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A Prejudice Primer
Your helpful guide to what you can – and cannot – think in a free country
Bill Bonner, reckoning today from Poitou, France...
How about you, dear reader? Are you a man…a woman? Are you free from boundaries set by nature? Or do you lie awake at night, worrying that you might be ‘just prejudiced?’
Well, you can stop worrying. You are prejudiced. Enjoy it.
Here at Bonner Private Research, we take great pride in our prejudices.
We were in London last week. We learned that Professor Kathleen Stock was bullied, harassed and chased from her job for daring to voice the mainstream view that “trans women are not the same as biological women.” Singer Roisin Murphy was cut from the BBC’s line-up after she described puberty blocker drugs as “absolutely desolate” and called for “little mixed-up kids” to be protected from them.
These women were both women perpetrators of prejudice…and victims of it. Herewith, a primer on what prejudices are in style…and which you shouldn’t admit.
First, a quick update.
Higher for Longer
Yesterday, the Fed said nothing surprising. But it was not what investors wanted to hear. They sold stocks. CNBC:
Dow tumbles more than 300 points to notch third day of losses amid fears of higher rates, government shutdown
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 370.46 points, or 1.08%, to close at 34,070.42. The S&P 500 slid 1.64% to 4,330. The Nasdaq Composite retreated 1.82% to 13,223.98.
Back to the wonderful, wacky world of prejudice…
The newspapers are full of it. The Sunday Telegraph relayed this story:
“The General Medical Council has removed all mention of “mothers” from a maternity document for its staff”
What’s the General Medical Council got against ‘mothers?’ We don’t know.
In place of the word, “mother,” the GMC is using “parent” or “birthing parent.” And if the GMC goes on to develop a prejudice against “parent,” perhaps it could use “homo sapiens with the double X chromosomes.”
Meanwhile, the same edition of The Telegraph had an interview with a man who spent a lot of time studying chromosomes, Richard Dawkins. An evolutionary biologist, he’s the author of the “Selfish Gene” which was a real barn-burner back in the ‘70s.
We may like redheads because we think they are pretty. We may not like Russians, because we think they have bad manners. But the theory of evolution suggests that our prejudices have deeper roots than we realize. Biased we may be. Unbiased, we ain’t.
The Selfish Gene
The idea of the “selfish gene” is that our basic programming has its own prejudices. It wants to replicate. So, it re-purposes its hosts – us – to seek things that increase the odds of its own survival.
We want to live in a ‘good’ neighborhood, for example. We don’t really know good from bad, but our genes must think some of that ‘good’ will rub off on us. We don’t want to live in a bad neighborhood. We say we ‘don’t like it.’ But what makes us ‘like’ anything? Do we like sugar donuts because of some process of rational thought, made possible by our large, computer-like crania? Or, is it the genes that like them, because they help them survive…from one generation to the next?
“It is better to be a Spartan, than an Athenian,” said the Spartans. “It is better still to be a Roman,” said the Romans.
“It is better to get a perfect score on your SAT,” says the Korean mother. “Or practice the violin 7 hours a day.”
Some families have a bias in favor of working for the government. “You have security with the feds,” they say. “It’s better to start a business,” say others. “It’s the only way to make real money. Start a business. Take it public.”
We don’t really know what will turn out to be “better” any more than we know what is “good;” we can’t predict the future. It’s just a prejudice.
Of course, prejudices are often not very well thought out…or very attractive to others. If you are opening a Chinese restaurant, you may want to rid yourself of your prejudice against Asians. If you are coaching a basketball team, a prejudice against Black players is not likely to be an advantage. And if you’re selling milking machines how helpful would it be to have a prejudice against dairy products?
Certain types of prejudices are frowned upon. If you don’t like Jews, you’re thought to be an ‘anti-semite.’ You can dislike Lithuanians, vegetarians or Baptists all you want. But after 1945, not liking Jews was considered sinful.
You can still openly discriminate against different kinds of food, art, or automobile. You can have prejudices against fat people or skinny people…or against stupid people…or against people with accents you don’t like. There are some people no one seems to like – such as Adolph Hitler or Amber Heard.
But you can’t discriminate against people with a stutter. That could be a ‘disability’ and protected by the courts.
You can discriminate against people with dark skin. You might suspect that people with deep tans spend too much time in the sun and not enough on the ball. But the law forbids discrimination against “people of color.” The effect of this law is probably to hurt the people it was meant to help. An unidentified employer in America was quoted as saying she quietly rejects every resume from men named ‘Dante’ or women named ‘LaToya.’ Did she have a prejudice against the names…or the people behind them? Alas, racism can be very subtle. And the employer or landlord who tries to avoid being charged with “racism” is ipso facto “racist,” no matter how he goes about it.
Political opinions can still be openly mocked. Richard Dawkins has a prejudice against “woke” people, who should be treated, he says, with “contemptuous ridicule.”
Some prejudices are required. In the elite media – along with the universities, government, Wall Street, ESG corporate America – you must have a prejudice against “white supremacy,” whatever that is…against Confederate statues and memorabilia…against MAGA Republicans…against oil…against guns (unless they are being used to kill foreigners in a righteous war)…against genuine religious feeling…and anything else that gets in the way of the Elite Agenda.
You can dislike women or you can dislike men. But you cannot have a prejudice against “women” who used to be considered men…or “men” who used to be considered women. Genders are considered “fluid.” There are no women. No men. We are “non-binary,” they say, ready to hop into bed with man or beast, depending on social conditioning. No other view is permitted.
But prejudice and discrimination on the basis of sex have been with us from the get-go. They’re not going away. Here’s Dawkins:
“I speak as a biologist. There aren’t many absolutely clear distinctions in biology. Mostly what we have is a spectrum. But the male-female divide is exceptional in biology. It really is a true binary.”
Prejudices run deep. And it is by our prejudices that we shall be known.