Polissemic Talk – II.
Continuing to investigate human traits and genetical perspectives through the eyes of Jared Taylor.
Interview done by jonasscherer via e-mail between november 30th and december 5th, 2012.
Jonas Scherer: What is the human nature, for you?
Jared: This is a huge question, but I think some things are now beyond question:
Men are more aggressive, dominating, and promiscuous than women.
Women are more nurturing, compromising, and emotional than men.
All humans are tribal, in the sense that they have an instinctive attachment to their extended kin groups.
Most of what we call personality traits–gregariousness,conscientiousness, intelligence, neuroticism, etc.–are heavily influenced by genes, though they are subject to some environmental influence.
Human traits and abilities are distributed on a standard, bell-shaped curve, with far more people clustered around the averages than at the extremes.
Humans have a well developed ability to deceive others, but perhaps an even better developed ability to deceive themselves.
There was a time when many serious psychologists believed that all human traits were largely the result of environmental influence, but no serious student of human nature believes this.
Jonas Scherer: Can these features change?
Jared: Yes, human nature can change, but it is a very gradual process that depends mostly on evolution. Ever since the transition to agriculture, which permitted the establishment of cities and concentrated populations, the evolutionary pressures on our species have been very different from those during our hunter-gatherer past. It is less important to be strong and more important to be cunning.
When people live in large populations and produce more than enough for mere subsistence, the ability to persuade and manipulate other people becomes extremely important. People who are gifted in these abilities can accumulate wealth and many wives. Their traits are then passed down to large numbers of descendants.
However, some things never change. Men, for example, will never stop being jealous when their wives are unfaithful. This is essentially a suicidal trait–like a desire to jump out of tall trees. It is a trait that cannot arise in a population because non-jealous men would have few children of their own and would spend their lives rearing the children of other. Therefore, the trait of non-jealousy would not be passed on to succeeding generations.
Jonas Scherer: How could we use this type of knowledge to have a better life?
Jared: The most obvious way to use this information is to base our laws and our social expectations on an understanding of human nature as it is, rather than on a desire that it should be other than what it is. The best example of a failure to base a society on a proper understanding of human nature was the attempt to implement Communism. It sounded wonderful: Let’s try to live “from each according to his ability to each according to his need.”¹ However, human nature is self-centered. We do not work as hard on a collective farm as we do on our private farms. Selfishness cannot be eliminated from our nature.
Capitalism is based on the understanding that selfishness can be harnessed by society to create enormous wealth. This is a more successful social model than one that sounds more idealistic -“we will eliminate selfishness”–but that misreads human nature.
Today, Western societies suffer from similar misreadings of human nature or human reality. The worst and most pervasive ones are the following:
1. Men and women are essentially the same.
2. Individual ability is governed by environment rather than genes.
3. All groups–national, racial, ethnic–are equivalent and interchangeable.
Men and women: The idea that men and women are essentially the same is behind regulations in some European countries designed to ensure that 50% of corporate and government leadership positions are filled by women. This is insanity. Women are less aggressive than men and are more interested than men in rearing children.
Women are also less interested in math and science than men, so it is just as insane to expect that half of the inventions and scientific breakthroughs will be achieved by women. Some women want to be prime ministers and some women want to be mathematicians. Let them try. But do not expect these functions to be equally divided between women and men
Individuals: This illusion is finally dying, as it should, but there are still some people who believe that with the right education and environmental support, all children can grow up to become doctors and lawyers. This is not true. Some people are smarter and harder-working than others. We should give all children the best education we can, but it is insanity to expect equal outcomes. Some will succeed; some will not.
Groups: This is the area in which the West has placed the largest losing bets. Different groups do not achieve at the same level. This is primarily because they have different levels of ability, not because of “prejudice” or “oppression” or “racism.”
Chinese and Jews are successful wherever they go because, on average, they are smarter and more diligent than other groups. Blacks are less successful wherever they go because, on average, they are not as intelligent and diligent as other groups.
It is essential that we accept these differences in ability rather than waste time trying to equalize outcomes. It is the same as with children. Let us give everyone the best training and help we can, but let us not expect equal outcomes.
A particularly insane example of this assumption that groups are identical is the attempt to spread “democracy” around the world. Some nations are not capable of democracy.
Jonas Scherer: How do you think people identify the genetic trait of jealousy? It must be hard to identify a psychological trait analising genetical codices…
Jared: The genes that code for jealousy have not yet been found. However, they are sure to exist. This is a human emotion that exists in every society and in every period of human history. It is a classic example of a complex behavior that is unquestionably under significant genetic control.
1 Slogan that can be found in “Critique of the Gotha Program”.