For a long time, it was understood that the success of a people was tied to the quality of the people in terms of their abilities. A highly capable people would do better at the necessary things of society than an incompetent people. Often, moral claims would cloud the view. Maybe one people were chosen by God to rule over the others or maybe the people offended the gods and had been punished as a result. Even so, there has always been a link between talent and results.
Today we understand that Mother Nature does not distribute her gifts equally between peoples or among people. Some people are smarter than others. Some people have cultural qualities that seem to be rooted in their shared genetics. These cultural qualities provide a benefit when it comes to the tasks of society. A people who values hard work and honest dealings will do better than a people who favor sloth or lying. Whether these cultural qualities can be inculcated is debatable.
The blank slate crowd are sure that everything about a human society is a construction of the mind and can therefore be deconstructed. Western society, which has towered over the rest of mankind for more than five hundred years, can be disassembled and then reassembled to put non-Western people in charge. There is no evidence to support the claim, but a great global experiment is underway, nonetheless. There is mass migration from the Global South into the West.
A dozen years ago, Jason Richwine did his doctoral thesis in the topic and found that migration into the United States from the south was decreasing the quality of human capital by reducing the over all IQ of the population. He relied upon the mountain of IQ studies that show the average intelligence of Hispanics to be ten points below the average for Europeans. The usual suspects flew into a rage and had Jason Richwine condemned for heresy.
No one bothered to challenge the conclusions of his study, as that would suggest moral claims can be subject to objective measures. A key component of any religion is that the moral claims are unassailable. The new religion of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity operates like every other religion. Its principles are beyond question. In this case, it means that all people are equally capable and the differences seen between people are due to the racism of white people.
You see this in a response by a writer at Reason Magazine. Ronald Bailey makes no effort to dispute the factual claims of Richwine, as he lacks the intellectual capacity to understand them, much less dispute them. Instead, he draws a parallel between Richwine and eugenicists from a century ago. You see, “eugenics” is a bad word so laying it in the same area as a person makes that person bad. You can then safely dismiss the words of the bad people without addressing them.
Even if you accept the claims in that Reason post, the flow of people from the south into America is having a clear impact on IQ. The claim is that the people coming in will get smarter by standing on the better dirt in the United States, but it will take four or five generations for that to happen. That is roughly a century. While that is happening, the population of low IQ people rises. This is happening rather quickly due to the age distribution of the white population.
For example, using government data, whites have an average IQ of 100, blacks are at 85 and the new people are around 90. This is consistent with what Richwine found in his research and what subsequent research has shown. This is one of those times when the official government position mirrors reality. That means that the average IQ in the United States in 1950 was around 98. By 1980, with the uptick in immigration and decline in white fertility, the average was just over 97.
In other words, with very stable demographics and little immigration, the average IQ in the United States had not changed very much in thirty years. This would explain why the country was able to pull out of the cultural lunacy of the prior decades and turn things around so quickly. There were a lot of smart people. Societies with high average intelligence also have a much larger number of smart people. These are the people who solve the problems made by other smart people.
By 2000, the effects of immigration were showing up in the test scores. The average IQ of the country, based on the new demographic mix, was below 97. By 2020 the average had fallen to below 96. In another decade it will fall below 95 and when the white population is a minority, it will be around 93. Note also that the aging off of the white population lowers white IQ. Not only are white people getting dumber, but old people are dumber than their younger selves.
Imagine a wardrobe made for a man who is 6’5″ and athletic being handed down to a man who is 5’10’ and a lazy person. The latter can pretend he does not like the style, but the reality is the clothes simply do not fit. This is what is happening in America as the people are replaced with new people. The old cultural, political and economic institutions were made for a people with an IQ close to 100. The new people will struggle to operate what they have inherited.
The flat earth people argue that culture is meaningless and the new people will be able to run the country as they like with the same economic results. The only thing that will change is the complexion. Instead of white guys staring at their mobile devices as they walk into traffic, it will be trans-lesbians of color. In fact, the final end of whiteness will unleash the creative energy of the nonwhite people. The result will be the paradise the prophets have long promised.
The trouble is the facts suggest otherwise. Twenty years ago, Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen made the connection between intelligence and economics. In IQ and the Wealth of Nations they showed that average national intelligence corresponds with the over all wealth of society. The usual suspects condemned the book and the authors, while accepting their conclusions. There is a reason the best universities do not draw names from a hat for admissions.
Recently, researchers George Francis and Emil O.W. Kirkegaard have revisited the topic and came to the same conclusion, which is to say there is a strong correlation between national wealth and national IQ. Francis notes that national IQ correlates not only with economic prosperity, but every national indicator of success. That means things like crime, social trust, affordable family formation and all of the other things we associated with stable, happy societies.
Of course, there is the smart fraction issue. As civilization becomes more complex, the demand for cognitive ability increases. At the top, where the most complex decisions are made, the demands go up much faster. The more complex a society, the more above average people are required to manage it. A society where everyone is the same IQ of 100, will not perform as well as a society where the average is 100 and intelligence is normally distributed.
The trending down of national IQ means the relative number of people in the smart fraction initially declines, but the overall smart fraction grows. In time, however, this reverses and the smart fraction begins to decline quickly in total and in relation to the size of the population. There are not enough smart people around to keep the system running, so the system must become less complex. Put another way, it must disaggregate, either slowly or all of a sudden.
What this means in terms of public policy is debatable. The most likely answer is that debating it is a waste of time. There is no arresting the demographic changes and there is no changing what that means as far as human capital. Even if there is a way to make it work, there are not enough smart people around willing to do it. At some point North America passes through the marching moron phase into something else. That something else will poor, nasty, brutish, and short lived.
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