With all the chatter about the Alt Right that came up in last year’s election season, Jared Taylor has been doing some interviews recently. The interviewer—this one, for example—generally opens by asking: “What is your organization, this American Renaissance, all about? What do you stand for?”
The 15th American Renaissance conference was a bursting-at-the-seams success, with a record attendance limited only by fire-code limits on the number of people permitted in the ball room at Montgomery Bell State Park. Demand was so great that we had to close registration a full month before the conference began, and regretfully turn away what would have probably been another 150 attendees. Our record attendance figure of 300 could easily have been 450.
A note from Jared Taylor:
In a July 5 article at National Review, the black writer John McWhorter asks that we “stop obsessing over race and IQ” because “it serves no purpose.” He concedes that there is such a thing as race, that IQ tests measure something real, and that blacks score lower on them whites. He even concedes that there are serious scholars—not “mere cranks”—who have concluded that the racial IQ gap is caused, at least in part, by genetic differences. He hopes the gap is due entirely to environment but leaves open the possibility that future research could prove him wrong.
Prof. McWhorter then makes the astonishing assertion that even if genes do account for part or even all of the racial gap, it makes no difference. I will leave it to you, dear reader, to puzzle out his reasoning.
Needless to say, it makes a huge difference whether the gap has a genetic component, and that is why there is such hysterical opposition to anyone who says so. If blacks can be shown to have achieved a level of success consistent with their abilities, it destroys the entire edifice of racism-oppression-white privilege. It ends the demonization of and endless exactions from whites. It blows up the oldest and most poisonous of the egalitarian dogmas that distort nearly every aspect of our lives. Prof. McWhorter must be deliberately blind not to see this.
In the following essay, which was first published at VDARE.com in 2008, I elaborate on why the question of race and IQ is essential to a correct understanding of race relations, not just in the United States but around the world.
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“Let us hope that it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known.” Such is reported to have been a Victorian lady’s reply on first being told of Darwin’s theory of evolution. I am reminded of that lady whenever I hear people who know the truth about race and IQ but who think it should never be discussed openly. Some suggest that official endorsement of racial equality is a “necessary noble fiction.”
This is utterly wrongheaded. I don’t think there is a single truth it should be our government’s job to suppress, and it is precisely because the question of race is so vexed that we need candor rather than evasions. Those who insist that all races are equal in every way may be well meaning, but the “noble fiction” does not smooth race relations; it poisons them.
I think a substantial genetic contribution to racial differences in average IQ is about as close to proven as anything ever is in the social sciences. Some day, the gene variants that raise and lower intelligence will be identified, and the question of whether they are equally distributed among all groups will be laid to merciful rest. I would bet the next 20 house payments that some races got more of them than others, and we should be preparing for what is almost certain to be true, rather than clinging to something almost certain to be false.
Here are the arguments for suppressing the truth:
- Any discussion of IQ is a crushing insult to blacks, and if differences were widely acknowledged it would drive them to despair or even violence.
- Mean-spirited whites will use IQ data as an excuse to hurt blacks.
- Racial differences have no legitimate implications for public policy, so there is no point even thinking about them.
Wrong on all counts.
Let’s look at (1). Surely blacks will be furious if we talk about race differences, won’t they? All whites think so, so they never talk to blacks about IQ—and so they don’t know the answer to that question. They just think they do.
I will never forget the first time I gave a lecture on race and IQ to an audience that included blacks. I looked out over the crowd and I wasn’t sure my legs would carry me to the podium. My heart sank to think how wounded the blacks would be by what I was about to say. I swallowed hard and gave my talk.
When I finished, a black man shot up, shouted about “racism,” and stormed out. Another did the same. The rest of the blacks kept me on my feet for an hour answering questions. The whites asked technical questions about intelligence testing, but the blacks asked meaty questions about what IQ means for people and for society
Afterwards, at least half a dozen blacks came up to speak to me. They smiled, complimented me on my talk, shook my hand warmly, and wanted to talk for as long as I was willing. The same pattern repeated itself on other occasions: an outburst or two followed by keen interest and genuine cordiality.
After several lectures, I figured out what was happening. First, the subject of race and IQ is taboo, and blacks are just as curious about taboos as whites. I know a lot about the subject, and do not patronize people. I give a rattling good talk about race and IQ, and people appreciate a good talk.
Second, blacks are not stupid. They see the miserable state of Africa and Haiti—and their own neighborhoods. They see how so many blacks fail despite the opportunities given them. Racial differences in intelligence are as plausible to them as to anyone else as an explanation for the world as it is.
But what about the warmth and cordiality? I believe it was because many of those blacks felt that for the first time in their lives they had had a totally honest conversation about race with a white man. Maybe it was their first totally honest conversation about anything with a white man. I think they deeply appreciated being spoken to like adults rather than children.
I suspect most blacks are no more afraid of race differences in IQ than whites are afraid of the possibility that Chinese and Japanese are smarter than they are. For years, at heavily-Asian schools such as Berkeley and UCLA, the rule for whites has been to skip any science or math class that has too many Asians in it. Who needs the competition? Does the possibility that Asians are smarter than they are reduce whites to desperation and misery? Not at all, though it sometimes reduces them to psychology or English.
Let us not forget that until perhaps 60 years ago, almost all Americans took it for granted that blacks were not as smart as whites. Did blacks take drugs, kill people, get each other pregnant, or riot as a result? No. Many lived more stable and wholesome lives than they do today. Whites are patronizing blacks disgracefully when they assume—without evidence, I might add—that blacks can’t handle the truth.
