Pinstriped Nazis

In America, “Pinstriped Nazis” play baseball in the Bronx or play with money in Manhattan. In Germany, its the name for people that dissent from the prevailing religion of the ruling class of Europe. This story from The Tired Old Commie Times should be getting more attention.

Its members have been dubbed the “pinstriped Nazis” and they refer to their demonstrations as “evening strolls” through German cities. But on Monday night, an estimated 15,000 people joined Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West, in a march through Dresden carrying banners bearing slogans such as “Zero tolerance towards criminal asylum seekers”, “Protect our homeland” and “Stop the Islamisation”.

Lutz Bachmann, the head of Pegida, a nascent anti-foreigner campaign group, led the crowds, either waving or draped in German flags, in barking chants of “Wir sind das Volk”, or “We are the people”, the slogan adopted by protesters in the historic “Monday demonstrations” against the East German government in the runup to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Associating themselves with the freedom demonstrations has given Pegida protests an air of moral respectability even though there are hundreds of rightwing extremists in their midst, as well as established groups of hooligans who are known to the police, according to Germany’s federal office for the protection of the constitution.

What’s hilarious about hearing old lefties talk about “hooligans” disrupting the peace with their protests is it was not that long ago when these same lefties were the ones in the streets being called hooligans. They will tell you it was different because their enemies were right wing extremists and these protesters are right-wing extremists. The near total lack of self-awareness by the old fools at The Guardian is always good for some laughs.

While avoiding blatantly racist slogans, some told the Guardian of their angst over the “demise of the West” due to the rise of Islam or voiced their distaste of salafists and homosexuals in the same breath, or decried the recent decision by local politicians to increase the number of homes for asylum seekers. One group, knocking back bottles of the local beer, talked openly of their fears of what they call “fecal jihad”.

Mario Lupo, a 40-year-old tourist from Milan, was among the onlookers sipping glühwein at Germany’s oldest Christmas market, the Striezelmarkt.

“We came here for the romance and joviality of the Christmas markets,” he said. “We expected some light-hearted carousing appropriate to this time of year, but didn’t expect to stumble upon these rabble-rousers and police in riot gear.”

Among the groups taking part, according to the police, were two soccer hooligan organisations already known to the police called “Faust des Ostens” (Fist of the East) and Hooligans Elbflorenz (Florence of the Elbe Hooligans), as well as members of the National Democratic Party (NPD). Alongside them were old and young men and women, including families with children in pushchairs, many of whom said they had no political affiliation.

The reason it is useful to view the Left as a religious cult is they display all the same tendencies. The extreme paranoia is one of the more obvious features. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the people protesting are garden variety Germans is seen as proof that they are really “extreme right-wing extremists.” They’re just carefully avoiding use the racist slogans, but the good people at The Guardian see right through it!

Pegida’s growing presence has presented politicians with a dilemma over how to uncouple the strong neo-Nazi element believed to form the core of the protests from ordinary Germans with grievances against the government, who make up the bulk of the protesters.

Almost two-thirds of Germans, according to a poll for news magazine Spiegel by the TNS institute, believe that Angela Merkel’s government is not doing enough to address concerns about immigration and asylum seekers, and 34% think Germany is enduring a process of “Islamisation”.

The chancellor had earlier warned that a right to demonstrate did not extend to “rabble-rousing and defamation” against foreigners.

Merkel said that those participating in the protests should “take care not to be exploited” by radical elements trying to tap into fears of a foreigner takeover in Germany.

If you only read American media, you would never know that most of Europe is boiling with anti-immigration sentiment. Just as in the United States, Europe and Britain have had enough with wholesale immigration. In that regard I’ll give The Guardian credit for actually reporting it. I’d be curious to know if the mainstream German press has bothered to report on any of this, other than to decry it as fascism.

Still, the fact that the Nazis in charge are calling these protesters “Pinstriped Nazis” says a lot about the ruling class of Germany. The Nazis may have been vanquished, but their ideas about government, economics and culture carried the day in the West, All of us now live in a world run by the intellectual sons and daughters of Carl Schmitt. They are the real pinstriped Nazis and they even wear pinstripes!

I suspect a lot of patriotic Americans will look at what’s going on in Europe and think the tide is turning. I’m not so sure. The flow of history seems to be away from small organizational groups and towards larger and larger political entities. The foundation stone of Europe is the end of nations. Without nations, there can be no citizens. Without citizens, why should the rulers care if Dresden is populated with Turks, Celts or Martians? Dresden is not a place with an identity. It is an area where natural resources are stored for use by the ruling class.

Maybe there’s a biological limit that we are reaching and a great contraction is upon us. Human biology does seem to preclude one world government. People rebel against rulers that do not look like they are from their gene pool. Colonialism failed, despite being the best thing to happen to the colonized. Humans simple don’t trust people that are not their blood or at least resemble their blood. 50,000 years of evolution is tough to beat, even if you spent a summer at college in a philosophy seminar.

Still, The way to bet seems to be with the people currently in charge.

It’s a Cult

I’ve been calling American Liberalism a cult for a long time. I get some grief for it from normal people, because they think I’m engaging in name calling. There’s some truth to it. The word cult has some baggage. We typically think of cults having a leader, a person who is worshiped. That leader is more than a little nuts and eventually leads his followers to a Jonestown like end. Of course, this the point at which right thinking people begin to see I’m probably right about these people. The messianic nature of American Liberalism is not always obvious, but it’s right there if look hard at the Left.

