Category Archives: caste

More victim than thou

Pocahontas

The one-drop rule

If, writes Dalrymple, Elizabeth Warren could prove that at some time in the past, however distant, one of her ancestors belonged to what the people of Hindustan—the real experts in human classification, having had millennia of practice at it—call the ‘scheduled castes’,

some extra moral authority would be added unto her.

There’s no racist as fanatical as an anti-racist

It demonstrates, Dalrymple says, how racialised liberal thinking—liberal in the US, not in the classical, sense—has remained in America. He observes that

once you start down the road of equality of outcome as the measure of justice, rather than equality under the law, you start dividing humans into groups, and one of the most obvious ways to do so is race. So, having spent years denying that there is any objective reality to racial classifications, liberals start sifting people into racial categories with an obsessiveness that puts South African policemen under the old régime to shame.

Race, among other classifications,

becomes a lens through which the whole of social life is examined.

Noble savagery

The late Henry Vincent: protest against injustice

Moral grandiosity and exhibitionism are the occupational hazards of intellectuals

The attitude of many intellectuals towards crime (which almost never affects them personally) is distinguished, writes Dalrymple, by

a mixture of sentimentality and intellectual pride.

On the one hand, there is

reluctance to believe that ordinary people can behave very badly.

On the other, there is the belief that

it is the function of the intellectual to uncover the underlying ‘reality’ of phenomena. (If he is not for that, what is he for?) It represents a loss of caste to express the man-in-the-street’s horror at, or revulsion against, crime.

Crime

has to become not really crime, but something altogether more noble, which it takes nobility and intelligence or acuity on the part of the intellectual to recognise. People don’t steal or rob because they want something and think it is the easiest way to get it; they are uttering a protest against injustice.