No, The Russian Opposition’s Isn’t “Nearly All” Jewish

This claim, funnily enough, comes not from some nutty Russian nationalist but the Jerusalem Post, citing a Russian Jew commenting in the wake of Russian oppositionist Boris Nemtsov’s murder.

The murder hit Russia’s sizable Jewish intelligentsia particularly hard because “nearly all the leaders of the liberal opposition are either fully Jewish or have Jewish background,” said Michael Edelstein, a lecturer at Moscow State University and a writer for the Jewish monthly magazine L’chaim. “His murder is the low point in a process that started about two years ago which has left the Jewish intelligentsia and its milieu feeling more uneasy than ever before in post-communist Russia.”

The reason this came to my attention was because it was trumpeted by American identitarian Kevin MacDonald, writing at the Occidental Observer. I can understand why he would be interested in highlighting this as it would tie in quite neatly with the main body of his work, which advances the thesis that Jews have consciously worked to undermine European ethnic solidarity as part of a group evolutionary strategy of Zionism for me, cosmopolitanism for thee.

Sidestepping that particular debate – in short, I am extremely skeptical, at least insofar as there is any kind of largescale organization behind it – this statement is clearly false as it pertains to the Russian (nonsystemic) opposition.

The real figure is not more than 25% at the very most, and probably more like 15% (perhaps slightly higher amongst prominent liberal journalists, but still nowhere near a majority). A reliable list of the most prominent oppositioners in Russia could be obtained from the answers to a poll asking participants of the December 24th, 2012 Meeting for Fair Elections which of the speakers they trusted most. They are listed below in order of their approval rating amongst the Russian opposition protesters (naturally they are completely unrepresentative of the country at large), together with their Semitic status derived from my observations of Russian politics, my jewdar, and some quick Wikipedia-ing. The “Internet” at large is unreliable; you even find crazy Neo-Nazis claiming that Putin himself is Jewish.

Approval (%) Jew?
Leonid Parfenov 41 No
Alexey Navalny 36 No
Boris Akunin 35 ½-Jew
Yury Shevchuk 33 No
Grigory Yavlinsky 27 No
Vladimir Ryzhkov 18 No
Mikhail Prokhorov 15 ¼-Jew
Evgenia Chirikova 14 No
Alexey Kudrin 13 No
Boris Nemtsov 13 ½-Jew
Gennady Gudkov 11 No
Ilya Yashin 11 No
Sergey Mironov 8 No
Sergey Udaltsov 8 No
Mikhail Kasyanov 7 No
Sergey Mitrokhin 7 No
Ilya Ponomarev 4 No

That’s a total of one and one-quarter Jews out of 16 opposition leaders, or not more than 8%. In fairness, the list leaves out two more very prominent oppositioners, the oligarch-in-exile Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former world chess champion turned street agitator Gary Kasparov, both of them half-Jewish through the father’s line, which would make for two and one-quarter Jews out of 18 opposition leaders. (If you go down that route, then surely Vladimir Milov and some other ethnic Russian oppositioners absent at that particular protest would have to be added too, but I will refrain from doing that just to demonstrate that even under very generous assumptions Jews constitute nowhere near a majority). That would bring the Jewish share of opposition leaders up to 13%. Counting Jews based upon maternal identity yields three Jews: Akunin, Nemtsov, and perhaps Prokhorov, whose maternal grandmother was Jewish. That’s still less than 17%. By far the most prominent Russian oppositionist today, the self-appointed crusader against corruption Alexey Navalny, is not Jewish; he is in fact half-Ukrainian, while Grigory Yavlinsky is fully so. Does this mean Russia’s opposition movement is led by a Jewish-Ukrainian cabal?

Now 15% is still a high number relative to the Jewish population share of less than 1%. But Jewish Exceptionalism of this sort is observed virtually everywhere (including the US, as prolifically documented by writers like Amy Chua and Steve Sailer) and throughout all domains of political, economic, and intellectual life. Bear in mind that in the politically neutral zone that is the Russian economy – neutral in comparison with opposition street politics, at any rate – Jews constitute 21% of Russia’s billionaires. These overrepresentations in economics and opposition politics are all readily explaineble by the relative cognitive preponderance at the far right (har) of the bell curve conferred by virtue of the 110-115 mean Ashkenazi IQ.

Jews who claim that the Russian opposition is led by their coethnics aren’t “letting the mask slip” or anything of that sort, they are merely indulging in some ethnic narcissism–as does anyone who buys into such claims without at least first examining the evidence.

Spellchecked Supermen


Founded by eight NASA scientists, the Rainbow Mansion is a kind of academic coop, where you have to demonstrate you’re working on something interesting to get a rental agreement. The building itself is true to its name, a mansion spacious within, and surrounded by lush gardens without. Every week they host a group dinner, followed by a speech from an invited guest. This week’s guest was Mike Johnson, a philosopher and transhumanist who is currently working on a treatise that could lay the groundwork for a mathematical model of pain/pleasure.

His talk, however, wasn’t about that, but about another topic and interest of his – genetic typos, the possibility of “correcting” them, and the profound effects that might have on human intelligence and capability if widely implemented.

Genetic editing tools are already coming online that would work for already existing organisms: CRISPR, whole-chromosome DNA synthesis, viral vectors (adenoviri), etc. What can we edit? We could try to maximize for some trait using the GWAS approach (e.g. as BGI is trying to do with IQ). We could go for transgenic bioengineering, you know, the Spiderman/Resident Evil-type stuff. But that’s pretty hard. Just fixing our own broken genes is much easier and could potentially generate tremendous payoffs in increased health, intelligence, and longevity.

We all have varying amounts of “broken genes,” the genetic equivalent of spelling errors. Of those errors that have an effect, the vast majority are bad; as Mike pointed out, if you were to open up a computer program and edit code at random, you are far more likely to ruin or degrade the program than improve it. There are several different definitions and estimates of the numbers of these errors: 100 semi-unique Loss of Function mutations (MacArthur 2012), 1,000 minor IQ-decreasing variants (Hsu 2014), 300 health-decreasing mutations (Leroi 2005).

Broken genes have a broadly linear additive effect on general fitness, which is well approximate by IQ. Stephen Hsu’s research indicates that people have an average of 1000 broken genes, with 30-40 mutations contributing to a stunning -1SD drop in intelligence. In essence, it’s not so much that there are genes for intelligence, as there are genes for stupidity. Fix all of them, and theoretically, you might get IQs never before observed on this planet. As Greg Cochran memorably put it:

What would a spelling-checked person, one with no genetic typos, be like?  Since no such person has ever existed, we have to speculate.  I figure that kind of guy would win the decathlon, steal your shirt and your girl – and  you still couldn’t help liking him.

Here is a list of (optimistic) estimates for other traits that Mike collated from various sources.


While Mike, understandably, did not go into this in his talk, one more important point has to be mentioned: There is also an explicit HBD angle to the theory of genetic load.

Studies show significantly more Loss of Function mutations amongst Africans than Europeans or East Asians, which would tie in not only to well-known psychometric data but Satoshi Kanazawa’s theories on the relatively low atttractiveness of Black women (specifically female beauty, like g, appears to be a good proxy for overall fitness). Cochran ascribes it to heat. I am not so sure. Peak wet bulb temperatures are actually higher today in the Ganges delta and interior China than most of Africa, which has some really cool (temperature-wise) places like the Ethiopians highlands and the Great Rift region. This might not have been quite the case during the Ice Age, of course, but still, 10,000 years is a long time to adjust to a new equilibrium.

Another possible determinant of genetic load is male parental age. Offspring genetic load and paternal (though not maternal) age are positively correlated. Paternal age in traditional societies can differ substantially according to their particular family system. For instance, within the Hajnal Line encompassing most of Western Europe, characterized by nuclear families, average paternal age was considerably higher than amongst say the neighboring Poles and Russians. What specific family system is highly prevalent in the traditional global South, especially in Africa? Polygamy. This implies one dude monopolizing a lot of the chicks. What would he be like? Big, bad, bold – naturally. But he’d also have a reputation, and he’d probably be someone who can spit smooth game. Both the latter require some time to build up. So he would probably be considerably older than fathers elsewhere in the world who entered into monogamous marriages. But this is just a theory, it would be great to actually get concrete anthropological data on average paternal age in traditional Africa.

Though I’m taking steps to remedy this, I am not sufficiently well versed in genetics as to offer a valid judgment on the plausibility of Cochran’s and Hsu’s mutational load theory of IQ. Still, it does appear to have a great deal of face validity to it, though I remain skeptical of whether spellchecking can truly create “superhumans,” as opposed to just some very healthy and athletic 145-175 IQ types with a life expectancy of maybe 105 years. Surely at some point basic biological limits will be hit, and there will be diminishing returns?

