Do you have a study to back that up? pic.twitter.com/s40ljmp8hY— BORJO2024 (@BloorisJohn) October 3, 2020
In the 1910s, Modernism arrived in America.
The first Modernists established enclaves in Chicago and Greenwich Village in New York City. Most of the Chicago group ended up moving to Greenwich Village in the years before World War I. In America’s first truly bohemian enclave, anarchists and socialists mixed with progressive liberals and the Modernist avant-garde and spawned the cultural liberalism of the Modern Left.
President Woodrow Wilson plunged America into World War I and in the process discredited the Victorian establishment. The young writers of the Lost Generation – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and others – rebelled against Victorian values and embraced Modernism in the 1920s. Most of this group eventually ended up living in exile in France or Britain while writing poetry or literature for an American audience in the 1920s. American youth rebelled against the Victorian values of their parents in the 1920s and began to embrace Modernism whether it trickled down to them through exposure to jazz, commercial advertising, the new poetry and literature or Hollywood movies all of which eroded the old values and promoted a more expressivist ethos. In other words, a trickle of new ideas coming in from Europe in the 1910s became a flood in the 1920s.
It was in this context of a much wider Modernist revolt against Victorianism in the 1920s that the triumph of “antiracism” in America must be seen. Victorian ideas about racial hierarchies were being challenged by Modernists along with Victorian beliefs about virtually everything and particularly about sexuality. Whereas the Victorians had believed in racial hierarchies, the repression of sexuality and sharply distinguished between the “civilized” and “savage,” Moderns leveled the racial hierarchies, promoted sexual liberation as a cure for psychological repression and embraced and celebrated “primitive” cultures. The rejection of racial science in the 1920s was “scientific,” of course, even though the decisive factor was the overall cultural atmosphere rather than the discovery of any new evidence.
The following excerpt comes from Stanley Coben’s book Rebellion Against Victorianism: The Impetus for Cultural Change in 1920s America:
“Anthropologists, led by students of Franz Boas, refined the concept of culture in the 1920s and applied it to new topics and geographical areas. The two most widely read books in this literature were written by Boas’s student Margaret Mead. Both books described the development of children in technologically primitive South Pacific cultures and compared the maturation of these children with that of children in middle-class American families. Mead’s pioneering studies found the two primitive cultures superior to middle-class American culture in the vital areas of female and male child rearing.”
Scientific studies in cultural anthropology have shown that … actually, primitive cultures are better than civilized Western culture. In other words, the cultural relativism and egalitarianism of Modernism is eroding the old cultural hierarchies of Victorianism. Actually, the “primitive” is better than the civilized. We should reintegrate the primitive with the civilized because that represents progress.
“In her dissertation, published as Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), Mead presented evidence that Samoan children lived happier lives than American children and felt more useful to and more a part of their society. She claimed that Samoans suffered virtually no adolescent tempests or neuroses. Their early pleasurable sexual experiences led to friendlier and stabler marriages. Fundamental to this evidently superior Samoan child rearing was a family structure in which many people shared in the nurturing of children, a system almost diametrically opposed to the tight-knit Victorian family unit, which retained its role as the American middle-class ideal in the 1920s. Thus, Mead not only pointed to an apparent deficiency in the child-rearing practices Americans had inherited from Victorian culture but also described a model which suggested improvements that could change the entire society.”
If only prudish Victorians could be liberated from their tight-knit family structure and embrace the “primitive” child rearing practices and sexually liberated attitudes of Samoan pagans, then the result will be greater happiness and stability in Western marriages. Studies have shown!
“As Coming of Age in Samoa moved onto the best-seller lists in 1928 and remained there, Mead traveled to New Guinea to expand her research into alternative modes of raising children. Concentrating this time on male socialization, Mead showed that boys in New Guinea benefited from close association with their fathers. This relationship protected these boys from the belief – then common within the American middle-class – that certain jobs, such as child rearing, and educational and artistic pursuits were unsuitable for males. American boys tended to associate such tasks with women. Unlike the United States, where middle-class fathers often were practically strangers to their children, successful men in New Guinea helped their sons absorb skills and, with them, self-assurance, thus facilitating their assimilation into satisfying adult roles.”
Studies have shown that the culture of primitive pagan tribes in New Guinea is far superior to customary Victorian gender roles.
“Probably the most significant achievement of the academic intellectuals between 1912 and 1930 was their crucial role in the nearly complete repudiation of every scientific rationale for racism. Early in the twentieth century, only a few humanitarians and scholarly skeptics doubted the premise that a hierarchy of races existed in the United States, with “Nordics” on top, recent immigrants from southern and eastern Europe far down but above migrants from Mexico and Asia, and, at the very bottom, blacks. By the late 1920s, the prevailing opinion among intellectuals had been almost entirely altered. The change was not early enough or widely enough disseminated, however, to prevent passage of immigration restriction acts in 1921 and 1924 or to affect the course of judicial opinions concerning blacks until after the 1920s.”
In the 1920s, Victorian racial hierarchies were discarded in the social sciences under the influence of Franz Boas and his students. The first pejorative use of the term “racism” in America can be dated to the 1930s and “racism” was only officially condemned by the American Anthropological Association in 1938 in the context of liberal hysteria about the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Elite opinion changed about twenty years in advance of popular opinion between 1938 and 1945.
“Again Boas and his students led the way toward undermining Victorian verities. Boas himself measured head forms and took other bodily measurements of recent immigrants and their children at a rate of up to 1,200 individuals a week and then reported “very striking and wholly unexpected results.” In the American environment, the evidence showed conclusively that “far reaching changes” took place, demonstrating an unsuspected “great plasticity of human types.” Boas’s student Melville Herskovits came to a similar conclusion after measurements of black migrants to the North. Other students and proteges of Boas destroyed one of the major weapons used by those who tried to make a case for black inferiority – the results of the United States Army’s and other intelligence tests. Supported by foundation fellowships – especially from the Social Science Research Council – which Boas helped them obtain, Mead, Herskovits, social psychologist Otto Klineburg, and others demonstrated that the intelligence test scores of blacks correlated closely with their length of residence in northern cities. Blacks who had lived for long periods of time in the North scored higher than southern whites. By the late 1920s, a large number of influential social scientists had testified publicly to drastic changes in their opinions about the role of race in determining intelligence. As a consequence, textbooks and lectures were revised, journals reoriented, and books and articles announcing the correction of the authors’ ideas were published.”
Once again, studies have shown that racial differences in intelligence are purely environmental and have nothing to do with heredity, which is proven by the plasticity of black intelligence in Northern cities. There is no scientific reason to believe that racial differences could not be wholly eliminated by self-serving social scientists presiding over vast social engineering projects funded by the government.
“As a result of the all but unanimous rejection of racism by the scholars most involved in the study of race, the ideas of Boas and his disciples became the conventional wisdom of intellectuals, insinuated by them throughout American society, especially through educational institutions and the higher courts. The success of their efforts was shown when a careful survey of scientists carried out in 1929 revealed that a mere 4 percent still believed in the genetic inferiority of blacks. Only 19 percent even agreed that blacks seemed inferior. About half denied not only the existence of racial differences but also even the possibility of important difference based on race. This was tantamount to rejecting altogether the significance of race. Thus, among these Americans with great influence over public opinion, one of the basic concepts that had given distinction and power to Victorianism virtually disappeared as a respectable idea.”
This sea change in the social sciences on race happened in the 1920s and the entire foundation of it rests upon the cultural relativism of Franz Boas and his students like Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict.