One of the painfully revealing episodes in Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" describes his early experience listening to a sermon by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Among the things said in that sermon was that "white folks' greed runs a world in need." Obama was literally moved to tears by that sermon.
This sermon may have been like a revelation to Barack Obama but its explanation of economic and other differences was 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.
What could be more emotionally satisfying than seeing others who have done better in the world as the villains responsible for your not having done as well? It is the ideal political explanation, from the standpoint of mass appeal, whether or not it makes any sense otherwise.
That has been the politically preferred explanation for economic differences between the Malay majority and the more prosperous Chinese minority in Malaysia, or between the Gentile majority and the Jewish minority in various countries in Europe between the two World Wars.
At various other times and places, it has been the preferred explanation for the economic differences between the Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, the Africans and the Lebanese in Sierra Leone, the Czechs and the Germans in Bohemia and numerous other groups in countries around the world.
The idea that the rich have gotten rich by making the poor poor has been an ideological theme that has played well in Third World countries, to explain why they lag so far behind the West.
None of this was original with Jeremiah Wright. All he added was his own colorful gutter style of expressing it, which so captivated the man who is now President of the United States.
There is obviously something there with very deep emotional appeal. Moreover, because nothing is easier to find than sins among human beings, there will never be a lack of evil deeds to make that explanation seem plausible.
Because the Western culture has been ascendant in the world in recent centuries, the image of rich white people and poor non-white people has made a deep impression, whether in theories of racial superiority-- which were big among "progressives" in the early 20th century-- or in theories of exploitation among "progressives" later on.
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.
More important, the Chinese were not to blame for Europe's problems-- which would not be solved until the Europeans themselves finally got their own act together, instead of blaming others. If they had listened to people like Jeremiah Wright, Europe might still be in the Dark Ages.
It is hard to reconcile "exploitation" theories with the facts. While there have been conquered peoples made poorer by their conquerors, especially by Spanish conquerors in the Western Hemisphere, in general most poor countries were poor for reasons that existed before the conquerors arrived. Some Third World countries are poorer today than they were when they were ruled by Western countries, generations ago.
False theories are not just an intellectual problem to be discussed around a seminar table in some ivy-covered building. When millions of people believe those theories, including people in high places, with the fate of nations in their hands, that is a serious and potentially disastrous fact of life.
Despite a carefully choreographed image of affability and cool, Barack Obama's decisions and appointments as President betray an alienation from the values and the people of this country that are too disturbing to be answered by showing his birth certificate.
Too many of his appointees exhibit a similar alienation, including Attorney General Eric Holder, under whom the Dept. of Justice could more accurately be described as the Dept. of Payback.
Herein Dr. Sowell explains in very simple terms the greatest reasons why the Dem/Progressive/Socialist/Islamist movement can never be trusted. They are simply incapable of living in reality. Like children whose minds have never been trained, they believe in a fantasy of their own making and are either too lazy, too stupid, or too immature to accept responsibility for their own shortcomings and/or lack of individual effort. It is easy to blame others for your own poor quality of life, a lot easier than to actually do something about it yourself, particularly when you have been taught you cannot excel or succeed without someone else help that they are refusing you. The US has had singular success over the past centuries because there were so many individuals willing to take individual responsibility for their own efforts at success but today our schools teach only government can give those opportunities and if your efforts lack success then you cannot be help responsible for your own actions. Within the Dem Party, one of their trademark abilities is to stick together when being lying ore being proponents of a lie, probably because they are incapable of recognizing truth and their entire philosophy has come to base itself on untruth, socialism and the absurd idea that man is so perfectible that only governments run by men dedicated to socialism can succeed or are worthy of adherence by the public and the party.
BO may be a very intelligent man but his policies are none-the-less stupid as they simply do not equate to reality. He says he loves the US but treats it as though he hates it. He has been the recipient of its largesse but acts as though he'd been purposefully help down by some unholy system (or the Jews in his friends eyes). He has appointed socialists after socialist and even known communists and Islamists to public office and yet neither party finds any of that remarkable and the Conservative group (supposedly the GOP) cannot even find room to complain or to fight back against his gangster style tactics. The very lack of GOP effort has brought forth the Tea Party movement that now threatens to ruin the GOP. Several other Political Parties have sprung up to take up the slack of opposition to the Dems that the GOP has failed to support. Now the Constitution Party is growing faster than any other party in the US because it is in open Christian Conservative opposition to the Dems and the BO regime.
It seems apparent that no effort nor comments to the GOP is going to awaken that party leadership and that may well bode ill for the US as a large percentage of voters will be leaving GOP ranks to vote as independents or as Constitutionalists leaving insufficient majority to wrest the Presidency from this purely evil man and the Dems.