There’s no such sin as “racism”

While taking Zippy’s warnings about the dangers of nominalism seriously, I’m going to mostly agree with the neo-reactionaries on this one.  Being an essentialist doesn’t mean insisting every word refers to a real essence.  A word may fail to refer to an essence if it

  1. contains a mischaracterization in its definition.  For example, suppose I define “spousal exclusionism” to be the sinfully discriminating practice of not being willing to have sexual relations with anyone other than one’s spouse.  Although I can easily cite cases of this behavior, the word is still nonsense because the behavior it describes is not sinful, and cramming moral disapproval into the definition cannot make it so.
  2. arbitrarily singles out some instances from others that are essentially the same.  For example, suppose I discover the sin of “even-day arsonry”, the crime of committing arson on an even day of the month.
  3. arbitrarily joining distinct things.  For example, making up a word to refer to either orange juice or peanut butter but no other kind of food.

Every use of the word “racism” is meaningless on at least one of these counts.

If by “racism”, one means “the sin of having a special loyalty and preference for one’s own group”, then it is guilty of #1 above:  it is trying to define a natural and non-sinful attitude to be sinful.  “Racism” as “the sinful belief that one race is superior in some way to another” is also guilty of this, because such a belief may be true or false, but there is nothing inherently wicked in entertaining it.

(By the way, the suggestion that we moderns have discovered a sin that the wise men of antiquity didn’t know about should automatically be greeted with suspicion.  There is, after all, no other obvious evidence that we possess the refinement of moral sensibility to make such discoveries.)

If by “racism” one means “sinful acts perpetrated against members of other races”, then it is guilty of #2 above.  For example, if a man sets out to kill the first ten people of other races he comes across, he will certainly be guilty of a grave sin.  He will be guilty of the sin of murder.  The fact that he sought out members of other races rather than seeking out his own or being indifferent to the race of his victims does not change the nature or gravity of his sin one iota.  Thus, to prove that racism is a real sin, it is insufficient to show that some whites have treated some blacks unjustly.  One must also show that there is something wicked about having done unjust things to blacks in particular, so that if the victims had been whites the act would in some aspect have been not as bad.

If by “racism” one means “the inclination that leads people to mistreat those of other races”, then one is guilty of #3 above, because there is no single such inclination.  There are several, and they are very different in quality.  For example,

  1. Mere selfishness.  Slave traders didn’t have to hate blacks to be willing to make money off of them.  In this case, the racial aspect just involves the lack of a restraint.  The sinner’s bond with his own people would have deterred him from committing the sin against his own kind but not others for whom he has no such bond.  The racially-dependent variable is, in itself, a morally positive thing; what it’s doing is keeping him from doing injustice to some people.  It is just inadequate in itself for a fully moral outlook.
  2. A sense that the other race is a threat.  E.g. tribal warfare.
  3. A belief that another race is an “oppressor”, that is, one of the evil forces of Leftist demonology.  This phenomenon is quite different from the previous case of the natural instinct of loyalty to one’s tribe under threat in that this form of racial hostility is mediated by Leftist ideology.  Much black-perpetrated violence against whites is probably of this kind, and I suspect the public school system has a great deal of culpability.

Surely more is obscured than revealed by having a single word for all of these phenomena.

I therefore propose that the word “racism”, which in practice really does serve no purpose other than to pathologize whites, should be retired and replaced with the following:

  1. a nonjudgmental name for preference for one’s own race
  2. a nonjudgmental name for belief in differences between races
  3. a name for the lack of moral restraint toward those outside one’s own nation or race, that is, an undeveloped sense of justice toward man qua man
  4. a name for hatred of the perceived enemies of one’s race.  This name should include moral disapproval but with the recognition that it is a common deformation of a healthy feeling of protectiveness towards one’s own group under threat.
  5. a name for ideological hatred of Leftist scapegoat groups

161 Responses

  1. What is up with “sinful acts”, sins of this or that. This is not theology and sin has nothing to do. Being a racist may be something or not, but hardly a sin.

    I do not think discussion is made clearer by a confusion of “sin” with “crime”.
    To take your own example, ,
    “if a man sets out to kill the first ten people of other races he comes across, he will certainly be guilty of a grave sin. He will be guilty of the sin of murder”

    But he may be, in addition, guilty of “crime” of racial killing.
    I see nothing wrong with the State deciding to punish this crime.

  2. “The fact that he sought out members of other races rather than seeking out his own or being indifferent to the race of his victims does not change the nature or gravity of his sin one iota.”
    I disagree. The gravity of his sin depends (inter alia) on the threat it poses to public order and the alarm and insecurity it is calculated to produce, the risk of imitation and reprisals, inter-communal rioting and other evils.

  3. You mean to say that racism is not inherently sinful, but the state may punish it regardless, in the same way it punishes people who do not register their children for school or who do not want to hire transvestites? Interesting take in it, but just more evidence at the increasing lack of overlap between sins and crimes that is leading to the illegitimacy of the state.

    But racism has long been seen as a sin, rather than a mere crime. Or rather, it is seen as a deep character flaw.

    I’m not sure about it’s existence. When racists are confronted with one person of a different race, they generally remain unperturbed. It’s only when that group gets significantly larger that the behavior deteriorates, which hints at some more complex concept than simply “he’s racist”. There’s a level of abstraction involved that has something to do with absolute numbers and loss of tribal territory.

    I’m also just a bit jaded now, as I’ve observed racial hypocrisy in action too many times. As soon as the minority becomes the majority, they invariably turn around and eat the new minority alive.

    Also, racism (which is generally considered a male-on-male vice) would extend more to sexual preferences than it does. At least, from what I’ve observed. There generally isn’t a great deal of anger directed at women of other races and there is often a strong desire based upon the Beutefrau phenomenon.

  4. Erm… Beutefrau referring to women who are dragged home as spoils of war. Booty.

  5. I don’t think Catholicism allows for that politisation of sin, Michael. Murder is a mortal sin regardless, and there’s nothing worse than a mortal sin. You could only say that racism was an additional sin involved, but then you’d have to prove that racism is a sin in isolation. I.e. that “being racist” is a mortal sin, even if you never act upon it.

    I suppose, in your example, you could claim that there was an additional sin in inciting wrath in others and sowing strife, but that would not be racism.

  6. Alte,
    Sin is an offense against God. Bonald is unnecessarily confusing the matter by calling racist acts “sinful” rather than the accurate term “criminal”.
    Liberals do NOT say that racist acts are sinful. To bring in “sin”–a theological term into a discussion of racism is simply mischievous.

  7. Racism isn’t any of those three straw men. It is simply unjust acts motivated by race.

    The reactionary tendency to deny its existence – because it is a primary place where liberalism anchors its propaganda – is self destructive.

  8. I disagree. Racism is not an act, but rather a mindset. It is the criminalization of an opinion; akin to homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, or any other thought crime.

    I think Christian teaching already covers the moral bases and we don’t have to make up new sins just to fit in with our betters.

  9. Well, Vishmer, if it is a crime, but not a sin, then why in the World would a Christian bother to be against it?

    Because it reflects a lack of charity? But doesn’t charity begin at home? Are we morally obliged to commit cultural suicide, to prove our non-racist bona fides?

  10. I am always going to believe my lying eyes before I am going to get caught up in some ideological fugue. And the reactionary tendency to deny the existence of racial hatred, racially motivated injustice, etc is no less an ideological fugue than liberalism itself.

  11. Bonald:

    …the suggestion that we moderns have discovered a sin that the wise men of antiquity didn’t know about should automatically be greeted with suspicion.

    I agree with that, but modernity does tend to amplify certain kinds of sins: pornography, for example, has come to the forefront precisely because of the conditions of modernity.

    One might argue that modern conditions – early modern and modern transportation, communication, etc – made racially motivated injustice more prominent, much as modern technology has made pornography more prominent.

    My remarks though should be kept in context: I myself have argued that charges of racism are more often than not a false accusation used as an anchor point for liberal propaganda. Where I think reactionaries go off the rails is when they attempt to just deny the existence of racism outright. Ridiculous attempts to deny reality don’t hold any water, no matter what their source.

  12. Zippy

    Latin had no word for foreigner, until “peregrines” (lit traveller) was pressed into service after the Second Punic War (218 – 201 BCE). Cato Major objected, saying that their ancestors simply made do with “hostis” or “servus” – Enemy or slave.

  13. St Thomas insists that not all sins (even mortal sins) are of equal gravity, “Therefore it matters much to the gravity of a sin whether one departs more or less from the rectitude of reason: and accordingly we must say that sins are not all equal” and he quotes John 19:11, “He that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin”

  14. Well, you got me there, Michael. But you didn’t address the nature of the second sin. Is it racism?

  15. Hmmm… well, Zippy, my impression is that there might be something called racism, but it’s such a nebulous and useless term that I generally eschew using it. Its use is entirely limited to ending debates, as far as I can tell.

  16. Racism has long been condemned as a vice. The Stoics were against it and last time I checked the Pharisee was not praised for thanking God for being born a Jew rather than a gentile. Also. while it is natural to prefer one’s own people, it should be noted that one’s own people should not be equated with one’s race. For instance if I had a black friend or neighbor (or both as is actually the case) I would have vastly more reason to regard them as my people, than some random Lithuanian that I have never met but happens to be white. To not fulfill my duties to one my people because of their race would also be immoral. If you argue that we should just focus on the fact that I failed to do my duties rather than on my motivation for not doing my duties, then you should give up the term communist since they were actually just thieves and murders and motivation of presumed injustices against their class does not make their crimes any worse.

  17. One reason it might be considered a “modern” sin is that modern racism was not just a new form of old fashioned xenophobia, but was reformed by Darwinism, out of which grew a belief that different races were different species emerging at different evolutionary rates.

  18. Hello Michael Paterson-Seymour,

    Ah, I see. Since white people don’t retaliate, that’s why our lives count for less.

  19. Hello vishmehr

    You object to my use of the word “sinful”.

    The word “sin” has nothing distinctly theological about it. It just means an immoral act. I know perfectly well that racism is illegal, that as a white helot I must never cast a sideways glance at my racial betters. I’m concerning myself only with whether these acts are always actually wrong, and in particular whether they’re wrong for the same reason.

  20. Zippy writes “Racism isn’t any of those three straw men. It is simply unjust acts motivated by race. ”

    I am not constructing straw men. I’m wracking my brain to come up with definitions of racism that refer to definite, natural kinds. My assertion is that racism, as everyone including you define it, is not a natural kind. “unjust acts motivated by race” includes vastly different things. The type of injustice can be entirely different. The racial motivation can be entirely different.

  21. Bonald:

    My assertion is that racism, as everyone including you define it, is not a natural kind.

    There is a big difference though between (say) an Aristotlean-Thomist saying that airplanes are not a natural kind and saying that airplanes don’t exist. Equivocating between an esoteric metaphysical claim and an existence claim obfuscates the matter rather than clarifying it.

    I happen to disagree with philosophers who propose that airplanes or mousetraps don’t have an essence — tell that to the mouse — but in any case we should distinguish between esoteric metaphysical claims and existence claims.

    The claim that racially motivated injustice (racism) doesn’t exist is postmodern crap.

  22. Bonald:
    Would you be satisfied if we concluded that racism is every bit as real as airplanes?

  23. “I’m wracking my brain to come up with definitions of racism that refer to definite, natural kinds”

    In the Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein argues that it is impossible to devise some definition of “game” that includes everything that we call games, but excludes everything that we do not. However, we are all familiar (i.e. socially) with enough things that are games and enough things that are not games that we can categorize new activities as either games or not.
    A word need not have an essential core meaning that is, therefore, common to all uses of that word. We should, instead, travel with the word’s uses through “a complicated network of similarities, overlapping and criss-crossing.” We have to see how it functions in a specific social situation.
    Of course, meaning is not simply arbitrary. If I said, “I do not know whether what I am feeling is a pain, or something else,” I would be showing that I do not know how the word “pain” is used in English. No definition of “pain” is needed to know that I am talking nonsense; one simply has to be familiar with its use.

