June 22, 2008

The American vs. German Education Paradox

My new VDARE.com column on Charles Murray's recent article "The Age of Educational Romanticism" offers a new partial explanation for the triumph of educational romanticism among American K-12 educators while their counterparts in Europe and Asia remain hard-headed about differences in academic potential. Obviously, race plays a big role here, but even more overlooked is the paradoxical influence of the triumph of our exclusive American colleges.

To summarize the reality under the rhetoric:

American higher education today -- ultra-elitist Social Darwinism masked by politically correct rhetoric

German higher education -- leftist egalitarian mediocrity

American lower education -- leftist egalitarian mediocrity

German lower education -- hardheaded realism about human differences

Elitist continental European universities were largely emasculated by sincere leftism after WWII, especially after 1968, so, today, they have dropped far down in world prestige rankings. In contrast, just about the only famous American college to destroy its exclusiveness in response to 1960s radicalism was CCNY. All the other elite colleges (e.g., Berkeley), merely bought off minority radicals with affirmative action and actually increased their elitism in admissions for non-affirmative action applicants. But, as they became more Social Darwinian overall, they became more politically correct in their public expressions, with disastrous effects on the poor saps running the K-12 system in America, who were too thick to get the joke.

It's a complex argument, so Read the Whole Thing.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Steve, excellent article. Where did the crushing-porsche-building-ten-year-old quote come from?

It is tragic the amount of potential that's wasted in this country. We've basically lost our skilled craftsmen class, whether that's a cabinet maker or a Boeing machinist.

I wonder how much the equality and employment of women has fed into this. I would guess not many young women are interested in becoming fishermen or mechanics. But home ec., and traditional female occupations are not PC enough to be taught in school any more. So if there's no apprentice track suitable for women, what's a school to do with them? I'm curious how Germany handles this track for its women.

BTW, I'm sure you haven't missed this article on how half of the homosexuals expelled from the military under "don't ask don't tell" are women, despite women only numbering 15% overall. Who'd have thunk?

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything with the exception that in the early 90's, anyone who was stuck looking for their first real job after college was thinking the vocational track shouldn't have just been for the dumb kids. They were thinking this along with "all this and I have to start at the bottom at McDonalds or become an admissions/sales rep for one of the local technical colleges for dummies who will be more employable than me with my liberal arts degree, as is the beautician, the auto mechanic, the a/c repairman, etc."

Steve Sailer said...

"Where did the crushing-porsche-building-ten-year-old quote come from?"

In one my VDARE articles, if something is in italics, it means I made it up -- I'm satirizing the existing mindset by highlighting the absurdity of the conventional wisdom.

Anonymous said...


Sorry for getting on somewhat of a tangent, but I'd take those Times international University rankings with a grain of salt. Look at how the US universities are ranked. Perhaps they were using things like spending, research, facilities, etc., but their ranking of U.S. universities isn't all that consistent with how smart the students are. Are you telling me that that students from Universities of Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, UCSD, and probably a few others ranked higher are smarter than students at Dartmouth (ranked 71)? The SAT data, which is, after all, basically an IQ test, seem to disconfirm that. For all their methodology, US News and World Report rankings seem to go basically by SAT, which is basically ranking by student IQ. As you have so often pointed out, colleges are not valued so much for the value they add through attendance, but as a marker of a student's IQ to employers.

Also, the international rankings for UK universities don't even agree with the Times' Good University Guide's own rankings. For instance, my beloved alma mater, St. Andrews, is 77th on the international list, behind 14 other UK Universities, whereas the Times Good University Guide for the UK places it at 5th place. As for entry criteria, which is based on A-Levels, which is basically like taking a battery of US AP exams for university admission and would basically correspond to ranking American Universities by SAT scores of their students, the top 10 UK universities are: 1) Cambridge, 2) Oxford, 3) LSE, 4) St. Andrews and Edinburgh (tie), 6) Imperial College and Warwick (tie), 8) Durham, 9) Aberdeen, 10) Bath.

Again, bricks and mortar look nice, but it's how smart the students are on average that really counts.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer: In contrast, our European and Asian economic rivals have largely resisted the urge to junk tracking The rest of the world understands what America's educational leaders refuse to admit publicly: with teens with two digit IQs, failure is always an option...

The amount of money that Japan, for instance, invests in training high school students for skilled blue-collar careers is astonishing by today's paltry American standards... the U.S. government didn't immediately grasp how upsetting this accident was to the Japanese public... Four of the dead were high school kids...

Lynn & Vanhanen estimate an average IQ for Japan of 105.

On the other, the general consensus seems to be that both American blacks and American mestizo/aboriginal hispanics have average IQs which are no higher than about 85 [and there's some evidence that even the identical figures of 85 could be generous].

So the bottom half of the Japanese bell curve consists of students with IQs of "104.999" and lower, whereas the bottom halves of both the American black and American mestizo/aboriginal hispanic bell curves consist of students with IQs of "84.999" and lower.

There is a reasonable HOPE that many of the kids in the lower half of the Japanese bell curve could grow up to do something moderately useful.

On the other hand, there is NO HOPE that any of the kids in the lower halves [or, for that matter, much of the upper halves] of the American black or American mestizo/aboriginal hispanic bell curves could grow up to do anything useful - these children are uneducable, and when they grow up to be adults, they will be unemployable. They are educational and economic dead weight. Ballast. Lead. Their situation is HOPELESS.

People believe in "Educational Romanticism" because they desperately want to pretend that somewhere, somehow, some way, there might be a ray of hope.

What they lack is the strength of character to admit that the situation is hopeless.

Just as do both you & Charles Murray, by playing these silly games of pretending that there is any hope for a staggering percentage of America's young people [be they living in America legally, or illegally], who will never do anything in their lives other than grow up to sire even more families which cost the taxpayers $19,588 per annum in perpetuity [or at least will cost the taxpayers $19,588 per annum, right up until the United States implodes and ceases to exist, circa 2020].

