Identity politics undermines Western civilization – part 5

When feminists say: “Science must fall”

In public discussions, I sometimes posit that there are considerable groups of people who aim at destroying Western civilization as such. It gives me problems to say so, because ordinary people do not believe it. Most people believe that student protesters, radical feminists etc. enjoy all the benefits of living in a prosperous, Western society, and all they want is to correct certain injustices and cases of discrimination. But one should take statements by radical feminists seriously, statements about what they want to destroy.

In 1980, an academic feminist,  Adrienne Rich, wrote an influential and widely cited paper about compulsory heterosexuality and concluded her paper by stating that feminists need “to undo the power men everywhere wield over women, power which has become a model for every other form of exploitation and illegitimate control”. This shows that once feminists come into opposition to the sexual moral of the establishment, they may get motivated to see all cases of unequal status everywhere in society as something to revolt against. As the feminist Andrea Dworkin wrote in 1974: “We want to destroy patriarchal power at its source, the family, in its most hideous form, the nation-state. We want to destroy the structure of culture as we know it, its art, its churches, its laws . . . ” (cited from here).

Although such opinions at that time were expressed by radical extremists, they have since then gradually slipped into mainstream thinking of the politically correct left. For instance, the paper by Adrienne Rich referred to above is endorsed by professor Sylvia Walby, who is coordinator of the Gender Equality Research Network International and the UNESCO Chair in Gender Research.

A recent academic paper from 2016 said: “Given the tremendous potential to produce emotional responses in others, to directly impact student lives, and to elicit emotion in the course content, what, then, are the pedagogical priorities of women´s studies? We posit that one future pedagogical goal of women´s studies is the creation of students as symbolic “viruses”, capable of infecting and unsettling the academic spaces around them.”

We can see that such counter-movements from the radical left have indeed grown so much in strength recently that some of society´s core values are being eroded. Especially the integrity of science is being eroded.

Student organizations everywhere on Western university campuses protest against the dominance of white men. A girl may for instance protest that her curriculum in philosophy is full of “dead white men” with whom she cannot identify. She wants to study female philosophers (although this would not remedy her situation). The problem is that all, or almost all, of the most important philosophers have been men; if the male philosophers are excluded from the curriculum, very few important philosophers are left. If such a girl should have her demands met, it would mean that what is important is not what philosophers say, but who they are. The person becomes everything, the academic content nothing. To subscribe to that idea is to discard the whole purpose of science and universities.

A protest against too many “dead white men” in university curricula started in California a few years ago and has created a wave of uprising against the “whiteness”, Eurocentric domination and lack of diversity, for instance at the British universities in Bristol, Birmingham, and Manchester.

In the US, students at Yale University have been calling for the English department to abandon a course requirement to study authors such as Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton. They argue: “It is unacceptable that a Yale student considering studying English literature might read only white male authors.” So they want to be educated in English literature without knowing some of the most famous English authors. As for the natural sciences, nearly all contributors to the major knowledge of modern science were middle-class men of European descent – for reasons explained in part 2; the protesting students fail to recognize that the knowledge that these men uncovered transcends their identity group. That the advances made by the likes of Newton, Einstein, Darwin and Faraday are not culturally specific is evidenced by the number of people around the world who daily board airplanes, drive cars, undergo surgery and use computers.

When universities cave to demands for greater diversity, this may damage science. At Swedish universities, it is now mandatory to include at least 40 % female authors. This has caused absurd problems. The Swedish term for the new policy means “equality integration” – that is, gender equality must be integrated into all activities. This includes also university courses and research projects. To ensure “equality integration”, scientific projects have to document that they include the gender perspective. For instance, a biologist wanted financing of a project comparing wild and captive trout. He was not given any grants before he had explained how he would put a gender perspective into this study.

Equality integration covers not only student courses and scientific studies, but also management, budgets and recruitment. Recruitment on the basis of merit has been overruled by recruitment on the basis of gender. So science in Sweden is no longer free, but governed by a small, but strong group of feminist bureaucrats. The same interference hits the government, the military defense, and other institutions.

A new worldwide trend for university courses is decolonization. The motivation is the shared experiences of colonialism across the globe. Decolonizing education addresses “in particular the colonization of the mind, of knowledge, language, and culture, and the impacts of colonization at personal and collective levels of physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, and intellectual experience”. Student activists are raising these questions at many universities, e.g. in Scandinavia. What decolonization may mean in practice is evident from a video of a student gathering at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. A black woman lectures the audience that Western knowledge is totalizing – for instance, the only way to explain gravity is through Newton – you cannot avoid him. So science must fall. As an alternative, she says, “we are going to decolonize by having knowledge that is produced by us . . . so decolonizing the science will mean to do away with it entirely and start all over again” (e.g. by including African knowledge on voodoo).

These examples must suffice to illustrate that the increasing animosity or hatred against men, especially “dead white men”, is a threat to science as such. If you disregard all science produced by men of European descent, you disregard practically all science. As the black female student activist says: “The only way to explain gravity is through Newton.” So what is underway is more or less discarding all scientific progress made during the last centuries. And some influential feminists, like Sandra Harding, the “grand lady” of the field (mentioned in part 4), do indeed want to do away with Newton and with the entire Enlightenment and with all science made during the last 350 years. Harding has written this explicitly. She has even written that Newton´s laws might better be renamed “Newton´s rape manual.” And what is the reaction to this from the university system? To promote her to professor. It is as if though Western men have lost all their backbone and are just letting the ongoing corruption of science happen.

Another prerequisite for science is to have free exchange of ideas – an exchange that may stimulate people to think in new ways. This prerequisite is also under stress.

The freedom of speech is currently being severely curtailed by feminists and social justice activists. They act along the line laid down by Herbert Marcuse. In their own opinion, these groups know for certain what is right and good. Therefore any opponent must necessarily be a bad person, and it is OK to prevent bad persons from having any influence. This way of thinking typically leads to a totalitarian, oppressive system, and indeed what is gaining ground is what has been called “velvet totalitarianism”, a mild form of totalitarianism – people are not killed, they only lose their job, their income, or their possibility to speak.

This is, of course, fundamentally at variance with the principle behind much of the political and scientific progress in the West – the principle that you admit the possibility that your opponent may know better or has an important objection.

Assaults on free speech are seen in the many cases when invited speakers, e.g. at universities, have been shouted down by activists, or even been stopped by the instigation of violent riots. Such cases are known especially from North America, but also from Europe, for instance Germany.

After their final exam, the cohorts of young people that have followed women´s courses at the universities can be found in all kinds of jobs in society at large. They are the product of “the long march through the institutions” – for each new generation, universities become more and more taken over by feminists and social justice activists, who then are able to indoctrinate ever larger cohorts of young people to fight men´s influence. Some of them then get jobs in the media – electronic media, newspapers, and publishing companies. Here they are able to prevent men from expressing their opinions on feminism. There is a widespread feminist censorship throughout the Western world so that it is very difficult, bordering on impossible, for men to publish books that oppose feminism.

