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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15309/haiti-one-year-later-known-be-their-collective-name/

Haiti one year later: known be their collective name

January 12, 2011 by

One year ago today a major earthquake devastated Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. One year ago and one million people remain homeless, with less than 5 percent of the debris cleared from city streets. One year ago today.

Why the lack of meaningful progress with rebuilding efforts? Before you draw any conclusion, let me provide some on-the-ground observations of rebuilding efforts following a similar, though less destructive, natural disaster — Jamaica after Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.

In the early 1990′s I served in Jamaica with the US Peace Corps (forgive me). I arrived in-country four years after Gilbert stuck, yet the island was still ravaged by its wind and water. While the rubble was gone from the streets, the force of the hurricane was still evident.

Now the Jamaica of the early 1990′s had a lot to offer: warm weather, abundant food, and an underutilized workforce. It also had apparent profit potential. But there was little investment. Why were foreign investments not flowing to Jamaica – investments that would have led to a quick rebuilding?

Crime? I became friends with a few enterprising individuals (both Jamaican and foreign) who were working to make a go with their own small businesses. None expressed concerns over the endemic petty crime. Security services and insurance could be purchased to protect investments from minor theft. But not major theft: the various types of theft from government officials, as well as the more violent theft from government-protected gangs — the Jamaican posses.

The tariff and official exchange rate were punitive, especially for those trying to rebuild. As an example, I lived in a cottage in a private, walled compound. Before Gilbert, the owner of the compound had a relatively new, working washer and dryer, which were available to his guests. Gilbert left the machines flooded and useless. While the property owner had the money to replace both washer and dryer at the current US price, he could not afford the tariff that tripled his cost. So the shared laundry closet housed the hulks of two rusted machines.

My landlord had means, but he was well-off before Gilbert. Those not so well-off suffered more. Products or materials from outside of Jamaica were prohibitively expensive. So folks did not repair and replace property and items destroyed in the storm. Not just modern conveniences, but roofs, clothes, etc.

Government controls over public transportation (all privately owned) meant that running a bus or car was a questionable proposition. Yet, in spite of fixed fares, it still seemed possible to bring a vehicle from the states to operate as an investment — based on the then-current price of used cars in the US, shipping and all. But add in the tariff and the proposition became a loser.

However, if you could surmount these challenges, corrupt petty government officials lurked at every corner, with bribery hands held out for cash-filled envelopes. And if you made a real go and prospered, the threat of nationalization always loomed.

So there was little investment in Jamaica, despite all of its offerings. Just as there is little investment in Haiti.

I am certain the continued suffering in Haiti is not the result of delayed aid or the lack of Haitian skills or desire to improve their own lot. I am certain the suffering is the result of the insatiable hunger of those who drive the streets of Port-au-Prince in late-model SUVs (in Jamaica, at least) while the folks around them suffer. We know them by their collective name: the state.


Capt Mike January 13, 2011 at 8:52 am

Oh yeah.

Welcome to our future……

newson January 13, 2011 at 9:23 am

…but with more suvs and less macumba in the homeland insecurity.

Mick January 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

Interesting and lucid post. This is very familiar stuff for anybody who’s been in a developing country. I have travelled quite a few times to Equatorial Guinea and it is appalling to see that any private initiative is stifled by government predators that either use bureaucratic rules to extract taxes and bribes, or they invent rules on the spot to extract bribes.

An additional problem that causes poverty in those countries is that the courts are not just corrupt, but shamelessly xenophobe. Any problem with a national will be resolved by sentencing against the foreigner because he is seen simply as a source of revenue for the country. (It is, after all, “fair” to steal from somebody who is richer.) A key issue is then what should be considered “fair” (justice): If we consider that justice should protect property with everybody being equal before the law (even foreigners), then a country can prosper. If people believe (and universities teach) that “social justice” means that there is a right to steal the rich and particularly foreigners, then…

The state of development analysis in mainstream univiersities has been dismal for a long time, and is made worse by NGO anti-capitalist campaigning. Few economists are lucid as the late Peter Bauer was in the field.

The Anti-Gnostic January 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

Haiti is Haiti because it’s populated by Haitians. Remove the Haitians who currently constitute its ‘state’ and the next group of high-T, low-IQ thugs will grab machetes and take over. Their next door neighbors, the Dominicans, know this so they guard their border with machine guns. Naive, liberal Westerners need to get a clue.

Colin Phillips January 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

Perhaps Haiti is Haiti because statism is well entrenched, and the leaders are ever so slightly less subtle than the leaders of other countries.

At some basic level, I believe in education. That the quality (in both senses) of a person’s education has a real, categorical effect on an individual’s ability to solve problems in a rational manner. It’s one of the reasons I frequent this site – it is an opportunity to be exposed to ideas that my country’s meagre education system was too timid to approach.

My guess is that in every culture, ideas take a few generations to percolate through, and in the meantime, the old ideas never really go away, they continue to inform and shape culture. Haiti, a former slave colony, necessarily still has the old ideas of slavery as a real part of its culture, even if the ideas have mutated somewhat across the generations. Bundled up with slavery is the concept that it is acceptable to use violence and threats of violence to get what you want. Why would you assume that this idea would die out? It is not dead yet in any country in the world, but it is less dominant in some cultures than in others.

In Haiti, this idea is (unsurprisingly) very much alive, and it has nothing to do with the “Haitian-ness” of people, and everything to do with the “education” people receive (especially if this education introduces children to the reality of abuse and might-makes-right jerks).

The Anti-Gnostic January 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

Bundled up with slavery is the concept that it is acceptable to use violence and threats of violence to get what you want. Why would you assume that this idea would die out?

The descendants of slaves in the Dominican Republic and numerous other places seem to have moved on, or not as the case may be. Haiti is a perennial basket case and all the “education” from all the aid agencies on earth won’t change that. It’d be nice if the Dominicans could just take it over but they don’t want it.

jl January 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Saw a map recently of the effects of the cholera outbreak. Of course, Dominican Republic was grayed out. Cholera is not even relevant on that side of the straight line drawn north to south across the island.

Dave M January 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

Haiti was set up to fail.
When you have people like DynCorp organizing the armed forces and installing the Tonton Macoute in key positions of couse you will end up with the same thugs running the place.

Then there is Ambassor Foley and his former Kosovo Liberation Army friends who acted as technical advisers for government. Kosovo is chiefly a hub for trafficking drugs and prostitutes now so it is no surprise that Haiti is pretty much a corrupt basket case.

