My “Debate” with Leonid Bershidsky on IQ/Immigration

Leonid Bershidsky is a democratic journalist who immigrated to Germany from Russia when Putin triggered him one too many times in 2014. Most of his articles deal with Eastern Europe in general and the Eternal Collapse of Russia under Putin in specific (though to be fair he is far from the worst Russia journalist out there). He also regularly makes space on his Bloomberg blog for promoting various other fashionably progressive causes, which in the light of recent events is predictably dominated by immigration and open borders.

Open borders for Europe and especially Germany, anyway. He does not think the Gulf states like Saudi Arabia have to take in refugees because it would dilute the per capita value of their oil wealth and create the “potential for political, ethnic and sectarian tension.” Mass enrichment is a a joy and a blessing that only European countries are worthy of partaking in. Rape? What rape? All Putinist lies!

In short, he is a highly representative and articulate voice of the transatlantic globalist elites.

Last week, I was drawn into a debate with him due to a ReTweet of one of his

This is the main reason I have for preserving the “debate” I had on IQ and immigration with him last week on Twitter. Though every bit as tedious as you probably imagine it, it is useful to be reminded every so often of how utterly and willfully uninformed conventional elite opinion remains on these issues down to the banal recycling of the Steve Jobs argument.

Note in particular the struggles of poor Garett Jones (he of the Hive Mind) to communicate basic psychometric findings to Bershidsky while avoiding saying anything that could potentially get him fired.

Before clicking on the image below to enlarge, note that this is a fairly big file (2.5MB).


Feel free to continue this “debate” in the comments section.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. AnonymousCoward says

    Anatoly leaves it to us to google that Leo is a self-identified Jew.

    “despite my … Jewish ethnicity, I am a patriot”


    Of coourshe!

  2. I wonder why Germany is accepting a million Syrian migrants, but doesn’t dare allow more than a few hundred out of a million Ukrainian ones currently stationed in Poland.

  3. Karlin, if IQ is so important to you why do you oppose mass East Asian and high caste Indian immigration into Russia when it would evidently increase Russian IQ by 8 points, of course by the time that happens Russia will only be 10% Slavic or so.


  4. Лечба Свидомости says

    Because that would mean Germany would have to accept that post-Maidan Ukraine is a mess, and the current political class in that country are directly responsible for creating it.

  5. Anatoly Karlin says

    Also the Maidanists need biomass for their mogilizations.

    Can’t have too many eligible persons skipping town to avoid the military commissariat.

  6. Erik Sieven says

    apart from the fact that PISA scores relate in part to non-verbal and thus culture free IQ dimensions simply logic should tell Bershidsky that there cannot be some kind of continuous convergence of test-results over several generation explained by language proficiency. There should be a huge leap between first and second generation immigrants, and after that no or very little differences.
    Also there is this “boring” meme, antiracists so often use nowadays. The first time I read it a few years ago it actually struck me as intellectual provocative and I didn´t know the answer to it. But after the 20th time it nothing but ridiculous.

  7. Pseudonymic Handle says

    Richwine got watsoned because he proved that Hispanics don’t converge even after 3 or 4 generations pass. His dissertation is linked from his website
    and is available online

  8. Feel free to continue this “debate” in the comments section.

    There is very little to debate here. It is becoming a scientific fact now, that most of what could be defined as “democratic” or “liberal” in Russian sense Parnassus is highly ignorant on most practical issues of human activity. Their track record speaks volumes. But, I am sure, they are better than anybody else in recognizing the models of latest electronic gizmos and vines. I am pretty sure that they attend also better restaurants than, say, people like me.

  9. German_reader says

    Actally there are now 3rd-, maybe even 4th-generation immigrants in Germany…that’s the case with a substantial number of Turks. Don’t have data available (and I’m too lazy to look for it), but the disturbing thing is, many of them are actually doing WORSE in terms of educational achievement than the 1st and 2nd generations (plus a non-trivial number hold more traditionalist, or even Islamist, views than the 1st or 2nd generation).

  10. All I could see from this back and forth is that sleazeball like Bershidsky is hard to pin down, particularly when the counter-party is limited to 140 characters.
    Then again, Bershidsky will simply leave Germany when cultural “enrichment” becomes too much for him (he is a vagabond opportunist after all), and will blame Germans for doing integration thing all wrong.

  11. As is very typical in such discussions, Bershidsky tried to win by nailing you and Garett as racists: “Are some races smarter than others?” LOL. Garett, sensing danger, quit immediately – undoubtedly because his tenure protects his academic freedom 🙂

    On the third generation immigrants, I vaguely remember Sailer citing some research on Puerto Ricans in the US. IIRC, it wasn’t about IQ but rather SES – it regressed below second and was almost as bad as that of the first generation. (Unless I misremember?)

  12. Brian Reilly says

    Mr. Bershidsky is a member (or a wannabe, not sure which) of the global elite. He figures that he can skate around the globe enjoying himself statelessly, as a citizen of the world, beholden to none and completely irresponsible. Rather like the way a surprisingly large number of New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn, mostly) City denizens think of themselves vis a vis the rest of the United States. Among but not of, so to speak.

    We are in the midst of a global reversion to the mean, and I by mean I refer to a synonym for nasty.

  13. Christ almighty i’m glad i’m not on twitter. It’s a whole game of chess played with nothing but pawns. Also I read that whole back and forth and froth and back again in a my head with a Russian accent, it got annoying listening to it near the end!

  14. @Mr. Bershidsky is a member (or a wannabe, not sure which) of the global elite

    Thank you all who saved me the asking whether LB is from a certain “race smarter than others”. Or, rather “ethnicity” as it turned out. “Global elite=race smarter than others=Jewish ethnicity”.
    “Racism is boring”. As you can see it says the same thing all the time!

  15. mark miller says

    I find there are three classes of people when it comes to this subject

    1) The Believers
    Usually shiftless academics in the social “sciences”, bitter Leftists who will never think their way out of the paper bag that is Dunning-Kruger

    2) The Apologists
    Endowed with sufficient cognitive capacity and amenable to evidence-based reasoning, they focus their energies on preserving what’s left of their intellectual integrity and muddying their past statements, e.g. “I never said the genetic term in modeling the achievement gap was zero, obviously it’s not, but it’s epigenetic, not really genetic”. I usually leave these people with their figleaf, if only out of pity.

    3) The Bitterly Repentant
    They already see the end game and the futility of ongoing prevarication, but they are still angry and resentful that their “celestial spheres and geocentric universe” lie shattered at their feet.

    I’m starting to cool my heels in engaging people on this. We’ve crossed the point of no return. Sure, watching people like Bershidsky, Jonathan Marks, etc. squirm impotently is satisfying on some atavistic level especially after what their cohort has done to people like Murray and Richwine. Let the poor wretches comfort themselves with their own inconsolable moaning.

    The deniers could benefit from private time to grieve rather than being kicked while they’re down. Besides, we’re on the cusp of a Scope Monkey Trial for population genetics. Once the doddering mass, fresh off a recent witch burning, turns on it’s old beliefs (and the remaining holdouts), it’s not much of a club I want to be part of.