idiocy on display here in this thread and endemic to most of the threads on Ian Welsh.net are case in point why I vote.

    Plato
    :

    Book 1, The Republic (Thrasymachus / Socrates)

    “Observe also what happens when they take an office; there is the just man neglecting his affairs and perhaps suffering other losses, and getting nothing out of the public, because he is just; moreover he is hated by his friends and acquaintance for refusing to serve them in unlawful ways. But all this is reversed in the case of the unjust man. I am speaking, as before, of injustice on a large scale in which the advantage of the unjust is more apparent; and my meaning will be most clearly seen if we turn to that highest form of injustice in which the criminal is the happiest of men, and the sufferers or those who refuse to do injustice are the most miserable –that is to say tyranny, which by fraud and force takes away the property of others, not little by little but wholesale; comprehending in one, things sacred as well as profane, private and public; for which acts of wrong, if he were detected perpetrating any one of them singly, he would be punished and incur great disgrace –they who do such wrong in particular cases are called robbers of temples, and man-stealers and burglars and swindlers and thieves. But when a man besides taking away the money of the citizens has made slaves of them, then, instead of these names of reproach, he is termed happy and blessed, not only by the citizens but by all who hear of his having achieved the consummation of injustice. For mankind censure injustice, fearing that they may be the victims of it and not because they shrink from committing it. And thus, as I have shown, Socrates, injustice, when on a sufficient scale, has more strength and freedom and mastery than justice; and, as I said at first, justice is the interest of the stronger, whereas injustice is a man’s own profit and interest.”

  29. June 9, 2016

    IIRC, many blacks supported the Clinton-era crime bills.

    What there wasn’t, and isn’t, is accountability. When it became clear, as it did early on, that these bills were having the opposite of their intended effects, there should have been immediate repeal. But there is no built-in legal mechanism for followup.

    (BTW, welfare “reform” was as as bad. See http://adviceunasked.blogspot.com/2016/03/welfare-reform-evil-of-lesser-evil.html.)

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