Is human bio-diversity the next conservatism?
I’ve seen at other sites named The Undiscovered Jew (I hope he’s not a spiritual cousin of Undercover Black Man
As a frequent poster at Darwinian right websites like the Audacious Epigone, OneSTDV and Parapundit, I want to give you a heads up that Roissy is only one segment of a new generation of young (OneSTDV is a Gen-Yer, and Audacious Epigone and myself are still in college), white, college educated, Darwin friendly, conservative bloggers the political world will have to contend with who were inspired by Steve Sailer and who closely follow public intellectuals such as Steven Pinker and Charles Murray, i.e., my fellow HBDers.
While Roissy has drawn attention for his pro-Darwin/Sociobiology inspired views on working the club scene and formidable literary flair, sex relations is only one area where mainstream conservative politics will be influenced by HBD.
HBD/Sociobiology will affect all fields of social science because sociobiology is the study of how mental/psychological/neurological traits affect all human to human interactions. Because sociobiology explores all human to human interactions, it is unavoidable that HBD will influence mainstream conservatism because conservatism, like all ideologies, is concerned with how human society is to be organized.
My personal view, is that part of the reason conservatives such as yourself reacted to Roissyism so strongly was because your instincts told you that Roissy was promoting a secular conservative view of the world inspired by sociobiology.
You should get used to understanding HBD/sociobiology concepts because HBD is the only rightist doctrine (mainstream or non-mainstream) which has the power to gain intellectual hegemony over the American right.
I invite you to explore HBD writings on subjects other than game because we are the new kids on the block and you will be seeing much more of us in the future as genetic science confirms the hereditarian worldview.
Here is a comment I made at Mangan’s about why Tradcons/Social Conservatives have such a strong, instinctive, reaction to Roissyism (which is a sort of subfield of sociobiology).
Yes, I noticed you at Mangan’s three days ago and described you to a couple of correspondents as a triumphalist Gamer, unlike Mangan and Whiskey, who seem to see just some marginal benefits from Game, and are trying to hang on to Game by their fingernails. And you express the same triumphalism in your e-mail to me.
Insofar as HBD is materialist reductionist it is a disaster for mankind, for our civilization, and for conservatism. I recommend that you acquaint yourself with my writings on why the right-Darwinist and Sailerist views, while they contain some truths, are, when seen as a whole, false, inadequate to the problems we face, and deeply harmful.
The Undiscovered Jew writes:
I actually don’t follow game and read Roissy only very rarely because my romantic life is going ok and I tend to think Roissy is sensationalizing just how bad things are among my generation (possibly because he hangs out in DC where there are so many beautiful, feminist thinking, white women walking around).
I’m also quite sympathetic to your arguments against materialist reductionism because I’m not sure the materialist reductionist view of human consciousness may not be upturned the same way Newtonian Physics was upturned by Quantum Mechanics.
My general point was that game is just the tip of the iceberg and that you should focus your attention on us because we have the most political potential and we have the most intellectual firepower on our side.
Also, just for the sake of helping you better understand who we are, here is a demographic profile of GNXP [Gene Expression] readers (who are typical of most HBD readers) which shows most HBDers are white, male, educate, ex-libertarians.
Ok, but basically you’re changing the whole subject to HBD from Game. After us poor Web chatterers have been trying to figure out and respond to the claims of the Gamers for the past week, you come along tell us that Game isn’t where it’s at anyway, HBD is where it’s at.
It gets bewildering. Even within the Game discussion there is such a variety of views that it’s hard to get a clear idea of what it’s all about, and then it turns out that Game is just one perspective within the larger HBD, and so on.
The natural differences between human individuals, between human groups, between men and women, are facts of reality, and any politics that ignores these facts is at best not serious. But one doesn’t need biological reductionism to grasp the reality of these differences. There is the natural/biological realm, the social/cultural realm, and the noetic/spiritual/ transcendent realm. Man lives in all three of these realms. Liberalism, the belief that all human selves are and must be equally free, denies the reality of all three of these realms, because all three involve differences and/or hierarchy between human selves. Traditionalism shows the truth of these realms and the practical consequences of that truth. Biocons limit their view of the world to just one of these realms. or reduce the other two to the first. They only oppose the liberal denial of differences and inequality when it comes to the biological, so they are not truly battling against the comprehensive liberal attack on humanity but are only fighting on one front of the battle while agreeing with liberals on the other two fronts.
