• ssu
    4.6k
    However, the same body of research shows that explicit ethnic power sharing agreements preform very poorly at reducing the risk of further disintegration.

    Anyhow, I think it's overly pessimistic to think that multi-ethnic states are doomed to faliure by their borders.
    Count Timothy von Icarus
    Here the problem is that the success stories simply aren't taken into account. Prosperous multiethnic countries simply don't have any kind of power sharing by ethnic lines. They are not viewed as first and foremost multiethnic countries. The political fault lines are drawn by the ordinary left-right axis and not by ethnicity. We simply don't even consider them so multiethnic as they are. Think about Belgium, Canada or my country. Then again Italy, German and France could also be seen this way too, as they are composed of multiple earlier countries.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    262
    I have found no source that supports a claim that "Europeans" will be a minority in Europe by 2080. That seems like an extreme and highly questionable prediction.

    Because that isn't projected, Europe is much larger than the three largest Western European nations' populations combined. The French government doesn't collect data on race, so extrapolations are all by third parties. The topic itself is considered politically sensitive.

    However, the UK is more open to discussion, and the ONS has been predicting Europeans would be a minority in the UK in the 21st century for 20 years, with confidence intervals generally dipping more than they increase:

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/when-britain-becomes-majority-minority

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/sep/03/race.world

    Already 33% of births in the UK have at least one foreign born parent, although that includes European migrants.

    Strong states disappeared partially because of excessive european - in this case British and French, meddling though. The conflict over the middle east extends well beyond merely the Sikes-Picot agreement. Britain and France fought a veritable cold war in the middle east until the 1950s.

    This is not an accurate accounting of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It had long been in a state of decay pre-1914, similar to the Austrian Empire. When it was dissolved, there was no existing state structure that European meddling could make disappear. A more appropriate argument might be that there was a power vacuum that the European states failed to sufficiently fill, although it's really unclear that they could have filled it if they wanted to.

    I mean, what are you claiming existed outside the Ottoman administration for the Europeans to undermine?

    In any event, the former Ottoman states did better than the former Austrian ones did initially. The hallmark instability came after WWII.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    Because that isn't projected, Europe is much larger than the three largest Western European nations' populations combined. The French government doesn't collect data on race, so extrapolations are all by third parties.Count Timothy von Icarus
    A typical way to get statistic models that show Europeans becoming a minority is simply use the peak migration levels or extrapolate past increase trend in migration to the future. Then you can get these statistics showing that Europe's population will change. Of course, these models didn't take into account that EU would decrease immigration as it did. Or later that a pandemic happened.

    Will someone worried about immigration use a chart like this:
    PGM_2016.08.02_Europe-Asylum-01.png

    Or these kinds:
    1809_asylum_seekers_1990-2018.jpg
    _114167792_arrivals_03-nc.png

    The story can go on differently when the public attention is somewhere else.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    262


    Typical? I don't know, maybe for alarmist outlets claiming that such a change is around the corner, not more than half a century away. The UK's Office of National Statistics is not doing that and uses a multiple model approach that is refined over time, and the projected shift to a minority European population pre-dates 2015.

    Models projecting a century out are subject to all sorts of problems, but for the last two decades they have stayed fairly on track.

    Go look at the articles I posted or check Google scholar for third party reports. This isn't alarmist high end modeling, it's been the consensus since at least the early 2000s.

    Also, think about historical migration flows. They generally follow changes in climate and move in the direction of more resource rich areas. The fact that the area to the south of Europe is going to experience massive population growth (Africa will have a larger population than Asia by 2100 in UN models), and that the region remains both less developed, less secure, and at the highest risk for the effects of climate change would suggest that migration, or at least the demand for migration, would increase dramatically over the century, rather than their being a shift down in demand.

    Europe would do better to prepare for higher levels of migration than to assume best efforts at modeling migration will prove faulty. Right now, I would say they are generally doing worse with the issue than the US, which is not exactly a high bar.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    Typical? I don't know, maybe for alarmist outlets claimingCount Timothy von Icarus
    For example the media, let's say. Usually you don't have great scoop that the things are getting back to normal. (Here the pandemic has been an exception.) No news is good news, as the saying goes.

