More on Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish’s The Races of Mankind:
BLOOD THE SAME
For ages men have spoken of ‘blood relations” as if different peoples had different blood. Some people have shouted that if we got into our veins the blood of someone with a different head shape, eye color, hair texture, or skin color, we should get some of that person’s physical and mental characteristics.
Modern science has revealed this to be pure superstition. All human blood is the same, whether it is the blood of an Eskimo or a Frenchman, of the “purest” German “Aryan” or an African pygmy— except for one medically important difference. This medical difference was discovered when doctors first began to use blood transfusion in order to save life. In early attempts at transfusion it was discovered that “agglutination” or clumping together of the red cells sometimes occurred and caused death. Gradually investigators learned that there are four types of blood, called O, A, B, and AB, and that although blood typed O can be mixed successfully with the other three, none of these can be mixed with one another without clumping.
These four types of blood are inherited by each child from its forebears. But whites, Negroes, Mongols, and all races of man have all these blood types. The color of their skin does not tell at all which blood type they have. You and an Australian bush-man may have the same blood type.
For ages the use of blood as a metaphor for inheritance was a reasonable, intuitive understanding of the mechanics.
Rather than mocking this as “pure superstition”, and falsely insisting that “all human blood is the same”, someone interested in making an honest argument concerning blood and heritability based on science could have cited August Weismann’s germ plasm theory (“inheritance only takes place by means of the egg and sperm cells”) and the Weismann barrier (“other cells of the body—somatic cells—do not function as agents of heredity”), which had been known since c1900.
Ongoing scientific inquiry, known as genetics, had by 1943 further refined the understanding of the mechanism of heritability. Among the more prominent geneticists were the “purest” German “Aryans”, scientists like Alfred Ploetz and Fritz Lenz.
The blood intuition was valid in the sense that head shape and other heritable traits are encoded within our bodies. If the “blood” (which we now understand is DNA) could be changed then the expression of those traits would change. A more realistic example is what happens when one person “mixes their blood” with another to produce children.
Benedict and Weltfish minimize blood differences, ignoring what was understood about the relation to race even in 1943: that the distribution of blood types among races is distinctive.
As the American Red Cross puts it, even in today’s extreme anti-“racist” zeitgeist:
Different ethnic and racial groups … have different frequency of the main blood types in their populations.
There are other significant facts about blood type and race, some understood in 1943 and others which have come to light since. RH- is entirely a White trait, highest in the Basque at 20-35%, 15% among Europeans in general, near 0% in everyone else. Amerindians and Australoids are nearly 100% O+. In addition to A, B, AB, and O, there are many less common, lesser known blood subtypes which are unique to certain ethnic groups.
If you’re European there’s a good chance you have some combination of A, B, or RH- blood, and in this case the blood of an Australian bushman is almost certainly incompatible.
The best donor for blood or organs are those most biochemically compatibile with the recipient. This is more likely to be a close relative. The more different genetically, the less likely they are compatible.
Having more people like yourself around you increases the likelyhood of blood/organ compatibility. Diversity and race mixing reduces that likelyhood. When it comes to blood, diversity is plainly not a strength.
Returning to The Races of Mankind:
Finally, let us take skin color, the most noticeable of the differences between peoples. Few traits have been used as widely to classify people. We all talk about black, white, and yellow races of man.
Recently scientists found that skin color is determined by two special chemicals. One of these, carotene, gives a yellow tinge; the other, melanin, contributes the brown.
People of browner complexions simply have more melanin in their skin, people of yellowish color more carotene. It is not an all-or-nothing difference; it is a difference in proportion. Your skin color is due to the amount of these chemicals present in the skin.
So the visible difference in skin color is caused by an underlying chemical difference, which ultimately reflects a biological, genetic heritable difference. The key, here again, is that races exhibit different distributions, different proportions.
In other words it is evidence in favor of the reality and significance of race, not against it.
HOW ARE RACES CLASSIFIED?
THE three primary races of the world have their strongest developments in areas A, B, and C on the map on page 9. In these parts of the world most of the inhabitants not only have the same skin color but the same hair texture and noses. A is the area of the Caucasian Race, B of the Mongoloid Race, C of the Negroid Race.
The Caucasian Race inhabits Europe and a great part of the Near East and India. It is subdivided in broad bands that run east and west: Nordics (fair-skinned, blue-eyed, tall, and long- headed) are most common in the north; Alpines (in-between skin color, often stocky, broad-headed) in the middle; Mediterraneans (slenderer, often darker than Alpines, long-headed) in the south. The distribution of racial subtypes is just about the same in Germany and in France; both are mostly Alpine and both have Nordics in their northern districts. Racially, France and Germany are made up of the same stocks in just about equal proportions.
American Indians are Mongoloid, though they differ physically both among themselves and from the Mongols of China.
The natives of Australia are sometimes called a fourth primary race.
In the map A is centered on Sweden, B on China, and C on Congo. Benedict and Weltfish continue to minimize the differences, both by literally minimizing their geographic extent, and by glossing over the many different shades, eg. the very black skin in India and Australia.
It is a willful blindness, interesting in contrast to illustrator Ad Reinhardt’s later Black paintings, the “art” of which was in the appreciation of the significance of subtle, near imperceptible shades of black.
