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October 30, 2004
A topic for debate...
For those who have been monitoring all of the various comments sections at this site, I'm sure you have noticed that there has been raging a rather strong debate here and there about what journals are credible sources for material and which are not. That brings me to a great question that I simply cannot allow to not be asked any longer:
What are the prerequisites for determining whether or not a journal should be used as source material?
There are a whole slew of journals out there; tens of thousands in the United States, at the very least. Every little college has a journal it seems, some created for the simple reason that the work of their academics is so pathetic that the larger journals don't feel it's good enough for publication. Many colleges have student edited journals such as the one published by my own university, the University of Florida International Review (which has published some of my work). As for this blog, a few journals have been discussed as of late: The Occidental Quarterly, Mankind Quarterly, and The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies.
The Occidental Quarterly is a favorite of Thrasymachus and is published by the Charles Martel Society, a grouping of paleoconservative, white nationalist, and European "New Right" intellectuals. While I consider this to be a fascinating journal (mostly because I love studying political ideologies and it's one of the best hard-right journals out there) and sometimes even agree with them, I have been fairly critical of the content of the journal, such as:
1. The publication of and favorable reviews of the beliefs of Richard McCulloch, a racial separatist and "Nordishist."
I could continue on and on, but I think I've made my point well enough. This is definitely a publication that advocates some fairly far-right viewpoints, even though they do occasionally publish some good material.
This brings me to Mankind Quarterly and The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies. Both of these publications were founded by Roger Pearson, a former extreme-rightist turned pro-American nationalist after getting a Ph.D. in anthropology, who also founded The Journal of Indo-European Studies, a rather prestigious anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics journal. All three of these journals are peer-reviewed and are published by either the Institute for the Study of Man or the Council for Social and Economic Studies.
Mankind Quarterly became rather famous after the publication of The Bell Curve, in which both the authors cited essays published in it. This was subsequently used to attack the authors, because the journal publishes essays by eugenicists and people who actually believe in race or, for that matter, racial differences (the horror!!!!!). The special issue (for those of you who have access to EBSCOhost, the October 31, 1994 issue) of The New Republic that was dedicated to launching vitriolic and silly assaults on the The Bell Curve used this as an attack against the book, especially in the hysterical article by Jeffrey Rosen and Charles Lane titled "Neo-Nazis!"
Mankind Quarterly has been compared by numerous readers and bloggers to Stephen Jay Gould, except being right-wing instead of left-wing. Over the past few weeks I've been reading essays published in the journal on EBSCOhost and I must say that it is absolutely nothing like The Occidental Quarterly. It is intelligent (being peer-reviewed helps) and from the past 10 years I can detect little or no anti-Americanism or anti-Semitism (which does exist in earlier issues). Sure, maybe some of the studies in it have been tilted in a Gouldian fashion, but there really aren't all that many journals out there that delve into controversial topics like this one does. Also, the journal regularly publishes essays by Richard Lynn and stuff on H-BD! It's a lot like American Renaissance, actually. And just like American Renaissance, there are a few extreme elements here and there, but nothing like The Occidental Quarterly.
I have been particularly fascinated by The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, mostly because I'm a political scientist and this is more up my alley. When I first heard about the journal and Roger Pearson, I thought when I looked it up that I would find a journal similar to The Occidental Quarterly with strong underlying anti-American, anti-Semitic, and far-right tendencies. This has not been the case. In fact, I agree with much of what they have to say. If anything, the journal is strongly pro-American and pro-science. Some of the things that I've found and agreed with in recent issues of the journal are:
1. An essay on suicide bombings in the former-USSR (Fall 2004) and many essays on comparative politics type material.
...and a heck of a lot more. Pearson's transition from far-right to more towards the middle is unusual, since normally people move to the far-right and stay there becoming gradually more anti-American and anti-Semitic as time passes. Since the phenomenon is so unusual, I had to understand it. I tried to find the e-mail of Pearson a few weeks ago, but failed. It's sort of like the conversion of neocons from far-left Trotskyites. Oh well... I guess I'll figure out what happened eventually.
But back to the topic at hand, these journals, while biased in many instances, have arisen as a result of the fields of anthropology and genetics being taken over by Marxists and Boasians (just look at the statement by the American Anthropological Association on race). When I go into my library to find a journal, I see dozens of journals like Dialectical Anthropology and "mainstream" journals that publish the same claptrap. Why can they have journals dedicated to their biases and we can't? Why shouldn't we cite essays out of Mankind Quarterly? How and what source material should we cite when the dominant publications are controlled by people whose politics matter more than the science?