Monday, 21 July 2014

ARGENTINA IN WHITEFACE



Whenever a major sporting event comes along, the progressive media always has a desired narrative. So it was with the recent World Cup, where it was widely hoped that a racially mixed team would win, proving once again the all-conquering power of 'diversity.' Alas, when Brazil crashed to its 1-7 defeat against Germany in the semi-final, the desired narrative took a severe beating and started coughing up blood.

In its own way, the German team was also quite diverse, but not in the same flashy, frizzy manner as Brazil. Among its blond Aryan ranks it also boasted a Turk (Ozil), a half-Tunisian (Khedira), and even a Black player – well, half-black (Boateng). But overall the team looked White, and, worse than that, they played with Teutonic precision rather than the carefree carnival spirit expected from a truly ‘diverse’ team; in short, unsuitable poster boys for the progressive fantasy.

After this setback, the desired narrative’s next best hope was the Dutch team, which had a few Black players – there seemed to be about 2 or 3 – although this team too was less than ideal. When they were knocked out by Argentina in the other semi-final, the diversity narrative was pretty much nailed in its coffin. Argentina, despite some players having a little Indian and possibly Black ancestry, was again a depressingly White-looking and White-playing team as far as progressives were concerned. Whoever won the final was going to be a poor substitute for the multiracial French team that famously won the World Cup in 1998, or the default diversity of the Brazilian team.

With the narrative of diversity leading to success well and truly buried, all that remained was either to walk away or else find a negative narrative that bemoaned the lack of sufficient diversity at the top levels of international soccer.

"Argentina is White": An unkind internet meme.
With the World Cup continuing to generate the all-important hits, the Huffington Post decided to stay in the game with the negative story, "Why Are There No Black Men on Argentina’s Roster?" by Rachel Décoste, a Black female software engineer, who is also listed as a “motivational speaker.” The article seems to have been largely lifted from this Wikipedia page, so it’s good to see that Décoste isn't entirely an affirmative action plant in the male-White-and-Asian-dominated tech sector. She at least knows how to surf the internet and copy and paste. One suspects that her motivational talks share a similar degree of originality.

In the article, she drew attention to the fact that back in the 18th and early 19th centuries some parts of Argentina had a much higher percentage of Black people than they do now:
"In colonial times, the proportion of Africans hovered around 50 per cent in half of Argentina’s provinces. General José de San Martín, the revolutionary who lead the charge to gain independence from Spanish rule, estimated that there were 400,000 Afro-Argentines who could be recruited to his armies. Black men made up 65 per cent of his troops. The 2010 census puts the Afro-Argentine population at 150,000, or less than half of one per cent."
Décoste wants us to believe that this drop from 50% to 0.5% was due to genocide:
"Over the years, overt and covert government sanctions promoted ethnic cleansing and, some say, genocide."
Given the fact that Argentina's colonial population was around a fortieth of what it is now and that much of its increase was due to mass immigration from Europe, and that much of the Afro-Argentine population mixed in, a figure of 150,000 Blacks in Argentina does not seem an unreasonable number for the country’s present-day Black population. The Wikipedia entry says that "over 5% of Argentines state they have at least one black ancestor, and a further 20% state they do not know whether or not they have any black ancestors."

Rather than being "genocided," all that can be said with any degree of accuracy is that Afro-Argentines, as a separate people, did not flourish to any great extent, and this fact on its own is taken to denote genocide. By the same metric the medieval population of Iceland, which declined from 84,000 in 1300 to 47,000 by 1800, must have been subjected to genocide (although that must have been rather difficult as the Icelanders were isolated from the rest of the world!).

Those Icelandic population figures are from Gregory Clark’s economic history, A Farewell to Alms. In that book he makes the highly significant point that most of the differences in wealth between the rich countries and poor stem from the much higher productivity of workers in those countries, a point that was also noticed by none other than Karl Marx, as Clark points out:
"When Britain was at its economic apogee in the middle and late nineteenth century, a number of writers argued that its ability to pay high wages and still prosper in international competition derived mainly from the much greater intensity of labour in Britain compared to the its low-wage competitors. These writers maintained that British workers were able to operate more machinery per worker, mitigating or even eliminating the wage cost advantage of the low-wage countries.

Karl Marx himself endorsed this view. The first volume of Capital, published in 1867, contains a short chapter, ‘National Differences in Wages,’ which attributes high output per worker in British textile mills to high labour intensity." A Farewell to Alms, p.353
At this point in his book, Clark is comparing British labour to Indian labour, but elsewhere he refers to the even lower productivity of African workers. The extremely low productivity of African workers not only explains why Africa remains poor to this day, but historically it also explains why, when Blacks were inducted into the global economy, it had to be done through slavery (forced labour) rather than the wage incentives used with more productive workers.

Among all else, slavery was also a means of artificially improving the productivity of African workers, and by the same logic, its abolition, which happened in 1853 in Argentina, lessened that productivity and by doing so weakened their ability to compete demographically with Whites.

Argentina: White enough to be accused of genocide
In an economy where two races with markedly different rates of productivity coexisted without any compensatory mechanisms such as welfare, and where the resultant differences in income expressed themselves in higher fertility and survival rates, we would expect the population with the more productive workers to expand more rapidly. This is exactly what happened in Argentina, assisted by largely White immigration.

In her article Décoste contrasts Argentina with Brazil, but that, alas, is an unfortunate comparison, because, while Brazil still has a considerable Black and mulatto population, it actually followed an identical trajectory to Argentina. It moved from a population that was majority Black in the colonial period to one where Whites predominate, and no one is accusing the Brazilians of committing genocide against Blacks.

The main differences between Brazil and Argentina were that Brazil had a higher initial Black population, abolished slavery later (1888), attracted less capital, and saw less economic development. These factors were of course all related and together explain why Argentina moved further down the road of 'Whitification' than Brazil did, although both were moving in the same direction until comparatively recently.

Progressives should be warned that comparing Argentina with Brazil is sure to raise some interesting questions and point towards some awkward conclusions that challenge their simplistic historical model of evil Whites committing genocide whenever they got the chance.


Originally published at Theden.

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