Africa and Malthus

In fifteen years, one out of every six people will be murdered. Of those who are left, 25% will be thrown into poverty. Millions more will commit suicide rather than face what will suddenly become a dreadful present. Marauding gangs lead by drug addled youths will harass what remains of civilization, as life descends into a Hobbesian war of man against man.

That sounds pretty awful, I bet. But, a world that suddenly has only enough food to nourish 70% of its people would quickly descend into violence and mayhem. How the mayhem would play-out would depend upon the people. When the French ran out of food, they perfected the use of the guillotine. In Africa, it has meant widespread famines where millions starved to death.

Africa is a net importer of food and it has a stratospheric fertility rate. I don’t think you have to be Raj Chetty to figure out that this will lead to some problems far more serious than income mobility or the lack of self-actualizing jobs. Africa is a low-IQ world with high disease rates and massive public corruption. Add in a staggering murder rate and it is not had to think the description in the first paragraphs is the best case scenario for Africa. The exodus that is on tap will make the current flood look like a trickle.

That, of course, is the specter haunting Europe. There are roughly a million Africans trying to get across the Mediterranean at this very moment. They are not starving or fleeing war. They are, most probably, members of what passes for a middle class in their home countries. They have the means to pay smugglers to get them north. They also have relatives, who made the trip before them, so they can have a cushion in their new home in France.

People on the Dissident Right like to talk about how the Euroweenies have no idea what’s coming their way. The implication is that the coming great exodus from Africa will wipe out the European just as Homo Sap wiped out the Neanderthals. That, I think, is very wrong. The Europeans know exactly what’s brewing south of them.

The sheer numbers are staggering. Sub-Saharan Africa has about a billion people. The EU countries have about 500 million people. If 20% of Africa heads north the EU suddenly resembles Baltimore in many places.

Or worse. Most of these immigrants will head to urban areas so imagine dozens of Detroits dotting the map of Europe. Throw in an equal number of Arab Muslims and , well, you have the diversity paradise our betters have been dreaming of for so long.

That’s never going to happen and the evidence is right in front of us. The Europeans are finding ways to turn back the boat people. If that fails they will start repatriating them in mass. Additionally, they will pay the Berbers and Arabs in the Maghreb to hold the line and turn a blind eye to the tactics they use to do it. The politicians in Europe are not going to commit suicide over the plight of Africa.

It’s not that they would not like to sellout their own people. It’s that they have bigger problems. The Russians are creeping in from the east. America is disengaging from the Continent. Most member states are effectively bankrupt, held up with currency games. The EU is too unstable to do anything other than take a hardline on African immigrants.

If the Africans can’t head north and they can’t stop breeding, then the choice is follow the old route out of Africa and head into Turkey and the Near East. While that would be hilarious for a number of reasons, it is unlikely. That leaves famine and war as tribes fight over the limited food supplies.

Yemen is probably a good example to hold in mind. The Saudis and GCC have been subsidizing them for years as the population far outstripped the country’s capacity to feed its people. It was a loser bargain. The Saudis wanted to keep the Yemenis in Yemen so they sent them food. Free food set the Malthusian event horizon further and further out, allowing the population to mushroom.

What not one thought about is how a population explosion would impact the other social infrastructure. Yemen was a land with cultural and civil infrastructure for about 2 million people. Now they have 20 million and the whole thing has collapsed into anarchy. I’ll just note that everyone has turned a blind eye to Yemen, letting the Saudis do what must be done to keep the Yemenis in Yemen.

That’s the likely outcome of the African population boom. Eventually, the Finnish model will be adopted by the EU, not the Swedish model. The Finnish model is to send food and reject refugees, arguing that food aid does more good for more people than importing refugees. The Swedish model is the opposite. Sweden is trying to turn their country into Syria with snow drifts.

Europe has too many other problems to try and pass that by their voters so they will adopt the Finnish approach. Inevitably, the French will lecture the rest of us for not sending more food and medicine to Africa and the US will be there to ship tons of food to the needy Africans. That, of course, will literally feed the population boom.

There’s an assumption that the West will not let the Africans starve and the blockade will be lifted, letting tens of millions of Africans to enter the West. History says other wise. The two big East African famines carried on with little more than hand-wringing by the West. The Rwandan massacres were allowed to go on without any in the West even mentioning it. Bill Clinton simply shrugged and went back to raping interns.

It’s common in the West to read about how we are post-Malthus. We are now in a post-scarcity world in which there’s more than enough of the essentials. The poor are fat and lay around all day in comfortable homes watching television. Machines will soon be doing all our work, leaving us free to live like Eloi.