What about (2)—the claim that whites might use IQ data as an excuse to mistreat blacks, either individually or as a group?
First, it is worth recalling that the whites who freed the slaves were all, by today’s standards, foaming-at-the-mouth white supremacists. Whatever whites have historically thought of blacks, there has never been a time when anyone seriously proposed internment or extermination or whatever other lurid fantasies today’s enemies of candor may have.
Second, the tiny number of whites who do deliberately hurt blacks don’t do it for abstract reasons. When John King dragged James Byrd to death behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas, he didn’t have Raven’s Progressive Matrices on his mind. I suspect he was thinking about the blacks who gang-buggered him in prison.
There will always be a few sadists and psychopaths in any population. If some of them decide to hate blacks (or whites or women or homosexuals) it will have nothing to do with IQ. No one is going to read Arthur Jensen’s The g Factor and then go out and burn a cross.
Human beings have a knack for hating. In Sri Lanka, Tamils and Sinhalese slit each others’ throats; in Iraq, Shiites and Sunnis blow each other up. Yes, they would probably tell you their enemies are stupid. But they have a hundred other primitive, tribal, and far more visceral reasons for killing each other. People do not hate each other because of overlapping bell curves.
As for (3)—implications for public policy—the obscurantists are right when it comes to individuals. There are smart people in all races, even though the percentage of smart people varies a great deal from race to race. As a practical matter, if the black candidate is the best qualified, then let him run General Motors—or be President, for that matter. If we must have a multi-racial society, common sense about race and IQ need not be a barrier to any individual getting ahead.
The dogma of equality still makes terrible policy mischief because it requires identical group outcomes. The notorious No Child Left Behind Act brands schools as failures if they cannot close the achievement gap between blacks (and Hispanics) and whites (and Asians). Because not one of the approximately 98,000 public schools in the country has managed to do this, every “diverse” school in America would be declared a failure if the government followed its own rules.
The requirements keep being loosened to avoid this absurd outcome. But that did not keep 4,000 teachers, administrators, and snake-oil salesmen from attending an “Achievement Gap Summit” in Sacramento last November. No fewer than 125 different panels were devoted to various forms of hand-wringing over the fact that no one, anywhere, no matter how hard he tries, can get Mexican-Americans to read or do math as well as Chinese-Americans.
“Closing the gap” is a national priority; it is also a futile and dangerous priority. After all, there is a different achievement gap that is far larger but gets no attention at all: the gap between the top ten percent and the bottom ten percent of white students. It is a yawning gap. Shouldn’t we be fretting about closing it? Why does no one care?
Because everyone knows that some children are just plain smarter than others. Everyone knows it would be crazy to spend millions of dollars trying to make all white students get the same grades. A few people even know that every child does better school work if he gets instruction specifically tailored to his level of ability—but that this makes the gap between the top and bottom scores grow even wider. Everyone’s performance rises with optimal, individualized teaching, but the scores of the brightest children rise more than the scores of the dim children. The gap gets larger.
Just imagine what perverse incentives would be built into a school system that was under terrible pressure to make sure all the white children got exactly the same grades. Is it possible that in their zeal to pull up the low scores, some teachers might skimp on their efforts to teach the high flyers? Gifted classes are being cut back all around the country. No one admits this is the reason, but whenever a school stops offering special classes for bright students—who are overwhelmingly white and Asian—the effect is to narrow the racial achievement gap.
Narrowing this gap should not be a goal. The goal should be the best possible performance for everyone, gap be damned.
If all students of every race were getting the best possible education, everyone would learn more but the racial gap would grow. So what? We shouldn’t give the racial gap any more thought than we do the gap between the top and bottom white scores. It is egalitarian dogma that has sent the country on this fool’s errand of gap-closing.
But there is much worse. The “noble fiction” of racial equality does terrible damage to race relations. According to the fiction, blacks, Hispanics, whites, and Asians are all equally smart and hard-working. Even the slightest deviation in outcomes has only one cause: white racism, past and present. (The fact that Asians do better than whites is conveniently omitted from this argument.)
This means we are constantly telling blacks that white people are cheating them. If blacks are not as rich as whites, if they are more likely than whites to be in jail or on drugs or have AIDS or be on welfare or get shot or knocked up, it is because vicious, systematic racism did it to them. They are responsible for none of it.
For all of us, a basic stage in growing up is the realization that if you lose a race, it is because you didn’t run fast enough, not because you were cheated. Sooner or later, all of us come to terms with the fact that we are not the smartest, best-looking, most musical person on earth (Bill Clinton may be an exception). We accept our limitations, and make the most of what we have.
But according to the “noble fiction,” blacks are never allowed to grow up. If they lost the race it was only because they were cheated. We tell them that if they are behind as a group, it is never their own fault. It is because—and only because—whitey hates them and holds them down. If our goal were to teach blacks to hate white people, it would be hard to think of a better way to do it (along, of course, with constant reminders of slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow).
According to the “noble fiction,” the measure of black failure is the precise measure of white viciousness, and that gives blacks an inexhaustible reservoir of bitterness. No wonder Jeremiah Wright preached the sermons he did, and no wonder his congregation danced in their pews. No wonder rap lyrics are so full of anti-white vitriol. No wonder any given black is 40 times more likely to do violence to a white than the other way around.
Race relations in this country would improve dramatically if blacks got an entirely different message: that they sink or swim according to their own efforts and abilities, that they are not the puppets of white people, that they are adults who must be responsible for their own lives rather than children at the mercy of vicious, omnipotent strangers.
Recognizing the likelihood of racial differences in IQ is an important part of this.
Race denial is not a “noble fiction.” It is a noxious poison.
