Emails and articles of interest are posted here by John Ray to make them more widely available
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3
My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.
I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.
Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.
America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course
The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"
Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts
Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left
The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left.
Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.
Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.
The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here
Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies
The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.
Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful
The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel
"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises
The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses
Among well-informed people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists hate success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.
A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.
Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.
Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.
“Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics.” -- C.J. Keyser
"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus
THE FALSIFICATION OF HISTORY HAS DONE MORE TO IMPEDE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT THAN ANY ONE THING KNOWN TO MANKIND -- ROUSSEAU
"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.
Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.
Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance
Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state – capitalism frees them.
MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate.
Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).
The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.
Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.
Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.
IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.
If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!
And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!
The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned
"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.
Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel
Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.
Conservatives, on the other hand could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.
Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists
The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.
Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable
A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931–2005: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.
"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama
The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges
The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.
The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload
A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here
Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16
People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average black adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.
Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.
Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."
R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason
Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?
The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.
Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?
Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable
I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.
As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.
The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"
UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.
Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide
I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.
I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.
I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address
Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.
"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit
I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.
It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.
If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.
COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.
My academic background
My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here
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There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here
Mirror for "Dissecting Leftism"
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MONOGRAPH ON LEFTISM
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Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psychology of Left
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism
Pyszczynski et al.
Cautionary blogs about big Australian companies:
St. George bank
Bank of Qld.
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Thursday, December 29, 2005
I recently had an interesting correspondence with the heroic Steve Sailer -- who makes a business out of discussing those things that establishment intellectuals regard as unmentionable -- i.e. human differences generally and IQ in particular. Steve and I agree on many things but disagree on Hispanic IQ. Briefly, the IQ studies show average Hispanic IQ to be somewhere between black and white average IQ and Steve takes that at face-value whereas I am more cautious in deciding what inferences to make from such studies. I have set out my doubts at some length here and Steve wrote after reading that article.
I imagine that what I said left Steve's views unchanged but I thought it might be useful to mention here the points of our discussion. I will start out with our initial exchange of emails in full but will summarize after that point:
I read your essay on Hispanic IQ, and while you make many good points, let me try to put the issue in a a more realistic perspective. Below is a description of the best meta-study of ethnic differences in IQ in the United States.
Over 39 studies measuring over 5 million individuals, the non-Hispanic white vs. Hispanic gap turned out to be 0.72 standard deviations. This fits with what you can see on the street here in America: the IQ problem isn't as bad for Hispanics as for blacks, but it's also highly unlikely that Hispanics on average will ever achieve statistical equality of accomplishment with whites and Asians in IQ-influenced fields, which will cause more strain.
The key point to understand is that Latinos in the United States are not randomly selected from the entire Latin American population.
- Prosperous Mexicans almost never immigrate to the U.S. -- they like it just fine in Mexico.
- One long term pattern in Latin America is recruitment of the most ambitious and effective young darker men into the fairer upper class. They and their sons are likely to marry fairer women than themselves and their descendents will wind up looking quite European, and be unlikely to immigrate.
- A long term trend in immigration to America has been for the Mexican immigrants to increasingly come from farther south in Mexico in the poorer and more Indian areas. The first big movement from Mexico into the U.S. occurred during the Mexican Revolution of 1911-1920, when many middle class people from the recently settled and more prosperous north of Mexico fled to Texas, especially San Antonio. Immigration tended to be from the north of Mexico, where the economy is more modern and the residents more European in ancestry and habits. Over the decades, the center of migration has moved south into the more
Indian areas. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of "Hispanics" in America who don't even speak Spanish, but instead speak Indian languages like Mixtec.
These patterns help explain why Hispanic-Americans on average haven't been rising up the ladder as your theory predicts. Although some assimilate into the American mainstream, the newcomers are even more divorced from the American mainstream.
Source: Roth, P. L., Bevier, C. A., Bobko, P., Switzer III, F. S. & Tyler, P. (2001) "Ethnic group differences in cognitive ability in employment and educational settings: a meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology 54, 297-330.
