« Evolution blogs | Gene Expression Front Page | Plagues of the 20th century.... »
April 27, 2003

Conscious Blindness

Steve Sailer & Jared Taylor are getting into it over the Racial Privacy Initiative (RPI) over at VDARE. Sailer supports it and Taylor opposes it. GNXPers have various opinions on this topic-I know godless is on the same side on Taylor on this issue while I tepidly back Steve (and tend to justify my position with the same arguments). But something struck me in Taylor's second rebuttal to Sailer (this continues a series). He states:

Whether its sponsors see it this way or not, the RPI is part of an insidious campaign to promote a myth that is even more preposterous than the myth of racial equality in ability: the myth that race does not even exist.

I don't think this is the case-race exists, however you define it, but the government should, when it can, judge individuals as atomic units rather than part of an organic racial whole (and yes, I assert this for gender as well, despite the average differences males and females should be judged as individuals) [1]. Connerly himself is a supporter of the mulitracial movement indicating he does believe that race has some validity & he has stated for the record that the differential racial outcomes of admissions programs should not sway us to change standards, implying that he acknowledges this to be a possibility, and therefore, that race might not be a myth on the level of social & biological organization.

An underlying point is the following question: is the liberal project of individualism tenable? Some on the Right reject it and want a return to a more organic stage in social development, while some of the Left look to a future where an egalitarian utopia does away with the individual and a "holism" is extolled. Liberalism's long-term viability is a serious question. I stand with liberalism, but I don't claim to be able to predict the future, though transhumanism or apocalypse could make this all a moot point.

[1] I am no absolutist and am open to profiling if the cost vs. benefit is weighted heavily toward the benefit. For instance if there were 10 hijackings in the past month where the plane went down and all died, and all 10 hijackers were males of Muslim Bangladeshi origin, I would accept being profiled at the cost of my inconvenience since the upside is so high (or downside depending on how you look at it). On the other hand if said individuals have a marginally greater probability of being shop-lifters, I don't think the the benefit is great enough to countermand the general liberal impulse to treat people as individuals first, and would be a bit irritated if I had to be frisked every time I left a mall shop. This argument is reducto ad absurdum but I am simply trying to get the general principle across. This of course applies to government. I am much more open to prejudice and acturially motivated behavior when it comes to the private sector because of my personal libertarianism.

Posted by razib at 07:54 PM

In that vein, would Norwegians be justified in profiling Muslim men because of their hugely disproportionate rapes? Muslim men in Norway commit nearly 65% of rapes at less than 10% of the population.

Posted by: duende at April 28, 2003 08:33 AM

the government is doing re-education programs for immigrant men-so in a way, that's profiling-though perhaps it should re-think the criteria for immigrants??? additionally, women on a personal level should keep in mind that 2% of men are committing 65% of rapes-that that 2% correlates with a particular ethno-racial group. if you meet a barely acculturaed pakistani man on the street-red flags should go up.

i took a class on minorities in germany once-and a major cause of rapes by immigrant turks with german women was cultural misunderstanding. since the german government wasn't going to re-education them or prevent them from coming-the best thing german women could have done is keep their guards up-which some did not do. of course, it sux that a minority can cause behavior modification in the majority (and a minority of a minority)-so ultimately you want to go toward root causes (the christian democrat's plan to "germanize" the turks is probably the right direction even if cultural and left-wing activists complain that it is racist).

Posted by: razib at April 28, 2003 12:06 PM