Converting Falsehoods into Truth:
Notes on Science, History, & Postmodern Strategies of Control, Part III
Part III of III (Part II here)
Punctuated history and continuous narratives of disruption
Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of punctuated equilibrium should not be treated as an isolated scientific theory whose author believed it to be the most defensible assessment of existing facts. It should rather be recognized as part of a larger rhetorical effort to reform the philosophy of history which predicates the received historical notions upon which the social and political intuitions of white Westerners are contingent. While his Mismeasure of Man instilled the “Western science is racism” meme complex into the Western consciousness, his theory of “punctuated equilibrium” used scientific authority to smuggle in another one, which was far worse.
In very broad terms, Gould’s theory of punctuated equilibrium uses the existing fossil record to argue that what living species have come to be was not the result of continuous change over time. Instead, he argues that biological species are the product of radical “punctuations” in geological time. These punctuations are purported to have occurred as an intermittent series of events throughout the history of life on Earth. Each instance is argued to have changed extant biological categories into entirely new ones, and to have been followed by periods of stasis until the next punctuation introduced new species categories. The theory thus implies that the last punctuation produced the system of biological categories that define all life today.
Gould’s model alters how the causal agency of the period of temporal continuity between the last geological punctuation and the present is to be viewed. The temporal unit spanning the last punctuation and the present ceases to be a permanently active Darwinian crucible through which separated populations grow ever further apart and become ever more meaningfully different by virtue of the action that their separate histories exert on shaping what they are and what they become. The post-punctuation temporal continuity is instead reduced to a period of stasis that is unable to meaningfully act on biological inheritance through the forces of speciation. Some critics have argued that Gould’s theory simply confuses evolutionary processes with gaps in the fossil record, which is indeed more “gap” than “record.” However, like the scientific critique of his Mismeasure of Man, this autistic concern is entirely beside the point. In the words of Gould’s own editor, his theory of punctuated equilibrium “represented a much broader paradigm about the nature of change – a worldview that may be judged as a distinctive and important movement within recent intellectual history.”
In his book defending the theory of punctuated equilibrium, Gould expresses his belief in the “practical importance” of his evolutionary science in challenging the beliefs of our “xenophobic world.” This provides an important context for understanding the core thrust of his thesis that “cladogenesis,” or the formation of extant biological categories, are products of “punctuation,” and not continuous histories shared by group members. Something with no historical continuity carries no particular history distinguishing it from something else, except the last instance of historical disruption. It is unclear what could be meaningful or “real” about a “race” or a “people” other than that such things are the present manifestation of a continuous, shared, and particular past, which is sometimes marked by a physical and recognizable phenotype, and which will continue into the future if it is unobstructed from doing so in the present by intentional disruption. However, if disruption is the only genuine and “real” cause of change in history, and thus the only real cause of what comes to us from history, then historical continuity is just an illusion.
If historical continuity is an illusion, then historical categories that appear to manifest and accrue meaning from shared historical continuity are also an illusion. This is the mode of discourse from which terms like “biological essentialism” emerged in Western academia. Such terms are only meaningful because academic convention presumes it to be “unscientific” to consider a biological collective to be legitimately defined by a biological inheritance shaped by a shared and particular history. Being “unscientific,” shared history could only “appear” to define a biological population because some humans believe it to. This in turn frames “race,” “nations,” or “peoples” as nothing but a species, in the Lucretian sense, whose causal ratio is only accessible by enlightened, Leftist agents like Gould. The ratio that Gould purports to have accessed is that such species as races, nations, or peoples are actually only the products of disruptions in history, and thus their stories cannot be destroyed by disruptions in the present or future. The popularization of this causal framework of history is why “rational” Westerners opposed to “xenophobia” will always define the English people as the product of the Roman invasion, Viking invasion, or the fusion of the Angles and the Saxons, and never the periods of continuity that occurred between then and now. If “the English” are only defined by events of disruption, or “punctuation,” how could further disruption or “punctuation” through mass immigration, or through universalizing the “English” identity, destroy what it means to be “English”?
The presence of the worldview that led Gould to construct and so fiercely advocate for his theory of punctuated equilibrium becomes yet clearer in light of its concomitant iterations across the Western intellectual landscape. To this end, let us explore what it means for Gould’s theory to have introduced, as its blurb purported, a new “paradigm,” or rather, “paradigm shift.” The latter notion first gained the memetic currency it enjoys today by virtue of appearing in Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which was first published in 1962. In this “revolutionary” book, Kuhn saw fit to sweep away the traditional view of science as a continuous accumulation of knowledge that changed gradually over time, and instead posited that it moved through a series of “paradigm shifts” whereby one frame of accepted logic and arrangements of data became replaced with another, entirely different frame, that was “incommensurable” with the last.
