Culture, politics, science, philosophy.
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The deep Crisis of the West
May be more than skin deep
25.07.2012. Professors J. Philippe Rushton and Donald I. Templer have recently published the article «Do pigmentation and the melanocortin system modulate aggression and sexuality in humans as they do in other animals?» (Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 53, Issue 1, July 2012, Pages 4–8). You may read the article at Science Direct, or download the PDF. However, a good place to start might be to read Rushton's summary at Vdare.com.
What, exactly, is wrong with “racism”?
21.07.2012. Writes John Derbyshire at Vdare.com (links and emphasis in original):
[...] And so on. That's the usage of the word "racism" today. It denotes any insufficiency of diversity, in religion and sexual orientation as well as in race; and it further denotes any behavior directed at a colored person by a white person that is, or might conceivably be read as being, disobliging.
By these current standards, the common British attitudes recorded by Ms. Gibson in the letters columns of The Economist likely are racist. One is bound to ask, though: What's wrong with that?
Here is an island people, its population not much changed for millennia, suddenly confronted with huge inflows of people radically different in race, history, culture, and religion. Why should they not mind? What is heinous about their minding?
It seems to me very natural and understandable.
Taking a larger view, one might even more impertinently ask: What is wrong with racism on the definition given in Webster's Third?
The first part of that definition, "the assumption that psychocultural traits and capacities are determined by biological race and that races differ decisively from one another," is an opinion about facts in the world. The facts might be true or untrue, the opinions correspondingly correct or incorrect; but there is no moral content here, any more than there is in heliocentrism (true) or the phlogiston theory of combustion (untrue). The matter ought to be capable of resolution by cold empirical inquiry.
The other part, the part with which the first "is usu. coupled"—an odd sort of qualification to find in a dictionary definition, as Craig Bodeker notes in his movie—is "a belief in the inherent superiority of a particular race and its right to domination over others."
That other part, when it is indeed coupled with the first, is morally problematic.
You can make an argument that "inherently superior" is nonsensical in the case of the human personality, which has many, many more than one dimension. Superior on which trait?
Most of us know what is meant, though. The trait for which superiority is being asserted is a collective one: the capability for generating societies that are materially and creatively progressive—for generating civilizations.
The waters here are deep, perhaps unfathomable. Some races (Europeans, Northeast Asians) surely have generated civilizations; others (sub-Saharan Africans, the aborigines of Australia) have not. That those latter races could not generate civilizations has not been proved, though, and it's hard to see how one might arrive at such a proof. Empirical inquiry might deliver the goods on this one, but I wouldn't bet money on it.
If a Briton of today could be transported back to the country of his ancestors a mere hundred generations ago, before the Romans arrived, he would find them very barbarous. Could an educated Roman of that time, supposing he had been able to survey the whole world, have predicted which peoples would be in a civilized state a hundred generations thence? Not likely.
The question as to which races are or are not capable of generating civilizations is thus an open one. You can have an opinion about it, but you can't have a well-founded opinion.
Still, seen from a great height, sub specie æternitatis, even these opinions have no necessary moral content. The belief that one's own race is civilizationally superior to another might even lead one into compassionate paternalism—as indeed it often did when it was a common belief among Europeans.
Human nature being what it is, though, such a belief will generate at least equal quantities of arrogance and cruelty: that is the morally problematic aspect. That is the area in which the use of "racist" as a pejorative is justified.
As for "domination over others," though, I can detect no widespread desire for any such thing in today's world. Among American whites, the strongest negative desire I can see is for separation. For every white person who wants to lord it over blacks, there are a hundred at least who would just like to stay away from them, to live as if they did not exist. This is the desire driving the voluntary residential and educational segregation that are such marked features of modern American life.
The white Britons whom Ms. Gibson would like to exclude from their nation's politics are similarly disposed. They wish no harm to the people of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africa, Arabia, and the black Caribbean. They just wish those people had stayed in their own countries. And they resent their not having done so.
Is that racism within the current usage of the word? Probably.
Is there anything wrong with it?
Not that I can see.
The above text is an excerpt from John Derbyshire Asks: What, Exactly, Is Wrong With “Racism”? at Vdare.com.
Interview in French-Canadian newspaper
16.07.2012. Those of you who understand French (or are willing to use Google Translate) may want to read an interview I have given to the French-Canadian newspaper La Presse: Norvège: à droite toute. You may also want to have a look at their not-so-neutral report from the Breivik trial: L'extrême droite témoigne au procès de Breivik.
What's so scary about Darwin?
13.07.2012. Human biodiversity is of course merely a subtopic within the larger subject of bio-diversity in general—"BD," if you like—a subject that began to pass from the realm of observation, classification, and speculation into the realm of rigorous scientific inquiry when Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species 153 years ago. Twelve years later Darwin ventured into the subtopic of HBD with another book, The Descent of Man. Both books generated much vexation and controversy. Many people are still vexed today, over a century later. Why? What's so scary about Darwin? Short answer: He dethroned us. Continue reading John Derbyshire's article at Vdare.com.
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