Richard Goode's picture
Submitted by Richard Goode on Thu, 2010-09-09 11:57

In light of Doug Bandler's recent self-outing as a racist (and this bizarre allegation of racism) I thought it timely to revisit Ayn Rand's great essay, "Racism" (reprinted as Chapter 17 of The Virtue of Selfishness), and post the following excerpts.


Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

Racism claims that the content of a man's mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man's convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control... Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stockfarm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.

Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man's life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination.

The respectable family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to "protect the family name" (as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)—the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder, or the small-town spinster who boasts that her maternal great-uncle was a state senator and her third cousin gave a concert at Carnegie Hall (as if the achievements of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)—the parents who search genealogical trees in order to evaluate their prospective sons-in-law—the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history—all these are samples of racism, the atavistic manifestations of a doctrine whose full expression is the tribal warfare of prehistorical savages, the wholesale slaughter of Nazi Germany, the atrocities of today's so-called "newly emerging nations."

The theory that holds "good blood" or "bad blood" as a moral-intellectual criterion, can lead to nothing but torrents of blood in practice. Brute force is the only avenue of action open to men who regard themselves as mindless aggregates of chemicals.

Modern racists attempt to prove the superiority or inferiority of a given race by the historical achievements of some of its members. The frequent historical spectacle of a great innovator who, in his lifetime, is jeered, denounced, obstructed, persecuted by his countrymen, and then, a few years after his death, is enshrined in a national monument and hailed as a proof of the greatness of the German (or French or Italian or Cambodian) race—is as revolting a spectacle of collectivist expropriation, perpetrated by racists, as any expropriation of material wealth perpetrated by communists.

Just as there is no such thing as a collective or racial mind, so there is no such thing as a collective or racial achievement. There are only individual minds and individual achievements—and a culture is not the anonymous product of undifferentiated masses, but the sum of the intellectual achievements of individual men.

Even if it were proved—which it is not—that the incidence of men of potentially superior brain power is greater among the members of certain races than among the members of others, it would still tell us nothing about any given individual and it would be irrelevant to one's judgment of him. A genius is a genius, regardless of the number of morons who belong to the same race—and a moron [e.g., Doug Bandler] is a moron, regardless of the number of geniuses who share his racial origin. It is hard to say which is the more outrageous injustice: the claim of Southern racists that a Negro genius should be treated as an inferior because his race has "produced" some brutes—or the claim of a German brute to the status of a superior because his race has "produced" Goethe, Schiller and Brahms.

These are not two different claims, of course, but two applications of the same basic premise. The question of whether one alleges the superiority or the inferiority of any given race is irrelevant; racism has only one psychological root: the racist's sense of his own inferiority.

Like every other form of collectivism, racism is a quest for the unearned. It is a quest for automatic knowledge—for an automatic evaluation of men's characters that bypasses the responsibility of exercising rational or moral judgment—and, above all, a quest for an automatic self-esteem (or pseudo-self-esteem).

To ascribe one's virtues to one's racial origin, is to confess that one has no knowledge of the process by which virtues are acquired and, most often, that one has failed to acquire them. The overwhelming majority of racists are men who have earned no sense of personal identity, who can claim no individual achievement or distinction, and who seek the illusion of a "tribal self-esteem" by alleging the inferiority of some other tribe. Observe the hysterical intensity of the Southern racists; observe also that racism is much more prevalent among the poor white trash than among their intellectual betters.

Historically, racism has always risen or fallen with the rise or fall of collectivism. Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to "society," to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force—and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.

There is only one antidote to racism: the philosophy of individualism and its politico-economic corollary, laissez-faire capitalism.

yes, sure

Damien Grant's picture

That there is a difference between different races IQ is not in question, the cause of that difference is of course contentious.

The Flynn effect records that IQs have been raising over time, and there is some, disputed, evidence that the IQ gap between American white and black IQs has decreased in recent decades.

It is easy to look at Africans, especially those in Africa, and assume a permanent difference between the two races, but I am not so certain. If IQs have risen in the west, then if you compare modern european with medieval european you may form the same conclusion, but generations of education and good diet have made a difference. More compelling to my mind is the difference between chinese in Hong Kong and those of rural china. The difference in their intellectual ability is huge, yet all that separates them is two hundred years of modernity.