Actually, since both you & Charles Murray are well aware that the situation is hopeless, I assume that you must have some ulterior motive in playing these games, but I suppose I'll keep my mouth shut and not disclose what I think you're up to in offering this feint.

Steve Sailer said...

As I mentioned, the Times of London list is biased against American universities, and it's vague on the distinction between undergraduate and graduate sectors.

But, as I've mentioned before, these kind of Top 100 lists don't have to be all that accurate to be of use if you are using them for something other than what they were intended for.

That the highest ranking German university in the world is #60 says something important. Maybe it should be #30, maybe it should be #90, but it really doesn't matter. What does matter is that German universities have fallen like a rock over the last 100 years.

Anonymous said...

chief seattle said:
"So if there's no apprentice track suitable for women, what's a school to do with them? I'm curious how Germany handles this track for its women."

As an American who's spent a number of years in Germany as both a grad student and in a law firm, I can answer that: They basically do what the US did when my parents attended high school in the early 60s. They have a university bound track that does the Arbitur (like UK A-levels), and then they have a vocational track for guys who can work with their hands and a business track (which is basically administrative and secretarial skills) for all those people that work indoors in offices of some sort or another or in sales. This latter track is heavily female and covers all sorts of "female" jobs. Note that many of the people in this track would, if they were in the US, study at university and acquire a useless degree in something soft that doesn't really qualify them to do anything (but does mark them as basically literate).

Anonymous said...


I agree with you that the University rankings don't have to be that accurate to be somewhat useful, but I feel that the Times' international rankings represent more prestige (with a heavy Anglo-centric and English language bias) than educational quality (and remember, we're talking about education of the work force and not research prestige). I've seen US, UK and German Universities first hand. US ones have the Germans and Brits beat on "bricks and mortar," but the average quality of their students, due to our "educational romanticism/egalitarian delusions" is lower than in Europe. Remember, to study in Germany you have to have passed the Abitur. Only about 20% of Germans nationally do so. They are basically restricting their University students to an IQ of 110+ for even their poorest Universities. Granted, the US top 25 may have smarter students on average than German Universities, but there are not all that many US universities that have as high a quality of student as any German university. (See Inductivist's estimate of AVERAGE IQ 105 for recent US graduates. Virtually NO ONE with an IQ under 110 even attends university in Germany).

Steve Sailer said...

Well, prestige is the name of the game when it comes to influence. "Harvard" is one of the world's most valuable brand names, while Gottingen is not.

Anonymous said...

Steve: What does matter is that German universities have fallen like a rock over the last 100 years.

Don't you think that the language issue matters a lot? Universities of English speaking countries have a massive advantage in drawing foreign students (and the native speaker pool is much larger to begin with, most European countries are too small to have elite universities). This was the opposite pre-WWII as German was an important lingua franca of many fields (eg. physics, much thanks to certain people who soon found themselves in America, of course) and utterly dominated northern Europe (I'm Finnish; pre-war well educated people always knew German and there were many languages ahead of English in popularity).

Dan Kurt said...

re: " The SAT data, which is, after all, basically an IQ test," posted by another anonymous coward

Not true any more as it has been g unloaded and renormed (truncated). Mensa does not recognize SAT scores for admission any more and has not for at least a decade plus.

Anonymous said...

I took the introductory class to the machinist track at a local community college a while back. Yes, you have to be "good with your hands" to do that kind of work, but the instructor also took a working knowledge of algebra and trigonometry on the part of the class for granted, which was something some of the students had trouble with. While the class was a diverse group at the beginning of the semester, it had lost half it's students by the end. Who was left at the final? A bunch of gearhead white guys with good math skills and mostly German sounding surnames.

The truth is simply that it's not the 1940s anymore and there just isn't a lot of dummy work left in modern manufacturing. Operating a lathe or milling machine takes a lot more than a warm body who can push a switch back and forth all day. The fact that Japan and Germany (the nations with the highest IQs on their respective continents) are famous for making the best precision tools and automobiles has less to do with how they allocate their education budget than with the fact that they have intellectually gifted populations who respect a job that has an element of manual labor to it.

So, if you're putting forward the notion that the skilled trades are going to solve the problem of America's underclass, I think that is a mistake. I do however think that a lot of guys with above average IQs but maybe not the mental wherewithal to be mechanical engineers, doctors or scientists would do much better for themselves by becoming millwrights or tool and die makers than by sludging through a useless and expensive degree at State U.

Anonymous said...

jon ferson is 100% correct -- here in Japan, being a die maker or lathe operator isn't viewed as 'dummy work for people not smart enough to be in college' but rather a respectable profession for smart people that can put one squarely in the middle class. Engineers make things work on paper, it takes skill all the way down the chain to make good products. Dummies needn't apply.

Stopped Clock said...

Where I grew up, the school department aimed at getting a minimum of 10% of 8th graders to enroll in vocational school. I decided that path really wasn't for me, but I can't say the School Department didn't do a good job promoting it. As for the gender thing: well, there was a large enough cosmetology program and a day-care one too. I checked the website just now and it seems they're still going on strong. On the other hand, the main high school wasn't very "intellectual", and there was a large number of high-IQ students going to preparatory schools to get a better education.

Bruce Charlton said...

Steve is absolutely correct about the decline of the German Universities.

From the 1700s (top - Halle) through the early 1800s (top- Gottingen - by far the biggest university in the world with a couple of thousand students when Harvard had a couple of hundred) to the turn of the 19-20th century (top - Berlin) the German universities were supreme.

They had the first professionalized and specialized, research-orientated Professoriate; and dominated the scholarly western world. There were several other great institutions including Heidelberg and (briefly) Jena.

