[Marxism] Bonds, Genes, Racism

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Sat Aug 11 22:36:08 MDT 2007


On 8/12/07, Rakesh Bhandari <bhandari at berkeley.edu> wrote:

> I don't think you have actually said anything of substance, but I
> can't read most of the posts. I doubt that you have read even one
> book on sociobiology. So why the strong opinions?

You're making a mistake here -- as I said several times before, my
intent is not to "defend sociobiology", as you mistakenly seem to
think.

In fact, I think that sociobiology probably doesn't get it right.

The reason I was concerned is that I saw people dismissing  Clark's
hypothesis (the possible genetic component to the rise of capitalism)
*on purely ideological grounds* without examining or addressing his
*arguments*.

The arguments may or may not be right. I hold no brief for them (nor
for sociobiology).

But they shouldn't be dismissed simply on the grounds that " (A)
Clark's arguments sound like sociobiology,  AND (B) Some
sociobiologists hold right-wing views, ERGO (C) Clark must be
wrong/racist" This is a horrible way to argue anything, and gives
Marxism/Marxists a bad name.

Your question about my command over sociobiology literature would have
made sense if I had been defending sociobiology. I am not. That is not
what I'm interested in.

I was interested in critiquing what seems to me quite an appalling
tendency to apply the mis-shapen logic that I described above. It is
the _form_ of this argument that is wrong, whatever the _content_ of
sociobiology might be.




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