Tag Archives: poitical science 101

Who is to blame: society or the individual

In Classification of Ideologies, I explore the differences between the far-left, the far-right, the centrist-left, the HBD-right, and in-between.

Consider a problem such as poverty or unemployment:

To the far-left (welfare liberals, Marxists, socialists, SJW-left, etc.), social problems are a failing of society (structural racism, discrimination, capitalism, etc.). The burden is a collective one, to fix these problems. The far-left view the world through the lens of power, with those who have power wielding it to oppress and exploit those who don’t.

To the centrist-left (neoliberals and classical liberals), libertarians, and neoconservatives, socioeconomic problems are a failing of the individual, not society. For the HBD-right (such as myself and others) this may be due to low IQs (an internal, individual trait) hindering the ability of individuals to succeed in an increasingly technological and competitive economy. To some conservatives, people may fall between the cracks because of poor work ethic (also an individual trait). The ‘Just-world hypothesis’ is often invoked to justify wealth inequality, in which structural forces that contribute to poverty are ignored. Thomas Friedman, a neoliberal, blames not capitalism–but individuals for not being able to keep up with an increasingly interconnected, automated, and competitive ‘flat world’. Charles Murray laments the delamination of society, but blames not capitalism, but IQ.

Much of his argument is centered on a notion of self-selective sorting that began in the 1960s and 1970s, when he argues that cognitive ability became the essential predictor of professional and financial success, and people overwhelmingly began marrying others in the same cognitive stratum and living in areas surrounded largely by others in that same stratum, leading to not only an exacerbation of existing economic divides, but an unprecedented sociocultural divide that had not existed before in America.

Although classical liberals and neoliberals may subscribe to a social-Darwinistic worldview, they support a social safety net to help those who may be unable to adapt, more so than neoconservatives, and welfare liberals, who reject social Darwinism, support the largest social safety net of all–obviously.

The far-right, but also some neoconservatives, also blame society (such as secularism, breakdown of families, materialism, cultural degeneracy) for individual failings.