Modern times and the trendiness of the Left means their various beliefs burst forth for a while and then recede into the background, only to come around again with a new marketing pitch. State rationed health care is a good example. The American Left has been dreaming of it since they discovered Bismark. Every ten years or so they have a new way to pitch having their cult decide how much and how often you get medical treatment.

The cultish properties of American Progressives is clear in the story of ObamaCare. It was supposed to be the final step into the Eden of free health care for all. The rank and file members of the Cult of Modern Liberalism were convinced that a fountain of unlimited health care was hidden away somewhere, maybe next to the golden plates Joseph Smith found out west. If they could slay the evil insurance monsters that guard it, the people would be free to dip their cups into it and get all the health care they desired – free! They used different words, but that was the sales pitch and they truly believed it. They still do.

Then reality, that thing that does not go away when you stop believing in it, came roaring into the room. Millions saw their policies canceled. I’m on my third cancellation. Rates went up and the public went crazy. As was described in When Prophecy Fails, the Left was at first stunned into silence. The disconfirmation was soul crushing. Instead of Eden, the result was chaos. Then, the faithful rallied and they are now ready to proselytize once again.

You’re looking at the biggest story involving the federal budget and a crucial one for the future of the American economy. Every year for the last six years in a row, the Congressional Budget Office has reduced its estimate for how much the federal government will need to spend on Medicare in coming years. The latest reduction came in a report from the budget office on Wednesday morning.

The changes are big. The difference between the current estimate for Medicare’s 2019 budget and the estimate for the 2019 budget four years ago is about $95 billion. That sum is greater than the government is expected to spend that year on unemployment insurance, welfare and Amtrak — combined. It’s equal to about one-fifth of the expected Pentagon budget in 2019. Widely discussed policy changes, like raising the estate tax, would generate just a tiny fraction of the budget savings relative to the recent changes in Medicare’s spending estimates.

In more concrete terms, the reduced estimates mean that the federal government’s long-term budget deficit is considerably less severe than commonly thought just a few years ago. The country still faces a projected deficit in future decades, thanks mostly to the retirement of the baby boomers and the high cost of medical care, but it is not likely to require the level of fiscal pain that many assumed several years ago.

The reduced estimates are also an indication of what’s happening in the overall health care system. Even as more people are getting access to health insurance, the costs of caring for individual patients is growing at a super-slow rate. That means that health care, which has eaten into salary gains for years and driven up debt and bankruptcies, may be starting to stabilize as a share of national spending.

You see? The prophesies were true! The prophesies were true! The Great Pumpkin will bring free health care for all!

Keep in my that this what “data driven journalism” really means. It is the old time religion sprinkled with statistics. To the faithful, “data” are a topping, like jimmies on an ice cream sundae. The “data” presented here are both fanciful and useless. The threat to Medicare is not cost per patient. The threat is the number of patients when the Boomer retirement is in full bloom. Driving the cost per patient down a few bucks is nothing when the number of patients is growing geometrically.

But, that’s how it goes in a cult. They need to believe and so they will always believe. It took 100 million corpses and 150 years for Communism to finally die. In my youth, American lefties would say that communism was never really tried and that Bolshevism was not true Marxism. I don’t think they were ever convinced to drop it. The Left just decided to go with Cultural Marxism, figuring the economics would take care of itself.

The Religious Divide

Way back in the olden thymes, “spiritual” people eschewed traditional religion, in favor of weird pseudo-paganism and Eastern mysticism. Along with it came sub-cults like saving the whales or saving the environment. Concern for people and things over the horizon is the hallmark of new age religion. Most of these people were miserable pricks to their families and friends, but they had nothing but love for mother earth, nature and oppressed people living far away.

All of that nonsense from the 60’s and 70’s was just religion for people who liked the benefits of public piety, but were not into any of the sacrifices. They had special outfits to wear in public, signaling their goodness. They ate strange foods and got into meditation and yoga. Bumper stickers were a big thing, as I recall.

Still, they were a minor nuisance, for the most part. Cleaning up rivers and protecting wildlife is the sort of stuff rich societies can do without causing too much trouble. It is what economist call public goods. Despite the fact the people behind these efforts were mostly monomaniacal weirdos, like Ralph Nader, the goals appealed to people’s Christian sense of duty. We are, according to Christian doctrine, caretakers of God’s creation. It’s the same way the social-welfare laws tag along on the people’s sense of Christian charity.

This arrangement started to change in the 1990’s. Bill Clinton felt it necessary to be open about his Christian faith. It was, in part, to make inroads into the South, but also appeal to northern Catholics. By 2000 Al Gore was dismissive of religion entirely while Bush was the Evangelical. That’s the source of the great divide that has roiled the nation ever since.

Obama comes along in 2008 and is clearly non-Christian. Maybe he is a Muslim, maybe he is simply not religious. His membership in the racist Chicago church hardly qualifies as religious. The clear message was that unlike the people who put Bush in office, Obama was not a Christian. The last election featured a man who never attends services and a man who belongs to a weird cult that is alien to the Judeo-Christian traditions of America.

The point of all of this is to underscore just how far Christianity has fallen in public estimation. In 1980, Reagan seeded his talks with references to the Bible, on the assumption everyone would know what he meant. His opponent was a deeply religious man who felt comfortable discussing his relationship to God on television. Today, it would seem strange to see a presidential candidate discussing such things.

