Despite all of its alleged flaws, the UK is not an institutionally racist country – this appears to be the conclusion of a recent detailed, in-depth, and heavily referenced study. UK government report. This seems like a logical conclusion, and one can imagine that similar results would honor the findings of an impartial, non-ideological panel in the United States.
The report was written by a panel of non-white members, which included Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian economist known for her book “Dead Aid,” opposing foreign aid to Africa; Mercy Muroki, a famous African-British social researcher; and Dr Tony Sewell, an African-British educational reformer.
In unfortunately predictable mode, all of these people were called racist by mostly white people left-wing columnists and racial-critical-theorists, simply because they worked to shatter the myth of institutional and systemic racism. The report also describes how social science research can be used as a genuinely effective counter-narrative against critical toxic race theory, a lesson that holds some significance for American conservatives.
By any objective and quantifiable measure, the Anglosphere is possibly the least racist place to live on this planet. The Times quotes academics as saying the report downplays racism. Yet as Eric Kaufmann emphasizes, all that matters is whether the methodology is sound and the conclusions correct, which it is. Kaufmann writes:
The current default narrative in elite institutions is that if there is a racial gap in a desired outcome, it is evidence of institutional racism. Individual anecdotes from members of protected groups should be accepted as evidence even when it is not clear to what extent they are generalizable.
The report is more nuanced, and not so simplistic. He claims that equality of outcome has never been achieved and is not achievable, not because of racism and discrimination, but because of multiple variables like cultural differences. Lead author of the report, Sewell, Remarks:
Simply put, we no longer see a Britain where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities. The barriers and the disparities exist, they are varied, and ironically very few of them are directly linked to racism. Too often “racism” is the catch-all explanation and can simply be accepted implicitly rather than explicitly considered. Evidence shows that geography, influence of family, socio-economic background, culture and religion have a greater impact on life chances than the existence of racism.
This is a new battleground of the culture war, and the UK is providing a guideline that can prove useful and informative for curators across the Anglosphere.
In recent years, Boris Johnson’s government has threatened to impose fines on universities that devalue people and to fund charities, museums and heritage groups that promote self-loathing driven by critical race theory. He has increase in prison sentence to ten years for the desecration of statues and heritage buildings and war memorials, knocked over a cap on nuclear weapons, and provided for an increase in nuclear warheads.
Now, with this report, he is attacking the most viciously anti-British idea of all time: an identity politics that divides that destroys the union. Britain is historically known to incorporate colorblind meritocracy in the entire Empire, and is currently one of the least racist countries in Europe. If conservatism represents the nation-state, then all divisive national ideas must be countered intellectually and politically.
Here is another theoretical lesson of post-Brexit British conservatism. Since the 1980s, the basic instinct of libertarian conservatism in the modern Thatcherite free market has been to fund any adversarial institution.
In some ways, this is a fair and reasonable push. Most modern disciplines in academia need funding, and public institutions that receive taxpayer money should be urged to shut down gender studies and other activist-based disciplines. But there is also another way.
The basic instinct of an older, more reactionary conservatism is to salvage this institution from its revolutionary drift – not just to fund it and put an end to it, but to channel state power towards the desired goal. One cannot simply threaten to fund universities, but threaten to require state-funded institutions to teach civics, and dismiss all critical theoretical subjects and courses. History is littered with examples of such moments – the most notable of them, the restoration of the Bourbons in France and the cleansing of public institutions after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.
Conversely, the so-called “centrists” would much prefer to see the nation drift towards radicalism than to side with any reactionary conservative willing to use state power for conservative politics. Centrists and leftists prefer to lecture the first type of libertarian conservatives but actively dislike the latter type of reactionary conservatives, because they know that the former will instinctively be there to hold on to an arrangement, even if it is revolutionary.
However, the latter will not honor this arrangement and will overthrow it. This is the same reason why leftists oppose people like Christopher Rufo and James Lindsay, and why all centrist connoisseurs hate Donald Trump.
British Tories are changing that, reverting to an older and much more powerful worldview and version of conservatism. The Conservatives have understood that we cannot “persuade” left fanatics through reason and debate. You can persuade voters to gain power, then push back, counter and weaken the fanatics who have invaded our once cherished institutions.
This is the only way to govern: to gain votes, to take positions of influence and to legislate. In short, in British conservatism, technocracy is out and governance is back. American Republicans should take note.
Dr Sumantra Maitra is a national security researcher at the Center for the National Interest; a non-resident fellow at the James G Martin Center; and a historian elected early in his career to the Royal Historical Society. He is a main contributor to The Federalist and can be reached on Twitter @MrMaitra.