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51I89uOM0AL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ Reading The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950.

A good book. Dense. But it is clear (the author so admits) that it’s only a superficial exploration of the ideas of the Frankfurt School.

That being said, a lot of the abstruse and in my opinion wrong-headed tendencies of Critical Theory types does seem to get back to the roots. In relation to impenetrability, the influence of Heidegger on Marcuse makes a lot of sense.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Open Thread 
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  1. jb says:

    I keep hearing people talking about “Cultural Marxism” as the source of today’s “politically correct” insanity, and tracing it all back to the Frankfurt School, and I don’t know what to make of it. Were they really as influential as all that? Or are they just a convenient devil to blame for trends that actually have many unclear origins? If you have any thoughts on the matter after you finish the book I’d be interested in hearing them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Chard
    I find it unlikely in the extreme, given that most p.c. college students today don't seem to cite/have read any of the Frankfurt School authors, and that critical theory is an extremely fringe intellectual tradition. (As in, people with expertise in it can only find subsistence level academic positions and their books are marketed to tiny audiences.) Given the general hostility to European intellectuals among this crowd (AKA "dead white males"; see the student quoted in the New Yorker as saying she was sick of learning about Marx because he like didn't even include race in his analysis) I doubt they'd consider themselves the direct heirs of a predominantly European intellectual tradition. That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types is my general impression.
    , @Pat Casey
    "The life of the mind in any age coheres thanks to shared assumptions both explicit and tacit, between which lines of casualty may not be profitably traceable." --Hugh Kenner

    Generally speaking, I don't find the people who frequently cite nefarious Cultural Marxism to be particularly intelligent, most of all because they do blame it on the Frankfurt School, when obviously "Cultural Marxism" in America is worth invoking to the extent it is because the Frankfurt School accurately described social reality, not because the Frankfurt ever influentially explained a positive political program---I mean they were Luddites and Freudians.

    John Chard is somewhat wrong about what sociology majors--- leftists to a man--- are taught in college. I have a social theory textbook that reads Adorno and others; nor would I call the Frankfurt School an "extremely fringe" intellectual tradition: Marcuse taught at Yale, and Popper regarded Adorno enough to start a debate with him in the fifties I believe. I think John Chard also misses the point of the true province of critical theory, as I'm reminded of a book called The Culture of Critique.
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  2. The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West Hardcover – August 11, 2015
    by Michael Walsh (Author)

    https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Pleasure-Palace-Critical-Subversion/dp/159403768X

    In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world’s premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority. Still looking to a defeated and dispirited Europe for intellectual and artistic guidance, the burgeoning transnational elite in New York and Washington embraced not only the war’s refugees, but many of their ideas as well, and nothing has proven more pernicious than those of the Frankfurt School and its reactionary philosophy of “critical theory.”

    In The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, Michael Walsh describes how Critical Theory released a horde of demons into the American psyche. When everything could be questioned, nothing could be real, and the muscular, confident empiricism that had just won the war gave way, in less than a generation, to a central-European nihilism celebrated on college campuses across the United States. Seizing the high ground of academe and the arts, the New Nihilists set about dissolving the bedrock of the country, from patriotism to marriage to the family to military service. They have sown, as Cardinal Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—once wrote of the Devil, “destruction, division, hatred, and calumny,” and all disguised as the search for truth.

    The Devil’s Pleasure Palace exposes the overlooked movement that is Critical Theory and explains how it took root in America and, once established and gestated, how it has affected nearly every aspect of American life and society.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world’s premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority.
     
    Why the "yet"? It is the the crushed all -too-assailable country that needs a sense of cultural superiority. Hard times make hard people.
  3. Joe Q. says:

    Razib — how do you find the time to read as much as you do? As someone who (like you) also has young kids and both full- and part-time gigs, and who has a long reading list that I can’t seem to make a dent in, I am genuinely curious. Do you spend all your leisure time reading, or are you an unusually fast reader, or both?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    kindle syncs across all devices. i don't watch TV.
  4. @Joe Q.
    Razib -- how do you find the time to read as much as you do? As someone who (like you) also has young kids and both full- and part-time gigs, and who has a long reading list that I can't seem to make a dent in, I am genuinely curious. Do you spend all your leisure time reading, or are you an unusually fast reader, or both?

    kindle syncs across all devices. i don’t watch TV.

    Read More
  5. I am watching a documentary at the moment about peoples who lived in New Zealand before the Maori arrived. One Maori clan claims they are descended from these people, said to be either white, small and blonde or white, tall and red headed. I know it sounds like a typical white supremacy theory but bear with me.

    This Maori clan has an oral tradition that they originated from a hot country (which they believe to be ancient Persia) but fled after a devastating war, sailed around Africa to South America and many generations after that sailed onto Hawaii and the other Pacific islands. All this, they say, took place 165 generations ago. They also claim that DNA testing shows a link to Persia.

    I don’t know if you’ve heard much about this, but I was wondering how it fits into (if at all) the big picture of ancient migrations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ohwilleke
    There is no genetic link between the Maori and Persia, and certainly not in the 165 generation time frame (5,000 years or so). The Maori are pretty typical genetically of Polynesians, although obviously, with a couple hundred years of sharing the island with Europeans (mostly English) resulting in significant admixture over time (some of which could be cryptic, i.e. involving ancestors who are not acknowledged or known to the people with those ancestors). Indeed, Maori-English admixture was more likely than in many colonial cases as the English considered the Maori to be more "advanced" and less "primitive" than many other indigenous people they encountered which reduced social barriers (similarly, the English adopted most existing Maori place names).

    The Maori derive from Austronesians who may have been somewhat Papuan admixed by the time that they reached New Zealand which was one of their later arrivals. There were probably Austronesian sailors who made it from Easter Island to coastal South America and back, as the kumara (a kind of yam or sweet potato commonly eaten by Maori and other Polynesians prior to European contact) is native to South America ca. 30 generations ago.

    The furthest east Austronesians reached was East Africa including Madagascar which speaks an Austronesian languages ca. 500 CE - 900 CE. They introduced Asian crops to Africa including, for example, the banana which is native to Indonesia. But, they next left the Pacific and Indian Oceans to reach the Atlantic Ocean. Austronesians did settle Hawaii and most of the rest of the Pacific, although there is no evidence that the same sub-branch of Austronesians also settled New Zealand (although both NZ and Hawaii were among the last places reached by the Austronesians in the Pacific).

    There is also no evidence of any human habitation in New Zealand prior to the arrival of the Maori and there is good suggestive evidence (from a rapid wave of extinctions and from the dates of the oldest archaeological traces) that they were the first to arrive in New Zealand. Certainly, we can say with confidence that there were no close genetic relatives of Northern Europeans in NZ when the Maori arrived.

    Like most legendary history, there is no doubt a mix of fact and fiction in Maori history. Their deep ancestors did depart from a "hot place" (Taiwan) about 165 generations ago, and they did very likely arrive in NZ in long canoes navigated by expert mariners over long open ocean distances.

    A recent factual account is here: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/10/23/3616026.htm
    A student paper with mtDNA data is here: http://www.allanwilsoncentre.ac.nz/massey/fms/AWC/documents/Publication/Edana%20Lord%20-%202014-2015%20AWC%20Summer%20Scholarship%20Report.pdf
    See also:
    https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/justine-petrillo/genetic-link-brings-indigenous-taiwanese-and-maori-together

    , @ohwilleke
    My previous response was held due to having too many links so I'll recap.

    Legendary history is a mix of fact and fiction.

    There are Maori legends of pre-existing inhabits of NZ called Turehu or Patupaiarehe (probably referring to the same thing) that are commonly described as very fair and sometimes described as ghost-like animist spirits.

    A 165 generation time frame (5,000 years) isn't too far from when the first Austronesians left Taiwan.

    There is no evidence whatsoever for non-Polynesian genetics in the Maori people (and certainly not European or Persian, which also isn't nearly as hot as Taiwan or the many Pacific islands that Austronesians derived from and settled - there is snow every year in much of Persia), although there is a strain of albinoism in Maori people that could be one seed for this legendary history. Maori genetics show serial founder effects from a clear Polynesian origin (i.e. Austronesian with some Papuan thrown in).

    The oldest archaeological evidence of Maori settlement (or any human or hominin settlement) in NZ is around the 1200s. There are traditions which say that they came from Hawaii (one of the last Polynesian conquests) although they are contradictory.

    Austronesians were great mariners but never left the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They did reach East Africa in the early 1st millenium CE settling Madagascar together with Africans and did bring the banana and other tropical crops to Africa which is part of what made Bantu expansion to the South more viable. They did made brief contact with South America (probably from Easter Island) bringing with them the kumara, a type of yam or sweet potato native to South American and eaten in Polynesia by Maoris before European contact.

  6. mb says:

    I always thought “Cultural Marxism” was a terrible misnomer. Nothing class based, or production based is present in modern new left thought. It is almost entirely critical theory; meaning Derrida, Foucault, Althusser and their predecessors you mentioned above.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ben Roham
    The idea is that cultural marxism rigidly divides the world into oppressed (women, poc) and oppressors (men, whites), who are assumed to all share the same interests and actions, in a similar way that marxism does with the working class and the bourgeoise/aristocrats. Then in the same way that traditional marxism posits that social ideologies (e.g. nationalism, religion) are really just ways for economically dominant classes to keep control, cultural marxism posits that 'ideologies' like inherent gender differences, and liberalism (free speech) are just ways for oppressors to keep control. Finally, like traditional marxism looked forward to a future where the oppressor classes no longer exist, cultural marxism looks forward to a future where what it conceives as 'oppressive classes' ('whiteness', 'masculinity') no longer exist.
    , @notanon
    The idea behind it was that "cultural hegemony" prevented the class struggle from proceeding according to the laws of history and so the cultural obstacles: family, patriotism, religion etc had to be destroyed first before the revolution could occur.

    The consciously Marxist driving force behind it mostly died off but what they set in motion still has momentum.
  7. I’ve recently finished David Rollason’s Northumbria 500-1100, Creation and destruction of a kingdom; interesting book (if at times a bit frustrating because so much has to remain uncertain, given the nature of the sources), can recommend it to anyone interested in Anglo-Saxon England. One thing I found rather striking was the interpretation of the Viking invasion and the break-up of Northumbria in the 9th century as not involving that much discontinuity; e.g. it seems likely that the power of the archbishop was very important, maybe even predominant, in York even during the Viking era. I hadn’t given the issue much thought before, found this rather surprising.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ben Roham
    Is the implication then that the religious social structure was more important in maintaining societal continuity than whichever Nordic Germanic people happened to be ruling? Seems plausible to me, seeing as the church would have been responsible for things like education (such as it was), literary production, and taxation in part.
  8. Sean says:
    @Walter Sobchak
    The Devil's Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West Hardcover – August 11, 2015
    by Michael Walsh (Author)

    https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Pleasure-Palace-Critical-Subversion/dp/159403768X

    In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world’s premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority. Still looking to a defeated and dispirited Europe for intellectual and artistic guidance, the burgeoning transnational elite in New York and Washington embraced not only the war’s refugees, but many of their ideas as well, and nothing has proven more pernicious than those of the Frankfurt School and its reactionary philosophy of “critical theory.”

