Bioleninism, Tokenism and the Apex Fallacy

Responding to the above criticism of the theory of Bioleninism is a useful way of clarifying the theory.

The essence of the theory is that a governing structure can gain stability by appointing to high positions members of groups with naturally lower performance, and that that process is advanced in current Western political systems.

“Natural” low performance is an especially controversial concept, but the criticism embraces it: “[women] are not contributing muscle to maintaining law and order to the same extent”

Whether the same applies to, say, homosexual or Punjabi firemen is debatable. I think the identification of sexually omnivorous firemen as the “wrong” kind of homosexual has a lot of merit.

As to Fulton County Sheriffs, a commenter who does not see Bioleninism as a force might well imagine they would “reconsider”, after the incident of a criminal overpowering a small female deputy and killing 3. A believer in the theory of Bioleninism would imagine the opposite. What’s the first link I see when I search “Fulton County Sheriff”? “A day on the job of Fulton County’s first female sniper“!  . It’s as if effectiveness on the job is not the dominant factor in appointments…

Emphasising the fact that there are still ethnic and cultural minorities in low-status positions is effectively the inverse of the Apex Fallacy  : That there is a phenomenon that takes members of some groups and promotes them to positions of power does not imply that it does not leave other members of those groups behind — even a large majority of those members. Bioleninism is a theory about who is selected for positions of power; those not selected can easily remain with the lowest status of all.

The most interesting alternative view is that Bioleninism appears to be happening but is in fact fake: “If women succeed in taking over half the posts in the cabinet… this just means that the cabinet have changed their role to that of national mascots.” We are looking at Tokenism, not Bioleninism.

Tokenism is absolutely a real phenomenon. It is a different category of phenomenon than Bioleninism, however. Tokenism is in principle an individual motivation. “I am pretending to promote this token person so as to get the reputational benefits of doing so, but I don’t really want to give them any influence”. Bioleninism is an emergent tendency of a political system. A movement which promotes the naturally low-status succeeds because they have loyalty to the system without which they could not possibly achieve the same status. (One of the conditions that gives rise to the phenomenon of Bioleninism is that any rival movement appointing naturally high-status people tends to suffer from problems of lack of loyalty. Other things being equal, it is better to rely on high performers than low performers).

The significance of an emergent tendency, as opposed to an individual motivation, is that nobody needs to believe in or even understand Bioleninism for it to happen. The individual motivations that produce the Bioleninist outcome can be quite unrelated: they can be some theory of Justice, or even be exactly Tokenism. It is a feature of any large movement that pretending to believe something is effectively the same as believing it. The attempt to pretend to believe a thing is what Scott Alexander called “Kolmogorov Complicity”, and he explains why it fails.  . A tight conspiracy of people who trust each other can have a secret agenda and a public agenda. A movement that has to compete in the public square cannot sustain the distinction for very long. If you claim loudly and dishonestly to believe that it is just to appoint women to cabinet, you will be succeeded within your movement by people who are not in on the joke.

3 thoughts on “Bioleninism, Tokenism and the Apex Fallacy”

  1. In a properly ordered society, there is no feminism, because women are all paired off with men, expecting eventually to inherit from them, and so have the same economic interest as they do.

    The breakdown of proper order is something that most characterises the American world, though it started in England. The Anglican schism began as a movement to allow the dishonouring of marriage contracts, though for centuries this was only allowed for people with enough money to finance a private act of parliament. The United States went beyond this in creating a non-interventionist state with a glut of lawyers and a plethora of jurisdictions, meaning that divorces were there for the asking.

    At first serial divorce was found principally among the very rich, millionaires and Holywood actors, for example such paragons of monogamy as the star jocularly referred to as “Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky”. By now though, the syndrome has been imitated by the general population, even the ‘White Trash’. Especially the White Trash in fact.

    What this means is that, for American women, husbands are not a reliable source of income or status, so women have to carve out careers for themselves. Equally the market, which is all of us in fact, is continuously struggling to drive the price of commodities and services down, so the wages of men have been depressed to the point that it is no longer financially viable for women to stay at home. Consequently, women begin to form an interest group of their own. Feminism, once confined to a hardcore of Lesbians, is then able to expand to include this disgruntled section of heterosexual women. But consider this statement, from Spandrell:-

    “A Chinese-American writer interviews the head scientist there: and all she does is undermine his project, saying how Communist censorship means the whole project is tainted. The guy doesn’t get it. Why are you doing this to me, aren’t you a fellow Chinese? No, she’s not. You know what she is? An ugly woman on her thirties. I know China well and ugly women on their thirties are very much not high-status in China today.”

    It is not that I am setting out to campaign on a ticket of “Equal rights for ugly women”: I do not need to: they have equal rights already (since before I was born in fact). The suffrage in the United States and elsewhere extends to all adults, male, female and shemale, black and white, het and home, fit and ming. So consequently there is a division between a) that class of people that Spandrell, informed by the gods Darwin and Market, considers as worthy to be the élite, and b) the rest of the electorate.

    If we place high earning White Men and babes/trophy wives on one side, who is left on the other? Precisely those classes of person that Sprandrell is railing against in his rant.

    So here’s how it works. Democracy gives the vote to all adults, whatever their characteristics. Spandrell and similarly minded persons decide that power naturally belongs to them and propose to keep it in this clique. It’s all very juvenile, very much a repeat of the High school jocks versus nerds set-up. So the characteristics of the Opposition do not derive from some oppositional conspiracy of the clinically wrong: they are basically the people that the self-proclaimed élite need to vilify. And what is worse, like some Zombie Army, they are coming for you: Hilary got 2.8 million more votes than Donald Trump did. It seems no coincidence that the leader of one side represents an all time low of unethical propertied and male behaviour: only money matters; while the Opposition is represented by a woman who embodies the embitterment of women who no longer attract their man.

    The answer is to attempt grown-up politics which sets out to benefit the whole population.

    1. I’m pretty sure that Spandrell isn’t suggesting that China should be ruled by whites.

      The ship of “grown-up politics which sets out to benefit the whole population” sailed about a century ago; not expecting that back any time soon.

      Your paragraphs on the origin and nature of feminism, including its relationship with the market, are as good as anything else I’ve seen on the subject: Thank you.

  2. Spandrell’s remarks on China show very clearly the way he operates and the inconsistencies in his approach. Take this quotation:-

    “You want to get funding as a China expert in Western academia? You better be researching about Uyghurs or Tibetans. Those dumb and hostile minorities. So much more important than the oldest civilization on earth.”

    The Chinese may like to portray themselves as the “oldest civilisation on earth” but this is merely Chinese chauvinism. All civilisation is in fact roughly the same age, because technology has a habit of spreading across borders. China borrowed extensively from India. Tibet preserves ancient Indian culture in a way that India does not, because in India it was destroyed by the invading Muslim Horde. So it has just as much right to claim to be a vessel of Ancient Wisdom as Han China, more in fact.

    The two Youtube vloggers Laowhy and Serpentza are respectively an American and a British/South African resident of China who together and with others travel around the People’s Republic on motorbikes filming their journey with commentary. What they noticed is that wherever they went, they were assumed to be Huei huei (i.e. Uyghurs). “These people long nose pale face like Huei huei, talk bad accent Chinee like Hueihuei, not want eat stewed pigs intestines, one same like Huei huei. If it look like Peking duck, quack like Peking duck, shit like Peking duck, then 100% it Peking duck.”

    So Spandrell’s approach is simply, whatever society he is in, to adopt the chauvinism of what appears to be the dominant élite. In America he preaches the dominance of White Males: in China, without realising it, he is preaching the inferiority of the same.

    Now, as for important developments in Fulton County. My experience is that in America, low grade State employment is, and has been for some time, dominated by grumpy Middle-Aged Black women. This is probably only true of the Eastern half of the country, but that is the area I have most experience of. Black men don’t get so much of a look in, because they’re all in prison or dead, probably, or maybe have opted out of the work market due to a poorly developed sense of paternal responsibility. The women are left to raise their children through their own efforts, which is why they are so grumpy. (However, a conspiracy theorist could look at this as part of a concerted State effort to disempower Black men by putting their womenfolk in the position of bread-winner.) So the hiring policy of state outfits is at variance with the real world.

