The Outstater

March 24, 2024

Welcome to the Kipling Cluster

EVER WONDER where you fit in society — exactly, that is? I wonder, and it’s ugly.

There’s the eye color, a physical characteristic akin to skin pigment, one that can be used to discriminate by a brown-eyed majority. The blue-eyed in America stand at only 25 percent and dropping, a mere 8 percent globally. The green- and hazel-eyed hardly register.

Now I learn that I have been identified by a Yale researcher as part of a data cluster labeled “White Hierarchic Individualist Men” (WHIM). If you read “hierarchic” as merely “orderly,” that sounds innocuous enough. But then you learn that this cluster makes up only one-sixth of the population and it holds demonstrably unpopular views. If you can forgive a lapse into canceled poetic literature, think of it as the Rudyard Kipling cluster:

By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Our answers to questions measuring societal risk are not just at odds with the majority, sullen or not, but as if from a different planet. A chart shows us as the isolated spike on the question of global warming. Note there’s no overlap; nobody agrees with us — not our wives, not our non-hierarchic fellow men, nobody.

Another chart shows us similarly isolated on the topics of gun ownership and the regulation of businesses. The charts, I believe, explain why we elect people like Eric Holcomb. He is part of the five-sixths, and how could it be otherwise democratically? We’re lucky it’s not worse. Nor are we openly pursued as the margin of victory in any congressional election.

So, what will society do with us outliers? Please know that democracies function most smoothly in homogeneous populations. We WHIMs will have to be shown the error of our ways, democratically neutered or deported in one way or another — done away with, some on the extreme now advocate.

Before that, however, Yale might conduct additional research. There is an argument to be made that the WHIM invented Western Civilization, won its wars, plowed the Great Plains into a bread basket, classified the world’s flora and fauna, raised the skyscrapers, mapped the stars in the firmament and built a constitutional framework that allows liberty not just for himself but for everyone of every eye color.

Yes, historically he enslaved after being himself enslaved and oppressed after being oppressed. And we are not ignoring the occasional female NASA mathematician or Hollywood’s Tuskegee airmen.

In the end, though, we can only hope Kipling proves wrong:

And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

— tcl


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