Sunday, December 18, 2011
The self-esteem industry Nathaniel Branden helped launch fosters unrealistic assessments of self and others.
Branden wants people to believe that reading his books is key to attaining this thing called self-esteem. It's just a byproduct of one's own nature, circumstances, and choices.
I'd rather read a book called The Psychology of Accepting Reality. Anything inconsistent with reality and the concepts derived from it through reason is invalid philosophically and unnecessary psychologically.
The responses race equalitarians give when their views on race are challenged are plainly indicative of their emotionalist and idealist psychology. If positive claim X about race makes them feel uncomfortable or conflicts with their ideal of all races being innately equal, then positive claim X is transmuted into a normative claim in their minds so that the claim and the individual making it can be denounced via a moral rationalization that is irrelevant to the claim's objective truth or falsehood.
Psychological identity is another component of the package deal that comprises "racism" as the term is commonly used and abused. My views on race are an application of my own independent thinking on the subject. That's not the case for most people who espouse race equalitarianism, which is unfounded scientifically but reinforced socially and accorded the status of a pseudo-truth, not as a consequence of factual correctness but of political correctness. The person who succumbs to group-think in believing, without evidence, in innate equality because it feels good, is of a similar mindset as a person succumbs to group-think in believing, without evidence, in the superiority of his race because it feels good. I advocate objectivity.
Obviously, any pseudo-Objectivist would advocate in words more than foundationless feel-good emotionalism. Penn & Teller claim Branden inspired the failed "self-esteem industry" at schools. etc. I have no first-hand knowledge of the extent to which he did or approved of it. I claim he overemphasizes self-esteem and overestimates himself.
Branden planted some seeds for the institutionalized emphasis on self-esteem. How much blame he deserves for how self-esteem has been wrongly promoted to artificially inflate egos and self-importance, I do not know. At least some blame, I suspect.
HEATHER MAC DONALD
Less Academics, More Narcissism
The University of California is cutting back on many things, but not useless diversity programs.
Are Educators Showing a “Positive Bias“ to Minority Students – and Keeping Them from Doing Their Best?
Are Some Teachers Hurting Students With Too Much Praise?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Ayn Rand repudiated collectivism in all forms, but she reserved her most strident and sweeping condemnation for what she regarded as collectivism applied to racial identity. She wrote, “Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage…”
This oft-quoted passage from The Virtue of Selfishness is, of course, intended to be an affirmation of individualism. But, as I shall argue forthwith, Rand’s overly broad conception of racism affirms premises of political correctness that stifle independent thinking.
According to Rand, asserting that race carries moral or social (which subsumes political) significance constitutes racism. A Black Panther who advocates killing white babies is surely, then, a racist, insofar as he regards whites as morally less deserving of a right to life than blacks.
But a racist in Rand’s lexicon, as in the Orwellian lexicon of political correctness, can also be anyone who studies racial variation honestly and in full context, taking into account aspects of it that are socially significant. An evolutionary biologist who offers an explanation for the disproportionate success of sub-Saharan Africans in sprinting, based on their longer limbs and higher centers of gravity as compared to other races, risks facing the same charge as a militant Black Panther: racist. (Though for political correctness’ most militant adherents, only the scientist would be considered racist. Blacks, they say, can’t be racist, and ethnocentric blacks are automatically deemed civil rights activists.)
Racial variation in athletic ability arguably doesn’t – or shouldn’t – carry much social significance. But racial variation in intelligence – the very attribute that distinguishes the human species from all others and makes wealthy, free societies possible – surely is socially significant. A geneticist who seeks to identify markers for East Asian aptitude in mathematics, or for Europeans’ higher scores on tests of verbal ability as compared to Africans, will be branded a racist regardless of whether the findings are objectively true.