In the coming decades, Africa is going to demonstrate that the Malthusian limit is still there. As we saw with the Ebola breakout, modernity means Africa’s problems can quickly become our problem. The nightmare future of Africa will be no exception. Our world will be a vastly different place in 20 years as a billion Africans figure out how to live on enough food for half a billion Africans.

It’s About To Get Uglier

Baltimore has always been full of tension, by nature of the historical arrangements that evolved following the Civil Rights Movement. The uneasy coexistence after Reconstruction between blacks and whites south of the Mason-Dixon Line was held together via legal and private discrimination. Whites stayed in their areas and blacks stayed in their areas. Both sides policed their side of the line, figuratively if not always literally.

The Civil Rights Movement swung a wrecking ball through that arrangement. After all, the northern whites were sure their way of handling blacks was superior. In the north they herded blacks into urban ghettos. That way they could pretend to treat blacks as their equals because they were never within eyesight of them.

So, the northern whites swung the wrecking ball through the Southern way of dealing with blacks, by banning public and private discrimination. In Baltimore, this resulted in a thing called “block busting.” Jewish neighborhoods would suddenly sellout to blacks or their intended landlords. The surrounding blocks would be quick to sell at a discount and whole areas of the city went from white to black.

Since the old covenants against selling to blacks or renting to blacks were no longer enforceable, there was no way for these old neighborhoods to hang tough against the onslaught so they fled to the county. To this day state regulators in Maryland try to trap real estate agents into making discriminatory statements. They now say these things in code.

That’s how things evolved in the Baltimore area. The phrase “good schools” means few blacks. The word “diversity” means lots of blacks. Those with anything on the ball have fled the city and moved to the county. There are sections of Baltimore county that are very black, but very safe and middle class. There are areas that are very white, as well.

The city has become an urban reservation, for the most part. There are parts that managed to remain white, but they are upper middle class areas where home prices prevented block busting. There are very wealthy areas as well, and the small gentrified areas near the tourist traps. Otherwise, the city is a holding pen for people no one wants in their neighborhood.

This has worked fairly well for the area. The cops keep the tourist areas running which brings money into the city. That also keeps the state involved, hoping to avoid the fate of Detroit. Having massive Federal spending in the state due to proximity to the Imperial Capital has financed these arrangements. West Baltimore operates as a giant reservation system, holding the pre- and post-convict population of the city.

Now, the Soros Army is at the city walls demanding the whole system be dismantled. They have no replacement for the current arrangements. They are here for the mayhem. These incidents are just billionaires playing human chess with the hoi polloi. Imagine Soros betting the Koch Bothers a dollar over whether he can burn Baltimore to the ground.

Unlike Ferguson, Baltimore is not a small town with small town police and small town criminals. Baltimore is a big city with big time criminals. The city is called Bodymore Murderville for a reason. The locals are proud of that label for a reason too. More important, there are rich people with assets in the city they want protected – by the police.

The cops are already reporting that things are getting hot on the streets, following the announcement that the six cops will be hanged in accordance with the demands of the Soros Army. The rational thing here is for the cops to simply withdraw, letting the animals kill as many libertarians and anarchists as they can find. That would do us all a favor, but that will not happen.

“I have been to five calls today and three of those five calls for service; I have been challenged to a fight. Some of them I blew off but one of them almost got ugly. I don’t want anybody to say that I did not tell them what is going on. This is no intel this is really what’s going on the street. This is my formal notification. It is about to get ugly.”

Here’s something the news will not report. That’s a cop patrolling a mostly white area and he is a white cop. The whites in the city are frightened out of their minds right now and the white cops are now paralyzed. White cops will be banging out sick, taking vacation and   applying for jobs outside the city.

Things are going to get very ugly.

Africa: Corruption

I’ve been posting about Africa this week mostly because I find it interesting. My guess is most of my readers find the topic a bit dull. Never let it be said you are not getting your money’s worth here at The Z Blog. My interest is mostly anthropological. Africa has been populated by humans longer than anywhere on earth. More important, Africa has not changed a whole lot since modern man debuted on this planet.

Of course, there’s the fact that a billion Africans are sitting around their hut dreaming of life in your neighborhood. My guess is ten percent of them will make their way to Europe and the US over the next 25 years. I’m probably being conservative. The US political class would gladly take 100 million Africans tomorrow. Either way, it’s probably a good idea to get learn a bit about our soon to be fellow “citizens.’

