UKC

/ Tory support for eugenicists

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MG - on 10 Jan 2018

Toby Young was nearly appointed university regulator. Delightful chap, as Boris said, ideal for the job.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jan/10/ucl-to-investigate-secret-eugenics-conference-held...
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john yates - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

The Socialists got there first of course - the Webbs, Keynes, the New Statesman and The Guardian.....


Some of British socialism's most celebrated names were among the champions of eugenics - Sidney and Beatrice Webb (the founders of the Fabian Society), Harold Laski, John Maynard Keynes, even the New Statesman and the Manchester Guardian. They hoped that a eugenic approach could build up the strong section of the population and gradually remove the weak. In July 1931, the New Statesman asserted: "The legitimate claims of eugenics are not inherently incompatible with the outlook of the collectivist movement. On the contrary, they would be expected to find their most intransigent opponents amongst those who cling to the individualistic views of parenthood and family economics."
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Jon Stewart - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> Toby Young was nearly appointed university regulator. Delightful chap, as Boris said, ideal for the job.

Doesn't look good, does it?

But the secret conference is symptomatic of an unhealthy intellectual culture in which ideas aren't expressed freely and debated. People who hold these kind of beliefs meet behind closed doors and sit around convincing themselves that they're right and that everyone else is part of a politically correct conspiracy. And rather than presenting the evidence and arguments that refutes the ideas of eugenics, or racist ideas about intelligence, those who oppose the ideas will only condemn them without engaging genuinely with what's being said. If the young activists who oppose these ideas get wind of such a public discussion, it'll just be a car-crash.

This said, I'm not certain that wishing for calm, reasoned debate about subjects as eye-wateringly toxic as eugenics is remotely realistic. These things make people very emotional and angry, so it's little surprise that there isn't and perhaps can never be a rational public discussion.

1
Jon Stewart - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Some of British socialism's most celebrated names were among the champions of eugenics

Interesting, but not really relevant, is it?
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The New NickB - on 10 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

Along with Churchill and plenty other Conservatives, but the point is, it isn’t 1931.

I wouldn’t have phrased the OP quite the same. Toby Young isn’t the Tory Party, they were just incompetent, but that is hardly news.
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john yates - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Why not? Just making the point that support for eugenics is an all party affair. Headline implied it was a Tory domain. It was, interestingly, a speech Keith Joseph made in Preston on this issue that cost him the Tory leadership. Best wishes for New Year. J

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MG - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Along with Churchill and plenty other Conservatives, but the point is, it isn’t 1931.
> I wouldn’t have phrased the OP quite the same. Toby Young isn’t the Tory Party, they were just incompetent, but that is hardly news.

Of course. But I was hoping to see PMPs contortions to defend the tories behaviour, which may still come of course. In the meantime John Yates has supplied some real grade A* whaterboutery - quite heroic really.

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john yates - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Cheers. And you swallow whole  the Grauniad spin on this story. I read these meetings were properly booked, had brochures, and are even on You Tube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svUWlzkCvrA

Hardly secret. If obnoxious. And not something claimed in the original student report. 

 

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summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

We they really discussing eugenics in the manner implied?

It is such a taboo subject, even the studies in genetic or hereditary intelligence have often been wrongly labelled by the media. 

2
Postmanpat on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

 

More interesting to note your partisan political smear on the basis of one half arsed article which supplies virtually no actual relevant detail. Nice the way so many remainers accuse dumb brexiteers of swallowing DM propaganda and then fall for any old Grianad crap hook, line and sinker.

  Perhaps you should have added "hang the bitch" which seems to be the popular term from lefty nasties  and their leadership these days. Delightful people which,as John Yates has alluded to, they always have been.

Post edited at 08:17
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MG - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> More interesting to note your partisan political smear on the basis of one half arsed article which supplies virtually no actual relevant detail. Nice the way so many remainers accuse dumb brexiteers of swallowing DM propaganda and then fall for any old Grianad crap hook, line and sinker.

Not  up to your usual standard at all.  Disappointed.  Surely you must have some reason to argue Young was indeed just the ticket? 

 

 

4
The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

What I find interesting, apart from your spectacularly partisan ranting, is how the Tories are managing to alienate people like Martin who are not “lefties” and have previously voted Conservative.

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Postmanpat on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Unlike yourself, in the absence of information, I shall not draw conclusions.

But you are coming across as a bit of saddo if you spend your time posting nonsense to get my reaction. I'm looking forward to a day's skiing.

Post edited at 08:28
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MG - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I agree with you here.  It shouldn't be necessary to hold such meetings in secret.  But equally those who openly  hold the range of unpleasant views that Young does (this meetings is just the icing on the cake) shouldn't be appointed to regulate universities.

Post edited at 08:26
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MG - on 11 Jan 2018
Postmanpat on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> What I find interesting, apart from your spectacularly partisan ranting, is how the Tories are managing to alienate people like Martin who are not “lefties” and have previously voted Conservative.

Spectacularly ranting meaning not making partisan attacks without some reliable knowledge of the incident in question? Well, maybe that's a valid definition where you come from. It was MG, not myself who made the original ill founded information free post  and then followed up with a personal attack on me.

Motes and eyes spring to mind. Anyway, let's "hang the bitch".

Post edited at 08:28
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The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

Sorry Pat, I didn’t realise just how saintly you were.

5
Postmanpat on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

And I am sad to see some of you guys sinking to the level of the lefty haters.

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john yates - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

People like OMG seem to need a barbarian or two at the gate. 

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The New NickB - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> And I am sad to see some of you guys sinking to the level of the lefty haters.

You seem to be doing most of the lefty hating. 

2
dread-i - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

I never did like that Toby Young chap. His eyes are too close together. Most reasonable scientists will tell you that's a good indication of him being a scroat.

summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> You don't regard many obnoxious tweets 

Not suggesting his were acceptable. But Is everyone to be judged by their entire lifetime actions? Ex offenders who serve time are never innocent or considered rehabilitated  etc.. 

 

Post edited at 10:29
MG - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo: > Not suggesting his were acceptable. But Is everyone to be judged by their entire lifetime actions? Ex offenders who serve time are never innocent or considered rehabilitated  etc..   

A few off-colour tweets would be one thing.  A clear track record of holding large chunks of the population in contempt, particularly when he was about to regulate their educational institutions, and recent attendance at eugenics conferences, is another.  Yes, I think he should be judged on that record. 

More significant though is the fact that the Tories not only turned a blind eye to all this but actively advocated for him.  It shows terrible judgement and favouritism for their supporters in what should be an apolitical role.

 

Post edited at 10:41
1
summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:


> A few off-colour tweets would be one thing.  A clear track record of holding large chunks of the population in contempt, particularly when he was about to regulate their educational institutions, and recent attendance at eugenics conferences, is another.  Yes, I think he should be judged on that record. 
 

Curious, eugenics conference? Any links. Not just speculation.

 

krikoman - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

How far back do you need to go?

It's like we've not learned or changed attitudes on anything in the past 80 years!

Surely we're all allowed to learn and change our thoughts the more we learn about things.

1
MG - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

See link above (and original report)

1
summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> See link above (and original report)

To quote... Kirkegaard did not respond to requests for comment. But Thompson told the Daily Telegraph that the conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races. 

Is that eugenics? Iq, genetics, inheritance etc.. I'd say science. Eugenics as practice by the Nazis and some countries many years ago is different thing. And not to be confused. Of course unless present we don't have any idea what was discussed. And because it is quite close to some taboo topics people will always presume the worst if it suits their argument. 

richnoggan - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Why not? Just making the point that support for eugenics is an all party affair. Headline implied it was a Tory domain. It was, interestingly, a speech Keith Joseph made in Preston on this issue that cost him the Tory leadership. Best wishes for New Year. J

Some on the left having supported it 80 odd years ago, but then they stopped after some people on the far right used it as a means for horrible ends. That's interesting, and I think you make a worthwhile contribution to the thread, but you should surely make clear that it isn't currently an "an all party affair"? 

MG - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:


> Is that eugenics? Iq, genetics, inheritance etc.. I'd say science.

Yes, I'm sure it was all serious science.  That's why is was held in secret.  But in any case, we don't really need it to get a measure of the man.  In his own words:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/9-of-the-worst-things-toby-young-has-said_uk_5a547067e4b003133ecb9efc

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summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

If there was science involved, then when you look at other avenues GM, Animal testing etc..  then there are activists who are prepared to resort to quite extreme lengths, so you can't blame them for some level of secrecy. It can't be that secret as it appears it was full of journalists. 

Bob Kemp - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> More interesting to note your partisan political smear on the basis of one half arsed article which supplies virtually no actual relevant detail. Nice the way so many remainers accuse dumb brexiteers of swallowing DM propaganda and then fall for any old Grianad crap hook, line and sinker.

Okay, how about any old Torygraph crap instead... more or less the same story. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/01/10/ucl-launches-eugenics-probe-emerges-academic-held-controversial/


>   Perhaps you should have added "hang the bitch" which seems to be the popular term from lefty nasties  and their leadership these days. Delightful people which,as John Yates has alluded to, they always have been.