    Models projecting a century out are subject to all sorts of problems, but for the last two decades they have stayed fairly on track.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Demographic models are very accurate for a couple of decades: everybody that can increase the population is already alive and migration can be forecasted. Yet 50 to 100 years and then the modelling gets surprisingly difficult.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    262


    If your theory is jettisoning the sciences under the theory that they are inheritally corrupted by power relations, and it's raison d'etre is addressing political concerns, then turning off voters or developing anti-racism interventions that increase racism seem like fairly large problems. A politically unpopular system of thought that focuses on epistemology or aesthetics doesn't have the same issue of being self defeating.

    Critical theory, by definition, puts its moral claims ahead of the sciences' epistemological claims. This doesn't necissarily mean starting with the assumption that you're correct, but it's certainly not welcoming of the same kind of skepticism that scientific inquiry has at its heart. This is, to my mind, a pretty major flaw for a theory that wants to shape public policy, given how counter intuitively the externalities of many policies tend to do the exact opposite of what policymakers were intending to accomplish.
  • Echarmion
    2.2k
    Because that isn't projected, Europe is much larger than the three largest Western European nations' populations combined. The French government doesn't collect data on race, so extrapolations are all by third parties. The topic itself is considered politically sensitive.Count Timothy von Icarus

    "It's politically sensitive" isn't an excuse for making a claim without evidence.

    However, the UK is more open to discussion, and the ONS has been predicting Europeans would be a minority in the UK in the 21st century for 20 years, with confidence intervals generally dipping more than they increase:

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/when-britain-becomes-majority-minority

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/sep/03/race.world

    Already 33% of births in the UK have at least one foreign born parent, although that includes European migrants.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    Neither of these articles supports your claim.

    This is not an accurate accounting of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It had long been in a state of decay pre-1914, similar to the Austrian Empire. When it was dissolved, there was no existing state structure that European meddling could make disappear. A more appropriate argument might be that there was a power vacuum that the European states failed to sufficiently fill, although it's really unclear that they could have filled it if they wanted to.

    I mean, what are you claiming existed outside the Ottoman administration for the Europeans to undermine?

    In any event, the former Ottoman states did better than the former Austrian ones did initially. The hallmark instability came after WWII.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    I didn't try to give an accurate account of the collapse of the Ottoman empire. What I wanted to point out is that the regional powers - Britain and France - used ethnic and religious divisions to try and destabilise each other's territories, including arming terrorist groups, allowing such groups to shelter in their territories etc.

    This is not meant as a deterministic claim that, given foreign interference, no stable peace in the middle East was possible. But it would be wrong to assume that European influence on the trajectory of the region was confined to simply drawing borders.

    If your theory is jettisoning the sciences under the theory that they are inheritally corrupted by power relations, and it's raison d'etre is addressing political concerns, then turning off voters or developing anti-racism interventions that increase racism seem like fairly large problems. A politically unpopular system of thought that focuses on epistemology or aesthetics doesn't have the same issue of being self defeating.

    Critical theory, by definition, puts its moral claims ahead of the sciences' epistemological claims.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    By what definition? That science is a social activity and that scientific results are therefore influenced by social relations - power structures - is an epistemological claim.

    To use an example that's unrelated to race: The idea that the basic structure of the universe ought to "make sense" and be "aesthetically pleasing" has arguably had a large influence over basic research in physics. Critics say this has lead to one-sided interpretations of data and contributed to the stagnation in the field.

    So I don't think any claim to the effect that power dynamics influence the generation of knowledge is prima facie absurd. We'd have to look at the actual argument in question to say more.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    262


    Both articles mention non-European majorities in the UK based on government statistics, the more recent in the subtitle.

    We're off track and I'm done with the:" I'll implying every last fact you put out is highly questionable and needs a citation," game. I've provided numerous sources, but I'm not going to bother if your method of argument is claiming I'm being disingenuous on every last fact claim, when I've demonstrated that I'm not by following up on the first several, particularly if they're just going to be dismissed anyhow.

    is prima facie absurd

    Didn't say it was.

    This doesn't necissarily mean starting with the assumption that you're correct, but it's certainly not welcoming of the same kind of skepticism that scientific inquiry has at its heart. This is, to my mind, a pretty major flaw for a theory that wants to shape public policy, given how counter intuitively the externalities of many policies tend to do the exact opposite of what policymakers were intending to accomplish.