Traditionalism aims at a comprehensive view of man and society that includes the biological. HBD reduces man to the biological and so presents a false picture of man and society.
Let me put it like this,
You should pay more attention to us because we are the only segment on the right, other than social conservatives, who are offering a comprehensive vision of human social organization that could attract intelligent people, while every other segment on the right is either worried about micropolicy (libertarians), or have given up and descended into useless intellectual navel gazing (paleos/takimag/AmericanConservative).
I agree with you that it would be useful to pay more attention to HBD thinkers.
Ok, I understand that you must be exhausted just exploring the Roissysphere when you still haven’t contended with the entire HBD world.
Still, I think you should pay particular attention to us because we have the most potential because the biological sciences are going to merge with the social sciences due to genetic science.
I’m interested in you critiquing us because it helps us sharpen and refine our arguments.
LA forwarded his first reply to TUJ to Gintas, who wrote back:
What is Game but putting on confidence when deep down you are not confident? I refer you to the confidence of Richard Dawkins.
For all we know, Darwinism is about to come crashing down into a heap, and take the credibility of all science, including the HBDers—whose confidence is Science—down with it.
Gintas goes for the jugular!
I must be an Alpha male, because I wasn’t trying to exude confidence that Darwinism would fall. It’s just natural. Heh heh.
None of these Gamers ever talks like he actually loves a particular woman, or that he ever could. That would be a sign of mortal weakness. In the Darwinistic world, it’s “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am!” and for the Nihilists, “Women sap your strength.”
Also, in a subsequent comment TUJ says he is sympathetic with the critique of material reductionism, because, he says, “I’m not sure the materialist reductionist view of human consciousness may not be upturned the same way Newtonian Physics was upturned by Quantum Mechanics.” So you and TUJ had exactly the same thought. But I’m not sure that TUJ realizes, as you do, that once the existence of non-material consciousness is admitted, the Darwinian-materialist claim that the material is the only reality comes crashing down, and, with it, Darwinism itself. Which leaves HBD where? As a sub section of traditionalism. So your alpha-like confidence may be justified.
The Undiscovered Jew writes:
Thanks for posting our exchange.
“I hope he’s not a spiritual cousin of Undercover Black Man.”
I chose the handle, The Undiscovered Jew, as a play on “The undiscovered country” from Hamlet, because I simply thought it sounded neat.
I’m actually half Jewish, half non-Jewish white, but call myself the Undiscovered Jew because “The Undiscovered Half-Jew” sounds too awkward.
You also wrote,
“But I’m not sure that TUJ realizes that once the existence of non-material consciousness is admitted, the Darwinian-materialist claim that the material is the only reality comes crashing down, and, with it, Darwinism itself. Which leaves HBD where? As a sub section of traditionalism.”
My sympathy for a metaphysical level for human consiousness is probably a minority view among other HBDers. So even if you and Gintas convince me of the 100 percent truth of your position, HBDers will still tend to be very secular in mindset.
I’m actually half Jewish, half non-Jewish white, but call myself the Undiscovered Jew because “The Undiscovered Half-Jew” sounds too awkward.
Well, that’s ok. Undercover Black Man is less than half black.
But let’s see if this makes any sense:
… The undiscovered Jew, from whose bourn [border]
Perhaps this is a new formulation of the Jewish Question.
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Cornelius J. Troost writes:
The Undiscovered Jew is surely right to argue that young intellectuals of conservative bent who adhere to HBD will potentially lead the future revolution of ideas as biology causes liberalism insurmountable problems. Liberalism must choke on its lies about equality but right now it enjoys supreme power in a world described by Richard Bernstein in Dictatorship of Virtue. Exalting blacks far beyond their talents and intelligence distorts every aspect of life, as we dare not ever appraise people honestly. The terrible shaming of James Watson reminds us of the pathology of this cultural malaise. Pandering is the order of the day.