Still, the potential for improvement are immense, and eventually, it will be possible to apply them to grown adults as opposed to just embryos. Even raising the global IQ by one SD will basically solve India’s and Africa’s development problems, while making the two odd billions of Europeans, Americans, and Chinese as innovative per capita as the world’s 20 million Ashkenazi Jews. Near instant technological singularity! When asked to give an estimate, Mike Johnson said that this “spellchecking” technology will become available in 5-7 years for billionaires who wish to have a designer baby and are unconstrained by any regulatory restrictions.

There’ll inevitably be a lot of hand-wringing about this, lots of soul searching and moral queasiness, and no doubt some attempts at restriction, but it’s hard to stop a moving train. As Mike said, the Chinese and East Asians in general don’t share these concerns; if they can safely have a more intelligent child, well, why on earth not? It is telling that the global focal point for research on the genetics of IQ, which Steve Hsu is incidentally heavily involved with, is the Beijing Genomics Institute. Regardless of their reasons or justifications, those who refuse to get on this train will simply be left behind.

Has India Regained its Shine?

There is, once again, widespread excitement about the prospects of the Indian economy. This comes on the heel of news that India’s Q3 growth has now marginally edged above China’s, after a statistical adjustment. Can we now expect the Elephant to replace the Dragon as the motor of the world economy?

At times like these it helps to take a longer term view. Assembling GDP growth data since 1960 from the World Bank and taking a moving average of 5 years, I made the following two graphs of the longterm economic performance of the world’s two demographic giants.

The comparison does not come out well for India. It has underperformed China without break, even when China was ruled by Maoists who made Soviet central planners look like paragons of competence by comparison. (The dip at the very beginning is an artifact of the Great Leap Forward and the ensuing chaos and famine). The Licence Raj might not have exactly been a panacea either, but at least markets functioned, and that alone should have made conditions for economic growth orders of magnitude better. Even though China is now about two and a half times richer per capita than India in PPP terms, there are no signs of convergence even to this day, as India continues falling relatively behind.


The difference is, if anything, even more profound when you adjust for population growth, which has been systemically higher in India than in China since the 1970s.

india-china-gdp-per-capita-growth-1965-2014Will India’s growth rate eventually converge with and overtake China’s? That is almost certain, since relatively poorer countries should in theory be able to grow much quicker than richer one’s by buying/stealing knowhow. The main question is how long will it take: Will it happen in the next few years? Or a decade? Or a few decades?

Increasing numbers of economists are coming round to the view that human capital is the main, overriding determinant of economic growth. According to my own calculations, there is an astounding R2=0.84 correlation between PISA-derived national IQs and GDP (PPP) per capita amongst countries that do not benefit from a resource windfall or suffer from a Communist economic legacy. Unfortunately, India’s IQ appears to be very low, somewhere in the low 80s, so I remain very skeptical of its prospects for becoming a second China.

Still, I don’t want to come off as an India basher. There are a few factors working in its favor too. First, it’s got a very substantial “smart fraction,” i.e. it has relatively more bright people than you would expect from the standard bell curves you have in more homogenous countries. Thank the caste system for that. As Heiner Rindermann showed, smart fractions have a disproportionate effect on a country’s overall economic performance. Furthermore, Indian IQs might be even more environmentally suppressed than in Sub-Saharan Africa. India has comparable rates of malnutrition, likely worse sanitation and hyeginic standards, and more inbreeeding. All this might sound bad and it is but that likewise creates the potential for very rapid improvement, should a strong and capable hand be there to help it along.

In this respect, India is lucky to have gotten Modi.

Foreign Relations Experts on War and Immigration

Foreign Policy reports on a massive opinion poll of International Relations experts on immigration, the wisdom of leaving Iraq, and the likelihood of war between the US and China or Russia. Here is the PDF. In some cases, their answers are compared to those of the public at large.

For the most part, it’s all pretty sane and predictable.

Most people, especially the scholars, think leaving Iraq was a good idea. They are unsure whether or not the US and Russia are headed back to a Cold War (neither am I). Henry Kissinger is rated as the most effective US Secretary of State in the past 50 years. And in an amusing example of Dunning-Kruger, far more scholars answer “I don’t know” for every question than does the general public.

The risk of war with Russia (2.55/10) or China (1.91/10) over the next decade is rated as low.

This is correct. The Chinese navy is still nowhere near as strong as even the US Pacific Fleet, though it is expanding fast. So long as the disparity remains this big, China will do its utmost not to risk outright war.

As for Russia, the US will not fight it for Ukraine – period; only the most svidomy Ukrainian and a certain subgroup of paranoid Russian nationalists believe otherwise. And deranged neocon ramblings aside, Russia would be idiotic to open up a front against the NATO Baltics even if it was interested in so doing (which it isn’t).


Where there is a substantial difference between public and expert opinion is in their attitudes towards immigration.


This is clearly primarily a class thing. For IR experts, more immigrants means cheap Hispanic workers and a vague personal sense of moral superiority. For the average population, it means downwards pressure on low-skill wages and a strong personal sense of cultural inundation.

Of course, do take all this with the requisite amount of salt. So far as foreign relations and immigration are concerned, since everyone is an expert and there are no real sanctions to being wrong (no skin in the game as Nassim N. Taleb would say), almost all but the most vague predictions turn out to be wrong. Of course this would apply to myself too.

Is Russia’s Demographic Recovery at Risk of Reversal?

This year will mark yet another milestone in Russia’s steady post-1990s demographic recovery, with the population minus Crimea hitting 144.0 million as of January 1, 2015 [XLS link], relative to 143.7 million in the same period last year. (Excluding Crimea is, needless to say, done not out of political considerations, but to retain the appropriate base for comparison). Though figures for December will only be out in about two weeks’ time, the picture for January-November is positive; despite the continuing pressures of population ageing and the decline in the numbers of women in their childbearing age as the small 1990s cohort enters adulthood, both natality and mortality figures improved slightly relative to 2013. For the second consecutive year running in its post-Soviet history, Russia’s births will substantially supercede deaths. Below shows a summary from state statistics service Rosstat.


But will this happy state of affairs last?

Mark Adomanis and an email correspondent known as “Doug” suggest that the turnaround has come to an end. They are both serious and intelligent people who know a lot about both demographics and Russia, and I am in qualified agreement with most of the points they make. But they might be slightly too pessimistic. Although in the middle term a cessation and perhaps limited reversal of Russia’s demographic uptrend during the Putin years is virtually inevitable, there are a number of factors that will likely soften and considerably mitigate the end of Russia’s demographic uptrend.

Below I will list a summary of their main points and my comments on each one of them.

Fertility Trends

One, most obviously, the “empty cohorts” of the 1990s are now hitting peak reproductive age. So far, that’s been balanced out by a rise in TFR [AK: Total Fertility Rate, an age structure-independent measure of the birth rate] — there are fewer women aged 20-25, but Russian women overall are having more kids per woman. But it seems a bit premature to declare that this will continue to be the case. – Doug.

I always considered the idea that TFR would keep up with the falling numbers of women in their childbearing age to be extremely unlikely, as it would require the TFR to eventually rise above that seen in any other developed country bar Israel. Anybody reading through my demography archives will see this being emphasized repeatedly.

According to my simulations from 2008, if the TFR now remains constant at its current rate of 1.7 children per woman, the crude birth rate will fall below 10/1,000 women by 2025 – today it is at what will likely be a local maximum of ~13.3/1,000 – before bottoming out at around 9/1,000 in the early 2030s. Even if the TFR were to rise to 2.0 children per woman, equivalent to that of the most fertile Western countries like France and Ireland, the crude birth rate by 2025 will still be 11/1,000.

That said, natural population increase is a function of both birth rates and death rates, and there is very ample scope for further improvements in the latter. In the early 2000s, the death rate was at ~16/1,000 and average life expectancy was at just 65 years, mostly due not to any great defect of the healthcare system – after all, even many properly Third World nations achieve life expectancies in the mid- or high-70s – but to the region-wide alcoholism drinking, in the form of vodka binge drinking. Despite the continued pressure of an ageing population, a rise of the life expectancy to 71 years by 2014 was accompanied by a reduction in death rates to 13/1,000. If these trends continue and life expectancy continues rising, reaching 75 years by 2025 – by no means an unrealistic prospect, based on the prior experience of Finnish Karelia and the Baltic states in battling their own alcohol epidemics – then Russia’s birth rates and deaths rates should continue to more or less move in lockstep to each other.

The sign might be a plus or a minus, but contingent on the continuation of current trends – a TFR of around 1.7-1.8, and moderately fast improvements in life expectancy – the magnitude of natural population growth (or decline) will be very small.


Two, the impact of the recession. Recessions almost always depress fertility, and there’s no reason to expect this one to be different. You’d also expect the recession and the weak ruble to affect the immigration / emigration balance.Doug.