The geneticist will be condemned not for ascribing moral superiority to any one race over another, but simply for making an assertion of fact pertaining to the distribution of genes that code for intelligence. The only way a geneticist or an evolutionary biologist can be sure to avoid being the target of a “racist” epithet coming from the politically correct thought police or a strict adherent of Rand’s definition of racism is to profess a belief that cognitive capacity is distributed roughly equally among all branches of the human species, in spite of:
- the fact that biogeographical branches, or races, of humanity possess characteristic, measurably distinguishable skull morphologies that affect brain size and structure;
- the impossibly low probability in evolutionary theory that cognitive adaptations would be exempt from the same adaptive processes that formed variations in physical traits;
- the consistency and persistency of racial IQ orderings around the world that no real-world combination of cultural, political, and economic influences has proven capable of reordering.
It’s not that the weight of the evidence augers against the premise that all races are equally equipped cognitively. It’s that there is no evidence to weigh in consideration of the equalitarian hypothesis even being plausible. Equalitarianism is pure idealism.
There isn’t a single nation, a single city, a single school district anywhere in the world where black students perform at or above white and Oriental students on average. Yes, some individual blacks do excel academically. Cognitive capacity, as with height, nose width, vocal strength, and other phenotypes, is distributed in a range that approximately takes the shape of a bell curve for both blacks and whites, respectively. The bell curves for blacks and whites overlap, so there is a fair chance that a random black person would be more intelligent than a white person selected at random. But there is virtually no chance that a large population of blacks would be endowed with mental hardware that functions on par with a large population of whites.
The average IQ score of blacks in the U.S. is slightly more than one full standard deviation lower than the average for whites. The IQ gap has held steady for as long as it has been measured – even going back to the days of segregated schools – increasing modestly in some years and decreasing modestly in others. Averages matter because they have long-term predictive power. If a black population were to completely replace a white population in a geographic area (as has nearly occurred in Detroit, for example, which went from 90% white to 90% black in the latter half of the twentieth century), the social consequences would necessarily be significant.
They would be as predictable as the consequences of lowering that population’s average IQ by one full standard deviation: more poverty, more crime, more corruption, more dysfunction, and less freedom for generations to come. From Detroit, to Rio de Janeiro, to London, every non-African city on Earth that has attempted to integrate African populations has experienced varying degrees of these very predictable consequences.
Under the regime of political correctness, welcoming more African diversity is deemed to be a moral virtue. But proffering an accurate prediction of the effects of African diversity is verboten.
Given that the United Nations projects the population of Africa will triple in this century, growing by 2.6 billion people while the developed world shrinks, citizens in countries that will be subject to massively increasing immigration pressures from Africa should know what to expect.
The equalitarian idealists expect what they’ve been expecting for decades: that which never has been and never will be. Ever since the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the idea of achieving substantive racial equality has trumped recognition of racial realities.
Leading up to the Brown decision, the neologism “racism” popped into popular discourse. The invention of the term coincides with the rise of political correctness, which renders the pursuit of truth inseparable from and subservient to ideological imperatives.
A racist in popular parlance is anyone who says anything about race that is socially unacceptable. What makes one a racist is vague, subjective, ever-changing, and ultimately ungraspable. The arbitrariness of the term means anyone can hurl an accusation of racism against anyone on virtually any grounds.
If the term ever functioned as a valid concept, Rand failed to articulate it. Instead, she conceived of racism as being anything that ties race to moral or social significance. This amounts to a mis-integrated package deal.
The reason why is illustrated by the ideas of Thomas Jefferson. The man who penned, “All men are created equal” didn’t intend to imply what modern-day egalitarians believe: that nature endowed all races with equal attributes. To the contrary, Jefferson believed that blacks were “in reason much inferior” to whites. But he regarded blacks as the equals of whites morally, as far as their basic rights as human beings were concerned.
Jefferson would have found the attempt to lump into a single concept a principle establishing moral equality with one prescribing innate equality in intelligence to be strange and unenlightened. Observations of human attributes are either accurate or inaccurate, irrespective of any notions of morality. As Jefferson urged, “Follow truth wherever it may lead.”
