Monday, July 15, 2013

The Zimmerman Verdict: Evidence of the Croatia effect.

In order to understand the black and liberal community outrage to the Zimmerman verdict it's best to take ourselves back to that bastion of left wing multiculturalism, the former Yugoslavia. I think it is important to go that troubled country since the student of it will learn much which can be applied to the modern political situation, especially in the U.S.

The former Yugoslavia was comprised of six different ethnic groups but for the purposes of our discussion we will limit our discussion selves to the two biggest groups; the Croats and the Serbs.

Due to a combination of demography and shrewd politics Serbia was the most militarily successful of the two and as a consequence ensured that its citizens secured the privileged positions in the Yugoslav republic. An objective analysis of the ethnic occupation of the government senior positions showed clear discrimination against Croats. Even so, Croats were still able to assume some of the positions of power, particularly in the non-security positions of government. Still, the net result of this state of affairs was that the Croats en masse felt that they were discriminated against and oppressed by a stronger ethnic group who had all the military power. Futhermore, because Croats were more westernised and economically productive, the Croats felt that their substandard economic position was due to Serbian mismanagement and Serbian corruption. The idea was that Croatia, once freed of Serbian domination would flower into a new Switzerland.

The war came and went, and Croatia is now independent, however, it still remains an economic mess much to the disgust of the average Croat. However, the current situation poses a dilemma for the community there. In the past the Croats could, without much thinking, blame all their problems on the Serbs, however, now that the Serb bogeyman is gone. People are beginning to search for other explanations of their economic failure. Some are blaming the politicians, others the financial markets but to some of the more perceptive individuals they are beginning to see that the problems are with themselves. This, in my mind, is one of the first steps toward genuine reform of the country. The riddance of the Serbian bogeyman was more than a riddance of physical oppression it was a riddance of a convenient excuse for all their failures. Their desire to join the EU was not based on any love of Europeanism, but rather the realisation economically and socially advancement can only come about through the forced adoption of a Western European model.

Now, the point of this little bit of Yugoslavian social history is that it directly applicable to race relations in the U.S. and to the underperformance of black community there. 

From this side of the big pond, it would appear to me that metrics of Black social well-being were higher in bad old days of segregation rather than in the modern days of multiculturalism. Segregation may have, in fact, paradoxically enhanced black social, if not economic, well being.

Take the following graph.

If we take illegitimacy rates as inverse proxy for social well-being we see that Black illegitimacy rates follow White ones till the 1960's when they literally explode. Why so?

Though there are many reasons, we see a disparate effect of the social changes of the Sixties on the Black community. Part of the reason, I think, is because of the "Croatia effect" on Black people's thinking.  In the 1960's everything became the White man's fault.

In the age of segregation, the Black man was treated as a second class citizen. He was limited in his privileges and limited in his opportunities by a system which segregated him from white people. He realised that the Whites did not give a shit about him nor were not going to give him a break. To be fair, they didn't take what little he had. In effect, he was psychologically on his own. Any improvement was going to be self-improvement since the white man was not going to give him anything.  Responsibility was forced onto him. He had to make the best out of the shitty circumstances life handed him.

However, with desegregation, the Black man became integrated--at least in theory-- in the wider community. The preponderant success of white people, when compared to his own failure, combined with the self flagellation of the liberals made it easier to blame all of his problems on whites. They provided a convenient scapegoat for his own abdications of responsibility. If he failed, it was because the the white man plotted against him, if the white man helped him and he failed still, it was because the white man did not help enough. He never had to take responsibility. There was always someone else to blame.

It needs to be understood that this is not a particularly Black way of thinking. All human groups think the same way. White workers, in attempting to explain their own shitty lives will blame white bosses; Indonesians will blame industrious Chinese; Zulu will blame Xhosa; German workers, German Jews. In human societies wherever there is an under-performing group, they will always blame the superior performing (either by hook or crook) group for their troubles.  In any society where one distinct group gains advantages over the other it becomes easier for the disadvantaged group to blame the other for all of its problems.

Whats most depressing about the Trayvon Martin controversy is just how polarised opinion is on racial lines. It's as if the facts don't matter. Likewise, in the U.S. federal elections 93% of Black people voted for Obama. Identity politics trumps all.

