February 13, 2012

My review of Charles Murray's "Coming Apart"

From my review of Charles Murray's Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 in The American Conservative:
In 1950 my wife’s uncle, the son of a West Side of Chicago ditch digger, won a scholarship to MIT. Back then it was unusual enough for anybody from Chicago to go all the way to Massachusetts for college that the local newspaper printed a picture of him boarding the train for Cambridge. By the 1960s, however, the spread of standardized testing had helped make it customary for elite universities to vacuum up larger and larger fractions of the country’s cognitive talent. The long-term implications of this momentous change are quantified in Charles Murray’s new book on the evolving American class system, Coming Apart.
The book pulls together strands of his thought going back three decades, a period during which Murray has been the model of a public intellectual. Striving to reconcile contrasting virtues, Murray has displayed a dazzling gift for sophisticated data analysis while remaining devoted to making his books as broadly comprehensible as possible. He’s a social-scientific elitist and a civic egalitarian; a libertarian and a communitarian; a truth-teller and a thinker of the utmost judiciousness. 
Not surprisingly, none of these strengths have made the co-author of The Bell Curve terribly popular, especially because in the 18 years since the publication of that infinitely denounced book about the growing stratification of America by intelligence not much has happened to prove it in error. In 2012, it looks like it’s Charles Murray’s world and we’re just living in it. 
Murray isn’t hated for being wrong but instead for authoritatively documenting the kinds of things that everybody uncomfortably senses are true. 

Read the whole thing there.

67 comments:

FredR said...

Murray's book sounds like an expansion of this classic isteve blogpost: http://isteve.blogspot.com/2009/09/1960s-elite-lib.html

the real who/whom question here is "who influenced whom?"

a Newsreader said...

"...and the Obamas were assigned each other because both were Harvard Law students."

Hahaha. Right on.

Anonymous said...

What's all this pompous bullshit about attending church 'making you a good person' - this is a meme I absolutely hate, as a committed atheist and Richard Dawkins fan.
Not only I cannot stand christianity, even more I cannot stand people making a big show of attending church to pose as being 'morally superior'.

Anonymous said...

“The new upper class still does a good job of practicing some of the virtues, but it no longer preaches them.”

Do as the Jew. Disobey what Jews say.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that Murray is trying to atone and ingratiate himself, by picking on white people, for his genuine and sincere work in the Bell Curve - which only more or less stated the obvious ie blacks and hispanics are, in the main, a drag on the USA.
Put bluntly, there is no crisis with white America, working class or not.Whites remain a lwa abiding, tax paying, long suffering citizenshio, disinclined to make trouble and believing in America.Yes, pompous, pious Murray pontificates about such ephemeral trash such as church attendance and illegitimacy - but the well mannered and behaived Scandinavians do likewise.
I still have 100% faith in white America and especially those who Murray tries to shit on (to atone himself), the blood and bone of America those who actually make the nation tick.They performed well in the past, when the call came, and I trust they will do well in the future.
There are simply the wrong target.It is simply not them who are causing the trouble, murder, robbery, violence, mortgage frauds and allied dysfunction.
Murray knows full well who's doing that.
But he's too cowardly to say so.

The man's an academical harlot.

Carol said...

'“social isolates”—people who don’t belong to any sort of organized group and don’t attend church more than annually.'

Here in Whiteopia, I'm quite familiar with our white ghettos and its denizens. They may be cut off from church, Kiwanis, local politics etc but they seem to cluster in very closenit family groups, sharing childcare, making EBT runs together, watching Oprah together, and reinforcing each other's values.

Kinda envy them actually.

Anonymous said...

Maybe homogamy--I must say it sounds like 'gay marriage'!--got more serious because more doors opened for women. Before women filled up colleges and high-level jobs, a smart guy would go to good college and get a good job and marry his highschool sweetheart or someone based on looks and charm. But once women entered elite colleges and high-level jobs in huge numbers, smart power-men married smart power-women.

Anonymous said...

Never mind Murray, what if Devlin is even half right?

Anonymous said...

While the white elites are out of touch, so are white trash, Evangelicals, and many educated conservatives. I mean, in this day and age, what the hell is Buchanan doing pushing Creationism?
And if Murray is so in touch, why doesn't he express the anger of American whites over Jewish elite power? And what's with Evangelicals waving the Zionist flag when most Jews piss on them? Even neocons despise Evangelis and only pretend to be their friends to garner support for Israel.
And take that stupid hee haw country music. I mean in the 21st century, some people are still listening to that music that lowers human IQ? I mean makes you wanna drool and step on manure. Worse, American conservatism, in opposition to liberal elites, have made a cult of ignorance and dumbness a kind of virtue. It's like how Buchanan praised FORREST GUMP. And cons must really be dumb because so many of them wet their pants over BLINDSIDE. So, we got Bush II and Palin.

We need a new creative, rational, and honest right.

Sideways said...

Natty light, Steve? Do you pay college students to buy it for you?

Worked in PR and Puzzled said...

