Culture, politics, science, philosophy.
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The deep Crisis of the West
What will happen in South Africa after his death?
06.12.2013 (updated 07.12.2013). Nelson Mandela died yesterday night. What will happen in South Africa now that he is gone? The White minority fears the worst, and has for quite a while been making evacuation plans and other preparations, according to Russian media house RT.com (in English).
See also: SACP confirms Nelson Mandela was a member. Former president Nelson Mandela was a member of the South African Communist Party’s (SACP’s) central executive committee at the time of his arrest in 1962, the SACP and the African National Congress (ANC) confirmed on Friday. Even though it had always been denied, the ANC and the SACP confirmed that Mr Mandela had served on the party’s central executive committee in their statements paying tribute to the antiapartheid icon. There had been much debate about the issue among historians and academics. SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila on Thursday said he was a member of the party, but it was denied at the time for "political reasons".
Stubborn human nature gets in the way of social engineering
28.11.2013. With 308,745,538 coloured dots, this is the incredible interactive map that plots the racial profile of every single person living in the United States of America. The remarkable resource was created by University of Virginia professor Dustin Cable, using data collected from the 2010 Census. Cable allocated colours for each race; blue for people who identify themselves as white, green for black people, red for Asian, orange for Hispanic and brown for those those who identify themselves as from another race, Native American, or multiracial. Continue reading in The Daily Mail.
- 21 Maps Of Highly Segregated Cities In America. Racial segregation remains a problem in America, and it's lasting longer than anyone expected. Just how bad things are can be determined through analysis of 2010 Census data. Business Insider.
- Census data show 'surprising' segregation. Despite increased racial and ethnic diversity, American neighborhoods continue to be segregated and some of the progress made toward integration since 1980 has come to a halt this decade, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data released Tuesday. USA Today.
- The Paradox of Diverse Communities. Urbanists and planners like to imagine and design for a world of diversity. Diversity, we like to think, is both a social good and, as I’ve argued, a spur to innovation and economic growth.
But to what degree is this goal of diverse, cohesive community attainable, even in theory?
That’s the key question behind an intriguing new study, “The (In)compatibility of Diversity and Sense of Community,” published in the November edition of the American Journal of Community Psychology. The study, by sociologist Zachary Neal and psychologist Jennifer Watling Neal, both of Michigan State University (full disclosure: I was an external member of the former’s dissertation committee), develops a nifty agent-based computer model to test this question. Richard Florida, The Atlantic Cities.
Censure of international intelligence and demography research
23.11.2013. Professor emeritus Helmuth Nyborg appears (yet again) to be the victim of a scientific witch hunt in Denmark. Professor Nyborg has written an open letter about the methods being used by The Danish Committees for Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD).
In response to this, James Thompson has written a letter to Minister Morten Østergaard of the Danish government, beginning as follows:
I write to you in some alarm, hearing that in Denmark there is a procedure in which your Ministry establishes committees which judge whether a researcher is behaving in a scientifically proper manner, and that these committees may demand the recall of published papers.
The usual practice is to debate these matters in scientific journals, in which critics make their points and the author can make their replies. As part of this process authors may alter their views, correct errors, and provide further explanations and data. Critics may concede that they have misunderstood a point, may alter their criticisms, or may reserve judgment until the finding has been replicated. This may require many exchanges of views, many publications, and many years. As part of this process other researchers gradually come to their own conclusions as to which findings can be relied upon. Typically, arguments about major issues in social science may last for decades.
It is unusual in academic circles for one scholar to accuse another of scientific dishonesty. There is a strong preference for testing one argument against another, and assessing the arguments without attacking the person. When much of what we research is uncertain and subject to different interpretations we need to be respectful of different opinions, particularly when those opinions are opposed to our own preferences and beliefs. We want scientific debates, not religious ones.
Sadly, there are occasions when a researcher fabricates results. When this is suspected then a most careful academic enquiry is carried out, excluding any persons who are known to be involved in arguments with the scholar, and with the accused person being given every opportunity to explain themselves. It is usual for them to have legal representation, and a right of appeal if they can find procedural or evidential flaws in the decision. If such fundamental dishonesty is proved then it is usual for the Journal to withdraw the paper. Their University or Institution may then decide to take disciplinary action against the dishonest author.
In summary, both Journals and Universities have procedures to deal with the rare cases of scientific dishonesty.
Appointing a Committee in a national Ministry seems an unwise and potentially dangerous precedent. Ministers will have to ensure that they appoint experts of very high standing in the very many fields of academic endeavor for which there are scientific journals. That will not be an easy task for any national Ministry since research is now international, and many fields of research are extremely specialized. There is also the problem of ensuring that the committee members are not compromised by prior disagreements and conflicts. Journals usually draw upon an editorial board and a set of agreed reviewers, setting aside any who are known to have an adversarial history as regards the scholar in question. The accused person must have legal representation, and there must be recourse to appeal for procedural and evidential shortcomings.