    To use an example that's unrelated to race: The idea that the basic structure of the universe ought to "make sense" and be "aesthetically pleasing" has arguably had a large influence over basic research in physics. Critics say this has lead to one-sided interpretations of data and contributed to the stagnation in the field.

    Right, and said bias is to be sought out, and quantified. This is a fairly common target for publication, an analysis of the field and its biases themselves.

    It's funny that you use that example, because projecting such purpose on to research findings is an explicit aim of critical theory. In science, it is, as you rightly describe, a bug, in critical theory it is a feature.

    Critical Theory
    First published Tue Mar 8, 2005
    Critical Theory has a narrow and a broad meaning in philosophy and in the history of the social sciences. “Critical Theory” in the narrow sense designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the Western European Marxist tradition known as the Frankfurt School. According to these theorists, a “critical” theory may be distinguished from a “traditional” theory according to a specific practical purpose: a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as a “liberating … influence”, and works “to create a world which satisfies the needs and powers of” human beings (Horkheimer 1972b [1992, 246])

    Once reason was thoroughly socialized and made historical, historicist skepticism emerged at the same time, attempting to relativize philosophical claims about norms and reason to historically and culturally variable forms of life. Critical Theory developed a nonskeptical version of this conception, linking philosophy closely to the human and social sciences. In so doing, it can link empirical and interpretive social science to normative claims of truth, morality and justice, traditionally the purview of philosophy.

    Or to take their own definition of methods:

    By reversal, crits interpret history as a process that creates power as the construction of a powerful elite.

    This is the definition of beginning an inquiry looking for something that "makes sense," and is "politically pleasing."

    This is the methodological equivalent of pointing out the speck in your neighbor's eye and ignoring the plank in yours.
  • Echarmion
    2.2k
    Both articles mention non-European majorities in the UK based on government statistics, the more recent in the subtitle.

    We're off track and I'm done with the:" I'll implying every last fact you put out is highly questionable and needs a citation," game. I've provided numerous sources, but I'm not going to bother if your method of argument is claiming I'm being disingenuous on every last fact claim, when I've demonstrated that I'm not by following up on the first several, particularly if they're just going to be dismissed anyhow.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    This is what you wrote:

    People in general underestimate the scale of the shift. The major European nations, France, the UK, and Germany, will all be minority European by around 2080.Count Timothy von Icarus

    This is a pretty specific and extraordinary claim. I'm not "implying" this is questionable, I said so directly. It's simply not the kind of thing where I'd go "well he seems pretty knowledgeable otherwise, so I'll just roll with it".

    And I want to point out that you do seem otherwise pretty well informed, and you're making good points. Which makes things such as the one above stand out to me.

    Right, and said bias is to be sought out, and quantified. This is a fairly common target for publication, an analysis of the field and its biases themselves.

    It's funny that you use that example, because projecting such purpose on to research findings is an explicit aim of critical theory. In science, it is, as you rightly describe, a bug, in critical theory it is a feature.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    Well, I guess the argument of a proponent of Critical Theory would be that just calling it a "bug" doesn't make it go away. It's always there. Critical Theory just makes it explicit and therefore opens it up for discussion, rather than letting the existing power structures simply determine it. Replacing the already present focus with a new one, explicitly chosen for the benefit of humanity.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    I think here is a good interview about the issue of Critical Race Theory or what the problem is with it is without the Republican / right-wing hysteria. John McWhorter is one of those reasonable commentators daring to make comments about this.

  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    I'd say Critical Theory in general is, well, too generalised and open to interpretation.

    The social sciences at large are probably trying to be too specific rather than wide reaching into other fields that they clearly overlap. Any social scientist not knowledgable about anthropology, mathematical modelling, poitics, psychology and philosophy, is going to end up fighting in an imaginary corner.

