Conservatives and race

Conservatives are retarded when it comes to discussing race. Conservatives treat the progressive position on race as a reasonable position that can be criticized on logical grounds.

Progressives believe that we shouldn’t be racist . . . and in order to not be racist, we need to give preferential treatment to people based on . . . race. The basic principles of the progressive view of race are contradictory.

For example, George Zimmerman is black by the progressive definition of a black person. My wife and I have some good couple friends with children. Their children are consider black – mom’s (half) black and dad’s white – for purposes of obtaining preferential treatments. One quarter black, in other words, means black. Except for when it doesn’t.

The New York (Beta) Times would generally describe George Zimmerman as "African-American." However, Zimmerman was a engaged in an implicitly conservative activity and he killed a suspicious-looking black man. Because of these circumstances, according to the Times, Zimmerman is "white Hispanic." Again, a person is black, except for when he isn’t.

Lots of conservatives are fond of saying things like: "Why is it that Democrats are cruising around accusing everyone in sight of being racist when it is they, not the objects of their ire, who engage in the racist behavior?"

This statement is profoundly ignorant. The implicit assumption behind this statement is that treating people differently based on their race is racist. In reality, racism is a political construct. It’s who – whom all the way down. If you’re a progressive, you’re not racist. This is a fact – conservatives need to accept it. If you’re conservative and you talk about race, you’re racist. The actual content of your message is irrelevant. If you don’t talk about race, you’re almost certainly racist . . . and anyway, it’s close enough since you associate with some people somewhere who said something about race at some time.

Another recent example is Naomi Schaefer Riley. She’s obvious not racist in the logical sense of the word – she’s married to a black dude. But again, the logical sense of the word is irrelevant. She suggested that "the dissertation topics of the [black studies] graduate students mentioned were obscure at best and ‘a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap,’ at worst."

Instead of proving her wrong by pointing to the mountain of high-level scholarship produced by the discipline of black studies, black studies activists got her fired. If you don’t understand what who – whom means, you do now.

Reactionaries could make a huge contribution to political debates if they could find a way to stop conservatives from beclowning themselves when they bring up race. Engaging progressives on the topic of race as if their position was a logical one is playing into their hands. It gives them credit that they don’t deserve.

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28 Responses to Conservatives and race

  1. Engaging in political debates to shut down democracy is sort of like trying to shut down an underground dogfighting ring by entering Bruiser, the 90lb pitbull, don’t you think?

    (Oh, and the fights are fixed, anyway.)

  2. Matt says:

    The biggest problem is responding to insults. A charge of racism is an attack, not an argument. It’s as if someone called you stupid and then you set about to prove that you weren’t stupid. A waste of time at best, an automatic loss at worst.

  3. jamesd127 says:

    See also my similar post “racism and deskism”

    “Why is the belief that the appearance and origin of a desk has a good correlation with the desk’s value and usefulness not known as ‘deskism’, and why is ‘deskism’ unlikely to to destroy one’s career”

  4. james wilson says:

    It’s not a difficult argument to win if anyone is really up for it. Leftists are, on average, the most racist people on the planet. They are horrified, at varying levels of conciousness, that some ethnic groups are their inferiors, and will do anything to make this perception less obvious in their own minds. All the debate requires is to keep drilling on that tooth like Dr, Mengele.

  5. jamesd127 says:

    > It’s not a difficult argument to win if anyone is really up for it. Leftists are, on average, the most racist people on the planet.

    Can you point me to some place where you won it?

    esr keeps calling me a racist, a hater, a nazi, a white nationalist, genocidal maniac, hater, and so on and so forth because I have considered the logical implications of group differences that he is reluctant to consider. I doubt than the average leftist would be able to detect the difference between me and esr, since we both acknowledge that group differences exist and that some groups are on average better than others, but he thinks the difference between me and him is vitally important, though the hairline difference is so minute that it is difficult for me to explain. (He, of course, can explain it easily. I am a racist, hater, nazi, white nationalist, insanely evil, and so on and so forth, while he is not.)

