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PERIODICALLY, rich and priveleged humans accuse their poor and marginalised counterparts of being responsible for all the ills of the world. The latest representative of this genre of twisted tantrums has come in the form of The Bell Curve, a book which urges an all-out attack on affirmative action and programmes of public welfare in the US.
The logic of its authors is simple, and warped. They reason that the White-by-birth section of the American populace is doing well because it is bright-by-birth. Unfortunately, the book implies, those who are doing well are encumbered by the deadweight of the dullards at bottom. The low mental status of the latter not only renders programmes to uplift them totally wasteful, but also is responsible "for the country coming unhinged".
Among the dire apprehensions expressed in the book is that welfare subsidies to unwed mothers among low-income Blacks has caused a decline in the national IQ of America. The troubling realisation is that such simplistic sentiments are not restricted to The Bell Curve. They may be endorsed by popular mood as well as expert opinion in the US. And since, all too regularly, the fancies of America become fashionable elsewhere, the universal threat of the supremacist ideology of the book must not be missed.
American ideas of high-rise economics have come to form the development skylines of many countries. As a corollary has come the notion that only the efficient deserve to be included among the bold and the beautiful of the promised New World. In India itself, the renewed outburst of suspicion and protest against schemes to help backward groups coincides with a notable American influence on the country's economy. Indeed, a marked conservative opinion has gained in strength the world over that the backwards are a permanently retarded lot.
This is rubbish, particularly if taken from the ecological perspective. None of those who have done well in the politics, professions and businesses of contemporary America, and their clones elsewhere, can demonstrate a knowledge of lifestyles which can be sustained beyond Earth's resources. In comparison, despite a mundane existence of those at the bottom, they demonstrate a munificence of wisdom about sustainable living and achievement.
Do patterns of sharing and caring among Black families offer solutions to the problems of the consumption crazy and alienating American way of life? For the time being, it is a moot question, and not something many Whites will be comfortable with.