Of course, it is possible that the optimal achievements of different races may be different, but who the frick every achieves their optimum?

It is probably possible that if I trained hard every day, ate well and did not smoke, drink or eat KFC that I could run a three hour marathon. That might be my potential, but it is meaningless to my reality.

The only way to test this is to take thirty black babies and thirty white ones and raise them in a vacuum for three decades and test them at the end. Good luck funding that, although the answers would be interesting and I suspect that the actual difference may not be statically significant, because I think that we all made trade offs in life that limit ourselves. Black children obtain less return for an investment in education, likewise their parents, so make less of a commitment, and this lack of early investment actually limits the adults ability. If the playing field was truely level, I suspect that the differences may not be measurable.

Blaming the dysfunction of different societies solely on race seems unsatisfying but also unhelpful because it gives us no levers to pull. I’m more interested in understanding what changes can be made to drag dysfunctional societies into the light because if we can meddle to effect an improvement in their behaviour and society that makes our own lives better.

This, however, is an entirely separate issue from the US immigration policy, which is one of the most self-destructive acts ever designed by any nation, with the possible exception of the Jewish revolt against Hadrian.

Suddenly, Jamal realised he was completely surrounded by niggers

Richard Goode's picture

Suddenly, Jamal realised he was completely surrounded by niggers

Richard "Sharpton" Goode

Michael Moeller's picture

I want to put this in the record. It is ironic, yet disgusting, that Goode should use Ayn Rand's quote about racism to bash other people. Yet, he will downplay racist statements, then later definitely prove he was downplaying them in order to bash somebody.

Ergo, Goode is not against racism on principle, but rather a race hustler who will only use the issue of race when convenient to attack somebody.


Ron Paul

Richard Goode's picture

A nation that once prided itself on a sense of rugged individualism has become uncomfortably obsessed with racial group identities.

The collectivist mindset is at the heart of racism.

Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry. Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart, and we cannot change people's hearts by passing more laws and regulations.

It is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. Government "benevolence" crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility among us.

Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism.

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence—not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty.


My understanding

Brant Gaede's picture

My understanding is that blacks were becoming more and more equal economically and education-wise with whites in the 1950s and 60s, but that this was spiked by the creation of The Great Society. I can't reference this out, however.


What's your IQ?

Richard Goode's picture

I have great fears of America losing its white majority in the context of an egalitarian Leftist society.

I fear the Hispanization of America. Mexicans and Hispanics generally exhibit high degrees of inbreeding. Whereas Europeans have moved past that and exhibit high degrees of outbreeding. As a result Europeans have developed a culture where we have high levels of trust for non tribal relatives. This is one of the reasons why we are the most individualist and thus libertarian of all the races on Earth. Change the racial makeup of society by including large numbers of inbreeding populations (Mexicans, Hispanics, Muslims, etc) and you risk ending the individualism of your culture as these more tribal immigrants bring their culture with them.

I think it can be argued that Mexico is an enemy country and it is using Mexican immigration as a weapon against America.



Richard Goode's picture

What's your IQ?


Leonid's picture

Doug "Post the opposing data if you've got it."

First, reliability of IQ test is questionable. As Gerhard Meisenberg observed "IQ is a very crude construct. The structure of intelligence appears to vary among human populations, with Mongoloids being better at visuo-spatial and mathematical tasks and Caucasoids better at verbal tasks (Lynn, 1987; Wainer, 1988). Some other cognitive abilities are not tapped by IQ tests at all. Social skills, for example, can vary independent of IQ (Baron-Cohen et al., 1999). Cognitive abilities and personality traits that are not tapped by IQ tests can be as important as IQ"


Second, some studies don't confirm the gap.

Biological parents Number of children Initial testing

Moore (1986) initially tested at age 7–10

Black-black 9 108.7
Black-white 14 107.2

Eyferth (1961) initially tested at age 5–13

Black-white 171 96.5
White-white 70 97.2

Tizard et al. (1972)initially tested at age 2-5

Black-black 31 103.1
Black-white 43 104.8
White-white 75 100.0


Third, gap could be related not to the racial but environmental causes, like malnutrition, lack of early mental stimulation etc...