Americans, British and everyone else would learn to read German and if possible make their way to Germany to do a coveted PhD (a German invention - now universal).

The German system of research universities was later imported to the USA by the most influential of all educationalists, Abraham Flexner, in the 19th Century. First US attempt at graduate school universities were Clark University (failed) and Johns Hopkins (success!); but the first British PhD - actually an Oxford DPhil - was not awarded until 1917, when access to Germany was not possible for Brits.

The German University dominance was broken first by the 1914-18 war, which weakened it (Cambridge UK became the premier world university at this time), then in 1933-45 they were pretty much destroyed as scholarly centres by the National Socialists.

Post 1945, as Steve says, the German University emphasis was on egalitarian social engineering; and centres of excellence were prevented by national policy spreading-out the best students and faculty.

Currently almost every German university has a few top notch faculty and students, and a top national (not international) centre of some branch of specialized research. But seldom more then one or two such centres.

e.g. The second-most prestigious German sociologist - Luhmann - was at obscure Bielefeld; the currently most famous German philosopher - Sloterdijk - is at un-famous Karlsruhe.

But no German universities have anything other than a small minority of top people/ departments.

So for the past several decades, both tiny Sweden (with Karolinska & Uppsala) and tiny Switzerland (with ETH) have more highly ranked universities than the giant Germany - the biggest country in the EU!

Steve Sailer said...

I noticed that Trinity College at Cambridge has a rather impressive list of alumni when I saw a reference to Isaac Newton as "one of Trinity's must distinguished alumni" One of?

Here are some others: Francis Bacon, Niels Bohr, John Dryden, Thomas Babington Macaulay, James Clerk Maxwell, Vladimir Nabokov, Bertrand Russell, Ernest Rutherford, William Makepeace Thackeray, Arthur Balfour, G. H. Hardy, A. A. Milne, Jawaharlal Nehru, John Maynard Smith, Lytton Strachey, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Of course, I don't know how much Trinity necessarily contributed to them -- Newton found it pretty useless when he was there, and got his real work done when he went home to the farm due to the Plague.

Anonymous said...

Well, Since you mentioned South KOrean students, are you in favor of allowing them tho compete for a scarce resource-entrance into an Amerian University-with White American studnts.

In general, are you in favor of letting in asian legal immigrants whose offspring-there should be no doubt about this-make a scarce resource-entrance into an American university-even scarce.

But what if Charles Murray is wrong. What if the average teenager-hispanic teenagers for example- is capable of a higher level of academic achievment. Would this have any important consequnces for immigation policy? Absolutely none. The fundamantal issue is the racial transformation of the US through legal and illegal immigration. The IQ of different immigrant groups is irrevelant. The high achieving Asians along with Mexicans and Central Americans should be kept out because over time their prescence in the US will reduce White Americans to a racial minority. This is where Steve Sailer and vdare.com should be putting the focus on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

The big deal is that although in the 1930s the best university in the world was Cambridge, the best system was still the German. Only in the 50s, or even 60s, would the US system emerge as top dog, at least for research and graduate schools. For undergraduate, Oxford and Cambridge may well still be best, though how to measure that might be contentious. But they are poor compared to the richest US universities, so may struggle to keep up. My own guess is that the Oxbridge lead over the other British universities has probably widened over the last 40 years. Given that Oxford and Cambridge were probably behind Edinburgh and Glasgow as recently as the mid 19th Century, it all adds up to a testament to the power of money in Higher Education.

Anonymous said...

I take Steve to be saying two things:

1) I like Europe and Japan's commitment to blue collar education.

2) I dislike Europe's collegial egalitarianism.

Yet, as someone has pointed out, the average IQ of the German college student is likely a lot higher than the average IQ of the American college student. What modern Germany likely lacks is a university where a lot of the talent is concentrated in one spot. If Germany had a university like that, then would Germany as a whole really stand to gain anything? I don't see much value beyond possibly attracting a greater number of bright foreign students. That wouldn't be much of an advantage to the native German student. It might be an advantage to Germany so far as those foreign students stick around after their education (and don't return to their home countries if those countries happen to be Germany's competitors). At least a donor to a current German university, unlike a donor to Harvard, can be assured his money will benefit students sometime in the next half-century.

I'm not certain that America gains much from Harvard beyond having Harvard's bright students somewhere in the nation's university system. Is the existence of Harvard a benefit to society beyond simply concentrating a lot of the nation's talent in a single location?

Anonymous said...

chief seattle said:
" I'm curious how Germany handles this track for its women."

Germany still follows the rigorous artisans track for all non-uni female jobs. Things like cooks, hotel staff, nurses, clinic personnel, bank tellers, office clerks, cashiers, warehouse staff, fashion designers, tailors, train conductors, hairdressers, people working in bakeries, butcheries, most stores etc. are all trained by the old rigorous artisans standard.

When somebody drives a bus here, that person knows what he/she is doing. When I visited Microsoft in Seattle 2 years ago, the lady driving us back to the hotel was basically clueless. Since your roads are really wide I guess it was easy to drive the bus. But here in Germany its really tricky to drive a bus in public because the traffic is dense and cities compact. So it helps if you can trust the driver. Basically when dealing with someone who is not a uni grad but doing something recognized as a trade (most jobs apart from menial stuff like cleaners), you can assume the person has been properly trained. I come from an Anglo country and I do not miss the lack of trained personnel in English countries! Germany, Austria and Switzerland are such great countries to live in because most things work properly.

Anonymous said...

Jon Fersen is correct, Germany and Japan have a high quality blue collar workforce because of overall IQs in the 102-105 range.

The blessed NAMs here in the US on the other hand are doomed to jail, Section 8 housing, and life on the dole. There is no way to improve the US educational system when you have so many students with IQs under 90.

