October 30, 2009

Are liberals or conservatives smarter?

Jason Richwine considers the evidence.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

128 comments:

Anonymous said...

When John Stuart Mill labeled British Conservatives “the Stupid Party” in the 19th century, he apparently started a long-term trend.




Mill was a conservative according to todays definitions.

OneSTDV said...

I don't have a comment on the article, but there's absolutely no doubt Richwine is a frequenter of the Steveosphere.

He mentions Steve, Derb, and Bruce Charlton. That's not coincidental. Perhaps he's trying to push some traffic into our niche. He's written some HBD related, though not overtly, material previously.

TGGP said...

I said something quite similar in a comment a little while back at Seed GNXP. There is not a doubt in my mind that Richwine must have been lurking at that blog, came across my brilliant insight and has stolen it for his own. This cannot go unchallenged. Waterpistols at dawn!

Anonymous said...

liberals are smarter than conservatives. and marxists are smarter than liberals.

airtommy said...

I don't recall people questioning Bush's IQ. Perhaps some did, but that wasn't the general gist of the complaints about him. The main beef that intellectuals had with Bush was his stubborn refusal to USE his intellect, his lazy rejection of knowledge and learning.

Middletown Girl said...

Too many variables. As the article stated, there are more than one way to define a 'liberal'. Blacks vote for the 'liberal' Democratic party, but they are not liberal in the original sense. Blacks vote Democratic for narrow-minded tribal reasons than to extend their sympathy and understanding to non-blacks. If we include blacks and the underclass in general in the 'liberal camp', then liberals have both the most intelligent people and the dumbest people whereas conservatives largely occupy the middle. Most Jews are liberal but so are most NAMs. Of course, one could argue whether Jews are truly liberal or liberal for tribal reasons--'is it good for the Jews?'.
So, suppose we narrow down this debate by focusing ONLY on white gentiles. Are white liberals more intelligent than white conservatives? Even here, the 'liberal' or Democratic side will have very smart whites but also much of the blue-collar class. Conservative whites will be dominant in the wide middle--along with some super rich busisnessmen and a good number of Bible-thumping dimbulbs(and peckerwood KKK types).

Richwine is largely correct that smarter people are more likely to question authority, orthodoxy, or tradition, BUT not in every case. It is true ONLY IF society is essentially traditionalist and repressive, in which case smart people would indeed be going against the grain. But, suppose society is permissive, hedonistic, infantile, consumerist, and amnesiac. Look at our young people, and they lack a sense of tradition nor do they have respect for authority. Kids grow up with rock n roll, rebel-as-hero imagery,(and even porn on the internet). In a permissive and amnesiac world, the person who seeks to preserve, maintain, and revive tradition may be the one going against the grain, thus more intelligent than the mindless dufus into punkism, bad attitude, or 'radical' platitudes. Someone who eagerly reads about Thomas Jefferson and glory of Western Civ could well be more intelligent than a guy who wants to rock n roll, join silly protests at G-20 summits, or swallow every global warming cliche by Bono and Gore at Live Aid concerts. A college student with real passion for Dante and Shakespeare may be smarter than a PC drone who reads literature only as ideological texts(as his professors taught him). Also, while every NEW idea or ism may be the work of a high intelligent person, those following in his footsteps tend to be less intelligent. Marx was very smart, Lenin and Trotsky were smart, but Marxists got dumber and dumber. The early Marxists were pioneers, later ones were mere sheep--which goes to show every 'liberal' or 'leftist' idea eventually turns 'conservative'. By the 1980s, Marxists were the 'conservatives' in Russia.

Middletown Girl said...

There also seems to be a snowball effect. If word gets out that smart people are supposed to think in so-and-so manner, smart kids will gravitate toward those ideas via intellectual peer pressure without giving them much independent thought.
Nor can 'smart stuff' be disassociated from morality. Indeed, many smart people have been subtly bullied into liberalism. Emotionalism colors or even overrides intellectualism. For example, PBS and NPR--'smart stuff'--sermonize about slavery, discrimination, 'racism', 'sexism', etc. Many liberals refuse to consider the reality of race--though science is proving otherwise--because they've been morally and emotionally pressured to embrace 'anti-racism', 'progressivism' & 'diversity' as moral imperatives. So, even if liberalism may indeed attract more intelligent people, it doesn't permit full-range freedom to the human intellect. Indeed, intelligence + courage is often prohibited or censored on the Left. Edwin O Wilson, James Watson, and William Shockley have been attacked or censured not for their lack of intelligence but for their courage to say what they really believe. A liberal who believes in evolution may be smarter than a conservative who believes in creationism, but a liberal is allowed to understand and study evolution only in a way that doesn't violate EGALITARIANISM.

Matt G. said...

As a conservative I have to conceed that liberals are smarter on average. It's no accident that they dominate institutions where highly intelligent people are concentrated such as universities. Richwine is spot on in his analysis. Because liberals are intelligent they tend to deal primarily in abstractions or theory. Theory usually breaks down in real life, which is why liberal ideas which are often highly theoretical fail in real life. I remember a Simpson's episode from the 90's in which Springfield's smart people (Lisa, Dr. Hibert, Comic Book Guy, etc.) take over city government to comically disastorous effects.
I think where liberals get themselves into trouble is their disdain for tradition. Tradition is really just accumulated knowledge. Liberals are arrogant enough to believe that they are smarter than their ancestors. They believe in the myth of progress. A clear example of this would be Jim Crow segregation in the South. Liberals portray southerners as stupid and immoral and believe that we have now progressed to the point where we have transcended race, when common sense (and countless sociological studies) tells us we clearly have not. Leaving the morality of segregation aside for the moment, southerners clearly saw that the races were different and were better off seperated. This is a truth that continues to elude liberals since they are so devoted to the abstract princple of equality of man.
On a different point would anybody venture to guess what the intelligence difference is between a paleo-conservative and your typical Fox News watching "conservative"?

Middletown Girl said...

Also, I'm not sure that intelligence alone accounts for a person's willingness to challenge authority, tradition, or orthodoxy. There are matters of personality and social context. A not-too-smart person with a strong personality may be more willing to challenge authority than a smart timid person. A smart Asian student is probably more likely to obey the teacher than a wild but not-too-smart black kid.
And, a lot of well-mannered bland white liberals are practicing only the CONCEIT of being skeptical and intelligent because, in fact, all they ever do is nod their heads to whatever PC central--media and academia--tells them to. They've learned to put on the 'smart' label than to think honestly or courageously. Today, if you simply agree with Jared Diamond on everything, you're smart. If you agree with Jared Taylor, you're not only dumb but EVIL.

Intelligence must also be considered within social context. The notion that a smart person must think original thoughts or make new discoveries is a Hellenic & modern European idea/ideal. In most civilizations through history, the most intelligent people were expected to uphold tradition, preserve cultural memory, and maintain the social order. Indeed, preserving tradition and sacred texts were extremely time-consuming and demanded total devotion. Books were copied page by page by scribes. Just maintaining the existing knowledge and tradition was a full-time job. Since reading material were so precious, there was a greater sense of REVERENCE than rebellion against knowledge handed down over the ages. (The ancient Greeks were truly an anomaly in this regard.) Smart people just accepted Aristotle's 'discoveries' to be true for centuries.
In the movie Spartacus, the rich and intelligent Crassus maintains the social/political order. Roman society groomed smart people to defend the order as it were. The people who rise up against Imperial Rome are the illiterate gladiators. Spartacus may have been a naturally smart guy, but his reason for rebelling had little to do with intelligence but desire for freedom.

Middletown Girl said...

Smart Jews and Chinese were deeply conservative for 1000s of yrs. Their histories demonstrate that intelligence can co-exist with traditionalism. Both Jews and Chinese revered their ancient texts and read them over and over; even so, they contemplated and interpreted those texts. God or Confucius was not not be questioned nor challenged... but his wisdom could be analyzed, debated, given a new subtle twist here and there. Of course, Jews were better thinkers than the Chinese. Chinese saw social reality in terms of teacher and student, whereby the student was supposed to obey the teacher and memorize things by rote. Jewish rabbis, on the other hand, encouraged their students to not just read the Bible but also to argue and find their own interpretations(shared by certain schools of Buddhism with the use of koans). The key relationship among Jews was more like Judge and Lawyer. The Judge was indeed supreme, but the lawyer could make his case before the judge--like when Abraham pleaded with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah. God demanded obedience, but he also preferred strong personalities like Moses and David who had the will to do things their way. God didn't just want his flock to follow his orders but undergo some inner turmoil--through mistakes and foolishness--to realize what was right/wrong and act according to genuine moral understanding than mere blind obedience.
For most of Jewish history, the smartest kids were expected to preserve the tradition and go into Talmudic studies. In China, the smartest were chosen to become scholar-bureaucrats whose purpose was to maintain the status quo than to change society. In this kind of rigid world, challenge to authority was more likely to come from unwashed elements or barbarian bandits. In the movie KAGEMUSHA, a poor thief starts out as a free soul cyincal of authority but he turns more 'conservative' as he's brought into the high-n-mighty 'intelligent' world of the warlord clan.

