HBD and Democracy

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The other day, the great HBD blogger Jayman posed a question on twitter. Can you have democracy and a universal acceptance of Human BioDiversity?

For those unfamiliar with the concept, Human BioDiversity is a catch-all term for the observed biological differences between groups of humans that are most likely tied to genetics. I say most likely because while modern biology assumes more than 90% of what we are is genetic, figuring out what is cultural from what is genetic is not always easy. Some biologist think the number is 99%, so there’s plenty of debate in the field.

The basic assumption of HBD is that like every other living thing on planet earth, humans evolved in response to the particular challenges they faced as a species. These challenges were environmental and cultural. It’s easy to forget that culture is part of our “environment” just like climate and topography. It’s also easy to forget it is still happening.

Humans living in the mountains adapted to mountain life. Their culture adapted too (to,two,too) and may have exaggerated certain traits that are well suited for mountain life. Even though we are just one people, arm in arm on this big blue marble we call earth, those differences remain baked into our genome.

At first blush, this may seem obvious. After all, the humans in sub-Saharan Africa are black, while the humans in Siberia are not black. The humans in the heart of Europe look nothing like the humans in Central America. There are plenty of red heads in Ireland, but you don’t see them naturally occurring in Indonesia. (yeah, I know)

It’s not just appearance. Something like 97 of the fastest 100 meter dash times are held by West Africans, while the long distance records are held by East Africans. There are no great black downhill skiers. Turn on an NBA game and it is obvious that a sport played best by men that are tall and jump high is dominated by Africans.

These differences are so plainly obvious, we are no longer allowed to talk about them in public, but they are undeniable. HBD simply observes that genetic traits are heritable. Tall parents have tall kids. Since cognitive traits are also genetic they must be heritable as well. That means they will show up in human groups, just like physical traits.

If you want something more than a short summary, Jayman has this great primer on his site. HBD Chick has a post explaining the basics of the topic.

That’s enough background. The question is, can a society embrace democracy when it also accepts that there are great variations in cognitive traits between population groups? The assumption I’m going to make is that Jayman means “democracy” in the modern sense of the word. That’s representative democracy or indirect democracy. Similarly, his idea of society is the modern, multi-ethnic, multi-racial variety we have in the West.

To answer the question, it’s important to know that humans evolved in small non-diverse groups. The sort of diversity we see today is an extreme outlier in human history. Up until the last century, when different human groups came into contact with one another, they tried like hell to exterminate each other.

That means there is a better than average chance that we are hard wired, in general, to resist diversity, as currently understood. Reproductive advantage goes to those who are most like the group and have traits most favored by the group. The result is we naturally are suspicious of strangers.

Put another way, it means humans are, to some degree, biologically inclined to distrust those outside their group. We know Africans, for example, evolved into small isolated villages as a survival strategy. Communicable diseases, which Africa has in spades, no pun intended, don’t spread easily across populations that are isolated. Distance and a high level of distrust of outsiders are a natural firebreak to disease.

The other side of this coin is democracy, which is not a universal form of human organization. The Arab world not only lacks it, but actively rejects it. We killed a million Arabs trying to impose democracy on Iraq and it lasted about week after we ended the occupation.

Asia had democracy imposed on it in places, but even in very modern countries like Japan, it is a very Japanese type of democracy, not western democracy. Even in Europe, participatory self-government is a novelty. It’s why they are sliding into a kakistocracy called the EU. The truth is, what we think of as western democracy is really Anglo-Saxon democracy.

The point here is western style democracy as we understand it is a very European-ish thing that evolved among peoples with a high degree of social trust within their ethnic groups. Even so, it was only within the last 100 years that universal suffrage became the norm. Countries like Spain and Portugal finally figured it out a few decades ago.

Where does that leave us?

If you accept that the observable differences between population groups are real and those differences are reflected in the organizational strategies, that means democracy will not work for all people. Arabs and Africans, for example, will never get the hang of it or even want to get he hang of it. This would explain why all attempts to impose it on them have failed.

If you take a bunch of Arabs, a bunch of Pakistanis, some Africans and settle them into England, the result is a sizable minority that is hostile to democracy, maybe even working to subvert it. If the rest of the population, even the Welsh, notice this and come to accept the HBD view of humanity, then democracy can’t last. No one would want it.