    • Bill says:

      What’s esr?

      • Matthew says:

        Eric S Raymond, popularizer of open source software as a strategy. He’s a libertarian neopagan polyamorist who is usually worth reading.

        I’m always happy when I see a James A Donald comment on his blog, because a progressive posturing shit storm often ensues.

      • Bill says:

        Thank you. Will look him up.

    • The reason ESR is pushing back is not because he doesn’t agree with you, but because he’ll pay a price for agreeing with you in public. He has his name and reputation to uphold. His whole thing is that you can understand these concepts without being “racist”, i.e. a bad person.

      It’s not the right venue in which to start propounding 212 proof truth. Because what’ll happen is that the liberals he’s convincing will point to you and be repelled. Know your audience. You can only move people by inches at a time in a comments thread, and then too on only one topic. They have to fancy themselves a right-thinking person, with maybe one contrary opinion on global warming or whatever.

      Basically, by commenting in those threads you are kind of cockblocking him. Sort of like a wingman who comes in and says “yo dude, are you and this chick going to bang tonight or what?”. It’s tactless and all that will happen is that the chick will leave and your friend will get annoyed. In the same way, you need to let him go after his quarry without paying a reputational cost.

      The right thing to do is to have your own blog, where you expound views that are further to the right. Don’t criticize people who are giving out the gateway drug, though. Otherwise they’ll never make it to the hard stuff.

  6. Phlebas says:

    Reactionaries could make a huge contribution to political debates if they could find a way to stop conservatives from beclowning themselves when they bring up race.

    Some important techniques that would help people to think rationally about the Zimmerman case, for example, are due to Yudkowsky. The relevant techniques are:

    replace the symbol with the substance

    sneaking in connotations

    and “mutual information and density in thingspace” for elaboration on “sneaking in connotations”.

    To illustrate these techniques in practice: the MSM have framed Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic”. But these are just words, which may or may not be very helpful in categorising reality and allowing us to make efficient inferences. Given that Zimmerman’s default racial designation is controversial, rather than arguing about whether Zimmerman is “really a white Hispanic”, one should just insist on discussing the precise details of the man Zimmerman, rendering this questionable label superfluous by dispensing with the need for any such leaky designation (note that it is impossible for even the most hostile interlocutor to object to this, without seeming foolish).

    Look at Zimmerman’s physical appearance. He is swarthy, and his facial structure is distinctly unlike those characteristic of European populations. Try to imagine what would happen if he turned up at a Stormfront rally. Therefore, although he has a typically European surname his experiences in life are highly unlikely to have led him to wholeheartedly adopt any “white” ethnic or racial identity – no-one whom he encountered would have thought of him as “white”, whatever the surname and physical appearance of his father happened to be.

    The appellation “white Hispanic” is supposedly a mere denotation of the fact that Zimmerman’s father was “white”, and his mother “Hispanic”. However, this non-standard usage of the designation “white”, which is normally a purely racial term, is designed to connote the fact that Zimmerman was part of some “white racial community”, and self-identified as a white person.

    If this connotation were actually true, then the Zimmerman case bolsters the liberal narrative in two ways: firstly, Zimmerman killed Martin because as a self-identified white person, he lacked due empathy towards people he identified as being racially “black”. Secondly, (according to the narrative) Zimmerman’s general attitude of discriminatory suspicion towards black criminals must have been nurtured by a wider community of other racialist whites (both on an immediate level in his gated community, and in his general interactions with “other white people” throughout his life), who accepted Zimmerman as part of their in-group.

    Then, if the impression can be created in the popular mind that Zimmerman is an instance of a wider trend in extant white racialism, he can be vilified in order to bring to heel racialist white people in general. This is not to say that the liberals took the Zimmerman case as particularly important evidence to them personally of an ongoing epidemic of white racialism, because this is a given; rather, they saw it as an ideal opportunity to confront the supposed mass of racialist white commoners (Vaisyas) with a dramatic, long overdue illustration of their iniquitous, unreformed ways.