Anonymous said...

I've had a few thoughts on this over the years. Not sure if any, all or none are correct:

1) People of average or slightly above average intelligence (generally conservative) tend to think linearly and logically. They think in terms of what makes sense. Extremely smart people are more likely to use free association and think non-linearly. This may have its advantages in creative professions, but it desn't necessarily lead to the wisest political choices.

2) Extremely smart liberals tend to think that most people are so stupid that they can't survive without the government's help.

3) However, they tend to think that being smart is all a matter of upbringing. If only the government did all the right things - school lunches, school breakfast, head start, eliminated racism in the classroom, whatever.

4) The current liberal domination of academia doesn't hurt, either. A large amount of education these days is simple propaganda.

5) Smart liberals may be fine surviving without the benefits of tradition. They fail to understand its benefits for less advantaged people. A look at the dumber half (or 60-70-90%) of their party.

6) The fact is the educational/income gap between liberals and conservatives isn't all that big.

Carolyn said...

"Smarter people are less traditional"

Myth. The smart, successful upper classes in this country are pretty much the only ones who wait until after marriage to start a family. See the City Journal article "Marriage and Caste" by Kay Hymowitz.

"brilliant people can sometimes be so consumed by abstract philosophy that they forget common sense"

As anyone who has spent much time with PhDs and other brilliant types can attest they don't "forget" common sense, they don't have any to start with. It's just beyond them.

John Craig said...

Blacks are roughly 12% of the population; 90% of them vote Democrat (96% in the last Presidential election). That means that slightly less than a quarter of people voting Democratic have an average IQ of 85. That statistic alone ought to make it clear which political side averages higher.

I've often thought that voters ought to each get varying numbers of ballots, in proportion to their IQ; how undemocratic of me.

l said...

Liberals probably do tend to be higher IQ. When misapplied, intelligence is wasted, even disastrous. Marxism is the ultimate expression of liberal smarts. What if we outlawed social inequality and prejudice? What if we outlawed the tides? Ask King Canute.

Svigor said...

The Conservative syndrome describes a person who attaches particular importance to the respect of tradition, humility, devoutness and moderation; as well as to obedience, self-discipline and politeness, social order, family, and national security; and has a sense of belonging to and a pride in a group with which he or she identifies. A Conservative person also subscribes to conventional religious beliefs and accepts the mystical, including paranormal, experiences.

Nietzsche wrote something like this, about how intelligence is correlated with higher morality; the intelligent can assess circumstances more flexibly, whereas the less intelligent need stricter guidelines to see them through and tend to fail to navigate gaps in the rules.

But at what point do we acknowledge that liberalism is the tradition? Are we going to pretend that liberalism is the bleeding edge of outsider iconoclasm forever? No. Liberals erected their own gods and their own establishment. Now they're the boring hidebound orthodox. Telling yourself you're a rebel doesn't make it true; the Soviets weren't in a permanent state of revolution, either.

As far as the IQ of foot soldiers goes, what are the demographics of the two camps? Can any edge for Swipples over conservatives really overcome the deficits of NAMs? I'm skeptical.

PeterW said...

I'm sure you can find small differences between Yankees and Red Sox fans too.

P Coderch said...

The word "liberal", as Americans use it, means someone who is restrictive in the economic field and progressive in the social arena. Many non-Americans get confused when they hear Americans use the word liberal, because in most of the World, "liberalism" refers to the economic doctrine of open markets and minimum state intervention in the economy as the English classical economic theorists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo define it define it. For instance, the nationalistic Marxists of South America are in a war with "neoliberalism", even though most Americans would regard their policies as much closer to those of American liberals than conservatives. In continental Europe, liberal has yet another definition, and is that of someone who belives in both freedom of markets and absolute individual freedom in more than just the economic arena. There, the words liberalism and libertarianism are sometimes used as synonyms. As for which are more intelligent on average, there is little question that liberals are more intelligent than conservatives. As the great genius, John Stuart Mill, once said:

"Not all conservatives are stupid, but all stupid people are conservative."

the reason why less intelligent people are usually conservative is because, the less intelligent you are, the less capable you are of understanding the consequences of change and thus fear it and want to conserve the status quo. Just compare the average IQ and creativity of the groups that most welcomes change, like science fiction writers, and tanshumanists, with that of the groups that most fear change, like Mormons conservative groups and you'll see a dramatic difference in brain power. Transhumanists would probably average IQs of 130 or higher whilst the Christian creationists probably average below 100.

I am a libertarian, and as such I believe that people should live their lives as they see fit. I believe in the systematic understanding of Nature through experimentation and evidence,logic and debate, but above all, freedom of volition. I would never force anyone to agree with me even if I have facts stacked massively on my side. I have no problem with some of those Christian groups believing that the World was created 6,000 years ago despite the evidence to the contrary as well as a simple exercise in logical deduction proving the impossibility of this. The reason why some libertarians such as myself hate conservatives is not because of what they believe in. We wouldn't if they applied their believes only to themselves. The problem is that they want to apply their belives to us and force us to live our lives as they want us to. Consider the issue of gay marriage - I am not gay but this is a perfect example. Allowing gay people to marry is something that won't affect straight people negatively in any way, and yet conservatives won't allow gay people to be happy because their 4,000 year old Jewish book of fairy tales tell them that it's wrong. Conservatives use the most absurd arguments for why gays shouldn't be allowed to marry, such as that children need a man and woman as parents and that two men or two women will traumatize the child for life. This theory is nonsese since there are millions of children in the World raised by step parents, single uncles, single mothers, etc, that turn fine. It is just traditionalist irrationality ingrained in custom that only a man and woman can raise a child right. Even Steve Sailer tried to argue that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry because it will make straight men avoid marriage as it will be seen as a gay thing. Who is going to think that a man marrying a WOMAN, in a ceremony where the bride and not the groom is the center of attention, is gay? This argument doesen't make any sense. And even if gay marriage discouraged straight people from marrying and having children, what is the problem with that? There are over seven billion people in the World right now. The World would be a much better place if people had less children.

Tom Regan said...

Interesting that he uses the following to back the argument that liberals are smarter:
"People who subscribe to non-traditional ideas probably have above-average intellects."

I think it would be more accurate to say that people who go against political fashions are capable of independent critical analysis. And in an environment like the US 2009, the political fashion is decidedly liberal, so it is the conservatives who are showing critical analysis skills.

John Craig said...

The other, perhaps more interesting question, is which group is more numeric. I've often thought that liberals, in order to become liberals, must have little ability at empirical observation regarding crime rates, gender differences, racial differences in IQ, etc.

Either that or I they must have great ability at self-deception.

PJ said...

Richwine does a poor job, as he leaves out an obvious and important point: Stankov's "conservatism" is anti-correlated with political conservativism. Most blacks and Hispanics are "conservatives" under his definition, while a majority of white conservative Republicans are probably not.

Richwine is therefore equivocating between different definitions of conservatism.

Stopped Clock said...

Thank you for posting a link to that article, and thank you, John Richwine, for writing it. I have tried to make the same argument before in various debates but I've never been able to write it so clearly and succinctly.

Anonymous said...

Saul's aunt figured it out: “Your friends, they are so smart, so smart. But stupid!”

albertosaurus said...

There are approximately one gazillion psychology graduate students in the US at any time. This has been true for decades. They all need a disertation topic for their PhD. The easiest research tools to use in psychology are the standardized metal ability tests. Trust me, the IQ versus political registration study has been done.

If that study had showed that liberals were smarter (or conservatives) then it would have been in the headlines of newspapers and the topics of blogs worldwide overnight. Moreover the doctoral candidate would have had a job for life.

The IQ by political party studies have been done but the results haven't been reported. Why? No differences.

A political party is by definition a group of people who band together to try to acquire power. All successfull parties weld together coalitions of different people and interest groups. Some individuals groups in a party will be smarter than others.

For example conservative managers are smarter as a whole than are liberal labor workers. Conservative landlords are probably a little smarter than liberal tenants. On the other hand liberal trial lawyers are almost certainly smarter than conservative insurance company staff. Among the liberals Jews are smart and blacks are stupid. It's a mix.

The problem with this topic is that the underlying assumption is not that political party and IQ are just correlated but that the relationship is causal. People like to think that the other guy just doesn't have the brains to reach their own pattern of opinions.

People like to believe that they came to their own political stance through a process that was like solving a very long and difficult problem in calculus. Those who weren't up to the challenge became members of the opposing party. Both sides like to believe this little bit of nonsense.

