Sunday, September 15, 2002

(Under the heading: �HUMAN NATURE�)

Although it would seem that Marx himself was equivocal on the matter (Geras, 1983), it has long been a major Leftist doctrine that there is no such thing as an inherited "human nature". This root and branch rejection of heredity was of course what underlay Stalin's support of Lysenko's otherwise thoroughly discredited theory of evolution -- the idea that characteristics acquired in one's lifetime can be passed on to one's offspring.

Leftists reject the importance of heredity in order to justify their frequent claim that "education" can change almost anything in human behaviour. Even Leftists in the �Western� world claimed for many years that �education� could create �a new Soviet man� who would work for the common good rather than for selfish greed. �The new Soviet man� is of course now as dead as the dodo but modern-day Left-dominated American schools still often seem to demonize the normal human tendency to seek out one�s own economic self-interest as �greed� or as being �uncaring� and still foolishly try to "educate� such tendencies out of their students. Students are made to feel ashamed of what are normal motivations.

Since roughly the 1960s the long-standing scientific evidence that intelligence is highly heritable also has come to be bitterly and arbitrarily dismissed by �Western� Leftists -- now that it is well-known that the same evidence also shows lower average scores for favoured Leftist groups such as blacks and people of lower socioeconomic status (Brand, 1996). The evidence of heritability is now simply denied as absurd or the standard of proof required for the evidence to be accepted is raised so high that no evidence would ever be sufficient (Ray, 1972a). The animosity to even the concept of intelligence has become so great that bans on intelligence testing in schools have been introduced in some American States.

So does this Leftist idea that important human psychological characteristics cannot (or must not) be genetically transmitted also flow from a yen for change?

Quite obviously, any idea of human nature or of inherited characteristics says that important things about human beings just CANNOT be changed willy-nilly and that does not suit the change-loving Leftists at all. So Leftists simply reject what does not suit them -- regardless of the enormous evidence in favour of inherited characteristics. The entire discipline of behaviour genetics should not exist from a Leftist point of view.

The conservative (and scientific) rejection of the Leftist idea that human beings are infinitely malleable does of course pose a major threat to the Leftist's assumptions, theories and programmes and it is one that the Leftist cannot really rebut so the usual Leftist response is simply some sort of ad hominem nonsense such as claiming that conservatives are less �compassionate� (As if Leftists in power such as Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were �compassionate�!). Abuse takes the place of argument (Krauthammer, 2002).

It should be noted, however, that Leftists reject the idea of heredity only because it is inconvenient to them. They reject it when to acknowledge its influence would make nonsense of some change that they propose. In other cases, however, heredity can be speedily resurrected. Current Leftist advocacy of �gay rights�, for instance often seems to centre on a claim that gays �can�t help it�. They are born different (born homosexual) and therefore should not be criticized in any way. And much feminist advocacy too seems to centre on a claim that women are naturally (for instance) more �nurturing� and can even be seen as superior on that basis.

And why is the gross discrimination in favour of blacks that is euphemistically called �affirmative action� seen as necessary? Surely if Leftists saw blacks as genetically equal, all that would be needed would be to ensure that blacks had equal opportunity (equal access to education etc.) to ensure equality of outcomes. Instead, however, Leftists see it as necessary to enforce equal outcomes by the weight of the law. Their deeds reveal that Leftists obviously do NOT really believe that blacks are inherently equal to whites.

This Leftist racism would also seem to show in the current Leftist doctrine that preferential admission of blacks to universities and colleges is needed to ensure �diversity� on US campuses. No testing of the �diversity� of thinking in the relevant candidates for admission is done. Just their blackness seems to suffice as evidence that they will add �diversity�. Their backgrounds could be thoroughly middle class but there is still that unshakable confidence that they will add �diversity�. This implies that blacks think differently from whites just because they are black. That may well be true but acting on such a principle seems to betray precisely that belief in inborn racial differences that Leftists normally condemn vehemently in others.

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