As Russia’s economy was growing, wages were increasing, jobs were plentiful, and housing was, if not readily available, than a lot more available than it had been in the past. Russian workers might not have had it great in comparison to their Western peers, but they had it a lot better than at any other point in their history. The rather banal result of this, still rather modest, economic bounty was that people felt more comfortable starting and expanding families and that lots of “guest workers” form the rest of the former Soviet Union moved to Russia to find jobs.

However now that Russia’s economy is set for a nasty recession of indeterminate length, and now that real incomes are getting hit by a combination of currency weakness and inflation, it’s not terribly surprising that its population dynamics are starting to weaken. That’s exactly what you’d expect to happen when a country suffers a sharp short-term economic reversal. Despite the Kremlin’s loud protestations of exceptionalism Russia is not, in fact, all that different: when you hammer the population’s standard of living they react accordingly.Mark Adomanis.

A comprehensive economic collapse followed up with austerity policies can definitely torpedo Russia’s demographic recovery. See the Latvian experience after 2008, or the complete shipwreck that is post-2010 Greece.

But I do believe there are a few reasons why this is overstated:

What’s important is not so much the depth of the economic collapse as the effect it has on social policies. Back in 2009, Russia’s GDP fell by an impressive 8%, but its demographics continued improving nonetheless. That is because the Russian state, flush with accumulated hydrocarbons revenue, could easily avoid implementing painful austerity policies. The consensus estimate for the coming Russian recession is a 4-5% fall in GDP, and there are no plans to cut social spending this time around either.

Having chosen currency devaluation over internal devaluation through austerity and wage cuts – unlike aforementioned Greece and Latvia, who have no influence over EU monetary policy – the Russians worst affected will be already well-off regular consumers of imported produce, whose fertility rates are the least affected by economic considerations. These types of recessions tend to be short but sharp. Surprising everyone, Russian industrial production actually increased by a solid 4.1% this December y/y, and there are several other encouraging leading indicators suggesting that this recession is likely to be pretty mild.

Because migration flows are so much more directly dependent on the economy – a Tajik working as a Gastarbeiter in Russia will now, effectively, earn twice less in the US dollar equivalent than a year ago – net immigration can reasonably be expected to decrease. There are signs this is already happening, as net immigration fell from 277,000 in January-November 2013 to 246,000 in the same period this year. On the other hand, and somewhat tragically, this decline will be substantially or completely covered by increasing immigration of war refugees, draft evaders, political dissenters, and the plain immiserated from Ukraine. Even as overall net immigration fell, it rose via-a-vis Ukraine from 36,000 last year to 78,000 this year, and frankly this is probably a huge underestimate (other sources state it’s close to a million). This is a huge loss for Ukraine, but a boon for Russia; after all, Ukrainian immigrants don’t raise the sorts of subpar human capital and integration issues that Central Asians and Caucasians do.

Vodka and Mortality

Three, cheaper vodka. Apparently vodka consumption dropped by more than 10% just between 2012 and 2013 — a very encouraging sign! But that’s likely to go into reverse this year, especially if the cut in price is accompanied by a relaxation of anti-alchohol campaigns and policies. Historically, the effects of changing access to alcohol have shown up pretty quickly in the numbers — you can pretty much spot the departure of Krushchev and the end of Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaigns just by staring at mortality statistics. So I’d expect a visible shift. The open question will be the magnitude.Doug.

Just to be clear, I agree that the decision to cut vodka prices from this February is a bad one. Putin justifies it by the need to prevent people from drinking more surrogates, but the empirical evidence indicates that prices are closely linked to overall consumption, which is in turn linked to mortality. While higher prices will increase illicit (and more dangerous) production, only a small percentage of people, typically the truly dependent and lost causes, partake in it anyway.

That said, the 2010s are not the 1980s, and there are a number of differences between now and then that would imply that the effects of lowering vodka prices now will have fewer negative than back then.

Despite the immediate effectiveness of Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign – life expectancy instantly jumped up by two years – it was very much imposed top down and worked in a blunt, authoritarian, and frequently plain idiotic manner (e.g. the destruction of Crimean vineyards, which had absolutely nothing to do with Russia’s alcohol epidemic, at least as it related to population health). Its effects faded away almost as soon as the campaign dissolved away in the chaos of the Soviet collapse.

In contrast, what occured in recent years was the introduction of many legal regulations which exist in the West – elementary things, like restrictions on advertising and banning vodka sales after 10pm and from kiosks – as well as a gradual change in tastes and mentality that have propeled a shifting preference for beer and wine over vodka. (This is good, since beer and wine isn’t near as bad for you as vodka). In 2014, vodka production in Russia fell by a further 22%. Deaths from alcohol poisoning today, while still much higher than in normal countries, are as of 2014 lower even than they were during the height of Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign. There is also good evidence indicating that Russian demand for vodka is slowly but surely becoming largely delinked from its price, as is the case in any Western country.

The modest decrease in the vodka price planned for 2015 will surely do not good, but it is highly unlikely to reverse or even stop the powerful trends that have been leading the decline in vodka bingeing for the past decade.

Who Really Liberated Auschwitz?

I do swear this is my last post on Auschwitz this year. But the followup to Putin’s disinvitation is too juicy to resist writing about.

Following in the Polish footsteps, Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk has literally claimed that it was the Ukrainians, in particular soldiers from Zhytomyr and Lvov, who liberated Auschwitz. Here is a translation, with my own highlights:

“Today is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 70 years ago, fighters from Zhytomyr and Lvov, as part of the First Ukrainian Front, liberated from the Nazis one of the most horrific camps, Auschwitz, where millions of our brothers-Jews were tortured,” Yatsenyuk said, emphasizing that it was an important history lesson.

He also expressed his sorrow for victims of the Holocaust – millions of Jews and Ukrainians, who “became victims of Nazism and Stalinism.”

“Once again, we note the valor of the Ukrainian soldiers who freed Auschwitz and fought against Nazism,” Yatsenyuk added.

Note that this comes only a few weeks after Yatsenyuk claimed that he “would not allow the Russians to go through Ukraine and Germany, as they did in World War II,” a historical perversion that is insulting not only towards Russians and the vast majority of Ukrainians outside the most nationalist/historically collaborationist far western provinces, but also to the German audience to whom he was so evidently (and unsuccessfully) trying to suck up to.

Truly cringeworthy stuff.

In response to these repeated Polish and Kiev regime antics, the Russian Defense Ministry unearthed archives with the precise ethnic composition of the 60th Army soldiers who liberated Auschwitz. Of its nearly 90,000 soldiers, there were 42,000 Russians, 38,000 Ukrainians, and numerous other nationalities. Overrepresented as they were on the Ukrainian Front, it must in these circumstances be emphasized that Ukrainians constituted neither a majority nor even a plurality amongst the liberators of Auschwitz.

Ethnic composition of the 60th Army, liberators of Auschwitz
Russians 42398
Ukrainians 38041
Belorussians 1210
Tatars 1088
Jews 1073
Kazakhs 708
Uzbeks 838
Georgians 555
Armenians 546
Poles 439
Mordvins 393
Chuvash 379
Azeris 304
Tajiks 178
Bashkirs 172
Turkmen 139
Kyrgyz 126
Moldovans 106
Udmurts 100
Mari 97
Ossetians 80
Dagestani peoples 55
Buryats 49
Komi 46
Kabardins and Balkars 31
Czechs and Slovaks 29
Greeks 25
Latvians 12
Estonians 11
Kalmyks 11
Finns 8
Bulgarians 7
Chinese 7
Komi-Permyaks 7
Chechens and Ingush 5
Lithuanians 4
Yugoslavians 1
Other peoples 203
TOTAL 89469

Why does Yatsenyuk insist on pulling stunt after rhetorical stunt like this? Okay, sure, for a Ukrainian of the Maidanist persuasion, sticking it to Russia and Russians is explainable in today’s circumstances. But insodoing, he not only insults largely Russia-friendly third parties (e.g. Belorussians, Kazakhs, Jews outside the Beltway) but also millions of his citizens, not only in Crimea and the Donbass, but in Odessa, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and even Kiev. In a 2010 poll, the percentage of Ukrainians (87%) who consider Victory Day on May 9th as a celebration that belongs to everyone was only marginally lower than amongst Russians (91%). At a time when the Donbass is in open revolt, and widespread dissatisfaction wracks the big south-eastern industrial cities of putative Novorossiya – regions where the memory of the Great Patriotic War is hallowed – this cannot be considered in the least wise.

For a long time I have thought of Yatsenyuk as probably the most nationalistic and ideological of the big Maidan players. (Poroshenko is an oligarch and cofounder of the Party of Regions, and Tymoshenko’s primary concern has always been with her wallet; she became a billionaire as a Ukrainian bureaucrat). His mansion is very modest by high-ranking ex-Soviet politician standards. Then I stumbled across this treasure trove of his speeches from just two years ago, whose titles speak for themselves: “You can’t criticize Putin”; “The US dollar is just paper and a financial pyramid”; “Ukrainization was coercive”; “I have no ideology”; “I allow [the idea of] a confederation with Russia”; “Why isn’t NATO buying our airplanes?” So it’s evidently not “svidomy” ideological zealotry at play here either…

So I really don’t know. What do you think?

