In this book Nicholas Wade advances two simple premises: firstly, that we should stop looking only toward culture as a determinant of differences between populations and individuals, and secondly, that those who claim that any biological basis for race is fiction are ignoring increasingly important findings from modern genetics and science. The guiding thread throughout the book is that “human evolution is recent, copious and regional” and that this has led to the genesis of distinct differences and classifications between human groups. What we do with this evidence should always be up for social debate, but the evidence itself cannot be ignored.
That is basically the gist of the book. It’s worth noting at the outset that at no point does Wade downplay the effects of culture and environment in dictating social, cognitive or behavioral differences – in fact he mentions culture as an important factor at least ten times by my count – but all he is saying is that, based on a variety of scientific studies enabled by the explosive recent growth of genomics and sequencing, we need to now recognize a strong genetic component to these differences.
The book can be roughly divided into three parts. The first part details the many horrific and unseemly uses that the concept of race has been put to by loathsome racists and elitists ranging from Social Darwinists to National Socialists. Wade reminds us that while these perpetrators had a fundamentally misguided, crackpot definition of race, that does not mean race does not exist in a modern incarnation. This part also clearly serves to delineate the difference between a scientific fact and what we as human beings decide to do with it, and it tells us that an idea should not be taboo just because murderous tyrants might have warped its definition and used it to enslave and decimate their fellow humans.
“Even today, there is much that we don’t know–documents that have vanished, ancient records still being censored, deceptions still in circulation. However, there is also a good deal of information available for those who care to view it: sizable tranches of McCarthy’s papers, and those of his opponents; reams of formerly confidential data from the FBI; thousands of pages of hearing transcripts and archives of his committee and other panels of the Congress; intercepted Soviet communications and revelations from Cold War defectors; and so on.
Looking at this mass of materials and matching them up with McCarthy’s cases, the main thing to be noted is a recurring pattern of verification. Time and again, we see the suspects named by McCarthy and/or his committee–treated at the time as hapless victims–revealed in official records as what McCarthy and company said they were–except, in the typical instance, a good deal more so.
The accompanying table provides a sampler of some of the suspects named by McCarthy, his aides, or in his committee hearings, and reflects what is now known about them, based on official records (some of it was known even then but ignored or misrepresented).
. . . .
Analyzing this list of 50, we find all of them either (a) identified in sworn testimony, or in FBI and other once-confidential official security records, as Communists or Soviet agents, and/or (b) plead the Fifth Amendment when asked about such activities, saying a truthful answer would tend to incriminate them.
As is self-evident from this lineup, it’s untrue that McCarthy never spotted a single Communist or Soviet agent, or–per one variation–came up with only a handful of valid cases. He in fact tracked down a small army of such people, and the roster given here is merely a sampling of the flagrant suspects who attracted his attention.
This is most obviously so of the Fifth Amendment pleaders. Our table of 50 includes 18 McCarthy cases who refused to answer questions concerning Red connections, but these were only a fraction of the total who claimed the privilege. All told, an astonishing 100-plus McCarthy suspects would plead the Fifth before his committee (the bulk of these in the Fort Monmouth/defense-supply probe that triggered the Army-McCarthy hearings).
Also, contra the standard image, McCarthy and his staffers in the usual instance did not allege that his suspects were Communists or Soviet agents–though in some famous cases (Owen Lattimore, Annie Lee Moss) this did happen–for the simple reason that the probers didn’t then know the total story. More typically, they wielded dossiers concerning adverse security findings, membership in pro-Red groups, and so on–thereby understating the scope and nature of the problem. ” (Read more)
In the 1960s, the Marxists tried violence as a means of starting the revolution — after evolving capitalism, and intellectual cajoling had failed.
It’s very dangerous for the government to supervise literature (through Universities).
As soon as I was inside the shop, a short, mild-mannered man greeted me in American-accented English. He was the owner, Michael Pomeranz, a former undercover narcotics agent and firefighter from New Jersey who had experienced a religious awakening and immigrated to Israel. When I inquired about the availability of a widely discussed book called Torat Ha’Melech, or the King’s Torah, a commotion immediately ensued.
“Are you sure you want it?” Pomeranz, asked me half-jokingly. A middle-aged coworker chortled from behind a shelf. “The Shabak [Israel’s internal security service] is going to want a word with you if you do,” he warned. When a few customers stopped browsing and began to stare in my direction, Pomeranz pointed to a security camera affixed to a wall. “See that?” he said. “It goes straight to the Shabak! [Shin Bet]”
Upon its publication in 2009, Torat Ha’Melech sparked a national uproar. The controversy began when the Israeli paper, Maariv, panned the book’s contents as “230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew.” The description was absolutely accurate.