I now turn to the specific case of Professor Emeritus Helmuth Nyborg. I have not been able to read the conclusions of the committee in your Ministry, because it is published in Danish. Of course, a Danish criminal court would publish its judgment in Danish, but this is an example of the problems which arise when a political and legal process is used in science. English is now the language of science. Professor Nyborg publishes in English to an international audience. At the very least, given the impact on international science of your committee, you should have an English language version of the judgment available for all scholars to read. I hope you will be able to provide an official translation promptly. I am particularly interested in finding out how you took evidence and evaluated it, and whom you called to participate in the process. I would have been willing to give evidence.
Continue reading Thompson's letter to Scientific Dishonesty Minister at the former's website. See also Thompson's related articles Helmuth Nyborg gets Watson’d, and Was the Scientific Dishonesty Minister trying to suppress population estimates?.
On 9 December 2009 Steven Pinker sent a letter to then Rector Laurits B. Holm-Nielsen at Aarhus University, commenting on the proceedings against Professor Nyborg taking place in Denmark back then (quoted e.g. here). Wrote Pinker (emphasis added):
I am writing to protest the shocking and disgraceful treatment of Dr. Helmuth Nyborg following publication of his report on possible gender differences in average IQ scores. Dr. Nyborg may be mistaken, but the issue he is addressing is a factual one, and can only be evaluated by an open examination of the evidence. To ‘investigate’ him, shut down his research, or otherwise harass him because his findings are politically incorrect is unworthy of an institution dedicated to the understanding of reality. It is reminiscent of the persecution of Galileo, the crippling of Soviet science and agriculture under Lysenko, and the attempt of the American religious right wing to inhibit the teaching of evolution in the schools.
No one has the right to legislate the truth. It can only be discovered by free inquiry, and that includes investigations that may make people uncomfortable. This is the foundation of liberal society, and it is threatened by attempts to interfere with Dr. Nyborg and his research. If he is incorrect, that will be established by a community of scholars who examine his evidence and arguments and criticize them in open forums of debate, not by the exercise of force to prevent him from pursuing his research. These are the tactics of a police state, and bring shame on any institution that uses them.
PS: Scandinavian readers may also want to read my article at Verdidebatt: Hekseprosess mot upopulær forsker i Danmark.
Blacks having fun with innocent whites
20.11.2013. Lately there has been a series of episodes where young, black men knock down innocent white people in public places in the USA. While most of the American media seems to fail to report on this alarming phenomenon, Fox News has tried to shed some light on it.
A new hell for women
12.11.2013. The very first essay I ever wrote under the pen name Fjordman, published at my then brand-new blog on February 20, 2005, was entitled Muslim Rape Epidemic in Sweden and Norway — Authorities Look the Other Way. I had been active on the Internet and written comments on other people’s websites well before that date, but in many ways this marked the beginning of my more dedicated writing career. Thus Fjordman begins his article Sweden: A New Hell for Women:
Over the years I have written quite a few essays about Sweden, despite never having lived there myself. One of the reasons for this is because it is by far the most extreme of the Nordic countries when it comes to mass immigration and Multiculturalism. In terms of ideological indoctrination, suppression of dissent and media censorship, I would argue that Sweden is one of the most totalitarian countries in the entire Western world. Outsiders don’t always realize how bad the situation really is.
It’s not entirely coincidental that the first essay I wrote under the pseudonym Fjordman was about rape in Sweden. In no case is there a worse discrepancy between how Sweden likes to present itself to the world and how the country actually is than when it comes to the question of rape. Its carefully cultivated image as a champion of women’s rights runs counter to the real-life fact that Sweden is becoming a hell for many women.
The problem of rapes in Sweden is worse now than when I first wrote about it almost a decade ago. The 6,320 reported rapes officially registered in that country in 2012 almost certainly do not represent the full number of such crimes that actually took place that year. In 2880 of these registered rapes, the victims were minors and children aged between 0-17 years old. A surprising 10% of these victims of child rape in Sweden in 2012 were boys. The male percentage of rape victims is smaller for adults, but still higher than it used to be some time ago.
We know that many rape victims do not report the crime, perhaps partly due to shame and fear. If we assume that 25% of the rapes that are committed are reported to the police authorities, the total number of rapes in Sweden in 2012 would actually be over 25,000 rather than 6320, which was already bad enough. If we assume that just 10% of the committed rapes are actually reported and recorded, an estimate which some researchers operate with, the number of rapes in Sweden in 2012 alone would be a staggering 63,200.
