Subversion of Science: How Psychology Lost Darwin
When real history is finally written, mainstream social sciences during most of the twentieth century will be exposed as consisting largely of ethnically motivated disinformation. Much has already been written about the subversion of American anthropology: the shift from legitimate science to ideological pap under the direction of the Jewish immigrant Franz Boas (Degler, 1991; MacDonald, 1998; Pearson, 1996). Much less has been written about how psychology was transformed from a branch of natural science into a section of the Marxist-influenced social sciences. In this paper I will provide information on the subversion of psychology, pointing out the role of Boas and others in the subversion of psychology.
To understand what happened to the social sciences in the twentieth century, it helps to first place it in the context of the on-going ideological and political war. In the sciences this has been strange war because it has been so one-sided. On one side are effective ideological warriors, well versed in persuasion techniques and ruthless in the pursuit of their agenda. On the other side have mostly been naive, non-political scientists engaged in an objective search for truth about the real world. What’s worse is that many on the side of objective science have never even realized that a war was being waged. Viewing honesty as an essential first requirement and highest virtue in science, they naturally, but naively, have assumed that all those who call themselves scientists share these same values and objectives. Thus, at least in the short-term, honest science has been devastatingly out-gunned by adversaries who pursue very different objectives, and with a very different rulebook.
In this regard, I refer to two general commentaries about the cultural scene in America, and, by extension, in the West, that, in their titles, catch the flavor of the great transformation. One is entitled It’s a War, Stupid!, written by David Horowitz, Peter Collier and J. P. Duberg (1997). Horowitz is one of America’s most prolific “neo-conservative” writers. “Neo-conservatives” are mostly radical-left activists from the 1960s who have adopted a “conservatism” that is characterized particularly by militant support for Israel. Horowitz is a self-proclaimed “red diaper baby,” raised in the Communist party atmosphere of New York City’s Jewish community. It’s a War, Stupid! makes the point that throughout the twentieth century, socialists waged a one-sided ideological war against traditional society. As in any war, truth is one of the first casualties. Howowitz’s message is that many of traditionalism’s supporters never even realized what was going on. The title could just as aptly have been Wake Up, Stupid!
The other book is America’s 30 Years War: Who is Winning?, by Balint Vazsonyi (1998). Vazsonyi escaped his native Hungary during the short-lived 1956 anti-Soviet revolution. Having lived under two socialist totalitarian regimes, the Nazi and the Soviet, he is personally familiar with the tactics of each. In his book, his main concern is that socialism is slowly transforming America. While the media happily tells us that the collapse of the Soviet Union marks the end of the Cold War, in fact the international socialists are winning a worldwide ideological war. Vazsonyi identifies four American founding principles — rule of law; individual rights; guarantee of personal property; and a shared cultural identity — that, he says, are rooted in this country’s unique English, Anglo-Saxon heritage. These basic principles, he warns, are slowly being replaced by socialism. Thus, we today have government-mandated group rights, government controlled redistribution of property, and divisive multiculturalism.
It wasn’t always that way.
Early Darwinian Psychology
At the beginning of psychology as a science there was Darwin. In 1844 Charles Darwin (Desmond & Moore, 1991) penned a 230-page manuscript outlining his basic theory. It was never published, although Darwin instructed his wife to have it published in case he died. In 1859 his theory was presented to the public in what Darwin described as a “short abstract” — it was 490 pages of text — entitled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The essential features of this the theory are three straightforward notions. First, Differences: individual differences in many traits. Second, Heredity: the individual differences were to some extent inherited. And, third, Selection: the individually different heritable traits could contribute to differential success in the struggle for life. If the most successful types in this struggle for life differ from the average, if superior survivors had more or less of certain traits, then a species could change, that is evolve, under the pressure of natural selection.
In the Origin of Species Darwin almost completely avoided mention of man. Indeed the only comment on man is a brief passage near the end: “In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.” (Darwin, 1859, p. 458, 1st edition).
It was Sir Francis Galton (Whitney, 1990), Darwin’s half-cousin, who immediately pursued the implications for psychology. Galton was one of the many scientists who, upon exposure to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, reacted by saying something along the lines of “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?” By 1865 Galton had published two papers dealing with the inheritance of individual differences, published under the title Hereditary Talent and Character, which were then elaborated in his 1869 book, Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences (Galton, 1869).
