29 May 2018

Diversity Means Difference: The Case of Africa

(Part II of two.)

We recently showed how progressives are trying to re-colonize Africa through the back door. Tony Blair, Bob Geldof and their merry band have come out with another 'Report on Africa,' detailing the thousand and one ways in which they feel Africans are incapable of governing themselves, and asking the West to pass the hat once again:

'African poverty and stagnation is the greatest tragedy of our time. Poverty on such a scale demands a forceful response. … Africa requires a comprehensive ‘big push’ on many fronts at once.  
'Investing for economic growth means rebuilding African health and education systems, many of which are now on the point of collapse.'

Today, the question is why? Why, after 60 years of independence, is Sub-Saharan Africa still having such a devilishly hard time governing itself?

Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma puts it bluntly: 'There Are No Successful Black Nations':

Nigeria, the most populous black nation on Earth, is on the brink of collapse.  A culture of incompetence, endemic corruption, dignified ineptitude, and, chief among all, destructive selfishness and greed has played a major role in its unravelling. The same, sadly, can be said for most other African nations.  … As long as we continue to ignore our own self-assessment and soul-searching, we will remain the undignified race. 

A harsh assessment. But he joins a chorus of Africans who are expressing growing disappointment with 50 years of self-rule. 

This growing exasperation is understandable. But how can we solve a problem without identifying its source? Today, we shall try to go to the heart of the question.

Why, two generations after independence, is Africa still in such dire straits?

I. Why Does Africa Struggle?

The main answer, as we've examined before, is that Africa lacks enough of the two qualities that make desirable societies: future orientation and commonweal orientation.

1) Lower Future orientation

Future orientation, also known as low time preferencetime discounting, or delayed gratification, is simply the ability to plan ahead and delay present gratification for future rewards. Its lack can lead to societies which struggle to function at a first-world level.

Each day, the Kung San walked long distances to the mongongo groves to collect their fruits.  
He asked a tribesman why nobody had ever made an attempt to grow mongongo trees near some of the water holes where the tribe resided.  "You could do that if you wanted to," he replied, "but by the time the trees bore fruit, you would be long dead." 
--Anthropologist Richard Lee

a) Sense of Time: Anecdotes

For centuries, observers have felt that Africans' sense of time differed from others'. Navy lieutenant John Matthews (1788) on Sierra Leone: 
The disposition of the natives is nearly the same every where, extremely indolent, unless excited by revenge.

Commissionner Charles Eliot (1905) on his British East Africa Protectorate charges:
They are dominated by the transient emotion or impulse of the moment, and neither remember what has preceded, nor look forward to what is likely to follow. On the whole, this is a happy and cheerful cast of mind; the African suffers little from the pangs of remorse or apprehension, and is always ready to be pleased by any agreeable trifle.

Africans themselves lament their blasé attitude towards time. Nigerian blogger Kurtis Smith sums up:
Nothing is safe from African Time. I have been to weddings that started up to three hours later than the advertised time. ... With this tradition, everything in the continent is always running behind schedule. 
For Africa to develop, our ideology on time has to change. ... This thinking keeps Africa as one of the world’s poorest regions.

Agyenim Boateng, Ghanian commentator:
Yes, Africans are capable of keeping time. A "red hot stove" approach is needed to arrest this bad attitude. Africans in the Diaspora learn to keep the time. We show up at work or appointments on time, because there is a price to pay for tardiness. Africans have a saying, "Africans do not wait for time, rather, time waits for Africans". Time is money, and we are paying a heavy price for our tardiness.

Gedeliah Braun, who taught philosophy in South Africa for years, came to a curious conclusion:
It was only after living amongst blacks for nearly twenty-five years that I discovered a most important fact. Put simply: blacks lack a full-blooded concept of time. It seems evident that if any African language contains a concept of time it will be in an extremely diminished form, and similarly with respect to the future.

People who have difficulty in thinking of things which do not exist, will ipso facto have difficulty thinking of the future.  It appears that the Zulu [dictionary] entry for future – isikhati – is the same word as the word for time, as well as the word for space. In other words, none of these concepts exist in Zulu thought, period. It also appears that there is no word for the past –  ... people who have difficulty in thinking of things which do not exist will have difficulty in thinking of the past as well as the future.

So many of Africa's problems come from this seeming inability to plan ahead. Railways, ports, and roads left by the colonizers are, as we saw last time, crumbling due to lack of maintenance. 

From distant rural villages right up to the Parliament, Africans' lack of planning for the future has put their infrastructure--and thus their economies--in dire straits.

But how to measure such a thing? Having heard some anecdotes on the subject, let us turn to the numbers.

b) Sense of Time: Studies

There is a paucity of such studies conducted on Africans themselves, but luckily their large diaspora in the West has participated in many. Given the remarkable durability of their character traits even centuries after having left Africa, these studies can no doubt tell us something concrete about African time preference.

In Richard Lynn's analysis of the question, he states:
The first study to demonstrate differences between blacks and whites in the delay of gratification was carried out by W. Mischel in Trinidad in the late 1950s. He offered black and white children the choice between a small candy bar now or a larger one in a week. He found black children were much more likely to ask for the small candy bar now.

These results were replicated in a multi-ethnic context:

Of course, time preference can be guessed at in many ways.  Studies have shown, for example, that Afro-Americans are less inclined than other ethnic groups to

c) Mathematical Ability: tests and studies

Interestingly, future orientation has also been strongly linked to mathematical ability:  

  • Benjamin et al. (2006) showed a correlation between time preference and math ability in high schoolers.  
  • Frederick (2005) did the same, but in college students.  
  • Mischel et al. (1994) did a long-term follow-up on the 'marshmallow test kids' showing those who'd delayed gratification scored much higher on math SATs ten years later.  