If we use the lower of these two estimates, that amounts to roughly one hundred thousand rape victims in Sweden in just four years. If we use the higher — but still not totally unrealistic — estimate, that would make a quarter of a million Swedish rape victims within a four-year period, and one million in about sixteen years.
By any estimate, we are in all likelihood dealing with hundreds of thousands of rapes per generation, perhaps between half a million and one million. That’s an incredibly large number for a country with just over nine million inhabitants. It resembles war. Tens of thousands of these victims are children.
In late August 2013, at the exact same time as prominent non-Muslim Swedish women were donning the veil to show “solidarity” with Muslims, seven Afghan Muslim asylum seekers were convicted of brutally gang-raping a Swedish woman in the small town of Mariannelund. Another man who masturbated next to the woman’s head while the other seven were raping her for hours was acquitted, though. He received 130,000 kroner in damages for his ordeal. This was sponsored by Swedish taxpayers, presumably including the family of his victim.
Because of such examples, the writer Eva Agnete Selsing in Denmark has come to the conclusion that “Sweden is the Evil Empire.” She was referring to a new kind of totalitarianism and Utopian ideology of open borders.
The phrase “the Evil Empire” was applied to the Communist dictatorship of the Soviet Union in 1983 by the conservative U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Reagan honestly felt that he had no choice but to define the Communist system as evil, due to its repressive nature and the huge amount of human suffering it caused.
Is that comparison to Sweden hyperbole? Maybe, maybe not. Selsing was not arguing that this new form of Multicultural totalitarianism was as militant and violent as some of the earlier totalitarian movements, but that doesn’t mean that it is not harmful or dangerous. In her view, the explosive cocktail of extreme political correctness and rampant mass immigration is creating a “catastrophe” in Swedish society. The ruthless authoritarian suppression of dissent upheld by the ruling elites and the media establishment has transformed Sweden into something approaching a “prison of the mind.”
One of the most horrific examples is the country’s rape statistics, which are the worst in Europe. Parallel to mass immigration from Third World countries, the number of recorded rapes, also of children, has exploded. Eva Agnete Selsing wonders how the “hypocritical” Swedish political and media elites can sleep at night, knowing fully well what kind of nightmare of violence and street crime they are pushing on their own people. Her conclusion is that “If your actions lead to violence, abuse, threats, repression and social control of your fellow citizens (who have never sought the reality that you have put them in), and you refuse to relate to this, then you are an evil person. And the evil empire consists of human beings.”
Perhaps Swedish authorities should worry more about the incredibly large number of rapes in their own country, and less about transsexuals in Serbia or gay adoption rights in Russia.
Read the entire article at Gates of Vienna.
And its misguided advocates
08.11.2013. Every now and then some besserwisser will come up with the brilliant idea that if only we could allow free migration all over the world, it would soon be a much better place for all. One such person is Mirko Bagaric, professor of law at Deakin University, who on 7 April 2010 in the Sydney Morning Herald argued for unrestricted immigration from the poorest to the richest countries as the best means to reduce Third World poverty. As a follow-up to this, social scientist Frank Salter wrote the article The Misguided Advocates of Open Borders in the June 2010 issue of Quadrant Magazine. Here are some excerpts (emphasis added):
From the global perspective, humanity as a whole stands to lose from overpopulation. As the late Garrett Hardin pointed out, allowing poor countries, which generally have high birth rates, the expedient of offloading excess population on low-birth-rate regions reduces the incentive to solve their own population problem, for example by tackling the poverty and under-education of women. Global overpopulation can only be solved one country at a time, not by rewarding profligacy.
Another philosophical issue is Professor Bagaric’s equating parochialism with morally repugnant “racism”. Surely that is not true, first because “racism” has no agreed definition and has been deployed for ideological and ad hominem purposes. It is more an instrument of abuse than of reason. If its use cannot be avoided it should be reserved to describe ethnically aggressive statements and acts, not the peaceful expression of pro-social sentiments common to humans everywhere. Second, the notion that preference for one’s own people is immoral ignores the universal interest we all share in particular affiliations. All humans share parochial interests that give rise to social preferences. It would be maladaptive not to prefer people of our own type, beginning with kin. And in general this preference is moral. Bearing and caring for our own children, choosing friends on intuition, and having a special affection for our own country cannot be equated with hating others. A liberal society that allows free expression of these moderate preferences is hardly the moral inferior of one in which the elite scolds and punishes the people’s aspirations to have a country of their own.