Does age have social significance? Does gender? One’s being eight years old versus eighteen carries social significance in terms of one’s suitability to obtain employment, to serve on a jury, to engage in sexual relations, etc. An eighteen year-old will be treated differently in social situations than an eight year-old, but not because being eighteen makes one morally superior. Similarly, being male or female carries social significance not because one gender is superior to another, but because there are important physiological differences between the two. Does recognition of such differences make one a sexist? Does recognition of age differences make one an ageist? Or does recognition of objective age, sex, and race differences make one a realist?
A conclusion that racial disparities in intelligence are explainable by racial genetics is not a normative assertion. It either corresponds with reality, or it doesn’t. Either the adaptive process over hundreds of thousands of years created unique physiological variations within geographically isolated branches of the human species that extend to their respective brain development, or it didn’t.
The truth can’t be deduced from moral proscriptions against racism, however one wishes to define it. The truth about race is that which corresponds to the reality of race. Efforts to demonize discussions of the social significance of racial lineage are tantamount to efforts from religionists of centuries gone by to prevent astronomers from informing the masses that Earth isn’t the center of the universe.
Those who hurl the charge of “racist” against those who merely identify biological origins and properties of human races are, in effect, declaring that they regard nature itself as racist. They take their idea of racial equalitarianism as a metaphysical starting point and condemn those whose grounding is in a reality that doesn’t conform to idealistic impositions.
Metaphysical realism is the foundation of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. Rand made a number of normative assertions that Objectivists widely regard as non-essential to her philosophy. For example, she infamously remarked that it would be improper for a female to run for President of the United States. She also held that homosexuality was disgusting and immoral. Rand’s moral proscriptions on female political ambitions and particular sexual expressions can be rejected as being at odds with more fundamental principles she espoused and with what science now tells us.
We know, for example, that homosexuality is innate to some people’s genetic makeup. They cannot be judged morally for the sexual orientation that nature gave them.
We also know that racial differences that are more than skin deep inevitably do manifest in ways that are socially significant. Black sub-Saharan Africans aren’t immoral for carrying genes that code for relatively low general intelligence; nor are people who identify this fact of reality. Blacks aren’t heroic for carrying genes that give them superior running speed; nor are those who substitute an idea of innate racial equality for the racial variation that is metaphysically given.
Just as Ayn Rand was mistaken to morally impugn homosexuals, she was mistaken to apply a term of condemnation to those who seek the truth, wherever it leads, about the nature and social implications of racial variation. In attempting to package two disparate standards by which racism could be identified – ascription of moral or social significance – into a single concept, Rand created an anti-concept. Without an objective criterion for differentiating a racist from a non-racist, “racist” has no clear meaning other than that of a vacuous insult, which is what the term as it's popularly used, overused, and abused to no end today, functions as.
It’s time for serious advocates of reason and liberty to ditch the anti-conceptual epithets, ditch the unfounded idealism, and pitch any remaining vestiges of political correctness into the ash heap of their personal intellectual history. For too long, too many within and without Objectivist and libertarian circles have felt bound by ideology to evade the realities of race. Evasion, as Rand herself might well have put it, is the lowest, most primitive form of irrationality.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Do males exhibit more aggression than females because male behavior is cultural or innate? The options aren't mutually exclusive. What about teenagers? Are they impulsive and rebellious because of culture or something inherent in being a teenager? The law (rightly) presumes that 18-year old men can choose not to engage in crime just as absolutely as 40-year old women can. But that doesn't entail any belief that the crime rates in those groups will ever be equal. Choice is exercised within an individual's own context, and that context includes innate and environmental inputs.
Blacks everywhere, from South Africa to Britain to Brazil to the U.S., exhibit high rates of violent crime relative to other races in those same countries. Different cultures around the world don't seem to produce different results -- at least not different enough to make racial crime disparities go away.
But the strongest evidence for black crime being partly explainable by genetics are actual physiological characteristics associated with blacks. They include differences in skull shape and size which correspond to differences in brain structure, which help explain why blacks have an average IQ of about 80, compared to 100 for whites and 105 for East Asians. (Black IQs are closer to 70 in most sub-Saharan African countries, where negroid genetics are purer than in blacks in the U.S., who average around 25% white/other admixture.) Lower IQ is correlated with less rational, more impulsive behavior. Also, blacks tend to have higher testosterone levels, which correlates positively with aggressiveness.
