Behavior Economics

Behavioral Economics Predicts The Inner Racist of White People Will Destroy Democracy for Right to be White


I feel the great fool to have not seen this earlier, years earlier, than now. I mean it is no secret that since LBJ and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts that the Republican Party has been increasingly reliant on the Southern Strategy appealing to the racists that walk amongst us. Like many of us, I had assumed that the number of those racists was diminishing — maybe you didn’t, I don’t know, so if you didn’t, I’d love to hear about it in the comments, so do tell! I had assumed that within a generation or two that racism would be largely a thing of the past. Oh, for those Halcyon days, amirite?

When Trump won in 2016, I assumed it was because a Black man was uppity enough to have won in 2008 and 2012, and the racists weren’t having none of that, not to mention the misogynists not having anything to do with a wOmAn president. But, it turns out, the vote was stolen… Trump never won any vote or poll before this one that he didn’t cheat at, so don’t think this was his first clean election. It’s like thinking that a rapist’s first rape is their first sexual assault. It ain’t. You work your way up, but those are both topics for other blog posts.

That there are racists among us isn’t what I’m surprised by and ashamed of not having realized. You can go back into the early blog posts and find my analysis of the racist motivations of Trump voters. What I’m ashamed of is not realizing the depth of the commitment to white supremacy and racist oppression that lives deep in the souls of these people. Sitting here tonight, I keep thinking, I shoulda known. I shoulda seen it coming. I’ll walk you through the analysis and see if you think it shoulda been obvious at the end. Comments, okay?

The Potential Loss of White Supremacy Mandates Risk Seeking White People

I base my analysis on the behavioral economics principle of people hate taking risks but will take a risk to avoid a sure loss. The question here is what constitutes a risk and a sure loss?

For the racists among us, the sure loss is losing their dominate white identity. The risk they’re willing to take to avoid the sure loss is destroying the democracy, the country, and the earth because to them, nothing matters more than the lionized, canonized, rationalized white identity.

Until the individual white person with an inner racist — and it is all of us — feels this threat, their inner racist is relatively quiet and not too bothersome. When a dog whistle resonates with that inner racist, the racial animus starts to get active, only it ain’t too loud and direct, it just feels like a nagging worry or fear.

We all know that when people are fearful, they become more conservative including with their votes. See the Virginia suburbs.

We’ve all heard people lament that poor white people continue voting for GQP politicians who enact laws and policies that are against their best interests? The dog whistle resonates with their thinly veiled inner racist. Think about it, these people would rather elect people who will actively hurt them if it means that they’ll hurt Black people more. That is a fucking powerful motivator. Cognitive dissonance plays a role, too, to be sure, but the feeling of threatening their superior white identity is so painful that they will do literally anything to avoid it. Don’t believe that? Consider these little historical nuggets:

These are the same people who fought and died in the Civil War to preserve their “right” to be slavers.

These are the same people who willingly die of #COVID19 rather than… Christ, I don’t know what they think they’re proving by dying of #COVID19, do you? But it is so powerful that it overcomes their sense of self preservation. Hell, these people are even sending their CHILDREN — and no one would ever do anything to hurt their child, right? — to school unvaccinated and unmasked. That’s a fucking powerful motivator.

The risk of losing their white superiority is so frightening that they’ll die and kill their children. Do you really think that Joe Biden giving them a child tax credit will convince them not to vote for the GQP? Do you really think family leave and getting grandma a freaking hearing aid is going to tip the balance towards the Dems?

It took two hundred years for the Medieval Witch Hysteria to pass. TWO HUNDRED FREAKING YEARS! Villages murdered 80% of the women who lived there. They were willing to burn their mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. Do you really think functional government is going to convince them to give up their racism?

The risk of losing their white superiority is so frightening that they’re willing to become the thing they profess to hate the most, anti-American. They hate liberals for our freedoms. They hate us because we are free to speak our minds and exercise our right to abortion and have affordable healthcare and housing. They hate us because we are free to vote for the candidates of our choice. They hate us because we want Black equality.

