Round Table Discussion

Paleoconservatism and Race

Several years ago, while still at the Washington Times, I published a column on the occasion of the appearance of The Bell Curve in which I wrote,

What you think the state ought to do about race has little to do with what you think about race. It has everything to do with what you think about the state. Under the properly limited federal government with which this country started out and to which it should return, the state would be unable to do very much at all about race. In the modern leviathan created by liberals, where smoking, sexual beliefs and guns are approved targets of federal meat grinding, there's no limit to what the state might do about race or those whose IQs it doesn't approve.

These sentiments, as harmless as they are, probably did me no good, but they are nevertheless a fair and concise summary of what most paleoconservatives believe, or ought to believe, about race and the state. Paleoconservatism, strictly understood, has nothing to say about the natural phenomenon of race or the relationship of race and social environment, any more than it has anything to say about the heliocentric theory of the solar system, the doctrine of transubstantiation, or the authorship of the plays of Shakespeare. Most paleos whom I know tend to believe, insofar as they think about the matter at all, that the hereditarian view of race is scientifically correct, but it is quite possible...

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