March 6, 2006

The incisive Udolpho on my latest fundraising drive

He kindly writes:

Steve Sailer is asking for donations. Unlike Andrew Sullivan, who duns his readers for money so that he can enjoy comfortable, month-long vacations in Massachusetts with his boyfriend, Sailer actually produces something worthwhile, namely a steady stream of cogent, well-written articles and essays, and none of them evidently composed under the influence of steroids.

Good writers of an independent turn of mind can usually find remunerative employment – as long as they remember not to deal in certain subjects or challenge certain postulates, and as long as they remember never to violate the vicious collegiality of the pundit class by asking embarrassing questions (or rather questions with embarrassing answers) of their peers.

Sailer's detractors have worked hard to portray him as a disreputable person, by which they mean someone who cannot be counted on to reach the same smug conclusions. Do you ever wonder why certain subjects – education, immigration, group differences, and other thorny matters – always evoke the same unthinking, feel-good pap from our pundit overlords? Why the range of viewpoints considered decent is not only very small but also very inadequate to describing the world or forming workable solutions to the problems of the age?

You know what to think about immigration, for example: America is a melting pot! Bring us your rejected refuse! They're doing the work that Americans won't do! These childish slogans are seriously intended to answer all objections you might pose – they are all the proof that is needed that lax enforcement of immigration law has given us the best of all possible worlds; and if these "reasons" are not good enough for you, well, who are you, Archie Bunker?

Of course there is also the matter of Sailer's realistic views on race, his willingness to accept the premise that races (which Sailer defines as "partly inbred extended families") differ in important ways based on the influence of natural selection, selective breeding, and the subsequent cultural traditions that developed in discrete geographical regions.

You know what to think about race. It doesn't exist! It is just skin color! Diversity is America's greatest strength! And other slogans suitable for second grade construction paper banners. Yes, you are asked to celebrate distinctions based on false concepts all the time – that is how dumb you are asked to be. You are told that any differences that appear are merely the products of oppression** or completely arbitrary cultural influences, and that while diversity is an unquestionable virtue it is too dangerous to consider what it really is beyond a feel-good visual panoply.

Discussion of group differences is plagued by the moral impulse, in practice an atavistic reflex no more thoughtful than superstition or taboo, and one especially difficult for reason to act positively on. As with religion, it is here that the mind triumphs powerfully over observation and logic. Hence we have not a dispassionate discussion of ideas governed by standards of reasonableness, but a fragmented, frequently idiotic series of outbursts, pronouncements, and demagogic slogans in which the imperative is to label an idea good or bad, rather than accurate or unsupported. This labeling is the actual goal: if, at the end of the exercise, we are left none the wiser about the actual diversity of man, so much the better – even though the fact of diversity is our central claim.

Naturally, this moral impulse carries over to the discussants, who take a childish pleasure in the finding someone worse than them. Yes, we love it when our enemies are not incorrect or misguided but immoral and sinister. It is much less work to find reasons to disparage them, and without evil enemies how can one discharge the moral impulse? How can one ostracize and punish others? It seems impossible. Such are the pleasures we choose to comfort ourselves with in our all-too-short lifespans.

A correspondent once asked me, how can I link approvingly to Sailer's site? It is so plainly racist! My reasons are that I share his curiosity about group differences and that he writes incisively, two qualities that so often earn ritual punishment for failure to comply with inscrutable PC dogma. (Even people who strive for compliance with its confusing strictures regularly find themselves accused of some greater or lesser heresy.)

Judge for yourself how plainly racist Sailer's writing is. I cannot see a trace of it – in my view he is more genuinely, openly curious about the characteristics of and problems facing blacks as a group than anyone who has disparaged him or his ideas has shown themselves to be. How can someone interested in human differences not share such curiosity? How can somone moved to ponder today's social problems not strive to look unblinkingly at man as he actually is? But interest and concern are not as pleasing as sanctimony and outrage, so it is unsurprising that we habitually confuse them with each other.

I despise the practice of casually advising people what to do with their money; it seems to be an outgrowth of egoism. I merely note that I have contributed money to Sailer in the past because I find his work worthwhile and there is too little of its kind out there.

Well, thanks! So, let me review the four ways to contribute:

[1.] Peter Brimelow writes:

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR STEVE SAILER FANS: Our regular Sunday night columnist Steve Sailer is one of the jewels of contemporary science journalism and it’s a mystery to me (and to him) why he’s not been stolen from VDARE.COM by the Mainstream Media. Well, actually, it’s not a mystery. Steve pushes the envelope too much. That’s why we’re here at VDARE.COM—and why we have to develop our own funding sources a.k.a you.

We want to commission Steve to begin a major project, separate from his columns, the results of which will be published in longer pieces, working towards a possible book. The topic: the implications of modern discoveries in the human biodiversity area for the survival and success of the American nation. Donations to this project will be tax-deductible. You can make credit card contributions here; or fax credit card details here; you can snail mail checks made out to "Lexington Research Institute" and marked on the memo line (lower left corner) “Biodiversity/ National Project” to the usual address:

Lexington Research Institute
P.O. Box 1195
Washington CT 06793

Now, if tax deductibility isn't relevant to you (e.g., you live outside the U.S.), you might find it simpler to donate directly to me through [2.] Paypal or [3.] Amazon, or [4.] just email me and I'll email back my Post Office Box address.

Click Here to PayLearn MoreAmazon Honor SystemYou don't need to have a PayPal or Amazon account already to donate, just a credit card. (Or you can E-mail me and I'll send you my P.O. Box number.)

Paypal and Amazon charge $0.30 per transaction and 2.9% of the total, so I only get to keep 41% of a $1 donation, but 96.8% of a $100 donation!

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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