By Michael Billig
(See here for the history of this article)
FAR connections have been demonstrated between respectable scientists
and those semi-academic, semi-political magazines, like The
Mankind Quarterly, Nouvelle Ecole and Neue Anthropologie,
which are actively promoting a racist culture; there have even
been contacts with more overtly fascist and racist publications.
Given such contacts, it is possible that ideas, originating
from undeniably racist sources, are percolating into the academic
M. Shuey's book The Testing of Negro Intelligence(77)
offers a good example of the interconnections between political
and academic racism. This mammoth book, which runs to nearly
600 pages, is a compendium of the research conducted into black
IQ. Shuey's conclusion is that there are "native differences
between negroes and whites as determined by intelligence tests":
in other words blacks are less intelligent than whites.
book contains an introduction by Henry Garrett, whose extremist
views and connections have already been described. Garrett's
contribution to Shuey's work goes further than writing a laudatory
introduction. Shuey in her preface goes out of her way to thank
Garrett: "Special thanks are due to Dr. Henry E. Garrett, for
encouraging the writing of this book". Not altogether too surprisingly
Shuey leans quite heavily in parts on Garrett's work.
the motivation behind Shuey's work came from Garrett, whose
political views were hardly inimical to the conclusions of The
Testing of Negro Intelligence, nevertheless the work has
had a deep impact on respectable psychologists.
instance, Eysenck in Race, Intelligence and Education
praises Shuey's work in most generous terms. His chapter on
'The intelligence of American negroes' is based on Shuey's work,
as Eysenck is the first to admit:
surveying the results of work in this field, I have done little
but paraphrase the scholarly, extensive and very reliable summary
published by Audrey M. Shuey, entitled 'The Testing of Negro
Intelligence'. . .It would clearly be impossible to go into
similar detail here, as well as being supererogatory - such
a job needed to be done, but having been well done, requires
no repetition. Readers who wish to consult the references on
which my own summaries and conclusions are based can do no better
than read Shuey" (pp.87-88).
is perhaps worthwhile to mention that Shuey, like Eysenck, is
an Honorary Editorial Advisor to The Mankind Quarterly.
conclusions are returned to racist circles, when Eysenck recommends
her book during his Beacon interview. He mentioned
that he used to believe that racial IQ differences were the
product of environmental causes, but he changed his mind: "Then
came first of all that book by Shuey and that I found really
in the preface of her book refers to 'Racial Psychology'. The
growth of such 'Racial Psychology' (and Shuey includes her own
work and those of other psychologists researching into racial
differences in IQ) has led to a climate where racialist assumptions
can be found in so-called objective psychological science. Eysenck's
own department at the Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital,
London, is one where Racial Psychology can be said to be flourishing.
himself has contacts with the Institute of Psychiatry. Between
1956 and 1958 he worked as a Research Fellow at the Institute.
His contacts with Eysenck have continued since then.
was at a conference in the Institute of Psychiatry that Jensen
delivered a highly publicised talk in August 1970, discussing
the IQ of American blacks and Mexican-Americans. This talk was
later to form the basis of Jensen's book Educability and
Group Differences. In his book Race, Intelligence and
Education (p.16), Eysenck went out of his way
to thank the organiser of the conference: none other than A.J.
Gregor (formerly of The Mankind Quarterly, the IAAEE
and Oswald Mosley's European).
good example of the way racialist presuppositions intrude into
research at the Institute of Psychiatry is provided by Dr Glenn
Wilson, who is a lecturer there. Wilson has collaborated with
Eysenck on a number of books, including a recent work on the
psychology of politics.(78)
own research has nothing to do with Eysenck's theories of racial
differences in IQ; Wilson is in fact a social psychologist concerned
with the study of attitudes. His book The Psychology of
Conservatism(79) is ostensibly
a scientific study of Right-wing political attitudes. It includes
a commendatory preface by Eysenck, as well as some revealing
starts The Psychology of Conservatism by saying that
he prefers to use the term 'conservative' to 'fascist'. His
reasons are that "most people would quite reasonably take exception
to being described as 'fascist'" (p.4). Moreover, argues Wilson,
the term 'conservative,' unlike 'fascist', "is relatively free
of derogatory value-tone" (i.e., is not insulting).
Wilson, in order not to offend anyone, uses the term 'conservative'
throughout his book, rather than fascist. The absurdity of this
is that he uses 'conservative' even when talking about obvious
fascists; for instance on page 7 he specifically refers to the
National Front as a conservative organisation.
concern not to offend does not, it seems, extend to all equally.
