To Mr. Fields's article.
To the editor ...
Great article. I read the Derbyshire article in TAC and came away with the same impression as Mr. Fields. The crew at TAC seems to think that appeasing the Israeli Lobby will ensure its success. It doesn't seem to realize that this Lobby doesn't allow any criticism whatsoever (at least by gentiles) and that appeasement will end in TAC's being neutered and then marginalized.
TAC seems to be self-destructing. First it had Pat Buchanan advocating that the United States abandon the Geneva Accords and allow torture of Iraqi prisoners to extract information (just as our Israeli friends already do to the Palestinians). Then it had Buchanan saying that the increase in domestic spying was harmless and worth the threat to our civil liberties because it had ended further terrorist attacks.
It might be time to bring in Justin Raimondo as editor to bring focus and purpose back to TAC and to provide a little adult supervision for Buchanan's increasing diarrhea of the mouth.
May 3, 2003
Mr. Fields replies
I deeply appreciate Mr. Dudley's good words, but for the record I must note that Raimondo simply writes off MacDonald as a "racist."
That's a great review of Derbyshire by Mr. Fields. A lot of his points are exactly what I would like to make if I were allowed to respond in print in The American Conservative, and I love his writing style.
Long Beach, Calif.
March 5, 2003
Mr. Fields wrote: "[Derbyshire] regards as 'silly' MacDonald's contention that 'the human mind was not designed to seek truth but rather to attain evolutionary goals.' While Derbyshire has put his finger on a legitimate epistemological problem here...."
Yes, there is a general epistemological problem how can we trust our mind not to be deluded? But that is not Derbyshire's criticism.
Allow me to clarify MacDonald's statement. When MacDonald says "the human mind was not designed to seek truth but rather to attain evolutionary goals," it means that the "purpose" of the design of the brain is evolutionary adaptiveness. It doesn't mean that the human mind doesn't seek truth; rather, it means that any such truth-seeking function is incidental to the design purpose. Moreover, truth-seeking may not always be adaptive, and the brain could conceivably develop mechanisms that obscure truth. To the extent that the human mind seeks truth, it does so because such truth-seeking has served evolutionary goals.
Individuals and groups vary in the degree to which the ability to seek truth is opposed by mechanisms of self-deception designed to hide truth.
March 4, 2003
To the article.