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White Nationalism's Crackpot "Science"

by John Spritzler

September 7, 2016

[Also of interest: "What Do 'White Supremacists' Believe?" (and why)]

White Nationalism, recently known sometimes as "alt right," is an ideology that is very clearly and briefly described by one of its advocates who goes by the name of Revanche in this article titled, "A Gentle Introduction to White Nationalism, Part I." The idea goes like this:

"We love and value Western Civilization, meaning things such as representative government, a fair trial by jury, constitutional republics, and free enterprise. Science tells us that the people (whom we call White people) who created what we value in Western Civilization did so because their white-people genes predisposed them to, and that non-whites who did not create these valuable things failed to because their non-White genes predisposed them to such failure. Because we love and value Western Civilization, we are very concerned to prevent the diminution (or disappearance) of the White population, which alone creates it. This is why we oppose race mixing that dilutes the White gene pool and why we oppose anything that results in a decline in the White population."

Revanche writes, "[Y]ou can’t have Western civilization without White people, and ... White people have a genetic proclivity to create civilizations that are fundamentally Western in character...We don’t care about skin color, but we do care about genetic profile."

White Nationalism's Absurd "Science"

What evidence does Revanche provide that "White" people, and only "White" people, have the genes that produce a proclivity to create the good things in Western Civilization? Here is his evidence:

"If we go to almost anywhere in Africa, we see that the native Africans produce and seem to prefer an anarchic form of rule, where power struggles and fights for resources are settled through violent action. And, if we go to the US cities that have a large African American population, we see the same problems in Africa cropping up here, albeit on a smaller scale. The differences between the other groups are similar, although less extreme. For example, it’s often been said that there is a strong emphasis on conformity in the Asiatic cultures, and South America has shown to have a strong preference for socialist governments."

Revanche says these differences in culture are caused by differences in genes and that

"there is very compelling evidence for this, and scientists are beginning to find genetic predispositions to conservative and liberal mindsets, and I haven’t said anything about differences relating to race and IQ."

(Since Revanche only discusses race and IQ by providing a link to another article, I'll limit my rejoinder on this topic to the articles here and here.)

It's hard to know where to start when contrasting Revanche's mode of thinking to scientific thinking. Let's look at his supposed examples of the differences between "White" and "non-White" cultures, starting with his comparison of "peace-loving Whites" to violent Africans.

Who in their right mind--if they are familiar with the centuries of warfare between Britain and France and Spain and Germany for control of territory in Europe and in colonies elsewhere, or if they have heard of the Crusades and the Inquisition and the burning of witches, or if they have heard about the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (of Protestants by Catholics), or if they are familiar with World War I or II (in which 55 million died), or if they are familiar with the incredibly violent suppression of the peasants by the upper class in class wars such as the German Peasants Revolt of 1525 in which 100,000 were killed (and this is not to mention the wars of Europeans against non-Europeans in the American and African continents)--would ever characterize European history as not in very large part "power struggles and fights for resources settled through violent action"? If "White" genes are what causes people not to have "power struggles and fights for resources [that] are settled through violent action" then there must not be very many "White" genes in the European population, and Revanche's silly argument stands revealed as simply ludicrous.

Revanche's example of supposed fundamental cultural differences are actually examples of cultural similarities. Revanche thus offers South America's "preference for socialist governments" as a supposed contrast with "White" Europe. What?? Europe is where the struggle for socialism was born, for crying out loud. Europe is where the President of France today is a Socialist along with a majority of its parliament, and the Scandinavian nations are commonly referred to as "socialist" and the British have what everybody calls "socialized medicine" and the former prime minister of Greece (Georgios Papandreou) was the president of the Socialist International. Again, if "White" genes are what prevent people from having a preference for socialist government, then there must not be very many "White" genes in the European population.

What about those Asiatic cultures with their "emphasis on conformity" that Revanche cites as an example of genetic differences? Let's assume that there is indeed a difference between Asiatic and European culture with respect to conformity. Where is the evidence this difference is due to different genes? Revanche provides zero such evidence.

When Revanche tries to directly tackle the question of genes, he cites this Mother Jones article titled, "Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are…Conservative: Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today, it's becoming hard not to." This article in turn links to another Mother Jones article about a scientist named John Hibbing who found, and published about in scientific journals, correlations between things such as, on the one hand, "startle reflexes after hearing a loud noise" and response to threatening images and, on the other hand, being a conservative or a liberal. In this journal article, Hibbing reports, "The key finding from our analysis is that there are core political predispositions that are rooted in common genetic and environmental influences and that these predispositions are empirically distinct from broader personality traits."

