The Clever and the Stupid

Karl-Olov Arnstberg is a Swedish writer, ethnologist, and retired university professor. Many thanks to LN for translating this post from the blog Invandring och mörkläggning:

Sunday Chronicle:

The clever and the stupid

by Karl-Olov Arnstberg
January 1, 2023

Last week’s Sunday Chronicle was about intelligence and the quarter-century-old but still controversial research report The Bell Curve. Today I thought I’d shift the focus from the average IQ ratio of different groups to the “smart fraction” — see the picture above.

Tabula Rasa/Blank Slate is a philosophical theory which maintains that human beings are not only shaped by their environment and experiences, but also that they can be shaped into almost anything. Aristotle asserted this in his treatise De Anima (On the Soul), and the Greek Stoics developed the idea. The next big names are the canonised 13th-century philosopher Thomas Aquinas, and then the 17th-century philosophers Descartes and John Locke. In his “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, the latter coined the term “white paper/blank slate”. In his novel Émile or Education, Jean-Jacques Rousseau echoes the same idea when he argues that adults can mould children into whatever they want. Then we may jump to Marx, who argues that it is capitalism that creates the differences (the injustices). In the paradise to which the dictatorship of the proletariat leads, all people will be the same, that is to say, good. No rich capitalist pigs there. The Social Democrats were not convinced that this happiness would be achieved through revolution, and so launched their alternative, social engineering.

The idea that we can all be equal is attractive to socialists in the first place, which, as we know, has cost the lives of several million people. Freud may also be included in the ranks of believers, since he argued that inheritance has minimal significance. Man is formed in his early childhood years. As late as the 1950s, behaviourist psychologists were so convinced that all human behaviour was controlled by the environment that there were even those who believed that the right therapy could cure Down’s syndrome.

That’s the legacy we live with to this day. The politically correct dogma assumes that all human beings are born as blank slates, and that it is only faulty policies, upbringing and environmental factors such as education, nutrition, medical care, etc. that prevent a person from attaining the intellectual or cultural achievements of another person.

It does not seem to matter that there is no scientific support whatsoever for the ideology of equality. Neuroscience, psychometrics and evolutionary psychology have totally shattered the theory that humans are born as a blank slate. The cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker’s 500+ page exposé The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature was published in 2002. Four years later, it was published in Swedish.

Politicians who prattle on about the equal value of human beings, and feminists who campaign for equal opportunity quotas, should be ordered to read it. It would save us citizens a lot of political nonsense. It would also save money, not least when it comes to aid. It is not possible to use aid to help poor countries with low IQ averages out of their misery. Moreover, if politicians were to follow what modern biologists and evolutionary psychologists agree on concerning the importance of heredity, they would put an end to the immigration that is currently filling up Sweden with new inhabitants from Africa and the Middle East faster than the fastest chicken can run.

In 2002, what was called the Smart Fraction Theory was first presented by someone using the pseudonym La Griffe du Lion (The Lion’s Claw), which probably stands for the American sociologist Robert Gordon, who wrote anonymously to avoid a lot of hateful comments and claims of racism. Even controversial science should be driven by logic, theory and empirical evidence, and thus not be disturbed or stopped by vilification and threats. But that’s unfortunately what has happened.

SFT is not a theory but a hypothesis, which, while plausible, is rather simple. It states that a nation’s economic prosperity is determined above all by the part of the population with the highest intelligence. Put simply, the higher the proportion of intelligent people in a society, the more technologically, socially and economically successful it is. It is the smartest people who drive national growth. La Griffe set the fraction limit at 108, when the normal value is 100. This means that he counted 30% of the entire population as part of the smart fraction.

Although a trivial hypothesis, the shift in focus from average intelligence to the smarter fraction of a population raises a number of new questions and hypotheses. It is interesting, for example, when La Griffe claims that when the complexity of a society increases, it has consequences for the smart fraction, because that is where competent “personnel” are recruited in the first place. If this cohort is not sufficiently capable, it leads to one social crisis after another, making life difficult for the inhabitants. In the long run, society stagnates. “Of course that’s the case,” I think. I was on the same track in a previous Sunday column.

The Swedish welfare structure has become so complicated that we are unable to cope with it.

Just as the bell curve has a smart fraction, it also has a dumb fraction. When you let people from low-IQ countries immigrate, the dumb fraction grows. It is not just that those who can only do very menial jobs end up there, but it increases behaviors that are problematic in all societies: criminality, violent crime, murder, sexually transmitted diseases, prostitution, dependency on care and benefits.

In 2009, a group of psychological researchers published a report entitled The impact of smart fractions, cognitive ability of politicians and average competence of peoples on social development.

They tested the smart fraction hypothesis using various international test results (TIMSS and PISA). They also compared the number of patents issued in different countries and the distribution of Nobel prizes, the number of scientists and engineers and high-tech exports between countries.