It would seem, then, that one way to possibly gauge future orientation is via standardized mathematics tests.

No Sub-Saharan African countries have been able to organize participation in the international PISA exam, but we can see results of the African diaspora in the U.S.:

We can also see the Afro-American diaspora's results on U.S.-run standardized testing, called 'NAEP':

Is future orientation indeed linked to both gratification delay and mathematical ability? 

The data above seem to show that there could, indeed, be correlation between these traits, which would go a long way towards explaining Africans' struggles with organizing and planning ahead.

2) Lower Commonweal orientation

We have seen that low future-orientation has handicapped Africa. But a second key trait shapes the kind of societies we create—commonweal orientation. What is it, and why does Africa seem to have so little of it?

a) Out-group trust: Anecdotes

For those of us born in high-trust societies, it may come as a surprise that low commonweal orientation, also known as low trust, clannishness, or amoral familialism, is anything but rare--globally, it is not the exception but the rule.

Steve Sailer quotes Iranians Firoozeh Dumas and Dayi Hamid on the Persian concept of 'zerangi':
When we first came to America in 1972, my father was amazed at the way Americans waited in line at Disneyland. No complaints, no cutting. In Iran, we have zerangi, a concept that loosely means “cleverness.”  

... Most, if not all the time in Iranian culture and society, a zerang person is seen in a positive light ... For example, a person who knows how the American legal system works and is able to work it to his or her advantage is zerang. A person who is resourceful in business and has made something of himself is zerang. ... It does not stop here; a person who is able to wittingly cheat people, companies, businesses, governments of money is zerang and an idol for many Iranians. ...We Iranians, although outwardly criticize corruption, internally glorify it and wish to master it.

In stark contrast to the above, NW Europeans--and first and foremost the English--are famous for their notion of 'fair-play'. Salvador de Madariaga, in his Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards (1929):
The English are the teachers of the world, in their cordial and sincere obedience to the restrictions which they impose upon each individual for the good of the whole.
Each Englishman is his own regulator. ... The need of outside safeguards or guarantees of any kind is therefore less urgently felt than in other countries. ... it owes much also to that instinct for co-operation, that objectivity, that absence of self-seeking, of vanity and of personal passion which are typical of the whole race. 

Or see Francis Fukuyama on the Japanese: 
Consensus comes about relatively easily in Japan. ... Networks based on reciprocal moral obligation have ramified throughout the Japanese economy because the degree of generalized trust possible among unrelated people is extraordinarily high. ... Something in Japanese culture makes it very easy for one person to incur a reciprocal obligation to another and to maintain this sense of obligation over extended periods of time.

We saw last time that this type of low-trust society leads to massive corruption, in which Africans are world champions (in a very crowded field).

'Since independence in Africa, government has been seen as the personal fiefdom a leader uses to accumulate wealth for himself, his family, his clan. He cannot be subjected to criticism by anyone, and everything he says is final.' --Kenyan human-rights activist Makau Wa Mutua

But how can this lack of out-group trust be measured?

b) Out-group trust: Numbers

It is tricky to gauge commonweal orientation in numbers. Self-reporting surveys are generally used, such as Transparency International's Perceived Corruption Index, the  World Economic Forum's survey of businessmen, the legendary World Values Survey, or the work of cross-cultural values researchers such as Geert HofstedeRobert HouseShalom Schwartz, or Fons Trompenaars.

As the World Values Survey has released its 2014 data wave, we've looked at the responses to see if commonweal levels in Africa can be gauged compared to other countries. 

(Note: Country clusters are NordicGermanicAngloMediterraneanEastern EuropeEast Asia, Latin America, Muslim Middle EastSouth AsiaS.S. Africa)

(click images to enlarge)

General trust level

As a tentative proxy for general trust, we took two questions.
  • "Do you think most people would try to take advantage of you if they got a chance, or would they try to be fair?" (WVS)  (1-10 where 1 = "people would take advantage," 10 = "people would try to be fair" -->; Respondents who said "1" only)
  • "How much do you trust people you meet for the first time?"  (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = completely, 4 = not at all -->; Respondents who said "4" only)

Corruption vs. Familism
  • Transparency International Survey Perceived Corruption Index (1-10 where 1 = very corrupt, 10 = very clean -->; entire spectrum shown)
  • "One of my main goals in life has been to make my parents proud." (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = agree strongly, 4 = disagree strongly -->; Respondents who said "1" only)

Data source:  Familism, Corruption

A country may be high in future orientation but low in trust (like Russia), or high in trust but low in future orientation (like Saudi Arabia), but it appears that no country which scores low in both can run a well-functioning modern society.

Having seen the key traits that make African self-governance so tricky, let us now explore their source.

II. Origin of Africa's Struggles: Nature and Nurture

What could be the deep source of  these differences? Can we do anything to change them?

1) Ancient tropical climate

Environment acts on genes, then our genes push us to act on the environment, in an endless feedback loop.  One example is our ancient climate.

Did our ancestors' environments determine our propensity to plan ahead? (Image Sources)

Different theories on this have been put forward by scientists. Most well-known is Richard Lynn's '
Cold Winters theory', which was taken up by Edward Miller as 'Parental Investment':
In cold climates males were selected for provisioning, rather than for mating success. In warm climates, where female gathering made male provisioning unessential, selection was for mating success. Male hunted meat was essential for female winter survival. Genes that encouraged mating success were selected for in warm climates. 
Negroids (blacks) evolved in warm climates, while Caucasians (whites) and Mongoloids (Asians) evolved in colder climates. Mating is assisted by a strong sex drive, aggression, dominance, sociability, extraversion, impulsiveness, sensation seeking, and high testosterone. Provisioning is assisted by anxiety, altruism, empathy, behavioral restraint, gratification delay, and a long life span.