Other contingents of people educated at women´s studies departments have entered the Silicon Valley tech industries. Companies like Google, Mozilla, YouTube and PayPal have established “diversity policies” or “diversity programs” that aim at increasing the proportion of underrepresented groups of people, such as women and people of color. Thereby these companies have become permeated by the way of thinking that is taught by “politically correct” teachers at the universities. A politically correct monoculture has arisen. Not only has this led to intolerance of non-politically correct persons such as James Damore at Google. The politically correct environment may also have led Google to manipulate search results. A former Google engineer says he personally witnessed efforts from leftists within Google to bias YouTube’s algorithms to push anti-PC content off the platform’s “related videos” recommendations. He also says: “I know there are efforts to demote anything non-PC, anti-communist and anti-Islamic terror from search results. To what extent that has been successful, I don’t know.” We don´t know to what extent this former employee speaks the truth, but in the light of recent events, it has become more likely.

The recent events are that more and more politically incorrect persons are becoming de-platformed. Companies that channel crowdfunding money to internet personalities have removed the accounts of people that they don´t like, and a dominant company in this field has declared that it doesn´t ascribe to the ideal of free speech. It also seems that the major credit card companies are now exerting pressure to have censorship of what videos can be paid for, with the intent to ban politically incorrect videos.

I think that such intolerance and censorship is a direct consequence of what is taught at women´s studies in universities. My reason for believing this is that women´s studies have been organized in different ways in different places. Back in the 1970s in the USA, there were heavy debates in the National Organization of Women about how to organize women´s studies. One point of view was that women´s studies should be a mainstream strategy and should be integrated into the general curriculum; another point of view was that women´s studies should be an autonomous subject, separate from the mainstream. The latter point of view won, and separate women´s studies departments were established at the universities. This has led to many such departments becoming breeding grounds for radical feminism or echo chambers where women rile each other up and develop an ever-increasing hatred towards men. In such an echo chamber they become convinced that their own ideas are unequivocally right, and anybody out there in society with widely diverging ideas is considered a bad person.

The same formation of autonomous women´s studies departments was made in Sweden and in many British universities, with the same effect. Today, precisely these countries see a widespread dissemination into the greater society of quite radical feminist and social constructionist attitudes, and it is just in these countries that we see a large impact of these attitudes in many sectors of society. In my own country, Denmark, and some other countries, women´s studies have generally been integrated into larger departments and in the general education. And here we have much less of a trend for cadres of radical feminists invading all sectors of society. This implies to me that radicalized spaces of women´s studies do produce cadres of brainwashed students that are unable to cope with other people having differing opinions.

Summing up, I find evidence that there are indeed groups of people in Western societies who want to undermine and destroy these same societies. Unlike the revolutionary Marxists a hundred years ago, they do not try to do this by violent revolt. Instead they are cultural Marxists who aim at changing people´s minds in order to make a gradual and nearly imperceptible cultural revolution. These radical cultural Marxists have many followers that do not at all subscribe to such revolutionary thinking, but who nevertheless have been persuaded to support the radicals.

Up to now, science is one of those elements of modern Western culture that is most threatened by such radicals. They encroach on one chunk after another of scientific integrity. This is most severe in the humanities and social science departments that have been taken over to a large extent by left-leaning academics that subscribe to the ideas of postmodernism and social constructionism. As mentioned in part 3, these ideas have no solid evidence to support them and much evidence to contradict them. But that does not bother postmodernist “scientists”. They just ignore such evidence that speaks against their tenets, and by the way, they think that there is no objective truth, so it does not matter if they do not contribute to discovering any truths. They accept or even welcome that science is becoming gradually more strictly controlled by ideologically flawed censorship. They accept or even welcome that free speech becomes more and more restricted to such an extent that free exchange of ideas in scientific debates is no longer possible.

One of the reasons that this erosion and undermining of science is possible is that women constitute a larger share of academics than ever before. Although many women are clever scientists and understand fundamental principles of how science should be carried out, more women than men do not have such understanding, which means that the undermining and decline of science is facilitated the most in those areas where the proportion of women is the highest. It is more common for women than for men to focus on persons rather than abstract principles, that is, they tend to abandon focus on merit and on rational reasoning; instead, they tend to focus more on who says something than on what they say. This opens up for identity politics and it violates the basic principle that scientific results should not depend on who produces the results. When scientific results depend on who advances them, then we, as a society, can no longer have trust in these results, and science has ceased to be science.

The way I see it, you can only make objective science if you are able to look at yourself from the outside. You must have the capacity for self-deprecation and for laughing at yourself. And you must also be able to stand firmly on what you believe to be the truth. Giordano Bruno did that, and we know today that his claims were indeed the truth – the Earth does indeed circle around the Sun. On the other hand, his opponents – the inquisition – acted like a mob, like people who are more focused on moralizing and on having the same correct opinion as all others that are in power. That conflict is popping up again today. We have on one side persons with a strong self who rely on their own investigation of what is the truth, and on the other side a moralizing mob that acts as a great impediment to scientific progress.

When science ceases to be science and turns into moralizing and mobbing, the motor that has brought our civilization to such impressive progress stops working. When science becomes subjective and depends on the involved persons, then it is transformed into identity politics.  This will in many ways bring a halt to our advanced civilization – precisely that which certain groups hope for.

 

Introduction
Part 1: When gary tones disappear
Part 2: Science in different cultures
Part 3: When science is hampered by more feminine ways of thinking
Part 4: Origins of the movements that want to undermine Western culture

Identity politics undermines Western civilization – part 4

Origins of the movements that want to undermine Western culture

In part 2, “Science in different cultures”, I have discussed the thinking of men. But it may be argued that this is different from the thinking of women. Most women, in some respects, are more like East Asians. They also tend to see individuals as enmeshed in an all-pervasive environment of social influences, not as singular independent units.

We may think of the differences in thinking along two dimensions. One dimension goes from individualism (West) to collectivism and holism (East). Another dimension goes from individual self-reliance (men) to focus on social relations (women). Common to both these dimensions is that they have individualism at one end of the scale. However, the two dimensions are not the same. This has been the subject of an international investigation of five cultures. People were asked about how important it was to them to be emotionally connected to others. In four out of five cultures, in the East as well as in the West, this was more important for women than for men. People were also asked how they weigh regards for the group that they are part of relative to own interests. For both sexes, regards for the group carry much more weight in Eastern cultures (Japan, Korea) than in Western ones (USA, Australia). So the two dimensions vary independently.

Men tend to be interested in things, machines and abstract thinking, whereas it is typical for women that relations to other people are of greater importance than they are for men. Women score on average somewhat higher on the psychological measure of “agreeableness”, that is they want to agree with others. It may even be so for many women that keeping a social bond intact bears more weight than the importance of seeking truth. Such a mentality will of course hamper scientific progress, which, by definition, is the seeking of truth.

Some feminists and other women directly oppose science. There are more women than men that believe in alternative medicine or in astrology. Some feminists are strongly against all natural science – among these are Carolyn Merchant, Jane Flax and Sandra Harding. Harding has had a large influence on later feminist thinking and will be referred to again in part 4.

In recent decades there has been much discussion of why women even today are underrepresented in the top echelons of the academic world and also underrepresented in the STEM fields. Contrary to what is often claimed, this is not due to discrimination. Rather there is a trend that even those women who are very gifted leave such fields of study and prefer occupations with many relations to other persons. Women who stay in STEM fields often become depressed and motivated to leave.

