Monday, December 1, 2014

"Civilizing Barbarians"

"A barbarian, in contrast to a civilized person, puts his personal and tribal desires far above those of the welfare of the society he lives in." - Jerry Pournelle

This is from Jerry Pournelle's site Chaos Manor. I have one thing to add: multiculturalism always leads to violence,


"At least one black leader, a State Senator, has declared that we are now in a race war, blacks and their sympathizers vs. everyone else. She has no authority to declare any such thing, and she certainly does not speak for anything like a majority of African Americans, nor, I suspect, for anything like a majority of liberal intellectuals, but it is an astonishing thing to say.

We are not in a race war, but there are similarities to a barbarian invasion. We have a barbarian culture within the United States. The most common cause of death of black males is to be killed by another black male. There are other sub cultures in which homicide is common. Generally the barbarian culture does not interact with the majority of the middle class, but in so-called ghetto areas American citizens cannot avoid interactions with the barbarian culture. They live there, and they can’t avoid it.

More than forty years ago when I was a city official in the Mayor’s office, I was asked to sit in on a meeting with the precinct captain of a district that included both black middle class and some “Inner city” “ghetto” areas. The meeting consisted of the police officers and several black women who were tired of the lack of law and order in their neighborhood. The captain explained that he had no more resources: he had patrols on overtime as it was. There was nothing to be done. I offered to send some of the Metro units in. These were elite police patrols who strictly enforced the law. I warned the ladies that if we sent them in, they would come down hard on all criminal activity they saw. All of it. The ladies said that was very much what they wanted.

We sent some of the elite Metro units into the neighborhood. They began enforcing the law as they had been trained: not as community police, but as strict enforcement officers looking for good arrests. This was before Wilson’s “Broken Windows” theory became widely known, but I knew Wilson, and this was in that spirit: you don’t ignore minor infractions because that leads people to think you will ignore major ones.

The experiment lasted about a month, and the ladies reported they were really surprised at how much better conditions were; but there were black leaders who claimed that the district was being overpoliced. The LA Times talked about the invasion of the police. The mayor told me to get the Metro units out of there. Things went back to where they were before I attempted to intervene.

This was forty years ago, after the Watts riots but before the later Los Angeles riots.

The cure for barbarians within the gates is to educate the barbarian children. Humans are not born civilized. They acquire civility by living in civilization, and they learn it as they grow up in it. In the United States we have had waves of immigrants from areas with entirely different cultures, some from more civilized cultures than ours, but many from less, and few in which civilization was based on freedom: American citizens act civilized because they are civilized, not from fear of apprehension and punishment. The Metro Unit wasn’t really the answer to those ladies’ complaints; it was just all I had to offer.

But the way to civilize barbarians is to do it in the schools, from the earliest grades on: enforcement of discipline, being polite, respectful deference to authority – not cringing fear, but respectful deference. But those values have to be instilled, and enforced.

I remember a song I learned as a child.

School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hick’ry stick

I think everyone I knew learned it. It’s a catchy tune, and it sort of described what we were doing in school. The hickory stick wasn’t much used, but it was legal for the teachers to use it. The Sisters in my first three grades had rulers which they were said to use freely (although I think I actually witnessed Sister Elizabeth Ann use hers no more than twice in the two years I was in her First/Second grade classroom). And the Three R’s were certainly what we were expected to learn. Reading and Writing and Arithmetic.

And when we moved to the country I was in a public school, again two grades to the room and about 20-25 pupils to the grade. This was out in the county in farming country, but we had the same textbooks that they had in Memphis, and we pretty well learned the same things: ostensibly reading, writing, and arithmetic. Of course reading included some real literature: no Dick and Jane, and alas no Cat in the Hat. I wish I had my Third Grade Reader. I have found the California Sixth Grade Reader, which I have edited and published as an eBook; our Tennessee Sixth Grade Reader wasn’t much different. Most of the same poems and stories.

But we were also learning to be civilized. To say “Ma’am” to the teachers, or call them Miss Dean or Mrs. Cooper and be courteous, and yes, obedient. We learned self discipline. You don’t run in the halls. You don’t hit girls (boys got away with a bit more roughhousing with each other, but you don’t hit girls). This is how civilized people live.

We were also learning that “dear old Golden Rule” as we were growing up. Explicitly, but that was just a lesson; but as a way of thinking. It was built into the stories and lessons, and the way we were expected to live.

When I was growing up the purposes of the schools was clear, and civilizing young barbarians was one of those purposes. Now this was the legally segregated South: the young barbarians I refer to were us, farm and country kids growing up in war time when adult supervision outside school was pretty rare.

It seems to have worked.

But as I understand it, that is no longer considered a purpose of the public schools, even though citizens with no children in those schools are taxed to pay for them. The teachers seem to believe – indeed many insist – that their task is not “indoctrination”, and it is not to “impose” a culture on their charges.

Of course it’s pretty hard to see what the system is supposed to do now: from observation a great deal of the system has become a ship which exists for the benefit of its crew, and its funding is not at all dependent on what it actually accomplishes. It’s surely not “the good old golden rule”, and from the results it’s hardly reading and ‘riting and ‘rithemetic either. It’s mostly to pay teachers, avoid any being fired for incompetence and few for anything else, and to pay for good benefits and pensions. The students are irrelevant. Yes, of course, there are dedicated teachers who hate all that, but they don’t run the system, and they aren’t paid in “released time” to be union officials. A ship which exists for the benefit of its crew.

And if the purpose of the schools is no longer to civilize young barbarians, that job is left to the parents and the churches; and we see the results of decades in which the schools are not.

