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In a shocking, yet not so shocking, form of reverse sexism and oppression, a Huffington Post blogger is begging the question: Is it time to deny white men the right to vote?
Shelley Garland, an MA philosophy student and self proclaimed feminist (see: Social Justice Warrior) who you can typically find working on ways to, as she calls it, “smash the patriarchy,” took to her computer to take part in the regressive left’s inherently fallacious marketing program.
Her product to sell? Removing the right to vote, “the franchise,” from “white men.”
The Blog Post
Garland, whose article is subtly titled “Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?,” starts off with a premise that the time for mass theft of another man’s labor, wealth redistribution, has come and since “white men own a disproportionate amount of wealth” around the world which they took through oppression, it’s about time they lose their power to vote. In fact, she directly blames the power held in the vote of “white men” for the stagnation of what she calls the “progressive cause.” This stagnation, she claims, has led to happenings such as the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, and the Democratic Alliance’s control of large South African cities.
The philosophy student attempts to make the most obvious and sophomoric argument, if you accept her premise, that if you oppress the oppressor, you get less oppression. “If white men no longer had the vote, the progressive cause would be strengthened,” she wrote.
The “white knighting” continues, with Garland directly blaming “reckless white males” and their power as a “primary” reason for the occurrence of “the Great Recession” in 2008. She argues that “a redistribution of global assets to their rightful owners,” would occur if we simply cut down the patriarchy’s power. She says that “white men” and “the imposition of Western legal systems around the world” are used to “reinforce modern capitalism,” and that the “violence of white male wealth and income inequality” needs to become part of the past.
Garland moves to defending her case for reverse oppression, making sure to touch on all of the usual talking points against the “patriarchy.”
“This redistribution of the world’s wealth is long overdue, and it is not just South Africa where white males own a disproportionate amount of wealth. While in South Africa 90 percent of the country’s land is in the hands of whites (it is safe to assume these are mainly men), along with 97 percent of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, this is also the norm in the rest of the world. Namibia has similar statistics with regard to land distribution and one can assume this holds for other assets too. As Oxfam notes eight men control as much as wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population. In the United States ten percent of the population (nearly all white) own 90 percent of all assets.”
What is funny about her defense however, is the fact that should there be a statistic she can’t find, she utilizes presumption to fill in the gaps. “It is likely that these assets are largely in the hands of males,” “Although statistics by race are difficult to find from other parts of the world, it is very likely that the majority of the world’s assets are in the hands of white males, despite them making up less than 10 percent of the world’s population,” she speculates.
In an attempt to reconnect her premise, Garland attempts to explain the ideologies behind the patriarchy, liberalism (including both conservatism and libertarianism), and how her idea of reverse oppression is a viable answer to its defeat. She argues, “These ideologies with their focus on individuals and individual responsibility, rather than group affiliation, allow white men to ignore the debt that they owe society, and from acknowledging that most of their assets, wealth, and privilege are the result of theft and violence.”
Now, Garland appeared, at least for a brief moment, to understand that her ideas may appear a bit extreme, or larger than that, hypocritical (oppression traded for oppression). So instead of calling for the blanket and permanent removal of voting rights, she calls for a 20-30 year moratorium. She says that “it would not be necessary to deny white men indefinitely,” only long enough to see “a decline in the influence of reactionary and neo-liberal ideology in the world.” She continued, “a moratorium on the franchise for white males for a period of between 20 and 30 years is a small price to pay for the pain inflicted by white males on others, particularly those with black, female-identifying bodies. In addition, white men should not be stripped of their other rights, and this withholding of the franchise should only be a temporary measure, as the world rights the wrongs of the past.”
She concludes that, “It is time to wrestle control of the world back from white males, and the first step will be a temporary restriction of the franchise to them. Although this may seem unfair and unjust, allowing white males to continue to call the shots politically and economically, following their actions over the past 500 years, is the greater injustice.”
Garland loves the coercion of government.
In response to Garland’s dramatic and misguided “white knighting” against the patriarchy, there are a few things that need to be addressed. The main issue is the hypocrisy of her tactic. The premise of her idea is that those outside of “white males” or the “patriarchy” have been oppressed, and are owed a sort of reparations. Ignoring the more nuanced arguments relating to the fact that the majority of grievances are ex post facto, the “feminist” is either okay with the existence of oppression, so long as it doesn’t occur to her or her community, or she is a hypocrite. Neither option is all that flattering and both prove she does not fundamentally understand the ground she preaches from.
Now, it is true that throughout history, there has been oppression, and that it has even matched her patriarchal view at times, but to pretend that reversing the direction of oppression is the answer, even in limited duration, is simply ludicrous. Simply play out her premise, and you are left to envision a world where oppression is constantly thrown from one victim to another. Garland argues for band-aiding the issue, not for the investigation of the cause.
Garland then attempts to connect capitalism, and liberalism to the patriarchy, summarizing, as was quoted above, that “these ideologies with their focus on individuals and individual responsibility, rather than group affiliation.”
The amount of fallacy in this is beyond the ability to hold back an eye roll.
First, the rise of capitalism, and innovation, NOT cronyism, directly correlate with a sharp decline in global poverty. In 2015, the Washington Examiner reported on a study conducted by Max Roser, a fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford University’s Martin School, which gave empirical data precisely to this notion.
From Rosen’s Study:
- In 1820, according to data compiled by Roser*, the share of the global population living in poverty was 94 percent while 84 percent lived in “extreme” poverty. By 1992, the poverty rate had dropped to 51 percent, while the “extreme” poverty rate had dropped to 24 percent. Using a different measure of international poverty, the rate has dropped from 53 percent in 1981 to 17 percent in 2011 – representing the most rapid reduction in poverty in world history.”In the past only a small elite lived a life without poverty,” Roser explains. “Since the onset of industriali[z]ation – and as a consequence of this, economic growth — the share of people living in poverty started decreasing and kept on falling ever since.”‘
The Cato Institute, a liberty think tank, has also done studies regarding the correlation of poverty and capitalism, calling the defeat of “global poverty, capitalism’s triumph.”
Even the band U2’s lead singer Bono understands this notion.
“Commerce (and) entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid. … In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure. … Entrepreneurship is the most sure way of development.” -- 2013 speech at Georgetown University
In the end, Garland’s argumentum ad passiones is just that: emotional playwriting. Like many of today’s generation, it is her attempt to look as if she is doing something to “raise awareness for” or “create momentum for” a cause of which she doesn’t understand. She plays in the world of false dichotomy, ignoring nuanced details about the history (causes) of events, and attempts to pat herself on the back for being “compassionate” and “sympathetic.”
Unfortunately, the world has scars, people are inherently flawed, and will continue to make mistakes, but you do not fix oppression by shifting its application. You fix it by empowering the individuals being oppressed. By allowing each person to become the best they are capable of being: freeing innovation, and exploration, while allowing people to associate or disassociate with ideas or things as they will.
Force or coercion, as suggested, never create “good,” only fear and anger. In fact, it is exactly why the idea of the “patriarchy” exists in the first place.