However, the USSR lived a lie for many decades and even now lives in socioeconomic corruption and despair. It is difficult to restore real honesty to human discourse that is predicated on lies. The great Polish poet, Czeslew Milosz, wrote The Captive Mind to illumine the twisted depths to which minds under authoritarian pressure succumb. In short, a few bright young conservatives hidden on the Internet are not likely to have a profound impact any time soon. Obama’s victory is neon billboard telling us how far we have sunk into adulation of the ignorant, the poor, and the disabled. Conservatives can readily care about their fellow man even as they appreciate the often significant differences between groups and individuals, including the differences mentioned by LA. Forcing equality was exactly Stalin’s game.
Those, like The Undiscovered Jew, who seek to understand the Darwinian perspective, could benefit from reading my book called Apes or Angels? Darwin, Dover, Human Nature, and Race. It has received praise from the likes of Steve Sailer. See www.apesorangels.com
Here’s why I don’t believe in HBD as the antidote to the egalitarian fiction. The egalitarian fiction needs to be exposed. But HBD doesn’t stop at that reasonable goal. HBD has its own ideology it is pushing, a materialist-reductionist ideology with its own, in my view, false picture of reality. HDB’ers don’t just want to defeat the false liberal ideology, they want to erect their own ideology in its place.
It’s analogous to the problem with the Intelligent Design movement. ID, instead of simply showing the problems with Darwinism, made the fatal error of presenting itself as a scientific hypothesis which could replace Darwinism. So ID became the focus of attention and criticism, rather than Darwinism. HBD’ers are making a similar mistake. I would say to them, if your main object to overthrow the belief in egalitarianism, then do that, you don’t have to erect an entire counter ideology in its place. But if you’re just using the attack on liberal egalitarianism as a front to advance materialist-reductionism, then many people in rejecting your materialist ideology will also reject your attack on egalitarianism.
Haven’t the HBD’ers noticed the tiny little fact that a very large percentage of the American people reject Darwinism? So if the HBD’ers want to defeat egalitianism, why base that effort on Darwinian premises that a very large number of Americans will always reject and that, at best, will always be highly controversial? Why not base the critique of egalitarianism on facts that are readily demonstrable and indeed indisputable, such as the actual group differences in IQ, the hereditary basis of those differences, and so on? The fact that the HBD’ers do not so limit their argument but tie it into HBD strongly suggests that their principal agenda is not to defeat egalitarianism, as they claim, but to convert society to Darwinist/sociobiological materialism. And if that’s their aim, then all conservative religious people will oppose them. And how can a campaign against liberal egalitarianism be successful, if it opposed by conservative Christians, and its main supporters are atheist conservatives? How many atheist conservatives are there? How many divisions does the Pope have?
Jim C. writes:
The HBDers have a lot in common with you—especially when it comes to immigration policy. TUJ is very smart, and you should encourage him to write. Most are atheists, but you just have to get over that—J
“Most are atheists, but you just have to get over that.”
It depends what kind of atheists you’re talking about. I have no problem with atheists as such—there are a fair number of atheists among VFR’s regular commenters. But I do not tolerate aatheists who are intolerant of religious people and who attack Christianity and belief in God. Furthermore, people who attack Christianity and religious belief while presenting themselves as “conservatives” and “defenders of Western civilization” are as ludicrous—and as instantly dismissible—as a pornographer presenting himself a defender of family values.
Mark P. writes:
Funnily enough, the HBD sites are on my rotation of websites as well.
The nearest problem that I can tell with HBD is that the endgame policy prescription is to replace the entire white, European-descended population with East Asians. See, HBD points out that, based on human biodiversity, whites tend to be smarter, better-behaved, better-organized, more self-controlled, and more future time-oriented than minorities like blacks and Hispanics. Unfortunately, East Asians score higher than whites on all those criteria as well. Ergo, whites, blacks and Hispanics should all be replaced by East Asians. Or, if not outwardly replaced, then East Asians should run our society from the top down and the rest of us should just listen to our new superior Masters.
The fact that no East Asian actually built Western Civ is lost on these people.
Well, there you have it. As I’ve said many times, the human bio-diversity thinkers, led by Sailer, have no concept of or loyalty to anything larger than the individual person and his desires—whether God, the Good, Christianity, Western culture, the historical American nation, the American constitutional order, or the white race. Even Sailer’s “citizenism” defines America as nothing more than the chance collection of the individuals who happen to make it up. Conservatism means loyalty to and participation in something larger and more enduring than ourselves. The HBD-Sailerite reduction of human life to IQ, status seeking, and similar biologically deterministic and self-interested factors cannot be the basis of any sustained society, let alone of our society. It is rank delusion to think that it can be.
