IQ of Italian Americans: Implications for Nuclear Weapons
The following letter is an addition to three of my original chapters, It is a personal communication from Professor R. J. Herrnstein of Harvard University responding to an earlier version of my paper on the IQ of Italian Americans. Because Professor Herrnstein achieved the status that he did as one of the world’s leading experts on the subject of IQ as the coauthor of The Bell Curve I thought it might be an interesting addition to the site.
Department of Psychology and Social relations
William James Hall
33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
May 9, 1975
Mr. Richard Peppe
5 Ray Street
Manchester, New Hampshire
Dear Mr. Peppe:
Mostly I agree with you, but not entirely. I.Q. tests of the typical verbal and culturally loaded variety are severely biased against immigrants. Consequently, those early studies that used the Stanford-Binet and tests like them are indeed open to question. Also, though social status in America is highly correlated with I.Q. (even on culture-fair tests), it may have been less so at other times and in other countries. Disregarding test bias, social class is correlated with I.Q. when society tends to reward those in intellectually demanding positions with high status. If a society instead rewards people for the color of their skin or the shapes of their noses, the correlation between I.Q. and status will be reduced or eliminated.
Nuclear Weapons and the Blue-eyed People
A Sociobiological Analysis
Richard R. Peppe
Glassworks Publishing, PO Box 208, Pembroke, NH 03275
Copyright © 2004 by Richard R. Peppe. All rights reserved
Library of Congress catalog card number:
Printed in the United States of America
Chapter 7 SDI: The Blonds Safe?
Urbanization and the 11th Grade
There are at the present time two quite different modes of approaching the behavior of organisms which are hard to distinguish theoretically but which are clearly different in practice. The statistical approach is characterized by relatively unrefined methods of measurement and a general neglect of the problem of direct description.
- F. Skinner
As a rule, traits as complex as human behavior are influenced by many genes, each of which shares only a small fraction of the total control. These “polygenes” cannot ordinarily be identified by directing and tracing the mutations that alter them. They must be evaluated indirectly by statistical means.
Edward O. Wilson
Italian Immigration to the United States:
Probably no large European national immigrant group has experienced a more diverse academic literature about their economic adaptation to North America than Italians. The reports range from “poor” to “affluent.” How the academician regards the history depends, I think, on how smart the writer thinks Italians are. Here too, the reports are diverse.
- J. Eysenck cited Italians as an example of an immigrant population where circumstances forced the less intelligent to emigrate, and where they achieved significantly lower IQ scores than a random sample of the original population would have demonstrated. It is clear that there is a broad consensus among educational experts that the IQ test is an effective predictor of academic success. There is also a substantial consensus about the correlation of IQ scores with financial, social, and business success, and the experts who favor biology make extremely broad claims.
Arthur Jensen is the name most readers will probably associate with the claim that IQ scores reflect capacities that are, to some degree, determined at conception. He makes the claim that the class divisions that characterize America, and every other industrial society, are explained in part by differences in native abilities. These observations about genetics, IQ and educational performance did not start with Professor Jensen. They have been part of the IQ discussion for much of the 20th century.
The heart of the theory presented here is precisely the claim that the blond intellectuals were right about the predictive power of IQ tests. And that because the blond political leadership ignored or misinterpreted what the IQ data reflected they have made their own children vulnerable to nuclear weapons for countless future generations.
While intermarriage finally will break down the singularity of most European ethnic groups, ethnic differences are still big enough and visible enough to warrant study. Some of the better known reports on Italians have not simply documented differences between them and the majority; they have traced the differences to cultural and biological deficiencies.
The Stanford-Binet test, the first major American IQ test was introduced to the public as part of the effort to screen draftees for World War I. The results indicated that immigrants from Southern andEastern Europe had not done well, and that information caused concern.
Now, in fact, the if one reads the blond literature on racial and ethnic issues prior to the early 20th century, IQ data was nothing new. It simply underscored what the blonds had known for generations: I would argue that there was not a day in two millennia when the blonds were not convinced that they were superior to Latins, Slavs, Asians, Africans and a whole stew pot of other populations. Aesthetics mean something.
