The liberal dogma of Zero Group Differences, explained by John Derbyshire in terms of the following experiment -
Experiment Y: Take a largish group—say five thousand—of people at random from any fairly compact, but not too compact, populated region—fifty to a hundred miles across, say—anywhere in the world. Now take a second group of the same size from some other similar region elsewhere. Run both groups through batteries of mental and personality tests.
Which is permitted to yield only the following conclusion -
Experiment Y will, under all circumstances, with all possible combinations of groups, deliver identical statistical profiles on all metrics, with only statistically insignificant variations.
has suffered the utter and absolute collapse of its foundations, and this has occasioned great anxiety, as liberals (and, truth be told, a fair number of conservatives as well) contemplate in fear and trembling the allegedly dire, antisocial, and retrograde consequences of the diffusion of this knowledge. It is curious, though, that this should be the case, given that the same sort of people who will, as good modernists and positivists, insist upon the most rigorous fact-value distinction imaginable, somehow forget that very dualism in this case. But leave that curiousity to the side. It is worth taking a brief and partial inventory of all of the silly and sometimes pernicious things that this liberal orthodoxy underpins: the affirmative action industry, which impacts everything from employment decisions and the fortunes of small businesses to college admissions; the festering culture of grievance, according to which the failure of certain subsets of the population to achieve outcomes comparable to those of other segments proves that the latter are somehow discriminating against and oppressing the former; the risible deconstructions of entire bodies of knowledge, which can no longer be accepted as the common heritage of our civilization, but must be reduced to the invidious products of Evil White Men bent upon domination and subjugation - a preposterous notion which, at its most extreme, characterizes linear, logical thought itself as an instrument of European hegemony; the self-serving agitprop disseminated by our elites, according to which mass immigration of the sort from which we suffer is not a problem, because the new immigrants are just like us in every important respect (except when they're not, as when they are easier to employ, but leave that aside, as well); the fetish for economic globalization, which presupposes that America and Americans are a sort of continental Lake Wobegon, where everyone is above average and we can all have mentally stimulating employments designing electronic gadgets that will be produced in Japan and China, and all Americans are overqualified for jobs as menial as, well, making stuff; and, well, you get the idea.
If group differences are real as a matter of statistical averages, then disparate outcomes are more or less entailed, and those of European descent cannot be blamed for this. If so, vast sectors of our contemporary political and economic culture are an absurdist kabuki theatre, a tableau of pretense and, in the case of those, say, denied admission to schools for which they are plainly qualified, injustice. Immigration and globalization become, on various levels, alliances of the elites and the global poor and underclasses against the middle, and the American future begins to assume the sociological shape of Brazil, instead of that of a first-world nation. We can have our literature back. And so on and so forth.
All of this raises, however, a thorny question concerning what those of us who self-identify as conservatives envision succeeding the liberal dogma, once this emerging body of scientific knowledge percolates through the body politic. For most conservatives, I would imagine, this science essentially represents a vast labour of the negative, a tremendous effort to disprove a stultifying orthodoxy that grows less tenable by the week. What they imagine succeeding the liberal orthodoxy is just a sort of laissez faire approach to these matters: we'll arrive at a workable and stable modus vivendi if the government and do-gooders just leave us alone and allow us to sort things out. There will be no irrational discrimination, only the salting of the earth where once there grew a pestiferous weed of untruth:
....there is no reason to suppose that whites will arbitrarily discriminate against qualified black persons because of differences in average racial IQ, especially given the laws against discrimination. The real problem for liberalism is not that the recognition of race differences in intelligence would lead to renewed irrational white prejudice; the real problem for liberalism is that the recognition of race differences would destroy the liberal belief that all races should have equal intellectual and economic outcomes, which in turn would lead to the demise of the liberal indictment of supposed white racism as the supposed cause of those inequalities.
In short, then, to follow this line of reasoning, we will be able to dispose of the numerous irrationalities of liberalism, from education policy to immigration, and gradually work things through as a society. At the most, the grounding asserted for liberal policies of meliorism will have shifted, from the turpitude of a dominant white society keeping the minorities down to, perhaps, the obligation to cushion the lower half of the bell curve from the plenteous blows of modern life.
Alas, this is not the only option. While most of us who take an interest, devout or merely occasional, in this subject would be content to liberate our society from the dogma of Zero Group Differences, others are desirous of pushing further:
The main haul of the HapMap will be a flood of data that will overwhelm those who would deny that significant genetic differences exist between humans. Even more importantly, it will provide an invaluable base of information for those who would usher us into an age of reengineered humans.
I'm sorely tempted to endorse the following evaluation: the positivist tendencies of modernity can assume two forms. The first form, as far as these matters are concerned, simply posits individuals of the species as equal in the right to freedom and its benefits, and when the latter prove to be realized unequally, strives to equalize conditions and outcomes. We are, in Zippy's terms, free and equal supermen, and when this reality is obscured, it can only be as the consequence of an unjust social environment. The notion of equality presupposed in these cases is pretty clearly non-empirical, and absent any sort of religious and/or philosophical foundation, can only be asserted arbitrarily and imposed my force of law, as it is now. The second form notes that there obtains no empirical, quantifiable equality among men, and either endows the overclass with superior rights, remains indifferent should they claim such rights, or embraces a future of engineered inequality, since the benefits of science cannot be bestowed upon all without distinction.
It is worth posing the question to conservatives, of what objective is of greater import to them - overthrowing a risible liberal orthodoxy, or throttling the eugenic future before it has the opportunity to befoul our society? Myself, I opt for both/and. Conservatism possesses the resources to both assimilate the science and articulate a basis for the dignity of the individual, though this latter objective requires recourse to old-school philosophy and teleological doctrines that are, frankly, incomprehensible to most moderns. With all apologies to Alasdair MacIntyre, we are confronted with a Whose Human Nature? Whose Goods? problem, where the respective discourses are so incommensurable that we often seem to be reduced to stammering that the consequences of our opponents' ideas are so intolerable/evil/retrograde that the ideas must be false. Though I believe that both liberal orthodoxy and the eugenic future must be resisted, I suspect that Steve Sailer is correct that the regnant orthodoxy will march ever onward. Perhaps it would help to parody and mock it, after the fashion of this spoof of science-averse conservatives.
The question begs an answer: which is more tolerable to us, the liberal orthodoxy and all of its works and pomps, or the future of genetic engineering? The devil we know, or the devil behind door number two? And if we answer "neither", how can we overcome the literal incomprehensibility to our contemporaries of our arguments?