Do stop it with the red herrings - they really don't add to the credibility of your arguments.

 

Jon Stewart - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

It would be easier to take you more seriously if you didn't revel so publicly in smears against the Labour Party, e.g. Confected accusations of antisemitism and support for Hamas. 

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elsewhere on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

> > See link above (and original report)
> To quote... Kirkegaard did not respond to requests for comment. But Thompson told the Daily Telegraph that the conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races. 
> Is that eugenics? Iq, genetics, inheritance etc.. I'd say science. Eugenics as practice by the Nazis and some countries many years ago is different thing. And not to be confused. Of course unless present we don't have any idea what was discussed. And because it is quite close to some taboo topics people will always presume the worst if it suits their argument. 

You're saying a main subject of "how IQ was inherited between different groups and races" is science.

I suspect scientists in the field will disagree.

 

1
john yates - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to richnoggan:

It was a loose comment meant to indicate that eugenics is not ideologically bounded. 

doz generale - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> It was a loose comment meant to indicate that eugenics is not ideologically bounded. 

Perhaps not, 80 years ago

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deepsoup - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:
> Okay, how about any old Torygraph crap instead... more or less the same story. 
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/01/10/ucl-launches-eugenics-probe-emerges-academic-held-controversial/

Here's another link:  https://medium.com/@londonstudent18/exposed-londons-secretive-eugenics-conference-and-its-neo-nazi-links-cd758a0a52b4

There's also column about this in this week's Private Eye, with much of the same as the above, plus another snippet or two.  I don't think that one is available online though.

Postmanpat on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Okay, how about any old Torygraph crap instead... more or less the same story.  > http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/01/10/ucl-launches-eugenics-probe-emerges-academic-held-controversial/

>

  Thanks, what is that supposed to demonstrate?

> Do stop it with the red herrings - they really don't add to the credibility of your arguments. >

  What, you mean exposing the rank hypocrisy of the lefty nasties focusing on the tweets of one professional controversialist as if they represented a whole political party but happily denying or ignoring the vast undercurrents of hate, racism and sexism infecting the Labour party.

 

Post edited at 15:48
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Postmanpat on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It would be easier to take you more seriously if you didn't revel so publicly in smears against the Labour Party, e.g. Confected accusations of antisemitism and support for Hamas. 


You mean the "smears" about antisemitism by the head of momentum? http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/momentums-jon-lansman-i-know-labour-has-a-problem-with-anti-semitism_uk_59d0ae7ee4b05f005d34b8d3

How do you breath in the sand down there?

 

1
summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> > > See link above (and original report)
> You're saying a main subject of "how IQ was inherited between different groups and races" is science.
> I suspect scientists in the field will disagree.

 

I have no idea. I wasn't there and the only people reporting it have a bias or agenda. Better to await the universities own investigation, rather than trial by left wing tinternet.

 

MG - on 11 Jan 2018


> How do you breath in the sand down there?
>  

The clouds of dust you are kicking up are more of the problem.  You are almost at the "Ooh look, a bird" level.  Guardian, lefties, "hang the bitch", hypocrisy.  Absolutely anything but Young.

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elsewhere on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

> I have no idea. I wasn't there and the only people reporting it have a bias or agenda. Better to await the universities own investigation, rather than trial by left wing tinternet.
>  

Funny as you said "I'd say science. " about "conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races". 

 

 

1
MG - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

Come on! All the university will do is establish whether it's procedures for events were followed.  They won't pronounce on whether science was discussed or not.  Given the track record of those known to be there, we have a pretty good idea of the topics.

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john yates - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to doz 

Toby Young is a shock jock. Keynes, Webb’s et al were founding figures of a form of British socialism. I make no further claim than that.

If OMG wrote headline it was mendacious. Other point might be that eugenics has a legitimate/mainstream history.

On a linked point, have worked with health scientists who have shown hidden eugenic effects of certain NHS screening activities. Notably sickle cell. While likely an unconscious effect of policy; nevertheless the stats show this is an impact. 

MG - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> In reply to doz 
> Toby Young is a shock jock. Keynes, Webb’s et al were founding figures of a form of British socialism. I make no further claim than that.

 

Further irrelevant facts include that kangaroos hop, we drive on the left and rubies are red.

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summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere: > Funny as you said "I'd say science. " about "conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races".   

A couple of years ago there was a UK wide genetics study in the UK, to do with regional variance. Only those people who had at least 3 or 4 generations of parents living in the exact same area could apply. They then looked at regional variance of their genes. Groups of people who for what ever reason have been kept together or pulled apart have formed study groups in recent times ( last 20 years). Groups such as twins split through adoption at birth, where they've studied intellect. 

Whilst I'm not suggesting that some of the attendees had entirely honourable motives, there is science to be had in this sector, which is not at all taboo. It is the application of this knowledge in the future which could be taboo, but society in the West wouldn't stand for even a whisper of eugenics to be considered. Thankfully the world has moved on. 

But that's not to say in 300years everyone won't have an iq of say 150, due to DNA manipulation at embryo stage. The links between genes, intelligence etc.. could be used to mankinds advantage in the future, what genes aid intellect, how do they impact the brain, could computer be made to mimic this, are there brain disorders or disease that this knowledge could cure.

Just because it's on a knife edge of what is perhaps moral doesn't mean that there might not be valuable science in there that will benefit ALL of mankind. 

 

Post edited at 16:23
doz generale - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> In reply to doz 

> If OMG wrote headline it was mendacious. Other point might be that eugenics has a legitimate/mainstream history.

 

for most, eugenics has been consigned to history and that's where it should stay for sound ethical reasons.  

 

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elsewhere on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

There's definitely science in genetics, different populations, iheritability and twin studies, but that's not what you said "I'd say science" about.

You said "I'd say science" about  "conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races".

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Jon Stewart - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

That's definitely an accusation of antisemitism. I have no idea what the actual accusation is, nor whether it has any substance. 

If you ask me, it's all a load of identity politics and political correctness gone mad. 

1
summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> You said "I'd say science" about  "conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races".

That title could mean anything and be miles from this thread title. Don't jump on the internet  band wagon!

Plenty of recent dna or genetic studies about homo sapiens, Neanderthals and others. Not ever study has a sinister master plan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09jqtg5

Enjoy.

Post edited at 17:07
elsewhere on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

There's plenty of real science out there, but that's not what you commented on. You a said "I'd say science" about "conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races".

 

summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> There's plenty of real science out there, but that's not what you commented on. You a said "I'd say science" about "conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races".

 

And why isn't that science? I've already cited a UK study that compared the different genetic origins in the UK between North and South, counties and the Uks countries. Or the studies of recently adopted twins where it's shown that intellect is around 50% inherited. Or the homo sapien / Neanderthal DNA link.

It is your own mind that has decided that this title refering  to groups and races, can't mean Welsh or English, twins, cavemen... It must mean something else far worse. 

The OP then stretches the presumption even further with his title.

I give up, I'm staggered that intelligent people on here willingly lap up anything that is even remotely anti Tory. (I'm not a Tory voter myself). Yet at the same time ignore massive issues in the left wing parties they support. 

 

Bob Kemp - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> > Okay, how about any old Torygraph crap instead... more or less the same story.  > http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/01/10/ucl-launches-eugenics-probe-emerges-academic-held-controversial/
>   Thanks, what is that supposed to demonstrate?

I suspect you know perfectly well. You’re being disingenuous. 

> > Do stop it with the red herrings - they really don't add to the credibility of your arguments. >
>   What, you mean exposing the rank hypocrisy of the lefty nasties focusing on the tweets of one professional controversialist as if they represented a whole political party but happily denying or ignoring the vast undercurrents of hate, racism and sexism infecting the Labour party.
>  

That’s maybe what you think you’re doing. To anyone else it looks like a red herring designed to distract from the central issue. 

MG - on 11 Jan 2018

 

> I give up, I'm staggered that intelligent people on here willingly lap up anything that is even remotely anti Tory. (I'm not a Tory voter myself). 

I don't see any that on this thread. Do you?

 

elsewhere on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

No, it's your quoting of the words "conference’s main subject was how IQ was inherited between different groups and races" that convinced me you were referring to race & IQ when you said "I'd say science".

You've since mentioned credible science but that's irrelevant as you weren't referring to that when you said  "I'd say science".

Post edited at 17:44
Ramblin dave - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

> And why isn't that science?

Because races aren't scientifically defined things, hence if you start off by categorising people into races then you aren't doing science, you're continuing a tradition of racist pseudoscience.

Post edited at 17:45
summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> > And why isn't that science?
> Because races aren't scientifically defined things, hence if you start off by categorising people into races then you aren't doing science, you're continuing a tradition of racist pseudoscience.

Yeah, I'd imagine Linnaeus's classification system is the first thing people considered before embarking on their anti tory thread / rant.

Perhaps it's better to wait for something more official about the 'conference'.

summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

That quote came from the article that mg claimed was evidence of torys supporting eugenics. I have seen no evidence yet, just over laiden band wagons. 

cb294 - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

Of course there are differences between races (yes they do exist, but we can settle on populations if you prefer) with respect to how they will fare in a standard intelligence test.