The blank slate crowd would argue that these differences are purely cultural and temporary. Since technocratic democracy and materialism are the future, these other groups will, in a couple of generations, get on the democracy bandwagon. This is the argument we hear in America with regards to importing the population of Mexico.

Fundamental to participatory democracy is the assumption that voters will vote their individual interests. The business man will vote for pro-business candidates, even if his kin think otherwise. The working man will vote for the pro-labor candidate for the same reasons. Once a large number of people start voting on tribal grounds, everyone else has to follow suit.

To quote Lee Kuan Yew, “In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.” Once that becomes apparent to the dominant group, they have no choice but to limit popular government and take measures to limit the the numbers of the other groups.

The bottom line here is that HBD is not necessarily hostile to democracy, but it is hostile to immigration, open borders and the whole universalist religion, of which democracy is a small part. The answer to Jayman’s query is that acceptance of HBD can preserve western liberalism, but only at the expense if egalitarianism, multiculturalism and anti-racism. It’s HBD or diversity, but not both.

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Alexandros HoMegas
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Alexandros HoMegas
5 months 17 days ago

All politics are identity politics

Buckaroo Banzai
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Buckaroo Banzai
5 months 16 days ago

This is precisely what Progressives have brainwashed Conservatives NOT to understand. “Identity politics for me, but not for thee.”

Severian
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5 months 17 days ago
I’m calling this a name I just made up this very second: “The Olaudah Equiano Dilemma.” For those of you who went to college pre-PC (or more recently, when college devolved into “tweet your way to a BA”), for a while there Intro Humanities classes always assigned The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Equiano was supposedly born in West Africa and enslaved at a young age. He learned all kinds of European skills from his masters, such that he was able to write his own autobiography, and become an eloquent antislavery spokesman. His book was published in… Read more »
Buckaroo Banzai
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Buckaroo Banzai
5 months 16 days ago
Equiano is an outlier; an exception. You don’t make the rules to accommodate the exceptions, unless your goal is system failure. And why, exactly, do there have to be “very ugly consequences”?; Assuming Equiano is that smart, he would understand that fitting in is job #1 when living in a foreign culture. If he wants to vote so badly, his other alternative would be to return to West Africa– where he could use his newfound enlightened European consciousness to educate his native countrymen on the benefits of democracy. Sounds hard? Oh, well. Life isn’t fair, and no one gives a… Read more »
Roy Lofquist
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Roy Lofquist
5 months 17 days ago
“It has been said by liberal intellectuals that the conservative believes all social questions, at heart, to be questions of private morality. Properly understood, this statement is quite true. A society in which men and women are governed by belief in an enduring moral order, by a strong sense of right and wrong, by personal convictions about justice and honor, will be a good society—whatever political machinery it may utilize; while a society in which men and women are morally adrift, ignorant of norms, and intent chiefly upon gratification of appetites, will be a bad society—no matter how many people… Read more »
Joseph K
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Joseph K
5 months 17 days ago

Nailed it.

johnny wendigo
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johnny wendigo
5 months 17 days ago
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Hbdchick Hbdchick is a “human biodiversity” blogger who attempts to give “scientific” racism credibility by presenting herself as an innocent bookworm fascinated with human variation. Like many other bigots who try to rebrand racialist and racist ideologies online through “human biodiversity” or “race realism” blogs and forums, Hbdchick describes herself as a geek who became an “HBDer” after reading books on “Eskimos and Indians, that sort of thing –……………. Hbdchick also links to other “HBD” sites including an assortment of neo-Nazis, racists, and internet kooks (e.g. “Racial Reality” the founder of Anthroscape, Bonesandbehaviours set up by a Holocaust denier, Chris… Read more »
Greg Gilbert
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Greg Gilbert
5 months 17 days ago

Never spent much time at “rationalwiki”. That site seems to be heavily political and biased. I would tell the site that a pseudoscience is science that doesn’t follow the scientific process and accepts beliefs as true based on faith which would go against what they are preaching. But it looks like people of faith control the site, so oh well 🙂

Greg Gilbert
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Greg Gilbert
5 months 17 days ago

correction: *pseudoscience is an ideology that doesn’t follow the scientific process”

james wilson
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james wilson
5 months 16 days ago

HBD chick is exactly as she describes herself, only better.
There is no racist so obsessed with race as is the anti-racist. That purity (and paucity) of thought has not been seen since the Nuremberg rallies.

