One of my latest literary acquisitions has been both a source of extreme interest and extreme aggravation.
Written sometime in the mid-eighties, Gerald B. Lorentz’s Homo, 99 and 44/100% Nonsapiens combines history, (mis)anthroplogy, Social (and biological) Darwinism, determinism, eugenics, and unabashed elitism in one contentiously compelling package.
Reading that last paragraph, one could be forgiven for thinking the book nothing more than a 20th Century rehash of Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right. Certainly, both books depict a pitiless world of force and struggle papered over with pious platitudes and highfaluting hypocrisy; yet, while Redbeard revels in the savagery of “nature, red in tooth and claw”, Lorentz’s attitude could best be described as ambivalent.
Lorentz views humanity as a herd—or rather herds—of fanged sheep, riddled with a combo of predatory, gregarious, and territorial impulses and ever susceptible to the call of some religious, moralistic, and/or ideological hoodwink:
“To the Russians, their cause in overthrowing the czars and establishing a socialist state was noble. To monarchs, their cause in suppressing democracy was noble because it was God’s will, a conclusion derived from belief in the divine right of kings. To Hitler, his cause was noble because of his belief in “the natural right of the master race to dominate.” To some religious fanatics, killing infidels is a noble cause because it glorifies God. The reality is that the human being, the most absurd of all animals, distills endless delusions in his cerebral tumor called his brain, and he has a compulsion to kill in service to his delusions.”
Unlike Redbeard, Lorentz’s ideal specimens of humanity are not rapacious warrior-tyrants but the men of the mind: those who can sublimate their predatory instincts for the ends of seeking out existential truths, rooting out bullshit, and/or advancing the species via outstanding feats of creation. These advanced strains of being, according to the author, constitute “a gifted 56/100 of 1 percent of human freaks”. Clearly, he would not identify with “the 99%”.
“George Washington Carver was instinctively and genetically driven to seek knowledge just as a predator is instinctively driven to seek prey. His environment dictated a life of crime or poverty, and especially ignorance, but his genes dictated a life of culture, learning and respectability. His genetic superiority drove him to the top in spite of vaulting racial prejudice and social pressures to keep him down. He could NOT be held down even in the heyday of discrimination. Cream rises to the top.”
Nevertheless, he states that to ignore the herdish, predatory, delusional nature of the “99 and 44/100 nonsapiens” is to court disaster; any grand social vision must take such unflattering tendencies into account in order to have any chance of long-term success.
“Capitalism is the ideal economic system for a territorial predator. It is based on the predatory acquisition of wealth, and the selfish, greedy exploitation of man by man. That is to say, it is based on man’s basic nature.”
“Capitalism utilizes the fundamental principle nature uses in her evolutionary process. No human being would exist today were it not for genetic drift, variation, and mutation acted upon by natural selection. The essence of natural selection is survival of the fittest. Fitness has nothing to do with morality. More often than not, the fit are completely unscrupulous. Man survived because lesser predators were selected out. This same principle is the essence of capitalism. Under the free enterprise system many businesses enter the arena of business competition. The inefficient are weeded out. Almost 85 percent of all new businesses go bankrupt, usually in the first year. Only the fit survive. This guarantees efficiency and maximum productivity. Communism protects the unfit which makes for inefficiency and minimum productivity. This is why capitalism is a howling success, and communism is a crying failure.”
Not that this stops him fulfilling his imperative as a “human freak” and putting paid to popular pieties:
“Good and evil are phantasmata. Hitler did not think of himself as evil. He, like all human beings, thought of his enemies as evil. When the Church burned heretics at the stake, it thought itself the epitome of goodness, and the heretics the abysm of depravity. Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin thought of capitalism as evil, and American presidents think of communism as evil. All think themselves supremely good. All want to propagate their political, economic, and religious faiths. The Hebrews thought they were divinely ordained to conquer Canaan and slaughter its inhabitants—it’s in the Bible. Is there really any hope for creatures who compulsively slaughter each other because of predatory greed and irrational will-o’-the-wisps’?”
“The implementation of the American Dream for Europeans by expropriating Indian homelands and exterminating native Indians was about as noble as the Holy Wars of the eleventh through the thirteenth century in which pious Crusaders slaughtered infidel Moslems for Christ, and God-intoxicated Moslems slaughtered infidel Christians for Allah.”
“Having engaged in many wars for the alleged purpose of winning freedom from tyranny for ourselves, what should be our attitude towards other people who desire freedom from tyranny for themselves’? Reason replies that we should favor them, but our predatory instincts forced us to favor our own predatory (national) interests. We invariably aided the enemies of freedom fighters. We performed exactly like nations all over the world and throughout history. As a nation, we were no longer a band of lawless revolutionaries, and it would not behoove us to link ourselves to revolutionaries. We wanted powerful foreign alliances because they would enhance our power—the natural concern of any predator. Pursuant to this policy, we aided and abetted the most vicious tyrants in history. The only stipulation was that they be OUR vicious tyrants. We sermonized about the evil ways of human rights violators, but at the same time we befriended any tyrant or despot who had power and was willing to become our ally.”
“Labor unions use PR very effectively. For themselves, they project an image of the downtrodden, exploited, overworked victims of the greed of their wealthy employers even though they may be unconscionable leeches on the GNP, and wealthier than their employers. When air traffic controllers and airline employees go on strike, for example, they promote the fiction of being the good guys who are interested in public safety and want to protect the lives of the airline passengers from “victimization by the avarice of greedy employers”-the bad guys. They are very careful to conceal the facts of their own greed which includes featherbedding wages that are several times higher than the national average, and generous fringe benefits all of which deprive poor people of the opportunity to fly because the consequent high fares make flying prohibitive for them.”
“To say, “We are a nation of laws and not of men,” is sheer nonsense. Human laws are creations of man. They are interpreted by man, and they are either enforced or not enforced by man…Human laws foster the same absurdities, cruelties, and irrationalities as man himself.”
“Man makes his gods in his own image. It is, therefore, natural that the god of a predator is the Supreme Predator.”
“People seem incapable of asking themselves simple, rational questions. For example, “Why does Almighty God reveal His Truths to illiterate rascals, and depend upon THEM to disseminate His Truths to the entire world’?” An Omnipotent Power should have the capability of revealing His Truths DIRECTLY to each of His creatures in unmistakable terms. With tens of thousands of messiahs, prophets, messengers of God, gods, holy men, goddesses, monks, priests, ministers, parsons, popes, bishops, and clergymen all of different faiths sweeping the Earth clamoring for acceptance as the ONLY AUTHENTIC voice of God, a rational God would expect His creatures to also be rational and demand rational proof of authenticity.”
“What passes as good science in the scientific community is frequently exactly the same as the most absurd nonsense of religious cults. Scientists form conclusions before they conduct experiments. Evidence which tends to disprove their preconceived conclusion is ignored, altered, swept under the rug, or distorted by rationalizations. One can find as much science in the Bible or in the Koran as in the textbooks of the inexact sciences.”
This one reminds me of Sam Francis’ concept of “anarcho-tyranny”:
“When police break the law by making illegal searches and seizures they become criminals, but they are not punished. The police commit the crime, but the public is punished because the courts declare open season on victims for marauding killers, rapists, and burglars when incontrovertible evidence of vicious crimes is thrown out of court.”
The segments I find most interesting are the final two chapters, where Lorentz tackles the bugaboos of race and free will. The race chapter (the major reason I suspect this out-of-print book has yet to see reprint) is especially notable for the author performing the triple feat of bashing bigotry, eviscerating equality, and endorsing eugenic breeding.
“The Nazi outrage against reason and humanity in the name of eugenics was identical to the Christian outrage against reason and humanity when infidels and heretics were killed in the name of the God of Love.”
“A very effective weapon of left wing bigots is to accuse their opponents of bigotry. If a study produces undesired results, simply accuse the study itself of having built-in prejudices. There is no fanatical religious cult that can match left wing racist bigots or egalitarian zealots when it comes to deception, prejudice, falsification, and outright lies…”
“The value of maintaining breed purity can be clearly seen in animals. The German shepherd, for example, is an intelligent, alert, and loyal dog which performs invaluable service to the blind, the police, and the military. To destroy this proven breed by mongrelizing it would be a major disaster. To destroy the superior Jewish subspecies by intermarriage would also be a major disaster.”
“”By their fruits ye shall know them,” and by the accomplishments of the Japanese we know them to be a superior people just as we know the Jews to be a superior people, not by revealed or intuitive truth, but by solid facts and hard evidence.”
