-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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Within the last couple of days, I have been attacked by TWO Leftist bloggers! And note that they attacked ME, not any of the facts and arguments that I have put forward. What they have written is, in short, a confession of complete intellectual failure. They hate the truths that I have highlighted but they were so unable to refute those truths that all they could manage was an attempt to shoot the messenger. Their arguments were what logicians call ad hominem arguments -- arguments of no scholarly repute whatever. There are a few variations of ad hominem argumentation but a typical one would be of the following form:
Hitler liked dogs
Hitler was evil
Therefore liking dogs is wrong
You don't have to be a logician to see immediately that such an argument is invalid yet it is form of argument that is routinely resorted to by the Left and the Greens. Why do they do it? Simple. It is all they have left once the full facts of the matter are presented. Even an invalid argument seems to comfort them when they are faced with having to give up beliefs that their egos are heavily invested in.
And in politics character assassination can be very useful. A candidate for political office is only partly evaluated on the strength of his arguments. Most of the time he is evaluated as a person. And he NEEDS to be evaluated that way because the voter has to predict what the candidate might do in the future. The candidate's claims about past and present reality are a relatively secondary part of what the voter has to evaluate. So ad hominem attacks can serve the Leftist quite well in politics.
I am not a politician, however. I am sure I would be a very bad one, in fact. I am an academic. And what I try to do is to represent the facts as accurately as possible. And the fact that I have had 200+ articles published in the academic journals shows that I am rather good at that. And most of those articles were in fact in the field of political psychology. I may in fact have had more papers published on political psychology than anyone else, ever. I obviously know the field of political psychology very well and yet I can think of no-one else who has had as many papers published in that field. So I am by normal academic criteria a leading expert on the subject and my constant focus on the psychology of the Left is entirely within the realm of my academic expertise.
And those 200+ publications were in fact rather hard-won. The editors and referees who evaluated the papers concerned and accepted them for publication were rarely sympathetic to my conclusions. Academics in the social sciences are overwhelmingly Leftist and my conclusions almost always tended to undermine Leftist beliefs. So my writing had to be "waterproof" to be passed for publication. There had to be no obvious faults in it that would justify rejection. I had to write at a much higher academic standard than someone who presented conclusions congenial to the Left. But in academic writing, ad hominem considerations have no part so my careful presentation of the facts eventually won the day nine times out of 10.
So you might see why I don't take attacks on me personally very seriously. The accuracy and relevance of what I say depends on the facts, not on who I am. But I am so far from being ashamed of what I am that I have put an unusual amount of personal information about myself on the net. I have nothing to hide. I am in fact frank about myself to the point that many might consider unwise.
And it is therefore MOST amusing that one of my recent Leftist critics had obviously trawled at great length through my autobiographical data looking for "dirt" and was able to come up with? Can you guess? Can you guess what he found to criticize? He criticized my POETRY!! What a good laugh I had about that! I doubt that any of my readers here would have been aware that in my long-lost teens I did write a bit of poetry. I put the poetry concerned online with the note that "I don't think much of it now" so criticisms of it leave me supremely unmoved.
The critic concerned also dug out a photo of me in my long-lost youthful slimness and posted it on his blog. So I feel rather kindly towards him about that! Even in doing that, however, my critic managed to generate a laugh. Before posting the picture he cropped it so that it no longer showed me with an arm around my cute little red-headed girfriend of the time. Must not show that conservatives have girlfriends! So I had another good laugh about that! You can see the uncropped picture here.
My poetry-loving critic also linked to another, older, post about me with the recommendation that it was a terrific read. Guess what was the first thing that this high-powered critique of me said? It said that I was "of paedophilic appearance". How desperate can you get? And shortly after that he went on to coin a new word" "indiscrete". Does he mean "indiscreet" or "not discrete"? Who knows? Definitely a low-wattage intellect. He then goes on to talk about my "hilariously unpublishable articles"! Wow! So how come over 200 of them did get published in mainstream academic journals? He is however not short of mental "agility". He then goes on to QUOTE from some of my published academic journal articles! Once again, much to amuse there. I have previously commented on the poor soul's meanderings here
And then, of course, there is Neiwert -- whose attack on me is also of course an ad hominem argument. In a supreme feat of illogic, he endeavours to portray me as a racist in the apparent belief that doing so will enable him to avoid confronting what I have pointed out about the Leftist nature of Nazism and Fascism! But surely if I really were a racist I would be particularly knowledgeable about Nazism and Fascism and therefore could speak with some authority on the political nature of those movements! So rather than disqualifying me to comment by his aspersions, Neiwert would seem in fact to be qualifying me. So his critique could be seen as another example of his talent for shooting himself in the foot. You can read about another example of that talent here.