What you say lacks psychometric caution. Like most laymen and many psychologists, you treat tests as black boxes that just keep on giving. That is not remotely so. Psychometricians take great care with validity -- whether a test measures what it purports to measure. And a test that is highly valid among one group (say Anglos) may be much less valid among another group (say Hispanics). And if the test is not valid nor are comparisons that use it.
For that reason, psychometricians insist on external evidence that the test is valid and when we use tests to assess groups, we must look for external evidence about those groups. We need to see whether the external evidence lines up with what the test tells us. And I think the brilliant INDEPENDENT achievements of pre-Columbus meso-Americans are not consistent with them being a retarded group. Quantifying the criterion is always a vexing problem however so it does boil down to a matter of judgment.
Note that Sephardic Jews score about the same as Hispanics. What do you conclude from that?
Steve failed to reply to my point about the Sephardim and simply re-iterated his argument that smart Mexicans marry up and stay in Mexico -- with only the dummies emigrating. In reply I pointed out that class differences in IQ are small -- particularly in socially rigid places like Mexico where the chances of using high intelligence to rise socially are small. And that even if there is a drain of high IQ native people into the small white elite that would certainly be too small an effect relative to the native population size to move native IQ noticeably. I ended: "And note that it is the despised dark Indians who built the meso-American civilizations".
I've climbed to the top of the pyramids outside Mexico City. They are impressive, no doubt about it. But citing them as evidence overriding the enormous weight of modern data has to be the worst validity study I've ever heard of. There is nothing wrong with the average IQ of Hispanic-Americans -- it's very close to the world average. The real world performance of Latinos in the United States in terms of education, income, literacy, professional attainments, and the like closely tracks what you would expect from the 39 IQ studies summarized in that metastudy which you ought to read.
I am sure one of your 19th century predecessors must have said: " The real world performance of the Irish in the United States in terms of education, income, literacy, professional attainments, and the like closely tracks what you would expect of their apparent intelligence". I think you should familiarize yourself with the fragile validity of tests -- particularly when used cross-culturally.
Steve may well be right and the average IQ of Hispanics as recorded in various testing sessions may accurately reflect their genetic potential but I think you have to make some large assumptions to believe that. Perhaps because I am a psychometrician and know well the poor quality of much of the data that my fellow psychologists produce, I am much more impressed by historical data than by psychological data. In the case of blacks there is no contradiction between the two sorts of data so I see nothing to argue with. The civilizational non-achievenents of blacks mirror what the tests tell us. The fact that black populations everywhere are mired in severe levels of every sort of social dysfunction is to my mind all the evidence we need of inherent black mental limitations -- whatever the tests say. But in the case of Hispanics that is not so. That the pre-Columbus Indians built in isolation civilizations that were in every way comparable with the great ancient civilizations of Eurasia implies to me that their descendants are potentially the equal of Eurasians.
As a final note I probably should mention that the meta-analysis Steve relies on is a very weak reed to lean on. Meta-analyses are only as good as the data they summarize and tend in fact to include a lot of low quality data. And the data in the Roth et al study are a good example of that. Even the most elementary precaution of using data from culture-fair tests only seems to have been ignored.
Steve has requested that I add the following comments from him:
"1. The non-Ashkenazi Jews in Israel average well below the Ashkenazi on both IQ tests and real world measures of intellectual accomplishment. This disparity continues to be a major social problem in Israel, causing much divisiveness.
2. The existence of impressive archaelogical ruins doesn't say a huge amount about the economic potential of the current inhabitants of a country. Egypt has even more spectacular ruins than Mexico, but Egypt does not have a particularly scintillating population today. Iraq, home of Sumer and Babylon, has much more impressive ruins than Finland, but the Finns today are better at designing cell phones.