PS. Somewhat on-topic, here is Julia Ioffe’s (part of the Masha Gessen circle, with whom Sailer readers should be loosely familiar) take on the affair:

Putin visited a Jewish museum [AK: A museum that Putin had personally contributed to building] on the anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation and said: “Of course, the main burden was borne in the fight against fascism by the Russian people, 70% of the Red Army’s soldiers and officers – were Russians. And Russians constituted most of the victims on the altar of Victory.”

And they say that Putin isn’t an anti-Semite.

In his actual address, as opposed to Ioffe’s cherrypickings, Putin followed this up with an ode to the role of the Jewish people in World War II, noting that more than 500,000 of them fought in the Red Army and more than 40,000 as part of partisan units, that nearly every third of them went to the front as a volunteer, and that 200,000 died in battle.

However, so far as Julia Ioffe is concerned, talking about non-Jewish, and in particular Russian, contributions to the Allied victory is anti-Semitic.

Why should you pay attention to the deranged ramblings of this Sovok Jew, you might ask? Why, because soon, you’ll be seeing a lot more of her. Come this February, she is happy to announce that she will be joining the New York Times as a contributing writer.

A most formidable addition to its talent pool – feel free to send her your felicitations!

Auschwitz and the Power of Propaganda

Title got your attention? No, it’s not going to be… that. Read on.

While the rest of the world (or a few Europeans, anyway) is obsessed with yet another “Polish death camps” episode, this time on CNN, a somewhat more significant historical scandal brewed between Poland and Russia.

Explaining away Poroshenko’s status as a guest of honor alongside the refusal to invite Putin to mark the 70-year anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which takes places today on January 27th, the Polish FM Grzegorz Schetyna said:

The 1st Ukrainian front and Ukrainians liberated [the concentration camp], as on that January day there were Ukrainian soldiers, so they opened the gates of the camp.

Sure, there were Ukrainian soldiers there. But the majority were Russian. And dozens of other nationalities, including Poles. The “Ukrainian Front” was a mere geographical/military marker that had precisely zilch to do with ethnicity.

If one were really into beans-counting, the purely military contribution of Russians substantially outweighed that of Ukrainians – both in terms of their presence in the Red Army, and their military losses (this is, of course, after adjusting for relative population sizes).  There is nothing political about this; it was just a logical consequence of Ukraine being occupied for the first half of the war, and being unable to contribute conscripts.

Mr. Schetyna could just have been honest about it. We don’t like you, Vlad, so why don’t you take a hike. Or simply answered without answering. Foreign Ministers are supposed to be good at that.

But no, he had to snub not only Putin, but the entire Russian people.

(Incidentally, what makes this all the more ironic is that Poroshenko, as the President of the Maidan, represents many of the ideological descendents of Ukraine’s collaborationist forces – the same ones who killed and ethnically cleansed the Poles and Jews who had previously constituted a majority in West Ukraine’s cities during the antebellum period. And who are even now, as they have been these past two decades, busy rewriting Ukrainian history textbooks to whitewash the role of the UPA. But today, that is of scant interest to Israel, and none at all to Poland. While that might not be “nice” or “fair” of them, it certainly isn’t illogical either. So far as they’re concerned, even a Ukraine led by zombie Hitler would be preferable to a Ukraine back in Russia’s orbit, even if Russia was to hold elect Khodorkovsky President and celebrate it with a massive gay parade in Moscow this very day. That is because an independent Ukraine can never be a geopolitical threat to Poland, whereas Russia mostly certainly can).

Does it matter?

While in the short-term it might be a faintly ridiculous spat, in the longterm it might well come to be seen as part of a process of alienation that has already been going on for decades.

For all the fuss made about them, nobody is going to start believing in the existence of “Polish death camps” – as in Polish Polish, not Nazi-occupied Polish – anytime soon; it’s not even an intentional mistake, for crying out loud. Nor is general Holocaust denial going to become a thing outside the danker corners of the Internet. That is because both Poles and Jews are now pretty much integral members of the Western community, so it’s hard to imagine their voices and historical memories ever getting drowned out.

This was not the case with the Soviet Union, and it is not the case with modern Russia.

Today’s popular Western conception of the Eastern Front is quite at odds with reality, heavily based as it is on the embellished reminiscences of Wehrmacht generals and ahistorical visual media fluffpieces, fueled by Cold War emotions, and with no popularly accessible Russian side of the story. So today most Westerners believe all manner of myths about the Soviet Union’s role in the war, from the discredited “two men per rifle” trope to it being the Americans who kicked Nazi ass anyway.

The cold statistics of the balance of Axis casualties between the Western and Eastern fronts – around 75%-80% of their manpower and aircraft losses accrued to the Soviets – fundamentally belie this idea of American preeminence. While you could argue legitimately argue that Lend-Lease provided the thin but critical margin in materiel that averted a Soviet collapse in 1942, as Mark Harrison does, or that a Germany that only had to fight on one front could have eked out a stalement in 1943-44, it is completely ludicrous to argue that the Western Allies could have conquered Germany had it been free to concentrate the bulk of its military assets to the west. Despite a successful deception operation and facing undermanned German divisions, D-Day was a closer call than is commonly appreciated. While history often doesn’t have clear answers, this is not one of those cases: The Soviet Union was the only unequivocally indispensable party in the defeat of Nazi Germany (and, incidentally, bringing an end to the Holocaust).

But most Westerners have no idea. To them, the Eastern Front is a place of zerg rushes and Russian rapine, while the real course of the war was decided in North Africa, the Atlantic, and the beaches of Normandy.

Think I’m exaggerating? If so, then it’s probably because unlike 95% of the population, you’ve just read too many actual history books (there are many very good serious English language historians in this area: Glantz, Overy, Bellamy. Not Antony Beevor, who probably sold ten times as many books as the first three combined. Should tell you something). Normal people don’t read those books, not even Beevor; they watch Enemy at the Gates and play Wolfenstein instead.

And this is what they have come to believe:


This is a series of polls that took place in France in 1945, 1994, and 2004, respectively, asking which nation was most responsible for the defeat of Germany. Right after France’s liberation, with American and British soldiers walking the streets, a solid majority of 57% nonetheless believed that it had been the Soviet Union. But by 2004, the situation had cardinally reversed itself, with 58% now crediting the Americans and only 20% – the Soviet Union. This even constituted a decline relative to 1994, despite the intervening decade having been one of the best ever for West-Russia relations. The fact that great bulk of German divisions and airpower were destroyed on the Eastern Front pales into insignificance besides the power of Cold War and just plain anti-Russian propaganda acting on the human biomasses over the course of two generations. (Interestingly, the most “pro-Soviet” group in the 2004 poll was not, as you might expect, supporters of the Communist Party – whose 20% was exactly in line with the national average – but the Front National, with 33%. As sovereigntist successors to De Gaulle, who dreamed of a Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok and whose only real issue with Russia was its then Communist ideology, this should not be too surprising).

I haven’t seen any similar polls from the US or Britain, but I very much doubt they would be substantially different.

With the West and Russia once again growing estranged from each other, and the level of propaganda and mutual recriminations returning to Cold War levels, one wonders what Americans and Frenchmen in 2104 might answer when asked who they think liberated Auschwitz.

Will it be the Americans? Or maybe even a German-Ukrainian combined joint task force? The latter, at least, is presumably what the Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk wants the world to start to believe.

The Triple A’s of Homicide: Agriculture, Alcohol, and Alphas

The commentator T. Greer, who incidentally has a wonderful blog of his own, writes in response to my Charlie Hebdo post:

“And because of the critical import of IQ to virtually all aspects of human behavior, it explains a whole host of other domains – crime, unemployment, etc. – in which Muslim immigrants continue to underperform.”

Things are more complicated than this.

They sure are.

Today I have been reading through the data in the 2010 UNODC report on global crime and have been a bit surprised with what I’ve found. SS Africa is of course a pretty violent, crime ridden place. But the Near East isn’t. Rape, robbery, murders — on everything but kidnappings M.E. countries are safer than Latin America, Eastern Europe, Russia, and in some measures, China (!). Folks in the Middle East might be clannish, but they are not unusually violent.

There are some caveats here.

For instance, international rape statistics are all but useless. If you took them at face value, as a woman you would be terrified at stepping outside the door in Sweden, while not having a second thought about doing so in Pakistan.

Needless to say, that is not how things work. For a rape to happen, you need four male witnesses in Pakistan, and just one dissatisfied woman in Sweden.

The only crime statistics that are really are more or less consistent throughout the world, with the exception perhaps of some undercounting in the most Third World places, are homicides. Below is a map of the murder rate per 100,000 people as of the latest data.

