The Negro and The Enlightenment

Europe

This excerpt comes from David Brion Davis’ Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World:

“For example, David Hume, Britain’s most respected philosopher in the twentieth century, wrote in 1748:

“I am apt to suspect the Negroes, and in general all other species of men, to be naturally inferior to the whites. There never was any civilized nation of any other complection (sic) than white … Such a uniform and constant difference could not happen, in so many countries and ages, if nature had not made an original distinction between these breeds of men (from “Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary”)

And here is Voltaire, writing in 1756:

“Their round eyes, their flat nose, their lips which are always dark, their differently shaped ears, the wool on their head, the measure even of their intelligence establishes between them and other species of men prodigious differences (from “Essai sur les moeurs“).

And Immanuel Kant, writing in 1764:

“The Negroes of Africa have received from nature no intelligence that rises above the foolish. The difference between the two races is thus a substantial one: it appears to be just as great in respect to the faculties of the mind as in color …. Hike invites anyone to quote a single example of a Negro who has exhibited talents (from “Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime”).

The relationship between the negro and the Enlightenment is complex: on the one hand, the doctrine of liberty and equality and universal human rights was extremely corrosive of racial hierarchies, as manifested in the French Revolution; on the other hand, scientific positivism or measuring things in pursuit of knowledge reinforced and elaborated racial hierarchies, as in Blumenbach’s racial taxonomy.

Discuss.

This entry was posted in Europe, History, Negroes, Race Realism, Race Relations, Racism, Whiteness. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to The Negro and The Enlightenment

  1. Robert in Arabia says:

    Dear Hunter,
    Your essays are enriching us all.

  2. John says:

    Dem deid Wyatt mein wus jus ignant. Kaynt, Hoom…hoo day? Ignant raycis gotta go.

  3. John says:

    A nasty thought just occurred to me. Do you think Obama gives a damn when whites get killed on active duty? Probably not, right? For all we know he could be reacting like we do laughing about black crooks getting zapped. He might privately think: “white boy made good.” as a black I couldn’t fault him for thinking like this. It’s natural to enjoy the suffering of foreigners.

    How is it possible that a vast swathe of white working class men and women can ignore this distinct possibility?

  4. Dixiegirl says:

    @ How is it possible that a vast swathe of white working class men and women can ignore this distinct possibility?…

    Because they don’t have that peculiar brand of Southern “liberalism?”

    People act like Jeffersonian “liberalism” is synonymous with Rachel Maddow and CNN’s msm shtik. As if the word “liberal” has always meant PC.

    We were taught that “all men are created equal” meant in the Eyes of GOD. In other words, you can never know another’s man’s life, and it is not yours to judge. To be discerning, YES.

    I was with a NE transplant. The “business woman” looked at an image of African tribal blacks on their donkey doing chores (think it was an article about how we should give them wells because they had to go a mile for water or something). Anyway, she went on about how we must help them, etc. BUT WHY? Imo, they maybe had a better life than her— she was a dried up mean old childless business woman type, and just exposed herself for being totally materialistic (she could judge the Africans only by their material life). But hey looked very happy— tribe lady and man with their native clothes on, beads and such, and a baby with them, presumably actually theirs, and no propaganda that they should have adopted an asian or something, and all the piling on of guilt…)

    The point is, you can’t really compare lives. Their experience of living is probably less stressful for the African tribes-persons (lol) than most people I have known.

    Why should I even waste my time contemplating this? (Supposedly) we were supposed to have our own lives to live, (that GOD gave us).

    Classic liberalism accommodates the REALITY that different tribes have different lives.

    It’s not irreconcilable with “hierarchy”— but WHO CARES about “hierarchy.” Really, doesn’t that mostly come into play when entities such as “churches” decide they should collect tax money from one group…and “save” (usually just materially, lol) other groups?

    The whole issue of “hierarchy” gets discussed when whites think they should impose their “developments” on the rest of the world, (whether they want this or not).

    Degrading the “enlightenment” is usually just a code word for degrading northern europeans and further blaming them for things, imo.

