A conversation with Heiner Rindermann, for Man and the Economy

hrin_2019  Heiner Rindermann PhD, is Professor of Educational and Developmental Psychology at the Technical University of Chemnitz (Germany). He is psychologist (PhD University of Heidelberg). His work deals with education and ability development, intelligence and student achievement, economy and politics, evolution and culture, and their interplay at the level of individuals and societies. His recent major contribution is Cognitive capitalism: Human capital and the wellbeing of nations published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: An early contribution on your part in establishing the connection between cognitive ability and human development (in the broadest sense) was to show how the spread of AIDS among ethnicities of different continents is greater as the cognitive ability is lower. Could you remind us of your analysis?

  Heiner Rindermann: In two publications from 2007 and 2009 with my German colleagues Georg W. Oesterdiekhoff, a sociologist, and Gerhard Meisenberg, a biologist, I showed that education (as a proxy for intelligence and knowledge) and cognitive ability (comprising intelligence and knowledge) reduce the impact of the HIV spread.[i] If wealth and modernity are added in analyses at the level of nations – comparing different countries – the effects of wealth and modernity even turned positive, increasing HIV rates! Disproving the usual theory, that AIDS is a disease of the poor, the data robustly showed that AIDS is a disease of the low intelligent. But why? Isn’t this result biased or mad?

  In closer consideration not at all: Studies from other authors on AIDS or on diabetes at the level of individuals also show that income and even education are not crucial for health. The crucial factor is intelligence. Again: Why? Here the Piagetian approach can help us as used by Georg W. Oesterdiekhoff and cognitive hermeneutics of everyday life as I tried to explain in my Cognitive capitalism book: People at lower levels of cognitive development and intelligence, especially if living in a social environment with a similar low level, tend to think and act irrationally, e.g. they believe in magic and behave in ineffective or even self-damaging ways. I.e., AIDS is not seen as being caused by HIV transmitted by unprotected sex but being caused by God, magical powers or sorcery and consequently can be cured by magical treatment, e.g. by having sex with a virgin. And these aren’t excuses for sexual abuse or own failings but people really believe this.

  For instance, a quote from a study by African researchers in Mali underscores this: “Accidents are never attributed to faults or incompetence of the people in charge or machine failure, they are always orchestrated by certain superstitious powers.”[ii] Such a mindset will not lead to more cautiousness or better maintenance reducing accidents.

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A conversation with Guillaume Faye, for American Renaissance

260px-Guillaume_Faye_par_Claude_Truong-Ngoc_février_2015  Guillaume Faye is a French philosopher, known for his judeophile right-wing paganism, his call for a Eurosiberian Federation of white ethno-states, or his concept of archeofuturism, which involves combining traditionalist spirituality and concepts of sovereignty with the latest advances in science and technology.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: In my opinion, the liberalism [libertarianism, free-markets] of tomorrow will be a liberalism at the crossroads of Julius Evola and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti—a reconciliation that Italian Fascism basically failed to achieve. In other words, the liberalism of the future will be an archeofuturist liberalism. Do you envision France as a fertile ground for this new liberalism?

  Guillaume Faye: If one considers France from the point of view of Frédéric Bastiat, it is basically a communist country. In fact, France is today more communist than the Soviet Union ever was. It is one of the last bastions of communism in a world that is now profoundly liberal. Not only does government spending represent more than 58 percent of GDP, and redistribution expenditure more than 50 percent of GDP, but with a population that represents less than 1 percent of the world’s population, France represents 15 percent of the world’s welfare state redistribution.

  I don’t think that France will ever be a liberal country, for liberalism is quite simply incompatible with the French mentality. On the other hand, the world is increasingly liberal, but it is a liberalism that makes serious mistakes—starting with free-trade agreements biased in favor of China. That said, the trade war launched by President Trump seems to me to be a very dangerous thing, likely to trigger a whole new economic crisis far worse than that of 2008.

