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My own (limited) interactions with Charles Murray have all been positive, and I greatly respect him as an intellectual, a social scientist, and a proponent of open science. As such, there is nothing personal about the following analysis – it’s just my attempt to deconstruct his seemingly complex, but actually relatively straightforwards, political philosophy.

It barely needs to be stated that Charles Murray is not a racist/white nationalist, like the Pink Guards of Middlebury College and the respectable media insist. Even in The Bell Curve – a book that far more people “know of” than have actually read – he remains agnostic on whether the B/W gap is genetic or environmental in nature, and repeatedly goes out of his way to emphasize that group differences should never be used as justification to judge individuals differently (even though that’s not strictly accurate).

He has also, of course, become well known for being outspoken in his opposition to Trump – “counter-signalling,” if you will – for the past year: Meretricious appeals to Trump’s failings of character on the pages of The National Review, considerably more hystrionic screeds about “fascism” on his Twitter account. Speaking of The National Review, he is clearly part of that clique of Establishment neocons who believe that “dysfunctional” white working-class communities should die out and be replaced by immigrants. Now, in all fairness, Charles Murray himself is considerably more sympathetic to the white working class, possibly because of his far greater understanding of the world of Fishtown and Trump’s America, accumulated though thousands of hours of research; and, more speculatively, because his ties to the neocon (((tribe))) are ultimately not sanguinary in nature.

Still, he doesn’t disagree with their basic tenets:

I am not impressed by worries about losing America’s Anglo-European identity. Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world. And I’d a hell of a lot rather live in a Little Vietnam or a Little Guatemala neighborhood, even if I couldn’t read the store signs, than in many white-bread communities I can think of.

That said, the gloating reaction of elements of the Alt Right is somewhat misplaced, too – at least insofar as they attribute Murray’s “cuckoldry” to some desire to keep on getting invited to the cocktail parties of Conservatism Inc., out of monetary considerations, or out of a cowardly fear of becoming the next victim of an SJW witch-hunt. This is all pretty ridiculous. If respectability and huge amounts of money was his goal, Murray would have never even embarked on the career that he did, and he already has enough experience with SJWs for a few lifetimes; I suspect it’s like water off a duck’s back to him at this point.

Why do we always need to attribute personal or monetary motives to people’s ideologies, anyway?

Consider this. Murray supported the Iraq War, “for the reasons that the administration argues” (i.e. reasons based on lies, yet it is Trump and Russians, and not Murray himself, who live in a world of lies).

He became a supporter of gay marriage sometime around 2013; in so doing, he became the exemple par excellence of the neoreactionary criticism of conservatism as liberals with a lagtime of ten years.

He signals skepticism about the anthropogenic nature of global warming, which is totally in line with conservative orthodoxy.

He writes long libertarian manifestos, while remaining positive-to-agnostic about the mass immigration of peoples – the “most American people” – who have no time for such Anglo autism. I don’t like breaking it to milquetoast conservatives, but returning to “muh constitution” isn’t going to get very far when you country is fast becoming an ethnic patchwork quilt, stratified between a Jewasian cognitive elite and the “mulatto underclass clicking sponsored content all day” it rules over (to borrow a phrase from eminent Twitter sociologist menaquinone4).

Along with the rest of Conservatism Inc., he seem to be pretty skeptical if not hostile to Russia. He approvingly mentions Leon Aron, who unironically speaks of “re-Stalinization” in Russia, as well as a piece by Noah Rothman in Commentary, in which Russia’s intervention in Syria is presented as “aggressive actions” that may present Washington with “a crisis that it cannot back down” from. (Predictably, there is no introspection about how exactly Russia’s presence in Syria at the invitation of Syria’s internationally recognized government could possibly be aggression against a United States that is operating in Syria with no legitimate mandate whatsoever).

In other words, apart from his ground-breaking work at the intersection of sociology and psychometrics, what we otherwise have in Charles Murray is a classic conservative of his generation – a “white-bread” conservative, one might say – who has grown up with his “brain on Judeo-Christian values” and who has faithfully and consistently subscribed to all the major tenets of the Conservatism Inc. tribe.

However, he can be no more blamed for this than millennial “rebels” marching in lockstep to dictates from the CIA, WaPo, and their Marxist college profs. At least Murray rebelled against one – rather central! – orthodoxy in his political religion, and to his credit, he has stood up for fellow heretics such as Jason Richwine instead of throwing them overboard, as is typical amongst conservatives.