In his enthusiasm to discover the laws of inheritance, Galton originated much of biometrics, and invented many of the statistical techniques, such as regression, correlation, partitioning of variance, that are still in general use today (Stigler, 1986). Galton discovered that individual differences for many traits were distributed according to a normal distribution. Indeed, it was Galton who named the familiar bell curve “normal,” in the sense of commonly observed. He also discovered that psychological traits were no less heritable than were physical traits. He coined the term “eugenics” (well born) for the new science of human inheritance and evolution, and for the applications of this new science to the welfare of mankind (Whitney, 1990).
By the beginning of the twentieth century many social progressives were eugenicists, and the intellectual founders of the new social and psychological sciences were thoroughgoing hereditarians and Darwinists. For example William James, often called America’s first psychologist, and G. Stanley Hall, the founder of the American Psychological Association, along with many others viewed psychological science as a branch of natural science. Psychology’s main concerns included study of two central aspects of Darwinian evolution, first the study of heritable individual differences and second, a study of natural selection which resulted in human instincts and inherited behavioral predispositions. The major theoretical orientation in American psychology was named “Functionalism,” to emphasize the study of “function” in the sense of what good was some trait — how did it function — in the struggle for survival that was natural selection (Degler, 1991; Goodwin, 1999).
After a beginning in which Darwinian evolution was central to psychological theory, during the twentieth century Darwin was lost to mainstream psychology.
A Radical Shift to Egalitarianism
By the end of the twentieth century a remarkable theoretical and ideological shift had taken place. The basic tenants of a Darwinian approach — according to which inherited differences matter in real life — are routinely attacked as being morally and ethically repugnant. (In this view, truth or falsity is irrelevant, and only “feel good” slogans matter.) In this ideologically driven atmosphere, emotion-charged terms such as “racist,” “sexist,” “Nazi” and “neo-Nazi,” are routinely hurled at proponents of a Darwinian perspective.
Darwinian scientists are castigated for “genetic determinism,” which is dismissed as being overly simplistic. But this is a dishonest criticism. The label is a “straw man.” In fact, no Darwinian scientist has ever been a “genetic determinist.” Today the so-called social sciences support the prevailing notions and slogans of modern liberal democracy. These notions and slogans include: egalitarianism, the leveling down of everyone in society; environmental determinism, which assumes that heredity is socially insignificant; biological equality with cultural relativism, the “Politically Correct” view according to which all cultures are equally good, except for “bad” Western Christian civilization; Marxist socialism and Communism, which are regarded as the broadly “progressive” path to an ideal future (Hunt, 1999; Pearson, 1996; 1997; Whitney, 1997; 2000).
This radical shift from Darwinian science to an egalitarian or Marxist ideology occurred not on the basis of any new empirical evidence, but actually in opposition to many new empirical discoveries.
The anti-Darwinian ideology originated from within European social/political movements of the nineteenth century. Beginning with the French Revolution (1789) and then across Europe throughout the nineteenth century, the Jews of Europe were gradually “emancipated.” The last legal restrictions on their activities (at least outside of Russia) ended with the new German constitution of 1871. Although Europe’s Jews were legally treated as equal and fully integrated citizens in what was then a largely Christian civilization, much of the Jewish intelligentsia remained bitter hostile toward traditional European culture. Perhaps the most influential example was Karl Marx. Although his father was a lawyer who had been baptized as a Christian for social-business reasons, Marx was the descendent, through both parents, of a long line of rabbinical scholars.
Darwin formulated the theory of natural selection as a mechanism for evolution at about the same time that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels issued the Communist Manifesto. Shortly after its publication in 1847, a wave of attempted revolutions broke out across Europe. The first volume of Marx’s great work, Das Kapital, appeared in 1867, nine years after the publication in 1859 of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and two years before Galton’s Hereditary Genius. Marx had wanted to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin, out of appreciation for Darwin’s evolutionary materialism and the notion of progress in the world. But Marx was certainly no biologist.
According to Marx, mankind had evolved by Darwinian natural selection until the appearance of language and culture. Then a different mechanism of history completely replaced biological evolution. After the “means of production” came into private hands at the dawn of recorded history, Marx explained, struggle and warfare between social-economic classes became the all-decisive motor of human development. Along with nearly all educated persons of his time, Marx was, by current standards, both a racist and a sexist. But the intellectual and political movement that bears his name soon came to stand for a radical egalitarianism that is also characteristic of contemporary (and “politically correct”) democratic liberalism.