The worst part of it is that the white suburban swing voters don’t know that they have this inner racist driving their decision making. They don’t realize that when the GQP candidates are thundering on with their lies about Critical Race Theory or defunding the police or immigrant caravans or Ebola-carrying ISISers coming to behead us all or Corey Booker moving in next door to you or whatever the racist dog whistle de election is, they vote conservative even if it means hurting themselves and the country and the world. But, they do, every election cycle.

Black People Won’t Save Democracy

We often heard in the run up to the 2020 election that Black people would save our democracy, but white people will destroy it. They’ll destroy it because they are too cowardly to confront their inner racist, to do the hard work of challenging their thoughts and beliefs and behaviors.

Not all white people to be sure, but because it is such difficult emotional and cognitive work to challenge those deep-seated reflexive reactions most white people just won’t do it. They’ll pay lip service to it, though. I don’t see color! Afterall, it only means losing the democracy, the climate, and our future to continue avoiding doing the work it would take to save us.

So, you see why I’m feeling a little abashed. It is so obvious. Racists never went anywhere other than under the fridge in the kitchen to hide until the lights went out. I feel foolish for not realizing how deep, even though I wrote about it being part of every white person’s deep culture, racism runs. I foolishly thought that if Democrats demonstrated what a functional government looked like and delivered services, laws, and policies that helped all of us, white people would agree with them and see the contrast with the Republicans who are destroying our government through inaction and voter suppression and nullification laws. Virginia and New Jersey says no. No, they don’t. It’s more important to continue being racist than preserving any aspect of the life as we know it.

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94 replies »

  1. I think there’s little doubt that we’re going through Jim Crow 2.0, and things will be grim without a voting rights law. But I still hope for Reconstruction 3.0. I’m not willing to believe the huge crowds protesting the George Floyd horror didn’t mean something. I do believe if young people can be sufficiently engaged, we can beat back the ugly tides. But they need to see that we’re serious about saving the planet so they have a future.

    And naive though it may be, I think there are ways to appeal to our commonality. I had a Twitter exchange with a Black woman who asked whether white people are down on Biden bc they’re watching too much MSM—or they’re unhappy about all the talk about equality. I responded that sadly, I think both are true. I expressed my wish for a messaging wizard who could convince white folks what Heather McGhee illustrated so brilliantly in her book The Sum of Us: we all do better when we all do better. She and others “liked” my response.

    Biden has spoken of the problems with the zero sum game; we need more such talk; I don’t think it’s futile—and a good economy can’t hurt.

    I worry that disillusionment, and apathy, will make our democracy’s demise more likely—if good men and women do nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Howdy Annie!

      I am heartened to know that the margin in the Virginia and NJ gubernatorial races was just over two percent. They could’ve gone either way depending on small variations in turn out. That the vast majority of Americans are not just fleeing from the Republicans like they’re some kind of radioactive mutants drug up out of the swamp is a bit discouraging. That we thought we had racism on the run only to watch as it reared its ugly head is a bit discouraging. Looking at the grossly gerrymandered maps coming out of Republican states is discouraging.

      Sorry, I don’t mean to creating a balance sheet of encouraging and discouraging indicators and tilting it towards discouraging. I think it is just my frame of mind nowadays.

      All is not lost, but the margin for error just keeps getting smaller. Just like the passage of the infrastructure bill, I believe in my heart of hearts that Biden can pull off a miracle and that it will rally the majority of the American people to his side. I just thought that the fight would seem more vigorous on the left.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree. I don’t know why the Dems aren’t fighting like mad to pass a voting rights bill. The bill Manchin helped write with Klobuchar and Warnock would do a lot—assuming they tweaked to add protection against results tampering.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Annie!

          There is still time to pass it. I suspect they will. There’s lots of issues tied up together here. One of the ones that gets me is that most of us are moving at the speed of social media while the federal government moves at the speed of the government. I think in the big calculus, Biden thought #COVID19 first, economy and climate second, and voting third. We’ll see if that is the case. If he gets BBB passed, it will solidify his reputation as a backroom deal maker. Hopefully, that will be it.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Jack. It seems racism is far more engrained in the US public than I would have thought. So how do we overcome and defeat that? Is it a weird problem that is fostered by something unique to the us? How do we become the people, the nation of equality that future visions like Star Trek foretold we could be? Sorry that is a lot of questions, but it is an important topic. I was one of those who thought racism was on its last legs and that the Tea Part was the last paid dregs of them soon to die off. Oh crap was I wrong. Thanks. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Howdy Scottie!

