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Shockley and Cattell
William Shockley and Raymond Cattell were some of the most prolific eugenicists of the 20th century. In that time, both men put forth the notion that breeding should be restricted based on the results of IQ testing. Both men, however, were motivated not by science—so much—as they were by racial biases. Historian Constance Hilliard discusses Shockley in her book Straightening the Bell Curve: How Stereotypes About Black Masculinity Drive Research on Race and Intelligence (Hilliard, 2012: Chapter 3), while psychologist William H. Tucker wrote a book on Cattell and the eugenic views he held called The Cattell Controversy: Race, Science, and Ideology (Tucker, 2009). This article will discuss the views of both men.
When Shockley was 51 he was in a near-fatal car accident. He was thrown many feet away from the car that he, his wife and their son were in. Their son escaped the accident with minor injuries but Shockley had a crushed pelvis and was in a body cast for months in the hospital. Hilliard (2012: 20) writes:
Chapter 3 details Shockley’s transformation from physicist to modern-day eugenicist, preoccupied with race and the superiority of white genes. Some colleagues believed that the car accident that crushed Dr. Shockley’s pelvis and left him disabled might have triggered mental changes in him as well. Whatever the case, not long after returning home from the hospital, Shockley began directing his anger toward the reckless driver who maimed him into racial formulations. His ideas began to coalesce around the notion of an inverse correlation between blacks’ cognition and physical prowess. Later, in donating his sperm at the age of seventy to a sperm bank for geniuses, Shockley suggested to an interviewer for Playboy that women who would otherwise pay little attention to his lack of physical appeal would compete for his cognitively superior sperm. But the sperm banks’ owner apparently concealed from Shockley a painful truth. Women employing its services rejected the sperm of the short, balding Shockley in favor of that from younger, taller, more physically attractive men, whatever their IQ.
Shockley was a short, small man, standing at 5 foot 6 inches, weighing 150 pounds. How ironic that his belief that women would want his “cognitively superior sperm” (whatever that means) was rebuffed by the fact that women didn’t want a small, short balding man and wanted a young, attractive man’s sperm irrespective of their IQ. How funny, these eugenicists are.
Shockley’s views, of course, were not just science-driven. He harbored racial biases against certain groups. He disowned his son for marrying a Costa Rican woman, stated that his children had “regressed to the mean”, and stated that while stating that the so horrible misfortune of his children’s genetics were due to his first wife since she was not as academically inclined as he. Hilliard (2012: 48-49) writes:
Shockley’s growing preoccupation with eugenics and selective breeding was not simply an intellectual one. He disowned his eldest son for his involvement with a Costa Rican woman since this relationship, according to Professor Shockley, threatened to contaminate the family’s white gene pool. He also described his children to a reporter “as a significant regression” even though one possessed a PhD from the University of Southern California and another held a degree from Harvard College. Shockley even went as far as to blame this “genetic misfortune” on his first wife, who according to the scientist, “had no as high an academic achievement standing as I had.”
It’s funny because Shockley described himself as a “lady’s man”, but they didn’t want the sperm of a small, balding manlet (short man, at 5 foot 6 inches weighing 150 pounds). I wonder how he would have reacted to this news?
This is the mark of a scientist who just has intellectual curiosity on “cognitive differences” between racial groups, of course. Racial—and other—biases, of course, have driven many research programmes over the decades, and it seems that, like most “intelligence researchers” Shockley was privy to such biases as well.
One of Shockley’s former colleagues attributed his shift in research focus to the accident he had, stating that the “intense and (to my mind) ill-conceived concentration on socio-genetic matters occurred after a head-on automobile collison in which he was almost killed” (quoted in Hilliard: 2012: 48). Though we, of course, can’t know the reason for Shockley’s change in research focus (from legitimate science to pseudoscience), racial biases were quite obviously a driver in his research-shift.
Hilliard (2012: 47) claims that “had it not been for the near fatal car accident [that occurred to Shockley] … the twentieth century’s preoccupation with pairing cognition and physical attributes might have faded from view. It much not have been so much the car crash as the damage it did to Shockley’s sense of self that changed the course of race science.” Evidence for this claim comes from the fact that Jensen was drawn to Shockley’s lectures. Hilliard (2012: 51-52) writes:
Jensen, who had described himself as a “frustrated symphony conductor,” may have had his own reasons for reverencing Shockley’s every word. The younger psychologist had been forced to abandon a career in music because his own considerable talents in that area nevertheless lacked “soul,” or the emotional intensity needed to succeed in so competitive a profession. He decided on psychology as a second choice, carrying along with him a grudge against those American subcultures perceived as being “more expressive” than white culture from white he sprang.
So, it seems that had Shockley passed away, one of the “IQ giants” would have not have become an IQ-ist and Jensenism would not exist. Then, maybe, we would not have this IQ pseudoscience that America is “obsessed with” (Castles, 2013).
Raymond B. Cattell is one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century. Tucker (2009) shows how Cattell’s racial biases drove his research programs and how Cattell outlined his radical eugenic thoughts in numerous papers on personality and social psychology. Tucker describes Cattell’s acceptance of an award from the APA. However, the APA then got word of Cattell’s views and what drove his research a few days before Cattell was to fly to Hawaii to accept the award. It was said to the APA that Cattell harbored racist views which drove his research. Cattell even created a religion called “Beyondism” which is a “neo-fascist contrivance” (Mehler, 1997) in which eugenics was a part, but only on a voluntary basis.
Cattell titled a book on the matter A New Morality from Science: Beyondism (Cattell, 1972). It’s almost as if he’s saying that there can be a science of morality, but there cannot be one (contra Sam Harris). Cattell, in his book, thought of how to create a system in which ecologically sustainable eugenic programs could be established. He also published Beyondism: Religion from Science in 1987 (Cattell, 1987). Cattell’s eugenic beliefs were so strong that he actually created a “religion” based on it. It is indeed ironic, since many HBDers are religious in their views.
Tucker (2009: 14) was one of two psychologists to explain to the APA that “this was not a case of a scientist who, parenthetically, happened to have objectionable political opinions; Cattell’s political ideology and his science were inseparable from each other.” So the APA postponed the award ceremony for Cattell. Tucker (2009: 15) demonstrated “that [Cattell’s] impressive body of accomplishments in the former domain [his “scienctific” accomplishments] was always intended to serve the goal of the latter [his eugenic/political beliefs].”
Cattell’s religion was based on evolution. A believer in group selection, he claimed that racial groups were selected by “natural selection“, thusly being married to a form of group selection. Where Beyondism strayed from other religious movements is interesting and is the main point of Cattell’s new religion: compassion was seen by Cattell as “evil.” Tucker (2009: 136) writes:
Cattell finally published A New Morality From Science: Beyondism, a 480-page prolix tome describing his religious thought in detail; fifteen years later Beyondism: Religion from Science provided some elaboration of Beyondist principles. Together these two books constituted the most comprehensive statement of his sociomoral beliefs and their relation to social science. Despite the adjective in the title of the earlier volume, Beyondism showed no significant discontinuity from the “evolutionary ethics” of the 1930s. If anything, the intervening decades had made all the traditonal approaches to morality more contemptible than ever to Cattell. “The notion of ‘human rights'” was nothing more than “an instance of rigid, childish, subjective thinking,” and other humanistic principles “such … as ‘social justice and equality,’ ‘basic freedom’ and ‘human dignity,'” he dismissed as “whore phrases.” As always, conventional religion was the worst offender of all in his eyes, one of its “chief rasions detre [sic]” being the “succorance of failure of error” by prolonging the duration of genetic failures—both individuals and groups—which, “from the perspective Beyondism,” Cattell called “positively evil.” In contrast, in a religion based on evolution as the central purpose of humankind, “religious and scientific truth [would] be ultimately reducible to one truth … [obtained] by scientific discovery … therefore … developing morality out of science. Embodying this unified truth, Beyondism would be “the finest ways to spend our lives.”
So intergroup competition, to Cattell, was the mechanism for “evolutionary progress” (whatever that means; see my most recent essay on the matter). The within-group eugenic policies that Beyondism would put onto racial groups was not only for increasing the race’s quality of life, but to increase the chance of that race’s being judged “successful” in Cattell’s eyes.