    In The Devil's Pleasure Palace, Michael Walsh describes how Critical Theory released a horde of demons into the American psyche. When everything could be questioned, nothing could be real, and the muscular, confident empiricism that had just won the war gave way, in less than a generation, to a central-European nihilism celebrated on college campuses across the United States. Seizing the high ground of academe and the arts, the New Nihilists set about dissolving the bedrock of the country, from patriotism to marriage to the family to military service. They have sown, as Cardinal Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—once wrote of the Devil, “destruction, division, hatred, and calumny,” and all disguised as the search for truth.

    The Devil's Pleasure Palace exposes the overlooked movement that is Critical Theory and explains how it took root in America and, once established and gestated, how it has affected nearly every aspect of American life and society.
     

    In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world’s premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority.

    Why the “yet”? It is the the crushed all -too-assailable country that needs a sense of cultural superiority. Hard times make hard people.

    Read More
  9. Ben Roham says:
    @mb
    I always thought "Cultural Marxism" was a terrible misnomer. Nothing class based, or production based is present in modern new left thought. It is almost entirely critical theory; meaning Derrida, Foucault, Althusser and their predecessors you mentioned above.

    The idea is that cultural marxism rigidly divides the world into oppressed (women, poc) and oppressors (men, whites), who are assumed to all share the same interests and actions, in a similar way that marxism does with the working class and the bourgeoise/aristocrats. Then in the same way that traditional marxism posits that social ideologies (e.g. nationalism, religion) are really just ways for economically dominant classes to keep control, cultural marxism posits that ‘ideologies’ like inherent gender differences, and liberalism (free speech) are just ways for oppressors to keep control. Finally, like traditional marxism looked forward to a future where the oppressor classes no longer exist, cultural marxism looks forward to a future where what it conceives as ‘oppressive classes’ (‘whiteness’, ‘masculinity’) no longer exist.

    Read More
  10. Ben Roham says:
    @German_reader
    I've recently finished David Rollason's Northumbria 500-1100, Creation and destruction of a kingdom; interesting book (if at times a bit frustrating because so much has to remain uncertain, given the nature of the sources), can recommend it to anyone interested in Anglo-Saxon England. One thing I found rather striking was the interpretation of the Viking invasion and the break-up of Northumbria in the 9th century as not involving that much discontinuity; e.g. it seems likely that the power of the archbishop was very important, maybe even predominant, in York even during the Viking era. I hadn't given the issue much thought before, found this rather surprising.

    Is the implication then that the religious social structure was more important in maintaining societal continuity than whichever Nordic Germanic people happened to be ruling? Seems plausible to me, seeing as the church would have been responsible for things like education (such as it was), literary production, and taxation in part.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    According to Rollason there probably was significant collaboration between the archbishops of York and the Viking kings, even those who remained pagans. In Rollason's interpretation the Viking rulers were more like leaders of war bands, without sophisticated administrative machinery of their own, so they may well have been dependent on the cooperation of the church (and maybe remnants of the secular Northumbrian aristocracy).
    It's however hard to be certain about details because the narrative sources are pretty deficient, and material remains (like coins from York which sometimes combine Christian and Norse pagan symbolism) difficult to interpret. The same is true for the earlier periods discussed in the book (e.g. almost no charters have survived from the old Northumbrian kingdom, narrative sources are unevenly distributed in time). Interesting book though.
  11. @Ben Roham
    Is the implication then that the religious social structure was more important in maintaining societal continuity than whichever Nordic Germanic people happened to be ruling? Seems plausible to me, seeing as the church would have been responsible for things like education (such as it was), literary production, and taxation in part.

    According to Rollason there probably was significant collaboration between the archbishops of York and the Viking kings, even those who remained pagans. In Rollason’s interpretation the Viking rulers were more like leaders of war bands, without sophisticated administrative machinery of their own, so they may well have been dependent on the cooperation of the church (and maybe remnants of the secular Northumbrian aristocracy).
    It’s however hard to be certain about details because the narrative sources are pretty deficient, and material remains (like coins from York which sometimes combine Christian and Norse pagan symbolism) difficult to interpret. The same is true for the earlier periods discussed in the book (e.g. almost no charters have survived from the old Northumbrian kingdom, narrative sources are unevenly distributed in time). Interesting book though.

    Read More
  12. ohwilleke says: • Website
    @Colin Quinn
    I am watching a documentary at the moment about peoples who lived in New Zealand before the Maori arrived. One Maori clan claims they are descended from these people, said to be either white, small and blonde or white, tall and red headed. I know it sounds like a typical white supremacy theory but bear with me.

    This Maori clan has an oral tradition that they originated from a hot country (which they believe to be ancient Persia) but fled after a devastating war, sailed around Africa to South America and many generations after that sailed onto Hawaii and the other Pacific islands. All this, they say, took place 165 generations ago. They also claim that DNA testing shows a link to Persia.

    I don't know if you've heard much about this, but I was wondering how it fits into (if at all) the big picture of ancient migrations.

    There is no genetic link between the Maori and Persia, and certainly not in the 165 generation time frame (5,000 years or so). The Maori are pretty typical genetically of Polynesians, although obviously, with a couple hundred years of sharing the island with Europeans (mostly English) resulting in significant admixture over time (some of which could be cryptic, i.e. involving ancestors who are not acknowledged or known to the people with those ancestors). Indeed, Maori-English admixture was more likely than in many colonial cases as the English considered the Maori to be more “advanced” and less “primitive” than many other indigenous people they encountered which reduced social barriers (similarly, the English adopted most existing Maori place names).

    The Maori derive from Austronesians who may have been somewhat Papuan admixed by the time that they reached New Zealand which was one of their later arrivals. There were probably Austronesian sailors who made it from Easter Island to coastal South America and back, as the kumara (a kind of yam or sweet potato commonly eaten by Maori and other Polynesians prior to European contact) is native to South America ca. 30 generations ago.

    The furthest east Austronesians reached was East Africa including Madagascar which speaks an Austronesian languages ca. 500 CE – 900 CE. They introduced Asian crops to Africa including, for example, the banana which is native to Indonesia. But, they next left the Pacific and Indian Oceans to reach the Atlantic Ocean. Austronesians did settle Hawaii and most of the rest of the Pacific, although there is no evidence that the same sub-branch of Austronesians also settled New Zealand (although both NZ and Hawaii were among the last places reached by the Austronesians in the Pacific).

    There is also no evidence of any human habitation in New Zealand prior to the arrival of the Maori and there is good suggestive evidence (from a rapid wave of extinctions and from the dates of the oldest archaeological traces) that they were the first to arrive in New Zealand. Certainly, we can say with confidence that there were no close genetic relatives of Northern Europeans in NZ when the Maori arrived.

    Like most legendary history, there is no doubt a mix of fact and fiction in Maori history. Their deep ancestors did depart from a “hot place” (Taiwan) about 165 generations ago, and they did very likely arrive in NZ in long canoes navigated by expert mariners over long open ocean distances.

    A recent factual account is here: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/10/23/3616026.htm
    A student paper with mtDNA data is here: http://www.allanwilsoncentre.ac.nz/massey/fms/AWC/documents/Publication/Edana%20Lord%20-%202014-2015%20AWC%20Summer%20Scholarship%20Report.pdf
    See also:

    https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/justine-petrillo/genetic-link-brings-indigenous-taiwanese-and-maori-together

    Read More
  13. ohwilleke says: • Website
    @Colin Quinn
    I am watching a documentary at the moment about peoples who lived in New Zealand before the Maori arrived. One Maori clan claims they are descended from these people, said to be either white, small and blonde or white, tall and red headed. I know it sounds like a typical white supremacy theory but bear with me.

    This Maori clan has an oral tradition that they originated from a hot country (which they believe to be ancient Persia) but fled after a devastating war, sailed around Africa to South America and many generations after that sailed onto Hawaii and the other Pacific islands. All this, they say, took place 165 generations ago. They also claim that DNA testing shows a link to Persia.

    I don't know if you've heard much about this, but I was wondering how it fits into (if at all) the big picture of ancient migrations.

    My previous response was held due to having too many links so I’ll recap.

    Legendary history is a mix of fact and fiction.

    There are Maori legends of pre-existing inhabits of NZ called Turehu or Patupaiarehe (probably referring to the same thing) that are commonly described as very fair and sometimes described as ghost-like animist spirits.

    A 165 generation time frame (5,000 years) isn’t too far from when the first Austronesians left Taiwan.

    There is no evidence whatsoever for non-Polynesian genetics in the Maori people (and certainly not European or Persian, which also isn’t nearly as hot as Taiwan or the many Pacific islands that Austronesians derived from and settled – there is snow every year in much of Persia), although there is a strain of albinoism in Maori people that could be one seed for this legendary history. Maori genetics show serial founder effects from a clear Polynesian origin (i.e. Austronesian with some Papuan thrown in).

    The oldest archaeological evidence of Maori settlement (or any human or hominin settlement) in NZ is around the 1200s. There are traditions which say that they came from Hawaii (one of the last Polynesian conquests) although they are contradictory.

    Austronesians were great mariners but never left the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They did reach East Africa in the early 1st millenium CE settling Madagascar together with Africans and did bring the banana and other tropical crops to Africa which is part of what made Bantu expansion to the South more viable. They did made brief contact with South America (probably from Easter Island) bringing with them the kumara, a type of yam or sweet potato native to South American and eaten in Polynesia by Maoris before European contact.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Colin Quinn
    I think there is a case to be made for pre-Maori settlement. All you have to do is test some of the skeletons dug up from time to time. Pretty simple except scientific institutions are terrified of losing funding if they publish something controversial.
  14. notanon says:
    @mb
    I always thought "Cultural Marxism" was a terrible misnomer. Nothing class based, or production based is present in modern new left thought. It is almost entirely critical theory; meaning Derrida, Foucault, Althusser and their predecessors you mentioned above.

    The idea behind it was that “cultural hegemony” prevented the class struggle from proceeding according to the laws of history and so the cultural obstacles: family, patriotism, religion etc had to be destroyed first before the revolution could occur.

    The consciously Marxist driving force behind it mostly died off but what they set in motion still has momentum.

    Read More
  15. @jb
    I keep hearing people talking about "Cultural Marxism" as the source of today's "politically correct" insanity, and tracing it all back to the Frankfurt School, and I don't know what to make of it. Were they really as influential as all that? Or are they just a convenient devil to blame for trends that actually have many unclear origins? If you have any thoughts on the matter after you finish the book I'd be interested in hearing them.