According to the authors, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and may have been killed in order to “curb their evil inclinations.” “If we kill a gentile who has violated one of the seven commandments [of Noah] . . . there is nothing wrong with the murder,” Shapira and Elitzur insisted. Citing Jewish law as his source (or at least a very selective interpretation of it) he declared, “There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”
Torat Ha’Melech was written as a guide for soldiers and army officers seeking rabbinical guidance on the rules of engagement. Drawing from a hodgepodge of rabbinical texts that seemed to support their genocidal views, Shapira and Elitzur urged a policy of ruthlessness toward non-Jews, insisting that the commandment against murder “refers only to a Jew who kills a Jew, and not to a Jew who kills a gentile, even if that gentile is one of the righteous among the nations.” (Read more)
Complete with over-dramatic pie chart:
They don’t even adjust or mention that fact that the US is, of course, mostly white. An honest article would adjust for population:
Caucasions: 88.3% of book reviews, 72% of population
Africans: 4.1% of book reviews, 12.6% of population
Hispanics: 1.2% of book reviews, 16.4% of population
Asians: 4.4% of book reviews, 4.8% of population
. . . .
So, Asians aren’t doing so bad. 4.8% of the population, and, according to the chart, 4.4% of NY Times book reviews.
Curious how analysis of Jewish authors would affect the analysis made by this article. I’m sure they’re also over-represented in the literature business.
But would the author dare to call for a “public outcry” against a Jews the way the author does against whites?
Stupid ideas, and discredited economists keep rising from the dead.
Based on his book sales, John Kenneth Galbraith was probably the most read economist of the 20th century. From the publication of his first bestselling book The Great Crash in 1954 through the 1980s, the American left-liberal intelligentsia and media breathlessly anticipated and wildly celebrated the publication of each new book. Nonetheless, most technical economists, regardless of their political orientation, did not take his work seriously. By the 1990s Galbraith’s work had been thoroughly discredited among professional economists. Indeed, in his 1994 book, Peddling Prosperity, leftist economist Paul Krugman held up Galbraith as the prototype of a left-wing “policy entrepreneur” who, like his supply-sider counterparts on the Right, sought an audience among policymakers and the educated public, outside the cozy circle of academic economists.
In his book, Krugman ridiculed The New Industrial State, Galbraith’s magnum opus. He pointed out its wildly erroneous predictions regarding the evolution of the US economy toward greater dominations by giant corporations that were insulated from market forces . . . .
But discredited economists, much like disgraced politicians, never remain out of favor for long, especially after they have passed from the earthly scene. So it is that Galbraith’s reputation has been undergoing something of a rehabilitation in the past decade. Especially among those mainstream academic economists who are vaguely cognizant of the rapidly accumulating failures of their discipline in explaining economic reality, Galbraith is increasingly perceived as a misunderstood thinker whose insights were ahead of their time and whose work was too hastily dismissed.
For example, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen was positively elegiac in his appraisal of Galbraith, exclaiming that he “doesn’t get enough praise.” In an interview, Sen opined that Galbraith’s work would indeed endure and that his book The Affluent Society exemplified Galbraith’s “great insight.” . . .
Robert Frank is another economist with impeccable mainstream credentials who has a predilection for behavioral economics and a soft spot for Galbraith. He has argued that Galbraith’s position that the market economy systematically misallocates resources between private and public sectors “was right for the wrong reasons.” If only Galbraith’s training had been grounded in modern game theory, Frank contends, he would have been better able to defend himself against his academic critics.
Now there are probably various reasons for the burgeoning Galbraith lovefest among mainstream economists. But, I believe, the primary reason is the growing dissatisfaction within the economics profession with the transmogrification of economics into a hyper-mathematical, model-driven discipline that tells us exactly nothing about the real world, as the financial crisis has plainly revealed.
Compared to the arid and mechanistic “theorems” of modern economics, even Galbraith’s unsystematic and pedantic musings are a breath of fresh air, because at least they are expressed in English and make reference to real and meaningful phenomena. This is, of course, not an endorsement of Galbraith’s approach to economics or his various positions. Indeed far from it: rather it is an attempt to explain the unjustified accolades his work is beginning to receive from professional economists. . . .
Robbins did not think much of Galbraith’s mental acuity and dismissed him as a shill for New Deal policies, writing,
I knew Galbraith in the old days; he sat for some little time in my seminar. I must say I am not altogether surprised at what has happened; for I have always thought him a dull fellow, well intentioned enough, but a sort of pedant of New Deal economics — just the kind of man to upset the business community without himself bringing any startling administrative ability to offset the loss of that which he had antagonized.
. . . .