Steve and Charles Murray would be better off brainstorming ways to persuade low IQ first and second generation immigrants to renounce citzenship and leave the US for another country. THAT is the only way to save this country's future.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, Steve.

"The Harvard professors' graduate students become the UCLA professors whose graduate students become the Cal State LA professors."

This is one of the underlying truths of american higher education, and the root of the whole Ponzi scheme, as you say. We have lots of colleges, not because we need lots of colleges, but ultimately because places like Harvard need to be able to hold out the carrot of a professor's chair to their students, not all of whom obviously can be professors at Harvard.

I agree with you about the shame of dismantling of vocational education in this country, although I suspect that what Jon Ferson said in his post is at least partially true.

The lack of votech education has not only harmed the blue collar trades, but I suspect that our engineering students are not as good as they once were because of it. A lot them graduate from college without knowing much practical about machinery - especially the women. Of course, that could be because their women.

Anonymous said...

"So, if you're putting forward the notion that the skilled trades are going to solve the problem of America's underclass, I think that is a mistake. I do however think that a lot of guys with above average IQs but maybe not the mental wherewithal to be mechanical engineers, doctors or scientists would do much better for themselves by becoming millwrights or tool and die makers than by sludging through a useless and expensive degree at State U."

I guess you could say that American universities are top heavy with most schools focusing on competing with the Ivy League in at least one department and using the tuition of unsuspecting undergrads who will find a liberal arts or social sciences degree to be of little use as a much needed source of revenue. The brilliant graduates of elite universities need teaching jobs after all despite the fact that many of their students are just wasting time pursuing a similar degree.; )

I have noticed a trend towards technical colleges and small liberal arts colleges in the midwest to offer degrees that are highly specialized, i.e. a legal studies degree preparing a BA student for a career as a paralegal immediately upon graduation (this may have been Drury which has branches in many states). I'd have to go through the course catalogs of universities in other states to see if this is becoming the norm. But without further research, I see evidence that certain institutions of higher education are responding to the market. Like most older people, I often find myself saying "why didn't they have this program when I was younger"? If this is a national trend, however, I think some of it is driven by affirmative action as well as the demands of the market. Ten years ago unsuspecting college grads had to have specific job experience to get an entry level job vs evidence of being trainable either with a degree or a score on an exam, so now some colleges are providing students with incontrovertible evidence that they have the skills to do a certain job. Specific skills taught (and really taught) at the high school level would stratify the job market at all levels so that affirmative action couldn't be used so often in challenging hiring decisions. Wouldn't that be nice?

Anonymous said...

Here's a great post from an exacerbated academic from the Rate Your Students Blog:


He outlines why this problem will never be fixed. Besides parents, and k-12 teachers, I blame clueless state legislators that fund U’s based on head counts, and student-based “teaching evaluations” that have caused classes to be diluted down to meaningless edu-tainment.

I teach in one of the sciences at a middling University of Fill-In-Your-State-Here and can certainly sympathize with his attitude.

-From a Scientist in a Red State

Anonymous said...

Dan Kurt said:

"re: " The SAT data, which is, after all, basically an IQ test," posted by another anonymous coward

Not true any more as it has been g unloaded and renormed (truncated). Mensa does not recognize SAT scores for admission any more and has not for at least a decade plus."

Dan, you could have attempted to make your point without being an obnoxious jerk by using ad hominem attacks (the method of a liberal - I had expected better from the conversation on this site). You are probably correct that the post 2005 (but not post 1994) SAT is less g-loaded than its predecessors, but in the end, this is not all that important. Virtually any rigorous, standardized admissions criteria will do a good job sorting students by g, be it SAT II achievement tests, APs or even the new, somewhat degraded SAT. Charles Murray makes this point in a recent article:

"To put it another way, those of us who thought that the SAT was our salvation were probably wrong. Even coming from mediocre high schools, our scores on achievement tests would have conveyed about the same picture to college admissions committees as our scores on the SAT conveyed. I know how counterintuitive this sounds (I am presenting a conclusion I resisted as long as I could). But the truth about any achievement test, from an AP exam down to a weekly pop quiz, is that the smartest kids tend to get the highest scores. All mental tests are g-loaded to some degree. What was not realized until the UC study was just how high that correlation was for the SAT and the achievement tests."


(please read the whole article)

I too lament any watering down of the SAT or making it less good than it could be, but I do not think that the recent silly modifications change my point: you can get a good idea about how smart an institution's students are by looking at their average SAT scores, even today. This applies equally well to if you would rank them by SAT II scores, AP exams, or, in the UK, average A-Level scores.

Yours truly,

An Anonymous Coward

Anonymous said...

An American view of German academia. The small number of professorships in Germany means that, in Germany, academic is about as realistic a career goal as ballerina.

An American view of Germany here.

LemmusLemmus said...

I'm no expert on the matter of lower education, but I'm skeptical. In most parts of Germany there is essentially a three-track system. (In reality things are more complicated.) This has been widely cited as a reason for what is known in Germany as the PISA debacle (i.e., finishing close to the USA - after all, we're supposed to be the nation of poets and thinkers). It was pointed out in this respect that hands-down winner Finland has a one-track system. (Yeah, I know the Finns have little immigration, which is a big factor.)

An aspect to keep in mind in this respect is that it doesn't seem too hot an idea to concentrate all social problems - all of which correlate - in the third-track schools.

Hamburg (which is a state of its own) is now switching to a two-track system, which may be the right way to go.

Anonymous said...

Comment on the first "anonymous" post: I'm somewhat familiar with both Dartmouth & St. Andrews (ranked in the 70s), and they are similar in this way: both are basically undergrad unis with a *small* grad school attached. Consequently they're not really equipped to compete with the mega research unis in terms of production, even though on an individual level they may be as good or better. As you say "it's how smart the students are on average that really counts" (and the profs).