One thing you learn when reading about population genetics is religion is near universal. We have evidence of religious practice going back as far as we have evidence of modern human activity. Science thinks religion evolved as one of the first human traits. If you take a step back and look at religion as a subgroup of mass movements, then it is even more obvious that faith and belief are necessary human traits.

Religion was most likely the first solution to the free rider problem. Not only does guilt and moral suasion push the free loader to pull his weight, it justifies taking harsh action against those who take more than they give. Belief in the common gods and common morality would have obvious reproductive advantages. A natural bias toward religiosity would, over many generations, bake belief into the human animal. Like all traits, it would manifest itself more prominently in some and less so in others. In short, all of us are believers to one degree or another.

That brings me back to the collapse of Christianity in America. Take a look at church attendance by state. Where are you more likely to find a global warming fanatics? Vermont or Mississippi? If you look at the bottom ten states, there you find the most deeply committed liberals and the most deeply committed warmists. Gaia worship, manifested as climate concern, is the religion filling the void left my Christianity.

Putting aside the strong correlations between church attendance and progressive fanaticism, take a look at this story from the other day. I sent this to all of my liberal friends. All of them dismissed it, claiming the writers are hacks and long discredited. Many used identical language, suggesting a source they commonly rely upon for the good word. This post over at MR elicits the same sort of response from believers.  In the mind of the warmist, you are either a believer or a denier. That’s the sort of language used by religious cults, not the empirically minded.

Whether you want to call AGW the master cult, encompassing the lesser cults of environmentalism, or you lump all of it into the same bucket with the other progressive fads, there’s no escaping the religious overtones to all of it. Here’s an interesting bit from a hard core lunatic site called ThinkProgress. These are the sort of folks who invest a lot of time counting heretics. Their map is revealing. It is not just party preference dividing the nation. It is religion.

The question is whether it was the vacuum left by the collapse of Christianity in these areas that allowed this pagan faith to spread or do the causal arrows point the other way. The American Left has been hostile to Christianity since the end of WW2. Perhaps as the people of these areas became more liberal, church attendance dropped and these weird fads spread. That’s not something I can answer.

What I do know is countries with populations deeply divided by religion don’t get along very well or for very long.

Democracy

John Derbyshire has a piece up starting with the anniversary of Tiananmen Square, moving into the strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese model and finishing with this.

Universal-suffrage democracy may have been a good idea 120 years ago, when most adults did productive work into their sixties, then died. In today’s top-heavy welfare states, it just empowers tax-eaters to loot the national wealth.

Tomorrow’s politics will be the art of providing make-work for as many as possible of the employable minority while pacifying the un-employable majority with a state dole. In that world, universal-suffrage democracy will be untenable.

Already, unconsciously, we are making appropriate adjustments. Our universities, after a few aberrant decades of experimenting with open inquiry and the advance of knowledge, have reverted to their medieval purpose (the purpose that Chinese higher education always had): to train an intellectual elite for the propagation and defense of the state ideology. Then it was Christianity (in China, Confucianism); now it is utopian egalitarianism—“political correctness,” the Narrative. The advance of knowledge can go hang.

Since we are already making cultural adjustments to the inevitable future, can the political adjustments be far behind?

There’s a branch of the alternative right or dark enlightenment or neo-reaction, I’m not sure of the precise labels, that holds a view of the intermediate future that is a mix of District 9, Elysium and Terminator. They think most of us will be thrown into camps without regard to race, sex, age or ethnicity. We’ll live on garbage from the the other group of humans, the elites. The elites will rely on super smart robots to keep their position and keep the rabble in their camps. Some small servant class will exist to maintain the robots and tend to the elite.

Some put greater emphasis on the super smart robots. Others underscore the camps. There are surely others who have a combination of favorites with some other elements added into the mix. Either way, the future is Hell, as they imagine it. This is where I remember that north people imagined Hell as barren and cold, while south people imagined it hot and fiery. The point being our view of the horrid future is probably a reflection of what we think of as the horrid present.

One common thread that runs through the various parts of the asteroid belt of view points that encircles mainstream thought is a rejection of democracy. Way back in the olden thymes when I voted for the first time, I became an anti-democrat. A look around the room at my fellow voters was enough for me. Seeing people, who I knew were struggling with the basics of living, in-line to vote made plain that democracy turned self-government into a lottery. The rest of us had to hope the dimwits pulled the right lever.

That said, you can’t argue with the results. Life in Europe and America is vastly better now than 1900. People are healthier, better fed and we live much longer. Outside of the urban reservations, violence is no longer a factor. In 1900 a person traveling alone cross country needed to be armed and prepared to kill. Today, a person traveling cross country only has to worry about what sights to see on the way.

Rule by dimwit seems to be working out, despite it all.

On the other hand, to the people in a car heading for a cliff, the ride may seem pleasant and fruitful. Democracy in America is a relatively new thing. The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. The woman’s vote did not emerge as a force until after WW2. Minorities were systematically prevented from voting until the 1960’s. Our experiment in universal suffrage is, therefore, only a couple of generations along. The results are not promising. You don’t have to be a pessimist think we are heading for a bad end.

The real problem is not democracy, per se. The problem is what it does to the governing institutions and the people who control them. In the 19th century, both political parties catered to the property holders, business men and the educated elite. That’s where the votes were so that’s where the politicians went looking for votes. The result was the parties were representative of the nation’s various interests, all of whom had the same general goals in mind. As a result, national politics was regional, not tribal. Northern states favored industry and trade, while southern states favored agriculture.