I haven't read the book yet but I have read reviews. One thing kind of sticks out at me. He claims that in working class Fishtown, crime rates have gone up.

Is this true? I know that illegitimacy has skyrocketed amongst working class whites but has crime? It seems to me most of the crime in Fishtown is committed by blacks invading the place with flash mobs and such. Most of the working class white deviancy is in more passive forms of mischief, such as becoming a baby daddy instead of a husband and father, and loafing.

slumber_j said...

Good review, although I question this passage: "Moreover, the growth of distinctive white underclass neighborhoods hasn’t really come to pass over the last 19 years." Maybe it doesn't show up statistically, but if you check out someplace like Winsted, Connecticut, you'll certainly find some distinctive white underclass neighborhoods, with lots of Section 8 housing, rampant drug abuse, and so on. And they've gotten appreciably worse in the last two decades.

A friend of mine once had his car broken into in the parking lot of the Winsted IGA. Tellingly, the thief only took a bottle of bleach: at least the underclass in Northwest Connecticut are cleaning the needles they share and fixing-up safe, I guess...

The locals have a name for the members of this underclass: Raggies. Look it up.

Jeff W. said...

Murray's book seems to describe the situation without giving reasons for the causes.

My view on the causes:

Since 1960 government has grown and has taken from taxpayers and redistributed to tax recipients in zero-sum fashion.

Most of today's upper middle class are tax recipients or beneficiaries of government. They have moved up in status as taxpayers have moved down. All those in the high-paying medical sector, for example, get most of their money from Medicare, Medicaid, and from payments from the Cadillac health insurance policies that government workers get.

America's private sector, oppressed by government and whose workers must compete with workers from the lowest of low-wage countries, is comparatively much less healthy than in 1960.

America's lower-income whites have been screwed by the growth of government, by free trade with China and open borders, to the point where they have given up on family formation, belonging to communities, etc.

riches said...

The following is a decades old letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune. Save for omission of the writer’s name and my edit at the ellipsis, it is exactly as published:

“It was with a vague uneasiness that I perused a recent Tribune. Suddenly I realized what was missing was the obligatory denunciation of ...’The Bell Curve’.

"You can imagine my relief when I opened the Tribune on Oct. 20 and discovered not one but two denunciations of that book (William Safire and Eric Zorn). If I have not lost count, that made a total of six negative reviews in five days of a book that has just appeared in stores.

"Keep up the good work – your readers must not be allowed to draw their own conclusions from the book, particularly when forbidden thoughts are involved.”

Whiskey said...

Anon -- Atheism is fine for people who's idea of a wild time is staying up to 10:30 at night and taking a second swing at the buffet line. Not so good for folks like Charlie Sheen, or Lindsay Lohan. What Christianity and other religions do, is most of the time for most people put checks and curbs on behavior so you don't need a policeman on every street corner and every room, and a policeman to police the policeman.

Religion is an evolutionary adaptation to modifying human behavior to avoid personally advantageous but society-wide harmful behavior.

Whiskey said...

Reality check for the Jew hater: most Americans support Israel and view themselves as "New Jews" fairly explicitly. They also like old-school Jews that ran Hollywood and created beloved American comic book characters. Jew hatred is as cult and obscure, despite its passions, as Ron Paul or cult TV shows with low ratings. Just because fans shout real loud does not mean there are a lot of them.

What Murray fails to mention is that the classes roughly correlate with the Albion's Seed cultures: Puritan/Danelaw/Viking folks valuing education, in a communal-reinforced strong government collective; versus their eternal enemies, the Scots-Irish "Borderers" aka hillbillies.

Pretty much the elites are all Puritans, complete with a yearning desire for moral uplift, save-the-planet religiosity, staid personal lives, familiar to anyone examining the peoples of New England, Portland Oregon, or Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Meanwhile the "Hillbillies" are on a collision course seeing as how they're on the outs (the Who/Whom amounts to Puritans and Hillbillies) economically, culturally (except for redoubts like Country Music, NASCAR, and Golf). The Tea Party is just another Shays/Whiskey rebellion.

Puritans/Vikings/Progressives all want everything to be a giant IKEA store in a hip urban neighborhood, with safe streets. With conformity enforced by whatever means necessary so long as it has a veneer of "niceness." Hillbillies want the freedom to exploit natural resources and sin every Friday and Saturday night so they can repent on Sundays. Or not.

This tension is as old as America.

Kylie said...

From your review: "Sir Francis Galton...called for society to develop institutions to bring together the smartest and hardest-working young people for romance. Among the last three couples in the White House, for example, the Clintons met at Yale Law School and the Obamas were assigned each other because both were Harvard Law students."

OK. I'll bite. What do the Obamas have to do with the smartest and hardest-working young people, besides the fact that they were once young?

Or is this just more of your whimsical SoCal humor?

Anonymous said...

I think too much food made too many fishtowners fat. Being obese undermines self-esteem, and it might lead to more childish behavior.

Anonymous said...