In prior posts, I’ve highlighted the fact that Africa is poor, disease ridden and full of stupid, violent people. That’s not a great recipe for building a competent modern society. One of the great measures of a society is the corruption index. It’s a measure of social trust. Low trust societies cannot engage in complex social investment. High trust societies can create large-scale social institutions.

Here are the numbers for Africa. The lower the number the higher the corruption. As a touchstone, the Anglosphere is in the high 70’s.

Country Name Corruption Country Name Corruption
Algeria 36 Malawi 33
Angola 19 Mali 32
Benin 39 Mauritania 30
Botswana 63 Mauritius 52
Burkina Faso 38 Morocco 39
Burundi 20 Mozambique 31
Cameroon 27 Namibia 49
Cape Verde 57 Niger 35
Central African Republic 24 Nigeria 27
Chad 22 Republic of Sudan 11
Comoros 26 Republic of the Congo 23
DR of the Congo 22 Rwanda 49
Djibouti 34 São Tomé 42
Egypt 37 Senegal 43
Equatorial Guinea 19 Seychelles 55
Eritrea 18 Sierra Leone 31
Ethiopia 33 Somalia 8
Gabon 37 South Africa 44
Ghana 48 Sudan 11
Guinea 25 Swaziland 43
Guinea-Bissau 19 Tanzania 31
Ivory Coast 32 The Gambia 29
Kenya 25 Togo 29
Lesotho 49 Tunisia 40
Liberia 37 Uganda 26
Libya 18 Zambia 38
Madagascar 28 Zimbabwe 21

If you take a simple average, the typical African country is about as corrupt as Mexico. The difference is that Mexico is right next door to a giant economic power with a very high level of social trust. The typical African country is surrounded by countries that are bordering on anarchy. Place like Sudan and Somalia are in the state of nature.

If you are living in one of these countries, you cannot trust anyone from the state. Call the police and they will want a bribe or they will rob you. Go to court and the judge will demand a bribe from you and your opponent. Even if you pay, he may still rob you. The only thing you can really count on are your blood relations and even there the wise man is cautious.

Now, you talk to your cousin Tongo who is back visiting from France and you are going to think that maybe he has it great. The cops don’t ask for bribes. The government gives him free stuff. If someone steals his free stuff he can go to the authorities and they will try to get his stuff back. Even better, there are all sorts of “public” things that are magically maintained and they even work!

The problem is your new neighbors will most likely bring those old habits with them. Africa is a low-trust world because it is full of Africans. Transplant them to Sweden and they are not going to take up curling and start investing themselves in traditional Swedish social life. Europe and probably America is going to become much more African over the next 25 years.

Africa: IQ

This has been Africa week at the blog. The Dark Continent is an endlessly fascinating place for some of us in the Occident, primarily because it is such a baffling place. That and the greatest degree of human genetic diversity exists in sub-Saharan Africa. As much as it pains many white people, the cradle of humanity is Africa.

I see Steve Sailer has gotten in on the act this week. His angle of entry is, as always, immigration. There are a billion Africans in their huts right now thinking about how life would be much better in a country not run by Africans so it is a good place to start. African migration is driven by sky high fertility rates and that’s a unique feature of Africa. Everywhere else has figured out how to stabilize fertility.

That brings me to another metric to consider and that’s national IQ. I used the list here from Richard Lynn, Tatu Vanhanen and Jelte Wicherts. I spot checked some figures against other sources and that list seems to square with others so I’m using it here. Raw numbers are not important. Relative IQ is what we’re after.

Here’s the consolidated version for Africa:

Country Name IQ Country Name IQ
Libya 83.00 Mali 74.00
Mauritius 76.00 Cameroon 64.00
Egypt 81.00 Equatorial Guinea 59.00
Sierra Leone 91.00 Algeria 83.00
Morocco 84.00 Nigeria 84.00
Tunisia 83.00 Chad 68.00
Cape Verde 76.00 Liberia 67.00
Comoros 77.00 Burundi 69.00
Madagascar 82.00 Angola 68.00
Eritrea 85.00 Namibia 74.00
Senegal 76.00 Niger 69.00
Tanzania 72.00 Rwanda 70.00
Mauritania 76.00 São Tomé 67.00
Seychelles 86.00 Mozambique 64.00
Sudan 71.00 CAR 71.00
Republic of the Congo 78.00 Kenya 80.00
Djibouti 68.00 Somalia 68.00
Benin 70.00 Ivory Coast 69.00
Guinea-Bissau 67.00 Uganda 84.00
Ghana 73.00 Republic of Sudan 71.00
Gabon 64.00 Malawi 69.00
Togo 70.00 Botswana 70.00
South Africa 77.00 Lesotho 67.00
Ethiopia 69.00 The Gambia 66.00
DR of the Congo 78.00 Swaziland 68.00
Guinea 67.00 Zambia 79.00
Burkina Faso 68.00 Zimbabwe 82.00

What jumps out here is you have scads of people in many of these countries with the cognitive skills of the retarded bag boy at your local grocery market. Africa has a very small smart fraction and a very large not so smart fraction. In order to conduct any large scale public projects, you need people smart enough to think of them, but also a large cohort that is bright enough to implement them.

