May 17, 2008

A Further Response to Justin

Although Justin is entitled to his opinions about the ?pseudo-science of racialism? and the towering intellectuality of Obama, I feel compelled to respond to his misrepresentation about what I wrote. I did not attribute to him the view that ?race is destiny? and in fact I?ve no idea why he thinks that I did. What I stated was that his use of statistical evidence to beat up on white hillbillies as cognitively defective was the kind of white elitist diatribe that is not likely to hurt him professionally. If he had published the same kind of statistics about why black societies function badly, he would have paid a different price. Then he would have likely infuriated his fellow-Obama supporters in a way that would have impacted on his professional future.

A few questions seem relevant for my critical discussion of Justin?s response. Why is Justin?s use of statistics in running down West Virginia whites more scientifically admissible than the figures about blacks that Marcus Epstein mentioned? If statistics about intelligence are as dubious as Justin contends, why are they to be considered good when he cites them?  How does he know that Obama?s intelligence is off the charts? From what I?ve heard of his speeches, they are full of MTV phrases and the kind of language that is heard among social work professionals and primary education college majors. Pat?s remark about Obama being the ?darling of the eggheads? was obviously intended as a bit of humor. So in all probability was Pat?s comparison of this liberal man of destiny to Adlai Stevenson, who though he sounded infinitely more literate than Justin?s idol, hardly ever opened a book, according to his biographer Joel Barlowe. Just because leftist multicultural ideologues adore a leftist black candidate doe not prove that said candidate is brilliant?and indeed so brilliant that he disproves all statistical generalizations about disparities in group intelligence.

And why should Murray Rothbard?s argument from ?truisms? about human nature as an Austrian economist militate against the possibility that he took cognitive differences between races as a serious hypothesis? Isn?t it possible to argue against the instructional value of graphs for predicting aggregate supply and demand or for building a socialist society with an artificial pricing system but also to pay attention to statistical data in other areas of research. Although Murray properly warned against the misuse of predictive models in economics, he did not dismiss statistical research entirely. His writings on politics and elections cited polling data and accumulated evidence of voting trends; and his economic histories were loaded with statistics of all kinds. From Marcus?s citations, it would also seem that Murray did take at least some of the material about cognitive disparities offered in The Bell Curve as nourishing food for thought. I am finally bothered by the misleading title of Justin?s polemic, ?the pseudo-science of racialism,? seeing that it suggests that we are conflating two clean different things, an ideology of race based on questionable scientific claims and the willingness to consider data indicating different levels of native intelligence for different groups. The two are not the same. For the record I am not a ?pseudo-scientist? and have little interest in race aside from its noxious role in a self-hating white society.   

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