Anonymous said...

I think Steve is conflating two different things here: standards for admissions to universities generally and the concentration of cognitive elites at selected institutions.

If everything I've read about Germany's equivalent of a high school diploma is correct, then Germany has not lowered its standards for general admission at all. (Germany may have gotten slacker in its curricula at the college level, I don't know.) Instead, Germany has chosen not to concentrate all its smarts in a handful of institutions.

By contrast, it appears that France has went the American route and decided that every kid ought aspire to be another Sartre rather than, say, a prosperous viniculturist.

I favor a tiered diploma system and more trade schools for kids who aren't college material. But I don't see prestige as an end in itself. Steve himself once pointed out that it's Harvard's admission policies and not the teaching qualities of its professors that gives the place its shine. It doesn't mean much by itself that a particular institution in the U.S. turns out ten notable alumni at its best institutions and none at four lesser institution, whereas Germany might might turn out its ten between five different universities.

I understand why Steve the Former Marketing Man would be interested in prestige, but what are the benefits and drawbacks of concentrating all your academic aces in one place versus spreading them out from the perspective of a national policy planner rather than that of a university hedge fund manager?

Anonymous said...

Great article Steve. Your mention of how well the military handles these things were spot on. There's definitely a different in motivation. If a high school graduates students who don't learn anything, its not really the school board's problem. In contrast, if an Air Force mechanic's school graduates students who didn't learn anything, people die.

In a sentence, civilian education is credential based and military education is competency based. They standardize their lesson plans and train their instructors in a matter of weeks, instead of requiring a 4 year education degree.

The two best services (in terms of clarity of training manuals and the use of computer aided instruction) are the Air Force and Navy. As far as I can tell the Marines use Navy materials for non-combat training.

I don't think the Army courses are as clearly organized, but that may just be be a matter of opinion.

To give an idea of both how the military organizes its training and of its instructional methods, here are pdf links to the Navy and Air Force instructor manuals...

and a link to the Army instructor training website.

Anonymous said...

One thing overlooked in this debate is that many American colleges grant degrees in things that would never qualify as a university course in Europe. Law enforcement, for example: Anyone hoping to have a successful career as a big-city cop or state trooper needs a degree in something, and they often go for LE at a lesser branch of their state university. Somehow it seems that LE is almost never a program of study at the flagship campus, which is a clue to its perceived lack of status as a truly university-level major. (Federal agents – especially FBI – generally come from better-educated backgrounds, thus accounting in part for their legendary arrogance and sense of superiority.) Another example: A university in my city offers degrees in various computer-oriented fields that would probably be taught in a different type of institution outside of North America. I’m not talking about a pseudo-college that advertises on TV. This is a bricks-and-mortar school with a decent, if not spectacular, reputation in science and engineering. This situation becomes even more obvious at the level of community colleges, with their training programs for x-ray techs, medical assistants, paralegals, and the like.

In other words, a lot of the tracking that happens in American education happens at the post-secondary level. There are major drawbacks to this system: the time wasted in high school that could have been spent learning the trade one will eventually use; the discouragement suffered by many students – especially males – in high school as they suffer through even the minimal academic requirements needed to graduate so they can go on to vocational training; and a lot self-deception about what “going to college” means.

On the other hand, it offers advantages as well: The European system reinforces the already strong class divisions in European society. The pretense that everyone can go to college allows Americans, who are, in reality, just as stratified by class as Europeans, to believe that they all belong to a cohesive middle class that most people seem to think includes 90% of the population. While some might say that honesty is always better than self-deception, one can also argue that this polite fiction has saved us from the intense class conflict that has plagued Europe for a century.

Another advantage of our system is that it offers flexibility and opportunity for change long after most Europeans are locked into their life’s course.

What we have in America is the social class structure defined by our post-secondary education system. The elite go to the Ivies and Ivy-like schools or a handful of highly selective public universities. The next tier – which is still doing pretty well for itself – attends somewhat less prestigious (but still well-regarded) private schools or the flagship campuses of their state universities. In the next tier, we have the mediocre private universities, branch campuses of state schools, and public universities associated with cities. This is the college education of the middle and lower reaches of the middle class. Below that, we are in the territory of “colleges” and “universities” that are nothing more than vocational training for the working class. Degrees from these institutions have almost nothing common with a degree from Princeton or, for that matter, Penn State (but they do prove that student had the persistence and at least average IQ required to graduate). And yet, all these students are getting college degrees from accredited schools; thus, they can imagine that they belong in the same social class as those in the first.

This doesn't seem like such a terrible system.

Anonymous said...

e.g. The second-most prestigious German sociologist - Luhmann - was at obscure Bielefeld; the currently most famous German philosopher - Sloterdijk - is at un-famous Karlsruhe."

I had never heard of Sloterdijk, so looked him up on Wikipedia.

"The exploration of these spheres begins with the basic difference between mammals and other animals: the biological and utopian comfort of the mother's womb, which humans try to recreate through science, ideology, and religion. From these microspheres (ontological relations such as fetus-placenta) to macrospheres (macro-uteri such as nations or states), Sloterdijk analyzes spheres where humans try but fail to dwell and traces a connection between vital crisis (e.g., emptiness and narcissistic detachment) and crises created when a sphere shatters."

This Freudian crap is still around? How very, very sad.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, there is NO HOPE that any of the kids in the lower halves [or, for that matter, much of the upper halves] of the American black or American mestizo/aboriginal hispanic bell curves could grow up to do anything useful - these children are uneducable, and when they grow up to be adults, they will be unemployable. They are educational and economic dead weight. Ballast. Lead. Their situation is HOPELESS."

