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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata slogan of the day

Give me dusky capitalism over Aryan socialism/fascism any day
Frank McGahon

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28 comments to Samizdata slogan of the day

  • M.

    Of course,it’s also likely that Mr. McGahon could end up with dusky socialism/fascism,as those dusky folks to tend to have cultures where libertarianism plays little part.
    As for Britain,is this not the country where assimilated,middle class muslim accountants have abandoned their families to go fight jihad?Where muslim youth learn terrorism in the basements of London mosques?

    Why,yes,I believe it is.Culture counts.

    I know libertarians take it as an article of ideological faith that there should be no borders and there lies the problem.

    Ideological Faith.

    Libertarians who insist on such purity,even in the face of a clear reality are no more rational than the sophmore marxist with black beret,che t-shirt and dog-eared of copy Foucault wandering around campus,insisting reality is irrelevent,theory is everything.

  • Charles Copeland

    You’re too optimistic, M.

    Even socialism or fascism requires some level of intellectual competence. Socialist Russia couldn’t feed its own population but at least it could put men into space. Mussolini famously made the trains run on time. Hitler gave us the Volkswagen and a number of gay dress-to-kill fashion accessories.

    No, no — Frank may wish and wish but he will wish in vain. Black British historians? Possibly – no doubt writing about some black sob-sister sufferings and little else, though. Hottentot British Physics Nobelists? I’ll eat my tinfoil hat. Zulu British Chess Grand Masters? I’ll eat ten tinfoil hats. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. And if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a bicycle.

  • Well, let’s remind ourselves what this is about.

    Frank, Perry and friends exhibit the belief that, whilst race might exist, some important people claim it doesn’t so the way is certainly open to say it counts for nothing. In any case, are we not individuals before we are members of any racial group? Do we not have more in common with a fellow libertarian from Guinea (average IQ 59 – sorry couldn’t resist that!) than with a swastika-tattooed skinhead from Burnley (100!!)?

    For Frank and Perry the political and technological dream of the morrow rests with the sovereign individual, whoever he is. So if the peoples native to England, France, Italy, Holland etc cease to be what they always have been and, instead, become half or three-quarter Guinean, it is of no concern. Personal liberty and capitalism are the staffs of tomorrow’s ineluctably brown Man.

    Well, reprobates like and me – and like Charles Copeland – don’t agree with any of that. Sorry, no. We tend to the unfashionable conviction that race is real and rather fundamental … in fact, the first fundamental in human affairs, before all political and economic consideration. Race is lineage, where we come from, who we are. It is the greater whole to which people feel a natural loyalty, that they love and will fight to the bitter end to preserve. When in their extremis a people threatened from without cry for freedom, they don’t mean sovereign individualism. They know in their bones that in their grievous circumstance individualism is self-indulgent, atomistic and dangerous. If threatened from within – by socialism perhaps – it is a different story. But the distinction here is race. The distinction is always race.

    Who is Frank, who is Perry to say that such a thing counts for nothing?

    Now to quote Frank, as we Aryan fascists goosestep through life we are distressingly prone to drawing conclusions about foreigners in our midst. The Chinese waiter in the Bamboo Garden, for instance, probably has more between the ears than we do. The Jamaican fishing a packet out of his mouth while he does business on a street corner in Soho probably doesn’t.

    I must admit, this unfortunate inclination is our undoing. It renders us less than popular with progressive thinkers of both stripes, marxist and libertarian. Consequently, my unsolicited musings about the good folk of Guinea will be met by the philosophers of Crooked Timber (lovers of wisdom, supposedly) with undisguised contempt. Meanwhile at Samizdata both Frank and Perry abuse me in much the same way – or, if not me, Charles Copeland who, to be fair, muses in an even more egregiously unwelcome manner than I do.

    We don’t expect to be popular for advocating the that the English are the meaning of England and should remain so. But, speaking for myself, I would much prefer not to have this conviction slurred or sullied by those who cannot muster a coherent argument against it.

  • Actually, if you bother to read the original thread you will see that my “wish” is in response to Guessedworker lamenting Perry’s vision of a future “dusky capitalist” Britain. GW’s inference was clear: to hell with capitalism or liberty, maintenance of “whiteness” is all that matters.

