British Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Ulster, Richard Lynn, answers “YES!” to both questions, and he’s conducted and collated a large body of research and data to back up his views.
Does this make Richard Lynn a racist?
Does the fact that various White Supremacy and White Separatist groups embrace Richard Lynn’s research and his conclusions make him a racist or a supporter of racism?
Is it wrong to investigate these issues?
Not at all.
First I want to discuss the issue of Black versus White intelligence.
In my investigations into this area over the last couple of weeks I found that there’s a lot of material available which presents a significant correlation between race and IQ (Intelligence Quotient) scores and which also puts forward the view that the differences in race-correlated IQ scores are genetically determined.
The measurement of any IQ/race correlation on the one hand, and the determination of the cause of any such correlation should be treated as two distinct areas of study. Racial correlation does not necessarily mean racial (genetic) cause.
Although there is plenty of outraged commentary responding to the racial differences research, there hasn’t been anywhere near as much actual research done double-checking or challenging either the IQ/race correlation or challenging the idea of a genetic basis to differences in IQ scores between races.
Why is that?
Thomas Sowell writes:
… doing research on race and IQ has become taboo in many places … A well-known black ‘social scientist’ urged me not to do any such research. His stated reason was that it would ‘dignify’ Professor Arthur Jensen’s thesis of a genetic basis for black-white differences in IQ scores. But my own suspicion was that he was afraid that the research would prove Jensen right.
One consequence of this taboo, is that The Pioneer Fund seems to have dominated the funding of research into this racial differences area.
The Pioneer Fund, Inc. is a New York 501(c) (3) not-for-profit foundation established in 1937 to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences.
Note that the emphasis of the funding is towards scientific studies focused on heredity/genetic (and therefore including racial) differences. There is a clear emphasis here.
The first potential problem with this is that I’m more likely to find correlations of a certain type if I’m looking for those correlations. Yet in doing so I may miss other correlations.
The second problem is that correlation alone does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
For instance, from the excellent FallacyFiles.org:
Near-perfect correlations exist between the death rate in Hyderabad, India, from 1911 to 1919, and variations in the membership of the International Association of Machinists during the same period. Nobody seriously believes that there is anything more than a coincidence in that odd and insignificant fact.
This is the fallacy of Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (“With this, therefore because of this”)
Another example, from Wikipedia this time:
More and more young people are attending high schools and colleges today than ever before. Yet there is more juvenile delinquency and more alienation among the young. This makes it clear that these young people are being corrupted by their education.
Now let me share with you this fascinating on-topic exploration …
Dienekes’ (former) Anthropology Blog (archived) plays with the national IQ/national wealth correlation advanced by Richard Flynn and Tatu Vanhanen in their book, “IQ and the Wealth of Nations.”
By the way, Tatu Vanhanen is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland. His son, Matti Vanhanen, is the current Prime Minister of Finland.
This book argues that national IQs differ due to racial/genetic differences AND that there’s a link between national IQ and economic success.
What Dienekes does is test whether factors other than national IQ scores could render similiar results as the IQ/wealth correlation.
I thought I’d take a stab at the “IQ as predictor of income” debate, and see what I could find out.
So, I compiled a list of statistics from 167 countries which can be found … from the UN Human Development Report 2003. I excluded a few countries out of the 175 total which didn’t have statistics for all indicators.
Many cite IQ, or “democracy” as causes of the wealth of nations. I will not deny of course that IQ and “democracy” are correlated with wealth, as measured e.g, by per capita Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which I’m using.
Correlation, however, does not mean causation.
So, I undertook the task of seeing whether or not the discrepancy in incomes around the world can be explained – in a purely statistical sense – by variables other than IQ or “democracy”.
Let’s take factor #1: Demographic Structure.
I used % of population under age 15 as a proxy for this factor.
The intuition goes that since children don’t have the capacity (muscle or intellectual) to produce as much as adults, a nation with a large number of children will have a lower per capita income.
Indeed, there is a -0.71 correlation between % of population under 15 and per capita PPP, accounting for 50% of the variance of the dependent variable.
[Turning to another factor …] Roughly half the population in the world is women.
Women get pregnant and while pregnant or rearing young children can’t be as productive as men.
So, we expect that nations where women have lots of children will have a lower per capita income, simply because half their population spends quite a lot of time being pregnant, breastfeeding or changing diapers.
This is factor #2, which also relates to Demographic Structure.
Indeed, there is a -0.56 correlation between the fertility rate and per capita PPP, accounting for 31% of the variance of the dependent variable.
Factor #3 has to do with Child Development.
I theorize that a person’s outcome in life is predicted to some degree by having a good childhood, allowing him/her to develop his physical and intellectual facilities.
As a proxy for this factor, I used Infant Mortality.
I found a -0.64 correlation between infant mortality and per capita PPP, accounting for 41% if the variance of the dependent variable.
Combing these three factors in a multiple regression, we can explain a total of 62% of the variance in per capita PPP.
I suspect that “democracy” would further add to the explicatory power of the model; in any case, it is clear that two simple demographic factors and a factor measuring access to health services have enormous predictive power.
Finally, I list the 10 countries whose per capita PPP is most overestimated by the model: Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Rep. of, Sri Lanka, Russian Federation.
It is clear that adding “democracy” as a value, would help eliminate these residual errors.
The 10 countries whose income is most underestimated are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, United States.
It is notable that many of these countries have abundant natural resources (e.g., Iceland, Norway, Brunei), special financial status (Switzerland), or a large territory with respect to their population (Canada, Australia).
IN CONCLUSION: Simple demographic and health factors account for the difference in the wealth of nations; the observed residual errors of the 3-factor model indicate that adding “natural resources” or “democracy” would explain some of the remaining variance in per capita income.
Dienekes also refers to a paper written by Thomas Volken from the University of Zurich which provides a “thorough technical critique” of “IQ and the Wealth of Nations”.
Thomas Volken’s paper explores only the alleged link between wealth and IQ, and concludes in part:
In this paper I have explored the influence of national IQ on income and growth. In contrast to Lynn and Vanhanen, I find no empirical and statistically significant support for their claim that IQ is the most relevant factor explaining cross-country variations in income and growth.
In the case of income, the authors simply fail to consider the influence structure of the explanatory variables, leading them to the wrong conclusion that economic freedom and the level of democracy account for only a small amount of the variance explained.
Furthermore, Lynn and Vanhanen confuse IQ with human capital. Once one controls for the educational opportunity structure, the link between IQ and income disappears.
Also, their case for economic growth and IQ is not supported by the empirical evidence presented for the two growth periods 1976-1998 and 1983-1996.
Once control variables are entered, and a more theoretically adequate growth model is specified, the effect of national IQ levels on growth cannot be substantiated.
Therefore the correlation between IQ and growth which has been found by Lynn and Vanhanen must be considered as spurious.
In short, the simple message is that national IQ has neither an effect on income nor on economic growth.
Those who express concern that lower IQs might result in lower wealth for nations – aside from the fact that, as I’ve already shown, the IQ/wealth correlation doesn’t survive scrutiny – seem to miss a few more important points.
First of all, the purpose of a nation is to provide a social/political framework for living freely.
Wealth as such is not the purpose of a nation.
Second, whose wealth is it? Wealth doesn’t belong to “nations”. It belongs to the individual citizens within those nations.
A poor man’s modest wealth doesn’t detract from that of a rich man’s. If I set out to become richer but my neighbour is content to remain poor, he hasn’t deprived me of anything. He hasn’t made my life poorer. Even if it could be argued that were he to get off his butt and get rich I’d benefit from that directly or indirectly, so what? My greater enrichment is not and should not be his concern. Nor should it be anyone elses.