    While Fulton County Sherriff’s Office may employ Middle Aged Black women to escort prisoners, no Atlanta Night Club would be so silly as to take on such a person as a bouncer. Private Enterprise gets the appropriate manpower because Private Enterprise pays for it. The fact is, state employment is a last chance saloon or job creation scheme for people who otherwise would be unemployed, most of them Black. Consequently, they make less money than people doing comparable jobs in private enterprise, another thing that makes them grumpy. So I cannot see that anything Fulton County does helps with your Bioleninist theory of “a governing structure can gain stability by appointing to high positions members of groups with naturally lower performance” because there no high positions involved here, just shit jobs.

    Which brings us to Michelle Jones. Though Spandrell is convinced that this is a person who in a less namby pamby society would have been executed, in fact in the good old days she would never have been imprisoned. It has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt that she murdered her son: it hasn’t even been shown beyond reasonable doubt that he is dead, because no body has been produced. Rich people like OJ Simpson get “beyond reasonable doubt”: the unfunded like Jones are palmed off with balance of probability, which is intended for civil cases, not criminal ones.

    The Police in the US frequently do not have the funding to mount a proper investigation: they rely on the lynch mob mentality of the average jury to obtain convictions. Quite reasonably, they kept her inside long enough to ensure she does not have any more children, who would have to be taken into care, causing the State further expense. But that leaves us with a person who after prison will need to be rehabilitated. To keep her happy, or perhaps just in a state of less than homicidal misery, they gave her the usual education in Sociology or something, which the system is set up for. After leaving prison, she does a PhD in History. This may impress Spandrell, but History is simply not a prestige subject in the USA, being without application outside the state school system, and this it seems to me does not teach history but rather a sort of Civic chauvinism. Spandrell seems very sanguine about Jones’s chances of employment: “And unlike 97% of PhD students out there, you can bet on her getting a full tenured professorship very soon.” I am less so. In my estimation, a person in her position has a high chance of being one of the 97%. I wouldn’t say she is totally unemployable: she could be a history/literacy teacher at Juvie.
    She could teach similar cases to herself in the prison system. There may even be some Inner City minority focused colleges which are sufficiently similar in their clientele to Corrections Establishments for them not to be bothered about her unusual past. This is where I would place her. If she has a job, I imagine it is a stressful one, and she is way over-qualified for it.

    Consequently, the truth of the theory of Bioleninism can be measured by the situation of Michelle Jones. So what has happened to Michelle Jones?

    1) Perhaps Michelle Jones is in fact Michelle Obama. After all, both are called Michelle, both are very tall, and both have similar pigmentation. If this turns out to be the case, we will know that Spandrell is indeed the Messiah.
    2) If Michelle Jones surfaces as a Democratic Congresswoman, I will acknowledge him as a prophet.
    3) If she is now a tenured professor at Harvard, Yale or Princeton, I will accept he is on to something.

    But if she is unemployed, underemployed, working in a job for which she is over-qualified, working with difficult cases for whom her murderous past is being invoked in the hope of intimidating them into moderating their disruptive behaviour, I would suggest that he is not.

    Newspapers, particularly those of a Right wing bent, like to operate with something called cognitive dissonance. The public want to be told stories of good things happening to bad people, of rewards being showered on the undeserving, of wasted tax-money, of a world in which everything is wrong, in order that they can get hot under the collar. I am looking for Spandrell’s proffered data but all I can make out is that somewhere a black transsexual stood for political office (whether elected not mentioned); some people obtained grants to study China and took an interest in Uighurs; an ugly Chinese woman in her 30s was allowed to interview a Chinese scientist; a black woman who had been in prison got to do a PhD at New York University (rejected by Harvard; whether subsequently employed not mentioned.) If you wish it to be believed that the world is going to the dogs, you will need more evidence than this.

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