The Donald Trump Phenomenon: Part 2: Binary Thinking
(This is also published at The Unz Review.)
In the preceding part (The Donald Trump Phenomenon: Part 1: The American Nations), I talked about the geographic (and hence ethnic) variation in support for the various 2016 U.S. presidential candidates. In this part, I will focus on the turmoil in this particular election cycle, and what it means for our society and acceptance of the reality of HBD.
This election cycle exhibits a certain ferocity not seen in earlier elections. Much of that is hatred directed at Donald Trump. The rancor will likely intensify as the election progresses, especially if Trump is the Republican nominee, as he is likely to be.
Why this vitriol? Donald Trump was always a talked-about and sometimes controversial figure, but no more so than most celebrities. There were always people who didn’t like him, but few really hated him. But now it seems certain people definitely do hate Trump. Indeed, he has now become the Great Satan in many people’s eyes, and comparisons to Adolf Hitler are common. Why?
Much as been written about Trump’s appeal to his supporters. See:
Donald Trump is not an idiot – he could be the next US President
Note from a Trump Supporter: It’s the Immigration, Stupid! | educationrealist
I was wrong about Donald Trump: Camille Paglia on the GOP front-runner’s refreshing candor (and his impetuousness, too)
But why the hate? I will argue that the hatred directed towards Trump has little to do with Trump himself or his campaign. Rather, I suspect that this is more about what a Trump presidency represents: the end of our politically correct society.
Why do people like me have to write anonymous blogs and columns on the internet when talking about the obvious reality of human biological differences (especially biological group differences)? Why do researchers face the risk of falling into The Bermuda Triangle of Science, as behavioral geneticist Brian Boutwell recently put it?
The academy, in general, is a wonderful place to work, but not everyone plays nice. Veer too far from carefully charted courses and someone may slip quietly up behind you and slide a cold piece of steel in between the ribs of your budding research career.
They’ll do this believing that they are serving public interest by snuffing out dangerous research agendas, but that won’t make any difference to you. It’ll be your reputation that will suffer grievous injury. What in the world might elicit such harsh rebuke from a community of otherwise broadminded, free speech spouting scholars? What is so verboten that it constitutes academia’s Bermuda Triangle, a place where careers disappear more often than ships in the actual Bermuda Triangle? In one word, it’s race.
[R]ace represents academia’s true Bermuda Triangle. Perhaps never has the topic of genetic ancestry been so important, yet despite its relevance, bright scholars continue to stay away from it in droves … It will not matter how noble you think your motives are, if you factor in race as a variable, your actions are subject to impeachment, and your reputation may be sacrificed as a burnt offering to our new religion.
Linda Gottfredson is a brilliant, productive, and innovative scholar. Dr. Gottfredson, however, found herself in the Bermuda Triangle some years back
crossing the boundaries of the Triangle (even if only to defend a colleague) can be frightening. Angry invectives hurled in your direction will come so fast, and so fierce, it will likely leave your head spinning, as Gottfredson illustrates (p.276):
News coverage was often lurid. The UD African-American Coalition argued that my work was not just offensive, but dangerous. My ‘‘so-called research” and the social policies I ‘‘was likely to propose” were ‘‘liable to threaten the very survival of African-Americans” (Tarver, 1990, p. 6A).
Within the Bermuda Triangle, you see, it is a free for all when it comes to accusations and motive indictment. There is no suitable defense, trying to mount in fact one will only fan the flames.
Such facts are effectively embargoed in our society, and anyone who breaks this taboo can face serious social consequences.
As John McWhorter put it in his piece Antiracism, Our Flawed New Religion:
One hearkens to one’s preacher to keep telling the truth—and also to make sure we hear it often, since many of its tenets are easy to drift away from, which leads us to the next evidence that Antiracism is now a religion. It is inherent to a religion that one is to accept certain suspensions of disbelief. Certain questions are not to be asked, or if asked, only politely—and the answer one gets, despite being somewhat half-cocked, is to be accepted as doing the job.
“Why is the Bible so self-contradictory?” Well, God works in mysterious ways—what’s key is that you believe. “Why does God allows such terrible things to happen?” Well, because we have free will … and it’s complicated but really, just have faith.
It stops there: beyond this first round, one is to classify the issues as uniquely “complicated.” They are “deep,” one says, looking off into the air for a sec in a reflective mode, implying that thinking about this stuff just always leads to more questions, in an infinitely questing Talmudic exploration one cannot expect to yield an actual conclusion.
Antiracism requires much of the same standpoint. For example, one is not to ask “Why are black people so upset about one white cop killing a black man when black men are at much more danger of being killed by one another?” Or, one might ask this, very politely—upon which the answers are flabby but further questions are unwelcome. A common answer is that black communities do protest black-on-black violence —but anyone knows that the outrage against white cops is much, much vaster.