3. Dr. Ray implies that some IQ tests are biased against Hispanics. No doubt, but the evidence that this would make much difference is surprisingly lacking. In the huge meta-analysis of 39 studies that Dr. Ray pooh-poohs, the 95% confidence range of the studies ran from .60 to .88 standard deviations between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics in average IQ, so there's not a huge amount of disagreement among all the various types of IQ tests.
Here are some other results:
The gap between whites and Mexican-Americans on the SAT college admissions test is 77 percent of the size of the gap between whites and blacks. (See page 11 of this 820k PDF.)
On the SAT's competitor, the ACT, the white-Mexican gap is 71 percent of the white-black gap. (It_Ts 56 percent for other Hispanics.)
IQ? The huge 1980 NSLY study run by the U.S. military, which formed the basis for The Bell Curve, found Latinos scored 14 points below whites, or 77 percent of the white-black IQ gap.
The 1965 Coleman report found a 13-point white-Hispanic IQ gap.
IQ reports from Latin America are not encouraging either. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in their important book "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" found, on a scale with white Americans as 100, scores like: Mexico, 87; Ecuador, 80; Peru 90; Puerto Rico, 84; Guatemala, 79; Argentina, 96; Uruguay, 96. (Read my review for all the caveats and implications.)
What about on school achievement tests, notably the National Assessment of Educational Progress? Dr. Stephan Thernstrom of Harvard graciously provided the following raw data, to which I've added some straightforward calculations. (Number fans click here for table).
Conclusion: overall, the white-immigrant Hispanic achievement gap is actually 14% worse than the notoriously large white-black disparity. That's not surprising due to language problems. But for American-born Hispanic children (not just second generation, as many might assume, but the second up through the seventh generation), the gap is 67% as large as the white-black variance. In other words, it's in line with all the other evidence.
4. For Dr. Ray, this is a purely theoretical question. Virtually no Latin Americans are illegally immigrating to Australia. As an American, however, this is a question of massive import. Do I want to bet my country's future based on a bunch of pyramids in Mexico?
My comment on the above update:
Steve's point 1 adopts a view of the Sephardim that is certainly an unusual one. As I understand it, the lower levels of Sephardi achievement are in Israel normally attributed to a variety of rather obvious cultural differences -- and the Sephardim are certainly nowhere near the humble level of achievement that characterizes most Hispanics in the USA today. And even the Ashkenazim in Israel do of course have an average IQ that is much lower than what the high levels of Israeli intellectual achivement would lead one to expect.
Steve's point 2 does raise an interesting and much-mulled question: Why have many populations who were once advanced now fallen in the world? Why are the modern descendants of the great Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations so low in the scale of modern-day achievement? I am afraid that the answer is a simple one. The modern-day inhabitants of those geographical areas are to a large extent NOT descendants of those who built the ancient civilizations. They are descendants of invaders -- of whom the Arabs are merely the most recent. I know of no-one, however, who claims that the modern day Amerindians are not the descendants of those who built the many great meso-American civilizations.
Steve's point 3: I have never disputed that all the tests show Hispanics at a disadvantage. What I am dubious about is whether the disadvantage is genetically encoded. I have set out my reasons for such doubts in my earlier article. I have not however specifically commented previously on the Latin American IQ averages Steve mentions so I think I should observe here that they are very much what one would expect of people living a primarily rural existence. Rural populations everywhere score poorly on IQ tests -- for reasons I have discussed in my afore-mentioned article.
Steve's point 4 is essentially ad hominem but he is a doughty campaigner so that is to be expected and forgiven. Ad hominem arguments do however have no scholarly merit.
I should probably expand a little my comment that the Sephardim do a lot better in Israel than do Hispanics in America. Look at the list below of Sephardim (strictly, Mizrahim) in Israel and ask how many Hispanics occupy similar positions in the USA:
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, former Labor Party Chairman
Moshe Katsav, President of the State of Israel
Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Minister of Defense
David Levy, former Minister of Foreign Affairs