Africa, BBC, Boris Johnson, Defend the modern world, Demographics of Europe, Dysgenics, Eugenics, Flynn Effect, Gordon Gekko, Idiocracy, Intelligence quotient, Johnson, Margaret Thatcher, Mayor, Multiculturalism, No to Turkey in the EU, Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, Wall Street
Have you ever seen the film ‘Idiocracy’? I haven’t, but I’m well-acquainted with its subject.
From what I’ve read about it, the plot of the film takes place in a (we hope) distant dystopian future, after the effects of the downward selection currently in progress has matured and taken over American society. To put the idea simply, because (in the film, as in reality) less intelligent people have reproduced more than the intelligent, society has become an ‘Idiocracy’, dominated by feral dullards, up to and including the President.
The scientific name for this process is ‘Dysgenics’, which (as any amateur etymologist will see) is the counterprocess to ‘Eugenics’. Dysgenics is the trend by which the intelligent fail to reproduce in sufficient numbers, or else are saturated by the greater fertility of the stupid.
But why am I mentioning this here?
Well, a few months ago, Boris Johnson, the mop-headed Mayor of my city, attracted a great deal of controversy by suggesting that some people are too stupid to get ahead in life.
In a speech to the Margaret Thatcher Centre, Johnson speculated that ‘natural differences’ in cognitive ability mean that economic equality is a dangerous pipe dream not to be pursued by politicians.
As you would expect, the Guardian and other liberal papers quickly poured aggressive scorn on this idea, with Johnson even being compared to Gordon Gekko, the ruthless elitist from the movie ‘Wall Street’.
Johnson is of course correct to say that differences in ability exist and that these differences will usually oppose any attempt to impose ‘equality’. Where he is wrong is to think that politicians can ever get away with pointing this out.
Dysgenics is an open secret among the educated. Prospect magazine ran a terrifying story last year which claimed that (in contravention of the Flynn Effect) the average British IQ was going down.
As strange as this would seem to science, it would surprise very few people who converse with contemporary youth. Public literacy (a good test of intelligence) has never been in more dire straits, and little is being done to address the problem. In the title of this post, I have used what has fast become the standard social-network spelling of ‘losing’. The word ‘lose’ is now ‘loose’, whereas ‘loose’ is now ‘lose’ (or sometimes even ‘looce’). A similar mutation has afflicted the word ‘ridiculous’, which is almost always now spelt ‘rediculous’.
This is isn’t a small concern. When language degrades, cultures usually aren’t far behind.
Boris Johnson deserves credit for his bravery in speaking up on this, but his candor will likely go wasted on a public too afraid of dangerous ideas, and ignorant of the costs of ignoring them.
The Guardian really is a joke. Equality? Nice ideal. Reality? It never existed and never will. Equality before the law is one thing. Equality in human nature quite another.
Defend the Modern World said:
It’s a very dangerous fancy. The distinction you make about equality before the law is very important.
Humanity has been around for what? 100 000 years. And for most of that time, if you were really seriously stupid, you didn’t survive. If you couldn’t learn and remember the difference (not always obvious!) between a poisonous mushroom or berry and a mushroom or berry that was not, you died. If you couldn’t learn and remember a complex pattern of seasons and weather signs, and where things could be found, when, or learn how to make a trap, weave a net, or manage an ecosystem with fire on three or four different timetables concurrently (varying according to which aspects of your ecosystem you wanted to “tweak” in the desired direction – some territory burnt every year, some every two or five years, some every tenth or twentieth…), you perished. Ever read about the traditional system of navigation by currents and stars that was used by Pacific bluewater canoeists? It wasn’t just “picked up” along the way, it was so complex it was deliberately, formally taught, with diagrams in the sand. And if you couldn’t learn it, well…the sea weeded you out of the gene pool. Same deal once farming got going: you had to plan ahead at least three to four years and allow for the unforeseen. If you couldn’t do that (and if you wouldn’t or couldn’t cooperate with some of your neighbours), you starved; and everybody else with you, once farmers had to feed everybody else.
My father has been a small farmer all his life in Australia’s notoriously variable climate and the amount of complex forward planning involved in just surviving as such – even with access to modern technology – is mind-boggling; I am in awe of his intelligence and ability to plan and work. I take off my hat to our peasant ancestors who formed the majority of the populations of most “civilised” countries: they mostly managed to feed not only themselves but everyone else (all those others who regarded them as the lowest of the low). They couldn’t have done it if they weren’t smart as well as hardworking.
The last couple of hundred years in first world countries, and the past fifty years or so of *deliberate* dumbing-down of everybody as the content of and challenge involved in basic public education has been continually reduced (ever read old primary-school readers from, say, the 1930s or 1940s – it’s eye-opening?) or even the last 1400 years of relentless inbreeding and wilful self-lobotomising in Muslim countries – have probably hardly made a dent in Basic Human Genetic Programming. We’re *all of us*, because we’re alive now, descended from survivors who were not only lucky but smart (fortune favours the prepared mind).
The real basic distinction is between those who have, say, Downs Syndrome or other genetically-based crippling disorders (much more prevalent, incidentally, among inbred populations than others) that mean they function at a mental age of two or three, or less; and those who have healthy functioning brains, able to speak their mother tongue with fluency and learn to read, write and count without any particular difficulty. How well the latter will read, write, count, spell, etc, and how much they will know, whether of a craft or trade or of arts-and-literature and good basic science, depends on how much effort and encouragement their parents and teachers are willing to invest and how much *practice* they put in. (English spelling is, of course, notoriously difficult; dyslexics get by much better in Italy than in English-speaking countries).
Two further considerations: ever heard of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome? It’s a disaster: alcohol at sufficient levels is teratogenic; a kid whose mum is pickled in alcohol when he’s conceived, is going to be *damaged*. Then, brains are only as good as the quality of the nourishment supplied from conception onward. If you want smarter kids in general: promote good nutrition in women of childbearing age and try to keep them (and the young men, too) off the grog. Kids who eat a good breakfast do better in school than kids who don’t; kids who get a good night’s sleep do better than those who don’t; kids who have an interesting and safe park to play in, do better than those who don’t.
I’d rather try to figure out how to encourage people to make the most of whatever they’ve got, and focus heavily on support and encouragement in the first seven years or so of life (which is where very simple positive interventions have a knock-on effect lifelong) rather than just write off …what percentage? of the population as human deadwood, untermenschen.
I think we need to ask ourselves what all the factors behind this trend might be. I would suggest that birth control has been the biggest factor since the 60s – the arrival of the contraceptive pill. Darwin worried about dysgenics even before the pill, I think he would be much more worried if he saw what was happening today. Welfare has given child benefit to any unemployed families giving them almost an incentive to have more kids than working people. The burdens of taxation to support the growing numbers of both unemployed and also the growing numbers of pensioners meant working families putting off having children. Women’s liberation, women following careers first and having children later, sometimes finding that they’d become too old. An attitude that the world would be better off without the human race came with political correctness and climate change fears. This is coupled with an attitude that the disappearance of the European races is not important. Mass immigration and increasing life expectancy have put pressure on housing as well, but a simultaneous freeze on housebuilding means that people with aspirations to have separate rooms for children struggle to afford it and so delay. These are the attitudes and policies that we surely need to start questioning.
One of the reasons why our politicians cant get away with raising the issue is because the national ministry of truth, the BBC is run by people with a narrow set of views. We are forced to pay for this organisation through the licence fee, its time we started asking why we are putting up with it.
Defend the Modern World said:
Abortion is also to blame in my book. Abortion ‘rights’ and feminism are a lethal cocktail.