    You see, Charles, unlike yourself, Guessedworker and Minister Farrakhan, I feel no solidarity to anyone simply on the basis of sharing a similar skin tone. I have more in common with a Black Capitalist than a White Socialist. It would never occur to me to take credit for achievements by people who have the same skin colour as I do any more than it would for people who share my hair colour. You, it seems are unafraid of this preposterous stance in hailing Russia’s success in reaching orbit while its occupants starved, basking in the reflected glow of the cosmonauts radiant skin which resembles your own.

    But our disagreement goes further. What you share with socialists and fascists is the belief that society’s marginal, hypothetical benefit not only requires extensive coercion of individuals but positively demands it. If you choose to describe yourself as a Libertarian, so be it. I think we need a new word.

  • Guessedworker, it is certainly your prerogative to believe that:

    ” Race.. is the greater whole to which people feel a natural loyalty, that they love and will fight to the bitter end to preserve.”

    Just as it would be the prerogative of a “Creationist” to believe that God created everything in 7 days, a few thousand years ago. Neither requires the rest of us to collude in either delusion.

  • The blood-and-soil brotherhood is out in force again I see, still touting the childish notion that an emergent property like intelligence is genetic just because non-emergent properties like blood type, hair and skin colour are largely genetic. Don’t waste too much time debating with the flat earthers, Frank. Leave them to their inductive fantasies.

  • Perry,

    Marxists aside, I don’t think many evolutionary psychologists or population geneticists argue, like you, that intelligence is entirely non-heritable. These days the late Stephen Gould, the prince of absolutist environmentalists, is rubbished even by (effective) anti-racists like Tooby. In turn, the heritability camp has moderated to accomodate a greater environmental factor so that Chris Brand, for example, is more flexible today than Rushton was when he published Race, Evolution & Biology in 1995.

    I say to many people that if they want a grounding in the genetic side of the argument go to GNXP. Razib and godless have no lunatic white racist axe to grind. They are a couple of shocking right wingers, though (hope they don’t mind me saying so). Still, even their take on human biodiversity is subject to challenge from the left, and their are certainly geneticists of a leftward persuasion. What is lacking is certainty, but possibly not for much longer. At present the scientific community is waiting for the mapping of human haplotypes to be completed. These are apparently bordered and defined blocks of genomic data that demonstrate variability.

    The general expectation is that h-db will be demonstrated by the Hapmap, full stop. Thereafter, as the science narrows and improves, its finding will enter public discourse. You will not, then, be able to post the comment you have just made. The world is changing, Perry. But the flat earthers ain’t me or Charles.

  • M.

    Mr. de Havilland,that patronizing dismisal,lacking fact,logic or even courtesy,was worthy of an indymedia posting.Just call them names and then ignore them.
    This makes one my other points,the blind faith of the ideologue that dogma trumps reality.
    Have you taken note of the most recent immigrant crisis in London?Well,since it involves Pakastani youth gangs attackng black immigrants,probably not.I strongly suggest you and Mr. McGahon put your faith to the test and casualy stroll down a public street in one London’s many “no go” zones and see what the results are.
    I’m sure a little lecture in libertarian philosophy will so bedazzle the locals,they won’t react in their usual fashion of beating non-tribal members (that would be you)to a fare-thee-well.

  • Charles Copeland

    Frank writes:

    “I feel no solidarity to anyone simply on the basis of sharing a similar skin tone. I have more in common with a Black Capitalist than a White Socialist. It would never occur to me to take credit for achievements by people who have the same skin colour as I do any more than it would for people who share my hair colour.”

    Taking vicarious pride in the achievements of members of one’s own family, ethnic group or race is part of human nature. It is true that on purely rational, individualist grounds it is hardly justifiable: strictly speaking, a person is no more entitled to bask in the glow of being the child of a Nobel laureate than he should be ashamed of being the child of a mass murderer. Yet evolution has selected us to feel pride and shame in the achievements and failures of our families and ‘tribes’. Jews take a quite forgivable pride in the fact that 40% of Nobel prizes in Physics have been won by members of their own ethnic group; the Irish (rightly or wrongly) happily believe that they are ‘over-represented’ in English literature – the spurious reasoning no doubt being that “I may not be able to write like James Joyce or W.B. Yeats but still it’s nice to know they’re one of our lot all the same …” Not exactly a milestone in analytical thinking, but part of our evolutionary baggage for all that.