Young humans are not born civilized, and civilizations that leave the task of civilizing them to chance sow the wind.

We sow the wind. We are reaping the whirlwind.

16 comments:

The Anti-Gnostic said...

"The cure for barbarians within the gates is to educate the barbarian children."

This is wildly optimistic.

Anonymous said...

...- - -...

Glen Filthie said...

Can't lay that on the teachers, Bob.

We know full well they are union slobs on the take, and that kids are a meal ticket and pawns in wage negotiations for them.

But ultimately it is the parent that is responsible for their children. And if they can't be bothered taming their own kids, why expect somebody else to do it?

Cheech And Chong Found God said...

Equal to the task were the barbarians of yesteryear who came to Africa and the Americas to "Christianize" and "civilize" and the barbarians of today who tout that America is being outright destroyed or on the brink of extinction due to “barbarians”. They most certainly have legitimate concerns regarding the backgrounds and behaviors of SOME of the newcomers to our land; however, Americans as a whole recognize immigrants historically have assimilated into our society.

"It is the sacred and religious duty of every Mohammedan here to be a good citizen of America and to learn the language of the country, without which we cannot understand each other rightly," Dr. Mufti Mohammad Sadiq, the first imam of the area's first mosque, told the Detroit News in 1921.

Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

People look down on others for different reasons; it might be related to their education, their accomplishments, their obedience...OR THEIR BACKGROUND! Pride has many different faces: some people are “holier than thou” while others are “worldlier than thou”; one person is proud of being so well-read while another person say, “I’m not book smart; I’m street smart”; one person is proud of being fashionable while another person is proud of being oblivious to fashion. Pride is an insidious, pervasive thing, especially if it is related to one's whiteness, blackness, or redness.


Deuteronomy 10:17-19--God loves the orphan, the widow, and the stranger.

One is able to infer from this simple, beautiful passage that regardless of a person's station in life, God commands his disciples to be dignified and show dignity.


John 4:1-42

Jesus broke with societal and religious customs to honor the dignity of the Samaritan woman. He associated with a woman of mixed origins, a moral and social outsider, in public and asked her for a drink of water. He demonstrated dignity of the most highest degree-every person is precious.

God has commanded his disciples to love all of humanity. When God communicates Himself, when He fills us with Himself, He fills us with His Divine Life, with His infinite Love, for He is Love. He confirms that we must share in this Divine nature for God to attract us to Himself because sharing His Grace is His nature.

All men are equal in their natural dignity; human beings are NOT superior or inferior in this regard. Moreover, God created us in His likeness. As the children of God, we are redeemed by Christ, and bear witness to His divine calling and destiny, regardless of one's group identity and locality on this Earth. To deny these truths is to deny the authority of God. God has identified His people as those who adhere to His ways, the brotherhood of humankind. God unifies humanity under His banner.

From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church's members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Anonymous said...

Kill the Boer kill the Boer as the south Africans would say.

The problem is civilized people are too domesticated to be able to deal and be proficient in violence which contact with barbarians necessitate.

Mindstorm said...

@C&C Found God

How would you explain beheadings, then? As a gesture of love, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

The cure for barbarians within the gates is to find somewhere to build a new set of gates.

Bob Wallace said...

Troll," Cheech And Chong Found God"

Cheech And Chong Found God said...

“How would you explain beheadings, then? As a gesture of love, perhaps?”


A perverted subgroup that bastardizes the faith for their own designs.


“The problem is civilized people are too domesticated to be able to deal and be proficient in violence which contact with barbarians necessitate.”

They are civilized for a reason. They are not buying into irrational thought.


“Troll," Cheech And Chong Found God”.

Wow, just wow. Disqualify, disqualify, disqualify.

Mindstorm said...

And what does the majority about this? How many renunciations are there?

Mindstorm said...

It begins with whether the hadith are a legitimate basis for law.

Bob Wallace said...


“Troll," Cheech And Chong Found God”.

"Wow, just wow. Disqualify, disqualify, disqualify."

You're perverting the Bible. That's worse than a troll.

Bob Wallace said...


“Troll," Cheech And Chong Found God”.

"Wow, just wow. Disqualify, disqualify, disqualify."

You're perverting the Bible. That's worse than a troll.

Cheech And Chong Found God said...

“And what does the majority about this? How many renunciations are there?”

Two, for starters

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/aug/31/british-muslim-leaders-fatwa-jihadists-islamic-state-isis

http://islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/5-jihad-a-misunderstood-concept-from-islam.html?start=8



“You're perverting the Bible. That's worse than a troll.”

If you are going to make that accusation, engage in dialectic rather than rhetoric. That means you have to offer specific evidence how those strict interpretations of the Bible I cited are “perverted”.

God is watching you…

Bob Wallace said...

He's watching you, too - and I don't mix Islam and Christianity together, as you have done.

Cheech And Chong Found God said...

“He's watching you, too - and I don't mix Islam and Christianity together, as you have done.”

Let me enlighten you on the Bible. Jesus refused to curse non-believers (curse, in this context, means destroy) when His teachings were rejected by the inhabitants of a village in Samaria. His disciples had requested that the village essentially be liquidated.

Luke 9:52-56: "...they did not receive him...And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”

Perhaps you ought to ponder this message those “Christians” who openly advocate the extermination the followers of another faith. The two sources I cited are following Jesus’ advice.

Again, if you are going to make that accusation, engage in dialectic rather than rhetoric. That means you have to offer specific evidence how those strict interpretations of the Bible I cited are “perverted”.

God is watching you…