This "Croatia effect" thinking amongst black people has profound implications for any long term improvement in the social situation amongst blacks in the U.S. It may just be that some form of soft segregation and parallel social structures may need to be set up, where blacks are self governing and realise that they are on thier own. No white man to blame and no white man to help.  Whether high quality blacks--16% of blacks have IQ's over 100--would want to invest in such a project is a different issue. It appears to me that this group of people, especially the few conservative ones have more in common with successful whites than self-identifying with the "brotha's in the hood".

On a similar note, if you can countenance the notion  that the mean Black I.Q is 85, is the the promotion of universal suffrage in Africa a recipe for the election of demagogues and rouges? Giving the vote to the top 10% of Native Africans would appear to be far better for political stability and general welfare than promoting American style democracy in the region.


asdf said...

In church on Sunday and later at a dinner party, amongst the white people, there was the standard two minutes of hate against Zimmerman. Though I'd say the disengaged people that weren't following it at all greatly outnumbered the people who cared (one person thought Zimmerman was a defense attorney and didn't know what the case was about). Disengagement often seemed to be a subtle form of Zimmerman support. The topic came and went pretty quick once the relevant people felt they had voiced their opinions. I found anti-Zimmerman sentiment was highest amongst middle aged beta males and younger striver women, but that deep down none of them gave a shit, they just felt like they were supposed to.

The black church members were obvious in their opinion but also didn't bring it up and didn't want to talk about it.

They do separate Spanish language services for the Hispanics. I don't know what their opinions where. The sharper people grasped that Zimmerman was Hispanic, that blacks and Hispanics don't like each other, and that it would be a bad topic to bring up.

Anonymous said...

The mean black IQ isn't 85. It's more like 60-70 IQ.

85 is more like a colored mulatto (mixed and biracial), and 90 seems almost like Quadroon IQ.

The USA isn't like South Africa either. In South Africa, there was the categories of white, colored (Asian and mixed?) and black.

Jason said...

Sorry to throw yet more reading material at you doctor, but the point you make in your essay sounds a lot like one of the major theses of Shelby Steele’s The Content of Our Character, where he argues like you that African-Americans were often unable to handle the responsibilities of freedom which came about with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and as a result often subsequently gave in to the temptation of blaming whites for all of their problems rather than themselves. Steele – an African-American conservative who followed up on that work with other books and articles which criticize much mainstream civil rights thought – made a minor splash with this book when it came out (I think) in 1990, yet with the exception of influencing some younger writers like John McWhorther (another young black thinker who while more liberal thinks along such lines) I don’t think his ideas really radiated out too much to the general African-American population, which is a pity.
Anyway, your idea of African-Americans living a community (or I suppose, nation-state of some sort) is an interesting one (there would of course be all sorts of territorial and political difficulties with actually carving out such a space in America, but put that aside for the moment); however, I think it would only work if enough black elites (those 10% of higher than white IQS that you mentioned) were there and took a disproportionate role in running the political entity. Otherwise, I’m afraid such a nation would just be like all the other failed African states which already exist – excepting maybe states like South Africa or Nigeria where there of course exist white or Indian elites who have the necessary expertise to make these areas viable (and needless to say, even the situations in these two states are not exactly rosy, to put it mildly). And there’s the rub, since in general I doubt prosperous African-Americans who are either integrated into white communities or live in black bourgeois areas like around Atlanta really would want to engage in such a venture. Still, if there were the will and the necessary mental capital for this, it would be worthy trying.
Just an aside: I seem to recall the great Croatian-American scholar/historian Ivo Banac once making the point you make, with his saying basically that Croats utterly lacked the ability to compete in the modern world.

Anonymous said...

The USA there was the "one-drop rule" and laws which banned interracial marriage.

Hence, say you're half white/half Asian and your parent is full white (predominant), your children are 3/4 white and 1/4 black. But the "one drop rule" would force people with 75% white ancestry and a very light skin color and tone to consider themselves "black", like pure Africans.

Mixed raced singers like Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey are considered "black" in the USA there.

Anonymous said...

Typo and misspelling. Apologies, I meant "say you're half white/half black".

Jason said...