    Well, you are an exception. You don’t feel solidarity with your own fellows but I do – and so do very many people. Aren’t we expected to feel guilty about the crimes committed by our imperialist forefathers and pay reparations to compensate for the so-called ‘legacy of slavery’? If so, why aren’t we entitled to feel good about our own accomplishments? Or do you deny the right of people of colour to experience ‘Black Pride?’ And isn’t it also natural for black people to flock together when they have the opportunity?

    What is wrong about preferring the company of people who resemble us, other things being equal? Of course I too believe I have more in common with, say, a hypothetical black philosopher than a real existing white skinhead and would prefer the company of the former to that of the latter. Likewise, if I had the choice between marrying an attractive and intelligent Chinese girl and an ugly and stupid white bitch, I would of course prefer the former. But ceteris paribus, I prefer my own. Any objections?

    You go on to write:

    What you share with socialists and fascists is the belief that society’s marginal, hypothetical benefit not only requires extensive coercion of individuals but positively demands it.”.

    I’m not sure what you mean, but I’ll explain what I think I mean. I’m pro-libertarian on economic issues other than immigration and believe the welfare state is the root of most evil. But if a certain amount of government intervention should prove necessary to ensure the survival of civilised society, then I am in favour of such intervention. For example, if it were an empirically established fact that civilisation will collapse unless adulteresses are obliged to wear the scarlet letter A for Adultery, then I would say it’s worth the price. If necessary, add F for Fornication, S for Slut. If necessary, re-open the Magdalen Laundries and wind the clock back by 300 years. If necessary, consign the fun society to the proverbial dustbin of history.

  • Hi Frank,

    You won’t catch me denying that societal economic organisation is deeply significant or that liberty and capitalism are the optimum conditions for a condign lifestyle. You inflate this position, though, into the biggest thing about folk and the basis on which you discriminate between them.

    But you are just theorising, nothing more. Were you genuine in what you say you would, by extention, have to prefer a capitalist of any origin before your own son or daughter if the latter falls for Blairism or eco-war. But family is first before everything. And race is an extremely extended family.

    As for equating creationism and Darwinism – the rock upon which I stand – well, you demonstrate such a profound illiteracy I am at a genuine loss to know how to respond. Perhaps you would like a reading list.

  • CC,

    What I mean is that, you have a societal goal in mind, to which end individuals ought to be coerced. Thus a (presumably caucasian) woman of high IQ ought to be forced to breed against her will. If this is Libertarianism – include me out.

    GW,

    You might note that I equated your blind faith with that of a creationist. Just as the creationist invents an explanation for a counter-example for his thesis so do you.

    Your “Darwinism” is a simplistic, “greedy” genetic reductionism. And don’t give me any old crap about Gould. Gould’s enemy Dawkins also contradicts you.

    If you wish to patronise me, I might respond by suggesting you read “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” by Dan Dennett. He can explain Darwinism to you far more eloquently than I.

  • Charles Copeland

    Frank,

    Glad to learn you’ve read at least one decent book on evolution.

    Perhaps you’ll even get around to taking it seriously.

  • Charles Copeland

    Frank – Sorry, missed the first part of your latest posting.

    You write:

    “What I mean is that, you have a societal goal in mind, to which end individuals ought to be coerced. Thus a (presumably caucasian) woman of high IQ ought to be forced to breed against her will. If this is Libertarianism – include me out.”

    No, I don’t believe high IQ women should be forced to reproduce. I believe that they shouldn’t been penalised for doing so, though, as is the case at present under the welfare system, and I believe they should certainly be incentivised to do so — though, quite frankly, I’m a futilitarian and doomster at heart and consider that it’s probably too late in the day to get into reverse gear. When did you last meet a female university graduate who had more than two children?

  • Charles: Have you really read “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”? I ask the question because you display so little comprehension of it. I can’t understand, for instance, how anyone would persist with the Lamarckian fallacy if they had read Dennet’s elegant demolition of such nonsense. Your whole philosophical edifice, if that is not too grand a word for such a house of cards, contains more spandrels and sky-hooks than it is possible to list.

    “Futilitarian” is a pretty accurate description of how I feel “debating” with both of you. It really is a redundant exercise given how circular and self-defeating your arguments are. You unwittingly provide your own rebuttal: “reparations”?!!

