Saturday, March 18, 2017

I'm A Lot More Worried About The Victims of Neo-Eugenics Than I Am Charles Murray's Opportunity To Promote Their Victimization

Note:  I will not link to Bill Maher, he is a douche bag and a pseudo-liberal of the worst sort.
Someone recommended to me that I look at the footage from Bill Maher's show in which he, Andrew Sullivan and Barney Frank had a chat over the rowdy reaction at Middlebury to the racist, neo-eugenicist Charles Murray.   To start with Andrew Sullivan whining about the reaction to the racist neo-eugenicist who he promoted when he was the editor of The New Republic and is a continuing advocate of academic racism and racist policy was a silly thing to have on.  He has no credibility on the issue except the false credibility that the media gives him.  Clue, not everyone with a Brit accent is smarter than those with American accents.

But, let's get the basic fact about what Murray and Sullivan are peddling in a supposedly milder form, eugenics.   It's not as if people aren't hurt by eugenics, it is a theory that got millions of people killed, many tens of thousands, if not more, forcibly sterilized - cutting their progeny out of the future as effectively as the Nazis murders did - thwarting the effort to gain economic justice and justice to people who have suffered generations of grinding exploitation, subjugation and suppression and a host of other things WHICH NONE OF THE GUESTS IN MAHER'S DISCUSSION HAVE ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.   Andrew Sullivan is a West Briton, to use Miss Ivor's useful label, he's one of the worst sort.

Bill Maher and Sullivan used the incident to bash "liberals" and "liberalism".  To start, I would say that to blame liberalism for the kids at Middlebury who did go over the top, a bit, is stupid in the way that Bill Maher usually is.  How does he know that any of the students involved would call themselves liberals?  I would guess that many if not most would reject that label.  But that's just my guess.   Neither Maher nor Sullivan is or ever has been a liberal so their observations on this are from self-interested polemic.  Barney Frank who was a liberal in congress (with some important but not entirely disqualifying exceptions on financial matters) said that what they were doing was not an expression of liberalism, which has some merit, though I think he's also making some assumptions.

I, of course, am opposed to violence - apparently things got rowdy enough that a faculty member was hurt - but to ignore that Charles Murry is a peddler of racist lies that contribute to what Gandhi noted was one of the worst forms of violence, poverty, and an ideology that has, literally, killed millions in the past century, I can understand how, if the students understood that history, they would have a strong reaction.  If it had been possible for German opponent of eugenics, Jews, Roma, Poles, the disabled etc. who would become the victims of Nazi eugenics to shout them out of being able to do it, it is absurd to think that it shouldn't be done because Madison, Jefferson and Mason would think it was impolite.

I don't see any reason, given that history of eugenics in reality, not in abstract falsification of it, to take a risk that it will get another chance.  It is already a major part of the Republican-fascist agenda, through slashing, not only safety nets but public education, health care, treatment for psychological problems, addiction, .... everything right down to prenatal care and banning lead pollution.   Charles Murray's kind of eugenics is contained in the pending budgets and Trumpcare-less.  It's not something that we need to give them a chance to put into effect.  I would certainly argue that Andrew Sullivan helped that effort by his promotion of Murray and Herrenstein's racist "Bell Curve" and similar things.

I think the sins of the eugenicists and their supporters are vastly larger than those of a bunch of student whose legitimate rage made things kind of edgy.   Compared to the sins of Murray and Sullivan, they hardly count.   I think it will turn out that in order for egalitarian democracy to survive that eugenics, along with Nazism, fascism, Marxism, racial supremacy,  and other forms of racist, sexist, anti-egalitarian, anti-democratic ideologies with a proven history to do enormous harm and endanger the possibility of democracy will have to be suppressed.

I look at the history of the past two-hundred years, which the 18th century aristocrats that theorized the First Amendment didn't know and couldn't imagine and am entirely at a loss to understand why we are to learn nothing from the blood shed, the oppression, the murders and the struggle to oppose those kinds of ideologies and the enormous effort and expenditure of lives.   I don't think there is any reason to give those ideologies a chance to force future generations to have to undertake that struggle even one more time.

See also:

Earlier this year, Foer edited an anthology of TNR writings titled Insurrections of the Mind, commemorating the magazine's 100-year history. "This book hasn't been compiled in the name of definitiveness," Foer wrote. "It was put together in the spirit of the magazine that it anthologizes: it is an argument about what matters." There is only one essay in Insurrections that takes race as its subject. The volume includes only one black writer and only two writers of color. This is not an oversight. Nor does it mean that Foer is a bad human. On the contrary, if one were to attempt to capture the "spirit" of TNR, it would be impossible to avoid the conclusion that black lives don't matter much at all.

That explains why the family rows at TNR's virtual funeral look like the "Whites Only" section of a Jim Crow-era movie-house. For most of its modern history, TNR has been an entirely white publication, which published stories confirming white people's worst instincts. During the culture wars of the '80s and '90s, TNR regarded black people with an attitude ranging from removed disregard to blatant bigotry. When people discuss TNR's racism, Andrew Sullivan's publication of excerpts from Charles Murray's book The Bell Curve (and a series of dissents) gets the most attention. But this fuels the lie that one infamous issue stands apart. In fact, the Bell Curve episode is remarkable for how well it fits with the rest of TNR's history.

The personal attitude of TNR's longtime owner, the bigoted Martin Peretz, should be mentioned here. Peretz's dossier of racist hits (mostly at the expense of blacks and Arabs) is shameful, and one does not have to look hard to find evidence of it in Peretz's writing or in the sensibility of the magazine during his ownership. In 1984, long before Sullivan was tapped to helm TNR, Charles Murray was dubbing affirmative action a form of "new racism" that targeted white people.

Two years later, Washington Post writer Richard Cohen was roundly rebuked for advocating that D.C. jewelry stores discriminate against young black men—but not by TNR. The magazine took the opportunity to convene a panel to "reflect briefly" on whether it was moral for merchants to bar black men from their stores. ("Expecting a jewelry store owner to risk his life in the service of color-blind justice is expecting too much," the magazine concluded.)

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