Part of that will be cultural conditioning, but there certainly is also a genetic component (as for general intelligence). Note that this purely means test performance: As Jared Diamond noted, drop any Western professor into the Papuan jungle, and see how they solve the problems posed by that unfamiliar context! He reckoned he would be dead in days without his guides.

There is definitely science hidden in trying to tease out the differences that exist, but for obvious reasons that is an extremely sensitive topic.

However, that is not even the issue, and talking about the scientific content of this "conference" is deliberately misleading. Any conference that even contemplates inviting Richard Lynn as speaker is not about science to begin with. Lynn is not only a eugenics supporter, but a full on Nazi, and scientifically completely discredited. The point of his talks is to use sciency sounding language to persuade his fellow Nazis and white supremacists that their racism has a rational basis, and is not exclusively due to their social and intellectual inadequacy. That is all.

The organizers knew precisely why they kept attendance invitation only, an did not advertise the event. TY fits right in with that crowd.

CB

cb294 - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Ramblin dave:

This is wrong, even if I sympathize with your motivation. Please see my reply to summo,

 

CB

elsewhere on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

> That quote came from the article that mg claimed was evidence of torys supporting eugenics. I have seen no evidence yet, just over laiden band wagons. 

That's the quote you chose to characterise with "I'd say science".

summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294:

There is also a trend of universities not being able to invite folk whose views aren't acceptable, non platforming etc.. 

Surely if they were more willing to invite anyone they would not need the secrecy and these people's view could be challenged? 

To then suggest that anyone else in attendance at this event must be a Nazi or support eugenics is just plain fiction. Plus who were the other speakers, what did they discuss.. we don't know because it probably didn't match the journalists agenda.

As I said early I'd wait for a slightly less bias report. 

Bulls Crack - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

And your point is in this context?

cb294 - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

University conferences of supposedly scientific nature should not include pseudoscientists like RL. That the organizers found it necessary to crawl away and hide was quite obviously not due to a made up threat of "non platforming" by evil lefty students, but because they precisely knew that they were not dealing in science, but that the speakers named so far offered scientifically untenable "justifications" of racism. 

Seriously, if you invite RL you KNOW beforehand what you ordered! 

Also, please do no distort what I posted: I did not claim that ALL participants were racists, but that the one main speaker we know of very much is one, a claim that I stand by. Organizing a invitation only event involving this speaker sounds dodgy the very least, and I challenge all the online apologists to prove the innocence of the organizers' motives.

The fluff they came up at the time of the original scandal is far from enough, pathetic really.

CB

summo on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294: 
> Also, please do no distort what I posted: I did not claim that ALL participants were racists,

Just for the record I wasn't meaning you, it was more the inference by others that if a person attends, they then infer the Tory party and that individual support eugenics. 

Ramblin dave - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294:

> This is wrong, even if I sympathize with your motivation. Please see my reply to summo,  

Erm, citation please?

I mean, I'm not a geneticist, but I did some cursory research (googled "scientific definition of race") to check that I wasn't misremembering and literally everything I found was about the absence of such a thing.

Post edited at 20:08
cb294 - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

No worries!

cb294 - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I am sure you have read the claim that there is only one human race a lot, does not make it true, though, just the preferred current narrative.

Give me the someone's genome, and I tell you where that person's ancestors are from. One of the most extreme examples is the so called Cohen modal haplotype: The majority of people who self identify with the Jewish priest tribe of the Kohanim (generally men with last names like Cohen, Coen, ...) have inherited large and pretty unique sections of their Y chromosome together with their father's name in a strictly patrilineal manner. Tells you first of all that the Ms Cohens down the ages have been surprisingly faithful, but also that you can nail down ancestry pretty precisely by genetic differences that are characteristic for certain populations and are stable against mixing over long periods. 

Given that we all ultimately derive from Africans, it is also not surprising at all that lineages within Africa had more time to diverge than us rather recent emigrants from: A Khoisan South African will be much more different genetically from, say, a Massai herdsman from Kenia than a Frenchman from a Korean, while the Korean will be genetically even more similar to, say, a Jakut nomad from Siberia. These genetic differences are reproducible and stable, and would be designated races in all other species (or in ornithology, which is full of notorious "splitters" , possibly even subspecies). 

However, it does not really matter from a scientific POV what you call these genetically identifiable populations (as evidenced by the fact that ornithology is happier to "split" than other fields of biology), as long as you agree what you are talking about.

The decision to avoid (in general discussion) labelling human populations with limited introgression of haplotypes as "races" is sociopolitical rather than scientific. 

However, the reverse conclusion, i.e that we avoid the term race because we are all so mixed and similar, would definitely by mistaken.

 

This topic is more than enough for a whole other thread, but most importantly, the existing difference to not offer a genetic excuse for racism.

CB

Cú Chullain - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

It looks like Toby Young has decided that he needs to respond to Polly Toynbee’s accusations.

 

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/01/toby-young-once-more-unto-the-breach/

 

Post edited at 22:41
john yates - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Cú Chullain:

Wonderful. Sadly much of what we hear on UKC forums is a  tired and dreary echo of Toynbeeism. Its instinct is to shout down and silence all those foolish enough to hold views with which it disagrees. Funny that in his defence he should mention the ethical implications of potential screening technologies. The meaning of my earlier post, in belated response to an earlier poster, should anyone care. I’m with Doug Stanhope on this. Sodomy is the new green. 

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summo on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

I think to avoid speech and the need to challenge people who hold different views and ideas, several folk here could get together and a write a little book, to aid us.

It can list how things should be etc... so we don't go off record and need to be 'silenced'.. wonder what colour the little book could be. 

2
MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Cú Chullain:

So that’s his side of things which largely confirms the articles published elsewhere in terms facts. His attempts to back away from his misogyny, etc simply don’t wash - they are expressed in his words all over the internet.

1
MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to summo:

I don’t see anyone here opposing free speech. The point is freedom to say things isn’t consequence free. If for example your regard large chunks of the population in contempt, this may rule out certain jobs.

summo on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

>  I don’t see anyone here opposing free speech. The point is freedom to say things isn’t consequence free

Of course and at present it's heading in the direction of killing debate. 

>  If for example your regard large chunks of the population in contempt, this may rule out certain jobs.

You mean Corbyn threatening to deselect people who don't toe the line?

Edit. Or the guy who challenged mccluskey in the unite leadership vote and immediately got the sack after? 

Post edited at 08:07
2
MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to summo
> You mean Corbyn threatening to deselect people who don't toe the line?
> Edit. Or the guy who challenged mccluskey in the unite leadership vote and immediately got the sack after? 

That would be one example, yes.

Cú Chullain - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> So that’s his side of things which largely confirms the articles published elsewhere in terms facts. His attempts to back away from his misogyny, etc simply don’t wash - they are expressed in his words all over the internet.

Erm, the piece is a defence against accusations that he is a ‘eugenicist’ and the heavy implementation that he is a neo-nazi, not a misogynist.

Look, I am not exactly a fan of Toby Young but the reporting on this has been pretty shoddy. I would expect a hatchet job from the Guardian but disappointed the Eye jumped on the bandwagon as they usually apply higher standards of journalism.

2
MG - on 12 Jan 2018

In reply to Cú Chullain:

If he doesn’t want to be viewed as eugenisist, perhaps he shouldn’t have described himself as one?

http://www.nosacredcows.co.uk/blog/2767/progressive_eugenics.html

 

1
richnoggan - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> It was a loose comment meant to indicate that eugenics is not ideologically bounded. 

I'm not sure you've you've got your tenses quite right there. It's has not always been ideologically bounded, but it seems to be mainly limitied to some people on the right nowadays.

That said, I'm on the left and not neccesarily against selecting "better" embryos or editing genes, but we'd need to be very, very careful if we do go down that route. So, while I don't think screaming "eugenics = nazi's" or some such is a particuarly good argument, it does serve a useful purpose in making people careful about anything they might want to say or do in this area.

 

 

Bob Kemp - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> In reply to Cú Chullain:
> If he doesn’t want to be viewed as eugenisist, perhaps he shouldn’t have described himself as one?
> http://www.nosacredcows.co.uk/blog/2767/progressive_eugenics.html
>  

He doesn’t actually describe himself as a eugenicist here. Does he do so in the radio programme? 

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Given he has deleted as much of his internet history as possible, it's tricky to find direct quotes, so possibly not directly.  He has certainly argued in favour of "progressive eugenics."

1
Cú Chullain - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Well actually he evaluates the concepts and theories of meritocracy over the last century or so, reviews the various studies that examine the correlation between socio economic outcomes and IQ, highlights the rise of genetic screening (for intelligence) technology and the potential future applications of said technology which seems inevitable in the near future. He suggests that if said technology is to become available and the norm it should be offered for free to lower socioeconomic groups to help close the inevitable gap that would otherwise develop between the poor and the rich and powerful, the latter who will seize upon any 'designer baby' services to further advantage their already advantaged offspring. Context is everything. He is defending himself against the implication that he supports the proposed eugenic policies of the Third Reich.

Bob Kemp - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> Given he has deleted as much of his internet history as possible, it's tricky to find direct quotes, so possibly not directly.  He has certainly argued in favour of "progressive eugenics."