An explanation that is often put forward by women is that they are hampered by a scarcity of role models. If we see a role model as a type of social relation, at least mentally, then here once again we see the greater importance of social relations to most women. But Christopher Columbus did not have a role model when he ventured to cross the Atlantic. Famous scientists like Pasteur, Darwin and Einstein did not depend on role models when they dared to present radically new ideas. Scientific progress is often connected to shifts of paradigm. This is something that appeals to more men than women – many men are willing to stand alone and be self-reliant and oppose “the king”, like citizens did in ancient Greece. The very concept of paradigm shifts goes against the purported importance of role models.

Luckily, there are many women who accept the more typically masculine way of thinking.  Many women are just as good as men at thinking scientifically, and some very clever women may come up with radical new thoughts – I personally know one or two examples of this. But, statistically, it seems somewhat less likely for a woman to be like that than it is for a man.

Feminist philosophy, as stated by the much cited Seyla Benhabib, rejects the Enlightenment idea of an independently thinking self and assumes that the subject of reason is formed by the process of socialization. She criticizes male thinkers: “Enlightenment thinkers from Hobbes and Descartes to Rousseau, Locke and Kant believed that reason is a natural disposition of the human mind, which when governed by proper education can discover certain truths”. They also assumed, she says, that these truths were so clear and distinct that this would ensure agreement among like-minded rational thinkers. This is, one may say, the core of what most of us understand by science. But she rejects that and insists that one must consider the social process whereby such thinking arises. So her feminine way of seeing things goes against the possibility for science as most of us understand it.

Her way of thinking is fairly much in line with that kind of modern academic thinking that is designated postmodernism, poststructuralism, or social constructionism. Adherents of such postmodernist thinking have a concept of the self that diverges radically from that of most European men. The predecessors of postmodernist thinking refused to acknowledge the concept of a self that is continuous over time. That is true for Ludwik Fleck (1935) and the sociologists of science Berger & Luckmann (1966). Pierre Bourdieu (1998) claimed that a man is not masculine, and a woman is not feminine, in and of themselves – they become so every day anew only because the social environments enforce their masculine or feminine behavior. Likewise, more recent discourse analysis treats the self as socially constructed: “We all lie at the heart of a complex set of language-games that is the process of self-production”. Thus, social constructionists believe that the self is constantly formed by inputs from the social environment. That is, a person can never step outside of the social environment and consider it from the outside. He can never get an independent thought that originates from himself. Therefore objective knowledge is not possible. Neutral, disengaged observation is not possible, and therefore, there exists no objective truth.

The feeling that one has an independent self seems to be necessary for one´s ability to make objective science. One must be able to take a mental step away from oneself and look at oneself from the outside. Those who can not or will not do that – postmodernists and many women – tend to think that everything affects everything else. They typically dislike looking at one element at a time and one factor at a time. But if you insist on looking at the effects of many factors simultaneously, you will hardly be able to find any causal connections – unless you use very advanced statistics, which such persons also refuse to do.  When I search my mind to find examples where such persons – very socially enmeshed persons, feminist academics and postmodernists – have contributed markedly to scientific progress, to the widening of human knowledge, I can think of no examples. Much of what they produce does not have the character of science, but rather of moralizing. As they also claim themselves – they are not able to make objective science. All that they make is subjective. Subjective moralizing is not science.

All of this is in contrast to the common type of thinking, especially in men, that persons have properties of their own – innate genetically determined properties, or properties acquired and fixed during early development. Therefore it is natural for men to stress that some persons are more talented, clever or intelligent than others. In their opinion, in order to promote science you should pick the most clever persons. Such men stress the importance of meritocracy. Many women, on the other hand, dislike such conceptions. There is a trend that some women think merit is not important for academic work. Cambridge academics are being discouraged from praising students for their “genius”, “brilliance” or “flair” because these are seen as male qualities.

To many women, it is important to maintain that personality is something that can be changed, corrected and improved – if this were not possible, it would mean that many professions dominated by a female workforce, such as all pedagogical professions, would be nearly useless. Most women are not willing to draw such a conclusion.

Postmodernism / social constructionism in its pure form is not true. There is a lot of scientific evidence that persons do have innate propensities, more or less independent of the social environment. Nearly all aspects of personality are more or less under the influence of genes, or due to genetic dispositions. On the other hand, when I tried to find evidence for some of the central tenets of social constructionism, I could find none. For instance, there is no evidence for its claim that biology is irrelevant to our personality.

Maybe this should be no wonder. The leftist (male) philosophers that laid the basis for the `alternative curriculum´ in the humanities and the social sciences were never interested in presenting it as some form of science that could withstand criticism. They wanted to achieve a new kind of truth different from that of the despised “bourgeoisie”. Jürgen Habermas (in Technology and Science as Ideology, 1968) thought that almost everything that is identifiably wrong with bourgeois society can be traced, in the end, to the operation of “purposive-rational” thought and action – that is, the nuisance that should be fought was rational thinking aimed at a purpose. To Louis Althusser (Reading Capital, 1968) it was important to avoid refutation, but not, as science avoids it, by calling for and surviving counter-arguments. No, refutation must be evaded – that is, opponents must be ignored – so that the truth within the dogma can be protected from “the malice contained in real things” Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (in A Thousand Plateaus, 1996) aimed primarily at assaulting the language that we know as rational argument and the pursuit of truth.

The academics that have grown up in this kind of school have learned to evade all conflicting evidence. When such evidence is presented to postmodernists, their response is to ignore it. Theories that ignore contradictory evidence do not, of course, deserve the designation “science”. So large parts of modern Western universities, especially the humanities and arts departments, have been taken over by a non-scientific way of thinking. I think that this has become possible because the proportion of women among students and teachers has risen enormously. Those women who gravitate towards the social sciences and the humanities are, on average, much more prone to thinking that all personality is just a product of the social environment and to downplaying the importance of a masculine “purposive-rational” way of thinking.

Historically, the science that has contributed to the widening of human knowledge was to an overwhelming degree a product of “white men”. They were of European descent, and they were men, i.e. not women. There are several factors contributing to this pattern, also factors not dealt with here, but my claim is that all this is no coincidence. The creation and proliferation of scientific endeavor did, historically, require just that way of thinking which is found mostly in a few particularly gifted men of European descent.

Today, women contribute in large numbers to science. They do this, often excellently, to the extent that they have learned to think like men think. Throughout history, East Asians have been clever at solving technical problems, and today, East Asians are still excellent at such tasks. If we evaluate the contributions to science based on Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry and medicine, we see that within the last 50 years, 11 women have received the prize in medicine, 2 in chemistry, and 1 in physics. East Asians have received many prizes, especially in recent years in physics. But even today, the vast majority of prizes have been given to men of European descent.

Go to part 5

Introduction
Part 1: When gray tones disappear
Part 2: Science in different cultures
Part 3: When science is hampered by more feminine ways of thinking
Part 5: When feminists say: “Science must fall”

Identity politics undermines Western civilization – part 3

When science is hampered by more feminine ways of thinking

In part 2, “Science in different cultures”, I have discussed the thinking of men. But it may be argued that this is different from the thinking of women. Most women, in some respects, are more like East Asians. They also tend to see individuals as enmeshed in an all-pervasive environment of social influences, not as singular independent units.