      You and me both, brother. I thought the Tea Party was the last gasp of a dying breed, but as it turns out racism is the tardigrade of social beliefs. It just encapsulates when the environment is hostile to it and rehydrates when it is more friendly. It survives anything.

      About a year ago, I took a deep dive into American deep culture and looked at how racism is baked into white culture. It takes a long time to change culture. It gets passed down from one generation to another, and these folks have been grinding that axe since 1600 or so.

      Also, there are some folks — conservatives — who are more vulnerable to racial angst. They are naturally more easily disturbed by people who are different. Just more sensitive to those things. They see the world as more dangerous and any changes or difference feels threatening. When cynical politicians use those fear mongering tactics, they just find it harder to resist.

      Part of me has concluded that we will never free ourselves completely of it, so maybe the best solution is the Indian-Pakistan partition solution and just divide the country fall of the Soviet Union style.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 2 people

  3. In some circles it is cautiously said though far too many days late and dollars short the Ghost Dance just might be working. The whites are killing themselves off, all we had to do was wait long enough.

    Not sure what’s to be done about the mess they’re leaving behind …

    Liked by 3 people

    • Howdy Ten!

      Here’s the beauty part, there is no problem so big and bad that completely ignoring it and doing nothing won’t fix. You might not like the resolution, but it will resolve. Climate is just that kind of problem. If we just stopped making it worse, it would eventually right itself.

      I’ve read that MAGA is dying at five times the rate of liberal America because of #COVID19, so you may be on to something. If you thought it would help, I’d do a few rounds of the Ghost Dance, just in case, know what I mean?

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I absolutely HATE hearing from anyone the old “I don’t see color”…really? Are you blind then? Of COURSE we all see color, it is entirely how we internalize that color that we SEE and then react to that internalization that “proves” one either a racist or a NOT racist.
    People in my age group are so damned afraid of having someone they perceive as being “Less than” getting a step ahead. whether it be through a job or through politics, some whites just hate the idea of “one of THOSE people” being more highly paid, better respected or in a higher class of living than they.
    We had a chance to turn all this BS around with the last election and a QUICK and thorough investigation with NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES immediately following for the perpetrators and instigators. I fear your post is all too accurtae now and we need to say goodbye to democracy as we knew it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Howdy Suze!

      That’s the “funny” thing, I don’t think anyone on either side of the divide wants to admit that our country has failed, but it clearly has. Democracy takes cooperation between the political parties. Take the cooperation away, and the government cannot function. That’s what we have now. Dysfunction at all levels of government.

      If the GQP succeeds in their voter suppression and nullification efforts, and there’s every indication that they will, then we are truly lost. The Confederacy at long last wins the Civil War, unifies the country under their racist autocratic banner, and we all live in the misery we used to reserve for Black people for a generation.

      The question is what do people like you and I do in the meantime? How do we survive or cope with the situation? Those are topics for future blog posts. There are things that we can do.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Long ago, in the fantasy novel Wizenbeak, the local church would burn accused and convicted witches at the stake and confiscate their estates. As as revolt began, one of the politicians remarked “When you burn a man’s mother, he begins to think you don’t have his best interest at heart. When you take away his patrimony he becomes sure of it.”

    Who would have thought that was an excessively optimistic view of human nature? Not me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Howdy Larry!

      Thank you for the novel tip. It looks great. I’ll check to see if the library has it.

      It’s like LBJ said, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” You gotta have your priorities straight, know what I mean?

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 2 people

        • Drat and darn, not only is Wizenbeak not in any of the library’s I have access to none of his books are either. It’ll have to wait for a visit to the used bookstores when next I’m stateside. Amazon has used copies for sale as does Thriftbooks, and the Open Library will let me borrow it. Fantastic. What a fascinating modern age we live in.

          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      Thanks for the podcast tip. I’ll listen over the weekend.

      Identity turns out to be pretty darn central to our psyches. That in-group-out-group construct turns out to be the dividing line. And people had begun to doubt the efficacy of social identity theory.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is central. We divide the world into categories. That is central to how cognition and language work, and “us” and “them” are fundamental. So are “Who am I?” and “Who are you?”. The experience of being a self includes identity in all it’s aspects. We are named entities. And the most obvious facts about a human being are skin color and gender.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Howdy Bob!