Intelligence research has led to the the R-k selection theory, originally used to talk about the animal kingdom, but appropriated by the  late J. Philippe Rushton to chart Asian-European-African biological differences:
According to Rushton’s theory, [...]  Blacks tend to be more ‘r’, having smaller brains and more offspring but investing less emotionally and otherwise in each of them while East Asians are more ‘K.'  They have larger brains and fewer children but invest more in them.  Whites come somewhere in between. Such characteristics, and those associated with them such as intelligence, taken in the mass, have profound effects on the kinds of societies these racial groups produce.

Why did northern peoples become more 'K' ?

Thanks to the challenge of dealing with the colder winters and scarcer food supply of Europe and North East Asia, the Oriental and White races moved away from an r-strategy towards the K-strategy. (Race, Evolution and Behaviour p 89).

Washington Post journalist Keith Richburg, during his years zig-zagging Africa, was able to pin down Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni on this point:

Richburg, Museveni
Why, I asked him, had East Asia developed so rapidly and not Africa?

"Discipline," he said at last. "The discipline of the Asians compared to the Africans." He paused. "I tend to find more discipline among the Asians [in Uganda] than among the Africans. [...] People who come from an area with a big population, where people are very many and therefore competing for natural resources, may tend to be more disciplined than people who take life for granted.  Scarcity of resources instills discipline in a people," he concluded. 

Another point to remember about a tropical climate is the heavy parasite load it carries--and studies have shown that this can severely depress cognitive ability.

2) Economic System—Hoe vs. Plow

In addition to our long-ago climates, there is also the question of how our economic systems led us down certain evolutionary paths. The long-standing question of 'hoe vs. plow' may hold a key.

Steve Sailer explains the findings of a paper from Alesina et al.:

The subject of the paper is gender roles in the modern world: today, all else being equal, women from old plow cultures are less likely to be employed outside the house than women from hoe cultures, just as women do most of the agricultural work in hoe cultures like sub-Saharan Africa and New Guinea. 
But the obvious thing that jumps out at you from the map is the high correlation between plowing and level of civilizational accomplishment (at least as measured in impressive ruins and buildings). The Taj Mahal, for example, is found in a plow culture. The ancient and medieval churches of plowing Ethiopia are a lot more impressive than the big pile of loose rocks that is the chief monument of Zimbabwe.
Of course, one causal connection between gender roles and civilizational accomplishment is that you can get more done if men work harder, as they tend to do in plow cultures. We don't think about that today, because we're supposed to think that the big issue is: "Why don't those evil men let women work?" In Africa, however, feminist organizations complain about the opposite problem: How do we get men to do more of the work?

Cochran and Harpending flesh out the theory of 'cad' and 'dad' societies: 
Among low density gardeners [hoe farming], the typical pattern is that most of the gardening work is done by women, freeing men from subsistence responsibilities. Boserup calls these “female farming systems,” a euphemism for societies where men live off women. Freed from domestic responsibility, men can occupy their time decorating themselves and planning the next raid.  ...  There is an unsettling parallel with the "dad" males of the working class in contemporary industrial societies and the "cad" males of the underclass.
Whenever paternal investment decreases, paternal genetic quality becomes relatively more important. The 7R allele may facilitate risky “show-off” behaviors that exhibit good genes: "cad" societies are characterized by male posturing and machismo, “protest masculinity” in an older terminology. Most obviously, energetic unpredictable adult males may enjoy a competitive advantage in the face-to-face male competition and violence that characterize these groups.

In addition to the question of climate and economic system, there is that of family patterns.

3) Family Formation

Peter Frost brings up the factor of polygamy:

The polygyny rate varies considerably among human populations, being highest (20 to 40% of all sexual unions) in the agricultural societies of sub-Saharan Africa and Papua-New Guinea.  
In my last post, I noted that high-polygyny societies remain simple in large part because intense sexual competition keeps them from evolving into more complex entities. The surplus males stir up endless conflict, if only because war provides them with access to women, i.e., through rape and abduction. There can never be pacification and, therefore, the formation of larger, more advanced societies.

From a Canadian study on polygamy:
In cultures that permit men to take multiple wives, the intra-sexual competition that occurs causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in societies that institutionalize and practice monogamous marriage.  
According to Henrich, monogamy's main cultural evolutionary advantage over polygyny is the more egalitarian distribution of women, which reduces male competition and social problems. By shifting male efforts from seeking wives to paternal investment, institutionalized monogamy increases long-term planning, economic productivity, savings and child investment, the study finds.
Monogamous marriage has largely preceded democracy and voting rights for women in the nations where it has been institutionalized, says Henrich, [...] By decreasing competition for younger and younger brides, monogamous marriage increases the age of first marriage for females, decreases the spousal age gap and elevates female influence in household decisions which decreases total fertility and increases gender equality.

A tropical climate of abundance, hoes vs. plows, widespread polygamy... Africa's environment and social structure could explain the roots of many of her behavioral peculiarities. But what do things look like at the genetic level?

III. Origin of Africa's Struggle: Genetic Difference?
The notion that ethnic groups may be genetically predisposed to certain traits has in our day become heretical. Publishing such facts has led academics to be hassled by the police
and icons of science to be shunned from polite society.

The faddish term given to such ideas is 'white supremacist.' It's a curious epithet, however, as one can't admit that there are cognitive differences between ethnies without admitting that Whites are not, in fact, at the top of the heap.

We thus invite our readers on a quick detour to refresh us on some simple realities. 