However, they felt that the SFT threshold of IQ 108 was set too low. They raised it to 125, which represents 5% of a population with an average IQ of 100. Similarly, they lowered the limit for The Stupid Fraction to IQ 70-75. It should perhaps be added that professionals do not give IQ values in this way but in percentiles, since average intelligence varies. There are a number of lists that give varying values. A recent list puts Singapore at the top with 108 and Equatorial Guinea at the bottom with 56.

The 2009 psychology study confirmed the critical importance of the smart fraction to a society. There is a much stronger correlation between high national GDP and the smart fraction than between high national GDP and average cognitive ability. Their conclusion: ‘Our results underline the importance of promoting the highly talented.’

An important follow-up policy question is how politicians can promote the growth of their own society’s smart fraction. Where do they go and what environments do they avoid, or even flee from? Here the US is in a class of its own, with its top universities, world language, high salaries, advanced commercial think-tanks and laboratories, etc., but also with a societal spirit that encourages elitism and creativity. Despite the fact that the country has an average intelligence level of around 98 and a dumb fraction that causes the country major problems, there are plenty of intellectual enclaves. San Francisco Bay and Silicon Valley are of course in a class of their own — where I have seen a reported average intelligence of 130 — but there are also large smart factions on the East Coast: Massachusetts (Harvard, MIT), New York and Seattle. While the US has a large smart faction of its own, the country is a magnet for the best and brightest in the world. It is estimated that around half of US PhDs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are foreign-born. As many as 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants. 18% of immigrants in the US have more than one college degree.

Just as there are many enclaves in the US with both high intelligence and creativity, there are environments that have lost their smart faction. Detroit is one example — a frightening one. Prior to the 1960s, Detroit had a smart fraction of engineers and the other highly educated people required by the auto industry. The white majority of the smart fraction was needed to support the city’s large black workforce. When the auto industry abandoned Detroit, this smart fraction disappeared as well. Crime, corruption and incompetence led to an inevitable collapse. Coleman Young, Detroit’s first black mayor, was so openly hostile to whites that he could be compared to Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, whose anti-colonialism led to the flight of the white farmers who were not killed, along with their wealth and expertise. The once-prosperous Zimbabwe is now one of the poorest nations in the world. Like post-colonial African leaders, Detroit Mayor Coleman Young combined Marxism with a hatred of white people. The result was predictable. It is not mentioned publicly, but no one believes it is possible to recreate a prosperous Detroit. The smart faction is too small.

To my knowledge there are no figures for Sweden, but it is obvious that we have/had a significant smart faction consisting mainly of ethnic Swedes. It also seems to me that it is no longer sufficient to run our advanced Swedish welfare system, or that the wrong people are being recruited to the crucial positions because of the ruling ideology of equality. In addition, the Migration Board and leftist politicians are being filled up by the stupid fraction, with major and growing societal problems as an inevitable consequence. Looking at crime, shootings and the inability of the legal system to stop or even limit violence, Sweden is well on the way to being a failed state. I ask why those in power over politics and the public do so? Do they not understand what a crime they are committing against future generations?

— Karl-Olov Arnstberg

Previous essays by Karl-Olov Arnstberg:

2022   Mar   13   “We Need Not Celebrate Our Own Disintegration”
        16   What I Understand About Ukraine
    Aug   7   Talking to the Elephants
    Sep   7   Socialism is the Loser of History

18 thoughts on “The Clever and the Stupid

  1. My answer to Prof. Arnstberg’s ending questions is that Sweden’s political leaders, and those of other Western countries, do not care about future generations. These political leaders only care about accumulating power and money for themselves in their own lifetime.

  2. An excellent essay and very thought provoking, it probably should be mentioned the Bell Curve is real, the left chooses to ignore and vilify it because deep down inside themselves, they know that it is true.

  3. .
    Hurrah – surely this is a small victory.

    All things are said to be relative – so
    also the quality of postings on GoV.

    The other day the Baronem’s humble,
    almost 88-year-old, almost blind
    (vision 6% due to macula degeneration),
    amateurish, interminent contributor
    succeeded in couping through the following
    excellent Sunday Chronicle – probably
    irritably skipped by blog readers.

    Today the publication has gained full acceptance
    by the Baron himself. The Chronicle very much deserves
    this, so that the ‘world’ is enlightened about how and why
    a country through socialist coercion become so unruly that
    the currently ruling pover elite’s intelligence become
    insufficient to administer the country.

  4. For quite a smart essay, I find the term “advanced Swedish welfare system” quite moronic 🙂

    To boast a little, I would say that I fare well with “native Swedes”, I’d say they are smart enough to run the Telecom, the Aerospace industry, the Machine works and so on…

    One thing that is not immediately visible in Sweden is that many of the “higher IQ proffessions” – Telecom technicians, mechanics, electricians, etc.. are being performed by “Yugoslavians”, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles…

    Construction workers seem to be predominantly the Poles, there is a lot of them, and it’s short distance over the sea…

    So – what I wanted to say is that beyond some “IQ” (and I agree with the thesis, but…)

    …beyond some IQ, the jobs that require high IQ – in the West, and in the North – are being occupied by foreigners who are in it just for the money.