Franz Boas, a German-born intellectual who lived most of his life in the United States, is rightly credited, above all others, for displacing Darwinian evolution, at least in this country. But for insight into his approach and influence, we need to start with a consideration of his uncle-by-marriage, Abraham Jacobi.
Some Major Players
Abraham Jacobi (1830-1919). His family was close friends of Franz Boas’ mother’s family, the Meyers of Minden. When Jacobi was sent to study at the Gymnasium in Minden, Westphalia, he spent most of his social time at the Meyers’ household. Living there was a son his own age, as well as a younger boy whom he tutored, and the Meyer sisters, Sophie and Fanny. Sophie later married Meier Boas and become mother of Franz, while Fanny eventually married Abraham Jacobi. Uncle-by-marriage Jacobi remained a strong, life-long influence on Franz Boas.
Even while at Gymnasium the young Abraham Jacobi was attracted to ideas of the radical left. Later while a medical student he, along with Sophie Meyer and sister Fanny, were members of a radical political club. All three engaged in various activities in support of the Communist League during the failed revolutions of 1848-1851.
In a letter that has survived, Sophie expressed her bitter disappointment at the revolution’s failure, and her frustration over the role of women in traditional society (Cole, 1999). Sophie was also active in the revolutionary movements of the 1870s. Young Franz Boas would absorb these attitudes, almost literally, at his mother’s breast.
In August 1851, following Abraham Jacobi’s arrest in Berlin for high treason, the police searched his sister’s home in Minden. Jacobi was incarcerated for two years. After his release, but fearing another arrest, he fled to England.
Jacobi visited Karl Marx in London, and for a time was a guest of Friedrich Engels in Manchester. (Cole, 1999). Finding it difficult to practice medicine in England, Jacobi moved on to the United States, where he settled in New York. In due time he became a successful physician, a
leader in New York’s Jewish community, and a professor of medicine (pediatrics) at Columbia University.
Let there be no mistake with regard to Jacobi’s interests and activities. While benefiting from the freedoms in the largely Anglo-Saxon American republic, Jacobi strove to undermine the very society whose freedoms allowed him to thrive. Karl Marx took note of Jacobi’s activities promoting revolutionary socialism in the United States. Marx wrote “Jacobi is making good business. The Yankees like his serious manner.” (Putnum, 1967, p.17). And on March 29, 1917, he signed a cable of congratulations to the new liberal-democratic government in Russia. Other signatories were his fellow Jewish community leaders, Oscar Straus and Rabbi Steven S. Wise (Szajkowski, 1972).
Jacobi also helped Franz Boas. He introduced Franz to his future wife, the daughter of a successful New York physician. And it was Jacobi who encouraged Franz to emigrate, in 1886, to the United States, where he arranged for his friend a fellow “Forty-eighter” Carl Schurz to get Franz a job at a museum. (Schurz, prominent in American political and intellectual life, was for a time a U.S. Senator from Missouri and Secretary of the Interior under President Hayes.) Even with such influential backers, Franz Boas for some years drifted from one temporary or part-time position to another.) In 1896, after a full ten years in the U.S., Columbia University reluctantly offered him a part-time, and temporary, position as lecturer assigned to its Psychology Department. He landed this post only after Abraham Jacobi, the University’s influential professor of medicine, personally guaranteed to pay one-half of Boas’ salary (Cole, 1999).
In 1899 Franz Boas was finally appointed as a Professor of Anthropology in a newly created Department of Psychology and Anthropology (Hyatt, 1990). He secured this post, however, only after Jacobi had guaranteed, once again, to underwrite a major portion of his salary (Cole, 1999).
Franz Uri Boas (1858-1942) grew up in a radical socialist Jewish household where he early developed an enduring dislike — hatred may not be too strong a word — for the traditional Prussian Christian culture that surrounded him. Later, from his position in the United States as an anthropologist, he attacked and subverted traditional European-American heritage, norms and values.
Never a coward, as a student in Germany Franz fought numerous duels in response to real or imagined slights and anti-Semitic incidents. The tip of his nose was snipped off in one fight, and he lost a bit of scalp in another. He gained a scar above one eye, and a slash from chin to temple on one side of his face.
As early as 1894 Boas was arguing that biological race was not a factor in intelligence or ability (Hyatt, 1990). Even his sympathetic biographers make the point that Boas’ work on behalf of Negroes and prejudice was merely a convenient screen; the self-serving aspects of his work would have been only too evident had he directly addressed Jewish interests. By working toward leveling whites and blacks he was directly contributing to the ascendancy of Jews, because if the whites could be convinced to accept blacks as equals, they would then accept anyone (Hyatt, 1990).
Indeed, writing in the flagship journal American Anthropologist, Jewish author Gelya Frank maintains that
Franz Boas’ theories concerning race and culture were consistent with the assimilationist strategies of German Jews in America … By endorsing civil rights for blacks through the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League, David Levering Lewis notes, if perhaps too dismissively, that Jews fought anti-Semitism by “remote control.” “By assisting in the crusade to prove that Afro-Americans could be decent, conformist, cultured human beings, the civil rights Jews were, in a sense, spared some of the necessity of directly rebutting anti-Semitic stereotypes; for if blacks could make good citizens, clearly, most white Americans believed, all other groups could make better ones.” (Lewis, 1992: 31, in Frank, 1997, p. 735)
Numerous authors have dealt with the influence of Boas in leading anthropology and associated sciences into the egalitarian and environmentalist fallacies. Carleton Putnam, for one, has insightfully commented:
What could have been more natural than that a movement calling itself, here, Communism, there, Marxism, somewhere else Socialism (but always having a base which I found easiest to describe by the word equalitarianism) should in its strategy include subversion of sciences as well as governments? (Putnam, 1961, p. 16)
Putnam went on to write that as he read Boas,
page by page my amazement grew. Here was clever and insidious propaganda posing in the name of science, fruitless efforts to prove unprovable theories … the pattern began to repeat itself, the slippery techniques in evading the main issues, the prolix diversions, the sound without substance. (Putnam, 1961, p. 18)
While much more could be said here about Boas’ technique, here I wish to point out explicitly the intellectual and personal ties between Boas, the Boasian approach to social sciences, and the development (or, perhaps, devolvement) of psychology.
The main propagandist for the elimination of Darwinian considerations in psychology, and their replacement with environmentalism, was John Broadus Watson, the father of so-called “behaviorism.” Watson was so influential that by mid-century much of academic psychology had re-defined itself as the “study of behavior”.
Among critics the shift from psychology as the study of mind to psychology as the study of behavior, led to some bitterly insightful jokes. One was that psychology — the word comes from “psyche” the greek word for soul, and “ology” which means the study of — began as the scientific study of the soul, the very basis of humanity. Then with the rise of materialistic science, psychology first lost its soul and became the study of mind and consciousness. Then came the rise of Freudian psychoanalysis with its emphasis on the importance of the unconscious; psychology lost consciousness. With Watson and behaviorism, it finally lost its mind.
John Broadus Watson (1878-1958) was born at Reedy River, South Carolina, and named by his devout mother after a famous Baptist minister, John Broadus. In the fall of 1900, J. B. Watson began graduate studies at the University of Chicago (Buckley, 1989). To understand his development as a protagonist of anti-Darwinian psychology, we need to look into what he encountered at Chicago.
A gift from John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago opened in 1892. Being very well endowed, it early became a leader in graduate education by hiring the best-available faculty. The so-called “functionalist” approach to psychological theory, which (as mentioned earlier) emphasized Darwinian natural selection, was often called “The Chicago School” because of its emphasis by important scholars at the University of Chicago (Buckley, 1989; Goodwin, 1999). This is somewhat ironic because it was an education provided by Chicago that led to the ridicule and downfall of “The Chicago School.” To understand the formation of Watson’s outlook, we must look at the influence on him of three of his professors there: John Dewey, Jacques Loeb, and Henry Donaldson.
John Dewey, famous for his endeavors in experimental and progressive education, was for ten years chairman of Chicago’s Philosophy Department, before moving on in 1904 to Columbia University. Although Dewey is famous for a number of things, including an emphasis on applying the results of experimental psychology to education, and for his support of so-called “progressive” movements in society and education, he was not a Communist. Indeed, although early a supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), during the 1930s he resigned from the ACLU with the complaint that it had been taken over by Communists (Scruton, 1995). J. B. Watson originally applied to Chicago to study philosophy under Dewey. He rather quickly shifted to psychology, later saying that he never understood anything Dewey said. (Dewey is said to have been a terrible lecturer.) Although Watson switched his major to psychology, he kept philosophy, and Dewey, as a minor.
