But it's not so nice; rather, it is an online community of people who are obsessed with race, and the idea of races being better and worse than others. It's also known as "Race Realism"; the two things are not quite the same, but they are often used interchangeably.
The basic idea is that race is far more than a social construct. Not only is it very real, but the differences between each race affect not just appearance, but behaviour and intelligence as well. Now, most reasonable people would probably agree that genetics and ancestry have some bearing on how a person's life turns out, but for HBDers, they are everything.
A lot of HBD discussion revolves around IQ, and fittingly the holy books of HBD include Richard Lynn's IQ and the Wealth of Nations, and The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray. The assumptions are as follows:
- IQ tests can accurately measure something as complex as human intelligence.
- IQ is strongly hereditary and is barely affected by environment or education.
- Northern Europeans and East Asians are on average more intelligent than other races.
- They are smarter than Africans because their ancestors evolved thusly to deal with the cold climates they faced after leaving Africa.
- The average IQ scores of countries are the major factor in how rich, successful and stable they are.
It's an interesting contrast with Left-Liberal thinking, which tends to focus on social contexts for why certain people or populations perform better than others. For example, the social factors that go along with being the member of a disadvantaged class or living in poverty might have a negative influence on someone's academic ability, and thus their IQ score. But for HBDers, it is usually the other way around; if someone is disadvantaged or poor, it is probably BECAUSE their IQ is low.
Likewise, the more technologically advanced civilisations of Europe and East Asia are seen as reflections of the high IQ of the inhabitants. Of course, one problem with this is that civilisations rise and fall. Despite the relatively high IQ of Northern Europe (98-102), that region was quite backward until less than a 1000 years ago, when they began to absorb some of the cultural innovations of the Mediterranean and Middle East. By contrast, the countries who invented so many of the things Northern Europe benefited from, perform more poorly in average IQ; Greece averages 92, Egypt 83, Iran 84 and Iraq 87. Israel, full of apparently intelligent Jews, averages only 94.
The best alternative to this kind of thinking that I have read is found in Jared Diamond's seminal book Guns, Germs and Steel, which I shall endeavour to post on at some point. While it's by no means a perfect book, Diamond outlines convincingly how different populations were largely subject to what was available in terms of influences and their environment. For example, Australian Aborigines never developed agriculture not because they were stupid, but because the plants and animals around them were not suited to such a lifestyle. The Aztecs, Mayans and Olmecs, by contrast, had a rich ecosystem of plants to domesticate, and developed their own systems of writing and astronomy. Yet they never invented the wheel, because they had no draught animals to attach it to. Likewise, certain innovations that developed in the Middle East could diffuse into Europe or Asia quite easily, but never made it into say, Australia or the Americas, due to geographical barriers.
Not every HBDer is necessarily a racist - some don't really dwell on the racial stuff that much - but most seem to be, to some extent. HBD blogs seem to devote an enormous amount of time to discussing the primitive nature of black people. And while most are white, there are a few Asian HBD bloggers as well. Thus the use of the term NAM, which means "non-Asian minority", to denote those brownish racial groups who apparently don't stack up intellectually. Asian HBDers are interesting; it's hard to escape the conclusion that deep down, they really, really want to be white.
There also seems to be a lot of links between HBD and the PUA (pick-up artist) scene, which I don't really get. My guess is that the PUAs favour a sexist and biologically determinist view of women, which gels well with HBD's determinist outlook on the hierarchies of society.
Reading HBD blogs, I can't help but get a sense of the bloggers' and commenters' self-absorption and entitlement at finally having a science-based theory that backs up their racist instincts. So where antagonism towards, say, blacks or Hispanics, is normally seen as an unsavoury characteristic, HBD gives an intellectual basis for such sentiment. It is merely the "natural order of things" that some people are on top and others are on the bottom, and thus it is a natural match with those tendencies that exist within conservatism.
What is the goal of HBDers? Generally speaking, they are against multiculturalism and immigration from the Third World, since they believe that such people are intrinsically incapable of integrating and performing in a Western context. They are generally against affirmative action, since that is based on the assumption that disadvantaged minorities are disadvantaged due to lack of opportunity, rather than lack of ability.
For all the criticisms that can be directed at Left-Liberalism, one of it's core ideas - that disadvantaged groups are worthy of respect and support - is a pretty admirable one, rooted in compassionate principles. By contrast, HBD in many ways is an intellectual justification for being an compassionless asshole.
Some blog posts that exemplify the HBD/race realist mentality:
Racial reality and the New Orleans nightmare by Steve Sailer
The racial tallies are in at Planet Grok's blog.
Would blacks survive in Finland? at Guy White's blog.
And some countering points of view:
Half Sigma: Spreading the truth through lies at Abagond's blog, if you want an idea of the tactics of some of this crowd.
Asian Racism and the "Asian of Reason" at Big WoWo's blog.
You might also like my post, Race, IQ and Penis Size.