  24. Michael Paterson-Seymour:

    In the Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein argues that it is impossible to devise some definition of “game” that includes everything that we call games, but excludes everything that we do not. However, we are all familiar (i.e. socially) with enough things that are games and enough things that are not games that we can categorize new activities as either games or not.

    That’s because positivism – and its runt offspring postmodernism – is false.

  25. Zippy:

    I should admit that I’m using the phrase “natural kind” in a much looser way than some philosophers would. I would indeed say that airplanes have an essence in the loose way that I’m now speaking, so it makes sense to have a word for it. All the things we label “airplanes” are the same in an important way. I will not grant this unity to acts called “racist”.

    Nobody denies that some whites have behaved unjustly to some blacks or even that the recognition of those blacks as members of a different race played some part in the decision to commit those unjust acts. (I defer here to the common usage according to which only whites can be guilty of racism.) That’s not enough to make racism a thing. If I make up a word “stilping” that I define to mean “either murder or jaywalking”, then certainly many people would be guilty of stilping. But it still wouldn’t be a thing, and it would be reasonable to suspect that I had made up this word with malice toward jaywalkers. Seeing malice in a word that links genocide with wanting to keep one’s neighborhood ethnically homogeneous seems equally reasonable to me.

  26. Bonald:

    All the things we label “airplanes” are the same in an important way. I will not grant this unity to acts called “racist”.

    Whether you agree that it is important or not, they are all in fact unified by racial motivation.

    Notice too that whether you think the category is important or not is different from whether you agree that it exists.

    I defer here to the common usage according to which only whites can be guilty of racism.

    That isn’t common usage: that is how postmodern idealogues on both the left and right use it, each for their own purposes. Tell the common man that only whites can be racist and he will laugh in your face.

  27. Surely I have a moral right, or even duty, to prioritize the well-being of my biological mother ahead of the well-being of strangers. I also have such a right/duty toward my Aunt. If race is, as Steve Sailer claims, just extended family, then don’t I have a somewhat diluted version of this same right/duty toward my race in general? True, I may be motivated to behave in an immoral way by this right/duty; but for that matter, I may be motivated to behave in an immoral way by loyalty of any sort, or by a more basic instinct like hunger. No one uses (or ought to use) words like ‘loyal’ or ‘hungry’ as pejorative terms. When we use the word ‘racist’ as liberals do, we legitimize the view that racial loyalty itself is wrong. Is that really what people commenting here wish to do? I hope not.

  28. by the same token the whole of humanity is an extended family deriving from Noah. So the question becomes how much more of an obligation do you have to a 32nd cousin over a 45th cousin and how would you even know which one was which since it would be impossible to tell from the few phenotypes used to determine race. furthermore what if you had never met you 32nd cousin but had lived your life and were best friends with your 45th cousin, would you not owe more loyalty to the 45th. If you had never met either, but the aforementioned cousins were in conflict would you have a duty to pick sides and would you need to make your decision based solely on superficial similarities.

  29. Howard Phillips:
    I agree that natural loyalties are good, but by the same token I would never buy into some postmodern claptrap assertion that nepotism never happens or is an anti-concept or whatever.

    What is at stake here is that basic rationality is being sacrificed on a postmodern altar. Folks think it is a good idea to do this because the places where the postmodern jackhammer is being applied happen to be anchor points for liberal propaganda. I disagree.

    There are two obvious ways to argue that it is not always and everywhere morally wrong to (taking Bonald’s example) act to keep one’s neighborhood racially homogenous. (Presumably most people would agree that there are some things that we should not do in order to keep neighborhoods racially homogenous, so the question is where things lie on the always-sometimes-never playground).

    One of the ways – the truthful way – is to point out that there are, in fact, plenty of morally just racially motivated actions, and indeed that such actions are a perfectly natural part of the way human beings live and have always lived. Stereotypes are unavoidable, some kinds of preferences are morally neutral and even obligatory, and racial motivations are not always and in themselves morally wrong.

    Another is to argue (contra our lying eyes: I’ve seen plenty of legitimately racist actions in my own lifetime, these days most typically black against white) that there are no unjust racially motivated actions, ever: that racism is an anti-concept. This quickly devolves into a pointless self-defeating postmodern word game. It doesn’t actually capture the “never happens” flag on the always-sometimes-never playground of reality: it just involves an empty navel-gazing declaration of victory based on a semantic trick that nobody is supposed to notice.

    No, the way forward always starts with acknowledging the truth. And the truth is that sometimes people do and have done wicked things to each other with racial motivations: racism. Refusing to “grant” that is just refusing to grant reality.

    I do think it is important to resist liberal propaganda. That’s why we have to use qualifiers like ‘legitimate rape’: because we know (e.g.) that when two people get drunk together, hook up, and later regret it, the man is far more likely to be accused of ‘rape’.

    But playing postmodern word games with the truth isn’t resistance.

  30. a nonjudgmental name for preference for one’s own race

    “Patriotism” is judgmental in favor. We are commanded to love our neighbor, because our hearts are not big enough to love the whole world. Charity towards those far away is notoriously apt to be chilly, and is often, as with the vaccination campaigns using dirty needles, deadly.

    If you go somewhere far away and do unprovoked bad things to people, then those people are no longer far away, are now your neighbors and you should, of course, not do bad things to them. But, it really is not in our nature, and not required of us, to care about far away people very different from ourselves.

    We really need a judgmental name that says that caring for those close to one, those like oneself, is a good thing, that if some one does not care for his own, he is unlikely to care for anyone.

    a nonjudgmental name for belief in differences between races

    We have that. It is HBD. Human biodiversity.

    a name for the lack of moral restraint toward those outside one’s own nation or race, that is, an undeveloped sense of justice toward man qua man

    The word for that is “people”.

    If there were people around that had a developed sense of justice towards man qua man we would have seen a lot more concern about slavery and artificial famine in Maoist China, and would be seeing a whole lot more concern about aid agencies spreading AIDS in Africa and South Asia. International ngo aid agencies have murdered a lot far more people than anglo saxon slave traders ever did.

    a name for hatred of the perceived enemies of one’s race. This name should include moral disapproval

    Why moral disapproval?

    It is hard to draw a sharp line between protecting one’s own, and attacking the other. The line needs to be drawn, but that is too big a job for a single word to carry.

    That is a job for just war theory, not slogans, or morally loaded words.

    Try and make a single word carry such a load, you will wind up saying it is never right to defend one’s own, or that it is always right to attack the other.

    a name for ideological hatred of Leftist scapegoat groups

    This tends to manifest in everyday life as what those of us who read books by dead white males call “privilege”. Thus a black man can jump a queue, when a white man could not, because opposing his queue jumping would be “racist”. A black man can be rude to a white man when a white man cannot be rude to a black man, because racist.

    Similarly, when a male employee makes a scene at work, he gets fired. When a female employee makes a scene at work, her boss gets fired.

    But the underlying cause of this privilege possessed by official victime groups is hatred for the actually victimized group, which in a reversal of the language used by dead white males, is called “privileged”.

    In cases like the Duke university rape case, we use the language of our enemies, and call it a lynch mob, which defames the actual vigilantes who actually lynched people under the sober and responsible leadership of public benefactors such as Stanford, the founder of Stanford university.

    We need to have our own language for this vicious and demented hatred, for the language of our enemies defames the past.

  31. Zippy, on May 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm said:

    Racism isn’t any of those three straw men. It is simply unjust acts motivated by race.

    You speaking untruthfully about how you use the word. For example, you elsewhere claimed that slavery was racism. But anglo saxon enslavement of negroes was not motivated by race – while middle eastern enslavement of anglo saxons was motivated by religion.

    When you use a word differently from the way you claim to define it, you are smuggling hateful, spiteful, and hurtful factual claims – in this case, claiming, that white slave owners hated negroes and wanted to harm negroes, while in fact they generally believed that they were benefiting negroes, and could, and did, present a pretty good case that they were doing so.

    And if they did in fact harm negroes, it was not because they hated negroes and wanted, or intended, to harm them.

  32. James:

    For example, you elsewhere claimed that slavery was racism.

    Actually I claimed the opposite: that the motive for chattel slavery was frequently not race, to wit “Even though I am convinced that chattel slavery is always morally unjust (since it treats subjects as if they were mere objects), I am certain myself that it wasn’t always and in every case motivated by race.”

    But understanding what other people are actually saying isn’t your – or any postmodern’s – strong suit.

  33. It seems (to this simpleton) that Zippy has been arguing against the idea that there is no such thing as racism while Bonald is arguing that there is no such sin as racism. Two different things of important distinction.

  34. buckyinky:

    Zippy has been arguing against the idea that there is no such thing as racism…

    I think racism just is treating people unjustly based on (or motivated by, if you prefer) their race. This is something that manifestly does happen, in addition to being a perfectly coherent concept.

    Liberalism has made a lot of hay out of real racism and has invented plenty of it where it doesn’t exist; but that doesn’t make racism an “anti-concept”.

    Actual instances of racism appear to be the equivalent of a PC hatefact to neoreactionaries, in the sense that they refuse to acknowledge the reality of it just as liberals refuse to acknowledge the reality of PC hatefacts which are inconvenient for them ideologically (say that there are intractable differences in IQ between races, that men and women are fundamentally different, etc).

    Liberalism has its PC, and neoreaction has its “dark PC”, if you will. Witness the impossibility of getting acknowledgement that racism is even an intelligible thing at all: it is like trying to get a leftist to admit that IQ is an intelligible thing at all.

  35. I think self-interest rather than race hatred or benevolent paternalism should be the default assumption for why people kept slaves. Does that mean I’m actually the moderate in this argument?

  36. Bonald:

    I think self-interest rather than race hatred or benevolent paternalism should be the default assumption for why people kept slaves.

    I have no objection to it. It may even be true, generally speaking.

    I am (and have been) objecting to the ridiculous notion that racism doesn’t exist or is an anti-concept. In order to refute the latter racism merely has to be an intelligible concept — and it is. In order to refute the former, it just has to be the case that someone, somewhere, sometime in human history committed a racist act. Which clearly people have.

  37. skeggy: I never claimed that loyalty to our relatives should be the only moral consideration, just that it should be one. Some people are adopted as children and have to face difficulty questions about how to balance loyalties to biological vs. adoptive parents. This unusual situation is hardly a reason for the rest of us to give up on the basic assumption that we should behave with some added loyalty to our biological parents. Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. Of course I don’t know my exact degree of relation to each other person on earth. I do have some information with which to make educated guesses. Surely it is better to do so than not to do so.

    Zippy: You seem to be using the term ‘racism’ to mean immoral behavior based on racial thinking. But does racial thinking produce more good or bad behavior? I would argue that it produces vastly more good than bad, and so identifying it as the cause of the bad behavior seems strange to me. Of course there is bad behavior that comes from racial thinking or sentiment, but using the term ‘racism’ as you do creates the impression that racial thinking or racial loyalty is normally a bad thing.

  38. “racism just has to be an intelligible concept”

    I will grant that it is intelligible in the sense that one can make up a definition of it that is clear enough to be able to say whether a given particular instance falls into the category. However, my counter-examples of silly words also meet this threshold of intelligibility. Racism is only a “natural” word if it points to something distinct and essential.

    Now, it’s true that I’m not approaching this issue in a disinterested way. As a white man under the judgment of perpetual shame, I would very much like to show that “racism” doesn’t exist. After all, our racism is the basis of my people’s moral inferiority, is it not? However, I try very hard not to resort to sophistry to argue for what I want to be true.