If I know your race, occupation, or religion I can predict your political registration at an above chance rate. Knowing your IQ alone is worthless.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, smart people tend to be left-wingers when young. Many see the light in their 30s or later, others never see it at all.

Young nerds get a lot of their information about the human world from written material and, sadly, nowadays most of it is intentionally-misleading PC BS. It takes many years of actual experiences, many of them painful and initially confusing ones, for reality to finally sink in.

Young morons have the advantage of having skipped much of the PC brainwashing. They don't learn about how the world works from books, they tend to learn from actual experiences from the start.

Stopped Clock said...

gah. I meant to type Jason of course.

Let's! said...

Tough to define liberal and conservative when you get to the right tail. My spider sense says that 100-115 IQ folks are those most likely to be want to be consistent "checklist" cons or libs.

Left-halfers' votes are made for tribal reasons, regardless of what they really believe.

Right-tailers like Steve pick and choose, and also formulate their own positions that may not have a clear ideological label.

For example, Steve has said that perhaps marijuana should be banned because it discourages youthful vigor, which is a pretty low bar to set when deciding how to deploy scarce resources of law enforcement. Is this law-and-order conservatism or micromanage-your-life progressivism?

Steve also seems to be on board with Paddy Buke's protectionism, not a typical "checklist-conservative" position. Yes, sometimes Steve has punted on the issue, choosing to simply make a media-criticism point about how they supposedly care more about offshored cube rats than hard hats, but I think he's generally on Team Tariff.

In sum, defining Steve as a con or a lib is futile.

jody said...

we're talking about european americans though, right? not the entire spectrum of american voters, or even people across the world. otherwise it would be obvious that on average, the pool of people who voet democrat is becoming less intelligent over time. when it comes to euro american voters it is generally only

1) blue collar white men
2) suburban white women
3) high IQ, insulated from reality type white men

who vote democrat. and democrats are losing group 1. even they learn, albiet slowly. the time of democrats sticking up for group 1 is long past. that was 30 years ago at least. today, every democrat policy is aimed directly at demolishing group 1. the guys in group 1 are starting to finally see that. i've talked to many middle class white guys who (i could never understand why) were lifetime democrats, and obama has forced them to face reality.

Dalrock said...

A key point missing from the article is the sorting process described in the Bell Curve. The highest IQ High Schoolers are going to score the highest on the SAT, etc. This ensures that they go to the best universities, which are cultishly liberal. Further, I think these institutions foster a sense that what makes them smart is at least in part their liberalness. One doesn't have to be terribly bright to know the right tone of an essay is the liberal perspective.

Put another way, the left has a very sophisticated machine to identify the highest IQ students and indoctrinate them when most impressionable.

How could someone overlook this?

dearieme said...

I still think that the funniest lesson I have learned from The Blessed Steve is that that moron Bush the Younger, and that cretin John Kerry, were both more intelligent than JFK.

Usually Lurking said...

John Craig said...
The other, perhaps more interesting question, is which group is more numeric. I've often thought that liberals, in order to become liberals, must have little ability at empirical observation regarding crime rates, gender differences, racial differences in IQ, etc.

Either that or I they must have great ability at self-deception.


John, I have been thinking about that for a long time now. Something that really strikes me about the authors at places like Feministing, DailyKos, etc. is how few, if any, have any background in a hard science. They will often list there degrees, and they are always in law, literature, anthropology (cultural?), etc.

And they never, and I mean never, have a background in Math, Physics, Statistics, Engineering, etc.

Personally, I can not remember meeting a Surgeon, or Engineer, or any other kind of "Hard Scientist", who was a Leftist.

Liberal, maybe. But not a Leftist.

But this was not always the case. Many of the original "Progressives" at the turn of the 20th century were actual scientists and mathematicians (i.e. Bertrand Russell, Einstein, etc.).

I understand that old-style Progressivism and post-60's Liberalism are not the same thing, but the difference is striking.

It is no wonder that Professors of Logic do not want to be in the Humanities dept. at their University.

about to buy a gun said...

my question is, are you dumb if in 1980 you didn't know what the democratic party was about to turn into?

TGGP said...

John Craig, I've written about possible political differences between the verbally vs numerically or visuo-spatially oriented at my blog.

Anonymous said...

Steve, this fits into your line of thinking that liberals ignore the non-whites in their camp and are speaking of white vs white IQ. If you measure total IQ across the board (using republicans and dems as a proxy for conservatives and liberals), the republicans would be much higher due to their lack of blacks and hispanics.

Though nowadays I don't think the left even has the white IQ side shored up. Since liberalism is the default political stance in most big cities, you get a lot of average IQ NIMBY whites with vote democrat but can't argue their side's politics very well.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that in order to be a liberal, one must have huge amounts of intelligence in order to rationalize to oneself and others the evil, left-wing pathology that is destroying the West. They have to somehow convince themselves that cowardice is courage, victimhood makes one morally superior, tyranny is freedom, war is peace, etc., etc., etc.

Of course the defining characteristic of a liberal is that they are in full flight from reality: They are cowards and traitors who hate themselves and who believe that since no human can live up to the Godly ideal that we should simply abandon all morals and ethics in order to avoid being "hypocrites." This is simple moral cowardice and laziness. It is the moral code of the overgrown spoiled brat.

Anonymous said...

"He's written some HBD related, though not overtly, material previously."

Not overtly?

http://amconmag.com/article/2009/oct/01/00048/

Just how overt do you want it?

Chief Seattle said...

I always figured term-two Bush voters were either in the top 1% or the bottom 49%. Nothing else made sense.

Anonymous said...

Either that or I they must have great ability at self-deception.

Or else they lie through their teeth.

At some point you are duty-bound to consider the possibility that the insanity of their proposals & policies is intentional, not accidental.

Anonymous said...

Are liberals or conservatives smarter?

I will concede that nihilism took a terrible, terrible toll on the academy in the 20th Century.

But what the hell good is all this deductive IQ if, inductively, a posteriori, everything you did turns out to be an f-ing disaster?

TD said...

Liberals are smarter in the "a little bit of knowledge..." sense -- smart enough to pride themselves on identifying "problems" and "issues," but not nearly smart enough to understand that they're not nearly smart enough to sit around solving them all for everybody. Which makes them dangerous.

They just can't get their brains around the idea of individual liberty as the best default position for a Western society.

Anonymous said...

Neither, Libertarians rule the IQ roost!

guest007 said...

White liberals are probably smarter than white conservatives. However, considering that blacks and Hispanics are probably the two most liberal groups in the U.S., they pull the average down.

One of the interesting things in politics is that white progressives always talk about Democrats and liberals as if blacks, Hispanics, and high school drop outs are in a different party than the one that the progessives control.

Ronduck said...

Obviously we are talking about White conservatives and liberals, not Black or Hispanic ones. A user over at IBM's Many Eyes website has uploaded a map of White IQ by state, which allows us to compare extreme liberal states with conservative ones. Here are the listed IQ's from Many Eyes for the White populations of a few states:

Liberal:
Massachusetts - 103.1
Michigan - 101
Minnesota - 102.6
Illinois - 101
California - 99.2
New York - 102

Conservative:
Texas - 101.4
S. Carolina - 101.1
Alaska - 101.7
Arizona - 100
Utah - 99.9

Dumbest Whites
West Virginia - 96.8

West Virginia is a swing state, but using my cherry picked list above the conservative White do not seem significantly dumber. Any differences in political behavior must be cultural, possibly religious.

The map is here, and I found the link in to the map in the sidebar of Audacious Epigone's blog, so the map is somewhat endorsed by a reputable blogger.

Any other charts or maps of White IQ's by state would be greatly appreciated.

klaos said...

That study is hilarious, consider this quote, as cited in the article:

Most black Americans, for example, clearly exhibit “the Conservative syndrome” as Stankov defined it

corvinus said...

I can say this for certain: Liberals are getting dumber (due to the Idiocracy effect) whereas conservatives seem to be staying roughly constant.

tommy said...

The other, perhaps more interesting question, is which group is more numeric. I've often thought that liberals, in order to become liberals, must have little ability at empirical observation regarding crime rates, gender differences, racial differences in IQ, etc.

I suspect that strong logical and statistical reasoning ability probably correlates with moderate to conservative political attitudes.

I also wouldn't be surprised if the greater the relative difference between verbal and numerical/visuospatial ability, the greater the trend toward liberalism. People whose verbal faculty exceeds their ability to work with numbers might tend to ignore uncomfortable numerical data or reason their way around quantitative facts. This might possibly explain why Jews skew leftward.

Certainly, I'm not too impressed by the countless liberals I see who seem to be just as traditionalist in their adherence to political correctness as many social conservatives are in their own beliefs.

Pat Shuff said...

Well, the one on the right was on the left
And the one in the middle was on the right
And the one on the left was in the middle
And the guy in the rear was a Methodist

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've never found any real substance in the respective claimants to lay claim.
I find both camps camped along the broad, shallow Platte River, mostly claiming it depends on what depends until they're wearing Depends, then retire, become lobbyists or die, depending.

