Good and Bad Prejudice

By John "Birdman" Bryant


It is no accident that liberals express themselves primarily by means of the regurgitation of hoary platitudes, for if liberals ever actually thought about what they were saying -- and in particular, if they ever attempted to deal with the facts of the real world rather than the fantasies of their well-meaning but lamebrained utopianism -- they would be too embarrassed to say anything at all. A case in point is a recent article by H Roy Kaplan, PhD, Executive Director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews of Tampa FL, entitled "We're all diminished when prejudice is tolerated" (St Petersburg Times, 14 Sep 94). But if it were only that Kaplan spends his time eructating platitudinous nonsense, or that he presents us with the customary liberal contradiction that we should on the one hand be "tolerant", particularly of the multicultural menagerie, but on the other that we should be intolerant of persons -- particularly those thoughtful and principled individuals who disagree with liberal racial ideology -- then it would not be worth the time to pick thru the turd which Kaplan has laid upon us just to find the worms.

But there is more than merely offensive ignorance to Kaplan's scatography, for Kaplan ends his excretion with the words "It's time we all stood up to say that prejudice and discrimination have no place in our community." I beg to differ, however; for I think it is high time that people stood up to say that what goes by the (pejorative) names of "prejudice" and "discrimination" is good and worthwhile, and should be recognized and defended as such. My saying this, of course, will shock and outrage liberal sensibilities, but then it should come as little surprise that people will get their sensibilities shocked when, like liberals, they have so little common sense.

To begin with, as I have pointed out elsewhere in my published writings, that form of behavior which goes by the name of "prejudice", "discrimination", "racism" and similar negative terminology is not some perverse product of a twisted white southern redneck Anglo-Saxon male mind, as the liberals would have us believe, but is rather a pattern of thinking which is found everywhere in all peoples, both in the present day and thruout history. Thus if we ask why people are this way, the unavoidable answer is that this behavior is adaptive in the evolutionary struggle for survival, and people who lacked this behavior are now but forgotten shadows long ago consigned to the rubbish bin of history. Liberals, of course, with their oh-so-rational minds, have no compunctions about throwing out the social wisdom of uncountable millennia in order to satisfy their primordial neolithic lust for "compassion", but eagerness to do something stupid does not thereby make it intelligent.

But if the thing called "prejudice" (or whatever) is good, it also has its limits; for even an Archie Bunker knows that the worst groups often contain some good guys. This, however, raises the question of how to distinguish "good" prejudice from "bad" -- a question which liberals never thought to ask because they were too busy yelling "Prejudice!" at their opponents. The answer to this question depends upon the proper understanding of two critical concepts -- probability and information -- which are not only essential to resolving the question of "good" vs "bad" prejudice, but -- as I have shown elsewhere -- are keys to understanding some of the most difficult problems of philosophy and social theory, including the Gambler's Paradox, the Prisoner's Dilemma, the UFO controversy, and a crucial problem of utilitarianism resolved by my development of the Fundamental Theorem of Utility Theory in my book Systems Theory and Scientific Philosophy (University Press of America, 1991).

The problem we are trying to resolve may perhaps best be understood as a conflict between the use of group characteristics versus individual characteristics: Those who judge people on the basis of group characteristics ("racists", etc) say, for example, that they are justifiably prejudiced against blacks because of the fact (among many others) that blacks are 9 times more likely than whites to engage in criminal behavior; while those who judge people on individual characteristics say that to judge otherwise would condemn the good people along with the bad. Or in other words, the advocates of group characteristics make a probability judgment ("Blacks are more probably criminals than whites"), while the advocates of individual characteristics (meritocracists) make a "certainty" judgment ("We are certain about individuals because we examine them individually"). So who's right? Or more precisely, Who makes the more efficient decision? The answer is that the meritocracist does if he has the information which allows him to separate the good guys from the bad guys, but if he lacks this information, then the "racist" is more efficient. Or to put it another way, probability judgments are more efficient when the only information available is group membership, while meritocratic judgments are more efficient when detailed information on individual members of the group is available, and the respective degrees of efficiency are proportional to the amount of that information possessed by those making the judgment.

Now lest there be any confusion on the matter, we are not saying that present-day liberals believe in meritocracy, for they long ago abandoned any such pretense. Instead, by embracing preferences for all sorts of mangy minority groups, liberals have shown themselves to be "racists" etc of the first (yellow) water, and thus can be seen to be just as "prejudiced" as the Archie Bunkers, except that their prejudice is not even based upon a sensible probability judgment (as the opinions of the Archie Bunkers are), but rather upon -- What else can we call it? -- prejudice against white Anglo-Saxon males. Thus not only does the entire litany of liberal smear-words -- "racist", "prejudiced", etc -- apply to liberals themselves, but the prejudice of liberals -- unlike that of the Archie Bunkers -- is not even rational.

Which undoubtedly goes a long way toward explaining the stench of Herr Kaplan's excretion.

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