A few days ago, I commended to Peter Brimelow a sensible new article in the British magazine Prospect by Michael Lind, the fashionable journalist and political intellectual, now a Senior Fellow with something called the New America Foundation. It's called “National Good” and the subtitle tells it all: “Ethnically-homogenous nation-states have been replacing multinational empires for the past 200 years. The trend continues — and a good thing too.”
Peter plaintively replied, “Lind's weird, isn't he? Bitter attacks on me, but why?” That got me to thinking.
Michael Lind is indeed an odd duck. His tendencies toward self-promotion, narcissism, and paranoia unfortunately distract attention from his flashes of genuine insight and originality. For example, his articles on mass immigration's deleterious impact on America's poor are also sound. This excellent 1996 column (“Huddled Excesses”) from the New Republic (!) is illustrative.
What's not unusual at all about Lind, though, is his practice of ferociously denouncing writers with whom he substantially agrees in order to make himself sound more politically correct than he really is. Russian peasants fleeing across the frozen steppe in a sleigh will occasionally toss one of their own number to the pursuing wolf pack. Far too many well-known thinkers who try to stay both modestly realistic yet socially acceptable try the same thing. If you want to say anything at all realistic about immigration, race, genes, or IQ, yet still maintain your reputation as “mainstream,” you must pick out somebody with whom you generally agree, distort his position shamelessly, and then viciously attack this human straw man of your own concoction. (See also my comments on Luigi Cavalli-Sforza.)
The widespread practice is particularly disgraceful in the case of an outstanding human being like Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve. I am in regular e-mail contact with several hundred of the leading figures in the human sciences and intellectual life. Murray may well be the most sincere, careful, and judicious of them all. He's also achingly vulnerable to the nonstop shitstorm directed at him for the last six years. It's painful to watch him mull over every nonsensical slander, wondering whether there isn't some grain of truth in it that would mean that he really is at fault.
Maybe the only social scientist with a finer personal reputation is the great IQ researcher Arthur Jensen. He has had to put up with the same garbage for 31 years. I don't know him well, but to those scientists who do, he is a saint.
On the other hand, I'm neither a saint nor sensitive. So, I'm going to play the game, too. In each of my VDARE articles, I'll toss in a few calumnies against Peter Brimelow. Something like this should do the trick: “While some may find my realism unsettling, it's important to note the vast ideological chasm between myself and the loathsome Peter Brimelow, who not only advocates but also practices female genital mutilation.”
In turn, Peter promises to repeatedly execrate me for my extremism.
Thus we shall each rise to respectability. The New York Review of Books will soon be paying me to lie about Peter. NPR will hire Peter to curse my name. If we keep it up, I'll probably get a grant from the Ford Foundation and Peter no doubt will receive one of those lucrative MacArthur Genius Awards that they give out to oh-so-sensitive dweebs.
[Updated formatting and links, September 1, 2017]
[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and
movie critic for
Read Peter Brimelow's analysis of Michael Lind's New Yorker review of Alien Nation. E-mail Michael Lind at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 4, 2000