One can claim x or y SD of a contested measurement, one can claim the moon. Before buying any claims I'd take it the assay, not the ah-say ah-say office before taking it to the bank.
Of the Platte. Like they ah-say, a rolling loan gathers no loss, ah-say ah-say. Which is why the bell curve is perfectly balanced, and the electorate perfectly balanced across it, which is a little deeper than the Platte, almost as deep as our balance sheEE-it, figuratively and literally all the way to China,
a hole so deep you can see stars at the bottom of the abyss with a telescope and so can they, ah-so ah-say. Now that's real friggin' smart.

Anthony said...

I find the definition interesting.

For example, to what extent do liberals share in the "conventional religious beliefs" of their social circles, which is some form of atheism or agnosticism? For example, in the humanities in academia, to be religious would be unconventional.

rightsaidfred said...

Sending high IQ liberals into politics is akin to sending high IQ quants into Wall Street: they design critically complex securitization/craptastic socialist policies that only work well if your audience is conscientious Scandinavians.

Uncle said...

"Liberals" as a voting bloc are an alliance between academics, the urban middle class (ie paper pushers), and really stupid proles. Only a very small elite actually come up with the strategies and ideas. Can you call some ghetto black in DC who always votes for the Democrat a "liberal"?

"Conservatives" are basically an alliance between white working, middle, and business classes. The swathe of America that could be called "conservative" is much broader. So if you measure what we think of as "liberals" (which really boils down to those hated SWPLs and the academia) against "conservatives", the conservatives will come out short in the brains department.

But if you measure the real conservative elite, successful business owners, against the liberal elite, I think the business owners would come out on top. It takes a lot more brains to do what they do; running a business is tough!

The more valid question is whether Republican or Democratic voters have the higher IQ, and I think it has been shown that the Republicans beat the Democrats by a few points. Here's another study:

http://phillips.blogs.com/goc/2007/04/democrats_iq.html

Anonymous said...

The article mentions individual-level data. I wish it would actually tell us what the data is and what the results are. Is it the General Social Survey? That has a conservative/liberal question. Is it the survey that has a short IQ test too?

It's curious, too, if conservatives have less education, that Republicans have more education than Democrats. (e.g., http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f54/average-iq-republican-vs-democrat-voters-860767/, but I've read that in more reliable sources) Are Republicans less conservative than Democrats?

Moses said...

Add one more step. Social conservatives have lower IQs. People with lower IQs on average earn less, live shorter lives, etc. They rely on tradition to help them navigate the world.

What to say of people who want to destroy tradition?

Frank said...

FWIW, The WSJ best of the Web on 10/29/09 had a link to a Weekly Standard blog post showing that Republicans are consistently more knowledgeable about current events than Democrats.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/10/pew_political_iq_poll_republic.asp

The poll was conducted by Pew.

Advocatus Diaboli said...

Maybe they are both stupid, in their own ways. Anyone who strongly identifies with an ideology made up by others is a believer.

Environmentalism, conservatism, liberalism,nimbyism, HBDism are secular religions, just as valid (or invalid) as traditional fire and brimstone religions.

RKU said...

Actually, it seems pretty clear to me that "liberals" tend to be bimodal in their intelligence, with large portions of the distribution at the high and the low ends. This is much less true with "conservatives," who are more concentrated towards the middle.

This allows "conservatives" to look at the dumber "liberals", and say "we're smarter than them" and "liberals" to look at the average "conservative" and say the same.

But the really high end (say top 2%) seems overwhelmingly "liberal" at least by self-definition. (Since as mentioned, "liberal" and "conservative" are pretty ambiguous categories, the only objective test is asking people "Are you more liberal and conservative," and using that as the benchmark.

I'd say that the smartest slices of society have traditionally been the theoretical physicists and the mathematicians, plus these days some of the really top end software developers and perhaps a few Wall Street quants.

My strong personal impression is that these segments of society skew overwhelmingly "liberal", at least by self-definition.

Dutch Boy said...

Corruptio optima pessimi -which is Latin for: smart SOBs are the worst kind!

jody said...

a lot of posters have said they thought US liberals, that is to say euro americans who vote democrat, are clearly smarter on average than US conservatives. i'm totally unconvinced of this.

it seems to me that this impression is due to us being subjected to daily viewing of the people who lead and direct the democrat party. most of them are lawyers and non-math academics with very big, very loud mouths. people who clearly feel the need to dominate any discussion and exert control over people.

we don't see the same thing from the republican party. it is generally not lead by lawyers and non-math types with big, loud mouths, but instead by businessmen. and so we might assume that few smart people are conservative or vote republican.

but this is not true at all in my experience. i would say most smart euro americans, with science and engineering backgrounds, form a silent majority who are conservative and who vote republican, but simply don't feel the need to enter politics, to seek control over other people, or to get that political platform from which to run their big mouths, lecture everybody else about how they should act, and monitor everybody's thoughts for resistance. these things are clearly the purview lawyers and non-math academics, perfectly suited to enter politics should they not do so well in private practice of their field of specialty.

Anonymous said...

"I still think that the funniest lesson I have learned from The Blessed Steve is that that moron Bush the Younger, and that cretin John Kerry, were both more intelligent than JFK."

That was based on a test administered to Bush Jr. in his youth. There is a possibility that his IQ was lowered by cocaine abuse later. When Bush was asked about drugs during his first presidential campaign, he said that he made mistakes in his youth, but had then found Jesus, started a new life, etc. That's basically an admission. At the time rumors specifically pointed to cocaine.

If you Google for "cocaine IQ", all the top results point to studies showing that pre-natal exposure to the stuff lowers the kids' IQs. Shocking, right? I don't see anything on the effects of adult intake though.

He was also a heavy drinker in his 20s and 30s, but I've known very smart drunks, so I'm more skeptical of that possibility.

expeedee said...

Forget this conservative/liberal dichotomy and who's smarter. The labels mean nothing.

If you understand and believe in Darwinism (especially neo-Darwinism)you're most likely an atheist and have to concede that human potential is limited. Ergo, human beings cannot be molded into perfection by culture alone and therein lies the conservatives lament.

Dutch Boy said...

correction: The Latin phrase is:
"corruptio optimi pessima"

ben tillman said...

In most civilizations through history, the most intelligent people were expected to uphold tradition, preserve cultural memory, and maintain the social order. Indeed, preserving tradition and sacred texts were extremely time-consuming and demanded total devotion. Books were copied page by page by scribes. Just maintaining the existing knowledge and tradition was a full-time job.

Do you realize that what you're describing sounds a lot like the function of DNA?

ben tillman said...

I've often thought that voters ought to each get varying numbers of ballots, in proportion to their IQ; how undemocratic of me.

Voting by *anyone* is undemocratic unless the members of the demos have unanimously consented to voting as the basis for deciding the issue in question. See Tullock and Buchanan's "Calculus of Consent".

ben tillman said...

The highest IQ High Schoolers are going to score the highest on the SAT, etc. This ensures that they go to the best universities, which are cultishly liberal.

Steve has explained this before. Griggs v. Duke Power says that employers can't use IQ tests, but they are still allowed to use university credentials so that high-IQ youngsters are essentially required to pass through the indoctrination centers that you refer to as "the best universities".

ben tillman said...

Put another way, the left has a very sophisticated machine to identify the highest IQ students and indoctrinate them when most impressionable.

Exactly.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, smart people tend to be left-wingers when young. Many see the light in their 30s or later, others never see it at all.

I think there is a lot of truth in that. But, at the risk of being too personal and anecdotal, the problem is the leftism has still done its work. They may no longer vote left but still buy into much of the leftist baggage.

Basically they become cynical nilhilists - as LV would say.

They dont buy into an alternative to leftism, just a sorry shadow of conservatism. No optimism or belief in well...anything really.

I went through a phase of that when my liberalism withered & died but Ive come through the other side helped by an interest in HBD and *gasp* WN.

OneSTDV said...

"I don't recall people questioning Bush's IQ."

What?!?!?

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

I'm a liberal and I am smarter than ALL of you j/k ;D

Seriously though, I think this is a dumb argument. Any individual who understands and can explain the principles of a political ideology enough to label themselves is no dummy. It is my position that individuals who identify as "liberals" and "conservatives" are equally likely to be smart or dumb on average.

Gene Berman said...

dearieme:

And, guess what. The Eagles' (Philly football team) veteran star running back (black, of course) Brian Westbrook, comes in at 122, only a couple less than George W. and about .5SD higher than Kerry. Don't have any idea what kind of President he'd make but couldn't be much worse than this one and the last one. especially if we could get Buckley's 400 (from the Boston phone book) as Congress.

Gene Berman said...