There’s a link to one of those articles in this Indie piece - https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.independent.co.uk/voices/toby-young-university-regulator-resignation-office-for-students-what-like-before-appointment-erase-a8149476.html%3famp

He doesn’t come over as the complete right-wing nut in his article, but as the Indie article (which is quite measured) points out, he’s only got himself to blame. He’s spent years developing a career as a controversialist and he’s grown up a bit and wants to be taken more seriously. He has failed in this because the post-Internet world is far less forgiving of earlier transgressions. 

Bob Kemp - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Cú Chullain:

>  He is defending himself against the implication that he supports the proposed eugenic policies of the Third Reich

The problem is that, as in my other post, his past history undermines that defence. Referring to working class students as ‘stains’ in the past does not help his credibility as a champion of the disadvantaged working class. 

1
Cú Chullain - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> >  He is defending himself against the implication that he supports the proposed eugenic policies of the Third Reich
> The problem is that, as in my other post, his past history undermines that defence. Referring to working class students as ‘stains’ in the past does not help his credibility as a champion of the disadvantaged working class. 


I agree his credibility has been undermined by his previous utterances on social media and elsewhere. I don't agree that he is jockeying for position as a 'champion of the disadvantaged' , the essay above was printed in some obscure Australian magazine with his 'eugenic' views only featuring in a couple of paragraphs.

I agree with the Indy article above.

I guess my issue in this whole debacle is the deliberately disingenuous manner in which it has been reported, very much a case of playing the man and not the ball. As I have said, I am not exactly a fan of the man but I take issue with the crap journalism that has resulted in parties rushing in to do a hatchet job, papers who supposedly hold themselves to higher account.

Bob Kemp - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Cú Chullain:


> I agree his credibility has been undermined by his previous utterances on social media and elsewhere. I don't agree that he is jockeying for position as a 'champion of the disadvantaged' , the essay above was printed in some obscure Australian magazine with his 'eugenic' views only featuring in a couple of paragraphs.
It may be obscure but he makes a point of citing it in his Spectator article. 
> I guess my issue in this whole debacle is the deliberately disingenuous manner in which it has been reported, very much a case of playing the man and not the ball. As I have said, I am not exactly a fan of the man but I take issue with the crap journalism that has resulted in parties rushing in to do a hatchet job, papers who supposedly hold themselves to higher account.

I’m not over-impressed with the standard of reporting either, but it’s common now. Sub-editing and fact-checking seems to be under pressure as print newspapers suffer from internet-based competition, and this combines with the pressure to produce instant news to reduce standards.

 

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> It may be obscure but he makes a point of citing it in his Spectator article.  > I’m not over-impressed with the standard of reporting either, but it’s common now. Sub-editing and fact-checking seems to be under pressure as print newspapers suffer from internet-based competition, and this combines with the pressure to produce instant news to reduce standards. >  

In terms of facts, not much seems to be in dispute. The question is whether Young is a misunderstood curious intellectual exploring eugenics, education etc for the benefit of all, or thoroughly unpleasant individual with an impressive spectrum of prejudices.  His written record strongly suggests the latter.

Post edited at 13:36
Cú Chullain - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Have you read 'Flat Earth News' ?

Its several years old now but it still holds plenty of relevance when discussing the decline in print journalism.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flat-Earth-News-Award-winning-Distortion/dp/0099512688

Bob Kemp - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:
> In terms of facts, not much seems to be in dispute. The question is whether Young is a misunderstood curious intellectual exploring eugenics, education etc for the benefit of all, or thoroughly unpleasant individual with an impressive spectrum of prejudices.  His written record strongly suggests the latter.

I do think his behaviour has shown him to be thoroughly unpleasant. I also think he is trying to remake himself as a more serious intellectual figure. I don't think he's going to have too much luck with that. 

 

Bob Kemp - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Cú Chullain:

> Have you read 'Flat Earth News' ? > Its several years old now but it still holds plenty of relevance when discussing the decline in print journalism. > https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flat-Earth-News-Award-winning-Distortion/dp/0099512688

I haven't. It does look interesting. 

Post edited at 14:11
krikoman - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>  lefty haters.

As in the people who hate lefties?

Coel Hellier - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Referring to working class students as ‘stains’ in the past does not help his credibility as a champion of the disadvantaged working class.

Is there a full in-context quote anywhere? 

noeldarlow on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294:

There is no such thing as "race". Read some books.

2
Doug on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to noeldarlow:

Biologists/taxonomists recognise races of many species frequently described as populations as by cb294 (who I think is a biologist)

noeldarlow on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Doug:

Strange how the "science" of race always seems so obsessed by melanogenesis.

Human genetic variation shows multiple intersecting clines but no discrete races. We've always mixed pretty freely where we could and no doubt always will.

1
Doug on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to noeldarlow:

You said "There is no such thing as "race". There clearly is in some species, and just because there are transitions doesn't mean that groupings can't be recognised but for Homo sapiens it seems we've agreed not to call such groups 'races'.

Post edited at 18:58
MarkJH - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Doug:

> Biologists/taxonomists recognise races of many species frequently described as populations as by cb294 (who I think is a biologist)

'Race' doesn't get used that much in biology these days (outside of taxonomy perhaps).  My understanding of the term is that it is more of a phenotypic distinction, whereas 'population' is usually used to describe genetically differentiated groups.  The two will overlap to some extent, but there are subtle distinctions.

There are certainly distinct human populations.  You could possibly make a case for human races existing too, but I suspect that there are just too many cultural associations to make it a useful description in any setting (even a formal scientific one).

Doug on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MarkJH:

I'm a botanist & 'race' has never been used for plants (we use forms, varieties, cultivars, etc as informal sub-units of sp ) but I thought zoologists still used race, at least for some groups (eg birds, see eg https://www.hbw.com/species/long-tailed-tit-aegithalos-caudatus )

Post edited at 20:05
Bob Kemp - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Is there a full in-context quote anywhere? 

Depends on what you mean by 'full'. It was in a chapter in Rachel Johnson's book, 'The Oxford Myth', which I have no intention of buying, so I haven't seen the f ull quote. The closest I can get is Rachel J's Guardian article about the book, which is an entertaining read. Probably the most pertinent to the eugenics issue bit is the description of stains as the "small, vaguely deformed" breed, replete with acne and anoraks, who had not been to schools such as Eton and Westminster, and who "scuttled across quads as if they had mobile homes on their backs".

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
MarkJH - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Doug:

> I'm a botanist & 'race' has never been used for plants (we use forms, varieties, cultivars, etc as informal sub-units of sp ) but I thought zoologists still used race, at least for some groups (eg birds, see eg https://www.hbw.com/species/long-tailed-tit-aegithalos-caudatus )

It does (sort of) get used for locally adapted crop varieties (i.e. landraces), but yes, I agree, it is really just convention within disciplines.  I wasn't saying that 'race' wasn't a valid concept in biology; more that it has largely been pushed out of most areas as molecular genetics has taken over!

noeldarlow on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Doug:

I meant there is no such thing as race in humans.

A gradual transition does in fact mean that no recognisable groupings can be distinguished using the given metric.

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to noeldarlow:

> I meant there is no such thing as race in humans.

> A gradual transition does in fact mean that no recognisable groupings can be distinguished using the given metric.

You could say that for species.

john yates - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

He’s a witch. Burn him. 

MG - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

Is there any  level of unpleasantness you don’t support? Your casual homophobia above was a new one.

noeldarlow on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Different species can't breed with each other. That's a qualitative genetic difference.

I think we all know that "race" in humans means one thing: an attempt to promote white skinned-people as a superior race - and specifically the white Germanic races not those white-but-inferior Celtic peoples. It's a lazy, narcissistic failure to understand privilege and also hilariously stupid. Of all the genes in the human genome why pick on those responsible for melanogensis? We all do it.

Perhaps the most notable feature of the human gene pool is our LACK of diversity. There has been at least one near-extinction event in our species' history. At its lowest ebb the population may have shrunk to only a few thousand individuals around 70,000 years ago. There simply hasn't been enough time for races with radically different genetic identities to evolve (even IF human populations existed in breeding isolation - which of course is not the case).

Given the above, it is particularly stupid to promote the idea of racial superiority. If it succeeded, this would only result in further grave losses from the human gene pool as "superior" races displaced what were spuriously held to be "inferior" ones. Instead, we all need to help and support each other.

What makes us human are our spectacular social skills including an innate sense of morality and empathy. Co-operation is our super-power. Everything which our species has achieved has been achieved by working together. Unscientific, racist ideas about genetics are particularly harmful because they poison the idea of a shared humanity which is the foundation of all our successes.

Post edited at 02:20
2
summo on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to noeldarlow:

> Different species can't breed with each other. That's a qualitative genetic difference.

Sub species can though. Horse and donkey(f1 hybrid), us and various long departed other human like apes species.