1) Reminder of some Race Realities

Any honest Euro race realist admits, for example, the following:

a) East Asians out-perform

East Asians consistently out-rank ethnic Euros on a variety of measures, both in their own countries and in ours.

Their children are better-behaved in school:

They commit less violent and property crime than Euros:

(Source: 'Color of Crime')

They score higher on standardized tests, especially on math skills. This is true in grade school...

...as well as on college entrance exams:

The SAT math scores are especially interesting broken down by tranche. Asians dominate the highest brackets:

Their household income is also higher than Whites':

And they are more likely to hold a college degree than their ethnic-Euro hosts:

But East Asians aren't the only group that scores higher on many life indicators than Euros.

b) Ashkenazi Jews out-perform

Another group that out-ranks Euros consistently are Ashkenazi Jews. 

Are they really, genetically speaking, their own ethnic group? Research says yes (of half Middle Eastern, half South European origin). From the Jewish Daily Forward:
In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature. ... Jews are a homogeneous group with all the scientific trappings of what we used to call a “race.” 
Many liberal Jews maintain, at least in public, that the plethora of Jewish lawyers, doctors and comedians is the product of our cultural heritage, but the science tells a more complex story. Jewish success is a product of Jewish genes as much as of Jewish moms.

(Israeli authorities have even floated the idea of a DNA test to establish who does or doesn't belong.)

Ashkenazim are known to have the highest measured IQ of any human group. From sociologist Charles Murray, via Peter Frost:
From 1870 to 1950, Jewish representation in literature was four times the number one would expect. In music, five times. In the visual arts, five times. In biology, eight times. In chemistry, six times. In physics, nine times. In mathematics, twelve times. In philosophy, fourteen times.

History, Anthropology, Physics

Here are just a few of the areas in which they excel in widely disproportionate numbers. 

Intellectual achievement:

Wealth accumulation:

Presence at the upper echelons of government:

Admission to top colleges:

Why have we taken this brief detour? To remember the larger context: that ethnic Euros are, at some levels, themselves inferior to other groups. 

So let us now open ourselves to the possibility that Sub-Saharan Africans have in some ways been dealt an unfair genetic hand.

2) Genetic Differences in Africans?

Science is showing us more and more the ways that genes can affect  health outcomes for certain ethnic groups but not others. The Ashkenazis mentioned above, for example, are vulnerable to a host of diseases by virtue of their genetic profile-- such as Tay-Sachs, Canavan, Niemann-Pick, Gaucher, Familial Dysautonomia, Bloom Syndrome, Fanconi anemia, and Cystic Fibrosis.

People of S.S. African descent, we're now discovering, may have genetic particularities making them more susceptible to kidney disease, head and neck cancer, tuberculosis, AIDS, hypertension, and obesity.

Genetic science is rocketing ahead faster than we realize, making new breakthroughs every day:
Intelligence could be measured with a swab of saliva, or drop of blood, after scientists showed for the first time that a person’s IQ can be predicted just by studying their DNA.

Genetic science is already showing that our DNA is partly responsible not only for our  intelligence, but also our future orientation, 'Big Five' personality traits, empathy, anxiety, violent tendencies, obeying the rules, political views, individualism, and laziness. (Phew!)

There is every reason to believe that eventually, intensity of these traits will be shown to differ among ethnic groups.

JayMan has marshaled some of the evidence on the links between our brain functioning and the kind of societies we create:

·        The “Warrior Gene”, monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A): This gene is known to be associated with a host of anti-social behaviors, and varies considerably around the word. Certain variants of this gene were found to be quite prevalent among the Maori of New Zealand.

·        The aforementioned DRD4 gene, which Greg Cochran and Henry Harpending discuss in The 10,000 Year Explosion (p. 112):
The 7R (for 7-repeat) allele of the DRD4 (dopamine receptor D4) gene. It is associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a behavioral syndrome best characterized by actions that annoy elementary school teachers: restless-impulsive behavior, inattention, distractibility, and the like. The polymorphism is found at varying but significant levels in many parts of the world, but is almost totally absent from East Asia. 
Attention deficit—differs by race?

·         About that DRD4 gene, the presence of longer copies of the gene are found to vary across the world, and is found to increase as migratory distance from Africa increases.

·         Additionally, a new study also using the Add Health data found that the 2-repeat version of the aforementioned warrior gene, MAO-A, is significantly associated with antisocial behavior and the likelihood of criminality in Black males. This allele is found in 5% of Black males, but is very rare (0.1%) in White males.

In the interest of science, then, we must remain open to the possibility that some of the behavior differences between ethnic groups do have a partly genetic origin.

*     *     *

But the very notion remains taboo. James Watson, the 'father of DNA,' was forced into early retirement for his  2007 remarks on African intelligence ("...all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really").

His words raised a firestorm of protest. But Nigerian journalist Idang Alibi wasn't offended--on the contrary:
Why are we blacks becoming so reactive, so sensitive to any remarks, no matter how well-meaning, about our failure as a race?  ...  I do not know what constitutes intelligence. I leave that to our so-called scholars. But I do know that in terms of organising society for the benefit of the people living in it, we blacks have not shown any intelligence in that direction at all. 
... Let somebody please tell me whether it is a manifestation of intelligence if a people cannot organise a free, fair and credible election to choose who will lead them. Is it intelligence that we cannot provide simple pipe-borne water for the people? Our public school system has virtually collapsed. Is that a sign of intelligence?

Our roads are impassable. In spite of the numerous sources that nature has made available to us to tap for energy to run our industries and homes, we have no steady supply of electricity.  ...  Why must it be us blacks who must always suffer poor leadership? Is that not a manifestation of unintelligence?  
We should go on our knees today and ask God why we do not appear as intelligent as our other brothers.

