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Friday, June 7, 2013

Four Philosophical Models Regarding Race:

As far as I can tell, there are only four rational, consistent views one can take on race.  Therefore, these are the only four options worth debating or choosing between.

As an example of a thought process not belonging to any of these four groups, recently some idiotic conservative argued that liberals were 'intolerant' because they disliked people with views differing from their own.  This is such a stupid statement.  Liberals are opposed to intolerance of people who have no choice but to be who they are.  This applies to age, sexual orientation, race, sex, ethnicity, disability, etc.  Obviously there is a gigantic moral and philosophical difference between characteristics people are not morally responsible for because they never chose to be that way, and characteristics people are morally responsible for because they did in fact choose to be that way.  All opinions are optional and therefore people are morally responsible for whatever opinions they might hold.  Therefore, it isn't intolerant of a liberal to hate all holders of a certain opinion.  This isn't discrimination or prejudice or whatever, it's simply moral judgment for people who are clearly guilty of wrongdoing.

Such muddled thinking is the bane of reasoned conversation.  If we could simply limit the debate to the four logically coherent options in this world, it would quickly become clear what the best model should be, but instead we get all these idiots infecting the debate with their worthless blather, making it impossible for the intelligent people representing each side to even communicate with each other.

To give a concise explanation of the four schools of racial thought:

1.  Liberalism --  Race is only skin deep.  As such, people of all races should, on average, be equal to one another.  If they aren't equal government intervention is necessary until equality prevails.  The only possible resistance to the equalization of the races are the mindless bigots who hate people for no reason except the different pigments of their skin.  It would be best if such people could just be rounded up and imprisoned, but at the very least they should be silenced and all of their raving, hateful lunacy should be banned from bothering the rest of the sane public.  Eventually, all borders should be eliminated, all races should mix together into a perfect brown blend, and everyone should become one under an enlightened democratic government that takes care of everyone.

2.  Meritocracy -- Race is irrelevant.  Only individuals matter.  As such, no actions should be taken for or against any racial group, or any group at all for that matter.  Everyone should just sink or swim on their own.

3.  Supremacy -- Race is an evolutionary struggle and the strong should exploit, dominate, conquer or exterminate the weak.  The only people we owe moral treatment to are members of our own race/group, everyone else exists solely to serve our needs as best we see fit.

4.  Homogeneity -- Race is extremely important, perhaps the most important subject in life.  It's been proven over and over again that only similar people can get along, and whenever a country becomes too diverse it turns into a killing field.  A nation divided cannot stand, nor can a mixed-race marriage succeed, nor can anything good come from artificially forcing separate and unequal objects together.  Any exceptions to this rule are fleeting and transient, the vast majority of the data shows that only homogeneous, similar, closely related people can get along, whether as a family, friends, a community or a nation.  Race is such a strong divide that it has never once in history successfully been gulfed.  It is probably psychologically and scientifically impossible for two different races to ever live together in harmony.  The happiest people on Earth, according to all objective measurements, live in overwhelmingly homogeneous regions.  The more borders we have, the smaller and more united our nations can become, the better off everyone will be.

* * *

The problem with model one is that the races are not actually equal.  Intelligence and personality varies greatly between the races, and some races are clearly superior while others are clearly inferior.  Therefore forcing all the races to be equal, or blending all the races into a muddy mix, or dropping all borders and giving everyone, no matter how stupid, a vote, is just a recipe for the end of the world.  The solution to liberalism is to generate the necessary scientific evidence that finds all the genes for intelligence and then proves definitively that these genes are unevenly distributed between the races.  Until then, liberals just prefer to live a lie rather than confront the harsh reality of the world in front of them.

The problem with model two is that no one else thinks this way.  Even if you're fine with judging people as individuals, these other people think of themselves as a group.  It's no use championing the individual if you get ganged up on and attacked every time you walk the streets at night or enter the schoolyard.  Second, discarding all of your ties to others turns out to be an unhealthy way of life.  For the same reason race is irrelevant, family is also irrelevant, there is no logical reason to care about people related to you over those unrelated to you.  In addition, if only the individual matters, then people owe no allegiance to God.  But without a higher order, a sacred law that people must obey, the individual's only logical pursuit can be hedonism.  Hedonism infers the constant betrayal of all established group ties whenever it suits the individual -- in other words marriages can't survive.  If you have no allegiance to anything or anyone else, you can't cheer for any sports team, nor can you favor any nation in the Olympics.  This might be extremely logical of you, but yet again it deprives a basic joy from your life that everyone else routinely gets to experience.  An individualist cannot even love his own children, therefore cheering for them to win or going to watch their soccer matches is irrational.  Honestly, from an individualist's point of view, there's no reason to have children in the first place, since it just means sacrificing yourself to someone else.  As such, the very embrace of model 2 is a self-defeating death sentence, an evolutionary dead end.  Caring about people solely based on their merit is so utterly useless, because these people have no reason to care exclusively or specially about anyone, so mutual love can never emerge.  Even though it's easy to adopt this world view and fully consistent logically, its logical implications are the most dehumanizing of all possible choices, and therefore it's incomprehensible why people continue to assert this alternative.