> Perhaps the most notable feature of the human gene pool is our LACK of diversity. There has been at least one near-extinction event in our species' history. At its lowest ebb the population may have shrunk to only a few thousand individuals around 70,000 years ago. There simply hasn't been enough time for races with radically different genetic identities to evolve 

Only they have. We are the only remaining line left. Most of us carry about 1-2% Neanderthal DNA. Our species interbred with them. There are caves in southern Spain which contain DNA different to us and Neanderthals, but for whatever reason, they died out before meeting or breeding with any other races, so there are no traces of it in living humans. They lived in isolation long enough to be notably genetically different yet theoretically still able to breed with others.

I know it's a different argument to the point you were making, but the human race was very diverse and homo sapiens emerged the winner, although you can argue we took the advantageous traits from the other species in our DNA with us. 

Post edited at 06:58
Postmanpat on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to noeldarlow:

> I think we all know that "race" in humans means one thing: an attempt to promote white skinned-people as a superior race - and specifically the white Germanic races not those white-but-inferior Celtic peoples. >

 

Er, no, it doesn't mean that "one thing". What you describe isn't "race". It is one specific example of "racism", something which is found across a very wide range of cultures and "races".

Coel Hellier - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to noeldarlow:

> I meant there is no such thing as race in humans.  A gradual transition does in fact mean that no recognisable groupings can be distinguished using the given metric.

Gradual transitions do not mean that phenomenon are not real and biologically valid.   For example, terms such as "adolescent" are meaningful even though the transition is gradual rather than discrete. 

Yes, there are no *discrete* human races.   But if by "race" one means shared-ancestry clusterings then there are indeed human "races".  

The modern avoidance of the term is largely for political reasons, not because there is no such thing. 

Coel Hellier - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to noeldarlow:

> Different species can't breed with each other. That's a qualitative genetic difference.

But "species" can still be fuzzy-edged, as is the case in ring species.

Further, if one considers a species over time, the evolution of a species out of a prior species is a gradual one, and thus again does not have a discrete boundary.  

Thus the transition from H. erectus/ergaster into H. sapiens is a gradual one (or would be if we had enough fossils to fully trace it).   Many things in biology are continua rather than discrete, and it's wrong to deny the validity of differences just because of that. 

Doug on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to noeldarlow:

> A gradual transition does in fact mean that no recognisable groupings can be distinguished using the given metric.

Not true, part of my work includes classifying vegetation/plant communities where  although there are frequently transitions, there are also distinct groups and we have statistical techniques for identifying & quantifying them. I think everyone would agree that 'grasslands' and 'heathlands' exist but there is a continuum with grassy heaths & heathy grasslands

john yates - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Heh? What casual homophobia? You really are the limits when it comes to name calling and abuse. I will next explain why that last charge was personally hurtful. As much as I might disagree with TB the behaviour of his detractors is, to me, a more worrying trait.

1
john yates - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

If you would ban Stanhope then I am in dismay. I’m out. 

elsewhere on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Does anybody think a main topic of "how IQ was inherited between different groups and races" means this was probably a scientific conference attended by genetic scientists using a scientific definition of race??

Post edited at 10:16
Bob Kemp - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

> Does anybody think a main topic of "how IQ was inherited between different groups and races" means this was probably a scientific conference attended by genetic scientists 

As the full list of attendees has been kept secret it’s hard to tell. But as the organiser was a psychologist and the known attendees were Young, a white nationalist and a paedophile blogger, it seems unlikely at the moment. 

>using a scientific definition of race??

My understanding is that scientists these days don’t think there is such a thing, as in this article:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/race-is-a-social-construct-scientists-argue/

 

elsewhere on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Certainly sounds closer to pseudoscience, eugenics or racist bullshit than erudite genetic science.

Since it's not science a  pseudoscience, eugenics or racist definition of race is likely to be more appropriate in the context of this conference. 

MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

Only those desperate to pretend this all quite normal and Young was just the man to regulate one of the most diverse and international sectors of the UK.

Bob Kemp - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Wonderful. Sadly much of what we hear on UKC forums is a  tired and dreary echo of Toynbeeism. Its instinct is to shout down and silence all those foolish enough to hold views with which it disagrees. 

What is this Toynbeeism you refer to? My understanding is that it's a conservative model of history developed by Arnold Toynbee. Or is it supposed to be a reference to the related Polly Toynbee, bete noir of some elements of the right wing? (Mostly the usual coterie of establishment right wing figures, Boris and co. Dacre and the like, funnily enough - see here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/polly-toynbee-reborn-as-a-lady-of-the-right-425833.html )

Anyway it looks like you're buying into the whole political-correctness-gone-mad narrative, which is so often used as a convenient way of masking or avoiding real issues in discrimination and equality, a way of defending the status quo and a useful rallying point for the right wing.  

 

MG - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> Heh? What casual homophobia? 

"Sodomy is the new green. ". Impressively homophobic and dismissive of environmental concerns simultaneously. 

john yates - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Stanhope is a caustic comedian who probably isn't to your taste - but not sure how his encouragement of taking it up the back pipe as a cure for overpopulation is either homophobic or anti-environmental. Surely the advocation of sodomy is the opposite of homophobic - if anything, he was decrying our selfish, materialistic culture. Our use of laptops and mobiles to 'tweet' this kind of rubbish is part of a communications network that consumes staggering amounts of largely carbon based energy. You are all too ready to label and condemn. In medieval times you would have been lighting the faggots. 

2
racodemisa - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294:

Yes its public knowledge  that the organisers and speakers are part of the looney right.Still they need to be investigated. I believe UCL are finally doing this.

1
john yates - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I think you will find that Polly is very much part of the establishment. The same establishment that was overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU. From economists, bankers and union barons to the Tory government, universities, and treasury. 

Bob Kemp - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> I think you will find that Polly is very much part of the establishment. The same establishment that was overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU. From economists, bankers and union barons to the Tory government, universities, and treasury. 

I suppose that at least answers the question as to what you meant by Toynbeeism, albeit rather indirectly. But you seem to have a rather all-embracing view of what constitutes the establishment. The Conservative government and the unions? Hardly natural bedfellows. It looks as if you conceive the establishment along the lines of ‘any organisation that is pro-EU’. That’s not what the establishment is. 

Coel Hellier - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> My understanding is that scientists these days don’t think there is such a thing [as race]

That's not really true.  Some scientists say that "race" is purely socially constructed and that there is no such thing as race in biological terms.  This is mostly virtue signalling ("I'm so anti-racist that I'll deny that races even exist!").   

To maintain this stance they adopt a definition of race in which races would only be real if they are discrete, with clear divisions between races.     Of course races do not exist in *that* sense (but then no-one these days argues that they do).

But fuzzy-edged races, such that humans show some degree of variation owing to shared ancestry, certainly exist.  A DNA test can quite readily tell you the region (or regions) of the world that someone's ancestors lived in. 

richnoggan - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Kind of like saying colours don't exist because there's no clear division? 

Bob Kemp - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> That's not really true. 

Okay, I over-claimed a bit there - it's more a question of them finding it vague and of limited value.

>Some scientists say that "race" is purely socially constructed and that there is no such thing as race in biological terms.  This is mostly virtue signalling ("I'm so anti-racist that I'll deny that races even exist!").  

Did you read that Scientific American article I cited? I think it shows that it's nothing to do with virtue signalling. From the article:

"It's a concept we think is too crude to provide useful information, it's a concept that has social meaning that interferes in the scientific understanding of human genetic diversity and it's a concept that we are not the first to call upon moving away from," said Michael Yudell, a professor of public health at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

How is that 'virtue-signalling'?

> To maintain this stance they adopt a definition of race in which races would only be real if they are discrete, with clear divisions between races.     Of course races do not exist in *that* sense (but then no-one these days argues that they do).

So how is 'race' a useful concept?

> But fuzzy-edged races, such that humans show some degree of variation owing to shared ancestry, certainly exist.  A DNA test can quite readily tell you the region (or regions) of the world that someone's ancestors lived in. 

Are you assuming that region equals race?

I think that the difficulties we are all having in various ways around the term 'race' in this discussion highlight the problems that are associated with it. That applies to the scientists too - Yudell, who I quoted above, also says "[...] that modern genetics research is operating in a paradox, which is that race is understood to be a useful tool to elucidate human genetic diversity,

Unfortunately this isn't further explored here, but the article does go on to point out some of the dangers of misusing the concept of race, quite apart from its misuse in racist thinking - like medical implications for example.

Post edited at 11:18
MarkJH - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> So how is 'race' a useful concept?

I don't think that the article that you linked to is saying anything that wasn't agreed with by pretty much everyone here.

I made (what I consider) to be the distinction between 'race' and genetic structure earlier.  All that the article is really saying is that for the purpose of genetic analyses, there are more useful systems.  This is not really novel (or controversial) within the field of human genetics, but neither does it mean that the concept of race has no validity or that races do not exist in humans.

For example, I share an office with an Indian and a Chinese college (I am European).  I would bet money that you would be able to tell which of us is which just on our appearance.  It is true that this would not work for everyone, but it does tell you that such groupings reflect some underlying reality.

Post edited at 11:53
1
Coel Hellier - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Are you assuming that region equals race?

No, but it (region ones ancestors lived in) does correlate well with race.

> So how is 'race' a useful concept?

It's not that useful, since for any "use" one would want to use more precise concepts.   But it's still "real".     

