May 16, 2013

Barone: In defense of Richwine and Murray

The Richwine Affair is turning into a 21st Century version of the Dreyfus Affair, with intellectuals weighing in on their chosen sides. There's a vague sense growing that which side you choose matters. From the Washington Examiner:
In defense of Jason Richwine and Charles Murray
May 16, 2013 | 4:32 pm

Michael Barone

My American Enterprise Institute colleague Charles Murray came to the defense of our former colleague Jason Richwine ...  Charles was entirely accurate in stating that Richwine’s conclusion that Hispanics have lower than average IQs is accurate and, among specialists in this area, non-controversial. Richwine was careful to say that the average Hispanic IQ might rise over time, as has been observed of other groups’ average IQs. And the Heritage Foundation paper co-authored by Richwine estimating the fiscal cost of legalizing current illegal immigrants (of which the Hoover Institution’s Keith Hennessey has written a sharp critique on other grounds) did not advocate screening immigrants by IQ. He does seem to favor shifting our system toward admitting more high-skill applicants, as do I and many others, and as do the immigration systems of our Anglosphere cousins Canada and Australia. This is not racist; it has resulted in rapidly growing Asian populations in those two countries. It is discrimination based on skills. No nation has an obligation to admit every foreigner who wants to move there.
On the Economist blog a writer identified as W.W. defends the stigmatization of Richwine. He states blandly that “racism has always been predicated on falsification hypotheses about racial inferiority.” I think this is just plain wrong factually: many people have hated Jews and Asians on the grounds that they tend to be unfairly superior in certain respects, including intelligence. But there’s something more wrong with this line of thinking. It assumes that if ordinary people get the idea that one group on average scores worse on intelligence tests then they will conclude that it’s justified to discriminate against all members of the group. Ordinary people—or at least ordinary Americans—know better than that. They have learned, from school, from work, from everyday life, that there is wider variation with each measured group than between measured groups. Some members of a racially or ethnically defined group that on average scores low on IQ tests score far above average. And some members of a group that on average scores high will score far below average. Ordinary people understand that it is irrational to discriminate according to race or religion or ethnic group, and that it is rational to judge individuals on their own merits. 
So the fact that there are differences in average IQ scores between members of different groups does not undercut the case against group discrimination. But it does undercut the case for racial quotas and preferences and for the “disparate impact” legal doctrine which amounts to the same thing. Those cases depend on the assumption that in a fair society we would find the same racial mix in every school, every occupation and every neighborhood. Ordinary people know that isn’t true, but the elites who cherish “affirmative action” want people to believe it is. This is why there was such a furiously negative reaction to Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s 1994 book The Bell Curve,  which patiently explained that intelligence is partly the result of genetics and partly the result of environment: both nature and nurture play a role. I made points very similar to those here when I wrote this for National Review in December 1994.

Sorry about quoting almost the whole thing, but I couldn't see what to cut. It's good.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would they be defending Richwine if he were associated with American Renaissance?

AEI is respectable.

It's WHO,WHOM of affiliation.

David said...

An emerging trope on both sides seems to be "this has always been my position."

Odd.

They're running scared in opposite directions?

Anonymous said...

A rare moment of good sense from Barone.

There is actually nothing scientific about the "all people are the same" movement. It is best described as "millenarianist", and would be described as such but for the fact that most of its adherents are rather hostile to Christianity. Their goal of a world in which African and European and Asian, Shia and Sunni, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and Jew all live cheek-by-jowl in peace and harmony can best be described in religious terms, not scientific ones.

Anonymous said...

Derb led the way in not saying 'sorry'.

Die but do not retreat, as the enemy has a take-no-prisoners policy.

Anonymous said...

Richwine would be getting less support has he discussed black IQ.

Anonymous said...

Last week, the Florida Republican Party’s [Conqui] Hispanic outreach director quit his job and switched sides.

According to Pablo Pantoja, the final straw came in the Heritage Foundation’s immigration report, a screed authored in part by a racist named Jason Richwine
http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-05/gop-leader-quits-amid-eugenics-fueled-immigration-report-107158

Anonymous said...

So, we've got Murray, Barone, and Byron York. Maybe Andrew Sullivan and John McWhorter.

They've got the rest of the world.

Terrific.

x said...

we got one thing they don't have though.

the truth.

David said...

>They've got the rest of the world.<

History is made by minorities.

On Galileo's side: Galileo.

Against him: Tom, Dick, and Harry and the Pope.

Who won? Neil Armstrong.

GOP goes the weasel said...

Maybe the defeat of 2012 finally jolted many conservatives awake. Barone relied on old voting patterns and expected Romney to win, but boy oh boy, he was wrong.

GOP goes the weasel said...