The universality of parochial interests contradicts Professor Bagaric when he states: “For most of human history there have been few migration limits ... A relevant reason [for restricting immigration] cannot be a person’s birthplace. This is merely a happy or unhappy coincidence.” The anthropological reality is the precise opposite: until recent decades almost all human societies have sought to prevent permanent mass migration. Western societies since about 1965 are rare exceptions. Hunter-gatherers and primitive agriculturalists, farmers and herders have all laid claim to a territory and fiercely defended it. Marriage partners have been found almost exclusively within the ethnic group, encompassing the local dialect. The psychological motivations for this are well established in such predispositions as social identity mechanisms, collectivism, assortment by similarity, innate cognition of human kinds, and rational choice. Evolutionary origins of territoriality and ethnocentrism are indicated by their being human universals as well as being found in apes. And from the evolutionary perspective, which acknowledges the limited carrying capacity of all territories and of the world itself, it is maladaptive to allow one’s lineage—family, clan or ethnic group—to be replaced by others.
The poor calibre of open-borders arguments raises questions. How could the research documented above be ignored—not even hinted at—by a professional academic in the age of Google? Individual scholars are technically responsible for covering the literature bearing on their research. But in this case there is the mitigating circumstance of the general state of the social sciences in Australia and overseas. In the month since Professor Bagaric’s article appeared I have not come across one academic rebuttal. The SMH has not published a reply by another professor pointing out the obvious empirical fallacies, the failures of scholarship, the sloppy and inflammatory language. Neither has there been a storm of denunciation by colleagues or the media; no multiply-signed letters sent to newspapers defending the credibility of Deakin University or the humanities and social sciences. No meetings of academics and students calling for an explanation. Nothing on radio or television. The online comments were generally critical and cogent but none of these authors identified as an academic. It seems that ordinary citizens have retained their common sense, while intellectuals are ominously silent.
When people are allowed to choose, they vote for policies that make or keep them as the ethnic majority. The result is that spreading democracy creates relatively homogeneous small states with heightened social capital and its flip side of social stability, efficient government, low corruption, more democracy and higher economic growth. Why would a libertarian want open borders? Why would anyone want to become a member of a minority in his own country?
Combined with the lack of critical response to the Bagaric article, these two pieces, one by a senior press commentator, the other by a researcher with a respected think-tank, confirm the impression that the egregious standard of analysis behind the advocacy of open borders is not aberrant but common at the elite level of Australian political culture. The problem lies with an influential tradition well established within the universities and intellectual class as a whole.
How have so many scholars come to ignore accessible knowledge about human nature and society bearing on issues of immigration and ethnicity? Australia’s thirty-nine universities employ thousands of lecturers and professors in relevant disciplines. Any one of them should be able to expose elements of the case for open borders. A first-year student of social anthropology should know that borders have always been closed to replacement-level migration. Students of government and sociology should know in outline both sides of the diversity debate. How can bold assertions such as those in the three articles examined here go unremarked? What is being taught at our universities?
A century ago the social sciences began suing for divorce from the biological sciences. Reconciliation began in the 1970s but sociology, political science, large sections of anthropology and much of the humanities remain aloof. Add to that the political straitjacketing of these fields, an important reason for their doctrinaire rejection of inconvenient scholarship and biology alike, and it is not surprising that we see utopian socialism of the most naive variety emanating unchallenged from the professoriate.
The democratic process has been prevented from correcting our maladaptive immigration policies due to bipartisanship—a long-term deal between the major political parties to keep immigration issues off the table at election time. The collusion began responsibly enough as a measure to facilitate assimilation during the massive postwar immigration program from Europe. By the 1970s bipartisanship served to shield both parties from majority objections while they profited from multicultural politics, garnering votes from immigrant communities in exchange for immigration favours. This collusion might have been difficult to sustain if a substantial number of academics and commentators had spoken truth to power.
Instead, the rapid transformation of Australia by mass Third World immigration has been a top-down revolution in which politicised circles in academia have been complicit. Political leaders and citizens alike look to intellectuals for the facts and analysis needed to make wise policy. In technical matters we have been well served, but not with regard to issues of population and diversity. The policy failure is not limited to the present federal government. It goes back decades, as does the failure of the nation’s brains trust. Correction will necessitate tackling the intellectual and ideological corruption of the humanities and social sciences by greatly increasing intellectual diversity and free speech in the universities. The world of ideas is one arena in which diversity is an unalloyed benefit, where imposed homogeneity demonstrably degrades standards.
Read the entire article in Quadrant Magazine (requires subscription).
Frank Salter is an Australian urban anthropologist and ethologist based in Europe who studies organisations and society using the methods and concepts of behavioural biology. He consults to business and government on human relations and ethnicity. His publications are listed here.
PS: Salter was an active participant at the Baku International Humanitarian forum in 2012 as well as in 2013. His 10 minute presentation at last year's forum is available at YouTube.
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