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August 29, 2002

I thought liberals wanted a bridge to the 21st century-not a bridge to the past!


Nazi,
the word carries such opprobrium. It even sounds a bit disreputable
rolling off the tongue, the disconcerting mix of German abruptness and
sibilance. It has been observed

that to be a former Nazi is a far graver crime than being a former
Marxist-Leninist. That is a different topic, but let us say that both
the Left and the Right have blood on their hands. Humanity is an
imperfect species by any measure. But since my evolutionary
conservative perspective might have some points of intersection with
National Socialist ideals-I am tainted no? And yet somehow, Leftists
are never tainted by the fact that Marxist-Leninists killed in the name
of egalitarianism....

Why would someone deign to call me a Nazi
I wonder? Most of my political positions are generally of the
libertarian-conservative slant. Certainly I am not a Nazi for the
following reasons:


  • I support a woman’s freedom to kill her fetus.
  • I support a woman’s freedom to take up arms and fight for her God, nation and family.
  • I support the freedom to ingest all sorts of psychoactive chemicals into the body-irrespective of the effects.
  • I generally favor a high wall of separation between Church & State (though I will admit the ACLU sometimes makes me feel like a religious conservative!). [1]
  • I support the freedom to copulate with man, woman, beast or fowl, what ever tickle’s your fancy.
  • I support the freedom to express ideas in whatever medium one chooses without the state’s interference.


Certainly I am a rather “liberal” Nazi if that is what I am. Granted, I do hold many “conservative” views.

  • I reject state-mandated affirmative action/quotas.
  • I am highly skeptical of anti-discrimination laws.
  • I am sympathetic to those who assert that male and female have different strengths. [2]
  • I am high skeptical of the Leviathan, I believe that government is a necessary evil. In this case, less is more.
  • I reject the dogma of multiculturalism-that all cultures are equal before God and Nature. [3]


But
these are standard conservative positions and I don’t expect that
liberals will accuse conservatives of being Nazis, at least more than
once every month or so.

What exactly do I believe that is so
heretical? What warrants my label as a Nazi? Perhaps it is that I
believe that the preponderance of evidence points to average differences in many phenotypes between different populations. In other words, I do believe race matters.

Today
this is heretical, but it was not always so. Not only the Nazis
believed this, they were no aberration. The idea that races have
different temperaments was first elucidated by the Greeks. The Arabs,
the Chinese, and so forth followed in the footsteps of the first
classical philosophers. The Enlightenment made these beliefs more rigid
and “scientific.” Voltaire, Hume and Kant, all these Dead White Men, anti-religious seculars and the bane of the ancient regime, believed in race differences. They were in fact precursors of polygenism,
the idea that the different races of man were not descended from Adam
and Eve but well nigh separate species. [4] The polygenists were the
progressives of their day, hurling contempt at the monogenist yokels
who generally hewed to the traditional Biblical interpretation of man’s
origin and dispersion during the Tower of Babel. Only with Darwin did
the non-religious monogenists rise to the fore and polygenism decline
toward insignificance. [5]

And yet Darwin himself believed in race differences.
Nevertheless he was something of a liberal in his day, and an opponent
of slavery. His cousin Francis Galton used the incipient evolutionary
science to formulate eugenics,
a word that has gone into ill repute. Liberals use it to smear others
and spit on it, for its association with the Nazis is clear, no? And
yet, Winston Churchill was once a proponent of eugenics. If that’s not
anti-Nazi enough for you, what about Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. How many liberals would call Planned Parenthood a Nazi organization? (OK, now there is name-hurling from the Right-we can’t win! I linked to the Planned Parenthood site, they soft-pedal Sanger's views but disavow what they can't deny. Use Google and you'll find plenty of damning stuff) Social Democratic Sweden has also had its fling with coercieve eugenics-as late as the 1976. Oh yes, we all have blood and guilt on our hands. Human hubris

allowed the partial insights of Galton and his proteges to mutate into
brutal race science. Progressive and Regressive looked toward eugenics
and the scientism that underlay it (though true many Progressives like
J.B.S. Haldane, a Marxist, pulled back from eugenics after his initial
flirtation) . The Modern Synthesis had not yet come to fruition, we did not have PCR in the laboratory and mathematical population genetics
in the offices. But the pioneers of the early 20th century thought they
knew it all and endeavored to forward the eugenic project. They were
trying to “build a better man” with a sledge hammer, reconstituting a
work of ages, eons even.