By his logic, we stand in modernity as inheritors of nothing more than the last “paradigm shift.” These phenomena might as well have been called punctuations. Thus, in a very real sense, Gould’s theory was not only part of a paradigm shift, but part of the particular paradigm shift, or punctuation, that gave such notions as paradigm shifts and historical punctuations any historical traction. His theory of “punctuated equilibrium” was intended to acquire the authority of scientific truth to eradicate the notion that extant historical categories are products of historical continuity, and to resituate the ontogenesis of those categories within disruptions of history. I say “disruptions in history,” because there can be no “historical disruption” in any meaningful sense, as disruptions are outside history by virtue of not forming part of that which came before and that which came after. A disruption in history is a cause unto itself, or else it would simply be a continuation of prior historical forces, form part of a prior and subsequent historical story, and not be disruptive.
Moving beyond science and the history of science to the humanities, it is evident that Leftist professors who are slightly ahead of the curve have been suffering bouts of anxiety about the risks that their “revolutionary” activity has created for the future legitimacy of the cushy academic posts that their anti-white efforts have won them. This emerged with their recognition that Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election by circumventing the institutions of power and social conventions that Leftist cultural revolutionaries now occupy and control. They also recognize that Trump accomplished this by monopolizing the “post-truth” and zero faith discourse that the Left developed in order to deconstruct away any genuine notion of Western traditions and peoples that “excluded” others, and then to assert their own ideological hegemony.
One such anxious figure is Eric Bennett, a Professor of English at Providence College. He admits that academics like him conspired to formulate an intentionally rhetorical discourse to use as a weapon against the history that white people told of themselves as a particular people, a history which he accuses of “essentialism.” He recounts that for decades, he and his allies acted in bad faith and deployed deliberately obscurantist and incoherent rhetoric in order to “subvert the monoliths complicit in injustice,” focusing only on the Western “canon.” He notes that this was done in the spirit of “tossing books onto the bonfire,” to revel in “so many white men” becoming “so much majestic smoke.” Now, he laments that “[f]or the republic to survive, higher education must emphasize similarity as well as difference, continuity as well as rupture, collective sustenance as well as individualistic emancipation, you as well as me. It must do this without tipping into the old, real, omnipresent dangers of prejudice and bigotry.”
By “republic,” of course, he means the deliberately obtuse anti-white status quo sustained by the institutional hegemony that he, and people like him, now exert. Words like “essentialism,” “prejudice,” and “bigotry” betray his belief that it was legitimate to use deliberately obtuse and deceptive rhetorical measures to destroy the “power” he opposed, but now that he and those like him are the ones with power, such methods are unethical. This is presumably because he believes it was a moral imperative to destroy the structures that were necessary for white people to continue existing recognizably through time and to hand their own story of themselves down to their children, and that it is immoral for whites to try to regain narrative control over their own history and identity. Nonetheless, it is remarkable that Trump rendered these compulsive liars so terrified that some, like Dr. Bennett, occasionally drop their rhetorical masks to discuss solutions. When this occurs, they freely admit to the work that their rhetoric performed toward engineering a social environment in which all narrative energy became focused on “rupture” in order to discredit any notion of continuity. This gives us enough reliable information to piece together what they did, and how it led to the current dispensations that govern the utterly pathological intuitions of modern white people(s).
Throughout the twentieth century, scientists and humanities professors alike deployed bad faith rhetoric, which could just as easily been used to discredit their own beliefs and preconceptions. They strategically deployed it unidirectionally against any truth claims or evidence that they found to be morally objectionable. This tended to be whatever discourse framed people(s) of European descent as the inheritors of their own particular history(ies), and thus possessing their own particular future. Their targeted destruction was aimed at white peoples’ ethnic and racial inheritance, as well as at their cultural inheritance – namely, “Western civilization.” A key weapon in this campaign came from exploiting the fact that disruption and continuity are equally plausible ways to frame the origin of any historical category. They dedicated their energies to deconstructing away any proposition that a category in the present was the result of historical continuity, which could as easily have been used to deconstruct the proposition that disruption was a cause. They then focused all narrative energy to play up disruption in histories emerging from both science and the humanities. This resulted in the development of a Western intuition which assumed that claims of historical continuity are always suspect and serve some “hidden motivation,” while claims of historical disruption are more “rational” explanations for whatever categories exist in the present.