Africa is, in many respects, the exact opposite of what is required for a modern complex society. Steve Sailer seems to think Africans can be trained to used condoms and birth control to reduce fertility rates, but that may not be possible. There’s a reason that white trash girls from the trailer parks get knocked up as teenagers. They are simply not smart enough to think beyond the moment.

Putting that aside, the issue for Europe is how many of these low-IQ people can they reasonably absorb into their societies? Modern, automated societies require far fewer people who can only provide labor. Europe, on its own, can supply all of the low end labor it needs. Bringing in 75-IQ Africans may help bolster the local soccer team, but at what cost?

Of course, part of why these numbers are what they are is that every African with something on the ball left a long time ago. Africa has been boiling off its high-IQ population for generations. If you are someone in Ghana, for example, who speaks English and has a 105 IQ, you are getting out of Ghana at the first opportunity. Those left behind breeding like rabbits are the low-IQ nitwits.

In this regard, the best thing Europeans countries could do is send the high-IQ Africans they have now back home. Skimming off the smart fraction is part of why Africa is such a mess. The world has plenty of funky sounding guys at the UN and World Bank. What the world lacks are native Africans with the wherewithal to run a sane country in Africa.

Africa: Disease Rates

The Ebola outbreak in Africa brought a few things about Africa to the public’s attention. One is the fact that people eat bats in Africa. First world people don’t think much about Africa, but the image of people eating bats is a jarring reminder that Africa is nothing like the rest of the world.

Of course, lot of Africans are moving out of Africa into the rest of the world. This summer we are sure to have the suicidal Western media moaning about the millions of Africans trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. If you are willing to cross the desert and the Mediterranean in order to live in a European ghetto, it is safe to assume you’re fleeing someplace much worse.

The question is just how awful are these countries?

Yesterday I posted about the murder rates. Getting murdered is the worst thing that can happened to you in any country. The next worst thing, I think, is getting some horrible disease like Ebola or AIDS. Worse yet, dying from curable things like cholera or measles that are beyond the individual’s ability to avoid. One can avoid sex and bat eating, but you have to drink water.

Disease rates are one of those things that drive migrants to and from countries. It’s a natural instinct. Anthropologists think Sub-Saharan Africans did not advance beyond simple village systems because of disease. Large population centers would be disease magnets. The better response is small isolated villages with a natural hostility to outsiders.

Given the communications revolution, even the most backward in Africa know that Brits and Franks don’t regularly die from the runs. They get their broken bones mended and no one rots to death in their hut for want of medical care.

Here’s the disease rates from WHO for Africa:

Country Name Disease
Country Name Disease
Libya 974.18 Mali 16123.99
Mauritius 1027.27 Cameroon 16696.47
Egypt 1208.84 Equatorial Guinea 17396.06
Sierra Leone 1295.18 Algeria 17785.00
Morocco 1336.15 Nigeria 17976.10
Tunisia 1425.32 Chad 18199.74
Cape Verde 3558.65 Liberia 18575.71
Comoros 5218.65 Burundi 18706.93
Madagascar 7071.54 Angola 19078.39
Eritrea 7081.69 Namibia 19094.46
Senegal 7931.82 Niger 19113.87
Tanzania 8692.63 Rwanda 19857.85
Mauritania 8766.12 São Tomé 20028.42
Seychelles 9251.88 Mozambique 20148.13
Sudan 9923.59 C. African Republic 20453.29
Republic of the Congo 9923.59 Kenya 20742.34
Djibouti 10816.33 Somalia 21162.37
Benin 10870.93 Ivory Coast 21244.21
Guinea-Bissau 11303.92 Uganda 22335.54
Ghana 11517.62 Republic of Sudan 22646.43
Gabon 12506.99 Malawi 28720.38
Togo 14131.60 Botswana 32483.12
South Africa 14369.42 Lesotho 32692.74
Ethiopia 14752.42 The Gambia 32765.00
DR of the Congo 15033.42 Swaziland 33428.76
Guinea 15144.15 Zambia 34593.00
Burkina Faso 15706.29 Zimbabwe 57454.07

These numbers are for all infectious, parasitic diseases per 100,000. Not all disease is deadly, but without proper health care, even the flu can be deadly. That’s the utility of disease rates as a metric. High disease rates suggest not only something about the ecology and culture; they tells us how the population is organizing to address public health.