"In short, Rushton and Jensen (2005) ride roughshod over the evidence concerning the question of whether the Black–White IQ gap has a hereditary basis. The most directly relevant research concerns degree of European ancestry in the Black population. There is not a shred of evidence in this literature, which draws on studies having a total of five very different designs, that the gap has a genetic basis. Adoption studies give scarcely more support to the heritability position. Finally, Black and White IQ scores have converged in recent decades, and in addition, we know that intervention programs can produce substantial and lasting effects on Black IQ."

Richard Nisbett (2005). "Heredity, environment, and race differences in IQ: A commentary on Rushton and Jensen (2005)". Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 11 (2): 302–310. doi:10.1037/1076-8971.11.2.302.


See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

Finally, nobody deals with the whole race. Statistics are meaningless in regard to individuals. A moron is a moron even if he belongs to the race of geniuses; a genius is a genius even if he belongs to the race of morons. Your approach is similar to that of a typical collectivist who regards people as a group and justifies an affirmative action on the grounds that a "gap" creates uneven playground for blacks. IQ of Asians is higher than that of Whites, but Industrial Revolution happened in the West. Consider this fact to appreciate the real value of IQ.

Wrong take on the Left

Doug Bandler's picture

You credit them as champions of freedom, rights and anti -racism.

No. I consider them to be militant egalitarian, blank-slate collectivists that worship at the alter of total "equality" and do not acknowledge that there are hereditary differences amongst the races. Many Objectivists do the same thing and I am frustrated by it. One can be an individualist and acknowledge that there are differences in hereditary traits that manifest itself along racial lines. Is it racist to acknowledge that Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ totals in the world? Shouldn't we be asking why that is?


Doug Bandler's picture

First, I doubt your numbers very much.

100 years of IQ testing confirm this. If you can point to any data that suggests otherwise there is an entire army of evolutionary scholars and behavioral scientists that would be interested. So would Charles Murray, Richard Lynn, Phillip Rushton and James Watson for starters. Post the opposing data if you've got it.

Doug " Average American black

Leonid's picture

Doug " Average American black IQ is 85..."

First, I doubt your numbers very much. Second, even if you are right, statistics are inapplicable to individual people. Pregnancy rate of 15% doesn't mean that each and every woman is little bit pregnant. The treatment of people as a group is a trade mark of collectivism. Now, there are many collectivist philosophies, but Objectivism is not one of them. It treats people as individuals.

Doug: " I see, we are all leftists now"

You have very peculiar view on the Left. You credit them as champions of freedom, rights and anti -racism. I think, this credit is unwarranted. But maybe you are a hidden leftist yourself, that is-a double agent, as our host likes to define it?

Noble Heroic Racism

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Doug -- "Racist" is a term and badge of honor nowadays. Starting with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, thru William Shockley, thru Howard Stern, thru Chris Rock, thru Francis Crick, etc., name one person of quality and defiant virtue today, anywhere on earth, who isn't a "racist"! All it means these days is that you have a bit of honesty, courage, and integrity about matters of race. Even Rand, Branden, Kelley, Peikoff, etc. lack that!

Pure Bullshit

Doug Bandler's picture

More knee jerk idiocy. Nothing I said is inconsistent with Rand's essay. How many non-white characters are in Rand's novels? The only one I can think of is the Chinese draftsman in 'The Fountainhead'. How many speaking lines did he get? Francisco D'Anconia is a European South American. He was not a Mestizo. Does that make Rand a racist?

Average American black IQ is 85. Average African black IQ is 75. Average white IQ is 100. (Northern Asians and Ashkenazi Jews have even higher IQ averages.) Does drawing attention to this fact make one a racist? Is it possible that perhaps "evolution didn't stop at the neck"? Or is all that science stuff racist too? Is it possible that a population group with lower IQ will have a lower time horizon in their thinking patterns and therefore be less moral and more violent on average? Perhaps that might result in higher crime rates; especially violent crime? Is even making those types of logical connections racist?

Exactly what is safe for a "non-racist" Objectivist to think about and what is not safe? Wait a minute, I thought Objectivism was about following the evidence wherever it leads. Or is that only if it leads to politically correct conclusions? I see, we are all Leftists now. How lovely, that.

Goode, your an idiot Christian egalitarian. Your phd marks you as an educated dummy, nothing more.

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