  5. Dixiegirl says:

    — not only do people (in their temporal provincialism, which Bob Whitaker’s phrase) believe that “liberalism” has always meant commie-fascist-hybrid of PC) but in the same spirit of temporal provincialism, blacks actually believe that the people who were enslaved (mostly by the Portuguese, not American Southerners) looked EXACTLY like they do today.

    BACK IN REALITY, men in wigs and well made breeches got off a boat in Africa and saw things such as four foot very black blacks running at them, with face pain and shells strapped over their penises. This is still centuries before the sort of African life depicted in Mondo Cane.

    Blacks —who are temporal-provincially challenged— do not account for this at, and believe that anglos, and only anglos, enslaved Tiger Woods, as he is today.

  6. Dixiegirl says:

    – face PAINT…

  7. Dixiegirl says:

    (Which raises an OT question—- about all the preponderance of movies being made with whites in face paint. Usually, this is in the context of them being heroes, Braveheart is an example. But it’s curious, maybe. As they must be shown as “tribal” in the way they are accustomed to seeing tribal blacks typed in media in order to be “heroic.”

  8. John says:

    I like this image.

    There’s a frigate off the coast of Angola. Some men in floppy feathered hats, silk over coats and restoration era wigs are looking through telescopes at niggers on the beach.

    “4 ft tall I’d say Lord Darnley.”

    “I wonder if they eat much meat. Very scrawny Lord Vaugan. We could probably invite one onto the ship and take him back to London for one of the new faned Anthropologists to study.”

    “That would be a good jape. We can entice a few of them aboard with beads and salted beef. Boeing prepare a dingy. We are going to take a look at these delightful little fellows and bring one home.”

    “aye aye sir”

  9. Fr. John+ says:

    “For example, David Hume, Britain’s most respected philosopher in the twentieth century, wrote in 1748…”

    Really? REALLY? How can Hume have been Britain’s most respected philosopher in the twentieth century, if he lived in the eighteenth?

    As to the article’s observations themselves, however, Yes, Hunter.

    It’s the great liberal conundrum. Worship the Pagan Idol of the Negro as Noble Savage, while Scientism, the ‘high priesthood’ of the post-Christian West, continues to uncover evidence that clearly corroborates what our White Ancestors knew and acted upon from time immemorial, even up to as late as the early 20th century….

  10. Fr. John+ says:

    “We were taught that “all men are created equal” meant in the Eyes of GOD.”

    Only in the co-opted, de-Christianized, Jewish-dominated, unitarian, civil ‘religion’ sort of way that is the new ‘multiculti creed’ of America’s “State Religion”- … for it certainly is NOT Christianity’s credo. “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated”…remember?

    The problem is, the American government was created, (as I’ve noted on this forum) largely by Calvinist White Guys, who actually believed in hierarchy, subordination of ‘inferiors to superiors,’ and Patriarchy. To THOSE FEW, yes- all of THOSE MEN WERE Equal. It was only rise of Arminian heresy, coupled with the sectarian nature of Methodism, Baptist and Anabaptist trends, and a growing desire to be ‘know-nothings’ (I mean, they actually had a political party with that name in the USA- sadly, those K-N’s KNEW A LOT, in hindsight- http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Know-Nothing_Platform_1856) allowed less literate folks to presume to be ‘priests/ pastors’ (while eschewing the true sacramental “call” of such), created that ‘crassness’ that typified the European’s view of Americans in the 19th Century, and sadly, meant that the doctrines of Election, Predestination, etc. were pushed to the wayside, while every ‘Tom, Dick, and Harry’ began to actually BELIEVE that they were the equals of everyone else- and then the Abolitionists started TEACHING this to the Niggers. And there you are.

    So, NO, DixieG. It’s not Christianity that teaches this heresy. It is the heretics who teach this lie from the pit of Satan. “…as though equality with God is something to be grasped, etc.”

  11. John says:

    Hume was voted the most respected British philosopher in a poll held 20 -30 years ago.

    Don’t nit pick. He’s probably the greatest philosopher the island has ever produced.

