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Horagalles
Saturday, December 17th, 2005, 06:40 PM
Thorstein Veblen: THE INSTINCT OF WORKMANSHIP AND THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS.(New York, N.Y.: Macmillan, March 1914; New edition: New York, N.Y.: B. W. Huebsch, July 1918.)


.... It is a distinctive mark of mankind that the working-out of the instinctive proclivities of the race is guided by intelligence to a degree not approached by the other animals. But the dependence of the race on its endowment of instincts is no less absolute for this intervention of intelligence; since it is only by the prompting of instinct that reflection and deliberation come to be so employed, and since instinct also governs the scope and method of intelligence in all this employment of it.[...]

The extreme diversity of native character, both physical and spiritual, noticeable in these communities is in all probability due to their being made up of a mixture of racial stocks. In point of pedigree, all individuals in the peoples of the Western culture are hybrids, and the greater number of individuals is a mixture of more than two racial stocks. The proportions in which the several transmissible traits that go to make up the racial type enter into the composition of these hybrid individuals will accordingly vary endlessly. The number of possible permutations will therefore be extremely large; so that the resulting range of variation in the hybrids that so result from the crossing of these different racial stocks will be sufficiently large, even when it plays within such limits as to leave the generic human type intact.[...].

Disserviceably wide departures from this generically human and serviceable type of spiritual endowment will tend constantly to be selectively eliminated from the race, even where the variation arises from hybridism. The like will hold true in a more radical fashion as applied to any variants that may arise through a Mendelian mutation.

So that the numerous racial types now existing represent only such mutants as lie within the limits of tolerance imposed by the situation under which any given mutant type has emerged and survived. A surviving mutant type is necessarily suited more or less closely to the circumstances under which it emerged and first made good its survival, and it is presumably less suited to any other situation. With a change in the situation, therefore, such as may come with the migration of a given racial stock from one habitat to another, or with an equivalent shifting growth of culture or change of climate, the requirements of survival are likely to change.

Indeed, so grave are the alterations that may in this way supervene in the current requirements for survival, that any given racial stock may dwindle and decay for no other reason than that the growth of its culture has come to subject the stock to methods of life widely different from those under which its type of man originated and made good its fitness to survive. So, in the mixture of races that make up the population of the Western nations a competitive struggle for survival has apparently always been going on among the several racial stocks that enter into the hybrid mass, with varying fortunes according as the shifting cultural demands and opportunities have favoured now one, now another type of man.

These cultural conditions of survival in the racial struggle for existence have varied in the course of centuries, and with grave consequences for the life-history of the race and of its culture; and they are perhaps changing more substantially and rapidly in the immediate present than at any previous time within the historical period. So that, for instance, the continued biological success of any given one of these stocks in the European racial mixture has within a moderate Period Of time shifted from the ground of fighting capacity, and even in a measure from the ground of climatic fitness, to that of spiritual fitness to survive under the conditions imposed by a new cultural situation, by a scheme of institutions that is insensibly but incessantly changing as it runs.(9*)

These unremitting changes and adaptations that go forward in the scheme of institutions, legal and customary, unremittingly induce new habits of work and of thought in the community, and so they continually instill new principles of conduct; with the outcome that the same range of instinctive dispositions innate in the population will work out to a different effect as regards the demands of race survival. To all appearance, what counts first in this connection toward the selective survival of the several European racial stocks is their relative fitness to meet the material requirements of life, - their economic fitness to live under the new cultural limitations and with the new training which this altered cultural situation gives.

But the fortunes of the Western [18] civilisation as a cultural scheme, apart from the biological survival or success of any given racial constituent in the Western peoples, is likewise bound up with the viability of European mankind under these institutional changes, and dependent on the spiritual fitness of inherited human nature successfully and enduringly to carry on the altered scheme of life so imposed on these peoples by the growth of their own culture. Such limitations imposed on cultural growth by native proclivities ill suited to civilised life are sufficiently visible in several directions and in all the nations of Christendom. What is known of heredity goes to say that the various racial types of man are stable; so that during the life-history of any given racial stock, it is held, no heritable modification of its typical make-up, whether spiritual or physical, is to be looked for. The typical human endowment of instincts, as well as the typical make-up of the race in the physical respect, has according to this current view been transmitted intact from the beginning of humanity, - that is to say from whatever point in the mutational development of the race it is seen fit to date humanity, - except so far as subsequent mutations have given rise to new racial stocks, to and by which this human endowment of native proclivities has been transmitted in a typically modified form.[...]

