What Hillary failed to do through healthcare, she is now attempting to do via childcare. And who dares to complain? Motherhood and baby’s welfare are all packaged with a media blitz and backed by a panoply of technical experts. The socialization of American society is accomplished via pabulum, and the mean-spirited had best keep quiet.

One of my young colleagues, a leading light in the field of developmental neuroscience, recently predicted that the field was ripe for political misrepresentation. It has happened before: in 1948, in the Soviet Union. There, the surface issue was agriculture; here, it is children. There, they had a national crisis: inadequate food production. Here, we are sometimes told that we have a national crisis: inadequate parents and citizens. There, the solution was central government control of early intervention programs. Here, it is a reasonable prediction that the proposed solution will include central government control of early intervention programs. There, they ruined what agricultural programs they had, and indeed, the whole Soviet system eventually came tumbling down. And here?

There and here the guiding theory is identical: it is a socialist utopia based on egalitarianism and what behavioral scientists call environmental determinism. In 1948, Stalin actually outlawed genetics as a Western bourgeois construction that was incompatible with the truths of Marxist-Leninism. Hillary does not have quite that political clout, yet.

The theory that Stalin and Hillary share is that all those newborns—wheat plants for Uncle Joe, human babies for Mother Hillary—have identical potentials for growth and development. If some individuals do not do as well as others, it is because of their early experience. This is obviously true—everyone knows that fertilizer is important for wheat plants, and everyone knows that early nutrition and stimulation is important for humans. This is so obviously true that anyone who questions its application to the problems at hand is an idiot, an enemy of the state, and a hatemonger. There, the eminent scientist who objected, geneticist Nikolai Vavilov, died of disease and starvation in the Gulag. Here, eminent scientists who voice objections are subjected to ad hominem attacks (and the end of any federal research support they may have had).

In addition to individual differences, there are those vexatious group differences. There, winter wheat and spring wheat did not produce equal crop outcomes. Here, it is all too obvious that various ethnic/racial groups do not attain equal educational, criminal, or job performance outcomes. Although no one in the Soviet Union actually knew the reasons for the different outcomes, those who did not acquiesce to the environmentalist- socialist-egalitarian explanation were considered evil, beyond the pale, outside the bounds of acceptable discourse. There, a hated Morganist- Mendelist; here, a contemptible racist.

There can be only one theoretically acceptable intervention, because there is but one ideologically acceptable cause. There, the acceptable intervention was called “vernalization.” It consisted of a wide variety of different treatments, all designed to change the developmental trajectory of little plants. Soviet scientists declared that appropriate early intervention could change low-yielding varieties into high-yielding ones. Spring wheat could be like winter wheat. Performance characteristics—and more importantly, differences in performance between different groups—could be eliminated or reversed by appropriate early head starts for the little plants. The early environmental interventions of vernalization were the only acceptable treatments because they were the only approaches that were compatible with the theory of environmental determinism that is at the heart of socialist egalitarianism. And the whole world knows the results: failed programs based on ideologically driven pseudo-science. When highly touted programs failed, the solution was to redouble the effort on a yet larger scale. Over the years there were many media blitzes coordinated through Pravda, proclaiming the remarkable success of various early intervention programs. With embarrassing regularity the touted program was allowed to sink into oblivion while the media trumpeted the miraculous results of another new approach. Perhaps most ominously, they allowed their lines of seed grain to deteriorate while they followed the follies of yet more and earlier vernalizations. The Soviet Union faced crop failures, while here in the West, we created bountiful harvests; our baskets literally overflowed with grain and produce, while their people starved. (In fact, their communist brethren continue to starve in North Korea.)

