Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Harmful, toxic equalism

The first full sentence of the Amazon book review of Nicholas Wade's forthcoming book:
Fewer ideas have been more toxic or harmful than the idea of the biological reality of race, and with it the idea that humans of different races are biologically different from one another.
One of those putatively few ideas that has been more toxic and harmful is the idea that there are no meaningful biological differences between different members of the human race. As Steve Sailer pointed out 15 years ago, Stalin and Mao killed tens of millions more people in the name of equality than Hitler did in the name of inequality.

While fatal consequences understandably garner the most attention, the toxicity and harmfulness of the ideology of equalism (or, as the silver fox calls it, equalist filth), which has enjoyed one-party rule for the better half of the last century, penetrates much more widely and deeply that mortality statistics alone are capable of capturing. Consider:

- The incalculable anguish felt by parents everywhere for the relative failures of some of their children in comparison to the relative successes of their other children. If it's not in the genes, it must be because we favored Hayden over Liam, or because we gave Sydney more opportunities than we gave Emma. Did we get tired or did we just get lazy?

The biological reality is that people, even full siblings, are genetically different from one another. As a parent, your most important duties are to make sure your children have the basic necessities of life (ie, food, shelter, a lack of excessive stressors, etc) provided for them, are exposed to positive peer groups, and, most importantly, to mate with best person you're able to mate with. The rest is pretty much beyond your control.

Thanks in large part to equalism, that's not the commonly held view, and it's certainly not the socially appropriate one to operate under. Early interventions, helicopter parenting, tiger mommying, all manner of behavioral modifications, No Child Left Behind--the toxic consequences of equalism are seemingly endless.

- The successful sexual escapades of some and the sexual frustrations of many others. There is so much more to romantic fulfillment than keeping a vigilant eye out for Mr. Right: High social status and low social status, physical frame and physical attractiveness, audacity and submissiveness, masculinity and femininity, wealth and parsimony, maturation and just barely post-pre-pubescence, firmness and softness, confidence and insecurity, toughness and tenderness, on and on and on. The formers are generally desirable in men and undesirable in women; vice-ver-sa for the latters. A person's sexual value is determined by all these characteristics and more, and, to varying degrees, they are all in turn determined by biology, both at the level of the individual and by sex. Chalking up every frustration and failure to him "not being the right one for you" isn't just harmless saccharine stuff; it's a recipe for forever forlorn fapping.

- Health and well-being are all about lifestyle choices. Setting aside the fact that the conventional wisdom is bad news for just about everybody, the entire exercise and nutrition industries exist atop very shaky foundations. As Jayman so concisely summarizes: It's "the bullshit machine in action".

- The 10,000 hour rule and its derivatives. Malcolm Gladwell has gotten rich off this notion, but the idea that a person is capable of doing anything he sets his mind to leaves a lot of people shooting for the stars when all they're flying a single-engine airplane. Instead of flying off happily into the sunset, they stall out before inevitably crashing and burning. Due to underlying biological realities, it actually doesn't take long to figure out whether or not you have a knack for something. If you don't get it on the first few tries, it's time to move on to something else. Don't waste time trying to be something that you're not.

- Educational romanticism. No, college is not for everyone. Optimistically, it might be beneficial for one-tenth of the US population. It's certainly not for half of the population, most of whom come out of their college experiences with loads of accumulated debt that can't be discharged, some of the most productive years of their lives squandered, unrealistically inflated expectations for their own futures, and no real world work experience to prepare them for life in the, well, real world.

- Messianic democracy and the attendant idea that people all over the world aspire to live in societies that Jonathan Haidt cleverly describes using the acronym WEIRD. Morality--largely an outgrowth of an underlying and biologically-based personality--varies widely across people and by extension across human populations. Inbreeding and outbreeding matter. They matter a lot. They matter a lot more, in fact, than access to "free and fair" elections do. Indeed, said free and fair elections, or the lack thereof, are determined by these underlying and biologically-based differences.

- Structural -isms. Saving the best for last, the ubiquitous working assumption that disparate impact indicates irrational discrimination is destructive beyond calculation. Biology explains why men dominate the upper echelons of technology, math, and the sciences. It explains disparities in incarceration rates, poverty rates, infant mortality rates, high school and college graduation rates, IQ differences, athleticism, income, affluence, etc. It explains all of these things much better than do any of the faux causes that equalism attributes them to, and acknowledging as much is the first step in ridding ourselves of all the nostrums equalism offers and the institutions, like the EEOC, that it builds up and maintains to enforce them.


Frau Katze said...

"- Messianic democracy and the attendant idea that people all over the world aspire to live in societies that Jonathan Haidt cleverly describes using the acronym WEIRD."

A crazy idea. It's true that most people seem to want the high standard of living, medical care, etc of the West but few of non-WEIRD countries are capable of making their own countries like the West (definite success in places like Japan, but that had only encouraged the "we're all heading for democracy" crowd.).

jeffreyok said...

There are many more examples that could be added to these. The point is there is no justification in ceding higher moral ground to those espousing egalitarianism as virtue and liberty as vice.

JayMan said...

Great post!

Of course, the problem is even worse than this. The "equalists" have no idea just how wrong they are. Check out my latest post.

Environmental Hereditarianism | JayMan's Blog

Feel free to mine it for good quotes. I'm sure you'll find many.

JayMan said...

Also wonderfully timed, this post by Steve Hsu discussing the lives of upper-middle class mothers:

Information Processing: How we live now

Audacious Epigone said...


Right. I might want the purchasing power of Bill Gates, but simply wanting it isn't enough. Even following Bill's advice won't get me there.

Heh, in fact, because his (official) advice has been so bad, that's actually a pretty clever analogy if I do say so myself.


There are lots of ways to lay out a two dimensional political landscape in the US. One of my favorites is to put equality on the left end and freedom on the right end. It works in a lot of contexts (and is a more attractive sell to younger cohorts than a lot of other approaches the mainstream right tends to take).


Well put, per usual. This line of reasoning really cannot be overemphasized.

Dan said...

Terrific post. Keep up the good work!

Equalism reaches one sorry pinnacle with so-called marriage "equality". No amount of public approval, court rulings or laws can achieve equality there. The ultimate denial of human biology!

India, a nation of 1.2 billion, in 2014 banned homosexuality outright, even as Indians in America are rabid equalists. The middle east, eastern Europe, east Asia, Africa, none of these places seem seriously infected with the equalist mind virus that has hit the West. Many of these places had the equalist mind virus with Communism and killed much of their populations, but they seem more immune this time around.

Dan said...

I think the Amazon review was good overall:

"Inconveniently, as Nicholas Wade argues in A Troublesome Inheritance, the consensus view cannot be right."

"Race is not a bright-line distinction; by definition it means that the more human populations are kept apart, the more they evolve their own distinct traits under the selective pressure known as Darwinian evolution."

"For many thousands of years, most human populations stayed where they were and grew distinct, not just in outward appearance but in deeper senses as well."

"his findings regarding the genetic basis of traits we associate with intelligence, such as literacy and numeracy, in certain ethnic populations, including the Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews."

"He also believes that science is best served by pursuing the truth without fear"

This is much better than the usual nonspecific avoidance responses such as "poorly researched", "shoddy science", "racist" and so on.

Audacious Epigone said...


Yes, definitely. We can nitpick it, but it is, overall, clearly a force for good.