Anonymous said...(first comment)

"Mill was a conservative"

Yes--a socialist-leaning conservative, inclined to permit more intrusion of the state into economic and personal affairs than would please my own taste. On the other hand, no known chain of reasoning could have revealed his error even to him in those days (before the advent and acceptance of Subjective Value Theory); the ideas, especially on economic topics, of our own Founders are similarly flawed and badly in need of revision, especially with regard to monetary matters and the infamous "commerce clause," under which the Feds theoretically could bust you for growing tomatoes in your own backyard (and for your own consumption).

Gene Berman said...

airtommy:

and, of course, his preference for the "nucular option" (at least in pronunciation).

Gene Berman said...

Middletown Girl:

I don't wish to be objectionable but your characterization of Marx as "very smart" tells me something about you: you've not read Marx!
He makes bloopers in Das Kapital even I couldn't miss, skim-reading it some 53 years ago (for a guy paying me $100--princely sum in those days--to write a "term paper" for him). Try Googling "Marx immiseration" for one of the most egregious goofs; there are others.

In 1981 my daughter showed me an economics text used in her class (Penn State) full of the most asinine, commie propaganda. I called the author, a prof at U. of Utah (or Utah State--misremember now) to complain of the propagandistic tenor of the text. "But, Mr. Berman," he said, "you clearly do not understand. I am not merely a professor of Economics whose task it is to impart a knowledge of Economics. I'm a Marxian professor of Economics; it is my purpose to produce Marxists!"

You are, no doubt, young, as are most on the site. It is probably part of the received knowledge of you (and most others) that the indoctrination of students began subsequent to the activist student riots, demonstrations, sit-ins, and takeovers of universities in the '60s. But that isn't quite true (even though I didn't understand it for some time). What happened is that the students made their demands of the very profs who had already been grooming them for such activity (though many of the students might not have realized). It's similar to the process Steve has frequently referred to (Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers)--an act conducted between (phony) contending parties, a confrontation whose outcome has been determined well in advance, whether or not ever "rehearsed": both "sides" know their parts in the drama.

The subornation of the university had been underway for many years--even well before I was born. Even today, relatively slight only is the alarm that's been raised--and that almost singlehandedly by David Horowitz' (frontpagemag.com); it's almost pathetic: people pay almost no attention and seem not to notice everything "slip-sliding away." As "things" are going, they won't even notice when it's gone.

RnadyB said...

In 2004, Kerry won high school dropouts and people with graduate degrees. Bush won people with high school diplomas and bachelors degrees. Today's liberalism is a bastard mix of economic re-distirbution (popular among the low IQ) and secularist individual freedom (high IQ). Conservatism appeals to economic skeptics who don't think wild social experiments are likely to work.

Pat Shuff said...

Put another way, the left has a very sophisticated machine to identify the highest IQ students and indoctrinate them when most impressionable.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There seems a formative age when some things get cemented for life.
An older generation finds Elvis ranked high in rock royalty, an old Stones or Doors ditty still gets my toe tapping unlike succeeding groups/genres, my kids found Nirvana or Radiohead the cat's meow.

High birth-rate Mormonism, Catholicism, Islam are present day
successful faiths, beliefs whether political or religious not falling far from the tree. On the other hand, the Shakers, advocating the strangest of all sexual perversions, celibacy,
went extinct suggesting abstention is not a viable long term faith strategy, gotta get'm while they're young.

Acquiring a degree and pathway to higher income comes with indoctrination at a formative age at the hands of 'wakeful instruction' faculty thus wakeful journalists
and wakeful journalism of shared narrative, template, framings. Zzzz.

It begins in K-12, from skimming my kids' school texts (Kennedy good, Reagan bad, period, end of sentence, no mixed nuance or complexity about it.) Like Ayer's educational philosophy of the Long March beginning in Headstart towards the good, the great, the beautiful, the perfect enemy of the good, the proven disastrous, the jackboot in the face of humanity for all eternity. Not that a vampire squid has anything to commend it.

My freshman poli-sci prof (U of MN '72), striking that affected rebel pose,
would regale us daily with the lies we've been told. Cuba and the Eastern Bloc had far superior healthcare, education, housing and the people were overwhelmingly pleased with their state of affairs. Several decades later when the Wall came tumbling, tumbling the pleased people bolted en masse at the first hint that this time the tanks were
not going to roll. The story remains so largely untold including things like the environmental horrors, to horrible to even contemplate I guess for certain mindsets.

Later, in the mid'Nineties, I took evening adult community college courses compliments of corporate benefits (OR coast.) I revisited Econ 101, then 2 and 3 for a year. The text for all three was of course Keynesian, whose star at the time was in descendancy, Hayek's ascending as cycles turn.
Keynes and Hayek probably loom largest the century past, cast the longest economist shadows. Hayek, having lost the argument in the 'Thirties, departed the field and somewhat a polymath, turned to psychology before returning from the wilderness when his prophesied decline and collapse
of the darling of the intelligentsia was evident for all to see. My Econ text for 101/2&3 had not a single mention of Hayek, whether footnotes, index, bibliography or references, as if the other half of the modern day field of economics had been expunged.
As an older student, bringing the other school to school from readings, it was kind of a glaring omission, rewriting the software of common sense with lethal, virulent bugs of incomprehensible curves and equations in the young and unarmed, vessels for sins of ommission. The middle aged instructor knew no different.

The CC often hired instructors without teaching degrees for adult continuing education who brought real world experience to the classroom which was refreshing (why is this tank circuit always used instead of the one with more elegant math? "Because its cheaper.") But depressing not refreshing in the case of a PacNW Indian history course. The blonde female instructor came to class barefoot, dressed in buckskin indian garb.
She lived off the grid down a path a half mile from the nearest road. The first night we learned of the evils of white European males, dead and alive.
My classmates, fresh out of high school, were agape, absorbing hitherto unknown verities. Gathering I wouldn't be learning much about NW Indians I walked out during break and canceled the next day.

Peter A said...

Are we really still having this argument? No one knows what "liberal" and "conservative" mean anymore. A lot of conservatives would consider Sailer a liberal for his attitudes on foreign policy and apparent reluctance to loudly proclaim Jesus as his savior. You can argue that Bush's positions on immigration and free markets make him a liberal. A radical black nationalist Malcolm X was arguably a conservative philosophically speaking but simply a black conservative opposed to white conservatives. People pursue their own self interest - smart people adopt a philosophy that helps them do that. So smart academics become liberals because it is in their interest to make the state shower benefits on academics. Smart businessmen usually vote conservative because a party that favors business is in their interest. I think that's all pretty clear and not very interesting. The political affiliations of lower income people are more interesting because at that level it does seem like people make stupid choices, at least within the narrow framework of self interest. Why would a lower income white person vote for the Republicans when that party is so eager to send him or his kin off to die in a foreign country? Why would a lower income black vote Democrat when that party is so eager to import Mexican labor to ensure the black voter never finds a decent job again?

Anonymous said...

"the reason why less intelligent people are usually conservative is because, the less intelligent you are, the less capable you are of understanding the consequences of change and thus fear it and want to conserve the status quo."

Mmm... but I think fear of climate "change" increases with IQ and education to a large extent. Similarly, I think a good deal of the scientists who are skeptical of the Singularity and strong AI are smarter than your average Transhumey (although I think the ones who do not draw any particularly strong conclusions either way after considering the data are smarter still).

Understanding not always does to optimism, acceptance or welcoming lead.

As Steve is fond of saying "I have understood you" /= "I care about you as much as you do yourself and welcome you". It's perfectly possible to understand something and reject it, or to understand it and so to reject it. If the intelligent don't, then that doesn't say anything about intelligence and change in general, but only about the particulars in question (and particularly the particular cultural biases of the particular culture).

Still, the way to actually test Richwine's point would be to look at the variance in the two populations (after removing any possible ethnic confounds). I think it might be on poor ground though, as Openness to Experience correlates with Liberalism.

John Craig said...

Having just read all the comments on this thread, I have to say -- somewhat self-servingly -- that Sailer readers (and commenters) are pretty much the smartest group, on average, of any group I've ever participated in. Of course, this impression may be somewhat misleading, as the comments here represent our most cogent, distilled thoughts, and most of us, in person, would probably not come off as smart. (No author, when you actually meet him, seems nearly as smart as he does in his books.)

So does this say that paleos are the smartest group out there? As someone above rightly pointed out, social conservatives, many of whom would also fall under the paleo umbrella, probably aren't quite as smart. Not sure where that leaves us.

Anyway, another thought: people who are most interested in issues of IQ are often those who scored highest as youngsters, so the whole concept has much more visceral appeal to them, in the same way that someone who was good at, say, football in his youth will forever after be a football fan. (One more reason for us Sailer-ites to be self-congratulatory.)

Anonymous said...

John Craig said...

"I've often thought that voters ought to each get varying numbers of ballots, in proportion to their IQ; how undemocratic of me."