A harsh assessment, but his frustration is understandable. Colonialism's end had brought high hopes to Africa. As self-rule now rumbles through its sixth decade, many of those hopes are foundering:

It is not surprising, then, that progressives are working so hard to re-colonize Africa by the back door, and in the absence of that, calling on 1 billion Africans to come to the West to be once again governed by Whites.

For progressives, Africans were so uniquely wounded by colonialism that they'll never be able to rule themselves without help. For conservatives, African countries just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and they'll all turn into Swedens and Germanys.

Both are wrong. 

If part of Africans' problem is in fact genetic, then the compassionate position to take is another one entirely: One cannot expect us to do what Mother Nature has not equipped us to. Small, rural polities are quite manageable for Sub-Saharan Africans, but large anonymous nation-states are not—not yet.

Yesterday's black leaders had no trouble admitting this—W.E.B. DuBois
in 1897 said as much:
Manifestly some of the great races of today–particularly the Negro race–have not as yet given to civilization the full spiritual message which they are capable of giving. [...] We are Negroes, members of a vast historic race that from the very dawn of creation has slept, but half awakening in the dark forests of its African fatherland.

Today, 120 years later,  Africa gets so much outside help in the form of trade advantages, concessions, foreign aid, private charity, loans, grants, and military assistance, that the continent may still be said to be in a  de facto state of receivership.

After all this time, Westerners need to grow up and admit the possibility that Africans may not be able to create and maintain first-world societies on their own. 

What then? Instead of wringing hands and pointing fingers, why not adjust expectations? Give other African nations a fighting chance to approximate the success of a country like Botswana?

  • Accept that outside help will be needed, perhaps in perpetuity
  • Help them to re-draw borders in a more sensible way, respecting ethnic and religious differences.
  • Refuse to participate in fatal brain drain; stop inviting their intellectual elites to immigrate to the West.
  • Refuse to let Africans posing as 'refugees' into Europe; oblige them to stay home and hold their leaders accountable.

Diversity means difference. 

In Sub-Saharan Africa's case, that difference means lower levels of (1) future planning and (2) out-group trust--which may, we are forced to admit, be partly genetic in origin.

Uncomfortable as this truth may be, it is the first step on the path to finding realistic, humane solutions to the problems that continue to plague the dark continent.

Thank you for reading.



Anonymous said...

Africa will never be a first world country. Why? It is filled with Africans. Want to make a 1st world country? We could. We must empty the country of Africans and replace the population with Whites. Whites would have a 1st world country up and running in no time. See, its easy.

Mr. Rational said...

That experiment has already been run, Anonymous Coward.  Twice.  They were called Rhodesia and South Africa.  The former is now the joke called Zimbabwe and the latter is rapidly becoming one.  But while they were run by Whites, they functioned as first-world countries.

The Chinese are buying up African farmland to feed their huge population.  It's a sure bet that the Chinese areas will be first-world as well.

Recusant said...

Well done, but, as ever, I feel you may be shouting into the wind.

One point. On your '1b' entry on the marshmallow test, there is current research to show that the presence or absence of a father has a very strong influence. I realise that may be a distinction without a difference, given the absent father rates in black societies.

M.G. said...

Anon 9:47--

"We must empty the country of Africans and replace the population with Whites."

If you're looking for Hitler-style lebensraum fantasizing, you've come to the wrong place. No one here promotes or even entertains the idea of ethnic cleansing any area of the globe; such a suggestion is absurd. We're here to talk pragmatic and morally defensible international policy.

As for the age of empire, I don't think there's much of a stomach today for de jure re-colonizing Africa, certainly not on the right. On the left there is, but as shown in our previous piece, it's by (1) keeping Africa in an eternal state of receivership (aid-dependant, etc.) or by (2) reverse colonizing, that is inviting as many Africans as possible into Western countries to be governed by Whites here instead of there.

Neither gives a long-term sustainable path to anything resembling competent self-government in Africa.

In any case, as Mr. Rational rightly points out, China is already well on the way to de facto colonizing large chunks of the continent. As they've so far shown themselves to be pitiless with minorities in their own country, I'm not sure if many Africans realize what a double-edged sword this all could turn out to be.

M.G. said...


Indeed, this whole blog's raison d'être is shouting into the wind. Luckily I like uphill climbs! I publish hoping even one person who realizes he's in a fog of indoctrination comes in and stumbles upon some data that can help him make sense of the Dark Age we're living in.

Re: The research on absence of fathers having influence on future orientation--do you have a link? That sounds very interesting, and I'd like to maybe add it to the blog post.

The absence of fathers is a whole other fascinating question, as I think it's been shown to cause terrible life outcomes across all ethnic groups. But why is it so astronomically high among Blacks? It's as though in the absence of strong external constraints, they tend to fall into this pattern quickly. (Here's a graph showing 2-parent black families back to 1880--a whole different world). I wish I knew more about African family structure to make better parallels.

Recusant said...


I got it from a Steve Sailer post:


Recusant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

On the absence of fathers:

As with other behavioral traits, genetic predispositions contribute to this trait.. What makes a woman chose an absentee man as father of her children? The poor outcome of fatherless children correlates with fatherlessness. What is the evidence for a casual link?

I have no data at hand, but fatherless children of widows cluster with children with fathers in their outcomes, not with fatherless children by absenteeism or divorce IIRC.

M.G. said...


OK thanks, I found the bit about fathers:

Absence of the father was prevalent in the African-descent group but occurred only once in the East Indian group, and this variable showed the strongest link to delay of gratification, with children from intact families showing superior ability to delay.

It's a tricky question, since in the study most African kids had no dad, and almost all Asian kids did have dads. It would be good to see a proper control group, i.e. both an African and an Asian group with 50% dads / 50% no dads. Still an interesting factor to consider.

