Biology Is “Problematic”
To exist on this plane of reality is to experience inequality. Our sex is determined at the moment of conception, and about 80 percent of what we will grow to become as adults—barring a trauma of some kind—is pre-determined by biology. It’s not just eye and hair color, it’s our genitalia, our intellect, our sexuality, our pre-disposition to mental illness, and our predilection for certain kinds of activities. Our biological realities create the world in which we navigate on a daily basis, and the hyper-specialized free markets that maximize efficiency and profit from the untold number of daily transactions (minus of course ubiquitous governmental interference) is tailor-made for this uneven distribution of ability.
Certain population groups have a higher concentration of individuals who are better suited to particular tasks or have a greater desire to maximize said ability, which goes a long way toward explaining imbalances in the STEM or education fields, for example. In the increasingly less tangible forms of wealth creation, money markets, and entrepreneurship, those individuals with greater proficiency in pattern recognition, mathematical ability, and spatial reasoning—coupled with a certain amount of risk-taking—will account for a greater share of the wealth concentrated at the top of the earning pyramid (see also: Pareto’s Distribution). The disparity is widening, but the ground the base of the pyramid is built on—if you’ll forgive the somewhat convoluted metaphor—is situated at a higher elevation in the West than ever before, albeit tenuously with the omnipresent specter of over-regulation. Nations that most readily embraced free markets are those that are wealthiest today.
It is perfectly natural and even understandable that someone at the base of the pyramid would look up at the tip invidiously. As wealth’s growing concentration at the top in a free market widens into a chasm, the people at the base of the pyramid may not observe the ground itself being elevated (or the rising tide lifting all boats, whatever metaphor you prefer) because they’re straining to even see the tip through the clouds. In a situation like this, it’s far easier to find fault with the billionaire haves, to construct scenarios where the gains are ill-gotten, than to confront the harsh reality that, at that given moment, they are better than you in some way. The current economic climate promotes the value of certain kinds of intelligence, and except where the government meddles, such as instances of affirmative action, these intelligences are being privileged for the purpose of generating wealth. What this doesn’t mean, however, is that though much of what you are was predetermined, that signals a shortcoming on your part. This can and should be liberating. There are many kinds of intelligence and aptitude, and taking stock in one’s reality and finding purpose can produce a life of happiness and meaning, if not necessarily fabulous wealth. As Gordon Gekko said in Wall Street, “Greed is good.” Jealousy, envy, and even naked greed should be channeled productively, to drive us to be better, to be greater, and wild successes should serve as figures of inspiration.
Let’s take a look at sports. In few other places is the disparity between the haves and the have-nots more pronounced than in the sporting world. The most gifted teenagers receive full tuition and living expenses to play at the collegiate level in the United States. The best earn professional contracts; we’re looking at the genetic elite competing at the highest level for often millions of dollars, not to mention endorsement deals and media exposure. Take the NBA—these are guys with up to and sometimes over seven-foot heights and wingspans, with forty-plus inch vertical leaps and copious amounts of fast-twitch muscle fibers, galloping up and down the court completing incredible athletic feats. Not to discount the sheer volume of practice, repetition, and dedication it takes to become a professional basketball player, but if you’re born with genes that code for a 6’9” height, 7’3” wingspan, 40” vertical leap, and 9” hands, then you have a pretty good foundation on which to build.
Similarly, I was watching the previous NFL Draft, and I couldn’t help but marvel at some of the guys they were describing. Malik McDowell, defensive tackle from Michigan State: 6’6”, 295 pounds, 4.85-second forty-yard dash. To be that size, and that fast, is absolutely freakish. He went in the second round as one of the top sixty-four incoming NFL players with the knock being that he’s been able to reach this rarified status with inconsistent effort. Obviously the true greats take their natural abilities and maximize them through dedication to the craft, but again, here is a case study in biological inequality where having specific genes takes you most of the way. Even the talent evaluators on the live broadcast made a note that teams will err on the side of the underachiever versus the overachiever in the belief that the coaching staff can instill good habits and technique over time.
And that’s what really galls the re-distributionist-minded members of the far Left: that biology could be such a strong factor in our development, really the primary factor in our development. This invalidates all of the pseudo-scientific constructivism they tie themselves in knots to perpetuate and use to cultivate their little, to quote Mark Steyn, “boutique identities.” Sports put this disparity on full display nightly. The average rec league basketball player could hoist a thousand jumpers a day—he’s never going to be Ray Allen. The average gym rat could inject grams of testosterone a week and live in the squat rack—he’s never going to be Dorian Yates. What’s truly odd is that making benign observations about biological realities has become taboo, an area utterly closed for discussion. Look no further than the treatment of Charles Murray if you want proof of that.