If one simply toted up all the places where the blonds, at one time or other, had established prohibitions, formal or informal against different groups intermarrying with blonds, the conclusion would be inescapable. Professor Terman’s warning that the continuation of existing reproductive rates for 200 years would mean that 1000 Harvard graduates would have 50 descendants, while 1000 Italians would have 100,000 reflected the sensibility of a man who was committed to his society, and a sensitivity about what his society was all about.
College texts as recently as the 1940’s presented data which showed the median IQ scores of Greeks, Italians and Portuguese at 87.8, 85.8 and 82.7, respectively. Given a white American median IQ of 100, one sees that the difference is about 15 points.
Two Stanford professors state that a 1923 scientific paper included IQ data that established that Italian-Americans have a median IQ of 84, 16 points below the national average. They ask, rhetorically, whether the National Academy should be petitioned to institute a national research project on the intellectual inferiority of Italian-Americans, and whether the hereditarians believe that Italian-Americans have improved genetically in just a couple of generations.
Now, Arthur Jensen has addressed the implications of a 15-point difference in IQ scores at various points in the distribution. Add 15 points to someone with an IQ of 70, and one moves from dependency, and possible institutionalization, to someone who is self-sufficient. Add the 15 points to someone who is average, and one sees someone who can succeed in college.
A difference of 15 points in the IQ scores of two different groups would make some dramatic differences. Jensen focuses on the lower end of the distribution as the most important area of concern. In any population with a mean score of 85, between one-sixth and one-fourth of its members would score below 70, which is about seven times the percentage for the American majority. The American Association on Mental Deficiency has changed part of its definition for mental retardation from two standard deviations to one standard deviation below the mean (which would mean about 85), because of the increased demands modern societies place on the work force.
The Mobility of Italian-Americans
The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880-1970 is a study of various immigrant groups, including Italians, into the City of Boston during the period 1880 to 1970. The book tracks the progress of original migrants and their children, and then makes comparisons between the different groups. Although the data is restricted to the Boston area, Professor Thernstrom appears to claim that he has identified characteristics which operate in a much larger social universe, and many reviewers appear to accept his claims. The cover carries a quote from the American Historical Review that labels the study as the best analysis of social mobility in America. The New York Times went beyond that, and called it the best quantitative historical study to be published.
Professor Thernstrom offers an explanation for what he believes he found, which would have national, perhaps international, implications. He stresses that Italians and Irishmen moved ahead economically in a sluggish and erratic fashion. He cites factors that they appear to have brought fromEurope for the poor social mobility of Irishmen and Italians. More than readily available measurable European background handicaps were involved; certain features of the cultures the people brought with them were also responsible. Religious affiliation appears to be one, perhaps the major, factor responsible. The parochial school system is an institution that he believes may have contributed toward the creation of a certain alienation from the host society, and dampened ambitions for conventional success.
There are two major mistakes in Thernstrom’s work. The first concerns his use of immigrant groups to locate those cultural factors that he clearly associates with success in a modern economy. The second has to do with his use of the term, “mobility.”
Thernstrom follows a well-worn path in using data from Northern European immigrant groups to reveal certain features of American society. Further, he has not compared Protestants and Catholics, but immigrant groups representing both religious traditions.
Although he does not pursue it, Thernstrom tells the reader that he is aware of an anomaly. The data clearly indicate that the American migrant into the city of Boston has done better than the native for one hundred years. His samples for 1880, 1910, 1930, and 1960 all show that American migrants into the city were more likely to achieve upper white collar status than the native born. An incredible 32 percent of American migrants into Boston were professionals in 1960, more than double the percentage for nonmigrants. There is evidence, then, that the American migrant into the city of Boston, has not been a random sample of the American population, since, if anything, Boston was relatively more white collar, professional and educated than the American population, as a whole.
The process would have been just the reverse for the Catholic immigrant populations. It is a truism that the more able left the city and the ethnic neighborhoods first, for suburbia.
The evidence supports the position that the English immigrant to Boston was like the American migrant, an unusual representative of his culture. The evidence does not support the view that, compared with the majority American Protestant population, who represents the norm for American white IQ, Italian Catholic immigrants were at an economic disadvantage.
To pursue the point I will limit the review to two groups: Englishmen and Italians. There are enough similarities between England and Italy in the size and sophistication of the their economies for the comparisons to be useful. Second, their different travel times to their present economies help reveal what the process is all about.
