Scary Sailer

Bryan Caplan seizes upon a two-sentence Steve Sailer comment to fly into theatrical conniptions in public:

Does Steve genuinely favor denying half of Americans the right to reproduce? It’s hard to know. It is the uncertainty that he carefully cultivated that makes Sailer’s thought so scary to so many — including me. We shouldn’t have to wonder if a thinker approves of denying half the population the right to have children.

This really is Caplan at his most despicable. First, set up a bizarre counter-factual to support a quite different moral argument by analogy. The crudely-telegraphed argumentative strategy is to shift the burden of fanaticism from proponents to opponents (“hey, can’t you see that restricting immigration is just like sterilizing half the population”). Secondly, when a commentator corrects your counter-factual in the direction of historical reality — i.e. something that actually happened — deflect attention by cranking up the moral hysteria, while retreating into what seems increasingly to be Caplan’s favorite territory — unhinged deontological purism. Finally, suggest that the commentator is only mentioning historical reality in order to surreptitiously endorse your own preposterous thought-experiment as a practical program, thus exposing himself as “scary”.

Why doesn’t he just say that hyper-Nazi eugenics is wrong?  (Of course, he has, many times.) He probably wants to throw your granny into the biodiesel tanks too. Let’s talk about that rather than my project to engineer a national immigration apocalypse.

Anyone who seriously “wonders” whether Steve Sailer secretly advocates sterilizing half of the American population has released their grip on the last frayed threads of civilized conversation. Caplan is deteriorating from a nut into something far more repulsive.

ADDED: Sailer responds (calmly) —

Bryan:

Your arguments would get less tangled up if you’d simply keep in mind that I’m a moderate who takes reasonable positions, while you are an extremist who is drawn to promoting unreasonable ones. Please stop projecting your own immoderation upon me.

For example, there is an obvious distinction you fail to recognize between my appreciating the difficulties our ancestors went through — what Nicholas Wade calls “the Malthusian wringer” that helped make us who we are — and my very much not wanting to inflict similar levels of competition upon our descendants.

Instead, it’s you who wants to subject the descendants of American citizens to the neo-Malthusian nightmare of Open Borders.

June 3, 2014admin 15 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

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15 Responses to this entry

  • Orthodox Says:

    If Caplan didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him. He is even pitch perfect in his tone deafness, he is the embodiment of the thinking at places such as The Economist and the Wall Street Journal, much of Cato and Reason. People are blank slates that respond to economic incentives.

    [Reply]

    Antisthenes Reply:

    Only some. They believe in the blank slate because they recognize it in themselves.

    It makes me wonder if Chomsky is an ancestor of HBD twice removed, having debunked tabula rasa empiricism in the 60’s.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The Evo Psych guys debunk blank slatism, while reinforcing HNU. Chomsky is in that camp. (Pinker cites him enthusiastically for his discovery of the ‘language instinct’ without suggesting that this in any way disrupts the idea of human universals — it is in fact the first step to identifying them.)

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Chomsky is anti Darwin. He says language didn’t evolve by natural selection. He is against the blank slate but not against racial uniformity. Seems like a creationist to me.

    Posted on June 3rd, 2014 at 10:48 am Reply | Quote
  • Scary Sailer | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on June 3rd, 2014 at 12:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    Caplan is the missing link in Conquest’s Law. It’s a great example to see how the process of turning left actually works, step by step.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It’s definitely a vindication of Jim’s “holier than Jesus” model of moral signalling as the great leftward drive-chain.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I was gonna say that he is the ratchet in person. The kernel of leftism he started with has driven him to take ever more extreme positions to be consistent and to justify its real world inadequacy

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    It really is that simple, isn’t it?

    Having placated/preyed on the mob with a lie, you can’t go back on that lie or they’ll turn on you. Scholar status relies on continual new ideas, yet there’s an impenetrable wall between you and sanity. The only way is forward into madness, and not the good kind.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Caplan has fallen in love with his own moral psychosis. The obvious lesson: NAP-happy deontological libertarianism is a radical progressive sickness.

    Thales Reply:

    One lie ⊃ all lies.

    Posted on June 3rd, 2014 at 12:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    And the answer is animal instincts trump All.

    From Caplan

    “* Generalizing this approach would imply, for example, that there is no important moral difference between a 99% Catholic country with freedom of religion, and a 99% Catholic country where an Inquisition cruelly persecutes dissenters to maintain Catholicism’s dominance.”

    [Reply]

    Porphy's Attorney Reply:

    Irony of Irony, all is Irony:

    Caplain probabably wouldn’t see an important moral difference between a 99% Prog country with true freedom of belief and a 99% prog counry where Brown Scare SPLC inquisitorial McCarthyism persecutes dissenters to maintain Multicultist Europenance Progist/UU/Brahminite dominance.

    I mean, since he’s made himself into one of the pod people:

    http://cdn-static.denofgeek.com/sites/denofgeek/files/images/16539.jpg

    Fun Fact/Full Disclosure: This spring I was at a meat-bod scholarly discussion that Caplan was a participant in. I maintained perfect civility towards him and everything. Is that a worse offense than #Trannygate?

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 3rd, 2014 at 4:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Toddy Cat Says:

    Caplan always has been a raving loon, but his psychosis is becoming obvious now. Sad, but this is what libertarianism does to people.

    [Reply]

    Porphy's Attorney Reply:

    Hoppe & Kinsella are both NAP Libertarians. Does that observation apply to them? Likewise Rothbard saw egalitarianism as a revolt against nature.

    I think the important distinction is they aren’t Rawlsian-types. Which means: infection by Rawlsianism is the problem. (This, in and of itself, is not sufficient to establish NAP Libertarianism as the One True Faith. But what I mean is that in Caplan’s case, it’s not the Libertarianism that is the problem. It’s the Academic-Rawlsianism. We fail at analysis if we identify the wrong pathogen as being the source of Caplan’s problem).

    http://unqualifiedreservations.wordpress.com/2007/06/29/the-rawlsian-god-cryptocalvinism-in-action/

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 3rd, 2014 at 7:55 pm Reply | Quote

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