Belmonter Springer egging on Fishtowners. With elites like these...

Anonymous said...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMgjJFW9GQg'>If Springer is Belmonter who eggs on white trash, Povich is a Belmonter who eggs on black trash. </a>

Anonymous said...


Another Belmonter egging on Fishtowners to be stupid.

Anonymous said...

What is SEX AND THE CITY and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES? I've never seen it, but is that Belmontish or Fishtownish? It seems like women of all backgrounds see it. The values are trashy but the characters are privileged.

Maybe Belmonters are not more moral but more responsible. Morality and responsibility are not necessarily the same. Belmonters could be having lots of 'free love' stuff but they may be more responsible about keeping it discreet and/or using condoms. Fishtowners, on the other hand, may be more slovenly about using condoms.
I've know lots of middle class and privileged friends and acquaintances and they fuc*ed around a lot, but few got pregnant out of wedlock cuz they used contraceptives or discreetly had abortions.
Same with crime. Wall Street guys commit white collar crime but know how to handle the books and hire the right lawyers and people to keep it look respectable whereas fishtowners are more likely to commit the kind of crime that gets them behind bars.

Take Clinton. He was a major womanizer, but he only got Hillary pregnant.

Anonymous said...

Let's not let our fascination with high IQ cause us to forget what we are losing.....

The social isolate, the non-networker type white is a pretty cool person.

They were the people who went out West. The colorful characters. The bold, the risk takers!

I think having a high IQ white elite of "Good Little Status Quo Enforcing Worker Bees" is in itself something to be worried about.

Also, those high-IQ types will go extinct even faster precisely because they are status-quo people who do what they are told.

This in the long run is not Galton's Eugenics.

Marlowe said...

Power demands discipline - as Hunter Thompson remarked once (in a column reprinted within the collection Generation of Swine) opium smokers don't engage in conquest - the early risers, the clean and sober types who want to be 'on the team' do it. Flakes drop out. To quote from Simon Sebag Montefiore's book on Stalin - The Court of the Red Tsar - his no. 2 Molotov (Vyacheslav Scriaban) was "...so disciplined that he would declare to his office that he would take 'a thirteen minute nap', then wake up on the thirteenth minute." A puritan ethos held sway over Stalin's men:
"Yet their self-conscious brutality co-existed with a rigid code of party manners: Bolsheviks were meant to behave to one another like bourgeois gentlemen. Divorces were 'frowned upon more severely than in the Catholic Church.' When Kaganovich wrote on the death sentence of an innocent general that he was a 'slut', he just put 's...'. Molotov edited Lenin's use of the word 'shitty' replacing it with '.....' and talked prissily about using a 'name not used in Party circles.'"

The remark on the Obamas' marriage arrangements reminded me of the following footnote in Montefiore concerning Lenin's marriage: "Stalin's row with Lenin's wife, Krupskaya, outraged Lenin's bourgeois sentiments. But Stalin thought it was entirely consistent with Party culture: 'Why should I stand on my hindlegs for her? To sleep with Lenin does not mean you understand Marxism-Leninism. Just because she used the same toilet as Lenin...'. This led to some classic Stalin jokes, in which he warned Krupskaya that if she did not obey, the Central Committee would appoint someone else as Lenin's wife. This is a very Bolshevik concept."

gummtown said...

One problem with Murray's admonition to the rich is that NO ONE WANTS TO BE TOLD TO BE LAME AND SQUARE FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE. For example, suppose a cultural conservative were to say educated people shouldn't watch or promote Ingmar Bergman films cuz they are filled with sex and sin, and many less educated people might get the WRONG idea from such things.
That would mean educated people would have to say NO to real art and intelligent culture just to be a 'good example' to dummies. They should all be watching nothing but LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE.

Also, conventional values and attitudes need to be challenged. Otherwise, there would never have been any progress.
So, Murray should have lauded the Belmonters for their liberal outlook and etc. The real criticism shouldn't be that Belmonters are anti-culturally-conservative but that they are anti-culturally-liberal. Today's PC and pop culture aren't what real liberalism should be. Real liberalism should be intelligent, rational, open-minded, judicious, thoughtful, etc. But so much of what comes out of Hollywood and etc are trashy, ugly, moronic, dumb, etc. And so much of what passes as public discourse is witchhunting-dogma.

I don't mind when art and culture upset social norms in the name of presenting something new or a greater truth. Society should be shaken up sometimes. Artists and thinkers should be bold and different.
The problem is liberal pop culture gives us the same old same old of porny ugly disgusting mindless moronicness.

Anonymous said...

but the well mannered and behaived Scandinavians do likewise.
--
You have to be nutty to think that Fishtown whites act like Scandinavians.

I've met a lot of non-university educated working class Scandinavians and they come off as intelligent and polite.

gummonters said...

Responsible isn't same as Moral. One can be immoral but responsible.

Morally, fishtown and belmont could be same, but Belmonters could be more discrete/responsible while fishtowners could be shameless/vulgar. This could make a lot of difference.