    Of course, we have already noted that this is all bunkum, because people of Zimmerman’s ancestry and phenotype aren’t regarded as racially “white” by anyone in day-to-day life, nor do they tend to identify themselves as “white”. But this is the power of “sneaking in connotations” – it comes in very subtly under the radar of the average person’s ability to think effectively. That is to say that most people, including most conservatives, can be bamboozled by the malicious misuse of words to produce irrational inferences, even if the unsound inference once effectively revealed is blatantly foolish.

    • Bill says:

      I don’t think spewing 550 words each time somebody says “the white Hispanic George Zimmerman” is a winning strategy.

      How ’bout just saying “George Zimmerman is black.”

      • Phlebas says:

        I don’t think that people should necessarily repeat the above. I was trying to explain a different approach to arguing (and thinking in general), for which I am indebted to Yudkowsky, and that took me 550 words. (Pedantry is a defense against stupidity, by the way.)

        The problem with simply rejoining, “Zimmerman is black” is that the liberal in question can then say, “Well his father is white, and his mother is Hispanic. Therefore, it is fair to call him a ‘white Hispanic'”.

        If you continue in this vein you will end up having an argument about words, which is about as edifying as this.

        Instead of this unhelpful stalemate, if you replace the symbol of appellations like “white Hispanic”, “Hispanic” or “black” with the actual details of Zimmerman’s probable genetic make-up, ancestry, phenotype and socially-regarded race for which these labels are supposed to stand, then such a stalemate can be ended in your favour, presuming that you are not the person benefiting from a questionable usage of words.

        In this particular case, before the Trayvon incident more or less anyone Zimmerman ever encountered would have regarded him as “non-white” on the basis of his visibly abundant non-European ancestry, and due to this fact it is also very unlikely that he self-identified as a white man. Therefore, the insinuation that the Trayvon affair is evidence of a “white racialism” problem (this insinuation being connoted by pushing the “white Hispanic” label, which can just barely be justified as a denotation), to be solved by chastising people of European ancestry who positively identify themselves as “white” and nurture an in-group/out-group dichotomy on this basis, is clearly a false one.

        You can point out the above, to your advantage in any argument on this subject, if you remember to replace the symbol with the substance whenever you notice someone trying to sneak in a disingenuous connotation. If instead you just try to push back with your own abstracted label for Zimmerman, you lose this opportunity.

      • Bill says:

        The problem with simply rejoining, “Zimmerman is black” is that the liberal in question can then say, “Well his father is white, and his mother is Hispanic. Therefore, it is fair to call him a ‘white Hispanic’”. To which you reply “Bullshit. He looks black. He is a quarter black. He would count as black on the Census. He would count as black if he had invented peanut butter.” I just said everything you did without lecturing and without avoiding calling the liberal a lying moron.

        It’s important to prick at their status, to call them dumb and dishonest. To refuse them intellectual dialogue. What their attachment to liberalism gives them, emotionally, is validation of themselves as courageous, intelligent truth-tellers. This seems weird to us, since we know they are dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks, conformist liars. Pushing this contradiction in their faces is a good plan. Especially if you are pseudononymous on the internet. Dishonest dolts like Richard Dawkins pee their pants at the thought that they will be found out as dishonest dolts.

        The best thing about Foseti’s blog is the phrase “full retard.”

      • Bill says:

        Someday I will learn to end my blockquotes properly.

      • Bill says:

        Trying again:

        The problem with simply rejoining, “Zimmerman is black” is that the liberal in question can then say, “Well his father is white, and his mother is Hispanic. Therefore, it is fair to call him a ‘white Hispanic’”.

