curated by Glen Brink, TheLeadership.info
In this month’s End Notes, Doug shares his thoughts on racism and sexism...
Dangerously Politically Incorrect
I was thinking about some of the favorable fallout of the Trump victory. For all I know, he may turn into a disaster (although still better than Hillary…) but, if nothing else, his election is probably the “last hurrah” of traditional values in the US. White ethnic European Christians were close to 90% of the country as recently as 1950. But by 2050, they’ll be less than 50%. The entire culture, in fact the nature of civilization, is rapidly changing. Since Western Civilization is the only one that’s ever improved the condition of the common man, that’s a pity.
But there’s no point in wallowing in Spenglerian gloom. Look at the bright side; we may have a nice civilizational Indian Summer for the next four years, before demographics, economic reality, and the powers of darkness reassert themselves in Washington.
For instance, it’s nice that, several weeks ago, people seem to have again taken to wishing each other “Merry Christmas”. That phrase started to go out of fashion starting in the ‘80s, corresponding to the rise of the Political Correctness movement. It’s been replaced with the vapid and generic “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Holidays”. You hardly noticed the change, at first. And perhaps even approved, in that it was more “inclusive”, and being inclusive is supposed to be a good thing.
I’m not sure that’s the case. Phony inclusivity is a bad thing—and most inclusivity is, by its nature, phony. In fact, we value exclusivity. We want an exclusive car or house. We want to belong to exclusive clubs. Exclusive tastes are, in fact, good taste. Someone who doesn’t “discriminate” between things probably has not only bad taste, but bad judgment. As you become older, more experienced, and wiser you should become more discriminating. But it’s very un-PC to be either exclusive or discriminating these days.
In these times of Orwellian Newspeak, one has to be careful of discussing anything that might make people think you were about to commit a Thoughtcrime. So, in the spirit of using the English language properly, let’s look at two terms that are big no-go zones: racism and sexism. I’ll reserve a discussion of islamophobia and anti-semitism for the future.
Up to about 1950, when now despised white males ruled the world, these things were taken for granted. Namely, that there were significant differences between races, and sexes.
Racism—I have a lot of experience dealing with dogs, horses and cows, among other animals. They’re species, like humans. They’re divided into breeds, called races when referring to humans, and there are huge differences between the breeds. Let’s look at dogs. Great Danes are all huge, Chihuahuas are all tiny. Poodles are smart, don’t drool, and have wool; Irish Setters are truly stupid, drool, and shed. Pit bulls and Rottweilers are battle dogs; Labs and Shih Tzus are family dogs.
Dogs can reproduce at age two—about 1/10 the age for humans. Essentially all the common dog breeds originated within the last thousand years, or less, under human direction. It would appear that humans started breaking down into breeds, through geographic dispersal, about 60,000 years ago, when they left Africa. Are Chihuahuas “better” than Rottweilers? Are Yorubas better than Swedes? It depends on who you’re asking.
In Olaf Stapledon’s seminal science fiction novel Last and First Men (written in the 1920s, and essential reading, incidentally) he posits that human races essentially disappear by the year 3000, with a few exceptions, like Eskimos and Jews. Of course, he then traces humanity about two billion years into the future, at which point it has zero resemblance to humans today. I think he’s essentially correct.
When mankind branches into other planets, and eventually other solar systems, we’ll likely evolve into numerous new species—given enough time and/or genetic engineering. The current concept of race will become completely meaningless. In fact, that will likely be true within the lifetimes of some people now living. If you could genetically modify your progeny to have Usain Bolt’s athleticism and Albert Einstein’s mind, would you do it? I certainly would. I don’t have any particular fondness for my genes. They’re strictly an accident of birth. And, furthermore, your genes aren’t your friends. They view you strictly as a survival machine, good only to facilitate their own reproduction.
So, frankly, I don’t give a damn about race. Certainly not from a philosophical point of view. I form my friendships and associations because of a person’s character, not his genetic makeup.
That said, at least in today’s world, race is important. Why? We’re genetically programmed to like people that resemble us because it’s pro-survival. Throughout almost all of the 200,000 years of our species’ existence, life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. If you encountered someone who wasn’t part of your clan, the chances were excellent you’d try to kill him before he killed you. Resources were very limited, and that was how you eliminated the competition. The less he looked like you, the more likely that you had no relations, or any other common ground—except a mutually exclusive interest in that deer you were both hunting.
You wouldn’t necessarily want to mate with them either. People wouldn’t trust the offspring; they would be “other”. There’s a reason most isolated tribes call themselves “the people”, and view outsiders as subhuman.