    I find it unlikely in the extreme, given that most p.c. college students today don’t seem to cite/have read any of the Frankfurt School authors, and that critical theory is an extremely fringe intellectual tradition. (As in, people with expertise in it can only find subsistence level academic positions and their books are marketed to tiny audiences.) Given the general hostility to European intellectuals among this crowd (AKA “dead white males”; see the student quoted in the New Yorker as saying she was sick of learning about Marx because he like didn’t even include race in his analysis) I doubt they’d consider themselves the direct heirs of a predominantly European intellectual tradition. That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types is my general impression.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types is my general impression.

    if you say something like this, name them. otherwise, you're a gasbag.

    it seems unlikely that PC kommissars have read their marcuse or adorno...but i have to admit that the way these thinkers frame their arguments and their lexicon does seem to have had some influence (the book i reference above was written in the 1970s, so this isn't an after the fact work).
    , @iffen
    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?
  16. @Sean

    In the aftermath of World War II, America stood alone as the world’s premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority.
     
    Why the "yet"? It is the the crushed all -too-assailable country that needs a sense of cultural superiority. Hard times make hard people.

    It was quote from the linked book.

    Read More
  17. @John Chard
    I find it unlikely in the extreme, given that most p.c. college students today don't seem to cite/have read any of the Frankfurt School authors, and that critical theory is an extremely fringe intellectual tradition. (As in, people with expertise in it can only find subsistence level academic positions and their books are marketed to tiny audiences.) Given the general hostility to European intellectuals among this crowd (AKA "dead white males"; see the student quoted in the New Yorker as saying she was sick of learning about Marx because he like didn't even include race in his analysis) I doubt they'd consider themselves the direct heirs of a predominantly European intellectual tradition. That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types is my general impression.

    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types is my general impression.

    if you say something like this, name them. otherwise, you’re a gasbag.

    it seems unlikely that PC kommissars have read their marcuse or adorno…but i have to admit that the way these thinkers frame their arguments and their lexicon does seem to have had some influence (the book i reference above was written in the 1970s, so this isn’t an after the fact work).

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Chard

    if you say something like this, name them. otherwise, you’re a gasbag.
     
    I normally try to avoid "those who" generalizations and respond to specific arguments made by specific people, but "political correctness" is such a nebulous idea/movement it's hard to resist the temptation. I would conjecture that Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander and maybe Elizabeth Hinton for starters are highly popular in p.c. culture. To make an unfortunately unsourced generalization again, most of the (fellow) Millenials I know who participate in left-wing identity politics get their ideas from reading blogs (e.g. "the Love Life of an Asian Guy"), Tumblr accounts and website like Everyday Feminism rather than from reading books.
    , @Karl Zimmerman
    Do young critical race theorists still read Frantz Fanon? It's been many years, but I remember The Wretched of the Earth as the best of the post-colonialist works I was forced to read in college.
  18. G. Bruno says:

    Count me among those skeptical of the Frankfurt School’s influence on what today passes under the name “Critical Theory;” in my experience, it’s more commonly used to refer to the body of French- (especially Foucault-)influenced work in the literary humanities and spreading out from there into all the various “studies.” I’d be very surprised to see substantive references to Adorno, Marcuse, or Fromm in, say, Judith Butler’s or Homi Bhabha’s work—though I’ve read very little of the former and none of the latter, so I’ll gladly accept correction from anyone who’s put in the time—but I’d expect it to be lousy with Foucault, Derrida, and the like.

    Other than Habermas, who studied under Adorno & Horkheimer and is himself now a faded force, Critical Theory of the Frankfurt-type is mostly a dead letter in the academy, and its impact on the larger culture ended when people stopped caring about the SDS. The connection between the Frankfurt School and today’s Critical Theory is, I think, merely nominal.

    (The fact that the contrary position usually gets argued via works typified by the sort of garbage to which Walter Sobchak links doesn’t do much to boost my confidence.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    any good primer for modern critical theory?
    , @Antonymous

    Critical Theory of the Frankfurt-type is mostly a dead letter in the academy, and its impact on the larger culture ended when people stopped caring about the SDS. The connection between the Frankfurt School and today’s Critical Theory is, I think, merely nominal.
     
    I think it's more than nominal. See the UC Berkeley program, which mentions Frankfurt School explicitly. You can now append a critical theory designation to most graduate degrees.

    http://guide.berkeley.edu/graduate/schools-departments-graduate-groups/critical-theory/

    Critical Theory is typically associated with the work of the Frankfurt School; that ongoing tradition of theory figures significantly in the DE curriculum. However, Berkeley's Program in Critical Theory broadens and extends the meaning of critical theory to include nineteenth-century philosophers of critique, as well as contemporary critical theoretical work on politics, economics, art and culture, religion, nationalism, postnationalism, and various kinds of identity formation. Above all, Critical Theory at UC Berkeley emphasizes the centrality of theoretical critique to the examination of contemporary values; the powers that organize political, social, cultural, and economic life; and modes of justification and legitimization for cultural inquiry and sociopolitical analysis.
     

  19. @Razib Khan
    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types is my general impression.

    if you say something like this, name them. otherwise, you're a gasbag.

    it seems unlikely that PC kommissars have read their marcuse or adorno...but i have to admit that the way these thinkers frame their arguments and their lexicon does seem to have had some influence (the book i reference above was written in the 1970s, so this isn't an after the fact work).

    if you say something like this, name them. otherwise, you’re a gasbag.

    I normally try to avoid “those who” generalizations and respond to specific arguments made by specific people, but “political correctness” is such a nebulous idea/movement it’s hard to resist the temptation. I would conjecture that Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander and maybe Elizabeth Hinton for starters are highly popular in p.c. culture. To make an unfortunately unsourced generalization again, most of the (fellow) Millenials I know who participate in left-wing identity politics get their ideas from reading blogs (e.g. “the Love Life of an Asian Guy”), Tumblr accounts and website like Everyday Feminism rather than from reading books.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    yes. tumblr.

    TNC is entirely derivative. i haven't read alexander, though ppl cite her. perhaps i should. no idea who hinton is.
  20. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Dear Razib Landers,

    I got a 23andMe kit and gave the saliva sample and sent it back. I’m waiting for the analysis. When registering they gave me the opportunity to help in genetic research by filling out a bunch of questions about my background (race, ethnicity, health conditions, etc.). After I gave all of this information and submitted it, I started to have doubts. What if they use the ethnicity and background info to tailor the report to fit what I provided? I then thought if it this whole process is legit why wouldn’t they ask for this background info AFTER I get my analysis back? Now I will view the result with some doubt in my mind. Any thoughts?

    Dubious in Boston

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i doubt they will fiddle with it too much, because you can get the raw data and check.
  21. JS says:

    When I was reading a lot of critical race theory and radical feminist books in college, there were definitely a lot of references to or quotes from theorists such as Foucault (his ideas about power, mental illness, criminality) or Derrida (deconstructionism), and of course Marx (class and the distribution of resources), Freud (psychoanalysis), and the Frankfurt School (transformation of society). These thinkers’ ideas form the theoretical framework of much of today’s “social justice warrior” movement or Cultural Marxism.

    One basic premise underlying all these different schools of thought is that our society and economy are essentially fabrications designed to maintain traditional power structures, i.e., white male patriarchy, and that they could be subverted by creating a new power structure through theoretical critique, deconstruction, and the rewriting of this narrative. Hence, it can be questioned whether men are really physically stronger than women, binary gender or race exists, or Western civilization is superior. In this framework there is no objective reality or truth – everything you believe is based on a myth, and this myth is making you behave in ways that perpetuate it, even to your own detriment. ‘Why are you dominant? Are you really better than me?’ The modern SJW incarnation of critical theory is “Marxist” in the sense that it believes in a form of egalitarianism that exists inherently among all people but is being suppressed through an oppressive ideology or system (white male patriarchy), and that power or resources can be redistributed to their proper places by removing these artificial restrictions.

    Whether the Frankfurt School’s ultimate intent was the complete overthrow of Western Civilization is hard to say. They certainly criticized it and theorized it was based on false premises because they stood to gain from doing so, most of them being subaltern themselves and understanding deeply the psychology and motivations of that group. It is poetic justice that their own ideology is being used against them – all of them are old white males? Wow, I can’t even.

    And while their ideologies are being used in some asinine ways lately, not everything they believed is without merit. Such as, what is mental illness? Foucault said that mentally ill people used to be consulted as oracles, but now they’re institutionalized. And today people question whether childhood disorders such as ADHD or autism really exist or whether they are the misdiagnosing of normal child behavior. What is cognitively normal? Maybe you are just oppressing me with your lies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    there is usually gold in most things that you may in the main disagree with. i agree about this with critical race theory and the various flavors of post-modernism.
    , @Erik Sieven
    "Whether the Frankfurt School’s ultimate intent was the complete overthrow of Western Civilization is hard to say" as far as I know for example Adorno had no interest at all in non-western culture, instead he had huge interest for western high culture. So I would not say he would have liked to overthrow Western Civilization.
    , @blankmisgivings
    Marx, Freud and Adorno don't seem to have been saying this post-modern stuff. The first two were materialists who believed in real, enduring 'structures' - political, moral, psychological - that emerge out of underlying material processes (economic production, brain chemistry). Freud was a political pessimist and not a left-radical at all. Marx's normative egalitarianism can be detached from his analysis of the non-linear dynamics of economic-political systems (which was later largely adopted by conservatives like Schumpeter). Adorno was fundamentally an elitist (not an insult!) who regretted the shallowness of relations (with people and things) brought about by mass consumer capitalism (he also called the cops on 60's protesters at his German university!).

    If people want a taste of an 'original' source for the contemporary SJW academic left they'd be better off looking at Judith Butler's early work - that's where the idea of 're-writing' the narratives of gender, identity and so forth comes from - in her contentious and wrong-headed appropriation of Hegel.
  22. http://www.unz.com/freed/darwin-unhinged-the-bugs-in-evolution/

    I know you likely don’t have the time (and in all likelihood it would probably be a waste) but as UNZ’s resident biology man could you offer a rebuttal to this drivel? In the words of Helen Lovejoy, won’t somebody please think of the children?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    #unpersuadables. fred has been going on in this vein for 20 years.
  23. @Senator Brundlefly
    http://www.unz.com/freed/darwin-unhinged-the-bugs-in-evolution/

    I know you likely don't have the time (and in all likelihood it would probably be a waste) but as UNZ's resident biology man could you offer a rebuttal to this drivel? In the words of Helen Lovejoy, won't somebody please think of the children?

    #unpersuadables. fred has been going on in this vein for 20 years.

