About a Core Anti-racist Argument (Biosemantics 4)
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The way I see it, the main, or one of the main anti-racist arguments in the scientific sphere is that diversity inside races is so big that that there can be a bigger difference between two Whites than between a White and a Black, for example.
Following that logic, anti-racists claim that there are in fact no races, just individuals.
This anti-racist argument is very important in my view, because it may sound convincing to many. Therefore it must be put in its right place...
Let's first start with the easy stuff and then move to more subtle dimensions.
One weak point of the anti's argument lies in the relationship between quantity and quality.
The "diversity" argument usually addresses the issue of having or not having certain variety/alleles of genes. But theoretically, even if a White and a Black would have all the same alleles, that would not mean a thing because it is not just a question of having or not having them, it is also a question of how many. The same genes may have multiple occurrences in the genome and the number of those copies can be different.
Difference in quantity can also mean a difference in quality, because more or less products of a gene can shift the balance of various biochemical processes, and such differences can lead to different chains of biochemical events. Quantitative differences can affect the activation of other genes differently and lead to different outcomes.
One could call this the "Quantity amplification" counterargument to the "diversity" argument of the anti-racists.
Another weakness of the "diversity" argument is the issue of key genes. Research about genetic diversity targets genetic markers regardless of their function and importance. Data about similarities or differences of genome between members of different races or groups does not take into account the relative importance of particular genes, and it doesn't discriminate between "brick and mortar" genes and key regulatory genes.
For racial differences, what is important are not the "brick and mortar" genes, but some key genes that discriminate between cellular processes and the way these processes will go. Such key genes may be few and still make a big difference, a far bigger functional difference than all the inconsequential genes that any two members of different races might have in common.
We could call this the "key genes amplification" counterargument.
In the case of the Lewontin's fallacy, the truth is that not even "brick and mortar" genes are taken into account, but every variation in non coding structural DNA, which is pure nonsense in terms of the properties of the organism.
I would like now to come to a much more subtle area, the reason why I started this thread in the first place, and which will give a clearer meaning to the previously mentioned factors.
Let's say, for argument's sake, that there can be a greater apparent significant similarity between certain members of different races than between some members of the same race.
There could still be a small common racial factor in those very different members of the same race that far outweighs everything else in the sense that it indeed determines racial differences far more important than the similarities of a member of one race with the member of another.
This is obviously linked to the two previous factors, but let's see what it could really mean.
That small difference may not be apparent when individuals are compared, because it may appear insignificant and undetectable at the level of individual comparison.
But that may not be so on the collective level. The importance of that factor might manifest itself only trough collective interactions.
An apparently small difference in character between individual members of different races might appear irrelevant at the individual level, but it might be very important on a collective level and as far as collective dynamics are concerned.
Apparently small differences in character, that may not seem significant when individuals are compared, can be hugely amplified in a collective context, if they are racially specific.
Those meaningful small racial differences, apparently inconsequential at the individual level could be central to group dynamics, group interactions and the shaping of society and its dynamics.
An essential thing to understand is that this "common factor" doesn't even have to be genetically identical in all members of the same race!
The important thing would be that these racial factors would be part of a common logic, a common system. They fit together into one.
Like in a hologram where all points of the image contain information about the whole image, but different informations from their own points of view, this racial "common factor" might not be a simplistic one - something that is the same in everyone.
It can be something different in each individual, but containing information about a larger whole, a larger picture. The information in each individual might be different but still make sense only in relation to a whole forming a system. That whole would be defined precisely by difference, not by uniformity.
So there we have it. Diversity inside a race can mean racial unity when we look at factors defining collective dynamics. The AGGREGATIVE PROPERTIES (how they aggregate together in a whole) of individuals don't have to be the same to make a very specific collective system that has inner coherence and a distinct individuality - a race.
The common factor might not be readily recognized at the individual level, because individuals are so different, but that common factor might not exist at the simplistic level of uniformity. The important thing is that the aggregative, collectively oriented properties of each individual are part of a same logic, a system, even if they are different for each individual.
What it means becomes clear if we consider a race as a semantic system, a collective system based on semantics.
Individuals might be different, but their individual meanings are a part of a larger system of meanings. Basically race is a biological language and individual differences of meaning (what the individual means to others in the interpersonal and collective sense) get their full meaning in the meta-context of the language itself and its logic.
In fact, this is a feedback relationship. Individuals form the whole, the semantic logic of the whole, but the whole also select individuals that are adapted to it, its language, to its system of exchange and grouping of meanings.
Races are biologic languages, or more precisely bio-cultural languages, as there is a feedback relationship between biology and culture.
When one looks at races as such semantic collective systems, the anti-racist "diversity argument" crumbles completely because this new systemic approach does not focus on the individual, but on collective systems based on diversity and still making distinct individualized and separated semantic wholes/systems.
This is not to say that these collective racial factors are not recognizable in the individual. They are indeed, but only if one looks for them trough their meaning in relation to the logic of collective and interpersonal semantic interactions (relations of meaning between individuals in the collective system). They are intuitively and implicitly understood by all members of a race, because this is their language, their system of meanings that they use to interact at interpersonal and collective levels.
I have discussed other aspects of this theory in a number of posts. You can find them here.
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