    “Racially-motivated injustice” is a nice attempt at a definition, but let us think more about this motive. Does any kind of motive count, as long as it is in some way colored by racial considerations? Or must the motive in question be malice toward other races? If any type of motive will do, then I say again that “racism” is a bad word because the similarity between instances of racism are too thin to be interesting. If the motive must be malicious, then we have a good word but one that is much narrower than “racism” as it is actually used.

    What I in fact see is both definitions being used together to demonize whites. Racism is defined broadly as any discriminatory activity (most people would say that refusing to befriend members of other races is racist, although if pressed they probably wouldn’t claim any actual injustice). Then discriminatory behavior by whites is attributed to malice, because under definition #2 racism is hatred of “the Other”. Thus, what other races do for natural, community-preserving reasons is attributed to malice when whites do it.

    So I do have an interest in pressing for narrower words rather than “racism”, but I really do think that I’m serving this interest by clarifying rather than obfuscating matters.

  39. Howard Phillps,
    The moral commandment is to Honor your father and mother. There is no moral commandment to be loyal to a person to the degree you are related to him.
    I suggest this idea, borrowing from sociobiology of 1970s (I should sacrifice my life for the sake of life of two brothers or four cousins, something like this), is a hodge-podge of pseudo-science with traditional morality.

    The real thing to conserve is Nation which is a mystical thing and is not to be reduced to Tribe or Race.
    The nation is defined as the common object of love. And not in terms of ancestror worship, which is racial or tribal self-love.

    The tribal or racial self-love has been the besetting temptation of the West after the loss of religion. The True Reaction should never hold with racial self-love. It should never claim, as the Orthospherians claim, that “a man is basically good, along with his people”.

  40. I’m actually quite culturally relativist about this. Natural law fixes our duties to immediate family members, but the wider communities we find ourselves in can vary a lot. I’m more interested in affirming the general principle of particular loyalty. Whether this takes the form of loyalty to tribe, loyalty to nation, or something else comes from what you’re born into.

    A pretty good criticism of racialism would be that it’s just a pose for whites; we don’t really have any sense of ourselves as a people, and we’re just jealous that other races have such a sense. I suspect that even sixteenth-century “racism” had more to do with disdaining people for not being “civilized” European Christians than disdaining them specifically for their race. (I do not claim here that this makes the phenomenon any better.) But I can well imagine that there are some racially-divided areas where a sense of “whites are my brothers” has actually developed.

  41. Bonald,
    Nation isn’t another name for tribe. And again “people” does not equate to “tribe” or “race”. No wonder, you do not appreciate the Political Theory of the French Revolution.

    You use these terms loosely where precision is required. Loyalty to blood as such, when transferred from family-level to political level is racism, which is always pagan and is fundamentally incompatible with Christian ethics. Church has often warned against racism.

    So, blood-loyalty can be good at family-level but is absolutely disatrous at the political level.

    What is needed, is the concept of Nation or the City as the object of shared love. This shared love generates civil solidarity. The Nation is mystical entity, and can not br reduced to formulae or precise definitions.

    But, even politically, citizens can have loyalty to sub-City entities. Such as white tribe (or people) or Jewish tribe (or people) etc.
    Notice that unlike “race”, a tribe or people is NOT reducible to blood.

    Thus, “RACE” is purely biological-a matter of blood.
    ‘TRIBE” is partly biological, partly cultural
    NATION is entirely cultural.

  42. I am (and have been) objecting to the ridiculous notion that racism doesn’t exist or is an anti-concept. In order to refute the latter racism merely has to be an intelligible concept

    The color bleen, which corresponds to the color blue on tuesdays, and the color green on wednesdays, is also an intelligible concept, but its uselessness and silliness makes it unlikely that people will actually use it in that sense.

    And in fact, people seldom use “racism” in the sense that you define it, and you do not use “racism” in the sense that you define it.

  43. Church has often warned against racism.

    If racism is a thing, why did no Christian ever hear of such a thing before the twentieth century?

  44. jamesd127,

    Racism, being a pagan thing, arose in Europe, along with the decay of religion. It grew as pseudoscience in 19C Germany and England. As it seized power in 20C, then the Church warned people that race-worship is absolutely incomptaible with Church teaching.

    Thus, the demented peseudoscience of race-worship was not an important factor for the Church before 20C.

  45. Racism, being a pagan thing, arose in Europe, along with the decay of religion. It grew as pseudoscience in 19C Germany and England. As it seized power in 20C, then the Church warned people that race-worship is absolutely incomptaible with Church teaching.

    PC history.

    No one thought there was such a thing as racism until 1914 or thereabouts.

    Because there is no such thing and never was.

  46. vishmehr24 wrote, “The real thing to conserve is Nation which is a mystical thing and is not to be reduced to Tribe or Race.”

    Historically, at least, nationality has tended to be defined in terms of language, rather than race or ethnicity. That is what we mean, when we speak of the Basque populations of France and Spain, the Hungarian minority in Romania or the Swedish minority in Finland (although the Swedes are themselves an admixture of Swedish, Wendish and Gothic races) – or, more topically, what Mr Putin means by the Russian minorities in the Near Abroad.

    No one would deny that the French are a nation, although they are a mixture of Celtic (Gaulish) and Germanic (Frankish) stock.

    The ” pseudoscience in 19C Germany and England” was largely the work of comparative philologists, like Grimm, bopp and Schlegal, who, rather naively, regarded language as a reliable marker of ethnicity and ignores the fact that many languages are composite, the product of cognate dialects.

  47. Michael Paterson-Seymour,
    Nation does not reduce even to language– USA and England have same language, and English is the main language in Ireland and Scotland as well.

    Even more gloriously, the Hindu nation with its 3000 non-intermarrying castes and languages from entirely different families. Northen languages are closer to European than to Southern.

    A nation exists when a people feel and realize themselves to be a nation.

  48. Howard Phillips:
    Your objection appears to apply to nepotism as much as to racism, but I don’t see anyone claiming that nepotism is an anti-concept.

    And pornography must be an anti-concept too, given the recent etymology of the term.

  49. Bonald:
    I frankly find it mildly embarrassing (for others) that anyone takes the “silly word” gambit seriously. If anything that ought to be a big red flag that I am right about the nominalism of those who claim that racism is an anti-concept.

  50. People in the past had no need for the term racism because by and large no one was stupid enough to believe in positions that would need to be described as such. There are positive representations of black people from the Iliad and Odyssey through to the Song of Roland and Percival. the Greeks only cared if you could speak Greek, The Romans only cared if you were a citizen, and the Medieval folk mostly just cared if you were christian. The only people who believed that their genetic heritage (although obviously they had no knowledge of genes) made them in any way different from the rest of humanity were the Jews and they were roundly condemned for it by a plethora of Christian authors of the period. Once such beliefs started to spread amongst Europeans, reactionaries such as Lord Addington and William Wilberforce opposed the idea even if they did not have the word racism. Lastly it should be acknowledged that our ancestors were evil, just as every one else’s ancestors, and we ourselves are evil. Only when we realize that everyone is mired in evil and can not escape with their own power will they be forced to turn to God, but every one here knows that already.

  51. “[W]e don’t really have any sense of ourselves as a people, and we’re just jealous that other races have such a sense”

    But is not this one of the principle distinctions of Western thought? Thus, Bentham insists that the nature of the human person can be adequately described without mention of social relationships. To begin with, the idea of “relation” is but a “fictitious entity,” though necessary for “convenience of discourse.” And, more specifically, he remarks that “the community is a fictitious body,” and it is but “the sum of the interests of the several members who compose it.”

    One can find the same principle implicit in and systematically developed by the Roman jurists. It leads naturally to the passion for equality, the hatred of nobility and the tolerance of despotism, so characteristic of modern Europe

  52. It is, perhaps, worth asking whether “racism” refers to a particular kind of behaviour, or the kind of “reasons” or “motives” elicited from someone, when asked to explain that behaviour.

  53. Skeggy wrote: “Lastly it should be acknowledged that our ancestors were evil, just as every one else’s ancestors, and we ourselves are evil. Only when we realize that everyone is mired in evil and can not escape with their own power will they be forced to turn to God, but every one here knows that already.”

    Well, I’m afraid that it is not the case that ‘everyone here knows that already.’ As a nonbeliever I don’t accept the last part of the above paragraph. I always feel a bit strange commenting here and wonder if I should for this reason. It doesn’t bother me, mind you, but I imagine it might bother others.

    Certainly my individual ancestors were wicked, as are my individual family members, as are all individual human beings. There is nothing much good to be found in the individual as an individual alone. I don’t need to have religious faith to see this. But as I do not believe in God I must find some other solution to this problem. The best thing that I can think of to do is to look for something higher than myself that seems to me to be real, or at least believable. Ancestry, race, and culture are such things and that is where I put my faith. That the individual members of any race or culture are wicked says something to me about individuality, but not necessarily anything about humanity or any given race or culture.

    @vishmehr24: I feel that where we disagree is that you seem to believe that a meaningful culture can be created without any basis in blood. I have no doubt that culture is valuable, but I simply do not think that we can create one out of thin air. Worthwhile culture must come from a real community, and a real community must have some meaningful basis in ethnic relationships. I won’t say that ancestry is the sole determinant of potential for a good community, but I also doubt that any good community can be built without some ancestral component involved.

  54. Hello Mr. Phillips,

    Your comments are certainly welcome here. No need to feel strange about it.

  55. “It is, perhaps, worth asking whether “racism” refers to a particular kind of behaviour, or the kind of “reasons” or “motives””

    Zippy’s definition of racially-motivated unjust acts is a mixture. It refers to acts but identified by their motives.

    It is also peculiar in that it is supposed to be a type of injustice, but it doesn’t actually carry any intuition about why any sort of act is unjust. “Racism is unjust” is tautologically true under this definition, but there’s no act for which one could say “that’s wrong because it’s racist”. One must first show that the act is wrong on independent ethical grounds, and then one can proceed to conclude that it is racist.

    This is another hint, I believe, that “racism” does not refer to a real essence (forgive sloppy use of metaphysical terminology; I trust everyone knows what I’m getting at) but to an artificial union. And Zippy has done a far better job than most of coming up with a plausible candidate definition of racism.

  56. Hi bonald,

    This was, as usual, an excellent post. Indeed, I would go further and say that it is an extraordinarily excellent post. You are, of course, correct in saying there is no such sin as racism. “Racism” is a term coined by Marxists such as Magnus Hirschfeld and the members of the Frankfurt School less than a century ago to refer to attitudes and behaviour they wished to pathologize. From the moment it was coined it has been used to refer to both ideas and actions that are sinful and ideas and actions that are not sinful. Piety – the virtue of honouring, loving, and performing one’s duty towards one’s parents and ancestors, especially by ensuring the wellbeing of their descendants, which is linked in every traditional religion including Christianity in its Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant forms with loving, honouring, and performing one’s duty to God Himself – falls under the label “racism” when practiced, however imperfectly, by someone whose ancestors lived in Europe for millenia and whose skin colour is white. The Marxists who invented the word “racism” fully intended for it to include white, Christian, piety as well as the racial hatred practiced by, say, the Third Reich because their whole reason for coining the term was to condemn the former by association with the latter. Zippy is obviously correct to say that such a thing as racially motivated unjust behaviour exists but the meaning of the word racism has never been precisely limited to “racially motivated unjust behaviour.”

  57. vishmehr24,

    Christianity condemns making an idol out of “race” and “tribe” for sure. It also condemns making idols out of “nation” and “city”. That is a major underlying theme of St. Augstine’s “The City of God”. The problem with the kind of worship of race that was on display in the Third Reich was not that they chose the wrong idol, race rather than city or nation. The problem was that it was idolatry, that it had placed a secondary good in the place of the ultimate Good, and ascribed to race that which belongs to God.

