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August 26, 2005

The Lie We Are Living

Breaking 11 years of silence on questions about group differences in intelligence, Charles Murray is moved to comment by the academic Borking Larry Summers received last Spring.

Elites throughout the West are living a lie, basing the futures of their societies on the assumption that all groups of people are equal in all respects. Lie is a strong word, but justified. It is a lie because so many elite politicians who profess to believe it in public do not believe it in private. It is a lie because so many elite scholars choose to ignore what is already known and choose not to inquire into what they suspect. We enable ourselves to continue to live the lie by establishing a taboo against discussion of group differences.

His point is that by abandoning our principles (as well as our intellectual integrity) in an effort to pretend that humanity conforms to our desired vision of how things should be, rather than to how they actually are, we have:

. . .  crippled our ability to explore almost any topic that involves the different ways in which groups of people respond to the world around them—which means almost every political, social, or economic topic of any complexity.

It is a long article, but well worth reading. (Hat tip to Instapundit.)

(Murray, of course, was the co-author of the controversial 1994 best-seller The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.)

August 26, 2005 at 04:16 PM | Permalink

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» The Bell Curve Continues to Ring from Mahalanobis
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Tracked on Aug 28, 2005 8:19:42 PM

» The Inequality Taboo from The Right Nation
If you don't know who Charles Murray is, the author of Losing Ground, The Bell Curve and (more recently) Human Accomplishment, it's your own business. But if you don't read his last essay published on Commentary, you're just nuts. Analysis, comments ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 30, 2005 10:39:24 PM

Comments

Both you and Murray misrepresent the arguement of "academics" and "elites" (as if they all have the same point of view). You erroneously conflate "group differences" with "equality." They're are of course many differences among cultures and peoples, but all human beings, regardless of culture, ethnicity, or form of government, have the same neccessities, frailties, and desire to live free of occupation and/or exploitation. That is the essence of the so-called "elite" or "academic" arguement. It is this recognition of common humanity that motivates the vast majority of the people you so ignorantly lable as liars. How your political ideology can lead you to call others who have good intentions "liars" is beyond me. And it demonstrates your refusal to approach these most important issues in full honesty and appropriate seriousness.

Posted by: Joey | Aug 28, 2005 2:00:21 PM

I did not mean to imply (nor do I think that Murray believes) that all people do not have the same needs, desires and essential humanity. Rather, I strongly believe, as Murray put it near the end of his essay that I linked to:

. . . talking about group differences obligates all of us to renew our commitment to the ideal of equality that Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he wrote as a self-evident truth that all men are created equal. Steven Pinker put that ideal in today’s language in The Blank Slate, writing that “Equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group.”

Posted by: Spartacus | Aug 28, 2005 5:33:47 PM

The destructive and corrupting lie is that there are no differences of lasting importance between genetically distinguishable groups. This premise is what distorts policies, and it is propagandistic; it is motivated ultimately by the need to make up reasons for increasing the aggression of officials. Who gains power from it, is the question that should be asked. The left has long since stopped trying to offer scientifically planned revolution as what the people might be persuaded to desire. Instead, they say that officials must have absolute discretion to counter racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc. This explains why propagandistic means must be used against any finding that there are significant lasting differences between the physically and genetically discriminable groups which have been picked out, in order to smear all opposition.

Posted by: John S Bolton | Aug 28, 2005 9:35:29 PM

Talking about group differences obligates all of us to renew our commitment to the ideal that Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he wrote as a self-evident truth that "The two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government".

Posted by: john creagh | Sep 26, 2005 5:31:43 PM

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