          And we evolved to live in groups of no larger than 100 – 150 people. Our ultrasociality may be working against us — another thing that we evolved to do that made us successful that is killing us now. One of the virtues of the Far East Asian cultures is that they are focused on locality. There are concentric rings of connectivity: immediate family, extended family, neighbors and neighborhood, school and graduating class (from elementary to university), city, state, region, country, so that everyone knows the way they are connected to those around them. We’ve lost a lot of that in the US. It is disappearing in the Far East, too with globalization.

          It may be that these identity labels help us feel that connection. My weekend blog post will revisit the sociologist, Arlie Hochschild’s work on deep story and rural conservative white voters and her interpretation of MAGA and the 6 January Insurrection. In part it is based on Trump bringing these people together at his rallies and their reaction of “there are so many of us.”

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yes, that feeling of there being so many of us is intense – political rallies, demonstrations, crowds at sports games, big venue concerts – all those kind of events do that trick. Part of the effect is related to Theory Of Mind process in which the individual attributes to the crowd all their own opinions and emotions, and, if there is an identified “Them”, all the opposites to them (“They are nothing like us, totally wrong in every way, stupid, crazy, evil, etc.”).

            Another connection with theory of mind tends to be the projection of (getting a little Jungian) one’s shadow characteristics on the rejected other. I think that is especially true of racism – We are industrious and hard working, so they are lazy and shiftless. We defend our homes and families, so they are aggressive and violent. We are law abiding, so they are criminal. And so on. I think this may have a lot to do with white people who react with anger and horror at being told they are racist.

            I’ve long been convinced that our focus on the nuclear family and tendency to separate geographically from extended family has fractured those connections, especially when there are also frequent job changes. The days of working for one company for 20-30 years with the same coworkers are pretty much gone for most Americans, and union membership along with them, another formerly important identity membership. Small wonder then that many are hungry for any sort of membership and group identity.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Howdy Bob!

              I’ve read that many millenials — I’ve long since given up on trying to keep track of which group was born when and how old they actually are — are lonely because of an over reliance on social media and too little in-person interaction. It strikes me as being a natural extension of the fracturing of American community and family. You just don’t feel like you belong anywhere.

              When you do join a group that urge to trash the out-group means that they have to hold all the negative characteristics, in Jungian terms — my favorite of all the psychoanalysts and I briefly considered doing training as to become a Jungian psychoanalyst — projecting the shadow upon them. I read part of a book that discussed our racial issues in terms of Jungian archetypes and the Shadow figured heavily into it.

              To pull those Shadow qualities back takes a lot of determination and effort. White people aren’t quite yet living in enough pain to collectively retract our projection and deal with our own shadow selves.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

                • It is the ability of the mindguards to police the edges of dissent and keep any sign of disagreement quashed and out of sight that will destroy everything. They are openly discouraging dissent and the resulting decisions are as disastrous as they are immoral.

                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      The phenomenon of groupthink is so well known, it is surprising that no one is taking heed of it. But, not only are the perpetrators that are not aware of it, pundits aren’t either. You rarely hear anyone in chattering punditry class talk about it. So, I don’t know. It was one of the first things I wrote about on the blog when I started in the spring of 2016. We’ve seen it play out since then. It’s gone from bad to worse, and only going to become more disastrous and more immoral from here.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That is odd, that it is not being talked about. One effect may be because true believers cannot accept the idea that they are doing group think. They are just saying what is true and they don’t want any pointy headed, ivory tower dwelling social psychologists from socialist-communist universities trying to tell them they are doing something else. Maybe the pundits just gave up. After all, group thinking is not the exclusive property of one part of the political spectrum. Decision making by consensus (i.e., unanimity) is also popular on the Left, and just as destructive of error correction there.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      And groupthink is not “sexy” any more. These folks have got to make multiple appearances on multiple shows and they can’t say the same thing too many times. They do say the same thing if you’ve ever heard the same guest talk on several shows about the same issue, they’ve got their message that they use. Then the issue changes in the 24-7 news cycle and they change up what they say. If they were only accurately describing the issues in psychological term, they wouldn’t get invited back. The profit motive at work again.