El Tonno January 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

Off topic, but apparently they also “liberate” organs from unwilling donors down there (in Kosovo, that is).

George “W” Bush was lucky that he just got his Presidential Watch stolen when he did a crowd encounter on his friendship trip.

HL January 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I think my open-border libertarian friends would hardly object if I suggest we have millions of empty homes in America and Haiti has millions of homeless people, and that a solution suggests itself immediately. Perhaps B of A can lease a fleet of boats.

Beefcake the Mighty January 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Let’s move some of them into Art Carden’s neighborhood.

newson January 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm

human action in creole would plug the education gap.

Dave M January 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Haitians display a total lack of comprehension of english which is part of their problem. The difference between Haiti and the Dominican Republic demonstrates the difference between French colonialism and Spanish.

Beefcake the Mighty January 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I wonder if the usual suspects are going to start calling the Dominicans racist:


Fallon January 14, 2011 at 12:59 am

I will grant that IQ, as phenomena, its ties to genetics, etc, is a valid direction in research. But I am also under the impression that “IQ” is even more mired in scientism and cynical bias than ‘human effect on the climate’ research. What say you? And what have you been reading that backs up your claims?

Anyone? Bueller?

The Anti-Gnostic January 14, 2011 at 1:03 am

If nurture trumps nature, then we can put all children in the same schools, teaching the same subject matter, using the same pedagogy, and get equality of outcomes. If nurture trumps nature, then there should be no such thing as a self-made man.

Back to you, hippie.

Colin Phillips January 14, 2011 at 1:59 am

No two schools are the same, no two families are the same, but you think it’s possible to give two children exactly the same education?

newson January 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

the state could denature the family unit. more communal upbringing would help standardize outcomes. schools and syllabi could also be made uniform.

J.E.C. January 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Totally bogus argument, Anti-Gnostic. No one argues for the tabula rasa anymore, and I doubt Fallon was trying to resurrect it. But the alternative to the tabula rasa is not complete biological determinism.

newson January 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm

i’d have to say that tabula rasa is still the default position, especially in social policy-formation.

Fallon January 14, 2011 at 1:25 am

And in deriving your collectivist claims, e.g. race-based IQ (and the assumption of “race”), what have you studied?

Beefcake the Mighty January 14, 2011 at 7:08 am

Believing in racial differences does not conflict with Austro-libertarianism in anyway. However, you seem to think that it does (“collectivist claims”), and that ideology should trump science. Why, then, do you care about what others “study”? It’s clearly not a question of scientific investigation to you.

The Anti-Gnostic January 14, 2011 at 1:34 am

Do your own research; I suggest you start with The Bell Curve. Again, when you can show me that education produces equality of outcomes and upward mobility does not exist, I might give credence to your paternalistic, naive claims.

Fallon January 14, 2011 at 1:44 am

You have not established the degree of trumping nor the quality of nurture. On the latter, one can use Austrian econ to analyze the nature of public school nurturing which, among other things, is incapable of providing equality of nurture.
But more importantly, you are unwilling or unable to to answer my simple questions. No wonder you don’t reveal yourself. Coward.

Beefcake the Mighty January 14, 2011 at 7:00 am

He answered your question. I would add that Rushton (Race, Evolution, and Behavior) and Levin (Why Race Matters) should provide all the scientific basis you need for the race and IQ question. How about you, Fallon, what books have YOU been reading which refute this work? Don’t tell me Stephan Jay Gould, please.

(I might also add, in Theory and History you will find that Mises is not at all dismissive of the notion that the races differ. Why you think Austrian economics is relevant here is unclear.)

newson January 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

rothbard would be tarred and feathered by the p.c. police for stuff like this:

“The crucial point is that, in both Rwanda and Burundi, Hutus and Tutsis have coexisted for centuries; the Tutsi are about 15 percent ofthe total population, the Hutu about 85 percent. And yet consistently over the centuries, the Tutsi have totally dominated, and even enserfed, the Hutu. How are we to explain this consistent pattern of domination by a small minority? Could it be-dare I say it-that along with being taller, slimmer, more graceful and noble-looking, the Tutsi are far more i-n-t-e-I-I-i-g-e-n-t than the Hutu?”

the irrepressible rothbard, p. 252.

newson January 14, 2011 at 9:43 am
newson January 14, 2011 at 10:20 am

to beefcake the mighty:
gould, dubbed by rothbard a harvard marxist hatchetman, along with biologist richard lewontin.

newson January 15, 2011 at 6:01 am

daring to link race and intelligence even speculatively can get you a punch in the nose from a woman, as well as public opprobrium:


Fallon January 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Austrian econ is very helpful in understanding non-market endeavors like public schooling, e.g. what bureaucracy means in terms of incentives and its inability to perform economic calculation to one degree or another. This is no surprise to you.

You notice I did not start out dismissive the way Anti-Gnostic did. Anybody that thinks IQ, its relation to race (and even “race” and “IQ” are quite unsettled topics) and the nature vs. nurture question, is a settled science is making a leap into what they want to be true instead of staying within the grounds of real uncertainty. Why do IQ racialists seem to be anti-positivist in economics, clinging to Austrian bases, but not so when it comes to the human brain– an area less discovered than outer space?

Yes, I read the Bell Curve many moons ago, some stuff from Richard Lynn and Gould, and a general history of the eugenics a la Wikipedia. I ask the question not as an attack position but as someone, with relatively shallow end knowledge, interested in getting at deeper truth. Some of the replies betray an insecurity.

Again, I will ask in good faith, what sources have been helpful in determining your views on IQ and race?

Fallon January 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm

And by positivism in this sense I mean using IQ as if it has an unquestionable deterministic certainty– in its origin and effect–as a physical object.

And, to modify a previous comment– many racialists are not into Austrian economic principles.

nate-m January 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm

A couple points…

IQ is really just going to tell you how good a person is at passing IQ tests. It would be lovely to think otherwise, but it’s simply the truth. Different types of intelligence and different ways of thinking may be more or less advantageous depending on your environment. Although it’s true that people differ in level of intelligences.

Just like P.C. elements today forbid honest exploration of human intelligence and genetic traits through hijacking academia and government, in previous decades people highjacked studies for justification of their xenophobia and ignorance.