Looking at your essay again, I see that I did not give enough attention to your 2nd-to-last paragraph, where you mentioned the need for there to be black elites (the 16% of those with 100+ IQ, not 10% of the highter than average whites - my mistake) Again, that probably isn't going to happen, since the first thing middle class blacks want to do usually is get out of ghettoes rather than return to them.
It's a truly tragic situation in my country; I really do not see what can be done about it, other than some very gradual, incremental improvement over time (i.e. African-Americans' finally truly realizing how stupid and destructive it is to have so many out-of-wedlock births and then actually doing something about it - that is, applying the same sort of stigma to this phenomenon that they apply currently to white racism).

Anonymous said...

"(those 10% of higher than white IQS that you mentioned)"

Lol. 100 is not "higher than white IQ". That's roughly about the statistical norm for whites in America. If they didn't consider some hispanics "white", the average white IQ in America would probably be 104-105, like it is in Austria.

There are no pure Africans with "higher than white IQ" that I know of,though maybe one out of a million people with mostly African blood (mixed white/black) could achieve an IQ higher than the white norm.

"(i.e. African-Americans' finally truly realizing how stupid and destructive it is to have so many out-of-wedlock births and then actually doing something about it - that is, applying the same sort of stigma to this phenomenon that they apply currently to white racism)."

Good luck with that. They're not doing it out of some sort of rational instinct. Blacks are a disproportionately large share of those caught raping animals.You never hear about it on the news, but it's a fact. They just have an urge to literally fuck (well,I would say rape, actually. Watch some videos about how they behave in Africa, which has the highest rape rates in the world outside of the middle east) anything-man,woman,child,animal,doesn't matter.

The only thing that can stop them from doing it is imitating white behavior, which they did more or less successfully during and directly after slavery,less successfully during Jim Crow, and they do it even less successfully today.

The Social Pathologist said...


I agree a lot of people are opting out of their two minutes of hate. I think there is a creeping "indignation fatigue" amongst most people in the west.


See here.


I personally feel that Blacks are capable of acting responsibly it's just that the average Black has been put in a cultural environment which does almost everything it can to make him avoid taking responsibility. Those blacks who are responsible seem to face a hard time from the failures with successful behaviour being labelled "white"(i.e "Oreo's") so that escape to a white enclave seems to be their best bet.

The solution for black underperformance and cultural change has to come from within the black community itself, otherwise it will be seen as a white imposition. The problem is that those high performing blacks have every incentive to leave their communities and none to stay.

I sense and eerie similarity between the Former Yugoslavia and the current U.S. I can see secessionist trends developing and can imaging bits of the U.S cleaving off and "going their own way". Twenty years ago I would have thought it fanciful, now I'm not so sure.What I imagine will happen is that when secession is seriously contemplated, virulent racism will return and a solution may be imposed by these renegade states.
What may happen is that the high performance blacks may be forced into their communities (perhaps supported by whites) and the necessary changes will occur.

The Social Pathologist said...


Croatia is a fascinating country to study for a whole host of reasons.

I don't agree with Banac. The country is capable of self government. I know the people, their type and capacity. From memory, as an ethnic group, they rank sixth wealth on a per person basis in the U.S. and they don't do too badly in education. (even though their education system does not push academic standards anywhere as highly as here in Australia)

Croatia's biggest problem is that it lacks a viable middle class. The administrators of any society come from this class, and societal forces, due to a variety of factors, make the establishment of it extremely difficult. Furthermore the cultural prerequisites for the establishment of a middle class have been under vicious attack since Croatia's exit from the Hapsburg empire.

The unthinking proles at the bottom, conspire with the corrupt top to deprive the intelligent middle of any real means of exerting any political or cultural influence. I could go on about this subject at length but it really isn't appropriate in a combox discussion. Suffice to say, that my first ideas of democratic failure were formed whilst observing the populace there.

One of the great advantages of being bi-cultural is that it enables one to see both the strengths and benefits of a culture from both within and out of it. I tend to see the problem as more cultural (therefore fixable) rather than intrinsic to the people.

Jason said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comments, doctor. Actually, I looked up that quote by Banac in a book, and I found that he had actually been referring to Croatian intellectuals, not the general Croatian population – which sort of confirms what you wrote.
I don’t think African-American will secede, since they don’t have the political cohesion to do it, quite frankly. Indeed, although it is always possible, I doubt that states like California will secede either, the favorite bugbear of many on the Alt-Right. The American military is too powerful, Mexico is too dysfunctional to occupy such states, and the Hispanic populations – whatever they may say rhetorically – are not willing to die for annexation to the Motherland; they have it too good already to do so. What I’m afraid is going to happen is that America will become like a really rich Brazil, with lots of rich and poor people living separate existences, and things will sort of muddle along. Not what I like, but that’s what’s going to happen

The Social Pathologist said...