This is a stupid statement by someone who has obviously never worked a manual labor type job. The vast majority of low IQ people can do many things at an acceptable level of proficiency: farm labor, construction labor, assembly line work, warehouse work, janitorial work, many service jobs etc.

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Hello everyone,
This is a very interesting topic inasmuch as it addresses the state of American education in relation to school systems around the world. I'd just like to pose a question:

There has been much said about those who are the "losers" of the Bell Curve, people who have fairly low double digit IQ scores. But while much has been said about them, not alopt has been offered as to what should be done about them. Let's face it they are not leaving anytime soon, and as higher IQ people know all too well, lower IQ folk don't seem to have as much trouble making sure they'll be around via sexual reproduction. So, what are some meaningful and practical solutions here?

And, why DO high IQ folk have such a hard time making whoopee?



Anonymous said...

This Freudian crap is still around? How very, very sad.

Yeah, Sloterdijk is a big pompous empty windbag pumping out meaningless rhetoric to great acclaim in Germany. Pity indeed.

Anonymous said...


In the short term we can expel the 20 million low IQ people in this country illegaly and not let anymore in.

In the long term either genetic engineering will save us or we'll have to have eugenics programs. Many would object to government interefering in breeding but we already pay low IQ, irresponsible women to breed. A government eugenics program need not be any more intrusive than the government we now have. The only other option is certain death for the species.

Anonymous said...

• Many young children are not taught properly how to read. I think it has to do with things like the use of the whole word method (and maybe with the failure to prevent disorder in the classroom, even with children of such an early age?). I don't think the reason children fail to learn how to read is because they are not separated into different groups according to their mental abilities. All of them should be able to learn to read anyway.

• You should make a distinction between scientific studies and other studies (literature, sociology, law, education schools for K12 teachers...). A lot of the latter is bogus science under the control of the extreme left, but how can you cheat on real science? Do you think that German students learn bogus physics in their universities? What is exactly the problem in German universities?

Anonymous said...

And yet, all these students are getting college degrees from accredited schools; thus, they can imagine that they belong in the same social class as those in the first.

This doesn't seem like such a terrible system.

For five years I ran a tech/vocational program at a community college. The only real reason for calling it a college? Student loans and other gummint goodies. Tons of money was wasted trying to teach welfare-mothers a trade. Guess what? They don't want one!! Why? They already have one: WELFARE-MOTHER!

Anonymous said...

I've recently been wondering something about Germany. I think it would be insane to let Americans drive as fast as Germans do on the Autobahn, although Steve has proposed it. Do Germans have to go through much more intensive and rigorous driver's education than Americans do in order to get a license?


Anonymous said...

We need to create many more universities focused solely on science/technolgoy (more than a handful of "institutes of technology") and separate them completely from the humanities.

Give the social sciences and humanities their own universities too, albeit with less funding than the science/technolgoy universities because all they really need are good libraries chock full of books and not hugely expensive labs and supercomputers.

And also, MUCH more emphasis needs to be placed on post-high school education for blue-collar jobs, many of which often take much more skill and resourcefulness than many modern 'white collar' jobs.

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Good morning,
I think the problem w/what has been proposed in response to my question(?) is that its both politically untenable AND its impractical. We simply don't have the resources or the will to go out and expel some 20 million illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Moreover, as Sailer has noted, African Americans score lower on IQ tests, and they're American citizens. So again, what's the practical, workable solution? Even if Eugenics and the like could be done-and I think it won't-thats something that will take place decades from now. What are we going to do NOW?

And at any rate, all of this skirts my main question-WHY DON'T HIGH IQ FOLKS HAVE BABIES? Because no matter how you slice it fellas, at the end of the day this is a numbers game, always has been. And as the Gloucester Gals has clearly shown us (yo Steve, been waiting for you to wade into those waters!), if the high IQ peeps can't get their act together, they most certainly will.

C'mon fellas, I thought you were the cream of the cognitive crop. This is the best yo can do?


KDeRosa said...

I view the availability of technical track educational opportunities as a secondary problem in the U.S.

The primary problem is educating/training all of our low-IQ students to a point where they can take advantage of such technical professions.

Why don't you tackle that topic next? Low IQ doesn't have to mean uneducable.

Anonymous said...

"Do Germans have to go through much more intensive and rigorous driver's education than Americans do in order to get a license? "

I'm sure they do. It's my understanding most Europeans consider American driver's ed a bad joke.

-Vanilla Thunder

Anonymous said...

Dmytro Kornilov, people get very upset by the idea of eugenics, assuming sterilization, abortion etc.

All we really need to do is encourage, assuming IQ is the attribute we want to optimize, lower IQ people to have fewer children (less than 2 on average per couple) and IQ people to have more (more than 2 on average per couple).

That and halt most immigration and instigate mass deportations.

Anonymous said...

Mu and dmytro,

The quickest and easiest way to help the bottom half of the Bell curve would be to abolish the minimum wage and payroll taxes. (This would be a great boon to the severely handicapped as well.)

Senor Doug.

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Hello All,
Actually, I think Steve's addressed the issue of lower IQ wrt African Americans in several ways, which I personally think is quite positive and certainly can't hurt at this point. Just was curious to know if anyone else had any ideas, since presumably, everyone here is per force on the ball, so to speak.

As for birthrates, it seems very simple to me-you want to out-whoopie the other guy/gal. Simply put, high IQ guys aren't very good at convincing high IQ gals to back that thing up. Trying to convince lower IQ folks to ease up on the rumpy bumpy aint likely to work, and even if it did that's one heck of a strategy; we can't up our game so let's take down theirs.

I notice a skirting around the central question, which only makes me ask it more and louder: WHY CAN'T HIGH IQ FOLKS HAVE (MORE) BABIES? C'mon y'all this aint rocket science. What gives? Wassup wit dat?



Anonymous said...

