The modern mentality — globalism, materialism, socialism, and egalitarianism — can only be maintained in a bubble of delusion that defends the mind from truth.
Some of this truth that must be denied is the reality of the differences in ability between individuals, sexes, and ancestry-grouped populations, and especially the basis of these differences in heritability. Mainstream media will typically lie, manipulate, decry, and obfuscate as much as is necessary in order to never have to acknowledge the heritable differences in intelligence between individuals and races that both traditional wisdom and recent science indicate.
The Economist offers a new twist on denial by admitting taboo truths and then twisting them into a cause for furthering egalitarianism and socialism. Tucked in amidst an attempt to downplay its significance, the admission shines if you know where to look for it:
The research also suggests that the nature-or-nurture debate is a false dichotomy. Intelligence is highly heritable and perhaps the best predictor of success. But it is far from the only characteristic that matters for future eminence.
This should be big; major consequences necessarily follow from this fact, and they all lead away from modernism with its basis in the presumed equality of all people. However, one should never overestimate the power of even a plain, bold truth when there are excuses, rationalizations, and distractions available.
After a few more paragraphs building on that truth, we get to the twist:
They found that children who score in the top 5% of standardized tests in the third year of primary school are many times more likely than the other 95% to file patents in later life. But the likelihood is still much greater among smart kids from rich families.
So yes, a major component of ability and thus success in life is the result of genetic factors, but rich kids still do even better than a narrow measure would predict, and so it still isn’t fair. That’s the mental hook into Leftism: something isn’t fair which means that someone should do something which really means people should give me stuff and I shouldn’t have to deal with negative consequences of my behavior.
This seems like quite a leap when stated so simply, which is why they do their best to bury it under forest-killing reams of words, theories, concepts, studies, and abstractions. The real success of leftism is how that core feeling of inadequacy, self-pity, low self-confidence, selfishness and greed can be wrapped up in many noble-sounding words.
Look at this:
Those with high IQs but from poor backgrounds were especially at risk of not fulfilling their potential. That is not only unfair. It also implies that a lot of talent, which could have been harnessed to cure diseases or design better toasters, is being squandered.
It’s unfair, they say, and add, you could be rich even if you lack the genetic ability to do so, or even the genetic tendencies that would make you a good rich person instead of an abusive or selfish one. No, even more than that: it’s unfair that you’re not rich. You should have better toasters! Think of how awful your toaster is, it’s not fair, you shouldn’t have to put up with that, someone ought to help you!
And it gets worse. It’s unfair, so how do we fix it?
There are many reasons why poor-but-smart children struggle. Yet gifted schemes have often not helped. When applications are voluntary, they come mostly from rich or pushy parents. […] Tutoring may temporarily bump up scores by only a few points, but that can make all the difference. In 2015 70% of pupils admitted to such programmes were white or Asian, though they represent just 30% of the school-age population.
It helps when schools test every child, rather than rely on parents to put children forward. In a paper from 2015, economists David Card and Laura Giuliano found that when a school district in Florida introduced universal screening for its gifted-education scheme, admissions increased by 180% among poor children, 130% among Hispanics and 80% for black pupils. (Admissions among white children fell.)
Have the state apply the same process to everyone so that the decisions that individuals make can’t have any effect, and then everyone will be equal. We know it’s working because white children don’t do as well (also, did you catch how tiny of a minority white children in NYC are?).
Here’s how quickly Leftism invariably goes from equality of opportunity to equality of outcome: when we say we ought to “apply the same process” we really mean we should “fudge things a little.”
Some programmes go further. Miami-Dade, America’s fourth-largest school district, uses universal screening. It has a lower IQ threshold for poor children or those for whom English is a second language, so long as they show other signs of promise, such as learning English quickly or high scores in other tests. In Miami-Dade 6.9% of black pupils are in the gifted programme, versus 2.4% and 3.6% in Florida as a whole and nationwide respectively.
But wait, there’s more. An undistracted mind could still wander out of this maze of deception and get back to a place of sanity, where it could recognize the sham of egalitarianism and focus on something beyond the selfish self. There is something more that keeps modern man enthralled.
Reinforced in the proceeding paragraphs, and indeed undergirding the whole article, is the fundamental assumption of the god-state. This is the implicit unacknowledged assumption that for any problem, the solution lies in the state. It is the imperative that any ill, real or perceived, not only can only be remedied by the state, but the state must remedy it. If a man is hungry, the state must feed him. Fathers and mothers are optional because children must be reared by the state. The safety and comfort of the individual follows from the strength of the state. We will know the truth by the words of the mouthpieces of the state.
The state may occasionally unleash a genuine truth, but it will do so as a means of promulgating and fortifying other lies, thereby twisting the truth for its own growth.
As a final observation, this article — seemingly about genius — doesn’t use the word “genius” a single time. Instead, an ideological replacement is used: Einstein. Why not Leibniz, Euler, or Newton, all of whose discoveries indicated a far deeper and more piercing insight? Einstein is useful as a symbol of a valuable foreigner, whose story is meant to teach us never to turn away the other, but always to include them and aid them because of the potential that they will make a great accomplishment that will make us all rich and get us lots of cool gadgets (think of the toasters!) that make our lives more convenient and exciting.
This replacement of genius calls to mind the phenomena Bruce Charlton describes in The Genius Famine where the traits that allow for deep and holistic insight (high intelligence and an endogenous personality) are de-emphasised by the growing bureaucracy that instead favors the ability to fit in, recite facts, and play nice called conscientiousness. We find this echoed here:
Whether termed “grit”, “task-motivation” or “conscientiousness”, more psychologists are emphasising the role of persistence.
In other words, natural talent does not matter, but how much you dedicate yourself to the state — memorizing stuff in school, doing make-work at your job, filling out those triplicate forms, watching the right documentaries, and maybe even participating in a march or two — determines success. We can do without genius altogether, even while calling the robotic zombie citizens we produce “geniuses.”
The state wants predictable cogs, and those who doubt themselves want the certainty and support of the state. Like any good scam, the Leftist cycle runs in circles until there is nothing left to steal. This is a system that will grow and reinforce itself continuously until it runs up against reality and bursts.