As expected, the countries in the Maghreb have the lowest disease rates in Africa. As with the homicide numbers, the accuracy of the data is a problem. In the West we track this stuff closely. No one has the slightest idea of how many drop dead from the runs in places like Eritrea.

For the sake of comparison, Iceland is 157 per 100,000. Most of Europe is around 175, even tropical places like Greece. Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Eurasia is 1545, similar to Arab North Africa. The US is at 330 and that’s with absorbing 30 million people from tropical fever swamps.

Some of these numbers are mind boggling. If you are an African in a place like Mali, why would you not take your chances on that leaky boat over the Mediterranean. The odds of being killed at sea are lower than dying from tuberculosis back home, if you are not murdered by a local thug.

Bigot Watch: Jake Flanagin

I’m sure you’re wondering who is Jake Flanagin and why would anyone care if he is a racist. Up until five minutes ago, I would have wondered that myself. Here’s the answer. Mr. Flanagin is a writer who works the Progressive side of the street producing de rigueur filler material for a small fever swamp publication called Quartz. Looking at his twitter page, I’m going to further assume he is a homosexual.

Quartz is a site owned and developed by Atlantic Media, the people who own The Atlantic. It’s supposed to be a business site aimed at the global elite. As is the case with all agit-prop organs of the Cult of Modern Liberalism, it is mostly sermons extolling the faithful to be true to the gods of Progressivism.

What got my attention was this piece I saw on twitter. I followed the link only because it must be a joke of some sort and I like jokes. South Africa is 82% black and 9% white. The number of whites continues to decline in the face of the outlandish levels of violence by blacks on non-blacks. Rape is so common, housing and communities are now organized around preventing it.

To give you a sense of the rape culture that is South Africa, it is the only country that has a special Wikipedia site just for its rape culture. This is from that entry:

According to the report by the United Nations Office on Crimes and Drugs for the period 1998–2000, South Africa was ranked first for rapes per capita.[3] In 1998, one in three of the 4,000 women questioned in Johannesburg was raped, according to Community Information, Empowerment and Transparency (CIET) Africa.[4] While women’s groups in South Africa estimate that a woman is raped every 26 seconds, the South African police estimates that a woman is raped every 36 seconds.[5]

More than 25% of a sample of 1,738 South African men from the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces admitted to raping someone when anonymously questioned; of these, nearly half said they had raped more than one person, according to a non-peer reviewed policy brief issued by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

The idea of whites being responsible for a crime wave against foreigners is so ludicrous I just assumed it was satire. I like satire, but apparently Mr. Flanagin does not. He is serious when he claims:

High unemployment and other economic woes appear to be the driving force behind anti-immigrant violence and nativist rhetoric. Zulu nationalism—a longtime presence in South African politics—has likely also played a significant hand. But the muscular ethnocentrism behind Goodwill Zwelithini’s statements did not develop in a vacuum. Competition between Zulus and other native South Africans against non-native, non-white laborers has deep roots in colonial history, dating back to the very foundation of the South African state.

He then goes onto describe how white settlers were mean to the natives for 100 years. The Zulus enjoy special victim status because they have a cool name and the writer is a fan of Michael Caine movies. He fails to mention that the native population exploded after the PPP arrived, due to better agriculture, sanitation, medicine and social organization.

What I find stunning about these narcissistic lefties who write this nonsense is they are blissfully unaware of their own staggering racism and bigotry. Obviously, he casually paints all whites as sinners in the hands of the anti-racists gods. That can be written off has juvenile self-loathing. The writer hates himself and everyone like himself.

It is the object of his affection, the Zulu warrior, that comes in for the crudest of bigotry. The underlying assumption on the part of the writer is these people are savage morons lacking agency of their own. They are unable to think for themselves. Instead, they are tossed about like corks on the sea, completely lacking free will. The Zulu Mr. Flanagin imagines is an unthinking wild animal.

Even the most hardcore of genetic determinist would not go this far. Men are not just moist robots. Only a sociopath thinks of people in the same way they think of furniture. Most of what we are is in our genes, but it is not all of what we are and that’s why we hold men responsible for their actions.