Another main tenet of Beyondism is that one culture should not borrow from another, termed “cultural borrowing”. This separated “rewards” from their “genetic origins” which then “confused the process of natural selection between groups.” So Beyondism required the steady elimination of “failing” races which was essential if the earth was “not to be choked with … more primitive forerunners” (Cattell, quoted in Tucker, 2009: 146). Cattell did not use the term “genocide”, which he saved only for the literal killing off of the members of a group; he created a neologism called “genthanasia” which was the process of ““phasing out” a “moribund culture … by educational and birth measures, without a single member dying before his time” (Cattell, quoted in Tucker, 2009: 146). So, quite obviously, Beyondism could not be practiced by one individual; it needed groups—societies—to adhere to its tenets for it to be truly effective. To Cattell, the main draw of Beyondism was that intergroup competition was a necessary moral postulate while he used psychological data to parse out “winners” and “losers.”
Cattell was then put on the Editorial Advisory Board of Mankind Quarterly, which was formerly a journal populated by individuals who opposed civil rights and supported German National Socialism. Cattell, though, finally had a spot where he could publish his thoughts in a “journal” on what should be done in regard to his Beyondism religion. Tucker (2009: 153) writes:
… in an article titled “Virtue in ‘Racism’?” he offered an analysis similar to Pearson’s, arguing that racism was an innate “evolutionary force—a tendency to like the like and distrust the different” that in most cases had to be respected as ” a virtuous gift”; the mere fact that society “has had to battel racism” was for Cattell “sufficient evidence that an innate drive exists.” And rather than regarding such natural inclination as a “perversion,” the appropriate response to racism, in his opinion, was “to shape society to adjust to it,” no doubt keeping groups separate from each other.
One of Cattell’s colleagues—Oliver Robertson (a man who criticized Hitler for failing)—wrote a book in 1992 titled The Ethnostate: An Unblinkered Perspective for an Advanced Statecraft in which he detailed his plan for the balkanization (the division of one large region into many smaller, sometimes hostile, ones) which was Cattellian in nature. It seemed like The Ethnostate was just a whole bunch of Cattell’s ideas, packaged up into a “plan” for the balkanization of America. So he wanted to divide America into ethnostates. Recall how Cattell eschewed “cultural borrowing”; well so did Robertson. Tucker (2009: 166) writes:
Most important of all, in the competition between the different ethnostates each group was to rely solely “upon its own capabilities and resources,” prohibited from “borrowing” from more complex cultures advancements that “it could not create under its own power” or otherwise benefitting from outside assistance.
A critique of Cattell’s ethical system based in part on his involvement with others espousinig odious opinions naturally runs the risk of charging guilt by association. But the argument advanced here is more substantative. It is not merely that he has cited a long list of Far Right authors and activists as significant influences on his own work, including arguably the three most important English-speaking Nazi theorists of the last thirty years—Pearson, Oliver, and Robertson. It is that, in addition to citing their writing as support for his own ideology, Cattell has acknowledged their ideas as “integrable”—that is, compatible—with his thought; expressed his gratitude for their influence these ideas have had on the evolution of Beyondism; graced the pages of their journals with his own contributions, thus lending his considerable prestige to publications dedicated to keeping blacks in second-class status; registered no objection when schemes of racial balkanization were predicated expressly on his writing—and indeed edited a publication that praised such a scheme for its intellectual indebtedness to his thought and called for its implementaion; and provided a friendly interview to a periodical [American Rennaisance] directly advocating that constituonally protected rights be withheld from blacks. This is not guilt by association but rather guilt by collaboration: a core set of beliefs and a common vision of an ethnically cleansed future, and that his support for such a society has lent his academic prominence, consciosuly and deliberately, to their intolerable goals. (Tucker, 2009: 171)
The types of views these two men held, quite obviously, drove their “scientific aspirations”; and their racial biases permeated their scientific thought. Shockley’s sudden shift in his thought after his car accident is quite possibly how and why Jensen published his seminal article in 1969 which opened the race/”intelligence” debate back up. Shockley’s racial biases permeated into his familial life when his son married a Costa Rican woman; along with his thoughts on how his children “regressed to the mean” due to his first wife’s lack of educational attainment shows the kind of great guy that Shockley was. It also shows how his biases drove his thought.
The same with Cattell. Cattell’s religion Beyondism grew out of his extreme racial biases; his collaboration with National Socialists and those opposed to desegregation further shows how his political/racial beliefs drove his research. Beyondist propaganda stated that evolutionary “progress” occurred between competing groups. So this is when Robertson pretty much took all of Cattell’s ideas and wrote a book on how America will be balkanized into ethnostates where there would be no cultural borrowing. Further, he stated that the most appropriate response to racism was to shape society to adjust to racism, rather than attempt to eliminate it entirely.
The stories of these two men’s beliefs are why, in my opinion, we should know the past and motivations of why individuals push anything—no matter what type of field it is. Because biases—due to political beliefs—everywhere cloud people’s judgment. Although, holding such views was prevalent at the time (like with Henry Goddard and his Kallikak family (see Zenderland, 1998).
The Idiocy of (Ir)RationalWiki
(Ir)RationalWiki (IW) is a Wikipedia-style website, where anyone can edit or create an article on whatever they’d like. They are a left-leaning website, so they, of course, don’t like what they consider to be “right-wingers.” Many “HBDers” have IW articles on them, notable hbdchick, JayMan (though it seems like his article was deleted), Emil Kirkegaard, Anatoly Karlin, and even a new one on the philosopher of biology Nathan Cofnas (see his response here). When I discovered my own article on IW, I laughed, since it grouped me in with “Frogs and Swastikas, AltRight.” Well, I think that the “Pepe the frog” meme is idiotic and childish, and I’m not a Nazi (National Socialist).
In any case, I recently looked at the page and discovered that they finally edited it to reflect my new views. My views changed around April/May 2017 due to two books: DNA is not Destiny: The Remarkable, Completely Misunderstood Relationship Between You and Your Genes (Heine, 2017) and Genes, Brains, and Human Potential: The Science and Ideology of Intelligence (Richardson, 2017). I would say that before reading these two books that I was a “genetic determinist.” However, Richardson’s work lead me to the work of Denis Noble, Jablonka and Lamb, Susan Oyama, and David Moore and the philosophy of developmental systems theory (DST). My deterministic views (and outdated views on genes and the physiological system) were then cured.
In any case, here is what the new edit says about me now:
RaceRealist started out as a supporter of hereditarianism racist theories about IQ and a fanboy of Richard Lynn and Arthur Jensen, but later to his credit rejected these views. Instead however of giving up all his racialist beliefs, he still defends racialism, albeit minus the IQ pseudoscience. The latter has led to him to be criticised as still being a racist but using a deceptive motte and bailey strategy of trying to present himself as a more moderate non-hereditarian “race realist” when he still retains the old racist IQ beliefs about inferior black people in private. Furthermore, despite claiming to have changed his views on the latter – all his old pro-hereditarianism posts on his blog are still up alongside background photos of white supremacists.
The first sentence is true; I did start out as supporter of hereditarianism. When I discovered the work of people like Rushton, Lynn, Kanazawa, and Jensen I thought “Wow, this all makes so much sense and explains why our societies are stratified the way they are.” Though, as mentioned above, I did change my views.
Yes, I do “still defend racialism”, but a softer, non-hereditarian view of human races (Spencer, 2014, Hardimon 2017). These types of arguments about race are non-hereditarian, non-hierarchical. I do agree that “IQ science” is psuedoscience, but the claim that “I still retain [my] old racist IQ beliefs about inferior black people in private” are completely unfounded. How does whoever wrote this know what views I hold in private? Further, they claimed that I “rejected [those] views” in reference to hereditarianism (Jensenism) but then they say that “I still retain [my] old racist IQ beliefs about inferior black people in private”? How does that make any sense?