    And I sometimes envision the ultimate “collapse of the west” as an event, when the Euro and the Krona lose their purchasing power, and all the “easter Europeans” immediately leave the sinking ship, leaving a country like Sweden, for example, unable to maintain even its basic electric and telecom grid…

    It’s just a thesis that I have..

    With regards to the “smart portion of a society”, I believe it is true to some extent, but that there is another part to it and that part is “moral corruption”. Even a low IQ person can be highly competent, if he or she is not morally corrupt. It just takes them longer to think it all through. But I agree that there may be a small percentile of the very very high IQ people who are needed in the government, because running a highly complex system in real time requires quick thinkers.

  5. I read about the Bell Curve a few years ago and saw the truth in it. Then looked at what is happening here in Australia. Our student migration system has targetted 100+ students in large numbers and we have paid those in the lowest quartile to breed at least 5 children per head in self inflicted poverty. They spend their welfare on drugs, own lifestyle etc not the children. So I saw the Australian bell curve being very flat or even like a two hump camel.
    There is another thing that has not been considered and that is that those with high IQ are not always the ones the system rewards and who can afford to have the most children. I see here in Australia that those in construction who left school at year 10 and had other disabilities like dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, opposition defiance disorder etc are able to command very high incomes with the help of the trade unions and politicians so they are able to have more children than those who studied hard, but didn’t get into medicine. Accountants etc are very poorly paid at times especially due to offshoring of jobs so can’t afford to have children and pass on their 100+ IQ genes.
    I see a definite destruction of the gene pool and a dumbing down of the population over all.
    We have had a 30% increase in ADHD/ADD diagnoses in the under 5 years cohort. These people will struggle to finish high school.
    How can they be critical thinkers and vote for good policies?

  6. The Blank Slate hypothesis has been turned by the Left into a dogma.
    It holds that if you are raised as a Spotted Flycatcher you could not possibly be a Cuckoo.
    Nature knows otherwise.

  7. Crafty, sly and devious people rise to the top and use intelligent folk to do the heavy lifting. My IQ was 145 when last measured and most people find it a threat and are incredulous. But they still want me to check their writing for errors and translate stuff.

  8. Fascinating article.

    I suspect IQ isn’t the only factor; my Ghanaian neighbour says Africa is held back by religion, superstition, tribalism and corruption.

    • It’s a chicken and egg question.

      Is Africa held back by religion, superstition, tribalism and corruption which contribute to low IQ through dysgenic incentives? Or does low IQ manifest itself as religion, superstition, tribalism, and corruption?

      I personally know African immigrants who are fairly intelligent; certainly more intelligent than any random sampling of the home-grown hippos waddling out of Walmart. Perhaps immigration prior to diversity visas or orc smuggling lead to a brain drain when the brightest and most ambitious found ways to escape their backwards countries.

      • It’s a huge and complex question. Early Christians (1st milleniun) discouraged tribalism, wanting to encourage converts to transfer their allegiance fron the tribe/clan to the faith; this led them to discourage consaguinity, which (we now know) not only causes birth defects, but reduces the average intelligence of a population.

        Also, it led to the establishment of the nation-state, within which people trusted others who were not of their “tribe”; hence the triumph of the “west”. Over-simplified, I know, but it seems to make sense.

    • Mark, Africa is 10,000 years behind and will remain so, sure there are exceptions to the rule, by the rule is the standard, below 75 IQ, that is why they can’t run a country to save their bloody lives and breed like rats. Look at South Africa and Rhodesia, prime examples of the difference in white European rule and black tribal rule, night and day. That goes for every bloody African’t country.

      • Poor people often “breed like rats”. In countries with a welfare system, they can “afford” to (for how much longer?)

        In poorer places, with no decent state pensions, it’s a form of insurance, as their descendants will likely support them in old age.

  9. “I ask why those in power over politics and the public do so? Do they not understand what a crime they are committing against future generations?”

    This kind of “DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE DOOOOOOING” wail has been going on for as long as I’ve been watching politics. It never, ever accomplishes anything.

    A better approach would be to figure out what IS happening, treat that as unavoidable facts on the same level as an avalanche, and figure out what to do in light of those facts. There are many potential avenues, but few people are even considering options, they’re just engaging in wishful thinking about those in political power doing something other than what said poilticians clearly wish to do.

    • One thing that is for sure, we ain’t voting our way our of this mess, so we will have to let it all crash and then the most intelligent and ruthless will rise and rule, all because people turned into sheep and let it happen. What comes next is the next military junts’s, Pinochet’s and Franco’s because the people voted for themselves the treasury and the easy way out, thus are too incompetent to be left to their own devices.

  10. Those in power in Sweden do not view future generations of Swedes as their constituents. They are loyal servants to their masters. But “the public” are not their masters.

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