Amit asked:
"Do Germans have to go through much more intensive and rigorous driver's education than Americans do in order to get a license? "

You bet they do. They have to take many hours of training at a state approved driving school (which is expensive) and they have to pay a lot (something like 1k or 2k euros if I remember correctly) to take the certification exam, both written and driving, which is much more rigorous than its US equivalent. They also can't get their license until they are 18.

Additionally, I would like to confirm the comment above about how much better trained lower-SES Germans are for their job. There is a required training certification for practically every job out there. The one that takes the cake of all that I have come accross was the 40 year old boyfriend/parasite of my former secretary. This bum had squandered his youth in a punk rock band and was at the time among the ranks of the long-term unemployed. He had, however, earned a certificate as an "Ausgebildeter Shallplattenverkaeufer", which is basically a training program that certified him to work in a record store. My poor secretary, who was a cute, 28 year old Spanish girl from a working class background (1 of 5 children of an automechanic, 1st in her family to attend Uni) supported this bum. The whole spectacle was pathetic. Eventually she got tired of Germany and wanted to move back to Spain's sunnier climate. She took him with her. Shortly before leaving he told me that, although he had been unable to find a job in Germany, he was optimistic that he would be able to find a job in Spain despite its much higher rate of unemployment. When I asked him if he spoke Spanisch, his answer was "Nein." I almost burst out laughing ;-)

Anonymous said...


I never said eugenics was practical now. No reason it can't make a come back eventually though. A handful of countries besides Nazi Germany practiced it in the 20th century and as soon as the West gets over its post WWII hang over eugenics may once again become respectable.

Why do high IQ people not have babies? See Rushton's r/k selection theory applied to humans. Low IQ groups breed a lot and hope some survive while high IQ groups breed little and invest highly in each child. Today, with our welfare state and charities, every child survives so to leave more descendents there's no test of minimmum intelligence or self-reliance. Don't want to or can't take of your children? The state will get others to do it. Those who follow a high investment strategy are the ones footing the bill. Being high investors, that can cause their own birthrate to drop.

I remember one of Sailer's articles on NBA players leaving 10 children behind. 1% of those kids will become NBA players and provide hours of entertainment for millions, the other 99% will inheret nothing but low IQs, high levels of testosterone and a willingness to father large amounts of children that they have no intention of supporting. Our modern welfare state has made the welfare mother, the slut, the too stupid to use protection, the psychopath thug, etc. the most fit to survive. Europe has a much more extensive welfare state, but we have more stupid people thus making socialist government much worse here than there.

So to answer your original question, that's why stupid people breed so much. In the long run we should have eugenics; in the short term getting rid of government programs for the poor and stopping immigration will slow our decline.

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Hi D,
Thanks for taking the time out, and I think its way past time we started taking up this side of the question, since it is an area of deep concern for many on this blog.

And yes, I've been reading Rushton, etc, and have found his theory to be quite compelling. However, the skeptic in me suspects other factors in play.

So let's get the obvious out of the way, in true Sailer-style if you will: simply put, high IQ guys ain't sexy. And in the game of attracting the honeys, if you ain't seen as hot, you're getting blue balls. Period.

So it would seem to me that the number one thing that needs to happen, is that high IQ guys need to put together a kind of Manhattan Project for gettin' the P*ssy. And I'm dead serious when I say that. Why? Because by all accounts most women at your same station isn't likely to come to you. You'll have to go to them, and w/a game that's at least as effective as richer guys and/or cuter guys.

And it can be done. All it takes is some study, observation, and implementation. That's how I did it. I studied the situation, got clear on my objectives, drew up a list of what I wanted and didn't and got to work. And I was successful.

It occurs to me that higher IQ folks have very different priorities when it comes to breeding than do their lessers-that goes w/o saying of course-but the thing about it is, that the high IQers never seem to put any thought into the notion if, their way of thinking might be getting in the way of those little pitter-patter sounds.

For example, there seems to be a correlation between high IQ and secularism, or to be more blunt, Atheism. And on the lower end of the IQ scale, the opposite seems to be true, that they tend towards greater religiousity. And this, I submit, has a great deal to do w/the birthrate disparities.

Because if you don't believe in a Higher Power, you're not likely to see much point in reproducing yourself. Makes sense, right? And of course, if you're a devout believer, you see every reason to reproduce yourself.

Then there's the high IQ woman problem, because they tend to favor careers and such over being a mom and preferrably, a stay at home mom. High IQ men either haven't figured out, or aren't simply interested, in luring high IQ women from the college campus and boardroom, to the bedroom for a lil bump and grind. I don't know which it is, but whatever it is, the end result is the same-nearing extinction.

The high child investment thing makes sense to me, but it becomes a moot point when the segment of the population you belong to doesn't even have replacement reproduction numbers.

And that brings me back to my central point. At the end of the day, its all about numbers. Think of this thing as a war, and if you're a guy, in a way, it is, because you're competing w/other guys for the p*ssy. Well, in a war, no matter how well or how badly the armies are trained, very often, the army of greater numbers, wins. Boots on the ground usually get the job done everytime. A smaller force, highly trained and motivated, can do a heck of a job (see "300"), but ultimately, they can and most likely will be overrun. At the end of the day, you gotta outnumber the other guy.

Welfare reform certain tweaks in the immigration issue and the like will continue to take place, but Eugenics? Forget about it. Its name is mud, and the closest any of us will come to that can be found in places where Jodie Foster went to try and get some Whiz Kids. The chances of there being a broad based, governmentally back and endorsed Eugenics program, here or anywhere else in the Western world, is virtually nil. Ain't gonna happen.