    I would, however, like to point out to the casual reader that GW’s last post contains a perfect example of the “bait and switch” and provides a clear demonstration of “begging the question”. Thus:

    GW: “Were you genuine in what you say you would, by extention, have to prefer a capitalist of any origin before your own son or daughter if the latter falls for Blairism or eco-war. But family is first before everything.

    See, there’s the “bait”. (Let us ignore the fact that I intended my choice to refer to strangers (friends I haven’t met yet!) rather than existing family or friends) How could I deny my own son or daughter?

    ..and now watch for the “switch”

    “And race is an extremely extended family.”

    Ok, now this is what “begging the question” really means: assuming what you seek to prove. The thing is, race is not an “extended family” at all, any more than “red haired people” is. Quite a lot of actual families contain people of different “races”. There may be a few people, such as GW, CC and Minister Farrakhan who consider “race” in this way but such “families” are contrivances, consisting of one-way traffic. Declaring that, say, Ruud van Nistelrooy is my “cousin” is no guarantee the lanky Dutch striker would feel the same way about me.

  • Frank, do try not to be rude, there’s a good chap.

    I wrote that race is an extremely extended family. I did not write that it is merely an extended family. The distinction is perfectly intentional, Frank, but perhaps not stark enough to register on your intellectual radar. Either that or you wilfully choose to misunderstand … Ruud van Nistlerooy, indeed!

    Actually, “cousin-wise” your countrymen are doubtless a fine example of the intricate, population-wide network I describe with those three words. Early work on human haplotypes has already demonstrated blocks present in some groups but not in neighbouring ones. Human biodiversity is becoming a genetic reality whether you like it or not. Soon we should have concrete proof that a rapid influx, say, of a couple of million Arabs to Dublin and Cork wouldn’t increase the size your number of cousins. It would add a second family with its own discreet and attenuated inter-connectedness.

    I hope that is clear and the end of the matter because I am tired of nailing the lid on your Boasian “race doesn’t exist” coffin. Lay and die, dammit! Better still, subscribe to a few journals and follow the unfolding hapmap story yourself.

    I haven’t read Dennett. I gather that, like Stephen Pinker, he is not an evolutionary biologist or cognitive psychologist. He is a philosopher interested in popularising ideas, not all them of them his own (hence, presumeably, his and your concentration on Dawkins). Dawkins is a distinguished evolutionary biologist but he adopts a moral stance against racism, which is his prerogative. Personally, I find that he slurs the distinctions in this sensitive area and is not averse to something very like breast-beating. If you follow the Dawkins line you, too, will elide kin selection with racism. Now I think I am beginning to understand you.

  • Guy Herbert

    “But family is first before everything” is not easy to support either, without referring back to the oracle of traditional values. There are plenty of people who aren’t very fond of their families.

  • GW: ” Human biodiversity is becoming a genetic reality whether you like it or not”

    What is the opposite of a “straw man”. A “concrete man”?.

    This is a regular tactic of yours, stating something platitudinous or untestable and inferring from that support for your absurd position that not only are black people (implicitly including those of mixed race which incidentally belies your genetic explanation) inevitably “averagely” stupid but are further individually, reliably so. Not only does this display wilful scientific ignorance and a poor grasp of statistical distribution but it is also easily refutable. All you need is one counter-example.

    “I haven’t read….I gather….hence presumeably….I think I am beginning to understand you”

    Think again

  • Charles Copeland

    Frank,

    I’ll try to make it as simple as possible. Which of the following three statements do you believe to be correct?

    1. If blacks were reared in the same environment as whites, they would do exactly as well in life as white people do.

    2. If blacks were reared in the same environment as whites, they would do somewhat less well in life as white people do.

    3. If blacks were reared in the same environment as whites, they would do far less well in life as white people do.

    My own answer is that Statement 3 is the correct one, but maybe I’m mistaken and it’s Statement 2 that is correct. In fact I hope I’m mistaken and if you can prove that I am, bully to you.

    I don’t think that anybody (not even Abiola Lepite) truly believes that Statement 1 is the correct answer. Do you? If you don’t, you’re a hereditarian of sorts.