Meade was, therefore, in no sense a conservative or free-market economist and in fact could be classified as a Fabian socialist or social democrat in his policy leanings. Yet he viewed Galbraith in much the same light as Robbins. He wrote in a diary entry,
Later I dined with Galbraith and his wife at the Cosmos Club and then went on to their home in Georgetown to talk. He is the “relentless” type of radical, believes that Russia should be permitted to absorb Poland, the Balkans and the whole of Eastern Europe in order to spread the benefits of Communism, that the outlook for American politics is very black because even if the Roosevelt administration wins the next election the liberal New Dealers are now all a crowd of tired, cautious, conservative liberals etc. I think he may be a little embittered at the punishing experience at the OPA where there was a witch hunt against liberal College professors of which he was the main victim.
. . . .
In a review of books on inflation and the business cycle in the late 1970s, one of which included a book by Robert Heilbronner, Rothbard remarked,
Robert Heilbroner, like John Kenneth Galbraith, might be said to fall into the category of “popular economist”: that is, someone who knows virtually nothing about economics, yet manages to write a series of best sellers on the subject, read avidly and almost exclusively by noneconomists, who exclaim over the profundities therein.
Rothbard goes on to utilize Galbraith as a standard of economic ignorance, describing Heilbronner as “a lightweight, for he knows even less economics than Galbraith does and lacks the mordant wit (derived, if not cribbed, from Veblen) and the aristocratic life style of the famous opponent of affluence.”
* Slavery not racial.
* Bigger income gap between East / West Europeans, than Black / White Americans.
* Hispanic Household Income > Black Household Income, but Hispanic Individual Income < Black Individual Income. (Hint: Hispanic families are larger.)
* Black families more harmed by welfare than slavery.
* Racism is NOT discrimination.
The Vulgar Pride of Intellectuals
* “At the heart of the social vision prevalent among contemporary intellectuals is the belief that there are ‘problems’ . . . and ‘solutions’ . . .”
* “There has probably never been an era in history when intellectuals have planed a larger role in history than the era in which we live.”
* “Intellectuals give people who have the handicap of poverty the further handicap of a sense of victimhood.”
* Acknowledging that wealth is created (instead of arguing over its distribution) would devestate intellectuals’ world view.
* “[Although intellectuals pay a lot of attentions to inequality among racial groups], seldom . . . has this attention been directed . . . toward how the less economically successfull . . . might improve themselves by availing themselves of the culture of others around them.”
(For example, Scots embraced English language and culture to their great benefit in the mid 19th century.)
* “Black unemployment rates were lower than that of whites as long ago as 1890.”
* Minimum wage laws have wreaked havoc upon black employment.
* “Sweeping claims for the benefits of . . . diversity in innumerable institutions . . . have prevailed without a speck of evidence being asked for or given.”
* “At the same time you’re getting all this mouthing of diversity, there’s an extremely narrow ideological conformity that’s being enforced.”
* “In Chicago (unlike Harvard), economics was a full contact sport.” (HA!)
* “I was a Marxist when I went into Milton Friedman’s course. I was a Marxist when I came out. . . . [and then] I went to work for the government . . . . I realized other people’s well being would never be the priority of politicians and bureaucrats.”
* “The road to hell is paved with Ivy League degrees.”
* “I love the use [Obama’s] of the word opportunity. You know, I had just as much opportunity as Michael Jordan to become an NBA star. It just so happened that there was some difference in skill.”
The Difference Between Liberal and Conservative
Liberal premise: There is nothing in human nature that would cause us to be unhappy. It’s the fact that we have the wrong institutions.
Conservative premise: Man is flawed from day one and there are no solutions, only trade offs.
Most liberal ideas can be destroyed by three questions:
1. Compared to what?
2. At what cost?
3. What hard evidence do you have?
On Occupy Cry Babies
Chris Kyle is a former Navy Seal who was recently killed in a civilian gun range in Texas. He is also the author of “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.”
That kind of courage, which is conspicuous in danger and enterprise, if devoid of justice, is absolutely undeserving of the name of valor. It should rather be considered as a brutal fierceness outraging every principle of humanity. –
Cicero, The Offices, Book I Chapter XIX
As a sniper with the Navy SEALs in Iraq, Chris Kyle was shot twice and wounded on several other occasions. He is credited with 160 confirmed kills. He received several commendations. Of his fierceness there is no reasonable doubt. Whether his exploits display courage is an entirely separate question.
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, the ghost-written memoir for which Kyle claims primary authorship, offers convincing testimony that Kyle not only failed to display genuine courage in Iraq, but was incapable of recognizing it when it was exhibited by desperate patriots seeking to evict the armed foreigners who had invaded and occupied their country.
The insurgents who fought the American invasion (and the few “allied” troops representing governments that had been bribed or brow-beaten into collaborating in that crime) were sub-human “savages” and “cowards,” according to Kyle.
“Savage, despicable evil,” writes Kyle. “That’s what we were fighting in Iraq…. People ask me all the time, `How many people have you killed?’… The number is not important to me. I only wish I had killed more. Not for bragging rights, but because I believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking American lives.”