What’s mine is mine and what’s his is his. There is no obligation between us regarding our possessions.
Bringing in lower IQ and/or lower skilled people does not necessarily diminish a nation’s wealth or wealth-creating capacity. If each individual produces more than he consumes (and the Welfare State does not plunder existing wealth owners and wealth creators) the newcomers will add to overall wealth.
Also, lower skilled immigrants (whether due to IQ or lower education or whatever) free the higher skilled citizens to focus on what they do better. That’s how division of labor works in a free market.
What about those Whites with a supposedly higher intelligence who are doing things – through government, though lobby groups, though the education system, through journalism, through some Unions, through philosophy departments, through writing books, through cultural instruments such as movies and pop music, etc. – which actively reduce the wealth-creating capacity of a nation?
What about high intelligence White criminals?
What about White Socialists? White Welfare Statists? White Fascists? White War Mongers? There’s not shortage of these ratbags – some with quite high IQs! The 20th Century, for instance, brought us an impressive array of White destroyers of person and property.
So is the Pioneer Fund’s focus on racial differences a mere correlation or is it causal when we see that the founder of the Fund, Wickliffe Preston Draper, who was the “fund’s de facto final authority” and “served on the Board of Directors from 1937 until 1972″ …
- Helped the American Eugenics Society financially at around 1930 when it was having financial problems and supported “race betterment” through eugenics
- Traveled to Berlin to attend the “International Congress for the Scientific Investigation of Population Problems” presided over by Nazi Party “Reich”minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick, (who was hanged in 1946 for his crimes against humanity.)
- At this conference, Draper’s travel companion Dr. Clarence Campbell delivered an oration that concluded with the words: “The difference between the Jew and the Aryan is as unsurmountable [sic] as that between black and white … Germany has set a pattern which other nations must follow. … To that great leader, Adolf Hitler!”
- Three years later, when Draper paid to print and disseminate a book titled White America, by Earnest Sevier Cox, a personal copy was delivered to Nazi Reichminister Frick.
- The first project of the Pioneer Fund was to distribute two documentary films from Nazi Germany depicting their claimed success with eugenics (though years before the Holocaust and its eventual public disclosure, Germany’s eugenic policies were still very controversial for their far-reaching scope and often coercive public policies).
- Between 1937–1941 The Pioneer Fund was headed by the controversial eugenicist Harry H. Laughlin, known especially for his role in the establishment of restrictive immigration laws and paving the way for national programs of compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally retarded.
- He funded advocates of repatriation of blacks to Africa and during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s Draper secretly sent $215,000 to the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission in 1963 in order to support racial segregation as he also did for his opposition of the desegregation of Brown v. Board of Education. The gifts came to light in the 1990s, when the commission records were made public.
Putting aside for now the question of whether or not The Pioneer Fund or its founder or board members are racist (actually a closer term would probably be “racialist“), what is very clear from the above and from a look at many of the Pioneer Fund’s grantees is its strong interest – from its inception to the present day – in perceiving, explaining, and problem-solving issues on the basis of race.
Yet some phenomena may be just as well or even better explained on some other basis.
For instance, Thomas Sowell has presented an intriguing and highly persuasive argument on the influence of geography or “physical setting” in the development of peoples historically (including their wealth differences and their different skill and professional biases). He’s also studied and written extensively on the influence of an anti-intellectual sub-culture amongst some African-Americans today.
In Race, Culture, and Equality Thomas Sowell explores historic examples of wealth disparity between races and cultures explainable at least in part by geography:
The physical settings in which races, nations, and civilizations have evolved have had major impacts on the cultures developed within those settings.
… Too often the influence of geography on wealth is thought of narrowly, in terms of natural resources that directly translate into wealth, such as oil in the Middle East or gold in South Africa. But, important as such differences in natural wealth are, geography influences even more profound cultural differences among the people themselves.
… When the Spaniards invaded the Canary Islands in the fifteenth century, they found people of a Caucasian race living at a stone-age level.
… For example, when the British first crossed the Atlantic and confronted the Iroquois on the eastern seaboard of what is today the United States, they were able to steer across the ocean in the first place because they used rudders invented in China, they could navigate on the open seas with the help of trigonometry invented in Egypt, their calculations were done with numbers invented in India, and their general knowledge was preserved in letters invented by the Romans.
But the Iroquois could not draw upon the knowledge of the Aztecs or the Incas, whose very existence they had no way of knowing.
The clash was not between the culture created by the British versus the culture created by the Iroquois. It was a clash between cultural developments drawn from vast regions of the world versus cultural developments from a much more circumscribed area.
The cultural opportunities were unequal and the outcomes were unequal. Geography has never been egalitarian.
… In controversies over “nature versus nurture” as causes of economic and other disparities among peoples and civilizations, nature is often narrowly conceived as genetic differences. Yet geography is also nature – and its patterns are far more consistent with history than are genetic theories.
China, for example, was for many centuries the leading nation in the world – technologically, organizationally, and in many other ways. Yet, in more recent centuries, China has been overtaken and far surpassed by Europe.
Yet neither region of the world has changed genetically to any extent that would account for this dramatic change in their relative positions. This historic turnaround also shows that geographic limitations do not mean geographic determinism, for the geography of the two regions likewise underwent no such changes as could account for the reversal of their respective positions in the world.
… If Africans had immigrated voluntarily to the Western Hemisphere, instead of in bondage, is there any reason to believe that their earnings would have achieved an equality that the Slavic immigrants failed to achieve?
There is no question that Africans and their descendants faced the additional barrier of color prejudice, but can we measure its effects by assuming that black people would have had the same income and wealth as white people in the absence of this factor – especially in view of the large disparities among different groups of white immigrants, not to mention the rise of some non-white groups such as Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans to incomes above the national average?
… Scotland was for centuries known for its illiteracy, poverty, and lack of elementary cleanliness. Yet, from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, most of the leading intellectual pioneers of Britain were Scots, and Scots also become prominent in business, banking, medicine, and engineering– not only in Britain but around the world.
It took centuries for the English to absorb the cultural advances brought by such conquerors as the Romans and the Normans and by such immigrants as the Huguenots, Germans, Jews, and others who played a major role in developing the British economy.
Their early dependence on outsiders was painfully demonstrated when the Romans pulled out of Britain in the fifth century, in order to go defend their threatened empire on the continent, and the British economy and political structure both collapsed.
Yet ultimately – more than a thousand years later – the British rose to lead the world into the industrial revolution and controlled an empire containing one-fourth of the land area of the earth and one-fourth of the human race.
If there wasn’t such a taboo in this area I’m confident we might get a wider range of scientific studies and more double-checking of the work of researchers such as Richard Lynn.
So, is there a measurable, significant difference between the IQ scores of Blacks compared with Whites?
Richard E. Nisbett writes:
The question of whether IQ differences between blacks and whites have a genetic basis goes back at least a thousand years, to the time when the Moors invaded Europe.
The Moors speculated that Europeans might be congenitally incapable of abstract thought
Research by Thomas Sowell has shown “that the average IQ difference between black and white Americans [is] 15 points …” but he goes on to say, there is “nothing unusual” about this range of difference.
And that “Similar IQ differences could be found between various culturally isolated white communities and the general society, both in the United States and in Britain.”
Thomas Sowell also discusses the research of Professor James R. Flynn who was “able to discover that whole nations had, in effect, had their IQs rising over the decades by about 20 points.”
This is known as the “Flynn Effect“.
Thomas Sowell concludes that:
Since the black-white difference in IQ is 15 points, this means that an even larger IQ difference has existed between different generations of the same race, making it no longer necessary to attribute IQ differences of this magnitude to genetics.
