Barrel Strength

Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Barrel Strength - Over-Proof Opinion, Smoothly Aged Insight

Those inscrutable Swedes

The usual head scratching is taking place among the bien-pensants as to why the Swedish anti-immigrant party took more seats in the recent election. Look at the figures.

Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, has a simple explanation for the lack of jobs. “If you allow more asylum seekers into the country than the number of jobs you can create, the result is obvious,” he said in a recent speech. Sweden expects more than 90,000 asylum seekers this year, a huge number in a county of only 10 million people. According to the United Nations, Sweden received the most asylum applications per person in the world from 2009 through 2013. The share of Swedes born abroad was 16 percent last year compared with 11 percent in 2000. Akesson calls for cutting back on asylum acceptances, requiring immigrants to pass language tests, and trimming immigrants’ welfare benefits.

“The Sweden Democrats is the only political party that wants to stop immigration,” Anders Sannerstedt, a political scientist at Lund University, told the French news agency AFP. “All the other political parties have a united stance, a generous immigration policy.”

1. Why are the Nordic nations so keen on erasing their national existence?

2. Why do their policy elites believe that unlimited immigration of Muslims, Africans and every sort of refugee claimant should take place?

3. Why, when one out six people in Sweden is not Swedish by culture or assimilation, do they believe their culture will survive,  at current rates of immigration?

The usual suspects, such as the Economist, see the election as shift to the Left after a decade of conservative retrenchment. Bloomberg reports on potential parliamentary deadlock.

The only real winner is the party that is resisting the tide of immigration, the Sweden democrats, with which all other parties have pledged not to cooperate.

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The results for the Sweden Democrats are shown in the yellow bar.

Fraser Nelson, in the Spectator, captured the issue.

As for the other parties – they concentrated too much on denouncing the Sweden Democrats and not enough on addressing the concerns of their target voters. As one TV commentator put it, it’s all very well bemoaning racism but if a voter’s school suddenly takes in 100 kids who don’t speak Swedish then they’re going to have concerns. Who’s listening? In a lot of cases, the answer was the Sweden Democrats.

The usual charges of racism attend any attempt by any organized political movement to stop the drowning of local populations in Muslims, whatever the political stripe of the resisting party: moderate liberal (UKIP-Nigel Farage), hard line (Front National -Marine Le Pen), fascist (Hungary-Jobbik ). It matters not what the economic policies are of the resisting parties; their are branded as racist for resisting the policies chosen by their national elites. That is their common denominator. In a sane world UKIP and Marine Le Pen’s political group would be perceived as distinctly as Liberals and Tories are in Canada, but in the prevailing elite view that drowning Europeans in Islamic rabble is good for you, all resistance is “racist” and the same. On the contrary, resistance is channeled through significant  variations in local political culture.

The fact that any resistance to immigration on this scale exists at all is what makes European elites so outraged.

A report from 2013 from the BBC on rioting in Sweden shows that the usual suspects are Muslims burning cars. The issue is described as “inequality”, and strident denials of the Islamic origin of the rioting assure one that the issue is exactly what it is denied to be: mass Islamic immigration

The BBC report has all the hallmarks of denial:

There was a widespread assertion that the violence was not motivated by Islamist ideology.

Despite the assertion, some local people said the police had been heavy-handed and there is clearly much anger at the shooting dead by police of an elderly man wielding a knife 10 days ago.

Many said there was a wider context of a growing gap between rich and poor in Sweden.

On OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) figures, Sweden has seen the biggest increase in inequality of any developed country over the past 25 years.

Immigrants and their descendants tend to congregate in areas such as Husby, the neighbourhood west of Stockholm where the violence started on Sunday.

About 80% of the 11,000 residents are either first- or second-generation immigrants.

Accordingly, this week’s troubles have raised the volume of the debate in Sweden on immigration. About 15% of the population was born outside the country, the highest proportion in any of the Nordic countries.