Michael O. Hardimon, Rethinking Race: The Case for Deflationary Realism, Harvard University Press, 2017, $39.95 hardcover
American academics have spun so many fantastic theories about race and “racism” that it almost seems they are willing to embrace any position, no matter how implausible. Perhaps the most implausible is that although there is an enormous amount of “racism” in America, there is no such thing as race. Finally, an academic seems to have realized how silly this sounds, and, in a dense volume published by Harvard University Press, has tried to come up with something a little less silly.
For the general public, the question of whether genes contribute to a person’s intelligence is a matter of controversy. Among intelligence researchers, there is no doubt that variation in intelligence is partly attributable to genes. In fact, the purpose of the very first twin study, done back in 1924, was to study the contribution of genes to intelligence.
Today, researchers can predict how similar the IQ scores of people will be based on how similar their genes are. Such work has confirmed what twin studies have long shown: In adulthood, the majority of variation in intelligence is caused by genes. We now know about many genes that can be used to predict intelligence. Geneticists can determine which version of these genes someone has and, based on how many IQ-enhancing and IQ-deflating gene variants there are, assign a “polygenic score” (a score based on the effect of many genes) that correlates at about 0.3 with IQ scores, which is moderate by conventional standards.
If ancient DNA is sufficiently well preserved, we can make similar comparisons between people who are alive today and people who lived thousands of years ago. This would be an interesting way to judge the extent to which the history of human progress may be the history of the biological evolution of intelligence. Of course, in some sense, everyone knows the two are related. Humans have evolved to be more intelligent than chimps; we have great civilizations and chimps do not. However, many people think that important genetic changes to humans stopped around 100,000 years ago, or that evolution is so slow that even if it has not stopped, the difference between now and then is negligible.
In fact, standard equations from population genetics suggest that evolution can have significant effects in five or ten generations. Sophisticated analysis can determine the relative ages of different genetic clusters in the modern human genome, and such studies have shown that ever since the Neolithic Revolution of approximately 10,000 years ago, the human genome has been changing 100 times faster than what normally occurred during evolution. It was only after the Neolithic Revolution that important traits such as lactose tolerance and the white skin of Europeans appeared. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that our genetic potential for intelligence may have changed recently, too.
This was the focus of a recent paper by Dr. Michael Woodley and his colleagues. First, they tested the DNA of 99 ancient Eurasians who lived between 2540 B.C. and 809 A.D. to determine their “polygenic scores” for intelligence, based on three sets of genes known to predict intelligence. They then compared these scores to a sample of contemporary Europeans. For all three sets of genes, modern genomes had a higher polygenic score. The ratio of IQ-enhancing gene variants to IQ-depressing gene variants was higher in contemporary European genomes than in ancient ones. This strongly suggests that modern Europeans have higher genotypic intelligence. Dr. Woodley’s team found a positive correlation between the age of an ancient genome and its polygenic score, which suggests that genotypic IQ increased somewhat linearly over time.
Why would Europeans have evolved to be smarter than they were 2,000 years ago? At the group level, populations of smarter people may have been more likely to make technological innovations which helped them outfight and outbreed other groups. At the individual level, we know today that IQ is an excellent predictor of job performance as well as scientific innovation, so there is reason to think it might have been true then, too.
More productive people are often wealthier, and if intelligence led to wealth in the past as it does today, it probably led to longer lives and larger families. The work of economist Gregory Clark demonstrates that this was the case for much of English history. During the centuries preceding the Industrial Revolution, differential survival and fertility rates led to poor people being bred out of the population and replaced by the sons and daughters of the wealthy. Prof. Clark argues that this eugenic process partly explains why the Industrial Revolution took place in the West rather than somewhere else.
In this sense, Western civilization and Western man were several thousand years in the making. Unfortunately, today we may be undoing this work. Multiple studies in several different nations have shown the higher the genetic potential for intelligence, the fewer children a person is likely to have. Partly this is because intelligent people put off marriage until they complete their education, which increasingly includes graduate school. By this time, many highly intelligent people don’t have all that many years left for child rearing. At the same time, in First World countries the welfare state lets even poor people have as many children as they want.
Until very recently, large improvements to the environment masked this fall in genotypic intelligence. Improved nutrition and education resulted in higher tested levels of intelligence even though the genetic potential for intelligence was declining. This rise, known as the Flynn effect, occurred all over the world for most of the 20th century and led to measured IQ rising by about 3.5 points per decade. However, the effects of better nutrition and education have reached their limit and the rise seems to be over. Recent studies have shown a decline in IQ in Britain, France, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Estonia. Fortunately, this new decline in genotypic intelligence is not very large. Given the current association between IQ and fertility, we are estimated to lose roughly 0.82 genotypic IQ points per generation in the United States.
If current trends continue, we will lose just over 15 points of genotypic IQ in 19 generations, or about 400 years. That is roughly the IQ gap between blacks and whites in America, and about half the gap between Europeans and Africans. Some people argue that evolution is so slow it could not possibly have produced the black-white IQ gap. In fact, evolutionary forces at work today could produce a gap of this size in as little as 19 generations, and Europeans left Africa somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 generations ago.
The egalitarian case is especially difficult to make if the high genotypic IQ of Europeans was achieved in the last few thousand years. If civilization both leads to and is the result of gradual increases in genotypic IQ, it is hard to see how Africans and Europeans could be exactly equal; Europe produced a rich civilization whereas Africa did not.
More generally, if genotypic intelligence is as flexible as it seems to be—if it rises and falls over the centuries due to slight associations between IQ and fertility—then it would be truly miraculous if, at this very moment in time, all the races just happened to have landed on the exact same average level of genotypic intelligence.