Assuming that Hibbing's conclusions are true (a big "if": science is about skepticism, remember!), what does it mean? Hibbing says that some people are genetically more startled or frightened by certain things than others, and the former are more likely to have conservative political views than the latter. As interesting as all this may be, it has no relevance to Revanche's statements about "Whites" versus "non-Whites."

How come? Because for all we (or Hibbing) know, the proportion of "Whites" who are conservative instead of liberal may be no different from that same proportion among "non-Whites." We know for sure that among all racial groups there are people who could be characterized as conservative and others as liberal. If both groups exist in a racial group, say "Whites," (and history tells us they do) then it hardly makes sense to say that "Whites" have the "conservative gene" in contrast to "non-Whites" who don't (or vice versa) does it?

We also know that populations that are characterized as conservative ("with an emphasis on conformity") can quickly change to being much different: think of the contrast between the Chinese in the years when they were effectively ruled by Emperors versus when the Taiping Rebellion against the emperor erupted from 1860 to 1864 resulting in the deaths of 20-30 million people, or when all hell broke loose in the Communist Revolution and in the years of Mao's Cultural Revolution. It's not very likely that these changes occur because the genetic make up of the population changes, is it?

The Origin of Western Civilization

Let's move on now to White Nationalists' love of the products of Western Civilization and examine their connection to the "White Race."

Representative government and Constitutional Republics

By approximately 1000 AD, the Iroquois Native Americans had a formal governmental structure with a constitution that was called The Great Law of Peace. This government is described in great detail by Bruce E. Johansen in chapter 2 of his book, Forgotten Founders, online here. The Iroquois had invented a system of elected representatives, a federal system with checks and balances to prevent power from residing in a single individual, with freedom of expression in political and religious matters (there was no state religion), a very high level of political participation by women, and a relatively equitable distribution of wealth. There is no evidence that it was "White genes" that enabled the Iroquois to do this.

Jury Trial

The sociologist, Levan Ramishvili, in his "Origins of Jury Trial and other institutes of common law," online here, writes:

"The likely precursor to the English jury trial was the Lafif in the Maliki school of classical Islamic law and jurisprudence, which was developed between the 8 th and 11 th centuries in the medieval Islamic world. Like the English jury, the Islamic Lafif was a body of twelve members drawn from the neighbourhood and sworn to tell the truth, who were bound to give a unanimous verdict, about matters "which they had personally seen or heard, binding on the judge, to settle the truth concerning facts in a case, between ordinary people, and obtained as of right by the plaintiff.“ It is likely that the concept of the Lafif may have been introduced to England by the Normans after their conquest of England and the Emirate of Sicily, and then evolved into the modern English jury."

This same statement is given here and the Lafif is also discussed here, where the lafif is said to reflect features in Islamic law that predated their emergence in English Law.

Again, there is no evidence that it was the "White genes" of Muslims that enabled them to invent a jury of twelve members drawn from the neighborhood to settle the truth concerning facts in a case.

Free Enterprise

In their, "The Evolution of Free Enterprise Values," online here, in the section titled, "Cultural evolution and the evolution of tribal social instincts," Peter J. Richerson, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis, and Robert Boyd, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, explain why "short of the strong reproductive isolation of species, cultural variation is much more susceptible to group selection than is genetic variation." Note that in the case of the "White race" in England, where the capitalist free enterprise system originated, there was hardly "strong reproductive isolation" preceding the birth of capitalism. On the contrary, there were Anglo-Saxons and Normans and Romans and Celts and Scots and Spaniards (including Moors from the African continent); also there were Muslims from North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia living in England in the 16th century, and no doubt others mixing up the gene pool.

The professors go on to state that, "Thus the moral hidden hand [they are referring to how people tend to help each other without the need for a central authority to make them do so] deriving from our tribal social instincts is one foundation upon which our immensely successful free enterprise systems rest."

In other words, these professors are saying that the particular set of social norms or values ("tribal social instincts") in England that made the birth of the free enterprise system possible were the result of cultural, not genetic, variation.

White nationalists such as Revanche have no evidence to the contrary.

For some perspective on African Civilization, by the way, one should read this fascinating article.





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