Once you flood the voting booths with millions without an ownership stake in the country, politics becomes tribal. The parties seek to assemble collection of tribes, even though they may not have shared interests. This attracts a different class of politician. In order to get white union guys to vote with black welfare queens, you have to be cunning and persuasive. The appeal is emotional, not logical. The result is what we see. Both parties are dominated by sociopaths, interested only in beating the other side in the next fight.

Democracy has its place and it a requirement of civilized governance. It must be tempered and that’s what we lack. Returning the Senate to the states, for example, would cripple the federal welfare system. States would never tolerate the meddling. Of course, the Senate would attract a different class of politician. Low-life grifters like Chuck Schumer and John McCain would be of no use to their respective state legislatures.

The conditions under which we re-apply the brakes to our run-away democracy is the mystery. Maybe that’s where the doom and gloom set has it right. History is not exactly full of successful reformers steering their society away from the rocks. Instead, it the story of one crash after another.

The Wrong Side of History

Steve Sailer has a snarky post up about the European elections. Everyone on the reactionary right is celebrating the results. It is hard not to feel some joy over it. On the one hand, it is clearly a rejection of the open borders, replace the people strategy of the elites. In France, a vote for FN is a vote against immigration. No Frenchman voted for FN thinking they were anything other than hostile to immigration.

There’s a strong anti-elite element too. Farage and UKIP are old school populists as much as they are anti-immigrant. The Tories have wandered off into some weird ideological place in search of a constituency. Their old voters have no other place to go so they are voting for Farage. UKIP is probably just the old Tory party bursting forth from the dying husk of the new Tory party.

It is easy to think the tide may be turning, but I don’t read it that way. UKIP is the real deal. They are building a party from the ground up and will have the boots on the ground to make noise in subsequent elections.Whether or not the British people will throw in with them in 2015 is open for debate. Given the state of the Empire, betting on the British people looks like a loser to me.

The Continent is a similar story. These elections were low-turnout symbolic actions by the most highly motivated part of the anti-elite electorate. There’s little evidence FN can build on to this and become a player in French politics. Syriza is the real deal in Greece, but let’s not kid ourselves about the importance of Greece. In Germany, the only country that matters in Europe right now, anti-EU forces have not made much noise at all.

In short, one election does not mean much.

There’s something else. The march of human history is toward larger and larger organizational units. For about 35,000 years, modern humans were in groups no larger than about 150. That was the practical limit for a hunter-gatherer people. Once the group got too big, it split up and one half went one way and the other went its own way. We can’t know for sure, of course, but the current science suggests trust beyond kin was not well developed at this stage. Once you get beyond 150 people, you start having unrelated males thrown in together, which is going to be trouble for obvious reasons.

Once humans began to settle, the organizational groups got bigger. Farming naturally brings trading and property ownership. That requires more complex relationships. It also requires trust between unrelated males. The traits and customs allowing for unrelated males to trust one another and adjudicate breeches in trust probably developed in tandem as human settlements grew larger.

Hierarchical relationships also had to develop as someone had to be in charge to enforce the rules. If you look at early British history, for example, ruling families were the dominant hierarchical relationship. The descendants of Ida ruled parts of Britain for generations.

Anyone familiar with their history knows where I’m going. Settlements became towns and towns became cities. Over time city-states developed and they were replaced by combinations of cities that eventually became principalities. Most of the European history we learn in school is the battle over the consolidation of lands into nations. From the 100 Years War through World War Two, the people of Europe battled to figure out the boundaries and relationship of the nations of the continent.

Post-War Europe has been an extended debate over how to build a Europe-wide organizational unit. Eliminating trade barriers eliminates a key role of national government. The free flow of people eliminates a reason for national borders. Combining currencies further erodes the rationale for national government.

It is not just Europe. Relationships between countries over trade and property are now managed through supranational organizations. When the US has a dispute with China over trade, it goes to some international body for adjudication. Congress has no say and the people are not consulted. Treaty agreements are being crafted to get around pesky legal problems like the US Constitution. The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty is an attempt to junk the Second Amendment through international agreement.

Then we have the interlocking central banks that control the world’s financial system. The high level of coordination between the main banks and the IMF very well may be the main peace keeping organization now. Look at how they have been able to keep Ukraine from turning hot. Russia is so tied into the financial system, they cannot afford to get in a fight with the West.

If you’re wondering where the “right side of history” lies, history seems to be saying it is bigger and bigger government. The argument against all of this is language, culture and genetics. That’s a good argument and we may have reached a natural limit of human organization. But that’s not the way to bet. A paleolithic Steve Sailer probably thought human settlement or agriculture was a loser, too. The right side of history has always been bigger and bigger organizational units. The rise of nationalist parties in Europe could very well be a last gasp effort to resist the inevitable.

The Left’s Galileo Moment

Imagine if tomorrow the Chinese announce they have discovered some protein that causes criminality. That’s very unlikely, but let’s just pretend. Further, a simple test can determine if an individual has this protein and therefore is criminally inclined. That would certainly change how we go about fighting crime. The sci-fi concept of pre-crime would become a reality. Everyone could be tested and those with the protein would be flagged in some way. Suspects could be tested to eliminate the innocent. It is and amazing breakthrough that radically changes policing.