Sports have proven to be one of the Left’s great bugaboos. In their ceaseless quest to put everything on a non-binary spectrum, to attribute all maladaptive behaviors and deficiencies to social constructs, the very idea of biology and biological predisposition has become “problematic.” In sports, this is twofold: 1) Where relevant, men and women have separate leagues or divisions where they compete against other members of the same sex (“problematizing” notions of gender), and 2) In professional sports, earning potential is by-and-large proportional to performance (a pure meritocracy). There are exceptions of course, like Tom Brady voluntarily earning below market value to allow the Patriots to spend more money on other players under the salary cap, or most leagues’ rookie scale contracts, but by-and-large, there are few arenas quite like sport, where accolades and compensation generally have a direct correlation with performance. Ideally this would be the case for the rest of our society, but the Left insists on playing Jeff Gillooly and knee-capping the Nancy Kerrigan’s of the world who have the audacity to be successful (does George Soros have the honor of playing Tonya Harding in this metaphor?).
The Leftist de-construction project has gone so far out of the realm of observable truth that in their zeal for “true” equality, the world is starting to look like a kind of “Harrison Bergeron” dystopia. Nothing here is off limits, though; they’ve done this to the modeling industry, to art, to music, to architecture, to the very conception of beauty in the West. They’ve shredded the canon and replaced it with relativist, intersectional material that needs to be artificially supported because it cannot stand on its own artistic merit. In the West, we are committed to the scientific method and observable truths, and the attempts to silence fact and deny biological reality have major repercussions. Sports are so potent in this sense because they allow for a true manifestation of many of the more intangible things we discuss, like intellect and fact-based reasoning.
Sports remain, to a large degree, one of the few holdouts, resistant to the ceaseless handicapping of excellence. That’s what makes ESPN, for example, such coveted territory for the Left. The Left feels the urgent need to politicize everything, to infuse even the most banal of activities with their narrative. For the Left, narrative will always trump fact, and if there isn’t sufficient evidence for a claim, they’ll invent evidence for the claim. I hesitate to even bring it up because it’s so hackneyed and frankly boring at this point, but this incessant rally to “Kill Nazis” by the Left suffers from a severe lack of supply, so they have to go to great lengths to create Nazis—even going so far as to fabricate hate crimes. The mainstream media, of course, only sensationalizes the “discovery” of vandalism, poop swastikas, graffiti, et cetera, but they conveniently never cover the inevitable revealing of it as a hoax.
A quick note on the Nazis: they were a Leftist organization—National Socialists—who sought to re-distribute wealth (taxes on all Germans ran over half of their income) for the good of the state. During the interregnum period between the world wars, when Germany was suffering under reparations and humiliation in the aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles, the Ashkenazi Jewish population was one of the few groups that was able to accumulate wealth. Because of this disparity, the Jewish population became a target of ire for the fledgling National Socialist party, who first disarmed the Jews, then confiscated all of their material wealth while instituting the concentration camp system. Similar scenarios have played out in virtually every socialist dictatorship—the USSR, China, Cambodia, Venezuela, Cuba, South Africa (Ilana Mercer has an incredible book about the current state of whites in the country titled Into the Cannibal’s Pot), Zimbabwe, and the list continues. It is very clear that not only were these policies instituted superficially as an attempt to rectify wealth inequality through a particular political lens, but that deep-rooted class and/or race consciousness under-pinned these decisions. This is not unique to the 20th century by any means, but the implementation of these policies under a particular Left-wing fascistic or communist umbrella is. What many on the modern Left fail to realize is that through echoing the Cultural Marxist party line they probably picked up at university, they deny basic realities like Pareto’s Distribution and perpetuate a cycle of carnage and destruction that’s claimed up to a quarter of a billion lives in the past century.
If the Left cannot literally level the playing field, they can, as in the case of ESPN, at least charge the spectacle of sport with its narrative. ESPN has been wading into the troubled waters of social justice for some time now, but finally came out and admitted as much to its fast-shrinking audience earlier this year, as if programming like First Take and minstrel show The Six (where a bunch of blacks shout and play dominoes) hadn’t already tipped their hand. ESPN’s recent firings are very telling about where the Disney-owned network is headed in terms of target demographics. Anchors that have targeted entire metropoles as “racist” (see: Hill, Jemele, City of Boston, not to mention her condemnation of the “white supremacist” Donald Trump) remain; Baseball Tonight is effectively gone. The vast majority of hockey coverage has been axed (noticing a trend?), but columns by racial apologist Tim Wise writing about how “woke” the Wisconsin basketball program is on ESPN imprint The Undefeated remain. The Undefeated also ran another piece titled: “Belichick, Brady, and Kraft’s Relationship with Trump is Complicated for Patriots Fans of Color.” Scan some headlines from the main ESPN website and try not to have your eyes roll into the back of your head: “Stories of Activism in the NBA,” “James Blake’s Pursuit of Social Justice,” “NFL GMs Will Hide behind Their Hypocrisy about Kaepernick,” “Who is Dolores Huerta? How the Chicana Activist Changed the World,” and the list goes on. Sure, we can talk about sagging ratings attributed to the larger decline in cable television subscribers, but this neglects two things: 1) The number of individuals explicitly canceling service because of the new modus operandi, and, 2) People are also turning away from the online written content in droves.