On grounds of selective survival it is reasonably to be presumed that any given racial type that has endured the test of selective elimination, including the complement of instinctive dispositions by virtue of which it has endured the test, will on its first emergence have been passably suited to the circumstances, material and cultural, under which the type emerged as a mutant and made good its survival; and in so far as the subsequent growth of institutions has altered the available scope and method of instinctive action it is therefore to be presumed that any such subsequent change in the scheme of institutions will in some degree hinder or divert the free play of its instinctive proclivities and will thereby hinder the direct and unsophisticated working-out of the instinctive dispositions native to this given racial type.

What is known of the earlier phases of culture in the life-history of the existing races and peoples goes to say that the initial phase in the life of any given racial type, [20] the phase of culture which prevailed in its environment when it emerged, and under which the stock first proved its fitness to survive, was presumably some form of savagery. Therefore the fitness of any given type of human nature for life after the manner and under the conditions imposed by any later phase in the growth of culture is a matter of less and less secure presumption the farther the sequence of institutional change has departed from that form of savagery which marked the initial stage in the life-history of the given racial stock.[...].

These various peoples show more or less distinct and recognisable national types of physique - or perhaps rather of physiognomy - and temperament, and the lines of differentiation between these national types incontinently traverse the lines that divide the racial stocks. At the same time these national types have some degree of permanence; so much so that they are colloquially spoken of as types of race. While no modern anthropologist would confuse nationality with race, it is not to be overlooked that these national hybrid types are frequently so marked and characteristic as to simulate racial characters and perplex the student of race who is intent on identifying the racial stocks out of which any one of these hybrid populations has been compounded.[...]But whatever the degree of stability possessed by these hybrid national or local types, the outcome for the present purpose is much the same; the hybrid populations afford a greater scope and range of variation in their human nature than could be had within the limits of any pure-bred race.

Yet, for all the multifarious diversity of racial and national types, early and late, and [24] for all the wide divergence of hybrid variants, there is no difficulty about recognising a generical human type of spiritual endowment, just as the zoologists have no difficulty in referring the various races of mankind to a single species on the ground of their physical characters. The distribution of emphasis among the several instinctive dispositions may vary appreciably from one race to another, but the complement of instincts native to the several races is after all of much the same kind, comprising substantially the same ends. Taken simply in their first incidence, the racial variations of human nature are commonly not considerable; but a slight bias of this kind, distinctive of any given race, may come to have decisive weight when it works out cumulatively through a system of institutions, for such a system embodies the cumulative sophistications of untold generations during which the life of the community has been dominated by the same slight bias.(10*)

Racial differences in respect of these hereditary spiritual traits count for much in the outcome, because in the last resort any race is at the mercy of its instincts. [...]But after all has been said it remains true that the margin within which the instinctive nature of the race can be effectively adapted to changing circumstances is relatively narrow - narrow as contrasted with the range of variation in institutions - and the limits of such adaptation are somewhat rigid.

As the matter stands, the race is required to meet changing conditions of life to which its relatively unchanging endowment of instincts is presumably not wholly adapted, and to meet these conditions by the use of technological ways and means widely different from those that were at the disposal of the race from the outset. In the initial phases of the life-history of the race, or of any given racial stock, the exigencies to which its spiritual (instinctive) nature was selectively required to conform were those of the savage culture, as has been indicated above, - presumably in all cases a somewhat "low" or elementary form of savagery.[...]

Mechanical, matter-of-fact appreciation of external and material phenomena seems to be in a peculiar degree difficult, irrelevant and incongruous with the genius of the race. But even if it should seem that this race, or group of races, is peculiarly given to such sympathetic interpretation of natural phenomena in terms of human instinct, the difference between them and the typical racial stocks of the old world in this respect is after all a difference in degree, not in kind.