We may think of the differences in thinking along two dimensions. One dimension goes from individualism (West) to collectivism and holism (East). Another dimension goes from individual self-reliance (men) to focus on social relations (women). Common to both these dimensions is that they have individualism at one end of the scale. However, the two dimensions are not the same. This has been the subject of an international investigation of five cultures. People were asked about how important it was to them to be emotionally connected to others. In four out of five cultures, in the East as well as in the West, this was more important for women than for men. People were also asked how they weigh regards for the group that they are part of relative to own interests. For both sexes, regards for the group carry much more weight in Eastern cultures (Japan, Korea) than in Western ones (USA, Australia). So the two dimensions vary independently.

Men tend to be interested in things, machines and abstract thinking, whereas it is typical for women that relations to other people are of greater importance than they are for men. Women score on average somewhat higher on the psychological measure of “agreeableness”, that is they want to agree with others. It may even be so for many women that keeping a social bond intact bears more weight than the importance of seeking truth. Such a mentality will of course hamper scientific progress, which, by definition, is the seeking of truth.

Some feminists and other women directly oppose science. There are more women than men that believe in alternative medicine or in astrology. Some feminists are strongly against all natural science – among these are Carolyn Merchant, Jane Flax and Sandra Harding. Harding has had a large influence on later feminist thinking and will be referred to again in part 4.

In recent decades there has been much discussion of why women even today are underrepresented in the top echelons of the academic world and also underrepresented in the STEM fields. Contrary to what is often claimed, this is not due to discrimination. Rather there is a trend that even those women who are very gifted leave such fields of study and prefer occupations with many relations to other persons. Women who stay in STEM fields often become depressed and motivated to leave.

An explanation that is often put forward by women is that they are hampered by a scarcity of role models. If we see a role model as a type of social relation, at least mentally, then here once again we see the greater importance of social relations to most women. But Christopher Columbus did not have a role model when he ventured to cross the Atlantic. Famous scientists like Pasteur, Darwin and Einstein did not depend on role models when they dared to present radically new ideas. Scientific progress is often connected to shifts of paradigm. This is something that appeals to more men than women – many men are willing to stand alone and be self-reliant and oppose “the king”, like citizens did in ancient Greece. The very concept of paradigm shifts goes against the purported importance of role models.

Luckily, there are many women who accept the more typically masculine way of thinking.  Many women are just as good as men at thinking scientifically, and some very clever women may come up with radical new thoughts – I personally know one or two examples of this. But, statistically, it seems somewhat less likely for a woman to be like that than it is for a man.

Feminist philosophy, as stated by the much cited Seyla Benhabib, rejects the Enlightenment idea of an independently thinking self and assumes that the subject of reason is formed by the process of socialization. She criticizes male thinkers: “Enlightenment thinkers from Hobbes and Descartes to Rousseau, Locke and Kant believed that reason is a natural disposition of the human mind, which when governed by proper education can discover certain truths”. They also assumed, she says, that these truths were so clear and distinct that this would ensure agreement among like-minded rational thinkers. This is, one may say, the core of what most of us understand by science. But she rejects that and insists that one must consider the social process whereby such thinking arises. So her feminine way of seeing things goes against the possibility for science as most of us understand it.

Her way of thinking is fairly much in line with that kind of modern academic thinking that is designated postmodernism, poststructuralism, or social constructionism. Adherents of such postmodernist thinking have a concept of the self that diverges radically from that of most European men. The predecessors of postmodernist thinking refused to acknowledge the concept of a self that is continuous over time. That is true for Ludwik Fleck (1935) and the sociologists of science Berger & Luckmann (1966). Pierre Bourdieu (1998) claimed that a man is not masculine, and a woman is not feminine, in and of themselves – they become so every day anew only because the social environments enforce their masculine or feminine behavior. Likewise, more recent discourse analysis treats the self as socially constructed: “We all lie at the heart of a complex set of language-games that is the process of self-production”. Thus, social constructionists believe that the self is constantly formed by inputs from the social environment. That is, a person can never step outside of the social environment and consider it from the outside. He can never get an independent thought that originates from himself. Therefore objective knowledge is not possible. Neutral, disengaged observation is not possible, and therefore, there exists no objective truth.

The feeling that one has an independent self seems to be necessary for one´s ability to make objective science. One must be able to take a mental step away from oneself and look at oneself from the outside. Those who can not or will not do that – postmodernists and many women – tend to think that everything affects everything else. They typically dislike looking at one element at a time and one factor at a time. But if you insist on looking at the effects of many factors simultaneously, you will hardly be able to find any causal connections – unless you use very advanced statistics, which such persons also refuse to do.  When I search my mind to find examples where such persons – very socially enmeshed persons, feminist academics and postmodernists – have contributed markedly to scientific progress, to the widening of human knowledge, I can think of no examples. Much of what they produce does not have the character of science, but rather of moralizing. As they also claim themselves – they are not able to make objective science. All that they make is subjective. Subjective moralizing is not science.

All of this is in contrast to the common type of thinking, especially in men, that persons have properties of their own – innate genetically determined properties, or properties acquired and fixed during early development. Therefore it is natural for men to stress that some persons are more talented, clever or intelligent than others. In their opinion, in order to promote science you should pick the most clever persons. Such men stress the importance of meritocracy. Many women, on the other hand, dislike such conceptions. There is a trend that some women think merit is not important for academic work. Cambridge academics are being discouraged from praising students for their “genius”, “brilliance” or “flair” because these are seen as male qualities.

To many women, it is important to maintain that personality is something that can be changed, corrected and improved – if this were not possible, it would mean that many professions dominated by a female workforce, such as all pedagogical professions, would be nearly useless. Most women are not willing to draw such a conclusion.

Postmodernism / social constructionism in its pure form is not true. There is a lot of scientific evidence that persons do have innate propensities, more or less independent of the social environment. Nearly all aspects of personality are more or less under the influence of genes, or due to genetic dispositions. On the other hand, when I tried to find evidence for some of the central tenets of social constructionism, I could find none. For instance, there is no evidence for its claim that biology is irrelevant to our personality.

Maybe this should be no wonder. The leftist (male) philosophers that laid the basis for the `alternative curriculum´ in the humanities and the social sciences were never interested in presenting it as some form of science that could withstand criticism. They wanted to achieve a new kind of truth different from that of the despised “bourgeoisie”. Jürgen Habermas (in Technology and Science as Ideology, 1968) thought that almost everything that is identifiably wrong with bourgeois society can be traced, in the end, to the operation of “purposive-rational” thought and action – that is, the nuisance that should be fought was rational thinking aimed at a purpose. To Louis Althusser (Reading Capital, 1968) it was important to avoid refutation, but not, as science avoids it, by calling for and surviving counter-arguments. No, refutation must be evaded – that is, opponents must be ignored – so that the truth within the dogma can be protected from “the malice contained in real things” Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (in A Thousand Plateaus, 1996) aimed primarily at assaulting the language that we know as rational argument and the pursuit of truth.

The academics that have grown up in this kind of school have learned to evade all conflicting evidence. When such evidence is presented to postmodernists, their response is to ignore it. Theories that ignore contradictory evidence do not, of course, deserve the designation “science”. So large parts of modern Western universities, especially the humanities and arts departments, have been taken over by a non-scientific way of thinking. I think that this has become possible because the proportion of women among students and teachers has risen enormously. Those women who gravitate towards the social sciences and the humanities are, on average, much more prone to thinking that all personality is just a product of the social environment and to downplaying the importance of a masculine “purposive-rational” way of thinking.