The reality of the situation is that intelligence can be caused by genetics, however that is far from the only factor and is probably not the dominate one. Education and nutrition at a young age seems to be much more important. For examples you have those unfortunate incidences were mentally ill parents lock their children away for years until they get caught. If a person is in that situation and can’t talk and can’t reason at age 27 because and they were locked in a closet until they 15… which do you think is going to be more important? Genetics or environment?

In Africa there are major ethnic groups that can’t run faster then average whites. There are others that can. There are ethnic groups with black skin that have on average higher I.Q.s then a white man from the USA, but there are huge swaths of geographic area were people are developmentally stunted and are on par with a 12 year old in the USA. Some of it is genetics, but a huge amount is caused by lack of nutrition, poor diet, diseases, cultural differences, and a whole host of other things.

newson January 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

to nate-m and fallon,

i am in agreement with all you’ve said. my fit of pique was because a post of mine, positing that maybe haiti would never become belgium on account of its people, got deleted. the history of state research into race is indeed a sad one, but i don’t think that it’s necessary to exclude nature reflexively as a contributory factor, however much the science be in its infancy.

i too am skeptical of narrow and arbitrary tools for measuring aptitude, let alone more fuzzy traits like trust, aggressiveness etc., but i’m also comfortable with the idea that there could well exist shared traits or predispositions across entire groups (i don’t think anyone denies there are certain pathologies characteristic of particular ethnic groups).

i’m currently reading culture of critique, (http://is.gd/Tw4Sev), which deals more with the frankfurt school, psychoanalysis, as well as the shift from darwinism to boasianism in anthropology, and why these strands of thought might have come into favour.

nate-m January 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm


I guess we are in agreement then. :)

Haiti is a screwed up place and I’ve heard reports from other sources were people talked about how difficult it is doing business in Haiti due to the attitudes of it’s people. Poor work ethic and all that while the same businesses had no problem prospering in Dominican Republic.

It’s a interesting look at nature vs nurture when you look at Haiti vs Dominican. The cultural differences and history are as different as their ethnic makeup.

Fallon January 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Timing of post– did not see his before mine went in.

newson January 14, 2011 at 9:56 am

“What used to be widespread shared public knowledge about race and ethnicity among writers, publicists, and scholars, was suddenly driven out of the public square by Communist anthropologist Franz Boas and his associates in the 1930s, and it has been taboo ever since. Essentially, I mean the almost self-evident fact that individuals, ethnic groups, and races differ among themselves in intelligence and in many other traits, and that intelligence, as well as less controversial traits of temperament, are in large part hereditary.”

the irrepressible rothbard, p. 383.

shades of the apparently unmentionable kevin macdonald.

newson January 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

those who wish to relive the old free-speech days would enjoy rothbard’s egalitarianism as a revolt against nature, and other essays.

newson January 14, 2011 at 10:27 am

for more on the boasian victory over darwinism in the social sciences:

Contemplationist January 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm

newson is right on. If the Mises Institute won’t read Rothbard, who will? Rothbard was fervently anti-PC. One of the reasons I’m a libertarian is that I am in the dogged pursuit of truth – facts and theory which actually conform to HUMAN NATURE as it is, not as how we would like it to be. Why shy away from the hard data on race and IQ? Going from positive to normative positions is upto you, but you cannot ignore the positive evidence for group racial differences in intelligence.

newson January 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm

even the most politically correct would have to wonder why it is that kenyans, ethiopians, and eritreans are consistently over-represented in the long-distance-marathon winners. is it beyond the pale to imagine that even subtle differences in character might also have some genetic input, and that common genes might make also favour some mode of societal organization over others?

newson January 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

tyler cowan has some interesting insights into the role that voodoo plays in the social fabric of haiti:


newson January 14, 2011 at 11:35 pm

“Behavioristic psychology maintains that all differences in mental traits among men are caused by environmental factors. It denies all influence of bodily build upon mental activities. It holds that equalizing the outer conditions of human life and education could wipe out all cultural differences between individuals, whatever their racial or family affiliation might be. Observation contradicts these assertions. It shows that there is a degree of correlation between bodily structure and mental traits. An individual inherits from his parents and indirectly from his parents’ ancestors not only the specific biological characteristics of his body but also a constitution of mental powers that circumscribes the potentialities of his mental achievements and his personality.”

mises, theory and history, p. 327. thanks to beefcake the mighty for the reminder. i think it’s clear that both mises and rothbard were not as constrained in their musings as modern-day libertarians would seem to be.

Dave Albin January 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Don’t forget this – aid workers are driving up real estate prices in Haiti, keeping poor people homeless.


And, for some reason, as this article suggests, the well-to-do aid workers are above clearing debris from the streets…….

newson January 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm

if the same disaster struck northern italy or germany, i’d warrant that the streets would be cleared of rubbish pronto regardless of external aid. i think the ngo’s realize that and i don’t blame them for not clearing the streets. what the mix is between race and culture in producing this outcome, who knows.

Dave Albin January 15, 2011 at 10:30 pm

May be true, but how many aid workers are making things worse. If this truly is a case where they need to learn how to overcome something, perhaps cultural, then aren’t the aid workers counterproductive? Shouldn’t they leave and let Haitians sort things out? If the aid was gone, some Haitians would surely start to sort things out on their own.

newson January 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm

the outcome might not be pretty to western eyes, but haiti would come to resemble the country that reflects its real potentialities. if that means rubbish in the streets, no generalized electricity supply, etc., so be it.

Ben January 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I think the problem with Haiti is people are unwilling to help themselves! From the stories I have read, many of them are simply waiting around waiting for their stuff to be cleaned up. If the population of Haiti were to simply get up and go to work, I can imagine that this whole mess there would be cleaned up in a matter of weeks!

newson January 15, 2011 at 8:35 pm

agreed. but nature or nurture, in what proportion?

Dave Albin January 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Then the aid workers need to all leave – they would then be forced to overcome these things on their own. Charity to people who can’t or won’t help themselves is counterproductive.

Lee January 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I’m happy to see that most of the points I tried to make in my post which got deleted have been made after all, particularly in regard to genetics, and made better. And thanks for the links, Newson and Beefcake; very interesting.

newson January 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm
Anthony January 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm


Are you sure your post was not deleted by the spam filter? I once lost some posts that way and got upset about it, then ended up feeling foolish in thinking that I had been deliberately censored.

newson January 15, 2011 at 11:50 pm

when the link goes up successfully, and is taken down subsequently, i take that as a sign that it has met with disapproval.