Mediocrities like Mr. Flanigan can never understand these things so he falls back on simple stereotypes taught to him by his coreligionists. He repeats them and waits for the pat on the head.

IQ Science Versus The Left

Steve Sailer has a post up on IQ that hits on a favorite theme. One of the things I have always found amusing about the HBD world is their naivete about the people in charge. This is a common problem on the Right and is found a little with the handful of thoughtful Progressives. They think that being right is enough. That eventually, the rightness of their science has to prevail over the oogily-boogily of the Standard Social Science Model.

Unless and until IQ science, HBD or even plain old evolution, becomes useful to the prevailing ideology, it will remain in an intellectual backwater. That’s too hard to accept so they often fall back on the myth of Galileo. That is, Galileo triumphed over the Catholic Church because his science was irrefutable.

The trouble with that, in addition to being untrue, is that the prevailing ideology of today is not as generous in spirit as the Catholic Church.The Church leaders in the Middle Ages were not anti-science. They were responsible for rescuing much of the knowledge from antiquity so that science could blossom. No, they were concerned about the orderly working of society, the faith of the people being a big part, the part concerning the Church. Fumbling through it was their responsibility and their burden.

The reigning ideology of today is a different animal. Cultural Marxism shares much more in common with Islam, in this regard. It’s Islam without an afterlife. The faithful, instead of living in bliss after death, can live happily in this life. Similarly, the unfaithful, the heretics and the blasphemers, will suffer in this life. What completes the circle are the ideological enforcers, sorting the chosen from the damned. Guess who fills that role.

Science really does not fit into this ideology. Egalitarianism, however, fits quite nicely. Everyone is equal and therefore unequal outcomes means someone is benefiting at the expense of another. That can be proof that the one is pious while the other a heretic. That also keeps everyone doubling down on the one true faith in an effort to reach the utopian end point, where all that is left are those in perfect equality.

It also is a never ending source of dragons to slay. Inequality is caused by someone. If it is not the impiety of the less, then it must be the impiety of the superior. Attacking that inequity becomes a holy cause. Egalitarianism, therefore, takes up the slack that the super natural used to handle in the olden thymes.

The other problem is that the people will never accept the implicit determinism of HBD and IQ science. No one wants to believe they were decanted as a ‘Gamma’, ‘Delta’ or ‘Epsilon’ so they will never believe it. If we started using IQ tests to sort school children into appropriate tracks, there would be riots. SWPL-ville mothers would demand some way to game the system so their little flower can be at least a beta.

The narcotic of egalitarianism is more potent than science. It’s not so strong down here at the bottom of the social order. Here. reality is simply too vibrant to deny. In the plusher suburbs of the middle-class, that’s not the case. They get to ape the mannerisms and ideas of the managerial elite and believe that one day their little angel will something better than them.

In fairness, believing nonsense has not been a deterrent to material progress. Perhaps one day the people in charge will be of another ideological persuasion that embraces IQ science and biological realism. I will not see it in my lifetime. Instead, crime thinkers like Steve Sailer will be forced to slave away in the mines at the edges of society.

That’s probably the natural order.

Snow Falls in the Ghetto

When I was in Boston a few weeks back, one of the things that jumped out at me is the number of young people walking around with shovels looking for work. The streets were not thick with these kids, but I saw more than few groups of teens, all white, walking around town. On the Monday of the storm, crew of teens shoveled my buddy’s house. They saw us shoveling and offered to do it for $20 a man. We were happy to take them up on it because you have to encourage this stuff and shoveling snow is not much fun for old men.

That’s not something you see in the ghetto. When it snows, the natives stay inside. The fact is, the ghetto is beyond a low trust society and is a high distrust society. If you see a group of young males, you have to assume they are up to no good. Walking with their pants hanging down and one hand on their balls is tough in good weather, so they can’t go out in the snow. Even so, if I’m approached by a group teens offering to shovel, I’d be more inclined to pull my gun than agree to hire them.

Of course, no one shovels snow in the ghetto. Check that. Few shovel out their cars and their sidewalks. Most just wait for someone else. The landlords hire Mexicans to do it. The government has crews to shovel their part of the ghetto, but even they have outsourced to companies using Mexicans. One of the stranger things you see in the ghetto is tropical people happily shoveling snow. Say what you want about Latinos, but they are generally happy people.

One reason why the natives never shovel out their cars is the fact none of them have jobs or any place to be. I’m old enough to remember when they made welfare recipients show up once a week to get their check. Then it was once a month. Then they mailed the check. Now they have EBT and that means they can order takeout on-line. It’s not hard to imagine a time when the local drug dispensary will be delivering to the ghetto. That way the natives can have their weed delivered with a large pizza and some purple drank.

