Truth – Curse of the Woking Classes
Ed Dutton on Murray’s accomplishments
Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Class, and Race, Charles Murray, New York: Twelve, 2020, reviewed by Dr Edward Dutton
When writing Human Diversity, Charles Murray found himself in an invidious position. His followers were eagerly anticipating a work of outstanding insight, immense originality, and incredible intellectual bravery, along the lines of The Bell Curve or Human Accomplishment. But, at the same time, Murray wants to make a significant contribution to, as he puts it, “the most incendiary topics in academia”: racial differences, gender differences, and also social class differences. So, pleasing his followers is not so easy.
Murray wishes to challenge the fanatical and empirically inaccurate yet prevalent view among blow hard, leftist academics that “race is a social construct,” gender is substantially a “social construct,” and social class differences are entirely a product of cultural factors, such as nepotism. The problem is that anti-science ideologues are so influential that they likely work for most major publishing houses, including for the one which has given us this book. And even if they don’t, they have the political power to do serious financial damage to publishers who are courageous enough to put out books which demolish their latter-day religious worldview.
Furthermore, Murray himself is a just-about-Establishment academic, whose niche involves creating cracks in the Postmodern Echo Chamber while still being “respected” by an elite which must pay lip service to Postmodernism. He has carefully positioned himself on the border between respectable and radical (“radical” is going where the evidence takes you).
The way Murray strikes this balance is to engage in what I term “Bravery Signalling.” You present yourself as a controversialist, utterly unafraid of the postmodern mob, and, in so doing, you slightly enflame that mob, making you appear brave and interesting. You wax lyrical about how “I’m at a point in my career where I’m immune to many of penalties that a younger scholar would risk,” (p.17) such as losing their job or facing ostracism at work. But you ultimately hold your fire when it comes to the most incendiary, yet empirically accurate, scientific research, the “monsters in the closet” (p.16) of the kind that would have you labelled, in Murray’s words, “eccentric at best . . . a terrible human being at worst” (p.15). This allows you to write things like: “The differences among human groups are interesting, not scary or earth shaking” (p.11). And this permits you to remain part of the “Establishment,” to continue to receive invites to smart dinner parties, while at the same time gaining a less than fully deserved reputation as a “Defender of the Truth” against the anti-Science Woking Classes that now infest academia and the Establishment.
Human Diversity is a manifestation of these pressures under which Murray labours. It is a compromise. It is an act of “Bravery Signalling.” And, therefore, for many readers, it will be a disappointing experience. It should be said that Human Diversity reads beautifully. As we would expect of Charles Murray, it is extremely well-written, permitting the pages to flow by. The mass of information it gives you is, as usual, presented in well-explained and easily digestible chunks. It is aimed at the scientific layman, so the author is at pains to carefully elucidate the assorted scientific and mathematical concepts which the reader needs in order to get his head around the book’s argument.
Murray’s thesis is one that many academics express to him privately, because they dare not do so in public, due to pressure from their colleagues. It is that there are evolved sex differences in personality and cognition, reflected in sex differences in life outcomes. There are evolved, genetic race differences, including in cognition, which also help to explain assorted real life outcomes. And there are social class differences because there are differences in intelligence and these are partly genetic and strongly heritable. Along the way, Murray also provides us with a useful reference work on the extent of sex, race, and even class differences in all manner of pathologies. For example, he neatly sets out the sex differences in everything from autism to anorexia. He provides us with hard data for stereotypes such as females tending to ruminate more, males being better at finding the way, and males being better able to focus on minor detail. I learnt many new things, such as that females have a more acute sense of touch.
So far, so insightful . . . and seemingly so brave. Readers who are not familiar with the research on these topics will come away concluding that Human Diversity is an heroic piece of work. But this is an illusion. Murray concludes that there are no sex differences in intelligence – a conclusion he comes to by appealing to authorities who are either leftist or out-of-date – and that, if there are, they are “trivial.” Murray completely ignores the most recent research, which indicates that there is a difference of a third of a standard deviation between adult males and adult females, as discussed by Richard Lynn in a series of studies [see Sex Differences in Intelligence, by Richard Lynn, Mankind Quarterly, 2017].