Anthony January 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Fair enough… I just though I would mention the possibility.

Anthony January 16, 2011 at 12:01 am


newson January 16, 2011 at 12:34 am

kurtagic’s got some other good, but heretical views on “aid”, as well as double cd “anti-geldof compilation”.


Anthony January 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Regarding race and IQ, whether there is a correlation or not hardly matters, for several reasons.

1. IQ is greatly affected by nutrition, exposure to IQ-type puzzles as a child, education, health, etc. This is clearly demonstrated by the existence of the Flynn effect (the fact that IQ scores have increased over time all over the world)… thus lack of development CAUSES low IQ, and is not necessarily cause by it (although the two could certainly be mutually reinforcing).

2. IQ only measures a small subset of what is colloquially called “intelligence”, and IQ tests are not perfect even at measuring that. Many people are considered intelligent yet have low IQ’s, while many with high IQ’s can act stupidly.

3. IQ is not necessarily more important to success than other factors, including willingness to work, time preference, tenacity, looks, charisma, etc.

4. Even if Haitians were inherently stupider on average than other people (which I am certainly NOT saying), that would only imply that Haitians would not do well in jobs that require high IQ… most jobs require very little in the way of intelligence, and having a lower average IQ would not prevent there from being at least SOME intelligent Haitians capable of assuming leadership roles.

Blaming poverty on low IQ is neither productive nor necessary.

newson January 16, 2011 at 12:13 am

disregarding intelligence or any other potentially inherited trait entirely seems to me as dogmatic as total biological determinism.

isn’t it a little presumptuous to project western criteria of “success” onto other peoples? isn’t this a case of exporting egalitarianism?

allowing for the possibility that the framework on which poverty-mitigating “aid” is based be fundamentally unsound is productive. primum non nocere and all that.

Anthony January 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm


I see your point, but do you see mine?

Fist of all, maybe it is true that if the next generation of young Haitians had the same nutrition and educational benefits that western countries have there would still be an IQ gap… but maybe not. The point is that IF the next generation in Haiti had access to food, health care, etc. the average IQ there would be HIGHER than it is now. Maybe the current plight in Haiti is the result of low IQ in the adults there, but that does not mean that the children would necessarily have the same low IQ regardless of their upbringing.

Secondly, the variation of IQ is much greater within groups than it is between groups… there would be more variation between two random Haitians than between one average Haitian and one average American.

Using intelligence to profile INDIVIDUALS could potentially be productive because only individuals act. “Races” do not act. Profiling people by race is no more representative of Austrian thought than is profiling people by Marxian class… besides, you still have not demonstrated that a high level of IQ (remember, IQ does NOT axactly equal intelligence) is necessary in the majority of people in a capitalist society.

p.s. I projected no “western criteria of success”… When I said that success did not depend on IQ I deliberately did NOT specify “success in the workplace” or “success in the economy”.

newson January 16, 2011 at 6:02 pm

to anthony:

i’ve not endorsed race-profiling – in fact i’ve stressed the infelicity of any government involvement whatsoever – when the state gets into “race” policy, bad things always happen. neither apartheid nor forced assimilation (multiculturalism).

i don’t know about the inter- versus intra-group iq spreads, in any case, it seems to me that that the mean iq is likely to be the important metric. but what about other subtle behavioural traits that may have some genetic input (openness, aggressiveness, etc.), and which help to shape civil society? generations of post-war (both I and II) germans went undernourished and yet germany reformed into an advanced industrial society, so i’m not sure calories make the difference, either.

to me, it’s not inconceivable that the “aid” well-intentioned folks destine to haiti may not be compatible with what haitians are capable of incorporating into their own unique lifestyle.

newson January 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm

to anthony:
you might care to skim chapter one of the culture of critique (linked above), where macdonald discusses how different natural habitats may have favoured particular traits over others in various ethnic groups.

Anthony January 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm


I have absolutely no doubt that there are both biological, social and “external” factors working together to explain the situation in Haiti. I simply disagree with the notion that the biggest factor is biological when I know for a fact that there are people of Haitian descent who have been very successful when they were brought up outside of Haiti.

I would look much more closely at the social structures as a source of the problems than the biological structures, given that social “evolution” is much faster than biological evolution.

Beefcake the Mighty January 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm

“I simply disagree with the notion that the biggest factor is biological when I know for a fact that there are people of Haitian descent who have been very successful when they were brought up outside of Haiti.”

How is this relevant? We all know individual blacks of high intellect and high character, what does this really tell us about the outcomes a *group* of blacks is likely to attain, if the average or typical intellect and character are not representated by these isolated individuals? You don’t think that the racialist claim is that ALL blacks have low IQ, do you?

Beefcake the Mighty January 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Or I should probably rephrase: what makes you think that *any* Haitian moved to an environment outside of Haiti would peform at a level comparable to the average white? BTW, nobody denies that both environmental AND hereditary factors are at play here (except the PC environmentalists, who are the real extremists in this discussion). Not to mention the small fact that the reason Haiti is a hell-hole may have something do with Haitians themselves, removing them from this environment may not have much of an effect.

Beefcake the Mighty January 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm

“Secondly, the variation of IQ is much greater within groups than it is between groups… there would be more variation between two random Haitians than between one average Haitian and one average American.”

This seems akin to saying, because there is more variability in size between dogs than between cats, there can’t be any genetic basis to the fact that dogs are on average bigger than cats.

But at any rate, as Levin notes, the logic of within-group calculations applies just as well to between-group calculations, and he estimates that for the observed 15 point gap in IQ between blacks and whites to be entirely environmental in nature, the black-white environments would have be statistically different by an improbable amount of two standard deviations.

BTW newson, my comments on the most recent Haiti thread seem to be blocked now.

newson January 17, 2011 at 12:39 am

well, you are wicked to the core.

Beefcake the Mighty January 17, 2011 at 7:44 am

Yes, and as you’ve noted in the banking threads, I’m a cold-hearted liquidationist, willing to throw widows and orphans into the street for lack of unsatiated demand for “bank liabilities” (Horwitz’ terminology for funny money).

Beefcake the Mighty January 17, 2011 at 10:05 am

I botched that last one; should have said,

I’m a cold-hearted liquidationist, willing to throw widows and orphans into the street for lack of “bank liabilities” (Horwitz’ terminology for funny money).