If all biological/historical categories in the present are products of disruption, any opposition to Leftist policies that appear to disrupt a people’s history enough to threaten their future as a recognizable people could not be legitimate. This is because the purported legitimacy of any such opposition rests on the legitimacy of desiring to preserve one’s own people and the unique history that they carry through time. However, the rhetorical groundwork established by figures like Gould maintains that no such continuous history could exist to carry through time. Thus, any purported desire to “preserve” one’s people could only actually be motivated by a desire to exclude “the other,” since the historical continuity that “racists” claim to wish to preserve doesn’t exist, and thus couldn’t be a legitimate motivation. The Leftist discourse of disruption affords an auxiliary explanation for wishing to preserve one’s own people and continue their history into the future, which is “ignorance” about the past. Ignorance, of course, can only be put right through proper “education”. This is how Leftists have successfully produced a Western mindset in which “education” is considered synonymous with losing one’s connection to one’s people and acting in a way which presumes there are no European people(s) to protect, or European history to preserve.
If you rewrite a self-defined people’s history of themselves, and strike their group category from it, you simultaneously destroy their present, their future, and wipe them from human memory. It is the most efficient means of utter obliteration, and it is all but guaranteed to be effective if backed by the scientific authority to make absolute and unquestionable truth claims about the past. Once presentism and disruption became the intuitive modes of reasoning about the past, the case that “white people,” “Dutch people,” or “Swedes” are inventions or constructs, and thus don’t manifest historical reality, didn’t even need to be defended with facts. That is because all such conclusions naturally flow as a logical extension from the initial proposition that apparent historical categories are only ever products of disruption and never of historical continuity. If that can be made intuitive, the rest will follow.
Presentism, disruption, & the imperative of moral rhetoric
Presentism proposes that nothing is “real” in history except the beliefs about history that exist in the present. All causal operations relevant to the formation of historical objects emerge from the present and act on the past. Similarly, the Gould-style discourse of disruption or “punctuation” instils the meme that disruptions are the generative force(s) responsible for the historical categories that appear to us in the present. For example, the historical form of “the English,” when given this historical treatment, becomes exclusively defined by its moments of disruption. That this has become the default mode of viewing history is evident in the common “anti-racist” assumption that “the English people” are nothing except the product of immigrations, conquest, or other breaks in history – but never periods of continuity. However, disruptions of forms that arrive in the present from the past are not the only kind of “disruption” that generates the historical categories of the present. The disruptive causes of historical objects and categories in the present may also be narrative disruptions which have disrupted history from some particular present, which a critical historian has targeted for deconstruction.
Thus, the logical implications of reorienting the West’s default historical frame from a focus on continuity to a focus on disruption instilled the “common sense” among “rational” people that things like nations, ethnicities, or cultures are either the product of historical disruptions or of “narratives” serving the interests of some particular “present,” and thus that any apparent continuity is ahistorical and illusory. Consequently, most of the anti-white rhetorical work emerging from Western academic and media institutions isn’t done in bad faith anymore. This is because the presentists and disruptivist view of history implies that there is no such thing as history done in good faith. They simply think they are doing “history” as it has always been done, but better, because their historical work does not serve the interests of exclusion and oppression, as all prior work had done. They have been taught to believe that there is no alternative to disruption and rhetoric in the historical domain. Believing such to be true also makes anti-white rhetoricians in Western institutions believe that their deceptive rhetoric is not only honest discourse, but that it is morally necessary to keep altering and re-disseminating it.
This moral position is necessitated by the core principle of the presentist and disruptivist view of history, which maintains that all historical objects, categories, and facts are not the result of continuity or gradual changes over time. Rather, they are the products of revolutionary changes, either in historical form or historical narrative, which essentially amount to the same thing. If everything is different after a revolution, and revolutions define history by controlling the present, this means everything that exists now is defined by the last revolutionary change. Such a worldview implies that only the uninitiated or naïve are incapable of seeing the ratio of history. This ratio is that social laws in every “present” determine historical truth by way of controlling those who produce dominant narratives of truth. Only those blind to this ratio believe that history carries anything genuine or meaningful through time.
In the absence of any self-sustained truth capable of reemerging by its own impetus at various moments through time, the only historical “truth” that exists amounts to absolute control over rhetorical forces, which will belong either to the good guys or to the bad guys. If this is true, then surely it is imperative for the “right” people, with the “right” moral principles, to have control over the present and all subsequent revolutionary changes, lest “evil” Right-wingers (“Nazis”) become the masters of all reality – past, present, and future? If anyone doubts the extent to which this imperative has penetrated the science produced by Western universities, a very well-received book that was published by the Stanford University Press, and written by a Fellow in Biomedicine at Brown, described any sciences bearing on race as being involved in “the genomic fight for social justice.” This far from an isolated case.