The problem with model three is that might doesn't make right.  There have been tons of times when barbarians conquered, ravaged, and destroyed civilized states.  The Mongols, the Huns, the Turks, the Arabs, the Vikings, the Vandals, and so on.  If life is just a collective war of all against all, there is no guarantee that the forces of righteousness will prevail.  In fact, it may well be that the only side with the bloodlust and callousness necessary to succeed in this plan will by definition not be the side we wish to see win.  Furthermore, victories of this sort tend to be transient and eventually self defeating.  The British Empire practically owned the whole Earth, but in the end all it did was put them into debt, get them involved in several crippling wars, and eventually lose their own country to 'commonwealth immigrants' from abroad.  The moment you get yourself involved with foreigners, even if you intend only to exploit or exterminate them, somehow or other you'll end up exploited or exterminated instead.  When Japan tried to expand its empire, it ended up just losing it instead.  The same for the Third Reich, the Spanish Armada, and virtually everyone who has attempted to put this model into practice.  Since the majority of the world's wealth is human knowledge, there is no particular benefit in conquering other peoples or lands.  Trading for what can be found abroad is much cheaper and simpler.  If your group really is supreme, it will dominate the world culturally and economically without ever having to lift a warlike finger, or at the very least, it will provide a high quality of life for everyone living in it regardless of what's happening outside your borders.  Only in the remotest best case scenario would model three work, whereas 99% of the time it will just invite your ruin.  Live and let live, however, has an extremely high success rate -- just look at Switzerland.  And obviously, with the invention of the nuclear bomb, war has never been less profitable for all parties involved.

The problem with model four is twofold.  On one side, homogeneity doesn't go nearly far enough.  Just because people are racially homogeneous, or even ethnically homogeneous, doesn't mean they'll actually get along.  Even families don't get along.  There is no guarantee that simple genetic homogeneity will lead to happiness.  In fact, for misfits who don't really feel like they belong in their 'race,' or 'culture,' the inability to flee to a different region which is racially different but ideologically more similar is truly painful.  Until homogeneity also sorts by religion, ideology, virtue, tastes, hobbies, and everything else under the sky, the benefits of homogeneity will be nearly invisible.  People will just find new things to fight about and hate each other over, the cycle won't end.  This leads to the second problem -- if truly the only way to create a successful community is for everyone to be the same, then that leaves no room for any differences whatsoever.  One can imagine how stale and pointless a Wrinkle in Time conformity would be.  Without differences, what reason would we have to communicate with each other?  What reason to even have relationships with others, if they are just more copies of ourselves?  Since diversity is an obvious good, choosing homogeneity over diversity is just running away.  Yes, getting along with others may be difficult, but it is also necessary for human progress, in that case, shouldn't we be as diverse as possible and banish the concept of homogeneity entirely from the picture?

This tug of war where we need to be far more homogeneous than we currently are, but also can't be too homogeneous such that we would prefer it to be more diverse, means hitting the 'sweet spot' of homogeneity is extremely difficult.  If we became more racially diverse but were at least all united by a single religion, would we be better off or worse?  If we were all different religions but shared the same race, how well would we get along?  If we separated into a Democratic and a Republican nation, would racial issues become irrelevant overnight?  That similar people get along better is established science, but how similar should we be and what brings people together most are still open questions.  Even so, model four is the only possible model that can succeed, so it should be embraced despite all of its difficulties.  The way to make this model work is to split up into enough small communities that every single polity can be attempted separately.  With enough models to scientifically experiment off of, the answer to the questions of who can get along with whom and what filters are most important in life can be definitively solved.  Communities that get their balance right will flourish, while those who get it wrong will fail.  Unhappy people will move to where they can be happy, and evolution will solve everything through sheer trial and error.  With the right to secede and the right to control our borders, every community could have its own go at the question of "who are we?" for right or wrong.

The place I'd like to live would share the same concept of morality, the same intelligence, and the same hobbies.  I can afford differences in any other field, racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, etc, but I don't think it's possible to happily coexist with people who stray too far from any of these metrics.  Living together as a nation where people actively hate each other in private while working together in public is madness, and there is nothing people hate more than violators of their moral code.  Likewise, when people are so different cognitively that they can no longer understand each other or have anything in common, there is zero possibility of a happy ending.  Sadly, not a single nation is constituted along these lines, and so there is nowhere anyone can go to try out such an idea.  The first time these homogenous proposition nations can exist is the day we fly off together into space.  Which may not actually be too far from now.

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