There is hope yet for Charles Murray’s (dark) enlightenment.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Charles Murray, SJWs 
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  1. Randal says:

    Good piece.

    Fair comment on Murray, and a useful reference link (the one on the first paragraph to the post about stereotypes and judgments about individuals).

    Murray supported the Iraq War, “for the reasons that the administration argues” (i.e. reasons based on lies, yet it is Trump and Russians, and not Murray himself, who live in a world of lies).
    ….
    Along with the rest of Conservatism Inc., he seem to be pretty skeptical if not hostile to Russia.

    Reaffirmation, if it is needed, that intelligence alone is no defence against elite groupthink in areas outside the person in question’s particular area of expertise and interest. Murray’s intelligence is not in doubt, and clearly The Bell Curve alone demonstrates that he is capable of maintaining scepticism at least about ideologically-based elite groupthink error when he encounters it in his own area of expertise, yet he is nevertheless apparently almost defenceless against it in other areas.

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  2. The Z Blog says: • Website

    “Why do we always need to attribute personal or monetary motives to people’s ideologies, anyway?”

    Because it is rarely otherwise? People care about their standing with their peers. Humans care about their financial condition. This is especially true in the commentariat where no one has a way to thrive personally and financially without maintaining their status within the group.

    Look. Official Conservatism™ in America is not an ideological movement. It is a shadow that follows behind the Left. The more clever of the bunch stake out positions just to the outer edge of what the Left has said is acceptable. Murray is deeply worried that his past opinions are now well outside that limit so he he preemptively trying to rehabilitate himself.

    It’s not anymore complicated than that.

    The only thing potentially of interest here is that Murray and others may be trying to use the associative property to insert themselves at the head of the Dissident Right. He’ll try to use this as street cred to then claim to speak for a “respectable version” of the alt-right. It’s how these guys corrupted the Tea Party.

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    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
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  3. 5371 says:

    “She’s a whore, and there’s an end to it,” said Dr. Johnson. Charles Murray is a cuck, and there’s an end to it.
    [Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world.]
    I am always curious about what “American” means in sentences like this. Just “insatiably greedy for money”?

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  4. Glossy says: • Website

    Robert Conquest has said that everyone is conservative about his area of expertise. This is ironic to me because, for reasons about which I’ve already bored everyone to death here, I think that Conquest was only half-right and half-conservative about his area of expertise.

    Anyway, there seems to be some truth to that observation. When people discover, through extensive personal experience or intense study, that one area of political conventional wisdom is wrong, for some reason they rarely conclude that all the others are probably wrong too.

    Well, I’ve concluded that. It’s a rule of thumb. If the powers that be hate North Korea, there must be something good about it. I know very little about North Korea, but so does everyone else, and yet they have an opinion about it too, one they’ve taken from the media.

    “Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world.”

    As an immigrant from another part of the world I’d like to say that the most American people I know of are the people about whose ancestors cowboy movies were made. In my mind Clint Eastwood’s Americanness is off the charts for example. McCain’s politics is neoconnery on drugs, but emotionally and in every other non-political way he’s very, very American. I think he’s on record as saying that For Whom the Bell Tolls is his favorite book. This must be because Hemingway was another extremely American person with horrible politics.

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  5. Alex1617 says:

    Hi Anatoly,
    How can I contact you?

    AK: Already got your email, thanks. Will get back to you very soon.

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  6. Sid says:

    Charles Murray has succeeded in becoming semi-respectable in this decade. “Coming Apart” was very well received, and there seems to be a tacit agreement between him and the wider conservative “intellectual” community that they won’t take him to task for The Bell Curve if he doesn’t bring up matters of race and intelligence.

    I’d say a major reason why Charles Murray has not adapted to modern alt-right politics is that he’s a libertarian first and a HBDer second. Let’s keep in mind he wrote the libertarian “Losing Ground” before exploring the psychometric literature which eventually resulted in his co-authoring “The Bell Curve.”

    For him, the truths about HBD buttress and reinforce the futility of The Great Society and other such social programs. But he hasn’t seemed particularly eager to have HBD serve as his “first principles” on how society should be guided.

    The alt-right is in many ways a refutation of libertarian politics. A quintessential alt-righter does not oppose government spending in the abstract, is as distrustful of Big Business as of Big Government, and doesn’t believe that human beings are all islands which must be judged on their individual characteristics, and not on how they fit into the whole of society. As such, while the alt-right owes an immense debt to Charles Murray, Murray’s political vision is distinct from what most alt-righter believe.