Now, suppose in addition to finding this magic protein, they also find a remedy. A person with the crime protein could be given a drug that mitigates the action of the protein. Not only can criminals be found with a blood test, they can be “rehabilitated” with drug therapy. That way, once a criminal is found, they can be repaired, so to speak. Recidivism rates would fall to zero and there would be no need for a lot of the infrastructure we have in place to monitor ex-cons.

Think about how much human society would change after such a discovery. No need for prisons is the most obvious benefit. That alone is $100 billion in savings to society. Certainly an equal amount would be saved, probably double, in policing. Most crime is committed by repeat offenders. Depending upon who is counting, the number is as high as 80%.  Police forces could be slashed to a fraction of their current size, along with the courts and the whole massive edifice of criminal justice in America.

It sounds pretty good. Now, imagine that conservatives start howling with protest over this new test and the new drug. They start with the invasion of privacy and then move onto the moral issue of not punishing offenders when they are caught. In Congress they try to block this new science and take to the airwaves proselytizing against it. Of course, they are joined by police unions, prison guard unions, lawyers, bureaucrats and everyone else living off the criminal industrial complex.

Is there any doubt that the Left would call these people science –hating Luddites?

With that in mind, consider this post by a famous Progressive blog.

Let’s use the term “academic racism” to mean “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race” (the Merriam-Webster “full definition” of “racism”), in order to differentiate it from bigotry (the common-use definition).
Anyway, science writer Nicholas Wade has a new book out making the standard case for academic racism. Andrew Gelman, a statistician, has a review of that book in Slate. The review is good, and you should read it, but I thought I’d try to restate Gelman’s point in a slightly more compact way.
Basically, academic racism has a problem, and that problem is overfitting.
Here’s how academic racism generally works. Suppose you see two groups that have an observable difference: for example, suppose you note that Hungary has a higher per capita income than Romania. Now you have a data point. To explain that data point, you come up with a theory: the Hungarian race is more industrious than the Romanian race. But suppose you notice that Romanians generally do better at gymnastics than Hungarians. To explain that second data point, you come up with a new piece of theory: The Romanian race must have some genes for gymnastics that the Hungarian race lacks.
You can keep doing this. Any time you see different average outcomes between two different groups, you can assume that there is a genetic basis for the difference. You can also tell “just-so stories” to back up each new assumption – for example, you might talk about how Hungarians are descended from steppe nomads who had to be industrious to survive, etc. etc. As new data arrive, you make more assumptions and more stories to explain them. Irish people used to be poor and are now rich? They must have been breeding for richness genes! Korea used to be poorer than Japan and is now just as rich? Their genes must be more suited to the modern economy! For every racial outcome, there is a just-so story about why it happened. Read an academic-racist blog, like Steve Sailer’s, and you will very quickly see that this kind of thinking is pervasive and rampant.
There’s just one little problem with this strategy. Each new assumption that you make adds a parameter to your model. You’re overfitting the data – building a theory that can explain everything but predict nothing. Another way to put this is that your model has a “K=N” problem – the number of parameters in your model is equal to the number of observations. If you use some sort of goodness-of-fit criterion that penalizes you for adding more parameters, you’ll find that your model is useless (no matter how true or false it happens to be!). This is one form of a more general scientific error known as “testing hypotheses suggested by the data”, or “post-hoc reasoning”. It’s a mistake that is by no means unique to academic racism, but instead is common in many scientific disciplines (cough cough, sociobiology, cough cough).

At first this sounds like a sound criticism. If you don’t know much about population genetics and the current state of the science, you might be inclined to accept this as a valid critique. The trouble is the science described by Wade makes no such claims. In fact, few in the HBD world make these sorts of claims. There certainly is speculation about behavioral traits across groups and their possible genetic sources, but there are also plenty of speculation about cultural sources as well from the same people. In fact, the only people talking about culture at all are all on the so-called “scientific racism” end of the blogosphere. Progressives have so hamstrung themselves that large swaths of observable reality are now off-limits.

The fact is, it is very hard to tease out causal relationships when discussing human behavior. The example I started with is never going to happen. Even the most basic of behavioral traits involve an enormous number of factors, including genes. At this stage of the game, the best anyone can do is catalog group differences and then consider the possibility of genetic sources. Evolution starts with an assumption. That assumption is mutations that increase the organisms reproductive advantage will spread through the species, even driving development of new species. If in ten thousand years we can get a thousand different types of dogs, we can certainly get a few different types of humans. Denial of that is the denial of evolution.

That’s where the Left finds itself these days. When Galileo pressed forward with heliocentrism, the keepers of the faith were forced to choose between science and their faith. In retrospect it seems strange that The Church would fight that fight, but in 1632 it was deadly serious. The Catholic Church early on tried to reconcile Aristotle and Scripture. Through Augustine the mixing of philosophy, culture, and theology became inter-twined. And, since Catholic theology recognizes the traditions of the Church as equal in authority with written scripture, challenging the traditions of the Church was the same challenging Scripture.

That’s where the Left finds itself with genetics and evolution. The 19th century Left, focused exclusively on economics, is long gone. The post-war Left has blended culture, socials science, public policy and the law into a secular religion. Just as the Church could not disentangle theology from science, the modern Left cannot separate science from its ideology. Religion, secular or otherwise, are totalitarian. Therefore anything that contradicts the faith is the enemy of the faith and must be destroyed. The Left’s war on evolution and population genetics is the only possible response. Otherwise, the foundation stones of their faith crumble. If man is not a lump of clay that can be molded by the enlightened, then the justification for the progressive faith evaporates.