LA: “I do not tolerate atheists who are intolerant of religious people and who attack Christianity and belief in God.”
In my experience, most HBD writers are not aggressive about their atheism. In fact, I’ve seen many defenses of Christianity by these fellows—not because they believe in it, but because they recognize that Christianity, as a method of social organization, was a big element if not the main element that led to the dominance of Western societies. While you might object that they are defending Christianity on a pragmatic level rather than as an article of faith, most people I’ve talked to hold Christianity in high regard and condemn Islam and other non-Christian faiths for consistently producing failed societies.
Mark P.: “The nearest problem that I can tell with HBD is that the endgame policy prescription is to replace the entire white, European-descended population with East Asians.”
While an extrapolation of certain writings might lead to this conclusion, most white HBD writers don’t advocate this idea. The Undiscovered Jew, for example, has been an unequivocating supporter of whites-only immigration to the US. In practical terms, most HBD writers acknowledge the social problems inherent in a multiracial society, even if the other race is peaceful and law-abiding like Asians. But more importantly, most of them have a sense of pride and nationalism—even if, in the abstract, a China-dominated America would have advantages, they still see the survival of the white race and white countries as paramount. To quote myself: “If China and Japan surpass us, in the long run, so be it. But let it be a fair race, rather than one where Americans are handcuffed to illiterate third-world breeders.”
I assure you that this sentiment is not uncommon. One of the fundamental principles of genetic realism is that maintaining your race’s integrity, their territory, and their fecundity is akin to protecting and preserving your own family’s lineage.
Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:
You wrote, “I have no problems with atheists as such.”
I find that most atheists are highly intelligent people, so in that capacity, they are valuable members of a civilization-saving movement. But, they have also successfully (through this intelligence) argued out the existence of God to themselves.
But, at the end of the day, people like Dennis Mangan, and now the Undiscovered Jew, don’t quite come to the task in defense of this civilization. Look, for example, at how Mangan works out the Game phenomenon. And the Undiscovered Jew resorts to his HBD (and I assume Darwinism) to explain the world to himself.
But, then again, there is the brave Geert Wilders, a non-believer. But, if Wilders were to lead the world for several decades (to give him time to reverse the Muslim problems), I wonder how many things he would leave out, which would be essential to the long-term (more than decades) survival of the West? And would the West have a long-term survivability after his leadership?
When I say I have no problem with atheists as such, I mean I have no problem relating to them as fellow human beings and as fellow participants in discussion.
At the same time, I have repeatedly pointed out that atheists—and here we’re speaking of conservative atheists—are limited in their ability to articulate and defend our civilization, because our civilizaiton is founded on things that go beyond atheism. So I agree with your point.
Todd White writes:
Your criticisms of Human Bio-diversity remind me of Charles Murray’s eloquent but contradictory speech, “The Happiness of the People,” which he delivered at the American Enterprise Institute this year.
In his speech, Murray declared:
If we ask what are the institutions through which human beings achieve deep satisfactions in life, the answer is that there are just four: family, community, vocation, and faith … Seen in this light, the goal of social policy is to ensure that those institutions are robust and vital. And that’s what’s wrong with the European model. It doesn’t do that. It enfeebles every single one of them….What’s happening? Call it the Europe syndrome. [Their] mentality goes something like this: Human beings are a collection of chemicals that activate and, after a period of time, deactivate. The purpose of life is to while away the intervening time as pleasantly as possible … Every element of the Europe Syndrome is infiltrating American life.
Sounds good, right? But then Murray continues:
Yet there is reason for strategic optimism … Critics of the European model are about to get a lot of new firepower. Not only is the European model inimical to human flourishing, twenty-first-century science is going to explain why…. Harvard’s Edward O. Wilson anticipated what is to come in a book entitled Consilience. As the twenty-first century progresses, he argued, the social sciences are increasingly going to be shaped by the findings of biology; specifically, the findings of the neuroscientists and the geneticists.