        To which you reply “Bullshit. He looks black. He is a quarter black. He would count as black on the Census. He would count as black if he had invented peanut butter.” I just said everything you did without lecturing and without avoiding calling the liberal a lying moron.

        It’s important to prick at their status, to call them dumb and dishonest. To refuse them intellectual dialogue. What their attachment to liberalism gives them, emotionally, is validation of themselves as courageous, intelligent truth-tellers. This seems weird to us, since we know they are dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks, conformist liars. Pushing this contradiction in their faces is a good plan. Especially if you are pseudononymous on the internet. Dishonest dolts like Richard Dawkins pee their pants at the thought that they will be found out as dishonest dolts.

        The best thing about Foseti’s blog is the phrase “full retard.”

  7. Toddy Cat says:

    The idea that true leftists can be argued out of their positions is unsound, no matter what the issue. Their positions are not based on logic, but rather are based on factors so disreputable that they can’t even admit their true motivations to themselves (motivations such as hatred, envy, lust for power, revenge against a society that bruised their fragile egos, etc.), so they have to come up with spurious “reasons” for their behavior. Refuting those “reasons” won’t help matters, because the real motivations have not been addressed, indeed cannot be addressed short of psychiatry or religious conversion. So if you’re arguing with a hard-core leftist, remember, it’s the uncommitted onlookers you’re trying to convince, not the leftist itself.

    • Phlebas says:

      To continue on the Yudkowskian theme, this is an unwise stance to take.

      I think that the “reactionary” corner deserves to be fought because leftist idealists are the ones in power, causing most of the problems that our civilisation is experiencing; however, I am not actually any more fond of rightist idealists, despite the fact that if I were to slip into idealism, which is always a danger, that is what I would become. Idealists (in the sense defined by Moldbug in his Dawkins series of posts, or Stirner in The Ego and Its Own) are all harmful in the present day; furthermore, the human interests and goals shared by both leftists and rightists, and by all ethnic groups and sexes, are very largely the same once various layers of irrationality are stripped away.

      Actually, Yudkowsky himself is a good example of someone who is obviously a leftist neurologically speaking, yet who is seemingly never guilty of leftist idealism (although perhaps “CEV” could be made less unnecessarily democratic). This for example is a quite masterful exercise in dealing tactfully yet honestly with the question of female underrepresentation in a scientific community, mooting several possible un-PC explanations without tending to arouse any leftist-idealist outrage.

      I agree that it is often very difficult to persuade people of anything they don’t really want to believe, ourselves included. At the very least, people need to save face by not being seen to change their minds immediately after losing an argument. However, as you imply it is often nonetheless highly worthwhile to argue with one’s bitter opponents, sometimes for one’s own sake too.

      • jamesd127 says:

        > “the human interests and goals shared by both leftists and rightists, and by all ethnic groups and sexes, are very largely the same once various layers of irrationality are stripped away.”

        Leftists intend, among other things, the deaths of several billion of supposedly excess population, in order to protect Gaia from the hand of man. For example the food to fuel mandates have created artificial famine in many parts of world.

        Leftists intend, among other things, the destruction of technological civilization by cutting off its energy supply.

        Leftists intend, among other things, to make most people slave laborers of the state dominated by lefists, thus maximizing the status and benefits of members of the state apparatus. This is considerably worse than private chattel slavery, since resources owned by a private owner are conserved, whereas resources owned by the state are wasted and destroyed.

        Leftists intend and expect that they will use state superpowers for good, in pretty much the way that one expects one will follow a diet and exercise regime, but apart from the fact that it is difficult to use state power for good, it is also distasteful, like a very strict diet. Leftist want power itself, not the benefits that power brings, and one cannot really experience power except by making others suffer, so in practice, leftists delight in the use of power to make others suffer, and when their fellow leftists behaved in this manner, older leftists were unsurprised and undismayed – because any leftists that were surprised and dismayed changed sides.

        Likely some leftists believe that with themselves as masters, all the slaves would be happy, but are not much interested in historical reality tests that suggest the contrary.