  12. Jefferson is a classic example of this: someone whose ideological views biased him against racialism and slavery, but whose acceptance of science ultimately made it impossible for him to believe that the negro was his equal.

  13. Jefferson wrestled with racialism. He wanted to believe that the negro was his equal. Ultimately, he couldn’t believe in negro equality because he was too familiar with negroes and because there was no evidence for it.

  14. Outlier says:

    Here’s an example of an enlightened negro ….

    * Black man says: Bring back Apartheid * 30 sec

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4f0INWfws0

  15. Degeaube says:

    ” The relationship between the negro and the Enlightenment is complex: on the one hand, the doctrine of liberty and equality and universal human rights was extremely corrosive of racial hierarchies, as manifested in the French Revolution; on the other hand, scientific positivism or measuring things in pursuit of knowledge reinforced and elaborated racial hierarchies, as in Blumenbach’s racial taxonomy.”

    This is historical commentary of the highest order, better than anything I have ever seen in modern academia. And certainly a lot more insightful than anything you’ll hear coming out of the conformist gobs of Harvard PHDs.

    I just wish that I had been able to read stuff like this when I was in college in the 80s: my worldview would have evolved a lot faster.

  16. Outlier says:

    Another example of an negro “enlightenment” …

    ” Heidi Klum, Seal Divorce: Klum Admits To Dating (WHITE) Bodyguard ”

    Seal fueled speculation by telling TMZ that he wished his ex had waited until they were separated before she decided to “fornicate with the help.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/heidi-klum-seal-divorce-w_n_1878380.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada

  17. Rudel says:

    The scientific materialism of the great philosophers of the Enlightenment shows quite clearly that rather than lead to modern day egalitarian liberalism (as some deluded religionists that post here often claim), scientific inquiry leads to racial realism.

    And “Fr.” John-, it’s not called “Scientism” it’s called science.

  18. Bill Yancey says:

    Unfortunately there was more to the Enlightenment than science.

  19. John says:

    Voltaire dismissed geological evidence of fossils in mountains as it suggested the Noah story was true. Much of the enlightenment was about hostility to religion and religious myths.

    This was before the idea of continental drift of course.

  20. Rudel says:

    “He’s probably the greatest philosopher the island has ever produced.”

    He’s probably the greatest philosopher any nation has ever produced. In fact he is informally known as the “last” philosopher.

  21. Rudel says:

    “Jefferson wrestled with racialism. He wanted to believe that the negro was his equal.”

    And he banned Hume’s History of England from the University of Virginia.

  22. TabuLa Raza says:

    He’s probably the greatest philosopher any nation has ever produced.

    Only three great philosophers in the West- Aristotle, Plato, and Kant. Kant was a GD platonist. Plato, a mystic and father of communism.

    Truly only one great philosopher- Aristotle. What one sees out the window is indeed reality. . . He gave us the laws of logic (law of identity, law of excluded middle, AND THE CROWN JEWEL- THE LAW OF NON-CONTRADICTION).

  23. John says:

    Aristotle, didn’t make the jump to the experimental method. Indeed his untouchable reputation retarded scientific discovery. Hume avoided all of this with his scepticism.

  24. Heidi Klum, Seal Divorce: Klum Admits To Dating (WHITE) Bodyguard

    I guess once you go black, sometimes you do go back.

  25. Rudel says:

    “AND THE CROWN JEWEL- THE LAW OF NON-CONTRADICTION”

    That jewel doesn’t sparkle so brightly when dealing with statements like:

    This statement in false.
    It is true that this statement is false.
    This statement is true and this statement is false.
    If this sentence is true, then Santa Claus exists.
    The next statement is true. The previous statement is false.
    Does the set of all those sets that do not contain themselves contain itself?

  26. Bill Yancey says:

    I guess once you go black, sometimes you do go back.

    Gorgeous girl, once upon a time, but I wouldn’t change places with that bodyguard for all the riches in China. Hanging it out for a coral snake would be safer.