It brings me no great joy to write this because I actually want ESPN to be successful. I don’t want to see people losing their jobs as was recently the case for about one hundred and fifty employees of the network. ESPN’s problem is they’re shifting the focus away from their specialty and on to something of which few writers and show hosts know all that much about, and so we’re getting a watered-down product that betrays the essence of vicarious escapism and/or regional pride for which so many turn to sports. Regional pride filtered through the lens sports is one of the few ties we have left that bind us as Americans to each other. Viewers turn to ESPN for highlights, sports analysis and commentary, and the very strong sports journalism they’ve consistently produced in the form of the “E:60” and “30 for 30” programs, among others. The average American is sick to death of hearing about social justice causes that stretch the very limits of credulity while their hometown collapses into a swamp of opioid addiction and joblessness. If I’m trying to relax after a long day of scraping together whatever work I can find by watching a Broncos game and having a few beers, the last thing I want to hear is a sob story about people who came to this country illegally and are now demanding safe haven while they show an interviewer from some news outlet pictures of their kids on a smart phone.
Being an American comes with certain privileges, but it also comes with civic responsibility. The activist judges who’ve been so keen to strike down President Trump’s travel bans, for instance, have decided that mangling the Constitution in order to virtue signal their “tolerance” is preferable to not only following the laws of this country, but of jeopardizing the safety of its inhabitants. The failure to secure our southern border is doing the same. Flouting federal law as a sanctuary city, or campus, or state, is not only illegal and should result in the loss of federal funding and the immediate termination of employ by those in violation of said laws, but it sends a message that the laws of this country are not important. In their Prozac worldview, these would-be Neros play the song of “diversity” and dance while America goes up in flames.
The current state of inequality in the West, to follow the Leftist line of thinking, is due to a particular set of conditions made possible by the hetero-normative white patriarchy whose oppression of women and minorities has enabled white men (yes, even coal miners in West Virginia and Kentucky, and lumberjacks and fishermen in Maine and Alaska, and factory workers in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan, and dairy farmers in Vermont and Wisconsin!) to become fabulously wealthy on the broken backs of those below them in the hierarchical pecking order. This is obvious nonsense.
In the oppressor/oppressed paradigm espoused by many of the more ill-intentioned members of academia and advocates for “social justice,” the layering of colonialism-informed contexts—to whatever limited degree they’re transmitted or received—with feminist critique (such as feminist standpoint theory and gender socialization) and post-structuralism informs what has the appearance of a new linguistic construct, but one that’s existence can only be assured, paradoxically, by the existence of that which it seeks to critique and undermine. Without it, most of the Cultural Marxists and their ilk would also cease to exist as they are largely incapable of providing an alternative; they deconstruct to deconstruct, not to re-construct. They “sort through” pop culture’s detritus or historical narratives with the purpose of pointing out inequality, to reveal the disenfranchised voices on the margins of text and discourse; they situate themselves in the flow of several critical discourses with contemporary resonance and engage with them with the intent to launch an assault on the foundations of Western society.
Insofar as the Leftist utopians do provide a new social vision, well, there’s really nothing new at all. It appears they would merely invert all cultural, biological, and historical norms, and simply assume the mantle of power they purport to deplore. Either they’ve not read Animal Farm, they’re being willfully ignorant, or, as I’m beginning to suspect is the case with the ringleaders of this “movement,” there’s something much more sinister lurking beneath the rainbow-colored veneer of painted smiles and pink pussy hats.
The tolerant, open, wealthy West has removed the strictures on sex, sexuality, and race of its past, allowing its citizens the opportunity for unprecedented upward economic and social mobility (though Charles Murray does make a compelling point in Coming Apart that class structure in America, for example, seems to be growing more rigid). And as equality has by-and-large been achieved, the various progressive causes have melded into this kind of amorphous racist-sexist-bigot-transphobic-homophobic-shouting mass that wants to move past equilibrium and on to its own naked power grab. Perhaps underscoring Murray’s point, there’s a lot of rhetoric on the Left that smacks of elitism. Leftism cannot survive without an enemy (again, the irony of the far Left’s good-and-evil moralizing adhering wholly to a binary model seems to have escaped them), and as such, hopefully they soon become their own worst one and leave the rest of us the hell alone. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a game to catch!