I criticized Murray’s flip-flop on my website. I wrote:
Over the next few decades, advances in evolutionary psychology are going to be conjoined with advances in genetic understanding and they will lead to a scientific consensus that goes something like this: There are genetic reasons, rooted in the mechanisms of human evolution, that little boys who grow up in neighborhoods without married fathers tend to reach adolescence unsocialized to norms of behavior that they will need to stay out of prison and hold jobs. These same reasons explain why child abuse is, and always will be, concentrated among family structures in which the live-in male is not the married biological father. And these same reasons explain why society’s attempts to compensate for the lack of married biological fathers don’t work and will never work.
There’s no reason to be frightened of this new knowledge.
[end of Murray quote]
Quite frankly, this is nonsensical. First of all, Mr. Murray’s interpretation of science is about 35 years out of date. The “consilience” paradigm of E.O. Wilson and the rest of the hard-core reductionists isn’t gaining steam. Rather, it’s starting to fall apart. But let’s go with Mr. Murray’s prediction, anyway. If Mr. Murray is right—and reductionist science continues to destroy man’s traditional values—it would be “quite frightening” indeed. The example he uses—in which science supports the traditional view that young boys need fathers—is a poor, unhelpful one. The idea that young boys do better WITH fathers than WITHOUT fathers is grounded in common sense and has never been controversial.
What IS controversial is the entire reductionist paradigm—a paradigm grounded in the idea that—as Mr. Murray explains—human beings are simply a “collection of chemicals.” Indeed, it was Mr. Murray who participated in the AEI panel, “Genes, Neuroscience, and Free Will” (which I wrote about here). The consensus of that panel is that free will is almost certainly an illusion (even though no one used those exact words).
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Murray correctly diagnoses the “bag of chemicals” philosophy as the source of the “Europe Syndrome,” but he doesn’t recognize that the syndrome can’t be defeated by only treating the symptoms (in this case, rolling back the welfare state). The syndrome itself (reductionism) must be treated, as well. In some of the best unintentional comedy ever found in a political speech, Mr. Murray thinks reductionist science will help advance the conservative movement and facilitate the “happiness of the people!” Ha!
Absolutely amazing. As you point out, Murray attacks the material-reductionist view that human beings are a collection of chemicals, correctly describing that view as the source of Europe’s leftist, anti-human policies. And then what does he do? He turns around and endorses—as the supposed cure for this leftist anti-humanism—the same material reductionism that he has just identified as its very source. And I thought Murray was smart.
The speech is remarkable evidence for the difficulty that atheist materialist conservatives will always have in being consistent in their criticisms of leftism, because at bottom they share key leftist premises.
Todd White replies:
Yes, it is amazing. I remember reading that speech online a few months ago, and with each paragraph, my excitement grew and grew. I thought to myself, “Yes! Brilliant! Murray is attacking liberalism at the very deepest of its roots!” And then, midway through the speech, Murray completely contradicts himself, and the entire message falls apart. At least the speech still has merit for showing—as you point out—how “atheist materialist conservatives” will always be a weak ally in our cause.
Here’s why I don’t believe in HBD as the antidote to the egalitarian fiction. The egalitarian fiction needs to be exposed. But HBD doesn’t stop at that reasonable goal. HBD has its own ideology it is pushing, a materialist-reductionist ideology with its own, in my view, false picture of reality. HBD’ers don’t just want to defeat the false liberal ideology, they want to erect their own ideology in its place.
You never specify what constitutes this replacement ideology. [LA replies: it doesn’t occur to you that a “replacement ideology” is not needed to show that false ideology is false. All you have to do is show that it’s false. If it’s untrue that all human groups have the same abilities, then it’s untrue. End of argument.] Many HBD’ers seek to return to traditional structures of society, such as advocating higher birth rates (especially for whites), restoring the nuclear family, and decreasing the pervasiveness of multiculturalist/feminist. HBD is first and foremost an explanatory tool for how societies function as a product of their populations. Subsequently, this exposition leads to political objectives that largely mirror many social conservative goals. HBD allows one to support these initiatives through quantitative science and empirical evidence.
And the notion that HBD is a materialist-reductionist ideology rests on the presumption that HBD advocates a genetic determinist view of humanity. Rather, HBD’ers freely admit that heredity only defines about 70 percent of life outcomes and that a nebulous combination of environment, luck, parenting, and whatever else contributes the remaining. Here is where social conservatives of a religious bent can interject spiritual or faith based concerns. Social cons can claim that heredity limits one’s potential (in accordance with HBD), but that moral and spiritual measures can aid in an individual’s and society’s success (that extra 30 percent).