The like proclivity is in good evidence throughout, wherever any race of men have endeavoured to put their acquaintance with natural phenomena into systematic form. The bond of combination in the making of systems, whether cosmologic, mythic, philosophic or scientific, has been some putative human trait or traits. It may be that in their appreciation of facts and their making of systems the American races have by some peculiar native gift been inclined to an interpretation in terms of fertility, growth, nurture and life-cycles.[...]." 20) What is assumed here is what is commonly held, viz. that the racial stocks that made up the late palaeolithic population of Europe are still represented in a moderate way in the racial mixture that fills Europe today, and that these older racial types not only recur sporadically in the European population at large but are also present locally in sufficient force to give a particular character to the population of given localities. (See G. de Mortillet, Formation de la nation francaise, 4me partie, and Conclusions, pp. 275-329.)

Great changes took place in the racial complexion of Europe in the beginning and early phases of the neolithic period, but since then no intrusion of new stocks has seriously disturbed the mixture of races, except in isolated areas, of secondary consequence to the cultural situation at large. See also W. G. Sollas, Ancient Hunters and their Modern Representatives. 21) These improved races are commonly, if not always, a product of hybridisation, though it is conceivable that such a race might arise as a "sport," a Mendelian mutant.

To establish such a race or "composite pure line" of hybrids and to propagate and improve it in the course of further breeding demands a degree of patient attention and consistent aim.[...]. Given the material environment, the rate and character of the technological gains made in any community will depend on the initiative and application of its members, in so far as the growth of institutions has not seriously diverted the genius of the race from its natural bent; it will depend immediately and obviously on individual talent for workmanship - on the workmanlike [111] bent and capacity of the individual members of the community. Therefore any difference of native endowment in this respect between the several races will show itself in the character of their technological achievements as well as in the rate of gain.

Races differ among themselves in this matter, both as to the kind and as to the degree of technological proficiency of which they are capable.(5*) It is perhaps as needless to insist on this spiritual difference between the various racial stocks as it would be difficult to determine the specific differences that are known to exist, or to exhibit them convincingly in detail. To some such ground much of the distinctive character of different peoples is no doubt to be assigned, though much also may as well be traceable to local peculiarities of environment and of institutional circumstances. Something of the kind, a specific difference in the genius of the people, is by common consent assigned, for instance, in explanation of the pervasive difference in technology and workmanship between the Western culture and the Far East. The like difference in "genius" is still more convincingly shown where different races have long been living near one another under settled cultural conditions.(6*)

It should be noted in the same connection that hybrid Peoples, such as those of Europe or of Japan, where somewhat widely distinct racial stocks are mingled, should afford a great variety and wide individual varia- [112]tion of native gifts, in workmanship as in other respects. Hybrid stocks, indeed, have a wider range of usual variability than the combined extreme limits of the racial types that enter into the composition of the hybrid.[...]What is known of the conditions of life in early neolithic times(11*) indicates that the first requisite of competitive survival was a more or less close attention to the [122] business in hand, the providing of subsistence for the group and the rearing of offspring - a closer attention, for instance, than was given to this business by those other rival stocks whom the successful ones displaced; all of which throws into the foreground as indispensable native traits of the successful race the parental bent and the sense of workmanship, rather than those instinctive traits that make for disturbance of the peace.(12*)

But through it all the suggestion insinuates itself that the latest, or youngest, of the three main European stocks, the blond, has more rather than less of the pugnacious and predatory temper than the other two, and that this stock made its way to the front in spite of, if not by force of these traits. The advantage of the blond as a fighter seems to have been due in part to an adventurous and pugnacious temper, but also in part to a superior physique, - superior for the purpose of fighting hand to hand or with the implements chiefly used in warfare and piracy down to a date within the nineteenth century.

