Vox “Unexplains” the Racial Wealth Gap

“Even when issues of public policy are discussed in the outward form of an argument, often the conclusions reached are predetermined by the assumptions and definitions inherent in a particular vision of social processes. Different visions, of course, have different assumptions, so it is not uncommon for people who follow different visions to find themselves in opposition to one another across a vast spectrum of unrelated issues, in such disparate fields as law, foreign policy, the environment, racial policy, military defense, education, and many others. To a remarkable extent, however, empirical evidence is neither sought beforehand nor consulted after a policy has been instituted. Facts may be marshalled for a position already taken, but that is very different from systematically testing opposing theories by evidence. Momentous questions are dealt with essentially as conflicts of visions.”

“I went through like this heavy French Revolution period where I was reading all these books on the French Revolution. On one level I was like horrified ya know like ya know like ya know I was like reading about like the execution ya know the king and Marie and I was horrified I was actually horrified and then horrified even more about the killing that came afterwards. And then I was in Paris one summer and I went out to this little town called Fountainbleu. And at Fountainbleu there is the most gaudiest castle you ever want to see. I mean it looks like something Trump would built. It is obscene. And you see what people were doing this. Ya know building this castle ya know with folks starving in the cities on the countryside ya know all this and and people are hoarding this wealth. I’ve never been to Versailles but apparently Versailles is like that too. And you begin to understand ya know what I mean? You begin to understand ya know what I would see um as unjust violence but done in the name of equalizing things ya know um. So no I think there there is great tension. I feel like…and I don’t know this to be true I mean Ezra honestly I’m kinda theorizing here. But it’s very easy for me to see myself looking at the processes like being contemporary with the processes that might make for a equal world, more equality and maybe the complete abolition of ya know of of of race as a construct because I think it only exists in the presence of inequality and being horrified by the process.”

“But am I so unreasonable as to see nothing at all that deserves commendation in the indefatigable labors of this Assembly? I do not deny that, among an infinite number of acts of violence and folly, some good may have been done. They who destroy everything certainly will remove some grievance. They who make everything new have a chance that they may establish something beneficial. To give them credit for what they have done in virtue of the authority they have usurped, or which can excuse them in the crimes by which that authority has been acquired, it must appear that the same things could not have been accomplished without producing such a revolution. Most assuredly they might, because almost every one of the regulations made by them which is not very equivocal was either in the cession of the king, voluntarily made at the meeting of the states, or in the concurrent instructions to the orders. Some usages have been abolished on just grounds, but they were such that if they had stood as they were to all eternity, they would little detract from the happiness and prosperity of any state. The improvements of the National Assembly are superficial, their errors fundamental.

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