    Dennett, by the way, doesn’t address racial issues at all – except on page 264 of DDD where he bolsters his street cred by mentioning what he calls ‘unspeakable racism’ before he goes on to demolish Stephen Gould’s punctuated equilibrium nonsense.

    And what did I write that made you think I subscribe to Lamarckianism?

  • Guy,
    Social pathologies enlighten us as to the character of our own times. But as a line of study of the evolution of man’s psychology they are a blind alley. The investment of males in childcare, for example, can’t be explained through the (very recent) phenomenon of a 40% divorce rate. But it exists as a powerful imperative, nonetheless, and has important evolutionary implications in northern hemisphere societies.

    Frank,
    IQ testing of mixed race subjects is entirely supportive of race differentials. The white/Afro-American average splits the 100/85 range. Not only that, a recent study has shown that the mixed race IQ average rise with the relative paleness of the skin.

    You were so angry with your last posting I couldn’t be sure what you were getting at towards the end. I hope you have a healthy heart. Anyway, you seemed to be claiming that I deny the existence of any highly intelligent Sub-Saharan Africans at all. If that’s right you’re on another loser, I’m afraid. Obviously, there is overlap between all racial groups. No constraint exists to high intelligence in any of them though, interestingly, low IQ blacks (50 or less) exhibit normal emotional, behavioural and motor faculties while whites of the same IQ are very often impaired.

  • Jacob

    CC and GW,
    Being such experts in heredity – could you tell me if anyone has investigated the correlation between height and IQ ? Are tall people smarter or dumber than short ones ? It seems that Europeans are a good 5 inches taller on the average than Asians and Latinos. This difference surely is hereditary. On the other hand – Asians score higher than whites and Latinos score lower. Isn’t there some contradiction, somewhere ?

    A second question: when trying to defend the English against aliens – do you advocate defending only against low IQ blacks or also against high IQ Asians, which are alien too, to the English culture and way of life ? (And Indians are also dark skinned).
    A related question: would you prohibit immigration in general, or only from selected countries, or – permit immigration only on base of individual IQ tests (or some other qualification) ?

  • Charles,

    Obviously a lot depends on what is meant by “blacks”, “white people” and “environment” but Statement 1 is correct, while Statements 2 and 3 are incorrect.

    Remember we are talking about individuals here. Just as Michael Howard reminds us that no-one is made better by making someone else sicker, so one person’s intelligence is unaffected by the intelligence of any group said person is assigned to.

    It is a reasonable proposition to me that if you took an african orphaned baby and adopted him or her into a typical environment of a white middle class baby they would do as well in life as such a white middle class baby. Wait a minute, isn’t that exactly what Conor Cruise O’Brien and his wife Maire did?

    While there is undoubtedly some genetic component to “race”, it is clear that “race” as commonly understood is a cultural as opposed to a genetic phenomenon. To illustrate the point I would invite you to consider La Raza, the Latino “race”. There is no genetic component to “Latino”, yet the manner in which this racial identity is defined is almost identical to other supposedly genetic races. Correspondingly there is no racial identity called “White”, apart from a small number of losers, “white” people overwhelmingly identify according to ethnicity and nationality, not skin colour.

    Another example might be Jewishness. Jewishness certainly approximates a racial identity. You are one of those who consistently points out the high average IQ level for Jewish people. Yet Sephardic Jews are genetically indistinguishable from Arabs, and have little genetically in common with Ashkenazi Jews.

    As for whether I’m a “hereditarian”, it rather depends what you mean. I’m no “blank-slater” but it is a simple fact that you get your genes from your parents, not your “race”. If “hereditarian” means someone who imagines that all you need to do is be born with “smart guy” genes and bam! you’re intelligent, no need to go to school or nuthin, well then I’m not an “hereditarian”.

    Which brings me neatly to your Lamarckian assumptions.

    “When did you last meet a female university graduate who had more than two children?”

    This from someone who would prefer female unversity graduates to breed and breed to help raise the average IQ level of society. The thing is, such a woman can no more pass to her daughter the “acquired characteristic” of a university education in her genes any more than she could breast implants or a nosejob.

  • Guessedworker:

    Thank you for your patronising concern, I can assure you that my heart is fine.

