Over at The American Scene, in the comments, I have a lot of fun at Manzi's expense as I slowly pin him down to explaining exactly what his article is supposed to mean. I keep asking him, Who are these tyrants-in-the-making?" After a three-day-weekend, I've finally extracted an answer from him that's hilarious enough that it may be worth your time reading through 60 comments.
Software executive Jim Manzi warns darkly of powerful (yet unnamed) "genetic maximalists" who threaten human freedom in ominous (but unspecified) ways.
That's because these “popularizers” unscientifically ride the sociobiological "reigning presumption of academic America" in a climate in which "mass media are inundated with this biology-explains-all ideology."
Unfortunately, Manzi never identifies what planet in what year he's describing: Htrae in the year 8002 D.A. maybe?
"If the pretense to scientific knowledge is always dangerous, it is doubly so when wedded to state power, because it leads to pseudo-rational interventions that unduly extend authority and restrict freedom. That the linkage of race and IQ is provocative to contemporary audiences is not surprising: It is almost a direct restatement, in the language of genetics, of the key premise of Social Darwinism."
Who, exactly, are these dangerous proponents of "geneticism" who are currently running amok? National Review gives Manzi 3000 words, but he doesn't come up with any names more recent than Woodrow Wilson and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who was born in 1841.
Perhaps Manzi is alluding to James D. Watson, the co-discoverer of DNA, who indeed mentioned "the linkage of race and IQ" last year. Yet, as you will recall (although Manzi and the NR editors seem to have forgotten), Watson was not immediately elected Big Brother. Instead, in our world, he was subjected to a Two Minute Hate and kicked to the curb by the medical research laboratory he had built up for four decades.
May 26, 2008
I have a new VDARE.com column responding to Jim Manzi's "Escaping the Tyranny of Genes" cover story in the June 2, 2008 National Review. I write: