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The Brian Ferguson Interview
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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The mind of a racist, part 6: Steve Sailer and IDW funding


When Steven Pinker dropped him in 2011, Steve Sailer lost his most direct connection to mainstream respectability, and had to be content to promote his career through the right-wing racist ecosystem of VDARE, Taki and Unz.

In 2017 New York Magazine wrote an article about Sailer, The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the New Right, about his "subliminal influence" on well-known conservatives:
As Michael Brendan Dougherty of The Week has observed, Sailer has exerted “a kind of subliminal influence across much of the right … even in the places where his controversial writing on race was decidedly unwelcome.” Sometimes that influence has not even been subliminal — David Brooks has cited Sailer in The New York Times on the correlation between white fertility rates and voting patterns, Times columnist Ross Douthat has referenced Sailer’s analogy between Breitbart-style conservatism and punk rock, and the economist Tyler Cowen has described him as “the most significant neo-reaction thinker today.
The Tyler Cowen connection is most important: Cowen is a Koch man, discussed at Naked Capitalism: Tyler Cowen, Koch Brothers Funding, Mercatus Center, George Mason University, and Academic Freedom

The Intellectual Dark Web has many ties to Koch money, most prominently through the careers of Charles Murray and Christina Hoff Sommers. Sommers is a resident scholar of the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute and Murray is AEI's F. A. Hayek Chair in Cultural Studies. Other IDWs have received direct Koch organization funding and Steven Pinker has received indirect Koch funding.

And now Mercatus has a new funding scheme aiming to provide financial aid to members of the IDW and the like-minded, "Emergent Ventures" noted in September 2018 by TechCrunch:

Tyler Cowen,  who I interviewed here, is a fascinating economist. Part pragmatist and part dreamer, he has been researching and writing about the future for a long time in books and his blog, Marginal Revolution. Now he and his university, George Mason, are putting some money where his mouth is. 
Cowen and the team at GMU are working on Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program for moon shots. The goal is to give people with big ideas a little capital to help them build out their dreams. 
“It has long been my view that risk-takers are not sufficiently rewarded in the world of ideas and that academic incentives are too conservative,” he said. “The intellectual scene should learn something from Silicon Valley and venture capital.” 
Cowen is raising $4 million for the first fund. He announced the fund in a podcast on the Mercatus website. 
“People such as Satoshi and Jordan Peterson have had huge impacts (regardless of one’s degree of enthusiasm for their ideas), and yet in terms of philanthropic funding the world just isn’t geared to seed their ambitions,” said Cowen.
Peterson is a member of the IDW, and is known for his crackpot ideas (biologist PZ Myers made a series of videos about them) and I assume the Satoshi mentioned is not the pseudonym of an influential bitcoin programmer but rather Satoshi Kanazawa, best known for his claims that "Sub-Saharan Black African countries suffer from chronic poverty and disease because their people have lower IQs, and black women are objectively less attractive than women of other races..."

Both claims with which Steve Sailer enthusiastically agrees.

Satoshi Kanazawa also wrote an obituary of extreme race science promoter J. Phillip Rushton (seen here addressing the white supremacist American Renaissance convention) and  called him a "modern-day Gaileo."

It seems in the case of Cowen and Emergent Ventures, Sailer's controversial writing on race is welcome, at least coming from someone who is not Sailer.

According to the Emergent Ventures web site:
Launched with $1 million grant from the Thiel Foundation, the mission is to jumpstart high-risk, high-reward ideas that advance prosperity, opportunity, and wellbeing. The fellowship provides participants with the short-term resources and support to quickly develop and test their ideas. 
In addition to financial support, participants will have access to mentors and networks in the George Mason community, such as Mercatus’ faculty director, Tyler Cowen, and industry leaders across the country. Emergent Ventures is looking to make a bet on talented individuals with unique ideas for changing the world. Sign up above to keep in touch.
The apparent founder of the IDW, Eric Weinstein, works for Trump supporter Peter Thiel and promotes him often.

Steve Sailer's views are not at all out of line with the views of people whom Koch and Thiel and Cowen want to support. And we know Sailer and leading race science promoter and Koch favorite Charles Murray have a mutual admiration.

So why doesn't Sailer get Koch money?

We know he doesn't, at least as of April 2019.



The person Sailer is tweeting at is Alex Nowrasteh, who works for Koch via the Cato Institute.

But Sailer doesn't seem to like him much and he really doesn't like Koch, even grouping him in with the biggest of the right-wingers' bete noirs:
The BLM/Hillary/Koch/Soros/NYT plan for betting the country on less law and order?
It seems that the AEI/Koch faction of the right prefers open borders and Sailer and the current ruling faction of the Republican Party, the Trumpers, prefer closed borders.

It's the classic division of conservative America - the rah rah capitalism side and the rah rah racism side.

I don't think the two sides disagree fundamentally about a race-based human hierarchy. I don't think the Koch side has any love for people from Central and South America.

Immigrants, especially unskilled immigrants, will work for cheap and that's good for people like Koch.

The difference between the two sides is the degree to which racism trumps capitalism. Steve Sailer is fine with capitalism, but he hates other "races" more than he loves capitalism. And although Charles Murray doesn't mind being associated with him, Sailer is probably just a little bit too obvious about his open contempt for black people for those who control the plutocrat purse strings.

But it could change. If the IDW manages to gain mainstream acceptability for race "science" the rah rah capitalism wing will no longer have to feel embarrassed about Steve Sailer's bluntness, and might start shoveling money his way.

It's possible they are already considering it, based on tweets I happened to observe. I originally wrote about that here.

This tweet (below) indicates to me that rather than dismissing Sailer, it's possible those in Kochland are arguing whether to publicly align with Sailer.

If they do, we will know that the right has decided to make a full-scale attack on any progress made since the days of the Civil Rights Movement. And they may even attempt to twist the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. to do it.


When will someone representing Bill Watterson make HBD Chick stop 
smearing his work by associating Hobbes with her racism?