The influx has come mostly from war-torn countries like Iraq, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Syria. In 2012, Sweden accepted 44,000 asylum seekers, up by nearly 50% from a year earlier.

Ah! The total mystery of it all! The inexplicable relationship between massive influx of low-skilled Islamic immigrants, poor assimilation, higher incidences of rape, and cars burning in the night.

The Son also Rises

Anyone interested in how society actually operates would benefit from reading Gregory Clark’s The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility.

Clark examined surnames in several different societies and how they have persisted over time in elite occupations. He found that social mobility was real, persistent and slow: much slower than much modern theorizing about it. In short, families count. Coming from a good family is more than half the battle.

And that means that genetics count. Most of the status of your children will be determined by whom you mate with. Practically speaking, produce the kids from the right wife or husband and you can largely forget about sending them to $50,000 a year Manhattan day cares. They are going to succeed with quite ordinary levels of parental investment. No amount of private schooling will turn a dolt into a success, and conversely quite ordinary levels of parental investment (love, education, opportunities) will turn smart kids into successes.

As Clark writes:

By and large, social mobility has characteristics that do not rule out genetics as the dominant connection between generations. Ascribing an important  role to genetics helps to explain one puzzle of social mobility, which is the inability of ruling classes in places like England, Sweden, and the United states to defend themselves forever against downward mobility. If the main determinants of economic and social success are wealth, education and connections, then there is no explanation for the consistent tendency f the rich to regress to society mean even at the slow rates we observe…..

Only of genetics is the main element in determining economic success, if nature trumps nurture, is there a built-in mechanism that explains the observed regression.

The implications of Clark’s findings are contrary to what most believe.

If nature does indeed dominate nurture, this has a number of implications. First, it means that the world is a much fairer place than we intuit. Innate talent, not inherited privilege, is the main source of economic success. Second, it suggests that the large investment made by the upper classes in the care and raising of their children is of no avail in preventing long-run downward mobility….Third, government interventions to increase social mobility are unlikely to have much impact unless they affect the rate of intermarriage between levels of the social hierarchy and between ethnic groups. Fourth, emphasis on racial, ethnic and religious differences allows persistent social stratification through the barriers they create to this intermarriage. In order for a society to increase social mobility over the long run, it must achieve the cultural homogeneity that maximizes intermarriage rates between social groups.

Of course, humans segregate themselves by religions and denominations within religions, and to a lesser degree by social classes, castes, and political tastes. “Not our kind” is the answer to many a proposal of marriage. Perhaps one of the main functions of denominations and religions is to prevent intermarriage. For example, an Anglican can marry a Catholic of the right sort, and a Presbyterian without thinking, but neither a Jehovah’s Witness or a Muslim without conversion being entailed, and conversion to either of the latter religions is to slide down the social scale to the bottom rung.

Which brings me to the end of Clark’s book, concerning his observations of the persistence of elite groups within Islamic societies of members of non-Islamic religions.

Elites and underclasses are formed by the selective affiliation to a religious identity of some upper and lower share of the distribution of abilities within the population. In Islamic societies, the practice of imposing taxes on religious minorities tended to recruit to Islam the lowest economic strata of the conquered societies. Elites and underclasses have maintained themselves over periods as long as 1,300  years because of very high rates of endogamy (marriage within the tribe) which preserves the initial advantages of elites from regression to the mean by preventing intermarriage with less advantaged populations.

Clark’s book is well-written, fact-based, and amusing. For those interested in how society actually works, rather than how it is supposed to work, his discussions of social mobility and the largely vain attempts to  prevent it produce lively interest in the discerning reader, and not a few laughs-out-loud as some important truth clangs like a bell.

Distributional Coalitions: Tribes,Classes, Lobby Groups

The intrusion of messy reality into economics generates most of its intellectual issues. The world escapes the simple axioms of market exchanges mediated through freely negotiated prices. An American economist called Mancur Olson wrote “The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation and Social Rigidities” in 1982. It discussed issues not within the scope of either monetarists or Keynsians, namely how economies do not work according to the ideas of either schools.