I think you know what I mean.

Anthony January 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm


My comment was in the context of the amount of intelligence neccessary to functinon in a capitalist system. I am quite sure that it is true that the average Haitian has the intelligence required to work in a factory, in the service industry, construction, etc. and that there are many Haitian’s who are capable of assuming leadership roles in those areas (whether or not there are fewer “leaders” per capita in Haiti than in America).

Therefore, in the absence of social, governmental or external factors a lower average inteligience there is no reason why Haiti could not be successful economically… investors with sufficient intelligence to run a business could start businesses in Haiti to take advantage of the lessened competition due to lower IQ. There must be some reason that other countries in the area are much more successful than Haiti, despite the same biological factors applying in both places. Unless you are arguing that Haitians have a uniquely low IQ even compared to other islands that were populated from the same stock of people, you need to look at other factors to which you can attibute the disaster in Haiti.

Beefcake the Mighty January 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm

” I am quite sure that it is true that the average Haitian has the intelligence required to work in a factory, in the service industry, construction, etc. and that there are many Haitian’s who are capable of assuming leadership roles in those areas (whether or not there are fewer “leaders” per capita in Haiti than in America).”

The extreme disarray Haiti (and almost all other African regions) has fallen into after the Europeans (who built the existing capital structures there) left casts great doubt on this.

Beefcake the Mighty January 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Also, ask the Dominicans what they think of Haitians. It would not be polite, I assure you.

newson January 22, 2011 at 6:34 am
SirThinkALot January 16, 2011 at 9:10 am

I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Steve Johnson’s ‘Sleeper curve’ yet:


The idea(which he later expanded from that article to a full book entitled Everything Bad is Good for You), is that pop culture, particularly video games, and an increasing number of TV shows multiple long running plot lines and an unusually large number of major characters(Lost is a perfect example of this, although it didnt start until after Johnson published his book), puts a greater demand on the cognative facalities of indviduals, and as a result tends to push average IQs upward. Whats more this growth tends to be exponentional, since people with higher IQs tend to demand more from their entertainment, which in turn puts a greater strain on their brain.

Thats also how video games can go from something like Pac Man or even Mario Bros to games like Oblivion or the most recent Fallout games which are entire worlds in themselves. Its not just technical innovation(although thats important too), but its also that people are demanding more from their games, and they got it, much more in fact, while Mario Bros only has a couple hours of content total, Fallout and Oblivion both require multiple playthroughs and hundreds of hours of play time to fully experence.

Although the ‘sleeper curve’ doesnt deny that intelligence also has a genetic componet, since it only affects the average IQ, and indeed people with unusually high or unusually low IQs are less succeptable to it than people of average intelligence, but it does seem to indicate that enviorment plays a factor as well…

Lee January 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

The problem with television and intelligence both is that we have scads of high IQ idiots. Garbage in, garbage out. Making excuses for one’s self is the road to ruin; making excuses for others ruins them.

Beefcake the Mighty January 16, 2011 at 11:17 am

Quick response to Fallon:

I’ve already mentioned the books by Rushton and Levin. Race by Baker is also a classic.

Re. your puzzlement over how one can be anti-positivist in economics (as I am) but postitivist in matters if race and IQ, well, I think the answer is so obvious no explanation is really needed, but here goes: positivism is appropriate in some investigations, but not in others.

Sione January 17, 2011 at 1:36 am

You know something- this business of characterising people by non-fundamentals is a North American habit. Despite all the troubles that New Zealand suffers from (and there are a mighty number) for the most part them Kiwis do not judge a man or a woman by race or, in other words, by the identity of the owner of the legs they happened to emerge between at birth. By and large the Aussies are similar and don’t give a toss. They are more than likely to look at an individual’s behaviour and personal attributes (is he a good bloke or not), rather than waste time devining which race that individual should be collectivised within. It is an abiding tragedy that such colour blindness is being eliminated from these countries by the adoption of North American attitudes and racial stereotyping academic theory.

There is a story that goes thus. Bruce sits down in the pub and holds forth that all Polynesians are crooked, fibbing dumb-arsed bastards. When Trev asks why, Pat he responds that he once got taken in an enterprise that turned out to be a fraud. The front man was a Mr Sooti and since “sooty” is dark and Polynesians are dark, then Polynesians are “sooties” and, hence, are as he describes. We used to laugh at that, until the first time visiting the USA. Not laughing now. Disappointed.

The world needs a place that leads to liberty by example. Excluding people by non-fundamentals shuts the door on that. What becomes of the ideal of freedom when a man or a woman is forcibly tethered to a collective sterotype and treated as if that stereotype is the primary fundamental of their existence?


The Anti-Gnostic January 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm

for the most part them Kiwis do not judge a man or a woman by race or, in other words, by the identity of the owner of the legs they happened to emerge between at birth.

Are you a Maori? What do the Maori think of this ideal?

Sione January 17, 2011 at 1:44 am

Typo correction:

Description of Bruce’s answer to Trev should be_

“Off pat he responds etc.”

“Off pat” as in automatic, without conscious thought, examination or intellectual effort, already mindlessly repeated without consideration of the nature of the idea.


newson January 17, 2011 at 4:21 am

i think this was a good daily by ben o’neill on discrimination:

Sione January 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm


Perhaps it was.

My point remains. Misidentifying the fundamental nature and attributes of an individual is an unfortunate & serious error to make.


newson January 17, 2011 at 11:58 pm

agreed. but with insufficient personal information, one is forced to fall back on group characteristics/stereotypes.

Colin Phillips January 18, 2011 at 2:31 am

True, but there is a danger of using the most convenient-to-measure characteristics as though they are more indicative than they really are. For example, you might notice someone’s “group” as the combination of their race, home language, and country of origin, and so ascribe to that person the characteristics of, well, not that group, but of the stereotypes of that group that you have been exposed to. There is no realistic way for you to know how valid any one stereotype is a priori. Using such broad measures as race and language group creates deceptively precise stereotypes, which could nevertheless be wildly inaccurate. In my opinion, this wild variance in the predictive ability of race and language group makes it a less than useful identifying mark, in all but the most extreme cases.

If you don’t have sufficient personal information, then in my opinion the most valid strategy is to be agnostic about the person’s characteristics until such information is available. Guessing would be more appropriate if the predictive value of these variables was stronger in the individual case (which is not to say that these variables are not broadly indicative in the aggregate).