“Ethnic egalitarian bigots have a religious hatred of facts. They are committed to the national gospel of equality which, in essence, is identical to the Nazi dogma of the inferiority of Jews and superiority of Aryans because both are national gospels sustained by religious faith and not by scientific evidence. Intelligence testing, contradictory evidence, and facts must be made taboo and suppressed in a nation that places a higher priority on racial appeasement, social harmony, and political expediency than on scientific truth.”
“All scientific data confirm the intellectual superiority of Jews and Japanese AS CLASSES. However, no Jew, Japanese, or European as an individual has the logical right to claim superiority over another individual of an inferior class, say an Australian aborigine, simply because he belongs to a superior class. Class comparisons are statistical, and they MUST NOT be confused with individual comparisons. For example, there are thousands of blacks who are superior to millions of Europeans, Jews, and Japanese. There are moronic Europeans, Jews, and Japanese, and there are extremely brilliant blacks. It is the STATISTICAL inferiority of blacks that has prevented them from producing superior societies.”
“There is no super-race, and if there were, every individual in it would not be a superindividual. We have spoken of the superior Jews, Orientals, and Europeans, and yet there is an extreme paucity of individuals even among superior races who could match the intelligence and ability of George Washington Carver. If one is tempted to think of the white race as a super-race of intellects, he had better review his history. White men slaughtered each other by the millions in the name of the God of Love, and they are still slaughtering each other. The white man made science a religious crime, a heresy, and burned scientists at the stake. The most nonsensical religious cults, healing cults, science cults, and ethnic egalitarian bigotry are products of the white man’s intellect. Less than 56/100 of I percent of white men gave the world true science. More than 99 and 44/ 100 percent of them gave the world absurd nonsense.
At one time, right wing racist bigots predominated in America. Blacks were denied dignity, jobs, education, advancement, and basic human and civil rights. In the 1920s, millions of the Ku Klux Klan…terrorized blacks, and even whipped and lynched them under any pretense to maintain white supremacy, but many of the lynched blacks were actually intellectually superior to their lynchers. With the decline of these dastardly and reprehensible right wing racists came the ascendancy of left wing racists. Bigotry merely turned its ugly head and presented society with its obverse face.”
“Repressive white society could not hold superior blacks down, and supportive white society cannot hold inferior blacks up. The black greats like George Washington Carver, Benjamin Banneker, Booker T. Washington, and Jan Mat[z]eliger rose, like cream, head and shoulders above millions of inferior whites. On the other hand, no amount of busing or open enrollment can improve the IQ of less gifted blacks.”
“Many American scientists, like Nazi scientists, prostitute their science because it is more profitable to peddle official state dogma than to defy it with heresy. The prostitutes of science sail to prosperity with the prevailing winds of racial bigotry rather than flounder on uncharted reefs in storms brewed by scientific inquiry. Human beings behave today as they have since the dawn of time. Now that left wing racism is in vogue, it, like the Ku Klux Klan, compensates for intellectual impotence with physical violence to the cheers of public approbation.”
“The horror of Hitler’s holocaust in the name of eugenics but in the practice of dysgenics was an outrage against reason and intelligence the world can never forget. But, in addition, the basic stupidity of even the most intelligent of human beings will immediately transform the theoretically rational science of eugenics into an irrational, inquisitorial, fanatically religious saturnalia of persecution. A superior race is vital to a superior society, but it cannot he planned even as a successful economy cannot be planned, a la communism. Man’s nature will not have it so.”
“Boxing and basketball, for example, sometimes approach a black monopoly. There are no racial nose-counters to demand affirmative action, and to demand a racial reapportionment to reflect the racial composition of our society in the world of sports. Affirmative action would mean that 85 percent of all athletes must be white, but it would also reduce the quality of the athletes and make America inferior in world competition. The superior performer would be denied his rightful place in the sun because of his race. This would constitute right wing racism. It would be deplorable and stupid, but its effects on national greatness would be negligible compared to left wing racism which denies the superior intellectual performer his rightful place in the sun, and it has the potential to eventually reduce superpower United States to just another banana republic.”
Even with the points of nuance and qualification, all this would be ill-received in a culture that tars folks like Martin Sewell as goose-stepping Einsatzgruppen for raising the topic (thereby proving Lorentz’s point). Little wonder modern publishers haven’t been eager to snap this one up!
For me, the last chapter proves the real bitter pill. In it, Lorentz goes from making Charles zi Britannia-style endorsements of “Darwinian” struggle to adopting a resigned fatalism that makes Schopenhauer sound like an optimist!
