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Re: Bell-curve racism for nations
by Jonathan Davis
07 March 2002 17:59 UTC
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Perhaps you would like to attack the arguments rather than the man, Louise?

Preventative defamation makes you appear scared of Mr Rushton. It makes me
think that you are  incapable of attacking his arguments. I think you owe it
to Mr Rushton and the rest of us to explain why you think he is a racist and
upon what evidence your claims rest. Perhaps you imagine that you are
preaching to the converted with these dispatches to your intellectual clade,
so the defamation of your common enemies (like Rushton) is permissible and
even encouraged?

I  have great respect for some of your work but I am appalled to see this
sort of e-mail from you. It appeals to base, anti-academic sentiments of
orthodoxy and censorship.

That mock disbelieving  "What's next? Academic articles and books arguing
for eugenics?" made me cringe reading it. Are you afraid of intellectual
enquiry? Is there anything wrong with *arguing* for a given thing? Are you
not aware that there is large and growing interest is de facto Eugenics -
Transhumansism, extropianism, etc. This is a wholly legitimate field of
scientific interest. That this field terrifies you (as it triggers
associations with Nazi's)  is your problem. Science is moving on. You can no
more stop it with orthodoxy than two million priests can pray the Sun around
the Earth.

I look forward to your analysis of Mr Rushton's essay.


Jonathan Davis

P.S. I think you meant British National Party or Scottish National Party as
there is no National Party that exists as a legal political party in the UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3@panix.com>
To: <wsn@csf.colorado.edu>; <psn@csf.colorado.edu>;
<rpa-list@southwestern.edu>; <marxism@lists.panix.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2002 2:25 PM
Subject: Bell-curve racism for nations