The foundation of modern political thought is based on a cosmic coincidence for which there is absolutely no evidence. Research on the genetics of intelligence is steadily attacking that foundation.
Four years ago today, Lawrence Auster died. Though newcomers to the world of racial dissidence may have never heard of him, from the 1990s until his death, he was a key character in the small resistance to egalitarianism that, in his time, seemed doomed to utter failure. He was a speaker at the first American Renaissance conference, and maintained a prolific blog, “View from the Right,” that influenced most every major dissident writer today, AmRen regulars Greg Hood and Paul Kersey among them.
I never met him, much less knew him, so I will let his writing speak for itself. Below are some of his greatest insights.
“The very manner in which the issue is framed—as a matter of equal rights and the blessings of diversity on one side, versus “racism” on the other—tends to cut off all rational discourse on the subject. One can only wonder what would happen if the proponents of open immigration allowed the issue to be discussed, not as a moralistic dichotomy, but in terms of its real consequences. Instead of saying: “We believe in the equal and unlimited right of all people to immigrate to the U.S. and enrich our land with their diversity,” what if they said: “We believe in an immigration policy which must result in a staggering increase in our population, a revolution in our culture and way of life, and the gradual submergence of our current population by Hispanic and Caribbean and Asian peoples.” Such frankness would open up an honest debate between those who favor a radical change in America’s ethnic and cultural identity and those who think this nation should preserve its way of life and its predominant, European-American character. That is the actual choice—as distinct from the theoretical choice between “equality” and “racism”—that our nation faces.”
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The Mexican invasion of the United States began decades ago as a spontaneous migration of ordinary Mexicans into the U.S. seeking economic opportunities. It has morphed into a campaign to occupy and gain power over our country—a project encouraged, abetted, and organized by the Mexican state and supported by the leading elements of Mexican society.
It is, in other words, war. War does not have to consist of armed conflict. War can consist of any hostile course of action undertaken by one country to weaken, harm, and dominate another country. Mexico is waging war on the U.S. through mass immigration illegal and legal, through the assertion of Mexican national claims over the U.S., and through the subversion of its laws and sovereignty, all having the common end of bringing the southwestern part of the U.S. under the control of the expanding Mexican nation, and of increasing Mexico’s political and cultural influence over the U.S. as a whole.
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Democrats will take us over the cliff at 90 miles an hour. Republicans stay within the speed limit, but they will still take us over the cliff. That is the single most succinct account of modern politics. Now apply the same idea to immigration. Illegal immigration will take us over the cliff at 90 miles an hour. Legal immigration stays within the speed limit, but it will still take us over the cliff. Yet the energy of conservatives is focused almost exclusively on illegal immigration, and if you try to bring up legal immigration, you’re told, with annoyance, that the country is not ready to deal with that issue, we must focus only on illegal. And it’s true that there would not have been the hundreds of thousands of callers to Congress stopping the immigration bill in 2007, if the issue had been legal immigration. People are able to grasp violations of law—it doesn’t make them “racist” to oppose violations of law. But to oppose turning our country into a Hispanic country, well, that seems racist, or at least it’s something they don’t feel comfortable discussing.
When it comes to immigration and national survival, race is the supreme issue, the issue on which all others hang. On one side, our country is steadily being changed into a different country by the immigration of people of different race. On the other side, we are letting this happen because, controlled by liberalism, we are morally incapable of saying that we should not allow our country to be re-populated and transformed into a different country by people of other races. So: racially diverse mass immigration is undoing us, and our irrational, immoral, and cowardly fear of being “racist” makes us incapable of stopping that racially diverse mass immigration.
It all comes down to race. You may not want to think about race, but race is thinking about you.
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To put the event in perspective, here is an addendum to Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society:
“The worse blacks behave (in this case the total failure of the black-run government of New Orleans to take the absolutely necessary steps to prepare for and respond to the disaster [Hurricane Katrina]), the more this black failure must be blamed on white racism.”
Actually, what I’m calling an addendum to Auster’s first law precedes it. I think it was Jared Taylor who first (or at least most strongly) impressed me with the fact that black failure is blamed on white racism. Auster’s first law is a variation on that. It says that the worse any designated minority or alien group behaves in a liberal society, the more we are obligated to tell politically correct lies about that group. It’s a logical extension of the inversion of ordinary moral thinking that is implied in Taylor’s insight. Under ordinary morality, the worse a group behaves, the more it is condemned. But under liberalism, the worse a (minority) group behaves, the more it is protected and even praised. A corollary of the first law is that the worse the behavior of any designated minority, the more forbidden that truth becomes, and the more racist it is to speak it.
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The insights that came to me on this personal journey of discovery accumulated through several distinct stages.
First I learned that blacks on average score much less well on achievement tests, which explained why there were so few blacks in intellectual professions, but I didn’t associate these facts with a black deficit in “intelligence” as such.
Then that pioneer Michael Levin came along and tactlessly used the forbidden word “intelligence” to describe the quality in which blacks differ from whites. I was disturbed by this, wishing he would speak of a “difference in test-taking ability” rather than of a difference in intelligence. Yet at the same time I seemed to recognize that intelligence was, in fact, the issue at hand.
Then I came to understand that the quality measured by intelligence tests is something real, as proved by the fact that the results of IQ tests performed in childhood correlate highly with achievement in later life.