    Read More
  24. @JS
    When I was reading a lot of critical race theory and radical feminist books in college, there were definitely a lot of references to or quotes from theorists such as Foucault (his ideas about power, mental illness, criminality) or Derrida (deconstructionism), and of course Marx (class and the distribution of resources), Freud (psychoanalysis), and the Frankfurt School (transformation of society). These thinkers' ideas form the theoretical framework of much of today's "social justice warrior" movement or Cultural Marxism.

    One basic premise underlying all these different schools of thought is that our society and economy are essentially fabrications designed to maintain traditional power structures, i.e., white male patriarchy, and that they could be subverted by creating a new power structure through theoretical critique, deconstruction, and the rewriting of this narrative. Hence, it can be questioned whether men are really physically stronger than women, binary gender or race exists, or Western civilization is superior. In this framework there is no objective reality or truth - everything you believe is based on a myth, and this myth is making you behave in ways that perpetuate it, even to your own detriment. 'Why are you dominant? Are you really better than me?' The modern SJW incarnation of critical theory is "Marxist" in the sense that it believes in a form of egalitarianism that exists inherently among all people but is being suppressed through an oppressive ideology or system (white male patriarchy), and that power or resources can be redistributed to their proper places by removing these artificial restrictions.

    Whether the Frankfurt School's ultimate intent was the complete overthrow of Western Civilization is hard to say. They certainly criticized it and theorized it was based on false premises because they stood to gain from doing so, most of them being subaltern themselves and understanding deeply the psychology and motivations of that group. It is poetic justice that their own ideology is being used against them - all of them are old white males? Wow, I can't even.

    And while their ideologies are being used in some asinine ways lately, not everything they believed is without merit. Such as, what is mental illness? Foucault said that mentally ill people used to be consulted as oracles, but now they're institutionalized. And today people question whether childhood disorders such as ADHD or autism really exist or whether they are the misdiagnosing of normal child behavior. What is cognitively normal? Maybe you are just oppressing me with your lies.

    there is usually gold in most things that you may in the main disagree with. i agree about this with critical race theory and the various flavors of post-modernism.

    Read More
  25. @Anonymous
    Dear Razib Landers,

    I got a 23andMe kit and gave the saliva sample and sent it back. I'm waiting for the analysis. When registering they gave me the opportunity to help in genetic research by filling out a bunch of questions about my background (race, ethnicity, health conditions, etc.). After I gave all of this information and submitted it, I started to have doubts. What if they use the ethnicity and background info to tailor the report to fit what I provided? I then thought if it this whole process is legit why wouldn't they ask for this background info AFTER I get my analysis back? Now I will view the result with some doubt in my mind. Any thoughts?

    Dubious in Boston

    i doubt they will fiddle with it too much, because you can get the raw data and check.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    i doubt they will fiddle with it too much, because you can get the raw data and check.
     
    Thanks, I'll be arranging to have another one sent to another address with a fictitious name. And this time NOT fill out a questionnaire.
  26. @John Chard

    if you say something like this, name them. otherwise, you’re a gasbag.
     
    I normally try to avoid "those who" generalizations and respond to specific arguments made by specific people, but "political correctness" is such a nebulous idea/movement it's hard to resist the temptation. I would conjecture that Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander and maybe Elizabeth Hinton for starters are highly popular in p.c. culture. To make an unfortunately unsourced generalization again, most of the (fellow) Millenials I know who participate in left-wing identity politics get their ideas from reading blogs (e.g. "the Love Life of an Asian Guy"), Tumblr accounts and website like Everyday Feminism rather than from reading books.

    yes. tumblr.

    TNC is entirely derivative. i haven’t read alexander, though ppl cite her. perhaps i should. no idea who hinton is.

    Read More
  27. @G. Bruno
    Count me among those skeptical of the Frankfurt School's influence on what today passes under the name "Critical Theory;" in my experience, it's more commonly used to refer to the body of French- (especially Foucault-)influenced work in the literary humanities and spreading out from there into all the various "studies." I'd be very surprised to see substantive references to Adorno, Marcuse, or Fromm in, say, Judith Butler's or Homi Bhabha's work—though I've read very little of the former and none of the latter, so I'll gladly accept correction from anyone who's put in the time—but I'd expect it to be lousy with Foucault, Derrida, and the like.

    Other than Habermas, who studied under Adorno & Horkheimer and is himself now a faded force, Critical Theory of the Frankfurt-type is mostly a dead letter in the academy, and its impact on the larger culture ended when people stopped caring about the SDS. The connection between the Frankfurt School and today's Critical Theory is, I think, merely nominal.

    (The fact that the contrary position usually gets argued via works typified by the sort of garbage to which Walter Sobchak links doesn't do much to boost my confidence.)

    any good primer for modern critical theory?

    Read More
    • Replies: @G. Bruno
    Razib,

    I'm afraid I don't have any recommendations for you there; I'm more conversant with the Frankfurt School (and even there, more Adorno & Habermas than, say, Marcuse) than the current brand of critical theory. I share blankmisgiving's intuition in #40—a generally spot-on comment, imo—that Butler is probably a promising place to look if you're looking for major influences on the ideological arm of the social-justice left; I believe Gender Trouble is the, ahem, locus classicus.
    , @Whyvert
    "any good primer for modern critical theory?"

    Here's a recommendation and review from the blog Lorenzo Thinking Out Loud:

    http://lorenzo-thinkingoutaloud.blogspot.com/2009/02/explaining-postmodernism.html

    I read the book on the strength of this review and am glad I did. It clarified a lot for me, particularly how and why a big part of the academic Left ("critical theory") has shifted against science, reason, and empiricism.
  28. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Razib Khan
    i doubt they will fiddle with it too much, because you can get the raw data and check.

    i doubt they will fiddle with it too much, because you can get the raw data and check.

    Thanks, I’ll be arranging to have another one sent to another address with a fictitious name. And this time NOT fill out a questionnaire.

    Read More
  29. @JS
    When I was reading a lot of critical race theory and radical feminist books in college, there were definitely a lot of references to or quotes from theorists such as Foucault (his ideas about power, mental illness, criminality) or Derrida (deconstructionism), and of course Marx (class and the distribution of resources), Freud (psychoanalysis), and the Frankfurt School (transformation of society). These thinkers' ideas form the theoretical framework of much of today's "social justice warrior" movement or Cultural Marxism.

    One basic premise underlying all these different schools of thought is that our society and economy are essentially fabrications designed to maintain traditional power structures, i.e., white male patriarchy, and that they could be subverted by creating a new power structure through theoretical critique, deconstruction, and the rewriting of this narrative. Hence, it can be questioned whether men are really physically stronger than women, binary gender or race exists, or Western civilization is superior. In this framework there is no objective reality or truth - everything you believe is based on a myth, and this myth is making you behave in ways that perpetuate it, even to your own detriment. 'Why are you dominant? Are you really better than me?' The modern SJW incarnation of critical theory is "Marxist" in the sense that it believes in a form of egalitarianism that exists inherently among all people but is being suppressed through an oppressive ideology or system (white male patriarchy), and that power or resources can be redistributed to their proper places by removing these artificial restrictions.

    Whether the Frankfurt School's ultimate intent was the complete overthrow of Western Civilization is hard to say. They certainly criticized it and theorized it was based on false premises because they stood to gain from doing so, most of them being subaltern themselves and understanding deeply the psychology and motivations of that group. It is poetic justice that their own ideology is being used against them - all of them are old white males? Wow, I can't even.

    And while their ideologies are being used in some asinine ways lately, not everything they believed is without merit. Such as, what is mental illness? Foucault said that mentally ill people used to be consulted as oracles, but now they're institutionalized. And today people question whether childhood disorders such as ADHD or autism really exist or whether they are the misdiagnosing of normal child behavior. What is cognitively normal? Maybe you are just oppressing me with your lies.

    “Whether the Frankfurt School’s ultimate intent was the complete overthrow of Western Civilization is hard to say” as far as I know for example Adorno had no interest at all in non-western culture, instead he had huge interest for western high culture. So I would not say he would have liked to overthrow Western Civilization.

    Read More
  30. @Razib Khan
    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types is my general impression.

    if you say something like this, name them. otherwise, you're a gasbag.

    it seems unlikely that PC kommissars have read their marcuse or adorno...but i have to admit that the way these thinkers frame their arguments and their lexicon does seem to have had some influence (the book i reference above was written in the 1970s, so this isn't an after the fact work).

    Do young critical race theorists still read Frantz Fanon? It’s been many years, but I remember The Wretched of the Earth as the best of the post-colonialist works I was forced to read in college.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Do young critical race theorists still read Frantz Fanon?
     
    Absolutely. Every grad lit class that I took that had some kind of racial aspect invoked his work
  31. Tulip says:

    You should read Paul Gottfried’s The Strange Death of Marxism for more information on the Frankfurt School. While the school originated in Germany, Marcuse taught for decades in the States, and at the end of his career spent a lot of time on the West Coast in the 60′s as a hard core Communist/hippie-type openly advocating violence (but only, in true Leftist fashion, “violence of defense” not “violence of oppression”). He influenced a number of New Left radicals like Abbie Hoffmann, etc. I suspect the intellectual DNA of political correctness is Marcuse’s notion of repressive tolerance, but most activists are too stupid to understand the genealogy of the garbage they believe, it just fell out of the sky.

    As far as Foucault and Derrida, they are coming out of France, and the person to check out is George Bataille, who was a brilliant but completely mad philosopher, much more original and interesting than any of the “post-structuralist” hacks recycling aspects of his work.

    Read More
  32. Tulip says:

    I think people are foolish to look for the origins of political correctness in the French. Political correctness is too severe, bland and humorless a dish to emerge from a French kitchen. No, the French Intellectuals were more concerned with protecting the rights of minors to consent to sex with adults.

    Besides being merely status signaling, PC is ultimately a form of psychological masochism, a self-mortifying penance without absolution. It is a subtle combination of nihilism and puritanism that can only grow in formerly Protestant soil.

    Read More
  33. iffen says:
    @John Chard
    I find it unlikely in the extreme, given that most p.c. college students today don't seem to cite/have read any of the Frankfurt School authors, and that critical theory is an extremely fringe intellectual tradition. (As in, people with expertise in it can only find subsistence level academic positions and their books are marketed to tiny audiences.) Given the general hostility to European intellectuals among this crowd (AKA "dead white males"; see the student quoted in the New Yorker as saying she was sick of learning about Marx because he like didn't even include race in his analysis) I doubt they'd consider themselves the direct heirs of a predominantly European intellectual tradition. That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types is my general impression.

    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?
     
    Well, Steve Sailer is a lot more insightful than TNC.....
    , @John Chard

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?
     
    I wasn't disparaging them for finding issues of race/identity important; I was merely noting that (in my anecdotal, though I suspect representative, experience) they heavily weight race and gender in determining which authors to read on the subject.
  34. syonredux says:
    @iffen
    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?