Then what does that make me? I have long advocated that only those who can prove that they have paid income or property tax should be allowed to vote.

PR

SFG said...

Openness to Experience does correlate with political liberalism from what I remember. It's a better argument (which I first heard from Steve) that tradition is just more necessary for the left half of the bell curve and, thus, not to be done away with.

I've known quite a few lefty scientists. I suspect the AGW thing is pissing the science world off. Sorry, guys, the left is right this time.

"I'm sure you can find small differences between Yankees and Red Sox fans too."

I think you mean Yankees and Mets (a common topic of discussion in NYC). The major difference between Yankees and Red Sox fans is relative proximity to Boston and New York. ;)

Anonymous said...

Anonat1215

Reading this thread and the nearby thread on football and the BCS leads me to one chilling conclusion:

College and other professional sports are a perfect example of why conservatives will lose in "peaceful" conflict. The coaches and likewise baseball field mangers are probably conservatives, indeed good examples of the conservative so-called elite. Here is the problem: they are only interested in winning for themselves as individuals. They are smart enough to compete, but not smart enough to think strategically and conspire for group success. Now pan back and take in the whole picture. All the strings in sports are pulled by college presidents, network executives, and league commissioners, liberals to the last man or mannish woman. Most of the heroic and manly positions in these pro and crypto-amateur sports are occupied by minorities, vastly disproportionate to their population and somewhat disproportionate to their ability. The liberals at the top and the minorities at the bottom are fervently loyal to their social group interests. The conservatives are mis-led by useful idiots “loyal" only to themselves, and they buy the over-priced tickets to boot.

Anonymous said...

A certain bloc of the conservative electorate may very well be less intelligent than its liberal counterpart.

Bwahahaha! As if a "certain bloc" of the liberal electorate (blacks, Hispanics) is not notably less intelligent than the average "dumb" white conservative.

headache said...

Liberalism hinges on the simple argument that racism and anti-Semitism are morally wrong. These are simple but powerful arguments which have destroyed all the old fortresses of conservatism. Whilst I am fully conservative, even to this day it’s almost impossible to counter these arguments, even if you know the other side is just bluffing and actually playing ethnic spoils behind the scenes. You cannot win the racism is wrong argument, whichever way you try. It has something to do with biblical morality, which is why it is so powerful. I cannot understand why this argument is so important that we should all be drilled down to Third World status, but some liberal once told me "it's for a higher good". I'm still trying to get my head around that. We should now all suffer coz morality is more important than progress. Funny thing though that those who talk like this live in plush villas and keep their family's miles away from NAM's.

But as long as liberals get to decide what is morally good and bad, we are screwed.

Lawful Neutral said...

Say what you like about liberals, but at least they're smart enough to recognize the winning side and get on it.

HHMB said...

"if we could get Buckley's 400 (from the Boston phone book) as Congress."

That's effectively what the Athenians did.

RandyB said...

headache said...
Liberalism hinges on the simple argument that racism and anti-Semitism are morally wrong. These are simple but powerful arguments which have destroyed all the old fortresses of conservatism. Whilst I am fully conservative, even to this day it’s almost impossible to counter these arguments, even if you know the other side is just bluffing and actually playing ethnic spoils behind the scenes. You cannot win the racism is wrong argument, whichever way you try.


This is one of the reasons Jared Taylor gives why it's necessary, even though distasteful, to publicize the idea that black IQs are genetically lower than whites. If we try to offer any other justification for observable socio-economic differences, like culture or work-ethic, the argument will just come back "but why doesn't black culture emphasize education and work -- it's part of the legacy of oppression."

My own inclination would be liberalism, except that evidence from Europe related to Muslims is showing that non-assimilating minorities are willing to accept handouts as a lifestyle; so liberal welfare programs don't work if they're based on assumptions of behavior that are only true of the majority.

European nations don't even have the moral arguments for minority preferences -- they're not nations of immigrants or have a legacy of slavery to overcome.

kudzu bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kudzu bob said...

Anonymous wrote, "When Bush was asked about drugs during his first presidential campaign, he said that he made mistakes in his youth, but had then found Jesus, started a new life, etc."

If only Bush had stuck to booze and blow, intoxicants comparatively less harmful than the pursuit of power, this country might have been spared not only a couple of unjust wars but the current depression as well. Sobriety is wasted on some folks.

Lawful Neutral wrote, "Say what you like about liberals, but at least they're smart enough to recognize the winning side and get on it."

In one of his critical essays, T.S. Eliot remarked that no cause is ever entirely lost, nor ever entirely won. You might want to keep his words in mind, and reflect upon the irony that communists, who held that history was driven by economics, and who seemed everywhere on the advance only a few decades ago--were defeated with shocking suddenness, and not by force of arms, but rather by their own ignorance of economic reality.

In turn, the blank-slatists will be done in by their failure to understand the truth of human group differences. The more powerful the HBD-denialists grow, the sooner their day of reckoning. The forces that they seek to unleash will devour them.

Anonymous said...

I think it might be on poor ground though, as Openness to Experience correlates with Liberalism.

Actually, thinking again, this was a meaningless thing to say and actually supports Richwine's argument, to the extent that it says anything about it at all. Variance on this trait would be the relevant thing as well.

Anonymous said...

"Transhumanists would probably average IQs of 130 or higher whilst the Christian creationists probably average below 100."

Interesting sleight of hand.

Compare the elite of one group to the whole of another.

Assuming transhumanists average IQ 130, I would compare them to theology professors.

The whole group of Christian creationists includes tons of functionally illiterate NAM's.

Steve Wood said...

I've known quite a few lefty scientists. I suspect the AGW thing is pissing the science world off. Sorry, guys, the left is right this time.

It's not just global warming. There are many reasons why scientists lean left:

--Rightly or wrongly, conservatives are perceived as being anti-science. This is not surprising: People who don't believe in evolution or who oppose the use of human stem cells for research tend to be conservatives, and noisy ones at that.

--Science is naturally cosmopolitan. Mankind benefits most when scientific knowledge is shared across international boundaries so that it is accessible to whoever can do the most with it. Scientists collaborate with their colleagues from other countries and develop personal relationships with them as well. This tends to make them international in outlook and to lead them to despise what they see as conservative jingoism.

--Scientists engaged in research are often heavily dependent on government funding. People who depend on the government for money are usually liberal out of self-interest, even if they disagree with many liberal policies.

--Scientific leaders are mostly academics. Academics tend to be liberal. Even if they don't start out that way, peer pressure will do its work. Furthermore, the great universities that employ them are heavily concentrated in the Northeast, upper Midwest and California. Need I say more?

--Finally, the media has succeeded in portraying conservatives as stupid, braying jackasses. (They have been greatly helped in this cause by various loudmouth "conservatives" who are really just shills for the Republican party.) Scientists are the smartest people in the country; understandably, they prefer not to associate themselves with the dumb folks.

Billare said...

As a fierce right-winger, I think two things are true:

1) Elite liberals undoubtedly have higher IQs than elite conservatives (partly because of the Jewish influence)

2) Religion has turned against conservatism, partly because it no longer has useful things to say about people's lives. Our societies are now too rich to obey its strictures, some of which are outdated. Moreover it cannot appeal to the intellectuals anymore, who once could have made their living in it -- it collapses too easily to more a rigorous belief system of Good Public Policy and allegiance to Science that many liberal ones share. This will definitely be an unpopular opinion among compatriots, but I think religiously-based social conservatism should be abandoned if the Republican Party is to have any chance at all in stemming the oncoming demographic onslaught, preferably in deed if not in name.

Anonymous said...

...Basically they become cynical nilhilists - as LV would say.

They dont buy into an alternative to leftism, just a sorry shadow of conservatism. No optimism or belief in well...anything really.

I went through a phase of that when my liberalism withered & died but Ive come through the other side helped by an interest in HBD and *gasp* WN...


I would be very, very careful about investing any significant portion of my ego in this idea of finding salvation [or even merely inspiration] within "WN" per se.

There might be something in "WH" [the history of the W's] which is worth preserving, but you'd do well to spend some time trying to isolate and identify that something and then asking yourself what it was about that something which made it so special.

More generally, I think there is a lot to be said for this Rosenzweigian vision - which Spengler used to be working on over at the Asia Times - concerning the inherent ephemerality and inevitable [looming] extinction of any pagan nation.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the very few conservatives in Park Slope Brooklyn. We conservatives have to hint at it, and slowly sniff each other out. To admit to being a conservative to a liberal, in this environment is to risk social ostracism. It is probalby similar to universities.

In the environoment I live in, I can absolutely say that conservatives are more intelligent than liberals. They have better jobs, they went to better colleges, etc. And they hide!

Paleo Truth Squad. said...

"If you understand and believe in Darwinism (especially neo-Darwinism)you're most likely an atheist and have to concede that human potential is limited. Ergo, human beings cannot be molded into perfection by culture alone and therein lies the conservatives lament."