In the half century between 1945 and 1995, black Americans’ raw test scores rose by the equivalent of 16 IQ points.
In other words, black Americans’ test score results in 1995 would have given them an average IQ just over 100 in 1945.
And for an interesting clincher, he adds:
Incidentally, Professor Jensen pointed out back in 1969 that black children’s IQ scores rose by 8 to 10 points after he met with them informally in a play room and then tested them again after they were more relaxed around him.
Let me also add this very interesting bit of history from Race, Culture, and Equality
… Back in 1899, when the schools of Washington, D.C. were racially segregated and discrimination was rampant, there were four academic high schools in the city – three white and one black.
When standardized tests were given that year, the black academic high school scored higher than two of the three white academic high schools
… That same high school was scoring at or above the national average on IQ tests during the 1930s and 1940s.
Yet its physical plant was inadequate and its average class size was higher than that in the city’s white high schools
… Today, that same school has a much better physical plant and per-pupil expenditures in the District of Columbia are among the highest in the nation. But the students’ test scores are among the lowest.
Nor was this school unique in having had higher academic achievements during a period when it seemingly lacked the prerequisites of achievement and yet fell far behind in a later period when these supposed prerequisites were more plentiful.
But what about IQ (Intelligence Quotient) itself? What does it actually measure? How useful is it? What are its limitations?
Here are some excerpts taken from Stalking the Wild Taboo quoting the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association (August 7, 1995)
Intelligence tests were originally devised by Alfred Binet to measure children’s ability to succeed in school. They do in fact predict school performance fairly well …
… They also predict scores on school achievement tests, designed to measure knowledge of the curriculum.
But what has doing well or badly at school have to do with doing well or badly in life?
What about success at work? Can your IQ score tell me anything about how well you might do in your career?
Job performance … Although these correlations can sometimes be modified by changing methods of training or aspects of the job itself, intelligence test scores are at least weakly related to job performance in most settings …. such tests predict considerably less than half the variance of job-related measures.
Other individual characteristics such as interpersonal skills, aspects of personality, etc., are probably of equal or greater importance, but at this point we do not have equally reliable instruments to measure them.
I’m not surprised.
The other thing is that there are many high paying jobs these days which require applicants to have a certain level of schooling before the applicant can even get to the interview.
Do you know anyone who has high academic qualifications (and therefore presumably a high IQ) but is otherwise hopeless in the real world?
Of course you do!
Since 1980 I’ve been running non-profit workshops teaching creative thinking skills to adults. The worst students I ever had were members of Mensa (which seeks to “identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity” and which you can join if you’re in the top 2 percent IQ range) and academics. Housewives, plumbers, small business owners, freelance artists, immigrants, and people on the dole did much better than the high IQ-ers every time and tended to be more fun to be around.
They displayed far greater ability in challenging their own premises, coming at issues from different perspectives, reaching practical solutions, invention and innovation. In other words in most of the abilities that actually matter in the real world.
A good friend of mine, now retired, told me recently about how when he was first hiring people for the company he worked for, he’d give preference to those with the highest Highschool or University results. Well, it didn’t take long for him to figure out that on the job effectiveness and school results bore little if any relation.
He was soon cured of his original approach and took to not even glancing at an applicant’s school results. Instead he devised his own questions and interview criteria. This proved to be much more successful in getting the right men for the jobs.
Back to the American Psychological Association report:
In summary, intelligence test scores predict a wide range of social outcomes with varying degrees of success. Correlations are highest for school achievement, where they account for about a quarter of the variance. They are somewhat lower for job performance …
In general, intelligence tests measure only some of the many personal characteristics that are relevant to life in contemporary America. Those characteristics are never the only influence on outcomes, though in the case of school performance they may well be the strongest.
Heredity or environment?
It is obvious that the cultural environment – how people live, what they value, what they do – has a significant effect on the intellectual skills developed by individuals.
Which suggests to me that personal attitudes and motivations are also important factors.
More on the low relevance of IQ scores in determining on-the-job abilities …
[earlier] we noted that intelligence test scores predict occupational level, not only because some occupations require more intelligence than others but also because admission to many professions depends on test scores in the first place.
Told ya! Told ya! Told ya!
How the workplace may affect intelligence:
…. workplaces may affect the intelligence of those who work in them. Kohn and Schooler (1973), who interviewed some 3000 men in various occupations (farmers, managers, machinists, porters…), argued that more “complex” jobs produce more “intellectual flexibility” in the individuals who hold them.
… In fact many interventions have been shown to raise test scores and mental ability ‘in the short run” (i.e. while the program itself was in progress), but long-run gains have proved more elusive.
One noteworthy example of (at least short-run) success was the Venezuelan Intelligence Project (Hermstein et al, 1986), in which hundreds of seventh-grade children from underprivileged backgrounds in that country were exposed to an extensive, theoretically based curriculum focused on thinking skills. The intervention produced substantial gains on a wide range of tests, but there has been no follow-up.
I believe the above is probably a reference to the use of Edward de Bono’s CoRT (Cognitive Research Trust) thinking program, which I’ll comment on briefly in a moment.
Returning to the American Psychological Association report, more on how creating an intellectually stimulating environment can improve IQ scores …
… One of the more successful is the Carolina Abecedarian Project (Campbell & Ramey, 1994), which provided a group of children with enriched environments from early infancy through preschool and also maintained appropriate controls. The test scores of the enrichment-group children were already higher than those of controls at age two; they were still some five points higher at age twelve, seven years after the end of the intervention.
Importantly, the enrichment group also outperformed the controls in academic achievement.
… environmental factors certainly contribute to the overall variance of psychometric intelligence.
The Flynn Effect ….
Continuously Rising Test Scores: Perhaps the most striking of all environmental effects is the steady worldwide rise in intelligence test performance. Although many psychometricians had noted these gains, it was James Mynn (1984, 1987) who first described them systematically.
His analysis shows that performance has been going up ever since testing began.
The “Flynn Effect” is now very well documented, not only in the United States but in many other technologically advanced countries. The average gain is about three IQ points per decade; more than a full standard deviation since, say, 1940.
… The sheer extent of these increases is remarkable, and the rate of gain may even be increasing.
The scores of nineteen-year-olds in the Netherlands, for example, went up more than 8 points – over half a standard deviation – between 1972 and 1982. What’s more, the largest gains appear on the types of tests that were specifically designed to be free of cultural influence (Flynn, 1987).
The consistent IQ gains documented by Flynn seem much too large to result from simple increases in test sophistication.
Their cause is presently unknown, but three interpretations deserve our consideration.
Perhaps the most plausible of these is based on the striking cultural differences between successive generations. Daily life and occupational experience both seem more “complex” (Kohn & Schooler, 1973) today than in the time of our parents and grandparents. The population is increasingly urbanized; television exposes us to more information and more perspectives on more topics than ever before;
And of course, since 1995 when this report came out, the internet has become a very strong influence as well as other information, education and entertainment technologies and tools, thereby providing even more tools for enriching intellectual and sensory experience.
… children stay in school longer; almost everyone seems to be encountering new forms of experience. These changes in the complexity of life may have produced corresponding changes in complexity of mind, and hence in certain psychometric abilities.
A different hypothesis attributes the gains to modern improvements in nutrition. [Richard] Lynn (1990) points out that large nutritionally-based increases in height have occurred during the same period as the IQ gains: perhaps there have been increases in brain size as well. As we have seen, however, the effects of nutrition on intelligence are themselves not firmly established.
The third interpretation addresses the very definition of intelligence.
[James Robert] Flynn himself believes that real intelligence – whatever it may be – cannot have increased as much as these data would suggest.