In general, there seem to be two camps here: one that wants to use the stereotypes as a basis, and update the view as new information becomes available, and the other that wants to enforce the view of equality until it is proven incorrect in each individual case. This has Bayes’ Theorem written all over it. Both of the camps have strong prior expectations of what a particular person is like, given only racial information. My view is that these prior expectations should be weak and flexible (non-informative, that statisticians call it), and ready to use any personal information received to the maximally valid extent.

newson January 18, 2011 at 3:02 am

to colin phillips:

but do you really live your life on this blank slate approach, and can you be sure that you won’t be punished cruelly for your open-mindedness by the sheer numbers of those in the opposite camp (like myself)? stereotypes, after all, are a form of popular representation, so one could expect consequent behaviours to be similarly widespread.

Colin Phillips January 18, 2011 at 5:20 am

Newson, in answer to your questions:
“do you really live your life on this blank slate approach”? Yes, I do, but that’s just practical – I live in South Africa, where historically racial stereotypes were enforced by the state. As a result, the stereotypes themselves have become distorted beyond all reason. We have 11 different ethnic groups in close proximity, and as a child I was taught stereotypes for all of them. I was forced to unlearn each and every one of those stereotypes in quick succession as I met many people from each of these groups, and my expectation was completely at odds with reality. I no longer trust stereotypes for this reason, they are entirely unreliable.

“can you be sure that you won’t be punished cruelly for your open-mindedness”? I’m not sure what you mean by this, it sounds like a threat (I’m sure it’s not). I don’t understand why you would want to punish me. For disagreeing with you? For not pre-judging you based on your race? Generally, I find that entering a situation with no unfounded preconceptions (or at least, none I am conscious of holding), is well received. I feel I am more adaptable as a result, which makes me better at business. At the end of the day, that’s all most people care about – your usefulness to them. My race, and theirs, usually doesn’t come up in conversation, so most people I speak to do not have any idea of my views on race. So, no, for the most part, I do not fear punishment from people who have different opinions to myself.

” stereotypes, after all, are a form of popular representation, so one could expect consequent behaviours to be similarly widespread.” Yes, stereotypes are popular, but so are fairy tales. The popularity of a stereotype does not imply its accuracy. There are, of course, people who use stereotypes heavily to form their opinions. Quite a few, in fact. However, most people who rely too heavily on stereotypes tend to exclude other information which contradicts their expectations, and so become both boring to talk to and ineffective at business. These people are, over the span of generations, becoming more marginalised, and I have very little interaction with them anymore.

I think that the use of stereotypes will eventually die off, as the economic realities of a situation become clear: that everybody is a potential supplier or customer, and you need a better indicator than race to determine which are the most profitable partnerships.

newson January 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

to colin phillips:

i agree that where the state goes, harmful distortion occurs as a matter of course, race being no exception. (on a tangent: have you read hutt on apartheid? http://mises.org/resources/3140/The-Economics-of-the-Colour-Bar).

as to my point about whether your openness doesn’t expose you to danger – i meant that the threat could well come from the many people who fit you into their stereotype, rightly or wrongly. wandering into an area where you may be at physical risk for your skin colour is surely something that is unfair but real. unlike fairy tales, stereotypes have some foundation in truth, otherwise they lose popular appeal. not to belabour the point, but stereotypes are only useful in the vacuum that precedes personal relationships. once some degree of intimacy is established, new information can override or modify preconceptions.

i do hope that south africa does not collapse into the war of the races that has characterized much of post-colonial africa. i am skeptical, however.

Colin Phillips January 18, 2011 at 10:34 am

Newson: Thanks, I’ll give Hutt a look.

I understand your point about the danger, but in South Africa, the vast majority of violent crime is not hate-driven, but just economic – I have something they want (car/wallet/food etc.). My skin colour actually plays a much smaller role than the fact that my clothes are usually not dirty and torn, which implies easy access to clean water, a status symbol. The known dangerous areas are not dangerous due to racial hatred, but due to the concentration of poverty leading to desperation.

I do not enter into known dangerous areas, but this is a rational move motivated by real information, not stereotypes.

I understand your point that there must be some explanatory factor which explains the origin and longevity of a stereotype, but I disagree that this explanatory factor is necessarily based in fact, or that the continued existence of the stereotype indicates that it is still valid, if it was.

I suppose my opposition to your view is not entirely rational, I labour to oppose the use of stereotypes as a matter of course. In 2008, there was an allegedly spontaneous outbreak of racial hatred towards Mozambiquan immigrants in South Africa, a number were burned to death as “AmaKwereKwere” (cockroaches), for stealing low paying jobs away from South Africans. If you can stomach burning someone to death for accepting a low wage, providing they’re from a different tribe (tribe =race + language group, here), I don’t think race war is very far behind either.

newson January 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm

i hope i treat people as i find them, too. but i’ve been in situations where i’ve been at physical risk due to skin colour. there’s nothing i could have said to mitigate this, because the hatred wasn’t directed at me, just what i represent in the mind of others. at times, form counts, and substance doesn’t.

Sione January 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm


With insufficient “personal” information one is “forced” to do no such thing. What one should do is:

a) be honest enough to admit that one does not know

b) find out


Beefcake the Mighty January 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm

You forgot:

c) acquire enough time and resources to adequately perform (b).

Really, your advice here is not very helpful.

Sione January 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm


Assuming that the contention (c) is valid (and it isn’t), then it still does not provide justification for a pretense to the possession of knowledge about others that one does not in fact possess. To do that is to engage in an intellectual fraud- a fraud of willful ignorance and self-deception.

My advice to you is to admit when you are not in possession of sufficient information about something or about somebody. Then go find out.


Beefcake the Mighty January 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm

“My advice to you is to admit when you are not in possession of sufficient information about something or about somebody. Then go find out.”

Why? I have many other things to do and (like everyone else) always operate with incomplete information. You seem troubled that I would condition my expectations on something like race, but you haven’t given me reason to doubt that this approach is useful in a great many situations.

The Anti-Gnostic January 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Sione – Stereotypes are due to pattern recognition, a survival skill shared by all successful species.

Colin – poor people come into contact with more well-off people all the time, but not all poor people inflict violence on wealthier people. There is actually a pattern in criminal assaults, a factor which increases the risk by six to eight times. Intelligent individuals recognize it, and it tells them such things as where to buy a house, what school to send their children to, what areas of town to avoid, etc.