Variation exists in the distribution of the hormones, brain size and shape, and other factors that correlate with statistical variation in crime rates among races. As Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute reports: "The face of violent crime in New York, in other words, like in every other large American city, is almost exclusively black and brown... Blacks committed 80 percent of all shootings in the first half of 2009. Together, blacks and Hispanics committed 98 percent of all shootings. Blacks committed nearly 70 percent of all robberies. Whites, by contrast, committed 5 percent of all violent crimes in the first half of 2009."
The premise of innate racial differences predicts the persistency and consistency of racial crime disparities across time, culture, politics, geography. The premise of innate racial equality has zero predictive value and no scientific basis. It is a pre-Darwinian notion that supposes human traits appeared suddenly from some source other than the adaptive process which gave different human populations in different parts of the world different traits, some of which pertain to cognitive abilities and behavioral tendencies. Variation in the distribution of hormones, brain size and shape, and other factors correlate with observable variation in crime rates among races and help explain incorrigibly high rates of black crime in particular.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Collective judgments in immigration policy are also necessary, but they are far more benign than war judgments. I don't advocate war on any Muslim countries at this time, but I do advocate restricting the flow of immigration from Muslim countries into secular countries. A nation has a legitimate interest in conducting risk assessments on sources of immigration. Nationality is a useful indicator. Race is also a useful indicator. Those nations and those populations that tend to bring terrorism, gang rape, property crime, disease, or other threats to a country ought to be given less consideration than those that tend to be healthy, peaceful, and productive.
The introduction of Somalis tends to bring down a nation's standard of living. Japanese tend to lift it up. Call this observation "racist" if you want, but the alternatives to "racism" are either: a) willful ignorance (evasion) of the very predictable adverse effects Africans and their offspring will have on a society; or b) an acceptance of moral altruism in service of the desires of any and all foreigners no matter what the costs. U.S. immigration policy is overtly altruistic, most blatantly so in the form of its refugee resettlement program specifically for Somali Muslims on the basis not of their value, but of their troubles.
At the time Ayn Rand came to the U.S., it was the nation's policy (and had been since its inception) to favor immigration from white European countries. The U.S. (and much of Europe for the matter) is too firmly in the suicidal grip of altruism to assert any such policy of unashamed self-interest today. Sweden of all places is being introduced to rampant urban hooliganism and to such horrors as assault rape (the perpetrators of which are almost exclusively non-European) courtesy of third world immigration that the Swedes feel a moral duty to accept under the reigning ideology of political correctness.
Perhaps Japan won't succumb to this evil ideology. I have been to Japan, and the thought of it being flooded with Africans frankly horrifies me. Take a good look at what happened to Detroit after it went from 90% white to 90% black. In spite of Japan's economic woes over the past two decades, there are no Detroits anywhere in Japan, no race riots, no violent flash mobs of the sort that now plague Sweden, France, Britain, Canada, and the U.S., whose African populations are on the rise.
So in sum, sweeping statements about race are very useful in judging foreign populations from the standpoint of immigration policy and in predicting the effects of immigration on nations based on the populations from which they draw.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Common observable phenotypes among populations are explained by genetics, not society. But the concept of race has meaning because of the observable manifestations of genetic variations, not the percentage of genetic dissimilarity. Aren't humans 98% chimpanzee genetically? You could break down a human being to all his chemical components that might exist in a laboratory, but those chemicals wouldn't constitute a human, wouldn't distinguish a human conceptually from other existents. The chemistry of humans underlies but does not define humans.
The essence of race is phenotypical variation, not the genotypical variation that underlies it. Phenotypes per se logically can't be sociological. If you are going to call common observable phenotypes among populations such as skin color "social constructions," even though it is possible to observe them outside of a social context because they exist biologically, then you have rendered the term "social construct" meaningless insofar as all concepts would be "social constructs," including the universe itself.