  As for Fascism, it was indeed a failure—were it only for its socialist economics and its warlike hubris. One can always imagine an alternative version of Fascism, the preeminent intellectual reference of which would have been Vilfredo Pareto, Julius Evola, or Filippo Tommaso Marinetti—instead of Giovanni Gentile. The fact still remains that it is impossible to change history, and that Fascism is for us only a socialist monster of the past. It is pointless to look in the rearview mirror; we need to focus on the future. And as I tried to show in my book Archeofuturism, when the historical period of the 19th and 20th centuries will have come to a close, and its egalitarian hallucinations—including a certain utopian version of liberalism—will have been sunk by catastrophe, humanity will revert to its archaic values, which are purely biological and human (i.e., anthropological).

  This will lead to the separation of sex roles; the transmission of ethnic and folk traditions, spirituality, and priestly organization; visible and structuring social hierarchies; the worship of ancestors; rites and tests of initiation; the re-establishment of organic communities—from the family to the folk. It will mean the de-individualization of marriage in that unions will be the concern of the whole community and not merely of the married couple; an end of the confusion between eroticism and conjugality; prestige of the warrior caste; inequality among social statuses—not implicit inequality, which is unjust and frustrating and is what we find today in egalitarian utopias, but explicit and ideologically legitimated inequality. It will mean duties that match rights, hence a rigorous justice that gives people a sense of responsibility; a definition of peoples—and of all established groups or bodies—as diachronic communities of destiny rather than synchronic masses of individual atoms.

  In brief, in the vast, oscillating movement of history which Nietzsche called “the eternal return of the identical,” future centuries will witness a return to these archaic values one way or another. The question for us Europeans is whether we will have these values imposed upon us, on account of our cowardliness, by Islam—as is already happening—or whether we are capable of asserting these values ourselves by drawing them from our historical memory. Alas, given the extent to which Arab-Muslim peoples have already colonized European soil, I am afraid that their re-emigration, and the liberation of France and Europe, can be set up only at the conclusion of an extremely bloody conflict.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: The Italian Renaissance is generally conceived of as a rebirth of Paganism in the formal context of Catholicism. Yet, far from being exclusively Pagan, the Renaissance was also nourished by a deep interested in Judaism. How do you explain this?

  Guillaume Faye: The Italian Renaissance was not a rebirth of paganism, but a return to the arts and techniques of ancient Rome. Not only has Italy never ceased to be pagan despite the strenuous efforts of Catholic prelates, but Graeco-Latin paganism has always found itself in osmosis with Judaism. Thus, in the pagan Roman tradition, there has never been any anti-Judaism; quite the contrary, the Jewish people was the only one authorized to practice its religion, for the good reason that Judaism was posing no political threat to Romans—unlike with the religion of the Gallic druids, who were therefore persecuted by Rome.

  Two years ago, an Italian historian published a book, Ponzio Pilato. Un enigma tra storia e memoria, [Pontius Pilate: An enigma between history and memory] in which it is shown that the Great Sanhedrin asked Romans to kill Christ because they recognized the Roman emperor as their “king,” not Jesus who let himself be called “King of the Jews.” In turn, Romans, who had no trouble with satisfying the request to kill Jesus, were absolutely delighted to hear how supportive Jews were of the emperor who had federated them. For this reason in particular, there has never been a tradition of anti-Judaism in Italy.

  Going back to the Renaissance, I subscribe to the thesis of decline developed by Bryan Ward-Perkins, an English historian living in Rome, who has shown in his book The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization that an immense setback in technology and artistic production happened in several parts of the Roman empire, following the German invasions in the West and the Arab invasions in the East. The Renaissance was not a religious rebirth of paganism; it was an artistic rediscovery of the painting and sculpting techniques of Antiquity, while Europe had basically returned to the bronze age with the fall of the Roman empire.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: From a neo-pagan point of view like yours, why do you have more respect for Judaism than for Christianity?