This skates close to being a complete inversion of reality. Liberals believe in the ultimate perfectibility of man, through propaganda, force and welfare payments if all else fails. Darwin for them is dead from the neck up, just ask Gould. Culture is an afterthought to the liberal, as all cultures are equally valid. Which begs the question: If all cultures are equally valid why are some cultures “just going to have to change”?

Conservatives realize that man is a fallen creature and no amount of well intentioned interference will save him from himself. Changing human nature is not a part of conservative philosophy. Culture obviously makes a difference but the ones getting all worked up about it are usually poseurs of the Bill Bennet stripe.

Mr. Anon said...

"Steve Wood said...

""I've known quite a few lefty scientists. I suspect the AGW thing is pissing the science world off. Sorry, guys, the left is right this time.""

It's not just global warming. There are many reasons why scientists lean left:"

You're right, it's not even called global warming anymore. It's morphed into "climate change", which allows it's proponents to be right no matter what happens ("Son of Dad" - it's a catch-all).

"--Rightly or wrongly, conservatives are perceived as being anti-science. This is not surprising: People who don't believe in evolution or who oppose the use of human stem cells for research tend to be conservatives, and noisy ones at that."

Liberals don't believe in evolution, in the sense that they don't believe it has any consequences. Most of them don't understand it either. For them, it is just a stick used to beat the religious.

"--Science is naturally cosmopolitan. Mankind benefits most when scientific knowledge is shared across international boundaries so that it is accessible to whoever can do the most with it. Scientists collaborate with their colleagues from other countries and develop personal relationships with them as well. This tends to make them international in outlook and to lead them to despise what they see as conservative jingoism."

Scientists are also now facing job and wage pressure from foreign scientists. This is not apparent at top-tier universities, but is already showing up at third and fourth ranked State-U's, whose faculties are increasingly foreign born.

"--Scientific leaders are mostly academics. Academics tend to be liberal. Even if they don't start out that way, peer pressure will do its work."

If they succumb to peer pressure, how smart are they really?

Peter A said...

As many here have pointed out - the conservative vs. liberal IQ debate is skewed by race - and not just differences in racial IQs but also by the fact that people will vote along racial lines for a political philosophy that hurts them (e.g. Southern whites implicitly supporting big business and job transfers to Asia by voting Republican, blacks voting Democrat no matter what, etc.). Where's the data on conservative vs. liberal IQ in a relatively homogeneous country like Japan? My impression from living in countries like Japan and Germany is that conservatives in those countries tend to be more intelligent than conservatives in the US, perhaps explaining why most foreign conservatives loathed George Bush almost as much as foreign liberals.

Anonymous said...

Billare: ...Religion has turned against conservatism, partly because it no longer has useful things to say about people's lives. Our societies are now too rich to obey its strictures, some of which are outdated. Moreover it cannot appeal to the intellectuals anymore, who once could have made their living in it -- it collapses too easily to more a rigorous belief system of Good Public Policy and allegiance to Science that many liberal ones share. This will definitely be an unpopular opinion among compatriots, but I think religiously-based social conservatism should be abandoned if the Republican Party is to have any chance at all in stemming the oncoming demographic onslaught, preferably in deed if not in name...

All belief systems are forms of nihilism, including all religious belief systems.

There is at least one "religion" [although I use that term reluctantly] which is not founded on a set of beliefs, and without which all of this scientific nihilism is doomed to failure.

You're starting to see it already in the modern religion of science paganism, wherein ostensible geniuses like Steven Chu are being led to "believe" [or at least to claim to believe] in nonsense like "Global Warming", at a time when our Sun's cessation of sunspot activity and the sudden plunge in global temperatures are putting us at a severe risk of entering into a new mini-Ice Age [if not a full-blown Ice Age, God forbid].

A Steven Chu pursuing his fanatical dogma of AGW nihilism is no better than a Thomas Moore burning Christians at the stake or an Ayatollah Khomeini strapping dynamite to boys' chests and telling them to go out and kill the infidels for Allah.

Anonymous said...

The old assumption that IQ = intelligence rears its head again.

By and large, the two are not the same thing.

Anonymous said...

As a conservative I have to conceed that liberals are smarter on average. It's no accident that they dominate institutions where highly intelligent people are concentrated such as universities.



It's no accident, but that hardly means that intelligence is the operational factor. It's generally understood that the issue at play is selection bias. The liberals who have taken over those institutions refuse admittance to the ranks of tenured faculty, for example, to all non-liberals.

This is why such titans of the intellect as Ward Churchill are able to become tenured while conservative professors edge towards extinction.

Anonymous said...

The word "liberal", as Americans use it, means someone who is restrictive in the economic field and progressive in the social arena.



To be a liberal in the American sense means to favor government coercion in both the economic and social fields. I don't think it makes sense to use different words (restrictive vs progressive) to describe that same impulse.

Left to their own devices, no people are ever socially "progressive".

Peter A said...

As an aside, here's what George HW Bush told Gorbachev: "By the way, in 1987, after my first visit to the United States, Vice President Bush accompanied me to the airport, and told me: 'Reagan is a conservative. An extreme conservative. All the blockheads and dummies are for him, and when he says that something is necessary, they trust him.'" Another interesting study would be to see who has more contempt for their core supporters - Republican politicians or Democratic politicians.

Curvaceous Carbon-based Life Form said...

"I'm a liberal and I am smarter than ALL of you j/k"

Okay. You're just kidding. But I get to have my fun, too, then, since you started the game.
So, I get to be pedantic and correct you and show you, you are NOT such a brainiac, after all, because your very assertion of your smarts contains within it an obvious fallacy which you were not smart enough to realize.

What you meant to say was, "I am smarter than *any* of you," meaning any ONE of us, individually. If you were really smarter than ALL of us, collectively, your IQ would be greater than than the sum of ALL of our IQs added together -- flatly impossible.

David said...

> [conservatism] no longer has useful things to say about people's lives. Our societies are now too rich to obey its strictures, some of which are outdated. <

You forget The Gods of the Copybook Headings.

How rich is bankrupt?

(Steve Wood, that was a masterly essay outstanding even in this thread.)

Marc B said...

On a purely anecdotal level, I'd bet that Liberals have a higher IQ but Conservatives understand better how the world works and how to put that knowledge to practical use. It takes so much anti-intuitive and conceptual thought just to be a rudimentary liberal in this era, and I believe that tends to weed out a many salt of the earth types. Liberals are Utopians, often unwilling to accept something as basic and natural as hierarchies that exist universally (or they simply want to destroy or undermine them out of resentment of their own bottom-feeder status within them).

Studying something like Post-Structuralism, for example, takes a certain level of intellectual curiosity typical of folks above the 110 IQ range.

Marc B said...

"On a different point would anybody venture to guess what the intelligence difference is between a paleo-conservative and your typical Fox News watching "conservative"?"

The Paleo's are the intellectual heavyweights among conservatives. That is the second reason why you rarely see them included within the MSM punditry (the main reason is they don't want to legitimize their ideas). The one bone they throw us, Pat Buchanan, comes off as a reactionary nutter, and few would think he has the actual intellectualism and clear, logical thought found in his writings by the way he presents himself on TV.

Svigor said...

the infamous "commerce clause," under which the Feds theoretically could bust you for growing tomatoes in your own backyard (and for your own consumption).

Don't statements like this strike you as absurd? I.e., don't they obviate themselves? How can anyone make a legal argument thus, and expect anyone to believe that's the actual intended meaning of the law?

Mark said...

I think religiously-based social conservatism should be abandoned if the Republican Party is to have any chance at all in stemming the oncoming demographic onslaught, preferably in deed if not in name.

WTF? So the response of the Right to the coming demographic onslaught should be to...adopt a culture that has led to collapsing birthrates everywhere it's been adopted? Yeah, that's the awesome way to go!

I agree that we need to develop a culture that encourages whites who don't believe in the apple and the snake and the six-day creation to maintain high birthrates, but I'm not sure we'll ever find one. Bearing more than one or two children means believing in something other than yourself; means a willingness to sacrifice nights out on the town and spur-of-the-moment vacations to Minorca for a night changing diapers and picking up Tonka toys and cleaning the crayon off your living room wall.

Svigor said...

Funny, right here in the heart of the HBD-Sphere, ideational explanations are paramount.

I'm more of an "interests and who/whom" guy myself.

flenser said...

This will definitely be an unpopular opinion among compatriots, but I think religiously-based social conservatism should be abandoned if the Republican Party is to have any chance at all in stemming the oncoming demographic onslaught, preferably in deed if not in name.




No, that's just silly. The incoming demographic onslaught can be addressed most easily along the religious flank, as the vast majority of them are at least semi-religious. And by religious I mean Christian.

Your typical Hispanic is never, ever, going to be won over by appeals to libertarian theory. If they are to be won to the right-wing camp at all it will be on religious grounds.