Sione January 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm


So all successful species share stereotypes? That does not make any sense at all.

Stereotypes are a form of conceptualisation. Man survives and succeeds when his concepts correspond with reality. When his identifications and concepts are logical, that is correspond with reality, he is better able to succeed in his endeavours. When they are merely a reflection of arbitrary belief, random notion, baseless assertion, unchecked premise, myth, emotion or unexamined idea, then the likelyhood of error (non-conformance with reality) is certain to occur. Acting on such error is not a means to success.

A terrible trap is the self-confident yet self-deceptive belief of “I know it all” to the point of omniscience. Better to follow the advice of Clint Eastwood when he advises us, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” One of those limitations is the fact that it is only possible to possess a finite (limited) amount of knowledge. When you do not know about something or someone admit it. State, “I do not know.” Then the way is clear to start seeking knowledge about that which concerns you.

In the case of dealing with other people, by all means be as wary as you like, but don’t kid yourself that knowledge of a stereotype is knowledge of anything more than knowledge of a stereotype.


newson January 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm

to sione:
you’ll find you ignoring stereotypes does not make them disappear in others’ minds. try getting on the bus in a double-breasted suit one day, and a hoodie the next. observe the difference in demeanour of the bus-driver.

newson January 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm

it’s hard to ignore the grim statistics:

Sione January 19, 2011 at 4:43 am


Re other people’s minds
The content of a person’s mind is that person’s responsibility. It is up to each to seek knowledge and deal with reality as it is, not as it may be pretended to be. To the extent that I can persuade a person to seek knowledge and deal with reality as it is, I shall. So should you.

Re the newspaper article you linked to
What the article shows is that North Americans are very violent people. Not only are they violent in their treatment towards people of the rest of the World but (according to the article) it would appear they are also violent towards each other. It can thus be stated that they are consistent- consistently violent.

Now would it be logical to hold and apply the stereotype (all North Americans are violent)? Would it be correct to accept it and act on it?


newson January 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

to sione: i find your bus-driver answer unconvincing.

in your suit, you project a particular image of yourself and your place in the world that may or may not reflect your inner thoughts, but serves because others respond in a certain way.your afghani bus-driver quips irreverently because he knows you. if he didn’t, the suit would tell him that you’re potentially someone to be reckoned with, and cautious respect is the safest strategy. the hoodie sends a different message.

newson January 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

in the absence of any other information, i would find the higher incidence of homicide in the us vis-a-vis europe something worth knowing, and something that i could use to minimize my risks until more precise information comes my way.

Neil January 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm

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Sione January 19, 2011 at 1:43 am



Because you are a sane, rational and logical individual.

Consider, why should a Keynesian bother to find out anything about Austrian economics when his attention is drawn to it? After all those Austrian guys are all right-wing, funny-money fascist nut jobs and they are even violent (they shoot at innocent congresswomen). Time is short and, though imperfect, Keynesianism has been useful in a great many situations. Why shouldn’t he stick to his stereotypical expectations?


newson January 19, 2011 at 2:01 am

gifford’s people were no doubt were looking for this stereotype:
nobody’s perfect.

Sione January 19, 2011 at 4:51 am

Re the bus-driver

If I were to get in the bus in a suit the driver would likely quip that I look like a criminal – either the accused or a bank executive. For a hoodie, he’d likely ask why I’m cheating on my training run and suggest he’ll tell coach on me. He gives everyone hell. Reckon that may be why he’s quite popular.


PS Oh yes, I forgot to mention he’s from Afghanistan and he used to be a taxi driver there.

Lee January 19, 2011 at 9:03 am


I agree with much of what you say as an ideal and I understand you’re from a part of the world where race has always been considered unimportant. But you need to apply those ideals of open-mindedness to the situation here, which is very different from yours. To refuse to accept that there is a huge problem here of discrimination against whites you are putting yourself on the side of blacks here who defend the most outrageous of anti-white behaviors. It’s just the mirror image of the whites who defended slavery and it creates bitterness rather acceptance.

No one of good will will deny that blacks were once treated poorly here. But it is essential to understand that the very real problem was taken up in typical communist fashion, grossly enlarged, and used not to right wrongs but to promote communism. The good will which once existed on both sides has now mostly disappeared. While people who accept the black side along with the communism and are touted in the media as “respectable” against the ignorant, tobacco-chewing white stereotype, the fact is that such whites are considered the scum of the earth by what might be a majority of the white population, and they will have as little to do with blacks as possible.

There are very many reasons why people consider race important, some good, some bad. But the overwhelming reason in my mind is simply respect for the races which exist. Just as I would very much hate to see only one kind of tree, one kind of dog, one kind of only anything, I very much dislike the idea of races disappearing. I very much appreciate diversity and hence oppose anything which threatens to destroy it.

You know very well that peace can only come through looking at things from everyone’s viewpoint and working from there. As things are going now we’re not only losing our race but every freedom we once had as well.

Sione January 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm


“in your suit, you project a particular image of yourself and your place in the world that may or may not reflect your inner thoughts,”

Actually it does reflect certain of my thoughts. It displays the consequences of certain decisions which I made on that occasion. By deciding to dress in a certain manner I am deliberately presenting myself in that particular manner. The “image” (as you put it) is one I have decided I want to place on public display by my choice of attire that day. One’s race or skin colour is a different matter. It is not voluntarily chosen.

“but serves because others respond in a certain way.”

Remember this. You don’t always know and can’t always predict how others are going to respond. The ideas they have may or may not be any good. Some may consider a person wearing a suit in a hostile manner, or worthy only of scorn. Then again, they might not. It depends on the context of the situation and the nature of the individual you are faced with.

“your afghani bus-driver quips irreverently because he knows you.”

He does not know me, really. He makes his comments to nearly everyone who enters the bus. That’s his happy nature I guess. It has resulted in people talking to him and enjoying his personality. I get the impression that he has overcome a difficult life and wants to enjoy a happier existence now (supposition on my part). The trip goes by faster (buses are terrible things, especially for commuting, and are best avoided whenever suitable alternatives are available), the passengers are happier and seem to get along better as a result of his attitude and good nature. So, the question is, how should he be treated- as if he were potential Taliban (after all Afghais are all potential Taliban) or as he actually is?