"So, we've got Murray, Barone, and Byron York. Maybe Andrew Sullivan and John McWhorter. They've got the rest of the world."

That's one way to look at it. But another way to look at it is that mainstream organizations are actually tolerating dissent from such big hitters working for major institutions.

Anonymous said...

It's not that it's good, it's just simple common sense. In a sane world, it would go without saying but in our current bizarro world it is some kind of brave statement.

Cail Corishev said...

Derb led the way in not saying 'sorry'.

Derb would probably say that Brimelow, Sobran, and others led the way. But in the current climate of kowtowing to the demonizers, he definitely stands out.

Anonymous said...

will wilkinson writes fiction for the economist

Anonymous said...

Yea but what side is Mark Hemingway on?

Funny thing is I read NRO and I only know who he is from the 30 Rock joke about him.

Jason said...

Michael Barone is a very stand-up, honorable man in my opinion, notwithstanding some wishful thinking he may have concerning certain aspects of ethnicity and immigration policy.

SC said...

I really disagree with Barone. Barone obviously hasn't spent much time observing people with double digit IQs, whatever their race may be. He states "if ordinary people get the idea that one group on average scores worse on intelligence tests then they will conclude that it’s justified to discriminate against all members of the group."

The problem with most high IQ/high education intellectuals is that they almost never spend time with dummies. Even my limited experience with low IQ people has lead me to believe. The left side of the bellcurve doesn't understand the concept of a bellcurve. The left side of the bellcurve also doesn't understand things like standard deviation. If you tell an IQ 135+ White man about the tenets of HBD, whether he agrees with you or not, he will understand that you said the average Black person has an IQ of 85, the average White person has an IQ of 100, but because of the considerable standard deviations in both bellcurves, a randomly selected Black person might have a higher IQ than a randomly selected White person. If you instead tell IQ 85 Cletus in his West Virginia trailer the tenets of HBD, he will misunderstand you and think you just told him that "White people are smarter than Black people." No exceptions. The whole idea of a bellcurve will go way above his head, as will the concept of standard deviation and the possibility that some Black people may be smarter than most White people.

HBDers like to think that all stereotypes are true. There is the stereotype of the dumb violent trailer trash white person. I do believe that if low IQ White people start listening to HBD en masse, they will misunderstand HBD and instead use their "knowledge" to go lynch Black/Hispanic people en masse. I think that the likely scenario of mass exposure to HBD is that high IQ people of all races go on with their daily lives, but there is mass persecution of prole non-Whites at the hands of prole Whites. Better to keep these ideas away from Cletus and Tami-Lynn's heads before they lynch somebody.

Beefy Levinson said...

Basically, modern liberalism knows only atoms and the void. In a Christian framework, we're all equal in the sense that we are made in the image of God which means every human being qua human being has intrinsic value and moral worth.

Liberals don't like Christianity so they concocted the Zero Group Differences mythology as an unprincipled exception to their philosophical materialism. That's why they are so passionate about burning heretics like Richwine: in the liberal imagination, ZGD mythology is the only thing separating the free and equal liberal ├╝bermensch from the Nazi.

Anonymous said...

Michael Barone and David Brooks really should contribute to the ISteve fund.

Anonymous said...

"Liberals don't like Christianity so they concocted the Zero Group Differences mythology as an unprincipled exception to their philosophical materialism."

Actually, 99% of liberals don't think. 1% come up with the stuff and 99% just follow. Think of a time when almost all liberals laughed at 'gay marriage'. But 1% spread homomania, so suddenly 90% liberals are for it.

It's a sad sight really.

99% of cons don't think either.

We see it as libs vs cons, but it's 1% libs vs 1% cons. Everyone else just follows. The thing is 1% libs are beating the 1% cons.

Anonymous said...

SC said:HBDers like to think that all stereotypes are true. There is the stereotype of the dumb violent trailer trash white person. I do believe that if low IQ White people start listening to HBD en masse, they will misunderstand HBD and instead use their "knowledge" to go lynch Black/Hispanic people en masse. I think that the likely scenario of mass exposure to HBD is that high IQ people of all races go on with their daily lives, but there is mass persecution of prole non-Whites at the hands of prole Whites. Better to keep these ideas away from Cletus and Tami-Lynn's heads before they lynch somebody.

70 years ago almost everyone held to at least some variant of HBD and no such thing occurred in this country. Lay off the Adderall, and stop your marathon viewing sessions of old PBS black history month programing. Crack a book, or better yet, ask an elderly neighbor or family member to tell you all about the bloody, Balkan style race wars of their youth.

-The Judean People's Front

David said...

SC, you have it all wrong.