None of the American military personnel whose lives were wasted in Iraq had to die there, because none of them had any legitimate reason to be there. From Kyle’s perspective, however, only incorrigibly “evil” people would object once their country had been designated the target of one of Washington’s frequent outbursts of murderous humanitarianism.
. . . .
“She was … blinded by evil,” Kyle writes of the woman he murdered from a safe distance. “She just wanted Americans dead, no matter what. My shots saved several Americans, whose lives were clearly worth more than that woman’s twisted soul.”
Were Kyle just a touch more literate, he might recognize the term untermenschen, a German expression that encapsulates his view of the Iraqis who took up arms to repel foreign invaders. From his perspective, they were incurably inferior to their “liberators” and possessed of an inexplicable hatred toward their natural betters.
For some reason many Iraqis resented the armed emissaries of the distant government that had installed Saddam in power, built up his arsenal and apparatus of domestic repression, and then conferred upon the inhabitants of that nation the unmatched blessing of several decades of wars, embargoes, airstrikes, disease, and the early, avoidable deaths of hundreds of thousands of children.
“The people we were fighting in Iraq, after Saddam’s army fled or was defeated, were fanatics,” Kyle insists. “They hated us because we weren’t Muslim. They wanted to kill us, even though we’d just booted out their dictator, because we practiced a different religion than they did.”
Actually, most of them probably wanted to kill Kyle and his comrades because they had invaded and occupied their country. They were prepared to use lethal force to protect their homes against armed intruders who had no right to be there. Ironically, Kyle’s book offers evidence that he understands that principle; he simply doesn’t believe that it applies to Iraqis.
In one incident described by Kyle, he and several other U.S. personnel raid an Iraqi home, in the basement of which they discover a mass grave containing the bodies of several soldiers and Marines. For several panic-stricken moments, Kyle is understandably terrified by the thought that he might find the lifeless body of his younger brother, a Marine who had also been deployed to Iraq.
With obvious and vehement disgust, Kyle cites the “murdered young men whose bodies we had pulled out” of that basement grave as evidence of the bestial nature of the enemy. He exhibits no interest at all in the fact that tens of millions of Iraqis have seen friends and family meet violent, avoidable deaths as a result of the wars and sanctions imposed on their country by Washington. Untermenschen, apparently, aren’t entitled to experience grief and rage – much less the right to defend their homes and families against aggressive violence.
After returning from his first combat tour in Iraq, Kyle recalls, he was rudely roused from slumber one morning when the burglar alarm went off. Although this was a malfunction rather than a real emergency, Kyle’s reaction was revealing.
“I grabbed my pistol and went to confront the criminal,” he recalls. “No son of a bitch was breaking into my house and living to tell about it.”
Why was it “evil” for Iraqis to feel exactly the same way about the foreign sons of bitches who broke into their country and wrecked the place?
“My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy.”
He sounds like a Hoppeian.
“… the most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men; not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”
A review by my friend Andy Duncan:
Machiavelli offers advice for imperial aggressors on how they should conquer a Muslim state:
But if once the Turk has been vanquished and broken in battle so that he cannot raise new armies, there is nothing to worry about except the ruler’s family. When that has been wiped out there is no one left to fear, because the others have no credit with the people.
So, capture Saddam Hussein and kill his sons. But once we achieve that, what do we do next with a former Muslim leader’s country:
When states newly acquired as I said have been accustomed to living freely under their own laws, there are three ways to hold them securely: first, by devastating them; next, by going there and living there in person; thirdly, by letting them keep their own laws, exacting tribute, and setting up an oligarchy which will keep the state friendly to you.
So, set up an interim appointed government and eventual elections guaranteed to keep the interim appointed government in place, with good options on the oil supply made out to your business friends. But what do we do about a possibly resentful population?
Violence must be inflicted once and for all; people will then forget what it tastes like and so be less resentful. Benefits must be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.
Ah, yes. Gradually re-establish the water and the electricity supplies, then link in the ‘election’ of your interim appointed government to coincide with further improvements, so as to keep this government in place and suitably disposed towards yourself.
But we should avoid blaming Machiavelli for our own modern world. It is our politicians who have created it, not this wonderful Florentine writer. He was just telling it like it was. Many of his views even coincided with our own:
The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms; and because you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow…Rome and Sparta endured for many centuries, armed and free. The Swiss are strongly armed and completely free.
His belief in the sanctity of arms would even have stood comparison with the National Rifle Association:
There is simply no comparison between a man who is armed and one who is not. It is unreasonable to expect that an armed man should obey one who is unarmed, or that an unarmed man should remain safe and secure when his servants are armed.
So next time you hear your local police calling themselves public servants, ask yourself who has the guns, and who has the power. (Read more)