  58. Bonald:

    “Racism is unjust” is tautologically true under this definition, but there’s no act for which one could say “that’s wrong because it’s racist”.

    Executing someone because he is a convicted murderer is not racist. Executing only white murderers because they are white is racist.

    This is really not as hard as people try to make it.

  59. If they deserved to be executed, then there is no injustice to the white murderers. It may be unjust to spare the black murderers because their crimes warranted this punishment as well.

    Two possibilities:

    1) A deserves X, and B deserves X, so if A and B get something different, there must be an injustice somewhere.

    2) A and B deserve to get the same thing, be it X or Y.

    I have been going off of #1 (justice as giving to each his due), in which case there is no need for a concept of racism. In #2 (justice as not discriminating by irrelevancies), one could say that something is wrong solely because it’s racist. Is this the version of justice you’re working with? I can see #2 as valid for things like competitions, but if you restrict yourself to what are properly justice #2 scenarios, this would once again be a much narrower thing than what the word “racist” usually refers to.

  60. Bonald:

    If they deserved to be executed, then there is no injustice to the white murderers

    That kind of moral reductionism frankly irrelevant. Taking the job of executioner because you like chopping off the heads of crackers is racism, and is morally wrong.

  61. People in the past had no need for the term racism because by and large no one was stupid enough to believe in positions that would need to be described as such

    Really?

    Here are some stupid positions held by the well known idiot Charles Darwin, and indeed every single biologist of note until the big 1972 crackdown on crimethink in biology.

    First the full title of “the origin of species”:

    The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life<

    And now, some references to human races in “the descent of man”

    the sense of smell is of extremely slight service, if any, even to the dark coloured races of men, in whom it is much more highly developed than in the white and civilised races

    Do the races or species of men, whichever term may be applied, encroach on and replace one another, so that some finally become extinct? We shall see that all these questions, as indeed is obvious in respect to most of them, must be answered in the affirmative, in the same manner as with the lower animals.

    Prof. Montegazza writes to me from Florence, that he has lately been studying the last molar teeth in the different races of man, and has come to the same conclusion as that given in my text, viz., that in the higher or civilised races they are on the road towards atrophy or elimination.

    Professor Schaaffhausen first drew attention to the relation apparently existing between a muscular frame and the strongly-pronounced supra-orbital ridges, which are so characteristic of the lower races of man.

    as the hands became perfected for prehension, the feet should have become perfected for support and locomotion. With some savages, however, the foot has not altogether lost its prehensile power, as shewn by their manner of climbing trees, and of using them in other ways

    The belief that there exists in man some close relation between the size of the brain and the development of the intellectual faculties is supported by the comparison of the skulls of savage and civilised races, of ancient and modern people, and by the analogy of the whole vertebrate series. Dr. J. Barnard Davis has proved,137 by many careful measurements, that the mean internal capacity of the skull in Europeans is 92.3 cubic inches; in Americans 87.5; in Asiatics 87.1; and in Australians only 81.9 cubic inches.

    Nor is the difference slight in moral disposition between a barbarian, such as the man described by the old navigator Byron, who dashed his child on the rocks for dropping a basket of sea-urchins, and a Howard or Clarkson; and in intellect, between a savage who uses hardly any abstract terms, and a Newton or Shakespeare. Differences of this kind between the highest men of the highest races and the lowest savages, are connected by the finest gradations. Therefore it is possible that they might pass and be developed into each other.

    The strong tendency in our nearest allies, the monkeys, in microcephalous idiots, and in the barbarous races of mankind, to imitate whatever they hear deserves notice, as bearing on the subject of imitation.

    Judging from the hideous ornaments, and the equally hideous music admired by most savages, it might be urged that their Aesthetic faculty was not so highly developed as in certain animals, for instance, as in birds.

    without the accumulation of capital the arts could not progress; and it is chiefly through their power that the civilised races have extended, and are now everywhere extending their range, so as to take the place of the lower races.

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    We will first consider the arguments which may be advanced in favour of classing the races of man as distinct species, and then the arguments on the other side.

    The inferior vitality of mulattoes is spoken of in a trustworthy work as a well-known phenomenon; and this, although a different consideration from their lessened fertility may perhaps be advanced as a proof of the specific distinctness of the parent races.

    Now if we reflect on the weighty arguments above given, for raising the races of man to the dignity of species, and the insuperable difficulties on the other side in defining them, it seems that the term “sub-species” might here be used with propriety. But from long habit the term “race” will perhaps always be employed.

    Through the means just specified, aided perhaps by others as yet undiscovered, man has been raised to his present state. But since he attained to the rank of manhood, he has diverged into distinct races, or as they may be more fitly called, sub-species. Some of these, such as the Negro and European, are so distinct that, if specimens had been brought to a naturalist without any further information, they would undoubtedly have been considered by him as good and true species.

    .

  62. That’s interesting. If someone took the job of executioner because he just liked chopping anybody’s head off, we would also say that is wrong, but we would be less suspicious that this is his reason for taking the job if he’s equally enthusiastic about decapitating everybody. Perhaps he just has a strong zeal for justice. But if he likes to chop off heads of one color in particular, then we can pretty safely guess that something else is going on.

  63. That Charles Darwin and every biologist up to the 1972 crackdown believed a bunch of hate facts about human races is undoubtedly racism – and Zippy, if he had not tied himself in a corner with a definition of “racist” that no one uses in actual practice, least of all Zippy, would have undoubtedly said so.

  64. Bonald:

    But if he likes to chop off heads of one color in particular, then we can pretty safely guess that something else is going on.

    Keep in mind that my core claim is quite minimal. I’m just contending that racism isn’t something totally vacuous: it isn’t an anti-concept, it isn’t something that never happens, and it isn’t arbitrary (like “thefts committed on Tuesdays” or whatever).

    And I’m not contending this because I am even slightly sympathetic to liberalism, its liturgies, or its catechism, against which I have argued for decades. Quite the contrary.

    I’m just contending it because it is true, and the arguments against it being true are harmful and wrong.

  65. Second “vacuous” was supposed to be “arbitrary”.

  66. It is, perhaps, worth asking whether “racism” refers to a particular kind of behaviour, or the kind of “reasons” or “motives” elicited from someone, when asked to explain that behaviour.

    You will get slippery, shifting, and untrue, answers. If you ask the question, you will get vicious hate filled lies. Should you question or doubt those lies, they will be followed by vicious personal attacks.

    What behavior did Donald Sterling commit that led to his universal excoriation and the confiscation of his wealth?

    Racism has nothing to do with behavior. Simply being white makes you racist.

    It has, however, something to with heresy, with evil thoughts, and hidden in these slippery and shifting definitions that people give for “racism” is the idea that these thoughts themselves cause harm.

    For example, no one can possibly doubt that Darwin, and indeed every biologist before 1972, was “racist”, for thinking hate facts, regardless of any actually hateful behavior.

  67. Hello Zippy,

    My claim is also minimal. I’ve granted that “racism”, as that word is generally used, contains within it several “real” things, narrowly-defined moral flaws (and in addition qualities that are not flaws) that are not arbitrary groupings. If one wants to call one of my five sub-categories “racism”, I would be satisfied, because whichever one chooses it would no longer have the breadth to do the work liberals want it to do.

  68. I’ve made the correction “vacuous”->”arbitrary”.

  69. Bonald:
    I’m afraid I’ve run out of things to disagree about, at least on the particular matter, despite my generally disagreeable disposition.

  70. Sorry for the confusion, but I meant to add a ‘before the enlightenment’ qualifier to my statement about people in the past, otherwise the bit about Addington and Wilberforce would not make sense, but apparently left it out. So the Darwin references don’t really contradict my position. Sorry for the confusion and the trouble.

    To Mr. Phillips: How can the whole (the Race) be good if all of its parts (individuals) are evil. Since something cannot come from nothing, where does the goodness of a culture come from when the creators of said culture are evil. without Platonism or Aristotelianism, there is only reductionism and nothing is transcendent.

  71. contains within it several “real” things, narrowly-defined moral flaws (and in addition qualities that are not flaws) that are not arbitrary groupings. If one wants to call one of my five sub-categories “racism”, I would be satisfied, because whichever one chooses it would no longer have the breadth to do the work liberals want it to do.

    The big lie of the word “racism” is the proposition that heretical thoughts, such as those expressed in private behind closed doors and drawn blinds by Donald Sterling, are themselves harmful acts, evil spells that cause the inferiority of the inferior races.

    By having a word that combines unrelated things, one tells the lie that these things cause each other, or are the same thing as each other.

    Now is Zippy going to tell us that Darwin was not racist, that Donald Sterling was not racist. I don’t think he is. Just as he never told us until taunted on it that Martin Trayvon was racist.

    Zippys definition combines thoughts and deeds, morally neutral thoughts with morally evil deeds, thus implies the lie that thoughts are deeds.

    Thus the definition implies the lie that politically incorrect thoughts, such as those of Donald Sterling, are the cause of poor performance of favored minorities.

  72. “It is, perhaps, worth asking whether “racism” refers to a particular kind of behaviour, or the kind of “reasons” or “motives””

    Zippy’s definition of racially-motivated unjust acts is a mixture. It refers to acts but identified by their motives.

    A mixture is, of course, not a natural kind, nor is it an essence

    And such a word is always going to be used “incorrectly”. For example Charles Darwin and Donald Sterling are racist without regard for their acts. When you define such a word, that mixes thoughts and acts, you are really saying that that thoughts are acts, that heretical thoughts cast an evil spell which holds back and oppresses minorities, that heretical thoughts are unjust acts.

    For Zippy’s definition to correspond to a natural kind, a genuine essence, witchcraft has to be true, heretical thought directly causing hurtful consequences without the need for any intermediate chain of cause and effect.

    Hence, everyone agrees that Donald Sterling needs to be punished for uttering unwanted truths in the privacy of his own home behind closed doors and drawn blinds.

    Because, if Zippy’s definition corresponds to a natural kind, a genuine essence, Donald Sterling was casting evil spells.

    If you accept Zippy’s definition as meaningful, you will find it very hard to doubt that Donald Sterling was actually causing harm, even though to believe he was causing harm, you have to believe he was an evil witch casting magic spells.

  73. I’ve questioned whether Zippy’s definition points to a genuine natural kind myself. Nevertheless, if applied strictly, one should conclude from it that neither Donald Sterling nor Charles Darwin were racist, because no unjust acts were involved. Now, most other people would tend to say that their statements are racist, because most people operate with a definition of racism more like “any attitude regarding blacks negatively compared to whites, and any acts following from such attitudes”. Zippy can say that the word as it is used is sloppy and unfair, and neither of us would I trust be inclined to disagree. Where Zippy and I still diverge (I think) is that I’d like to take the reduction of the word “racism” even further; I think “racially-motivated” is still too vague, because there can be very different motives involving race.

    I do see nothing but mischief in having a word that can mean either “believing another race is on average inferior in some way” or “hating people of other races”. These two things have nothing to do with each other, and they should not be linguistically conjoined. Although, here again, I’m not convinced that Zippy disagrees.

  74. I do see nothing but mischief in having a word that can mean either “believing another race is on average inferior in some way” or “hating people of other races”. These two things have nothing to do with each other, and they should not be linguistically conjoined. Although, here again, I’m not convinced that Zippy disagrees.\

    If the word did not have that sort of ambiguity, it would not have the emotional valence that it does have

    As you argued earlier, if someone used Zippy’s definition, he would first have to conclude an act was evil on grounds unrelated to race – and having come to that conclusion on grounds unrelated to race, would then not be much interested in then dragging race into it. Someone genuinely using Zippy’s definition, would be unlikely to use the word or care about the word.