Murray does consider race differences in IQ. However, he overlooks the cutting edge research by Italian anthropologist Davide Piffer, who has found that these are on general intelligence (the most genetic aspect of IQ) and that race differences in IQ correlate almost exactly with race differences in the prevalence of alleles associated with high IQ [Correlation between PGS and environmental variables, By Davide Piffer, RPubs, 2018]. Incredibly, he also ignores the body of research on race differences in Life History Strategy – first presented by J. Philippe Rushton (1943-2012) in his epochal book Race, Evolution, and Behavior.
Race differences in Life History Strategy (whether you are adapted to an unpredictable but plentiful ecology at one extreme or a predictable but harsh one at the other) are numerous and highly consistent and include race differences in personality, age at puberty, number of sex partners, age at menopause, size of secondary sexual characteristics, extent of twinning, life expectancy and much else. Murray concedes that there are race differences in the magnitude of gender differences in personality. But he fails to look at the argument that this is likely a reflection of race differences in Life History Strategy. In summary, as the ecology becomes harsher and more predictable the species’ carrying capacity is reached. Therefore, there is increasing inter-species competition, leading to a growing search for niches, leading to males and females pursuing increasingly distinct niches and becoming increasingly psychologically different.
The people doing the genuinely fearless research into race and sex differences are those associated with the London Conference on Intelligence. This was the subject of much media controversy when it was revealed, in 2018, that it had been taking place at University College London for many years, right under the noses of those who run the place [Communicating intelligence research: Media misrepresentation, the Gould Effect and unexpected forces, by Michael Woodley of Menie et al., Intelligence, 2018]. Many of the attendees have suffered serious consequences for going where the data takes them, such as being fired from their university. They include Richard Lynn, Michael Woodley of Menie, Davide Piffer, Noah Carl, Helmuth Nyborg, Heiner Rindermann, Guy Madison, Emil Kirkegaard and the author of this review [A scientometric analysis of controversies in the field of intelligence research, by Michael Woodley of Menie & Noah Carl, Intelligence, 2019]. The only one of these who is cited is Richard Lynn – on sex differences in IQ – and, even then, his most recent research, refuting his critics [Sex Differences in Intelligence, By Richard Lynn, Mankind Quarterly, 2017] is not referred to.
If I was feeling charitable, I would suggest that Murray is playing a political game, that this book is a means by which he can move public discourse in the direction of the empirical truth. However, he realises that if he tells his readers the full truth, then, indoctrinated as they are, they may put their fingers in their ears, so . . . gently does it. But, unquestionably, Charles Murray is a “Bravery Signaller.”
Editorial note; this is an edited version of a review that first appeared on the National Policy Institute website. NB – views expressed in articles published by QR are not thereby endorsed by the editor
The problem facing gene-realists (from Michael Levin to Robert Plomin) is getting their views out of obscure scientific monographs and/or the “far right/racist” cul[t]-de-sac, especially if correctly perceived to have social-policy implications for education, migration and reproduction unwelcome to the woke-establishment. Intellectual osmosis is needed, alongside albeit discreetly links to the marginalized so-called “scientific racist” echo-chambers.
The Andrew Sabisky affair offered an object lesson all-round; cf. Tobias Langdon, TOO, 2 March online, and on the other side the rubbish-responses predictably evoked in e.g. “The Guardian”. The word “eugenics” notably hit the barmy-button, and the familiar lies and misrepresentations were as usual protected from letters of refutation. Never mind, for instance, the new “progressive” notion that abortions should be extended to third trimester “disabled” babies (only).