> (I received this from John Landon, a Marxism list subscriber who ran into
> it on the evo-psych mailing list, an influential forum with thousands of
> subscribers. Phillipe Rushton is a well-known racist who has appeared on
> platforms with the ultra right-wing National Party in Great Britain.
> next? Academic articles and books arguing for eugenics?)
> The Intelligence Of Nations
> A review
> By Philippe Rushton
> IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, Westport,
> Praeger (2002), 256 pp., U.S. $64.95 (Hdbk.) ISBN 0-275-97510-X (Available
> from amazon.com)
> IQ and the Wealth of Nations. is a brilliantly-conceived,
> path-breaking book that does for the global study of economic prosperity
> what The Bell Curve did for the USA. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen
> IQ scores and economic indicators in 185 countries. They document that
> national differences in wealth are explained most importantly by the
> intelligence levels of the populations. They calculate that mean national
> IQ correlates powerfully--more than 0.7--with per capita Gross Domestic
> Product (GDP). National IQs predict both long-term and short term economic
> growth rates. Second in importance is whether the countries have market or
> socialist economies. Only third is the widely-credited factor of natural
> resources, like oil.
> One arresting fact emerges: the average national IQ of the world is only
> 90. Fewer than one in five countries have IQs equal or near the British
> average of 100. Almost half have IQs of 90 or less. This poses a serious
> problem if the book's conclusion that IQ = 90 forms the threshold for a
> technological economy is correct.
> Lynn and Vanhanen review the theories advanced over the last 250 years to
> explain why some countries are rich while others are poor. These include:
> climate theories (temperate zones are said to be best); geographic
> (an East-West Axis is said to be best); modernization theories
> (urbanization and division of labor are said to be good); dependency
> theories (exploitation and peripheralization of poor nations are said to
> bad); neoliberal theories (market economies are said to be good);
> psychological theories (cultural values like thriftiness, the Protestant
> Ethic, and motivation for achievement are said to be good). Some of these
> factors no doubt play a role. But it turns out that IQ that does the heavy
> lifting.
> Next, Lynn and Vanhanen review the scientific literature and find that IQ
> is an important determinant of educational attainment, earnings, economic
> success, etc. In the United States and Britain, the correlation between IQ
> and earnings for individuals is approximately 0.35. (That is, cleverness
> a fairly loose guarantee of economic success for an individual, but is
> significant across an entire population. If you bet on it at a gaming
> you wouldn't win on every throw, but you would make a lot of money over an
> evening.) Of course, it makes sense that intelligence determines earnings.
> More intelligent people learn more quickly, solve problems more
> effectively, can be trained to acquire more complex skills, and work more
> productively and efficiently.
> Nations whose people have high IQ levels also have high educational
> attainment and large numbers of individuals who make significant
> contributions to national life. On the flipside, nations with low levels
> intelligence have low levels of educational attainment and few individuals
> who make significant contributions. Low intelligence leads to unfavorable
> social outcomes like crime, unemployment, welfare dependency, and single
> motherhood.
> Lynn and Vanhanen prove that the widespread though rarely stated
> of economists and political scientists--that all peoples and nations have
> the same average IQ--is wildly wrong. Their evidence documents substantial
> national differences in average intelligence. The highest average IQs are
> found among the Oriental countries of North East Asia (average IQ = 104),
> followed by the European nations (average IQ = 98), and the mainly White
> populations of North America and Australasia (average IQ = 98). Further
> behind are the countries of South and Southwest Asia, from the Middle East
> through Turkey to India and Malaysia (average IQ = 87), as are the
> countries of South East Asia and the Pacific Islands (average IQ = 86),
> Latin America and the Caribbean (IQ = 85). Lowest are the countries of
> Africa (average IQ = 70).
> Lynn and Vanhanen find that some countries do have higher or lower per
> capita incomes than their national IQ averages would predict. This is
> having a market or socialist economy or sitting atop a sea of crude oil
> comes in.
> Some of the countries with a higher per capita income than would be
> predicted from their average IQs are Australia, Austria, Barbados,
> Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa,
> Switzerland, and the U.S. Except for Qatar, South Africa, and Barbados,
> of these are technologically highly developed market economies. Qatar's
> exceptionally high per capita income comes from oil exporting, which is
> actually managed and controlled by corporations and people from European
> and North American countries. South Africa's much higher than expected per
> capita income derives from the high performance of the industries
> established and managed by the country's European minority. Similarly,
> Barbados's above average wealth comes from its well-established tourist
> industry and financial services, which are owned, controlled and managed
> American and European countries.
> Some of the countries with lower per capita income than would be predicted
> from their average IQ: Bulgaria, China, Hungary, Iraq, South Korea, the
> Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Thailand, and Uruguay. Most of these
> are present or former socialist countries. Iraq has suffered from losing
> the Gulf War and a decade of UN trade sanctions. The large amount of
> conflict in the Philippines decreased growth.
> Lynn and Vanhanen provide a detailed examination how well IQ theory stacks
> up against its competitors. For example, two significant exceptions to the
> view that a tropical climate is detrimental to wealth are Singapore and
> Hong Kong, which lie in the tropical zone but are rich. Conversely,
> and Swaziland are temperate, lying slightly south of the Tropic of