    On a broader note, I’ve noticed that American Baby Boomers generally have naturally idealistic views of race relations, forged out of their experience growing up with the Civil Rights Movement. To them, the Civil Rights Movement embodies their highest moral ideals.

    In contrast, Gen X and especially Millennial whites tend to either have dogmatic or cynical views of race relations. SJWs dogmatically believe all tensions and problems relating to race come from white people. The alt-right believes race relations is little more than constant damage control. Charles Murray is a Baby Boomer who naturally views white racism as a horrible stain and great evil. I know I have shocked white Baby Boomers when I admit I don’t care at all about the KKK and that slavery in America is about as distant to my daily life as the Taiping Rebellion and the War of the Triple Alliance. It’s a generational matter, and I see the same dynamic in Charles Murray and the alt-right.

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  7. Maciano says:

    Good summary, AK. I agree with every word. Murray is a smart, courageous man. A great man.

    I’d only add, Murray’s been brave enough for 10 men already. His work has been very important to my understanding of the world which gave me a lot of confidence for my convictions. Not just me, but many of us. And if Murray gets smeared, ridiculed, insulted and trashed, *we* all are.

    (The only thing I can’t forgive Murray for is his pro-Iraq war position. He knows better, I can only imagine he let himself get corrupted by his neocon employer — and that’s not what intellectuals should ever allow to happen to themselves.)

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  8. “He signals skepticism about the angropogenic nature”

    Typo here (“anthropogenic”).

    [AK: Thanks]

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  9. neutral says:

    He is a cuckservative, being brave in his cuckservatism does not make him any less so. Also, the schadenfreude seeing the “Little Vietnam” or “Little Guatemala” people he loves so much not returning it is a very much warranted.

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  10. The blue link “immigrants” in the sentence “…he is clearly part of that clique of Establishment neocons who believe that “dysfunctional” white working-class communities should die out and be replaced by immigrants” leads to an article titled, “Bill Kristol: ‘Lazy, Spoiled’ White Working Class Should Be Replaced by Immigrants” http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2017/02/09/bill-kristol-lazy-spoiled-white-working-class-should-be-replaced-by-immigrants/ I will once again note that neither Kristol nor Murray said this, still less suggested a mechanism for “replacing” anyone. Kristol explicitly said that the entire American native population, not just the white working class, tended to become lazy and we accordingly needed an influx of immigrants, and he referred to the infirmities of the white working class in a question to Murray not because he was singling the WHITE working class as being particularly in need of this injection but because Murray’s latest book had concentrated on the white working class/white overclass divide as a means of avoiding accusations of racism. I’m not adopting Kristol’s position (indeed, I am in favor of ending virtually all immigration), but I don’t care to see it mischaracterized either.

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    • Agree: iffen
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  11. Speaking of The National Review, he is clearly part of that clique of Establishment neocons who believe that “dysfunctional” white working-class communities should die out and be replaced by immigrants. Now, in all fairness, Charles Murray himself is considerably more sympathetic to the white working class, possibly because of his far greater understanding of the world of Fishtown and Trump’s America …

    Isn’t that just a bit of a non-sequitor, Anatoly? IMHO Charles Murray is just another neocon POS; the Alt-Right needs him about like it needs a hole in the head. But as ‘The Z Blog’ above pointed out, now that the Alt-Right is finally gaining some traction within the political system, we’re bound to see all kinds of sleazy opportunists try and co-opt it in order to make it serve the establishment. It’s an old story: the Moral Majority, the Tea Party, etc.

    “Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world.”

    See? There you have it! Murray’s a believer in that ‘propositional nation’ horse-sh*t. Even if he’s not a member of The Tribe by descent, he’s still an honorary member–an AngloZionist, as Saker would say. Nobody in the Alt-Right has any business carrying this dude’s water. The fact that some delusional SJWs in University Land mistake him for one of our own means nothing.

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  12. utu says:

    Murray got a pretty good gig with the neon crowd and makes (made) much more money that any other mediocre researcher from a mediocre field usually do. The most interesting question is how did it all start. Did he approach them or was he approached by them? What was the real reason that Jewish outfit decided to promote a researcher and his book that shows that Jews are on top and they deserve it? How many more articles and talks on Jewish genius Murray will have to write to make his position secure?

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  13. iffen says:

    now that the Alt-Right is finally gaining some traction within the political system

    mistake him for one of our own means nothing.

    Shit.

    You funny man.

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