Monday, September 14, 2020

Sullivan in line to get canceled again

I mentioned that Andrew Sullivan got canceled for a 25-year-old review of a book saying that some people are smarter than others. Not that he is on his own, he has defended himself, and doubled-down with

another review of such a book:

The very American cult of education is supposed to end this injustice — except that it doesn’t, because it can’t, and its brutal logic actually exposes and entrenches the least defensible inequality of all, the inequality of nature.

This genetic reality — in fact, the very idea of nature existing at all — is currently a taboo topic on the left. In the most ludicrously untrue and yet suffocatingly omnipresent orthodoxy of our time, critical theory leftists insist that everything on earth is entirely socially constructed, that all inequality is a function of “oppressive systems”, and that human nature itself is what John Locke called a “white paper, void of all characters” — the famous blank slate. Freddie begs to differ: “Human behavioral traits, such as IQ, are profoundly shaped by genetic parentage, and this genetic influence plays a larger role in determining human outcomes than the family and home environment.”

People are not just born unequally and unfairly into class, and culture, and place, they are inherently unequal in various ways in their very nature: “not everyone has the same ability to do calculus; not everyone has the same grasp of grammar and mechanics … we can continue to beat our heads against the wall, trying to force an equality that just won’t come. Or we can face facts and start to grapple with a world where everyone simply can’t be made equal.” ...

In fact, mass education appears to have increased the gulf between rich and poor. As Freddie notes, “education is not a weapon against inequality; it is an engine of inequality.”  ...

So why is the difference between these “racial” groups so great and seemingly stable, even if there is more variability within any such group than between any? Freddie notes that “if the average white student sits at 50 percent of all students at a given academic task, the average black student lies somewhere between 15 and 30 percent,” which is not a minor difference. DeBoer doesn’t explain it as a factor of class — he notes the IQ racial gap persists even when removing socio-economic status from the equation. Nor does he ascribe it to differences in family structure — because parenting is not that important.

There are genetic explanations, as well as some possible non-genetic factors.

None of this is particular controversial among serious scholars. Most refuse to say it out of fear of getting canceled, but the denials are silly.

Sullivan has said many more controversial things. He was a big promoter of the Iraq War and same-sex marriage.

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