Wednesday, July 5, 2017

- If NR Is Talking About It...

These days I think of National Review as the ‘rational left’. They are not immune to facts and data over there, they’re just careful not to let the facts and data tread too heavily on the solutions to social ills that are approved in Washington. Left, of course, but not the delusional hard left of Feminism, BLM or the gay lobby.

And even though I think John McWhorter gets the conclusions wrong (for the precise reasons listed above) I think this piece is important because it means that the topic will finally be entering the Overton window whether the delusional left likes it or not. Think of it as the grownups having an actual discussion while the Feminists and BLM folks sit in the corner and hold their breath, stamping their feet. At least the conversation can kind of take place.

And the core theme of the piece has a point – a point I’ve made myself once or twice. Even if we as a culture admit that blacks have a lower IQ on average than whites, a fact I don’t think any reasonable person would dispute, what the hell are we going to do about it?

It’s certainly not going to do anything for blacks. But in a culture steeped in Leftism, it might do something for whites. Because if it’s true (that’s just a rhetorical flourish, of course it’s true) then whites have not gotten ahead because of Racism, sexism, LGBTQ-ism, and Hate, but because they’re simply smarter than other groups.

An admission like that would leave the core arguments of the hard left Democrats in ruins. Racism accusations and their associated guilt have been their only effective argument for nearly a generation. And if those arguments go away, then so too can many of the openly discriminatory policies we’ve enacted which are designed to ‘level the field’. Affirmative action and other race preference polices can go straight to their appropriate place in history’s circular file.

And if that is true, then there might be something in it for blacks after all. What black American culture needs is an incentive to quit acting like spoiled stupid children. They need a reason to start flying right to the degree they can. And if the culturally appeasing strategies go away, the open market will provide that very incentive. With no safety net to catch them, the best of the black community will be inspired to act more like Barak Obama and less like Tupac.

The moral of this story if you ask me, is not that blacks are irredeemable. Quite the contrary. Everyone is redeemable, and you can be a good man (or woman) without being the smartest man. Intelligence does not equal virtue, and virtue does not require intelligence. But being virtuous is hard, so we need to provide black America with a reason to bother.

That’s what can come from honesty about race IQ.

this piece though, is more classically dishonest about it. Robert VerBruggen makes the case, long held by the appeasment centric "reasonable left", that since we cannot say with 100% certaintly all the various effects of genetics and IQ, it's better to pretend the issue doesn't exist and the IQ difference can then be attributed to whatever we want it to bo. It's 'environment' or 'nutrition' or maybe the 'magic dirt' of bad schools, and poor neighborhoods that cause entire sub classifications of humans to score lower on IQ tests.

I'm not an academic. I don't care, nor have I ever cared, that I can't identify 100% of the contributing factors to a phenomenon before I classify it. I came from the land of commerce where 'mostly right' is far more than enough for decision making. If someone gave me an algorithm which allowed me to predict 70% of a stock price's movement, which is what the experts currently estimate as the genetic contribution to IQ, I wouldn't fret and ponder the 30%, I would call it more than 'good enough' and end up the richest man alive.

I don't think any of this is an excuse to discriminate against blacks, and even if it was, I still wouldn't want to. I don't want to punish blacks, I want to stop punishing whites and asians. I want to stop making bad black doctors or lawyers when I could have good asian doctors or lawyers. I want to stop treating black America as collective children. I want them to have all the same reasons I did to grow up and take care of themselves. I want them to be capable of becoming full citizens of America. And I don't believe they will ever do that when the rest of America is paying them vast sums to live in ghettos and do nothing to improve their lot in life.

Verbruggen isn't as honest as McWhorter. He issues nothing but the classically approved rhetorical dodges to the issue of race and IQ. That's not helpful. Not at this point. But that's what I've come to expect. After all, NR is hardly known for it's courage.

If you want a real discussion of the various effects of genetically linked IQ and race, have a look at this piece from Ron Unz. Ron is critical of the genetic assertions here, and takes an honest look at data which bears out the criticisms. The one thing you should notice in addition to his frankness, is unlike NR, Ron is not assuming his readers are idiots. He points to local variation between homogenous populations, including my own group (the Irish) and shows data which weaken the genetic only argument.

For my part I don't think genetics is the only factor, just the largest factor. But even if I do underestimate the effect of 'environment' what kind of effect do you think the current environment for black America is having on their IQ testing performance? Do we imagine that the key to raising IQ performance is to give vast legal preferences to a group so that they can succeed without any real competition? Or could it be that the best way to improve performance is to challenge a group to be it's best by giving it no preference at all?

What we're doing to black America today is clearly not helping either them or us. And we can't make things any better for anyone without talking about it honestly. Ron Unz has the courage to do so. NR and the rest of the mainstream, still clearly don't.

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