    I would ask anyone who feels a strong inclination toward Critical Theory to give an explicit definition/s of what exactly is meant by Power and how Power can manifest. Then as a follow up I'd ask what brings Power into social existence and whether or not Power is an inevitable social structure we have to work with rather than beliving it is something that can be destroyed and/or reimagined (I get the impression from many that nullifying Power is what the y secretly wish for, so that is why I ask what it is to them/those that think this way).
  • Michael Zwingli
    258
    ...rather nebulous concepts...Apollodorus
    :up: :100:

    Here, with CRT, we have a sociological discussion. The role of the philosopher in this is not necessarily to evaluate the legal or sociological merits of the subject (although he certain may do that), but rather to evaluate the validity of the conceptual premises and the thinking involved. With this in mind, the first duty of the philosopher is to call attention to the fact that the concept of human race is a fallacy, an arbitrarily derived fiction having no biological basis. Those who subscribe to this concept seek, in a triumph of clumsy artifice, to artificially impose distinctions, 'shoehorning' members of the human species, which naturally present as a spectrum...a seamless continuum of physical types across the globe, into one or another of several "racial" catecories. Calling attention to this obvious category mistake is the initial task of the philosopher in any discussion involving the concept of human "race".
  • James Riley
    2.1k


    It seems to me that you are saying people cannot logically use a tool that does not exist. If that is the case, I'd like to introduce you to the human race.
  • Michael Zwingli
    258
    ... I'd like to introduce you to the human race.James Riley

    :point: :rofl: Good point, sir. Good point.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    I would ask anyone who feels a strong inclination toward Critical Theory to give an explicit definition/s of what exactly is meant by Power and how Power can manifest.I like sushi
    Good luck with that. Nobody hasn't actually defended the theory itself. The "defending" comments, if you can say there are those, usually make the point that those making a critique about the theory in the first place are just wrong (in so many other ways).
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    I don't understand your comment? Asking for a definition for the sake of clarity isn't asking someone to defend anything.

    I was just trying to get at all too often people talk cross purposes in this area as there are different sections within Critical Theory that offer up quite different uses of the term 'power'. I don't see how viewing Critical Theory through any one particular lens does anything but damage without the context of myriad possible 'other' lens - none of which can be measured empirically to any degree.

    Note: I don't think it is an entirely futile exercise. It is good for flexing the mind and seeing what you may not be thinking about from time to time. As a potential tool of skepticism it is more useful than not.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    Asking for a definition for the sake of clarity isn't asking someone to defend anything.I like sushi
    Well. let's see if you get an answer.
  • Xanatos
    48
    I think that points #2 and #3 on JayMan's FAQ are a good response to the "race is just a social construct" argument:

    https://archive.is/rX8Uj/again?url=https://jaymans.wordpress.com/jaymans-race-inheritance-and-iq-f-a-q-f-r-b/
  • Xanatos
    48
    Should we also reject the periodic table because it is a social construct?
  • ToothyMaw
    610


    I still believe that the reason for non-Asian minorities' average underperformance is likely to be genes rather than "systemic racism"Xanatos

    While intelligence is inherited largely, there is no evidence that people of color are actually genetically predisposed to being stupider. At all. You are probably trolling, so I don't know why I am bothering at all, but that's what the facts say.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    Should we also reject the periodic table because it is a social construct?Xanatos
    The amount of electron shells and the number of protons in an chemical element can be stated as an obvious difference as the elements do differ from each other in this way. I guess calling this scientific observation an 'social construct' simply means that absolutely everything that humans have thought of scientifically is a 'social construct'. Of course with that definition the word is utterly useless.

    But compare the periodic table to the way how "Hutus" and "Tutsis" or the "Aryan Race" and "The Nordic Race" are defined and separated from each other. Seems more of a "social construct" than the number of electron shells or protons in chemical elements.

    800px-Casta_painting_all.jpg
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    Of course with that definition the word is utterly useless.ssu

    I guess you don't care to offer up any definition? Are there hazy areas for any definition you offer? Does any definition serve to reveal something of importance for the social sciences or is it mainly based on assumptions and opinion? ;)
  • ssu
    4.6k
    I guess you don't care to offer up any definition?I like sushi
    For a "social construct"?

    I have no trouble with the definition:

    A social construct is something that exists not in objective reality, but as a result of human interaction. It exists because humans agree that it exists.