The deterioration in the “academic leadership” of this “country” continues to maintain a no-platform barrier to research, accuracy, discussion and dissemination. “…Tony Young and other robust white men are using free speech to whip universities…. Darkness has not quite fallen” (Jonathan Wolff, “Guardian”, 3 March); “Leicester students’ renaming of the celebration as International WomXn’s Day follows their election of a trans woman…speaking about sexism and misogyny [who] said in her manifesto: ‘Feminism is nothing without women of colour, migrant, disabled, queer, trans, black and sex-working women’ ” (“Times”, 3 March).
“University to atone [sic] for link with eugenics…. University College London…would fund scholarships to study racism and a committee would consider renaming a lecture theatre named after Francis Galton…. The university also published its report yesterday into the London Conference on Intelligence [q.v.]” (“Times”, 29 February).
“The world famous university said it wants to ‘confront’ the issue by devising new names for the Galton Lecture Theatre and [Karl] Pearson Building…Galton left his personal collection and archive to UCL, along with an endowment….UCL opened an inquiry into the history of eugenics…led by Prof Iyiola Solanke” (“Daily Telegraph”, 29 February).
Maybe UCL should instead re-title its buildings, hitherto dedicated to pre-eminent Dead White British scientists, in honour of two outstanding enemies of improving human heredity – Trofim Lysenko and Pol Pot, sadly not vibrantly female but at any rate ticking the global diversity box.
Typo correction: Toby not Tony.
I would say that the majority of British television advertisements now have “blended families” where one of the partnership is Caucasian and the other is a person of colour. The offspring are mixed race. If Charles Murray is correct then previously “white” countries will lose their genetic advantage. The consequences for the progress of mankind or personkind as we are presumably meant to say now, could be catastrophic yet not only the Left but parties of the right or centre right are incapable of getting off the merry-go-round. Europeans are engaged in a dance of death, incomprehensible to those who are capable of logic. Many speak of the End Times now. If Europeans are bred out on the planet then will humanity indeed face its End Times? The Traditional Britain Group has written to the Advertising Standards Agency pointing out the overrepresentation of ethnic, as yet, minorities in television advertising. No reply has been forthcoming and I doubt if there will be one. As in Communist times, everybody is obliged to submit to the ideology, as insane and unworkable as it may be, or face the consequences. I just pray that one day, hopefully before I expire, truth will triumph and be accepted before this insane experiment of replacing the natural with the unnatural has reached its disastrous conclusion.
Not only BAME in plays and adverts, but LGBT in much else. The proportion of the UK population identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual is little more than 2% (“The Guardian”, 7 March 2020, p.17). This is not statistically reflected in TV soaps or other dramas, specifically or incidentally. Nor in programme presenters, chat shows, house hunting, or documentaries. Hence the humorous renaming of “Grantchester”(set in the 195os!) as “Gaychester” – along with “Immigration Street” & “Bamerdale”.
Out with Richmal Crompton and Enid Blyton, and in with Malorie Blackman and – Gigi Engle (q.v.).
David, the other evening when there was nothing else to watch, not even a Scandinoir on BBC4 but a Welsh noir which was even more noir, I resorted to my default viewing of Helicopter ER. It was 100% diversity free, as it usually is but the advertisements in between were about 90% diversity rich. It was a strange experience as if I was viewing England from a country in the global south. There is still an 87 % white country outside London which the metropolitan elites have forgotten exists. Prior to that I had watched Hugh Fernley Whittingstall in Denmark and he had an item on the popularity of Danish sperm as the Danes are meant to be very healthy in mind and body ( the happiest country in the world in polls). Hitler, of course, chose the Danes for his propaganda films as they were even blonder than the Germans, certainly than his native Austrians. Watching it I was reminded that all native English are descended from King Canute as well as Alfred the Great. How odd then to watch the advertisements in between and being left with the impression that the “British” are ethnically totally unrelated to the Danes. As I say to everyone, I think now that I am living in a lunatic asylum run by children where men can be women and vice versa and a woman can have a baby, say she is a man and that she wants to be shown on the birth certificate as the father. Stop the world, I want to get off.
