George Will has an excellent column today on the current version of the enduring debate between liberalism and conservatism over freedom and equality.
Will notes the tendency of liberals “to infer unequal opportunities from the fact of unequal outcomes” (that, by the way, is why they shout “structural racism” whenever they can’t find evidence of any actual discrimination) and adds:
Hence liberalism’s goal of achieving greater equality of condition leads to a larger scope for interventionist government to circumscribe the market’s role in allocating wealth and opportunity.
Racial preferences are the distilled essence of liberalism, for two reasons. First, preferences involve identifying groups supposedly disabled by society — victims who, because of their diminished competence, must be treated as wards of government. Second, preferences vividly demonstrate liberalism’s core conviction that government’s duty is not to allow social change but to drive change in the direction the government chooses.
For liberals, in short, the racial market must be regulated by the government, like all other markets, to insure the right outcome, in this case the precise racial mix everywhere preferred by government regulators.