QuickPoint 4: It Is Not Racist to Judge One Culture Superior to Another

A culture is a set of ideas and practices that constitute a general way of thinking about the world and a typical way of life. Ideas can be correct or incorrect. Practices based on those ideas can be conducive to human life, or destructive of it. In short, ideas and practices can be objectively good or bad for people.

The judgment of certain cultures (ideas and practices) as better than other cultures is entirely separate from the phenomenon of racism. Racism, broadly, is the idea that one’s race, genetics, or ancestry is a determining factor in the content of his or her consciousness. Consequently, it is the idea that one can determine something about what someone believes by studying his genetic or ancestral lineage. This often takes the form of moral value judgments based on race or ethnicity.

There are some cultures that have historically been associated with large numbers of people in certain genetic groups, such as “Jewish culture” and “American Black culture.” But there is no necessary connection between genetics and culture. Anyone can be a part of any culture, according to his education and personal choices. Thus, a judgment of “American Black culture” as inferior to “Chinese-American culture” is not a judgment of an African lineage as inferior to a Chinese lineage. It is simply an acknowledgment of the fact that the cultural ideas and practices that have traditionally been accepted by large numbers of African-Americans are less conducive to human well-being than those that have traditionally been accepted by large numbers of Chinese-Americans. (It is this difference that is reflected in vastly different crime rates between the two groups.)

The irony here is that it is actually racist to consider a person’s culture to be determined by his genetics. Thus, it is actually racist to consider the evaluative ranking of cultures “racist.”


Related Posts:

The Nature of the Morality of Rational Egoism: Short Notes

Values Are Relational But Not Subjective

Why Morality is Not “Evolved,” But Defined and Chosen

Why a Proper Ethics is Not a Set of Social Rules, But a Complete Way of Life

Atlas Shrugged, Altruism and Egoism

Why Healthcare in the US is So Expensive, and What Can Be Done About It

Healthcare_s640x427The passage of ObamaCare, and the ongoing debate over it, is the culmination of over 80 years of ever-increasing government involvement in the healthcare industry. It is also the culmination of about 50 years of obviously increasing healthcare costs.

The following is a copy of an email that I sent to talk-show host, Bill Handel, on KFI AM 640 radio in the Los Angeles area:

Dear Bill,

You have observed the indisputably bad state of American healthcare, with its poor performance and high, constantly rising costs, and concluded that the USA would be better off embracing a socialized healthcare system more like that of France. You have implied that these are our only two options. But I am sending you this email to let you know that there is a third alternative; one that is vastly superior to the two that you have considered.

The healthcare system in the US, today, is NOT anywhere near a free market. Over the past 80 years, the Federal and state governments have interfered/regulated, (used government compulsion) in the healthcare industry at an ever-increasing scale. In the 1930s and -40s, the Federal government decided to exempt group and employer-provided health care plans from taxation, thus creating a tax incentive for such plans. Over time, with the help of government acts, laws, and union collective bargaining, these plans developed into the type of plans we have today. What we have today, with the support of government, are healthcare plans that act somewhat like insurance, except that this “insurance” is used for just about every common illness, injury, or other health issue. This system of “everyday insurance” insulates the patient from the cost of the treatments he receives. The patient no longer has to make a cost/benefit analysis for treatments, nor be concerned with getting the most value for his money. He simply pays his premium, then gets the most out of the coverage he can. At best, the price/service competition among doctors that keeps their prices in check, is shifted from appealing to patients to appealing to health plan providers. The patient, instead of having hundreds of doctors competing for his continued business each visit, has a few health plan providers competing for his long-term allegiance. It is much more of a hassle to switch health plan providers than to switch doctors, so competition is limited. Continue reading