Paleo Truth Squad said...

"I would be very, very careful about investing any significant portion of my ego in this idea of finding salvation...isolate and identify that something and then asking yourself what it was about that something which made it so special...I think there is a lot to be said for this Rosenzweigian vision - which Spengler used to be working on over at the Asia Times - concerning the inherent ephemerality and inevitable [looming] extinction of any pagan nation."

The eternal concern troll translated: Nihilism for thee but not for me.

Anonymous said...

the ideas, especially on economic topics, of our own Founders are similarly flawed and badly in need of revision, especially with regard to monetary matters and the infamous "commerce clause," under which the Feds theoretically could bust you for growing tomatoes in your own backyard (and for your own consumption).




While the Founders may have missed some things, I don't think it's fair to blame the current verion of the Commerce clause on them. There was no way they could have created a system which was impervious to the stupidity or malice of later generations. They seem to have understood this at the time and stressed the importance of civic virtue and an informed populace as the only possible guard against run-away government.

flenser said...

If communism is an abject failure, which is is, and if high IQ people tend to favor communism and similar political systems, as they do, then in what sense can high IQ people be said to be "intelligent"?

If people here honestly believe that IQ equals intelligence then I fail to see why they don't simply drop their opposition to the "smart peoples" left-wing goals. Such opposition is stupid by definition. It only makes sense if you think that most of what the high IQ people want to do is foolish.

Which is to say that the high IQ people are themselves foolish.

flenser said...

Changing human nature is not a part of conservative philosophy.


I would not go that far. It's true that changing human nature is not part of the governments role under conservative philosophy. That's not to say conservatives take a laissez faire attitude to the topic of human nature in general.

expeedee said...

This is not the first time that I have been accused of illogical reasoning, and I'm always open to counterpoint. I have a lot to learn.

What I was trying to say is that only educated conservatives (i.e., conservatives with a grasp of evolutionary psychology, genetics, HBD, etc.) are aware of the folly of attempting to change human behavior and the subsequent results. Liberals, for the most part are clueless (or blind) about human nature (and science for that matter) and fatuously hold on to the notion of creating utopia.

For the most part, traditional conservatives are just as naive as liberals and like liberals believe in molding human behavior. Conservatives also want to save people from themselves, promote democracy, freedom, women's rights and of course free enterprise around the world - by military force if necessary. Conservatives promote religion and family values as though that will change human behavior and tout charter schools as a cure for racial disparities in academic outcomes.

Whether liberal or conservative, they all have a prescription for what ails us. To me they seem pretty much the same.

corvinus said...

In that map of states by white IQ, I think it's interesting that the lowest white IQ is found among Southern poor whites but also in the Southwest. I imagine Las Vegas attracted a bunch of dumb women who couldn't do anything other than strip for a living. But also there's the fact that many of the whites in the Southwest are likely part-Mexican.

The highest IQ states appear to be Colorado, Minnesota, Virginia, and Massachusetts. The interesting thing is, Colorado and Virginia are marginally red states (although they did go for Obama), and Minnesota, while still blue, is far less so now than it was in the 1960; it is, after all, the home of Tim Pawlenty and Michelle Bachmann.

I think part of the reason for the high IQ of Colorado and Minnesota is that they tend to attract many of the smartest people from the neighboring states that do not have as big academic institutions. The University of Minnesota is quite large, and Colorado has UC-Boulder, UC-Denver, and UNC in Greeley. UC-Boulder, for instance, offers in-state tuition for people from the neighboring less populous states that want to study certain things they can't get at home, things as varied as planetary science and German.

The People's Republic of Boulder is, of course, legendary by now, but I'm pretty sure that's because the smart conservative whites, after finishing their studies there, tended to stay in state and raise families, leaving their commie friends behind in Boulder.

flenser said...

Conservatives promote religion and family values as though that will change human behavior




What a crazy idea, huh?

Nothing has as good a track record of changing human behavior as do "religion and famly values".

flenser said...

Smart businessmen usually vote conservative because a party that favors business is in their interest. I think that's all pretty clear and not very interesting. The political affiliations of lower income people are more interesting because at that level it does seem like people make stupid choices, at least within the narrow framework of self interest.





You are mistaken. Businessmen tend to vote Democratic, and to support liberal Republicans when they don't vote Democratic. (This is also the case with the very wealthy.)

But you are correct in that why it is so is interesting. Free market theorists made the case long ago that the greatest danger to capitalism comes from capitalists.

Anonymous said...

the infamous "commerce clause," under which the Feds theoretically could bust you for growing tomatoes in your own backyard (and for your own consumption).

How is that so different from the well-enforced drug laws where thousands of Americans are busted for growing cannabis in their own backyards, and for their own consumption?

Anonymous said...

Businessmen tend to vote Democratic, and to support liberal Republicans when they don't vote Democratic. (This is also the case with the very wealthy.)

What businessmen do you mean?

Do you mean capitalists such as Mom and Pop store owners, or do you mean Wall Street corporatists?

There is just a wee bit of difference.

expeedee said...

Just got back from Ensenada, Mexico last week. Noticed that the populace displayed a lot of religion and family values, yet Mexico is a violent, dysfunctional toilet. Most of the third world have ample religion and family values, or should I say superstition and kin selection.

flenser said...

Just got back from Ensenada, Mexico last week. Noticed that the populace displayed a lot of religion and family values




If you were more religious, you would not lie like this.

Seriously, Americas inner cities resemble violent, dysfunctional toilets, and it would take some audacity to claim that they are are hotbeds of religion and family values. I doubt that Mexicos cities are any different.

Anonymous said...

The eternal concern troll translated: Nihilism for thee but not for me.

I'm not sure what you mean here, but I do sometimes wonder about guys like Spielberg who devote so much time and effort to propagating nihilism in our culture but who themselves have seven children and enough firearms to stock a medium-sized third-world nation.

expeedee said...

All I am saying Flencer is that a country cannot be any better than its average citizen.

Liberals use Marxism and conservatives use religion as their foundations of egalitarianism. Either way, they're both faith-based ideologies.

ricpic said...

...Bible-thumping dimbulbs...

Ever take the trouble to listen to a sermon or a session of advice for families on religious radio? Listen with an open mind, that is? I thought not. Your thoughtless prejudice shows you, Middletown Girl, to be not that bright a bulb.

Paleo Truth Squad. said...

The eternal concern troll translated: Nihilism for thee but not for me.

“I'm not sure what you mean here, but I do sometimes wonder about guys like Spielberg who devote so much time and effort to propagating nihilism in our culture but who themselves have seven children and enough firearms to stock a medium-sized third-world nation.”

Interesting example. He’s my thinking on this section by section.
“I would be very, very careful about investing any significant portion of my ego in this idea of finding salvation [or even merely inspiration] within "WN" per se.”

In other words pride in European peoples and a desire that they have a continued existence is either bound to be disappointing or an unworthy goal.

“There might be something in "WH" [the history of the W's] which is worth preserving, but you'd do well to spend some time trying to isolate and identify that something and then asking yourself what it was about that something which made it so special.”

Preservation is contingent on something “special”. And that something is not found inherently in Euros. It is in our history, but not within us.

“More generally, I think there is a lot to be said for this Rosenzweigian vision - which Spengler used to be working on over at the Asia Times - concerning the inherent ephemerality and inevitable [looming] extinction of any pagan nation.”

In the context of referring to a Rosenzweigian vision and the preceding claptrap he is suggesting that you accept that your people are doomed to become culturally and perhaps physically extinct. Appreciating the fundamental beauty of the Jewish nation will provide a modicum comfort as you embrace oblivion and hurtle into the void. Touching sentiment and as I commented before, it boils down too: Nihilism for thee but not for me.

Pat Shuff said...

Republicans Are Smarter, No Matter Obama’s Scorn

Bloomberg News 11/3/09


Another way to determine which party is smarter is to look at results of the General Social Survey, administered by the National Opinion Research Center. It includes a vocabulary test, known as Wordsum, that correlates strongly with IQ scores.

In the 2008 survey, the average score of Republicans was about 10 percent higher than that of Democrats. That’s consistent with the results in previous years.

http://tinyurl.com/yev6kq2

Svigor said...

You are mistaken. Businessmen tend to vote Democratic, and to support liberal Republicans when they don't vote Democratic. (This is also the case with the very wealthy.)


Source?

N/A has shown that rich businessmen vote Republican 2/1 or thereabouts.

Svigor said...

Paleo Truth Squad
Paleos seem fond of telling people that only their religion can save our race.

Ethnic nationalists are fond of responding that only their race can save our religion.

Vis-a-vis this argument, I think the Paleos are the vulnerable ones.

Ronduck said...

Svigor, n/a showed that the old rich are more conservative than the new rich (link).

Svigor said...

Ah, you're right Ron, thanks for the correction.