Charles Murray om grupper & politisk korrekthed

Den politologiske forsker ved American Enterprise Institute Dr. Charles Murray–forfatter til bl.a. Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980 og What It Means To Be A Libertarian–blev for ca. ti år siden udsat for personlige angreb af en sjælden væmmelig art, da han og (afdøde) Richard J. Herrnstein udsendte The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.  I bogen tillod de sig at anvende amerikanske IQ-data til at diskutere indretningen af USA’s socialpolitik, og i særdeleshed spørgsmålet om “affirmativ action” (positiv særbehandling) for etniske grupper–hvilket resulterede i, at Murray blev gengivet i både tale og tegning som værende nazistisk racerenheds-fortaler.

Belært af den erfaring har Murray holdt sig fra emnet, men i en kronik i dagens Wall Street Journal tager han emnet om politisk korrekted, grupper og “affirmative action” op igen.  Den er laaaang men interessant at læse–uden at man behøver at være ukritisk. Her er essensen:

The Orwellian disinformation about innate group differences is not wholly the media’s fault. Many academics who are familiar with the state of knowledge are afraid to go on the record. Talking publicly can dry up research funding for senior professors and can cost assistant professors their jobs. But while the public’s misconception is understandable, it is also getting in the way of clear thinking about American social policy.

Good social policy can be based on premises that have nothing to do with scientific truth. The premise that is supposed to undergird all of our social policy, the founders’ assertion of an unalienable right to liberty, is not a falsifiable hypothesis. But specific policies based on premises that conflict with scientific truths about human beings tend not to work. Often they do harm.

One such premise is that the distribution of innate abilities and propensities is the same across different groups. The statistical tests for uncovering job discrimination assume that men are not innately different from women, blacks from whites, older people from younger people, homosexuals from heterosexuals, Latinos from Anglos, in ways that can legitimately affect employment decisions. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 assumes that women are no different from men in their attraction to sports. Affirmative action in all its forms assumes there are no innate differences between any of the groups it seeks to help and everyone else. The assumption of no innate differences among groups suffuses American social policy. That assumption is wrong.

When the outcomes that these policies are supposed to produce fail to occur, with one group falling short, the fault for the discrepancy has been assigned to society. It continues to be assumed that better programs, better regulations or the right court decisions can make the differences go away. That assumption is also wrong. …

In university education and in the world of work, overall openness of opportunity has been transformed for the better over the past half-century. But the policies we now have in place are impeding, not facilitating, further progress. Creating double standards for physically demanding jobs so that women can qualify ensures that men in those jobs will never see women as their equals. In universities, affirmative action ensures that the black-white difference in IQ in the population at large is brought onto the campus and made visible to every student. The intentions of their designers notwithstanding, today’s policies are perfectly fashioned to create separation, condescension and resentment–and so they have done.

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