A must read: We Need a Cultural Revolution
An excerpt (read it all):
But another aspect of the Sixties was the importance of being a rebel, of pushing boundaries and shocking more respectable people. And so the gangs went from using fists to using knives to using guns. Inevitably, outsiders would on occasion get killed.
While being a rebel is one of the strongest themes of Sixties’ culture, in fact it too hurts the poor. Rebellion is really nothing but a game for rich kids. . . . .
So what happens when the poor come to their senses? They find that it is nearly impossible to get their lives back. To begin with, they have no manners. Wealthier people know when to turn on the manners and when to turn them off, but poor people don’t. They use inappropriate language at the wrong times, and they pay for it. Or they have offputting tattoos that make any advance into a decent management position nearly impossible. Even if their manners are tolerable and their tattoos are hidden or nonexistent, their rebellious attitudes toward their employers may make it impossible for them to advance and may even get them fired. In fact, if employers find that too many of their employees are rebellious and so unemployable, they will probably begin to think about relocating abroad, which lessens the pool of available jobs for the poor, and that in turn decreases the amount of pay offered. None of this helps the poor.
Even worse, they may have had a child way too early. If they are female, they will find they can never go to college because so much of their time, money, and energy is taken up by the child that none is left over for college. If they are male, they can get hit with child support, which can thwart them from getting ahead, too. As part of their rebelliousness, they may have committed crimes, and this criminal record will follow them everywhere, making it difficult to have a good job. Or they have gotten hooked on drugs, and they find it impossible to get off them.
For blacks, the situation is even worse because the Sixties spawned the horrible “acting-white” syndrome, the mentality that swept through the inner city in the late Sixties that said that wanting a good education was acting like whites, and one must rebel against that. . . . . Once inner-city blacks decided that getting a good education was a bad thing, their opportunities in life were quite limited. For women, the obvious choice seemed to be to have a child as soon as possible, and since almost no one can thrive with a child when they are still a young teenager, that guaranteed that these women would stay poor. For men, the obvious choice seemed to be to become a criminal, especially a drug dealer. But being a drug dealer is dangerous. Like other businesses, it is competitive, but because it is illegal, there is a strong temptation to use guns when dealing with the competition, so gun battles erupt in the inner city, and gun battles in the inner city lead to the occasional stray bullet killing an innocent person.
These, then, are the forces that encourage the situation we have today. It is impossible to deal with this situation by the use of rallies or anything similar. Moreover, the occasional sane person who denounces the whole situation is usually, if they are black, thought of as stodgy, as out of touch with today’s values, as a goody two shoes who is culturally backwards, and so on, and if they are white, denounced as a racist. One will be told that one cannot roll back the clock, and of course there is a good deal of wisdom in this since there are so many entrenched attitudes one has to deal with that it is difficult to know where to start.
And so we need a cultural revolution to change things . . . .
The culture of dependency on big government doesn't help either.
Nor are the poor aided by politicians whose political fortunes depend on offering endless goodies that destroy incentives for productive work and undermine self-reliance and real achievement.