Not making a difference since 2006. Blog motto: Always be sincere whether you mean it or not.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Watsonia Delenda Est

James Malloy quotes W.D. Hamilton on GNXP,

... [M]ight it be fair also to say that the champions of 'no difference' in race or sex, or intelligence ... are the guardians of a greater 'untruth' that allows people to live together in mutual harmony, implying that these critics really deserve to be praised as our protectors even when they are factually wrong? ... it is roughly how the self-appointed guardians choose to present themselves - leaving aside, usually, the step of frankly admitting that they are promoting factual untruths when they know that they are.

The problem with the quote above is that no matter what is said and done, we don't live in harmony. If there were real acceptance of each other, why rock the boat. Unfortunately, as there is no equality, it can not be glossed over with happy talk. Equality does not exist in nature and has never existed amongst men and women. If there is not equality then there can only be jealousy when the observation of group differences occurs. This is tragic. When members of Group A complain that a test was designed by Group B and thus benefits only Group B members and Group B members reply that Group C test takers had no part in the design of the test and outdo Group B it has no effect on the argument because the conclusion, if true is still felt as an insult. Do Group B members not feel jealous of Group C because Group C is relatively small here and intermarries at a high rate. If there were fifty million Northeast Asians swamping colleges would American Caucasia's attitude become similar to Black America's? No, I don't expect ranting about "Yellow Skin Privilege."

Our species is, in the main, nothing to write home about. We strut and brag and yet so few of us have ever advanced mankind. We are using the storage batteries charged by others. Let us read the words of Ralph Adams Cram, whose writings on the subject influenced Albert Jay Nock to abandon egalitarianism,

Yes, but there is another side to the question. However repulsive and degrading the general condition of any period in the past, there never has been a time when out of the darkness did not flame into light bright figures of men and women who in character and capacity were a glory to the human race. Nor were they only those whose names we know and whose fame is immortal. We know from the evidences that there were more whose identity is not determined, men and women lost in the great mass of the underlying mob, who in purity and honour and charity were co-equal with the great figures of history. Between them and the basic mass there was a difference greater than that which separates, shall we say, the obscene mob of the November Revolution in Russia, and the anthropoid apes. They fall into two absolutely different categories, the which is precisely the point I wish to make.

We do not behave like human beings because most of us do not fall within that classification as we have determined it for ourselves, since we do not measure up to standard. And thus:

With our invincible—and most honourable but perilous—optimism we gauge humanity by the best it has to show. From the bloody riot of cruelty, greed and lust we cull the bright figures of real men and women. Pharaoh Akhenaten, King David, Pericles and Plato, Buddha and Confucius and Lao Tse, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius and Virgil, Abder-Rahman of Cordoba, Charlemagne and Roland; St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Louis; Godfrey de Bouillon, Saladin, Richard Coeur de Lion; Dante, Leonardo, St. Thomas Aquinas, Ste. Jeanne d'Arc, Sta. Teresa, Frederick II, Otto the Great, St. Ferdinand of Spain, Chaucer and Shakespeare, Strafford and Montrose and Mary of Scotland, Washington, Adams and Lee. These are but a few key names; fill out the splendid list for yourselves. By them we unconsciously establish our standard of human beings.

Now to class with them and the unrecorded multitude of their compeers, the savage and ignorant mob beneath, or its leaders and mouthpieces, is both unjust and unscientific. What kinship is there between St. Francis and John Calvin; the Earl of Strafford and Thomas Crumwell; Robert E. Lee and Trotsky; Edison and Capone? None except their human form. They of the great list behave like our ideal of the human being; they of the ignominious sub-stratum do not—because they are not. In other words, the just line of demarcation should be drawn, not between Neolithic Man and the anthropoid ape, but between the glorified and triumphant human being and the Neolithic mass which was, is now and ever shall be.

The higher beings amongst us are infinitesimally rare and for all practical purposes are a species above. The brilliant fellows at the right tail of the bell curve as measured by tests are so few. That they are almost never descendants of Sub Saharan Africa or are Women is seen as injustice before any reflection takes place.

