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Monday, March 02, 2009

Attempt a zillion and six to exonerate Darwin of racism

More fantasies here about the old racist Charles Darwin. Allegedly motivated by a desire to rid the world of slavery.

The reality, as I mentioned to friends recently, is more like this:
Darwin was a racist, pure and simple. Why can’t people just accept that fact, and get past it?

I have become increasingly suspicious of efforts to excuse it by saying that the old boy was also anti-slavery. Lots of racists are anti-slavery. That was true thousands of years ago, by the way.

Slavery is a bad social institution because it disrupts normal social ties. For example, a man can have two sons, one by his wife and one by a slave girl he rapes. He can lavish the best on the first son and sell the second down river to some horrible fate* – without thinking he is doing anything wrong.

That unfits men for normal relations with women – which are (under natural human circumstances) always negotiated relationships. (You want me? Why me? Why not my older sister? Have you spoken to my father? What are you offering? And, have you ever been married before? What happened?)

Over time, slavery leads to stupid immorality, brutality, and the downfall of the societies that sponsor it. It is not hard to see why.

(*By the way, that fact alone pretty much disproves Dawkins’s selfish gene thesis.)
A person can be a racist and be anti-slavery quite easily. Efforts to pretend otherwise are doubtless aimed at exonerating people like Darwin from being racists - which they were.

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