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

The Middle East in general has higher criminality than both Western Europe and East Asia, including China. (Note that the homicide rate of the UK, France, and China is at exactly 1.0/100,000, just marginally missing out on the map’s lightest color). But it is not any higher than Eastern Europe’s, and very much substantially lower than Latin America’s

But lets say the stats are correct. Where does that leave us? Why do global IQ levels correlate poorly with global crime rates, violence, and terrorism?

Well, I wouldn’t say that the correlation is exactly bad. Sub-Saharan Africa is right about where we would expect it to be. Latin America is somewhat more violent than what we would expect from its IQ, and the Middle East less. At first glance, this is a real issue, because they are otherwise, at least superficially, similar (broadly similar average IQs and levels of economic development, high religiosity, high machismo). Meanwhile, by far the lowest violence countries – those in Western Europe and East Asia – are also those with the highest average measured IQs. The US is a substantial outlier, more violent that it “should” be. But once we adjust for its specific demographic characteristics – after all, your typical American suburbia with “good schools” are no more dangerous than any European or East Asian city – the puzzle resolves itself.

Source: The Bell Curve (Charles Murray and Richard Hernnstein).

Source: The Bell Curve (Charles Murray and Richard Hernnstein).

And as Charles Murray showed, IQ is a very good predictor of criminality rates amongst US whites. Why does it work less well for the world at large? Mostly because the world at large is a great deal less homogenous, and as such several other major factors, or “multipliers,” come into play. I think there are three really big ones.

Agriculture: Agriculture was generally associated with the appearance of centralized states, which gradually usurped a monopoly on violence. There is a tenfold decrease in homicide rates between hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists (an anthropological fact recently popularized by Steven Pinker). And another tenfold decrease between early agriculturalists and advanced agriculturalists, as happened in Early Modern Europe and probably considerably earlier in China. The very first civilizations sprang up in what is now the Near East and Egypt, and through shackles, stones and scimitars, they’ve been weeding out the more individually psychopathic elements of their population for a very, very long time. These selective pressures had considerably less time to run in Africa and Latin America, before they were extinguished more or less altogether by human rights interventions (fun fact: Venezuela was the world’s first country to abolish capital punishment).

Alcohol: Crime rates were notoriously high among heavy-drinking Irish immigrants in the 19th century US, but over time they gradually sobered up and converged with the European average. Russia, and eastern Slavs in general, are a huge homicide outlier relative to the Caucasoid average. This is overwhelmingly a function of the region’s alcoholism epidemic, in particular of vodka binge drinking, which began to soar in the 1960s, peaked in the 1990s, and only began to sustainably retreat in the past decade. One estimate (Nemtsov 2003) showed that alcohol was involved in some 72% of Russian homicides. Your typical Russian homicide isn’t getting shot in the streets by some young punk, but a bunch of middle-aged dudes hacking each other to death in their vodka-soaked apartments (just read through scandalous magazine The Exile’s archived “death porn” columns from the 2000s and you’ll get the idea). Remove that, and Russia’s homicide rates become almost European. The most alcoholized Western European country is Finland, whose homicide rates are twice to two-and-a-half times as high as that of Sweden, Denmark, or Norway (all of which have far more Third World immigrants), and the same as Greece (which is far more macho, in contrast to the Finns’ more depressive, placid personalities, and is up to 0.5SD lower in IQ). Alcoholism is endemic in peoples who made the transition to modernity, or at least its accoutrements, without the interval of agriculture. Greenland has a very high homicide rate. So, too, do the northernmost Canadian provinces. In Russia, of the ten oblasts with the highest homicide rates, four are majority populated by indigenous peoples (including the top three), while another three have very substantial indigenous minorities.

Blue = boobs, red = butts. Source: Pornhub.

Blue = boobs, red = butts. Source: Pornhub.

Alphas: Latin Americans are known for their machismo. So are Africans and Arabs. The men have an acutely developed sense of jealosy, displaying an aggressively possessive attitude to women rarely seen nowadays in the West, and both the men and womenfolk respect traditional masculinity. Those who do not are despised, and are called “faggots” without the slightest trace of irony. They prefer butts over boobs, a macho/alpha/r-strategy vs. wimpy/beta/K-strategy Rorschach test if there ever one. You can see it on the roads, and you can see it in the nightclubs. That said, I would wager that as it relates to individual violence, there is a very big difference between the machismo of Latin Americans and Africans, and the machismo of Arabs. It all comes down to family types. Both Africa and Latin America are characterized by exogamous family types, while the Arabs are highly endogamous. The former is characterized by intensive competition for mates, with women enjoying a large degree of social and sexual freedom – which translates to hypergamy in practice – so there is a large payoff to being all rough and badass. In contrast, in most of the Muslim world and virtually all of the Arab world, by the logic of the endogamous community family and its institution of cousin marriage, many men already have a partner “pre-arranged,” and if not, there is not much they can do about it anyway, no matter how hard they posture. They have to act much more respectable because marriages are arranged through families.

One obvious factor I left out is the prevalence of guns. Though I am pro-gun myself, I think it is very likely that in net terms, they do increase homicide rates – after all, killing someone with a pistol is much easier than with a knife – although they might well reduce other crimes such as burglaries. But the overall effect appears to be much smaller than that of IQ, agriculture, alcohol, and alphas.

So, to return to T. Greer’s comment:

There are other factors — sociological or genetic — that need to be part of this discussion. IQ doesn’t take us the whole way.

Add in (limited historical exposure to) agriculture, (vulnerability to) alcohol, and (unrestrained) alpha males as multipliers.

Higher IQ is invariably better than low IQ. All of the high IQ regions (>100) have low homicide rates.

While Arabs are more macho than Westerners, they are restrained by their traditional family system. Islam prohibits alcohol, and the peoples of the Middle East have a longer history of agriculture than any other.

If you’re affected by just one of those three factors, you’re still basically fine.For instance, Finland is substantially more alcoholized – if to nowhere near as big an extent as Russia or Ukraine, let alone Greenlanders and Yakuts – than either the US or the rest of Western Europe. But its homicide rate is only very modestly higher than what it “should be” going just from its average IQ.

But when you start getting affected by two or more of these factors, things start getting hairy fast.

How would this theory logically pan out in various regions?

Africa: Short history of agriculture, too many alphas, low IQs. The traditional family system, which is polygamistic, just accentuates the problem, as female hypergamy and hence intense male competition is unleashed in full. Result – Very high homicide rates.

Latin America: Short history of agriculture, too many alphas, mediocre IQs. In some Latin American cities, as a man, you are as likely to die a violent death as you’d have had as a member of a constantly warring hunter-gatherer band in the Paleolithic. Result – Very high homicide rates.

Middle East: Very long history of agriculture, mediocre IQs. The Islam they currently practice bans alcohol entirely, and pretty successfully at that. While they are macho, this personality factor is neutralized by their family system (it is worth noting that Turkey and Iran, where the family system isn’t as rigidly endogamous as among the Arabs, also happen to have generally higher homicide rates despite being richer and more developed). That leaves just the low IQs. Thus, their homicide rates are substantially higher than the most civilized parts of the world, i.e. Western Europe or East Asia, but no higher than in Eastern Europe, and much lower than in Africa or Latin America.

Eastern Slavs: Respectable IQs similar to Mediterranean Europeans, as are machismo levels, but significantly less exposure to agriculture. And a lot more alcohol. So as expected, homicide rates amongst South Slavs, e.g. Serbs and West Slavs, e.g. Poles are now pretty low – almost as low as in Western Europe proper (though against that you have to adjust for them having far fewer Third World immigrants). The East Slavs and Balto-Finnish groups, however, are still in the grip of a strong if receding alcohol epidemic, so their homicide rates are considerably inflated, if to nowhere near African or Latin American levels. Even in Russia itself, homicide rates amongst ethnic Russians veer higher as you go north, where Slavic Russians admixed with Balto-Finns. The Balto-Finns were the last major European ethnic group to adopt agriculture. (While the alcohol epidemic as of today is less severity in Estonia or Latvia than in Russia, to say nothing of Finland, that is a function of their greater socio-economic progress).

Indigenous northern peoples: IQs aren’t bad, but short history of agriculture, plus alcohol. They aren’t near as macho as the above groups; children would have needed much more paternal investment to survive in the frozen north, hence too much male competition would have been an evolutionary dead end. But their alcohol epidemics tend to be so vast in scope that it really needs to be observed to be appreciated.

19th century frontier Americans: Had extremely high homicide rates. In his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker gives homicide rate figures of 50/100,000 for Abilene, Kansas, 100/100,000 for Dodge City (no wonder you want to get the hell out of it), 229/100,000 in Fort Griffin, Texas, and 1,500/100,000 (sic) in Wichita. Back then, apart from being a bit less intelligent than today (Flynn Effect), Americans were also far more alcoholic. This is little known now, but back then, the US was known as the “Alcoholic Republic,” with alcohol consumption per capita being roughly twice what it is today despite much lower incomes. The frontier towns would not only have been more alcoholized than average, but were also extremely macho, explained in theory by the high male-to-female ratio, and immemorialized by the lingering cultural legacy of the Colts and cowboys of the Wild West.