As I’ve said many times, the human bio-diversity thinkers, led by Sailer, have no concept of or loyalty to anything larger than the individual person and his desires—whether God, the Good, Christianity, Western culture, the historical American nation, the American constitutional order, or the white race.
Nope, HBD can be used to support any of these. Using ideas from HBD, I attempted to support the preservation of the white race and Western civilization. I’ve also argued for limited immigration using solely the premises of HBD. For example, one can oppose black/Hispanic immigration entirely due to regression to the mean (an HBD concept). Even if a smart, educated black man wants to immigrate here, his lineage, due to regression to the mean, will likely fall back to the black average. See this SAT data for evidence. Further, HBD can be used to support a meritocratic society, the society that liberals are continually attempting to undermine through affirmative action and minority handouts. HBD states that the races will never have equal output and thus the liberal Great Society programs will inexorably fail. [LA replies: this argument is typical of the fallacy that I criticized earlier, of attaching a valid argument onto a larger agenda which is not necessary. IQ differences, regression to the mean, etc. are all real and valid concepts. Why not just make arguments based on those concepts, instead of attaching them onto an ideology called Human Bio-Diversity, an ideology which, no matter what qualifications you may add onto it in trying to win my approval of it, is inseparable from a materialist reductionist view of existence? This again suggests that your desire is not simply to make useful arguments about IQ difference—arguments that I agree are valid and important in the immigration debate—but to advance Darwinism-HBD as an ideology.
[Also, your present claim that HBD is not material-reductionist and is respectful of religion is contradicted by our previous exchange at this site, where you insisted on the idea that human consciousness is material, which, as I pointed out, is the same as saying that human consciousness doesn’t exist. Also I saw a comment by you at your site where you said you don’t believe in free will. Given that you yourself are a radical material reductionist, your present claim that HBD is not material reductionist is not very believable.]
So if the HBD’ers want to defeat egalitarianism, why base that effort on Darwinian premises that a very large number of Americans will always reject and that, at best, will always be highly controversial?
The initial goal of HBD is to become recognized in an academic forum. Thus, a theoretical foundation must be articulated. Darwinism and localized evolution provide this. [LA replies: Thank you for making my point for me. Your endeavor is founded on and requires the universal acceptance of Darwinism, a material-reductionist view of life that is incompatible with the belief in human consciousness and belief in God. You say your aim is to protect the white West. But you base that effort on a radically anti-religion belief system that would destroy the historic West, along with its white majority.]
HBD, as the Undiscovered Jew is discussing it, is just re-branded Darwinism / Nihilism. He promotes it as some kind of “new conservatism”, but it’s only new to him because he’s young and he’s discovering some things about human nature that you and I already know. He’s having a dawning realization about human nature that has been suppressed by the liberal culture, all through school. I think Richard P.’s comments about PC are pertinent here, and we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the “dawning realization” for these young men. I’m not saying that what they realize is true, but they feel the excitement of discovery, and it’s more true to them than what the liberal culture tells them.
Game is just the Darwinian/Nietzschean (D/N) worldview applied to women. There is great interest in Game, because it promises a solution for a specific problem a lot of frustrated young men are having. These young men are having “dawning realizations” about women via Game, and since they’re having them at the hands of D/N types like Roissy, we’ll soon find that Game ends up being the gateway for many of them into a D/N Right. Note how TUJ quickly switched from talking about Game to HBD, he seems breathlessly excited about it, and how it will provide answers for so many things. He’s not a Gamer, but he’s excited about Game because he sees the prospect of Game bringing in lots of young men into the D/N Right.
Any Gamer can go over to SecularRight.org and feel right at home, it’s an easy transition. The meals over there are Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and Twinkies. A starving young Gamer gobbles it all down. He doesn’t want to eat at the table of Western Civilization (yet), that requires a more mature palate and wisdom about nutrition.
LA to Gintas:
Your point about the excitement these young men feel at new knowledge/explanation is correct.
Mix in the anger at having been lied to and deceived about women, and I think they’re especially susceptible to what Kuehnelt-Leddihn called “clear but false” ideologies.
