America’s Continuum of Racial Democracy and Injustice
From the Plantation to Urban Ghetto
America’s current religious ethno-cultural racism and social and political polarization is the irreversible consequence of colonial era’s massive slave population, just consider our urban ghettoes.
It was not until the mid-20th century civil rights movement that the South encounter a major sustained, legally restrictive, and aggressive federal intervention in its unapologetic centuries-long refusal to accept and conform to human rights standards as was adopted by all Western developed nations prior to 1900.
Twenty years ago, after a career as a chemistry professor and university administrator, I embarked on a mission to pursue two related questions. First, why have all mature civilizations since Ancient Greece ultimately suffered cultural degradation and collapse? And second, was there evidence that during the last half-century America was following the same pathway of cultural degradation and stagnation of past civilizations reaching their pinnacle of economic and military power?
The study’s first phase publication in 2009, Wealth, Energy, and Human Values: The Dynamics of Decaying Civilizations from Ancient Greece to America, is a unique science-based narrative interwoven with historical and sociological perspectives from the civilization studies literature. Specifically, concepts of “wealth-energy resources” and a “mechanistic-thermodynamic paradigm” are utilized to gain broader and more accurate and precise insights into a society’s social and economic processes and outcomes. Importantly, the centrality or driving force of these processes, the implementation of public policy, and a society’s basic subsistence is the availability of wealth-energy resources. Above all other variables, such resources limit economic growth, prosperity, and stability and a society’s long-term sustainability and human well-being. The work of an early 20th century Nobel Laureate in Chemistry proved to be exceedingly valuable during the study.
In phase two of the study, the second question was addressed in the 2013 publication, America is Self-Destructing: Wealth, Greed, and Ideology Trump Social Justice and the Common Good. The mechanistic-thermodynamic paradigm and human values reflective of the ethics and conventions of human law were utilized in an analysis of post-World War II social, economic, and political governing policies and practices. During this period, America has undergone continuous antagonistic, divisive progressive versus conservative political and governing conflict while gradually accumulating higher levels of societal disorder, dysfunction, and stagnation as typified by past civilizations.
At this point in the study, it became clear America’s 21st century undercurrents of social and economic inequality, political polarization, and cultural stagnation were, to a major extent, due to an extreme, unrelenting religious ethno-cultural racism founded during the colonial era. This phase three study resulted in the 2020 publication of America’s Continuum of Racial Democracy and Injustice: From the Plantation to Urban Ghetto.
The three phases constitute a response to my initial questions two decades ago, most specifically to America’s current cultural dysfunction and chaos. Since the Founding, the persistence of America’s continuum of racial democracy and injustice has been the single most long-lasting and extreme debilitating force contributing to the nation’s current cultural degradation, dysfunction, and stagnation. Over the generations, a self-serving, self-satisfying social and economic individualism, white privileges of wealth, religious ethno-cultural racism, and a destructive anti-progressive, anti-intellectual, anti-scientific, and regressive conservative mentality became ingrained within the nation’s DNA.