There’s another angle, one that I think haunts the Left and one that the HBD crowd fails to appreciate. Going back to my example that started this long post, there’s another option. Instead of “rehabilitating” the criminal with drug therapy, the people known to carry this trait can be sterilized at birth. In a couple of generations, the trait could be eliminated from the population or at least greatly diminished. The remaining people with the gene would be ostracized and unable to find mates. What the sterilizers missed, natural selection would address. This is not unfamiliar turf for the Left. Prior to World War Two, eugenics was very popular with Progressives in America. The man who coined the term was a Socialist. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a motivated by the eugenics movement.

The science is what it is and the progress in genetics is chipping away at the Standard Social Science Model. The inevitable conclusion of evolution, the inescapable end game, is that everything we are is the result of the billions of combinations of genes. Further, evolution has taken different paths in different places with different peoples. If we are not lumps of clay at birth that can be shaped by social policy, the choices left to attain the Progressive dream are monstrous. Therefore, it is perfectly understandable why the Left is in a panic over what’s going on in genetics and evolutionary biology.

The End of Social Science

I’m re-reading Nicholas Wade’s Before the Dawn. I had forgotten how good a book it is for someone not well-versed in the biological sciences. If I recall, Wade was criticized for being a bit direct and dry in his presentation. These things are a matter of taste, of course. I find it to be a great way to present the material, but I tend to prefer the plain over the fancy. If he larded his narrative up with colorful imaginings about early man, I don’t think I would enjoy it very much. There’s a place for everything and population genetics is not the place for imaginative narrative.

Anyway, the point of re-reading the book is in preparation for his new book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History. The race realist crowd has been talking about it for a while now and many of the usual suspects got early copies to review.HBD Chick has a useful collection of links to reviews from the sort of people who can be trusted to understand the material.

One review has been rolling around in my head for a while. Charles Murray did a very long write-up in the Wall Street Journal, touching on something that has been lurking at the edges of genetics for a while. That’s the challenge it poses to social science, specifically the Standard Social Science Model.

The problem facing us down the road is the increasing rate at which the technical literature reports new links between specific genes and specific traits. Soon there will be dozens, then hundreds, of such links being reported each year. The findings will be tentative and often disputed—a case in point is the so-called warrior gene that encodes monoamine oxidase A and may encourage aggression. But so far it has been the norm, not the exception, that variations in these genes show large differences across races. We don’t yet know what the genetically significant racial differences will turn out to be, but we have to expect that they will be many. It is unhelpful for social scientists and the media to continue to proclaim that “race is a social construct” in the face of this looming rendezvous with reality.

After laying out the technical aspects of race and genetics, Mr. Wade devotes the second half of his book to a larger set of topics: “The thesis presented here assumes . . . that there is a genetic component to human social behavior; that this component, so critical to human survival, is subject to evolutionary change and has indeed evolved over time; that the evolution in social behavior has necessarily proceeded independently in the five major races and others; and that slight evolutionary differences in social behavior underlie the differences in social institutions prevalent among the major human populations.”

It is the central debate in human science. Are we what we are because of a vastly complex number of environmental variables that shape out characters? Is it just an accident of birth that makes a Nigerian a Nigerian and a Brit a Brit? Or, is there something else? Have these populations evolved long enough in isolation to be different in ways that run much deeper than skin color and hair type? Real science is pointing at the latter answer, while the soft sciences and the progressive holy men insist it is the former.

All of which will make the academic reception of “A Troublesome Inheritance” a matter of historic interest. Discoveries have overturned scientific orthodoxies before—the Ptolemaic solar system, Aristotelian physics and the steady-state universe, among many others—and the new received wisdom has usually triumphed quickly among scientists for the simplest of reasons: They hate to look stupid to their peers. When the data become undeniable, continuing to deny them makes the deniers look stupid. The high priests of the orthodoxy such as Richard Lewontin are unlikely to recant, but I imagine that the publication of “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be welcomed by geneticists with their careers ahead of them—it gives them cover to write more openly about the emerging new knowledge. It will be unequivocally welcome to medical researchers, who often find it difficult to get grants if they openly say they will explore the genetic sources of racial health differences.

The reaction of social scientists is less predictable. The genetic findings that Mr. Wade reports should, in a reasonable world, affect the way social scientists approach the most important topics about human societies. Social scientists can still treat culture and institutions as important independent causal forces, but they also need to start considering the ways in which variations among population groups are causal forces shaping those cultures and institutions.

I’m a long fan of population genetics and that means I have read more about the topic than most people. I’m also an empirically minded person for whom mathematics is a naturally inclination. I mention it only to point out my bias. I place fields like economics and psychology in the same bucket as philosophy and religion. They may use the tools of mathematics to build their arguments, but ultimately they rely on faith. Therefore, in the great battle between science and the blank slate crowd, I’m on the side of science.

That said, I would not bet on science. People are not moist robots. At least we don’t see it that way. We very well may be moist robots, but our complexity is beyond out ability to comprehend. That gives social science the edge. Peddling hope in the form of self-help and the quackery of Malcolm Gladwell is always going to trump the appeal of sterile materialism.

Then there are the vested interests. Most of our institutions are built on the blank slate orthodoxy. The keepers of the flame are not giving it up just because science contradicts their faith.