Take Japan. Japanese are not very moral by our standards. There's a lot of porn, prostitution, violent videogames, and etc. BUT, Japanese have created social rules of discretion where one can be immoral but in a discreet/responsible ways. So, a 'respectable' salary man, after work, can go to some club and have sex with a woman pretending to be an underaged schoolgirl, BUT THE THING IS HE MUST KEEP THAT STUFF AWAY FROM HIS WORK AND FAMILY.

So, Japanese are not more moral than us. If anything, they could be more immoral. But they've set up screens among various spheres--work, family, fantasy, etc--which allow them to keep the lurid aspects of their lives contained(instead of spilling out and contaminating other areas of their lives).
Same may be true of SEX AND CITY Belmonters. I knew an upper middle class friend who cheated on her husband, but she was very discreet about it. Of course, I don't condone that sort of behavior as I'm a very upright person, but I'm just saying one doesn't have to have moral values or act moral to 'seem moral'.

Veracitor said...

American culture's "race problem" is one important reason that upper-class American whites do not "preach what they practice."

If an upper-class white American were to advocate, say, childbearing only in wedlock, s/he would have to direct his/her remarks either to (a) people of all races, or (b) people of some races. In case (b) s/he would certainly be denounced as a racist-- after all, sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander (apart from affirmative action, of course). But in case (a) s/he would also be denounced as a racist, because s/he would be "devaluing" the large majority of American blacks who produce their children outside of wedlock.

Since nothing could be worse for a normal upper-class American than to be denounced as a racist, nearly all upper-class Americans just keep their mouths shut when it comes to giving cultural advice to people outside their immediate families.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 9:26 a.m. said: And take that stupid hee haw country music. I mean in the 21st century, some people are still listening to that music that lowers human IQ? I mean makes you wanna drool and step on manure.

Hunsdon replied: In a world of Nicki Minaj's "Stupid Hoe" picking on country music represents a massive failure of target selection.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6j4f8cHBIM&ob=av2e (NSFHC---Not Safe For Human Consumption)

swimming swan said...

"What Christianity and other religions do, is most of the time for most people put checks and curbs on behavior so you don't need a policeman on every street corner and every room, and a policeman to police the policeman."

No. Religions offer structure from the weekly meetings along with extra opportunities to socialize within the group to the seasonal rituals and celebrations. Hey, you even get your own set of wedding and funeral rituals. What's not to love. Yes, you have to manifest some semblance of adhering to the moral code but participation in the community is what's most helpful. Active membership in any group pursuing some avid shared interest can be just as good. Unless you're a goth, most groups have high enough standards.

You come across as exceedingly pompous spouting theories that lower class people need constant reminders about moral behavior. Evidence abounds that the upper classes aren't exhibiting exemplary behavior despite these pockets of Victorian circumspection. Not even Mormons are free of character destroying vices. The disarray you see in the formerly more morally pristine lower classes has to do with employment and opportunity not thick-skulled indulgence without consideration for consequences.

You only apprehend working-class folks through the filter of one sociological theory or other. It's time you recognized your limits as well as that of Charles Murray who lives among these people like an anthropologist among savages. Anyway, isn't the SAT responsible for leaving less capable whites behind struggling in the ruins of once thriving small towns?

welcome to gummtown. pop 1 said...

Maybe Functional Morality can make us understand the weird political affinity between upper crust and lower crust(like in the Democratic Party), with both crusts hating the middle crust.

It's like grandparents and grandchildren are closer to one another in some ways than either is to the 'parents' in the middle.
(Grammatically, is it 'either is' or 'either are' if 'either' refers to a plural?)
This is paradoxical since 'parents' come between grandparents and grandchildren. But 'parents' as adults must be moral and responsible whereas grandparents are retired-and-taking-it-easy and grandchildren are kids-and-taking-it-easy. Since 'parents' are the children of grandparents, they grew up being disciplined by the latter, and so there could be lingering tensions; also, since the 'parents' must discipline their own children(grandchildren of grandparents), there's bound to be tension between them too. Grandparents, in contrast, can just 'enjoy' their grandchildren on and off, and since grandparents go easy on grandchildren, grandchildren feel fondness for grandparents.

Because grandparents are retired and since grandkids are still too young, they don't really have to be functionally moral or responsible. So, though divided by great age, they feel an affinity with one another.

Same may be at stake with class.
Imagine three identical Bubbas, all starting out in the middle class. They are reasonably moral and responsible.
But suppose one Bubba does something which earns him a million bucks while another Bubba does something that drags him down to the bottom.

So, now there's rich bubba, middle bubba, and poor bubba. Since middle bubba is between rich bubba and poor bubba, you might think both rich bubba and poor bubba feel closer to middle babba than to one another. But maybe not.

Why not? Because when rich bubba found himself rich, he began to feel chained by his morality. Why stick with his homely wife when he can use his big bucks to get lots of women? Indeed, look at Tiger Woods. He used to have a steady okay-looking girlfriend before he got famous but when he made the big time, he figured, 'shiite, I can hump anyone!!' Since he had so much money and advantages, he didn't need to be functionally moral anymore--though he was careful to keep it discreet(well, maybe he coulda been a bit more discreet).

