Tag Archives: Chomsky

Foucault, Chomsky, Pinker, and the Blank Slate

From evolutionistx: Chomsky on Foucault

“In Foucault’s 1971 televised debate with Noam Chomsky, Foucault argued against the possibility of any fixed human nature, as posited by Chomsky’s concept of innate human faculties. Chomsky argued that concepts of justice were rooted in human reason, whereas Foucault rejected the universal basis for a concept of justice. Following the debate, Chomsky was stricken with Foucault’s total rejection of the possibility of a universal morality, stating “He struck my as completely amoral, I’d never met anyone who was so totally amoral” … “I mean, I liked him personally, it’s just that I couldn’t make sense of him. It’s as if he was from a different species, or something”” (from the Wikipedia page on Foucault)

Foucault is even further ‘left’ than Chomsky, if that even seems possible. The far-left reject the idea that civilized humans have any innate goodness, whereas neoliberals and classical liberals have faith in institutions to enforce fairness under the rule of law. Chomsky, in contrast to Foucault, denies the ‘blank slate’ (Tabula rasa), believing that humans are wired to not only acquire language, but are also endowed with an innate ‘moral compass’. The far-left believe that institutions are poisoned by so-called ‘institutional racism’, which makes any sort of fairness impossible. The far-left advocate a complete overhaul of institutions (an anti-establishment view) to be rebuilt to their high egalitarian standards, whereas neoliberals seek incrementalist reform that keeps the ‘system’ intact. Because of the difficulty of the former, the far-left are often unhappy and pessimistic about human nature, in general. When the far-left group ‘Black Lives Matter’ disrupted Bernie Sander’s Seattle speech, they were essentially rejecting the ‘mainstream left’ view that policy can reform problems; instead, the ‘system’ itself is intrinsically and irredeemably racist and corrupt and needs to be torn down, not reformed.

The left believes that human minds are blank slates to be programmed through indoctrination.

Foucault, in taking his ‘blank slate’ views to an extreme, even agrees with some on the ‘right’ that homosexuality is not biological but rather a recent Western concept. Because the concept of homosexuality is a construct, it’s irrelevant if someone is ‘born’ gay or not.

From telegraph.co.uk: A decade after Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate, why is human nature still taboo?

As Pinker wrote, there are two types of feminism: “Equity feminism is a moral doctrine about equal treatment that makes no commitments regarding open empirical issues in psychology or biology. Gender feminism is an empirical doctrine committed to three claims about human nature. The first is that the differences between men and women have nothing to do with biology but are socially constructed in their entirety. The second is that humans possess a single social motive – power – and that social life can be understood only in terms of how it is exercised. The third is that human interactions arise not from the motives of people dealing with each other as individuals but from the motives of groups dealing with other groups – in this case, the male gender dominating the female gender.
“In embracing these doctrines, the genderists are handcuffing feminism to railroad tracks on which a train is bearing down.”
Gender feminism is no more scientific than astrology, yet the idea of total equality of outcomes is still some sort of vague official goal among the European elite, largely because “people’s unwillingness to think in statistical terms has led to pointless false dichotomies”, between “women are unqualified” and “fifty-fifty absolutely”.

In agreement with the ‘blank slate’, the far-left believe that racial and gender differences may be social constructs, not biological. This is as unscientific as creationism, yet universities continue to espouse this view.

So Richard Herrnstein was called a racist for arguing, in 1971, that “since differences in intelligence are partly inherited, and since intelligent people tend to marry other intelligent people, when a society becomes more just it will also become more stratified along genetic lines”, even though he was not even discussing race. He received death threats and his lecture halls were filled with chanting mobs.

On sites like Reddit and 4chan, there is evidence the pendulum is swinging the other way as millennials, unlike like their stodgy far-left baby boomer parents and teachers, discuss HBD topics freely that offline in the politically correct sphere of liberalism are still taboo. For the left, who pride themselves on being ‘pro-science’ and ‘open minded’, as we saw with the persecution of Larry Summers, Jason Richwine, and Tim Hunt, this ‘open mindedness’ doesn’t extend to HBD-based topics, apparently.

Other controversies down the years included the unmasking of the myth of the noble savage, with scientists who found murder rates in pre-agriculture societies were astonishingly high accused of justifying genocide; and rape, which gender feminists believed was not about sex, despite clearly being about sex.

The far-left believe in the ‘noble savage’ – that society was peaceful and tranquil in its de-industrialized state until evil civilization, along with capitalism, came along, bringing racism, disease, violence and other modern plagues – similar to the liberal Gums Germs and Steel hypothesis. This is why the left seeks crisis in order to bring society to an undeveloped, egalitarian state, even if the result is everyone is worse-off as a result, with great pain and suffering in the process. What matters, above all, is equality of outcomes, not opportunity.

That, unfortunately, is how orthodoxies are enforced across a range of subjects, despite being incredibly weak. On the idea that intelligence is entirely environment, Pinker wrote that “even in the 1970s the argument was tortuous, but by the 1980s it was desperate and today it is a historical curiosity”. And yet now, in the second decade of the 21st century, it is still not considered decent to question the taboo about human nature when it comes to policy.

Yes, indeed, the injection of HBD into public policy is still taboo, which is why politicians keep spinning their wheels, regurgitating the same stale bromides that don’t work.