Skip to comments.Fred Reed: The Coming Storm - Maybe, Anyway [Golden Oldie that still applies]
Posted on 12/16/2008 9:59:10 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
The Bell Curve, an excellent book more maligned than read, pointed out a trend seldom noticed. The authors called it cognitive stratification, not a phrase Byron would have chosen but serviceable enough. It means the concentration of the intelligent.
In 1850 people of high intelligence were dispersed through the population. If the child of a cowboy had an IQ of 160, he would probably remain in the geographical region with cowboys. He might be more successful than most, and might choose as friends the quicker wits thereabouts. Yet he would be part of the community.
A cowboy could be intelligent, but didnt have to be. But then came the professions that required high intelligence. The dull-witted cannot work as programmers, chemists, engineers, doctors, or investment brokers. They can be decent and productive. They cannot write assembly code for a planetary probe.
In 1850 there were few jobs requiring the very bright. Today they abound. Universities began to scour the country for the highly intelligent. These, once found, met each other at elite universities or, later, in the places where the bright concentrated to work: Laboratories, software houses, hospitals, magazine journalism, and occasionally law firms. They married each other. Their children tended to be bright. The result has been that the bright tend to live, play, work, and sleep almost entirely with each other.
An opposite concentration occurs at the other end of the curve. In the cities the bright among the ghetto rise and leave for the suburbs. Who is left behind? If, generation after generation, the smartest take themselves out of the gene pool, the results will be just what we see. This is the underclass. It exists. It is larger than most people suspect. It is dangerous.
Underclass is not synonymous with blacks. There is a large and, I gather, growing black middle class. There is a substantial white component in the underclass. In the barrios of California one encounters Mexican unsalvageables. Whatever their color, they share low intelligence, little education, bastardy, and a tendency toward antisocial behavior. (Or, as we call it in English, crime.) They have no attachment to the standards that constitute civilization. They hate those above them.
Many of the insulated bright imagine themselves to be liberal (an arguable proposition), to care about the people, and to favor diversity. Few Ill guess have had any contact with the underclass, or even with people who dont have degrees. They have never been in South Central, never spent time in roadside stores in backcountry Kentucky or hung out with the crackers of Florida. They have never really met even normally intelligent rural people, whom they call rednecks. At their parties you do not see bus drivers or cops or factory hands.
If they knew the people they would not like them. The diversity they ideologically approve are people they viscerally detest. Down inside they must know this: It is why they avoid them. The diverso-elite alliance is a fragile one.
The elite do not understand, or perhaps more correctly refuse to admit, how very limited are the dull. They cant concede that the course of managed improvement that they once believed in for the underclass, and try still to believe in, wont work. Thus for example they call for programs to close the cybergap, and bring the internet to the downtrodden. They dont understand that the downtrodden cant use the internet, and arent interested.
The very bright assume without thinking that people can learn anything they choose. A woman who graduates from Yale in biochemistry takes for granted that if she wants to learn Italian, she can. It will take time and effort but she will have no doubt as to the outcome. New digital camera? She can figure out how to use it without the manual. She is used to gas chromatographs and gene sequencers. Learn PhotoShop? She just does it. After all, its only software. She assumes, unless she thinks carefully, that people know history, politics, literature, because she does and everyone she knows does.
It isnt so. There are huge numbers of people who dont read books, have never read a book, who cant read. According to Newsweek,* forty-seven percent of Detroit is functionally illiterate. The illiterate live in a mental world beyond the capacity of a biochemist to imagine. Try to erase from your mind everything that you have ever read. Then imagine regarding a camera as simply incomprehensible. Or a checkbook.
The cognitive elite tend to favor diversity and affirmative action. They say that they believe that all groups are equally intelligent, and furiously resist evidence to the contrary. Yet by now they have to know it isnt true. Believing what you know to be false, pretending to like people you naturally loathe, stresses the tectonic plates. A spring is being wound.
The potential for conflict is high. The underclassthe diversityexacts a price. It is responsible for crime, almost all crime, which carries with it the cost of the prisons, police forces, decay of the cities, welfare both open and hidden, and a decline in the tenor of life.
The need to make the merely dull-witted seem not to be, even though they are not necessarily of the underclass, degrades the schools. The beneficiaries of affirmative actions, though they are seldom of the underclass, are frequently of the same racial groups. This fuels a quiet anger, a racial anger, among the middle class, who among themselves no longer even pretend that things are not as they obviously are. It isnt quite reasonable that it should be racial, but it is.
The elite can buy their way into safe neighborhoods and better schools. The economic middle class cannot. They resent paying for welfare, resent taking up the slack for workers who dont, and have no ideological attachment to diversity. As the baby boomers retire, suggest some,** the cost of their maintenance to the working middle class will become so burdensome as to engender revolt.
Diversity as a spoils system just may be heading toward its end. Its curious: I dont know anyone who objects to hiring without regard to race, creed, or color. I know almost no one who isnt angry about affirmative action--and about the enstupidation of the schools for the benefit of the uninterested, and about unending crime . If the dam finally breaks, what then?
* Detroit ** John Derbyshire the reason for reading National Review
Amen and Amen.