M.G. said...

Anon 6:49--

Exactly, where is the chicken and where is the egg? It does seem that the same tendendcies which lead a woman to pick a deadbeat for a partner (and that deadbeat's DNA) go a long way to explaining why the kid has high time preference.

It's an interesting question, as the subject of fatherless boys is coming up more and more lately in popular discussion, I've even seen it in reference to this spate of school shooters. I'll be looking for some more hard data on the question.

Lucas Temple (a.k.a. Armenia4ever) said...

What I rather enjoy about this blog is that it's goal is to think, ponder, reflect, and suggest solutions for actually helping various cultures and people's that do need it.

One issue with the Nazi LARPers of whatever is left of the Alt-Right is that while they were willing to discuss race, it was always with a bitter vicious hatred of various minorities and Jews.

It was suffocating.

We not only in the Dissident Right, but across the spectrum in general need to have sane people of all races/ethnicities willing to discuss these now taboo subjects matters and come up with ways to do something about "inequality" and poverty.

In order to do that, we have to become heretics.

Kudos Gentleman, and keep writing.

Wynn Lloyd said...

What an excellent, extremely detailed article. It's astounding just how much research goes into these. It must be kept in mind during the periods between articles. Thank you.

luke jones said...

About polygamy and inequality, isn't women's greater economic self-reliance and reproducive autonomy the main reason why polygamy in Sub-Saharan Africa is much more common than the rest of the world? This is what Peter Frost argues with evidence:

Women of African descent, whether they be in Africa itself or the diaspora, tend to show little to no deference to men, contrary to the feminist narrative about the region and the black community.

Also, don't women in Sub-Saharan Africa own 40%-60% of the wealth in those countries, kinda like like how Black American women have a somewhat higher income average than their men? Also, the female percentage (relative to men) of millionaires and billionaires among blacks both in and outside of Africa tends to be higher than other races and regions. This also contradicts the feminist narrative.

Any thoughts?

M.G. said...

Lucas Temple--

We not only in the Dissident Right, but across the spectrum in general need to have sane people of all races/ethnicities willing to discuss these now taboo subjects matters

Indeed, and most of what we're trying to do here is wake people back up to truths that were once commonplace and uncontroversial. Nothing in the post above would have raised an eyebrow 100 years ago anywhere on the political spectrum, even on the left, as we saw in-depth in this piece.

I myself am a hard-wired leftist and a race realist. We're out there, just being heretics, and trying to guide public policy back to some sanity on these issues.

Kudos Gentleman, and keep writing.

I am in fact a she, but thank you for your kind remarks and for stopping by!

M.G. said...

Wynn Lloyd--

Yes it is time-consuming; I like to publish a stand-alone piece that is well-referenced and coherent, as well as rich in images. I appreciate readers' patience as these do take a bit of time to put together. Thank you for your encouragement, it's very motivating.

M.G. said...

luke jones--

isn't women's greater economic self-reliance and reproducive autonomy the main reason why polygamy in Sub-Saharan Africa is much more common than the rest of the world?

Self-reliance, sure: Women are definitely more self-reliant in traditional hoe cultures, i.e. most of Africa, and I think Frost convincingly argues that it is linked to polygamy there.

'Reproductive autonomy' though? I'm not sure I'd characterize these cultures in that way--women are often sold into marriage as young teens, forced into a life of endless childbearing, and into manual labor to support those children. When I think 'reproductive autonomy' I think of Western women, who decide themselves exactly when, with whom, and how many they'll have.

Women of African descent, whether they be in Africa itself or the diaspora, tend to show little to no deference to men

Again, not sure I agree with this assessment. African women's economic self-reliance doesn't seem to me to have freed them from deference to men in any real way. Frost himself, in the piece you cited, says that such a system leads to men who are bigger, stronger, more aggressive, and devote less time to their kids. His comparison of the polygamous Datoga to the monogomous Hazda spells it out pretty well.

Or his quote from colonial times:

'Goody quotes a 17th century traveler on the Gold Coast: the women till the ground "whilst the man only idly spends his time in impertinent tattling (the woman's business in our country) and drinking of palm-wine, which the poor wives are frequently obliged to raise money to pay for, and by their hard labour maintain and satisfie these lazy wretches their greedy thirst after wines."

Is that a society where women are in the driver's seat, or men?

As for the diaspora, it's the same thing--black women in the U.S. don't stay unmarried in astronomical numbers because they don't like to 'show deference to men;' it's because they can't pin down a decent black man! Too many are in prison, not earning enough, or just players spinning their 'soft harems.' Black men in America are happy to sponge off women just like they do in Africa, but to me this is anything but a feminist dream: black women accept it because they don't have the choice-- it is the men, not the women, who are leading the dance here.

To say that this makes black women empowered or equal (in Africa or diaspora) is, I maintain, a mischaracterization of the situation.

Also, I double-checked the Canadian study cited, and it bases its data on 157 countries, with the 'highly polygamous' group being all African countries but two. They base their claims about 'women's equality' on factors such as female age at first marriage, age gap with husband, total fertility rate, and infant mortality rate. I'd say these are pretty good indicators of women's 'reproductive autonomy'--and the numbers for highly polygamous countries are not good.

In addition, the study points out that polygamy itself is not desired by the women who participate in it, that conflict between co-wives is ubiquitous, and that kids from polygamous households have worse health outcomes.

So to sum up, the study's claims about polygamy--even the African kind--correlating with a low level of female equality do seem to hold water, in my non-expert opinion.

luke jones said...