You know Jason, Yugoslavia, I think, had the fourth largest army in the world at the time of its dissolution. The Croats, at the time, were not initially wanting to secede from the country but external events and popular pressure forced them to do so. Things sometimes do take on a life of their own. I wish America the best but this whole Zimmerman thing (and a host of other factors) suggests that the country is quite deeply polarised. No one may want to leave, but it may just happen in the end.

ElectricAngel said...

Interesting thoughts, SP.

It becomes clear that there would have been NO WAY that the "Civil Rights" laws would have been created had black pathology been as virulent in the 1950s as it is today.

What I think you missed was the other changes besides de jure segregation's removal. Two come to mind. One was the change in poverty laws. Prior to the 60s, welfare was meant to support married poor women, or widowed poor women; there was active discouragement of single motherhood (read it somewhere, sorry no link.) The war on poverty changed this dynamic, in fact reversing it; now, if a man was present, a woman could not receive welfare funds. (This is the ultimate outcome of the model of the economy where the man goes off to work and the woman is in charge of the home; if a man's only role is "breadwinner," it makes no difference if the bread is supplied by an actual man, or by "The Man.") This made fathers and husbands a liability; 50 years of tax and social policy have exacerbated this.

The second major change was the immigration reform act of 1965. One reason for the internal migration of blacks in the USA was the immigration restriction of 1924. When World War 2 production required a surge in workers, the only untapped sources of labor in the country were black sharecroppers and women; Federal policy actively encouraged black housing and migration for the war effort. By artificially restricting the supply of immigrant labor, blacks were given an immense aid to improvement. When the immigration floodgates were opened, the economic support for unskilled and low-skilled black labor was undercut. This, then, also made it impossible for a black man to support a conventional family.

The result is what we have today. The most responsible segments of the black population were penalized, while the least responsible were encouraged to breed (do not project upper middle class white economic calculation onto lower-class increased welfare per child recipients), eventually producing a larger and large unemployable black underclass. A disaster for society, and a catastrophe for American blacks.

Anonymous said...

Interesting analysis, though I think the Zimmerman trial was actually the white version of the OJ Simpson trial--a man whose story reasonably raised suspicion, but because of racial tensions, support split down racial lines. Like OJ, Zimmerman was acquitted which fed the triumphalism of white conservatives like blacks triumphed with OJ's not guilty verdict. The fact that Zimmerman has failed to stay out of trouble and was recently arrested and put in a jail cell (again, like OJ!) after multiple incidents involving lawbreaking and accusations violence and lying is further indication of the fact that many white conservatives projected their own ideas about the world onto the situation. They bought into their own lie that black people have just been making up the prejudice that has run rampant throughout this society.

I ran into many cognitive misers on the forums discussing that topic. The twisting of statistical data about black men ran rampant. All in all, the majority of black American men have no criminal history whatsoever. [And the majority of black women don't have children out of wedlock--in fact, the rate of black oow mothers has been steadily decreasing.] And yet I find this phrase about the "average black man" needing to be forced to be responsible. Hmm...the "average black man" hasn't been irresponsible.

Furthermore, I actually agree with your point about segregation, though not for the reasons you suggest. It has nothing to do with blame. What "integration" did was give the best and brightest, most ambitious, those with means, etc. to head for the suburbs. The concept of a "black community" is one created purely by ghettoization. There was never a cohesive black community and culture--and to the extent it existed, it existed to combat white oppression. That is why those who could get out of the ghetto did and still do. That means that those who were left were mostly those who either did not have the ability, the wits, the drive, the character to do better for themselves.

Furthermore, the general secularization of the culture weakened the influence of the church among blacks in general (though not as much as whites), which previously had a strong role in normalizing behavior and values and holding individuals accountable. Moreover, because it was church leaders who spearheaded the Civil Rights Movement, not seeing that cause realized made individuals continue to look to church and church leaders for direction and mobilization. When the old guard Civil Rights movement waned, those Christian leaders were no longer front and center in the eyes of black Americans.