“The underclassthe diversityexacts a price. It is responsible for crime, almost all crime, which carries with it the cost of the prisons, police forces, decay of the cities, welfare both open and hidden, and a decline in the tenor of life.”
As someone who is currently living in the ghetto for the past year, there does seem to be some anger seething. I see this all over the place, welfare people with no hope or direction or even ability to discern what is and isn’t decent.
He was born to a poor family with an absentee father. His parents divorced when he was only two years old and he was raised by his mother. As he grew up, Henriksen found himself in trouble at various schools and even saw the inside of a children's home. Henriksen left home and dropped out of school at the age of twelve; he would not learn to read until he was 30, when he taught himself by studying film scripts. He spent most of his adolescence as a street urchin in New York. Riding on freight trains across the country, he would also do time in jail for petty crimes such as vagrancy. It was during this period of wayfaring that he met lifetime friends James Cameron and Bruce Kenselaar. Henriksen would subsequently appear in such films as Terminator, Aliens, Millenium, and many more.
Clearly a very bright man with many talents who rose above his early circumstances.
To be somewhat flippant, all of a sudden military on the streets don’t sound too bad.
Most everything in the article is probably true. And another side to this development in the US is that our economic and social policies have made the jobs the less intelligent can do lower and lower paying. Then all sorts of government programs have been put in place to transfer benefits to the lower wage earners and welfare recipients.
Maybe this is why many won’t let go of the fantasy that most everyone can go to college and improve their lot through education. Many can’t, and we’ve also diminished the rewards of the work they can do, by adopting policies guaranteed to move many jobs overseas, and also by allowing millions of illegal workers in the compete with them for the lower paying jobs.
Some day the US will be forced to deal more realistically with this reality, one way or another.
Speaking of “underclass”, here’s a primo example:
But there were those of us who followed the example of our parents and grandparents and had a sense of pride, doing a good job - even at a minimum wage job and we had hope for a future that would provide better things. All we needed was an education and a chance to learn through work.
On Sunday you got your butt out of bed and went to Mass.
Those who didn't were on the bad side of my Grandmother for the next week... and no one enjoyed that.
So we got up on Sunday morning headed for Church, received communion (providing we were worthy to do so), stopped at the "Sav-a-minit" to buy the Sunday paper and returned home to the smell of chuck roast cooking for our Sunday dinner.
There were usually 8 to 10 of us and a pretty small roast, but no matter, it always seemed to be just enough.
We weren't always happy, we rarely got what we wanted at Christmas or birthdays, but we didn't burn down our neighborhood or blame anyone else. Somehow we understood that we, each one of us, was the master of our own destiny. If we screwed up, we had to deal with the consequences.
Anger? The only one we could be angry with would be ourselves if we failed. Even so, we got up the next day and tried again.
Failure was a temporary condition that we could work our way out of. The greatest gift in our lives was the example and direction we received from the adults in our lives, our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers... I thank God every day for that.
This is the attitude that makes this country great. Great post!
(and while you're at it. . .have a Brawndo. . .it's got Electrolytes!!!)
LOL. That is exactly what I was thinking when I read this article. There are plenty of dull-witted people in the upper classes. Look at the MSM to name one industry that is full of them. They just weren’t born into poverty, so most of them make out ok. It is just those of lower intelligence born into poverty that don’t have much chance in life. Those of lower intelligence that aren’t born into poverty are everywhere, and we have to put up with them all the time.
I work with the general population, and I can assure you that stupid people are everywhere.
What a great story, not unlike my own. We both have the same attitudes thanks to those that raised us right. My parents divorced when I was an infant. My mother, with the help of relatives, raised us till I was 10. My brother and I both became professionals due mainly to a work ethic instilled by our parents and grandparents.
“I see this all over the place, welfare people with no hope or direction or even ability to discern what is and isnt decent.”
BUT!!! they can vote...especially when “told” how to vote.....
Thanks, I only wish that subsequent generations in my family could have learned these simple truths.
We have a faction of ‘entitlement whores’ in my family. My siblings raised their kids trying to give them what we didn’t have growing up - materially, but forgot to give them the benefit of the lessons learned from our parents and grandparents.
I have many friends who experienced the same. Somehow we were better prepared by living and growing up with less.
And your story hits on the REAL problem.
The real problem isn't wealth or mental agility, its morals.
There are many not so bright people who have deep grounded moral convictions, who don't get wrapped up into lower living.
A certain portion of our society has done everything it could to remove God from our society, and succeeded, and the results are in evidence from this story. And yet they demand different results from their ways.
The blessings and prosperity that have been on this country are precisely because of the way we have lived in the past. As society steps farther and farther away from Gods precepts, the farther we slip into a third world hell hole.
Great job of describing the growing rift in our society. I agree with the description, but not with the assumption that so many are unable to learn. At the risk of sounding like a liberal elite (something I’ve never been accused of), I believe that short of having physical damage, anyone can learn. The trick is finding missed gradients in their education, and motivation. The good part is that motivation will increase as ability increases. I don’t base this on theory, I have done it myself many times. It got to the point where I became the instructor that “special needs” students were sent to.
All of that, however, does not mean the pressure will be relieved quick enough to avoid an explosion. We’ll see how that goes.
Is Springer educational TV?
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