The same physical traits of mass, stature and katabolism will likewise have been of great advantage in the quest of a livelihood under the conditions that prevailed in the North-sea region, the habitat of the dolicho-blond, in the stone age. Something to the same effect is true of the spiritual traits which are said to characterise the blond, - a certain canny temerity and unrest.(13*) So that [123] the point is left somewhat in doubt; the traits which presently made the northern blond the most formidable disturber of the peace of Europe and kept him so for many centuries may at the outset have been chiefly conducive to the survival of the type by their serviceability for industrial purposes under the peculiar circumstances of climate and topography in which the race first came up and made good its survival.

In modern speculations on the origins of culture and the early history of mankind it has until recently been usual to assume, uncritically, that human communities have from the outset of the race been entangled in an inextricable web of mutual hostilities and beset with an all-pervading sentiment of fear; that the "state of nature" was a state of blood and wounds, expressing itself in universal malevolence and suspicion.


Source: http://de.geocities.com/veblenite/txt/instinct.txt (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fde.geoci ties.com%2Fveblenite%2Ftxt%2Finstinct.tx t)


More from this author: http://de.geocities.com/veblenite/books.htm (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fde.geoci ties.com%2Fveblenite%2Fbooks.htm)

Agrippa
Saturday, December 17th, 2005, 08:39 PM
Oky, now some comments about this good text (for that time in particular):


A surviving mutant type is necessarily suited more or less closely to the circumstances under which it emerged and first made good its survival, and it is presumably less suited to any other situation. With a change in the situation, therefore, such as may come with the migration of a given racial stock from one habitat to another, or with an equivalent shifting growth of culture or change of climate, the requirements of survival are likely to change.

Again something which makes the difference to progressive-propulsive features and pure adaptation to a specific environment clear since the later should be advantageous - as passive not active adaptations - useful in a much wider range of possibilities. F.e. intelligence or physical endurance are per se positive and if in a very, very specific situation not, the situation should be solved by intelligence, environment changed not to allow humans to degenerate into something which would be afterwards even less fit, less able to survive if looking at the big picture! (compare with Eugenic and here:
http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=44321&highlight=eugenic+leadership )

A progressive breed might be less efficient in a very, very specific given context, but as soon as the conditions change, f.e. group selection would play a stronger role again things would immediately change drastically and a progressive type would be more advantageous even if less adapted to a given climate at least as long as the requirements for success are general efficiency and not just active adaptation to a given environment.


These cul- [17]tural conditions of survival in the racial struggle for existence have varied in the course of centuries, and with grave consequences for the life-history of the race and of its culture; and they are perhaps changing more substantially and rapidly in the immediate present than at any previous time within the historical period.

Very true unfortunately - contraselection is in our days stronger than ever.


To all appearance, what counts first in this connection toward the selective survival of the several European racial stocks is their relative fitness to meet the material requirements of life, - their economic fitness to live under the new cultural limitations and with the new training which this altered cultural situation gives.

Obviously economic and general (what might be not the same) fitness and reproductive fitness have one of the lowest correlations in our current society. At least no positive one, there is just a negative correlation: Better features, less children on average...


On grounds of selective survival it is reasonably to be presumed that any given racial type that has endured the test of selective elimination, including the complement of instinctive dispositions by virtue of which it has endured the test, will on its first emergence have been passably suited to the circumstances, material and cultural, under which the type emerged as a mutant and made good its survival; and in so far as the subsequent growth of institutions has altered the available scope and method of instinctive action it is therefore to be presumed that any such subsequent change in the scheme of institutions will in some degree hinder or divert the free play of its instinctive proclivities and will thereby hinder the direct and unsophisticated working-out of the instinctive dispositions native to this given racial type.

:thumbup


What is known of the earlier phases of culture in the life-history of the existing races and peoples goes to say that the initial phase in the life of any given racial type, [20] the phase of culture which prevailed in its environment when it emerged, and under which the stock first proved its fitness to survive, was presumably some form of savagery. Therefore the fitness of any given type of human nature for life after the manner and under the conditions imposed by any later phase in the growth of culture is a matter of less and less secure presumption the farther the sequence of institutional change has departed from that form of savagery which marked the initial stage in the life-history of the given racial stock.[...].