At this point, however, I still accepted the conventional view that group deficits in intelligence, even if real, were to a large degree determined by inferior cultural circumstances, and therefore could be eliminated by improvements in behavioral standards, socio-economic status, home environment, and so on. My inchoate belief in environmentalism was decisively refuted by the Scarr-Weinberg study showing that black children raised from infancy by white middle-class parents still were about 15 IQ points behind whites. This proved that IQ was determined by heredity, not culture.
But even if IQ itself was not cultural but genetic, there was the objection that the IQ tests themselves were culturally biased. This was thrown out by the discovery that blacks did worse in questions involving pure cognitive ability than in questions using white cultural references.
Then there was the growing awareness of the markedly different styles of thought between the races including blacks’ much greater suggestibility and reliance on rhetoric and emotional manipulation; their relative lack of ability to think in objective, cause-and-effect terms, their noticeably lesser orientation toward objective things and ideas outside the self; and their demonstrably lesser orientation toward the common political good and a moral and stable social order. There was, finally, the pronounced orientation of many blacks toward paranoid conspiracy theories, their tendency to see every issue in terms of race and to blame all their problems on whites.
And finally, drawing all these thoughts together into a new paradigm, there was the discovery of the “optical illusion” of racial sameness. This experience convinced me that the intellectual differences between blacks and whites are both substantive and qualitative—in short, that there are intrinsic racial differences in civilizational abilities.
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Why do I focus so relentlessly on these endlessly repeated stories of the massive cover-up, followed by the massive exposure, of black criminality and black failure—which is, we should point out, failure by white standards? Beyond its immediate interest and obvious importance, the truthful communication about black dysfunction and violence also serves the larger purpose of this website, which is nothing less than to save the American nation.
In my view, the greatest single factor driving whites to national suicide is their false guilt over black inferiority. Because whites believe—as modern liberalism has taught them to believe—that all groups have equal inherent abilities, they also believe that the actual inferiority of blacks in almost every area of accomplishment and behavior must be caused by something bad that the whites are invidiously doing to blacks, or by something good that whites are selfishly refusing to do for blacks. However expressed, it all comes down to the idea that black failure is caused by white racism—the transcendent sin of the modern world. And because black inferiority continues, and is even getting worse, the conclusion is that white racism is continuing, and is even getting worse.
The final result of this woefully mistaken thought process is the paralyzing racial guilt which makes whites feel that they have no right to defend and preserve their civilization, no right to defend and preserve themselves, but that they must instead self-sacrificially open themselves to and empower, not only blacks, but all nonwhites. This self-sacrifice takes numerous forms, including denial of the truth of black anti-white violence, denial of the tyrannical and murderous reality of Islam, and unquestioning acceptance of the mass Third-World immigration that is steadily turning America into a non-European country in which whites and their civilization will be steadily weakened, dispossessed, and destroyed. Therefore, as I began saying in the mid 1990s, if whites could see the truth that blacks’ lesser intelligence and other lesser civilizational abilities are not whites’ fault but are inherent in blacks themselves, it could literally save the country, by freeing whites from their suicidal guilt.
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[W]e are dragging our society down by putting non-qualified people in various positions while making it impossible to discuss the truth about what we are doing. … [C]onservatives, to the extent that they criticize racial quotas or AA at all (which is hardly at all for some years now), criticize it for “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” i.e., for hurting blacks. Occasionally they criticize it for its injustice to whites, as in the Grutter suit against the University of Michigan. But they NEVER criticize AA for unjustly putting millions of people in positions for which they are unqualified—thus validating and spreading incompetence, harming the functionality of our institutions, and lowering the whole level of our society.
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“How Do I Like Thee, Trump? I’m Still Counting the Ways:” [This was written in 2011, mind you.]
Another welcome thing about Donald Trump is that he is bringing to the fore the question of Obama’s academic qualifications. Liberal Jerking Knee Bob Schieffer has called Trump a racist for it. By doubting Obama’s vaunted intelligence and by suggesting that he got into Columbia University and Harvard Law School via racial preferences, Trump, Schieffer avers, is questioning the intellectual abilities of blacks in general. But really, Trump is only saying, albeit somewhat crudely and without yet the facts to back it up in Obama’s case (“he had terrible grades”) what all sentient whites, and indeed all sentient non-blacks and non-Hispanics have reasonably thought, but not stated in public, for decades. When they do state it in public, they instantly lose their jobs and reputations. Being an iconoclastic real estate billionaire celebrity with a weird hairdo has its advantages. Hmm. Maybe I chose the wrong path in life.
Furthermore, if I remember correctly, Obama and his wife have in the past referred to themselves as “affirmative action babies.” Why is it ok for a nonwhite to say that he got where he is via minority preferences, but not ok for a white man to say it?
Answer: When a minority calls himself an affirmative action baby, he’s saying that AA is ok. He’s saying that AA is not giving advantages to less qualities nonwhites over more qualified whites (such as Barbara Grutter, rejected by the University of Michigan Law School); he’s saying that AA is helping minorities whose abilities are really the same as those whites who happen to be losing out. But of course this is a lie. And when a white person speaks of AA critically rather than approvingly, he is pointing to the truth about AA, which is that it gives advantages to significantly less qualified nonwhites over significantly better qualified whites. To speak or even hint at that undeniable truth is what liberals consider “racist.”
* * *
Here’s another white person, police officer Andrew Widman of Fort Myers, Florida, a father of three, murdered on a whim by one of the innumerable Negro savages whom we allow to roam about at liberty in our society…
Is it racist, i.e., is it morally wrong, to speak of “Negro savages who are roaming about at liberty in our society”? No …
Indeed, I am acting according to the Kantian categorical imperative, speaking the way I think everyone should speak. If our whole society began to declare plainly that predatory black savages are running loose among us and that this is totally unacceptable, then we would start to do something about it, and many innocent people, white and black, would be saved, and many families, white and black, would not be destroyed. But so long as the reality of this race-specific savagery is daintily covered up, society will remain passive and helpless, absorbing one black murder after another, forever.