“if he didn’t, the suit would tell him that you’re potentially someone to be reckoned with”

Many of the passengers on the bus wear suits and most of them would be low to mid-level employees- hardly someones to be reckoned with. Wearing a suit does not go very far in separating the “names” from everyone else. You need certain knowledge to do that.

“and cautious respect is the safest strategy.”

Likely so when dealing with someone you do not know and have not come across before.

“the hoodie sends a different message.”

What? That cautious respect is not a safe strategy?


Sione January 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm


There are ignorant and stupid people all over the show, unfortunately. They hold the most incredibly inane and lunatic ideas. They behave accordingly. Every time I think I’ve just come across someone with the most appallingly stupid belief possible, along comes another with something just as silly or even more so. The best strategy is not to allow such persons, along with their silly ideas and appalling behaviour, any control over how you think and what you do. That they are idiots does not grant them a power to lower anyone to the same level as them. Stay above such morons.

I’ve visited North America several times and found many good people there and many good ideas. I also saw things that were disappointing. One issue that the USA seems to suffer from is that of racism. The situation I encountered was as you describe. What is tragic is the unthinking acceptance of such a stupidity and the on-going, hardly ever challenged, collectivisation of people according to various non-fundamentals (such as skin complexion). What is unforgivable is the political establishment that encourages it and thrives upon it. Unfortunately their silliness is widely accepted. Disappointing.

Anyway, my recommendation is to judge an individual according to fundamental attributes, rather than engaging in a careless retreat into the collectivisation of convenient prepackaged stereotypes.


newson January 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm

the american anthropology association is infused with marxist egalitarianism; macdonald in the culture of critique goes into this change in the profession dating back to the early part of last century. rushton alludes to the non-scientific, ideologically-driven aaa here:

Beefcake the Mighty January 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm

“What is tragic is the unthinking acceptance of such a stupidity and the on-going, hardly ever challenged, collectivisation of people according to various non-fundamentals (such as skin complexion).”

I think if you were to read with an open minds books such as Race, Evolution, and Behavior (by Rushton) and Why Race Matters (by Levin), you would understand that racial differences go far beyond trivialities like skin color.

newson January 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm

booker t. washington’s equanimity stands in stark contrast with the shrill claims of today’s affirmative action advocates:

Lee January 20, 2011 at 12:23 am

Good article again, Newson. I see no difference in what has been done with race in this country to Stalin’s approach when he wanted to get rid of the kulaks in order to collectivise their bits of property; he developed all the hatred he could toward the better-off, then moved down the scale until no private property and no private property owners were left.

Diversity, which we once celebrated, has become a dirty word among so many of us because of the very negative and destructive way it’s been used. For example, I would find it very interesting to talk with a with a Haitian about his belief in voodoo. But I would not want laws which gave voodoo culture preference over my own. “Racism” which once had a valid meaning has been so much thrown at whites over anything they oppose which blacks want, that it has become an insult exactly like the derogatory terms for blacks; “White racism” excuses anything from affirmative action to rape and murder.

Beefcake the Mighty January 20, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Great review by Jared Taylor of Baker’s classic, Race:


Interesting quote:

” Likewise, Dr. Baker explains that some of the inhabitants of northern India have relatively dark skin but are racially very close to Europids. “

newson January 20, 2011 at 4:22 am
Beefcake the Mighty January 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm
Beefcake the Mighty January 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

newson, OT, but one wonders what will come of this:


One further wonders if Dick Cheney can be of help here.

mpolzkill January 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

Awesome comedy/drama on stereotyping:


I wonder if all the pale-colored stereotypes in it pain our quaint villagers here.

newson January 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm


stereotyping is a universal human behaviour, as per anti-gnostic’s comment. colin phillips’ comment on the “cockroaches” should calm white guilt.

newson January 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm

to mpolzkill:
does white under-representation in jazz pain you?

Beefcake the Mighty January 21, 2011 at 9:13 am

If he’s a (American) football fan, we could also ask if the non-existence of white running backs and cornerbacks (certainly at the professional level) bothers him.

mpolzkill January 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

Complete misundertanding of my little point. I have no “white guilt”, I just don’t care for stupidity, which is what I believe racialism to be. *I’m* not pained, I wondered if some white racialists feel pain when whites are depicted as hopeless imbeciles or at least as thoughtless bullies in dire need of comeuppance. Watch the movie and try to understand, or don’t, I have very small expectations of Holocaust-deniers at any rate.

To dip into this sad and obsessive world a bit: whites were under-represented in jazz (though individual whites are fully capable of performing it, racialist black musicians have failed to identify the skin color of other jazz musicians in blindfold tests) for the same reason that blind people were over-represtented in jazz and blues.

Henry Cooper’s thin skin pains me not an iota.

Beefcake the Mighty January 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm

You go girl!

newson January 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

to mpolzkill:

i’ve seen the movie, a classic. i’m not in the least embarrassed by anything that science has to say about race in intelligence tests. other ethnic groups out-score mine, and i bear them no ill will (until they start dictating to me what history i may question, that is).

the jazz “test” as you’ve presented it proves nothing but the dangers of selection bias. my contention is not that white players of equal talent don’t exist, or that their style gives them away as white, but that there are more talented blacks than whites. stereotypes are based on averages.

newson January 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

steve sailer offers a good review of some of the better-known works on race here. note that sailer believes levin’s views might have been influenced by his repeated muggings by blacks in the vicinity of his college.


Matt the Race Traitor January 22, 2011 at 8:49 am

[Thought I'd try out Russ's obnoxious tactic, haha]

Only one tiny point, no others: so you agree that the stereotypes in the film are based on the reality that the average white person is a racist imbecile? (of course, this was a certain time and place. As the stereotype goes today, most white people, while still blockheads, have learned to hide signs of their racism very well)

I understand where stereotyping comes from, Christ, I don’t believe it has any positive use. Do you know why blind musicians were over-represented in jazz and blues? Put down your phrenology calipers and use your addled brain.

Question the moonlanding, Einstein, no one is dictating, ridicule is not dictating. Of course other libertarians should read you the riot act and try in every way to distance themselves from your unfortunate proclivities. Don’t you chuckleheads know what completely torpedoed Ron Paul?

newson January 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm

the ron paul political report and the racial stereotypes therein?

newson March 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm

hülsmann’s theory of error cycles might be the right way to view the rebuilding efforts. completely misguided, based as they are on a fundamentally flawed, egalitarian concept of humanity.

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