Friday, January 7, 2011


"There is no evidence that there is any advantage in belonging to a pure race. The purest racees now in existence are the Pygmies, the Hottentots, and the Australian aborigines. The ancient Greeks who were the most civilized, were also the most mixed."
Bertrand Russell


  1. There is no evidence that Greeks are a race (There are single genes characteristic of certain human groups. But up to now noone could define a compilation of features - or underlying genes - which can be considered characteristic of one single specific human group). There is a thousand times less evidence that Greeks WERE a different race from what they are now, when they still WERE "the most civilized". And when "we" still were - or were considered - "barbarians".

    But let us take seriously Russell's point of view and pretend his view had a scientific base!

    And for instance let us be aware that Russell's point of view is RACIST!!

    Russell is not antiracist. Russell claims that the better race is not the race which has (as for example a sheepdog) been created for a specific situation, necessity and purpose, but the best race is in his view the most mixed race. This corrisponds to the observation, that mongrel dogs actually use to be more intelligent than "pure race dogs", and it is also an opinion very diffused in Sicily, where Normans and Arabs have (mixing theirselves to siculi and sicani) created the specific sicilian blend.

    Starting from Russell's point of view you have to conclude that Pygmies, the Hottentots, and the Australian aborigines obviously take advantage of their race within the restricted areas where these races evolved (nevertheless Russell considers them Barbarians, since he didn't meet a philosopher among them...), and that Russell's Greeks would be disadvantaged by their multiracial (i.e. beyond multiculturalism by a biologic hardware selected through cultural software) nature, if they were forced to live in those restricted grounds.

    In Russell's view the Jews would be considered a race and not just a cultural tradition. And they had to be considered in Russell's view over more than 3000 years a great middle ground between constant mixture on one hand and constant constancy on the other hand.

    Claude Levy-Strauss tried to say - with much better arguments, which really were antiracist! - the same which Russell tried to suggest: Multiculturalism is beautiful.

    But Claude Levy-Strauss changed his mind immediatly when Rushdie had been condemned. Since Russell favoured the option to attack the Soviets when the USA still had the bomb (and the USSR not yet), I guess he would have changed his mind as well very quickly if only he was still alive and lucid.

  2. We all have our favourite tea. Do you think it´s a pure species? Why do they offer more than two thousand brands with thousands of additive herbs and flavours? Because there is no evidence that pure tea tastes better than a blend.

  3. Populations are always blends of individuals, not of races. According to the scientific knowledge of the present moment not only the "pure race" is a myth but even the idea of "race" itself has to be considered - in reference to human mentalities - only a myth. What makes pointful Asfa-Wossen Asserate's observations and considerings is not his "race" but his cultural background. Every blend has to be well-balanced, otherwise the tea's flavour cannot appeal anyone's favour.