Historically, the science that has contributed to the widening of human knowledge was to an overwhelming degree a product of “white men”. They were of European descent, and they were men, i.e. not women. There are several factors contributing to this pattern, also factors not dealt with here, but my claim is that all this is no coincidence. The creation and proliferation of scientific endeavor did, historically, require just that way of thinking which is found mostly in a few particularly gifted men of European descent.

Today, women contribute in large numbers to science. They do this, often excellently, to the extent that they have learned to think like men think. Throughout history, East Asians have been clever at solving technical problems, and today, East Asians are still excellent at such tasks. If we evaluate the contributions to science based on Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry and medicine, we see that within the last 50 years, 11 women have received the prize in medicine, 2 in chemistry, and 1 in physics. East Asians have received many prizes, especially in recent years in physics. But even today, the vast majority of prizes have been given to men of European descent.

Go to part 4

Introduction
Part 1: When gray tones disappear
Part 2: Science in different cultures
Part 4: Origins of the movements that want to undermine Western culture
Part 5: When feminists say: “Science must fall”

Identity politics undermines Western civilization – part 2

Science in different cultures

The scientists that students hear about in university courses are usually men of European descent. In recent years, this has increasingly led to protests that the curriculum is too “white” – students think there are too many “dead white males” in the curriculum.  There is a supposition that this is due to white ethnocentrism. I read for instance in a debate on the internet as follows: “I’ve always been taught that “Dead White Males” were the only resource of creativity and innovation, when it, by just the mere fact of probability, could not be true. . . . After all, we’re talking about WESTERN culture here, not Chinese, Arabic etc. etc. Of course it is going to be dominated by Europeans when Western = European for hundreds and hundreds of years. The argument is an appeal to itself. It is circular. If you want to debate anything, debate the fact that European (Western) FEMALES are underrepresented in the Western Canon.”

So there are two issues here: 1) Most of the important scientists were of European descent. 2) Most of these were men. I will deal here with item 1) – that most scientists were “white” . In part 3 I will go on to discuss item 2) – that most of them were male.

I will reach the conclusion that worldwide most scientific progress has been made in European cultures, and by men. Without European men, modern science – and all the benefits that it has brought – would not have existed.

It is natural to start in ancient Greece. This was where a focus on logical argumentation and scientific inquiry first appeared. We see it spreading from there into the wider Hellenistic world, to Persia, and further into the Arab world. At the same time as scientific thinking appeared in ancient Greece, somewhat similar kinds of thinking arose independently in India and China.

As an example of how scientific understanding progresses, let us take the understanding of blood circulation in the body. The first observations were described by Hippocrates and Aristotle in the 5th and 4th century BC in Greece. The next important contributions are due to Galen, born in Asia Minor in the 2nd century AD, to Razi in Iran around 900 AD and to Ibn Nafis from Syria in the 13th century. Their knowledge was probably transferred to Miguel  Serveto in Spain in the early 16th century, and later in that century to Italian physicists. Around 1600, the English physician William Harvey studied in Italy. When he returned to England, he made careful studies that led him to the final full understanding of how blood circulates from the heart to the lungs and back, and from the heart to the body and back again. So although the Middle East played an important role in the process, the crucial breakthrough – the final understanding – happened in England, based on an “approach to nature through systematic observations, experiment, quantification of measurements, the quest for mathematical relationships and the establishment of natural laws governed by rational thought “.

Let us look more closely at the role the Arab world played in the promotion of science. In the tenth century AD, Baghdad was the largest city in the world, and it also became a center of scientific thought. From around 800 AD, there was a movement to gather and translate as much scientific knowledge as possible, and before 1000 AD, nearly all of the classical Greek scientific works had been translated into Arabic.  In addition, science was helped by the knowledge of papermaking imported from China, by the numeral system imported from India, and by independent new discoveries.

However, scientists in the Arabic world were not supported by mainstream society. Science survived in separate “niches” of society. For instance, scholarship was frequently aided by wealthy patrons who gave covert shelter and support to scholars making inquiry in the natural sciences.

Already during the ninth century, there was a counter movement against the scientific endeavor with the rise of the Ash´ari school that went against rational thought and even managed to make it criminal to copy books of philosophy. The Ash´arists denied natural causality, which cannot exist because God´s will is completely free and thus nothing can happen that is not caused by God. In spite of the Ash´arists, the work of translation and of scientific studies continued, more or less in remote or safe places. However, there never arose legally independent scientific institutions where students could be introduced to existing knowledge. After the twelfth century, Europe had more significant scholars than the Arabic world. By then, translation of the works of ancient Greek and Islamic scholars into Latin had begun.

Let us not forget China. At about the same time that Socrates lived in Greece, the scholar Mozi (c. 470 – c. 391 BC) was active in China. Mozi developed an analytical school that focused on logic, including the tenet that two contradictory claims cannot both be true. This goes against the principle of yin and yang, where mutually contradictory principles can exist within the same unity. Mozi´s  teachings were carried on for some time by his followers, the Mohists, who aimed at finding the underlying cause of things and may be said to have sketched out a complete theory of scientific method. But they gradually lost support, and from about 200 BC, Mohism was banned and some books were allegedly burned, because they went against Confucianism. The understanding of logical argumentation did not appear again in China until about nine hundred years later when it was imported from Indian Buddhists.

Although the Chinese received many inputs from other cultures and had ample opportunity to develop science as a study object, they failed to do so. The educational system was set against the pursuit of scientific inquiry per se right up to 1905, and there were no official efforts to encourage autonomy of thought or action.

About the same time that Hippocrates and Aristotle were active in Greece, Chinese medical researchers compiled the written records and oral knowledge of Chinese medicine from previous ages. This compilation appeared as “The yellow emperor´s classic of internal medicine”, or Huangdi Neijing, which contains chapters describing the blood and its circulation. However, they did not ascribe the circulation to the pumping of the heart. Rather, it was ascribed to the opposing and complementary forces of yin and yang.

The Huangdi Neijing presented the human body as an organic whole and saw health and illness as intimately connected to the surrounding environment.

Chinese health care was hampered by the absence of a comprehensive governmental regulation of the vocational practice and almost no supervision of the qualifications of the physicians. Confucian policy did not allow experts with a specialized expert knowledge to rise socially as a group, as this might have led to social tensions, crises, and even restructuring. In Chinese medicine, very little knowledge existed about the internal organs.

In general, the ancient Chinese had a profound conviction of the organic unity of the universe and of the body as a part of this unity. Also today, Chinese have a holistic and collectivistic world view. They view the individual as part of a larger whole, and each person is obliged to live in harmony with this larger whole. This way of thinking is in accord with Confucianism, which was promulgated in China especially during the Han dynasty from about 200 BC, and it was at least as characteristic 2000 years ago as it is today.

The physical world was viewed in the same way as the body. Any object was viewed as something embedded in a sort of “field”. That is, what happened to the object was seen as due to the forces of the surrounding field. The Chinese understood the existence of a magnetic field that could affect a magnetic object and hence were able to invent the compass. They also understood the effects of the moon on water tides – yet another case where some sort of all-pervasive invisible force affects the elements. In such cases, the single elements are seen as just parts of the whole, like the strings of a fishing net.

