Thursday, August 30, 2018

One reason I have never called Steven Pinker a white supremacist

The kind of people who support and in some cases write for alt-right garbage pretending to be centrist like Quillette like to claim I have said Steven Pinker is a white supremacist, as we see Cathy Young doing in this tweet.

I've never said Steven Pinker was a white supremacist. I have pointed out that Steven Pinker has promoted hereditarians like Razib Khan and Steve Sailer who write for white supremacist publications like American Renaissance and Taki's Magazine.

I presented this information in the form of a diagram, which the right/alt-right seems to have a phobia about. The concept of presenting information in the form of an image as opposed to expressing the concept in words seems to strike them as not something sane people would do.

But it's not certain whether some of Pinker's colleagues or Pinker himself consider Pinker, as an Ashkenazi Jew, "white."

Some of the hereditarians ("race realists", biosociologists, evolutionary psychologists, "human biodiversity" proponents, "biosocial criminologists" etc) appear to have decided that the category "Ashkenazi Jew" is a separate category from "white."

...I think the different statistics are not showing us whether Jews are white or not, because that’s not fundamentally a question which relies purely on genetics. Being white is not totally uncoupled from genetics. Someone of Chinese of African appearance could never be white. Genetics is a necessary condition, but it is not a sufficient condition of whiteness. So, for example, Middle Eastern non-Muslim populations regularly assimilate to whiteness, while Muslims do not. To my knowledge no one thought of Jacques Derrida as a non-white intellectual, despite his Algerian Sephardic Jewish background. But if Jacques Derrida had converted to Islam, and passed himself off as an Algerian Arab or Berber, he would have become non-white. 
By this criterion it is obvious to me that Ashkenazi Jews are white. They have been part of the culture of the West since the late 19th century. But note my qualification. Jews as Jews were not part of Western culture between the years 500 and 1850. Those Jews who impacted Western culture left their Jewishness behind, whether as converts to Christianity (e.g., Karl Marx was a Jew who was raised as a Christian), or as cosmopolitan individualists (e.g., Spinoza). 
** Arguably the Jewish Enlightenment, and the rise of Reform Judaism, were both necessary preconditions for the inclusion of self-conscious Jews as Westerners, and racially as white Westerners.*** 
I find it strange the Khan admits that race is a cultural category, since in the past he's described human descendants of parents of different ethnic groups as "hybrids" as in this article Ashkenazi Jews are Middle Eastern & European hybrids.

Elsewhere he has no problem using the term "hybrid" to mean interbreeding between separate species.

Here we see Steve Sailer in a tweet from April of this year, making a distinction between Jews and whites. Sailer conflates "white" with "gentile" here. 

However, in an article published by white supremacist site VDare Sailer writes:
So that implies one-fourth of white Americans with IQs above 145 are Ashkenazi Jews. 
As for Steven Pinker, he is so certain that race is a biological reality that he said on video that to deny race reality is to deny "reality itself." But what about Ashkenazis as a separate "race"?

As anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson noted in his debunking of the 2005 paper "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence:"

Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker has done much to legitimize and publicize NHAI, while remaining carefully agnostic on its truth value. In the Times:"'It would be hard to overstate how politically incorrect this paper is," said Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist at Harvard... Still, he said, "it's certainly a thorough and well argued-paper, not one that can easily be dismissed outright" (Wade 2005). His article about NHAI in The New Republic concluded that it "meets the standards of a good scientific theory, though it is tentative and could turn out to be mistaken" (pinker2006:27).   
A blogger (Your Lying Eyes 2006) reported a public talk by Pinker on NHAI ("Jews, Genes, and Intelligence"). "Overall Pinker emphasized the reasonableness of the author's hypotheses, the generally better quality of the genetic evidence over the environmental, the non-rational basis of much of the opposition, and the paper's strong foundation in the current state of knowledge."   
Pinker is credited with formulating Edge's Annual Question for 2006: "What Is Your Dangerous Idea... dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?" His own answer is "Groups of people may differ genetically in their average talents and temperaments." Of his four illustrations, one is Cochran and Harpending's argument on Ashkenazi intelligence.

I think that this shows the standard Pinker approach: make an argument in favor of something but then refuse to express a conclusion, which I believe he does to give himself plausible deniability. 

But it's still unclear from Pinker's perspective if Ashkenazi Jews are a separate race from whites, or a form of hyper-intelligent whites.

Well never fear, Stefan Molyneux (linked to Steven Pinker not only by me, but by Bari Weiss in her "Intellectual Dark Web" article) is happy to declare Ashkenazi Jews a separate race from whites.

Pinker appeared on Dave Rubin's show hereStefan Molyneux appeared here, and explains his ranking of "races" by intelligence:
  1. Ashkenazi Jews
  2. East Asian 
  3. Caucasian
  4. Mestizo/Hispanic
  5. African Americans
  6. Sub-Saharan Blacks
  7. Pygmies
  8. Indigenous Australians

It's unclear if Molyneux is including South Asians in with East Asians or not. 

It's odd that Pinker, who has no problem attacking Stephen Jay Gould in front of an audience, presenting Gould as a laughable moron as in the video I linked to above, has never gone on record, to my knowledge, to dispute the claims of Stefan Molyneux.

So that's one reason I haven't called Pinker a white supremacist - I don't know if he even considers himself "white. "