[Marxism] The transition to capitalism: is it in our genes?

Auguste Blanqui blanquist at gmail.com
Tue Aug 7 21:25:58 MDT 2007

The latest rewrite of this is Jon Entine's "Taboo," released a few
years ago.  It didn't set off anything like the firestorm below, which
is... worrisome.

On 8/7/07, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> Sayan Bhattacharyya wrote:
> >
> > We all know that genetic _reductionism_ is misguided. But nowhere is
> > the NY TImes article claiming that there is _a_ "single" gene that
> > codes for "capitalist behavior". It could be that a network of genes,
> > under certain sets of interaction with the environment, favor the
> > expression of certain traits, including psychological/behavioral ones.
> > There is nothing inherently implausible about this theory at all.
> Yes, this seems to ring a bell.
> The Washington Post
> January 16, 1988, Saturday, Final Edition
> 'Jimmy the Greek' Says Blacks Are 'Bred' for Sports;
> Television Interview Causes Furor
> By Leonard Shapiro, Washington Post Staff Writer
> CBS Sports commentator Jimmy (the Greek) Snyder, in remarks that touched
> off a firestorm of reaction and criticism, said in a televised interview
> yesterday that blacks are better athletes than whites because they have
> been "bred to be that way," and that "the only thing left for the whites
> is a couple of coaching jobs."
> Snyder, 70, is in Washington for the CBS telecast of Sunday's NFC
> championship game. While he was having lunch at Duke Zeibert's
> restaurant, he was interviewed by a WRC-TV reporter seeking comments on
> the significance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Snyder's
> on-camera remarks were the lead story on Channel 4's newscast at 6 p.m.,
> and immediately afterward, he apologized, saying he did not mean to
> offend anyone.
> "I should have expressed myself a lot better than I did today," he said.
> In the Channel 4 interview, he was asked by WRC writer-producer Ed
> Hotaling about civil rights in sports. Snyder said: "Well, they've got
> everything; if they [blacks] take over coaching like everybody wants
> them to, there's not going to be anything left for white people.
> "I mean all the players are black; I mean the only thing that the whites
> control is the coaching jobs . . . The black talent is beautiful; it's
> great; it's out there. The only thing left for the whites is a couple of
> coaching jobs."
> Later in the interview, he said: "There are 10 players on a basketball
> court. If you find two whites, you're lucky. Either four out of five or
> nine out of 10 are black. Now that's because they practice and they play
> and they practice and play. They're not lazy like the white athlete . . .
> "The black is a better athlete to begin with, because he's been bred to
> be that way. Because of his high thighs and big thighs that go up into
> his back. And they can jump higher and run faster because of their
> bigger thighs, you see."
> Still later: "I'm telling you that the black is the better athlete and
> he practices to be the better athlete and he's bred to be the better
> athlete because this goes all the way to the Civil War when, during the
> slave trading, the owner, the slave owner, would breed his big woman so
> that he would have a big black kid, see. That's where it all started."
> WRC newscasters Jim Vance and Dave Marash both criticized Snyder's
> remarks on the air and the station reported it was swamped with
> telephone calls protesting Snyder's comments. "People are upset and
> confused," said Kris Ostrowski, assistant news director at WRC. Dan
> Rather also aired some of Snyder's comments on the CBS Evening News, as
> did NBC's Nightly News.
> An hour after the WRC interview was aired locally, Susan Kerr, a
> spokesman for the network, issued the following statement: "CBS Sports
> deeply regrets the remarks made earlier today to a news reporter by
> Jimmy (the Greek) Snyder. We find them to be reprehensible. In no way do
> they reflect the views of CBS Sports."
> Snyder, a 12-year fixture on CBS Sports who earned a national reputation
> as a sports oddsmaker and analyst, is scheduled to appear on the pregame
> NFL Today show Sunday before the Redskins' game against the Minnesota
> Vikings. Kerr said last night that no discussion had taken place yet on
> possible disciplinary action the network might take toward him.
> "We'll have more on that tomorrow [Saturday]," she said.
> Neil Pilson, president of CBS Sports, was flying to Hawaii and not
> available to comment.
> Minutes after the interview was aired on Channel 4, Snyder told The
> Washington Post: "If what I said offended people, I apologize. I didn't
> mean for my remarks to come out the way they did. I was trying to
> emphasize how much harder so many blacks work at becoming better
> athletes than white athletes. And they work harder because they're
> hungrier. That many black athletes run faster and jump higher than
> whites is a fact. Using the term 'bred' was wrong on my part and I
> apologize for that, as I do for suggesting coaching was the only domain
> left for whites. Blacks could do well in that area, too, if given the
> opportunity."
> John Jacob, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League,
> said last night in New York City: "One would expect a man like Jimmy the
> Greek or anyone who has this kind of exposure on the national media
> involving athletics not to deal with myths, but empirical data. It's
> dumb for Jimmy the Greek to make such a ludicrous comment. It just
> sounds so silly."
> A Los Angeles-area branch of the NAACP immediately called for Snyder's
> dismissal. Willis Edwards, president of the Beverly Hills-Hollywood
> chapter, said Snyder's remarks "could set race relations back 100 years
> or more, particularly in the area of sports."
> Irv Cross, one of Snyder's colleagues on "NFL Today," said he was
> shocked by Snyder's remarks. "They don't reflect the Jimmy the Greek I
> know, and I've known him for almost 13 years," Cross told the Associated
> Press.
> In April, Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis said on national TV
> that blacks lack "the necessities" to hold baseball management jobs. The
> Dodgers fired him.
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