Leonard D. writes:
You correctly point out that HBD-based anti-progressivism and traditional Christian conservatism are opposed to each other on the matter of materialism. That is, we are materialists, while you aren’t. But I think for political purposes, conservativism must be anti-progressive first, since progressives have power and control all significant institutions except one. And so we can and should be allies. Intellectually we remain opposed, if not enemies. (One of the things I like about you and your site is how respectfully you interact with your intellectual opponents.)
If by some miracle we did break the progressive institutions, then we might have something to fight about politically. But we will not break the progressive institutions without tremendous changes to the modern constitution of America and the West. (If they haven’t already, I urge your readers to check out Mencius Moldbug’s view of those institutions, which by his account include: (a) all of the government except the military, (b) the NGOs and the big foundations, (c) the press, and (d) the universities.)
I will read Moldbug’s article.
I just want to repeat something you said, and thank you for it:
“One of the things I like about you and your site is how respectfully you interact with your intellectual opponents.”
As you may know, this is a minority view in some quarters.
I read the post by UJ with some interest. His triumphalism is obvious to the point of embarassment.
I have also followed the game discussion with interest. It strikes me as amazing that young conservatives today think that by acting like fraternity boys of the fifties and early sixties they are going to save the West. Even those of us from that era who lived it did not believe that. In fact we knew we were behaving badly, we just did not care at that point. It is called being immature. As for the idea that bio-diversity can replace God in our lives all I can say is, nonsense.
Kathlene M. writes:
I’ve been reading this entry and have found it fascinating. I appreciated how Gintas showed the link between HBD, Darwinism/Nihilism, then Game. But this part was priceless:
“Any Gamer can go over to SecularRight.org and feel right at home, it’s an easy transition. The meals over there are Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, and Twinkies. A starving young Gamer gobbles it all down. He doesn’t want to eat at the table of Western Civilization (yet), that requires a more mature palate and wisdom about nutrition.”
By the way, in calling HBD an “ideology” throughout this discussion, I didn’t intend the word ideology in the critical sense of a false construction of the world aimed at world transformation. I could just as well have called HBD a “belief system.” But, given that its followers regard HBD as a movement and are confidently presenting HBD as the answer to society’s problems, ideology seemed like the more correct word. But I’m not sure. Is HBD an ideology in the sense that traditionalist conservatism is not? I’ll have to think about that.
Here’s the sense in which HBD is justifiably called an ideology and not just a belief system. The mission of HBD is to look at every social, cultural, political issue from the point of view of human biodiversity. What does this mean? It means that the HBD’ers are deliberately not looking at issues whole, not looking at them in the round, but are looking at them to reduce them to one angle, the bio-diversity angle, and using a specific set of conceptual tools to do so. HBD’ers are thus committed to explaining the world in the specialized manner of an ideology, not in the manner of human beings trying to understand what is.
I hope HBD’ers reading this will not misunderstand me. My criticism of HBD as a movement does not preclude understanding biologically based human differences as a major formative factor in human and social existence. Rather, it means not limiting oneself to the biodiversity angle. Thus if there are facts about racial differences in intelligence that are relevant to the issues of education or immigration, they should be brought forward, as legitimate truths that are part of the total picture of reality, not under the rubric of some specialized belief system called “human biodiversity.”
For all we know, Darwinism is about to come crashing down into a heap, and take the credibility of all science, including the HBD’ers—whose confidence is Science—down with it.
The crash of Darwinism needn’t take all science with it, so long as scientists are scientific enough to abandon their materialism. Some (mostly physicists) already have. But materialists still rule biology. They see the absorption of the social sciences by biology as entailing a biological account of religion. They are not wholly wrong. If the world is coherent, as it must be if science is to be possible in the first place, then no truth or fact can contradict any other truth or fact. Humans and their societies are biological phenomena, so there must be a body of sociobiological truths out there, whether or not we have yet discovered them.
But this by no means entails materialism. Since the world is coherent, religion must be somehow intelligible as a biological phenomenon. But by that very same token, biology must be intelligible in religious terms. The translation must go both ways. If it doesn’t—if apparent truths from any department of life contradict each other—then falsehood and error have somewhere crept in.