    I would simply state that the differences between the chemical elements are part of objective reality, not a result of human interaction. That we describe the differences between the elements by using the atomic model and have a periodic table doesn't change their existence. Sorry, but I can imagine that even without humans around, the chemical elements what we call "hydrogen" or "gold" will exist and have their peculiar characters. The elements had them when we weren't around and will continue to have them when we are extinct.

    While on the other hand, let's look at the "science" behind racial theories. I'll give an example of my own people, the Finns, and how they were looked at by racial experts:

    Because of their Finno-Ugric language, the Finns were initially classified by Nazi racial experts as a people unrelated to the other Nordic countries, in spite of a long history of political unity with Sweden. As a result, the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland was favored at first over Finnish speakers for recruitment into the Finnish Volunteer Battalion of the Waffen-SS because they were categorically considered part of the "Nordic race".

    Owing to Finland's substantial military contribution on the northern flank of the Eastern Front of World War II, Hitler decreed in November 1942 that "from now on Finland and the Finnish people be treated and designated as a Nordic state and a Nordic people", which he considered one of the highest compliments that the Nazi government could bestow upon another country.

    From this example you can see how obvious "social construct" nazi racial theories were as it fits perfectly to the definition given above for a social construct. And this goes with other similar racial theories too.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    Of course. I was asking more or less about how other issues (like intelligence) is accounted for within this scheme.

    It looks to me like a rehashing of the dated concept of 'nature vs nurture'. Clearly there is no dividing line between what is and isn't 'nature' or 'nurture' it is a mishmash.

    Sorry, but I can imagine that even without humans around, the chemical elements what we call "hydrogen" or "gold" will exist and have their peculiar characters.ssu

    And this is where I see some making the leap that you CANNOT imagine because you're human, so if there were no humans they'd be no science nor any 'Periodic Table' (trust me I've seen this kind of argument used).

    Also,
    That we describe the differences between the elements by using the atomic model and have a periodic table doesn't change their existence.ssu

    That we can describe observe and measure intelligence (albeit poorly) doesn't deny its existence. 'g' is about as objective as anything else, but we don't fully grasp what it is.

    I am playing devil's advocate a little here :)

    There are some telling genetic differences between certain groups. Some medicines are tailor made to help such groups. Sadly the historical scientific beliefs/ideas surrounding 'race' and the advent of Darwin led to a whole lot of uninformed speculation that was considered 'objective' at the time.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    And this is where I see some making the leap that you CANNOT imagine because you're human, so if there were no humans they'd be no science nor any 'Periodic Table' (trust me I've seen this kind of argument used).I like sushi
    Which is rather silly. Basically you hear this reasoning when someone is argued into a corner or something.

    There are some telling genetic differences between certain groups. Some medicines are tailor made to help such groups. Sadly the historical scientific beliefs/ideas surrounding 'race' and the advent of Darwin led to a whole lot of uninformed speculation that was considered 'objective' at the time.I like sushi
    Genetics is another thing, really. Racial theories and eugenics have been right from the start political and a "social construct".
  • Michael Zwingli
    258
    ↪James Riley Should we also reject the periodic table because it is a social construct?Xanatos

    The analogy fails. You may reject the periodic table for being a social construct based upon rheorization, but if you do, there yet remains the fundamental objective reality of the various elements and their chemical properties, which the table comprises, and which one cannot similarly reject. There is no analogous objective reality underlying the concept of human race. Rather, distinctions of "race" involve the artificial imposition of categories upon the uncategorizable.
  • Derrick Huestis
    75
    I think the simplest way to discuss this is question what equal means. Too frequently, it looks more and more like sameness. Same amount of money, same opportunities, same choices across races. It is unacceptable for one race to want to become doctors or politicians more than another race. We chase out uniqueness and diversity in the name of equality and diversity. Really makes no sense.
  • James Riley
    2.1k


    Initially I was going to have to vet the sincerity of your curiosity before I deigned to satisfy it. I was going to ask what was it that I said that caused you to ask me that question. Then I read and found that he answered quite nicely. So there you have it.
  • Xanatos
    48
    Human races don't have their own unique properties, sure. But what is objectively identifiable is one's DNA and one's DNA relation to other people. These things can presumably be mapped on some kind of chart. How one subsequently divides the genetic clusters afterwards might very well be arbitrary, of course, but the DNA data points' locations for various people would be objective, no?
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