johnny wendigo
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johnny wendigo
5 months 15 days ago
Oh, well, in zeropa, the Anti-fa are battling the so-called “Fascists”, PEGIDA, who have a lot of swastikas in the crowd…and all the Anti-fa sport the red star or the hammer and sickle… What both have in common is that they blame everything on JOO…and they also support Hamas and Fatah and Hezbollah… They get kicked out of their apartments to accommodate the muslims, but it is somewhat them joo’s fault… In France’s Front National extreme right, Marine Lepen is shacking up with a Jew and Marion Maréchal-Lepen’s real daddy was a Mossad agent…but they kicked out of the party… Read more »
james wilson
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james wilson
5 months 15 days ago

For two hundred years Joos have been at the leading edge of creation and destruction. Success in custom and politics draws on learned experience, which the creative and egotistical mind has little use for. The politic of Joo is a menace, from Bolshevik to neocon, but there are known to be many dozens of exceptions, and for this we are grateful.

UKer
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UKer
5 months 17 days ago
The values of history are manifold, but one of the important ones is to know where we come from and how we arrived at where we are. I often say that Christmas, for example, is a classic example of a religious position imposed on another culture: in northern Europe we had (and would still have, if it wasn’t for central heating and double-glazing) wretchedly cold winters which required people to hunker down as a form of hibernation. Other than making sure the sheep and cows — and further north, the elk — were safe enough for the duration there was… Read more »
Ganderson
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Ganderson
5 months 17 days ago

I just finished reading the last of Bernard Cornwell’s books about the Viking invasions of the 800’s. The Northmen were not invited, of course, but they eventually assimilated- after what, 75 years or so? And it was not a pleasant time to be alive in England. The Norse were, though, ethnically and culturally similar to the Saxons, so assimilation was at least possible. Perhaps in the next 100 years the barbarians that we in the west have INVITED will assimilate- but I doubt it.

UKer
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UKer
5 months 17 days ago
Cornwell is an excellent writer and his depiction of life in those dark ages is a pleasure to read, even if life wasn’t pleasurable back then. But will the new invaders integrate? I too doubt it; their belief system is a long, long way from ours and they are determined not to give an inch on their views. We have to change, not them, and institutions like the BBC are desperate for the muslims to succeed. Of course, the invaders have a problem: their young will eventually prefer the west (or what is left of it) and thus reject the… Read more »
Buckaroo Banzai
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Buckaroo Banzai
5 months 16 days ago

“Of course, the invaders have a problem: their young will eventually prefer the west (or what is left of it) and thus reject the views of their grandparents, etc. ”

Yeah, except you’re dead wrong. Islam is about as close as you can get to a pure ideology of conquest. Islam conquers foreign cultures, and assimilates THEM– not vice-versa. Fourteen hundred years of history is quite clear about this.

RobM
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RobM
5 months 16 days ago

Uker.. well written comment. Thanks.

UKer
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UKer
5 months 16 days ago

Thanks RobM. One does what one can, and I am just grateful for Zman to present this platform so well.

Greg Gilbert
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Greg Gilbert
5 months 17 days ago
I don’t think HBD will ever be universally accepted until designer babies makes us a bit like Gattaca. I think the key to democracy is smart people and the society recognizing and having empathy for the minority for every law they create. Minority meaning those the law disenfranchises in this case. I think intelligent people of all races can get along, but then there’s the problem we have now of many people that exist that don’t create a good civilization and/or don’t contribute to a well functioning democracy. I don’t think democracy is compatible to all people on our planet… Read more »
walt reed
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walt reed
5 months 17 days ago
Why immigration for advanced Western countries? It is pretty straight forward. Level or slightly raise the curve of fetus production. Business needs laborers at an affordable price. The problem is numbers. An individual or very small numbers of immigrants from the 7th century are obviously easier to handle, if not assimilate immediately. Hordes are a very difficult management problem. Either management needs to be upgraded or a higher grade of immigrant should be attracted to the shores of the pinnacles of Western civilization. I admit the management upgrade is a stretch. On a more personal level which also serves as… Read more »
Steve
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Steve
5 months 16 days ago

I think business wants consumers more so than labor

walt Reed
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walt Reed
5 months 16 days ago

Steve,with respect. Labor also consumes, but consumers don’t always labor.

JohnTyler
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JohnTyler
5 months 17 days ago

“……. Their culture adapted too (to,two,too) and may have exaggerated certain traits……”

Zman; let me help you out. The correct grammatical form is either “2” or “2.0” depending upon the degree of precision you wish convey .
Just thought I would provide some friendly advice on proper grammar !!!