Jacques Loeb was a famous physiologist who emigrated from Germany in 1891. He was also one of the more outspoken socialist radicals of his time. He was bitterly hostile to Darwinian evolutionary theory because, he said, it could be used to support Christian theology and free markets. He also argued that evolution did not fulfill the true role of a science because it was not experimental enough (Pauley, 1987). J. B. Watson later emphasized that a true science of psychology would be able to “predict and control” behavior — a mantra that he acquired from Jacques Loeb. Loeb taught that the control of behavior was the ultimate object of scientific research. For Loeb, “Scientific knowledge was a tool to modify and control the behavior of existing organisms and ultimately to produce new organisms artificially through biological engineering” (Buckley, 1989, p. 41).
This was a message that the young Watson thoroughly absorbed.
The third strong influence on J. B. Watson was the well-known brain specialist, Henry H. Donaldson. Before going to Chicago in 1892, Donaldson had been on the faculty at Clark University where, at the same time, Franz Boas held a one-year-at-a-time appointment as a docent. Donaldson and Boas, with their respective wives, lived only one block apart, were of nearly the same age, and each had one child, also about the same age. Furthermore, their wives got on famously together. They quickly became fast friends. Years later Boas would describe Donaldson as his best friend in America; the Boas’ even named a later baby (Henri) after Henry Donaldson (Hyatt, 1990; Cole, 1999). It was in the laboratory of this best friend and soulmate of Franz Boas that John B. Watson did his research for his doctoral dissertation. A volume was put together to honor Boas on the 25th anniversary of his Ph.D. (Boas, 1906). The first paper in this special honorary volume was authored by Henry Donaldson, with appreciation to J. B. Watson (Donaldson, 1906). Thus Watson’s indoctrination in progressive socialist environmentalism, and anti-Darwinism, came through three of his most influential teachers in his graduate education.
By all accounts Watson was a bright student and a hard worker. When he was awarded his doctoral degree in 1903 he was, at 25, the youngest person to ever earn a doctorate from Chicago up to that time. Also in 1903 Watson married a 19-year-old undergraduate student that provided another link to liberal socialism. His new wife, Mary Ickes, was the younger sister of Harold Ickes (Buckley, 1989). Watson’s new brother-in-law played a major role in promoting egalitarian, socialist policies in the United States. For a time Harold Ickes was president of the Chicago branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He later was Secretary of the Interior under President Franklin Roosevelt, who put him in charge of some of the most famous “New Deal” make-work projects (Clarke, 1996; Watkins, 1990). So dedicated was Ickes to racial egalitarianism that historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., described him as the Roosevelt administration’s “informal Secretary of Negro Relations” (Schlesinger, 1957).
As a 65-year-old widower, Harold Ickes married a woman nearly 40 years his junior. Their son, also named Harold Ickes, later held influential posts, both official and unofficial, in the Clinton administration.
Thus did John B. Watson begin his academic career well connected, both academically and politically, to liberalism. In 1913 he was invited to present a series of lectures at Columbia University. The first was published under the title “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it” (Watson, 1913). One of its main themes was that the “theoretical goal” of psychological science should be “the prediction and control of behavior”, and that behaviorism would produce techniques for social control to improve society.
In 1915, Watson’s presidential address to the American Psychological Association was entitled “The place of the conditioned reflex in psychology” (Watson, 1916). Here Watson introduced the conditioned reflex, studied by the Russians Pavlov and Bechterev, as central to all psychological development. In his view learning-conditioning was central, while inherited influences on development were simply unimportant.
Watson continued to write for decades in a provocative and propagandistic style. Here are some samples of that style, from his 1930 book Behaviorism:
Our hereditary structure lies ready to be shaped in a thousand different ways — the same structure — depending on the way in which the child is brought up.… Objectors will probably say that the behaviorist is flying in the face of the known facts of eugenics and experimental evolution — that the geneticists have proven that many of the behavioral characteristics of the parents are handed down to the offspring.… Our reply is that the geneticists are working under the banner of the old “faculty” psychology. One need not give very much weight to any of their conclusions. We no longer believe in faculties nor in any stereotyped patterns of behavior which go under the names of “talent” and inherited capacities. (Watson, 1930, pp. 97-99)
Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in, and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select — doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (p. 104)
Watson’s view could hardly have been more incorrect. As one eminent psychologist has pointed out, “Since Watson’s pronouncement, no single year has passed without publication of some evidence showing it to be wrong” (McClearn, 1962, p. 237). Against the evidence, this extreme environmentalist and anti-hereditarian view in time became the entrenched “traditional view” that is today tamely accepted by most psychologists.
This anti-hereditarian view does not differ in essence from the ludicrous “Lysenkoism” of the Soviet Union, which is often cited as a sterling example of the folly of trying to subordinate science to political ideology (Soyfer, 1994). But whereas the Lysenkoist anti-heredtarianism of the Stalin-era Soviet Union was imposed by government order, in the United States it prevails de facto by “consensus.” Sadly, these counter-factual egalitarian and environmental determinist theories are still central to the views of many social scientists, and today underlie much social and educational policy in the United States (Whitney, 1998a).
What Watson did for psychology, another disciple of Boas did for sex. Margaret Mead (1901-1978), a bi-sexual graduate student of Franz Boas, went to Somoa to carry out the research for her doctoral dissertation. Upon her return she published her findings in a book entitled Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilization (Mead, 1928), which became one of the most influential works in the United States from the 1940s through the 1970s. The sub-title should have been a warning. The gist of Mead’s best-selling book is that the sexual constraints of traditional Western Christian civilization caused the emotional difficulties of puberty and led to wars, prejudice, bigotry, and suppression of women. Mean claimed that Samoan adolescents were allowed, in fact encouraged, to engage in free, casual, promiscuous sex. The result was a society of happy, well adjusted, peaceful, open, kind people. This outlook was expressed in the popular late-1960s slogan, “Make Love, Not War,” and encouraged the “sexual revolution” of that era. In the final years of her life, Margaret Mead was a cultural icon.
Cultural anthropologists loved Coming of Age in Samoa, who made it one of most often assigned works in the field. In the early 1980s it was exposed as a pack of lies (Freeman, 1983; O’Keefe, 1983). In the year 2000, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute of Wilmington, Delaware, named Mead’s 1928 treatise the worst nonfiction book of the past century. They could have named it the worst book of fiction. On this there is now broad scholarly consensus. The main unresolved question is who was the worst liar: was it Mead herself, or was she misled by her young native informants (Freeman, 1998)? But even though it has been thoroughly discredited, some anthropologists maintain that the importance and goodness of Mead’s message overrides her book’s lack of veracity (Barkan, 1992; Foerstel & Gilliam, 1992; Lamb, 1994). “Mead’s first husband, Luther Cressman, later recalled Mead’s characteristic response upon being shown that a conclusion of hers was not true: ‘If it isn’t, it ought to be,’ she would say.” (Price, 1999, p. A17)
Among Mead’s other influential works was another classic of creative writing, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935). Here Mead tried to show that the male chauvinism of Western Civilization was a cultural phenomenon with no basis in human biology. She claimed that in other cultures, with their non-Western traditions, relations among the sexes were very different. In one, she contended, women were the sexually aggressive ones while the males played coy. Women ran things politically, while men tended the home. In another non-Western culture, she maintained, both men and women were peaceful and lady-like, while in a third both were nasty strivers, similar to white, Western males. In the three cultures she portrayed, along with Western civilization, every possible combination of female-male dominance relationship was manifest. The conclusion was obvious: differences in the social roles of the men and women in Western and European culture must be due to the evils of traditional Western Christian civilization.
Franz Boas and his disciples were not always bashful about proclaiming the social and political implications of their ideology. Boas received funding, in part, from the American Jewish Committee and from Jacob Schiff, the prominent Jewish banker who, it is said, helped to finance the February 1917 Russian revolution. And Boas himself was a member of more than 40 organizations identified as Communist or Communist front groups (Hyatt, 1990). (Interestingly, the daughter of vice president Al Gore, Jr., married Andrew Schiff, the grandson of Jacob Schiff.)