True for all humans and every racial type indeed, read here too:
http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=44382

But even in culture new adaptations came up - f.e. there are obvious changes in the selective regime and types in and after the Neolithicum.


But whatever the degree of stability possessed by these hybrid national or local types, the outcome for the present purpose is much the same; the hybrid populations afford a greater scope and range of variation in their human nature than could be had within the limits of any pure-bred race.

It could be argued that this is in the nature of higher culture and evolution - not only by chance, but also because a certain (limited) range, variation can be beneficial for the society, the social construct and population as a whole. F.e. as I said quite often, both schizothymic rationals or idealists and hypomanic social active and organising individuals can be useful in their respective area. Its a question of organisation, to see which one fits best into which area, too.


But after all has been said it remains true that the margin within which the instinctive nature of the race can be effectively adapted to changing circumstances is relatively narrow - narrow as contrasted with the range of variation in institutions - and the limits of such adaptation are somewhat rigid.

Thats especially true for propulsive schizothymes which need a strong and idealistic system to be bound, otherwise their individualistic tendencies might lead to their own destruction. They are made for group orientation, but only if they by themselves understand the concept and are trained for it, if not they act more insecure and especially the most successful or least adapted, both categories, might go extinct because they simply "forgot to reproduce" or to act in the group as they should have and would have in a different form of organisation than the chaotic one. Only if driven by ideals, ordered structures, close social organisation and fix goals they show their full potential as it was visible in all times. Such structures must be build up artificially now to some degree, but were present in the time of mobile, nomadic and semi-nomadic warrior groups being dominant in Europe (late Neolithicum-Early Iron Age) which were the times for the most progressive tendencies in Europe. They did not just produce such structures themselves, but the situation in which they had to live increased their absolute and relative numbers by selective pressure.
If such structures as described roughly are not present, they might get frustrated by the unordered, unclear and chaotic character of f.e. the Liberalcapitalistic environment and might begin to act in a very specific way - according to a typical kind of Egoism and Egocentrism without even thinking beyond themselves if its not useful for their own egoism (I'm speaking not of genetic sociopaths in this case, they are a different matter) - so no family and children more often too. They tend towards tunnel vision, concentration of energies in their life on a specific field of interest - so without ordered social structures they might get lost in small area. Extreme Individualism is in my opinion partially the result of frustration - people only want to get dazed, use surrogats, follow simple materialistic and career oriented goals, are saturated and try to defend their decadent way of living with ill-ideologies rather than facing the reality of their now useless life which will bring racial lines which are thousands of years old and would have had great potential to an end. They always want to justify their actions before themselves (schizothymes), so without justification they won't do too much anyway - what makes it easy to direct the more simple minded of them once a structure is established. Without challenges, right leadership, ideas and fix structures such individuals I mean just tend to get too one sided though they are the backbone in every case.


Great changes took place in the racial complexion of Europe in the beginning and early phases of the neolithic period, but since then no intrusion of new stocks has seriously disturbed the mixture of races

Since selective pressure is that important undisturbed from the outside doesnt have to mean the same since race is a process.


What is known of the conditions of life in early neolithic times(11*) indicates that the first requisite of competitive survival was a more or less close attention to the [122] business in hand, the providing of subsistence for the group and the rearing of offspring - a closer attention, for instance, than was given to this business by those other rival stocks whom the successful ones displaced; all of which throws into the foreground as indispensable native traits of the successful race the parental bent and the sense of workmanship, rather than those instinctive traits that make for disturbance of the peace.(12*) But through it all the suggestion insinuates itself that the latest, or youngest, of the three main European stocks, the blond, has more rather than less of the pugnacious and predatory temper than the other two, and that this stock made its way to the front in spite of, if not by force of these traits. The advantage of the blond as a fighter seems to have been due in part to an adventurous and pugnacious temper, but also in part to a superior physique, - superior for the purpose of fighting hand to hand or with the implements chiefly used in warfare and piracy down to a date within the nineteenth century.

Yes, after the Neolithicum "naturally" only negative results could come up since the new conditions largely produced a more negative selective regime. Even more important than before was now the intraspecific competition, both inside and even more so between groups - mainly group selection could produce more positive results than those of the life of a farmer and city dweller and its social requirements alone which had, in some cases an even rather negative effect obviously.