      • jamesd127 says:

        > Yudkowsky himself is a good example of someone who is obviously a leftist neurologically speaking, yet who is seemingly never guilty of leftist idealism (although perhaps “CEV” could be made less unnecessarily democratic). This for example is a quite masterful exercise in dealing tactfully yet honestly with the question of female underrepresentation in a scientific community,

        It may be tactful, but is not in the slightest bit honest.

        And when people lie to you, they mean you harm. Yudkowsky lies to you, therefore he means you harm.

      • jamesd127 says:

        > To continue on the Yudkowskian theme, this is an unwise stance to take. [that your enemies are evil]

        Yet strangely, it is a stance that leftists take uniformly and invariably, and no one ever suggests it is unwise, no one ever suggests they should restrain themselves because it is more effective to generously credit your enemies.

        We observe that when one leftist is slightly more extreme than the other, he condemns the less extreme leftist as evil, and no one ever tells the more extreme leftist he should refrain from attributing wickedness to his opponents. Instead the less extreme leftist grovels abjectly.

        And similarly when one rightist is slightly less extreme than another rightist, he condemns the slightly more extreme rightist as evil and insane (Yes, esr, I am looking at you) and no one ever suggests that the slightly less extreme rightist should give credit to the slightly more extreme rightist.

        Instead, it is only someone fails to acknowledge the vastly superior good intentions and high moral virtue of everyone to the left of them, that we are reprimanded and told we should give credit to our opponents.

      • jamesd127 says:

        > To continue on the Yudkowskian theme, this is an unwise stance to take. [that your enemies are evil]

        Observe Yudkowsky’s examples of unwisely saying your enemies are evil are all examples of rightists saying leftists are evil, and are all cases where it is in fact correct to say that your enemies are evil.

        Yudkowsky tells us it is absurd to say that Islamic terrorists hate us for our freedom, yet Islamic terrorists have a holy book that tells them infidels are not allowed to be free – not to mention is pretty damned obvious that Islamic terrorists are, for the most part, evil. One could scarcely find an example where it is more obviously correct to claim that one’s enemies are evil.

    • Bill says:

      motivations such as hatred, envy, lust for power, revenge against a society that bruised their fragile egos, etc

      You forgot status-whoring. There are lots of good (in the sense of truthful and effective) comebacks for leftists. “What percentage of the people on your block/your kid’s school are black?” “You don’t believe that: you’re just status-whoring.” “Anti-racist is code for anti-white” Etc. Even “Oh, come on”

      You are trying to make them mad. You are trying to get them to fly off the handle. You are trying to make them go bug-eyed and spittle-flecked. That’s the point. Reveal what they are.

      Politely and earnestly spewing a thousand words of technical gobble is a poor rhetorical strategy.

  8. spandrell says:

    Leftism didn’t get here by argument. They got here through war and suppression of dissent.
    You don’t fight that with arguments. Not even Gandhi did.

    You might to some extent reverse-engineer leftist status whoring code and hack it for a while, but before they short-circuit they’ll just resort to violence. This is not about smarts, it’s about power. And we don’t have it.

  9. Matthew says:

    Yudkowsky is hilariously simple on race. In his Harry Potter fanfic, he depicts Draco Malfoy as being shocked to learn that Muggles discriminate against people based solely on their skin color. And all the Hogwarts students are nonplussed to hear that Muggles don’t find yaoi romantic.

    • Phlebas says:

      It would be helpful if you were to excerpt the parts of the fanfic you refer to.

      My immediate thought is that some people do discriminate based solely on skin colour. For example, Indian women like to apply skin-lightening cream to their faces in order to appear more attractive. I also recall an acquaintance mentioning a female SE Asian relation who is very prejudiced against dark-skinned people in general.