Then what use is intelligence testing? Isn’t it suppose to measure innate intelligence rather than what can be learned through practice?
Consider, for example, the number of individuals who have IQ scores of 140 or more. (This is slightly above the cutoff used by L.M. Terman (1925) in his famous longitudinal study of “genius.”)
Don’t you hate the way that word “genius” is bandied about?
Are you OR your cat a real genius?
In 1952 only 0.38% of Dutch test takers had IQs over 140;
in 1982, scored by the same norms, 9. 12% exceeded this figure!
Judging by these criteria, the Netherlands should now be experiencing “…a cultural renaissance too great to be overlooked” (Flynn, 1987, p.187).
So too should France, Norway, the United States, and many other countries. Because Flynn (1987) finds this conclusion implausibie or absurd, he argues that what has risen cannot be intelligence itself but only a minor sort of “abstract problem solving ability.”
The issue remains unresolved.
Last night I watched the last bit of that Seinfeld episode in which Elaine helps George cheat on an IQ test. She usually scores over 140. This time she beat 150. Another genius!!
Now, what the APA report says about the IQ scores of African Americans …
The relatively low mean of the distribution of African-American intelligence test scores has been discussed for many years.
Although studies using different tests and samples yield a range of results, the Black mean is typically about one standard deviation (about 15 points) below that of Whites (Loehlin et al, 1975; Jensen, 1980; Reynolds et al, 1987). The difference is largest on those tests (verbal or non-verbal) that best represent the general intelligence factor g (Jensen, 1985).
It is possible, however, that this differential is diminishing.
In an American Enterprise Institute debate (November 2006) on this issue between James Flynn and Charles Murray. James Flynn concludes: “A balanced look at the evidence indicated that the racial IQ gap is not of genetic origin.”
According to Boykin (1986, 1994), there is a fundamental conflict between certain aspects of African-American culture on the one hand and the implicit cultural commitments of most American schools on the other. “When children are ordered to do their own work, arrive at their own individual answers, work only with their own materials, they are being sent cultural messages.
When children come to believe that getting up and moving about the classroom is inappropriate, they are being sent powerful cultural messages.
When children come to confine their ‘learning’ to consistently bracketed time periods, when they are consistently prompted to tell what they know and not how they feel, when they are led to believe that they are completely responsible for their own success and failure, when they are required to consistently put forth considerable effort for effort’s sake on tedious and personally irrelevant tasks … then they are pervasively having cultural lessons imposed on them” (1994, pp. 180-181).
An area I have a special interest in is the improvement of thinking skills through direct training.
Below, are the results of teaching the Cognitive Research Trust (CoRT) Thinking programme – developed by Edward de Bono – measured by my good friend, Dr John Edwards, formerly Associate Professor of Education, James Cook University of North Queensland.
The “CoRT Group” column summarises the results achieved by the group who was taught a segment of the CoRT programme.
Test A – Test of learning abilities
Test B – Study skills
Test C – Mathematics skills
Test D – Language vocabulary
Test E – Language comprehension
Let me add that I’ve read many studies over the last 20 years showing how teaching the CoRT material has contributed to dramatic improvements in thinking skills. Also, I’ve read of studies indicating that CoRT is able to cut across many cultural biases and limitations. I’ll try to dig up some of this research data on CoRT later this year and see if we can have it available online.
Income, Wealth Creators, and IQ?
In my opinion, the average annual income of high IQ scoring people doesn’t actually tell us much about wealth creation.
The outstanding wealth creators of a society earn quite a bit more than the high IQ averages eg. Billionaires. (Some of these billionaires are non-White by the way.)
Consider this table from the Wikipedia showing figures from 1997:
|IQ||>75||75 – 90||90 – 110||110 – 125||>125|
|Values are the average earnings (1993 US Dollars) of each IQ sub-population.|
Compare that puny $36,000 per year (1997 dollars) income for the over-125 IQ-ers with the world’s top billionaires. Not only are many of these billionaires rich, their enterprises often pay the wages of those in the above table.
I’d like to know how many of the above tabled sample are small or big business owners or entrpreneurs – versus employees. Entrepreneurs are of course the key to creating wealth in a society. Is Entrepreneurship and IQ connected?
Is there a correlation between IQ and being a billionaire? Are all billionaires in some measurable, mega-high IQ bracket? I don’t know, but I really doubt it. I wonder how many of these billionaires did poorly at school and how they’d score on IQ tests.
The above table measures only those who were measured. What kinds of individuals are missing from those measurements?
Intelligence tests don’t measure creative ability or the ability and motivation to invent, challenge, dissent. Or to fight against the odds or to go against the tide. Yet these are often the sorts of qualities possessed by those who move mountains.
And of course higher school scores – which do seem to correlate well with higher IQ scores – are often prerequisites when being considered for higher paying jobs in the first place. Does this fact skew the results and over-represent the role IQ level plays in income earning ability?
Are there not-rich individuals who have a higher IQ than the world’s richest money earners? Are there high earning individuals in IQ brackets below 125? Does higher IQ also have an income-lowering effect? i.e. Is there anything about IQ which – even if it on the one hand contributes to increased income – on the other hand leads to lowering the capacity or motivation to earn more?
Given the gaping flaws in race/IQ arguments, could we make a case that race/IQ proponents have lower than average IQs?
But seriously, consider that IQ tests are largely about identifying patterns. For example:
Perhaps IQ tests are best at measuring the ability to find “correlations” rather than ability to unearth causes. Identifying causes often involves escaping from patterns – especially one’s one thinking patterns – and it involves inductive thinking, and the ability to develop hypotheses – none of which IQ tests (or schooling for that matter) seem to deal with very well from what I can see.
And then there’s “The Intelligence Trap” — a term coined by Edward de Bono:
A highly intelligent person will often take a certain view on a subject and then use his or her thinking just to support that view.
This will be done with arguments that make a great deal of sense. But the more able a thinker is to support a point of view the less inclined is that thinker actually to explore the subject.
Since the original point of view may be based on prejudice or habit, this failure to explore the subject is bad thinking. The ability to support a particular point of view never removes the necessity to look for other points of view.
… So we sometimes find that the intelligent person is trapped into one point of view by his or her ability to defend that view.
Now, a few more notes regarding Black/African-American subculture.
Thomas Sowell quotes from Professor McWhorter’s book, Losing the Race: “According to McWhorter, anti-intellectualism in the black culture keeps many black youngsters from doing their best.”
Thomas Sowell has also written quite a bit on this Black Identity issue and how the African-American subculture actively holds back intellectual development in his book Black Rednecks – White Liberals. So far I’ve only read excerpts, but it’s powerful stuff. And it effectively demolishes many – if not most – of the fundamental assumptions behind the Low Black IQ supporters.
Dutch Martin in his review of Black Rednecks – White Liberals gives us a peek into some of Thomas Sowell’s powerful insights.
Dutch Martin: Sowell begins by tracing the origins of black ghetto culture all the way back to the British Isles from which white American Southerners immigrated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
These particular immigrants, from the socially turbulent regions of the northern borderlands of England and the highlands of Scotland, brought with them a set of pre-existing attitudes, values and behavioral patterns which, as Sowell points out, had nothing to do with the already existing American institution of slavery.
These pre-existing attitudes formed the basis of a “redneck” or “cracker” culture, a culture consisting of “an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship … and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery.”
This was passed down to the white Southern descendants of these northern English and Scottish immigrants, and would soon become the cultural heritage of many Southern blacks.
