1. "Racism," The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism  (New York: New American Library, 1964), p. 126.

2. The question is especially pregnant because thoughtful Randians know that, in their own intellectual gifts, they are far more likely to resemble Eddie Willers than Dagny Taggart or John Galt!

3. Nathaniel Branden, at the time a Rand confidant, wrote: "Eddie Willers ... represents the best of the average man: the honest, conscientious person of limited ability. At the end of the story, his fate is deliberately left indeterminate; we do not know whether he will live or die; if someone comes along to save him, he will survive; if not, he will perish. The meaning of his fate is that men such as Eddie can function productively and happily in a world in which the Hank Reardens and the Dagny Taggarts are left free, but men such as Eddie have no chance in a world ruled by the collectivists." (Who Is Ayn Rand?  [New York: Random House, 1962], pp. 121-22.)

4. J. Philippe Rushton, in Race, Evolution, and Behavior  (see note 6), has this to say of the founder of the Montessori approach:

Maria Montessori ... the well-known Italian educational reformer, not only devised a system of self-education for young children but also lectured on anthropology at the University of Rome. She accepted evolutionary-based differences in criminality and intelligence from the work of Broca and Lombroso. She also measured the circumference of children's heads in her schools and concluded that faster learning was made by children with bigger brains. (p. 109)

5. I am not certain how far determinist assumptions have penetrated into today's common culture, but it is interesting to note the large proportion of people who, in stating an opinion, don't say "I think," but rather "I feel." That is just what an honest determinist must  say (assuming "honesty" has any meaning in a determinist context!).

6. An excellent starting point for one's self-education in these matters is Rushton's Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History Perspective  (New York: Transaction, 1994).

7. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology,  expanded 2nd ed. (New York: NAL Books, 1990), p. 72.

8. Among possibly important qualifying factors, given the context, are sex and age.

9. See especially "Myth of the racist cabbie," by Dinesh D'Souza, National Review, Oct. 9, 1995, p. 36.

10. I also do my best to avoid karate-strutting Oriental youths wearing Fu Manchu moustaches and muscle shirts, and white bikers wearing tattoos and Wehrmacht helmets (as well as U.S. soldiers and paramilitary police wearing Wehrmacht helmets). But in this particular discussion, I am focusing not on voluntarily adopted styles, but rather on the involuntary attribute of skin color in combination with sex and age. Few of us hesitate to act on our prejudices against people who exhibit traits that are obviously voluntary; we tend to feel much more tender — if not actually guilty — about responding negatively to inborn traits.

11. "A Philosopher Looks at the O.J. Verdict," Ford Hall Forum, 1996. Since I have fired a shot across Peikoff's bow, I hasten to assure my readers that this taped lecture is a gripping and thought-provoking analysis of how the chaos and evil in the American justice system is attributable to irrational and evil philosophy; and another fine demonstration that ideas have consequences.

12. As for what intelligence is and whether it can be measured, a comprehensive explication of those questions is quite beyond my compass here, and also beyond my competence. But I will venture to make a couple of points. Contrary to the folklore fabricated by the leftists' gutter press, standard intelligence tests are highly predictive of future educational and occupational success. Also, the IQ differences among races show up most clearly with respect to general mental ability ("the g  factor") and not  clearly at all with respect to the sorts of performance that we would expect to be most conditioned by cultural and socioeconomic disadvantage. According to Rushton,

[Arthur] Jensen concluded ... the average black-white difference on diverse mental tests may be interpreted as chiefly a difference in g,  rather than as a difference in the more specific sources of test score variance associated with any particular informational content, scholastic knowledge, acquired skill, or type of test. (p. 139; see also pp. 32- 34)

Of course creative ability, including the ability to create advanced civilizations, involves more than sheer intelligence. Otherwise the industrial revolution — for instance — surely would have occurred in the Orient rather than in the Occident, given the superior IQ of Orientals (see Rushton, p. 134 inter alia).  Even so, Rushton writes that East and West have much more in common, civilizationally, than certain other parts of the world:

Twenty-one criteria by which a civilization could be judged were set up by J. R. Baker [in Race ; see note 13].... He ... proceeded to analyze the historical record to ascertain which races have originated civilizations. His conclusion was that the Caucasoid peoples developed all 21 components of civilization in four independent locations, the Sumerian in the valley of the Tigris and the Euphrates, the Cretan, the Indus Valley, and the ancient Egyptian. The Mongoloids also developed a full civilization in the Sinic civilization in China. The Amerindians achieved about half of the 21 components in the Maya society of Guatemala, a little less in the Inca and Aztec societies, but these peoples never invented a written script, the wheel (except possibly in children's toys), the principle of the arch in their architecture, metal working, or money for the exchange of goods. The Negroids and the Australian aborigines achieved virtually none of the criteria of civilization. (pp. 141-42)

13. Most investigators, including Rushton, find an average difference between white Americans and black Americans of about 15 IQ points (100 versus 85), amounting to one full standard deviation. (Cf. John R. Baker, Race  [Athens, Ga.: Foundation for Human Understanding, 1974], especially Chap. 25, "Racial differences in cognitive ability.") The average difference between white Americans and pure Africans seems to be far greater; in Race, Evolution, and Behavior,  Rushton summarizes the startling results of studies showing an "approximate mean [IQ] for pure Negroids" of 70.  (p. 137)

14. All lynchings of whites and blacks in American history were by definition illegal, but obviously not all of them can have been unjust.

15. As one race-conscious writer has recently observed, all the modern blather about how it was the Negroes who really built the South ignores the fact that without white management the entire region would have remained a howling wilderness.

I would revise that only to point out that the howling would actually have been somewhat louder than before, what with its new features of ritual murder, cannibalism, clitoridectomy — and, of course, slavery. Import several million pure Negroes from Africa and leave them to their own devices, and chances are very great that you will merely end up with a new Africa, at least for the first few millennia. About the only horror missing would be the tsetse fly.

I do not mean to imply any praise for those who did import — and then manage — the Negroes.

16. Vic Olivir, "When America Goes Down."

17. Those unfamiliar with Objectivism might find it counterintuitive to argue that a human predator is acting self-sacrificially. Is he not, rather, sacrificing others to himself? It would help those who are more familiar with the Christian tradition to imagine a "successful" sinner rich in the things of this world who nonetheless is in peril of losing his soul. In the Objectivist language, one's "rational self-esteem" parallels — mutatis mutandis! — the Christian "soul."


























"Pride in the ruins: Earning and owning our Western identity" is a three-part series that appeared in TLD 14, 15, and 16. Unfortunately, software problems have indefinitely delayed its posting to the site.

My original title for the "Pride" series was "An old Objectivist in the ruins of Christendom." Just as in the present article I seek to explore the compatibilities of rational individualism and racism, in the "Pride" series I explored the compatibilities of rational individualism and our glorious Western Christian heritage. If two propositions are both true, it is possible to synthesize them, however contradictory they may seem on the surface.

— NS