This portion of the pamphlet presents a general understanding of race that could just as well have been written by any contemporary proponent of race, eugenics or racial hygiene. Benedict and Weltfish acknowledge the existence of “racial subtypes” (Nordic, Alpine, Med) amongst Europeans, and the difference of opinion over the number of major races – without using these points as arguments against race. Instead they cite it to steal for themselves a measure of sciency credibility in support their ulterior anti-“racist” agenda, specifically to prepare the ground for the next issue, which is at the very heart of that agenda:
THERE IS NO JEWISH “RACE”.
Aryans, Jews, Italians are not races. Aryans are people who speak Indo-European, “Aryan” languages. Hitler used the term in many ways— sometimes for blond Europeans, including the Scandinavian; sometimes for Germans, whether blond or brunet; sometimes for all who agreed with him politically, including the Japanese. As Hitler used it, the term “Aryan” had no meaning, racial, linguistic, or otherwise.
Jews are people who acknowledge the Jewish religion. They are of all races, even Negro and Mongolian, European Jews are of many different biological types; physically they resemble the populations among whom they live. The so-called “Jewish type” is a Mediterranean type, and no more “Jewish” than the South Italian. Wherever Jews are persecuted or discriminated against they cling to their old ways and keep apart from the rest of the population and develop so-called “Jewish” traits. But these are not racial or “Jewish”; they disappear under conditions where assimilation is easy.
I don’t know about Hitler’s use of the term Aryan. Perhaps someone who does can leave a comment about it. The arguments this pamphlet makes where Hitler is concerned are a kind of fallacy, increasingly common since WWII, known as Reductio ad Hitlerum.
Beyond Hitler, they’re deliberately obfuscating reality which is not difficult to explain. Aryan is not simply linguistic, no more than jew is simply a religion. Aryans were a people who left traces of their language, artifacts, and genetics among those they conquered. Jewish traits are racial in the sense that they are heritable, genetically based.
Benedict and Weltfish misrepresent the cause and effect of jewish distinctiveness and “persecution”, which is more objectively (scientifically) understood in terms of mutual alienation, not the one-sided narrative favorable to jews that they present.
Jewish genetic differences arose and were maintained by jews discriminating and separating themselves from their host populations, on the whole refusing to intermarry. Jews don’t assimilate, otherwise they would long ago have ceased to exist. The core of jewry is utterly hostile to assimilation of jews to their hosts. Instead they organize and demand and generally get special rights and privileges for themselves, causing the host to assimilate to their desires and way of seeing things. Even supposedly assimilated jews lend their hands to this effort.
Religion is one component, but the key component of jewish identity is biological, not ideological. It is an identity passed from parents to children, whether their children want it or not.
Harlan Schulke and Carolyn Yeager had an insightful discussion of jewish identity in the first half of How the translator affects meanings in the Protocols of Zion.
Benedict and Weltfish continue:
Italians are a nationality, Italians are of many different racial strains; the “typical” South Italian is a Mediterranean, more like the Spaniard or the Greek or the Levantine Jew than the blond North Italian. The Germans, the Russians, and all other nations of Europe are nations, not races.
This is argument by conflation and confusion. The classic meaning of “nation” is roughly equivalent to “racial strain”. The use of “nation” as a synonym for country or state causes misunderstanding. The existence of several “racial strains” within the borders of a single country doesn’t mean that “racial strain” isn’t racial in nature.
This disingenous argument leads directly into the next:
As far back in time as the scientist can go he finds proof that animals and men moved about in the world. There were different kinds of animals, and many of them went great distances. But wherever they went, the different kinds could not breed together. A tiger cannot mate with an elephant. Even a fox and a woif cannot mate with each other. But whenever groups of people have traveled from one place to another and met other people, some of them have married and had children.
Lions and tigers are capable of breeding. Likewise wolves and dogs. Left to themselves, in nature, they generally don’t. Primates and even humans, left to ourselves, demonstrate a similar, general aversion to mixing. The Aryan conquerers in India codified the aversion as caste. In the US there were laws against miscegenation. An objective scientist, who could set his “race”/anti-“racist” agenda aside, would recognize both the capability of mixing and tendency to discriminate and compete as a perfectly natural step toward speciation.
Racial strains which set their “race” agenda aside will be outcompeted by those who don’t. The key understanding here is that among man, argument and communication are part of the fitness equation of the competition. Lying and fraud and propaganda and psychological warfare are all part of the fitness equation.
We are used to thinking of Americans as mixed. All of us have ancestors who came from regions far apart. But we think that the English are English and the French are French. This is true for their nationality, just as we are all Americans. But it is not true for their race. The Germans have claimed to be a pure German race, but no European is a pure anything. A country has a population. It does not have a race. If you go far enough back In the populations of Europe you are apt to find all kinds of ancestors: Cro-Magnons, Slavs, Mongols, Africans, Celts, Saxons, and Teutons.
Yes, Whites are diverse in the true sense of the word.
The crime commited by the Germans, from a jewish point of view, was to recognize jews as aliens, not Germans.
There is nothing inherently wrong with purity as an ideal, nor with the notion that a dilution of purity is something to be avoided. These are normal, traditional values. Anti-“racists” succeeded in flipping these values and today promote degenerate, destructive mixing as the ideal, while pathologizing purity.
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