Sowell points out that although most Southern blacks and whites moved away from the redneck culture over the generations given its destructively counterproductive effects, it survives today among poorest and least educated ghetto blacks and, since the 1960s, has been revered by today’s white liberal elite. Many liberal intellectuals celebrate black ghetto culture as “authentically” black and denounce any criticism of it (or any attempt to change it) as “blaming the victim.”
The Conservative Book Service, in its review, highlights the following from Thomas Sowell’s book …
Lazy, lawless, and sexually immoral – that’s how Northern employers and cops regarded poor Southern “rednecks” as late as the 1940s and 1950s. Many Southern blacks, Thomas Sowell explains, picked up the same habits. But while both white and black Southerners have moved up in class and affluence, Sowell notes that ghettos are still filled with “black rednecks” who have never escaped these self-destructive patterns.
… And summarises some “Wisdom from Thomas Sowell” taken from his book:
Proof that the peculiar subculture of Southern whites and that of blacks did not result from slavery
Why the low test scores of some European immigrant children cannot be automatically attributed to their being new to the United States — and hard facts about how some kinds of cultures tend to produce lower mental test scores, whether the people in those cultures are black or white, American or European
How elements of transplanted Southern culture came to be seen as immutable features of a distinctive “black identity” — despite their mirroring very similar cultural patterns among Southern whites in times past
Evidence that black pioneers and leaders of the early twentieth century were not just “the cream of the crop” but emerged from a culture very different from that in which most blacks were raised and educated
How racial barriers erected by “black rednecks” prevented black cultural elites from separating themselves as much as they would have liked from lower-class blacks
Lee H. Walker’s review in Public Policy Research has this to say:
Sowell’s greatest contribution with his latest book is debunking the assumptions that “Blacks can’t do college level work or score as high as whites on tests.”
Supporting Sowell’s research is a study published last year that indicated that most of the Black alumni of Harvard were from either the West Indies or Africa or were the children of West Indian or African immigrants.
[Quoting Thomas Sowell]:
“These people are the same race as American Blacks, which greatly outnumber either or both. If this disparity is not due to race, it is equally hard to explain by racism. To a racist, one Black is pretty much the same as another.
“But, even if a racist somehow let his racism stop at the water’s edge, how could he tell which student was the son or daughter of someone born in the West Indies or in Africa, especially since their American-born off-spring probably do not even have a foreign accent? What then could explain such large disparities in demographic “representation” among these three groups? Perhaps they have different patterns of behavior and different cultures and values behind their behavior.
“Slavery also cannot explain the difference between American Blacks and West Indian Blacks living in the United States, because the ancestors of both were enslaved. When race, racism and slavery all fail the empirical test, what is left?”
Again Sowell’s answer is culture.
In an article reproduced at Jewish World Review, Thomas Sowell continues this discussion …
I came out of that Southern culture and could have been considered one of the black rednecks. More important, vast amounts of historical research by dedicated scholars have shown sharp differences between the white population of the antebellum South and the white population of the North.
… While those differences have eroded over the generations, they have not completely disappeared among the poorest and least educated blacks living today in urban ghettos, North and South. Many of the differences between blacks and whites nationwide today are strikingly similar to the differences between Southern whites and Northern whites in the 19th and early 20th century.
What are those differences?
They include rates of violence, rates of sexual promiscuity, and — most explosive of all — differences in intellectual development.
The biggest taboo that people are most afraid to talk about is that blacks do much worse on mental tests or in schools and colleges.
… antebellum Southern whites likewise lagged behind Northern whites in intellectual or educational achievement, though this could not be explained by race or racism or other factors used to explain similarly lagging intellectual and educational performances among blacks today.
As late as the First World War, whites from a number of Southern states scored lower on mental tests than blacks from some Northern states.
Another problem I came across in my investigations was that the response of many of those critical of race/intelligence research and results based their arguments on faulty concepts – such as considering those against race-based affirmative action programs or multi-culturalism to be “racist” – and often resorted to great bursts of outraged emotionalism.
One of the best examples of this problem is the Southern Poverty Law Center which has done some good work over the years but which includes the following in their list of those allegedly promoting bigotry either directly or indirectly:
The American Enterprise Institute (where, by the way, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is a Resident Fellow)
While its roots are in pro-business values [Prodos: This characterization is quite shallow and misses the point of what AEI is actually about.) AEI in recent years has sponsored scholars whose views are seen by many [Prodos: “seen by many”?! Doesn’t that mean “not seen by some”?] as bigoted or even racist.
For example, Dinesh D’Souza, the author of The End of Racism … has suggested that civil rights activists actually help perpetuate racial tensions and division in the United States, and has even called for the repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Here’s what Dinesh D’Souza says: “Am I calling for a repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Actually, yes. The law should be changed so that its nondiscrimination provisions apply only to the government.”
I found that nearly all of the Racialist, Racist, White Pride, and White Supremacy groups I studied were opposed to race-based affirmative action regulations. They considered such laws to be a form of racial discrimination and a breach of the basic principle of equal treatment for all under the law.
I agree with this view. I also feel that this sort of state-sponsored discrimination contributes somewhat to the growth of Racialist and Racist movements. It gives them a strong and legitimate cause of protest.
And it’s another example of the dangers of forming allegiences based on what you are AGAINST instead of what you are FOR.
Dinesh D’Souza adds: legal scholar Richard Epstein argues that “discrimination laws represent the antithesis of freedom of contract,” Mr. Epstein asserts that people should be free to hire and fire people for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. He challenges the strongly held belief of many Americans that they have a right not to be discriminated against: In a free society, he counters, they have a right to enter into voluntary transactions that other parties should be at liberty to accept or refuse.
Back to the Southern Poverty Law Center …
After his book was published, black conservatives Robert Woodson and Glenn Loury denounced it – Woodson released a statement saying it “fans the flames of racial animosity” — and broke their own ties with AEI.
What arguments have Robert Woodson and Glenn Loury made against Dinesh D’Souza’s book? I haven’t been able to find them so far in my research.
And what sort of “black conservative” was Glenn Loury, anyway? ‘Cause he ain’t one these days!
Chris DeMuth, president of the American Enterprise Institute, writes about the resignation of Robert Woodson and Glenn Loury in this brief letter. An excerpt …
Messrs. Loury and Woodson’s action was more than a resignation and more than an intellectual argument with an erstwhile compatriot.
It was a carefully staged political event aimed at anathematizing a book and its author, centered on the demand that others in the conservative camp denounce and repudiate Dinesh D’Souza on their say-so (“just as Fuhrman’s legal advocates dropped him as a client,” as their press release put it).
I haven’t yet been able to find any specific criticisms of Dinesh D’Souza’s book by Robert Woodson online.
Another AEI-sponsored scholar, Charles Murray, is more controversial. Murray, who has a Bradley Foundation research fellowship at AEI, is the co-author of The Bell Curve, a book that argues that blacks and Latinos are genetically inferior to whites and that most social welfare and affirmative action programs are doomed to failure as a result. The book, described as a reheated “stale stew of racial eugenics” by historian Godfrey Hodgson, cites the work of some 16 researchers financed by the racist Pioneer Fund.
David Horowitz is Editor-in-Chief of superb online publication, FrontPage Magazine.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says of David Horowitz:
Although he makes much of his past working for civil rights for blacks and others, he more recently has blamed slavery on “black Africans … abetted by dark-skinned Arabs” – a selective rewriting of history.
He also claims that “there never was an anti-slavery movement until white Christians — Englishmen and Americans — created one.”
That, of course, is false.
Critics note that Horowitz is ignoring everything from the slave revolt led by Spartacus against the Romans and Moses‘ rebellion against the Pharaoh to the role of American blacks in the abolition movement.
David Horowitz replies to SPLC here tearing the above baloney to shreds.