Another oddity when snow falls in the ghetto is that the people who do venture out walk in the middle of the road. The sidewalks are still covered in snow and the plows have made one pass on the roads. That leaves the middle of the street as the path of least resistance. Ghetto natives are not known for their work ethic so if the choice is struggling on the sidewalk or waddling down the middle of a plowed street, they are walking in the street. Driving in the ghetto therefore is more of an adventure than in civilization.

Cops, I suspect, love the snow. There’s an old saying that the rain is the cop’s best friend. Hoodlums stay inside when the weather is bad. White trash tends to have shootouts over the dinner table when cooped up by the weather, but non-whites become more docile. Black crime is almost always over respect, women or drugs. If everyone is stuck inside, it is hard to disrespect someone, mess with his woman or steal his weed. As a result, crime is at its lowest in bad weather.

I suspect that’s why the plows come to the ghetto last. Most people assume the politicians cater to the tax base and that’s probably true, but they also rely on the ghetto vote to beat back middle-class backlash. But, it rarely snows at election time and the locals seldom complain about the lack of plows. It keeps the boys off the streets so it works for everyone.

Steve Sailer likes to refer to Moynihan’s Law of the Canadian Border and there’s some truth to it. It’s an esoteric way of addressing a taboo subject. What you learn about living in a low trust society is just how fragile they are in some respects. New Orleans could not respond at all to Katrina because it was a low-trust society incapable of large scale cooperation. A snow storm in the ghetto is paralyzing because no one in their right mind trusts their neighbor. A ghetto in Canada without aid from the surrounding people would not make it through the first winter. The locals would be eating one another by February.

It’s why you don’t see a lot of complexity in places like sub-Saharan Africa or Mesopotamia. The greater the complexity of a society, the more vulnerable it is to natural disasters. In Europe, with a high percentage of smart people and lots of native cooperation, complexity is a great tool against nature. In low-trust societies with an excess of dimwits, complexity is lethal so we get simpler, big man societies.

Maybe the answer for America is to send our ghettos to Canada.

Rich and Dead

This Peter Frost column on the Parsis is getting some attention on the fringe. Fertility rates are a bit of a hobby-horse issue on the fringe, but for good reason. In every branch of natural science, reproduction rates are a key measure of health. A species with a declining fertility rate is assumed to be under stress or its environment is under stress. In fact, it is usually the key metric waved around by the greens when demanding some new rule on humans.

The exception is humanity. No one ever applies the same metric to the human species. The great irony of the environmental movement is that they insist humans are not part of the environment. For them, we are everywhere an invasive species.

Mangan has a take on it:

It seems more and more clear that the demands of the market economy come at a price. The enthusiasts for capitalism like to point out how much wealthier it has made us. Before capitalism, or before the Industrial Revolution, incomes were barely above subsistence level, whereas now everyone can afford iPads. But they elide over, or don’t even recognize, the trade-offs that are made to become wealthier. Until relatively recently, even under capitalism and as recently as the 50s and 60s in this country, families still had more than enough children to further their patrimony. But as we become ever wealthier, and opportunities for doing do become more widespread, capitalism steadily erodes what’s left of the old ways, including family ways, of doing things. That would be my interpretation anyway.

It is a testament to the power of the Progressive faith that this assertion is still with us. The Left insists that prosperity eliminates the need for lots of kids. The logical end point is a replacement rate or even a click lower for extended periods. Children become a luxury item once they no longer contribute to the prosperity of the family.

That reduces all human relations to their material content.

It’s also mostly nonsense.

Children have always been a cost in Eurasia. Even in sub-Saharan Africa where low parental investment is the norm, children are a net drain on their families in most cases. Humans, like all living things, have an impulse to reproduce. Without it, we would not be here. The one thing every extinct species has in common is the failure to reproduce. Even those wiped out by predators simply failed to reproduce before it was too late. It’s why it is hard to eradicate rabbits.

Plummeting fertility rates remain a puzzle to the people who care about the topic. Fertility does track closely with religiosity in the West. When church attendance declines, marriage rates decline and then fertility rates decline. This is true within the US as well as across Europe. Poland is one of the better examples because of the accident of history. They were a Catholic society trapped in time during the Soviet era.

Then they were exposed to Western culture in a massive wave following the fall of the Iron Curtain. Church attendance rates collapsed and fertility rates collapsed. A similar phenomenon happened in Quebec, but without the communism. There is was most likely the language barrier that insulated the culture for so longer. Regardless, when church attendance collapsed, fertility followed.