At end, gentlemen, I see this as a very simple problem to be solved: higher IQ guys-presumably many of whom are reading this-have to get laid more often. No p*ssy, no babies. Its that simple. And its the easiest of all the proposals thus far that have been made, because while none of us can save the world or this country ourselves, we all can effect change in our own little parts of it. This is something that can happen but we'll need to begin to think differently about all of this.

Think about it this way: if a group of 17 highschool girls could get together to formulate a plan to get knocked up and have babies, none of whom I would presume have very high IQs, what are the fellas who DO have high IQs' excuse?

To ask the question is to answer it.

Comments, anyone?


rec1man said...

How Lee Kuan Yew does eugenics

He fines low IQ women who produce more than 2 kids and gives subsidies to high IQ women who produce kids

The other successful form of retaining high IQ has been the brahmin caste

Anonymous said...


I'll repeat that eugenics isn't practical now and right at this moment it doesn't seem like it'll ever be, but social trends change. When Obama's mom had a kid with a black guy miscengestion was illegal. Today the offspring of that union is going to be the next president. The post-enlightenment isn't like the Muslim world where we hold on to the exact same beliefs for a thousand years. We simply have no idea what the intellectual climate will be like in 50 years. It's more possible we can get government to get behind eugenics by then than to have a conspiracy of nerdy geniuses scheming to win one vagina at a time.

And anyway, it doesn't seem to matter that high IQ men aren't cool in high school or their early twenties. High IQ people tend to end up marrying each other and low IQ people do the same. Those on the right half of the bell curve are still finding each other.

Even if our high IQ population shrinks, we should be more concerned with the breeding of the underclass then the high class. A homogenous, high IQ population builds great civilizations regardless if they're like Finland with 5 million or Japan with 100. The point is not having too much dead weight.

Anonymous said...


Do you know of any books or articles on eugenics in Singapore?

Anonymous said...

I can think of a lot of policies that would make it less hard for smart women to have babies at the natural time to do it (in their early 20s), and would decrease the pressure on them to have abortions. These would incidentally have some eugenic effect, and (more importantly) would probably increase the number of women in high-end professional fields:

a. Provide support for girls in college (legitimately in college, with decent grades/test scores) who get pregnant. Make sure they can give the kid up for adoption and continue with their education, having lost at most a year toward graduating, maybe even coming out a little ahead.

b. Make sure the university supports single moms who are there legitimately--good child care, student health services that do prenatal and well-baby care, etc.

The goal here is to decrease the number of girls who drop out of college because they get pregnant, and also the number who have abortions so they don't wreck their lives.

Similarly, for more advanced students:

c. Make sure that grad students and postdocs that get pregnant, or have pregnant wives, get some additional support for them. Build it into the research grants, stipends, etc. When the microbiology postdoc gets pregnant, give her an extra year or two on her grant, and support at least some of the maternity leave needed.

d. Do the same for professional schools--if the woman in her first year of medical school gets pregnant, give her some kind of chance to have the baby and come back to school, so she's not faced with either giving up on becoming a doctor or having an abortion.

e. (Probably politically impossible) Give an advantage toward tenure for tenure-track people with kids, both women and men.

f. Give some kind of break on student loans for people who graduated college, and have kids.

Some of those would be subject to gaming by people who didn't want college, but wanted babies. (At least they'd be smart, if they could pass meaningful entrance exams, so maybe they would be passably competent mothers.) All would be subject to unintended consequences. But they would also get rid of the awful choice a lot of young women face in college, of either getting an abortion or wrecking their lives.

People might complain about the unfairness of giving, say, a pregnant woman an extra year of scholarship or grant money, but it's hard to see how that's any more unfair or unreasonable than scholarships targeted at specific racial groups or sexes.

Mu'Min M. Bey said...

I know you're wedded to the notion of bringing back Eugenics, but I'm telling ya, you wanna know what dead weight looks like? Eugenics is it. It smacks too much of Brave New World type stuff, and you're right, that whole Nazi thing gave it all a really bad name.

As I said before, this is a simple numbers game, and it looks like the folks on the right side of the bell curve are destined to loose for one very simple reason: they don't f*ck enough. Think about it-just about every conceiveable plan dreamt up by the right side of the BC, to get the left side of the BC to slow down their rate of f*cking (and hence babymaking) has failed; the only thing that has worked is the rate of high IQ folks' rate of babymaking. And the reason there has, I suspect, more to do with the simple fact that high IQ women would rather work than shag Mr. Pocket Protector.

I'm for practical solutions that have a high rate of effectiveness, where the goals are clear and where every soldier in the contingent needn't be Rambo to carry the mission out. Again I say, this is a simple numbers game. Always has been, always will be. It ain't about getting obstensibly dumb folks to f*ck less; this is about getting the supposedly smarter folks to f*ck more.

Someone mentioned Singapore. Well, alongside South Korea, they have one of the worst replacement rates in the world. The men suck at getting the women to give up the panties. And that's the bottomline. The Singapore gov't can't pay the women there enough to get the job done. And this is apparently true in South Korea, Australia, Russia, Italy, Spain, etc, et al.

Its a proven fact that when women have more options available to them, survival of the species becomes a whole lote less important. So not only do you high IQ guys have to deal w/all I've mentioned thus far, but Feminism rears its ugly head here as well.

For all the complaining I see here in this forum when it comes to mating and dating, one would think the high IQ guys would be hard at work coming up w/schemes to get their personal games up w/the ladies in the dating/mating market. Instead, were inundated in talk of highly improbable gene manipulation policies and the like. Maybe one very important reason why the left side of the curve is winning the Baby Wars in spades, is because they see things a lot more clearly than many of the guys here do, w/all due respect. And, for all their problems, and those problems they present are real, it occurs to me that they've been doing a lot more than merely complaining about "the man". The strollers are the proof.


Anonymous said...

"...miscegenation was illegal"

By 1960 only in some states, and most them in the South. Hawaii was most certainly not among them.