Jeffrey Sachs, the IDW aren’t heretics or rogue intellectuals. This is just a repackaging of rightist fringe ideologies that have been around for two decades at least. Vdare was founded in 1999 by Steve Sailor — the home of the HBD (Human BioDiversity) guys– most prominent being John Derbyshire (later sacked from NRO) and Razib Khan (famous for being hired and fired in the same day by the NYT). The HBD movement embraced Charles Murray and race-IQ theory from the beginning. Derbyshire, Sailor and Khan all write/wrote for the Unz Review, an “alternative” media outlet. In the same rough timespan Dawkins and Harris began the New Atheist movement, which was enthusiastically adopted by the “alternative” intellectuals of the Right, Khan, Sailor, Derbyshire, etc. The New Atheists somehow fused rationalism, atheism, misogyny, and Islam-hating into a toxic brew that has been pretty much rejected by mainstream American society, but which was shockingly visible in Elevatorgate. The HBDs have brought hatred of immigrants, white suprememacy and raw populist nationalism to the mix.
Fast forward to 2016 and Trump’s election. When the NeverTrumpers (including the traditional conservative intellectual class (ie George Will)) fled the GOP in horror, this opened up a vacuum which was gladly filled by the HBD cohort, the New Atheists, classic liberals and other “alternative” intellectuals on the Right.
I asked cognitive anthropologist Dr. Chris Kavanagh exactly what he thought the overall narrative of the IDWebbers was– this is what he said.
“The belief that the IDWebbers uniquely respect data.” They respect data that supports their core belief set– race-IQ theory, anti-immigration, anti-feminism (sex difference studies), anything on islamic-terrorism. IDWebbers do not, for example, respect data that invalidates any of their core dogma.
Best current example: GWAS of educational attainment. Some huge papers came out over the summer, chief among them (imho) these two.
The IDW is not discussing the implications of this work, because it invalidates their premise that “conservative voices are repressed. Heterodox views are not tolerated only adherence to liberal dogma.” like the eumeme that liberal bias has caused the imbalance in academe by embargo’ing “awesome” conservative ideology (which is actually maladaptive and non-competitive in the 21st century). But if we consider recent data on EA its apparent that the imbalance in academe is largely caused by heredity and geolocation. You inherit your parents, your SES and your community– eg, parents that go to college have children that go to college. Seems pretty straightforward, right? The IDWebbers are big meritocracy fanboys– its their main argument against diversity and affirmative action in academe and the workplace. But EA3 shows that EA is inherited, not earned. The conservative standard dogma that commonsense + work ethic >= a fancy college education doesnt hold anymore. Theres no place for Jefferson’s Noble Yeoman Farmers in the gig economy, the agility economy, in the twinned Cambrian explosions of machine learning and robotics.
Thats why Jon Haidt’s book “The Coddling of the American Mind” is such a cheat. It puts the onus for solving the academic imbalance problem squarely on liberals– if we can just massage the way we do EA in blue demes to “open young peoples minds”, we can get traction for conservative ideology on college campuses. But even if thats true its a tiny fraction of whats needed to move the needle.
Scholastic poll results from 2016. I submit that this is just a hill far to big for Jon Haidt to climb. Half of these students will be voting age by 2020.
The thing is– there is a way to fix the national divide. Bring universities to the Heartland. Establish the United States of Internet. Distributed EA for all. Its projected that 1/2 of universities will be online by 2027. Why not a WPA style infrastructure project to bring robust internet to the underserved Heartland? It should be a hard thing for the GOP Senate to vote against. The Virtuality is coming. People will be able to shop and work online more and more– why not go to school online? Not the fly-by-night predatory for-profit schools that Trump and DeVos are so enamored of, but extensions of real universities.
And the hidden benefit? Only non-college are voting for Trump.
After all, Trump “loves the uneducated”.