Round-table Episode #1: Race Realism

Todd Lewis is joined by Keith Preston (anarchist), Sean Gabb (classical liberal) and Alex Fontana (altright) to discuss Race Realism.


  • Very interesting discussion. It seems we are of one mind on this issue and on the Alt-Right, generally.

    I had to laugh over your characterization of Evola as “windy”. That’s a very good way to put it. At one point I picked up a book by Evola expecting to find some good nuggets of insight there. I was very disappointed. Where it wasn’t empty and nonsensical, it was highly troubling from a libertarian perspective, to say the least.

    As far as Bentham, I would have to say that generally speaking, I’m one of those people that doesn’t necessarily like the implications of his utilitarianism. However, I suppose if you interpret his views through an Epicurean filter, and I suspect this is true in your case, then the implications of Bentham’s morality test suddenly become far less worrisome.

  • Pingback: Round-table Episode #1: Race Realism | The Libertarian Alliance Blog | rudolfblog

  • Oh dear. Sean was trying to put a more realistic view. The other three were remarkably faithful regurgitators of state ideology. Maybe the supposedly altright and anarchist contributors can explain why Mongol children can’t do calculus if there is no biological basis to IQ. That nonsense about Russia being among the most developed countries in the world and China doing much worse than them was dreadful. The IQ of Nations study by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen argued that where poorer nations like China have high iQs it is largely down to Communism or other poor social structures, and with reforms they would flourish… is being played out before our very eyes. American commentators in particular hug the PC consensus… maybe they deserve their near-term future as a minority?

    • While the alt-right commentator didn’t give the view I expected to hear, there is a wide diversity of opinion amongst alt-righters. It really isn’t a single, coherent ideology. It’s more of a blanket term for everyone who considers themselves to be on the right wing of the political spectrum yet feels their values and viewpoints are entirely unrepresented by the establishment right political parties and associated media. So I wouldn’t go so far as to allude to this speaker not being part of the genuine alt-right, but from what I have observed I suspect his views on this issue represent a minority opinion.

      Also, while I’m sure IQ is an important factor in contributing to a society’s material and cultural success, I don’t think there is sufficient data at present that would indicate that it plays as great a role as many in the alt-right contend. Culture, on the other hand, seems to play a very large role.

      If we look at our own history, for example, we can see that in pre-Christian Classical civilization, while the philosophers of Greece were certainly exceedingly intelligent, they seem to have been culturally adverse to the idea of putting their scientific discoveries to practical, productive use in many cases. Had they done so, they might have reached a far greater level of material development than they had.

      Similarly, one of the regions in Russia where I spent some time living was quite superstitious and prone to mystical thinking. This effects a person’s ability to arrive at truths in empirical lines of inquiry because empiricism relies on the concept of constantly operating causes to be taken as a given. If a person believes that the world is not orderly, but is random or at least prone to unexplained and unpredictable forces that can change the normal course of events on a frequent basis, how likely is he to be an effective scientist? How likely is he to understand how a complex economy can possibly work without the intervention of government?

      Similar cultural factors could easily explain why, to use your example, Mongol children don’t perform well in Calculus. At the moment, with the data being what it is, it seems to me that culture still carries more explanatory value in regards to societal outcomes than does race and IQ, though I’ve no doubt they do play a part.

  • Tormod, at the mean, what fraction of behaviours common to any given people would you expect to be sociobiological? What fraction of cultural mores and traditions would you expect to express same?

    • No idea. That’s my point.

      • Well, culturism is a liberal essential in consequence of the Lockean tabula rasa. But Locke was, of course, completely wrong. If we are going to discuss cultural origination of human capacities and behavioural patterns, we must have some idea, at least, where Nature stops.

        In other words, Sean’s interview has the enquiry the wrong way round. Nature is certain and we are her creatures. The question is: to what extent does our cultural environment initiate common characteristics of our kind, free and clear of any naturally arising endowment.

        Back in 1910 the fraud Franz Boas, the Jewish academic activist and father of cultural anthropology, presented a study of 17,000 Negro skulls, so he said, which proved that everything above the neck, literally everything, is created from culture. It took til 2002 (I think) for someone to revisit his evidence and discover that he was lying.

        The onus i o the culturists to prove that culture has agency, and the range of it.

  • Keith Preston sets up an absurd straw man and proceeds to smugly destroy it. Hey guys, this simplistic and overly deterministic model which no one but me has ever proposed is probably a bit simplistic and deterministic, yeah? IQ is elastic, guys. That’s why after 100 years of testing we see the same boring results over and over and over again. Maybe Keith thinks there’s a conspiracy afoot to declare the Japanese or the Jews masters of mentally rotating 3-D objects? Who is running this scam exactly? Wicked Social Darwinists, perhaps.

    For some reason, Mother Nature decided that the Eskimos and the Australian Aborigines and the Finns and the Ethiopians should all be equally capable of calculus. Why the f**k one should expect such a thing is beyond me, but she’s a famous egalitarian, isn’t she?

    The moment scientists discover the means to increase a population’s IQ, the race creationists will be off to Africa pumping it into the water supply. “Well we knew all along, but it was racist to say so. We’re still the good people and you’re still the scum.”

  • [quote]”Our common humanity”[unquote]

    This is a quintessential bourgeois sentiment (for its time), spoken by somebody who is keen not to offend anybody or get into trouble. Though I can’t say I blame him.

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