    People care about the word because they want to say, or feel that they should say, “Racist, therefore evil”. If they had to say “Evil, therefore racist”, would not care, therefore, would not use the word.

  75. jamesd127

    You have identified one of the most intractable problems in modern moral philosophy.

    As Miss Anscombe explained in her 1958 paper, “In present-day philosophy an explanation is required how an unjust man is a bad man, or an unjust action a bad one; to give such an explanation belongs to ethics; but it cannot even be begun until we are equipped with a sound philosophy of psychology. For the proof that an unjust man is a bad man would require a positive account of justice as a “virtue.” This part of the subject-matter of ethics, is however, completely closed to us until we have an account of what type of characteristic a virtue is – a problem, not of ethics, but of conceptual analysis – and how it relates to the actions in which it is instanced: a matter which I think Aristotle did not succeed in really making clear. For this we certainly need an account at least of what a human action is at all, and how its description as “doing such-and-such” is affected by its motive and by the intention or intentions in it; and for this an account of such concepts is required.”

    We are no nearer a solution now, than we did fifty years ago. No coherent analysis of future intention, intentional action and intention in acting has yet been produced; the problem is much as Wittgenstein and Miss Anscombe herself left it.

  76. Michael Paterson-Seymour,
    I have seen this quote many times but you need to tell us non-philosophers what exactly Miss Anscombe means here.
    What is “conceptual analysis” and what is this “matter which I think Aristotle did not succeed in really making clear. ”

    The philosophers might argue subtly in their rareified heights but do the concrete matters depend upon their subtlety?. Is it possible to doubt that theft is wrong or to understand what is theft?
    Even if “No coherent analysis of future intention, intentional action and intention in acting has yet been produced”, surely these matters can be dealt with ordinary analysis that ordinary people carry out. Or does understanding “racism” absoultely REQUIRES a coherent analysis of type Miss Anscombe is talking about?

  77. jamesd127,
    Has Zippy claimed here that Sterling is a racist person?

  78. I don’t even know (or particularly care) who Sterling is. James raves all about what I must say and think IRL (I’ve written very little about race as a blogger), but in fact his ignorance about me personally is vast. Just because I don’t take the bait and make the discussion about me personally doesn’t imply that he has the faintest idea what he is talking about.

  79. vishmehr24

    A good place to start is to ask oneself some very simple questions about different descriptions of the same set of facts e.g.

    (a) “carrying a hammer”
    (b) “carrying an offensive weapon”
    (c) “going equipped to steal”

    Do they each describe the same action or are they different actions depending on the intention? In other words, is the person “doing something different” in each case?

    Is an intention just a state of mind? What does Wittgenstein mean, when he says, “What is the natural expression of an intention?—Look at a cat when it stalks a bird; or a beast when it wants to escape.”

    Surely, there is nothing particularly subtle here – Or is there?

  80. “believing another race is on average inferior in some way” –> race realist

    “hating people of other races”.–> bigot

    “killing or beating someone because that person belongs to a hated race” –> racist

    It all seems pretty straightforward.

  81. if someone used Zippy’s definition, he would first have to conclude an act was evil on grounds unrelated to race – and having come to that conclusion on grounds unrelated to race, would then not be much interested in then dragging race into it.

    The idea that motives are irrelevant to justice is simply ignorant, although it is pervasive among right liberals. Murder is always wrong, but how we treat someone who murders his daughter’s rapist should be different from how we treat someone who murdered for money or whatever.

    What neoreactionary folks are (ironically, given their stance on HBD) arguing is that race is as meaningless and arbitrary as the color shirt someone is wearing, and therefore taking it into account as a motive for unjust acts is always irrelevant: that discrimination between unjust acts based on racial motive (as opposed to other motives) is always wrong.

    Those who live by postmodern word games will die by postmodern word games.

  82. You have identified one of the most intractable problems in modern moral philosophy.

    If so, moral philosophers are stupid, for they managed to make themselves forget what every child knows.

    When you teach a child to use the word “dog”, you point to a dog. When you teach a child to use the word “evil”, you point to Snow White’s evil stepmother.

    What makes the evil stepmother evil is that she harms those close her for frivolous reasons. So you don’t want to be with people like that, and are relieved when the prince has her killed in a horrible fashion. And you call such people, people you have good reason to not want around, “evil”, just as you call a dog a dog.

    See Constant “Good and Evil from self interest”.

    We don’t like evil people for pretty much the same reason we do not like standing next to the edge of a high cliff or walking out on the high diving board.

  83. What neoreactionary folks are (ironically, given their stance on HBD) arguing is that race is as meaningless and arbitrary as the color shirt someone is wearing, and therefore taking it into account as a motive for unjust acts is always irrelevant:

    Liar

    What we say is that you do not use the word “racist” or “racism” to refer to unjust acts motivated by race, but to accuse white people of vague, unspecified, and undefined unjust acts. That unjust acts that would be unjust even if everyone involved was white is not what you normally use the word “racism” to mean, it is not in fact what anyone normally uses the word racism to mean.

    The normal and clear majority use of the word “racism” is is that white people are hateful for being white, and therefore should be beaten up. That was, for example, clearly the majority usage in the discussion of the George Zimmerman affair, where those supposedly denying that Martin Trayvon attacked George Zimmerman, rather than producing arguments for what they supposedly believed, instead produced arguments that George Zimmerman deserved such an attack.

    Use of the the term to refer to unjust acts motivated by race is so rare as to be effectively nonexistent. If anyone uses the term in this sense, he is unlikely to be understood.

  84. I’m not ordinarily much for the argument-ad-dictionary, but I don’t make a very good liar on this subject, because the very top of the entry at Merriam-Webster is

    “poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race”

  85. Zippy, on May 29, 2014 at 2:18 am said:

    I’m not ordinarily much for the argument-ad-dictionary, but I don’t make a very good liar on this subject, because the very top of the entry at Merriam-Webster is
    “poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race”

    This is a politically correct lie, intended to sow hatred and justify violence against white people.

    googling “racism”, let us look at actual usage of the word. Let us look for google hits that refer to specific identifiable incidents. When people refer to a specific incident, would that incident constitute “poor treatment or violence” if all involved where white?

  86. Zippy quotes a definition that seems to conflate racism and what some racists do because they’re racists. It seems to me that hatred is an emotion and that racism is a kind of hatred. In a book I’ve read, “Healing the Un-affirmed,” I think, Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Conrad Barrs says that, although negative emotions are not sins, we sometimes sin because we feel some of them. If he’s right, maybe I can still hate someone, even when I wouldn’t sin against him.

  87. It seems to me that hatred is an emotion and that racism is a kind of hatred. In a book I’ve read,

    Words are defined by actual usage. Does anyone actually think Donald Sterling hates blacks, let alone that he has committed unjust acts against them?

  88. jamesd127,
    The intersting citation you gave-Constant -good and evil from Self-interest-provokes some questions.
    What does my self-interest consists in?
    In maximizing my progeny or my grand-children?
    Maximizing my personal wealth?
    Maximizing my sexual experiences?
    maximizing my tribal or national territory?
    optimizng my work/leisure balance?

    Constant says that he is not a utiliterian and
    “I am trying to optimize my personal outcome.”
    I did not understand what he means my “personal outcome”.
    My worldly “personal outcome” is an inevitable death.

  89. What does my self-interest consists in?
    In maximizing my progeny or my grand-children?
    Maximizing my personal wealth?
    Maximizing my sexual experiences?
    maximizing my tribal or national territory?
    optimizng my work/leisure balance?

    To the extent that morality is instinctive and intuitive, it is a product of natural selection, so the relevant self interest is maximum progeny.

    To the extent that morality is a result of rational thought and enlightened self interest, rational egoism, it is mainly you want to get whatever you want while avoiding repercussions and predation by other people.

    Either way, one should conclude that leftists are bad people because of the propensity of leftists to destroy their fellow leftists. Nazis murdered a few hundred nazis and a few thousand commies. How many commies did commies murder? Whatever criterion of self interest one chooses, the higher one is in the inner party, the more difficult it is to avoid conviction as a thought criminal, which is apt to be bad news regardless of whether you want maximum grand children or optimal work leisure balance.

  90. Jamesd127 wrote, “When you teach a child to use the word “dog”, you point to a dog. When you teach a child to use the word “evil”, you point to Snow White’s evil stepmother….”

    “Look, these soldiers are bad. They are looting.” “Look, those soldiers are good. They are foraging.”

    Pointing (ostensive definition) is always ambiguous, for it is always a question what you are pointing to. – I must somehow make clear that “dog” is not a proper name, like Fido, the name of a breed, like Springer Spaniel, a word meaning “quadruped,” or “furry,” or “red and white coat” We train children the meaning of “dog” by using it in a variety of contexts.

    The same set of facts can fall under a variety of descriptions and intention is what distinguishes an action from a mere physical event, like a shudder or a sneeze.

    Zippy wrote, “The idea that motives are irrelevant to justice is simply ignorant…”

    But intention is much more important, e.g. Picking up a watch in the street, intending to appropriate it, or intending to hand it into the police, or intending to advertise it, in the hope of a reward from the owner (quite different from intending to hold it to ransom, so to speak, and forcing the owner to pay)

    The relevant questions are, “What are you doing” and “Why are you doing it.”

  91. “the higher one is in the inner party, the more difficult it is to avoid conviction as a thought criminal”

    It hard to believe that you believe half of the stuff you say.

    Which progressive communists have suffered for their false beliefs? Even posthumously, the worst you can say is that Wilson’s racism has become a minor talking point for loser right liberals and Bryan was made fun of in a movie/play.

    Seriously, did John D. Rockefeller Jr. suffer for his evil destructive beliefs or did he prosper while others suffered. He has about a thousand grandchildren and a million institutions named after him. He helped engineer the system of world domination that continues to this day, at what point did any of this become personally dangerous?

    Meanwhile, people who stood up for Truth were slandered, had their communities destroyed, their children turned against them. In what sense what is individually advantageous to be anti-communist?

  92. “Which progressive communists have suffered for their false beliefs?”

    The victims of Stalin’s terror would be the obvious example.

    Still, I would hardly say that communists are bad primarily because of the way they treat each other.

  93. I would be perfectly happy with racism defined as “unjust acts based on hatred of members of other races”. This is actually a distinct thing–not a distinct act, but a distinct motive. Zippy’s definition is much broader, because it allows *any* kind of motive, as long as race plays some part in it. Thus, in Zippy’s definition, acts are racist if they are motivated by hatred of another race, by love of one’s own, or by self-interest combined with beliefs about some race or other. I object to having these motives grouped together as if they were in some morally-relevant way similar.

    Also, if we restrict racism to actual hatred, then 90% of what liberals call “racist” is nothing of the sort.

  94. My own preference, if we must keep this wretched word, would be to let racism mean what most people take it to mean–any racially-informed motive–and then simply deny that it is in itself bad.

  95. Bonald:
    Part of the practical sense of going with the top Websters Dictionary / Zippy understanding of racism is, in addition to avoiding postmodern nonsense, that coming to grips with unjust actions motivated by race forces explicit consideration of the fact that not all actions motivated by race are unjust.

    That word “unjust” acknowledges the reality of what people really see with their lying eyes while immediately raising the issue that not all racially motivated actions are unjust.

  96. “That word “unjust” acknowledges the reality of what people really see with their lying eyes while immediately raising the issue that not all racially motivated actions are unjust.”

    So what you’re saying here is that when liberals/Leftists toss around the word ‘racist’ they really do believe, inwardly, that what they’re labelling ‘racist’ is unjust. So ostensibly a correct use of the term. But in reality, they’re usually just wrong about whether the act they’re labelling ‘racist’ is actually unjust. Is this right?

  97. the “progressive” modifier was meant to denote western commies.

