Imagine a thought experiment. Population A and population B are defined as two groups with 100 individuals. They live in a village together. Population A has an average IQ of 115 while population B has an average IQ of 100. Both have a normal distribution.
Would it be reasonable to assert that if one was restricted to having to pick a leader at random from one of the two groups one would pick the individual from A? But would it not also be reasonable to wonder if it might not be more rational to look at each individual from both populations and note who might be the best leader and allow the village vote?
Not too controversial, no? But over at Unmedia that is what Ikram Saeed seems to believe when he says:
If you (and Sailer, and the _Bell Curve_ acolytes, etc) are right, oughtn’t you argue for a _Brave New World_ type societal hierarchy? I haven’t seen your blog answer the really interesting questions it raises.
I have answered questions more rudely put in this vein on my old blog. Let me reiterate, Suman is not the only libertarian on this blog! I have been a long-term reader of Lew Rockwell and Reason. I am a broad-church libertarian. Where freedom is an option, let that be I always say. Over the years I have pulled back from my flirtation with anarcho-capitalism and my longer affiliation with minarchism. My adherence to Natural Rights has given way to a more utilitarian, even Rawlsian, view of society (informed in large part by evolutionary psychology and Hume).
Is does not = ought. Both the Left and the Right seem to forget this when their conservative strain comes to the fore. Knowledge is dangerous to the established order. Perhaps. But knowledge always finds a way to see the light and expose frauds for what they are. I favor genetic engineering and information technology because I believe the arrow of civilization points in that direction-we must ride the tiger, lest humanity’s dance with progress falter.
Whether race realism, evolutionary psychology, behavioral genetics, etc. have any validity as empirically verifiable theories, my personal politics remain libertarian. I call myself conservative for two reasons: 1) the American Left tends to see the world as here or there, with us or against us, 2) I abhor multiculturalism and the debasement of the hard-won freedoms of the West in homage to the communitarianism of the post-Modern Left. Guilt is no basis for justice and history is no excuse for tyranny.
A “Brave New World” is not contingent on race realism (the controversial “science” that Mr. Saeed seems to be pointing to). It is contingent on some hard-wiring of human facilities via biology, whether it be through genetic or developmental modes. Psychologists generally do accept that some portion of intelligence (g) is genetically inherited, some portion developmentally influenced and some portion environmentally modified. If the state, ne the Leviathan, so wills it, the stratification of castes, alphas to zetas, is possible today even if all races are equal in aptitudes.
Conversely, let us wander the fields of Rawlsianism, the realm of what Thomas Sowell would term “Cosmic Justice.” Humans are not responsible for what endowments they are born with. So goes the theory, behind the veil of ignorance, they would choose a particular (moderately liberal redistributionist with a respect for basic rights) political order. Behind the “veil of ignorance” we are all without race, without caste, class or creed. Like Christianity, Rawlsianism implies that those endowed with greater aptitudes and abilities use them to advance the good of the community as well as their individual preferences.
My espousal of race realism leaves me open to the possibility that East Asians have higher IQs than other human populations. Does that imply I believe that the former have a right to rule the latter? Of course not. High g is no guarantee of liberty, and low g is no block on decency. I might generalize what behaviors a person of high or low g might be prone to, but individuals are individuals . Newtonian mechanics is good science on human scales, but on the level of an individual atom or molecule it collapses. Likewise, we must never forget that individuals do matter-and that the great foundational triumph of liberalism was to halt history in its tracks and turn toward the future and declare that the individual matters as an end in and of itself. History teaches lessons, but not always ones that we must emulate. Similarly, if there is one thing that the 20th century has taught, let us be careful before we declare what the obvious implications of any scientific finding are.
My personal understanding of Human Biodiversity gives me a different perspective on specific issues, because those issues are undergirded by assumptions, most often the axiom of equality. As a libertarian I have a skepticism of social engineering, and Human Biodiversity is a tool in my kit to attack that particular tendency. I do believe human beings are different essentially, that races on average are different essentially. I speak of these things because only a few others will.
But in the end, I will admit, that essentially we are all equal under the eyes of the Law (and God(s) if you so believe). To give ground to realism does not mean abondaning your idealism.
 Individuals of low g are more criminally prone. But I don’t believe it is because they are essentially without empathy or moral sense. I think that is more of an issue of an inability to judge rationally the consequences of decisions and impulse control. In addition, these individuals are more likely to be put in a situation where the cost vs. benefit of crime seems more rational because of low socio-economic status.
Update: The old blog software was messed up by the server transfer. Most of the posts can be found here.