    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?

    Well, Steve Sailer is a lot more insightful than TNC…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    If you are correct in thinking that Steve is race centric in the manner of TNC, then one of us has not read or cannot understand the writing of one or the other.
  35. syonredux says:
    @Karl Zimmerman
    Do young critical race theorists still read Frantz Fanon? It's been many years, but I remember The Wretched of the Earth as the best of the post-colonialist works I was forced to read in college.

    Do young critical race theorists still read Frantz Fanon?

    Absolutely. Every grad lit class that I took that had some kind of racial aspect invoked his work

    Read More
  36. iffen says:
    @syonredux

    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?
     
    Well, Steve Sailer is a lot more insightful than TNC.....

    If you are correct in thinking that Steve is race centric in the manner of TNC, then one of us has not read or cannot understand the writing of one or the other.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    If you are correct in thinking that Steve is race centric in the manner of TNC, then one of us has not read or cannot understand the writing of one or the other.
     
    Well, one of the reasons why Steve is better than TNC is because he isn't " race centric in the manner of TNC." He's also a lot smarter, but that goes without saying.....
  37. syonredux says:
    @iffen
    If you are correct in thinking that Steve is race centric in the manner of TNC, then one of us has not read or cannot understand the writing of one or the other.

    If you are correct in thinking that Steve is race centric in the manner of TNC, then one of us has not read or cannot understand the writing of one or the other.

    Well, one of the reasons why Steve is better than TNC is because he isn’t ” race centric in the manner of TNC.” He’s also a lot smarter, but that goes without saying…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    So, you are saying that you have no answer to my question in #32, but just wanted to comment upon it?
  38. iffen says:
    @syonredux

    If you are correct in thinking that Steve is race centric in the manner of TNC, then one of us has not read or cannot understand the writing of one or the other.
     
    Well, one of the reasons why Steve is better than TNC is because he isn't " race centric in the manner of TNC." He's also a lot smarter, but that goes without saying.....

    So, you are saying that you have no answer to my question in #32, but just wanted to comment upon it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    So, you are saying that you have no answer to my question in #32, but just wanted to comment upon it?
     
    Well, here's your question:

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?
     
    And my answer:

    Since Steve is a lot smarter and more insightful on racial questions than TNC, one can at least hope that some small fraction of Steve's audience is smarter and more inquisitive than TNC's acolytes.
    , @random observer
    IS there anyone on Unz or anywhere else writing about race from a 'white perspective' who could be said to be writing about race in the manner of TNC?

    Such a writer would have to not only be writing about race, and from a white perspective, but also agonizing constantly about what it means to be white, feel white, etc.
  39. syonredux says:
    @iffen
    So, you are saying that you have no answer to my question in #32, but just wanted to comment upon it?

    So, you are saying that you have no answer to my question in #32, but just wanted to comment upon it?

    Well, here’s your question:

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?

    And my answer:

    Since Steve is a lot smarter and more insightful on racial questions than TNC, one can at least hope that some small fraction of Steve’s audience is smarter and more inquisitive than TNC’s acolytes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    One writer is smarter than another and attracts smarter readers. I think that you have me there; that is a difference.

    What happens if we find a black writer that is race centric and he is smarter than Steve?

    Let me frame this in another way.

    I do not consider Steve to be race centric. I was thinking of Reed, Derbyshire and Taylor. In my limited reading experience of the three, I think that TNC scores higher than two of those. I haven’t read any of TNC’s acolytes’ comments so I can’t comment there, although he attracts a lot of effusive praise from some reasonably smart people from the Leviathan. I have read many comments here and, well, many are not up to snuff.

    So if we have a smarter TNC and the comments to some of the UR articles are not very “smart,” what happened to our difference?
  40. @JS
    When I was reading a lot of critical race theory and radical feminist books in college, there were definitely a lot of references to or quotes from theorists such as Foucault (his ideas about power, mental illness, criminality) or Derrida (deconstructionism), and of course Marx (class and the distribution of resources), Freud (psychoanalysis), and the Frankfurt School (transformation of society). These thinkers' ideas form the theoretical framework of much of today's "social justice warrior" movement or Cultural Marxism.

    One basic premise underlying all these different schools of thought is that our society and economy are essentially fabrications designed to maintain traditional power structures, i.e., white male patriarchy, and that they could be subverted by creating a new power structure through theoretical critique, deconstruction, and the rewriting of this narrative. Hence, it can be questioned whether men are really physically stronger than women, binary gender or race exists, or Western civilization is superior. In this framework there is no objective reality or truth - everything you believe is based on a myth, and this myth is making you behave in ways that perpetuate it, even to your own detriment. 'Why are you dominant? Are you really better than me?' The modern SJW incarnation of critical theory is "Marxist" in the sense that it believes in a form of egalitarianism that exists inherently among all people but is being suppressed through an oppressive ideology or system (white male patriarchy), and that power or resources can be redistributed to their proper places by removing these artificial restrictions.

    Whether the Frankfurt School's ultimate intent was the complete overthrow of Western Civilization is hard to say. They certainly criticized it and theorized it was based on false premises because they stood to gain from doing so, most of them being subaltern themselves and understanding deeply the psychology and motivations of that group. It is poetic justice that their own ideology is being used against them - all of them are old white males? Wow, I can't even.

    And while their ideologies are being used in some asinine ways lately, not everything they believed is without merit. Such as, what is mental illness? Foucault said that mentally ill people used to be consulted as oracles, but now they're institutionalized. And today people question whether childhood disorders such as ADHD or autism really exist or whether they are the misdiagnosing of normal child behavior. What is cognitively normal? Maybe you are just oppressing me with your lies.

    Marx, Freud and Adorno don’t seem to have been saying this post-modern stuff. The first two were materialists who believed in real, enduring ‘structures’ – political, moral, psychological – that emerge out of underlying material processes (economic production, brain chemistry). Freud was a political pessimist and not a left-radical at all. Marx’s normative egalitarianism can be detached from his analysis of the non-linear dynamics of economic-political systems (which was later largely adopted by conservatives like Schumpeter). Adorno was fundamentally an elitist (not an insult!) who regretted the shallowness of relations (with people and things) brought about by mass consumer capitalism (he also called the cops on 60′s protesters at his German university!).

    If people want a taste of an ‘original’ source for the contemporary SJW academic left they’d be better off looking at Judith Butler’s early work – that’s where the idea of ‘re-writing’ the narratives of gender, identity and so forth comes from – in her contentious and wrong-headed appropriation of Hegel.

    Read More
  41. iffen says:
    @syonredux

    So, you are saying that you have no answer to my question in #32, but just wanted to comment upon it?
     
    Well, here's your question:

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?
     
    And my answer:

    Since Steve is a lot smarter and more insightful on racial questions than TNC, one can at least hope that some small fraction of Steve's audience is smarter and more inquisitive than TNC's acolytes.

    One writer is smarter than another and attracts smarter readers. I think that you have me there; that is a difference.

    What happens if we find a black writer that is race centric and he is smarter than Steve?

    Let me frame this in another way.

    I do not consider Steve to be race centric. I was thinking of Reed, Derbyshire and Taylor. In my limited reading experience of the three, I think that TNC scores higher than two of those. I haven’t read any of TNC’s acolytes’ comments so I can’t comment there, although he attracts a lot of effusive praise from some reasonably smart people from the Leviathan. I have read many comments here and, well, many are not up to snuff.

    So if we have a smarter TNC and the comments to some of the UR articles are not very “smart,” what happened to our difference?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harshmellow
    I don't see why you wouldn't want to read a smart black race-centric writer, you would probably get a lot out of it, even if it wasn't what the author intended.

    I suspect Derrick Bell's JQ is even higher than Steve's.

    As far as Derbyshire v. TNC, its really a matter of taste.

    Derbyshire in his dyspeptic heart really hates everyone. I presume his mother didn't love him, and he got beat up in school.

    In contrast, in his heart of hearts, TNC's hatred of whites stems from dependency on "whites of good will". If my commercial success depended on administering thought lashings to groveling "whites of good will", I would hate whites too.
  42. @iffen
    One writer is smarter than another and attracts smarter readers. I think that you have me there; that is a difference.

    What happens if we find a black writer that is race centric and he is smarter than Steve?

    Let me frame this in another way.

    I do not consider Steve to be race centric. I was thinking of Reed, Derbyshire and Taylor. In my limited reading experience of the three, I think that TNC scores higher than two of those. I haven’t read any of TNC’s acolytes’ comments so I can’t comment there, although he attracts a lot of effusive praise from some reasonably smart people from the Leviathan. I have read many comments here and, well, many are not up to snuff.

    So if we have a smarter TNC and the comments to some of the UR articles are not very “smart,” what happened to our difference?

    I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to read a smart black race-centric writer, you would probably get a lot out of it, even if it wasn’t what the author intended.

    I suspect Derrick Bell’s JQ is even higher than Steve’s.

    As far as Derbyshire v. TNC, its really a matter of taste.

    Derbyshire in his dyspeptic heart really hates everyone. I presume his mother didn’t love him, and he got beat up in school.

    In contrast, in his heart of hearts, TNC’s hatred of whites stems from dependency on “whites of good will”. If my commercial success depended on administering thought lashings to groveling “whites of good will”, I would hate whites too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to read a smart black race-centric writer

    I read all of TNC’s articles at the Atlantic.

    If my commercial success depended on administering thought lashings to groveling “whites of good will”, I would hate whites too.

    So, you are thinking that he is smart enough to realize that he is the token black intellectual.

    I have Black Reconstruction in America coming up in my reading queue. I only know about Du Bois in the most general way. I have the idea that he was an intellectual of some heft. He apparently gave up on American blacks, went to Africa, gave up on Africans and “adopted” the Egyptians as his new people.
  43. @iffen
    That non-white authors and activists are generally much preferred among p.c. types

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?

    How does the fact that PC types like the race centric writing of TNC differ from the fact that many commenters at UR prefer the race centric writing of some of the writers here?

    I wasn’t disparaging them for finding issues of race/identity important; I was merely noting that (in my anecdotal, though I suspect representative, experience) they heavily weight race and gender in determining which authors to read on the subject.

    Read More
  44. @ohwilleke
    My previous response was held due to having too many links so I'll recap.

    Legendary history is a mix of fact and fiction.

    There are Maori legends of pre-existing inhabits of NZ called Turehu or Patupaiarehe (probably referring to the same thing) that are commonly described as very fair and sometimes described as ghost-like animist spirits.

    A 165 generation time frame (5,000 years) isn't too far from when the first Austronesians left Taiwan.