Why? Is the answer “deep,” perhaps? Charles Blow, at least deigning to take the issue by the horns, answers that the black men are killing one another within a racist “structure.” That doesn’t explain why black activists consider the white cop a more appalling threat to a black man than various black men in his own neighborhood. But to push the point means you just don’t “get” it (you haven’t opened your heart to Jesus, perhaps?)
The Antiracism religion, then, has clergy, creed, and also even a conception of Original Sin. Note the current idea that the enlightened white person is to, I assume regularly (ritually?), “acknowledge” that they possess White Privilege.
The call for people to soberly “acknowledge” their White Privilege as a self-standing, totemic act is based on the same justification as acknowledging one’s fundamental sinfulness is as a Christian. One is born marked by original sin; to be white is to be born with the stain of unearned privilege.
Antiracism parallels religion also in a proselytizing impulse. Key to being an Antiracist is a sense that there is always a flock of unconverted heathen “out there,” as it is often put about the whites who were so widely feared as possibly keeping Barack Obama from being elected (twice). One is blessed with, as it were, the Good News in being someone who “gets it,” complete with the Acknowledging.
Finally, Antiracism is all about a Judgment Day, in a sense equally mesmerizing and mythical. Antiracist scripture includes a ritual reference to, as it were, the Great Day when America “owns up to” or “comes to terms with” structural racism—note that “acknowledge” is a term just as appropriate—and finally, well, fixes it somehow.
Yet Antiracism as religion has its downsides. It encourages an idea that racism in its various guises must be behind anything bad for black people, which is massively oversimplified in 2015.
The fact is that Antiracism, as a religion, pollutes our race dialogue as much as any lack of understanding by white people of their Privilege. For example, the good Antiracist supports black claims that standardized tests are “racist” in that black people don’t do as well on them as other students. But Antiracism also encourages us to ask why, oh why black people are suspected of being less intelligent than others—despite this take on the tests, and aspiring firefighters and even teachers making news with similar claims that tough tests are “racist.” Now, to say that if black people can’t be expected to take tests then they must not be as smart is, under Antiracism, blasphemous—one is not to ask too many questions.
Here’s a video of McWhorter discussing this for those who prefer:
Of course, I’ll go a step further than McWhorter and say NW European-derived society isn’t today just antiracist; it’s anti-sexist/anti-misogynist, anti-homophboic, and anti-transphobic as well. In the blanket terms, today’s Western society is politically correct. Sinners against these doctrines face serious consequences, as James Watson, Larry Summers, Satoshi Kanazawa, Jason Richwine, and many others exemplify.
As I said, the fundamental thread is to deny biological group differences, particularly those that are inherited (the key exceptions being the doctrine that homosexuality is 100% genetic and inborn, despite the fact that it is neither of those things – and the Althouse rule for sex differences). There is a wall against biology in Northwestern European societies (that is also fervently embraced by many Ashkenazi Jews).
Hence, we see the hatred and derision directed towards Donald Trump. In the modern Western religion of antiracism/political correctness, Trump and his potential ascent to the White House represents the possible end of our politically correct society. Indeed, Trump isn’t just a divisive presidential candidate; to adherents of antiracism/political correctness, Trump is the Antichrist.
To merely speak openly about the possibility of any inherited biological group difference, no matter how limited, or small, can lead to discussion of other, possibly larger differences. This opens the door to a Pandora’s box of inherited biological group differences. Perhaps it will turn out that there are “winner” and “loser” groups in today’s modern world. Perhaps the reason the world looks like it does today…
… is because of those differences.
Worse still, this would mean admitting failure in the great hope – the hope that one day humanity can be perfected and poverty, war, prejudice, etc. can be eliminated. Acknowledging inherited biological group differences – that is, human biodiversity, means that the idyllic world of the Star Trek franchise will never come to pass no matter how much social “progress” occurs.
Even among those who aren’t necessarily so Pollyanna about the reality of human group differences, many still wish to suppress knowledge of their existence for another reason: because they believe it is what is holding our multiracial society together. I have mentioned something similar before (see hbd fallout | hbd chick):
“Back when groups differences weren’t so taboo in Western society, and one could talk about them openly, society was *also* more racist (this was pre-Civil Rights here in America). It is possible that in order for society to be aware of the reality of HBD, it must be actually be *racist*.
“Think of all the simmering resentment in Whites that are the victims of these crimes (as a Black man, I wouldn’t talk to this soldier’s family about now). And on top of that, imagine all the Whites that are not necessarily so politically correct about race. How would they react? (Here’s an example: Far-right extremists in eastern Germany quietly building a town for neo-Nazis.)
Can you have a multiracial society in one that is honest about group differences? … Will people *really* run with the understanding that differences *on average* don’t apply to every last individual, or will group solidarity rule the day? How will intelligent and completely inoffensive Blacks, for example, be treated by Whites then? The example of Chechens challenges the notion of treating people as individuals, because arguably they are so tribal and violent on average that even a modest number of them can cause problems (there are only 200 in America). But if they pose a problem in that way, what about other groups?