  Guillaume Faye: While Christianity carries within it and unleashes a certain moral masochism of the Jewish soul, there is no call for weakness and submission, no castrating message in Talmudic Judaism. This is basically the thesis of Friedrich Nietzsche, who fiercely denounced Christianity, but also was an ardent admirer of the Jewish diaspora and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism. “Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other too” has nothing to do with the Talmud. On the other hand, in preaching the socialist hatred of the rich, or the subservience of native white Europeans before North African, black African, and Asian colonizers, Pope Francis actually puts himself in harmony, and not in contradiction, with the Gospel’s teaching.

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A conversation with Patrick Moore, for the Association des Climato-réalistes

cropped-patrick-header  Patrick Moore is a Canadian activist, and former president of Greenpeace Canada. Since leaving Greenpeace, which he helped  to found, Moore has criticized the environmental movement for what he sees as scare tactics and disinformation, saying that the environmental movement “abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism.” He has sharply and publicly differed with many policies of major environmental groups, including Greenpeace itself on other issues including forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture, and the use of chemicals for many applications.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: The beliefs and values of an individual generally reach such a degree of interdependence (regardless of the poorly or rigorously logical character of this interconnection) that challenging a particular aspect of his worldview sets the whole edifice in motion, and not just that particular belief or value. When you finally decided to distance yourself from Greenpeace, how much had you been evolving in your personal philosophy?

  Patrick Moore: Well, I have to say even at the beginning of Greenpeace, I didn’t share all the same values and opinions of my comrades. I was doing a PhD in ecology, so I was involved in a science education and, although there were a few people in the original group who had some science education, in the end, science was lost altogether in the Greenpeace evolution, to where during my last 6 years as a director of Greenpeace International, none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. In the beginning, we had a very strong humanitarian orientation to save human civilization from all-out nuclear war.

  That was basically the main focus of Greenpeace. The “peace” part was really what we were emphasizing in the beginning. Our theme was that all-out nuclear war would also be extremely damaging to the environment, the “green” part. So “green” and “peace” being put together in one word was a revolutionary concept and one of the reasons it gained so much authority and power, because it resonated with people that humans and the environment were one thing closely related to each other. As time went on, the peace kind of got lost when we shifted to “save the whales,” “save the baby seals,” “stop toxic waste dumping,” and “anti-nuclear energy”, instead of anti-nuclear weapons. And so the thinking shifted to where we were focusing more on nature, and that caused the “peace” to drop off the end of Greenpeace, a little bit, and by the time I left in 1986, Greenpeace and much of the rest of the environmental movement was characterizing humans as the enemies of earth, the enemies of nature. And this does not resonate with me.

  Being an ecologist, I see all life as one system on the earth. Ecology is about the interrelationships among all of the different forms of life, including humans of course. We came from nature, we evolved from nature in the same manner, evolutionarily, as all of the others species did. So, to see human as separate and, in a way, the only evil animal, is how it is now projected. We’re the only bad animal, the only bad species. Even weeds are better than us, disease agents are not evil, they are just there, part of nature. While humans in a sort of original sin kind of fashion, have become characterized as the enemies of nature, so that’s why I left Greenpeace on the broader front, because I don’t believe in that even for one second, that we are the enemies of nature, and you’ll understand why later in the interview, but, for me, my distancing from Greenpeace began about four years before I left.

  In 1982, there was a meeting of international environmental with about 85 of us, I believe, from all over the world chosen on geographical criteria. I was from Western Canada, the one person from Western Canada in that meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. After the first UN Conference on the environment in 1972 in Stockholm, the first United Nations agency to be in a developing country, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was founded in Kenya. And in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Stockholm conference, we 85 environmental were brought together by the Environmental Liaison Center, which was the environmental NGO’s liaison with UNEP. It was at that meeting that I heard for the first time in my life the term “sustainable development.” That term had been coined earlier in the day at a meeting between environmentalists from the industrial countries and environmentalists from the developing countries.

  Most people think sustainable development was a compromise between environmentalists and industrialists, the development part, but no. It was a compromise among environmentalists, because if you’re an environmentalist in a developing country, you cannot be against development. Whereas most of the environmental people from the industrial countries were basically against mega-projects and developments like large dams and nuclear power plants, huge construction projects they were always opposing, and still do today. But in developing countries, if you’re against development, you are laughed away from the room, because developing countries are developing and that’s all there is to it, they’re trying to have a better life for their citizens and more wealth for their countries.

