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Today is a FREE taste of an Insight Politics article by writer Nathan Smith.
Tyranny of the Midwits
The only one metric that matters for whether “systemic racism” or “systemic sexism” exists is: can a mediocre black man or a mediocre woman reach a position of authority?
If all you see in leadership are exceptional examples of such people, then your rainbow society might have a problem.
For instance, while his politics were terrible, you’d have to admit that former US president Barack Obama was an exceptional black man. He had charisma and a calm magnetism that did more for general trust in Washington’s institutions than perhaps any president since FDR (that both these presidents came from the same cartel of American elites is no coincidence).
By the metric above, you might say this means the US has a latent – and perhaps “systemic” – prejudice against non-European people. Yet people from India and East Asia tend to perform well at all levels of American society. I met many of these people during my time as a journalist and I can confidently say the average Indian or East Asian person in top positions of US businesses is, indeed, very average.
So, it appears the US harbours prejudice against black people, those of African origin, not “non-European people” precisely. Interesting.
Back in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern can be called a lot of things, but one thing you can’t call her is exceptional. Just compare Ardern to Helen Clark. Again, Clark was called many names, but mediocre was never one of them. She was New Zealand’s best politician (I’m not sure that’s a compliment). Ardern, however, will be remembered as simply another PM. Nothing great. Nothing amazing. About normal.
As a reporter, I also talked with many female business owners, senior partners and CEOs. If I count on one hand the number who were phenomenal specimens of feminine drive, I’d still have fingers left over. How can a system be oppressive when it rewards mediocre women with investment capital all the time?
The problem of socio-economic success is difficult. However, modern discourse prefers to prioritise the trivial over the difficult which leads to worshipping the mediocre rather than trying to fence it in. And all in the name of “anti-racism” or “anti-sexism”.
One of the first institutions to scoop out “racism” or “sexism” from within its brain was the university. This process of expiation has continued for more than a century. Today, a university campus is essentially a sandbox of what academics wish for the rest of society.
Since nature abhors a vacuum and someone is always in power, the removal of “oppression” created a new set of rules governing who could be an academic. The answer was: pretty much anybody. This sounds “fair,” but these new rules depend on the dilution of exam markings through a bizarre application of Gresham’s Law.
Universities are now full of what the internet humbly calls “midwits”.
These midwits come in all shapes, colours and sizes. And if you thought oppressive systems created by genuinely intelligent and well-educated people were harsh, try living in a system created by people who believe they are intelligent because they passed a few exams.
Let’s test my idea that the world is governed by mediocre people and the oppression they scream about is imaginary.
What should we expect to see? Well, mainstream ideas would claim to isolate a problem and present a solution. But when this solution is applied to the problem, the problem is not solved and gets much worse.
For example, most people are familiar with race theory. Or, in its latest incarnation “critical race theory”. CRT claims to be about exposing and changing “systemic racism” holding non-European people back from success. But, as we saw above, it’s really only black people who lack representation at high levels of society. CRT does nothing to help Sikhs, Chinese, Japanese, Indians or Jews because they don’t need much help.
Assuming the midwits promoting CRT want it to work, they would be happy for Sikhs and Japanese to also deploy it as a political tool. But this would only mean fewer black people in positions of influence since more Sikhs and Japanese would take the spots instead. Problem = not solved.
It’s great to get everyone’s opinion on a problem, but if your system selects the mediocre then you will only get mediocre solutions that split the world into a binary: oppressor/oppressed, black/white, good/bad. The binary is the easiest analysis to make, which is why the media love it. There’s nothing wrong with MMP, for instance, it’s just that the media prefer to deal with two sides because that’s how the average person thinks, and the average person is very average.
The problem with CRT is it creates a binary of ‘black and white’, which also happens to have the semiotic payload of ‘good and bad’. If you don’t consider yourself black or white, then you are invisible to CRT. Said differently, the reason East Asian and Indian people do so well is because they didn’t pick a colour.
Simply by not including themselves in the conversation about systemic racism, systemic racism for East Asians and Indian people does not exist. Do you see? They are successful because they have escaped the default human tendency to place everything into a binary. More precisely, their brains are never infected in the first place (at least for race politics).
Just as a fish does not know what water is, the mediocre cannot understand the social forces around them. They cannot see that their cage is locked from the inside. By setting CRT as a binary, the midwits tyrants have invented perhaps the best weapon ever devised to control black people.
Without CRT, who will teach black people their place? They would just run around being doctors, engineers and upstanding citizens. Can’t have that now, can we? Midwits don’t see black people as doctors, they see them as criminals and basketball players. They need black people to play the role of the ‘other’ because that’s what their mental movie demands.
But if you tell a black kid every day of her young life that she is oppressed by white people, all that matters is she is black and that laws are useless, she will live as though she is oppressed, and the white kids will always have an advantage over her.
The trick is to lie. Give her A grades even though she failed at maths. This will guarantee that her mental capabilities degrade over time – or never develop at all. Then, when she has her first setback in life, CRT teaches her to blame white people and thereby rob herself of agency and become a slave.
And while it might hurt European kids to be called ‘white’ and told they are the oppressors, CRT gives those ‘white’ kids all the agency. If you are the oppressor, you are in control. It tells European kids that they did not earn this ability, but this agency is irrevocably theirs no matter what. Imagine if a racist taught their kids this kind of narrative? Well, it’s happening at your schools today.
Some Europeans will choose to accept the propaganda and see themselves as ‘white’. They might even feel a bit of shame. But they will make up for it by wearing masks, injecting themselves with crazy fluids and tweeting about how ‘anti-racist’ they are. Yet the black kids will end up in prison because, well, the midwits don’t really expect much else from them. How can they avoid prison? Black people are oppressed!
The same goes for ‘systemic sexism’, by the way. Feminists won’t discuss the reality that Asian women succeed in business because then they don’t get to say that what’s holding them back has a penis. Recognising Asian success means other women are left to grapple with their own inadequacies and failure to outsmart men. Again, their cage is locked from the inside.
The problem with mediocre people is they make the only mistake that matters: they are pro-status quo because it gave them their status. If you care about the future, it would be wise to rethink ways to rebuild some of Chesterton’s Fences to roll back the midwit tyranny that has already begun.
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