> Capricorn, but poor. These differences, however, can be explained in terms
> of intelligence theory. The people of Singapore and Hong Kong belong to
> ethnic group with the highest average IQs; the people of Lesotho and
> Swaziland belong to the ethnic group with the lowest.
> Modernization theories, according to which all economies would evolve from
> subsistence agriculture through to various stages of urbanization and
> industrialization, have worked for Western Europe and the Pacific Rim but
> have failed for the four remaining groups of nations (South Asia, the
> Pacific Islands, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa). IQ and the Wealth
> of Nations proposes that modernization theories describe Western Europe
> the Pacific Rim because these countries have appreciably the same or
> somewhat higher IQs than in the United States. But they did not work for
> the other four groups of countries because average IQs are below the
> technological threshold.
> But why did the peoples of East Asia, with their high IQs, lag behind the
> European peoples until the second half of the 20th Century? Well, China's
> science and technology were generally more advanced than Europe's for
> around two thousand years, from about 500 B.C. up to around 1500 A.D. But
> in the 15th century, Chinese inventiveness came to an end and from that
> time on virtually all the important advances were made by Europeans, first
> in Europe and later in the U.S. The explanation may be that Europeans
> developed the market economy, while China stagnated through authoritarian
> bureaucracy and central planning.
> The failure of Japan to develop economically until the late 19th century
> largely attributed to a regulated economy and isolation from the rest of
> the world. By 1867-68 a revolution occurred and the new rulers embarked on
> a program to modernize Japan by adopting Western education and technology,
> and by freeing up the economy by transforming state monopolies into
> corporations. Much of the Japanese economic success in the 20th century
> built by adopting inventions made in the West, improving them, and selling
> them more competitively in world markets. Japan thereby built up its
> motorcycle, automobile, shipbuilding, and electronics industries. Although
> it is sometimes asserted that the Japanese have not made any significant
> scientific and technological innovations of their own, this underestimates
> their technological achievements: the fiber-tipped pen (1960), bullet
> trains traveling at 210 km per hour, much faster than any Western trains
> (1964), laser radar (1966), quartz watches (1967), VHS video home systems
> (1976), flat screen televisions using liquid crystal display (1979), video
> discs (1980), CD-ROM (read only memory) disks (1985), digital audio tape
> (1987), and digital networks for sending signals along coaxial cables and
> optical fibers (1988).
> African countries are at the opposite pole from China and Japan in
> IQ. This may explain why they are such a major anomaly for modernization
> theory. The low rate of economic growth of African countries following
> their independence from colonial rule in the 1960s is one of the major
> problems in developmental economics. During the years 1976-98, the average
> rate of economic growth per capita GNP of the 41 countries of sub-Saharan
> Africa for which data are available is much lower than in the rest of the
> world. Many of the African countries actually suffered negative per capita
> growth rate. Economists have quantified all possible factors, such as
> climate, ethnic diversity, geography, mismanagement, unemployment and the
> like, and compared the situation to elsewhere in the world, especially
> Asia. They concluded that these factors do not provide a complete
> explanation and that there is some "missing element." Some have suggested
> the low level of "social capital," i.e., the widespread corruption and
> of trust in commercial relationships, poor roads and railways, unreliable
> telephones and electricity supplies, and the prevalence of tropical
> diseases such as malaria.
> IQ and the Wealth of Nations identifies IQ as the missing link. Some of
> these "social capital" are actually manifestations of a low level of
> intelligence in the populations. Poor telephone services and electricity
> supplies, low agricultural yields, and the poor advice given by government
> advisory boards reflect low average IQ. With a mean IQ of 70, the
> populations of Africa cannot be expected to match the rates of economic
> growth achieved elsewhere in the world.
> Finally, Lynn and Vanhanen peer into the future. They predict future
> is most likely in countries with high national IQ scores but currently bad
> economic systems. The countries of the former Communist Bloc--Russia,
> Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania, and the People's Republic of China, and
> Vietnam--are good bets.
> What else can be done? Lynn and Vanhanen also list some of the factors,
> some environmental and some genetic, that might raise IQ scores and
> somewhat alleviate the disparities in national average IQ. These include:
> better nutrition, education and health; and ending the dysgenic fertility
> trends where the lowest IQ people produce the most children. (Obviously,
> immigration policy has a role to play too.)
> The take-home message of IQ and the Wealth of Nations: national
> in IQ are here to stay and so is the gap between the rich and the poor
> countries. Political promises that the gap is temporary, and will be
> remedied by aid from rich countries to poor countries, or even by poor
> countries adopting appropriate institutions, will not be fulfilled. Such
> promises assume that all human populations have equal mental abilities to
> adopt modern technologies and to achieve equal levels of economic
> development. They do not. The authors sound a clarion call for the
> recognition of national and race differences in intelligence.
> Adapted from:
> The Bigger Bell Curve: Intelligence, National Achievement, and The Global
> Economy, 22 October 2001, (PDF version) in Elsevier Science journal
> Personality and Individual Differences)
> Philippe Rushton is a professor of psychology at the University of Western
> Ontario and the author of Race, Evolution, and Behavior: A Life History
> Perspective
> Louis Proyect
> Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org

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