As for lower bubba, what does he have to lose anymore? He lost a decent job and his wife left him too. Since he has nothing of any value anymore--job, property, or woman--,he might as well get anything that comes his way: stolen merchandise, trashy tramps, etc. Since he's down in the pits and without hope, he might have as well 'live for today' with whatever he gets his hands on.

Thus, upper bubba and lower bubba comes to develop a similar mindset: upper bubba because he can afford a whole of stuff that give him pleasure and lower bubba because he's got nothing to lose and might as well have fun with whatever he can. Neither has much use for functional morality.

In contrast, middle bubba has to be functionally moral. He doesn't have the wealth/opportunity of rich bubba to enjoy all the goodies of life. But he still has enough of value--decent enough job and good enough woman--to work hard at being a law-abiding and moral person to make his life work.

Upper bubba, in his wanton freedom/privilege, is gonna resent middle bubba because middle bubba reminds him of the morality that he once had when he didn't have so much.
And lower bubba resents middle bubba because middle bubba stands for the ideal of 'if you study/work hard and act moral, you can have a decent life'. Lower bubba, down in the dumps, don't wanna be reminded that he's a loser cuz he's a lazy crazy bum.

welcome to gummtown. pop 1 said...

And so, upper Jews and lower blacks have this animosity toward middle whites. But, paradoxically, it's the white middle buffer that allows upper Jews and lower blacks to feel an affinity with one another, rather like between grandparents and grandchildren.

edgy gurl said...

"You have to be nutty to think that Fishtown whites act like Scandinavians."

Obviously you're a nonWhite spewing your prejudices. I will walk into any majority white community in this country without fear. Sure there's a few drug addicts but the difference between the desperate and the regular folks is still plain to see, easy enough to avoid trouble.

Anonymous said...

ANON SAID:
I've met a lot of non-university educated working class Scandinavians and they come off as intelligent and polite.

I AGREE WITH ANON
May I ask what part of Europe the residents of Fishtown originally came from?

Only reason I ask is that we all know that certain "founding stock" or "colonial stock" Americans are amoral depraved meth-heads (see winter's bone) at the same time their close blood relatives in Glasgow also act amoral and depraved.

Can are these specific founding stock Americans genetically amoral and depraved? Possibly since you see the same behaviour in Europe that you see in Winter's bone.

On the other hand, there are very very few natives of Sweden, either living in Sweden or living in the USA that act this way.

Given the latest research on genetics and crime, can we conclude that Swedes are genetically different enough from the people in Fishtown/Glasgow to account for the difference?

RKU said...

I have a feeling that Murray is trying to atone and ingratiate himself, by picking on white people, for his genuine and sincere work in the Bell Curve...the wrong target.It is simply not them who are causing the trouble, murder, robbery, violence, mortgage frauds and allied dysfunction. Murray knows full well who's doing that. But he's too cowardly to say so. The man's an academical harlot.

Exactly!

Anonymous said...

"Take Clinton. He was a major womanizer, but he only got Hillary pregnant."

Juanita Broaddrick claims that Clinton told her not to worry after he raped her since he was sterile from childhood mumps. Chelsea does look an awful lot like Webster Hubbell (or at least did before her plastic surgery).

Marlowe said...

Herbert George Wells foresaw it back in 1895:

"At first, proceeding from the problems of our own age, it seemed clear as daylight to me that the gradual widening of the present merely temporary and social difference between the Capitalist and the Labourer, was the key to the whole position. No doubt it will seem grotesque enough to you—and wildly incredible!—and yet even now there are existing circumstances to point that way. There is a tendency to utilize underground space for the less ornamental purposes of civilization; there is the Metropolitan Railway in London, for instance, there are new electric railways, there are subways, there are underground workrooms and restaurants, and they increase and multiply. Evidently, I thought, this tendency had increased till Industry had gradually lost its birthright in the sky. I mean that it had gone deeper and deeper into larger and ever larger underground factories, spending a still-increasing amount of its time therein, till, in the end—! Even now, does not an East-end worker live in such artificial conditions as practically to be cut off from the natural surface of the earth?

Again, the exclusive tendency of richer people—due, no doubt, to the increasing refinement of their education, and the widening gulf between them and the rude violence of the poor—is already leading to the closing, in their interest, of considerable portions of the surface of the land. About London, for instance, perhaps half the prettier country is shut in against intrusion. And this same widening gulf—which is due to the length and expense of the higher educational process and the increased facilities for and temptations towards refined habits on the part of the rich—will make that exchange between class and class, that promotion by intermarriage which at present retards the splitting of our species along lines of social stratification, less and less frequent. So, in the end, above ground you must have the Haves, pursuing pleasure and comfort and beauty, and below ground the Have-nots, the Workers getting continually adapted to the conditions of their labour. Once they were there, they would no doubt have to pay rent, and not a little of it, for the ventilation of their caverns; and if they refused, they would starve or be suffocated for arrears. Such of them as were so constituted as to be miserable and rebellious would die; and, in the end, the balance being permanent, the survivors would become as well adapted to the conditions of underground life, and as happy in their way, as the Upper-world people were to theirs.
"

-- The Time Machine

Anonymous said...

