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Friday, September 9, 2016

Some history and genetics for the alt-right

I watched much of the alt-right press conference today. Whereas I recently gave some credence to Richard Spencer's claims about the movement's growing influence, I'm starting to wonder if maybe Hillary's denunciation dragged it from the shadows before its leaders were ready. The conference, with its shaky live streaming punctuated by online comments from rabid bigots, reinforced that impression. The content of the presentations also didn't strike me as likely to win many converts. Here's one tidbit about the proposed white ethnostate, as reported by Mother Jones (click to enlarge):

Me: I don't know how Episcopalians like me fit into this, but I suspect when they have a Jewish last name and partly Jewish ancestry, again like me, their status in the ethnostate would be dubious at best. It's clear that many alt-right foot soldiers are disgruntled at such waffling as their leaders show and instead prefer a straight to the gas chambers policy.

But I'll stay on the relatively polite level of discussion of Spencer and Taylor, and point out that "Jewish" and "European" have, to say the least, some overlap in terms of history and heritage. Consider this archaeological story from today: "Explore This Mysterious Mosaic: It May Portray Alexander the Great." Spoiler: it's in an ancient synagogue.

But let's go further back into the past and away from the "Jewish question" on which alt-rightists may be somewhat divided; what they all agree on is the crucial distinction between whites and non-whites, and that Western civilization was a product of whites and can only be sustained by whites. So, let's look at "How Europeans Evolved White Skin." Excerpt from a 2015 article in Science (click...):


Me: The key genes for light skin were spread by light-skinned people mating with darker-skinned people. If there had been an alt-right back then to stop this miscegenation, the skin color they prize might have remained an oddity of people around the Motala archaeological site, or died out altogether. And by the way, read this about "How a Gene for Fair Skin Spread Across India." The genes that contribute to whiteness are found in people of various pigmentations all over the world (and even in white tigers).

The alt-right prides itself on being the ones who've taken the "red pill" that lets you see things as they are. But to uphold their ideology requires averting one's eyes, avoiding learning many uncomfortable facts of history and biology that don't fit the story. And when I hear the alt-right's ideologues saying that their all-white society would have maglev trains and explore Jupiter and so on, I say that those things are more likely in a society that doesn't hand out trophies for the color of your skin.

UPDATE: Related matters here and here.

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