Further, I have explicitly stated that the terms “superior” and “inferior” are strictly anatomic terms and, outside of that context, make no sense. The head is superior to the feet; the feet is inferior to the head. It seems that the author of this did not read my article Blumenbachian Partitions and Minimalist Races where I explicitly state:
Biological racial realism (the fact that race exists as a biological reality) is true, however, just like with Hardimon’s minimalist races, they do not denote “superiority”, “inferiority” for one race over another. Most importantly, Blumenbachian populations do not denote those terms because the genetic evidence that is used to support the Blumenbachian partition use noncoding DNA. (It should also be noted that the terms “superior” and “inferior” are nonsensical, when used outside of their anatomic contexts. The head is the most superior part of the human body, the feet are the most inferior part of the human body. This is the only time these terms make sense, thus, using the terms outside of this context makes no sense.)
Yes I have changed my “views on the latter [hereditarianism]”, and no, I will not remove my “old pro-hereditarianism posts” on my blog. I leave them up to show the evolution of my views over time. My blog is almost four years old, and half of the time I was a staunch hereditarian/genetic determinist and the other half I discarded those views and embraced the philosophy of DST.
In any case, the race debate is a philosophical, not biological, one; genetic variation exists between human populations which no one denies. The question “What is race?” is strictly a philosophical question and so, after that question is answered, it follows that the argument about the existence of race is then philosophical. Holding views on racial realism (the claim that our racial categories pick out real kinds in nature; Smith, 2015; 43). Therefore, the views that I hold on race are not scientific, but philosophical.
Re my views on immigration: yes I did write that non-western people are abnormal to our societies (fun fact: I wrote that as a paper for an Abnormal Psychology course, and I got an A). I do still hold that immigration should be restricted/completely halted, though it should not be based on IQ testing, as I once argued in the past. I agree that these views that I once held are idiotic. Looking back at what I wrote and used to believe in the past, I believed a lot of bullshit and pseudoscience. I openly admit that my former prejudices drove my old beliefs. However, as noted earlier (and in the past), I rejected those kinds of genetic determinist “racist” views after discovering the philosophy of DST and reading Richardson and Heine.
A final note on my politics: I support closed borders, I support capitalism and I am a nationalist. I don’t care about what people do in private, just don’t bring it out on the streets. I would say that I am somewhat of a libertarian, and while I do hold some “AltRight” views, I would not self-identify as an alt-righter.
In sum, (Ir)RationalWiki is a joke of a website with how they attack individuals who do use their real names. I’m just some anon guy with a blog and Twitter account. They libel people with mined quotes and don’t reflect their views correctly. In any case, yes my views have changed, and no, it’s not some “cover” for my old views. I do not still hold those same beliefs “in private” (how would whoever wrote this know what views I hold in private? It’s idiotic). I’m not “AltRight”, nor have I ever been.
More r/K Selection Theory Rebuttals
I was alerted to a response to my article r/K Selection Theory Rebuttals on Twitter. I enjoy when people write responses to my pieces as I can better build my arguments. It’s also fun defending what I wrote.
This Pastebin is where the response is. He states that he disagrees with AC (Anonymous Conservative) on two things: calling them liberals when he would call then progressives and his clear conservative bias.
First it refers to a criticism of Ruston’s application of r/K to humans:
This article applies r/K selection to differences between races, I don’t see how this is relevant. AC never discusses race and I’m only interested in how r/K selection applies to individuals within a civilization too.
It is very apt when rebutting AC’s ‘theory’. Human races are not local populations therefore it doesn’t apply to human races. To then bring this wrong theory to individual differences is stupid. Hell, I agree more with Rushton’s application than AC’s application and that’s saying something. The point of bringing up Rushton’s r/K theory is that he was the one who repopularized the theory and you have to give credit where it is due (I’m certain he heard of r/K from Rushton; the fact that he doesn’t give him credit there is dishonest, but AC is a dishonest guy so this is no surprise to me).
r/K selection applies to almost all life forms, next to other selection mechanisms. So it goes much deeper than the specific situation a specific race may have lived in. Even if people in races now commonly express more r-selected or K-selected behavior, I’d expect that to change if their children grew up in a different environment.
You only say that because organisms have offspring and at different rates. I won’t even go through the different cites that show that r/K theory is bunk, but I will cite one that shows that it’s been dead for years. Reznick et al, (2002: 1518) write: “The distinguishing feature of the r- and K-selection paradigm was the focus on density-dependent selection as the important agent of selection on organisms’ life histories. This paradigm was challenged as it became clear that other factors, such as age-specific mortality, could provide a more mechanistic causative link between an environment and an optimal life history (Wilbur et al. 1974, Stearns 1976, 1977). The r- and K-selection paradigm was replaced by new paradigm that focused on age-specific mortality (Stearns 1976, Charlesworth 1980).” This is simple. Age-specific mortality replaced r/K theory. People like AC attempt to ‘show’ their ‘hypothesis’ is true. They notice something in this snapshot in time then say oh this this and that make sense therefore this! It doesn’t work like that.
On his point that ‘he’d expect that to change if their children grew up in a different environment’, to say that one race is ‘r’ or ‘K’ over another, you must study the population in question in the location where the adaptations were hypothesized to have occurred (Anderson, 1991).
RR: “It is erroneously assumed that living in colder temperatures is somehow ‘harder’ than it is in Africa”
Yes, there is much less biomass available in colder temperatures. Of course Africans would still compete with each other for resources. The idea is also that there’s more requirement to think ahead, in order to prepare for the winter. Requiring more deferral of gratification.
The idea is dumb. Africa is harsher than Eurasia (Dobzhansky, 1950: 221). Did people in Africa not have to plan ahead? This is the same old rebutted cold winter garbage in terms of ‘selection for higher IQ;.
The article generally asserts that r/K selection is a simple model:
RR: “One of the main reasons that Rushton’s r/K continuum gets pushed is because it’s a ‘simple model’ that so ‘parsimoniously’ explains racial differences … But ecological systems are never simple”:
Where was an implication that any ecological system is simple? I’d say the tropics are way more complicated than cold area’s. The relevant aspect here is that a cold area is more difficult to live in, has less resources and thus supports fewer individuals. Which is a K-selected pressure.
It is a simple model. “Simple models will be successful only if their simplifying assumptions either match reality or are unimportant” (Anderson, 1991: 57). This does neither. It is surely not easy to live in the tropics. This canard that those in Africa had an easy life in comparison to the people who migrated out of Africa doesn’t make any sense. It’s like people think that food just dropped on their laps from the trees, they didn’t have to deal with predators or heat, etc. It’s an extremely simple model which is why it doesn’t work. Africans are ‘K-selected’ if Rushton is to be believed, not r-selected (Anderson, 1991).
AC’s book is for the public, not to be the bleeding edge of science. Most people have no idea about these theories. I think it would greatly improve their understanding of reality if they knew about it, it did mine. This seems like the situation with Newton’s theory of gravity. It’s been proven wrong, but we still use it when useful.
I get that, but his premises are wrong which means his theory is false. What ‘reality’? It’s just stories, fables. Whatever sounds good to AC, whatever he thinks will buttress his theory he’ll write. Anything about the ‘rabbits’ or ‘wolves’ (so-called r- and K-selected organisms respectively). r/K has been proven wrong and it’s still not useful so we should not use it.
RR: ‘So “the actual adaptation they have” is to “wear thick clothing“? This is bullshit and you know it’
No it’s not. The clothing is far thicker and thus harder to make with a higher required investment. It requires more quality of the individuals. The writer assumes a binary difference here, where none was asserted. Of course these things are on a spectrum.
Yes it is. Sorry, you didn’t understand what I meant here. The actual adaptation is not ‘to wear thick clothing’. What is ‘more quality’, is that a scientific term? What does that even mean?
RR: “The preparation does work.” (Preparation of anti-malarial remedies as seen in Wilcox and Bodecker, 2004)
Maybe it helps, much of traditional remedy use is based in tradition and superstition. Europeans where slaughtered by all kinds of diseases. It probably depends on the situation. If you can find a cure for the disease, then maybe it is a K-selected pressure.
It’s irrelevant that ‘much of the traditional remedy use is based in tradition and superstition‘, because these remedies are proven to work (Wilcox and Bodecker, 2004). “If you can find a cure for disease, then maybe it is a K-selected pressure“, you’re clueless and don’t know what you’re talking about.