So to be consistent, if I were an astronomer attempting to describe Uranus, you would have to try to undermine the information I'm giving you by telling me that Uranus and all planets are just social constructs. There is some disagreement among astronomers on whether Pluto qualifies as a planet, but there is no disagreement on whether "planet" is a valid concept that describes actual objects in space and differentiates them from other objects, such as comets and stars.
Concepts that reference existents can't be referring to things that are socially constructed. Social constructs could only refer to such things as laws, mores, customs, etc. -- things that don't actually exist in reality, only as concepts derived from social interactions. Anti-discrimination laws are social constructs, but in order for any laws against racial discrimination to be enforceable, races must be presumed to exist. Otherwise, one accused of discrimination could prove his innocence by demonstrating that: He couldn't have possibly discriminated based on race since races don't exist; and social constructs don't have any legal rights or standing to claim discrimination anyway (no "black person" or "white person" who might claim discrimination actually exists except as a social construct, he could argue).
Do you see why the distinction between purely social concepts and actual existents in reality is useful? It's a distinction the Orwellian abusers of language want to obliterate in the name of prescribing an egalitarianism for the human species that nature failed to produce.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Among those who profess the anarchist strain of Austrian economic thought, structural Marxism is implicit, is not inherent, in their conception of government. They anthropormorphize the abstract concept of government and attribute to government desires and motives that couldn’t actually exist apart from the individuals who make it up.
One cannot understand a particular state simply by referring to one’s own abstract definition of a state and deducing its characteristics. A state could be China or it could be Sealand. A politician could be Robert Mugabe or Ron Paul. Ideas matter. A lot of things matter.
But anarchists have no need for context. They want to smash the state – not particular states for particular reasons, but their reified concept of the state. For anarchists, particular countries or politicians or cultures or populations need not be considered. All they have to do is deduce from their definition of the state. They deduce that it is necessarily preferable for Somalia to be stateless – preferable not merely in comparison to a socialist dictatorship, but preferable in comparison to any conceivable state, including colonial states that have a better track record of producing freedom, prosperity, and order in Africa than does anarchy.
With regard to statelessness in brutish Somalia, Mises Institute scholar Robert P. Murphy writes that "however prosperous and law-abiding a society is, adding an institution of organized violence and theft [his definition of government] will only make things worse." How does he know? Because of his definition of government!
Ludwig Von mises said that economics was “the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything.” This all-encompassing conception of economics is, I think, the source of some of the dogmatism the Austrian school emanates. The idea that everything, including morality and politics, is subsumed by economics conflates economics with philosophy. Of course, values often aren’t expressed in economic terms, but in religious terms or in terms of a secular morality that may eschew the assumptions economist make about individuals being rational, utility-seeking actors.
And politics, or law, doesn’t arise through economic transactions. Law represents coercion or the threat thereof. Law is necessary to some extent to secure property rights, which in turn are a prerequisite for a free-market economy through which individuals’ preferences can manifest peacefully. Anarcho-Austrians disregard this context.
If eliminating all government, as some Austrians prescribe, could be demonstrated to be the most expeditious way of actualizing my political values in a particular country given the totality of the circumstances, then I would support anarchism – but then, only in the particular context so identified, and only as a strategy, as a mechanism for achieving what I value. I value liberty and I value its consequences. That is my ideology. I would never describe my ideology as narrowly as being anti-state, even if for strategic reasons I favored the elimination of a particular state.
Being against states or against statism doesn’t automatically make one a proponent of liberty in the same way that being against religion doesn’t automatically make one a proponent of reason.
An advocate of liberty defines the liberties he values, then seeks a means of implementing them in context. An anarchist takes the obliteration of the state as an absolute principle and leaves liberties undefined and up for grabs in what he terms a market for law.