For Olson, the question to be answered was why some economies were performing better than others after World War 2. Why, for instance, was Britain in such a mess (pre-Thatcher) and Germany and Japan increasing in wealth by leaps and bounds?

Olson observed the behaviour of what he called “distributional coalitions”, which are normally economic associations but which can morph overtime into castes, tribes, or even races. Usually we call them “special interest groups”, and usually we think of them as things like the dairy farmers, or other organized economic groups with formal legal status which seek legal or regulatory privileges (professional associations, banks, etc). Olson pointed out that they are usually small, they exercize disproportionate power, they reduce efficiency in the economy, they slow a society’s adaptation to change, and once successful, are exclusive and seek to limit the diversity of incomes and values of their membership.

His final rule of interest groups was:

9. The accumulation of distributional coalitions increases the complexity of regulation, the role of government, and the complexity of understandings, and changes the direction of social evolution.

Olson pointed out how expensive it is for anyone to discriminate racially (or any other way) as individuals, but by contrast, how rewarding it is to discriminate when it is done collectively. South Africa, in the apartheid days, could engineer much higher standards for whites by keeping blacks out of skilled and semi-skilled work.

Moreover, a racially, linguistically and culturally distinctive group finds it easier to maintain a multi-generational coalition. “The linguistic and cultural similarities will reduce differences in values and facilitate social interaction, and … this reduces conflict and makes it easier to generate social selective pressures.” (p.159)

And here is the kicker: if you can reinforce the “distributional coalition” with inbreeding – marrying within the tribe, the class, the group, the caste – you will make the group work better over time. This is called “endogamy”.

Unfortunately, the promotion of prejudices about race, ethnicity, culture and intergroup differences in lifestyle will also make the coalition work better. The inculcation of these prejudices will increase the probability that the members will follow the rule of endogamy and strengthen selective incentives by interacting socially only with their own group, of their own accord.” (p160)

A good deal of whatever I learned as a kid from the osmosis of attitudes about the other tribe in Quebec, the French Canadians, reflected this truth of behaviour, and they had stronger if not deeper prejudices against us “English” (not a  tribe, really just a foreign bourgeoisie). A distributional coalition can be an ethnic majority as well as an ethnic minority. I am not saying that the prejudices of each tribe were unfounded; I am saying that looking at each group, the English in Quebec, or the French in Quebec, as a distributional coalition, generates some insights. It suggests that wherever you see strong barriers to intermarriage, you might be in the presence of a distributional coalition, as well as that of a tribe, caste, or religion. It also suggests that when barriers to intermarriage are falling, a distributional coalition is fading out.

Olson was suggesting that racial and other forms of discrimination can work as the enforcers of the privileges of a “distributional coalition”, but note that, in his view, he makes no assertion that we have some innate drive to discriminate  – an issue on which he is silent. He says that maintaining  in-group marriage (maintaining racial, tribal or religious boundaries) will strengthen the distributional coalition over time, indeed, it is the only way to maintain it over long periods of time.

In conclusion, Olson’s views balance the problems caused by instability against the problem s caused by distributional coalitions.

On the whole, stable countries are more prosperous than unstable ones and this is no surprise. But, other things being equal, the most rapid growth will occur in societies that have lately experienced upheaval but are expected nonetheless to be stable for the foreseeable future.

In short, they have had a chance to purge themselves of distributional coalitions.

 

 

 

 

 

Sending more gasoline to put out the fire

The White House announced that Attorney General Eric (“My People”) Holder was being sent to Ferguson Missouri to oversee the federal response to the shooting.

Local police continue to exercise little restraint. The photo below shows police advancing with weapons drawn, which is contrary to what they do in the military, where a gun is not pointed unless a shot will be taken.

Police Shooting Missouri

An insightful article on the situation in Ferguson by Daniel Greenfield is here.
It is bracingly cyncial, and captures the truth.