      Of course this is not the entirety of racial discrimination, but I doubt Yuddy’s excerpt makes that claim. Anyhow, Moldbug tends to use exactly the same “skin colour” line on race, and I don’t think he’s a leftist-idealist. I’ve always interpreted this as hyperbole standing in for the truthful idea that people often discriminate based purely on racially distinctive physical traits in general, without a rational ulterior reason.

      See for example the “EGI” crowd, and ask yourself whether they would be all that bothered about race-replacement if racial genetic differences had no phenotypic manifestation whatsoever, everyone looking NW European and having similar traits of every kind in spite of the existence of significant “kinship” differences amongst various populations.

      Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with this particular kind of preference, but I think it should be kept in perspective rather than being blown up into a casus belli and teh most important thing evarr.

      • Phlebas says:

        >if racial genetic differences had no phenotypic manifestation whatsoever, everyone looking NW European and having similar traits of every kind

        I phrased this poorly. I meant to imply holding everything apart from physical traits constant. This isn’t true across racial or ethnic groups in general, but it’s pretty obvious to me the emotional impulses underlying “EGI” withstand regardless of whether the populations in question are believed to have any significant average differences in intelligence, creativity, personality etc.

        Take that fact, and then imagine the response of the EGI crowd to the complete erasure of purely physical differences. I believe that actually would remove the emotional basis of the EGI rationalisation.

  10. The reason ESR is pushing back is not because he doesn’t agree with you, but because he’ll pay a price for agreeing with you in public. He has his name and reputation to uphold. His whole thing is that you can understand these concepts without being “racist”, i.e. a bad person.

    It’s not the right venue in which to start propounding 212 proof truth. Because what’ll happen is that the liberals he’s convincing will point to you and be repelled. Know your audience. You can only move people by inches at a time in a comments thread, and then too on only one topic. They have to fancy themselves a right-thinking person, with maybe one contrary opinion on global warming or whatever.

    Basically, by commenting in those threads you are kind of cockblocking him. Sort of like a wingman who comes in and says “yo dude, are you and this chick going to bang tonight or what?”. It’s tactless and all that will happen is that the chick will leave and your friend will get annoyed. In the same way, you need to let him go after his quarry without paying a reputational cost.

    The right thing to do is to have your own blog, where you expound views that are further to the right. Don’t criticize people who are giving out the gateway drug, though. Otherwise they’ll never make it to the hard stuff.

  11. jamesd127 says:

    > The reason ESR is pushing back is not because he doesn’t agree with you, but because he’ll pay a price for agreeing with you in public. He has his name and reputation to uphold. His whole thing is that you can understand these concepts without being “racist”, i.e. a bad person.

    Well of course: But truth is you cannot understand these things without being a “racist”

    > It’s not the right venue in which to start propounding 212 proof truth. Because what’ll happen is that the liberals he’s convincing will point to you and be repelled. Know your audience.

    Someone on Less Wrong was debating sexual mores. Pointed out that kids need fathers. He was gently corrected that kids need father figures. To which he replied that kids need fathers, not father figures, because father figures tended to fuck their stepdaughters and murder their stepsons. His post was deleted. He was deleted, Any replies to his post were deleted.

    If a truth is acceptable to liberals, then that truth does not matter.

    esr says there is something wrong with black culture – which dodges the question of whether the most appropriate remedy for that something wrong is vigorous police profiling, longer jail terms, and some heavy handed discipline in schools, or whether the solution is more welfare, higher self esteem and more section eight housing.

    > Don’t criticize people who are giving out the gateway drug,

    Esr is not giving out the gateway drug. He is weaseling, trying to signal that he courageously knows the truth, while being ambiguous about what the truth is. He implies that he knows that blacks are on average less intelligent and more criminal, and that the difference is in substantial part genetic, but if you put him on the spot he will deny that blacks are on average less intelligent and more criminal, and will deny that the difference is in any part whatsoever genetic, and call you an evil racist for saying outright what he has been equivocating over.

    That is not the gateway drug.

    S

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