Hopefully, the comfort the Left feels with the internal contradictions, flagrant historical inaccuracy, and obvious contrivances of its seventy-year information blitz can be better understood in light of the worldview I have sketched. Most of them are not simply crazy or intentionally nefarious. Undoubtedly there are cynical parties who genuinely view the discourse of presentism and disruption as social and rhetorical warfare, and deploy it with an anti-white end in mind. However, to most Leftist foot soldiers, including senior academics, anything short of absolute and conscious rhetorical control of all news, research, and educational channels at all times means “literally Hitler” will come to power and burn the world in racist fire for all eternity. The appropriate response from the Dissident Right is not sympathy, but empathy. It is right and good to understand your enemy, to feel his hopes and fears, such that you can ensure that your ever-changing methods to oppose him may weaken not only his methods, but his motivations.
Your enemy is no less than the dominant institutional forces of both the Western humanities and Western sciences, and their motivation is now subject to and governed by the discourse of presentism and disruption. This discourse has led those dominant institutional forces of knowledge dissemination to believe that no single historical narrative identifying historical continuities is more grounded in truth than any other. Since no work in the sciences or humanities that bears on history could reveal objective truth, they believe it is their duty in such cases to disseminate “moral” rhetoric instead. The only measure that they have for determining what kind of rhetoric is “moral” amounts to:
- Whatever leads peoples of European descent to believe that they don’t exist as discrete peoples with particular histories, and thus to believe that they have no legitimate interests to continue existing as such.
- Whatever leads peoples of European descent to believe that they have no shared history, civilization, or culture to call their own, whether “Western,” “European,” or otherwise.
- Whatever weakens the power white people have to pursue their interests and protect themselves in whatever societies they inhabit.
Authors like Noel Ignatiev, Theodore Allen, and Eric Hobsbawm used historical evidence to build their arguments that peoples of European descent have no identities or histories to call their own, either as “white people” or as European nations. These are not the most plausible or efficient narratives that can be derived from the bodies of evidence from which they drew. However, spending one’s intellectual energy and time studying historical facts to reveal historical inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the prevailing narratives which hold that white people, Western civilization, or European-descended nations do not exist, will make no impact. In response to any such effort, presentism will lead dominant Western forces in academia and the media to claim (and probably believe) that this is simply rhetoric being used to build a narrative that justifies white supremacy.
Thus, the prevailing currents of “factual” Western history removes the possibility of any discrete and particular history belonging to “white people,” except where that history carries the legacy of European colonialism. However, modern Western institutions only teach and permit children of European descent to view that singular connection to their own ancestral history from the perspective of other peoples – namely, those conquered by their ancestors. This perspective on European colonialism, and white people’s ownership of it, is also taught to all non-white children whose ancestral histories converged with Western empires. As such, even if peoples(s) of European descent ceased entirely to have any ethnic identities or histories to call their own, including imperialism and colonialism, they would remain associated with those particular historical “crimes” by all other peoples, and would remain excluded from all other ethnic identities and detached from all other histories which all other peoples told of themselves.
To point this out, and to plead to Western institutions that giving children of European descent only a “deconstructed” history – except where their heritage amounts to perceived historical crimes – is its own “injustice” would be met with the same response as that prompted by drawing from the historical record to point out that “white people” and “Western civilization” do have particular histories; histories which resulted in those historical categories being formed. Your honest entreaty would be classed as either “white fragility” or of being a foul rhetorical ploy intended to cast doubt on the “objective” history which shows that neither “white people” nor any particular European people exist, because of your obsession with excluding (and thus oppressing) “the other.” This is because the dominant forces of Western institutions responsible for curating and disseminating history believe that the narrative contingency of factual truth means it must be subordinated to moral truth, and they accept no moral truth except their own. This moral truth classes any effort by a person of European descent to claim narrative authority over their own identity or history, for whatever reason, as the most dangerous and immoral act possible.
Whether it was the disruptive moment at which Newtonian physics prevailed over Leibnizian physics, the geological “disruption” that came to define modern species, or the act of “disrupting” a historical narrative by intervening in the present to alter how peoples in the future view their past, the worldview of presentism understands these moments of disruption to be what most fundamentally cause and define the present and the future, rather than objective periods of continuity.
If it is only recognizable periods of disruption, rather than recognizable periods of continuity, that define what exists now, then it could only ever be the last period of disruption that defines what now exists. If it were any other moment of recognizable disruption that defines the historically embedded categories that we believe to exist now, then there would be a period of recognizable continuity between then and now. This historical continuity would then become a causal explanation for what exists, which thus may provide a legitimate way of defining what exists as a product of continuity in history. This cannot be allowed by the Leftist dispensation for two reasons. Firstly, this would be contrary to a presentist worldview, in which all that determines history is disruption, and continuity is simply an imaginary species constructed by the last prevailing narrative for some purpose. Secondly, if something continued from the past to the present, such a thing can be meaningfully preserved for the future. Such would reveal that the Leftist work to disrupt those continuances in the present is an act of destruction.