Cleatus won't do shit, because the elites will have no motive to teach him HBD. He already has opinions about other races, based on observation, not a professor's talk. Cleatus's problem is that he's being lied to and knows it, he's getting a raw deal and knows it. A fair shot at a job, a fair shake in a job, less official racism directed at him, and Cleatus will be reliable. He has far more reason now to go nuts and lynch people than he would have if the elites were to accept HBD and guide long-range public policy by it. If he ain't goin' berserk now, he won't go berserk when things get honester and better. (And remember, murder is a crime, HBD or no.)

Don't worry about Cleatus, worry about blacks. But even there, the elites, who puffed black racists for a century (it was CP strategy for decades), can just as well puff Booker T types instead. Black proles, all proles, are extraordinarily malleable, particularly when their food supply is involved. Do all black youngsters imitate Jews (Beastie Boys) and rap and revere the Thug Life? Then they could easily follow a different narrative, if the media imposed it. There was a time when most non-whites behaved better (and their average member did better).

The elites have already been part-managing, part-exacerbating huge racial tensions for a long time. They wouldn't have to take on new responsibilities if the preferences rug were to be pulled out from under non-whites. They would simply have to defuse the worst, most revolutionary narratives that they stirred up in the first place, and make employment and social acceptance dependent on "personal responsibility" and "humility" and "hard work" and the rest of it. In other words: become social conservatives in large measure.

It also wouldn't hurt if they stood down from pushing compulsory competitiveness and wanting "to be a billionaire so bad" as the national religion, and pushed spiritual values and community instead. When that rug gets pulled out, community, mutual aid, and family solidarity need to be paramount values in the society, among everyone.

>the bloody, Balkan style race wars of their youth<

Good point. There were fistfights among micks and guineas, and a switchblade fight now and again among Aframericans of the rougher type, but look at the situation now. How many blacks got capped in Chicago just recently, for nothing or less than nothing? More blacks have been shot down in cold blood during integration and preferences than were lynched during segregation.

Beefy has it right.

Harry Baldwin said...

Actually, 99% of liberals don't think. 1% come up with the stuff and 99% just follow. . . 99% of cons don't think either.

I agree with the first part, but believe that three to four percent of conservatives think. But maybe I'm just being partisan.

pat said...

Think of it this way.

Your doctor probably has an IQ of 130. The studies show that the medical physician position requires an IQ of 125 - the highest single profession minimum. Let's assume that your doctor isn't at the absolute bottom. That means there's a good chance that your doctor has an IQ of 130.

That's high enough for Mensa. That's high enough to be the President. Most of MBAs who run the nation's industries have IQs around there.

An IQ of 130 puts you in the top 2%- if you are white. But if you are black an IQ of 130 is three standard deviations above the black mean. That's quite rare. That would put you in the top one tenth of one percent.

A three SD IQ among whites puts you in with Nobel Prize winners. Some writers call an IQ of 145 genius level.

The world is run by men with IQs of 130 or so. About two in a hundred whites and Asians qualify. But less than one in a thousand blacks do.

Your doctor probably isn't black.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Wilkinson is tyro--gotta love how Barone makes him seem like some unaccountable anon pamphleteer rather than the Big Deal Cosmotarian we all are so refined to know--and Barone concisely demonstrated that the Brinks, Wilks, Reasonoids don't know what they're talking about in this area. However I agree that if the subject were American blacks' group IQ levels this would have already gone to DEFCON 1 last week and there'd be no still-employed defenders of the position. It'd be like some wild claim that gays might have contributed to the spread of AIDS

Anonymous said...

What easily gets lost in all this
is the realization that some especially able people believe BOTH that the biological bases of
inequality are very large and important AND that the subject is too big to be safely confronted/that our society and governmental functioning are not up to insuring a "safe" formulation of policy, let alone a violence free public debate. The second assertion may well be true.
They are separate, if intersecting, issues.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Actually, 99% of liberals don't think. 1% come up with the stuff and 99% just follow. . . 99% of cons don't think either.

I agree with the first part, but believe that three to four percent of conservatives think. But maybe I'm just being partisan."

I think its pretty much established that a for any idea to get mainstream approval(get the majority to agree like sheep) ,all it needs is an influential 10% and the rest 90% will follow.

This group dynamic works more powerfully with women ,who succumb to peer pressure a lot easier than men.

Of course there are always butterflies flapping their wings and riots,terrorism,war,invasion,assasinations, off the cuff remarks, videos going viral that can undermine the narrative and upend the process.

But I must say so far in America anyway ,the establishment has shown remarkable resilience and force projection inspite of all the set backs.
Who couldve anticipated that 10 years after 9/11 ,Islamophobe would be almost synonymous with pedophile in respectable discourse?