Another David Horowitz project is DiscoverTheNetwork.org which on this page sums up what’s wrong with the SPLC.
Another group that, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, helps to spread bigotry is The Ludwig von Mises Institute founded by libertarian, Lew Rockwell, which it claims, among other things …
… promotes a type of Darwinian view of society in which elites are seen as natural and any intervention by the government on behalf of social justice is destructive.
The Black/White IQ Gap ….
Reason magazine on the Black/White IQ gap
From the American Enterprise Institute symposium: The Black-White IQ Gap: Is It Closing? Will It Ever Go Away? (November 28, 2006)
James Flynn … believes that the data show that the black/white gap is closing—that the average IQ scores of black Americans are rising faster than those of whites.
… Nevertheless, Flynn noted, in the US the tendency is for the black/white IQ score gap to widen with age. According to Flynn, the average IQ for black four-year olds is 95.4, which drops to 89.4 at age 14 and widens further to 83.4 by age 24.
… Flynn further observed that blacks generally do worse on vocabulary tests and he suggested that a cultural difference might explain it.
… Finally, Flynn believes that the black adolescent subculture that devalues education is largely responsible for widening the IQ gap. “It is more probable than not that the black/white IQ gap results from environmental factors,” he declared.
… Flynn reiterated that he thinks that the main problem is that the cognitively impoverished black teenage subculture must be transformed.
As an example, Flynn referenced his own background as Irish-American which he claimed also did not value intellectual achievement. He then offered an anecdote in which he contrasted the attitudes of Chinese, Jewish and black families toward academic accomplishment.
According to Flynn, Chinese children come home and sit down and do their homework and their parents help. In Jewish households there is a lot of screaming, but eventually the kids sit down and do their homework.
In black families, a kid sits down to do his homework and Dad comes home and says, “Hey, why don’t we go out back and shoot a couple of baskets.” “Children can tell the difference in parental enthusiasm for sports versus books,” he noted.
As a self-avowed socialist, Flynn is in favor of dramatically expanding all sorts of color-blind state interventions. For example, he wants government drop-in centers where parents of every race and class could bring their children for educational enrichment. He also said that he wanted to see more book clubs in the black community.
Charles Murray noted that the black/white IQ score gap did close somewhat during the 20th century, but that the data show that the narrowing stalled sometime in the 1970s. “The remaining gap will be with us indefinitely,” he concluded.
Flynn found that the black/white IQ score gap narrowed by 5.67 points between 1972 and 2002. Thus the IQ gap has fallen from 15 points to about 10 ten points.
… [Charles Murray] … on the other hand, does not believe that there is much evidence that government educational interventions beyond some reasonably adequate level can permanently boost IQ test scores. Murray’s preferred policy is to forget group averages and encourage private and public institutions to treat people as individuals.
Flynn and Murray agree that the debate over how best to analyze the data is not settled.
One more item on this issue:
An excerpt from Black Americans Reduce the Racial IQ Gap: Evidence from Standardization Samples By William T. Dickens & James R. Flynn …
… blacks have gained 5 or 6 IQ points on non-Hispanic whites between 1972 and 2002.
… The constancy of the black/white IQ gap is a myth.
Blacks have gained 5 or 6 IQ points on whites over the last 30 years.
Neither changes in the ancestry of those classified as black nor changes in those who identify as black can explain more than a small fraction of this gain.
Therefore, environment has been responsible.
The last two decades have seen both positive and negative developments: gains in occupational status and school funding have been accompanied by more black preschoolers in single-parent homes and lower income in those homes
… We believe that further black environmental progress would engender further black IQ gains.
Racism versus Racialism. What’s the difference (if any)?
The terms racism and racialism and the terms racist and racialist are often used interchangeably. However, I feel that it is important to distinguish between the racist (using Ayn Rand‘s definition) who ascribes …
… moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage – the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry.
And/or who claims …
… that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical forces beyond his control.
… from the “racialist” who rightly or wrongly describes and explains things on the basis or race or who advocates some sort of non-coercive, voluntary racial segregation or racial purity or who links his self-worth or pride to being of a certain race.
Whereas a racist would, for instance, treat Blacks as inherently and universally dumb or criminal or immoral or subhuman or of lower character or as not possessing/deserving the same political rights or moral worth as a White person …
…. a “racialist” might focus on “White Pride”, White superiority (with regards to attributes such as IQ, rather than character), and on race based advocacy.
Racialism would extend from someone like Richard Lynn, the scientist whose research centers on the identification of racial correlations and race as a cause of social/cultural differences, and who advocates a public policy non-coercive eugenics ….
…. right through to many of the White Pride advocates which would include some (but by no means all) modern day Ku Klux Klan members. Such racialists may not be anti Black (or anti non-White) race. They may just be pro White race. Many are reacting to anti-White racism by some non-White groups and many have have a sort of anti-anti-White position (for example, reacting against Black racists) rather than an anti-non-White position (for example, hating Blacks in general).
In my research I found a small but significant number of “White Pride” and “White Supremacy” and “White Nationalist” advocates supporting (or thinking they were supporting) Capitalism, libertarianism, Ron Paul, etc., and debating with self-professed National Socialists and Neo-Nazis who were opposed to Capitalism.
My spectrum of what constitutes “racialism” isn’t precise enough however because it doesn’t sufficiently differentiate those who study possible racial differences from those who advocate social policies on the basis of racial differences.
So, I need to give more thought to this.
This next excerpt from White Knights of America, I would place on the border of racialist and racist, teetering and ready to tip over into a sort of soft racism:
Our Racialism is not ‘racism’!
It is, rather, ethnic solidarity amoungst European Americans … the original American Nationalists and Founders!
In America, and throughout the world, our Race is facing extinction through low birth rates, suicide, drugs, miscegenation, inter-racial marriages, and governmental systems that place White Americans at a disadvantage on social, cultural, and economic issues.
It is our biological and cultural duty to defend our Honor, Dignity, and right to self-determination.
Our aim is to defend our Race … not to offend other races!
We Honor diversity of the races through racial seperatism. This is out of respect and regard for Nature and the continued harmony of all races.
Todays ‘politically correct’ idea of multi-culturalism only seeks to blend the races and cultures into one submissive mass of humanity.
We Honor our European culture that built this Nation which has produced the greatest achievers of any nation.
We are loyal to our European spirit and listen to the voice of our bloodlines. We stand to preserve our ancestral languages, culture, folklore, and history against ‘multi-culturalists’, ‘political correctness’, capitalists, and ‘pop-culture’.
We seek a Chivalrous revolution amoungst our People and the return to the true European ways of life!
We respect sexual equality.
Our People must once again find their Natural roles of Being.
We especially oppose homosexuality and liberalism!
Only through Racial Honor can we reclaim our People and pull ourselves up … out of the mud!!
Pretty messy stuff and there seems to be plenty of it going on out there in the community.
Now contrast the above borderline “racialist” statement with this openly and proudly racist statement by former White Aryan Resistance (W.A.R.) member, Wyatt Kaldenberg:
A Nigger radio station from Los Angeles was broadcasting a preacher’s speech …
… The Nigger claimed that this meant the death of the White Race. More and more White women are refusing to give birth to the White man’s babies.
The talking ape went on to say that it is even worse for the White Race, because not only is the amount of babies White women are having the lowest it has ever been, but, also, 30% of all babies White women gave birth to in 1996 were non-white.
… He told his fellow primates that there will be no Race War for the control of the West, because in one or two generations, there won’t be enough young Whites to defend any White nation. The Devil will lose his land by default.