Thus, in order to prevent what they do to history from being revealed to be what it is – namely, the wanton destruction of historical categories, historical peoples, and their unique histories – the Left must frame what it does as something that is inevitable and necessary. There exists no continuity, they will say, that gives meaning to what exists now, because any such apparent continuity is simply a modern narrative of the past. Any apparent continuity through the past could only be created by a narrative in the present. The narrative purporting the continuity to exist could only serve those who wish to “exclude the other” by “harkening back” to an “imagined” past. If “imagined” pasts are inevitable, it becomes imperative for us “reasonable” and “rational” people – us Leftists who have access to the ratio of how history truly works – to arrest potentially “exclusionary” narratives that “construct” a “fictional” continuity with the past and put more morally desirable fictional continuities in its place. Thus, by destroying what has existed and carried its own meaning, the presentist worldview has allowed the Left to convince the world, and themselves, that using their moral view in the present to rewrite peoples’ histories is not destroying anything, and only helping to usher in a brighter future of “inclusion” and “unity.” They believe they have both morality and rationality, as well as “science,” on their side.
These beliefs both encourage and justify historical work that only draws attention to disruption as a historical cause. Sometimes the relevant “disruption” is framed as an act of “racism” or “hate” in a particular “present” that is responsible for “inventing” a particular “narrative” of history. At other times, the discourse just focuses on a non-narrative based “disruption,” such as an event of invasion or immigration, if such proves powerful enough on its own to prevent white people from normalizing their own narratives of their own history(ies), or asserting themselves as particular self-defined peoples with their own legitimate interests in continuing to exist in whatever way they find most meaningful. The power of the framing effects which have derived from the Left’s positioning of presentist historical philosophy as the single dominant Western normative framework is evident in the failure of scientists who smelled a rat in Gould’s scientific work to use the tools of their discipline to make any headway in counteracting it. However, I also hope this failure has made clearer why I believe it is imperative for the Dissident Right to identify, discuss, and familiarize themselves with postmodern framing in the sciences. This imperative, I believe, derives from the simple, but still irritatingly contentious, fact that no amount of “scientific research” will be capable of “debunking” the Leftist narratives that threaten to so utterly paralyze the psycho-social mechanisms of self-defense among peoples of European descent that it risks wiping them from history.
As I stated earlier, the Dissident Right still has objective historical truth on its side. However, this is far from sufficient to preserve the existence of European-descended peoples, or their unique history. This is because if the anti-white Left continues to have its false rhetorical “truth” remain unchallenged by counter-rhetoric, its command of the present will have political and demographic consequences that reshape genuine biological, socio-biological, and historical realities. The patently false rhetoric of “diversity is our strength,” “mass immigration is inevitable,” and the use of the media to associate the labels of European nations with Africans, Middle Easterners, and mixed-race people is not only a negation of current reality, but a move to create a new one. By using rhetorical falsehoods to prevent peoples of European descent from counteracting mass migrations, and by preventing them and their children from remembering, asserting, and communicating their own discrete European identity(ies) and history, peoples of European descent actually won’t have a history distinct from non-Europeans any longer. What was a false rhetorical “truth” will become an objective historical truth. Suddenly, the anti-white diversity complex will actually have objective truth on its side.
Thus, this war is not one of “truth” versus “falsehood,” but one between different rhetorics. Relying on “truth” or appealing to “objective science” to win against this sort of enemy is bringing a knife to a gunfight. The sooner the Anglophone branches of the Dissident Right come to realize this, the closer we will all be to finding rhetorical solutions that will challenge the institutional hegemony of pathological anti-white framing techniques. This is not a once-off effort. Anything short of constantly identifying adaptations in Leftist framing and constantly readapting your own will be insufficient. Objective truth is on the side of the Dissident Right. Nonetheless, it will need to copy the Left and subordinate objective truth to rhetorical ends, or else the Left will outmaneuver the Right every time. I will explore some intellectually inexpensive rhetorical reframing strategies in my next article.
 Stephen Gould, Punctuated Equilibrium (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007), p. 103.
 Ibid., p. 87.
 Ibid., p. 345.
 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, third ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), p. 3.
 Ibid., p. 66.
 Catherine Bliss, Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice (Stanford, Ca.: Stanford University Press: 2012).
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