Whereas the Chinese saw elements as parts of a whole, contemporary Greek thinkers focused on the elements themselves. They thought of any object as something with properties of its own. Examples of such properties are heaviness and lightness. When a stone is thrown into water and sinks to the bottom, the Greek saw this as due to its heaviness, and when a piece of wood that is thrown into water floats, this was seen as due to its lightness. So what happened was ascribed to something in the object itself rather than to the surroundings. Therefore it became of interest to classify objects according to their properties. In this classification, it was natural also to find common features for groups of objects, and to find general rules (“laws of nature”) for how objects behaved, that is, they thought in terms of abstract general principles.  The Greek culture was the only ancient culture anywhere on Earth where scholars tried to derive general laws of nature.

The East Asian holism is not scientifically “wrong”. Many phenomena have the character of large fields affecting single elements, and East Asians should be especially able to study such phenomena. But in some way, the Western individualistic thinking with focus on single objects and their properties has allowed enormous scientific progress that is unseen elsewhere.

Chinese scientists based their knowledge on practical experience, which led them to understand important physical principles and to construct technical inventions. Until the fifteenth century, China had an advantage relative to Europe in practical technological knowledge. But they did not seek out abstract general explanations (“laws of nature”), and most of them tended to have little sense of what is logical.

It seems that the concept of an independent “self” is important for the way a scientist thinks. It may have been important for the development of European science. A concept somewhat like the “self” emerged gradually in ancient Greece, not least with Plato who believed that there is a soul separate from the body, and this soul should rule the body like a wise leader.  Much later, when European universities were being established during the 12th and 13th centuries, we see that the independent self was held in high esteem. It was presupposed that adult citizens had the reason and the conscience to think independently of old authorities. A person could so to speak step outside of the established erudition and add something from his own rational thinking. In 1591, Giordano Bruno wrote in one of his books: “He who desires to philosophize must first of all doubt all things. He must not assume a position in a debate before he has listened to the various opinions, and considered and compared the reasons for and against. He must never judge or take up a position on the evidence of what he has heard, on the opinion of the majority, the age, merits, or prestige of the speaker concerned, but he must proceed according to the persuasion of an organic doctrine which adheres to real things, and to a truth that can be understood by the light of reason.” This is close to the way of thinking of René Descartes, who likewise ventured to doubt all traditional knowledge.  When Descartes could not be certain of anything else, the only certainty he was left with was “cogito, ergo sum” – that is, he knew that he was thinking, and therefore had to be a self. So the very fundament on which the Cartesian approach rested was the existence of a self. Another lighthouse in Western thought was John Locke, who argued that before we can analyze the world and learn about it, we must study ourselves. He defined a person as “a thinking intelligent creature that can reason and can think about something, that can consider itself as itself, and have the same way of thinking at different points of time and different places.”

Contrary to this, East Asians had and have a different concept of the “self”. To them, the “self” is conceived as one´s status as a participant in a larger social unit, and when the person shifts to another social situation, the “self” shifts along with it. Although the “self” possesses and expresses internal attributes, such as abilities, opinions, judgments and personality characteristics, these internal attributes are understood as situation specific, and thus as rather elusive and unreliable. This means that knowledge about persons, either the self or others, will not be abstract and generalized across contexts, but instead will remain specific to the focal content. So it is an unfamiliar thought that persons (and, by analogy, things) should possess stable inherent properties.

For the ancient Greeks, discussions were a favored activity, since at least the 8th century BC. The individualism and stress on personal freedom made it possible for any man to claim his own point of view. An ordinary citizen was permitted to challenge even a king in a debate. This led to the development of a sense of logical consistency and absence of contradictions. We can trace a line leading from this to modern Western mentality where logical argumentation and rhetoric are tools used in debate between opponents in theoretical science as well as in democratic political debates. This respect for logic is in marked contrast to the ancient Chinese mentality with its emphasis on harmonic unity and adaptation to the power structure. It was not acceptable to claim independent points of view in opposition to the majority. When a Chinese person is asked a factual question, the person will think: “What is being asked of me here? What is expected from me?” and the person will answer according to what is expected. The person may abstract from the social situation and answer according to what is theoretically or practically correct, but that is mentally difficult – there may often be an incongruence between the person´s public display and the independent thoughts of that person. That is, to this person, two incompatible statements may in some sense both be true at the same time.

The Greeks, as we all know, developed their sense of logic to a refined way of rational thinking, formalized in the scheme called a syllogism, containing two premises and a resulting conclusion. The type of syllogism that is based on how two contradictory claims cannot both be true is foreign to people in most cultures, and even today people in East Asian societies find such thinking difficult. They want only to argue on the basis of concrete, direct knowledge, not on the basis of abstract principles or hypothetical assumptions (if A is true, then . . . ) . So even today, such thinking is easier for European people than most East Asian people.

The differences in Eastern and Western ways of thinking that existed more than 2000 years ago still exist today. Even today, Westerners are more individualistic; they tend to consider elements as independent units with associated properties, and they tend to classify them into categories. And even today, Eastern people are more collectivistic. They tend to see elements as subject to ongoing changes, embedded in fields of forces with many factors in play simultaneously, and for them it carries less meaning to divide elements into categories and speak of their fixed properties.

The Eastern way of thinking is prominent also in modern Japan, even though this nation has become flooded by Western influence through industrialization and an economy based on individualism. This contradicts that the different ways of thinking should be formed by the material basis of production. The differences have persisted through thousands of years during periods of enormous changes in society.

The Enlightenment with its emphasis on rational thinking is a phenomenon particular to the West. Any advancements in the same direction in other cultures faded away, principally due to suppression by religious and moral authorities.

In Europe, on the other hand, religious authorities did not manage to stop the advancement of science. After the papacy became open to rational thinking at the end of the 11th century and the establishment of the first university in northern Italy in 1088, European thinking was greatly advanced by persons working within the church system. There was at that time no opposition between theological thinking and scientific thinking. During the 12th and 13th century, universities gained a strong focus on the natural sciences, mainly due to an unprecedented translation activity in Spain, Sicily and northern Italy, whereby the very best of the accumulated scientific wisdom of the Greek and Arabic traditions was brought into Europe. However, problems with the church arose gradually towards the end of the 13th century, when it became evident that the newly translated works of Aristotle on some points contradicted the Bible. Some scholars who refused to bow to church authorities were sentenced and burned by the Inquisition, including the above-mentioned Miguel Serveto (1553) and Giordano Bruno (1600). Still, the number of death sentences in Europe was lower than in China, where the Emperor in 1386 criticized scholars at the Imperial Academy for being estranged from the teachings of Confucius and declared “To execute them and confiscate the property of their families is not excessive”. And so he executed 68 scholars. In contrast to their contemporaries in the Arabic world and China, European scholars won the battle against the church and ultimately prevailed. This siege against religious authorities was possible because Europe – in contrast to elsewhere – had established a system of universities as legally autonomous corporate entities, and because Europeans – unlike the Chinese – utilized existing knowledge of book printing to disseminate their thoughts.

 

Summing up, I reach the conclusion that there exist some slight, but pervasive differences in the way that people think, and these differences have remained remarkably constant over thousands of years. These differences in the way of thinking may explain why scientific endeavor survived and flourished in the West, and only there.