Obama’s election marginalized Jesse and Al. Jesse Jackson was shoved aside, muttering something about cutting off a part of Obama’s anatomy on FOX News. Sharpton became Obama’s messenger boy to the black community while scoring a teleprompter reading gig on a liberal cable news network.

Jackson and Sharpton were displaced and made irrelevant by Obama. Their old way of monetizing racism through protests and private organizations is as out of date as pay phones and cassette tapes.

Obama’s way of monetizing racism for fun and profit is infinitely more sophisticated. Where Sharpton and Jackson pretended to be community advocates collecting tribute from white politicians and companies in exchange for “controlling the anger” of the black community (a community that usually consisted of a few dozen outside thugs that they had imported), Obama plays both sides.

The old community agitators “negotiated” racial tensions with white liberals. The agitators and liberals profited while the working class populations of both races that they exploited lost out. Obama however negotiates these tensions on his own, playing both the agitator and the liberal at the same time.

The new community organizers work for the Justice Department. The agitators shouting through bullhorns are dinosaurs. The government now has a monopoly on racial agitation and racial violence. Obama can use the DOJ, its teams, its investigations and the media to turn the tension on or off.

Sharpton looks unimaginably crude compared to Holder. Wright sounds like a clown compared to Obama. Their empty posturing and hysterical displays of racism have been replaced by actual power. Obama can do what Sharpton and Wright couldn’t; he can merge political power and symbolic power, law and outrage, together into an arsenal of votes, violence and guilt.

I had not really understood the term “race baiter” before but seeing Eric Holder in action over the past few years, I think I am beginning to understand it.

If you want to understand the origin of the phrase Eric “My People” Holder read this exchange from a report on US Senate proceedings concerned with Black Panther voter intimidation, from 2011:

Attorney General Eric Holder finally got fed up Tuesday with claims that the Justice Department went easy in a voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party because they are African American.

Holder’s frustration over the criticism became evident during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing as Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) accused the Justice Department of failing to cooperate with a Civil Rights Commission investigation into the handling of the 2008 incident in which Black Panthers in intimidating outfits and wielding a club stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia.

The Attorney General seemed to take personal offense at a comment Culberson read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.

“Think about that,” Holder said. “When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.

Can you imagine a white US Attorney General speaking specifically of his race as “my people”? Can you envisage the reaction? So yes, I call Eric Holder a race baiter, because he thinks he is the chosen agent of retribution for every slight administered to black people. He is unfit to be Attorney General. He is heading to Ferguson to oversee more riots, or rather, oversee federal response to the riots.

Physical beauty matters

That is one of the many reasons I like the monarchy. It celebrates health, youth and beauty, in the right measure and at the right time. It rejects the acceptance of ambi-sexual, obese blobs called “Pat”, and their ideological flat-mates in academia.

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Here we see Prince Harry charming the fit Australian girls, as they charm him. Being heir to the throne is a tough job, but for a time in your twenties and thirties, being a Prince must be a lot of fun.

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Here is the future

I once read a book by Bernard Fall about the siege of Dien Bien Phu. He said the French designers of the forts placed only 9 feet of earth on top of their dugouts, but a 155mm. shell takes 12 feet of earth to stop its blast. (Maybe the figures were 12 and 15, but they were of that order). Hence the French, who perfected military engineering in the 17th century, failed to follow the implications of what they already knew to be true when they built Dien Bien Phu. So the first days of the Viet Minh artillery barrage stove in their dugouts, and to cite Thucydides, “the strong will do what they will, and the weak shall suffer what they must”.

I think about multiculturalist proponents of “all cultures are equal”, and “race is just a social construct”, when I see figures such as those shown in the series of bell curves below. Like the builders of Dien Bien Phu, we tend to think we can hold back the implications of statistically different racial intelligence achievements by shaming, firing, thought crimes trials, special tribunals, head start programs, affirmative actions, “trigger warnings”. “white privilege” conferences, and preventing “hate” – any negative expressions towards any conceivable group except whites.