    There is no evidence whatsoever for non-Polynesian genetics in the Maori people (and certainly not European or Persian, which also isn't nearly as hot as Taiwan or the many Pacific islands that Austronesians derived from and settled - there is snow every year in much of Persia), although there is a strain of albinoism in Maori people that could be one seed for this legendary history. Maori genetics show serial founder effects from a clear Polynesian origin (i.e. Austronesian with some Papuan thrown in).

    The oldest archaeological evidence of Maori settlement (or any human or hominin settlement) in NZ is around the 1200s. There are traditions which say that they came from Hawaii (one of the last Polynesian conquests) although they are contradictory.

    Austronesians were great mariners but never left the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They did reach East Africa in the early 1st millenium CE settling Madagascar together with Africans and did bring the banana and other tropical crops to Africa which is part of what made Bantu expansion to the South more viable. They did made brief contact with South America (probably from Easter Island) bringing with them the kumara, a type of yam or sweet potato native to South American and eaten in Polynesia by Maoris before European contact.

    I think there is a case to be made for pre-Maori settlement. All you have to do is test some of the skeletons dug up from time to time. Pretty simple except scientific institutions are terrified of losing funding if they publish something controversial.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tobus
    "case to be made" implies there is some actual evidence, not just a theoretical possibility
    , @ohwilleke
    Sorry. There really is no conspiracy here.

    The putatively old sites in NZ showing signs of human habitation have been rigorously dated with C14 dating and nothing is older than 1280 CE. And, your sense of what would cause a scientific institution to lose funding is completely out of whack. I lived half my life in academia. My mother helped people write research grants and my father ran a university science department for thirty years. Credible evidence of a pre-Maori settlement would be a huge boon for any scientific institution that made it that would bring in immense amounts of funding, not something that it would shy from.

    The first European contact was 1576 CE at the earliest (doubtful) and more likely, 1642 CE (undisputedly happened).

    Another possible source of the legend could come from the transition from a Moa Hunter culture to "classical Maori" culture around 1450 CE. Also, this legend may have counterparts elsewhere in the Austronesian realm and have been retooled for local conditions. But, an oral tradition hundreds of years old with many contradictory versions that is flatly contradicted by all physical evidence is not a "case to be made" for something.

  45. iffen says:
    @Harshmellow
    I don't see why you wouldn't want to read a smart black race-centric writer, you would probably get a lot out of it, even if it wasn't what the author intended.

    I suspect Derrick Bell's JQ is even higher than Steve's.

    As far as Derbyshire v. TNC, its really a matter of taste.

    Derbyshire in his dyspeptic heart really hates everyone. I presume his mother didn't love him, and he got beat up in school.

    In contrast, in his heart of hearts, TNC's hatred of whites stems from dependency on "whites of good will". If my commercial success depended on administering thought lashings to groveling "whites of good will", I would hate whites too.

    I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to read a smart black race-centric writer

    I read all of TNC’s articles at the Atlantic.

    If my commercial success depended on administering thought lashings to groveling “whites of good will”, I would hate whites too.

    So, you are thinking that he is smart enough to realize that he is the token black intellectual.

    I have Black Reconstruction in America coming up in my reading queue. I only know about Du Bois in the most general way. I have the idea that he was an intellectual of some heft. He apparently gave up on American blacks, went to Africa, gave up on Africans and “adopted” the Egyptians as his new people.

    Read More
  46. iffen says:

    heavily weight race and gender in determining which authors to read on the subject.

    Isn’t this what most people do? Don’t we seek out the writers that support what we already “know”?

    I did not mean that I thought you were disparaging anyone. I just wanted to point out that seeking out writers that support one’s point of view doesn’t really turn upon race or any other personal category, real or imagined.

    Read More
  47. Tobus says:
    @Colin Quinn
    I think there is a case to be made for pre-Maori settlement. All you have to do is test some of the skeletons dug up from time to time. Pretty simple except scientific institutions are terrified of losing funding if they publish something controversial.

    case to be made” implies there is some actual evidence, not just a theoretical possibility

    Read More
  48. j mct says:

    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160912-a-soviet-scientist-created-the-only-tame-foxes-in-the-world

    This is an old story, as in the subject of the story, but wouldn’t a dog geneticist find examining the genome of these pups with their wild 4th cousins pretty intriguing?

    Read More
  49. G. Bruno says:
    @Razib Khan
    any good primer for modern critical theory?

    Razib,

    I’m afraid I don’t have any recommendations for you there; I’m more conversant with the Frankfurt School (and even there, more Adorno & Habermas than, say, Marcuse) than the current brand of critical theory. I share blankmisgiving’s intuition in #40—a generally spot-on comment, imo—that Butler is probably a promising place to look if you’re looking for major influences on the ideological arm of the social-justice left; I believe Gender Trouble is the, ahem, locus classicus.

    Read More
  50. jb says:

    One thing I wonder about is the extent to which anyone is actually influenced — i.e., actually persuaded by the rational arguments of others — as opposed to acquiring prejudices from various sources (family, acquaintances, books, other media) and then retroactively seeking support for those prejudices wherever it can be found. I think it’s at least possible that for the vast majority of people — including even highly intelligent people — the only truly effective forms of influence are purely emotional, e.g., stories of misery and oppression.

    Of course stories of achievement and glory can also be effective, which could explain why so much effort has been put into belittling the accomplishments of “dead white males,” and Western Civilization in general.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    One thing I wonder about is the extent to which anyone is actually influenced — i.e., actually persuaded by the rational arguments of others — as opposed to acquiring prejudices from various sources (family, acquaintances, books, other media) and then retroactively seeking support for those prejudices wherever it can be found.

    This is an excellent question that I frequently ask myself. I haven’t read anyone that can provide a lot of insight. Maybe Razib or some commenter here that has more breadth can provide some pointers. There are certainly Saul of Tarsus incidents. Is this common or is it mostly a Chinese water torture process? I can’t even explain my own detours and reversals.
  51. iffen says:
    @jb
    One thing I wonder about is the extent to which anyone is actually influenced -- i.e., actually persuaded by the rational arguments of others -- as opposed to acquiring prejudices from various sources (family, acquaintances, books, other media) and then retroactively seeking support for those prejudices wherever it can be found. I think it's at least possible that for the vast majority of people -- including even highly intelligent people -- the only truly effective forms of influence are purely emotional, e.g., stories of misery and oppression.

    Of course stories of achievement and glory can also be effective, which could explain why so much effort has been put into belittling the accomplishments of "dead white males," and Western Civilization in general.

    One thing I wonder about is the extent to which anyone is actually influenced — i.e., actually persuaded by the rational arguments of others — as opposed to acquiring prejudices from various sources (family, acquaintances, books, other media) and then retroactively seeking support for those prejudices wherever it can be found.

    This is an excellent question that I frequently ask myself. I haven’t read anyone that can provide a lot of insight. Maybe Razib or some commenter here that has more breadth can provide some pointers. There are certainly Saul of Tarsus incidents. Is this common or is it mostly a Chinese water torture process? I can’t even explain my own detours and reversals.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jb
    Jonathan Haidt wrote an entire book which argues, among other things, that the conscious mind is like a "rider on an elephant." The elephant does what it likes, and the rider's job is to "serve the elephant" -- for example, to try to convince the riders of other elephants that his own elephant is doing the right thing. He makes a fairly convincing case! I find that if I accept the irrationality of my own prejudices it makes it easier for me to think about them clearly.
  52. @iffen
    So, you are saying that you have no answer to my question in #32, but just wanted to comment upon it?

    IS there anyone on Unz or anywhere else writing about race from a ‘white perspective’ who could be said to be writing about race in the manner of TNC?

    Such a writer would have to not only be writing about race, and from a white perspective, but also agonizing constantly about what it means to be white, feel white, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    IS there anyone on Unz or anywhere else writing about race from a ‘white perspective’ who could be said to be writing about race in the manner of TNC?

    I don’t know of any, although there may be WNs out there with which I am not familiar.

    Race centric is not a discrete category, we can only look at the continuum.

    TNC has a heavier lift than WNs, in that the WNs can coast upon a body of information that was not developed or created within a white centric mode, but rather just by chance (?) was created predominately by whites. That allows whites to attach themselves to cultural items rather than having to create or imagine new ones.

    A race centric perspective will not present itself in the same manner when coming from a person in the ruling majority as it will from a minority.

    But, yes, I would put Reed, Derbyshire and Jared Taylor into the race centric category.
    , @ohwilleke
    The trick is that "white" is only barely a more meaningful ethnic descriptor than "Asian American" which lumps people from Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Mongolia and Japan into one category that is artificially created.

    Look at J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy. Compare Garrison Keillor who agonizes over the eccentricities of Northern Midwest Norwegian-Americans (whose ethnic experience is utterly different than Scots-Irish Appalachian whites), as an insider.

    Lots of people write about the experience of white Ashkenazi Jews, or people with unadmixed Iberian descent who are most recently from Latin America, or about life as an Italian-American, an Irish-American, or a Greek-American. or a Persian-American, in that way.

    TNC isn't really writing about "race" per se. The African-American experience has little to do, for example, with the experience of recent Ethiopian immigrants or British Afro-Caribbean people or a Ghanan cab driver in Africa. It is really about a fairly specific African-American ethnic cultural experience which happens to have an extremely heavy overlap with a particular racial ancestry in the U.S., and culture provides endless opportunities to agonize.

  53. ohwilleke says: • Website
    @Colin Quinn
    I think there is a case to be made for pre-Maori settlement. All you have to do is test some of the skeletons dug up from time to time. Pretty simple except scientific institutions are terrified of losing funding if they publish something controversial.

    Sorry. There really is no conspiracy here.

    The putatively old sites in NZ showing signs of human habitation have been rigorously dated with C14 dating and nothing is older than 1280 CE. And, your sense of what would cause a scientific institution to lose funding is completely out of whack. I lived half my life in academia. My mother helped people write research grants and my father ran a university science department for thirty years. Credible evidence of a pre-Maori settlement would be a huge boon for any scientific institution that made it that would bring in immense amounts of funding, not something that it would shy from.

    The first European contact was 1576 CE at the earliest (doubtful) and more likely, 1642 CE (undisputedly happened).

    Another possible source of the legend could come from the transition from a Moa Hunter culture to “classical Maori” culture around 1450 CE. Also, this legend may have counterparts elsewhere in the Austronesian realm and have been retooled for local conditions. But, an oral tradition hundreds of years old with many contradictory versions that is flatly contradicted by all physical evidence is not a “case to be made” for something.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rick
    Here is another alternative view of the situation, that might shed light on these oral histories.

    Modern Maori are an admixed population, "mostly Austronesian, with some Papuan thrown in". However, you are talking as if only the population from Taiwan could have contributed to these legends.

    But let's suppose that these stories came through the Papuan part of the ancestry.

    At some point, they arrived from somewhere hot, and encountered a land with much lighter skinned inhabitants. Maybe this didn't occur in New Zealand, or maybe it did.