As the bloke on the Berserk intro puts it, “at least it is true that man has no control, even over his own will”:
“The delusion of free will is inevitable because of the limited nature of human consciousness. We are conscious of our urges, desires, wants, needs, and impulses which we experience as parts of our individual essence, but we are not conscious of how our urges, desires, wants, needs, and impulses were programmed into our consciousness. The robotized human being, whether he is robotized by post-hypnotic suggestion, electrical stimulation of his brain, instincts, drugs, or brainwashing, is aware of the urge to perform certain acts, but unaware that what he feels as an urge is really a command to act in a prescribed manner. He is actually a marionette, but he feels that he is a completely free being. For example, a ladies’ man seeking to seduce young ladies is fully aware of his sex urges, but he is totally unconscious of the mechanisms whereby his genetic programming creates his sex urges.”
“Mohammed taught that man’s every action was predestined by Allah’s will (Kismet), but this doctrine of Kismet prompted aggression, not passivity. Believing it was fated for him to conquer the world in the name of Allah, he and his followers fought for Islam with uncommon ferocity. Omar Khayyam also accepted the doctrine of Kismet, but he took the rational approach. He was more in tune with science than religion, and logic than fanaticism. The belief in Kismet (FATE) prompted him not to conquer, convert or kill in the name of Allah, but to accept the inevitable in serenity and tranquility…”
And, in keeping with the Cold War paranoia of the time…
“What does it profit a man to sweat and groan for a future that may terminate in the atomic rubble of the next moment? Why build a brave new world atop an active volcano? Power of nuclear destruction in the hands of politicians is like matches in the hands of children in a gunpowder factory. When the fantastically destructive power of modem science and technology which was created by men of some intelligence is transposed to the hands of men with little or no intelligence, the hour of doom cannot be far away. That the nuclear Armageddon will arrive is a certainty. Only the precise time is uncertain. It requires but the whimsical touch of a restive finger dangling from the arm of a misguided religious fanatic hastening to do God’s will to defeat the EVIL EMPIRE, or of a communist doctrinaire hastening to assure the inevitable dialectical victory of socialism over capitalism, or of a fascist dictator who believes it is his destiny to rule the world. Faith in Fate can precipitate the end to all human fate.”
Reading that final (!) chapter, I wondered if Lorentz had ever encountered the view of compatibilism, which allows for agency without needing to extricate man to some supernatural Platonic realm.
Taking the disagreements I have with Lorentz into account, the only thing that really marred my enjoyment of his book was a factor beyond his control…
I mean, seriously, does that look like “very good” condition to you? Buying used, rare books can be something of a Russian roulette at times, especially when throwing down considerable coinage for such. I suppose you could call used book sales a magnet for many a pecuniary predator. Hopefully, the next copy I get (which I made sure to get a personal verification on) will be as blemish-free as described—with a damn dustjacket, to boot!
So, yes, lushes and reprobates: Homo, 99 and 44/100% Nonsapiens is a highly engrossing overview of this silly species you and I call our own. Pity it’s such a cunt to get hold of at this point in time.
Still, until some puckish publishing house sees fit to pick up this hot coal, feel free to let it kindle…
Fascinating review. Anything on Lorentz’s background? Can’t find much online.
Chip, I found this, via the Wayback Machine.
He’s quite the self-promoter.
Odd, these glimmering specks of genius that peak out between unending quagmire of talking heads bouncing ideas in the media echo chamber, calling each banal platitude their own. You’ll find something written a century ago whose argument differs in no significant way from something written today, and a dozen others in between, despite the authors almost certainly being unaware of one another.
Yet nobody ever listens.
“Unlike Redbeard, Lorentz’s ideal specimens of humanity are not rapacious warrior-tyrants, but the men of the mind: those who can sublimate their predatory instincts for the ends of seeking out existential truths, rooting out bullshit, and/or advancing the species via outstanding feats of creation.”
Hmm… must the two necessarily be mutually exclusive? Outstandingly creative, innovative, predatory warrior-sages doesn’t seem like too much to aim for!
I suppose someone like Alexander the Great fits the mould there, though personally I prefer something along the lines of a Genius Bruiser, Badass Bookworm, or Warrior Poet sans the predation.
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It seems, that the book is available again on amazon and http://shop.underworldamusements.net/product/homo-and-44-100-nonsapien
I know: I shared the link for the new edition of Facebook. 😉
I’ll be giving it a more opinionated review once I get my hands on it.