    You mistook my bemusement for anger. You can hardly blame me for being bemused on your facile dismissal of three of the most eloquent proponents of the theory you rather pompously describe as “the rock upon which I stand”. Dennet (“interested in popularising ideas” apparently), despite your admission that you haven’t read him and Pinker, because they are unqualified (compared to you?) and Dawkins because this eminent scientist dares not to endorse your race-obsessed reductionism.

    Charles is right, there is little specifically about race in “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” – I’m not sure if that makes it more or less palatable for you – but, if you read it, you might learn a lot about “greedy reductionism”

    As for mixed race, my point is that you consistently use the term “black” for anyone who has any african ancestry but the overwhelming majority of “black” people in the US and the UK fopr example are actually “mixed race” and not “purely african”. Someone who appears visually “black”, such as Halle Berry for example, may actually have a majority caucasian “heritage”.

  • Jacob,

    1. I saw something about height and IQ recently … a study in America, I think. Didn’t read it but the headline news was that a link appeared to exist. I don’t doubt that this would be intra-group, though – no implications for racial difference.

    2. Your second question is somewhat leading. One has to appreciate what happens when a people in its own homeland realises that, as things stand, the future is going to be lost. Can you name one case in which such a people has peacefully declared itself void? Of course not. But the later the awakening, the deeper the extremis, the more violent and ruthless the reaction.

    The problem, in these peaceful times, is making people understand that the laws of human natiure have not been abolished by liberal capitalism. The egalitarian left (as opposed to the English working class) and libertarian extremists like Perry and Frank are focussed on their particular political hopes and aspirations. They all overlook the law of action and reaction. They deny racial kinship. The left, in particular, defines altruism as a pan-human quality whereas history shows that its mass expression is sacrifice in time of war.

    The result is that the people are maintained in their ignorance. When they awaken to the horror of the situation, as they must, there won’t be any consideration of questions like: are high IQ Asians alright?

    I replied to you a while ago that I’m running ahead of the game on this subject of human difference. That’s true and it opens me up to criticism from idealogues like Frank and Perry. The science isn’t good enough yet but my very firm conviction is that total environmentalism is already dead and a clear picture of “hereditary mankind” is emerging.

    This will be a tool of inestimable value for prizing open the debate and fashioning a benign resolution.

    It is against that background that your second and third questions apply. The answer is: it depends on too many obvious variables to answer now. These include the extent of national racial change at the time and the democratic will of the people, native and immigrant, as well as the broad economic picture and, because England won’t lead this process internationally, what people see happening in other countries.

  • Back so soon, Frank,

    Well, I’m glad you’re not frothing at the mouth for medical reasons. Now, Halle Berry’s mum is white but Halle self-identifies as a black. Will that do you?

    On the fine gentlemen with whom you seek to clobber me, I have something to add. I’ve read Pinker. He is an interesting case. He first emerged as a student of Cosmides and Tooby (who re-hoisted the flag of sociobiology as safely race-blind Evolutionary Psychology after the rather shocking liberal war on sociobiologists had passed). His friend Steve Sailor reckons he has journeyed steadily with the science ever closer to a race realist position, which seems only sensible. He has not been able to forego his liberal scruples yet, though – to which subject I now progress.

    Of Dennet I cannot speak. But the great man of memes I have of course read, though only in part. You hold him up for his clear moral stance on racism rather than his infinitely more influential and ultra-Darwinist position as a geneticist. I’m interested in him for the same reason but, obviously, from an entirely different perspective.

    I am fascinated by the intrusion of liberal sensibilities into both modern public attitudes and the thinking of our very best minds, like Dawkins.
    Like all explanatory models, the idea of racism is an imposition on a physical reality that no one thought to pathologise before the WW2. I suspect that the beginnings of it lay not with racial coinsiderations at all but with the moral underpinnings of Bishop Bell of Chichester’s anti-area bombing pronouncements and also with the essentially pacifist left that first found itself denying its pacifism to defeat Hitler and then, in 1945, in full, radical flow as a government. I see here the seeds of national guilt sown in a time of national triumph, and guilt is such an essential component of the liberal mind.

    In 1948 we had the Windrush (with all the images of West Indian men unable to find London lodgings) and at the same time the burgeoning intellectual input on the left of pre-war jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. The latter, of course, had every reason to proselytise against nationalist racial identification.