The basic principles of liberty – which include freedom of speech and association, private property rights, etc. – are based on abstractions from human nature. Human nature does not change meaningfully from one generation to the next. So it gives us a solid foundation for making moral political claims, which is to say defining individual rights.
Implementing the morality of liberty requires taking into account context. One cannot deduce from morality or human nature or definitions or economic theory what type of political system is best suited for a particular society. To attempt to arrive at mechanisms for producing laws through simple deduction would be a dogmatic approach. Dogmatism is characteristic of all strains of structural Marxism, which substitutes a priori political and economic premises for inductive analysis of human beings and human societies.
There are contexts in which constitutional republics are relatively effective in securing liberty and contexts in which non-democratic structures are better equipped to protect property rights against an aggressive majority. There’s no one single answer for every country, every culture, every population in the world. Anarchists suppose there is. Their answer, their only answer, is to smash the state.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Among the consequences is the Somalification of Western countries. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled stateless Somalia to escape persecution, largely at the hands of Islamist warlords. Stateless Somalia is such a hellhole for a great many Somalis that they are fleeing to other hellholes within Africa, including neighboring Ethiopia. How desperate do you have to be to dream of a better life as an Ethiopian?
Somali asylum seekers are ending up in Britain, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and the United States by the thousands. Parts of Maine, Tennessee, and Minnesota have been Somalified. Minneapolis now has an area of town known as "Little Mogadishu."
What does it mean to get Somalified? It means being subjected to the characteristics of Somalis. They tend to have low IQs, few if any valuable skills, and often little ability to even communicate in the language of the country that takes them in. They bring culturally hostile, anti-Western worldviews, whose foundations are typically Islamic. Somali Muslims exhibit high rates of welfare dependency and high rates of crime. And it’s not just petty crime. Somali gangs are known to specialize in crimes of a sexual nature, including gang rapes and the trafficking of underage girls who have been forced into prostitution.
I would wish Somalification upon only a nation that I hated passionately. But I don’t hate and could never hate any country passionately enough to wish upon its future generations, its completely innocent babies and its yet unborn, an inheritance of the genes of Somalia.
Who could possibly be for the Somalification of the West? Only its bitterest enemeies. They include avowed enemies such as Muslims and cultural Marxists. They also include unwitting enemies such as open-borders libertarians and anarchists who cheer the Somalis for being ungovernable and support the very conditions from which many Somalis find it necessary to flee. Anarchists would presumably like to see the entire continent of Africa thrown into anarchy and the entire Western world. Africans would scatter across the globe like fire ants whose nests have been destroyed. Those may not be the consequences anarchists desire in their minds, but those are the consequences of anarchy in reality.
Now it is true that regardless of the conditions that exist outside a particular country, it is that country’s responsibility to set its own immigration policy. Western countries allow and even provide financial inducement for Somalification, at least to some extent. Many of the refugees fleeing Africa for Europe are gaining access illegally.
But the sad, inescapable truth is that Western nations have been afflicted with a suicidal ideology. It is rooted in the age-old mind-body dichotomy. Westerners have convinced themselves that nations are mere ideas, that it doesn’t matter who physically populates a country. Muslims understand the demographics is destiny. Through migration and through disproportionately high rates of fertility, Muslims are slowly fulfilling the mission given to them by the Koran: to grant Allah victory through conquest.
It is a conquest that is largely being granted to them without a fight. The West is committing suicide. When you’re dealing with a friend who is suicidal, you don’t give him access to the poison he implicitly craves. You don’t send Somalia or Libya or any other country in Africa into anarchy knowing that a mass exodus will land on Europe’s shores and that Europe will not have the willpower to resist the demographic poison presented to it.
Some libertarians, especially those in Europe, are waking up to the existential threat posed by immigration. Nobody in Europe believes that efforts at integration have been successful. Even establishment multiculturalists such as German chancellor Angela Merkel now publicly acknowledge that multiculturalism has failed. Libertarians can join the left in the deluded belief that more efforts aimed at promoting integration will lead people who hold anti-Western values to change. Or libertarians can get real and realize that what’s happening to their countries is tantamount to an invasion, which is something any true champion of freedom would be obliged to oppose.