  So that’s when I first began to realize, this term “sustainable development” told me that the challenge for environmentalism going forward would be much larger than just awareness of the environment. It includes the social and economic dimensions. Sustainable development means you have to take into consideration the fact that there are more than 7 billion human beings, who every day need food, energy, and materials to survive. Food, energy, and materials, all come from the environment. So I saw things in a completely different picture as a result of this new approach. I too, in the campaigning of the environmental movement that what we did 24/7, all we did was think about our campaigns, I kind of had the blinkers on, a little bit and only seeing the ecology and the environment and nature, and not seeing the relationships with the social and economic factors that govern our daily lives, and so I realized that the incorporation of environmental values into the social and economic fabric had to be taken.

  You can’t just say, “Ok, we’re going to save the environment, never mind the people, just let them die, because they can’t have anything anymore, because it will affect the environment.” That’s not a correct approach and I think too much today, if you take for example, the movement against oil, and pipelines to carry to refineries and all of this. It’s basically being proposed that we commit economic suicide. If you look at the environmental movement position on energy today, they are against fossil fuels, they are against nuclear energy, they are against hydroelectric energy, they are against 98.5 % of the world’s energy. This would be suicide, not just economic suicide but really suicide, like dying. So, over 4 years, not knowing or understanding what I could possibly do next after being in Greenpeace for 15 years, right out of university, right out of my PhD, I had no chance to have a “normal” life in industry or government, at this point I was far, too far gone along my way of thinking to do that. So I left Greenpeace.

  Why did I leave Greenpeace finally? Because they adopted a campaign to ban chlorine worldwide. And of this I thought how ridiculous, I’m in this group where all the other directors have no science and they’re saying we should ban the element chlorine from existence in human affairs. They didn’t seem to understand that chlorine was the most important element for public health and medicine and when I saw this I realized they really didn’t care about people. They would ban an element which is so important in healthcare and in medicine, adding chlorine to our drinking water has been the biggest advance in the history of public health in swimming pools and spas where it prevents bacteria from killing us, and most of our synthetic medicines, pharmaceuticals or drugs are made with chlorine chemistry. Chlorine is important, precisely because it’s toxic to bacteria and other disease agents that are trying to kill us.

  So in the end, that was the sharp point of the stick for me. I could not stay in an association, as an international director, that was against the use of chlorine for medicine and public health. And so I left and began a salmon farm in aquaculture at my childhood home on Northern Vancouver Island and, within a year or two, was being attacked by Greenpeace for growing fish. Then I really knew I was smart to get out, because aquaculture, of course, is one of the most important future methods of food production for this world. Producing healthy proteins and fats better for you in a diet than land animals, not that I don’t eat those but that’s a long winded explanation of why I left Greenpeace.

Grégoire Canlorbe with Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore (on the left), in the company of Grégoire Canlorbe,
in December 2017 in Paris

  Grégoire Canlorbe: President Trump makes no mystery of his climate skepticism, thus echoing the own language elements of his Russian homologue. It was revealed that Mr. Putin’s skepticism dates from the early 2000s, when his staff did very extensive work trying to uncover all aspects of the alleged anthropogenic climate warning. Do you believe the Kremlin, along with the Trump administration, has become a front-runner in the fight against climate change totalitarianism?

  Patrick Moore: Yes, it’s been very obvious for some time that the Russians, particularly Russian scientists, do not believe that man-made climate change has been a catastrophe of some kind. I mean, most scientists will say, yes of course, there are over seven billion humans and our missions and our activities, especially the clearing of ecosystems for agriculture, it’s obviously having some effect on the world but whether it’s having a huge effect on the climate is very much debatable, and I don’t really believe it is true. Microclimates, yes, cities have made changes that had make it warmer inside, for example, the “urban heat island effect” as it is called. So everywhere you go where there is a city with a lots of concrete and lots of heat being used in the buildings, you will find that it is warmer in the city than it is out in the country right nearby.

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