RR: “Here is what people like Samuel Skinner and AC don’t get: r/K selection theory WAS discarded; it is no longer in use. Age-specific mortality better explains these trends than r/K selection”
But age-specific mortality doesn’t apply to humans and doesn’t explain differences between individuals within a species or population.
Are you saying that we can’t apply this theory to humans at all?
Yes it does apply to humans. Why talk about something when you don’t know about it? Should I care that it doesn’t explain differences between individuals within a species or population? Not everything needs to be some grand, overarching theory to explain everything so perfectly.
RR: “We found that high K scores were related to earlier sexual debut and unrelated to either pubertal onset or number of sexual partners.”
In humans that correlation is broken because of advanced society. However, we can still find that correlation in progressive or conservative politics.
Yet Rushton et al assert that Africans are r, for instance, and have more children but as you can see from Copping, Campbell and Muncer, (2014), earlier sexual debuts were seen in the so-called K dimension, completely against Rushtonian r/K theory and against whatever theory AC cooked up in his head.
There are several links to scientific papers, several of which are no longer working, but fails to summarize how they support his position.
They don’t work because sci-hub is down. I need to fix the broken links and I did summarize how they support me which is why I did “claim then (citation)”.
RR: “Individuals WITHIN A SPECIES are not R OR K”
Since environments can change, why would species not be able to adapt to the new situation?
That’s not even what the original theory spoke about. If the liberals environment changed, would they become K (according to AC)? You’re completely missing the r/K dynamic.
A Jelly fish has several reproductive strategies available and chooses based on available resources.
Humans are much more complicated, but we could still have that ability.
This doesn’t mean that r/K selection has any utility.
RR: “Something AC doesn’t get is that using the discredited r/K continuum, conservatives would be r”
I don’t get that either.
Because the continuum comes from Pianka (1970) and Rushton adapted it to show that lower IQ peoples who had more children were r-selected. Therefore, if this did apply to individuals within the human species then conservatives would be r while liberals would be K (they have fewer children and higher IQs).
RR: “women who reported being religious stated that having children was more important to them”
And are in favor of investing in those children through their mother staying home to take care of them. Where progressives are more likely to be in favor of the mother working and putting the children in day-care. Progressives are also in favor of birth control and abortion. Allowing them to maintain the r-selected sexual life style, without having the burden of a child. r/K selection is about the underlying psychology, not surface level attributes like total number of children.
Liberals still have fewer children than conservatives who have more. What you’re saying is largely irrelevant. “r-selected sexual lifestyle”, this is dumb. r/K selection is predicated on number of children which conceived, supposedly, differs on the basis of differential psychology, supposedly, between two human groups. It doesn’t, it’s wrong.
“I’ve already covered that libs are more intelligent than cons (Kanazawa, 2010; Kanazawa, 2014), and that conservative countries have lower IQs”
I don’t think we should expect a correlation between IQ and r or K in modern human societies. What happens is that high IQ people raise their children in abundance, which makes them more likely to be r-selected. Availability of resources is a trigger for r-selected psychology.
Riiiiight. But you would expect a correlation between other so-called r/K measures in modern societies? You don’t even make sense.
“Conservatives are more likely to be religious”
Yes because religions like Christianity are viewed as tradition. And progressives oppose tradition where conservatives favor it.
Right, and they have more children than liberals, which is r-selected behavior (supposedly).
This guy tried, but clearly, this wasn’t good enough. r/K is dead when speaking about race and the differences between human individuals. For anyone who believes AC’s bullshit, where did liberals and conservatives evolve these different behaviors? Are they local populations? People like AC ignoring the continuum by Pianka, yet use that same hierarchy are dishonest. They’re using a discredited continuum and attempt to prove their political biases. “The other team has X, Y, and Z bad while we have A, B, and C good! The other side does X and Y while we do A and B, therefore, we are better!” AC has a huge bias; he will never admit he’s wrong because he has a book to sell that pushes this discredited garbage. (Don’t worry, I’ll review it and pick it apart soon enough.)
To conclude, people really need to stop letting their biases get in the way of rational thought. If they did, they’d be able to look at these dumb theories for what they are: pseudoscience, cherry-picking and pigeon-holing the other group, the “enemy” with all of the bad qualities while their side has all of the good ones. However, as I’ve shown countless times, real life is completely different from the fantasy world AC and his followers live in.
Does Exogenous Oxytocin Make Xenophobic People Non-Xenophobic?
Oxytocin (OXT) is known as ‘the love hormone’, since it facilitates bonding from mother to child (Galbally et al, 2011; Feldman and Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2017), facilitates childbirth and breastfeeding (since OXT is released in large amounts after nipple stimulation) (Magon and Kalra, 2011), and increases trust in humans (Kosfeld et al, 2005). It is also implicated in some psychiatric disorders (Marrazziti and Del’Osso, 2008; Cochran et al, 2013). OXT, furthermore, also has endocrine and paracrine roles in male reproduction (Nicholson, 1996; Thackare, Nicholson, and Whittleson, 2006), so it is not strictly ‘a female hormone’ (Saladin, 2010). The hormone induces numerous important behaviors that attach the mother—emotionally speaking—to her new child.
A recent study published back in July titled “Oxytocin-enforced norm compliance reduces xenophobic outgroup rejection” (Marsh et al, 2017), purports to observe that, xenophobic individuals administered a nasal spray with OXT and then shown pro-social behaviors to other ethnies (refugees) show a reduction in xenophobic attitudes. First, I will cover the science aspect of it, then, I will cover the ideological aspect of the paper, and finally will address the societal implications this paper may have in the future. I will conclude with my thoughts on both the science and ideology behind the paper (because, in my opinion, there was a clear ideological drive behind the paper, though, the same holds for most other fields).
In the first experiment, 53 males and 23 females (n=76) were given either the spray with the OXT or a placebo. They were then administered a test that tested how high they scored on a ‘Xenophobia index’. Marsh et al (2017: 9,318) write:
In a separate screening session, we evaluated xenophobia by measuring the attitudes toward refugees based on an adapted assessment instrument developed by Schweitzer and colleagues (33). Adaptions encompassed the wording; for example, “Australian refugee” was replaced by “German refugee.” The assessment instrument contained two inventories, in which participants indicated how strongly they associate refugees with realistic and symbolic threats.
The realistic threat scale items encompass different threat perceptions; for example: “Refugees are not displacing German workers from their jobs” or “Refugees have increased the tax burden on Germans.” Responses were coded on a 10-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (“I strongly disagree”) to 10 (“I strongly agree”). All items were recoded such that higher values reflected greater feelings of perceived realistic threats. The term Xi index, which we used for subsequent analyses, refers to a subject’s mean score achieved on the realistic threat inventory.
Higher Xi scores imply that an individual is more xenophobic. For experiment 1, they put the subjects into a lecture hall to establish altruistic norms, which enabled reputation pressures if one was seen to not be generous when giving. Marsh et al (2017) discovered that those who donated to refugees donated 19 percent more money. Further, donations to natives or refugees—including outgroup bias—was not dependant on gender. The bias (19 percent more donation) indicated altruistic actions and was lowest in those with high Xi scores.
Experiments 2 and 3 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of a random sample of 107 males (mean age of 24). They were administered either the OXT nasal spray or a placebo by a blind researcher. They separated them into high Xi scorers or low Xi scorers (n=53 and n=54 respectively). The OXT administered to low Xi scorers specifically increased altruistic behavior towards the ingroup and outgroup “evident in a 68% (outgroup) and an 81% (ingroup) increase in the donated sums” (Marsh et al, 2017: 9315). However, this effect was not noticed in high Xi scorers, so the researchers wondered if showing pro-social behaviors after being administered OXT would show a change in xenophobic behavior.
So people who scored high on the Xi index and were administered OXT showed no change in altruistic behavior. However, when those who scored high on the XI index were administered OXT and prosocial behavior to the outgroup was seen by those with higher Xi scores, they increased their donations to the outgroup by 74 percent.
Figure 1 shows, clearly, that those who were administered OXT and were exposed to altruistic norms from co-ethnics to the outgroup showed more generosity towards the outgroup than those administered the placebo. It’s also worth noting that these findings (of course) are not generalizable to women.