Blond could be translated in this case = progressive since the depigmented ones had it just more often in Northern and Central Europe than the other - as I said, inside the progressive spectrum, the Nordid is the dominant form for Northern-Central-Eastern Europe.
Progressive biological traits, higher intelligence, rather schizothymic psychic tendencies, body type around the tall sinewy Leptosomic to Leptosome-Athletic centre.

Though we know about the cultural and environmental factors if its about Northern expansions first in and then for thousands of years out of the North we can see a certain both biological (progressive) and cultural (Indoeuropean, mobile patriarchal, warlike herders and mixed economy subsistence, instable conditions) factors if looking at times of great migrations, constant war and great achievements in the now up-bred and culturally new structured, positively selected new populations inside of Europe in past times. Usually both the cultural and racial progressive agent decreased over time because of contraselective factors we see in all sedentary mass societies to some degree especialy if there are no measures against and luxury and one sided goals corrupt the formerly more group oriented elite.

Oskorei
Sunday, December 18th, 2005, 05:38 PM
I had no idea Veblen wrote about racial theory as well as economics and sociology, but this is an interesting text.

Have you read much of Veblen, Horagalles? Does he provide the basis for a racialist political economy?

The chapters of this book looks interesting and rewarding to say the least:


Thorstein Veblen
The Place of Science in Modern Civilization and other essays. (New York, N.Y.: Huebsch, 1919, 509 p.)

------------------------------------------

CONTENTS : page

The Place of Science in Modern Civilization 1

The Evolution of the Scientific Point of View 32

Why is Economics not an evolutionary Science? 56

The Preconceptions of Economic Science. I 82

The Preconceptions of Economic Science. II 114

The Preconceptions of Economic Science. III 148

Professor Clark's Economics 180

The Limitation of Marginal Utility 231

Gustav Schmoller's Economics 252

Industrial and Pecuniary Employments 279

On the Nature of Capital I. 324

On The Nature of Capital II. 352

Some neglected Points in the Theory of Socialism 387

The Socialist Economics of Karl Marx I. 409

The Socialist Economics of Karl Marx II. 431

The Mutation Theory and the Blond Race 457

The Blond Race and the Aryan Culture 477

An early Experiment in Trusts


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Horagalles
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005, 02:24 PM
I had no idea Veblen wrote about racial theory as well as economics and sociology, but this is an interesting text.
Some of those (to the left) quoting him, don't seem to know about either:D - Veblen maybe (unlike Adam Smith, Marx, Menger and Keynes) a less known know economic thinker, but his writings are a good contrast to others. The institutionalist school is also less known and popular then the other economic schools of thought (classical, marxian, austrian, keynesian etc.), it is also more deviating from those others as it is focusing also on the psyche of people, considering their values, attitudes and even instincts.

Have you read much of Veblen, Horagalles? Does he provide the basis for a racialist political economy?Let's say I started reading his works and some secondary texts. I still need to go deeply into this, doing some thorough analysis on the ideas and arguments presented their. Veblen got a somehow unstructured, but also colourful and entertaining style. He comments on economics and the conduct of business, production and consumption. But he doesn't formulate economic laws in the sense of scientific heuristic rules, while he tries to explain certain economic and social phenomena. His homo economicus is more humane then the rational utilitarian of the liberals. Status, values, instincts and power of people are considered as a factor in economic decision making of agent inside an economy. And I think it is clear from the text, that Veblen considered inherited influences a major factor determining behavioural patterns and trends of populations and parts thereof.
Veblen does not really offer an political model for an economy. But he delivers many good arguments for why racial issues should matter for making the economic policy of a state.


The chapters of this book looks interesting and rewarding to say the least:
http://de.geocities.com/veblenite/txt/placeofs.txtI downloaded the whole web site. And I think this is about 90% of what Veblen wrote. I printed out the "instinct of workmanship" so that I can study the text more thoroughly. My personal oppinion is that one should combine his works with the one of others, possibly the Austrian school.