But this doesn't explain why Black women (both in and outside of Africa) willing seek out these type of men when they have opinions. A common complaint in the Black community is how Black women (as a group) seem to prefer "thugs" both sexually and as long term partners over more responsible males (despite having higher levels of education and income than them). If they were "forced" into this situation like you seem to believe them why aren't large percentages of Black women dating/marring out when they have options? East Asian women for example are infamous for outright preferring and seeking White males over their own when given the opportunity, yet we don't see this trend for Black women anywhere. In fact, there was an interracial dating study that pointed out that Black Women were the only demographic of women that didn't prefer White men over all others. Non-Black males finding Black women unattractive doesn't seem to explain it, since rather massive percentages of Latina and East Asian women continue to seek out White males first and foremost, despite White men preferring their own women most of all.


Peter Frost himself, as well as several red pill/manosphere blogs suggest that it is precisely women's greater levels of sexual autonomy that leads to greater sexual selection for more hyper-masculine males. The theory is that the more women can rely on themselves, the more they can choose men based on their (on average) natural desire for handsome macho-alpha males. These women willingly financially support these brutish males out of their own romantic/sexual desire, rather than any force on the males part (especially so for Black America). In the case of Black women, this theory seems to be true. People are naturally most attracted to others like themselves, so if women naturally prefer men who are more masculine and assertive than themselves, and if Black women are the most masculine and assertive of all races of women, then the trend would apply the most for them, which is what the evidence seems to suggest.

According to all psychometric studies, Black women both in and outside of Africa on average consistently have the highest levels of self-esteem, happiness, and assertiveness (and correspondingly the lowest levels depression, neuroticism, passivity and non-disease driven suicide) out of all races of women:

They simply as a group do not possess the phenotypical nor genotypical characteristics of a highly subjugated and submissive people (unlike women from areas of the Middle East, or (South)East Asians in general).

And while traditional polygamy may to be unpopular, there doesn't seem to be any serious push for nominative monogamy as various forms of polygynous mating are just as high as ever (if not higher than older generations) and the women themselves as a group seem to prefer polygynous males over monogamous ones, both in and outside of Africa (as the "baby mama" and "side chick" phenomenons seem to suggest)

class A surfacing said...

The only contention I would make in this very well thought out and researched article is the assertion the Ashkenazi Jews have 115 IQ's.

Amongst scientists and academics, yes (but that is the case in all groups). Amongst the general population, not so much.

That 115 number was ascertained via ill-begotten methods.

This shibboleth needs to die



M.G. said...

luke jones--

Thanks for your response.

If they were "forced" into this situation like you seem to believe them why aren't large percentages of Black women dating/marrying out when they have options?

They don't have options, and I think it's for the reason you bring up later in your comment--black women are perceived as the most 'masculine' of all women, and they can't find men more 'masculine' than themselves (outside of black men). Steve Sailer's classic piece 'Is Love Color-blind?' applies here.

East Asian women for example are infamous for outright preferring and seeking White males over their own when given the opportunity, yet we don't see this trend for Black women anywhere.

As Sailer argues, Asian men are the mirror image of black women--they're seen as the most 'feminine' men, so when their own women have other options, they go for it. Asian women and black men out-marry at the highest rates. (Multiculturalism has been a killer for Asian men / black women.)

According to all psychometric studies, Black women both in and outside of Africa on average consistently have the highest levels of self-esteem, happiness, and assertiveness

Yes, and this is true of black men as well, not just the women. It still doesn't mean that relative to their own men, they lack deference. Both black women and black men are highly assertive, but I still maintain black men have the upper hand over black women.

They simply as a group do not possess the phenotypical nor genotypical characteristics of a highly subjugated and submissive people

I think what's confusing me is that one moment you're talking about black women relative to black men, and the next (like above) you're talking about both black women and men relative to other groups. These are two separate subjects.

the women themselves as a group seem to prefer polygynous males over monogamous ones, both in and outside of Africa

Do you have any data on this? From what I've seen, anyplace that women truly have the choice, they will choose to monopolize one man, even in Africa. For example:

'In light of these arguments, it is not surprising that when interviewed, very few women in both Mali and South Africa—countries where polygyny is prevalent—said they look favorably upon polygamy (Dangor 2001, Madhavan 2004). ... A recent survey of South Africans found that 64% of men disagreed with having more than one wife and 83% of women disagreed.'

Or from another Peter Frost piece, on Nigeria:

'Undoubtedly one reason for the widespread acceptance of polygyny is the distaste for the alternative, which in this cultural context is most often not faithful monogamy but legal monogamy paralleled by a series of more or less open affairs. ...the position of a wife is defined rather than fluid and uncontrollable.'

(continued below...)

M.G. said...

If the choice is between being a co-wife or being a wife competing with mistresses, sure, she'll pick the former. 'Faithfully monogamous man' apparently isn't an option on the menu. From the same piece, to your point:

'[From] a study of polygynous families in Ibadan, Nigeria:

"Trial interviews showed that it was possible to ask the question: "Apart from having children, do women need to have husbands?" ... Remarkably, in a society where 99% of women marry by the age of forty, 47% of women answered that women do not need husbands. They explained that women are equal to men, that marriage has many disadvantages and that in many cases women are in a better position on their own." '

From this and the above quotes, it seems that in the absence of faithful monogamy, many African women would prefer to be unmarried, which makes sense. But it still doesn't mean these women enjoy real 'autonomy' in the current set-up.

...(as the "baby mama" and "side chick" phenomenons seem to suggest)

I also haven't seen any evidence that the 'baby mama' and 'side chick' phenomena are something desired by black women, rather than what they're forced to accept for lack of an alternative (like in Africa). Do you have any data on this?