Let's take an example. Australia was first populated by an aboriginal population, migrating there from about 40,000 BC (ish).  Much later, only a few hundred years ago, Europeans migrated there. 

I maintain that it is meaningful to talk about Australians who are descended from Europeans and Australians who are descended from the Aboriginal peoples (which is not to deny that through marriage some people will be both, nor to deny that all such categories are fuzzy-edged). I maintain that such categories are not just arbitrary social constructs but reflect real features of the world and of history.

I'd also suggest that it would be pretty bizarre and perverse for anyone to deny that such categories are "real" and to argue that there are merely arbitrary social conventions and social constructs.

Bob Kemp - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> No, but it (region ones ancestors lived in) does correlate well with race.

Fair enough.

> It's not that useful, since for any "use" one would want to use more precise concepts.   But it's still "real".  

Cue discussion about 'real'...   

> Let's take an example. Australia was first populated by an aboriginal population, migrating there from about 40,000 BC (ish).  Much later, only a few hundred years ago, Europeans migrated there. 

> I maintain that it is meaningful to talk about Australians who are descended from Europeans and Australians who are descended from the Aboriginal peoples (which is not to deny that through marriage some people will be both, nor to deny that all such categories are fuzzy-edged). I maintain that such categories are not just arbitrary social constructs but reflect real features of the world and of history.

I'm not saying it isn't meaningful, and I don't think that article was either. 

> I'd also suggest that it would be pretty bizarre and perverse for anyone to deny that such categories are "real" and to argue that there are merely arbitrary social conventions and social constructs.

I'm not saying these categories are 'merely arbitrary'. You've added that. To say that something is a social construct is not to deny that it may be based on some underlying reality, or that it functions as a reality in our life and discourse (as in reification).

 

Bob Kemp - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to MarkJH:

> I don't think that the article that you linked to is saying anything that wasn't agreed with by pretty much everyone here.

I originally posted it because someone was talking about scientific definitions of race, which I understand are not really supported any more. 

> I made (what I consider) to be the distinction between 'race' and genetic structure earlier.  All that the article is really saying is that for the purpose of genetic analyses, there are more useful systems.  This is not really novel (or controversial) within the field of human genetics, but neither does it mean that the concept of race has no validity or that races do not exist in humans.

You're right in the sense that the existence of more useful systems doesn't by itself logically mean that race is not a useful concept or that races don't exist. But my understanding is that these days a lot of geneticists would say on the basis of other arguments and evidence that race doesn't exist in any scientific sense. As Adam Rutherford says, "Race doesn’t exist, racism does. But we can now confine it to opinions and not pretend that there might be any scientific validity in bigotry."

"https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/01/racism-science-human-genomes-darwin 

> For example, I share an office with an Indian and a Chinese college (I am European).  I would bet money that you would be able to tell which of us is which just on our appearance.  It is true that this would not work for everyone, but it does tell you that such groupings reflect some underlying reality.

The question is, how do we view that underlying reality? 

 

MarkJH - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> But my understanding is that these days a lot of geneticists would say on the basis of other arguments and evidence that race doesn't exist in any scientific sense. As Adam Rutherford says, "Race doesn’t exist, racism does. But we can now confine it to opinions and not pretend that there might be any scientific validity in bigotry."

I wouldn't go that far.  I think you have to accept that biases exist on both sides, even if one is clearly more odious than the other.  I am happy to acknowledge that both race and racism are real, without having to accept that the former supports the latter.

 

 

Post edited at 14:33
Bob Kemp - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to MarkJH:

> I wouldn't go that far.  I think you have to accept that biases exist on both sides, even if one is clearly more odious than the other.  I am happy to acknowledge that both race and racism are real, without having to accept that the former supports the latter.

It is easy to be unclear about terms here. 'Real' is always difficult. I find the geneticists' arguments that race is of limited usefulness convincing. I entirely agree that if race exists in any useful sense there is no argument from this to racism or racial stereotyping. 

MarkJH - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> I find the geneticists' arguments that race is of limited usefulness convincing.

Yes, no argument from me there.  In a similar manner, we might say that allozyme markers are of limited usefulness to genetics in the era of cheap DNA sequencing.  That doesn't mean that they don't exist.  I think that Adam Rutherford is wrong when he says race doesn't exist, but I do understand why he says it.

 

Post edited at 15:31
1
Martin Hore - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to john yates:

> I think you will find that Polly is very much part of the establishment. The same establishment that was overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU. From economists, bankers and union barons to the Tory government, universities, and treasury. 

It's been well researched (there was a link to some very thorough research in a previous Brexit thread) that Remain-voting correlated positively with education level. And those who are better educated are more likely to be in the positions of influence that you list. I'm not sure that the label "establishment" adds much to this.

It's quite worrying that the path this country is currently following is the path favoured by 52% of the population that on average are significantly less well educated than the 48% that favoured Remain. 

Martin

Coel Hellier - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> To say that something is a social construct is not to deny that it may be based on some underlying reality, ...

Isn't it?  I thought that's what it did mean.  E.g.:

"A concept or perception of something based on the collective views developed and maintained within a society or social group; a social phenomenon or convention originating within and cultivated by society or a particular social group, as opposed to existing inherently or naturally."  ("social construct", Oxford Living Dictionaries.)

Examples of social constructs would be things like which clothes are fashionable, society's laws,  and the English language. 

1
cb294 - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to MarkJH:

> ....  I wasn't saying that 'race' wasn't a valid concept in biology; more that it has largely been pushed out of most areas as molecular genetics has taken over!

I would argue that the widespread sequencing of human genomes actually has confirmed that there are human populations with stable genetic differences and limited but existing haplotype introgression, aka races (at least in zoology, and especially ornithology).

It is also true that skin colour is not a particularly good marker, especially within Africans, where the deepest lineages are found.

 

CB

 

1
Postmanpat on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

> It's quite worrying that the path this country is currently following is the path favoured by 52% of the population that on average are significantly less well educated than the 48% that favoured Remain. 

>

Why? As an educated person you will realise that this is largely a reflection of the age profile of voters and that older people had less chance to enjoy higher education. Do you believe that this makes their votes more foolish?

Do you think that education makes people less self interested in their voting habits?

 

Maybe less well educated people should not be allowed to vote since their views are likely to be  foolish?

 

 

Post edited at 20:22
2
MarkJH - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to cb294:

> I would argue that the widespread sequencing of human genomes actually has confirmed that there are human populations with stable genetic differences and limited but existing haplotype introgression, aka races (at least in zoology, and especially ornithology).

Yes, I was agreeing with you on that; sorry if that wasn't clear.  My 2nd point was more that molecular genetics allows population structure to be considered independently each time you generate a new data set.  As such, describing it in rigid taxonomic terms seems a little redundant these days.  That was all I meant by it.

 

MG - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

According to this guy you are wrong regarding opportunity for education 

http://www.statsguy.co.uk/brexit-voting-and-education/

It’s wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable to put an upper age limit on voting in referendums that have effects for decades after voters will be dead.

1
Bob Kemp - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> To say that something is a social construct is not to deny that it may be based on some underlying reality, ...

> Isn't it?  I thought that's what it did mean.  E.g.:

> "A concept or perception of something based on the collective views developed and maintained within a society or social group; a social phenomenon or convention originating within and cultivated by society or a particular social group, as opposed to existing inherently or naturally."  ("social construct", Oxford Living Dictionaries.)

> Examples of social constructs would be things like which clothes are fashionable, society's laws,  and the English language. 

What I mean is that social constructs are not totally detached from reality - to use your examples, clothes are real things, criminal acts are real, speech and writing are real. 

 

Postmanpat on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

Who then gives several reasons for doubting his own analysis.

Given the concern that uneducated plebs, especially older ones, should actually influence policy, maybe you should reconstitute the old Tory party and reverse universal suffrage. You could reinstitue the corn laws. How about founding a gentlemens’ club for the “right sort of chap”?

MG - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

Since you mention it, it’s been downhill pretty much since the Reform Acts. 

MG - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

To expand, going back to 1830 would be ridiculous. However, I’m not sure making a vote too easy to acquire is wise as people use it unthinkingly. Making it somehow aspirational and requiring “buy in” might not be so crazy. Nothing to do with Brexit.

Ex Poster 666 - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

> It’s wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable to put an upper age limit on voting in referendums that have effects for decades after voters will be dead.

 

Who gave you the right to put an age limit on who can vote?

Maybe they could possibly be voting for what they believe is the best for the future of the country, and not for purely selfish reasons that a lot of people appear to vote for.

1
MG - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Lusk:

> Who gave you the right to put an age limit on who can vote?

No one - it hasn’t happened.

> Maybe they could possibly be voting for what they believe is the best for the future of the country, and not for purely selfish reasons that a lot of people appear to vote for

Irrelevant to the idea, which is that you should only vote on things that you will be affected by. I can’t vote in France  because I am separated in space, why not apply the same principle to separation in time?

 

Post edited at 21:46
Martin Hore - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Why? As an educated person you will realise that this is largely a reflection of the age profile of voters and that older people had less chance to enjoy higher education. Do you believe that this makes their votes more foolish?

> Do you think that education makes people less self interested in their voting habits?