"Comments are moderated, at whim."

How were they moderated before?

TGGP said...

"The Bell Curve" restricted its discussion to whites in most of the chapters. It was the couple that went beyond that which generated the most flack. I don't think Murray is taking that different a tack now compared to then.

Anonymous said...

"I have a feeling that Murray is trying to atone and ingratiate himself, by picking on white people, for his genuine and sincere work in the Bell Curve...the wrong target.It is simply not them who are causing the trouble, murder, robbery, violence, mortgage frauds and allied dysfunction. Murray knows full well who's doing that. But he's too cowardly to say so. The man's an academical harlot."

There may be an element of this, but he's one of the few--along with Chris Webb and Pat Buchanan--who shed light on hard times faced by poor white folks. Leftists want people to think white = privilege and black = poor, but this book shows that there is no single white America. And Murray has reasons to be tough on white trash. I know all about white trash. Things are really bad in some communities, made especially awful by Section 8, indeed worse than de-industrialization.
Also, Murray is also hard on white elites. Of course, he's not hard on a certain people but that they seem to have control over Komment Kontrol's 'whim'.

Btw,is a powerful and sympthetic(too sympathetic)documentary on the subject. His FARMER'S WIFE was pretty moving too.

Anonymous said...

What Christianity and other religions do, is most of the time for most people put checks and curbs on behavior so you don't need a policeman on every street corner and every room, and a policeman to police the policeman.

And at least much of the time it's religion that puts religious policemen on every street corner, every room, and especially every bedroom.

Anonymous said...

Belmont is "the elite upper 20 percent." But it's Mitt Romney's neighborhood.

Then he gives a list of super zip codes that are the other Belmonts. That's where residents are in the 95th percentile + of income and education.

To Murray Belmonters aren't the top 20%. He's thinking of the upper 100k.

The upper 100k or top 5% don't go to church much. They are very secular. Murray wanted to find good churchgoing numbers so he expanded Belmont for statistical purposes to the top 20%. This adds fuel for the hypocrisy theme of his book. Belmonters follow values that they tell others not to follow.

Anonymous said...

"Belmont is "the elite upper 20 percent." But it's Mitt Romney's neighborhood."

Romney's neighborhood.... or Krugman's neighborhood? Belmonters don't seem to be voting for Romney.

Anonymous said...

In the 80s, I recall may suburbs were solidly Republican. But now many suburbs--especially nice ones--are solidly Democratic.
I think many older people died since the 80s--and they're gone forever--and their kids were just more liberal, and their kids were raised under heavy dose of PC in media and colleges. And many educated people associate GOP with hardline religion, igorance, Southern bigotry, greedy rich, Limbaugh the boor, etc.

Anonymous said...

"What's all this pompous bullshit about attending church 'making you a good person'"

I expect going to church tends to make you a slightly better person - all those messages of personal responsibility and love thy neighbour - and likewise hanging around sleazy bars and whorehouses tends to make you a worse person.

Inductivist has run a zillion correlations on this sort of thing. It can't be all selection effect.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

At 5:00. "This may be the end of Western Civilization as we know it." Lmao.

Anonymous said...

You comment censoring is crap. You let worthless pigs like whiskey fill up your blog with the same shit post after post. But others seem to get clipped. Give us some guidelines on what is and is not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

As regards the observation that we don't (yet) have underclass population concentrations on the order of the typical Black ghetto.
Well,the Americam farming states of the mid-west sprouted lots and lots of villages in the 1870's-80's and the ones that the railroads threaded through, had a good pulse beat for many decades. However, since about the mid 1950's, the brain drain and other forces have pulled people out and, sadly, most often what remains are those who were so dim they understandably didn't feel good about being away from their generations-old rural
kinship networks--and had the degree of reality contact to remain rural "family" but poor. But by 2000 or so, the typical appearance of these once viable villages (of anywhere from a population of, say, 350 to 500 persons) was simply a miniature White ghetto---abandoned mobile homes pushed together and leaking roofs patched with plastic bags--heating with wood stoves--people living in a combo of old RV's and various lean-to structures, etc.
If farm crops were to skyrocket in price from the huge world population demands--and a few other factors--these relic villages could be almost literally
plowed under in a period best measured in many months rather than several years.
We may, in fact, already have incipient White
ghettos--they've just not coalesced yet within the spaces that remain (burned out buildings, etc.) within the Black ghettos of the nearest cities (pop. say, 250,000 or so ) I've never yet heard of these little "dried up" villages getting noticed by campus sociologists or anthropologists. Unless you've once lived in them and still know a few people there,
a lot of folks would wish to have
a .357 under the vest before peering around. Of course, dim
Whites and Blacks sharing the same ghetto area just might make it hard to distinguish firecracker day from any other day. We are doomed to live now in interesting times.