    In case you haven't read this new abstract:

    Origins and genetic legacy of the first people in Remote Oceania

    Skoglund et al.

    The appearance of people associated with the Lapita culture in the South Pacific ~3,000 years ago marked the beginning of the last major human dispersal to unpopulated lands, culminating in the settlement of eastern Polynesia ~1,000-700 years ago. However, the genetic relationship of these pioneers to the long established Papuan peoples of the New Guinea region is debated. We report the first genome-wide ancient DNA data from Asia-Pacific region, from four ~2,900 to ~2,500 year old Lapita culture individuals from Vanuatu and Tonga, and co-analyze them with new data from 356 present-day Oceanians. Today, all indigenous people of the South Pacific harbor a mixture of ancestry from Papuans and a population of East Asian origin that we find to be a statistical match to the ancient Lapita individuals. Most analyses have interpreted the ubiquitous Papuan ancestry in the region today-at least 25%-as evidence that the first humans to reach Remote Oceania and Polynesia were derived from mixtures near New Guinea prior to the Lapita expansion into Remote Oceania. Our results refute this scenario, as none of the geographically and temporally diverse Lapita individuals had detectable Papuan ancestry. These results imply later major human population movements, which spread Papuan ancestry through the South Pacific after the islands' first peopling.
  54. iffen says:
    @random observer
    IS there anyone on Unz or anywhere else writing about race from a 'white perspective' who could be said to be writing about race in the manner of TNC?

    Such a writer would have to not only be writing about race, and from a white perspective, but also agonizing constantly about what it means to be white, feel white, etc.

    IS there anyone on Unz or anywhere else writing about race from a ‘white perspective’ who could be said to be writing about race in the manner of TNC?

    I don’t know of any, although there may be WNs out there with which I am not familiar.

    Race centric is not a discrete category, we can only look at the continuum.

    TNC has a heavier lift than WNs, in that the WNs can coast upon a body of information that was not developed or created within a white centric mode, but rather just by chance (?) was created predominately by whites. That allows whites to attach themselves to cultural items rather than having to create or imagine new ones.

    A race centric perspective will not present itself in the same manner when coming from a person in the ruling majority as it will from a minority.

    But, yes, I would put Reed, Derbyshire and Jared Taylor into the race centric category.

    Read More
  55. jb says:
    @iffen
    One thing I wonder about is the extent to which anyone is actually influenced — i.e., actually persuaded by the rational arguments of others — as opposed to acquiring prejudices from various sources (family, acquaintances, books, other media) and then retroactively seeking support for those prejudices wherever it can be found.

    This is an excellent question that I frequently ask myself. I haven’t read anyone that can provide a lot of insight. Maybe Razib or some commenter here that has more breadth can provide some pointers. There are certainly Saul of Tarsus incidents. Is this common or is it mostly a Chinese water torture process? I can’t even explain my own detours and reversals.

    Jonathan Haidt wrote an entire book which argues, among other things, that the conscious mind is like a “rider on an elephant.” The elephant does what it likes, and the rider’s job is to “serve the elephant” — for example, to try to convince the riders of other elephants that his own elephant is doing the right thing. He makes a fairly convincing case! I find that if I accept the irrationality of my own prejudices it makes it easier for me to think about them clearly.

    Read More
  56. Sean says:

    That being said, a lot of the abstruse and in my opinion wrong-headed tendencies of Critical Theory types does seem to get back to the roots. In relation to impenetrability, the influence of Heidegger on Marcuse makes a lot of sense

    According to Graham Harman, Heidegger is deep but not complicated and always returns to the same basic theme of withdrawal.

    http://claytestament.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/resistance-to-heidegger-reading-graham.html

    But I think Heidegger’s philosophy actually leads us in a different direction politically, if he had thought it through more carefully. Since Being is that which withdraws, this means that political decision always excludes an outside and focuses on what is present.

    Read More
  57. @G. Bruno
    Count me among those skeptical of the Frankfurt School's influence on what today passes under the name "Critical Theory;" in my experience, it's more commonly used to refer to the body of French- (especially Foucault-)influenced work in the literary humanities and spreading out from there into all the various "studies." I'd be very surprised to see substantive references to Adorno, Marcuse, or Fromm in, say, Judith Butler's or Homi Bhabha's work—though I've read very little of the former and none of the latter, so I'll gladly accept correction from anyone who's put in the time—but I'd expect it to be lousy with Foucault, Derrida, and the like.

    Other than Habermas, who studied under Adorno & Horkheimer and is himself now a faded force, Critical Theory of the Frankfurt-type is mostly a dead letter in the academy, and its impact on the larger culture ended when people stopped caring about the SDS. The connection between the Frankfurt School and today's Critical Theory is, I think, merely nominal.

    (The fact that the contrary position usually gets argued via works typified by the sort of garbage to which Walter Sobchak links doesn't do much to boost my confidence.)

    Critical Theory of the Frankfurt-type is mostly a dead letter in the academy, and its impact on the larger culture ended when people stopped caring about the SDS. The connection between the Frankfurt School and today’s Critical Theory is, I think, merely nominal.

    I think it’s more than nominal. See the UC Berkeley program, which mentions Frankfurt School explicitly. You can now append a critical theory designation to most graduate degrees.

    http://guide.berkeley.edu/graduate/schools-departments-graduate-groups/critical-theory/

    Critical Theory is typically associated with the work of the Frankfurt School; that ongoing tradition of theory figures significantly in the DE curriculum. However, Berkeley’s Program in Critical Theory broadens and extends the meaning of critical theory to include nineteenth-century philosophers of critique, as well as contemporary critical theoretical work on politics, economics, art and culture, religion, nationalism, postnationalism, and various kinds of identity formation. Above all, Critical Theory at UC Berkeley emphasizes the centrality of theoretical critique to the examination of contemporary values; the powers that organize political, social, cultural, and economic life; and modes of justification and legitimization for cultural inquiry and sociopolitical analysis.

    Read More
  58. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    What’s your point?

    The Frankfurt School is as simple as mankind to understand.

    Resentment, envy, paranoia, and hate.
    Just like the SPLC (or Stormfront, with the difference that Stormfront was shut down, while the SLPC is unjustly allowed to operate).

    Their profoundly disturbed mad rants against Western white civilization and the USA became further bitter and impudent when they moved into the USA.
    You would say that was customary with these people.

    Read More
  59. Riordan says:

    Razib,

    Can you clarify by what you mean in this tweet to Rod Dreher?

    Read More
  60. Rick says:
    @ohwilleke
    Sorry. There really is no conspiracy here.

    The putatively old sites in NZ showing signs of human habitation have been rigorously dated with C14 dating and nothing is older than 1280 CE. And, your sense of what would cause a scientific institution to lose funding is completely out of whack. I lived half my life in academia. My mother helped people write research grants and my father ran a university science department for thirty years. Credible evidence of a pre-Maori settlement would be a huge boon for any scientific institution that made it that would bring in immense amounts of funding, not something that it would shy from.

    The first European contact was 1576 CE at the earliest (doubtful) and more likely, 1642 CE (undisputedly happened).

    Another possible source of the legend could come from the transition from a Moa Hunter culture to "classical Maori" culture around 1450 CE. Also, this legend may have counterparts elsewhere in the Austronesian realm and have been retooled for local conditions. But, an oral tradition hundreds of years old with many contradictory versions that is flatly contradicted by all physical evidence is not a "case to be made" for something.

    Here is another alternative view of the situation, that might shed light on these oral histories.

    Modern Maori are an admixed population, “mostly Austronesian, with some Papuan thrown in”. However, you are talking as if only the population from Taiwan could have contributed to these legends.

    But let’s suppose that these stories came through the Papuan part of the ancestry.

    At some point, they arrived from somewhere hot, and encountered a land with much lighter skinned inhabitants. Maybe this didn’t occur in New Zealand, or maybe it did.

    In case you haven’t read this new abstract:

    Origins and genetic legacy of the first people in Remote Oceania

    Skoglund et al.

    The appearance of people associated with the Lapita culture in the South Pacific ~3,000 years ago marked the beginning of the last major human dispersal to unpopulated lands, culminating in the settlement of eastern Polynesia ~1,000-700 years ago. However, the genetic relationship of these pioneers to the long established Papuan peoples of the New Guinea region is debated. We report the first genome-wide ancient DNA data from Asia-Pacific region, from four ~2,900 to ~2,500 year old Lapita culture individuals from Vanuatu and Tonga, and co-analyze them with new data from 356 present-day Oceanians. Today, all indigenous people of the South Pacific harbor a mixture of ancestry from Papuans and a population of East Asian origin that we find to be a statistical match to the ancient Lapita individuals. Most analyses have interpreted the ubiquitous Papuan ancestry in the region today-at least 25%-as evidence that the first humans to reach Remote Oceania and Polynesia were derived from mixtures near New Guinea prior to the Lapita expansion into Remote Oceania. Our results refute this scenario, as none of the geographically and temporally diverse Lapita individuals had detectable Papuan ancestry. These results imply later major human population movements, which spread Papuan ancestry through the South Pacific after the islands’ first peopling.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ohwilleke
    I did read it and find it fascinating. I'd love to see some statistical analysis of the likely Austronesian-Papuan admixture date in different gene pools.
  61. ohwilleke says: • Website
    @Rick
    Here is another alternative view of the situation, that might shed light on these oral histories.

    Modern Maori are an admixed population, "mostly Austronesian, with some Papuan thrown in". However, you are talking as if only the population from Taiwan could have contributed to these legends.

    But let's suppose that these stories came through the Papuan part of the ancestry.

    At some point, they arrived from somewhere hot, and encountered a land with much lighter skinned inhabitants. Maybe this didn't occur in New Zealand, or maybe it did.

    In case you haven't read this new abstract:

    Origins and genetic legacy of the first people in Remote Oceania

    Skoglund et al.

    The appearance of people associated with the Lapita culture in the South Pacific ~3,000 years ago marked the beginning of the last major human dispersal to unpopulated lands, culminating in the settlement of eastern Polynesia ~1,000-700 years ago. However, the genetic relationship of these pioneers to the long established Papuan peoples of the New Guinea region is debated. We report the first genome-wide ancient DNA data from Asia-Pacific region, from four ~2,900 to ~2,500 year old Lapita culture individuals from Vanuatu and Tonga, and co-analyze them with new data from 356 present-day Oceanians. Today, all indigenous people of the South Pacific harbor a mixture of ancestry from Papuans and a population of East Asian origin that we find to be a statistical match to the ancient Lapita individuals. Most analyses have interpreted the ubiquitous Papuan ancestry in the region today-at least 25%-as evidence that the first humans to reach Remote Oceania and Polynesia were derived from mixtures near New Guinea prior to the Lapita expansion into Remote Oceania. Our results refute this scenario, as none of the geographically and temporally diverse Lapita individuals had detectable Papuan ancestry. These results imply later major human population movements, which spread Papuan ancestry through the South Pacific after the islands' first peopling.

