Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Darwinian Liberalism Versus Trump's Alt-Right White Supremacism

With Donald Trump's appointment of Stephen Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart Media, to lead his campaign, Trump has openly embraced the white-supremacist racism of the Alternative Right ("Alt-Right").  Bannon has boasted that Breitbart News is "the platform of the alt-right."  The term Alternative Right is the name of a blog website.  Other websites that are part of the Alt-Right network include The American Renaissance, VDARE., and The Daily Stormer.

The term "Alternative Right" was first coined in 2008 by the "Paleoconservative" Paul Gottfried in his essay "The Decline and Rise of the Alternative Right."  Gottfried has criticized me for not recognizing that "conservatism" means "defending inherited authority structures and especially social hierarchy."  Indeed, the primary concern of the Alt-Right is defending racial social hierarchy, particularly the supremacy of the white race over non-white races.

Jared Taylor is the editor of The American Renassance, and a fervent supporter of Trump.  He has summarized his arguments for white supremacism and ethnic nationalism based on scientific race theory in some YouTube videos on "The Reality of Race," "Race Differences in Intelligence," and "White Identity."  Taylor insists that he is not a racist but a "racialist who believes in race-realism," and that he is not a white supremacist but a "white advocate."

Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopoulos have written an article for Beibart News--"An Establishment Conservative's Guide to the Alt-Right"-- in which they try to defend the Alt-Right against the charge of Neo-Nazi racism.  But even they must admit: "Those looking for Nazis under the bed can rest assured that they do exist."  They are referring to those of the Alt-Right who call themselves the "1488ers."  14 refers to the 14 words of Neo-Nazism: "We Must Secure the Existence of our People and a Future for White Children."  88 refers to the 8th letter of the alphabet--H--so that 88 becomes "HH"--"Heil Hitler."

In a speech in Reno, Nevada, Hillary Clinton has criticized Trump's links to the white racisms of the Alt-Right.  Her campaign has also produced a new television ad that shows leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and Jared Taylor endorsing Trump and his policies.

Amazingly, Trump has recently been saying that he wants to win over many black and Latino voters by convincing them that he is not a racist.  To do that, he will have to explicitly argue against the Alt-Right.  He has also said that his immigration and deportation policy will follow the existing law, just as has been the case under Barack Obama! So does that mean he's not going to Build the Wall after all?  Was his talk about deporting all 11 million of the undocumented aliens just sarcasm?

Since the proponents of the Alt-Right appeal to the evolutionary biology of racial and ethnic identity as supporting their racism, and since I have argued that race is a biological reality of human evolution, including the reality of average IQ differences between the races, one might wonder why I oppose the scientific racism of the Alt-Right. 

My argument is that the evolutionary biology of race supports the classical liberal principle of human equality, and thus denies racism.  The principle of equal liberty does not require equality understood as the sameness of all individuals or as requiring equality of outcomes in life.  Rather, this principle affirms equality of opportunity--that all individuals should have an equal opportunity to pursue their happiness, with the expectation that such free and equal pursuit of happiness will produce different outcomes for different individuals that will manifest their natural human diversity.  Classical liberals can accept the biology of racial diversity without becoming racists, because they see that the classical liberal principle of equal liberty is compatible with unequal outcomes in life.

Jared Taylor insists that there must be some genetic basis for the black/white IQ gap--the American black average IQ being at least 15 points below the American white average IQ--but this cannot support the claim that American whites are naturally superior to American blacks.

First, statistical generalizations about racial averages tell us nothing about individuals, and so they give us no reason to abandon our individualist principle that we should treat people as individuals and not as members of a group.  Dr. Ben Carson has a high IQ, much higher than the average for American whites.  And even among American whites, there is a white underclass that has a low average IQ.  The statistical averages cannot tell us whether any black individual is more or less intelligent than any white individual.  This suggests that our immigration laws should be based not on race but on individual characteristics.

Moreover, as Taylor admits, Asians have a higher average IQ than whites, and Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ of any group that has ever been tested.

In stressing the genetic component of IQ, those like Taylor say almost nothing about the environmental component, which probably accounts for at least 50% of the variance in IQ.  One indication of the environmental influence is the Flynn Effect (named after political scientist James Flynn): over a century of IQ testing shows that average IQ scores have been increasing at the rate of 3 points every 10 years, which means an increase of two standard deviations every 30 years.  This increase can be seen among American blacks as well as whites.

Alt-Right thinkers like Taylor defend racial or ethnic nationalism as expressed in restrictive immigration laws as necessary to protect the genetic interests of the native population.  They cite Frank Salter's book On Genetic Interests as proving that ethnic identity is a natural evolutionary adaptation for ethnic nepotism: just as it is natural for parents to favor their children over the children of others, it is natural for each ethnic community to favor its ethnic members over others, because in both cases people are rightly protecting their genetic interests.  In his review of Salter's book, Taylor claims that Salter provides "a scientific justification for racial consciousness and activism."