Anonymous said...

In small towns, often the village atheist was encouraged to attend Church as long as he kept his mouth shut and did not take communion. The notion was that if he bowed his head while others were praying, he at least might evade ending up worshipping himself as a substitute for worshipping God.

Anonymous said...

"Give us some guidelines on what is and is not acceptable."

I think I figured out the iron laws of WHIM.

1. No N-words.

2. No overt anti-Jewishness.

3. No overt sexualism.

4. No Neo-Nazi stuff.

5. No ridiculous or irrelevant trivia.

Anonymous said...

You drink Bud Light? In moderation?

Steve Sailer said...

Bud Light? Much too expensive for me.

Reg C├Žsar said...

...Murray has been the model of a public intellectual. Striving to reconcile contrasting virtues, Murray has displayed a dazzling gift for sophisticated data analysis...

Please don't insult Murray with these words. He's not an 'intellectual', but a true scholar. And he's not 'sophisticated', or anything else sophist, but quite deep.

Anonymous said...

Although i think most of Murray's thesis is correct it leaves out the effect of offshoring.

The full rotting effect of the modern anti-culture only really kicks in when there's mass, concentrated unemployment like you get when a factory, mine or steel town closes down en masse. It's that which kills the prideful working culture and associated shame restraint that keeps out the rot.

So to a certain extent he's providing an excuse for the people who initiated the problem (and who made themselves very rich in the process) so they can blame the condition of the plebs entirely on their own moral turpitude rather than on a combination of pleb turpitude and the greed and treachery of the elites.

Without the post 1965 immigration and offshoring homogamy may well have led to gaps in the same places but they wouldn't be as big.

JSM said...

"Vikings all want everything to be a giant IKEA store in a hip urban neighborhood, with safe streets."

That's funny. I thought Vikings were tough guys, bashing heads and taking loot.

In the Icelandic sagas, the phrase "to go viking" implies participation in raiding activity or piracy.

"From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord!" cried the Medieval monks.

Come to find out, it was all just anti-Viking propaganda, and my ancestors were just looking for the local shopping mall. Thank you, Whiskey, for straightening that out.

Marlowe said...

I hoped someone would observe that the Morlocks of The Time Machine constituted a literal under class.

welcome to gummtown. pop 1. said...

David Sutherland's COUNTRY BOYS is a good documentary, but its problem--and that of the teachers/ministers, etc. featured in the film--is they are too soft. They are sympathetic and well-meaning, even idealistic, but they don't enforce discipline that poor students really need to make something of themselves. Whether one agrees with Amy Chua's Tiger-Mommyism or not, Chua made sure her girls understood that she's the parent, teachers are teachers, and kids must show some respect.

The two kids in COUNTRY BOYS are not bad boys, and the adults really try to help them, but there is no real push, no sense of authority and respect. The fat guy comes up with an idea to run a school paper, and it takes him nearly a whole semester to print up a single page!! He keeps making excuses and teachers kindly listen to him at every step.
Decent people but this is not how things get done.

What we need is a new Prussianism. And it can be started from an early age. We don't need to spend a lot of money. It'd be less about using expensive teaching material than building up a state of mind and habit. Too much emphasis within programs like HEAD START is educational material. But a small child can only cram so much into his/her head.
Better would be HEART START and BUTT START. Shape the heart to respect authority, shape the butt to get off the ground sometimes.

You gotta form correct character/habit before you embark on mental stuff. Now, naturally smart/curious kids like Steve Jobs are wired by nature to strive to learn more on their own. But most kids are mediocre. The Jewish Way doesn't work for them since they don't have natural Jewishy smarts. Their minds develop more slowly, and therefore it's more important to shape their habits and character--to serve as pillars, buttresses, bulwarks against laziness, craziness, and slovenliness.

Of course, spoiled kids will resist Prussianism, but that's why they have to be started early. And of course, neo-Prussianism must be humane and not involve brutal punishment.
It can also be made to look appealing with aesthetics: uniforms, special badges, sense of belonging, camping trips, etc. Kids go for that stuff.

Alternative Right people can do without the government in poor white communities, but they are too busy huffing and puffing themselves up as Nietzschean superman.

Andrea Ostrov Letania said...

"Please don't insult Murray with these words. He's not an 'intellectual', but a true scholar. And he's not 'sophisticated', or anything else sophist, but quite deep."

But he does have an agenda. He's not thinking just to understand stuff but to fix society. He is a public intellectual in this sense.

"philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it."

-- Marx.

Anonymous said...

And many educated people associate GOP with hardline religion, igorance, Southern bigotry, greedy rich, Limbaugh the boor, etc.

Could it be because the GOP has so much more of this stuff NOW than it had 20-40 years ago?

welcome to gummtown. pop 1 said...

