In an op-ed at the Washington Post this morning Charles Murray writes:
I’m confident that within a decade, the weight of the new scientific findings will force the left to abandon the equality premise. But if social policy cannot be built on the premise that group differences must be eliminated, what can it be built upon? It can be built upon the premise that used to be part of the warp and woof of American idealism: People must be treated as individuals. The success of social policy is to be measured not by equality of outcomes for groups, but by the freedom of individuals, acting upon their personal abilities, aspirations and values, to seek the kind of life that best suits them.
The second tendency of the new findings of biology will be to show that the New Man premise — which says that human beings are malleable through the right government interventions — is nonsense. Human nature tightly constrains what is politically or culturally possible. More than that, the new findings will confirm that human beings are pretty much the way that wise observers have thought for thousands of years.
Dr. Murray is clearly wrong. He is writing about bourgeois science but during the same decade I am quite certain that socialist science will prove incontrovertibly that treating people as individuals is futile (and, of course, unscientific) and that the right government policies will transform whatever millions of years of evolution have made of human beings into happy, productive, or, at least, docile members of society.
Sadly, Daniel Patrick Moynihan was wrong. Today we all have our own facts.
Something we should never lose track of of: science is a human activity and like every other human activity it will be dominated by political considerations.