Of course (fortunately) humans have evolved in their thinking and philosophy. But it’s hard to overcome genetic traits. And, frankly, there are plenty of differences between races. Pygmies from the Ituri Forest tend to be very small; Nordics from Iceland tend to be large and muscular. Jews and Han Chinese tend to have high IQs; blacks and Hispanics tend to have low IQs. It’s a bell-shaped curve, however. A very bright black, far to the right of the curve, might be brighter than 99% of Jews. On the other hand, there’s a reason that blacks from West Africa are disproportionally overrepresented in pro sports, not nuclear physics.
There are many, many different kinds of intelligence. Social, emotional, spacial, mathematical, athletic, etc., etc. Different racial groups have evolved with more of some of these, and less of others. It’s simply contrafactual and stupid to deny the reality that, if you’re walking home at night in Chicago, you’d much rather see a group of young Jews coming from a chess club approaching you than a group of young blacks coming from a liquor store.
In addition to everything else, race still signals what culture someone belongs to. What values they’re likely to hold dear. What their background and experiences might be. It makes sense to—at least initially, barring other data—be a racist. The key is to acquire relevant data about the individual in question as quickly as possible.
Should you discriminate against—or for—people on a racial basis? Of course. It’s logical and natural. But you’re very stupid if, once you discover who the individual you’re dealing with actually is, you still put race in the forefront of a decision. It’s simply one of scores of factors that any rational person takes into consideration. People who discriminate irrationally will be punished by reality in many ways—economically, socially, and psychologically. You don’t need an arbitrary government decree to sort them out. Government has, in any event, historically been the enemy of minority races.
It’s become not just fashionable, but reflexive, to accuse people—although mainly white males—of racism whenever a black person isn’t automatically given special consideration.
It’s a major element in the decline of western culture that many people no longer think of themselves as individuals, but as members of a race.
Or, for that matter, a sex.
Sexism—It may be true that women have generally gotten a bad break throughout most of human history. Or herstory as some radical feminists like to call it now. That’s because they’re almost always smaller and weaker than men, so they’re physically dominated. Because their hormones direct them to nurture children, they tend to be less aggressive than men. This isn’t culture, it’s biology and nature.
You’d think, therefore, that women would be universally enthusiastic about the industrial revolution, the triumph of capitalism, and the dominance of western culture. Technology (like the development of the gun) has made them the equals of men in combat. Science has freed them from the necessity of bearing children and the dangers of childbirth. They’ve gone from being the Second Sex (as Simone de Beauvoir said in her famous book) to being the stronger sex. They live longer than men. And since the advent of free markets women can also inherit, so they tend to be wealthier. There’s an old joke. And incidentally, I enjoy non-PC jokes: “Any group that controls 75% of the world’s wealth, and 100% of its pussy, are doing alright”.
Are women discriminated against? Once again, there’s nothing wrong with discrimination; rational discrimination is pro-survival, and a sign of intelligence. The answer is no. Women tend to be more emotional than men, but they’re also more empathetic and nurturing—take your choice as to which traits you need for a given task. They’re smaller and weaker than men, but they also have better fine motor skill and tend to be much more detail oriented—choose what’s more important. In today’s high-tech world, it’s usually the latter. Women are needed for reproduction; men—not so much. So women always get first dibs on the lifeboats.
The argument can be made that although men got a better deal throughout history, women now, and increasingly, have the upper hand. As with race, it’s just an accident of birth. The problem lies with women who see themselves first as women, as opposed to individuals. I find women like that to be psychologically aberrated, and generally problematical. And boring. It’s a good policy to stay away from people of any race or sex who are unbalanced or irrational.
What about gender issues? Other than being a waste of time and money as something to study, they’re almost always a sign that someone is maladjusted to his (and here I must add “or her”) body. I happen to like a lot of gay and lesbian people. Like I said, it’s wise to choose your friends and associates based on their character, values, and accomplishments—not accidentals. But there’s a serious problem with someone who sees themselves primarily as part of a group as opposed to a person.
Is it sexist to object to same-sex marriages? It is, although not rationally sexist. But who cares? Personally, I have zero problem with anyone living with anyone else under whatever contractual terms suit them. Why should anyone care? The problem—as with almost anything in human relations—arises when the State sticks its nose into this personal relationship. Why should the State have anything to do with marriage contracts? Or any other act between consenting persons.
I make the argument that, since the State is by nature a purely coercive institution, it should be limited solely to protecting its citizens from coercion: An army to protect them from force outside its borders, police to protect them from coercion within, and a court system to adjudicate disputes without resorting to force. If you’re a new subscriber, you may want to read this short essay for a full explanation (part 1 here, and part 2 here).
So, in brief, if you hear someone accusing someone else of racism or sexism, I urge you to take the opportunity to explore the issue with them. It will simultaneously allow you to find out what kind of person you’re dealing with. And do your part to slow the descent of Western Civilization.
curated by Glen Brink, TheLeadership.info
"There is no truth in any 'ism.' They are all created for political power by the PC police. Damn the PC. Vote them out!"