Well, I am descended from a nation that has not had that many members of the intellectual elite. By intellectual elite, I don't mean senior partners in Biglaw. There have been some of those from amongst us and valued members of other overblown so called professions. No, I mean a Newton or Gallileo or Archimedes or Einstein. The color of their skin or gender is irrelevant as any of their achievements have benefited all. Still, there is resentment.

You know, I wish people of my ethnicity were top of the pops. I kind of resent that Jews score consistently better. I also remember the early fifties when parents would not let kids play together for fear of Polio. A relative by marriage spent the last few years of his life in an iron lung and was soon buried in his well decorated uniform. I played with his son at the beach where he could at least take off his braces to swim. One day we went to a building and waited in line. My sisters and I were given a shot. Soon, no parent stopped their kids from going off to play.

The point is, the scientist who conjured the vaccine may not have been Pythagoras, but he was no slouch. If the choice were my kid in an iron lung and a Jew getting a scholarship that obviates that, well, I hope I would not be churlish in the matter.

Ah, but the reigning egalitarianism denies there is anything special in any accomplishment. If only discrimination or prejudice were extinguished then anyone could be anything. In practice this means the game is rigged and we hope for the golden day when anyone can be the equal of Stephen Hawking in brainpower, and, only brainpower. Does anyone really believe this?

It seems about a thousand years ago, but I vaguely remember a Firing Line show with Malcolm Muggeridge and Germaine Greer and a bunch of Lefty Brits. At one point, Muggeridge opined about a doctrine that no one really believes and likened it to the Marxist idea of the withering away of the state. The implication was that even Marxist were not stupid enough to believe in such tripe anymore. All the assorted lefties tried to look as if they were not there. They could not say, "Quite right there, Malchie, old boy," but they hardly wanted to stupidly say how it was an article of their true faith.

Well Germaine, as a sub-mediocrity myself, I lead all in hailing your installation in the grand pantheon of the Gods of Mediocrity. She has had a good run in a life of self promotion but is like all the other deniers on Firing Line or the attackers of Watson. Down deep they know that inequality is all pervasive as was Marxism a crock. They also know their own limitations. As expressed in Fewtril #216 of Deogolwulf

Mediocrity tends to a tolerance of everything but excellence.

That makes sense. If all the gods we make are mediocrities, when a real one shows up he has to die.

I live in a nice enough house with many wonderful things. I drive a car that transports me great distances. All the arts and sciences that are in these, I had no part in creating. The smallest of the inventions were the genius of others. It is so with all but the tiniest fraction of humans. It has not been a bad life and I am grateful.


Deogolwulf said...

Very well put, if I may say so. (And it is always good to see Ralph Adams Cram quoted). You do me an honour by quoting me, though I think you follow it with a much better expression of your own:

"If all the gods we make are mediocrities, when a real one shows up he has to die."

Not mediocre but excellent!

tvoh said...


From yourself, that is very, very kind.

As the voice of humility, I have to be careful about it though.

Thanks you.

Black Sea said...

"The word "elitism" only appeared in France in 1967, the word "elitist" not until 1968. For the first time in history, the very language threw a glare of negativity, even mistrust, on the notion of elite. . . .

It seems that in the whole of Europe, the cultural elite is yielding to other elites. Over there, to the elite of the police apparatus. Here, to the elite of the mass media apparatus. No one will ever accuse these new elites of elitism. Thus, the word "elitism" will soon be forgotten.

Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel

tvoh said...

"Thus, the word "elitism" will soon be forgotten."

I think he is right and wrong. There is always needed a bogeyman. If an elitist class does not exist as such, it will be necessary to invent one.

TheMasterTimekeeper said...

Another faultless post. Well said. The current traffic in "identity politics" drives me batty, especially when a good portion of my coworkers do not (thanks interracial families) fall into one category or another.

tvoh said...

Thanks for the kind words, Mastertimekeeper