Unfortunately, most libertarians are stuck in a 20th century mindset. Then, the sole major threat to freedom and prosperity was statism. That paradigm would still be operative if I were a North Korean. But if I am a Norwegian, being against statism is not sufficient to extricate my country from the unfree fate to which it is likely doomed by the continuation of current demographic trends. A Norway increasingly awash in the ideology of Islam and in the genetics of Africa is a Norway that increasingly ceases to be.
It is not the privatization of roads in Norway that will save its people from the bleak future predicted by demographics. Minarchist ideals require for their implementation a citizenry that values them.
Policies that aren’t ideal are sometimes necessary. War is never ideal, but circumstances sometimes dictate that a war must be waged. Right now the survival of the Norweigian people is at stake. The good news is that no blood needs to be spilled in order to win the battle for survival. If the nations of West employed the same resolve they exhibited with regard to overthrowing Saddam Hussein toward the objective of fostering sustainable demographics – increasing their birth rates and restricting the flow of immigration (and reversing it if feasible) – the West could be saved for future generations.
Anarchy will not save the west. There are anarchists who claim otherwise. Some hypothesize that private legal agencies would perform border security. But most who subscribe to the notion of market anarchism believe that any given individual’s acre of oceanfront property would absolutely be his to use, if he so desires, as a conduit for boatloads of hundreds of foreign migrants every day. They may be hostile. They may be infected with contagious diseases. All they’d need is the ability to access a single mode of transportation, and they could wreak havoc upon the country.
Yes, I know there are alternative ways in which such a situation could be handled in a nation without a state. I’m not interested in “could be’s.” Anything “could be.” Ron Paul could get elected president. I could win the lottery. To express views about what anarchy could be apart from what it is and has been – and it’s never been libertarian in nature – is to express one’s subjective intentions. One anarchist’s desire for open immigration vs. another’s for immigration controls is a debate that takes place entirely in the subjective realm. There is nothing inherent in the concept of anarchy and nothing evidenced by its limited real-world manifestations that make either view objectivity credible.
What immigration would be like in reality under statelessness would probably abhor both types of anarchists. I suspect migration would be neither open nor controlled. Migrants likely would get into a stateless society with relative ease. Some would come as predators. Some would come to work and would risk vigilantism at the hands of anti-immigrant mobs. If I speculated much further than this, I too would be entering the realm of the subjective.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
I wonder if by “racism” you mean the Afrocentrism that is inculcated into black students by schools, textbooks, and popular culture. It shouldn’t be surprising that blacks who are taught to play the role of victim and to have an entitlement mentality tend to have bad attitudes about working hard and taking personal responsibility.
Since there is immense social pressure on blacks to be ethnocentric, those blacks who focus on math, science, literature or other “white” subjects are often marginalized. Ending Black History Month, abolishing African-American Studies programs, and encouraging blacks to study and master real subjects just as whites are would help end the racism that you believe is hampering black academic achievement, wouldn’t it?
You didn’t include any data about Asians. Does racism have anything to do with the fact that Oriental minority students tend to score even higher than whites? I doubt it. The notion of racism holding back Hispanic students is even less likely, since Hispanic isn’t even a race per se (a Hispanic can be partly, mostly, or completely white, brown, or black).
As for poverty, I’d want to see how blacks from poor families compare with blacks from middle-upper income families, how poor blacks compare with poor whites, etc. before concluding as you do that socioeconomic status is the primary determinant of academic performance. Presumably, you have examined such comparisons that isolate poverty as a factor but just didn’t have room to present your findings in your article.
I’m most curious as to how you were able to rule out innate ability as even being one among the many factors that explain why test scores diverge consistently along the same racial lines. Have you found proof that average mental capacity is 100% identical physiologically among all races of the world? Such that not even a fraction of the percentage of black underperformance, for example, could possibly be a natural outcome that is not anyone’s fault and that cannot be changed through cultural, social, philosophical, or political means?