… The survival of the White Race is the paramount issue of our age, but our intellectuals are not monitoring the condition of our race. People who can’t function in the real world become teachers, and people who are too stupid to teach become intellectuals. Most of the intellectuals in the Resistance are bogged down in the defensive position of Holocaust Revisionism.
They feel that we need to argue with the Jews over how many scum-bag criminals can fit in an oven. Who else but the intellectuals would come up with such a stupid platform as the Holocaust debate? Holocaust Revisionism helps the Kikes control the international debate by focusing on Jewish suffering.
… So, what is the future for the White race?
60 Minutes had a program on the expiring fertility of Russians after the fall of Communism. American-style Capitalism has not brought the promised Utopia, and poverty has made the abortion clinics rich.
… I don’t know, nor do I care, how many Jews died in the Holocaust. If Hitler did kill six million Jews, I won’t lose any sleep over it. The Jews have been kicked out of nearly every civilized nation on Earth.
If the Jews weren’t so evil, people wouldn’t kill them.
If any one is to blame for anti-Semitism, Hitler, and the Holocaust, it’s the Jews.
If the Jews weren’t so damn anti-White, there wouldn’t be a need to kill them. I don’t care that their religion is odd. I don’t care that Irv Rubin has a face like a horse. I don’t care that Jews own liquor stores in the Black community. I don’t care that they steal land from the Sand-Niggers and that their soldiers gun down unarmed Muslim children.
However, I do care that the Jews attack my people with the fury of a rabid wolf. For the 5,000 years of hate crimes the Jews have inflicted upon the White race, Adolf Hitler would have been justified in killing 6 million Jews.
Do you really need to say anything more about the Holocaust? If Hitler killed 6 millions Jews, then this proves there really is a God. If Hitler killed 6 million Jews, then it was an evil necessity, and I hate the Jews for making the Holocaust necessary.
Hitler was a kindly Uncle, provoked into action by Jewish wickedness. How odd of the Jews not to have learned anything from the Holocaust.
It’s not healthy to attack the Aryan race. After centuries of White backlash, the Jews still haven’t got it through their thick skulls that to mess with the White race means death, but what else can we expect from a race filled with intellectuals?
Quite a contrast, yes?
My Assessment of the Ku Klux Klan
All the disparate KKK organisations of today as well as the original KKK of 1865 as well as the revived KKK of 1915 are all incompatible with Capitalist Ideals such as individual rights, equality before the law, and the deeper principles of individualism and non-initiation of force.
Claims made by some that the KKK was necessary at various times throughout history to keep Blacks in line or within the law are unsupported by the research I’ve done. In fact quite the opposite seems to be the reality.
Wikipedia article on the Ku Klux Klan
Here is a summary of the 1915 silent film, The Birth of a Nation (also known as The Clansman), which revitalized the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th Century.
About the Ku Klux Klan in the Reconstruction Era
History of the Ku Klux Klan at Spartacus Educational.
Read an interview by Liberator.net with Jeff Berry, Imperial Wizard of The American Knights – which my research indicates is the most active Ku Klux Klan group in America today.
Jeff Berry: The Klan began in 1865 … It was a fraternal organization that helped widows and children after The Confederate War. The Klan settled disputes concerning personal property, like getting back land, clothing, and gold.
It had nothing to do with Blacks.
This is not correct. To read about the original KKK, its goals, methods, and activities visit Spartacus Education.
… The reason The Klan is in existence is for equal rights. We’re not against Blacks.
We are not a Hitler group. We are not a White supremicist group. We are Christian, White separatists.
And what does all this “equal rights” and non-hate come down to?
When Liberator.net asked: “Should people be handled differently based on race?” Jeff Berry replied “No.”
Actually, the full answer was:
No. But I believe people should breed within their own tribe.
This sort of muddled, contradictory stuff is rampant amongst White Pride groups. I’ll probably write more about it some other time.
The claim that “Western society was created by Whites.”
A member of White Nationalist/White Pride group, StormFront.org writes:
The fabric and structure of American society was created by White people who came from European roots.
… It was our White race that peopled and powered the growth of the United States, and all of the important sociological features that made her great.
So, is it the least bit surprising that in this land that we built, we should have privilege over and beyond what any other people have? Of course not!
This sort of view is common among both racists and racialists.
Even if it was true that those who created American or European or Western society or culture were White, that doesn’t mean those of other races have not contributed in some measure or tried to contribute.
Nor does it mean those of other races are inherently incapable of creating a Western type social/political system or developing advanced technology or bringing about an Industrial Revolution.
Afterall not all white people created Western culture, only some. Why is that?
Other White people actively thwarted scientific and technical advances as well as the promotion and defense of rights.
There have been plenty of White people who have caused enormous material, political, intellectual, spiritual destruction. Shouldn’t the racialists and racists also take credit for that?
As Ayn Rand wrote in For The New Intellectual:
Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind dreaded.
But thereafter men had fire to keep them warm, to cook their food, to light their caves.
He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had lifted darkness off the earth.
Centuries later, the first man invented the wheel. He was probably torn on the rack he had taught his brothers to build. He was a considered a transgressor who ventured into forbidden territory. But thereafter, men could travel past any horizon. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had opened the roads of the world.
That man, the unsubmissive and first, stands in the opening chapter of every legend mankind has recorded about his beginning.
It is individuals who create. The capacity for creativity is an attribute of the individual.
And, as we can gather from Ayn Rand’s notes, “white” individuals living in a “white” society, who created, innovated, and discovered the new, were persecuted by, who? Their fellow “whites” of course.
There have always been and there continues to be and there always will be independent, courageous minds within every group of individuals – as well as those who are timid and those who are destructive.
Again from Ayn Rand:
Modern racists attempt to prove the superiority or inferiority of a given race by the historical achievements of some of its members.
The frequent historical spectacle of a great innovator who, in his lifetime, is jeered, denounced, obstructed, persecuted by his countrymen, and then, a few years after his death, is enshrined in a national monument and hailed as a proof of greatness of the German (or French or Italian or Cambodian) race – is as revolting a spectacle of collectivist expropriation, perpetrated by racists, as any expropriation of material wealth perpetrated by communists.
Being White is not an achievement. No White person ever chose to be White. The great achievers of the White race didn’t choose to be white. There can be no pride where there has been no choice. Pride is earned. It’s not unconditional. It’s not inherited.
I’ll write more about this in a subsequent post including why it can be legitimate to proud of your country or proud of your child’s achievement, even though these are not areas of personal achievement for the person expressing the pride. I’ll also explore further whether or not being proud to be White or proud to be Black can be legitimate.
Do Blacks have a greater genetic/biologically determined tendency towards psychopathy – to being psychopaths?
What exactly is a psychopath?
[psychopaths] … lack empathy and a sense of responsibility, and they manipulate, lie and con others with no regard for anyone’s feelings.
[psychopaths] … exhibit a cluster of distinctive personality traits, the most significant of which is an utter lack of conscience.
Richard Lynn, in his article Race and Psychopathic Personality states:
… blacks are more psychopathic than whites.
And he claims:
Just as racial groups differ in average IQ, they can also differ in average levels of other psychological traits, and racial differences in the tendency towards psychopathic personality would explain virtually all the differences in black and white behavior left unexplained by differences in IQ.
How does he come to this conclusion?