  98. @Zippy: The problem is that the concept of racism contains the notion that one race ought not to be above another in any way. But some races naturally are dominant, and thus any multiracial society will always be a ‘racist’ society according to this definition. Even mainstream right-wingers use the word this way at this point. So as long as you use this word, you endorse this idea, whether or not you intend to. ‘Unjust’ is such a subjective judgement that it leaves room for people to include inequality or exclude inequality from it as they see fit. Needless to say, most will consider any inequality ‘unjust’ at this point.

    As a point of comparison we might consider the term ‘sexist.’ Now, I could go around saying that I am against ‘sexism’ and I could justify this to myself by using some totally naive definition of the word. If a bunch of men gang rape a woman, presumably this qualifies as sexist. So maybe my opposition to such behavior makes me an opponent of sexism. But clearly the debates in our society over sexism have nothing to do with anything like this. If I don’t care about women being paid the same as men (and for that matter see nothing virtuous in women being careerists in the first place), then I am clearly not what any modern person would call a fierce opponent of sexism. For me to say that ‘real sexism is just brutal violence against women, whatever anyone else says’ is pointless. Refusing to use a word to mean what everyone actually means by it is simply a way of refusing to communicate.

    “Poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race” includes such things as structuring an education system in such a way that black children receive more detentions than whites or get lower grades (which any multiracial school would have to do in order to maintain order and a meaningful grading system). If this strikes you as being part of a spectrum of behavior that includes bloodthirsty genocide then, by all means, keep using the word. If I say that ‘sexism’ is ‘poor treatment of or violence against people because of their gender’ I hope you will not be fooled into raging against ‘sexism.’ After all, every good modern person knows that ‘poor treatment’ includes things like telling your daughter to behave with a modicum of dignity in her sex life (or some other such thing).

    If a neoreactionary says that something as specific as ‘racially motivated violence’ is a non-concept, than I will also roll my eyes. But ‘racism’ really is a confused mess of a concept at this point.

  99. Andrew E:

    So what you’re saying here is that when liberals/Leftists toss around the word ‘racist’ they really do believe, inwardly, that what they’re labelling ‘racist’ is unjust. So ostensibly a correct use of the term. But in reality, they’re usually just wrong about whether the act they’re labelling ‘racist’ is actually unjust. Is this right?

    Usually, frequently, more often than not — something in that ball park.

    Yes, the basic problem is that liberals’ sense of justice has been perverted by their liberalism. So they are sometimes right to say that a particular racially-motivated act is unjust (racism), and they frequently are wrong. If they weren’t sometimes right there would be no anchor-point for liberal propaganda on race.

    Part of the reason race is a ‘thing’ at all in modernity is because (along with sex) it is one of the last intimate, intransigent, visible, material differences between groups of people that make these groups ‘unequal’ (with the usual caveat that liberalism’s politics-of-freedom-and-equality is fundamentally self-contradictory). Liberalism has already marginalized and all but destroyed everything else that sets groups apart from each other and makes it possible for one to claim superiority (e.g. adherence to the true religion versus false religion) over others.

    But it takes a lot longer and is a lot more difficult to breed a homogenous humanity than to marginalize and trivialize the One True Church, destroy fatherhood and masculinity, etc.

    Race is a ‘thing’ only because liberalism has been so successful at destroying everything else.

  100. Part of the practical sense of going with the top Websters Dictionary / Zippy understanding of racism is, in addition to avoiding postmodern nonsense, that coming to grips with unjust actions motivated by race forces explicit consideration of the fact that not all actions motivated by race are unjust.

    No it does not. Rather, it is a vicious smear directed at white people.

    We don’t have a special word for unjust acts motivated by sexual jealousy. We don’t have a special word for unjust acts motivated by money.

    And if we had such words, no one would ever use them, because they do not correspond to natural kinds, to essences.

    And no one uses the word racism is the sense that you and the dictionary claim, not even you. And no one is going to, because that is not the way language works. Words that do not refer to natural kinds just do not get used.

    “Racist” merely means someone who belongs to a race that is on average, better than some other race (which is how Tutsis get to be racist and Hutus don’t get to be racist)

  101. Jamesd, I doubt that Mr. Sterling hates anyone. I’m sure that Paula Deen doesn’t hate anyone, but the Food Network still fired her unjustly because she used the n-word about 20 years ago.

    Today, many American liberals use the word “racist” to insult, marginalize, intimidate, and calumniate other people, seemingly not caring what the word means if it serves their intended purpose when they use it.

    Some American liberals I’ve met at message boards insulted other posters when they couldn’t answer their objections. A poster even admitted publicly that he shouted down some people who disagreed with him. So sometimes I couldn’t tell whether he meant what he said when he insulted me. Other times, when I seemed to disprove something he said, he didn’t reply. Other times, he answered me respectfully and even praised me sincerely.

  102. James:

    We don’t have a special word for unjust acts motivated by money

    I suppose “greed” is just a term for hatred of rich people.

  103. Also, avaricious, rapacious, covertous, grasping, money-grubbing…

  104. Some genuine examples of racism.

    http://radishmag.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/no-reason/

    Now there is a phenomenon here, is there not? As the entire article implies, these are not, as the press would have it, “random” events, but are rather *racially* motivated murders/rapes/assaults/etc.

    So which is it, is there no phenomenon here that unites these “random” “senseless” attacks? Or do we, as Jim would have it, allow the press to define our words by their usage; these are not examples of racism because the victims were white and the perpetrators black. Or, a third option; regardless of what the party tells us, two and two do in fact make four, and racism is a thing, a thing that has significant actual effect in the real world and in the lives of just about everyone in America, a terrible, disgusting, unjust thing, but a thing that the party constantly lies about, distorts and uses as a weapon against dissent. I think the answer is obvious.

  105. Also, Jim, have you really never had a conversation with a black person, not a paid puppet like Ta-Nehisi Nibblick, but an actual human black person about how ‘racist’ black people are? Usually they are quite open and good natured about it. Not only that, but there seems to be absolutely no confusion about what is meant by ‘racism.’ I must have had this conversation 10 times when I taught at an almost all black and hispanic alternative school, and nobody ever brought up the absurd notion that only white people could be racist or that racism just means white or some such. Your letting the party create reality for you when you say these things.

  106. Assuming these are all types of the same thing, and that they really are all racially motivated, then that would be because they aren’t just “racially-motivated”. They have one particular racial motive: hatred of whites as a presumed oppressor class. They have a different quality than

    * racially-informed motives other than hatred (for example, perceived defense of one’s own group)
    * self-interested motives based on ideas about different races (for example, throwing away unread job applications from some particular race because “we all know those people can’t cut it”)
    * hatred of another race not based on a sense of Leftist grievance but on some other quality by which they are judged obnoxious

    I think “racism” seems like an obvious essence to some of you because when you say “racially motivated” you automatically leap to assuming one particular motive, namely hatred. However, there are other racially-motivated feelings which are not intrinsically wrong but can sometimes motivate unjust acts.

  107. James:

    We don’t have a special word for unjust acts motivated by money

    I suppose “greed” is just a term for hatred of rich people.

    Exactly so: No one calls a mugger or shoplifter greedy.

    If we called muggers or shoplifters greedy, it would be a word analogous to what you claim to mean by “racism”

    Also, avaricious, rapacious, covertous, grasping, money-grubbing

    “Covetous” is a very specific sin, and the others are just terms of abuse for rich people, or people who resist government economic planning.. Again, no one calls muggers these names.

    Someone is “grasping” because he wants to sell his stuff at the market price, rather than the government imposed official price, not because he grasps stuff in a shop and runs off without paying. Absent price control, no one gets called “grasping”. Again, a very specific sin, if one thinks it a sin, not any unjust act motivated by money.

  108. Some genuine examples of racism.

    http://radishmag.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/no-reason/

    Now there is a phenomenon here, is there not

    But Radish has no single word word for this phenomenon, which phenomenon, I would categorize as attacks motivated by left wing ideology, rather than attacks motivated by race. He does not call them racist, and neither do I.

    Indeed, to call them “racist” lets our schools, which encouraged these attacks, off the hook. They are anti white, motivated by a very specific anti white ideology which blames whites for the poor performance of blacks.

  109. “I think “racism” seems like an obvious essence to some of you because when you say “racially motivated” you automatically leap to assuming one particular motive, namely hatred. However, there are other racially-motivated feelings which are not intrinsically wrong but can sometimes motivate unjust acts.”

    I’ll buy that. I’m not sure that I actually agree with Zippy’s characterization of racism. There should be some distinction between, one the one hand, the idea that race is an ontologicaly real category and that members of different racial groups differ in important ways as do the groups themselves, and, on the other, injustice resulting from a rejection of or deviation from the logos of race.

  110. The blacks are not directly motivated by leftism. All Eldridge Clever knew was that he hated whitey. The Jews (heh, okay, Puritans) who ran Ramparts Magazine were motivated by leftism when they egged him on and helped ghost-write his ‘rape the shiksa for justice’ campaign. The black who were stirred up didn’t care about marx either, except for a few social climbers.

    I agree that this is a revolutionary phenomenon and is a different phenomenon than, say, the counter-revolutionary first KKK or the Nazi party. However, their is a commonality which is a thing in itself. Their is a proper order of charity of which race, like family and nation is a part. This can be violated by taking the extremes of both too little relative consideration of ones own people as well as too little relative consideration of ones own people. The latter error is what we call racism, isn’t it.

  111. […] Bonald agrees that there is no such sin as racism. […]

  112. Has God sent a prophet? http://www.thewarningsecondcoming.com
    Be sure to read about the “Seal of the Living God” found on the homepage links – *a Biblical reference to this topic: Rev. chapter 7

  113. The blacks are not directly motivated by leftism. All Eldridge Clever knew was that he hated whitey.

    Oh come on. They say, Eldridge Cleaver said, they were motivated by leftism. He knew lots of stuff. In particular, he knew both progressivism and Marxism. When he deconverted from Marxism, he understood it well enough to make an intelligent critique of it. Trayvon Martin was not too bright even before he got brain damage from his drug habit, but Eldridge Cleaver could, and did, lucidly explain what Travyon Martin incoherently felt.

  114. I believe the first person to appeal to the politics of race (and very successfully, too) was the Abbé Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès in his « Qu’est-ce que le Tiers-État? »

    He, one recalls, depicted the “Gallic” race, as dominated and oppressed for over a thousand years by the “Frankish” invaders, who made up the nobility and higher clergy.

    A generation later, Hegel depicted the history of Europe as a conflict between Latin and Teuton (which mapped rather neatly onto Catholic and Protestant). English School histories of the Victorian period were at pains to stress the “Nordic” origins of the Normans.

    Given that everything in the world is what Bl John Henry Newman called “unit and particular,” it is surely not surprising that objective features of a phenomenon so little constrain the ways it is classified and theorized that these features can be disregarded in trying to understand why a particular classification system or scientific theory has been adopted

  115. Racism is an heresy, as it denies human common ancestry and Creation Story.

  116. Racism is an heresy, as it denies human common ancestry and Creation Story.

    If you believe in young earth creationism, you still have to believe in microevolution

    If the children of Noah can microevolve so that some become black, and some white, and the cats of Noah similarly, then the children of Noah can microevolve so that some become adapted to running through the jungle naked like a gorilla and others adapted to a world of agriculture, artifacts, property rights, and employment.

    Even young earth creationists have to believe in microevolution. And given an old earth, microevolution becomes macroevolution.

