Friday, August 28, 2009

Why Game is Just the Beginning

Today, Lawrence Auster pushed the blogosphere debate over "Game" to a new level by asking, Is Human Bio-diversity the Next Conservatism? Since many Game advocates are inspired by the HBD movement while choosing to remain politically conservative, the true compatibility between HBD and conservatism is an inevitable line of inquiry.

At the start of the debate, "The Undiscovered Jew" declares…

As a frequent poster at Darwinian right websites like the Audacious Epigone, OneSTDV and Parapundit, I want to give you a heads up that Roissy is only one segment of a new generation of young (OneSTDV is a Gen-Yer, and Audacious Epigone and myself are still in college), white, college educated, Darwin friendly, conservative bloggers the political world will have to contend with who were inspired by Steve Sailer and who closely follow public intellectuals such as Steven Pinker and Charles Murray, i.e., my fellow HBDers…

I invite you to explore HBD writings on subjects other than game because we are the new kids on the block and you will be seeing much more of us in the future as genetic science confirms the hereditarian worldview [...]

Game is just the tip of the iceberg and that you should focus your attention on us because we have the most political potential and we have the most intellectual firepower on our side.

Auster forcefully replied:

Insofar as HBD is materialist reductionist it is a disaster for mankind, for our civilization, and for conservatism. I recommend that you acquaint yourself with my writings on why the right-Darwinist and Sailerist views, while they contain some truths, are, when seen as a whole, false, inadequate to the problems we face, and deeply harmful.

To back up Auster, I sent him my essay, The Happiness of the People, which criticized Charles Murray's speech of the same name. I wrote...

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Murray correctly diagnoses the "bag of chemicals" philosophy as the source of the "Europe Syndrome," but he doesn't recognize that the syndrome can't be defeated by only treating the symptoms (in this case, rolling back the welfare state). The syndrome itself (reductionism) must be treated, as well. In some of the best unintentional comedy ever found in a political speech, Mr. Murray thinks reductionist science will help advance the conservative movement and facilitate the "happiness of the people!" Ha!

Auster replied (and posted on his website)...

Absolutely amazing. As you point out, Murray attacks the material-reductionist view that human beings are a collection of chemicals, correctly describing that view as the source of Europe's leftist, anti-human policies. And then what does he do? He turns around and endorses—as the supposed cure for this leftist anti-humanism—the same material reductionism that he just condemned. And I thought Murray was smart.

The speech is remarkable evidence for the difficulty that atheist materialist conservatives will always have in being consistent in their criticisms of leftism, because at bottom they share key leftist premises.

Indeed. But I'd like to make a few additional points...

First, I do agree with "The Undiscovered Jew" that the HBDers - at least from their perspective - have "the most political potential" while "offering a comprehensive vision of human social organization that could attract intelligent people." In that sense, Game (their philosophy applied to relationships) is - to quote TUJ again - "just the tip of the iceberg."

Yes, the HBD/Gamers are a smart, aggressive, ambitious, and self-confident bunch. They are a force to be reckoned with. And I'm sure they love to hear that.

But they may not like to hear this: The Gamers are also narrow-minded and intellectually sloppy.


A few articles set the tone: Does the Church Have a Future? and One for the Nones.

These articles show - statistically and anecdotally - how my generation (age 30 and under) is spiritually impoverished while also remaining spiritually hungry.

To quote the first piece...

New research shows young Americans are dramatically less likely to go to church -- or to participate in any form of organized religion -- than their parents and grandparents [...]

Putnam says that in the past two decades, many young people began to view organized religion as a source of "intolerance and rigidity and doctrinaire political views," and therefore stopped going to church [...]

Given that today's young "nones" probably would be in church if they didn't associate religion with far-right political views, he says, new faith groups may evolve to serve them [...]

However, he says, it's possible that the current spike in young people opting out of organized religion could also prove to be an opportunity for some [...]

This "stunning" trend of young people becoming less religious could lead to America's next great burst of religious innovation.

I agree with Putnam, Campbell, Gerson, and others that the low church totals for my generation doesn't reflect a lack of spiritual passion. It just shows the lack of focus for that passion. That's one of the reasons I wrote The Mustard Seed.

A few week into this "Game" debate, I continue to believe that hunger exists. But I'm starting to realize that - at least for a growing number of young men - their hunger is over. The reductionist slime in their brains is too thick to dislodge. As a wise man once said, "They don't know what they don't know." And to that, I would add, "And they don't want to know!"

Of course, I was already aware of this phenomenon. In Chapter 10 of The Mustard Seed, Brian Raines reflects on his nihilist friend, Troy Dawkins...

I was offering Troy a chance to see the world in a new and better way – to escape the prison he had built for himself. But he didn’t care. He was strangely comfortable inside those prison walls. In fact, the only time he seemed uncomfortable was when someone opened the door, turned on the light, and offered him a chance to walk out. While Troy claimed to be an “intellectual arsonist,” the truth was the opposite: he was a moral and mental imbecile. But would he ever realize the errors of his way? Would he ever choose to change his perspective? I honestly didn’t know.

Will the Gamers ever change their perspective? I honestly don't know.


**UPDATE, AUG. 30, 2009**

Lawrence Auster's essay, Is Human Bio-diversity the Next Conservatism? has led to a feisty exchange between Mr. Auster and Dennis Mangan, a conservative who is sympathetic to the HBD movement. At one point, Mr. Mangan wrote the headline, Auster to Bio-Cons: Drop Dead.

Since I thought this was out-of-line, I wrote on Mr. Mangan's site...

Dennis: I don't think Auster told you to "drop dead." And if he did, I wouldn't support it. I think he's encouraging you to see the limits of the HBD paradigm to advance the cause we all share--protecting Western civilization. In that cause, we are all allies, and we need to work together. However, in addition, it's perfectly legitimate for Auster (and others) to critique you when your judgment is flawed (as in the most recent case: the debate over "Game"). The HBD paradigm has enabled many conservatives to justify "Game" (including the Roissyite version) when common sense and critical thinking should dictate opposition. That's all. No more, no less. To quote many moms throughout history: "I criticize because I care."



ken said...

Just curious:

You write all these long posts keeping up with the frequent discussions around the conservative Internet.

But I don't see anyone commenting? Have you seen any increase in site traffic since you became involved in the Game/HBD debate?

Todd White said...

Ken: Yes, from what I can tell, there has been a jump in my traffic over the past week. A few of my posts have generated comments (especially "Sex, Love, and Marriage in Modern Society" and "The Game over Game Continues"). Of course, I write because I enjoy it. If other people enjoy it too, that's great, but it's not a requirement.

ken said...

If it's just for enjoyment, why do you have one of the most ad-riddled blogspot blogs I've seen?

Todd White said...

Lol. Is it really that bad? I signed up for Google Ad Sense a while back. Hey, I'm a capitalist. Love me for what I am ;)