Re: STORY: The Transhumanist Racist
Sat, 12 Jun 1999 09:24:13 -0700

Peter C. McCluskey, <>, writes:
> There seem to be two obvious motives for racial hostility:

> - fear of increased competition in the labor markets with people who

> will do the same job for less.
> - fear of cultural changes caused by different people moving into one's
> society.

I think this is looking at it a little too rationally. It seems to me that much racism is an instinctive negative reaction towards people different from yourself.

This could be the other side of the coin of genetic altruism. Your own tribe was more closely related to you, and shared more of your genes. You would feel friendly towards them and try to help them. Strangers had little of your genetic heritage and so you would feel negative towards those others.

If this is the origin, then consider how a primitive man would react towards a stranger who had somehow contrived to make himself look and act like a member of his own tribe. He might well be seen as a wolf in sheep's clothing, someone whose inner nature was evil (his strangeness) but who has clothed himself in a false appearance of goodness (by looking like familiar tribe members). Such a person would still be viewed very negatively.

In that case, a racist would not view the prospect of enhancing members of other races genetically or memetically in a favorable light. This would be disguising their true nature and would be doubly abhorrent; not only would the racist have to consort with these others, he would not even be able to identify them.