> Maybe less well educated people should not be allowed to vote since their views are likely to be  foolish?

Actually the academic research that was quoted in the earlier thread very carefully examined whether the results were affected by the tendency for older people to have lower educational attainment - or indeed by the tendency for those with lower economic status to have lower educational attainment (because it's been argued that the real underlying factor was that those with lower economic status tended to vote Leave). And, no, they found that the true underlying factor was educational attainment. I'm pretty sure you posted on that thread - did you read the research? I did - it was pretty persuasive.

No, I don't think that education makes people less self interested - just more able to discern where their true self-interest lies. Less well-educated people should certainly be allowed to vote, but they shouldn't be told, as they famously were by Gove, to ignore the opinions of the "experts" who have studied the issues in great detail. 

But I don't think there's much chance you and I will ever agree on Brexit. And, anyway, it's not the subject of this thread. I was just responding to John Yates who brought it up in his reference to "the establishment".

Martin

1
Coel Hellier - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

> ... but they shouldn't be told, as they famously were by Gove, to ignore the opinions of the "experts" who have studied the issues in great detail.

Pedant point, but it's important:

Gove did not tell people to ignore experts, and nor did he say that the British people have had enough of experts in general.  

In context, Gove was clearly talking narrowly about *economics* experts who were making macro-economic predictions (such as the effects of the Euro or Brexit) and what he actually said was:

"I think that the people of this country have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms for names, saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong".

2
Wilberforce - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier et al:

Race (as it is commonly perceived and referred to) IS a social construct. If it wasn't, you probably wouldn't have gingers lumped in with blonde Nordic types... Genetic variation between populations is a) clinal and b) dwarfed by intra-population variation. As a consequence, racial groupings are arbitrary and not particularly meaningful biologically (or at least not more meaningful than any other arbitrary set of groupings - of which there are an almost infinite number that would equally satisfy the data). 

 

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/298/5602/2381

Or this link for the freebie

https://web.stanford.edu/group/rosenberglab/papers/popstruct.pdf

 

Jim Fraser - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to MG:

The whole business of what is intelligence and how is it inherited has been a somewhat toxic subject for some time. Particularly so in the English language bubble. Maybe in 10 or 20 years time people will be allowed to talk about this and study it without being labelled nazis or eugenicists. A similar thing was going on 20 years ago with the science of neanderthal DNA. Now it's routine to measure typical Europeans as having three or four per cent neanderthal DNA but it's not long since suggesting that would lose people their job.

cb294 - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to MarkJH:

OK, I agree,

CB

Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Wilberforce:

> Genetic variation between populations is a) clinal ...

Everyone agrees.  No-one is arguing for discrete and clearly-distinct races. 

> ... and b) dwarfed by intra-population variation. As a consequence, racial groupings are arbitrary

This is "Lewontin's fallacy", as labelled by Edwards (e.g.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12879450).  The conclusion "racial groupings are arbitrary" simply doesn't follow.

Shared-ancestry clusterings can be biologically real even if intra-population variation is greater.

Links to explanations:

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/a-sensible-article-on-human-race/

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/more-on-biology-and-race/

http://quillette.com/2016/06/23/on-the-reality-of-race-and-the-abhorrence-of-racism/

2
MarkJH - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Shared-ancestry clusterings can be biologically real even if intra-population variation is greater.

That is the crucial point.  It is the correlations that define population structure; not the variations.

 

 

tom_in_edinburgh - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Why? As an educated person you will realise that this is largely a reflection of the age profile of voters and that older people had less chance to enjoy higher education. Do you believe that this makes their votes more foolish?

The people running the Leave campaign put out a bus with £350 million for the NHS on it and thought (correctly) their voters wouldn't care about distinguishing between net and gross contributions to the EU.  Their campaign tactics would only work on people who couldn't or wouldn't do basic maths.   They were assuming their target voters were foolish and they were obviously correct.

It isn't just that older people had less chance to enjoy higher education it is also an unfortunate fact that people start to lose it mentally when they get really old.  They also start to lose touch with the world of work after they retire and the longer they have been retired the less relevant their experience and education is.  Try having a political discussion with someone in their eighties.

 

1
Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

>   Their campaign tactics would only work on people who couldn't or wouldn't do basic maths.   They were assuming their target voters were foolish and they were obviously correct.

One of the reasons that Remain lost is that their campaign did little but sneer at and deride any Brexit voters, just as you've just done. 

Sure, the NHS bus ad was propaganda rather than truthful (and by the way the entire Remain campaign was just as bad in that respect). But that doesn't mean that Brexit voters gullibly believed all the propaganda. 

1
Martin Hore - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

>   Try having a political discussion with someone in their eighties.

I'm on your side Tom, but I'm also (I'm fairly sure) a lot closer to my eighties. Most of us will loose some coherence in our thinking as we get older, but please don't give everyone in their eighties that label. Michael Heseltine (84) has been saying some pretty astute stuff on Brexit recently, and Shirley Williams (now 87) was still very coherent when she retired from active politics only two or three years ago.

Martin

tom_in_edinburgh - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

Yes, but take Michael Heseltine and Shirley Williams now and compare them now against what they were like 20 or 30 years ago.   They haven't lost it entirely but they are nothing like as smart and relevant as they used to be.  If Michael Heseltine was on his game Theresa May and the Brexiters would have no chance against him within the Tory party.  If Shirley WIlliams was on her game Corbyn wouldn't get a look in.  But they aren't on their game.    

If you take a group of 20 million voters with an average age of 75 and compare them with another 20 million voters with an average age of 40 then the older group will make worse decisions.  If you show both groups an advert like that bus with the 350 million for the NHS on it the older ones are less likely to do the math.   The people running the Leave campaign made this calculation about their own target demographic.   If anyone is insulting Leave voters intelligence it is Boris et al.

 

 

Post edited at 12:51
1
Rob Exile Ward on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Coel Hellier:

'Sure, the NHS bus ad was propaganda rather than truthful (and by the way the entire Remain campaign was just as bad in that respect). '

You and I must have been in different countries at the time then because I didn't get - or argue - that at all.

Remain was all about brexit resulting in economic decline, the difficulty of establishing new relationships both with EU and outside the EU, and the unintended consequences of trying to dismantle 40 years of shared infrastructure, institutions and procedures. All of which is coming to pass.

And quite a few of us, from Heseltine and Ken Clarke down (both of whom were unfortunately sidelined), argued - and I still argue - that the EU is a flawed, but fundamentally decent and well meaning attempt to create an economic and politically significant bloc that can drive a unique agenda - an equal emphasis on democratic values, social justice and responsibility, economic prosperity and protection of the environment. We're currently abandoning that enterprise to implement 'Trumpism' instead. 

Bob Kemp - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Yes, but take Michael Heseltine and Shirley Williams now and compare them now against what they were like 20 or 30 years ago.   They haven't lost it entirely but they are nothing like as smart and relevant as they used to be.  If Michael Heseltine was on his game Theresa May and the Brexiters would have no chance against him within the Tory party.  If Shirley WIlliams was on her game Corbyn wouldn't get a look in.  But they aren't on their game.    

Don't confuse the other effects of getting old with lowered intelligence. Like loss of fitness energy, enthusiasm, boredom for a start. 

> If you take a group of 20 million voters with an average age of 75 and compare them with another 20 million voters with an average age of 40 then the older group will make worse decisions.  If you show both groups an advert like that bus with the 350 million for the NHS on it the older ones are less likely to do the math.   The people running the Leave campaign made this calculation about their own target demographic.   If anyone is insulting Leave voters intelligence it is Boris et al.

That may be true, but I'm not sure how you can know it. Any evidence?

 

cb294 - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Wilberforce:

Ginger hair is in most cases due to one of a handful of point mutations in the melanocortin receptor gene. Similar mutations are present also in other animals with reddish coat colour. Thanks to the advances in sequencing prehistoric DNA we know that some of the sequenced Neanderthal individuals almost certainly were ginger haired, as were quite a few mammoths!

Differing from the blondes in a single locus is dwarved by the similarities across the rest of the genome. Just because that single locus has an easily visible phenotype does not mean that it has any more bearing on relationships than any other bit of conserved DNA. If anything, because the fair skinned, red haired or blonde type has clear advantages in dark an cold areas (vitamin D synthesis, chances are that the same mutations became fixed in independent population. A related argument can be made for skin colour. Both are thus not particularly useful as indicators for deep ancestry (too few loci involved, too many events of parallel evolution).

Still, in some cases certain such traits can be traced to specific migration and subsequent genetic admixture events (especially if the host population was highly uniform with respect to that trait, e.g. in the case of the blond and blue eyed Berber tribes of the Atlas mountains embedded in a society of black haired North Africans.

The issue of population structure and deep branching has been addressed by Coel Hellier, so I don't have to repeat his argument.

CB

Coel Hellier - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Remain was all about brexit resulting in economic decline, [...] All of which is coming to pass.

The Remain-campaign predictions were all about the Brexit-referendum outcome itself being sufficient to cause economic disaster, starting with an emergency budget, a stock-market collapse, and businesses fleeing the country in droves. 

None of that has come to pass. 