Lo, materialism contradicts almost everything we experience. Indeed, it rules out experience as such, rendering science impossible. So it must be false. Fortunately, there are non-materialist metaphysical systems—those of Aquinas and Whitehead, for example—that agree comfortably with the findings of latter-day science, and with the way we actually live our lives, with our fundamental presuppositions about the nature of reality. They are therefore more likely to be true, and more likely to prevail in time. It is no coincidence that they accommodate the truths of religion.
Sociobiology discovers that religion makes for more successful societies, and psychobiology discovers that religion makes people healthier. The Traditionalist interpretation of these data is that the biological benefits of religion must derive from the fact that it agrees with the truth of things. True science must agree with true metaphysics and religion. Believing that there is in fact a true religion, and that the object of its worship necessarily influences everything whatsoever, the Traditionalist is not surprised when biology discovers that influence at work in its own domain.
The materialist interpretation of these data is that religion is noise that just happens to work better than the other noise. This demolishes religion. But it ruins science, too; for noise is altogether unintelligible.
Leonard D. replies to LA:
Undoubtedly you are hard on people at times. (You’ve called it just that.) That includes being hard on me, i.e., over that little matter of Darwinian evolution, or memes. The point is that you should be hard, because you really do believe what you believe. Hard does not equal disrespect. In fact, I think the opposite is true. If you did not respect my point of view at some level, you would not (and should not) respond to or publish my letters.
It is easy to respect someone you agree with. It is harder to respect someone you disagree with, and even harder to maintain respectfulness while telling an opponent in certain terms how and why he is wrong.
This modern thing where we’re all supposed to be friends, don’t speak up, don’t judge anyone, don’t contradict, “can’t we all just get along”? Pure progressivism, both in origin and in effect: because when the only things you can say are nice, you cannot seriously argue. People didn’t used to be so scared of being thought “mean” or whatever. (Having been indoctrinated in the Church of Kumbaya, I am still “nice” in my day to day life; online I can be slightly mean, though.) The inability of most moderns to engage in serious argument is one of the factors facilitating progressive dominance.
In my opinion, it is disrespectful to fail to grapple seriously with a serious and respectful intellectual opponent. The left has perfected this sort of disrespect, in many forms: ad hominem, tu quoque, crocodile humor (the laughter of the powerful at the weak), or by grappling only with the weakest arguments and opponents.
I appreciate what you say very much.
Richard P. writes:
The problem with the HBD’ers is the same problem you find with any reductionists. They develop a type of tunnel vision and can only perceive history and humanity through that narrow view. I had an amusing conversation with a friend a few years ago that is a good example. He had been nagging me for weeks to read Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel.” He was sure that it, in his words, “explained everything.” I finally read it.
He asked me what I thought of it. I said (pretty sarcastically) that I was shocked that a geography professor came up with a theory explaining the rise of civilizations and all of human history by, well, geography! He asked me what I thought caused the rise of the West vs. other civilizations. I said alcohol. I then spent a few minutes explaining how all cultures have an acceptable intoxicant, how in the West it was alcohol, how it’s social use is different from other drugs, how saloons and taverns changed social structures, etc. Too bad I started laughing and ruined it, but I almost had him convinced. Pulling his leg was a bit too easy. There was no sport in it.
HBD’ers have some unique and important insights, but they overreach. You can no more explain humanity via the presence of one factor than you can explain climate via the levels of one gas. Hmmm …
I haven’t read Jared Diamond’s book. I did see a segment of the TV program based on it. It was the single crudest, most shocking exercise in anti-white bigotry and hate mongering I’ve ever seen. Talk about reductionism! He kept endlessly repeating the phrase, “guns, germs, and steel,” “guns, germs, and steel.” That’s what the white West is: guns, germs, and steel. The white race as this brutal fist crushing and ruining humanity. It was on a par with the way Muslims and anti-Semites talk about Jews. Designed to make other people hate whites, and to make whites despise themselves so that they will have no will to continue existing. And Jared Diamond himself is a Jew.
And it was all the more disappointing because I had read some of his articles on his geographic theory back in the ’90s. While I didn’t agree with them, I found them engaging and very interesting, and not expressing the anti-white hatred he got into later.
Mel R. writes:
Very fascinating reading. Keep up the great work!
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 27, 2009 10:44 PM | Send