Je m’en fous de Charlie Hebdo

A couple of Islamist terrorists, the brothers Kouachi, murdered a bunch of cartoonists. Another terrorist, Coulibaly, went on a rampage. All three ended up taking hostages. Counter-terrorists win! Within minutes, everyone had become an expert on Charlie Hebdo’s work, and the typical and inevitably dreary debate began.

Some said Charlie’s cartoons were clearly, stridently Islamophobic, and that although they “of course” condemned the murders, it was understandable why they happened: Cue your standard spiel about failed integration policies, racism, discrimination, the legacy of colonialism. The apologetics sometimes reached nauseating proportions. After all, people “know the consequences” (from Anjem Chodary, so over the top Islamist that he is probably an MI5 mole), and besides, the “sin of provocation” is no less dangerous than “the sin of those who are capable of succumbing to that provocation” (Russian Council of Muftis).

Others, especially journalists, focused on the sanctity of the right to free speech. Though many papers still made sure to cover their asses by pixelating out the offending Mohammed cartoons. It was also widely noted that Charlie Hebdo were, to their credit, at least equal opportunity provocateurs, involving everyone they disliked in their scrotular and scatological fantasies:


Do you still believe in the theory of historical progress?

Equal… but some groups were nonetheless plus égaux que d’autres, at least so far as Charlie Hebdo were concerned. In 2009, the cartoonist Siné, a longtime contributor to Charlie Hebdo, joked that Sarkozy’s son, Jean, would “go a long way, that little lad” on rumors that he was planning to convert to Judaism. For any basically normal, non-SJW inclined person, this would be nothing more than a harmless observation on the Jewish talent for economic success (something that is discussed at length by our own Steve Sailer, not to mention by Jews themselves). But for Charlie and the French Establishment, including the “philosopher” Bernard-Henry Lévy, the appropriate response was to fire him and then prosecute him for anti-Semitism (he was acquitted). On another occasion, Charlie started a signature collection campaign to get the Front National banned. Clearly, their own regard for free speech was very far from absolute.

That didn’t stop the masses from pinning #JeSuisCharlie to their Twitface avatars in their millions, and joining European leaders on their so-called unity march, from which Marine Le Pen – representing about a third of the French electorate – was excluded. On the plus side, it was probably the continent’s biggest collective circlejerk since the Nuremburg rallies. A few days later, a total of 54 cases and counting were opened in France related to pro-terrorism “hate speech,” including against the comedian Dieudonné. Politicians who insisted on going against the multiculturalist dogma, such as the elder Le Pen and Orbán, found themselves castigated for political haymaking (if so what was the unity march?) and using a free speech rally to exercise free speech:

Orban told Hungarian state TV in the margins of the rally, held in support of free speech and tolerance in Europe, that the Charlie Hebdo murders should make the EU restrict access to migrants with “different cultural characteristics”.

Referring to the flow of African and Arab migrants to the EU, he said: “Economic immigration is a bad thing in Europe, it should not be seen as having any benefits, because it only brings trouble and danger to the peoples of Europe”.

“Immigration and cultural questions related to that must be discussed in a much more open, honest and straightforward manner than until now. I hope that a composed, calm analysis of the recent events will guide European leaders and Brussels towards a tough policy restricting immigration”, he added.

“While I am PM, Hungary will definitely not become an immigration destination. We don’t want to see significantly sized minorities with different cultural characteristics and backgrounds among us. We want to keep Hungary as Hungary”.

Reasonable, no? No! It’s nothing but dangerous demagoguery, and statements like Orbán’s are outright harmful. You’re placing yourself onto the same platform as Marine Le Pen, and Golden Dawn. There are other triggers. It’s failed integration policies, especially France’s citizenship concept, that are to blame. Scandinavian countries do better. “We against them” will not solve the problem.

All paraphrased from a real Twitter conversation I had with a bona fide EU think-tank person (who is otherwise a genial and intelligent fellow, not an ideologue).

(The additional irony is that Orbán isn’t really a friend to European nationalists. When they and a bunch of their American friends decided to have an identitarian conference in Budapest, the event was banned and people who turned up anyway got arrested and deported. Naturally, neither the EU nor the US State Department had much, or anything really, to say on that particular expression of Orbán’s authoritarianism).

“We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends,” said Bernard Holtrop, who survived the massacre by dint of absenteeism. Beginning to nod your head in agreement? Don’t. You missed the previous part where he identified the True Enemy: “We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and Putin. Marine Le Pen is delighted when the Islamists start shooting all over the place.”

Monsieur Holtrop is presumably too self-absorbed to consider the possibility that her primary concern might not be so much his friendship, or even his freedom of speech, but securing the future of the French people and European civilization.

Given this litany of two-faced hypocrisy and concern trolling from virtually everyone, I do not feel ashamed to proclaim:

Je m’en fous de Charlie Hebdo!

Even debates about the relative weights to be assigned to artistic merit, freedom of speech, and upkeeping civility are of secondary importance.

My own partisan bias is that Charlie Hebdo’s crude scribblings would demean a bathroom stall, but many people would disagree with my opinion and that’s fair enough. I may happen to think it would be an example of social and cultural decadence, but that by itself survivable, at least so long as the nation walls itself off demographically from more virile peoples who are generally unable or unwilling to appreciate artistic masterpieces like Piss Christ, the Paris Buttplug, or, well, Charlie Hebdo. Japan is a byword for decadence, but it’s not like it’s in any danger of foreign cultural inundation.

Moreover, since Charlie Hebdo did not forcibly impose their views on the general public – you can always, like, not buy their stuff – they should be completely immune from any “hate speech” prosecution. But I acknowledge that opinions on this matter can legitimately differ: My friend Alexander Mercouris at Sputnik News makes a solid, legally-grounded argument for why it would be legally and morally defensible for any West European nation to prosecute Charlie Hebdo, and my own objections are normative in nature, and not a little self-interested, in the sense that if interpreted sufficiently widely, I too could be potentially prosecuted in Europe, not to mention half the contributors to The Unz Review.

So… let’s start building the case?

The terrorists were Islamists, and they did have a religion: Islam. Trying to insist otherwise strikes me as being rather pathetic, like the tweed-jacketed old Marxists insisting that the Soviet Union wasn’t really Communist. How credible would it be to deny that Breivik was a European nationalist, or that the Crusaders weren’t real Christians?

As Marine Le Pen just wrote in The New York Times, the threat must be named: “France Was Attacked by Islamic Fundamentalism.” They were Islamists, and – even she shies away from making it explicit – they were also Muslims, no more and no less than the brilliant philosopher Ibn Khaldun or ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi.

Progressive outlets like The Daily Beast and Think Progress claim that we are getting it all wrong, that Muslims only account for “less than 2%” of terrorist acts in Europe and 6% in the US. Just a quick scan through the FBI link they give reveals “terrorist incidents” such as the following:

Terrorist Incidents

March 2002 – November 2002

Vandalism and Arson
Erie, Harborcreek, and Warren, Pennsylvania

(Six acts of Domestic Terrorism)

Between March 2002 and November 2002, a series of animal rights and ecoterrorism incidents occurred in Erie, Harborcreek, and Warren, Pennsylvania. On March 18, 2002, Pennsylvania State Police discovered heavy equipment used to clear trees at a construction site in Erie, Pennsylvania, spray painted with the statements “ELF, in the protection of mother earth,” and “Stop Deforestation.” On March 24, 2002, police responded to the same construction site, where a large hydraulic crane had been set on fire, causing approximately $500,000 in damage.

History of terrorist attacks in Europe. Source: The Economist.

History of terrorist attacks in western Europe. Source: The Economist.

Yes, totally comparable to 9/11.

So this is either a case of astoundingly lackadaisical research and critical thinking, or deliberate disingenuousness. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because there are other, more relevant measures – the body count (see the infographic to the right). Islamists are responsible for the overwhelming majority of terrorism-related deaths in Europe, despite Breivik’s single-handed archievements, and despite only constituting 5% of the West European population.

In her article, Marine Le Pen continues:

Yet this distinction can only be made if one is willing to identify the threat. It does our Muslim compatriots no favors to fuel suspicions and leave things unspoken. Islamist terrorism is a cancer on Islam, and Muslims themselves must fight it at our side.

This is an entirely legitimate point, as are her ensuing arguments that sorting out immigration policy is essential for victory in this struggle:

First, the dogma of the free movement of peoples and goods is so firmly entrenched among the leaders of the European Union that the very idea of border checks is deemed to be heretical. And yet, every year tons of weapons from the Balkans enter French territory unhindered and hundreds of jihadists move freely around Europe. …

Second, the massive waves of immigration, both legal and clandestine, our country has experienced for decades have prevented the implementation of a proper assimilation policy… Without a policy restricting immigration, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to fight against communalism and the rise of ways of life at odds with laïcité, France’s distinctive form of secularism, and other laws and values of the French Republic. An additional burden is mass unemployment, which is itself exacerbated by immigration.