And alas, it was as failure as a science and worse, a monstrosity as politics. [6] But godless
has pointed out how we are genetic engineers - and thus radically
different from the eugenicists of the past. I won’t rehash it too much,
I simply want to reiterate, we aren’t shouting, “To the gas chambers
go!” to anyone. We offer freedom and liberation for the descendents of
those who have not won the genetic lottery. If our assumptions are
correct, than it seems a liberal, at least a Rawlsian,
position that we should aim toward to help those who were born with
fewer endowments through no fault of their own. And this would no doubt
help society as a whole (and elevate the level of banter in coffee
shops greatly!). While the eugenicists of the past had only crude
methods, ascertaining phenotype and attempting to encourage
reproduction of those deemed fit, and discouraging that of those deemed
not fit, the genetic engineering of the future will be based on the freedom of choice and not government whim. I suspect that people will flock to opt in to the new therapies to improve their germ-line.

In fact, what distinguishes godless'

project really from the futuristic boosting of genetic engineering that
others on the blogosphere engage in? As the estimable Glenn Reynolds notes:


What
was bad about eugenics was that it involved overriding people's
reproductive choices, typically by sterilizing them so that they
wouldn't pass on genes deemed defective. Conflating forced
sterilization with voluntary use of reproductive technologies -- a common move among opponents of genetic science -- is either ignorant, or dishonest.


Ron Bailey of Reason warns that many conservatives will also oppose genetic engineering:
Wolfson does, however, alert us to a truly pernicious idea that is lurking in some quarters of the intellectual left: mandatory government-subsidized eugenics in the name of equality.
He cites leftist thinker Ronald Dworkin as a strong supporter of such a
project. This elitist egalitarian impulse, not biotechnology, is the
real threat. Wolfson realizes this and he does properly condemn
egalitarianism, but his fear of how egalitarians could misuse
biotechnology drives him illogically to condemn the technology as well.
That is somewhat akin to arguing that simply because airplanes can be
used to bomb cities, we should ban jetliners.


We here at Gene Expression

support something different. Bailey ends his piece with a word to
conservatives, and this applies to those on the Left and the Right:


Ultimately,
the conservative worries about technological progress are rooted in a
deep skepticism about human intentions. And we must surely be vigilant
against people and ideologies, including conservatism, that might
attempt to misuse technology to limit human freedom. But the plain fact
is that despite the horrors of the past century, technology and
science have ameliorated far more of the ills that afflict humanity
than they have exacerbated. In the end, the highest expression of our
human nature is our ongoing quest to understand ever more of the world
around us and ourselves.



The time is right, the science is here,and we have the technology (almost)! [6.5]

Our great sin, godless’ and mine, and those who in the shadows may agree, and those who have come before us,
is to think that races do differ, and that it is more than skin deep.
Yes, the earth does move, and black men are faster and Asian men more
intellectually prepared to handle advanced topology. We dare to say
what one does not say. Oh, you whisper, you think, but never, never
clarify your opinions lest you be heard by those would accuse you of
being a reprobate.

I’m going to stand up and say what I
believe. And I am not a Nazi. I have many liberal friends, yes, those
who voted for Gore and Nader. [7] And yet perhaps the contagion has
passed to them, for they will admit in the privacy of their own homes,
that perhaps biology does have a role in our behavior, that perhaps
differences do exist between races. Not that they would say this aloud,
but the voiceless are out there, from Left to Right, they see and
think, and they draw their conclusions, right or wrong. Perhaps someone
should hunt me down and shoot me in the head, for yes, I am a horrible
vector for this dread disease! (please see picture attached-I was so
cute once!)

I am not a white racialist. But I think what drives
those who lean toward white racialism is the anti-Western intellectual
climate that pervades many of the halls of academe and media. The white
race is more associated with the red blood that it has shed over these
past two centuries than the gifts it has given to humanity. [8] Forget
the science and government that Europe has bestowed to the world.
Others have made the case, I will refrain. But I am not a white
racialist, I am not white, how could I be? I was born in Bangladesh.
I’ve been jumped by a redneck for dancing with his ex-girlfriend (and
oh she was cute-with her curly blonde hair....) and have to deal with
the taunts that racists will throw my way on occasion (there are
certain streets in many small towns that are frequented by men driving
fast in crappy old trucks-I know the epithet "Sand Nigger" will be
screamed about once every month-no skin off my back). Such is the
burden of living in a rural and white state. But I never forget where I
come from. For all the history and richness of the culture of my
forefathers, I look around me now and see a country where everyone has
at least the chance at greatness. Rather than griping at human faults,
I choose to see this country for the glory that it is. Personally, I
have no hyphen in my identity. I am a group of one. I have seen the
"authentic" existence that can occur in non-Western countries first
hand (and smelled it-trust me).

My beliefs are the culmination
in a long personal evolution. When I was a freshman in college a
professor of mine in a human evolution class asked us this question:


If
it could be shown through genetic testing that Australian Aborigines
were more “erectine” than other branches of the human race, should this
knowledge be made public?