In October of 1935, Franz Boas wrote to Raymond Pearl requesting a statement on race that, after being signed by prominent scientists, would be widely circulated. In demurring Pearl wrote that he questioned
the wisdom and strategy of taking the action you suggest in your letter.… I have strong aversion to round-robins by scientific men, and most particularly where the pronouncement is really, however camouflaged, about political questions or angles of political questions which have more or less relation to purely scientific matters.… I am unalterably opposed now and all times towards any attitude of pontifical authoritarianism under the aegis of science. (Provine, 1973)
Perhaps the most outstanding example of “pontifical authoritarianism under the aegis of science” was the 1950 UNESCO Statement on Race, which, after scientific protests, was modified and reissued in 1952. Among its other falsehoods, this widely cited statement declared that there was no evidence for hereditary psychological differences among races. The UNESCO declaration was the product of a committee headed by one of Boas’ students, Ashley Montagu (born Israel Ehrenburg) (Provine, 1973; Pearson, 1996). Montagu had earlier authored a heavily promoted book that sought to debunk the biological reality of race, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race (1942). The UNESCO statement was sent to 106 anthropologists or geneticists for comment. Of the 80 who responded, 31 had substantial criticisms, principally about the provision implying equality of mental traits among races. Twenty-six disagreed with details, while only 23 accepted the statement as presented (Provine, 1973).
Kenneth Clark, a prominent, Columbia-trained black psychologist, was secretly funded by the American Jewish Committee (Svonkin, 1997). Clark provided false and misleading testimony that the U.S. Supreme Court used in its landmark 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka Kansas, which forced school desegregation (van den Haag, 1960).
Another Boasian, psychologist Otto Klineberg (1899-1992), spelled out the social-political agenda in his supposedly scholarly book Race Differences (1935):
The general conclusion of this book is that there is no scientific proof of racial differences in mentality.… There is no reason therefore, to treat two people differently because they differ in their physical type.… There is no reason to make immigration laws stricter for one people than another.… There is no reason to pass laws against miscegenation.… There is no innate aversion of races to one another.
There is an increasing tendency to see in the race problem merely one aspect of the class war, in which those who are in a position of privilege make of unimportant differences in skin color or religion or language a convenient excuse for their own continued domination. Those who look upon race relations from this point of view see little hope of any real improvement until the present competitive system has been replaced by a new social order. They point with conviction to Russia, where the economic change has been accompanied by a more sympathetic treatment of minorities, and where the class struggle and the race problem seem to have disappeared together. (Benjamin, 1997, pp. 617-618)
Suppression of Common Knowledge
That the social sciences have been largely corrupted, mainly by Jews with a leftist ideological agenda, is common knowledge among academics in the field. An example is Franz Samelson, in his 1978 paper, “From ‘race psychology’ to ‘studies in prejudice’,” published in the scholarly Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. After taking note of what some regard as a paradigm shift in psychology, “from evolutionary genetics to the culture concept, from Darwin to Boas,” Samelson wrote: “It seems arguable that a change in the pattern of ethnic backgrounds among psychologists contributed significantly to the shift.… Early American science was predominantly ‘Puritan’ or at least Anglo-Saxon. From the twenties on, however, ethnics began to move into the profession in ever-increasing numbers, at first primarily with recruits from Jewish backgrounds.” (Benjamin, 1997, p. 639).
Gelya Frank (1997), in an example of Jewish triumphalist writing, points out that cultural anthropology remains largely a Jewish endeavor that consists of training for social activism. Svonkin (1997) writes in a similar vein. MacDonald (1998) presents an extensive and excellent study of these activities.
With knowledge of behavior genetics and race differences increasing at a prodigious rate (Whitney, 1999), members of the Jewish intelligentsia are, if anything, becoming more strident in attempting to subvert Darwinian psychology. Examples include the widely praised book by Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997), which argues against genetic race differences, and Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology (Rose, 2000).
Even though this process is common knowledge among academics, the suppression of knowledge about Jewish involvement in issues linking genetics, race, psychology is being actively pursued. In many countries “politically incorrect” discussion of these topics can get one fired, while worldwide the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and allied pressure groups are pushing to criminalize any serious discussion of race differences (Whitney, 1998b). Hopefully the tide will turn before the “traditional enemies of the truth” gain total control.
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About the Author
Glayde Whitney (1939-2002), was a nationally renowned psychologist. At the time of his death, he was a full professor of psychology at Florida State University (Tallahassee), where he had taught for 31 years. This essay is adapted from his lecture on May 29, 2000, at the 13th Conference of the Institute for Historical Review, Irvine, Calif. Preparation for this paper was supported in part by a grant from the Pioneer Fund.
[The Journal for Historical Review, March/April 2002]