I commented briefly on his silly attack yesterday and I should perhaps repeat here that a document that both he and my other critic mentioned immediately above have used in an attempt to prove the "racist" charge against me has already been comprehensively answered by me long ago. So that old answer should be read to form a part of my answer here. But I also think that I should here add some important background considerations to all of the attacks on me:
Leftists have so poisoned discussion of race and racism by decades of hysterical shrieks about it that any mention of race or racism is now seen as highly suspect -- unless of course you are praising some minority or asserting how justly they are aggrieved.
And I DO quite happily make statements about race and racism that are of a kind that would have been regarded as perfectly normal thoughout all of human history -- but which have just in the last few decades become furiously excoriated. The only reasonable definition of racism that I can see is something along the lines of "harming a person solely because of his race" but to a modern-day Leftist, just discussing race is "racism". To a Leftist, our entire human ancestry consisted of "racists". I suppose that suits a Leftist's inflated view of his own wonderful wisdom and virtue but it is extremely presumptuous.
So Neiwert's quotations from my various published comments on race and racism were an easy hit. His quotations decisively PROVE that I am a racist -- according to current Leftist criteria. That I am not a racist in any real sense, you might gather from this recent post. And in the simple-minded theology of the Left, a racist would definitely have to be an antisemite so how to explain my unwavering support for Israel? Most of my blogs actually display an Israeli flag -- yet I am not Jewish.
What is going on is that I refuse to subscribe to an addled definition of racism that rules out most discussion of it a priori. If the facts show that the races differ on average in some respect, I will say so -- and I often do say so. And in that I now have a lot of the medical literature on my side. Differences between the races, most of them apparently of genetic origin, are now frequently reported in the medical literature. See here, for instance.
So Leftist obscurantism about race now puts them squarely within the camp of the old Leftist Lysenkoists who once denied genetic inheritance entirely -- insisting quite amazingly that characteristics acquired in one's lifetime would be passed on to one's offspring. The Leftist view of racism is now clearly as unscientific as anything Trofim Lysenko ever said.
And the topic within political psychology that I took most interest in during my academic career was in fact racism. So around 15 years ago, I went to the library at my local university and looked up their PsycLIT CD-ROM. The CD was published by the American Psychological Association and indexes what has been published in all the world's academic psychology journals. I entered the search terms "racism" and "ethnocentrism" and looked at the authorship of the stream of articles that came out. There was one author who had published far more than any other -- accounting for about a fifth of the articles listed. So, by normal academic conventions, that author would clearly be the world's leading authority on the psychology of racism. I am that author. So regardless of the abuse that Neiwert and his ilk hurl at my writings on race and racism, those writings are perfectly respectable intellectually. You can access the publications concerned via this link.
That does also of course make it rather amusing that my critics have a habit of referring to me as a "pseudo" academic. If I am a pseudo-academic, I would like to meet a real one! Leftists cannot even get their abuse right a lot of the time. If they have to lie to make themselves feel good, then lie they will.
And, speaking of lies, I note that Neiwert does not appear to have responded to my exposure of his lie about the antisemitic Father Coughlin being a "Rightist". I suppose Leftists HAVE to use lies. The facts are so inconvenient to them. And the one HUGELY inconvenient fact to them is that the two great tyrannies of the 20th century -- Fascism and Communism -- were both examples of what happens when Leftism escapes all restraints.
Nothing that I have said above should be construed as a claim that there is anybody anywhere in academe who agrees with all my views on race and racism. Given the generally Leftist leanings of psychologists, I would be most surprised if there were. All that my publication record shows is that the arguments I have put forward on race and racism have very often been accepted by experts in the field as arguments that are well-made and well-supported. They are a good contribution to a discussion that the Left in general are determied to prevent us from having. I have put up here a summary of where I do stand on the questions involved. I argue that my stance is in fact a middle way between extremes.
And I might add finally that I myself do not depend on ad hominem argumentation in my writings -- though I can rarely resist a tu quoque. For instance, I have an exceedingly dim view of Bill Clinton yet I felt obliged to defend one of his statements recently because I felt that he had been unreasonably criticized over it. See here. So, whether you agree with my defence of Clinton or not, you can see that I, at least, am able to separate the truth of a statement from the person who made it.
I rather enjoyed writing the above. I am tempted to go on and fisk my critics in more detail but I am under no illusions about my ability to clean out the Augean stables. The Augean stables were so full of shit that you could shovel all your life and not get rid of it all.
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