Civilization is the opposite of savagery. Therefore part of what defines civilized people is that they oppose savagery and do not tolerate it. And to oppose it, they must speak truthfully about it. So let’s forget about the superficial contemporary “civility” that never calls unpleasant and dangerous things by their proper names, and so allows aliens, enemies, and savages to take over. Instead of practicing such “civility,” let us stand for civilization.
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When I criticize liberalism, I focus on a particular dimension of liberalism which I call modern liberalism—equality, non-discrimination, the delegitimization of larger entities such as cultures and nations (if they’re Western)—and these in fact are the aspects of liberalism that are dominant today. Liberalism as socialism and centralization of power is important, as we still see in the growing statism of Europe and America; liberalism as scientific/materialistic reductionism is important, as we see in our culture’s ongoing degradation of man. But the main thrust of liberalism, the main force destroying our culture at present, because it is the moral obligation that transcends all others and that has the strongest hold over the minds of contemporary people, is the very one I speak about: the idea that we must eliminate all discrimination. This is the highest and holiest precept of modern liberalism, extending from the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to Pope John Paul II’s message that the work of Christ is “liberation from all forms of discrimination, rejection, and marginalization.”
And that is NOT the aspect of liberalism that conservatives such as Ann Coulter ever focus on, is it? Because they themselves either agree with it or are afraid to question it. Even openly anti-Muslim U.S. commentators who talk belligerently about waging a war to crush much of the Muslim world, will not advocate an end to Muslim immigration into the West, because that would violate the principle of non-discrimination. It is the belief in non-discrimination that is killing us, and it is only the rejection of that belief that can save us.
By the way, the conservative acceptance of the principle of non-discrimination proves my oft-repeated observation that the overwhelming majority of conservatives today are really liberals. No matter how conservative you may be on a variety of issues, if you still adhere unswervingly to the ruling principle of liberalism, then it’s fair to say that you are a liberal.
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We will have terrorist attacks and threats of terrorist attacks and inconvenient and humiliating security measures and the disruption of ordinary activities FOREVER, as long as Muslims are in the West in any significant numbers. The Muslim terrorists are part and parcel of the Muslim community. According to a survey reported in the Scotsman, 24 percent of Muslims in Britain (I never describe them as “British Muslims”) believe the July 2005 London bombings were justified. Imagine that. Not only do these Muslims in Britain support terrorism against Britain, they’re not afraid to say so openly to a pollster! The unchangeable fact is that wherever there is a sizable Muslim community there will be a very large number of terror supporters and therefore—inevitably—actual terrorists as well.
This is our future, FOREVER, unless we stop Muslim immigration and initiate a steady out-migration of Muslims from the West until their remaining numbers are a small fraction of what they are now and there are no true believers among the ones that remain. Travelers from Muslim countries must be tightly restricted as well. Muslims must be essentially locked up inside the Muslim lands, with only carefully screened individuals allowed into the non-Muslim world.
The enemy are among us, in America, in Britain, in the West, and will remain so until we remove them from the West and indeed from the entire non-Muslim world. As extreme as this sounds, it is a no-brainer. There is no other solution. All other responses to this problem add up to meaningless hand-wringing. The hand-wringing will go on FOREVER, along with the terrorist attacks and the threat of terrorist attacks, until we take the ONLY STEPS that can actually and permanently end the threat.
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As I have often written, the liberal order articulates the world through a “script” in which there are three characters: the white liberal, who embodies the non-discriminatory virtue of the liberal regime; the white non-liberal, who discriminates against nonwhites and who must be crushed by the white liberal; and the nonwhite/non-Westerner, who either is discriminated against by the white non-liberal or is non-discriminatorily included by the white liberal. In the script, furthermore, only the white liberal and the white non-liberal are moral actors, with the first representing good and the second representing evil. The nonwhite/non-Westerner is not a moral actor, but is simply the passive recipient of the white liberal’s goodness or of the white non-liberal’s bigotry. The reason that the nonwhite/non-Westerner cannot be a moral actor is that his very function in the script is to be the recipient of either good non-discrimination or evil discrimination. If he were a moral actor, then his own actions would have to be judged; specifically, his bad actions would have to be judged. But to judge his bad actions would be to discriminate against him. And since the central purpose of liberalism is to eliminate all discriminatory treatment of nonwhites/non-Westerners, moral judgement of nonwhites/non-Westerners must also be eliminated. Therefore nonwhites/non-Westerners cannot be seen as responsible moral actors.
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The unprincipled exception is a non-liberal value or assertion, not explicitly identified as non-liberal, that liberals use to escape the inconvenient, personally harmful, or suicidal consequences of their own liberalism without questioning liberalism itself.
Alternatively, the unprincipled exception is a non-liberal value or assertion, not explicitly identified as non-liberal, that conservatives use to slow the advance of liberalism or to challenge some aspect of liberalism without challenging liberalism itself.
Modern liberalism stands for principles of equality and non-discrimination which, if followed consistently, would make a decent life in this world, or any life at all, impossible. But modern liberal society does not permit the public expression of non-liberal principles, by which rational limits to equality and non-discrimination, or indeed the very falsity of these ideas altogether, can be articulated. This fact forces liberals continually to make exceptions to their own liberalism, without admitting to themselves and others that they are doing so. Such exceptions must take inchoate, non-conceptual, pre-rational forms, such as appeals to brute self-interest, to the need to respond to a pressing emergency, or to common sense. For example, liberals who want to escape from the negative consequences of their liberal beliefs in a given instance will often say that the application of a liberal idea in that instance “goes too far,” without their indicating by what principle they distinguish between an idea that has gone “too far” and one that hasn’t. In fact, it’s purely a matter of what suits their own comfort level and convenience.
