Proud to be racist

The disturbing face of ‘racial science’ is emerging again. This was made apparent with the publication in the US two years ago of the now infamous The Bell Curve, in which the rightwing sociologists, Charles Murray and Richard Hernstein, argued that American blacks were ‘inherently’ inferior intellectually.

They also asserted, most reassuringly, that in society the most intelligent and gifted people ‘naturally’ rise to the top - therefore only the ruling class deserves to rule. Instead of the old feudalistic ‘god-given’ right, we now had, courtesy of Murray and Hernstein, a ‘genetic-given’ right to rule.

We should not have been surprised by the emergence of their thesis, nor by its creeping acceptance by sections of the bourgeoisie. After all the US, not Nazi Germany, is the home of eugenic science. During the 1930s a number of US states had a systematic, and ‘scientific’, policy of forced sterilisation of the so-called mentally ill or, as they were sinisterly classified in some circles, the ‘feeble-minded’.

In Britain that great ‘anti-fascist’ patriot, Winston Churchill, also advocated eugenic policies until it became unfashionable in ‘respectable’ bourgeois circles.

Such views were given another airing last week with the withdrawal of The g-factor, general intelligence and its implication from publication. The author, Christopher Bland, a psychology lecturer at Edinburgh University, believes that single mothers should be encouraged to “mate” with higher IQ males in order to widen the gene pool of their offspring with some intelligent forebears. In a similar mode, Bland stated: “I am perfectly proud to be a racist in the scientific sense. It is scientific fact that black Americans are less intelligent than white Americans.”

As always, the only ‘evidence’ produced is the fact that blacks tend to score lower on IQ tests - thus assuming that IQ tests are an infallible, ‘objective’ measure of intelligence, rather than a culturally/socially skewed endurance test. The myth of IQ testing has been exposed frequently, most eloquently in Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man.

Bland’s statements obviously gave his publishers, John Wiley & Sons, cold feet even though they had previously described it as a “concise, accessible and critical review of the scientific evidence”. No wonder Bland denounced them for being “cowards”.

Communists should not be glad that The g-factor has been sat upon, no matter how reprehensible we find Bland’s views. The reactionary and irrational nonsense in The g-factor should be challenged openly, not shoved underground and made ‘taboo’ - otherwise these ideas will inevitably resurface, only in an even more virulent and dangerous form.

Eddie Ford