As I have indicated in my post on Salter's book, there are two big problems with his argument.  The first is that what Salter identifies as "ethnic genetic interests have no roots in the evolved instincts of human nature.  He admits this when he says that in protecting their genetic interests in modern states, "humans can no longer rely on their instincts" (28).  Human beings have evolved instincts for individual survival and for the reproductive interests of their families and their extended tribal groups.  But in the environments of evolutionary adaptation, our foraging ancestors probably had little or no experience with people of other races, and they certainly had no experience with racial or ethnic identities that might embrace millions of anonymous individuals scattered around the world.  Taylor recognizes this when he quotes Salter as saying: "humans are not as instinctively equipped to identify and defend ethnic genetic interests in the evolutionarily novel world of mass anonymous societies." 

The second big problem for Salter's argument is that none of his proposed strategies for defending ethnic genetic interests in modern states will work.  He identifies various "ethnic states" in the modern world, but he admits that "no state yet developed has reliably kept its promise as an adaptive ethnic group strategy" (221), which includes "the best known modern ethnic state"--Nazi Germany (231).

All of this leads me to conclude that while there might be a natural desire for tribalism, the expression of that tribalism as racial or ethnic identity is not a natural instinct but a cultural construction, and it is possible for multiethnic liberal states to promote a multiethnic culture.  The success of that multiethnic liberal culture is manifest in the passage by white legislators of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which eliminated the national origin and racial restrictions on immigration, including restrictions on immigration from Africa and Asia.  Trump's Alt-Right folks must now try to overturn that Act.

Colin Liddell has just published a good introduction to the Alt-Right at The Alternative Right: "A Normie's Guide to the Alt-Right."  You should notice that he recognizes "the 'Nazi' side of the Alt-Right," as represented by websites like TRS and The Daily Stormer.

Some of my points here have been developed in other posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


Anonymous said...

Are ethnic groups themselves real or are they cultural constructions? If real, do ethnic groups need to do things such as create new members, pass on traditions, retain their homeland, and create a sense of identity to persist through time? If an ethnic group is prevented from doing these things will it cease to exist, i.e., if England becomes 100% Muslim will the English have ceased to exist? Do ethnic groups have a right to do what it takes to continue to exist?

Anonymous said...

1. "his arguments for white supremacism "
2. "Taylor admits, Asians have a higher average IQ than whites, and Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ of any group that has ever been tested."

He is not a white supremacist as he has said over and over. The alt-right are realists about ethic and racial groups and think groups should be allowed to take steps to preserve the existence of their kind. Having a homeland is necessary to ensure the existence of your kind.

Larry Arnhart said...

So Taylor is not a white supremacist, but he wants whites to be supreme in their "homeland"?

Anonymous said...

Are the Japanese Japanese supremacists in Japan? Are Jews Jewish supremacists in Israel? Are Iranians Iranian supremacists in Iran? All we want is a homeland that is dedicated to protecting the existence of our particular ethnic group, something it was understood that countries did until, like, the last 20 years. Like all conservatives, you're just dedicated to "conserving" the radical leftism of 20 years ago.

You didn't answer any of the questions in my first comment. You never answer the difficult comments.

Larry Arnhart said...

"All we want is a homeland that is dedicated to protecting the existence of our particular ethnic group."

Who are "we" here? All white Americans? Are all white Americans so determined to protect the genetic interests of the white race in America that they are willing to seriously weaken the American economy and live in poverty? Are they, for example, willing to accept the shocks to the American economy that would come from forcefully deporting 11 million illegal immigrants and thus severely reducing the American work force?

I doubt this. As I have indicated in my post, I agree with Frank Salter that what Salter identifies as "ethnic genetic interests" have no roots in the evolved instincts of human nature, and thus strategies for protecting those interests must be artificial contrivances of reason. Salter admits that in protecting their genetic interests in modern states, "humans can no longer rely on their instincts" (On Genetic Interests, 28).

Human beings have evolved instincts for individual survival and for the reproductive interests of their families and their extended tribal groups. But in the environments of evolutionary adaptation, our foraging ancestors had no experience with ethnic identities that might embrace millions of anonymous individuals scattered around the world.

People like Jared Taylor concede this problem when they lament that white people are easily persuaded to sacrifice their genetic interests, because recognizing the genetic interests of their ethnic group is not instinctive, and therefore it has to be artificially created by the ideological rhetoric of white ethnic identity.

The American presidential election this year could be a test. If Donald Trump adheres clearly to a white ethnic identity position, and if the great majority of white voters vote for him because the genetic interests of their white ethnic group is more important to them than economic prosperity, then Trump will win.

The fact that Trump is now reaching out to non-white voters suggests that he has concluded that the appeal of white ethnic identity is too weak to attract enough white voters to win.


Anonymous said...

The country did fine economically when it was 90% white. All immigration does it increase the supply of labor and keep wages stagnant.
You still haven't answered whether ethnic groups are real and whether people are allowed to do take steps to ensure its survival, and whether the Japanese are evil Japanese supremacists, or whether Isreal as "the Jewish state" is an evil fascist ethno-state.

Anonymous said...

The alt-right is the combination of the old left--protectionist, unionist, protect American workers--that has long been suppressed by the new left of identity politics, and the old paleoconservative right--anti-intervention, anti-liberal, localist--which has long been suppressed by the neoconservatives such as yourself. Both strains have been suppressed for decades and we now get the Freudian return of the repressed.