Now, that does not mean one causes the other. But, the correlation is unmistakable.

There’s a line in the movie The Matrix where Agent Smith explains how the first Matrix was a disaster because it was perfect. Humans could not accept it. The machines figured out that their human batteries needed an imperfect world. The implication being that we evolved for a specific environment. While all species adapt over time, there are limits and the time line must be imperceptible. Put humans in a radically different environment and they quickly die off, just like any other critter.

That very well may be what we are experiencing in the West and what the Arabs are desperately fighting. Modern Western culture is almost entirely transactional. There’s no continuity with the past and therefore no understanding of the future. Ours is a material, sterile world, one for which we are poorly designed. Why would humans bring children into a world with an unknowable future? What’s the point?

There’s an old Greek proverb. In good times, old men plant olive trees whose fruit they will never taste.

Contra Derb

Way back in the mists of time I had an exchange on Marginal Revolution with Steve Sailer, regarding the book The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility. I pointed out the phenomenon of surname drift as an obvious counter to what Clark appeared to be arguing. Surname drift is how last names die out and slowly the number of last names diminish. Given enough time an isolated population would end up with everyone having the same last name. It’s just simple math.

Sailer got cross with me as he is a bit of genetic determinist and Clark’s book fits nicely into that belief. He’s not alone. John Derbyshire is a determinist, as well. In all honesty, I’m far closer to that view of human biology than most, but I think serendipity plays a much larger role than most of these guys would allow. Bill Gates was the son of bright parents. There were millions of coin flips by others, whose outcome shaped his life, between conception and his days stealing code out of dumpsters.

I thought about that when reading this from Derb the other day. I suspect we will hear a lot of sensible people discount the dynasty complaints with regards to Jeb. Derb was born and raised into a monarchy so I guess he can be forgiven with thinking such arrangements are sensible. I suspect many Americans will accept these arguments and dutifully vote for Bush in the primary and general election. I give Jeb a better than 50% chance of winning the nomination. Derb’s argument rests on this:

I write with feeling there, as a person hopeless at practical politics. If there is a PQ analogous to IQ, I’m down in the bottom decile. In my years working at corporate offices, I never had a clue who was up and who down. When X was suddenly fired or Y given a sudden dazzling promotion, I was always flabbergasted: “I had no idea …!” My colleagues would respond with a roll of the eyes: “Oh, Derb. Try to keep up, please …”

It is reasonable to suppose that this skill, or lack of skill, is rooted in the contours of the individual human personality. Now, most of the features that define personality are heritable, often highly so. (The paper at that link gives heritability for the “big five” core personality traits as: Extraversion 0.86, Openness 0.92, Neuroticism 0.59, Agreeableness 0.85, Conscientiousness 0.81.) We should therefore expect political skill to travel in families, like freckles or hairy elbows.

Presumably nature gets some reinforcement from nurture, too. Evelyn Waugh remarked somewhere that most men are best suited to the work their fathers did.

It seems to me that history argues against this line of thought. The line of Ida had a very good run, but many in his line were inept, crazy or deranged. The Julio-Claudian line was a train wreck. These are the two most successful family dynasties in the Occident and we see it as hit and miss, as far as hereditary leaders. Medieval Europe has a lot of hilariously insane rulers who came to power merely by their having won the lucky sperm contest, so the results can be quite dreadful.

The Founders certainly had a dim view of political dynasties. They had that in mind when designing the national government. They wanted the best and brightest to be attracted to state and local government, not the national government. This was, in part, to make political dynasties difficult to establish. A look through the biographies of the Founders say they knew a thing or two about the children of powerful men turning out to be nitwits, so they thought about it a lot.

There is an old time expression that goes, “shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.” The first generation builds the family fortune, starting from the working class. The next generation does its best to maintain it, but mostly lives off the fruits of the father. The third generation blows through what’s left and ends up back in the same level as the founding generation. The Kennedy family is a good example.

I think the children of the king probably do, on average, possess more of the magic stuff that makes for a good king than most children. I also think they have precisely the wrong environment to cultivate that magic stuff. Poppy Bush served in WW2 and almost died in the Pacific. In other words, as a young man he had to cultivate his leadership assets under duress. His kids cultivated their assets getting drunk and chasing tail at elite preparatory schools. Seeds amongst the stones.

That said, any argument against Jeb Bush will find a friendly reception from me. If I were a religious man, I could be convinced that he is the Anti-Christ, heralding the end times. But that’s just me.