For years, beginning when I was still in high school (I’m now in my 30s), I corresponded with the HBD icon J. Phillipe Rushton, who I consider the Darwin of the 20th century, for his simple, elegant, enormously parsimonious theory on three main races. I’m not going to be one of those people who tries to jump on the bandwagon after someone dies and say “we were best friends y’all!” because we never friends. I was merely a gushing fan who he politely tolerated when I would phone his university and ask to speak with him.
But we had a great rapport (at first) because I was probably one of the few people who asked about his theory with genuine and passionate scientific interest, and not some political agenda.
But did Rushton have scientific views so shocking and radical that he never shared them with the public?
Activist Greg Johnson writes:
I asked Rushton if he thought the that the rising tide of non-white immigration into white countries could be explained as the result of businesspeople looking for cheap labor and welfare statists looking for needy constituencies, without any consideration of the common good or long-term demographic consequences. Thus white dispossession is merely a ghastly mistake, the unintended consequence of selfish and short-sighted policies.
Rushton thought this was an inadequate explanation and stated flatly that he believed that mass non-white immigration was also driven by a conscious purpose: the extermination of the white race.
Good old Phil. What I admired most about him was his manner of stating the most radical claims in a calm and unapologetic way. His manner conveyed both moral certitude and openness to reason.
He also suggested that if I wanted to know who was behind non-white immigration, and why, I needed to read chapter 7 of Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique. (I had already been there, of course, but I wanted to see if that’s where Rushton would go.)
I should stress that there’s no evidence that Rushton held these views, other than Johnson’s recollection.
Nonetheless, shortly after Johnson made these claims, Rushton was accused of anti-Semitism by members of the HBD community. The very people who so admired Rushton for his stereotypical views of blacks, and rallied against political correctness and anti-racism, suddenly turned on him when he allegedly supported a negative stereotype about Jews.
This is a classic example of ethnic genetic interests. People are subconsciously driven to support scientific theories that they perceive to be in their ethnic genetic interests, but will suddenly reject the same scientists when their own group is challenged.
High IQ, socially savvy Ashkenazi Americans like Stephen Jay Gould realized early that theories of biological determinism could eventually be used against his people, so he brilliantly advanced his ethnic genetic interests by writing The Mismeasure of Man, which almost single-handedly discredited the entire field in the eyes of the intelligentsia. Even though I think Gould’s book was largely nonsense, and ethnically motivated, at least he had the integrity to attack all HBD theories; he didn’t hypocritically only attack those sub-theories that insulted his people, while showering praise on those that attack blacks.
However there is a very small subset of Ashkenazi Americans who embrace HBD because it claims Jews are genetically smarter, and use it to advance neoconservatism and demonize lower IQ ethnic groups that are hostile to Israel, like Arabs. Yet when scholars like Kevin MacDonald create unflattering genetic theories about Jews, these same HBDers suddenly go ballistic. It is this subset of the HBD community that is so transparently hypocritical and ethnocentric that I’m embarrassed for them.
But not all Jewish HBDers are like this. Indeed the great Arthur Jensen, who was part Jewish, was perhaps the most objective and productive scientist in the field. I believe, Jensen, like myself, was one of those extremely rare people who was purely interested in HBD for its scientific merits. Maybe I’m naïve, but I don’t think he had a political bone in his body.
Jensen and Rushton had a deep intellectual bond and would correspond constantly. I wonder if Kevin MacDonald’s name ever came up.