How does ideology affect this? Of course, both the Right and Left can use this study for their own agendas, but, of course, the Marsh et al (2017) may have biases themselves (everyone has biases, even the most well-known, most respected scientists), so now I will look at the ideology behind this paper through both a Right and Left lens, since political bias permeates our every day lives, and due to this, people won’t be able to think rationally about things, ironically, using their emotions to guide their thought processes/conclusions.
Marsh et al (2017: 9317) write:
The effect of solutions combining selective enhancement of OXT signaling and peer influence would be expected to diminish selfish motives, and thereby increase the ease by which people adapt to rapidly changing social ecosystems. More generally, our results imply that an OXT-enforced social norm adherence could be instrumental in motivating a more generalized acceptance toward ethnic diversity, religious plurality, and cultural differentiation resulting from migration by proposing that interventions to increase altruism are most effective when charitable social cues instill the notion that one’s ingroup shows strong affection for an outgroup. Furthermore, UNESCO has emphasized the importance of developing neurobiologically informed strategies for reducing xenophobic, hostile, and discriminatory attitudes (47). Thus, considering OXT-enforced normative incentives in developing future interventions and policy programs intended to reduce outgroup rejection may be an important step toward making the principle of social inclusion a daily reality in our societies.
This seems pretty bad to me. “If you won’t accept people in your countries, you must take this exogenous OXT while watching your ethnic group show altruistic behavior towards the outgroup so then you too will no longer be a ‘racist’.”
In regard to ref 47, it is a 2001 UNESCO address on ‘racism’. Of course, it begins by stating that “Science – modern genetics in particular – has constantly affirmed the unity of the human species, and denied that the notion of `race’ has any foundation.” This, as regular readers know, is false. Race is a social construct of a biological reality. Self-reported race is a great metric to gauge geographic ancestry (Risch et al, 2002), while Tang et al (2005) showed that self-reported race correlated almost perfectly with geographic ancestry. Though I can forgive this since it is a 2001 address.
Here is the money quote (emphasis mine):
Similarly, respect for others and acceptance of the right to be different should be built in the minds of human beings to replace hostile, discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes.
So it seems that Marsh et al (2017) is the first step in UNESCO’s quest for “[building] the minds of human beings to replace hostile, discriminatory and xenophobic attitudes … I can assure you that UNESCO will work actively to achieve this goal in close cooperation with other UN bodies and specialised agencies, other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations and with all interested partners.“. This screams social engineering to me, and it seems that the authors would approve of this, especially if you read the Discussion of the paper. This seems to be whatever the Left thinks would make for a better society, they’ll attempt to enact it. People believe they’re the opposite sex? Give them ‘gender-affirming surgery’ (whatever that means). People are ‘racist’? Better strap them down into a chair and shoot exogenous OXT up their nose while their eyes are forced open while watching videos of prosocial behaviors to the outgroup! The numerous possible scenarios that can be thought up due to this paper are mind boggling. For instance, maybe they can use our Internet history and see who the ‘wrongthinkers’ are to forcibly administer OXT to the ‘racists’. But I thought people should be who they are….?
I’d like to know what the baseline levels of OXT in the subjects were. For instance, did the people who had a high Xi score have higher levels of endogenous OXT? Furthermore, were they around people who did not show altruistic behavior towards ‘refugees’? That, then, would show that higher levels of endogenous OXT combined with non-altruistic behavior would increase ethnocentrism (Dreu et al, 2010). OXT has also been called by journalists ‘the love and trust hormone‘ and ‘the cuddle hormone‘, however, the results of Dreu et al (2010) call this into question showing that the hormone may be a cause of inter-group violence along with outgroup derogation. Dreu et al (2010) also conclude that OXT contributes to prosocial behaviors for the ingroup and facilitates outgroup derogation.
So OXT doesn’t make us prosocial on its own; OXT functions as a way to differentiate the ingroup vs. the outgroup, along with giving the in-group more preferential treatment (though other analyses fail to find that outgroup trust decreases; IJzendoorn and Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2011). Dreu et al (2010) also states that ethnocentrism that’s driven by high levels of endogenous OXT “paves the way for intergroup bias, conflict, and violence.” However, the results of Marsh et al (2017) show that OXT may facilitate prosocial behavior.
This study—especially with the discussion and the authors’ citation of the 2001 UNESCO address about “[building] the minds of human beings” is pretty scary. If you don’t go by what society says is ‘good’ and ‘right’ (whatever that means), you’re a heretic and you must be shown the way—forced OXT and watch the altruistic behavior, you don’t want to be ‘racist’ now, do you? We know that those that run our Western countries would like to make us how they think we should be—non-‘xenophobic’, accepting of migration, and they don’t want use to complain about it. So why not attempt to social engineer the populace into conforming to what the government wants?
Of course, over the past decade or so, mass immigration from outside the West has increased. I won’t go into the causes for that since I don’t discuss politics, however, unchecked immigration—no matter what the ultimate cause is—will change the host society. Go somewhere for X amount of benefits? If enough migration occurs to that nation and the native population is displaced enough, how would those benefits continue if those that migrated still exhibit the same behavior they did in their native countries?
This seems to be the start of “If we don’t like what you think or your beliefs, we will attempt to administer hormones to you and force you to watch this in order to cure you of your unnatural (in our egalitarian society) ‘racism’.” Measures such as this have, as far as I know, been spoken about since the turn of the last millennium and the completion of the Human Genome Project. It seems that as more and more migration occurs to the West, more and more anti-migrant attitudes will be had. The plan here seems to be to socially engineer people to be accepting of their replacement. Why? I thought that people should ‘be themselves’, that’s what they tell transgenders, anyway. Why would ‘racists’ be any different? Oh, because it’s not acceptable in today’s increasingly multi-ethnic society.
I won’t go down the path of the naturalistic fallacy (re: ethnocentrism is good and natural because we evolved that way), however, there is, of course, great adaptive significance to such behavior. If you show more altruistic behavior towards the in-group, you’re more likely to show more altruistic behavior to your family members and thusly have a better chance of protecting co-ethnics.
This is a great example of people attempting to enact policies to socially engineer people, a la Brave New World or 1984. Hormones influence behaviors, yes. Further, watching similar others engage in an action facilitates the possibility that they would also take t at same action. Administering exogenous OXT while seeing that would, according to Marsh et al (2017), cure ‘racism’ and make people happy about being displaced in their own countries. Non-Western people are abnormal to our societies, and when migration occurs to the West, this leads to a decrease in social trust in the native population (Putnam, 2007).
The paper (and its results) seem heavily driven by political bias. Will these political biases doom us to further social engineering through administering the populace with whatever hormones are discovered to do what ‘they‘ (the government) want us to do and how ‘they‘ want us to act? All I know is that it’s pretty scary to hear that this is even being talked about. I hope this never comes to fruition.
Biases and Political Beliefs
The study of political bias is very important. Once the source of what motivates political bias—which no doubt would translate to other facets of life—is found, individual action can be taken to minimize any future bias. Two recent studies found that contrary to other studies showing that conservatives are more biased than liberals, both groups were equally as biased.
Everyone is biased—even physicians (Cain and Detsky, 2008). When beliefs we hold to be true are questioned, we do anything we can to shield ourselves from conflicting information. Numerous studies have looked into biases in politics, with some studies showing that conservatives are more likely to be biased towards their views more than liberals. However, recent research has shown that this is not true.
Frimer, Skitka, and Motyl, (2017) showed there were similar motives to shield one’s self from contradictory information. Hearing opposite viewpoints—especially for staunch conservatives and liberals—clearly leads to them doing anything possible to, in their heads, defend their dearly held beliefs. In four studies (1: people would forgo the chance to win money if they didn’t have to hear the opposite sides’ opinions on the same-sex marriage debate; 2: thinking back to the 2012 election; 3: upcoming elections in the US and Canada; “a range of other Culture War Issues” (Frimer, Skitka, and Motyle, 2017); and 4: both groups reported similar diversions towards hearing the opposite group’s beliefs), both groups reported that hearing the other side’s beliefs would induce cognitive dissonance (Frimer, Skitka, and Motyle, 2017). They meta-analyzed all of their studies and still found that both groups would “rather remain in their ideological bubbles”.
