Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Ex Confusione Semper Aliquid Novi. — The confounding of accident with essence is a fertile soil for ideas, or, to put it another way, a breeding ground for idiocies.
Downward-Bound. — Through the name alone you’d expect freethought to meander off in all directions, had it not shown a firm propensity to head straight for the sewer.
A Doomsday Convenience. — A good conscience is only a good feeling won through performing deeds in keeping with one’s grasp of morality. Thus too often a cheap victory, or a deplorable one, when that grasp is weak, or when the hand is elsewhere, strong in shaping another object: a self-serving fake of morality. Conscience as arbiter of goodness was an evil invention. Of all the countless inventions of the modern world, this may be its most fateful, and one of its most convenient.

The Five Hypostases of Anti-Racism

H1. Race does not exist.
H2. Race exists, but it does not matter.
H3. It matters, but not a lot.
H4. It matters a lot, but I don’t care.
H5. I care, but I’m still not a racist.

All the hypostases are to be taken on the understanding of race as a biological category. H1 is an insanity that constitutes the highest and most sublime hypostasis of anti-racism, avoiding socially risky or uncomfortable sanity. The insanity of H2 avoids both the higher insanity of H1 and the riskier concessions of H3-H5, and may also appeal by sounding a little edgy to the jelly-witted and the cowardly. For these reasons, it is common. With H2-H4, each coming at increasing risk, one may acknowledge immediately obvious reality, scientific findings, etc, thus to pay lip-service to rational obligation or to salve rational conscience, whilst eschewing any further thought on the matter. (H4 is relatively uncommon.) H5 is the socially riskiest and least sublime form of anti-racism. It is unstable, and is likely either to sublimate into another hypostasis, thus to prove adherence to anti-racism, or else to spill over into racism. From the standpoint of a higher hypostasis, all lower hypostases belong more or less to racism. A degree of risk-mitigation is provided throughout by giving ostentatious praise to other races even whilst denying their existence or significance. Naturally denying the existence, the significance, or the personal importance of race may be reformulated in a positive manner, namely, in affirming race as a social-ideological category only. Thus a reformulation of H1 might go as follows: race exists but only as a social-ideological construct of oppression.
In Passing. — How awful it is to be part of a dying people! How more awful to catch the stench of optimism from its decaying body, the optimism of microbial action!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Boltproof; or Damnatio Memoriae through Apotheosis. — Adam Rutherford, lecturer for the public understanding of anthropolysenkoism, presents the standard model of the relationship between Charles Darwin and Francis Galton:
Darwin was not a racist. . . . However, Darwin’s half-cousin Francis Galton, most certainly was . . .1
Poor old Galton is made to serve in posterity as lightning-rod to Darwin’s spire. But it’s not just Galton who must suffer the bolt whilst Darwin remains unscorched. Your poor old granny counts as a racist because she likes neither darkies nor Jews and thinks England should remain England, whilst our dear old Darwin, who looked forward to higher races eliminating lower races2, in particular to how Anglo-Saxons would raise the rank of mankind by exterminating whole nations3, doesn’t count as a racist at all. Your granny’s opinions are no longer welcome in polite society, and she is damned to rot in the underworld for the elderly, perfunctorily attended, if not ill-treated, by foreign hands. Darwin’s remarks wouldn’t be welcome either4, but they are ignored, thought not to exist, or said to be somebody else’s, and he is apotheosised, manhandled into becoming a god too big to fail the test of latter-day sensibility, a god therefore of blind idiocy who neither sees nor understands the forms and deeds of the human races.
. . .
1. Adam Rutherford, “Why Racism is Not Backed by Science”,, 1st March 2015.
2. See C.R. Darwin, Letter to William Graham, 3rd July 1881, transcribed and published online for the Darwin Correspondence Project.
3. See C.R. Darwin, Letter to Charles Kingsley, 6th February 1862, ibid.
4. See my fantasy, “An Unwelcome Guest”, The Joy of Curmudgeonry, 12th February 2009.