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.