Go to part 3

Introduction
Part  1: When gray tones disappear
Part 3: When science is hampered by more feminine ways of thinking
Part 4: Origins of the movements that want to undermine Western culture
Part 5: When feminists say: “Science must fall”

Identity politics undermines Western civilization – part 1

When gray tones disappear

People have always performed a mental procedure that is called pigeonholing – that is, lumping certain people together into a few types of categories or mental boxes. In the simplest form of this mental procedure, there are only two categories, two mental boxes, which are often stamped as “the good” and “the bad”, respectively. The trend for such an overly simplified outlook seems to be on the rise. One possible cause may be that people can no longer cope with the complexity of society due to information overload. Or, as it has been formulated, people can´t bear complexity. Another possible cause is the proliferation of ideological echo chambers on social media.

The trend to pigeonhole some groups as all-bad and others as all-good is seen in many fields. For instance, there is a trend to classify some ethnic groups as all black and some groups as all white (not in skin color, but in moral standing). Previously, many Europeans considered themselves as clever and civilized and looked on other people in foreign continents as primitive and barbaric.  Today, this view has been reversed 180° among the “politically correct”. Those groups of people who have built our modern, prosperous civilization are now seen as all-black. They are seen as responsible for all bad that happened in the past and all that is bad today. Those who did not build modern society, on the other hand, are seen as good and innocent.

It is erroneously believed that only people of European origin can be racist. This belief disregards that all ethnic groups that are in a position of power tend to have racist opinions of other groups, especially of those that are not in power.

Take for instance the widespread conception of the “noble savage”. The noble savage is depicted as someone with spiritual insight or wisdom, who lives with little aggression and conflict, lives in harmony with nature, and often has a high moral standard. This is all seen in contrast to modern Western civilization.

We may think for instance of the native Indians of the plains of North America, to whom bison hunting was fundamental to the economy of their society. Their utilization of the bison stock seems to have been in harmony with the survival of stable bison populations. But then came the white man, and within a few decades he hunted the bison to near extinction.  So, in this set-up, we have the native people who lived in harmony with nature and had done so for thousands of years and the evil white people who destroyed everything on their way to total domination.

Reality is different, however. The native Indians had no inherent tendency to live in a sustainable relationship to natural resources. Since the end of the last ice age, 43 species of large mammals have gone extinct in North America; they nearly all died out after humans invaded the continent for the first time at the end of the last ice age. The extremely rich fauna of the large plains disappeared almost completely – horses, camels, mastodons, mammoths, some species of bison, ground sloths, and many others. The data indicate that the explanation for this is not climate change, and not disappearance of food plants. It is human hunting. Of all the most useful animals that the Indians could hunt and eat, only one species of bison survived. The ancestors of the Indians had exterminated the others. Then came the Europeans, who, along with native Indians to some degree, nearly exterminated even these bison. But some Europeans also had concepts of conservation, and at the eleventh hour they preserved the last bison as a deliberate act.

The same massive exterminations have happened in many parts of the globe. In South America, no fewer than 62 species of large mammals went extinct, apparently due to human hunting, not to climate changes. In Australia, some remarkable large mammals went extinct shortly after the first humans arrived there.

And if there were no large mammals to hunt down, large flightless birds were exterminated instead. This is happened in Madagascar. And in New Zealand, the large moas were eradicated by the Maori , which contradicts popular claims that before the arrival of the Europeans, the Maori lived in a sustainable relationship with nature. Everywhere on the globe, humans invading new territories exterminated large birds or mammals. The lack of ability to manage natural resources wisely is global.

The same is true when it comes to preservation of vegetation. Think of Ethiopia. Historically, forests have been very important for the households of Ethiopian people. They used trees for lumber and for fuel. They also made traditional medicines from trees and other forest plants, and forests were important in Ethiopian religious beliefs. But today, less than 14% of the country is covered by forest. This is not due to any influence from foreign civilizations. Ethiopians have been independent for thousands of years, except for a few years around 1940.

Some tribes of people are relatively peaceful, whereas others are aggressive and belligerent. People living in isolated areas with few attacks from hostile neighbor tribes, with stable climate conditions and few natural disasters, are typically relatively peaceful and have little inclination to submit to strong, aggressive rulers. In the opposite situation, people are focused on producing many children to compensate for losses, and they more readily submit to strong leaders and to strict rules. There is no particular trend that particular races are more belligerent than others. Peaceful as well as belligerent and imperialistic populations may be found anywhere on the globe.

It is probably an innate trend in humans to try to expand their territory, if necessary at the expense of others. Everywhere on the globe, populations that have been sufficiently fertile and clever to expand into new territories have replaced other populations that originally lived there. For instance, in Hokkaido in Japan, the original Ainu people are nearly extinct now and have been replaced by Japanese.

In Rwanda in Africa, the original inhabitants were a type of pygmies, the twa people, who lived in the forests. About 1,000 to 2,000 years ago, the area was invaded by the hutus, a tribe of bantu people, who were farmers. They cleared forests, thereby driving out twa pygmies, and also imposing their culture and language on the twa. About the 15th century, a pastoralist people, the tutsi, immigrated into the area and gradually took away land ownership from the hutus. During the genocide in 1994, many of the few remaining twa people were killed or forced to flee, and today they – the original inhabitants – make out less than 1 % of the population.

Similarly in the southern parts of Africa, the original inhabitants were san and khoi people. In major parts of southern Africa, these were gradually displaced by invading bantu people who invaded the region 1,000-2,000 years ago, long before also Europeans arrived and contributed to the decline of the san and khoi people. During the time of European colonization, not only Europeans, but also bantu people killed khoi and san people en masse.

In the Chatham Islands east of New Zealand, European settlers lived in relative harmony with the original inhabitants, the Moriori, who had a peaceful culture. But in 1835, a group of Maori people from New Zealand, with their much more belligerent culture, went by ship to the Chatham Islands in order to colonize them. They immediately took the land from the original inhabitants, killing off many of them, and forbidding the rest to marry each other, thereby effectively eradicating the original Moriori population.

Some religions aim at making people more kind and peaceful. Christianity urges people not to kill others and to be kind to their enemies. This did not prevent the Spanish conquistadors from decimating native Indians in Central America, and to do so in the name of God. Buddhism is usually considered to be a peaceful religion, but this has not prevented Buddhists in Myanmar from driving out the Muslim Rohingyas.

The keeping of slaves has been widespread in many parts of the globe. For instance, the native inhabitants of North America kept slaves. Arabs have kept and traded black slaves for thousands of years, much longer than the Europeans. It is ironic that some American black people take on a Muslim identity as a sort of protest against the mainstream Christian culture, considering that Muslims historically have been more active slave traders than Christians.

The increasing focus on identity politics has made it ever more common for black people at American universities to claim some sort of moral superiority based on their victim identity. Because their ancestors were oppressed by white people, they argue that white people, having formerly been slave owners, are morally inferior.

I agree that slave ownership makes you morally inferior. But things are not just black and white.

First, many people of European descent sacrificed their lives in the fight against slavery. The American Civil War was a war about abolition of slavery, and the white casualties were enormous. 360,000 people from the North  died in the war (and about 200,000 from the South ). So, huge numbers of white people died in the defense of the human rights of black people.

Second, the living conditions of black people in the USA today are better than those of black people descending from liberated slaves elsewhere. Consider what happened when liberated slaves went back to Africa and founded the state of Liberia. Today, their descendants are being suppressed by other black tribes. After a military coup and a civil war, the GDP per capita in Liberia plummeted to the third lowest in the world. The country is still plagued by poverty and extensive corruption.