    These, for me at least, were all new developments in our national life that hang together and go a good way to explain this self-inflicted wound of race-guilt. They found their final expression in anti-racism, a new idea in the early 1980’s but orthodoxy now. Indeed, it has risen to such a position of influence in public morals that every one of us have internalised it some degree. I happen to believe it is an incubus and an evil. I believe it corrupts the public mind and, even in a man like Dawkins, causes an intellectual prolapse whereby issues of difference elide via discomfiture into protestations of moral purity.

  • “Now, Halle Berry’s mum is white but Halle self-identifies as a black. Will that do you?”

    Yes, now I will spell it out for you

    1. “self-identifies” = cultural identity

    2. “cultural identity” = acquired characteristic

    3. “acquired characteristic” = not heritable

  • Frank, obviously culture is not heritable, though it is informed genetically … rythmic intelligence, for example, informs much African culture. But no one denies that acquired characteristics exist. No one denies that environmental factors have an input to intelligence, for example. But your position seems to be that heritability does not exist, ergo race does not exist. Would you just confirm that for me, whereupon I shall be pleased to fisk you fully, seeing as how you won’t lie down without attention of a kind I had hoped to avoid.

  • [sigh]

    I really hadn’t intended to add any more to this but I had better clarify for you my point which you have incorrectly understood.

    My point is that “Blackness”, just as “Latino-ness”, is a largely cultural phenomenon. Of course there is some genetic influence but the most significant element of this is to do with appearance.

    Those you lazily categorise as “black”, certainly self-identify as black, because that’s what they look like. The thing is, within the UK and the USA, there are few with a “purely” african ancestry. If we are talking about African-Americans, Black British, Afro-Caribbeans and Afro-Latinos, anyone who has slave ancestors or whose african ancestors left Africa many generations ago, then “race” as a genetic phenomenon doesn’t exist for them. It is a cultural identity.

    A person may have one quarter African ancestors and three quarters European. For your purposes this person is “Black”. yet from a genetic point of view they are mixed. No meaningful extrapolation can be made about the intelligence of a group to which this person is arbitrarily assigned. In case you think you have a “get out clause” in noting the precise shade of skin colour and inferring the proportion of “white” to “black” genes I would remind you that this is a simplistic, erroneous assumption.

    Lighter skin simply connotes “mixed race” and not exact level of mix. This is very easy to grasp if you notice that, within many black families, siblings who share the same genetic mix can often display quite a range of skin shade.

    “no one denies that acquired characteristics exist”

    This is a joke, right?. No one denies the moon exists either. That is hardly the point.

    Lamarck postulated that acquired characteristics could be heritable and thought that there was some way in which experience could be hardwired into your genes and passed onto your offspring. This is a notorious scientific fallacy. For example: Say I learned how to recognise patterns and number sequences, and familiarised myself with systems, categories, and spatial relations, and thus acquired a high IQ. My “genes” don’t know this, and thus the only way my son could emulate this is to go and learn all that stuff himself. He might end up with a high IQ too but it wouldn’t have been inherited from me.

    My position is not that genes have no influence, that would be absurd. My point is that intelligence is acquired. If you think this isn’t true then how do you explain the dismal intelligence of a feral child? Your may state that “”No one denies that environmental factors have an input to intelligence” yet your casual, insulting assumptions about any black person belies that. After all, how do you know the environment of an individual black person you disparage? You just think you know “his genes”, you don’t even know that.

  • bb

    Just in case someone stumbles upon this thread through a link or search engine, I would like to point out the extreme dishonesty and/or ignorance of Frank’s posts (how Frank can consider himself a “libertarian” after posting such Gramscian tripe is beyond me). Obviously one does not pass a university education to one’s children, but one can pass the *abilities* that allow their children to earn a university education. This reminds me very much of left-winger Ned Block’s dishonest and/or ignorant contention that heritability is meaningless because occupational status couldn’t possibly be heritable, since people are not genetically encoded to work in a printed circuit factory. Of course one is not genetically encoded to work in a particular profession, but one may or may not have abilities that are required to work in a given profession, and these very well could have a heavily genetic basis.

    Sorry if I got personal here, but Frank McGahon has had a history of stubbornness and dishonesty regarding IQ issues and regarding race issues. He is very much like a creationist–he can be told over and over again how and why he is clearly wrong, yet continue to push the same crap.