                      Once in a while an irregular guest will use the word, but no one on the show responds with, “Ah ha! That’s it!” They just repeat their line on the issue.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The MSM news cycle (from what I hear, because I don’t watch TV) thrives on speculation (with lots of different scenarios, so it is confusing), worry warting, and (alternately) reassuring, and not asking the viewers to think too hard.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Not only the MSM but social media, too. Everyone is wanting the clicks, shares, and likes so they’re trying to predict and gripe and carry on because it is the emotional that goes viral. It really is a big waste of time and energy.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Keeping the eyes engaged, keeping them on your platform and reacting, and seeing the ads, that’s the business model. Making sense and offering significant, accurate information? How silly!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Nothing beats confirming your identity and improving your group esteem by trash talking the others, does it? Social media seems singularly well designed for just that.

                      The shocking thing is that the kids are all watching videos of other kids playing electronic games. I can’t believe they came up with something even more useless than playing electronic games.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • But you can charge them money to watch other people play games. They pay to watch football (both kinds), baseball, basket ball, even golf. With the right teams, you can probably get people to pay to watch paint dry.

                      “If you’re too well entertained to move, screaming is good exercise.” – Rob Brezny

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      I know that they have pro electronic gaming leagues. A few years ago one of my students was the captain of one such team. We talked about the pros and cons of seeing electronic games as legitimate sport. My conclusion is that it actually is. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I can’t get past realizing that all electronic games are are weighted values being accumulated in arrays and then periodically comparing the values to see which is greater. I know about hand-eye coordination and problem solving all the other benefits of playing them. They just seem so artificial to me.

                      I’ve run three marathons in my life. I’m not particularly good at it. It takes me four to four and a half hours to complete a marathon. Every time I run one, I’m filled with gratitude for the people who have volunteered to to make the run possible. People have given a fair amount of their time and energy so I can do something completely self indulgent to a mediocre degree making absolutely no difference to anyone but myself.

                      I kinda feel the same about electronic games. I feel even more strongly about watching other kids play electronic games.

                      I know. I’m in the minority. Electronic games are here to stay.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yes, unless and until we socially devolve or dissolve beyond access to electricity and it’s devices, there will be such games. Humans are game players and gamblers. Even hunter-gatherers have games.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      I’ve carped about the inability to have conversations about electronic games. If two people are familiar with the same game, they can talk about it in ways that we might talk about having watched the same movie, “I liked this part; I didn’t like that part.” But, like DnD before it, no one really wants to hear about what you did in your gaming session last night. I’ve never heard anyone tell a captivating story about having played any of those games. Unlike discussions of popular sports. Part of it is the community of it. If several people all watched the same game and were familiar with the league and players, then discussions can be had. But, if all you’re doing is telling about the specifics of a game played that no one really watched, then it just isn’t all that interesting.

                      I’ve been listening to some old timey music recently and watching some cloggers and other people perform with “primitive” instruments. People went to and still do go to great lengths to come together to entertain themselves.

                      I know from watching La Petite Fille watch these YouTube videos of people playing games that there is a community that builds up around it. There are lively discussions in the comments and players that have largish followings. They also incorporate server-based communities like Discord that interact around these things. She’s something of recluse so those things are her only real social contacts, which I’m grateful for.

                      My reaction, though, every time is, “Your watching that? You find that entertaining, do you?” I just don’t get it.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Maybe one of the attractions is that the “old people” don’t get it. That is a natural part of adolescence, maybe even necessary.

                      A community can be formed around any shared knowledge base.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Working with teenagers every day, I get how part of the point is that we don’t get it. Individuation. I’m glad she’s got some kind of community that she can relate to. It is hard watching her be socially isolated like she is.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m sure it is hard. One of the criteria in choosing a college (yes, that day is coming) is going to be about the social environment for someone like her, hopefully, a community she sees as welcoming.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • We are hard at work trying to (a) get her to high school graduation. I can see a path now, which is good. And (b) trying to figure post-high school out. We are thinking gap year and, maybe, going to a school that specializes in special needs kids. I think it would be a relief for her to be somewhere where her needs were front and center.