Leonard Cohen once wrote:

“Though altars were built in parliaments, they could not shelter men”

So society will become more fractious, less cooperative, less trusting, more fearful, less accomplished, and inevitably more segregated (racially, class-wise, ethnically) and all these negative outcomes will continue, as far as I can see, indefinitely into the future, all the time we prevent any thought or action that challenges and refutes the cultural-Marxist hegemony, indeed, almost regardless of what we do.

And like the French at Dien Bien Phu, we will suffer what we must because we have ignored facts which we knew but forgot in our huge arrogance. There are days when I think our civilization is rapidly going downhill. This is one of them. Sorry about that. I may feel better tomorrow.

BellCurve

Fire on the Moon: the accomplishment gap

Norman Mailer wrote a book called “Of a Fire on the Moon“. It dealt with the first landing by men on the moon, in 1969: American, and men, and as it turns out, white. I steal this from Frank Kersey.

“Mailer writes of a party he attended in Houston while the three white astronauts were completing the journey to the moon.

“At the party, he encountered a usually loquacious black Ivy League professor (who espoused some form of ‘black power’ and mentored black students on campus), who was uncharacteristically laconic and drinking heavily. Mailer writes: “He was normally so elegant a man that it was impossible to conceive of how he would make a crude move – now, you could know. Something raucous and jeering was still withheld, but the sourness of his stomach had gotten into the sourness of his face. His collar was a hint wilted.” (p. 124)

“It is here Mailer unloads with the most masterful part of his book, observing the source of the black Ivy League professor angst:

“But there were other reason for drinking as well. America had put two White men on the moon, and lifted them off. A triumph of White men was being celebrated in the streets of this city. It was even worse than that. For the developed abilities of these White men, their production, their flight skills, their engineering feats, were the most successful part of that White superstructure which had been strangling the possibilities of his own Black people for years. The professor was an academic with no mean knowledge of colonial struggles of colored peoples. He was also a militant. If the degree of his militancy was not precisely defined, still its presence was not denied. 

His skin was dark. If he were to say, “Black is beautiful” with a cultivated smile, nonetheless he was still saying it. Aquarius had never been invited to enter this Black man’t vision, but it was no great mystery the Black believed his people were possessed of a potential genius which was greater than Whites. Kept in incubation for two millennia, they would be all the more powerful when they prevailed. It was nothing less than a great civilization they were prepared to create. Aquarius could not picture the details of that civilization in the Black professor’s mind, but they had talked enough to know they agreed that this potential greatness of the Black people was not to be found in technology. Whites might need the radio to become tribal but Blacks would have another communion. From the depth of one consciousness they could be ready to speak to the depth of another; by telepathy might they send their word. That was the logic implicit in CPT. If CPT was one of the jokes by which Blacks admitted Whites to the threshold of their view, it was a relief to learn that CPT stood for Colored People’s Time. When a black friend said he would arrive at 8 p.m. and came after midnight, there was still logic in his move. He was traveling on CPT. The vibrations he received at 8 p.m. were not sufficiently interesting to make him travel toward you – all that was hurt were the host’s undue expectations. The real logic of CPT was that when there was trouble or happiness the brothers would come on the wave. 

Mailer noted what the moon landing meant to the concept of black superiority and black power in a now forgotten book chronicling the Apollo 11 mission

Well, white technology was not built on telepathy, it was built on electromagnetic circuits of transmission and reception, it was built on factory workers pressing their button or monitoring their function according to firm and bound stations of the clock. The time of a rocket mission was Ground Elapsed Time, GET. Every sequence of the flight was tied into the pure numbers of the time line. So the flight to the moon was a victory for GET, and the first heats of the triumph suggested that the fundamental notion of Black superiority might be incorrect: in this hour, it would no longer be as easy for a militant Black to say that Whitey had built a palace on numbers, and numbers killed a man, and numbers would kill Whitey’s civilization before all this was through. Yesterday, Whitey with his numbers had taken a first step to the stars, taken it ahead of Black men. How that had to burn in the ducts of this Black man’s stomach, in the vats of his liver.