And we were told much the same sort of thing (though less dramatically) about staying out of the Euro, and yet none of those dire predictions came to pass. 

4
tom_in_edinburgh - on 15 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I'm no expert but there are long term longitudinal studies where they measured 'intelligence' of largish groups of people at various points over time e.g.

https://sharepoint.washington.edu/uwsom/sls/Documents/2010/Brown_2012_Social_Activity_and_Cognitive%20Functioning.pdf

Table 4.  Row labelled 'Reasoning'.

The concerning thing is that as old people become a relatively large section of the electorate politicians and newspapers may be staring to intentionally exploit this.

1
Bob Kemp - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I'm no expert but there are long term longitudinal studies where they measured 'intelligence' of largish groups of people at various points over time e.g.

> Table 4.  Row labelled 'Reasoning'.

> The concerning thing is that as old people become a relatively large section of the electorate politicians and newspapers may be staring to intentionally exploit this.

Thanks - interesting paper. Worth remembering that decision-making isn’t a purely cognitive process of course. How emotional factors and personality affect decision-making as we age is the missing element. 

Post edited at 06:56
Postmanpat on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Martin Hore:

 

> But I don't think there's much chance you and I will ever agree on Brexit. And, anyway, it's not the subject of this thread. I was just responding to John Yates who brought it up in his reference to "the establishment".

>

  Yes, the thread is about eugenics and the political affiliations  of supporters of eugenics. The idea that the less intellectually able or educated are less worthy of a vote would seem to be the beginning of a slippery slope........

Bob Kemp - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   The idea that the less intellectually able or educated are less worthy of a vote would seem to be the beginning of a slippery slope........

Or an old tradition sneaking back in - back to the early-Victorian period, when the upper classes and even supporters of extending the franchise thought it should it only happen after universal education was achieved (including the Manchester Guardian) if at all. And of course the extension of the franchise (and education) was considered by many Tories to be dangerous, likely to lead to the working classes becoming dangerously hard to rule.

 

Post edited at 11:31
Postmanpat on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Or an old tradition sneaking back in - back to the early-Victorian period, when the upper classes and even supporters of extending the franchise thought it should it only happen after universal education was achieved (including the Manchester Guardian) if at all. And of course the extension of the franchise (and education) was considered by many Tories to be dangerous, likely to lead to the working classes becoming dangerously hard to rule.

Exactly, the same Manchester Guardian that published articles by Fabian supporters of eugenics and that nowadays sneers at uneducated brexiteers......plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

 
Post edited at 14:13
1
Bob Kemp - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Just like the Daily Mail!

 

Postmanpat on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Just like the Daily Mail!

Exactly. Two sides of the same coin.

Post edited at 19:38
1
Bob Kemp - on 16 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Exactly. Two sides of the same coin.

Not quite... there's a very sharp difference between proposing a delay in extending voting rights and enthusing about a Nazi government. 

wbo - on 16 Jan 2018
Postmanpat on 17 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Not quite... there's a very sharp difference between proposing a delay in extending voting rights and enthusing about a Nazi government. 

But there is quite a similarity between enthusing about the Nazis and enthusing about eugenics.

The Fabian left showed much sympathy for fascsim

Bob Kemp - on 17 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> But there is quite a similarity between enthusing about the Nazis and enthusing about eugenics.

That’s not really the point I was making. 

> The Fabian left showed much sympathy for fascism 

I don’t know if that’s true overall - it’s more that they shared the same roots in ideas about collectivism, modernisation and technocracy, and bureaucracy. And very elitist too. Trying to make the world more tidy and efficient, hence the interest in eugenics.  But some of the individuals within the Fabian Society had clearer sympathies. GBS was particularly sympathetic - all that Man and Superman Nietzschean stuff, and he remained a friend of Moseley’s even after Mosley left to form his British Union of Fascists.

 

 

Postmanpat on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> That’s not really the point I was making. 

>

 No, it' s the point I was making.

> I don’t know if that’s true overall - it’s more that they shared the same roots in ideas about collectivism, modernisation and technocracy, and bureaucracy. And very elitist too.

>

  Well, this is the point. There was an elitist authoritarian left that despised the lower orders and believed that their dangerous ideas should be ignored by the elite. There still is.

 

Bob Kemp - on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Well, this is the point. There was an elitist authoritarian left that despised the lower orders and believed that their dangerous ideas should be ignored by the elite. There still is.

I'm not sure which 'elitist authoritarian left' you might be talking about now. There's a world of difference between the Fabian Society's current thinking and that of Corbyn, McDonnell and co..

 

Postmanpat on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> I'm not sure which 'elitist authoritarian left' you might be talking about now. There's a world of difference between the Fabian Society's current thinking and that of Corbyn, McDonnell and co..

Those who think that it is worrying that the uneducated are influencing our policy and those, often in the media and academia,  who despise the attitudes and culture of those uneducated people and by implication despise uneducated people.

That would include many of Corbyn's supporters.

Post edited at 15:58
Bob Kemp - on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Those who think that it is worrying that the uneducated are influencing our policy and those, often in the media and academia,  who despise the attitudes and culture of those uneducated people and by implication despise uneducated people.

That would be large swathes of the Tory party then? 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tories-gassing-chavs-whatsapp-messages-group-chat-activate-members-leaked-a7921086.html:

Let's not forget despising and hating the poor is something the Tory party has specialised in for centuries. For example, Tory propaganda between the wars was focused on stigmatising the working class as dangerous - fertile ground for agitators - and unpatriotic (and also see George Orwell's description of how he was brought up to see working class people as 'stupid, coarse, crude, violent' in The Road to Wigan Pier).

 

 

Post edited at 21:04
Postmanpat on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> That would be large swathes of the Tory party then? 

Sheesh. You use some stupid Tory kid spouting off and rapidly closed down as evidence of a party ideology? Really? Against the massed ranks of Momentum protected by their leaders?

But anyway, the point is that the sins of which the Tory party are accused, sometimes correctly, are also the sins of the left.For the umpteenth time: the Tories are morally and politically imperfect, to say the very least. They are a shambles. But the biggest threat to the interests of the less privileged comes from the left.

 

That the left has largely abandoned the "lower orders" which it supposedly protects. There have always been two wings of the left: the representatives of the working class and the elitists that despise the working class . Now it is run by the latter at the expence of the former.

Post edited at 21:39
1
Bob Kemp - on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Sheesh. You use some stupid Tory kid spouting off and rapidly closed down as evidence of a party ideology? Really? Against the massed ranks of Momentum protected by their leaders?

I didn't claim it was evidence of a 'party ideology'. Straw man...

> But anyway, the point is that the sins of which the Tory party are accused, sometimes correctly, are also the sins of the left.

Sometimes... but sticking to this particular issue, the traditional statist left tends to have a problem with the working classes because they aren't easily managed. That's different to some sectors of the Tory party who simply hate them.  

>For the umpteenth time: the Tories are morally and politically imperfect, to say the very least. They are a shambles.

Can't argue with that!

>But biggest threat to the interests of the less privileged comes from the left.

Big generalisation - that may apply to parts of the left but not all. I have my doubts about Corbyn et al too - they're far too wedded to the 70s/80s Bennite model for my liking. And although there were features of the Blair governments that were objectionable to many on the left, they didn't hang the working classes out to dry the way that Cameron and now May have. 

> That the left has largely abandoned the "lower orders" which it supposedly protects. There have always been two wings of the left: the representatives of the working class and the elitists that despise the working class . Now it is run by the latter at the expence of the former.

More big generalisations... You certainly can't divide the left up that easily for a start. And I'm not sure exactly who these elitists are. Every middle-class Labour member? That's a little sweeping...

 

Postmanpat on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Extraordinarily, you are missing the point. It's not really about the Statist left. It's about the elitist left, most of whom happen  also to be Statists. They hate the lower orders just as much as any old Tory. They hate them nowadays for their supposed attitudes: their nationalism, sexism , racism, parochialism. You name it, they hate it. They hate them not because they "are difficult to manage" but because they are regarded as the enemies of "progress".

And it's a generalised debate. Of course they are generalisations.

Bob Kemp - on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Extraordinarily, you are missing the point.

Nothing extraordinary about it at all. It isn't missing the point. I'm just not accepting your characterisation of 'the elitist left', which seems to be an undefined smear term rather than a description of any coherent body of people with common characteristics. If you would be more precise that would help.

It's not really about the Statist left. It's about the elitist left, most of whom happen  also to be Statists. They hate the lower orders just as much as any old Tory. They hate them nowadays for their supposed attitudes: their nationalism, sexism , racism, parochialism. You name it, they hate it.

You're conflating hating the attitudes with hating the people who have the attitudes. How about some evidence and examples? I wouldn't say there aren't any -  in fact, I'll help you - how about Gordon Brown's little election faux pas, where he called a woman with racist attitudes a bigot? But I don't think it's possible to elevate these kinds of events into some big claim about a fictional 'elitist left'.

They hate them not because they "are difficult to manage" but because they are regarded as the enemies of "progress".

I think that we're talking about the same thing. 

> And it's a generalised debate. Of course they are generalisations.

Is that supposed to be a justification for sloppy generalisations?

 


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