  117. Here is a conjecture:

    Tribalism is universal. Racism is tribalism applied to a race. This is probably not natural, but the result of the emergence of mass media culture. This is what is meant by raising consciousness. During the 19th c revolutions it was about raising national consciousness, ie creating psychological national tribalism, or (less successfully) class consciousness. In the US racial consciousness probably emerged naturally in the south in response to the switch from European to African slave labor. Racism in the north largely came from trying to destroy the social cohesion and resistance to social engineering among ethnic enclaves. In addition to the usual propaganda was the semi-forced migration to the suburbs which were officially segregated along southern racial lines. Eventually, Lithuanians developed a “white” social consciousness (not that they didn’t know before hand that they were of the same race as of euros. This is not the “Irish didn’t used to be white” theory.) Once white identity had absorbed the role taken once reserved for ethnic identity the powers that be pushed class identity as the more effective means of social control among whites.

    In any case, racism and classism are both meaningful concepts that refer to disordered understanding of the logos of charity

  118. Josh
    I think the 19th century concept of “race” arose from a combination of comparative philology and evolutionary biology.
    The two seminal texts were Jacob Grimm’s Deutsche Grammatik (1819) and Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) and the most complete exposition of this combination is Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (The Foundations of the 19th Century) Chamberlain (Wagner’s son-in-law) takes Grimm’s family tree of the Indo-European languages (North Indian, Iranian and European) and treats them as establishing ethnicity or descent. Nowhere is this clearer than in his treatment of the Berbers (whom he admired) – “The noble Moor of Spain is anything but a pure Arab of the desert, he is half a Berber (from the Aryan family) and his veins are so full of Gothic blood that even at the present day noble inhabitants of Morocco can trace their descent back to Teutonic ancestors.” Slavs (whom he despised), by contrast, had adopted the language of their conquerors.
    All this was, of course, the purest conjecture, but its influence was enormous, informing the ideology of Pan-Germanism and Anti-Semitism. The obvious cultural and physical differences between speakers of Semitic languages, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Maltese and Syrians, seems to have troubled these theorists not at all.

  119. Now, however, we can through DNA trace descent in the maternal and paternal lines, and accurately assess ancient blood in modern veins, and the old theories turn out to be mostly true.

  120. Except people’s genes can change over time and can have multiple genomes within their bodies at the same time. For instances mothers can and do adsorb some of the child’s genes through various left over bits, in addition to absorbing some of the father’s genes. In fact there was one case of a woman needing a kidney transplant, so the doctors tested her children to see if they could be compatible donors only to find that according to the tests they were not even her children despite that they obviously were. Also if you are going to accept that we are able to go all the way back with those sorts of tests you have to accept ridiculous results like, since South American monkeys and African monkeys genetically split off long after the continents split off, the monkey had to sail across the Atlantic on drift wood, which is actually the leading Anthropological theory. It would more natural to me to assert that there is something wrong with the tests. Further more why would jungle dwellers need to run fast? Seems more fitting for the Savannah people. Also Africans of course had agriculture and all the other trappings of high civilization. Micro Evolution could not lead them to being less rational, less capable of morality, or having less worth. Then they would not be human and that evolution would not be so micro.

  121. Also Africans of course had agriculture and all the other trappings of high civilization.

    Black Africans have never had the trappings of high civilization, and have only recently had agriculture. The Tutsis recollect imposing agriculture at swordpoint on the Hutus. (It was easier farming Hutus to do the actual farming)

    The great Zimbabwe was built by Hebrew gold miners – for the descendants of the people who built it are largely Jewish in the male line, and their legends are that they came from a far land in the north to mine gold. After the intermarried with the locals, they lost reading and writing. Their hereditary priesthood are descended in the male line from the same man as the Jewish cohens are, a man who lived approximately 1300BC, indicating that they arrived in Africa before the Rabbis took over from the hereditary priesthood, which would indicate that they arrived in black Africa some time after 1300BC and before 400AD.

    So black Africans have never had the trappings of high civilzation, never built substantial buildings. As for Egypt: Those entombed in the pyramids are similar to European whites, more Aryan than most of us.. Most of their modern day descendants are white today, many of whom can still today pass for European whites. To this day, the Delta is pretty white.

  122. jamesd127
    Why suppose the transmission of the Semitic languages was from North to South? The movement could equally well have been from South and West to North.

    The largest concentration and variety of Semitic languages today is in Ethiopia and Sudan – Harari, Inor, Sebat Bet Gurage, Silt’e, Soddo, Tigre, Tigrinya. They certainly cannot be derived directly from Akkadian, Amorite or any of the Northern Semitic languages directly,
    still less from Arabic or Hebrew. Rather, they share a common source.

    A plausible scenario would have the transmission from the Horn of Africa to the Western Arabian Peninsula in the 4th millennium BC and North from there.

    Egyptian is a Hamito-Semitic language, one of the branches of which is Semitic. It bears no resemblance at all to any of the Indo-European (Aryan) languages; not its morphology, not its syntax, not its vocabulary, so forget that one.

  123. Agriculture had spread throughout sub-Saharan Africa by 5000 B.C. and they had metal working by 2500 B.C. which they developed independently of the Nile valley. Meroe was a highly advanced civilization and, though certainly influenced by Egypt, was both ancient and unique. The kingdom of the Congo was highly complex society when Portuguese traders first came upon it. The Ghanian and Malian empires, and their successors the Songhai, were quite advanced, with quite beautiful music. Obviously Ethiopia has been a major civilization since ancient times. Furthermore as a commenter above noted the Egyptian Pharaohs were certainly not Aryan and a few of the were Nubian, with the broad flat noses that indicates that they were black. Also the Hutus and Tutsi are not and were not racially separate and the was constant interbreeding between the two.

  124. The kingdom of the Congo was highly complex society when Portuguese traders first came upon it. The Ghanian and Malian empires, and their successors the Songhai, were quite advanced,

    If this was true, you guys would not be making a big deal out of some not very large stone walls built by Hebrew gold miners.

    Agriculture in Africa is, more or less, the Bantu peoples, who were still expanding southwards equipped with Egyptian crops and Egyptian animals when they ran into European colonialists.

    It is true that some pharaohs were chocolate brown and a few were black, but most were white – we only see civilization in Africa where we see white rule. Egyptians have always been brownish, shading lighter on the delta and darker as you go south,but their rulers have mostly been white, not all of them, but that is the way to bet..

  125. Firstly I have not mentioned the ruins in Zimbabwe and can not be considered apart of any group of “guys” who make a big deal about it. Furthermore the Lemba’s Semitic genes go back between to 1300 B.C. to 400 A.D. whereas the fortress was built in the 1100’s A.D. by culturally Bantu peoples. If the Lemba did build it, which is likely but debated, they were thoroughly Africanised, racially and culturally when they did. Agriculture came from Ethiopia and Nilo-Saharan speakers into Africa. Furthermore the Bantu’s are completely Black and make up most of Africa’s sub-Saharan poulation, so if they are capable of civilization, you have ceded the argument. Most Pharaohs were only white in the loose sense of the word that includes Arabs and Berbers.

  126. Also I have already referenced great African civilizations other than Egypt, that were not ruled by whites at the time and if acquiring agriculture, crops, and domesticated animals from the Near East is a sign of racial inability to create civilization that bode ill for Europeans.

  127. The Bantu are obviously capable of agriculture, but civilization? Civilization needs cities. Whites build cities. The supposedly high civilizations you mention merely built forts of thornbush.

    Further, Bantu society has and had a big problem with both bantu and non bantu elements who are not really capable of agriculture, who tend to hunt someone else’s cattle and gather in someone else’s fields. To make Bantu society work, needs a much higher level of coercion than to make a society work that is composed of people who have been practicing agriculture for longer.

  128. Does civilization require cities? The Irish seemed to do fine with just monasteries. But if it is cities that will convince you then how about Gao and Timbuktu. Both of them built by Black people and amounting to more than “forts of thorn bush.” Also every pre and early modern society has had problems with thieves and cattle rustlers. The only thing different between then and now is that we steal cars and launder money. For curiosity’s sake do you consider the Finns genetically inferior to the Swedes, since they had no cities till the Swedish colonization. That would also make the Germans inferior racially to the Iraqis.

  129. Oh and as far as African built cities in civilizations that I have already mentioned go, there is also Meroe, Axum, and Addis Ababa. Sorry for the extra comment.

  130. Skeggy Thorson commented: “Does civilization require cities? The Irish seemed to do fine with just monasteries.
    Monasteries had literacy, contact with the wider world, and better stonework than any purported black African “civilization” – and many monasteries were larger than most black capital “cities.”

  131. Oh and as far as African built cities in civilizations that I have already mentioned go, there is also Meroe, Axum, and Addis Ababa.

    Notice that all three cities have one thing in common: If you draw a line through the sahara separating blacks and whites, they are just barely on the black side of the line

    Legend has it that the queen of Sheba was black, but brought gold to Solomon in return for Hebrew technological assistance in mining it. Whether or not that particular story is true, stuff like that happened all the time.

  132. All of the cities I mentioned all had literacy and contact with the outside world. with regard to the stone working, that is not entirely fair to Gao and Timbuktu since they did not such stones readily available to build with. Still they produced wonderful architecture. The other three cities did have impressive stone work. As for the size I could not find the figures. These cities were near the said line for the same reason most large European cities in antiquity were found on the Mediterranean, namely that people tend to congregate in places where trade is the easiest. All of their architecture is sufficiently unique that it would be hard to argue that they ripped it off someone else. There is also evidence that they independently developed metallurgy. Although if their proximity to whites still bothers you there is always M’banza-Kongo, which is quite far south. Also I apologize to Bonald if I have jacked the thread, if that is the proper term.

  133. there is always M’banza-Kongo,

    Described as “14th and 15th century intercultural city (between Africa and Europe”

  134. If you read that whole article, it clearly states that the city was built a hundred years before the Portuguese arrived, who then naturally built their own Portuguese styled buildings, that when mixed with the surrounding African buildings make it “intercultural.” The early Portuguese accounts speak of a decent sized city with a fancy palace.

  135. The early Portuguese accounts speak of a decent sized city with a fancy palace.

    Do they? I don’t think they do. Name this person who wrote this early account. What, exactly did he say?

    The King delivered justice standing under a shady tree, which is not the kind of thing one does if one has an impressive palace, not the kind of thing one does if delivering justice in a decent sized town.

  136. From the question and answer section of Carleton Putnam’s 1961 blooklet Race and Reason:

    “Q: Were there not magnificent Negro civilizations in Africa when white men were drinking blood out of skulls? What about Timbuktu?

    A: To begin with, I know of no period when white men drank blood out of skulls. Secondly, if one searched through all history for the time when the best pure Negro culture, uninfluenced by white help, was at its peak, and then sought the time when the worst pure white culture was at its bottom, I suppose one might decide that, as a white man, one would have preferred to have lived among the Negroes, although I doubt it. I have not heard of any tribal poetry among Negroes comparable to Beowulf or the Nibelungenlied. In any case the
    same point about comparing best with worst applies here as applied in my answer to the question on page 42 [the previous page]. Of greater importance, it would be well to examine more closely these so-called “magnificent Negro civilizations” in Africa. At one time, and a very brief one, there were west Sudan kingdoms with more brilliance than the contemporary ones in, say, Scandinavia, but they could not be compared with the contemporary Byzantine Empire or even the troubadour civilization of Provence. As for the city of Timbuktu, can you mention the Arab-inspired Mosque school of that city in the same breath with the University of Paris, also founded in the twelfth century? Which of their medieval professors has the modern influence of St. Thomas Aquinas? Remember also that Timbuktu was ruled by an Arab nobility and a slightly colored Tuareg upper class. Full-blooded Negroes were at the bottom of the social scale.

    Q: Was there not once a great Negro Pharaoh on the throne of Egypt?