Aquarius thought again of the lunar air of technologists. Like the moon, they traveled without a personal atmosphere. No wonder Blacks had distaste for numbers, and found trouble studying. It was not because they came – as liberals necessarily would have it – from wrecked homes and slum conditions, from drug-pushing streets, no, that kind of violence and disruption could be the pain of a people so rich in awareness they could not bear the deadening jolts of a civilization on each of their senses. Blacks had distaste for numbers not because they were stupid or deprived, but because numbers were abstracted from the sense, numbers made you ignore the taste of the apples for the amount in the box, and so the use of numbers shrunk the protective envelope of human atmosphere, eroded that extrasensory aura which gave awareness, grace, the ability to move one’s body and excel at sports and dance and war, or be able to travel on an inner space of sound. Blacks were not the only ones who hated numbers – how many attractive women could not bear to add a column or calculate a cost. Numbers were a pestilence to beauty. 

There was something to be said after all for arriving on time. CPT was excellent for the nervous system if you were the one to amble in at midnight, but Aquarius had played the host too often.

“You know,” said the professor, “there are no Black astronauts.” 

“Of course not.”

“Look,” said the Black professor, “do they have any awareness of how the money they spent could have been used?”

“They have a very good argument: they say if you stopped space tomorrow, only a token of the funds would go to poverty.”

“I’d like to be in a position to argue about that,” said the Black. “Damn,” he said, “are they still on the moon?”

“They took off already,” said Aquarius. 

“No trouble?” 

“None.”

If the Blacks yet built a civilization, magic would be at its heart. For they lived with the wonders of magic as the Whites lived with technology. How many Blacks had made a move or inhibited it because the emanations of the full moon might affect their cause. Now Whitey had walked the moon, put his feet on it. The moon presumably had not spoken. Or had it, and Richard Nixon received the favor and Teddy Kennedy the curse? Was there no magic to combat technology? Then the strength of Black culture was stricken. There would not be a future Black civilization, merely an adjunct to the White. What lava in the raw membranes of the belly. The Black professor had cause to drink. The moon shot had smashed more than one oncoming superiority of the Black.  (p. 125-127)

 

Norman Mailer wrote this in 1969. Magical thinking by American black intellectuals persists (see Ta-Nehisi Coates below). It will not get them to the moon, it will not make manna drop from heaven, it will not stop them from killing each other in astonishing numbers. Nothing will, except the same virtues that every other people on earth, including other Africans, have used to advance themselves. Industry, thrift, chastity, family, faith, diligence, and learning. There is no magic in this, and that is probably a strong reason why the traditional virtues are of no interest to so many of them.

My injury gap needs reparations

The  American Negro  writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, in a long article in the Atlantic magazine, argues that black Americans are owed reparations from the American federal government for the American black experience of slavery.

To ignore the fact that one of the oldest republics in the world was erected on a foundation of white supremacy, to pretend that the problems of a dual society are the same as the problems of unregulated capitalism, is to cover the sin of national plunder with the sin of national lying. The lie ignores the fact that reducing American poverty and ending white supremacy are not the same. The lie ignores the fact that closing the “achievement gap” will do nothing to close the “injury gap,” in which black college graduates still suffer higher unemployment rates than white college graduates, and black job applicants without criminal records enjoy roughly the same chance of getting hired as white applicants with criminal records.

When you make an argument for special economic privileges on the basis of race, as Coates does, it is vital to brush aside all previous attempts to remedy the situation of American blacks, and to place the the issue in a territory of pure feeling. In effect, Coates argues that any measures that close the achievement gap will not resolve the injury gap, the felt sense of injury for which no economic or practical measure is or can be sufficient. My people are angry, my grievance is  permanent. Pay up.

