Saturday, 27 January 2007

Inda nibbles at the bullet

So the Hon. Leader of the Opposition has bitten the immigration bullet. Well, he’s nibbled gently at its edges anyway. Needless to say all the PC alarms have gone off, while the equality and immigration industries have had a field day. This being such a wide subject your Savant will today just focus on African immigration. Few if any subjects have so much bollocks written about them as Africa, more specifically why that benighted region continues to languish. The sorry state of sub-Saharan Africa hardly needs repeating here. Just as Nordic countries top most tables of human and economic development, African countries are invariably gathered at the opposite end. Contrary to the commonly held view, it was not always so poor. During the 1960s, when the wave of decolonization swept the Continent, the outlook was in fact optimistic. Ghanaians were as wealthy as South Koreans, Zambians doubly so. Now Koreans are almost 50 times wealthier than either. Similar trends can be identified by comparing any pair of African and Asian countries over the same period. Your humble Savant will now explain why this is so, but first let’s get rid of some of the myths.

Africa has been cursed by terrible leaders: Undoubtedly, but the evidence suggests that they are a direct and predictable product of their environment. The same pattern can be identified with almost all the leaders (with the glaring exception of Nelson Mandela, arguably the 20th century’s most noble figure) in that either initially or over time, they enrich themselves, their extended families and tribes, and embed themselves in power. The fundamental problem is that the social structure expects its leaders (local or national) to operate this way, not for the national good. The results can be disastrous even at a micro level. For instance a local entrepreneur seeking to grow his software business would come under immense pressure to employ his immediate family and kin, rather than qualified software developers. The challenges to growing any business in such circumstances are daunting. Taken to a national level, this structure leads to a situation where the leader and his clan can maintain their prosperity only by his doling out patronage, which in turn depends on his maintaining his grip on power. In such circumstances the almost total absence of democratic transitioning is not surprising.

The adult population has been devastated by AIDS: Again true, and it has lead to a devastating human and economic crisis. However, AIDS thrives in conditions of unprotected sexual promiscuity. One doesn’t have to be of the religious right to recognize that people won't contract AIDS if they are monogamous or take protective measures.

Colonialism is to blame: This is easily disproved. First, as referred to earlier, Africa has gone down, not only relatively but in absolute terms since independence. Second, most countries became independent about 50 or 60 years ago, more than enough time to adapt. Third, Liberia and Ethiopia were never colonized, yet rank amongst the poorest and most badly-governed countries on earth. Forth, many colonized countries outside Africa, especially in Asia, have thrived since independence.

So here are the explanations:

It’s a Pre-modernistic Society

This term has been applied to Africa by Roel Van Der Veen, a historian who specializes in – and sympathizes with - the region. He defines it as an interaction between politics, culture and economics that impedes change, development and progress in general. A defining characteristic is an emphasis on distribution over production, with economic growth not being seen as an objective in its own right. He points out that in Africa ‘there is no general link between consumption and modern production, which requires a certain work ethic, organization and discipline’. I defy anyone who has worked there to deny this, but if so has disastrous consequences in terms of creating national wealth. The cornerstone of this system is the patronage pyramid, whereby power and wealth are acquired – and maintained – by allocating appointments, jobs, business opportunities and almost everything else on the basis of family, tribe or other social network. It is hard to see how things can improve while such a system remains culturally embedded.

You can't get away from intelligence:

The issue of general intelligence is closely related to the concept of Pre-modern Society. While Intelligent Quotient (IQ) tests remain controversial, there is no longer much dispute as to their general capacity to measure certain capabilities, nor that such intelligence is inherited by a factor of between 60% and 70%. The astronomical score achieved by your Savant surely underlines the validity of such tests?

Perhaps the best explanation is provided by the psychologist Brigitte Berger, who claims IQ tests measure not so much ‘intelligence’ as what she calls ‘modern consciousness’. This is the capacity to operate in the highly specialized worlds of modern technology and rationally organized bureaucracies. These core institutions of modern society are produced by, and in turn produce, peculiarly modern cognitive styles: the ability to operate on high levels of abstraction; to break reality down analytically into components; to keep multiple relationships in mind simultaneously; and, especially significant for IQ testing, to relate present tasks to possible future consequences. This last skill, by definition, can be achieved only on the basis of past experiences and habits of thought that individuals acquire during the earliest period of socialization, when a basic matrix of cognition develops.

It’s important to realise that even small variances from the norm can have massive ramifications in terms of ‘life performance’. For example, a randomly selected group of Americans with an average IQ of 103 had a poverty rate 25% lower than a group with an average IQ of 100, and disparities of a similar scale were recorded for high school drop-out rates, social welfare dependency and crime. Research has shown low IQ to be the single most important determinant of these undesirable social outcomes. When we consider the IQ of Afro-Americans is on average 15% lower than that of whites, the implications are alarming. And indeed, these concerns are borne out in reality. Such social conditions are disproportionately present, by a substantial margin, amongst blacks in Western countries – and of course most clearly in Africa. Even many years of affirmative action for African-Americans has had little impact on their relative economic and social status. In fact affirmative action is now generally seen to have failed.

Many factors have been adduced to explain this, including slavery and subjugation in the past, and racist discrimination in more recent times. However, Jews throughout their history have been persecuted, criminalized, marginalized, expelled, forced into certain occupations, and in general suffered every imaginable form of discrimination. Yet, as a group they excel in almost every field of human endeavour, business, science, literature, politics, entertainment to an extent wildly disproportionate to their numbers. Jews (Ashkenazi) have average IQ levels well above that of 'normal' whites (goyim).

Africa’s pre-modern social and economic structures have proven to be extremely resilient, and factors such as rapid population growth and mass migrations from rural to urban areas are exacerbating the problems. The first step in addressing any problem lies in recognizing the nature of that problem. Continuing under the assumptions that Africans are, on average, endowed with exactly the same capabilities as whites, and that parliamentary democracy will emerge with the appropriate levels of assistance, will, lead to more failure and disappointment.

This finding also has major implications for Ireland and Europe generally. Given the vast impact of IQ on achievement, you’d expect black immigrants and their children to be at the bottom of the social heap. And of course that’s exactly the case in EVERY country, as anyone can see. So the rapidly growing black community here, assuming uniform IQ dispersion, will inevitably lead to the same results. Ghettos where high crime, unemployment, welfare dependency and birth rates lead to a downward, self-feeding spiral .

Is your humble Savant hopeful? Afraid not. We have watched the permissible range of debate shrink. There are now many subjects on which there is no room for open minds. Political correctness, authoritarian impulses, and the political manipulation of emotions have replaced spirited debates with propaganda Inda will be beaten into silence - must keep the masses in the dark.


Cathy said...

just what we want - another racist hate site.

Otterhound said...

Enda Kenny gave a clear and thoughtful speech. He did bite the bullet and didn't just 'nibble around the edges'. What did you expect him to say? Run all the blacks out of the country?

Veronica said...

How can you come out with this garbage? All this talk about race and IQ has been long discredited. Go out more!

SAVANT said...

you stupid wench - you need a man to administer some discipline to you

Pundit said...

"Africa has been cursed by terrible leaders: Undoubtedly, but the evidence suggests that they are a direct and predictable product of their environment."

On balance, many of these so-called African Negroid (Afroid) "leaders", lived in (read - leeched off) and were tutored in Caucasian countries before returning "home". Thabo Mbeki, the current South African state president and ex-president of the ANC ruling party, is the worst leader ever - the classic example.

Robert Mugabe, anyone?