In the West, something remarkable happened: as pure science solved a myriad of problems, the social and educational sciences were infected by the environmental determinism that was central to the failures of Marxist socialism. With this in mind, perhaps we should not hold Hillary responsible for her folly. After all, as a baby boomer educated by a coterie of silly socialists, she is not to blame for her behavior. She is merely a victim of her ideological programming. Since 1965, we have spent over $5.4 trillion in the Great Society War on Poverty, and we find ourselves bracing for the arrival of the superpredators. Massive centralized vernalization efforts such as Head Start have not had the promised outcomes. Instead the protected classes are arguably worse off than ever before, as out-of-wedlock births to teen mothers, illiteracy, lack of job skills or even employment motivation, and black-on-black crime overwhelm the social services of the welfare state. The proposed solution; more of the same. From “volunteer” tutors to teach illiterates, to earlier and more intensive head starts, the ideologues of socialism have locked us into considering only the one (failed and failing) approach to the alleviation of our problems.

The science that is so abused should be explicitly stated. It is abundantly clear, both for wheat plants and for humans, that inherited genetic factors and environmental experiences are both important in determining outcomes, whether wheat crop yields or human intellectual performance. Experiments with laboratory-plots or animal surrogates show that extreme environmental deprivations (such as severe nutrient deficiencies, or severe sensory deprivation) can adversely affect developing plants and developing brains. From such experiments, it does not follow that the individual and group differences encountered in the real world result from environmental deprivations. No Head Start program, no application of fertilizer, can convert winter wheat into spring wheat. The differences in outcome are largely genetic. Hillary should be reminded that the difficulty of America’s middleclass is not deficient nutrients. The strapping youths that terrorize American schools are not undernourished; indeed obesity is a major health problem of the poor in America. Similarly, the intellectually underperforming products of urban squalor are certainly not suffering from sensory deprivation. However, political ideologues have successfully preempted any honest discussion of the causes and cures of social problems.

Peter Brimelow has suggested that the term “racist” is now so debased that its new definition is “anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal.” But things have progressed well beyond that point. Today in America, neoconservatives and liberals (am I repeating myself?) both agree that only environmental causes are appropriate for public discourse. Not one leader of either dominant party has had the courage to discuss openly what is obvious to any thinking person. Attempts at honest discussion of current scientific knowledge are met with outraged cries of “racism,” “sexism,” “Nazism,” or politically incorrect “insensitivity.” Even to consider the certainty of inherited differences among peoples is denounced as “unethical,” “immoral,” or “inhumane.” In the meantime, the affected classes continue to deteriorate under the abuse and neglect of their socialist egalitarian defenders. Sadly, the ideologically driven nonsense continues when hundreds of years of experience have shown that humane solutions to societal problems often follow from unfettered consideration of honest science.

Many of my scientific colleagues, especially the untenured, now live in abject terror that their private discussions and true scholarly opinions might be revealed in public. The egalitarian ideologues have a near stranglehold on public discussion of important issues. Perhaps the fears of my colleagues are overblown, perhaps not. Psychological researcher Christopher Brand of Edinburgh University in Scotland is a case in point. In a 1996 book, he wrote:

The no-human-nature egalitarianism of many of their practitioners has thus been deeply embarrassed by the collapse of Marxist Utopias in Eastern Europe—providing a decisive result in “one of history’s largest social experiments.” . . . It is the one-time heroes of historical materialism and nature-denying existentialism, not those of differential psychology, who, as national leaders, have killed millions of their own people (Mao, Pol Pot) and, as psychologists, attracted criminal convictions and prison sentences for fraud (the Milwaukee Head Start practitioners). . . . By a “collective fraud” . . . they have condemned scientists and students, as Havel put it, to “live within a lie.” Between them, psychology’s inheritors of empiricism and idealism deny that much is known about the causes of unemployment, crime, welfare-dependency and the neglect and abuse of children: they betray people and psychology for the sake of another research grant.

Branded a “racist,” Christopher Brand was suspended from teaching and administrative duties at Edinburgh University. Meanwhile, swirling in an ideological pseudoreality, Hillary proceeds with the vernalization of America.