The more the black intelligentsia insist on the existence of white supremacy, the more I am inclined to believe it myself.

Here is Jared Taylor’s eloquent dismissal of this tripe.

The idea of reparations has a hypnotic effect on blacks. Not only does it console them with the idea that black failure is someone else’s fault, it comes with the intoxicating fantasy that money will drop out of the sky.

Let me make something perfectly clear. American blacks are an ethnic group, not a race. Africans wherever they may be in the world are a race, a term we use for the fuzzy set of people more related to one another than to outer groups. Ghanaians, Nigerians, Barbadians, Ethiopians, and so forth, are some of the people whose ancestry is African. African-Americans, as they are now known, are an ethnic group, formed by the same processes of inbreeding by which every tribe and nation has ever been formed. Afrikaners, and  French-Canadians are tribes or nations that have come into existence in the course of colonization of new continents (for them). In the same way African Americans are quite distinct from more recent African immigrants to the United States, and if you ever want an interesting conversation, talk to an African or black Caribean immigrant taxi driver about their African-American fellow citizens. If you move gently and allow the conversation to open up, you may be astonished how much their views of African-Americans  resemble your own.

Cultures that invest time and effort into self-improvement do not have time for perpetual “injury gaps”.

 

 

Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance” has been published

The most important book of social science since The Bell Curve has been published this week. It is called “A Troublesome Inheritance” by the science writer Nicholas Wade. You should read it.

Here is an excerpt from the review of Wade’s book by Charles Murray, co-author with Richard Hernnstein, of the Bell Curve.

 

Before they have even opened “A Troublesome Inheritance,” some reviewers will be determined not just to refute it but to discredit it utterly—to make people embarrassed to be seen purchasing it or reading it. These chapters will be their primary target because Mr. Wade chose to expose his readers to a broad range of speculative analyses, some of which are brilliant and some of which are weak. If I had been out to trash the book, I would have focused on the weak ones, associated their flaws with the book as a whole and dismissed “A Troublesome Inheritance” as sloppy and inaccurate. The orthodoxy’s clerisy will take that route, ransacking these chapters for material to accuse Mr. Wade of racism, pseudoscience, reliance on tainted sources, incompetence and evil intent. You can bet on it….

“A Troublesome Inheritance” poses a different order of threat to the orthodoxy. The evidence in “The Bell Curve,” “Male/Female” and “A Blank Slate” was confined to the phenotype—the observed characteristics of human beings—and was therefore vulnerable to attack or at least obfuscation. The discoveries Mr. Wade reports, that genetic variation clusters along racial and ethnic lines and that extensive evolution has continued ever since the exodus from Africa, are based on the genotype, and no one has any scientific reason to doubt their validity.

And yet, as of 2014, true believers in the orthodoxy still dominate the social science departments of the nation’s universities. I expect that their resistance to “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be fanatical, because accepting its account will be seen, correctly, as a cataclysmic surrender on some core premises of political correctness. There is no scientific reason for the orthodoxy to win. But it might nonetheless.

So one way or another, “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be historic. Its proper reception would mean enduring fame as the book that marked a turning point in social scientists’ willingness to explore the way the world really works. But there is a depressing alternative: that social scientists will continue to predict planetary movements using Ptolemaic equations, as it were, and that their refusal to come to grips with “A Troublesome Inheritance” will be seen a century from now as proof of this era’s intellectual corruption.

It is my conviction, based on observation, that the tenured university social scientist is one of the least curious, least fact-driven, least analytical of people. He and she is the hierophant of a dogmatic revelation that asserts that race is a social construct, that human evolution stopped 30,000 years ago and that man is inherently equal but for an evil existing “system” which promotes inequality. In all important respects humans are the same, except of course, as regards our position for or against “the system”, which position acts as the sole relevant criterion of moral worth. Their ability to internalize and spout the religion of social science got them their jobs. They are priests of an ideology, which has the force and status of an established church. Do not ask them to understand what they are paid not to understand.