How long will it take them? In 1998, the biologist E.O. Wilson wrote a book, “Consilience,” predicting that the 21st century would see the integration of the social and biological sciences. He is surely right about the long run, but the signs for early progress are not good. “The Bell Curve,” which the late Richard J. Herrnstein and I published 20 years ago, should have made it easy for social scientists to acknowledge the role of cognitive ability in shaping class structure. It hasn’t. David Geary’s “Male/Female,” published 16 years ago, should have made it easy for them to acknowledge the different psychological and cognitive profiles of males and females. It hasn’t. Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate,” published 12 years ago, should have made it easy for them to acknowledge the role of human nature in explaining behavior. It hasn’t. Social scientists who associate themselves with any of those viewpoints must still expect professional isolation and stigma.

That’s the lesson of Galileo. The real lesson, least ways. The contemporaries of Galileo knew he was right. His inquisitors knew he was right. That was not the point of contention. The fear of the Church and the defenders of the established order was simple. Pulling the legs out from under current understanding of the world was a threat to that order. The vested interests had, therefore, a natural advantage. Without something readily at hand to replace the current order, the bias was against any knowledge that threatened the order.

If you’re looking for a bright side it is that Galileo foreshadowed the collapse of the Catholic Church as the organizing entity of western civilization. Soon after Galileo, Europe was devastated in the Thirty Years War. That was the end of Christianity as the organizing philosophy of western elites. In many ways the Progressive Church appears to be similarly exhausted and headed for a breakup. The axioms of Western Liberalism no longer square with known reality and they no longer address the problems faced by modern man. Something has to give and history says wishful thinking eventually yields to objective reality.

I’m not good at predicting the future so I don’t know what happens. I do know we have reached a point where you cannot be counted as an empirically minded, educated man and not embrace the growing body of evidence from population genetics.

The War on the Past

For those of us fond of population genetics and the inevitable quarrels resulting from the subject, this promises to be good times. Wade’s new book is causing a lot of difficulty for the Cult. Gregory Clark’s book, The Son Also Rises, seeded the field, so to speak. Now the genetic realists are trying to breach the lines. It promises to be a good summer of reading blog posts like this was from Steve Sailer.

A massive problem in contemporary intellectual discourse is that people don’t remember the past well and don’t have a critical attitude toward whatever is the latest conventional wisdom about the backwardness of the past. In the Obama Era, we see race and sex disparities all around us, and the only socially acceptable explanation for them is that the past was so incredibly racist/sexist until … well, nobody can quite remember when, but it must have been practically the day before yesterday.
So, it’s hard for contemporary intellectuals to put themselves back into the shoes of their predecessors.
This is an excellent observation and one I am fond of making in the context of homosexual topics. The public debate always assumes that way back in like last week, homosexuals were in bondage, forced to work on lavender farms in the South. There’s never any evidence presented, other than the obligatory reference to Stonewall, justifying the assumption. Famous homosexuals have been erased from history, because they could not have existed, according to modern thinkers.
Steve is correct that this leads to endless errors and mistakes, as he goes onto point out in that post. Steve, I think, assumes this obtuseness is the result of wanting to justify the present fads. I’m not so sure. I think it is part of a greater war on the past, which is a manifestation of self-loathing.The modern Progressive hates his ancestors because they created the present, which the moral man detests and wishes to change. All that “leaning forward” stuff looked like pulling at the leash for a reason.
The left imagines themselves at war with the past, trying to break free from that which ties them to the present. It is why they deny biology, for example. The thought that we are the accumulation of genetic experimentation over millions of years is horrifying. Even accepting that we are the result of our parents is impossible. How can we break free when we are just a point in the time line? They never have solved the central dilemma of every religion. That is, how do you get to the promised land. Pagans believed a noble death was the ticket. Christians believed a noble life was the answer. Modern liberals believe amnesia is the solution.

Everyone’s Gay

Vocativ appears to be another fake nerd website. According to their site:

Coupling the power of cutting-edge technology with a take-no-prisoners attitude toward newsgathering and storytelling, Vocativ is out to push the limits, cut through the spin and engage with the digital generation.

There is an untapped world of raw, vital information hidden in the digital space. Until now, no news organization has had the ability to reach it, let alone understand it. Vocativ’s proprietary technology navigates the deep web, homing in on the part of the Internet that search engines can’t reach, to discover the stories other news organizations cannot.

That means they are a bunch of liberal arts majors from second and third tier private schools. They have high average IQ, but are convinced they are Mensa members. The closest thing they have to a STEM guy on their staff is an economics major.

Anyway, this piece is something we can expect much more of now that resistance to the homosexialization of the culture has collapsed. Fanatics never pack up and go home once they won. Instead they find new ways to be an irritant. That means all of the homosexual marriage fanatics are foraging for a new way to bang the drum queerly.

‘‘I love a quick cuddle. Just so you remember your friends are around and are there for you.” This is John, a self-identified straight guy who took part in a study investigating attitudes toward same-sex cuddling at a university in the U.K. Researchers found that 97.5% of heterosexual, male college athletes have shared a bed with another guy and 93.5% have indulged in spooning. “We very often have hangover cuddles and naps together,” reported another participant named Max.

The findings were published in the latest issue of the journal Men and Masculinities. In it, researchers Eric Anderson and Mark McCormack describe how changing attitudes toward homosexuality have lessened stigma around nonsexual contact, and that the majority of young men now have no problem being affectionate with their friends—a particularly common trend among those on sports teams.