To my shock, three
fourths of the class of two hundred said no, let the knowledge lie
fallow. Being in the minority, I began to reflect on this. I believed
that one should follow the data, always, and that one could make an
informed decision based on the data. If Australian Aborigines were
genetically disfavored (and I’ve talked to Australians personally who
hold this opinion, and in a rather more crude fashion than I’ve just
expressed), then it would be better to know so that something could be done (genetic engineering-not old school eugenics!). My fellow blogger godless

has made this a long-term project of his. While we believe liberals
deny the evidence of their eyes, the evidence that rattles and
percolates in the back of their brains, we face up the often cruel and
hard facts that this godless (excuse the pun) universe throws at us.

Skepticism, empiricism and rationalism. These are the three jewels of the West that have been bequeathed to us by chance and happenstance. We are skeptical of the axiom of equality. We see around us pervasive trends, Rushton’s Rule explicated ad nauseam. And we formulate an appropriate paradigm rationally. Evolution gave us minds for a reason!

The
West pioneered science, but now I wonder, will the children of the West
become the ostriches sticking their heads in the sand, or perhaps even
the dodo, passing away over the horizon. Will they forget their
heritage, and refuse to apply the cold and brutal knife of reason to
the problems that confront us today? If we are right, if races do
differ on a genetic level, the implications are colossal. To refuse to
listen to the possibility, now that is monstrous. [9]

To find
the answer, you first have be open to the question. And some answers
are world-shattering. Paradigm-shifting....you get the picture. I hope.

[1] Ask Chris Mooney of Tapped.
I e-mail him whenever he brings up anything that has to do with Church

& State separation. Like him, I was active in the secular movement
in my younger days. Perhaps I'm naturally heterodox?
[2] It does not follow that I reject equality before the law, I simply give a nod to the reality of evolution.
[3]
I believe that understanding other cultures is fruitful, but each
culture exists within a certain finite span of space and time. In other
words, North America, Australia/New Zealand and western Europe (I’ll be
generous here) are the core of the liberal democratic culture that has
a hegemonic presence throughout the world. I believe that this
cultural-political core must be vigilant against erosion of the
freedoms hard-won over 500 years of bloody history. The idea that all
cultures are equal is nonsensical since each culture has different
values, so comparing them in ridiculous. Certain cultures suffer less
when judged under any given criteria. Since I repeat the word freedom
many times in the above text, I suspect you can intuit what my
inclinations are when using normative methods.
[4] Voltaire’s Deism
and Hume’s atheism (agnosticism) are well attested. Until recently I
believed Kant to be a liberal, but pietistic Lutheran, but recent
reading of a biography
on Kant indicated that in fact that though he genuflected to the
orthodoxy of his day (he was a academic in eastern Prussia after all),
he was personally skeptical of religious claims. This jives well with
his demolition of the proofs of God (following up Hume).
[5] See Wolpoff’s book Race and Evolution
on this controversy. Wolpoff talks about the multi-regionalism vs.
Out-of-Africa controversy a lot. Interestingly, both camps try to
portray the other as racist and genocidal.
[6] Conservatives love to
point out that forced sterilization found a ready and willing home in
the Left-wing Scandinavian social democracies. More so (though still
something of a foothold before World War II) than in the reactionary
United States.
[6.5] See the links on the left under Human Biodiversity and Genetic Engineering, or go through some of our old posts.
[7]
Actually, I don’t know anyone personally who voted for George W. Bush.
That says something about my crowd I guess, for good or bad, it’s your
call.
[8] The European culture is a product of synthesis and
borrowed innovation. Humanity as a whole can take some pride in it. But
that does not negate the fact that the scientific method and liberal
democracy took hold in Europe first. I would like to add one thing
though: I was asked by a friend what Sub-Saharan Africa had contributed
to humanity. I started to prattle on about iron metallurgy in the
Sudan-and then I stopped. I realized there is one monumental answer to
this: Homo Sapiens Sapiens.
[9] Reasonable people can
disagree, but read our blog, and follow our links, I think you will
agree that we make a case that does not draw from emotional hatred, but
more from the facts at hand. We try to synthesize various fields of
learning-genetics, molecular biology, engineering, history and
economics, and frame it within an evolutionary paradigm. Culture can
explain much. So can history. But don’t deny the truth of the blood in
your own veins and the genes that encode the fiber of your being. As
for the implications of our theory, that races do differ substantially
in intellect and personality, keep reading the blog. Or just sit down
and think about it, you don’t need to be a genius to figure it out!

P.S.

To Mark Weiner on male criminality-male vs. female differences are
kosher to talk about. It is a big part of modern Evolutionary
Psychology. Get any of Matt Ridley's books if you're curious-and I'm
sure you are. Why should we spend time addressing stuff that won't get
the Nazi charge hurled at us after all? In addition, men are profiled. Steve Sailer
has also addressed this topic in terms of positing a future where
feminists and Left-liberals try their handing at genetically
engineering less aggressive males. I say let a thousand-flowers
bloom....

Posted by razib at 04:43 PM