He first defines the standard he will use:
In 1994 the American Psychiatric Association issued a revised Diagnostic Manual listing 11 features of anti-social personality disorder:
(1) inability to sustain consistent work behavior;
(2) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior [this is a euphemism for being a criminal];
(3) irritability and aggressivity, as indicated by frequent physical fights and assaults;
(4) repeated failure to honor financial obligations;
(5) failure to plan ahead or impulsivity;
(6) no regard for truth, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or “conning” others;
(7) recklessness regarding one’s own or others’ personal safety, as indicated by driving while intoxicated or recurrent speeding;
(8) inability to function as a responsible parent;
(9) failure to sustain a monogamous relationship for more than one year;
(10) lacking remorse;
(11) the presence of conduct disorder in childhood
However, leading psychopathy expert, Robert D Hare, in his article, Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Case of Diagnostic Confusion, challenges the use of “antisocial personality disorder” (ASPD) as a criteria for measuring psychopathy:
Traditionally, affective and interpersonal traits such as egocentricity, deceit, shallow affect, manipulativeness, selfishness, and lack of empathy, guilt or remorse, have played a central role in the conceptualization and diagnosis of psychopathy …
In 1980 this tradition was broken with the publication of DSM-III [The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders brought out by the American Psychiatric Association].
Psychopathy – renamed antisocial personality disorder [ASPD] – was now defined by persistent violations of social norms, including lying, stealing, truancy, inconsistent work behavior and traffic arrests.
These external traits, spelled out in DSM-IV – which is the 1994 update of DSM-III – are what Richard Lynn has relied on.
I note however that Richard Lynn says of the list he’s relying on: “This is a useful list. Curiously, however, it fails to include the deficiency of moral sense that is the core of the condition, although this is implicit in virtually every feature of the disorder.”
Back to Robert D Hare:
… Most psychopaths (with the exception of those who somehow manage to plow their way through life without coming into formal or prolonged contact with the criminal justice system) meet the criteria for ASPD, but most individuals with ASPD are not psychopaths.
So even if the Blacks (or whoever) being measured were to test positive on ASPD, this would not establish psychopathy.
… several studies have found that psychopathic offenders … are as much as three or four times more likely to violently reoffend following release from custody than are nonpsychopathic offenders or patients.
ASPD, on the other hand, has relatively little predictive power, at least with forensic populations.
… The differences between psychopathy and ASPD are further highlighted by recent laboratory research involving the processing and use of linguistic and emotional information.
Psychopaths differ dramatically from nonpsychopaths in their performance of a variety of cognitive and affective tasks.
Compared with normal individuals, for example, psychopaths are less able to process or use the deep semantic meanings of language and to appreciate the emotional significance of events or experiences …
… It is worth noting that it is the interpersonal and affective components of psychopathy … that are most discriminating in these experiments.
In sharp contrast, those with a diagnosis of ASPD (in which interpersonal and affective traits play little role) differ little from those without ASPD in their processing of linguistic and emotional material.
… In my book, Without Conscience, I argued that we live in a “camouflage society,” a society in which some psychopathic traits – egocentricity, lack of concern for others, superficiality, style over substance, being “cool,” manipulativeness, and so forth – increasingly are tolerated and even valued.
Hmm … that could be interesting to follow up on.
With respect to the topic of this article, it is easy to see how both psychopaths and those with ASPD could blend in readily with groups holding antisocial or criminal values.
It is more difficult to envisage how those with ASPD could hide out among more prosocial segments of society.
Yet psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of business, politics, law enforcement, government, academia and other social structures (Babiak).
It is the egocentric, cold-blooded and remorseless psychopaths who blend into all aspects of society and have such devastating impacts on people around them who send chills down the spines of law enforcement officers.
I think the above notes effectively challenge Richard Lynn’s hypothesis.
The other matter I’d like to touch on regarding Richard Lynn’s conclusions on Black psychopathy is the method he’s used to show that the overall behaviour of Blacks correlates with the ASPD list.
Under the heading of “Conduct Disorder” …
Lack of honesty is one of the core features of the psychopathic personality, and one measure of this characteristic is the default rates on student loans. [followed by statistics]
This is a pretty dubious connection in my opinion.
A prominent feature of psychopathic personality is a high level of aggression, which is expressed in a number of ways including homicide, robbery, assault, and rape. [followed by statistics]
… the robbery rate for blacks is about twelve times the white rate, while the assault rate is about five times higher. [followed by statistics]
However some studies show that “only a minority of diagnosable psychopaths are violent offenders.”
But this one bowled me over completely:
… Robert Hare, another leading expert, writes that “psychopaths view people as little more than objects to be used for their own gratification” and “equate love with sexual arousal.”
Marriage is the most explicit expression of long-term love, and a number of studies have shown that blacks attach less value to marriage than whites.
Questionnaire surveys have found that blacks are less likely than whites to agree that “marriage is for life.”
Two American sociologists, R. Staples and L. B. Johnson, write that “Blacks do not rank marriage as highly as whites” and that “Black Americans’ acceptance of this form of relationship is inconsistent with their African heritage.”
Whoah Nelly!! This is a bit of a …
… train wreck!
What kinds of leaping and bounding is going on here?
Richard Lynn begins by quoting Robert Hare – the fellow whose research challenges the very criteria he’s using – and then jumps around all over the place making far-fetched claims of relevance based on tenuous correlations. I hope he’s having fun because this is not my idea of Science.
Given the recklessness of his essay, I’m really beginning to wonder whether he’s displaying some of the traits of DSM-IV defined ASPD … or worse!!
Afterall, as Dr Thomas O’Connor of Austin Peay State University reminds us:
True psychopaths are beholden to nobody and nothing. They are rarely distinguishable from people in power, and they do a good job of “faking normality”, in fact, some are quite charming and possess high intelligence.
Anyway, Richard Lynn’s arguments and the evidence he’s presented do not support his hypothesis. The phenomena and statistics he’s presented could be at least as well explained by other theories. His criteria for identifying psychopathy only identifies ASPD at best.
Is the White race biologically/genetically …
- More Capitalism-compatible?
- More able to understand, follow, accept individual rights?
- More able to understand, maintain, defend law and order?
- Less likely to have criminal tendencies?
- Better at creating wealth and maintaining and defending a wealth-creating culture?
- More innovative, creative?
- Better at European, Enlightenment thinking?
- Less promiscuous and more responsible?
- Better able to think about the long-term consequences of their actions?
- Better able to maintain a civilized society
… than the Black race?
To the extent that any of the above relies on issues relating to alleged genetic differences in intelligence between the races, I’ve already dealt with this question.
To the extent that any of the above is based only on correlations, I’ve already dealt with why such an approach is inadequate. Namely, correlation is not causation.
To the extent that the above relies on a denial of a volitional faculty in Blacks it can be rejected out of hand.
“Are Blacks genetically LOWER in intelligence and HIGHER in psychopathy than Whites?”
The research and arguments I investigated (only a small portion are included in this study) which advanced a case for either lower overall genetically determined Black intelligence or higher overall genetically determined Black psychopathy failed to establish either position.
Indeed, they relied on flawed and often careless correlations and at no point succeeded or even sought to establish any causal links.
I further conclude that any direct or indirect advocacy of the above racialist positions (please note I do not refer to them as “racist”) is incompatible with Capitalist Ideals such as free markets, individual rights, liberty, equality before the law, creative thinking, volition/free will.
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Update Monday June 18
- By “advocacy” I mean promoting as public policy.
- The racialist positions I’m referring to are only those covered in my article “Are Blacks genetically LOWER in intelligence and HIGHER in psychopathy than Whites?”
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Thanks for your interest.
I welcome your comments either on this blog or by email: prodos “at” prodos “dot” com
Update July 04 2014
Commenter, BobbyD wrote “Every where the majority is caucasian the standard of living is decent. Likewise every where the african is the majority the standard of living is horrible”
I created a chart listing American states in order of highest percentage of African-Americans to lowest percentage of African-Americans and placed beside each entry the per capita income rank of each state.
Conclusion: I couldn’t discern a clear correlation.