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Modern Phrenology: Reinventing 19th Century “Race Science” as 21st Century “Critical Race Theory”

Author:

Garry Reed combined a professional technical writing career and a passion for all things libertarian to become The Libertarian Opinionizer.

modern-phrenology-reinventing-19th-century-race-science-as-21st-century-critical-race-theory

Incendiary Commentary From Your Libertarian Opinionizer

The US interracial marriage statistics for 2021 show that 10% of the population (11 million people) are currently in mixed-race unions.

It’s time for the rest of America to embrace our differences instead of weaponizing our differences for political, social, cultural and all other reasons. All race-hating and race-baiting is deplorable no matter where it comes from or who it’s aimed at.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”—George Santayana

When it comes to defining race it’s obvious that huge numbers of white and non-white people are ignorant of human history on the subject and are today being played by political, cultural, social and egomaniacal power-seeking manipulators.

The idea of dividing humanity into separate and unequal races began in the 16th and 17th centuries when European and American “scientists” began studying and inventing, “race science.” In the late 1700s German physician Franz Joseph Gall's theory of "organology" resulted in a new “science” called “Phrenology.

Gall believed that individual moral and racial characteristics could be determined by feeling the bumps on people’s heads since the bumps were made by the “organs” inside of people’s brains. He then determined “scientifically” that African, Asian and all other variously defined “races” of people were inferior to the “white race.” That became the “scientific” justification for African slavery and for the near-genocide of America’s indigenous people.

modern-phrenology-reinventing-19th-century-race-science-as-21st-century-critical-race-theory

Remember the Good Old Days when we were all assured that no one is ever born racist but that racism is a learned behavior? Those days are long gone.

Today while some claim that molecular biology proves there is only one race, the human race, a new breed of political race hustlers are creating their own contrived ideological version of Phrenology using unscientific social constructions like Critical Race Theory, Systemic Racism, White Privilege, White Fragility, Identity Politics, 1619 Project, Evolutionary Racism, Genetic Racism, Institutional and Structural Racism, a malignant, parasitic-like condition called Parasitic Whiteness and whatever other kinds of racism can be conjured up based on the theoretical intangibles of the soft sciences.

Criticizing Critical Theory and Pseudoscience

modern-phrenology-reinventing-19th-century-race-science-as-21st-century-critical-race-theory

DM Schwartz takes on these 21st Century versions of Phrenology in his book with the pithy title, The Cult of Critical Theory and its run-on subtitle “Slaying the false narratives of Systemic Racism, White Fragility, the 1619 Project, Breonna Taylor, Critical Race Theory, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and more...”

In the book’s Preface Schwartz warns us against falling for these social and political manipulations by quoting three of America’s outstanding black leaders:

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent.”—Malcom X

“A true and worthy ideal frees and uplifts a people; a false ideal imprisons and lowers.”—W.E.B. Du Bois

“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”—Thurgood Marshall

Schwartz will receive knee-jerk vilification from the race-based fascist collectivist ultra-left and just as automatically lionized by the race-based fascist collectivist ultra-right since both extremes seek to gain power from fomenting race hatred.

While some with little understanding of libertarianism accuse libertarians of being racists in fact libertarians have no skin in this game of any color since libertarianism is an individualist-based philosophy dedicated to judging each human being as a unique soul irrespective of any group identity.

modern-phrenology-reinventing-19th-century-race-science-as-21st-century-critical-race-theory

As Wendy McElroy summed it up in her “Libertarianism and Racism” article, “Although a racist libertarian who acts peacefully toward others is not a contradiction in terms, the set of ideas that constitute libertarianism are unlikely to produce or to attract a racist.”

Further putting the lie to “libertarians are racist” is the Facebook page Black Libertarians and the Facebook group Black Libertarisns.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether race is scientifically real or just a theoretical social construct. The only thing that really matters is how the vast majority of decent people already interact with one another in their daily lives:

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Collectivism is racist, Libertarianism is Individualist

What few people seem to realize is the deeper significance of Dr. King’s message. Judging people on the basis of skin color is just another form of systemic groupthink collectivist racism while judging people on the basis of their personal character is a form of accepting each human being as a distinctly unique individual.

In short, Dr. King is telling us to reject collectivist racism and embrace individualist equality.

That is exactly what the individualist philosophy of libertarianism demands. Dr. King likely never heard of the Non-Aggression Principle but if he did it wouldn’t have escaped his understanding as an ordained minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Church that the libertarian Non-Aggression Principle is a restatement of The Golden Rule.

While stated in many different ways by many different individual libertarians this is the essence of the Non-Aggression Principle:

The Non-Aggression Principle, or NAP, is the belief that individuals should be free to act as they choose with the exception that they may not initiate force, or the threat of force, against another person or their property. Like the Golden Rule, the Silver Rule, and the Principle of Charity, the NAP can be a beacon of light to guide each of us through the journey of a lifetime.

Individuals of all color reject racism

Without even mentioning libertarianism the universality of anti-racism is eloquently spelled out in the video “The Content of Their Character | Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote” by The Mister Brown:

Racism is most dangerous when it’s wielded as a politically polarizing weapon, whether by Trump and his supporters creating fear and anger in liberals or by Marxist “Democratic Socialists” creating fear and anger in conservatives.

Racism or no racism, it’s only when individuals learn to treat all individuals as individuals that the manipulative power of political, cultural and social malice will be taken away from the race haters and the race baiters among us.

The sad truth is that despite people like Dr. King, despite the humanity of libertarian individualism, despite science or pseudoscience, racism will always exist as long as some with evil intentions benefit from perpetuating racism for whatever selfish reasons.