Poor old Trevor “EHRC” Phillips has now been denounced for “Islamophobia” (Times, 9 March, pp.10 & 22). Revolutions devour their own, though in his case an English-speaking cis-male of colour of Guyana Christian heritage, who values Shakespeare and other White British culture heroes, would have a different view on the “community of communities” than (say) Memsahib Alibhai-Brown.
As for TV I forced myself to watch some of the Commonwealth Day Diversity Djembe, only to be reminded that Angola is next in line for membership. How much better than a European association with – Danes. Better Angolans than Angles, Somalis than Saxons, Nigerians than Normans…the Future is another Country.
David, Trevor Phillips’ misfortune caused me to erupt in a cynical chuckle. This is the gentleman who held a bash at the same hotel where Enoch Powell made his “rivers of blood” speech in 1968 on its 40th anniversary in 2008 and denounced Powell for his racism and screamed that he had had got it all wrong. Poor old Trevor has now been hoist by his own petard. I was thinking that once there were ethnic nations who always had nasty things to say about their neighbours i.e. the English about the French and vice versa but managed to rub along and pretend that they really liked one another and hopefully avoided war. Multiculturalism is like taking those nations and putting them together in one place but with no borders to keep them apart so that their is constant friction and jockeying for power. As I once said to somebody, good fences make good neighbours but if their are no fences then we live in a constant state of undeclared war. Hence the identity politics and present turmoil in the United States.
As for the Commonwealth, the proposed accession of Angola shows that they are only in it for what they can get out of it. I think that Mozambique is already a member. Perhaps we should try and persuade Portugal to start its own Commonwealth and include their erstwhile colonies instead of them flocking to our side. I wonder how the Queen thinks, she is meant to love the Commonwealth but I bet she never thought that Buck House would be an island surround by it as it is now. She can never say what she really thinks, of course. The future is another country or rather the past was another country as Peter Hitchens keeps reminding us. And of course, we thought that when we gave these countries crying out for independence what they wanted they would leave us alone. But no such luck, not when they discovered that they could earn ten or more times here what they could back home and were aided and abetted by those who wanted the cheapest labour possible. I have a sneaking suspicion that Angel Merkel let the 1m in because of pressure from German industrialists for healthy young men to use as cheap labour. And soon the coronavirus may cull Europe’s aging populations and replace them with healthy young Arabs, Sub-Saharan Africans, Bangladeshis, Somalis etc. There are rumours about the intended aim of the coronavirus and who was behind it. But I suppose that suspecting that this was all part of it is going a bit too far?! I have a fear that Boris and friends have extricated us from the EU only to flood the country with yet more third worlders to please big business. On the EU note, imagine my distress on learning that the European Parliament has had to suspend its sessions because of the coronavirus, oh dear. I still wonder if said virus was sent by God to put an end to destructive globalism. Even if it is not so, I still hope it will be the outcome.
Sorry for the typo, their for there.
@ Frank Dolby
I think HMTQ likes being surrounded by increasing numbers of “darkie devotees”. Less so her demography-savvy husband, or her late mother. The Commonwealth is the Empire reversed.
Your JW friends may link the current virus, flood, earthquake, locust and crime problems to Matthew 24.6-14 & II Timothy 3.1-5.
David, do you feel that Her Majesty has a touch of the Victorias with her deep attachment to her Indian servant ? I have said for years that mass immigration from the New Commonwealth is a case of the Empire striking back and that they are colonising white countries in no different a way than Europeans colonised theirs. But as somebody said to me, when they got their independence we were told to pack up and go. There is a problem on the island of Lesbos now as the first case of the coronavirus has been reported. There is only a small hospital so who will they hospitalise, the aged Greek population or the hitherto healthy young refugees? The local Greeks already feel themselves overwhelmed.
As regards predictions of the final days, the 2 Timothy passage was quoted by our Methodist preacher on Sunday. I did not catch where it came from so I asked a JW who came straight back with the right spot in the Bible as they study it in such detail. Reading it, it does make you wonder as the JW said that plagues were also forecast.
