Chinese IQ and Echoes of the Great White Fleet
“When TR Claimed The Seas” is the title of a nostalgic piece in the December 18, 2007 WSJ. Bret Stephens, the author, celebrates the Great White Fleet. On December 16, 1907 the U.S. sent 16 battleships around the world. Teddy Roosevelt’s purpose for the trip: To announce to the world, that may otherwise have not been paying attention, that the U.S. was a military superpower. President Roosevelt stated that he had become aware of a “veiled truculence” from the Japanese. Mr. Stephens concludes, it was time for a showdown.
Mr. Stephens suggests that there was a benefit from the demonstration of force. The Japanese became democratic four years later, for a time. Mr. Stephens concludes that it was unfortunate that the U.S. did not maintain the fleet and a more aggressive posture. He tells us that America’s position as a maritime power cannot be wished away.
” ‘We should annex Hawaii immediately. . . It was a crime against the United States, it was a crime against white civilization, not to annex it two years and a half ago. The delay did damage that is perhaps irreparable; for it meant that at the critical period of the island’s growth the influx of population consisted, not of white Americans, but of low caste laborers from the yellow races.’ ” (Walter A. McDougall, Let the Sea Make a Noise, p. 391.) One imagines that President Roosevelt, a very popular man, thought what other influential Americans thought.
Now, of course, everyone learned a lesson from the Great White Fleet, but no reasonable person would complain if the yellow people learned a somewhat different lesson than white people. Hawaii after all is in Asia, and Asians might be excused if they thought that they had the same right to keep Hawaii Asian as the whites had to keep Northern Europe and America Northern European.
Mr. Stephens tells us that China’s rise is not something that anyone can stop. For reasons that I outline in my book centering on scores on quantitative IQ tests, I am sure that he is correct. However, Mr. Stephens tells us that China’s rise “can be steered.” If we would but fit our vision to Teddy Roosevelt’s vision, he tells us, we can be assured that the Chinese will not steer toward America.
Mr. Stephen ignores the single most important element of the Chinese fleet that will accompany China’s progress. The fleet will carry nuclear weapons. It is true that Teddy Roosevelt’s progeny will have nuclear weapons aimed at the progeny of the low caste laborers in China. What is most different from Teddy Roosevelt’s time is that, curiously, the progeny of the low caste laborers in China will have nuclear death aimed at Teddy Roosevelt’s progeny.
From the perspective of the low caste yellow laborers: Progress.