I still don’t know the answer to these questions. I fully admit that a society that openly acknowledges group differences may in fact also be a racist one. The reason I think this is not so much because of the way I think most people will behave. I think most Westerners can take this knowledge in stride. However, there are elements that won’t. Many of Trump’s supporters are indeed bona fide racists. There is no social policy or prescription that necessarily follows from knowledge of inherited group differences. But it is the very nature of people determines how they will react. Some groups want to deride/persecute/destroy other groups they feel are tainted or inferior. Nazism didn’t come out of a vacuum, and it too is a result of the nature of the people who embraced it. (Indeed persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany was most intense in areas that had a long history of killing Jews – see Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany, Voigtländer & Voth 2010.) The key thing here is that it was not facts about racial differences themselves that led to the behavior of the Nazis or Cavalier-descended White American Southerners. It was their own traits, particularly their attitudes towards other groups. In fact, if you spend enough time reading the stuff put out by White Nationalists (as I unfortunately can’t avoid all that much in my line of work) you will find that many of their beliefs about race and biology are factually inaccurate, and their beliefs are twisted from the reality to suit their agendas (see The Problem with HBD, the Dark Enlightenment, Neoreaction, Alt-Rightism, and All That Jazz and “Ethnic Genetic Interests” Do Not Exist (Neither Does Group Selection)). The reality however is that these people don’t need much justification to pursue their aims – they want to act against other groups anyway. It is their nature.
Quite likely racists, neo-Nazis and the like will be more vocal in the event of a Trump victory (or even a Trump defeat). There is nothing saying that they will rule the day, however. That is not a given, and I suspect, broadly, that it’s not likely. Nonetheless, the Antiracist/P.C. crowd view acknowledging inherited biological differences as opening a floodgate that could usher in practices such as coercive eugenics (i.e., forced sterilizations – see also Razib Khan: Eugenics: the problem is coercion) or Jim Crow policies, or worse. That is a big part of why reasonable policies such as limiting immigration or restricting entry from certain groups (like Muslims) are off the table. To the Antiracist crowd, the matter of group differences is binary: we either are acknowledging them at all or we’re not.
Restricting certain groups (or any immigration) moves us from being a universalist society – where all people (and peoples) are treated equally, to a particularist one, where people are treated differently according to their inherent qualities. That’s a line they don’t want us to cross, for the aforementioned reasons.
Yet I will argue that this rebuke of biology, despite whatever semi-rational basis it might have, is in reality just another group attribute. Just like the Nazis embraced biology and extreme particularism, certain NW Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews have an inherent discomfort with biology – supremely ironically, because of their biology.
Easy examples of this:
These individuals regard biological bases to behavior as being wrong, or if not wrong, then dangerous or evil and they hate and/or fear them. But they are perfectly happy with “environmental” sources to human differences, and changes brought about with such.
But this fear reveals a deep logical inconsistency. While it’s true that belief in a biological basis to human differences has been involved in many societal evils, such as Jim Crow, forced sterilizations, and Nazism, the belief that there are is no biological basis to human behavior – the belief that we are blank slates – has led to great many more atrocities. While the off chance that an HBD-aware society might lead to discrimination and Nazism may exist, runaway blank slatism isn’t much better. You don’t hear much discussion of this guy:
Runaway blank slatism has arguably killed many times more people that the Nazis ever did.
But those who rail against biology barely acknowledge this. Part of the reason is that many in the Western Left are sympathetic to communism and its ideals. Some even believe that communism can still work if “properly implemented”.
At the end to the day however, there is a reality regardless of what elites want us to think. Suppressing science only works so well because truths about the world will keep getting rediscovered. Modern technology is pushing ahead, and the facts continue to pour in. There is however a backlash in the West. The ascent of Donald Trump is the American manifestation of this, as is the rise of many nationalist candidates and parties in NW European countries. This could potentially be a good thing, because one of the most pressing problems facing Northwestern European-derived societies is unrelenting migration into them.
Trump is the only candidate who is taking a position against continued mass immigration, which must be halted soon for the good of both Western societies and ultimately the migrants themselves.
(All that said, let me make clear that I think that Trump is a less-than-ideal candidate for president for several reasons. For one, he appears to support the increasing encroachment of government into our civil liberties and the burgeoning Security State. He appears to be weak on established science – a fantastic irony – exemplified by his amenity to anti-vaxxers – an almost unforgivable sin in a leader. He also doesn’t seem to have clear and realistic economic plans and instead copies the mainstream conservative doctrine on things like taxation and healthcare. Now, those considered, Trump doesn’t appear to be much of a deeply principled politician – in stark contrast to Bernie Sanders – and is probably not all that attached to many of these positions. This leaves hope that his views on these matters might be changed. Might.)
Interesting and important times lie ahead. Let’s hope it turns out well.
On the matter of hope, as you know, I recently had another child, a beautiful daughter to give JayMan Jr. a playmate.
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