I think we are basically seeing and recognizing the same phenomena, but we don't agree about what is the cart and what is the horse. I interpret the data to say that:

1) African men and women have both evolved to be more assertive than other groups

2) African men have evolved to be 'low parental investment'

3) African women are often economically self-sufficient, but not reproductively so--and are forced into polygamy for lack of better alternatives (faithful monogamous man)

4) In the diaspora, black men and women continue this pattern-- men cat around, and women are self-sufficient and exist in 'soft harems' for lack of a better alternative

Very interesting points in any case and I welcome the discussion. It's a lot to think about.

M.G. said...

luke jones--

women's greater levels of sexual autonomy that leads to greater sexual selection for more hyper-masculine males.

Sorry, I missed this. As I understand it, it's not women's sexual autonomy, but their economic autonomy which selects for hyper-masculine males. Where women need men to survive (N. Europe, for example), there's greater selection for 'dads' not 'cads', and where women don't need men to survive, there's greater selection for 'cads' not 'dads.' Thus the stereotype of the conscientious white beta male vs. the loud, flashy black alpha male.

These women willingly financially support these brutish males out of their own romantic/sexual desire, rather than any force on the males part

I think we're using the word 'force' in two different ways. Black men are not holding guns to their women's heads and pushing them out the door every day to bring home the bacon.

What they are doing, is offering sex/romance to their women, but offering no provisioning in return. Black women like sex/romance just like all women do, so what is their choice? (a) No sex & romance and no provisioning, or (b) Sex & romance... and still no provisioning. That's the sense in which I'm using 'forced.' Black women are forced into the situation they're in by the flighty, fickle behavior of their men. Since men from other groups aren't interested in them, in that sense they are 'forced', or stuck, in a less than ideal situation.

M.G. said...

class A surfacing--

Thank you for your kind words.

And thanks for the links. I admit I don't follow the IQ literature very closely, as this blog focuses on character traits and cultural values. But IQ does come up sometimes, so I have to rely on experts.

Honestly, it's all the same to me if Ashkenazi IQ turns out to be 107 or 115 or 150 or 102. What we don't need any pen-and-paper test to tell us is that their intellectual achievements in the West in the last century have been wildly out of proportion to their population numbers. I'll trust Charles Murray, Greg Cochran, Richard Lynn, et al., on the big picture (Ashkenzis being quite high-'g'), even if the exact IQ figure is in dispute. (Even Lynn reduced his latest estimate to '107-115'--I've now modified the Rushton table to reflect that.)

I couldn't really find any convincing arguments in the 'Vox Popoli' piece, but I did find some excellent data in this piece from Pumpkin Person. He looks at a much more representative study from American high schools in the 1960s, and comes up with a tentative U.S. Jewish IQ score of math 113, verbal 109, processing speed 100, grammar 100, spatial 93 [lower than white], memory 96 [lower than white]. I'd say that sounds reasonable.

Whatever the right number may be, the essential point is that, as I think Cochran has convincingly argued, this particular group has somehow evolved un unusually high IQ in a pretty short time period.

Thanks again for commenting.

tarjei v said...

A most interesting article, as usual.

With regards to the fickleness of African males, and the absence of long lasting monogamous relationships there, you write: "Black women like sex/romance just like all women do, so what is their choice? (a) No sex & romance and no provisioning, or (b) Sex & romance... and still no provisioning."

It strikes me that this kind of dilemma, consistent over generations, will set up a selection pressure on the female African psyche. Being afflicted with longing for Mr. Right, in such circumstances, will only cause unhappiness and a proclivity for making foolish choices, leading to reduced genetic fitness. African females have thus probably been pushed evolutionarily in the direction of a more cynical approach to pair-bonding, their emotions and subconscious asking more "what can I get out of this guy, now that he's here", than "how can I please him to his heart's delight, seeing that this union is probably going to last my whole life" (cold winter evolution-style). Obviously you have a feedback here also, when the women are high maintenance/low romance, the males are being set up for selection in the "cad"-direction, even more. No point in lingering here, she's only using me anyway.

Thanks for your good work!

Yankee Imperialist said...

A chorus of Africans express disappointment with self-rule due in part to the gutting of their own institutions. This clips shows exactly why Sub-Saharan Africa is challenged to govern itself.

From 5:09 to 6:02.


Furthermore, Africa still has gimmedats for outside forces to exploit, a "Drain Of Wealth" phenomenon. Dadabhai Naoroji, a professor and businessman, was the first Indian elected to the House of Commons (1892-1895). He proposed a thesis that focused on the drain of wealth from India into England during colonial rule of the British in India: 1) It was governed by a foreign nation; 2) It did not bring in immigrants; 3) It paid for its civil administrations and occupational army; 4) Its principal income earners would leave with the profits.

He estimated that Indiaʼs lost revenue to Great Brain was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Naoroji described this process as vampirism, with money being a metaphor for blood, which humanized India and attempted to show Great Britainʼs actions as monstrous in an effort to garner sympathy for a nationalist movement. This theory can also be applied to the future of Africa.

Over the past 30 years, African countries lost $600 billion to $1.4 trillion in “net resource transfers”--governments sell their natural resources for less than they are actually worth or to purchase them back again at inflated prices. This exchange is sometimes unfair, as African governments may not know the true value of the natural resources underground. But a more level playing field may be in sight, thanks to a $200 billion World Bank initiative that aims to compile Africaʼs mineral maps into a single, public database: the Billion Dollar Map. The goal is to give African nations as much information as possible about their natural resources so that they can earn a fair price for the minerals they sell, World Bank officials say. While mineral maps of the African continent exist, most are private or piecemeal. The Billion Dollar Map is crucially different: Its contents will be available to the public. And that, experts hope, will minimize underpricing and corruption, and help governments get a fairer price for their countries resources.

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