  27. Dixiegirl says:

    @ …..Only in the co-opted, de-Christianized, Jewish-dominated, unitarian, civil ‘religion’ sort of way that is the new ‘multiculti creed’ of America’s “State Religion”- … for it certainly is NOT Christianity’s credo. “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated”…remember?….

    God hates and judges all the time, but it’s FOR GOD TO SAY. By “equal in the Eyes of God”—- thought it meant we cannot presume to know what God’s ultimate judgements are, outside what we can see in the commandments—as all knowing, God’s judgements far transcend our own, done from our carnal, myopic states.

    I see your point, but it just seemed a reminder not to presume to know the judgements of God, (although we are told the commandments, etc.). A call to humility, the reminder of carnal blindness that can hinder correct judgement.

    To be honest, it also seemed one those social things you’re supposed to say, (to make nice with people, since “equality” is a ridiculous idea— in the sense of comparing people to each other, which is always a stupid endeavor anyway, since people should just “run their own games” against wherever they, themselves, are)

  28. m says:

    John mulls it over and writes: [Hume is] probably the greatest philosopher the island has ever produced.

    I think this is very overstated. For instance, from a political-social standpoint, Hobbes is certainly more important as he was arguably the founder of modern liberalism, and ushered in a pervasive, general materialism within social science.

    Earlier, and perhaps even more important than Hobbes to future generations, or at least as culpable as Hobbes, we can cite Ockham’s nominalism.

    Hume was important, though, for showing (perhaps unintentionally on his part) the absurd result that arises when one abandons more organic and holistic notions of causation (that is, causation based upon a Classical understanding of telos, along with ideas of formal and material causation) for the mere appearance of efficient causation.

    To sum: Hume demonstrated the rather bizarre results of an empiricism über alles approach. And because of it, since Classical metaphysics had been wrongheadedly abandoned, it was left to the German Kant to pull Hume out of an epistemological dead-end, for better or worse.

  29. Rudel says:

    since Classical metaphysics had been wrongheadedly abandoned”

    That’s why Hume is such a great philosopher and held in the very highest regard by all educated people today. There is no metaphysics, just physics. All else is superstitious mumbo-jumbo stupidly trying to answer questions that are unanswerable.

  30. m says:

    There is no metaphysics, just physics.

    Well, Rudel…if you understand the meaning of the word metaphysics you would probably not write such a thing. For instance, natural science itself demands a metaphysic, one which is discussed within the discipline known as “philosophy of science.” You see, metaphysics is the philosophical investigation that provides the ground for, and delimits the logical boundaries of, all subsequent argument. It seems that you have conflated metaphysics with spiritualism, which it decidedly is not.

    And as far as a reduction of the real world to physics?, a few genuinely bright minds have attempted it, however such a thing generates some very peculiar problems in explanation, not the least is how one can even understand intentionality within a completely physical system, and not be wrapped up in either a contradiction or simply a non-sensical absurdity.

    Since I’m not making this up, I’ll suggest that for those interested, one particularly good overview of the fundamental issues involved is David Oderberg’s, <The Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Law, a copy of which can be found on-line with a proper search. And at Professor Oderberg’s Web site he in fact discusses a somewhat intentionally anachronistic rebuttal of Hume that he once worked up. If you email him and ask kindly, he will probably send you a copy.

    When discussing the philosophy of science, and physical reductionism, one could also spend some time at Edward Feser’s always stimulating site. He recently did a multi-part series on Alex Rosenberg’s physical reductionism, and his critique is certainly germane to your “it’s all physics” sentiment.

  31. Fr. John+ says:

    “And “Fr.” John-, it’s not called “Scientism” it’s called science.”

    Not when it’s a religion. And that is EXACTLY what science has become in the post-modernist west. And those who stand up for science are the cult devotees of it.

  32. Rudel says:

    Tell that to your doctor next time you get sick.

  33. Fr. John+ says:

    “I see your point, but it just seemed a reminder not to presume to know the judgements of God, (although we are told the commandments, etc.). A call to humility, the reminder of carnal blindness that can hinder correct judgement.