    A: There was no black dynasty on the throne of Egypt as long as Egypt was Egypt in any real sense. The Nubian dynasty between 742-633 B.C. was a period of retrogression. Although Nubia has always bounded Egypt on the south, and began absorbing some Caucasoid racial elements before the dawn of history, it has never contributed significantly to the culture of Egypt. ”

    http://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDFs/Race_and_Reason.pdf

    And from Putnam’s 1967 followup, Race and Reality:

    “However, in recent years efforts had been made by the hierarchy to glorify the ruins of Zimbabwe in Southern Rhodesia and to make these now appear to support the “magnificent” kingdoms claim. A word about them might therefore be justified.

    One could see at a glance that the Zimbabwe ruins were large and brutal in their impact. They were essentially primitive. While the labor which originally built them was concededly Bantu, the hierarchy argued that the culture and leadership behind them were Negro as well. Such, for example, was the view of the author of the chapter on Zimbabwe in the publication Vanished Civilizations of the Ancient World,{41} priced at $28.50 and published in 1963. It was the sort of superficially impressive presentation which the hierarchy could afford to make, and needed to make, in lieu of facts.

    The photographs were excellent—too excellent. All one needed to do was to compare any of the views of Zimbabwe with pictures of the Acropolis at Athens, and he no longer cared whether the complex was indigenous in either labor or inspiration. The contrast was enough. As Timbuktu produced no Thomas Aquinas, so Zimbabwe produced no Parthenon.

    Those who still wished to carry on the intrusive vs. indigenous debate could note that in the rubble of Zimbabwe had been found porcelains of the Ming period. Since the Negro was never known to engage in maritime trade these porcelains appeared to students outside the hierarchy to have been brought in by a non-Negro ruling class.{42} The most recent survey of the subject, made by Dr. Robert Gayre, concluded that “there is absolutely no evidence at all that Zimbabwe and the other similar sites were built by the Bantu [Negroes], except as laborers.”{43} ”

    http://www.jrbooksonline.com/HTML-docs/race_and_reality_03.htm

  137. while I do not have the source on hand it is Giovanni Francesco’s ” a Short report on the success of the mission of the Friars Minor Capuchin to the kingdom of Congo” and the King would dispense justice under the shade of a tree if it held some old religious significance as the article you put up suggests. In fact, the Tynwald on the Isle of Man still holds proceedings out in the open merely out of tradition. surely you would acknowledge that they have the ability to build magnificent structures.

    To Andrew E.: As far as African poetry goes there is the Sundiat Keita. The Schools of Timbuktu produced incredibly advanced mathematics. Kora music is beautiful and not unlike harp music. Arabs only took over Timbuktu in the 1590’s. The Zimbabwes are littered with Bantu artifacts and have Bantu symbols on the walls, while evidence of foreign rulers building it are slim to nil. Also unaided the Anglo-Saxons and the Irish never built anything on par with the Babylonians or the Assyrians, but they clearly were not intellectually or culturally inferior.

  138. while I do not have the source on hand it is Giovanni Francesco’s ” a Short report on the success of the mission of the Friars Minor Capuchin to the kingdom of Congo”

    Giovanni wrote about his visit in 1660, three hundred years after the Portuguese had established cultural and political dominance on the plateau. Before he arrived, the towns economy had been operating for three hundred years on selling slaves and ivory to Portuguese resident in the town. The plateau’s altitude made is more comfortable for whites and less deadly than neighboring parts of Africa, making it the major center for white people in that part of Africa.

    There is no indication that before white people arrived, the town consisted of anything more than a large mud hut for the king, and a dozen smaller mud huts for his concubines and servants.

    The Schools of Timbuktu produced incredibly advanced mathematics

    No they did not. Rather the white ruling class of Timbuktu absorbed a certain amount of mathematics from the Aryan castes of India as a result of the Muslim conquest of India and Persia.. The mathematics of Timbuktu resembles the mathematics of India to about the same extent as the Great Zimbabwe resembles Solomon’s temple – a very second rate imitation by expatriates in the process of forgetting their heritage as they mingle with inferior races.

  139. The Zimbabwes are littered with Bantu artifacts and have Bantu symbols on the walls,

    No, not on the walls. In the litter. The bantu artefacts are conjectured to have been on the walls. The litter also contains chinese pottery and arabian coins, indicating the substantial presence of foreigners.

  140. Everything that I have read on the matter indicated that there was a substantial population before the Portuguese came. The first explorations of that part of Africa by Diogo Cao and Bartholomew Diaz were in the 1480’s and the never actually reached the city only traded along the coast, so that is hardly three hundred years. Also, now if black civilizations don’t trade with the outside world they are backward and disconnected and if they do it is just a sign that they can’t produce a civilization themselves? As far as Timbuktu is concerned, the math at their schools was equivalent to that taught by modern math programs at European universities and “whites” by which I guess you mean Arabs did not rule the city until the 1590’s. Aryans were not an Indian caste. the Lemba were not racially or culturally Jewish. There are Bantu symbols on the walls. The Chinese pottery and Arabian coins could also just indicate trade. Many east Asian Buddha statues have been found in Trondheim, their is no evidence of a substantial Chinese presence in the Viking city, King Offa likewise put his name in Arabic on some of his coins yet Mercia was never ruled by Muslims.

  141. Also, now if black civilizations don’t trade with the outside world they are backward and disconnected and if they do it is just a sign that they can’t produce a civilization themselves

    Where we have knowledge of how trade happened, it was not black merchants turning up here, it was heavily armed white merchants turning up there.

    In 1483, a Portuguese explorer/merchant/bandit/pirate placed his armed men in what was to become the town, and took a bunch of royal and noble hostages back to Portugal. So the king found himself guarded by a bunch of white men, and that his family members were far away in the custody of white men.

    Two hundred years later, we hear it is a substantial town. So if that is your evidence for black civilization, on the evidence, cannot produce civilization by themselves.

  142. “As far as Timbuktu is concerned, the math at their schools was equivalent to that taught by modern math programs at European universities and “whites” by which I guess you mean Arabs did not rule the city until the 1590′s.”

    Right. Math courses I (a non-math major) took as an undergraduate: multi-variable calculus, differential equations, complex variables, abstract algebra/group theory, and differential geometry. What do you mean by “modern”?

  143. The idea of an advanced African civilization might actually be useful to us. Afer all, aren’t blacks supposed to be the people without original sin? Did their civilizations have things I approve of, like patriarchy, organized religion, and hereditary monarchy? Did they have things I don’t approve of but don’t blame on white perfidy, like poverty and war? Of course, I can guess the answers to most of these questions and guess that they would be annoying to our enemies.

  144. Firstly Diogo Cao never went to the capital or took royal hostages. He took noble hostages that were near the coast as a bargaining chip to get the black emissaries he had sent to the king back, as they had not returned and thought they were being held hostage. The kingdom of Kongo was not overly afraid of the Portuguese as they defeated them in several wars. Furthermore, Jean Cuvelier, a 19th century Belgian bishop in the Belgian Congo, wrote in his history of the city that Royal palace was a thousand meters in diameter and had a labyrinth at its entrance. he also said that they had roads and that the city was spread out. This was all before the Portuguese came. That is obviously not my only evidence, because we have discussed native African civilizations from all of the continent already. Also, the same argument could be made that Europeans cannot build civilizations on our own, since, in the Early days we were quite dependent on the Phoenicians and other Near Eastern civilizations. Which would explain why civilization first came to Greece, then the rest of the Mediterranean and only then further north and also why philosophy began on Asia minor.

  145. Several manuscripts were sent to the math department at a university in France and the professors there said that it was not substantially different than what they taught. I do not know if they included the kinds of courses you mentioned or not. The African civilizations had all the things you mentioned, except the absence of original sin, of course. I do not see why their existence should be any less of a boon to the reactionary cause than the civilizations of the orient or the new world.

  146. I also must apologize for the atrocious grammar of some of my previous posts. There seem to be a lot of words missing.

  147. Furthermore, Jean Cuvelier, a 19th century Belgian bishop in the Belgian Congo, wrote in his history of the city that Royal palace was a thousand meters in diameter

    He was writing of a city that had had a white upper class for six hundred years.

    because we have discussed native African civilizations from all of the continent already

    All of them with a similarly massive and prolonged white presence.

  148. Jean Cuvelier was writing about their history not what was currently around in his time, and he placed that palace in the part of history that was before the Portuguese and the city did not have a white upper class for six hundred years. Whites did not take immediate control of the whole civilization and they were expelled on one occasion. You never referenced Gao, Axum, Meroe, or Ethiopia’s “white ruling class.” Timbuktu was built by blacks and run by blacks throughout their glory years. The city only declined after they were conquered by Morocco in the 1590’s. Likewise their is no evidence of any white presence at Zimbabwe as I have already shown above.

  149. Taking the job of executioner because you like chopping off the heads of crackers is racism, and is morally wrong.

    How does this fit the definition? It’s got the race part, but where’s the unjust part? Executing people is not unjust, is it? Is enjoying the job of executioner unjust?

  150. Jean Cuvelier was writing about their history not what was currently around in his time

    If so, how did he know? For him to know there had to be some early Portuguese visitor who visited the place before Portuguese had a substantial presence there, who wrote about what it was like in the days of first contact.

    Portuguese settle what was to become the city of Kongo in 1483.

    Kingdom becomes Christian and faces a big problem with Portuguese residents illegally enslaving people and exporting them in 1509

    Earliest reports of Kongo being a substantial city come in 1662.

  151. There were numerous written accounts by the Portuguese at the time of the earliest explorations and oral legends that he used. Diogo Cao mapped the coast in 1483 there was no settling at that time. First Congolese king converted in the 1490’s before there was any substantial Portuguese presence. The revolt occurred in 1526. Most of the Portuguese had left by the 1520’s most of those that were left were slave traders who lived along the cost and started trading mostly with the Ndongo which lead to the economic decline of the kingdom of the Kongo

  152. I have no problem with the idea that one’s race and one’s tribe are necessarily the same thing. I have no problem with the idea that one should be loyal to one’s tribe, and that this means putting the well being of members of one’s own tribe before the well being of members of another.

    But something is being lost in this discussion of tribal loyalty, and I think that is the level of honor with which the tribal warrior regards members of other tribes, even his enemies.

    (Sorry to wax Jack Donovan here, no disrespect to him, but honestly I’m going more for Chuck Yeagley.)

    It’s honorable to regard members of other tribes with fear, pity, admiration, hatred, disgust, or even to care nothing about them, if that is what is in your own tribal interest.

    But it’s dishonorable to regard all members of another tribe as children, at least in anything more than a symbolic meaning. The only reason to regard a whole tribe as children must be some sort of perverted, fetishized guilt, and that is dishonorable. This dishonor alone, I think, clearly deserves the epithet “racist.”

    (In this sense, by the way, it was in fact a legitimately objectionable behavior for a white person to call a grown black man “boy”.)

    If you apply my argument, then liberal white people score as the biggest racists out there. Everything they say on race comes down to seeing non-white people as children.

    I think my argument works well because this jives with what my gut intuition was telling me anyway.

  153. I thought this might add to the original post: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/06/03/uk-britain-religion-racism-idUKKBN0EE1XU20140603

    “The Church of England may dismiss clergy if they back political parties promoting the “sin of racism”, its bishops agreed on Tuesday in an unprecedented move by the mother church of the world’s 80 million Anglicans.”

  154. When I read that Warren said racism is the worst sin, my jaw dropped. Did God reveal that to him, or the New York Times?

  155. I don’t know whether racism is its own sin, but it sure is a convenient stick with which to beat the heresiarch Walter Cardinal Kasper.

  156. So it’s good to use leftist slander/libel against someone if they’re a liberal heretic?

  157. […] argued before that there’s no such thing–that is, no such natural kind–as racism, but as the […]

  158. […] what a racist like myself means when I say “there’s no such thing as racism”.  We’re basically just like other […]

  159. […] Bonald agrees that there is no such sin as racism. […]

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