Or consider Haiti. Inspired by the French Revolution, black slaves started a revolution against the French slave owners in 1791. In 1803, the French were finally defeated. Many people of European descent died during the revolution, and most of the rest were executed or fled afterwards. Since then, Haiti has been governed by black and mulatto people. It is now one of the poorest and most badly governed nations in the world. This is in contrast to the neighboring state of the Dominican Republic, with a population mainly of mixed race, and also with many people of European descent.

Altogether, the descendants of liberated black slaves today have the worst living conditions in those countries that are governed by black people. The conception that white people are all bad suppressors, and black people are all innocent victims, does not fit with reality. Reality is not black and white.

When there was an outbreak of ebola in West Africa in 2013-2014, local people and local authorities were unable to fight it. The epidemic threatened to become a massive humanitarian disaster. But the import of Western health care workers with their advanced logistics helped contain the epidemic, and by an intense research effort, medicine against the virus was developed. This effort was a help from the Western world to Africa. But such positive actions are rarely mentioned in ordinary debate. Ordinary debate is often a hate campaign against all the evil things that men of European descent have caused.

Summing up, human nature has good and evil aspects, and the evil aspects are not confined to particular groups of people or particular races. You can find something good to say about any group of people, and you can find something bad to say about any group of people. Any discourse along the line that some populations are mostly evil, and others are mostly innocent or good, is misleading. All you can do is to discuss whether certain groups of people in certain aspects are generally a little worse, or a little better, than others. To discuss the merits and flaws of different groups of people in terms of black and white will always be misleading. The only sensible discussion acknowledges mixtures of black, gray, and white.

Historically, many civilizations have gone through phases of expansion, stagnation, and ultimately decline. The expansive phase is characterized by a certain cultural mode that has been denoted as regal . In a regal culture, there is an overall goal of adhering to ancient virtues in order to uphold a strong society. There is a focus on building strong families that produce children so that the population can grow and expand. This means that heterosexuality and stable family units are important, whereas all deviations from this, such as homosexuality, prostitution, or sex with random partners just for pleasure, are banned. People feel that they live for this society and work for the common good, and they willingly submit to a strong ruler – some kind of “king” (hence the word “regal”, derived from “rex”). All aspects of culture, architecture, etc. – follow relatively rigid rules, just as people generally live their lives according to relatively rigid rules.

In recent decades, and especially in the last few years, many people living in Western civilization have turned against the regal aspects of our culture. There is an increasing animosity against precisely those aspects of Western civilization that have made it so successful, so dominant and so proliferating in the past. For instance, some people turn against heterosexuality as an ideal. Historically, the marked progress of Western civilization was and is especially due to the efforts of men, and such men are increasingly hated. For instance, the technical and natural sciences, which are still dominated by men, are increasingly being criticized for being inhuman and carried out by cold men who lack empathy. The general discourse in society today is to focus on all the bad things that men of European descent have done – war, exploitation of colonies, environmental degradation etc. – and to ignore all the good things that they have also done – e.g. the invention of household machines that freed women form tedious household chores, the production of all infrastructure, and the dissemination all over the globe of modern medicine.

The recent trend at universities in Western countries of depicting all colored people as innocent victims and all white people as despicable oppressors has reached a level of wildly exaggerated pigeonholing. White men especially are being derogated to an extent that has the character of reverse racism and sexism.

In large feminist circles, the view on men, especially white men, has become extremely black-and-white. It is ironic that women in great numbers love reading a fictional book with the title “Fifty Shades of Grey”, considering that some other women, especially feminists, tend to lump all men together in the black box, and all women together in the white box, and eliminate all gray tones from their mind.

To illustrate this trend, I will mention three examples. First, some feminist scientists encourage their colleagues not to cite papers authored by white men. Second, some feminist academics express an extraordinary hatred against men. A female professor stated publicly in a large American newspaper that it is OK to hate men in general , and a female associate professor tweeted that white men deserve miserable deaths – their corpses should be castrated and fed to swine. It is not surprising that radical feminists say such things. What is remarkable is that no disciplinary actions were taken against these tenured academics for saying them. Third, a YouGov study in Britain in 2015 asked people for their attitudes toward 48 different ethnic, age and gender groups. One group was considered much less likely than others to possess five positive qualities and to abstain from five negative activities. This group was white men in their 20s. They were evaluated far lower than people of higher age, lower than women, and lower than people of other ethnicities. So that exact group of people that has historically made the largest contribution to progress – young white men – is today the most derided group. It seems that in Western civilization, we have started to deride the very people that have up until now made this civilization successful.

Go to part 2

Introduction
Part 2: Science in different cultures
Part 3: When science is hampered by more feminine ways of thinking
Part 4: Origins of the movements that want to undermine Western culture
Part 5: When feminists say: “Science must fall”

Identity politics undermines Western culture

By Kåre Fog, biologist, ph. d., Denmark          

We see in these years an extremely biased slating of the group of people that is popularly designated “white men”. All the negative characteristics of this demographic group are emphasized again and again, whereas all the positive characteristics are ignored. This is not just a problem for me as a “white man” who feels it is extremely unjust to be the object of such accusations; it is first of all a problem for society in general. The bigoted attacks on everything related to “white men” is a threat to the whole civilization that we live in.
To substantiate my postulate that these attacks are a threat to our civilization as such, I did not want to write a short, easily readable piece of text with simplified statements. This is an explosive issue, and to avoid “explosions”, great care must be taken in precisely how things are formulated. There is no simple relationship of the type “if trend X continues, then our culture will collapse”. But there are good reasons to warn that the dominant discourse in Western society has become such that it seems that just those groups of people and those governing principles that have historically brought about Western civilization are devalued, and thereby the basis of our culture is being undermined.

Kåre Fog, March 17th 2019

SUMMARY

Without Western Civilization there would have been no science today. One might think that if men of European descent had not produced science, some other cultures would have done so. But a closer study of what happened in other cultures shows that they failed to do so.

Western civilization also produced democracy, the judicial system, the idea of free speech etc.
All this was produced by people of European descent, mostly men. So, what men of European descent have produced within the last 500 years is unique in a historical and a global perspective. It seems that the qualities of European / Western culture are somehow connected to certain ways of thinking and a strong sense of having an independent “self”, features that are common in Western men, but not so common in other people. Strangely, however, we now see that “white men” have come to represent everything in the world that is bad and have become heavily burdened with shame. This shame prevents them from defending their self-respect.

The character assassination on white men may appear as some perversion of the public debate, made possible by such ways of thinking as cultural Marxism, feminism, postmodernism, and identity politics. But it is more than that. There are also targeted efforts to undermine Western culture, especially science, with the aim of bringing the existing form of Western culture to a collapse.

This is a grim postulate which nobody could be expected to accept out of hand. But there is evidence to support it. I have collected indications and evidence from many different sources to substantiate this grim postulate. The result is a text that necessarily has to be rather long and is therefore divided into 5 parts. If I briefly sketched my postulate in a short, easily read text, it would remain just that – a postulate. So I have written 5 parts, where each part may be interesting in itself. But to present evidence of my claim that certain groups are effectively undermining the basis of Western civilization, all 5 parts should be considered together.

GO TO PART 1

Part 1: When gray tones disappear
Part 2: Science in different cultures
Part 3: When science is hampered by more feminine ways of thinking
Part 4: Origins of the movements that want to undermine Western culture
Part 5: When feminists say: “Science must fall”