Ditto et al (2017) also had similar findings. They meta-analyzed 41 studies with over 12,000 participants, testing two hypotheses: 1) conservatives would be more biased than liberals and 2) there would be equal amounts of bias. They discovered that the correlation for partisan bias was “robust”, with a correlation of .254. They showed that “liberals (r = .248) and conservatives (r = .247) showed nearly identical levels of bias across studies” (Ditto et al, 2017).
These two studies show what we know is true: it’s extremely hard/damn near impossible to change one’s view. Someone can be dead wrong, yet attempt to gather up whatever kind of data they possibly can to shield themselves from the truth.
This all comes down to one thing: the backfire effect. When we are presented with contradictory information, we immediately reject it. Everyone is affected by this bias. One study showed that corrections frequently failed to correct political misconceptions, with these attempted corrections actually doing the opposite, people increased their misconception of the group in question (Nyhan and Riefler, 2010). The thing is, people lack the knowledge about political matters which then affects their opinions. These studies show why it’s next to impossible to change one’s view in regards to anything, especially political matters.
New York University’s Professor of Ethical Leadership and social psychologist with a specialty in morality Jonathan Haidt also talks about partisan bias in his outstanding book on religion and politics The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (Haidt, 2013). This book is outstanding and I highly recommend it. I’ve written about some of his thoughts in his book, his theory on the evolution of morality is very well argued. Moral reasoning is just a post-hoc search for reasons to justify the judgments that people have already made. When asked why people are so averse to questions they find morally wrong, they cannot give good reasons to why they find the scenarios morally wrong (Haidt, 2001). More specifically, people couldn’t say why it was morally wrong to have sex with a sibling even though they were told that they used birth control and both enjoyed the act, suffering no emotional damage. This is direct evidence for Haidt’s ‘wag-the-dog’ illusion.
Haidt (2001: 13) writes:
If moral reasoning is generally a post-hoc construction intended to justify automatic moral intuitions, then our moral life is plagued by two illusions. The first illusion can be called the “wag-the-dog” illusion: we believe that our own moral judgment (the dog) is driven by our own moral reasoning (the tail). The second illusion can be called the “wag-the-otherdog’s-tail” illusion: in a moral argument, we expect the successful rebuttal of an opponent’s arguments to change the opponent’s mind. Such a belief is like thinking that forcing a dog’s tail to wag by moving it with your hand should make the dog happy.
Except the opponent’s mind is never changed. People always search for things to affirm their worldviews.
In his book, Haidt cites a study done on 14 liberals and conservatives who were stuck into an fMRI machine to scan their brains when shown 18 slides to see how their brain changed when viewing them (Weston et al, 2006). The first of which slide one set was George W. Bush praiding Ken Lay, the CEO of Enron. After, they were shown a slide in which the former President avoided mentioning Lay’s name. “At this point, Republicans were squirming” (Haidt, 2013: 101). Then they were finally shown a slide that said that Bush “felt betrayed” by the CEO’s actions and was shocked to find out that he was corrupt. There was a set of similar slides showing similar contradictory statements from John Kerry. The researchers had engineered situations that made the individual uncomfortable when shown their candidate contradicted themselves, while at the same time not showing any signs of being uncomfortable when it was shown their ideological opposite was caught being a hypocrite (Haidt, 2013: 101).
This study shows that emotional and intuitive processes are the causes for such extreme biases, with one only employing reasoning when it supports their own conclusions. Weston et al (2006) saw that when the individuals looked at the final slides, they had a sense of ‘escape’ and ‘release’. They cite further studies showing that this sense of escape and release is associated with the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum in other animals (Weston et al, 2006). So the subjects experienced this small hit of dopamine when they saw the final slide that showed everything was “OK”. If this is true, then this explains why we engage in these ‘addictive behaviors’—believing things with such conviction, even when shown contradictory information.
Like rats that cannot stop pressing a button, partisans may be simply unable to stop believing weird things. The partisan brain has been reinforced so many times for performing mental contortions that free it from unwanted beliefs. Even partisanship may be literally addictive. (Haidt, 2013: 103)
Haidt has also been covering the recent University protests that have been occurring around the country. About fifty years ago, a judge predicted the political turmoil we see in Universities today, writing:
No one can be expected to accept an inferior status willingly. The black students, unable to compete on even terms in the study of law, inevitably will seek other means to achieve recognition and self-expression. This is likely to take two forms. First, agitation to change the environment from one in which they are unable to compete to one in which they can. Demands will be made for elimination of competition, reduction in standards of performance, adoption of courses of study which do not require intensive legal analysis, and recognition for academic credit of sociological activities which have only an indirect relationship to legal training. Second, it seems probable that this group will seek personal satisfaction and public recognition by aggressive conduct, which, although ostensibly directed at external injustices and problems, will in fact be primarily motivated by the psychological needs of the members of the group to overcome feelings of inferiority caused by lack of success in their studies. Since the common denominator of the group of students with lower qualifications is one of race this aggressive expression will undoubtedly take the form of racial demands–the employment of faculty on the basis of race, a marking system based on race, the establishment of a black curriculum and a black law journal, an increase in black financial aid, and a rule against expulsion of black students who fail to satisfy minimum academic standards.
This seems to have come true today, seeing as political diversity has decreased in psychology, for instance, in the past fifty years (Duarte et al, 2015). In America, they found that 58-66 percent of social science professors identified as liberals, whereas only 5-8 percent identified as conservatives. Self-identified Democrats also outnumbered Conservatives by almost 8 to 1. Other researchers found that 52 to 77 percent of humanities professors were liberal with only 4-8 percent identifying as Conservative, for a ratio of about 5 to 1, favoring liberals. Finally, 84 percent of psychologists identified as liberal, with only 8 percent identifying as conservative for a 10.5 to 1 ratio (Duarte et al, 2015). However, this skew has only existed for about fifty years. When our institutions show this heavy skew in political beliefs, self-affirming, self-fulfilling prophecies will affect the quality of what is taught to students which will have a negative effect on the type of education received.
Finally, when talking about political biases, one cannot go without mentioning Stephen Jay Gould. Although I’ve come to love his work on evolutionary theory, he was horribly wrong on human differences and let his motivations, biases and political views cloud his judgement and drive him to be grossly dishonest in his posthumous attacks of a man long dead who could no longer defend himself in one Samuel Morton, which first appeared in 1978. This culminated in his widely acclaimed (and, as fas as I can tell, still given to college students to read) book Mismeasure of Man (Gould, 1981). In the book, he attacked Morton for being biased in his measurements of his skull collection. However, in 2011, an anthropology team lead by Jason Lewis remeasured Morton’s skulls and found that Morton was not biased and his measurements were correct (Lewis et al, 2011). Gould was the one who ended up showing the huge bias that he accused Morton of and, ironically for Gould, he was the case study in avoiding bias in scholarship and science, not Morton.
However, as is usually the case, long debates such as this are not so easily settled. Philosopher Michael Weisberg (Weisberg, 2014) argued that Gould’s arguments against Morton were sound and that “Although Gould made some errors and overstated his case in a number of places, he provided prima facie evidence, as yet unrefuted, that Morton did indeed mismeasure his skulls in ways that conformed to 19th century racial biases.” Further, Kaplan, Pigliucci and Banta (2015) argue that Gould’s problem with Morton’s measurements came down to how the measurements should have been done (lead shot or seed). They contend that many of Lewis et al’s (2011) claims against Gould were “misleading” and “had no relevance to Gould’s published analysis.” They also argue that both Gould’s and Morton’s methods (inclusion/exclusion of skulls, how to compute averages, etc) were “inappropriate”. Nevertheless, the point is, this debate seems to be far from over and I await the next chapter. Whatever the case may be, Gould vs. Morton is a perfect case of politics and bias in science.
Everyone is biased. Researchers, physicians, normal everyday people, etc. But where we become most biased is when politics comes into play. To become better, well-rounded people with a myriad of knowledge, we need to listen to other’s viewpoints without immediately rejecting them. But, first, we must recognize the cognitive bias and attempt to correct it. Political differences begin in the brain and then are shaped by experience. These political differences then lead to feelings of disgust when hearing of the views of the ‘opposite team’. Both sides of the political spectrum are equally as biased, contrary to each groups’ perception of this particular issue. There are differences in the brain between Conservatives and Liberals, and when they see their ‘enemy’ engage in contradictory behavior they get joy, whereas when they see their guy engage in the same contradictory behavior they show disgust.