                      I had an interesting thought, the other day. If we go the way of universal basic income because most jobs are automated and we need to be paid to shop to keep the economy going, then the only people with any real money will be the uber rich. The only thing they’ll be willing to pay for is artisan-made goods. We’ll all be making due with our three-d printed stuff and they’ll be able to afford to pay for handmade stuff. The smart money in her generation will be to be part of the artisans selling to the uber rich. A degree in psychology is not going to help much in that economy, but being a potter or woodworker will be.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Actually, I think that even farther down the income scale artisan made goods are a good bet in that case. That’s partly a matter of sustainability and getting away from throw-away culture.

                      I’m sure it would be relief for her to find that kind of place, and for her parents. What does this person need in order to thrive?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ain’t that the question we are all trying to figure out, “What does this person need in order to thrive?”

                      Fortunately for us, Ma Belle Femme is competent with money and we’ll leave her a small trust fund. I’m just hoping she can develop a life worth living.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Today, we go get her first dose of the vaccine today. It’s taken forever to find a doc willing to work with us to get her medicated so she doesn’t freak out at the sight of the needle. I’m still not convinced that it’s going to work. I’ll let you know.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

          • This is true, although at the far edges of white supremacy organizing, some white people insist on hyphenating themselves, as in White-Anglo-Saxon, or Euro-American, so that they can leave out others the census bureau considers white, like Jews and Arabs.

            “In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”
            Toni Morrison

            Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          It’s funny how all cultures and languages have divided the world into categories, but some are more cognizant of the categories than others and some have a lot fewer categories. I often remarked that one of the cultural divides that I found most difficult to cross in Korea was that Korean wasn’t a categorical language. They didn’t even have a word for all types of meat. You had to list the specific meats you wouldn’t eat and you’d still get spam even though you included pig or pork. Spam comes from a can, you know? Korea is a very homogenous culture, though. Extremely homogeneous. Insular is the word most often associated with it. So, that tells you something.

          The necessity of seeing us and them, though, is fundamental to survival when them could be extremely hostile in the competition for resources. We were fortunate to have been born in a resource abundant time. I think we are about to enter into a time period of scarcity. It’s going to be hard on our children. I remember talking to a small group of seniors about this very issue: how much harder their lives were going to be because of climate change and the difficulties it was going to cause.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • There will be scarcity, in fact there is already with the screwed up supply chain. The economic activity most vulnerable to the effects of climate change is agriculture. Crops just don’t like being too dry, too wet, too cold, or too hot. The rise of large scale social structures based on agriculture that could feed many more people than it too to run it happened in the 10,000 year period of unusual (compared to the previous 100,000+ years) climate stability. Farming at any scale is risky at best, but when the farmer can’t know if the rain will come at the right time, not too little or too much, and so on, it is damned near impossible to make a living that way.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              There is truth to the idea that we probably would experience some kind of hardship due to climate change just as the climate ebbs and flows through its thousands of years long cycle. Either way, when the climate refugees come knocking, the answer will not be a Christian welcome of this might be the embodiment of Christ. It will be a firm and clear get off the porch before we start shooting.

              Scarcity is going to change us all.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, the borders are already closing. Some populations will be trapped, for example, in Bangladesh as it floods. India won’t take them, Myanmar very clearly won’t, and Nepal can’t. And, any place they could get to by boat will have the same problem.

                Any situation that actually gets down to “Will my children eat, or will that other group’s children eat?” gets very, very ugly very, very fast. And if it is about water, even faster and worse.

                I think Europe has just about reached it’s limit of tolerance for refugees. Europe is not very big and already crowded. Most of the countries or regions from which people are trying to get there are geographically much larger. And, it seems everybody wants to get to either Germany or UK, which are even smaller.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  We’ve already seen how the neo-fascists of Europe are willing to exploit the refugee question and use it to their advantage. The Belarus are being especially despicable right about now.

                  One of my biggest frustrations is that liberals are not being as proactive about predicting the moves that conservatives will make and preempting them.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Liberals do seem reluctant to utter the word “Fascist” and explain exactly the what, why, and when. They still want to focus on “issues” and their plans. More attack dogs are needed. “When they go low, we go high.” doesn’t work against people going low who have no bottom.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      The Republicans have fundamentally altered the rules of the game. We can no longer do what we’ve always done and expect to win, but that is exactly what too many in the party are doing. The problem is doing something different is a risk, and people abhor risks. In this case, the Dems should take the risk because the alternative is a sure loss.