Conservatives also must have recourse to the unprincipled exception, but for a different reason than the liberals. Liberals are seeking to escape the negative consequences of their own liberalism. Conservatives, of course, actively oppose liberalism, or, rather, they oppose some aspects of liberalism. But, because the conservatives live in modern liberal society, where principled opposition to liberalism is not allowed, and also because the conservatives themselves subscribe to liberalism and are not prepared to think outside its concepts, the conservatives’ only available means of opposing some aspects of liberalism is by unprincipled exceptions, such as appealing to common sense, or to the shared unreflective habits of society, or saying, “That’s just the way things are,” or asserting that a particular liberal belief is “silly” or “stupid” or “extreme.” These methods allow conservatives to find fault with various symptoms of liberalism, without attacking liberalism per se.
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[T]he most important course of action for traditionalist conservatives at the present moment (given the seemingly unstoppable power of the dominant culture, it may be the only available course of action)—and that is, knowing the truth, refusing to yield to the lies that surround us, refusing to yield to the prevailing mentality of our society, no matter how victorious it may seem.
Everybody today, particularly Republicans and mainstream conservatives, is echoing the same refrain: “Diversity is happening, immigration is happening, moral liberation is happening. We cannot return to the past. To exist and get along in this society we must accept these things.” Traditionalists must entirely reject such accommodationism. The starting point, the indispensable condition of any conservative or traditionalist movement, as well as of our personal spiritual survival, is that we say NO to the prevailing values of the liberal order and that we keep saying no, that we never accept them inwardly, even while recognizing the fact that they exercise effective control over society at present and that we may need to accommodate ourselves to them to a certain degree in our external interactions with society.
That inward refusal, that inward, spiritual independence of our environment, shared among enough like-minded people, can become the basis of a new community. And then other things, more active and external things, may become possible as well.
Never has the nature vs. nurture question been more hotly debated than over the question of intelligence. To what degree are individual differences in IQ due to environment or heredity? Traditionally, the heritability of intelligence—the extent to which differences in intelligence are due to differences in genes—has been calculated by testing the intelligence of closely related individuals, such as twins, and comparing the results to tests of unrelated people. It has been much harder to examine the human genome directly in order to determine the extent to which genetic variation is associated with IQ differences.
However, our understanding of the genetics of intelligence is progressing quickly. Less than 10 years ago, a few studies had found gene variants associated with intelligence in certain population samples, but the results could not be replicated when the same tests were done on other populations. Today, on the basis of a survey of thousands of genes, we can assign someone a score that correlates moderately with performance on standardized tests which line up extremely well with IQ scores.
The genetics of personality has progressed less quickly than that of intelligence, but is also advancing, and a paper released this month takes us one step closer to solving two problems that still plague both fields.
First, there is the issue of “missing heritability.” This refers to a consistent discrepancy between the two kinds of heritability estimates. Studies of twins and adopted relatives consistently report higher heritability estimates than do studies that survey the genomes of unrelated individuals and predict trait similarity based on gene variants. Twin and adoption studies suggest that intelligence is between 50 and 80 percent heritable, while personality traits such as neuroticism and extraversion are between 35 percent and 50 percent heritable. Genome sequencing studies, by contrast, have typically estimated the heritability of intelligence at between 20 percent and 50 percent, and the heritability of personality to be between 0 percent and 15 percent. Those who believe that intelligence is largely influenced by environment argue that these lower figures discredit traditional estimates of heritability.
Secondly, there is the problem of how there can be substantial genetic variation at all in traits that contribute to evolutionary fitness. Heritability and evolution go together naturally, but if variations in intelligence and personality lead to differences in fertility—as they surely do—then we might expect evolution to have removed all significant genetic variation that does not contribute to the optimal values of these traits. Instead, we see lots of variation in these traits even within the same populations. How, evolutionarily, could this happen?
The concept of mutational load offers one possible explanation for both problems. Mutational load refers to the number of fitness-reducing mutations in a person’s genome. When these mutations have a large effect, selection removes them quickly, but mutations with small harmful effects remain in a population for many generations. For instance, a new mutation that occurs in a single individual and that decreases evolutionary fitness by 0.1 percent will last an average of 14 generations and afflict roughly 1,000 people before it is eliminated from the gene pool. Individuals end up differing in how many damaging mutations they have inherited and this may be one cause of genetic differences in mental traits. Because new random mutations happen each generation, this is one mechanism by which differences in a trait can remain heritable even in the face of natural selection which should have eliminated these differences.
Such mutations could also explain why sequencing studies produce lower heritability estimates than twin studies do. What normally happens in sequencing studies is that a fraction of the known polymorphisms (gene variations) present in the human genome are sequenced, and similarity in this sample of polymorphisms is used as a proxy for total genetic similarity. This method works well when accounting for variance in a trait caused by gene variants that are common in the population and that are either at the exact spots of the genome that are sampled and sequenced or are predictable based on a person’s gene variants at those spots. However, when similarity in gene variants causally related to a trait only poorly correlates with similarity in gene variants that are actually sampled, then sequenced genetic similarity of just this portion of the genome becomes a poor proxy for the kind of genetic similarity that actually matters.