What she wisely doesn’t mention are some of the politically incorrect but no less real factors that make Muslim integration so difficult, and as such the case for immigration control so compelling.

First and foremost must be the simple, inescapable fact that European Muslims are, on average, duller (in the IQ sense) than the native populations. Moreover, while the second generation almost always performs significantly better than the first – a natural consequence of the environmental improvements from moving from a developing country to a developed one, i.e. Flynn-on-steroids – it never converges with native scores.

Below is a table of 2009 PISA-derived IQs for 1st generation immigrants, 2nd generation immigrants, natives, and the national average. (Not all the immigrants will be Muslim, of course, but since many of the other of the other immigrants are from similarly high-IQ European nations, such as the Poles, that would if anything knock the Muslim figures down even lower). Immigration is also a hotly debated issue in the US, including in its cognitive impacts – remember the Richwine Affair? – so I give figures for the US too.

1st Gen IQ 2nd Gen IQ Native IQ National IQ
France 89.4 91.8 101.2 99.6
Germany 93.7 94.5 105.0 101.5
Italy 87.1 92.4 98.7 97.9
Netherlands 95.4 95.7 105.0 102.9
Spain 89.1 94.2 99.0 97.6
Sweden 87.6 92.1 100.8 99.3
UK 95.1 99.3 101.2 100.0
USA 97.2 96.1 100.3 99.4

Lower IQs are almost inevitably associated with higher delinquency, higher crime rates, higher unemployment, and poorer general life outcomes. It has next to nothing to do with discrimination or white privilege, and a lot to do with employers valuing competent workers over incompetent ones; next to nothing to do with cops looking for some brown person to bully, and a lot to do with brighter people being generally better at cost-benefit analyses, e.g. as to the advisability of dropping out of school, selling drugs, or stealing that shiny new iPhone.

Modern welfare states spend a lot of resources just helping the more socially (and, inevitably, biologically) disadvantaged members of their societies stand on their own two feet.

As the blogger at Those Who Can See has found out, all three of the Charlie Hebdo terrorists benefited a lot from those programs:

An old friend from their orphanage has revealed some choice bits, a near-caricature of petty Arab thugs:

‘Cherif was a loudmouth, a fighter, loved to bling out in Lacoste tracksuits and screw girls, hated the ‘Gauls’ (native French) […]  Saïd was different, non-violent, civil and well-liked, though he wasn’t crazy about ‘Gauls’ either…’

An ex-colleague of Saïd’s has also spilled to the press.  He claims the elder brother worked under him for the City of Paris trash detail, but was ‘unmanageable’ (e.g. refusing to shake hands with female colleagues), was transfered five times, then let go.

It is in reading between the lines that one figures out that his job, ‘recycling ambassador,’ was an invented make-work post of the type created to occupy (and pay) otherwise unemployable immigrants. The City of Paris, according to the article, had many such ‘ambassadors’ who went door-to-door to explain the joys of recycling to the city’s residents.  The snitch in the article says a large number were unmanageable Islamists, about which they alerted their bosses often but were rebiffed because ‘the subject was taboo.’

This anecdote may seem neither here nor there, but in the larger narrative, progressives rail endlessly that France isn’t doing enough to integrate its Arabs.  Here we have the City creating cushy do-nothing jobs for them in order to buy social peace, and the unhappy Saïd still manages to get himself fired for incompetence.  Integration failed–but who is at fault?

Peter Frost, who also writes here at The Review, assigns higher Muslim crime rates and terrorism to their more macho and “alpha” cultural upbringings, deriving as they do from regions that had not managed to suppress violence as did Europe.

Murder was increasingly punished not only by the ultimate penalty but also by exemplary forms of execution, e.g., burning at the stake, drawing and quartering, and breaking on the wheel (Carbasse, 2011, pp. 52-53). This “war on murder” reached a peak from the 16th to 18th centuries when, out of every two hundred men, one or two would end up being executed (Taccoen, 1982, p. 52). A comparable number of murderers would die either at the scene of the crime or in prison while awaiting trial (Ireland, 1987).

I am somewhat skeptical of this explanation. Civilization in the Maghreb, to say nothing of Egypt or Mesopotamia, is far older than anything in Europe north of the Mediterranean… Even if they were less effective at stamping out violence, they had a heck of a lot longer to do it. “Our empire was old before dragons stirred in Old Valyria…”

My thesis is that the roots of the deep ailments that affect most Muslim societies lie elsewhere: In their extensive rates of inbreeding, which goes all the way up to the double cousins. The latest research indicates that first cousin matings could lower offspring IQ by as much as 30 points. (It need hardly be said that this is astoundingly bad; basically, it’s a drop from normal to retardation). Now consider that 37% of Pakistani marriages in the UK are between first cousins. The rates are not dissimilar amongst most other European immigrant Muslim communities.

The institution of cousin marriage is not integral to Islam per se. To the contrary, it was likely an outshoot of Mohammed’s instructions that daughters should also get a share of the family inheritance, thus creating a perverse economic incentive to keep wealth within the family by cousin marriage. Andrey Korotayev wrote a brilliant paper on this, which I highly recommend checking out if you’re interested in the historic origins of the Muslim family type.

Extensive first cousin, including FBD, marriage can explain a lot.

It explains the emphasis on keeping women veiled and accompanied by male guardians. Since future partners are, in many cases, “prearranged,” there is absolutely no need for extracurricular dalliances. Men, too, can experience specific problems under this system… with a significant percentage of the female population “wardened off” so, where do they seek release? Not everyone has a guaranteed wife, or a high enough SMV to game non-Muslim girls. Porn satisfies many but not all. After this, only more and more unorthodox solutions are left.

It explains the “clannishness” that Peter Frost notices.

It explains the massively depressed IQs seen throughout the Muslim world, especially relative to their estimated genotypic potential. Average IQs in oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where first cousin marriage is particularly endemic, are not substantially higher than in dirt-poor sub-Saharan countries.

And because of the critical import of IQ to virtually all aspects of human behavior, it explains a whole host of other domains – crime, unemployment, etc. – in which Muslim immigrants continue to underperform.

The solution is obvious enough, right?

It might not work straight away, but if strictly enforced, it will work eventually. Cousin marriage rates will fall, as they did in southern Italy or Japan in the 20th century, though those two countries had the advantage of starting from far lower bases. IQs will rise. We will finally get some measure of integration. Multiculturalism might even stop being the byword for social dysfunction that it has become today.


Wrong. You’re forgetting IQ is a social construct. And HBD is just what the old school racists now call their racism. Cousin marriage is a venerable tradition, and you have no right to tell Muslims whom they can or cannot marry. It would insult their religious beliefs (even though they have nothing in common). Besides, gays marry, so why not first cousins? Einstein did it. And what about the Darwin-Wedgwood clan? That one example completely disproves everything!

So the second logical alternative to the HBD explanation is the cultural one: That Islam really is an innately sick culture, and all societies that follow its precepts are doomed to economic irrelevance and social retrogression. They hate us for our freedumbs!

And this is how you get neocons, Breiviks, and multi-trillion dollar foreign adventures in far off deserts.

Or maybe Muslims really are kept down by the Man. He refuses to hire them, wages war on their coreligionists, and props up oppressive dictators. Because he wants Muslim oil and answers to Jewish shitlords. Islam isn’t the problem; it’s the solution. Allahu akbar! Behead those who insult Islam!

And this is how you get Islamists, ISIS, and terrorist attack after terrorist attack.

"An act of exceptional barbarism..." "That's not what you said when you sent them to me."

Not a Charlie Hebdo cartoon, naturally. “An act of exceptional barbarism…” “That’s not what you said when you sent them to me.”

Marine Le Pen, again:

Third, French foreign policy has wandered between Scylla and Charybdis in the last few years. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s intervention in Libya, President François Hollande’s support for some Syrian fundamentalists, alliances formed with rentier states that finance jihadist fighters, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia — all are mistakes that have plunged France into serious geopolitical incoherence from which it is struggling to extricate itself.

And these guys, jihadists, are sent off with Western blessings (and money, and guns) to destabilize yet more Arab states…against those same dictators whom Islamists believe the West supports. Dictators who are usually the only power keeping those disparate, clannish states together and offering any hope of effecting lasting reform. But we better! We know from Fukuyama-via Marx-via Hegel that liberal democracy is universal, equally suited for an advanced high-IQ European or East Asian society, and a low-IQ ethnic medley where 75% of the populations wants the death penalty for apostasy.

And the resulting wars and anarchy displace more and more people, many of whom end up as immigrants on European shores.

And the cycle of invade/invite the world continues.