It will never be admitted by race-haters on all sides that only some people are racist and some people are not racist. That doesn’t fit the “America Is A Racist Country” narrative. It doesn’t matter of course because it’s all about the ego-preening virtue signaling.

What the world needs is systemic libertarianism, not systemic collectivism, and not a multitude of race-based theories like Critical Race Theory, Systemic Racism, White Privilege, White Fragility, Identity Politics, 1619 Project, Evolutionary Racism, Genetic Racism and whatever else they can dream up.

modern-phrenology-reinventing-19th-century-race-science-as-21st-century-critical-race-theory

Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether we are born racist or not, or whether we are born subconsciously racist or not. We don’t stay babies forever. We grow. Our brains develop. We learn to think, to question, to reason, to judge, to make personal independent choices. We are completely capable of rejecting racism as irrational, immoral and stupid.

Everyone has the opportunity to become rational, thinking individuals that allows us to consciously choose our own beliefs no matter what we were born with.

That makes it highly unlikely any libertarian of any race is going to play along with the “whites are born racist” pseudoscience because behavioral neuroscience “proves it” any more than they’ll buy into the “blacks are born inferior” because it was “proven” by Phrenology.

Those who believe in the original sin of white racism had best start questioning their reliance on neuroscience that claims white people are born racist. The bad news for white-haters came in 2009: “Science Says: Blacks and Whites are Born Racists.”

After all Phrenology was totally debunked as a science long ago but who says the racism of neuroscience won’t be debunked in the future?

If rational individuals do not triumph over emotionalistic groupthinking race-haters we won’t even have a future; it will be back to the barbaric tribalism of the past for everyone.

Long live Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Long live the Libertarian Non-Aggression Principle. The future, if there is to be one, belongs to those who can master the art of being both loving and rational in harmony within their own minds and within the One Race that is the human race.

References and Links

Critical Race Theory Is a “Religious Movement” warns Dr. Voddie Baucham, the black Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Zambia.” Further he says, “It has all the trappings of a religion. It has its own cosmology, it has its own saints, it has its own liturgy, its own law” and a distortion of objective truth, replaced by subjective storytelling.

A Wokism Church Service is where white people self-flagellate to exorcise their evil whiteness. “If Democrats follow their usual script, they'll make opposition to CRT out to be a bunch of angry white people. This would of course ignore the diverse group of black and brown people, both fathers and mothers, who are speaking out as well.”

Ayn Rand Rejected Racism as “the crudest form of collectivism.” Even as Rand rejected libertarianism many who studied Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism nonetheless embraced libertarianism while also rejecting racism. Randian libertarians are not racists.

From Cato Institute: While there certainly is both personal and collective racism David Boaz insists “The dignity of the individual under libertarianism is a dignity that enhances social well‐being. Libertarianism is good not just for individuals but for societies.”

Rational People Get It…

Comments

Garry Reed (author) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on July 17, 2021:

I am not denying the reality of racism. I thought I had made it clear but apparently not that when speaking explicitly within the context of hard science versus soft science hard science informs us that there is only one race, the human race, so it’s logically pointless to continue debating race on the basis of soft science theories since all such theories are social constructs. If you want to debate social constructs that’s fine but you’re then not debating racism because what you’re really debating is non-scientific opinions about racism. See the video “The Science of Racism” at the end of the article and that is the context within which I’m speaking.

aleroe on July 15, 2021:

"ALL theories, claims, discussions of “racism” are ... logically pointless".: I disagree.

"Race" might not be real. But the laws targeting certain groups were real. And it seems they have lingering effects to this day. It's perfectly valid - even important - to discuss whether and what lingering effects there are, and whether we can or should do anything about them.

If you don't want to use the word "race", that's fine. Come up with a better description of laws like Jim Crow or the widespread animosity that blacks (and others) were targeted by in the past.

But don't use your discomfort with the word "race" be an excuse not to discuss what happened all those years ago, and what the lingering effects of it might be.

Garry Reed (author) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on July 14, 2021:

Hard science tells us there is no genetic proof of different races, there is only one race, the Human Race. So if all “racism” is nothing more than social constructs based on soft “science” then ALL theories, claims, discussions of “racism” are also social constructs and therefore logically pointless. I reject all forms of “racism” and choose to embrace the Human Race, period.

aleroe on July 14, 2021:

Are you sure? You wrote "Remember the Good Old Days when we were all assured that no one is ever born racist but that racism is a learned behavior? Those days are long gone." That sure sounds like you think someone (e.g. CRT) is saying people are born racist. But it's not.

You also liken CRT to phrenology. It's fine for you to reject all forms of racism - I'm 100% with you on that. But you're implying that CRT is a form of racism, and that's what I question.

I don't claim to completely understand CRT. But I'm quite certain that conservatives are misrepresenting it. I'm not convinced that it's "viewing the world through racial differences". I think it's viewing the world through the history of racist policies that, undeniably, existed in the past, and whose legacy still lingers today.

And maybe it even exaggerates the lingering effect of those policies. But it's reasonable to ask "how did the racist policies of yesterday lead to the world we live in today?" And it's not racist to do so.

Garry Reed (author) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on July 14, 2021:

If you read my article you'll see that I'm rejecting ALL forms of racism no matter who says it and who it's aimed at. I don't care what conservatives or liberals or anyone else says because racism still requires viewing the world through racial differences rather than viewing the world through One Human Race.

aleroe on July 14, 2021:

Conservatives are grossly misrepresenting Critical Race Theory. I think you might've been misled by them.

CRT does not say that whites are born racist. They say whites grow up surrounded by a culture that was heavily influenced by racism in the past, and whose effects still linger.

My advice is to put aside the books and articles that are attacking CRT and read some of the things the originators of CRT actually wrote. Go to the primary source. Then decide if they're saying what the conservatives say they're saying.

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