    I did read it and find it fascinating. I’d love to see some statistical analysis of the likely Austronesian-Papuan admixture date in different gene pools.

    Read More
  62. ohwilleke says: • Website
    @random observer
    IS there anyone on Unz or anywhere else writing about race from a 'white perspective' who could be said to be writing about race in the manner of TNC?

    Such a writer would have to not only be writing about race, and from a white perspective, but also agonizing constantly about what it means to be white, feel white, etc.

    The trick is that “white” is only barely a more meaningful ethnic descriptor than “Asian American” which lumps people from Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Mongolia and Japan into one category that is artificially created.

    Look at J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. Compare Garrison Keillor who agonizes over the eccentricities of Northern Midwest Norwegian-Americans (whose ethnic experience is utterly different than Scots-Irish Appalachian whites), as an insider.

    Lots of people write about the experience of white Ashkenazi Jews, or people with unadmixed Iberian descent who are most recently from Latin America, or about life as an Italian-American, an Irish-American, or a Greek-American. or a Persian-American, in that way.

    TNC isn’t really writing about “race” per se. The African-American experience has little to do, for example, with the experience of recent Ethiopian immigrants or British Afro-Caribbean people or a Ghanan cab driver in Africa. It is really about a fairly specific African-American ethnic cultural experience which happens to have an extremely heavy overlap with a particular racial ancestry in the U.S., and culture provides endless opportunities to agonize.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    TNC isn’t really writing about “race” per se… It is really about a fairly specific African-American ethnic cultural experience …

    Excellent!

    Everything that I have read of his uses the black/white divide in the U. S. as definitional. He may have written something on the black race that is not defined by the history of slavery and inferior citizenship in the U. S., but I haven’t read it.

    I think that it is very interesting in that he defines black America completely within the terms of subjugation and mistreatment by white American, yet at the same time rejects the norms that one would think applies to both without regard to historical fact of slavery. This is why he will not admit that there is black on black crime problem. “Crime” has been defined by white American and he rejects the terms, even though thousands of blacks are victims of black criminal behavior.
    , @iffen
    Great article here by Howard French:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/25/enduring-whiteness-of-american-journalism

    then a response by TNC:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/black-journalist-and-the-racist-mountain/484808/
  63. iffen says:
    @ohwilleke
    The trick is that "white" is only barely a more meaningful ethnic descriptor than "Asian American" which lumps people from Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Mongolia and Japan into one category that is artificially created.

    Look at J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy. Compare Garrison Keillor who agonizes over the eccentricities of Northern Midwest Norwegian-Americans (whose ethnic experience is utterly different than Scots-Irish Appalachian whites), as an insider.

    Lots of people write about the experience of white Ashkenazi Jews, or people with unadmixed Iberian descent who are most recently from Latin America, or about life as an Italian-American, an Irish-American, or a Greek-American. or a Persian-American, in that way.

    TNC isn't really writing about "race" per se. The African-American experience has little to do, for example, with the experience of recent Ethiopian immigrants or British Afro-Caribbean people or a Ghanan cab driver in Africa. It is really about a fairly specific African-American ethnic cultural experience which happens to have an extremely heavy overlap with a particular racial ancestry in the U.S., and culture provides endless opportunities to agonize.

    TNC isn’t really writing about “race” per se… It is really about a fairly specific African-American ethnic cultural experience …

    Excellent!

    Everything that I have read of his uses the black/white divide in the U. S. as definitional. He may have written something on the black race that is not defined by the history of slavery and inferior citizenship in the U. S., but I haven’t read it.

    I think that it is very interesting in that he defines black America completely within the terms of subjugation and mistreatment by white American, yet at the same time rejects the norms that one would think applies to both without regard to historical fact of slavery. This is why he will not admit that there is black on black crime problem. “Crime” has been defined by white American and he rejects the terms, even though thousands of blacks are victims of black criminal behavior.

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  64. Any opinions on this?
    Especially how accurately this mosaic depicts phenotypes of ancient Jews and Hellenistic Syrians?

    Explore This Mysterious Mosaic—It May Portray Alexander the Great
    A decorated floor uncovered in the buried ruins of an ancient synagogue in Israel may depict a legendary meeting with the famous conqueror.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/mysterious-mosaic-alexander-the-great-israel/

    Read More
  65. iffen says:
    @ohwilleke
    The trick is that "white" is only barely a more meaningful ethnic descriptor than "Asian American" which lumps people from Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Mongolia and Japan into one category that is artificially created.

    Look at J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy. Compare Garrison Keillor who agonizes over the eccentricities of Northern Midwest Norwegian-Americans (whose ethnic experience is utterly different than Scots-Irish Appalachian whites), as an insider.

    Lots of people write about the experience of white Ashkenazi Jews, or people with unadmixed Iberian descent who are most recently from Latin America, or about life as an Italian-American, an Irish-American, or a Greek-American. or a Persian-American, in that way.

    TNC isn't really writing about "race" per se. The African-American experience has little to do, for example, with the experience of recent Ethiopian immigrants or British Afro-Caribbean people or a Ghanan cab driver in Africa. It is really about a fairly specific African-American ethnic cultural experience which happens to have an extremely heavy overlap with a particular racial ancestry in the U.S., and culture provides endless opportunities to agonize.

    Read More
  66. Pat Casey says:
    @jb
    I keep hearing people talking about "Cultural Marxism" as the source of today's "politically correct" insanity, and tracing it all back to the Frankfurt School, and I don't know what to make of it. Were they really as influential as all that? Or are they just a convenient devil to blame for trends that actually have many unclear origins? If you have any thoughts on the matter after you finish the book I'd be interested in hearing them.

    “The life of the mind in any age coheres thanks to shared assumptions both explicit and tacit, between which lines of casualty may not be profitably traceable.” –Hugh Kenner

    Generally speaking, I don’t find the people who frequently cite nefarious Cultural Marxism to be particularly intelligent, most of all because they do blame it on the Frankfurt School, when obviously “Cultural Marxism” in America is worth invoking to the extent it is because the Frankfurt School accurately described social reality, not because the Frankfurt ever influentially explained a positive political program—I mean they were Luddites and Freudians.

    John Chard is somewhat wrong about what sociology majors— leftists to a man— are taught in college. I have a social theory textbook that reads Adorno and others; nor would I call the Frankfurt School an “extremely fringe” intellectual tradition: Marcuse taught at Yale, and Popper regarded Adorno enough to start a debate with him in the fifties I believe. I think John Chard also misses the point of the true province of critical theory, as I’m reminded of a book called The Culture of Critique.

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  67. Whyvert says:
    @Razib Khan
    any good primer for modern critical theory?

    “any good primer for modern critical theory?”

    Here’s a recommendation and review from the blog Lorenzo Thinking Out Loud:

    http://lorenzo-thinkingoutaloud.blogspot.com/2009/02/explaining-postmodernism.html

    I read the book on the strength of this review and am glad I did. It clarified a lot for me, particularly how and why a big part of the academic Left (“critical theory”) has shifted against science, reason, and empiricism.

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  68. ss2000 says:

    Take this with a grain of salt, because it’s the product of a lot of thinking about this, but also what I can come up with at the end of a long night:

    Current identity politics in the U.S. is largely the outgrowth of the legitimation of mass identity-based movements within and outside the Left in the mid 20th century which itself is probably a consequence of the purge of traditional Marxist leftism during the Cold War (and before, actually). As even those social movements died out, the identity-based Left retreated to universities in the 1980s and 1990s. 1968 was probably the pivotal year, when first world New Leftism reached its zenith but was successfully defeated

    PC culture started as an attempt to increase sensitivity along the lines of the civil rights movements from that perch in response to the Southern Strategy and other means by which the rightwing mobilized regressive identity politics to promote its economic and broader political agenda. The best that I can figure out, over time, it took on a life of its own and its internal logic tends to generate more and more hypercritical instances of it. So the extreme individualism and fragmentation of American society and the absence of collective institutions on the Left as a result of the purge are partly to blame.

    Over time, identity politics became enmeshed with U.S. neoliberal authoritarianism and hegemony (and actually you can trace it all the way back to Foucault who had some nice things to say about neoliberalism). That – pro-identity neoliberalism – is now the party ideology of the Democratic Party (such as it is). It’s an effective way to keep the White working class and socially oppressed groups apart from one another, justify the existence of an elite, and avoid getting enmeshed in economic populism that would undermine the interests it represents.

    Atul Kohli raised an interesting point in the Indian context that is relevant – once you throw out economic populism as a means of gaining political consent, identity politics is what you are largely left with (whether regressive or progressive). And of course the U.S. has a tradition of finding ways to divide working class White people from Black people as a means of maintaining social control for its system.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Puritanism combined with a lethal dose of "The Great White Burden" playing itself out during the increasingly rigid and stratified class structure of whites in a post post WWII economy.
  69. iffen says:
    @ss2000
    Take this with a grain of salt, because it's the product of a lot of thinking about this, but also what I can come up with at the end of a long night:

    Current identity politics in the U.S. is largely the outgrowth of the legitimation of mass identity-based movements within and outside the Left in the mid 20th century which itself is probably a consequence of the purge of traditional Marxist leftism during the Cold War (and before, actually). As even those social movements died out, the identity-based Left retreated to universities in the 1980s and 1990s. 1968 was probably the pivotal year, when first world New Leftism reached its zenith but was successfully defeated

    PC culture started as an attempt to increase sensitivity along the lines of the civil rights movements from that perch in response to the Southern Strategy and other means by which the rightwing mobilized regressive identity politics to promote its economic and broader political agenda. The best that I can figure out, over time, it took on a life of its own and its internal logic tends to generate more and more hypercritical instances of it. So the extreme individualism and fragmentation of American society and the absence of collective institutions on the Left as a result of the purge are partly to blame.

    Over time, identity politics became enmeshed with U.S. neoliberal authoritarianism and hegemony (and actually you can trace it all the way back to Foucault who had some nice things to say about neoliberalism). That - pro-identity neoliberalism - is now the party ideology of the Democratic Party (such as it is). It's an effective way to keep the White working class and socially oppressed groups apart from one another, justify the existence of an elite, and avoid getting enmeshed in economic populism that would undermine the interests it represents.

    Atul Kohli raised an interesting point in the Indian context that is relevant - once you throw out economic populism as a means of gaining political consent, identity politics is what you are largely left with (whether regressive or progressive). And of course the U.S. has a tradition of finding ways to divide working class White people from Black people as a means of maintaining social control for its system.

    Puritanism combined with a lethal dose of “The Great White Burden” playing itself out during the increasingly rigid and stratified class structure of whites in a post post WWII economy.

    Read More

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