On page 88 Wilson describes a questionnaire scale which he designed
to measure 'realism'. Labelling a set of beliefs as 'realistic'
and describing the believers as 'realists' indicates, at least
implicitly, something about the scientist's own assumptions.
to Wilson's scale, realists support 'white supremacy' and 'apartheid';
realists also reject 'coloured immigration'.(80)
Wilson does not discuss any "derogatory value-tone" associated
with this labelling.
contrast to some of the academics already mentioned, it is highly
unlikely that Wilson is consciously promoting racial theories
or deliberately exonerating fascism. In fact, it is Wilson's
lack of any conscious motivation which makes his remarks so
disturbing. The proponents of racial theories hope to create
an intellectual climate in which racialist assumptions are accepted
as second-nature, even by those with no particular axe to grind.
When large numbers of well-intentioned people fail to question
racist assumptions, then racism can truly flourish.
should be mentioned that Wilson's Psychology of Conservatism
has been much quoted since its publication. Reviewers of the
book, and psychologists studying Wilson's work, do not appear
to have noticed anything untoward in Wilson's assumptions.
Wilson represents an example of how racist presuppositions can
be unthinkingly accepted, then the Institute of Psychiatry can
also offer a more extreme example of racial psychology: that
of a psychologist who uses psychology to justify his prejudices.
JOHN J. RAY
of the contributors to Wilson's Psychology of Conservatism
is Dr John J. Ray, lecturer at the University of New South Wales
in Australia. During 1977 and 1978 Ray however was on sabbatical
leave at the Institute of Psychiatry, where no doubt he found
the intellectual atmosphere congenial to his research. Probably
Ray was attracted by the fame of Eysenck, whom Ray had described
as "the world's most eminent living psychologist".
himself holds some forthright views on racism. His book Conservatism
as heresy(81) includes chapters
with such appetising titles as 'Rhodesia: in defence of Mr Smith'
and 'In defence of the White Australia policy'. Ray also argues
that it is "moralistic nonsense" to denounce racism.
might Ray defend racism. He does not mince his words when he
writes about Australian Aborigines. Ray says that "aborigines
are characterised by behaviour that in a white we would find
despicable . . . White backlash is then reasonable. Unless we
expect whites to forget overnight the cultural values that they
have learned and practised all their lives, they will find the
proximity of aboriginals unpleasant" (p.58).
has conducted a number of academic surveys in order to bolster
his prejudices. For instance Ray assumes that it is natural
that whites should develop an antipathy towards Aborigines:
for instance, people suddenly find themselves living in close
contact with Aborigines and Aborigines happen to be in fact
rather unhygienic in their habits, some people previously without
prejudice will start to say that they don't like Aborigines."
Ray designed a survey to measure white Australians' attitudes
towards Aborigines, comparing those who lived near Aborigines
with those who lived further away.
results of his survey failed to confirm his prediction; Ray
did not find that whites living near Aborigines were in fact
more prejudiced. Ray described his results as "disappointing"
(p.267). Instead of discarding his hypothesis, Ray still strove
to maintain his own prejudices; he searched around for reasons
why his questionnaire might not have obtained the correct results.
Thus, even in the face of negative results, Ray clings to what
he calls his 'rational prejudice model'.
prejudices do not just relate to Aborigines. Dr. Ray enjoins
us to "face the fact that large numbers of even educated Australians
do not like Jews or 'Wogs'." (p.70.) Ray writes approvingly
of people who will
friends, exchange mocking misnomers for suburbs in which Jews
have settled: Bellevue Hill becomes 'Bellejew Hill' and Rose
Bay becomes 'Nose Bay'; Dover Heights becomes 'Jehova Heights'."
obviously has sympathy with the racists and anti-Semites. Many
of the people who make the comments Ray cites, are according
to our Australian psychologist "superbly functioning and well-adjusted
Australians". In Ray's opinion such people will "justly deny
being racists" (p.70): n.b. the give-away word 'justly'.
main reason why Ray does not find such attitudes racist is that
he considers them perfectly logical. Thus he asserts that people
"who don't like sloth . . . may object to Aborigines. People
who do not like grasping materialism, will certainly find no
fault with Aborigines but they may find fault with Jews" (p.265).
seems that Dr Ray, in an academic paper about psychology, is
repeating the racist and anti-Semitic assumptions that Aborigines
are lazy and Jews are 'grasping materialists'.
It is hard to find any other explanation for Ray's continual
defence of prejudice.
his academic papers Ray has a tendency to use some curious turns
of phrase. Thus when he criticises, as he often does, the classic
work in the psychology of fascism, The Authoritarian Personality
by Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick, Levinson and Sanford, he refers
to "the work of these Jewish authors" (see, for instance, the
start of Ray's article in the distinguished social science journal
Human Relations).(82) This
is not the standard way of describing opponents' research, at
least not since the days of Nazi Germany.
there again Ray is not exactly ignorant of the ways of Nazism.
During the 1960s Ray was a member of various Australian Nazi
parties. In fact Ray has openly described his seven-year association
with Nazism (see, for instance, his article 'What are Australian
Nazis really like?' in The Bridge, August 1972).