"Alternative Right people can do without the government in poor white communities, but they are too busy huffing and puffing themselves up as Nietzschean superman."

I meant,

"Alt right folks don't need the backing of government programs to do something for poor white folks, but they are too busy being supermen."

Anonymous said...

Now, naturally smart/curious kids like Steve Jobs are wired by nature to strive to learn more on their own.

Agreed.

But most kids are mediocre. The Jewish Way doesn't work for them since they don't have natural Jewishy smarts.

There must be a middle ground between the self-regulating Jewish / Japanese / Armenian Way and the Prussian / Victorian / Anglo-Saxon Way. I might as well add Levantine Christian to the first group; Jobs himself is an exemplar.

Of course, spoiled kids will resist Prussianism, but that's why they have to be started early.

Mistracked smart kids too. And we can't lump all smart kids into the same boat; those of IQ 105 and 145 are from different worlds. In many ways, especially socially, someone with an IQ of 145 has more in common with an 85er than with a 105er.

And also, in a misguided attempt at fairness, dummies will always try to impose their disciplinarian values on smarties, and be totally ignorant and insensitive of the resulting harm.

Actual communist societies are extremely tracked. Those earmarked to be rocket scientists from an early age are given all the resources they need - books, labs, computers, calculators - and especially splendid isolation. They are not forced to "socialize" with the proletariat, nor the usual Prussian boot-camp social regimentation.

And of course, neo-Prussianism must be humane and not involve brutal punishment.

Or hypocrisy.

It can also be made to look appealing with aesthetics: uniforms, special badges, sense of belonging, camping trips, etc. Kids go for that stuff.

And an appeal to "goodness" and "doing good", to appeal to the consciences of the kids, and link them to their self-esteem.

Anonymous said...

"Please don't insult Murray with these words. He's not an 'intellectual', but a true scholar. And he's not 'sophisticated', or anything else sophist, but quite deep.



Murray is a court intellectual. He is always going to to tell the "nobility" that which flatters their ego the most. In this case that means telling them how they are innately better than the rabble.

If born into 18th century Europe he's have put his talent to work justifying the rights of monarchs and aristocrats to rule.

Anonymous said...

And also, in a misguided attempt at fairness, dummies will always try to impose their disciplinarian values on smarties, and be totally ignorant and insensitive of the resulting harm



The people on this site who imagine themselves to be "smarties", aren't. They are very mediocre thinkers with an unearned and unjustified sense of their own self-worth.

Anonymous said...

many educated people associate GOP with hardline religion, igorance, Southern bigotry, greedy rich, Limbaugh the boor, etc.


In contemporary America, "educated" is just another word for "indoctrinated". They can't think their way out of a paper bag. To be "educated' is not to be able to think, but to know the "correct" response to various questions.

Anonymous said...

"And many educated people associate GOP with hardline religion, igorance, Southern bigotry, greedy rich, Limbaugh the boor, etc."

"Could it be because the GOP has so much more of this stuff NOW than it had 20-40 years ago?"

Yes and no. When it comes to religious issues, Christian Right wing of the GOP seems to be in the Middle Ages. But then, younger Evangelicals tend to be different.
Bush was both more Evangelical than previous Republican presidents but also more 'compassionate conservative', bending over backwards to black community and aid to Africa--and home loans to blacks and Hispanics, disparate impact, support for affirmative action.
Deep South is associated with Nascar and etc, but college football is big down there, and white conservatives root for black teams. And Southern whites are more integrated than Northern liberal whites, especially affluent ones.
Sarah Palin seems like Guns and God conservative, but she's like a Family Guy character and her kids are trashy morons without values and reverence for anything; they're MTV.
GOP immigration policy was defined by amnesty from both Bush II and McCain.
And the big problem in the South isn't southern white bigotry but black violence against whites, but conservatives are mum about it, being so afraid of being called 'racist'.
GOP has SYMBOLICALLY become more conservative but IN REAL TERMS become less conservative, more confused, slavish to Jewish interests, etc.

But because there is such lack of artistic, cultural, and intellectual life on the conservative side, the image of GOP is either bland white people or dumb white people.
Murray takes of significance of whites in elite positions, but 90% of them are liberal or leftist. Look at Hollywood and Silicon Valley. How many conservative whites there?

Anonymous said...

And also, in a misguided attempt at fairness, dummies will always try to impose their disciplinarian values on smarties, and be totally ignorant and insensitive of the resulting harm

The people on this site who imagine themselves to be "smarties", aren't. They are very mediocre thinkers with an unearned and unjustified sense of their own self-worth.

Really? Can you name names, other than Anonymous?

My point is still valid, that smart people literally need different rules from dumb ones, and that smart people need MORE protection from other people and LESS from their own selves.

What's so unreasonable about that?

Ancient China, ancient Greece, and to a smaller extent pre-Protestant Europe managed to make a system like that workable.

Anonymous said...

Finally a break for piggy wiggies. Hogs are as smart as dogs. Next step is stop killing them for food.