                      The Republicans see the sure loss of white supremacy and are willing to take the risk of single-party pseudo-democratic minority rule.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That is what the so-called “moderate Democrats” and establishment Democrats and centrists don’t get, or are too risk averse if they do get it. Time to go big or go get sent home.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Of course, centrists are by definition risk averse. It’s amazing to me that Biden isn’t more risk averse. He seems to have gauged the moment fairly well. I’m hoping that he has a fairly accurate assessment of the country and what should be done. I think he had as his priorities: #COVID19, the economy and climate, and then voting rights. Hopefully, inflation hysteria won’t derail BBB so we can really get the economy and the climate right and they can move on to voting rights at the end of the term or the beginning of next.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      I knew I had already written that comment about passing BBB and voting rights. This one was it. The thing is that social media and the 24-7 news cycle has so shortened our memories and our affective memories, especially, that the outrages of a year ago no longer move us this year. They seem so passe. So, even if the GOP stymies voting rights and mucks up the 2022 election, white voters are less likely to vote against them because it was so long ago. Just like so many have moved passed the 1 January Insurrection and the 760,000 unnecessary #COVID19 dead and every other outrage and atrocity perpetrated by the Trump admin.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Do you suppose that even the most rabid MAGAs also get outrage fatigue? Maybe that’s part of why so many people are doing Oxycontin and Meth in rural America.

                      On the other hand, all the books (I’ve lost count.) on the horrors of the Trump Time are selling well. Unfortunately, many people will virtuously buy them, and even feel very smart by reading them, and not get the actual message to take action.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The medium is the message. The medium now is the outrage. That’s the sole point of the medium and the message. Create outrage. Nothing more. That’s why the reporters who write the books sit on valuable information that had we known at the time they discovered it, it might have changed the course.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Had we known it, somebody would have be lying about it, after all, they were lying about what we did know.

                      The Daily podcast from NYT today points out something about the evolution of the fights at school board meetings about masks and mandates. It began being about what’s best for the kids. Then it was about who’s right. Then, about Tyranny, Communism, and God and the Devil. Then about the fight itself, and finally, the real point all along, control of the school board. https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zaW1wbGVjYXN0LmNvbS81NG5BR2NJbA/episode/YTcyMGZhMzktZGJhMi00ZWY4LTkzMDQtYTM3MDJiNmE3NjNj?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwix4Y7pkJ70AhWYTjABHUP1A90QieUEegQIAhAF&ep=6

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      On a purely cerebral level, I’m impressed with how organized the right is in many communities. To be putting people up to run for school board is commitment to community organization and community change. I may not like what they’re trying to do, but I admire their methodology. Damn if we could have an equivalent response on our side.

                      I’m afraid we’re being out outraged, out organized, and out maneuvered. The Dems just don’t seem to have an adequate proportionate response. Hell, the Dems don’t even to fully understand the problem much less the scope of the problem.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • What happens when one side is preparing for a horse race, and the other side is preparing for a cavalry charge?

                      The Dems keep focused on lists of issues and want to run on those. The GOP has long since figured out that the issues don’t matter a dam unless you get the power to do something with them.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      I keep looking at the Republican members of Congress and who they’re running for Congress in ’22 and realizing that they aren’t serious about legislation. They’ve realized that gov’t happens behind the scenes and voters vote for reality TV. Once they succeed and completely insulate themselves from accountability by voters or the courts, they’ll just do as they please and keep the rank and vile amused with their endless in-fighting and backstabbing antics. CSPAN may become the most watched network under those circumstances. It will be the Real Congressional Representatives of DC network.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yes, if they run out of Democrats to fight, they will have to turn on each other, like the Cane Toads in Australia. They are so poisonous that nothing else there can eat them, so they eat each other.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      I’ve wondered the same thing. It seems like we’ve got to run the course. We can’t stay in fight or flight mode forever or at least that’s what how to be a social worker school taught us about crisis intervention. Everyone returns to equilibrium eventually. But, your podcast On Being’s interview with Bassel van der Kolk about trauma taught me something that I hadn’t known before about heart rate variability. If a person is chronically stressed then their HRV can get stuck in the slower more stressed mode allowing the body to maintain high levels of stress hormones almost constantly even when resting.