Etcetera
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Etcetera
5 months 17 days ago
Everyone forgets what Aristotle said on the subject. He remarked that you don’t have to be a good chef to know that the soup tastes bad. He was not exactly a democrat, but wanted people to participate in public affairs to defend against what the government could do to them, not because they were inherently good people. There is an argument for limiting the franchise to taxpayers, but even then the government extracts sales tax from everyone and can throw everyone in jail. Despite having a constitution more in line with Aristotle’s recommendations, educated Americans keep thing of politics in… Read more »
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alzaebo
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alzaebo
5 months 16 days ago
Just so- we must change because they cannot. That’s why I appreciate the Z introducing us to HBD Chick. She makes a valid argument that our openness and civic morality have been selected for, and are now inheritable in much of our population. Others have not- to expect it of them is blindness, because it’s not in their nature. A counter example would be Muslim aggression. They have selected for aggression, reinforced by heavy inbreeding, for at least 70 generations (for over 300 if one reads the Old Testament as an archeological and political history- the Habiru refugees, preserving in… Read more »
alzaebo
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alzaebo
5 months 16 days ago
Dam, can’t edit- Good King Jesus wasn’t rejected because he was a bastard, as the Jews, though they have no queens, count lineage through the mothers- better put, he was a legitimate royal bastard, but the ruling class was getting rich under those Roman usurpers, the Herods. Mary was no commoner, but a nice of Joseph of Arimathea, and the eldest daughter of the 3rd richest family in the world, personal friends of Emperor Tiberius. Since the Jews do not have queens, her first male child would be the true and authentic King. The Romans were not kidding when they… Read more »
alzaebo
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alzaebo
5 months 16 days ago

Good grief- All religion began as politics- a man with an agenda convincing a crowd- but they are dust, now, and only the words remain. All of our stories are crushed by time. The detail is lost, but the gist remains.

alzaebo
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alzaebo
5 months 16 days ago
Yes, yes I know that the flight by the Hyksos governor Moses to the Israeli delta, enroute to his clan-by-marraige, the tribe of Yahweh’s volcano, where a following Egyptian army was flattened by the returning tidal wave (imagine turning around and seeing a wall of water 20 stories tall headed for you), came after Hammurabi and Abraham. Lord Ham, who gave the People a new life as mercenaries while he rebuilt from a 400 year dark age after the Fall of the Ehdeen, the Garden-land, was part of those old songs, as were the rejection of the old fertility religions… Read more »
alzaebo
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alzaebo
5 months 16 days ago

And heck yes it’s Sacred- it’s not only a political history, it’s the only one we have.
The clues about unimaginable natural disasters that shaped our unique history, the observations on fracturing and evolving cultures- they led German and Irish Catholics to uncover all the histories of the world. Everyone else lost their history. The Chinese burned theirs, the Egyptians erased theirs, and the Muslims burned everyone else’s.

Profound. Unique. No magic necessary.
As a political archeology, tis easy to understand- deeply relevant, because people haven’t changed (that much).

alzaebo
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alzaebo
5 months 16 days ago

Especially not the Dirt People.
They never invented so much as an alephbet.
We’ve changed; because of that alphabet.

RW with extension
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RW with extension
5 months 16 days ago
“Where does that leave us?” In the soup, I’d wager. Z, after reading many of your essays the question often resolves to this. I know you are not an organizer or advocate; you are an observer and analyst of what is going on outside the window. There are other bloggers out there (Severian, I’m looking at you, Buddy) who similarly lay out the facts in an unvarnished manner (The Brotherhood of We’re Screwed), and there is no prescriptive directive for the immediate future save calling a spade a spade, and not tolerating bullshit from any quarter. Reading your posts makes… Read more »
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Anon
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Anon
5 months 15 days ago
Interesting but misses the point. What matters isn’t why Muslims, Arabs, Africans function badly in Western society but the very fact that they do, and their functioning badly is harmful to the rest of the population. This HBD thing, instead of illuminating that importing a massive number of people from Afghanistan, Africa, Syria (etc) is unhinged, tries to explain that biologically, one would expect it to not work out well. It doesn’t advance the argument. I’m also of the strict opinion that Islam (and its all too natural offshoot – radical Islam) is an awful ideology, which was only capable… Read more »
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