Biocentric yuppiedom versus the West

What is biological reductionism? It is the belief that all the affairs of human life, from the formation of families to the creation of art to the founding of religions to the discoveries of science to the rise and fall of civilizations, are determined and defined by a handful of the most basic instincts, sex, violence, competition for resources and so on, and that these instincts are in turn the products of genetic determinism. Everything comes down to genes, which in turn are the product of random mutations selected by the biological competition for survival. While biological reductionism is associated with secularism which is associated with the left, not all reductionists are on the left. There are conservatives who are biological reductionists. But a conservative reductionist is a contradiction in terms. Conservatism means the defense and restoration of a threatened or damaged civilizational tradition, namely our own. But a reductionist is unable to articulate and defend our civilization, because he is unable to articulate the things that make up our civilization, such as religion, philosophy, political science, morality. He denies the higher parts of human nature of which these fields of knowledge speak, or else he reduces those higher parts to epiphenomena of lower parts.

All of which leads us to Steve Sailer. Sailer, a regular contributor at The American Conservative and, argues that the white race—and thus the white West—cannot preserve itself and shouldn’t bother trying. The basis of his argument is a typical Saileresque combination of biological reductionism and what Paul Gottfried has described as Sailer’s yuppie world view: people want to marry whom they will, and therefore all boundaries between tribes and nations must be dissolved, in an ever expanding common community. Sailer writes:

This vast trend means that an ideology of racial separatism, such as Jared Taylor’s white nationalism, is ultimately doomed among white Americans by the enormous value we place upon true love and our discomfort at ostracizing those who find love across ethnic boundaries.

For Sailer, everything comes down to sex (i.e. reductionism) and personal preferences, (i.e. yuppiedom), backed by a major dollop of liberal anti-discriminationism. There are no larger realities, truths, religious and cultural groupings, and allegiances that organize human life, or, if such realities have existed historically, they must give way to the relentless advance of a new world order defined by Sailer’s yuppie mentality. (He calls it “romantic,” yet romance and soulless biological reductionism make an odd match indeed.)

Many conservatives, including me, value Steve Sailer for his smart and informative writings on the biological dimension of various social and political issues, and particularly his discussions of racial characteristics and racial differences. Yet, ironically, whether Sailer realizes it or not, his yuppified version of race realism is really part of an individualist and universalist world view, i.e., a liberal world view, leading inexorably to the melding of all races, and specifically to the disappearance of the white race and its civilization. Sailer will continue to make worthwhile contributions to conservatism in discrete subject areas such as IQ testing and the socioeconomic factors that drive Republican voting. But, when it comes to larger matters, to the question of right and wrong, to the question of the meaning of our culture and civilization and how to preserve them, Sailer is not merely useless, he is, ultimately, on the other side. Conservatives should read him selectively.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 23, 2005 03:39 PM | Send

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