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As readers here know, I have disagreed with Hapending’s and Rushton’s ideas of ethnic nepotism (since “Ethnic Genetic Interests” Do Not Exist). A key difference is that I went into great detail on why this is so. This SPLC piece is heavy on incredulity but light on specific counterarguments.|
In one article, coauthored with Peter Frost, an HBD blogger and columnist with no current academic affiliation, Harpending proposed another explanation for why western Europeans were supposedly genetically predisposed to be less violent than other racial groups. In this article and in talks he has given to friendly, non-academic crowds, Harpending has argued that the introduction of the death penalty in medieval Europe contributed to the “genetic pacification” of the population through “the steady removal of individuals who were more genetically prone to personal violence.” He has even suggested that this took place because medieval Europeans invented institutions like governments, courts, and contracts,
Indeed, see here (also on the Unz Review): Western Europe, state formation, and genetic pacification).
which Harpending apparently believes had never existed anywhere before being introduced in 11th century England.
Actually, Peter Frost wrote a paper saying that a similar process may have occurred in the Roman Empire (Frost, Peter 2010, The Roman State and genetic pacification).
Possibly his strangest argument is that Amish populations in the United States experience evolutionary selection towards “Amishness,” which can be expressed in terms of an “Amish Quotient,” or “AQ.” According to Harpending, a high “Amish Quotient” translates to increases in “affinity for work, perseverance, low status competition, respect for authority, conscientiousness, and community orientation.”
See Inferring an AQ | West Hunter and Boiling Off | West Hunter. I cite this process to explain the conservatism and other characteristics of the Great Plains. See More Maps of the American Nations.
The model for “Amishness” is based on earlier work found in Harpending’s most controversial paper, coauthored with Cochran and Jason Hardy, “A Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence.” The piece, in their own words, “elaborates the hypothesis that the unique demography and sociology of Ashkenazim in medieval Europe selected for intelligence.”
That it was.
In 2009, Harpending participated in a conference on “Preserving Western Civilization,” where he spoke alongside notorious racists like Peter Brimelow (president and chief contributor to the white nationalist VDARE.com) and Jean-Philippe Rushton (president of the eugenicist Pioneer Fund from 2002 until his death in 2012).
Harpending’s talk at the conference was a full-throated defense of scientific racism. In it, he argued that anthropological analysis could identify and explain traits he claimed were shared by people from central Africa, Papua New Guinea, and Baltimore (his favorite metonym for the African-American community as a whole). These included violence, laziness, and a preference for “mating instead of parenting.” This is especially the case in Papua New Guinea, where, according to Harpending, “[w]hat these guys do is kill their neighbors. That’s their favorite activity—oh, they love it! They love it! It’s the high point of their lives. They get their DNA into the next generation by being killers, and violent. And if there’s evolution going on, that kind of society is selecting for unpredictable, violent males.”
These inherent traits mean that in societies where males are provided with necessities like food, whether from female farmers or from welfare checks, you find that “when there’s plenty of food, men do male stuff like putting on make-up, fighting, raiding, and telling stories. Male effort seems to be competitive effort, rather than parental effort.”
Reaffirming his belief in the fundamental similarities between Papuan gardening societies and African-American communities largely dependent on welfare, he later asked: “Where are these [traits] found? In post-industrial cities, among the underclass, you know, street corner males with fancy sneakers, looking good, combing their hair, males strutting around, macho. This is absolutely typical whether it’s highland New Guinea or Baltimore.” These traits were contrasted with those of Europeans and northern Asians who have evolved higher intelligence and “tend to be more disciplined than people who take life for granted.”
Harpending has also spoken several times at Paul Gottfried’s Baltimore-based H.L. Mencken Club, which hosts an annual meeting of prominent far-right thinkers and academic racists. In his 2011 talk at the Mencken Club, Harpending argued that money spent towards education is wasted, because variation in test scores is due entirely to the racial makeup of the test-taking populations. He claims that “Anglo” students in every state perform equally well on standardized tests regardless of education expenditures, and that black students are also comparable across state lines, thus the gap between white and black students’ scores is entirely genetic and has nothing to do with the educational environments. He does acknowledge that the data shows there have been gains in average scores of black students relative to white students, but insists that these are not “real.”
Education Realist might have a thing or two to say here.
Harpending also used his 2011 Mencken Club talk to promote eugenics. Hearkening back to his ideas of “genetic pacification,” Harpending claimed that “[w]hat happened in medieval Europe was brutal enforcement of laws. We didn’t go to the movie on Saturdays, we went to the public hanging. Criminals were treated without mercy.” He added that “this is eugenics. … [W]e killed off the violent folks, we replaced poor folks with the offspring of the prosperous… . Most of us are descended from exactly this process, another point being that the rest of the world isn’t like us.”
He goes on to claim that because the rest of the world has not enjoyed the centuries of eugenic policies that transformed Europeans into a “new kind of human,” non-European peoples are fundamentally incapable of adopting western, democratic norms. This, in Harpending’s view, is the only reason the war in Afghanistan failed to produce a stable, democratic government.
It concludes this way:
Harpending’s work provided a great deal of the foundation for Nicholas Wade’s controversial 2014 book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History. Wade relied entirely on the Harpending, Cochran, and Hardy paper on Ashkenazi intelligence for one chapter of his book, and much of the rest relied on Harpending’s gloss on Gregory Clark’s work. Notably, when around 140 prominent population geneticists wrote a letter to the editor of The New York Times complaining that Wade’s book had radically misinterpreted their research, Harpending sneeringly dismissed this as “preening and posturing,” and a “pretentious pronouncement claiming that ‘they were genetics’ and that Wade was abusing ‘their’ knowledge.”
Anyone notice something? In their piece to discredit Harpending, they’ve selected quotes and claims that pretty much make the case for HBD, much like my earlier post (featuring “Misdreavus”) Why HBD. A novice reader coming to this SPLC piece would realize that there must be something to this HBD thing, presuming they were not deterred by the SPLC’s God-like decree that this topic matter is evil and hence verboten.
For the record, here’s the evil extremist, “White Nationalist” in action…
I have said that the case for HBD will soon become impossible to ignore. The Church can make only so many sanctions before more Galileos with their own telescopes see the real truth. As the wall of dogma collapses under its own weight, the powers on high will scramble to suppress the truth even more. Donald Trump and his recent success may be a sign that the Gatekeepers are failing in this aim (see time 13:00, courtesy The Audacious Epigone):
The problem is simple: try as you might to suppress them, facts about the world do not go away, and will continue to be discovered and re-discovered over time. Dogma can keep the truth shrouded for a while, but this is an ultimately limited process. The awful truth (see “Squid Ink“) becomes known.
The theme for this post, something to really capture the threat posed by the evil extremist Henry Harpending…