Like all pseudo-science, this nonsense relies on dimwitted reporters to get no further than the executive summary.

“As part of my ethnographic work on sports teams, as well as interview research on athletes and nonathletes, I find that cuddling in bed is a normal and acceptable part of heterosexual male youth culture in England,” Anderson tells Vocativ, adding that it’s becoming increasingly common across the pond. “Friends are tactile with each other in other locales as well,” he says. “I show that it occurs among high school runners in California.”

The sociologists deliberately focused on athletes to gauge the changing beliefs of a group traditionally thought to harbor negative opinions about same-sex contact. Conducting qualitative interviews with a small sample size of 40, Anderson says their responses were consistent with his earlier research. A total of 39 out of 40 said they have shared beds, usually after a night out, and 37 said they often fall asleep spooning.

There we go. Asking 40 British school boys if they shared a bed with another male is the basis of the “study.”

The reason for this, researchers believe, is that homophobia is on the decline, and intimate contact is no longer seen as a breach of masculinity. A recent national survey found that 29% of British adults think same-sex relationships are wrong, a sharp drop from 46% in 2000. It’s backed up by data from the Pew Research Center, which found that 74% of Americans born after 1980 believe that homosexuality should be accepted by society.

Now the picture is complete. The Cult wants to believe they have changed 50,000 of human evolution, which they reject out of hand. Anyone promising “proof” of the result can make some money. Social science is a lot like the low end of the drug market. When demand is high, guys selling home made meth and heroin cut with brick dust get top dollar. The Cult is buying anything that supports their claims about homosexuals so the market is strong for junk science like this.

 

 

The High Cost of Diversity

[subscribe2]In Pennsylvania, the police can now search your vehicle whenever the spirit move them.

Pennsylvania police officers no longer need a warrant to search a citizen’s vehicle, according to a recent state Supreme Court opinion.

The high court’s opinion, released Tuesday, is being called a drastic change in citizens’ rights and police powers.

Previously, citizens could refuse an officer’s request to search a vehicle. In most cases, the officer would then need a warrant — signed by a judge — to conduct the search.

That’s no longer the case, according to the opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery.

The ruling, passed on a 4-2 vote, was made in regard to an appeal from a 2010 vehicle stop in Philadelphia.

Local police and legal professionals are calling the opinion “big news.”

“This is a significant change in long-standing Pennsylvania criminal law, and it is a good one,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said Wednesday afternoon.

Under prior law, an officer who smells marijuana inside a car, for example, could only search the car with the driver’s consent — or if illegal substances were in plain view.

At the risk of sounding insensitive, this is all about stopping drug mules on the interstate. Those drug mules are almost exclusively black and hispanic. The cops don’t advertize it, but they are trained to look for young NAM males driving rented cars. This is almost always a drug courier. The drug gangs want to eliminate one reason to stop the vehicle. Using a rental means all the lights work and license is in order. They also figured out that local cops tend not to pull over out of state drivers. Cops figured this out and started looking for young NAM males driving white-bread sedans.

The problem with that is they need a reason to pull T’Q’uan over and search the car. These people are idiots so the mule is often smoking weed while driving or otherwise doing something the cops can use as an excuse. But, it will be a lot easier to run a wide-scale version of stop and frisk on the nations highway system if they no longer need a warrant. They would also like to search mobile phones without a warrant as well. That way they can get a jump on the rest of the crew once they pull T’Q’uan or Julio over in I-95. Make the stop, find the weed, search the cell, call it in and round up the rest before T’Q’uan or Julio can make their one phone call.

That sounds great until you think about the abuses that will surely follow. Cops are mostly decent people, but it is a close call. A lot of cops are sociopaths, attracted to the position because they can push people around with impunity. Many are just crooks with enough on the ball to know it is  better to be a crook with a badge than a crook without a badge. The crime rate amongst cops is not encouraging if you are looking to trust your liberty to these people.

There are a couple of things to consider in that graphic. One is cops are much whiter than the general population. Adjusted for race, the crime rate of cops will be much higher than the general population. Second, the number of robberies is most certainly an outlier. Bad data is my guess. Cops steal like mad. Everyone knows it, but it is rarely reported or prosecuted. Violent crimes are too difficult to hide so they get investigated. The old saying is a body with holes in it is hard to ignore. A perp beaten to a pulp is hard to ignore as well. Property stolen from a drug dealer on the other  hand is easy to hide.

Crime in America is mostly a NAM issue. The drug game, outside of crystal meth, is a black and hispanic activity. Plenty of whites take drugs, but the drug game is run by blacks and hipanics. Legalization of weed will further this trend. Murder is not entirely drug related, but a big part of the yearly homicides committed by young NAM males in the drug game, mostly at the street level. Controlling this population has been the focus of policing, prisons and social policy for 50+ years. The one thing the libertarians have right is that the drug war has reduced liberty greatly in the United States. What they get wrong is the cause.

The fact is, you can have diversity or liberty, but not both. Otherwise, you get a violent free-for-all of tribal warfare. The reason Continental Europe is naturally authoritarian is it is how you survive when surrounded by a bunch of people not like you. For the Dutch to have remained Dutch for 2,000 years meant defending their turf against all comers. This required a high degree of discipline. The same is true of every other group in Europe. The French were not able to expel the English until they had a strong central government that imposed discipline on the population. In a majority-minority America, the only way to keep the peace will be with lots of cops with lots of power over the lives of citizens.

I’m sure that will work out just fine.