The long debate on Morton’s skulls that’s been raging for over forty years is the perfect look into how politics, motivation, and bias comes into effect in science, no matter which camp ultimately ends up being right (I’m in the Morton camp, obviously). Studying the causes and effects of why we have such strong biases can lead to a better understanding of the causes of these underlying defense mechanisms—the causes of the backfire effect and similar cognitive biases. Everyone and anyone—from the scientist to the layman—should always let what the facts say guide their points of view and not their emotions.
When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say. —Bertrand Russel, 1959
The Threat of Increasing Diversity: Why Many White Americans Supported Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election
Tl;dr: White Americans exposed to more diversity are more likely to support Trump, anti-PC speech and anti-immigration policies while showing less support and positivity towards Democratic candidates. In the racial shift group, whites with low racial identity, ethnic replacement didn’t seem to care about ethnic replacement and showed stronger support for Democratic candidates. To wake up more whites to anti-immigration sentiments and white identity politics, you need to show them the effects of diversity in the social context as well as what a demographic replacement will mean in the next two decades.
Why did so many white Americans support Donald Trump’s Presidency? The reasons are numerous, though there are some key reasons why he won. To look at the exact reasons why, we need to look at some evolutionary psychology as well as political psychology. I came across a paper today titled The threat of increasing diversity: Why many White Americans support Trump in the 2016 presidential election, it has many thought provoking things in it and pretty much confirms what the altright says about an increase in white identity occurring. An ‘ethnic awakening’ if you will. The authors state that white Americans high in racial identity will be more likely to derogate out-groups when white Americans realize they are becoming replaced in their own country.
Major, Blojorn and Blascovich (2016) state that reminding white Americans who are ‘high in ethnic identification’ (i.e., a white identitarian, an altrighters) that non-white populations will soon outnumber whites caused them to be more concerned about the future of whites in America, pushing them towards Trump and his anti-immigration policies. This also led to an increase in being politically incorrect. Moreover, whites low in ethnic identification (say, a progressive leftist) showed no greater chance in voting for Trump nor his anti-immigration policies. This did, however, decrease positivity towards Trump as well as decreased their opposition towards political correctness. The authors write:
The U.S. Census Bureau (2012) projects that the national population of non-White racial groups will exceed that of Whites before the middle of this century. Many White Americans in the US view race relations as “zero-sum,” in which status gains for minorities means status loss for Whites (Wilkins & Kaiser, 2014) and less bias against minorities means more bias against Whites (Norton & Sommers, 2011). The belief that Whites are losing out to ethnic minorities is particularly prevalent among Trump supporters (De Jonge, 2016).
This is noticed, anecdotally speaking and you can follow the citations to get more information. From an evolutionary perspective, this does make sense. Competition for resources between groups trigger evolutionary instincts. More non-whites in America will decrease the white population who has the lowest birth rate by ethnicity in the country and this will trigger more anti-immigration sentiments in whites high in ethnic identification. This ‘zero-sum game’, the ‘if your ethnic group has more than mine has less’ game will start to take hold in America in the next coming years if this paper is any indication of the future. The one particularly interesting point the authors bring up is that if there is “less ‘bias against minorities, there will be more minorities against whites”, and that, in turn, increased anti-immigration sentiments as well as drove people towards Trump and his anti-immigration views.
The more minorities that come into the country, the more whites in America will start to band together for their own ethnic genetic interests, move towards more conservative policies and begin to show more derogation towards the out-group.
The authors use the term ‘group status threat’, which is when one “worries that his group’s status, influence, and position in the hierarchy is under threat.” This threat then predicts out-group derogation. I wonder if oxytocin (a brain peptide that increases out-group derogation) increases when diversity occurs in the social context. I’d like to see that looked into one day.
There is also ‘integrated threat theory’ where increased diversity poses a threat to white Americans’ resources and American values. They also state, using social cognition theory, that increases in diversity will be ‘frightening’ and ‘confusing’ to whites, causing “uncertainty and fear”, which then drove whites towards more conservative anti-immigration policies.
When whites high in ethnic identification were shown a newspaper article stating that whites would be a minority by 2042, it led whites to be more concerned about whites’ social status in the country, leading them towards more conservative views and policies. It’s important to note that their views changed along with their policy recommendations.
In this study, the authors tested experimentally whether reminding white Americans that of the increasing diversity in the US affects their political leanings, whether or not group status is the cause of the political leanings when one hears about ethnic replacements, and whether or not ethnic identification or political alignment moderated the effects. They expected that reminding whites of ethnic replacement will cause them to lean towards conservative views and politicians (Trump, Kasich, Cruz) while decreasing support for Democrats (Clinton and Sanders).
People who experience ‘group status threat’ will be more likely to vote for Trump since he has more anti-immigration, antidiversity views than all politicians who ran for President. This, the researchers hypothesized, would come to fruition in their study. They also predicted that reminding white Americans of ethnic replacement would cause them to support more anti-immigration policies and be more resistant to political correctness, i.e., they would be more likely to be against positive policies for the out-group. They would become intolerant towards the out-group upon exposure to the reality of ethnic replacement in the country.
We also tested ethnic identification and political affiliation as potential moderators of the predicted effect of condition.1 Drawing on social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986), we expected that reminders of increasing ethnic diversity would be especially threatening to Whites whose race/ethnicity is a central aspect of their identity. Thus we expected them to report greater support for Republican candidates, anti-immigrant policies, and opposition to political correctness in response to reminders of the racial shift compared to Whites low in ethnic identification. In contrast, based on Craig and Richeson’s (2014b) finding that reminders of the racial shift increased support for conservative ideology irrespective of political leanings, we did not expect political affiliation to moderate effects.
Whites whose ‘race/ethnicity is a central aspect of their identity’, i.e. altrighters were predicted to be especially threatened at the reminder of ethnic replacement in their country of birth. However, as expected and what is seen in anecdotal accounts, whites low in ethnic identification, i.e., progressive leftists, antifas, etc, showed the opposite.
The researchers had a sample consisting of 450 white Americans with the following political beliefs: 262 Democrats, 114 Republicans, 50 Independents and 24 ‘other’. After removing the Independents and ‘others’ from the sample they had 376 white American participants (51.1 percent female).
They were given articles and were given two minutes to read them. One was an article talking about the ethnic replacement of whites and whites’ minority status in America that’s projected to occur by 2042 (aptly called ‘racial shift’) while the other article used “similar language to indicate geographic mobility is increasing (control condition).” It’s interesting to note that it seems like the only difference between the two articles is the wording. After reading the articles, they then completed tasks assessing group status threat, support for the current candidates running for office, anti-immigration sentiments, ethnic identification, and opposition to political correctness. After the completion of the tasks, they were then told the reason for the study and compensated their one dollar.
White Americans exposed to ‘racial shift condition’ reported greater group status threat than those in the control condition. This shows that white Americans who live in a diverse neighborhood will be more likely to be affected by the ‘racial shift condition’, leading them towards anti-immigration sentiment, a strong feeling towards white identity, and be more likely to hold more right-wing views. Whites high in ethnic identification showed greater group status threat than the control (.29) in the racial shift condition while whites low in ethnic identification did not. So, white identitarians showed a greater feeling of threat towards the group than did progressive leftists and antifas. Can’t say I’m too surprised. I did theorize in my article on the rise of the altright that either leftists have less oxytocin and altrighters have more, or that since political beliefs are heritable that high amounts of oxytocin will have one gravitate towards using their altruistic tendencies for the out-group or the in-group. This seems to be some evidence for my theory. For both right-wingers and left-wingers, ethnic identification was positively related to group status threat, but it was stronger in right-wingers. Even more evidence for my oxytocin/political beliefs theory.
White identitarians (whites high in ethnic identification) reported moderately greater positivity towards Trump as well as an even greater chance of voting for him in the racial shift scenario compared to the geographic movement scenario. Conversely, whites low in ethnic identification (progressive leftists, antifas, etc) showed less positivity towards Trump in the racial shift condition than in the geographic movement (control) condition,. However, in the racial shift condition, when one had high ethnic identification it led to increased positivity and a higher chance of voting for Trump. However, in the geographic condition, ethnic identification was unrelated to positivity towards Trump as well as voting for him.