British colonialism was often violent, but it developed farms in Africa and railways in south Asia, and much else. India is still the only nation where cows shit in the towns and humans shit in the fields. The white migration overseas into virgin territory was not like non-white migration into established society. Latest news from my old largely Islamified town of Walthamstow (Anglo-Saxon name, ironically, the “holy welcome place”) – yet another stabbing.
David, Even my Guardian reading brother questions the Marxist dictum that all cultures are equally valid. If you follow the snippets of news that the BBC gives us from India, quite a lot really as they consider Indians as one of ours and their culture equally valid, you still see from the crimes committed and the way they treat one another that it is still a savage country, almost as savage as it was when we put an end to sati or suttee in 1829.
Even the left-leaning thinking man’s crumpet, Joan Bakewell, was on tv yesterday saying that the coronavirus is a wake-up call and that globalism or globalisation will now have to be reconsidered. I can’t think that she ever railed against mass immigration. I am still trying to decide whether this is divine intervention or an inevitable outcome of open borders and the off-shoring of industry. An American financial expert on Russia Today last night said that the virus is just the needle that will pierce the debt bubble and bring about the long-expected financial collapse in the West. No fears in Russia as they have massive gold stocks and no debt. The staggering thing is that all this has been brought about by a greedy few for their own enrichment and we, the people, have just been impotent by-standers despite the existence of so-called democracy in the West. We never acquiesced to mass immigration to force down wages and enrich the few and we howled with disapproval when our industry was shut down or sent to India or China but nobody was listening or cared. Today we hear that the richest 20 people have lost $80b in the stock market plunge, peanuts to them no doubt. If you read the Book of Revelations and other predictions in the Bible then it is to hoped that they will be doing the howling soon.
So-called “free trade” still has its post-virus publicists from Tim Leunig to Daniel Hannan, plus the entrenched flunkeys of finance. The alternative suggestion that we should have direct access to food and raw materials, so far as possible within our own borders, is not unknown in our history, rather than engage in a losing battle for markets. So far as I know only one politician of any note made this his central theme over nearly six decades, to no avail. For anyone interested in his identity and ideas, see Bernard Semmel, “Imperialism & Social Reform” (1960); Andrew Gamble, “Britain in Decline” (1994); & Michael Quill (ed), “Revolution by Reason” (1997).
David, it all began with the repeal of the Corn Laws and led to today’s situation. But I suppose that cheap food fed the industrial revolution. During the War we made ourselves as self-sufficient in food as we could but mass immigration has meant that our population then of around 40 million is now around 65 million. I always said that if we continued to rely on imported food the day would come when we came unstuck. Meanwhile on the island of Lesbos, the 1,000 residents are vastly outnumbered by 25,000 “refugees”, mostly healthy young men who are robbing them and breaking into their houses. The tourism industry there has been wiped out and businesses are closing down. Now they have the coronavirus and only a small hospital. So many of the elderly residents may perish altering further the resident to refugee proportion. As I have said, the current coronavirus crisis has arisen because of the greed of the few. Wars for oil and to sell weapons have been behind the refugee influx into Europe, especially the removal of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. The “refugees” are refusing to take the 2,000 euros offered by the EU to encourage them to go home. Thank you for the references, I will check them out.
“Already the nation’s key workers are doing a heroic job and keeping the national show on the road…. Our attitude to food supply in the long term is likely to change, to ensure more is produced and warehoused closer to home…. We will not be self-sufficient but we and other western countries will, of necessity, develop the capacity to become a lot more self-sufficient and less dependent on Chinese imports, once we get through the trauma of the next few weeks.” – Iain Martin, “The Times”, 20 March 2020.
“The Economist”, 28 March 2020, notes that Russia has escaped the worst effects of the post-Covid19 global breakdown and the sliding rouble, because its economy has been self-isolating for the past six years, insulated from external shocks and foreign enemies with gold reserves and modern weapons. “Socialism” in One Country (Stalin); “Fascism” in One Country (Putin)?
A similar – but better – policy in the British Empire before WW2 and in Europe+ Dominions after WW2 might have served us well.