    To be honest, it also seemed one those social things you’re supposed to say”

    We can no longer rely on the ‘social things you’re supposed to say’ – when white boys walk like niggers, when minors can get a STD shot that is available to them without their parent’s consent, when we have a Nigger in the White House— this is Rome and the Caesars, and the early Christians, all over again. but 100 times worse!

    We are NOT living in a Christian nation. We are living in Satania, and most folks are SLEEPWALKING.

    And, yes, you are correct. A mere women is NOT to presume to know the judgments of God. But a priest of YHW God, is supposed to! It is (as it were) part of my ‘job description.’ Don’t think that I am this way in the pulpit. People there are in a hospital, trying to get well. But out here, we must ‘demolish all strongholds’ and boldly. And godly MEN are supposed to call down ‘righteous judgment,’ not fall for that bullshevism trick of ‘judge not’ – don’t, please don’t, DixieG tell me that you have such racial awareness to come on this forum, and then resort to using the Devil’s minions tricks against one of your own? Just like Jewdel presuming in hubris, to question my ordination as a ‘priest forever after the order of Melchizidek’- unlike the charlatans of Rome, as contrast……

  34. Fr. John+ says:

    Science is to scientism, as Method is to Methodism.

    I trust that explains terms……

  35. Rudel says:

    “if you understand the meaning of the word metaphysics you would probably not write such a thing. For instance, natural science itself demands a metaphysic, one which is discussed within the discipline known as “philosophy of science.”

    No it doesn’t. “Meta” physics is by definition that which can not be seen, measured, nor deduced from from the first two. ie. it doesn’t exist.

    “And as far as a reduction of the real world to physics?, a few genuinely bright minds have attempted it, however such a thing generates some very peculiar problems in explanation, not the least is how one can even understand intentionality within a completely physical system, and not be wrapped up in either a contradiction or simply a non-sensical absurdity.’

    That might bother you but I have no problem with it in the least. Most questions have no answers and we have no ability to answer them except through superstitional belief. I’ll pass on that and satisfy myself with those lines of inquiry which actually can realize practical results. No need for metaphysics of any sort in that. Science merely tries to obtain repeatable results through experimentation. That the answers are only probabilities is just tough shit for those seeking ultimate “Truths” with a capital “T”.

  36. peppermint says:

    Science does a great job of explaining the natural world, of which human brains and minds are a part.

    Science can even talk about how people come about their moral judgements, see Haidt using brain imaging to discuss what he calls the five pillars of morality.

    Science can tell you about what the state of nature, which Enlightenment philosophers were so enamored of, was really like, for various tribes.

    But science doesn’t say what is natural law or cultural tradition or whatever, or what laws there should be.

    Anyway, as to “scientism”, there’s an annoying tendency among Internet atheists to claim that science settles everything, and for the parts that science doesn’t settle, they import cultural marxism which calls itself science. Then they tell you that if you were to take a bunch of genomes and do principle component analysis, you would not find racial groups in the data. And then if you show them that in fact the opposite is true, they will call your racist bigot hater kkk nazi, and the next day they will remember that race doesn’t exist and they told a racist off.

    Political correctness is a religion. It has an eschatology, social progress, and sacred dogmas, like the hierarchy of victimhood, and demands that believers shun disbeleivers.

  37. Rudel says:

    “Then they tell you that if you were to take a bunch of genomes and do principle component analysis, you would not find racial groups in the data”

    Actually the truth of that matter is quite the opposite.

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com

  38. Caldwell says:

    I am somewhat distressed to see Jefferson’s language “all men are created equal” being discussed as if the expression had either a metaphysical or axiological meaning; it does not. This concept is purely pragmatic, and has meaning only as it relates to men of the political community. It is most decidely not a general statement having to do with the natural and inherent value of all humanity, and certainly does not implicitly endorse or subtley advocate any type of racial egalitarianism. The expression simply attacks and rejects the notion of an inherent ruling class, while openly endorsing the great political maxim that ultimate sovereignty resides in the people, and more specifically, in those with the aptitude and capacity to govern. That is has been distorted, and contemporaneously given a meaning it does not have, is something to be lamented and resisted.

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