This is what we might expect if slightly harmful mutations are causing people to differ in a trait. Suppose that a given random mutation is present only in one in 1,000 people, and it is located near, but not on, one of the sequenced sites of people’s genomes. The vast majority of a population—which would have every version of that sequenced part of the genome—will not have this mutation. Thus two individuals who have the same gene variant at the sequenced gene will not be distinguished from each other—even if one has the mutation—because the mutation will not have been sequenced.
Based on this reasoning, several recent studies have looked at whether differences in mutations can predict differences in intelligence. Of six such studies, only one found that intelligence test scores significantly and negatively correlated with levels of mutational load. Four found a negative association that was statistically insignificant. This lack of statistical significance means that people with more mutations did tend to be less intelligent, but the effect was so small that it might have arisen by chance in this sample. One study found that more mutations had an insignificant but positive relationship with intelligence. Finally, one study found that mutational load significantly predicts educational attainment, which is a well-known correlate of intelligence, such that the more mutations a person had the fewer years of school he tended to complete.
|Study||Sample Size||Effect of mutations on intelligence|
|Yeo et al., (2011)||74||Negative, significant|
|MacLeod et al., (2012)||3,210||Negative, not significant|
|McRae et al., (2013)||800||Negative, not significant|
|Bagshaw et al., (2013)||723||Positive, not significant|
|Marioni et al., (2014)||1,596||Negative, not significant|
|Kikpatrick et al., (2014)||6,199||Negative, not significant|
|Ganna et al., (2016)||14,133||Negative, significant|
The non-significant findings do not discredit this approach as much they may appear to. For one thing, those studies used small samples. They may therefore repeatedly be finding insignificant effects because the real effect is too small to measure reliably with small samples. Furthermore, all of the above studies have been able to look at only a few types of the mutations that can occur in the genome. So, in addition to the sample size problem, it may be that the actual effect is too weak to measure accurately when looking at only a few mutation types. Both difficulties can contribute to statistically insignificant findings.
A new paper by Professor David Hill and colleagues overcame these limitations by examining both personality and intelligence in a large sample of roughly 20,000 people and using a method that allowed them to capture variation caused by all types of mutations. Professor Hill’s team was able to do this by looking at genetic similarity among not only unrelated people but also members of the same extended family. Looking at extended families is helpful because even people as distantly related as 4th cousins are much more likely than strangers to share rare mutations that they have inherited from their shared ancestors. Because of this, genetic similarity within families is a far better measure of similarity in mutational load than is the genetic similarity of unrelated people. Professor Hill and his colleagues used these data to separate individual variation in IQ and personality caused by differences in common gene variants in the general population on the one hand, and differences due to rare mutations that are common only within families on the other.
They also controlled for environmental effects. Prof. Hill and his colleagues measured the degree to which being part of the same family, being siblings, or being a couple predicted similarity in IQ and personality. This was necessary because living in the same household, as families and couples do, means having a very similar environment, which can influence traits in non-genetic ways.
The results for intelligence were promising: General genetic similarity accounted for 23 percent of variability in IQ, family-specific genetic similarity explained another 31 percent of the variation, 9 percent was due to the shared environment of siblings (that is, was not genetic), and 22 percent was predictable by people being a couple. Professor Hill’s findings showed that, in his sample, 54 percent of variation in intelligence could be predicted based on genes alone, and most of this variation was due to family-specific genetic effects. These figures are higher than previous gene-based studies because Prof. Hill was far better able to account for the effects of mutations. Importantly, this gene-based heritability estimate is close to the estimates for intelligence that result from twin and adoption studies.
Even this heritability estimate may be low. Being a couple was one of the variables meant to control for environmental similarity, on the assumption that living in the same household makes couples more similar to each other. However, married couples tend to be more genetically similar than average. Therefore, this variable probably captured trait similarity due to both genes and the environment and both these components were subtracted from the study’s heritability estimates, meaning that the heritability figures produced are probably too low.
The results for personality were less promising. For neuroticism, 11 percent of variation was attributable to general genetic similarity, and 19 percent was due to family-specific genetic similarity. For extraversion, 13 percent of variation could be accounted for by general genetic similarity, while family-specific genetic effects had no significant effect, and the family environment explained only 9 percent of variability. These weaker results may be due to gene-gene interactions in which the effect of one gene is dependent on the version of another gene that a person has. It may be that gene-gene interaction plays a larger role in the genetics of personality, and such effects are extremely difficult to capture in studies like this.
Returning to intelligence, it is worth noting that deleterious mutations with small effects may also be involved in racial differences in intelligence. The psychologist Phillipe Rushton showed that the more inbreeding lowers a given cognitive ability, the more blacks and whites tended to differ in that ability. Inbreeding depression is caused by the heightened probability that damaging recessive mutations will be expressed when people mate with family members. Thus, the correlation between the black-white IQ gap sizes on these subtests and the degree of inbreeding depression implies that racial differences in rates of mutation may be a causal factor in racial intelligence differences.
By taking into consideration individual differences in mutation load, genomic analysis is arriving at heritability estimates of intelligence that come close to those based on kinship studies. Once the genetic and mutation patterns associated with intelligence become clearly established, it should be possible to test for a person’s genetic potential for intelligence through direct genetic assessment rather than relying on standard IQ tests.
We still have a lot to learn about the genetic underpinning of the heritability of traits such as intelligence and personality, but we are learning more each year. It can be expected that this research will pave the way for repeated demonstrations of our ability fully to account for the heritability of IQ using genes alone, which would silence the blank slatists—those who insist that intelligence is overwhelmingly influenced by environment—once and for all.