                      The constant outrage over the loss of white identity and supremacy has kept MAGA Nation at this heightened level of alert in ways that liberal outrage over their outrage just won’t do.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • So, liberals get the relative luxury of being able to relax some of the time. And, much as I certainly do not want to be in continuous anxiety and hyper-vigilance, perhaps that relaxation is not a winning strategy. Damn.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • And that always spells the end of the authoritarian state, too, because, ultimately, mass psychosis is unsustainable. However, just like the Benzes and Krupps came out of their collaboration with Nazi Germany unscathed, the folks enabling the politicians who are creating the mass psychosis are thinking they’ll be equally unscathed here.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think that when a society reaches the French Revolution stage of disparity, it comes as quite a shock to the upper echelon that people only support them because they feel like they have no choice, but once a choice is available, then all bets are off.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The elite always experience their status as the natural and inevitable way of things. As long as they can sell that illusion to the masses (“traditional values”, “stability”, “noblesse oblige”, “natural leaders”) they don’t have to imagine alternatives are possible.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      It is similar to white people not voting for racial, economic, or social justice because it just doesn’t affect them very directly or obviously. Now and again, a large number of white people get worked up over an individual incident, but it passes, and the majority go back to voting or not voting however it strikes them.

                      When a society reaches the South Africa or Confederacy level of racial disparity, it comes as quite a shock to the white people to learn that the Black people aren’t enjoying life as much as they are.

                      And just like the financial elite imagining that they are god’s chosen or natural leaders or harder working or whatever it is that distinguished them from the rest and allowed them to get ahead when so many others fail, the white supremacist has their fairy tale story of how and why they are privileged and no one else is.

                      We’ll likely have the same dividing line around climate issues, too.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • Humans have a strong need/desire to see themselves and their tribe as good, virtuous, “normal”, and their beliefs as truth and natural law. And we presume that everybody understands the world and us in the same way, until it becomes glaringly obvious that they don’t (Which can only be because they are bad, crazy, misguided, less than fully human, and/or ungrateful.)

                      On climate issues, it is and will be often a matter of; If the weather is not too different in a bad way most of the time (or, at least this week) where I am, it can’t be such a big problem.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      This was nowhere more apparent than in the ex-pat ESL teaching cohort in South Korea in the ’90’s. The Koreans couldn’t do anything right! Everything they did was stupid and wrong and if they’d just LISTEN they could learn to do things in the right way. It was comical because it was ineffective.

                      The problem with climate change is that so far most of the effects have happened somewhat gradually. The average warmer temperature becomes normal with distant memories of the bad winter of year XX or the nice summer we had when grandma died or whatever. All the previous years, like all your previous breakfasts, for example, all tend to blend into one indistinct undifferentiated blob of the past with only the most outstanding standing out. Given the natural variation in temperature and other variables the change isn’t obvious from one year to the next. It becomes obvious when you can line up all the average yearly temperatures for the past century on a barchart, though.

                      Tomorrow’s weather will be like today’s, which was like yesterday’s, so it must be normal.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Exactly. For most of the process, we are in the position of the boiled frog. What those bar charts do is embed the data in a visual narrative.

                      “Cognitive psychology has shown that the mind best understands facts when they are woven into a conceptual fabric, such as a narrative, mental map, or intuitive theory. Disconnected facts in the mind are like unlinked pages on the Web: They might as well not exist.” – Steven Pinker

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      That Steven Pinker sure is smart. I’ve always tried to tell a story when I’ve taught and gotten my students to tell the stories to each other for just this reason. Still, if they aren’t paying attention, it doesn’t actually help much.

                      One of my favorite anecdotes was hearing from a student about five years post-graduation. She wrote to say that she passed a licensing exam because of my psychology class. One of the questions was about neural transmission — I don’t remember what she was being licensed to do — and that the only exposure to neural transmission was my high school psych class in which I had them write and perform a skit detailing the steps.

                      Such exercises really help things stand out.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

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