By Tom Rhodes, 5/31/2011
The Obama/ Progressive theory of exploitation can be summed up in this quote by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, "white folks' greed runs a world in need." No new thought here, according to Dr. Thomas Sowell this explanation of economic and other differences is among the oldest, and most factually discredited, explanations of such difference among all sorts of peoples in all sorts of places. Yet it is an explanation that has long been politically seductive, in countries around the world.
This idea has mass appeal, and satisfies an emotional need, to place the blame on others who have done better in the world for your not having done as well. It however runs contrary to history, and is an antithesis to the founding of the United States of America.
There is deep emotional appeal to this idea, and the plethora of evil deeds from every facet of society provides ample ammunition to support virtually any ideology which blames other people’s sins for their problems. This notion that the poor are poor because the rich have earned their riches on the backs of the poor is an ideological theme that plays well to the uneducated in Third World countries to explain why they lag so far behind the West.
Today and for the past couple of centuries, western culture dominates success compared to other cultures. This produces an image of rich European white people and poor non-white people. Many so called progressives try to blame this on race, and racial oppression. It completely ignores the fact that over human history this has not been the case. Northern white Europeans lagged far behind Eastern, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures for centuries. As Dr. Sowell notes, “In a wider view of history, however, it becomes clear that for centuries before the European ascendancy, Europe lagged far behind China in many achievements. Since neither of them changed much genetically between those times and the later rise of Europe, it is hard to reconcile this role reversal with racial theories.”
We would all laugh at the idea if Europe of a few centuries ago blamed its relative poorness on China’s relative wealth. Europeans changed their culture, from a doggedly feudal society, with virtually no rights of individuals, and regular abuse by a few ruling elite to a more liberal society, which acknowledged individual rights. Expanding on notions like Rule of Law, and Equality Under the Law, and Property Rights. This ideology eventually lead to the end of acceptance of slavery, civil rights. This expansion of rights, lead to huge increases in wealth for most of Western civilization. It cannot be reasonably argued that the standard of living for the vast majority of people in western civilization is not superior to that of what is now considered Third World civilization.
Obama and other elitists, rather than try to promote the ideology and actions that created such vast wealth for such a huge segment of the world, insist upon using the old, disproven, but emotionally appealing notion that those who are prosperous got their by suppressing others.
“Exploitation” theory cannot be reconciled with the facts. If this theory were true, the collapse of imperialism, which returned many countries to self rule from former colonial rule by English, French, or Spanish conquerors, should have resulted in increased overall wealth for those countries. Today many Third World countries are poorer and more oppressed now than when they were ruled by Western countries a few generations ago.
For some strange reason Obama and progressive elitists, want to return to rule by a few elite, eliminate both equal protection and rule of law, and institute historically failed socialist ideologies, fostered by the factually disproven but emotionally satisfying “Exploitation” ideology.
Liberalism, now termed libertarianism, was an evolved ideology which lead to more wealth for more people of all types than any ideology in the history of man. Proof of the failure of “Exploitation” theory, can be seen in Dr. Walter Williams old but still relevant video series unintended consequences.