The way it sustains itself, one has to admit, is really quite elegant, if ultimately disastrous for everyone concerned.

Iraqis, Lybians, Syrians, and other victims of Western universalism get their countries wrecked by jihadists picked up from European banlieues and Arab street gutters, sometimes in conjunction with American bombs. The European peoples get to be enriched by more and more diversity in an offer they can’t refuse. The American taxpayer gets to pick up the tab.

But at least the American gets to walk away from the whole mess. La Raza Cósmica sure beats Eurabia.

Genetics, IQ, and Convergence

In a new paper at the (conveniently open) journal The Winnower (h/t @whyvert), building on his earlier work, geneticist Davide Piffer has tried to calculate the genotypic IQs of various world populations, and how they compare to measured phenotypic IQ:

Piffer, David – Estimating the genotypic intelligence of populations and assessing the impact of socioeconomic factors and migrations.

Here is the abstract:

Factor analysis of allele frequencies was used to identify signals of polygenic selection on human intelligence. Four SNPs which reached genome-wide significance in previous meta-analyses were used. Allele frequencies for 26 population were obtained from 1000 Genomes. The resulting factor scores were highly correlated to average national IQ (r=0.92). A regression of IQs on genetic factor scores of developed countries was used to estimate the predicted genotypic IQs of developing countries. The residuals (difference between predicted and actual scores) were negatively correlated to per capita GDP and Human Development Index, implying that countries with low socioeconomic conditions have not yet reached their full intellectual potential.

As far I can see, the methodology is sound (perhaps apart from a few quibbles over phenotypic IQ sources). But this is exceedingly minor, and doesn’t really change anything in a material way. So I will focus here mostly on the real world impacts these findings would imply.

As one might expect, there is a gap – usually a very significant one – between calculated genotypic and measured phenotypic IQ in developing countries. This is only logical, since developing countries frequently suffer from a variety of maladies, such as malnutrition and parasitic disease load, that are almost entirely absent in the First World. These maladies have a negative impact on IQ. (To a very large extent this also explains the Flynn Effect of secular rises in IQ in the developed world. Effectively, developing nations may be considered as living in the the First World’s past).

Not good for IQ.

Not good for IQ.

Below is a table showing measured IQ in developed countries and predicted IQ from the paper.

IQ developed countries Predicted (G.wich) IQ
Vietnam 105.9
HanChineseBejing 105 104.3
HanChineseSouth 105 103.6
Japanese 105 103
Chinese Dai 102.7
British 100 100
UtahWhites 99 99.3
Finns 101 99
Spanish 97 98.1
TuscanItaly 99 97.9
Gujarati Ind. Tx 97.1
Mexican LA 95.1
Indian Telegu UK 95
Punjabi Pakistan 94.9
Puerto Rican 93.5
Colombian 92.5
Bengali Banglade 91.4
Peruvian 91
SriLankanUK 88.7
US Blacks 85 84
Mende Sierra Leo 83.7
Afr.Car.Barbados 83.6
Esan Nigeria 82.1
Gambian 82.1
Yoruba 82
Luhya Kenya 81.4

And here is another table, displaying, for peoples in developing nations, predicted IQ (relative to the standard “Greenwich mean” of 100 for the UK); 100 in the UK); the difference between the predicted and the measured IQ; and GDP per capita in purchasing power terms. They are arranged in order of the size of the phenotypic/genotypic difference.

Predicted (G.wich) IQ “Pseudoresiduals” (Predicted minus measured IQ) GDP per capita PPP (2010-2013) HDI (2012)
Gambian 82.1 20.1 1613 0.438
Mende Sierra Leo 83.7 19.7 1432 0.368
Esan Nigeria 82.1 11.1 5303 0.5
Yoruba 82 11 5303 0.5
Punjabi Pakistan 94.9 10.9 4353 0.535
Bengali Banglade 91.4 10.4 2679 0.554
Puerto Rican 93.5 10 34183
SriLankanUK 88.7 9.7 0.745
Colombian 92.5 9 11540 0.708
Luhya Kenya 81.4 7.4 2626 0.531
Mexican LA 95.1 7.1 15813 0.755
Vietnam 105.9 6.5 4851 0.635
Peruvian 91 6 10756 0.734
Afr.Car.Barbados 83.6 0.6 15324
HanChineseBejing 104.3 -0.7 10485 0.715
HanChineseSouth 103.6 -1.4 10485 0.715
Gujarati Ind. Tx 97.1
Indian Telegu UK 95

Some observations we can consequently make:

Africa: The biggest gaps are all in West Africa. Not only is the region grindingly poor, but it also has perhaps the world’s most acute parasitic disease load, thanks to the hot, humid equatorial climate and low-lying, swampy geography (which the region’s disorganized and resource-pool governments are unable to mitigate) . The gap is lower in Kenya, which as a hilly country can be expected to have a lower parasitic disease load, and non-existent amongst Afro-Caribbean Barbadians, who live in a relatively prosperous country (likely in large part thanks to its “smart fraction”) with one of the most salubrious climates on the planet. On average, it appears that their phenotypic IQ is ~high 60s and their genotypic IQ is ~low 80s. US Black IQ is given as 85, but bear in mind that they have 20% admixture with Caucasoids. (Though on the other hand, US Blacks do slightly better according to PISA, at ~88. If this figure is substituted for in the calculations, then the genotypic estimate for Africans would also rise, though not by very much). Either way, there is thus very substantial room for improvement, but even were that to happen, the overall outlook for self-sustained African convergence to developed world living standards would remain grim.

Latin America: Has a phenotypic IQ of ~mid 80s and genotypic IQ of ~low 90s. As expected, the gap is smaller than in Africa or India (Latin American countries are after all far more socially developed than in West Africa or India, albeit one should should treat straight GDP per capita figures with caution due to the massive levels of inequality). In the developed US, it is basically non-existent, what with Latinos scoring ~low 90s in the PISA tests. The big gap seen in Puerto Rico is intriguing, considering that its close economic ties with the US has allowed it to have a very high GDP per capita relative to its IQ, so lack of money can’t be a limiting factor. But in general, Latin America is already pretty much “where it should be” in terms of prosperity as implied by its level of human capital.

South Asia: Has a phenotypic IQ of ~low 80s and genotypic IQ of ~low to mid 90s. The gap is much bigger than for Latin America, – indeed, comparable to West Africa’s – which is perhaps explainable by dint of India’s greater parasitic disease load, high rates of malnutrition (which is perhaps even higher than in Sub-Saharan Africa), and, in the case of the Punjabis and Bengalis, a strong tradition of FBD marriage, which has very strong negative effects on IQ [AK edit: See also Razib’s comment]. But on the whole, this is positive news. Countries with an average IQ of ~95 include Romania, Greece, Turkey, and Israel (!). If the South Asian continent could successfully resolve its malnutrition, parasitic disease load, and inbreeding issues – admittedly, no small challenge – then it could well expect to eventually rise close to southern European living standards.

Vietnam: Phenotypic IQ of 99, versus a genotypic IQ of 106. Certainly a major surprise, considering it is even higher than China. The gap is substantial, but smaller than in India or Africa. This is not surprising, since although Vietnam has the GDP per capita (PPP) of India, it is led by conscientious Communists and is much better off in terms of social development and nutrition (e.g. meat consumption per person is equivalent to that of neighboring, much richer countries). This makes its excellent performance in PISA 2012, which I wrote about in my introductory post on this site, much easier to explain. Consequently, it would also be a strike against Ron Unz’s theory of the East Asian Exception (i.e. that East Asian IQs are very resilient to negative socio-economic and environmental factors). There would still be a substantial gap between Vietnamese genotypic and phenotypic IQ; it’s just that the former are so phenomenally high that the latter can’t help but be very high as well, since Vietnam is at least in terms of social provision no longer a truly Third World country.

China: No gap. Phenotypic IQ (~105) actually higher than genotypic (~104), which is very unusual for a developing country. Here, however, I must stress two things. First of all, with a GDP per capita (PPP) of $12,000, China has already substantially passed the point at which wealth or the absence of it is a significant limiting factor to realizing genotypic IQ potential. Consult this post where I go into this in greater detail in my debate with Ron Unz. Second, I believe that 105 is, at least today, a substantial overstatement of Chinese IQ. My own estimate based on declassified PISA data is 102.5. So that’s already a gap, even if a very small one. But note also that Asian-Americans scored ~107 in PISA 2009, and Asian-Americans in the US include relatively lower IQ Thais, Filipinos, etc. If we set that as the genotypic IQ of the Han people, then there is still very substantial room for further improvement (with the consequence that the Flynn Effect really does apply very much to East Asians too).

Regardless, short of them embarking on some new Maoist adventure, or getting flooded off the world map by runaway global warming, or getting nuked, or some other similarly apocalyptic scenario, China’s and Vietnam’s convergence to at least Japan’s level is all but certain in the long run.