Whites who showed less identification showed somewhat less support towards Sanders, being somewhat less likely to vote for him in the racial shift condition than in the geographic movement condition. In whites low in ethnic identity, neither condition (racial shift or geographic movement) had any effect on voting for Sanders or positivity towards him. Now here’s the good part: in the racial shift condition, whites high in ethnic identity showed somewhat less support and positivity towards Sanders in the racial shift condition compared to the geographic shift condition. Moreover, in the racial shift condition, ethnic identification was negatively correlated with positivity and chance of voting for Sanders, whereas in the control condition ethnic identification showed no effect.
In the racial shift condition, white identitarians were more supportive of anti-immigration policies than progressive leftists, while whites low in ethnic identification showed no difference, regardless of the condition. Ethnic identification was related to anti-immigration policies in both the racial shift and geographic movement conditions, but it was stronger in the racial shift condition.
White identitarians did not differ in outlook on political correctness by condition, while whites who show less ethnic identity reported less opposition to political correctness. Ethnic identification and anti-PC views were positively related in the racial shift condition but unrelated in the geographic shift condition.
Exposure to the racial shift condition vs. the geographic movement condition elicits different responses based on one’s political alignment and ethnic identification. Exposure to the racial shift condition increased group status threat, support for Trump and support for anti-immigration policies while somewhat decreasing support for Sanders, but only among whites high in ethnic identification. Conversely, for whites low in ethnic identification in exposure to the racial shift, there was no effect on group status threat, support for Sanders or anti-immigration sentiments and actually led to a decrease in positivity for Trump. That’s pretty powerful right there.
The support and election of Donald Trump is showing a paradigm shift in this country as ethnies in America start voting on racial lines. As diversity continues to increase and as more white Americans begin to realize the ethnic replacement will begin to impede on how many resources they have access to as well as the ‘racism being flipped on them’ with ‘less bias on minorities being more bias towards whites’, more and more whites will start voting not on party lines, but ethnic lines like all other ethnies in this country do. In the racial shift group, whites high in ethnic identification showed increased support for Trump and anti-immigration policies, increased opposition towards political correctness and decreased Sanders support through group status threat. Conversely, in the racial shift group, reminders of ethnic replacement in whites low in ethnic identification showed decreased Trump support and his policies and did not lead to group status threat. This can be termed ‘ethnic suicide’. Clearly, increased diversity is a threat to some but not all white Americans.
What boggles my mind is that when whites low in ethnic identification were reminded of the projected ethnic replacement by 2042, they decreased support for Trump and increased support for anti-immigration policies and their support for norms that prohibit bias in hate speech, which was not mediated by the group status threat. The authors put forth one theory why this may be the case. They say that whites low in ethnic identification were thinking of the changing racial demographics on the country as a whole, not just on their own ethnic group which may have led them to support a candidate who is tolerant of diversity and antibias norms. Reminding Americans high in racial identity of ethnic replacement increasingly shifted support to Trump and away from Sanders. Though this effect was not seen in relation to other candidates, the authors attributed this to Trump’s stance on immigration and political correctness relative to the other Republican candidates. To those white Americans with a high racial identity who experience group status threat, they would be drawn to Trump and his anti-immigration, anti-PC speech. The authors state:
Of all of the candidates, Trump has been most vocal in his opposition to “outsiders” such as Muslims and illegal immigrants from Latin America, and most openly critical of “political correctness” in both his rhetoric and his behavior. Trump’s rhetoric and policies thus appear to hold special appeal for White Americans highly in racial/ethnic identification who are concerned about the declining position of Whites in American society and who often perceive reverse discrimination as prevalent. In contrast, Sanders may have been perceived as the most inclusive candidate and thus most likely to exacerbate threats to White’s status as a group.
This sums up the 2016 election in one paragraph. White Americans high in racial identity showed a greater chance to vote for Trump, greater opposition to political correctness and were more likely to espouse anti-immigration sentiments.
Political leaning affiliation had a large and expected effect on candidate choice as well as policy preferences. Compared to Dems, Republicans reported much stronger support for Republican candidates than Democratic candidates while being more supportive of anti-immigration and “more un-PC attitudes”. However, when reminded of ethnic replacement, both Democrats and Republicans who showed high racial identification were more likely to lean right and vote Trump. This study shows important implications about group identity and intergroup process to voting preferences. In whites high in racial identity, increased racial diversity affects voting preferences amongst whites, with the strength of the racial/ethnic identity moderating the effect. I.e., the stronger a racial identity one has the more likely they are to support Trump and anti-immigration policies, irrespective of political leaning. Due to this study, psychologists and political scientists need to begin to pay attention to the increasing concerns of whites high in racial identification, while traditionally thinking that white Americans’ politics weren’t driven by white identity, deeming them to be unimportant to whites’ political outlooks. For example, one study showed that “racial identification, perceptions of discrimination, and linked fate were only weak predictors of White Americans’ attitudes on policies related to race and immigration. This led them to conclude that “Whites’ whiteness is usually likely to be no more noteworthy to them than is breathing the air around them” (Sears and Savelli, 2006, p. 901).
However, the current political climate shows that this no longer is the case. As more non-whites immigrate into America, whites who have high racial identity, irrespective of political leaning, will become more open to supporting Trump (or people like him) as well as anti-immigration policies. As the white majority in America shrinks, more and more white Americans will be open to white identity politics to get back their rightful resources in the country as well as the demographic majority. Eventually, with more and more unchecked immigration, white identity will start to become a central part in white American politics and voting blocks. White Americans who regard their identity as ‘white’ and an important part of their identity, future white American political preferences will be molded by group status threat as well as opposition to diversity. Trump has ‘tapped into’ the demographic of white Americans who feel looked down on in their own home country from mass immigration from the South (and soon from MENA countries). White Americans who feel that their numerical advantage is threatened are more likely to vote for Trump and support anti-immigration policies that will begin to benefit American whites.
It is, however, important to note that Trump may not be who he says he is (like most politicians). On election night last month I blogged on Donald Trump and Ethnic Genetic Interests. I showed that contrary to the average perception of him, his interests lie with Israel, not with his own racial group (due to his children marrying Jews). Moreover, he has already reneged on his wall, deporting illegals and his supposed moratorium on Muslim immigration into the US from threat countries. If anything, Trump is just a stepping stone towards more nationalistic attitudes in the US for whites. With the increased diversity, whites will start to see that they are becoming replaced by other ethnies and in whites with high racial identity, it will trigger nationalistic attitudes and responses to the impending threat on their unique genetic code. This will help to foster the awakening of more whites to identity politics, voting in their own ethnic interests and not for the interest of other ethnies.
I personally hope this leads to a renaissance of race-realism in America, but I may be aiming the bar too high. The conclusion of this study is hopeful for the status of whites in America, however. The more whites that get exposed to diversity AND have high racial identity will then lean more towards Trumpian policies. As whites decrease in number in the US, more and more whites will begin to vote for themselves and, in my opinion, once these nationalistic attitudes appear in the white consciousness in America, this demographic replacement can begin to be reversed. If it were not for the increased immigration, however, this would not have happened. The increased immigration is a main driver of these feelings towards political correctness and anti-immigration. The more anti-white sentiment that is heard in America, the more whites high in racial identity will move towards the right while leftists will continue to commit ‘ethnic suicide’.
The takeaway from this paper is this: Whites exposed to the racial shift high in racial identity were more likely to support Trump, anti-immigration policies and be anti-PC. Whites in the racial shift condition who showed low racial identity showed the opposite and were more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. This paper shows good news in the future for whites in America and voting in their interests. Whites in America are beginning to vote for their ethnic genetic interests and this is largely due to genetic similarity theory as immigration from MENA countries and South of the border increase into America. Moreover, with Trump’s allegiance to Israel, Trump is just a man to awaken more people to the realities of immigration. So Trump himself won’t do anything, but his anti-immigration rhetoric is having people notice the realities of immigration and ethnic replacement in America.