Industrialization involves a number of changes, and the most critical change concerns behavior. The change from an agricultural peasant economy requires that increasing numbers of people develop skills to handle more complicated tasks. There is no doubt that industrial economies develop larger professional and managerial classes as they mature.
Thernstrom data indicates that in 1910 35 percent of the male labor force of Boston was classified as white-collar. Of this group, 5 percent were professionals and 30 percent were other white-collar workers. By 1970, the white-collar category had increased to 51 percent with 21 percent working as professionals, and 30 percent as other white-collar. Thernstrom’s data also shows that 53 percent of second generation British men born in the period 1860-1879 were in white collar occupations: 13 percent high white collar and 40 percent low white collar. Now, one can assume that the 1910 data would reflect the occupational status of the native Bostonian born in the period 1860-1879 since they would have been between 30 and 50 years old at the time of the census, long enough to have established themselves as white-collar. We can then draw the following conclusions:
-The sons of British immigrants were over 50 percent more likely to be white-collar workers than Bostonians as a group in 1910.
-Indeed, the British immigrant’s son born about 100 years ago and entering the work force before or around the turn of the century was more likely to have achieved white-collar status than the average Bostonian in 1970.
While Thernstrom says that the data used for the norm of the Boston work force in 1910 and 1970 is different in some respects to his other data, the disparity is so large, it simply has to call attention to the British sample. What can explain the totally disparate level of achievement of British immigrants, compared with native white Americans? National per capita income figures show that England has a lower per capita income than America for most of the century. This should suggest a proportionally smaller technical and professional class.
While the two economies may have been more equal in 1900 than they are now, certainly 53 percent of Englishmen born in the period 1860-1879 did not become white-collar workers in England. It is clear that Boston has continued to attract a very unusual English immigrant throughout the 20th century.
Thernstrom presents an “Index of Representation” to show the proportion of different immigrant groups in various occupational categories compared to the proportion of the entire labor force of the City of Boston in the same category. Male British immigrants, 45 or older in 1950, were only 43 percent as likely to be unskilled workers, as chance would indicate. The score for Italian immigrants of the same age was 273 percent. Second generation British men in the 25-44 age category were somewhat more likely than their fathers to be unskilled laborers, but their score of 61 percent was still far below the norm, What Thernstrom found for British immigrants, is true nationally. The lifetime earnings of British immigrants to the United States are about 20 percent higher than natives. 
Data from Canada support this analysis. Canada has a per capita advantage over England. But the same anomaly that characterized the record of English immigrants in Boston followed them in Canada. The post-war Canadian immigrants from the United Kingdom represented the immigrants with the smallest proportion with a below average educational background. Approximately half of post war British immigrants enjoyed white-collar status, and the group as a whole was remarkably different from other immigrant groups in that they contained very few unskilled workers, and they were unlikely to come from families where the father had a low status job. One researcher concludes that lower working class Englishmen did not immigrate to Canada.
White-collar positions are quite often filled through informal contacts. Certainly an immigrant group which can equal or surpass the host populations in cities like Boston, Vancouver or Toronto must be gifted. However, English immigrants simply do not constitute a reasonable sample to form the basis for generalizations about religious or cultural factors within an American setting.
Thernstrom’s use of the term “mobility” consistently favors arguments that reinforce his perception that Catholics are low achievers. The children of British immigrants, like their parents, were only about half as likely to be in the unskilled group as the Boston native. By contrast the Italian participation which had been almost three times the norm for the immigrants had been reduced to 131 percent for their children, not much different than the city norm. And the city of Boston, without unskilled agricultural labor, is certainly more skilled than the U.S. average. Certainly this means that Italian unskilled workers were much more mobile than the national sample of unskilled laborers of native descent, who would have been Protestant. No national economy reduces its unskilled work force by over half in a single generation.
It is interesting that Thernstrom deals with Lipset’s and Bendix’ study which found no difference in the occupational mobility of Catholics and Protestants with the observation that since more Catholics have been raised in big cities where there were more professional positions, they should have been much more mobile than Protestants. If the issue is mobility, however, and not simply percentages, there are clearly powerful economic forces which should favor Protestant mobility. By all accounts the South and West are growing more rapidly than the Northeast and should be developing their professional and managerial sectors faster than the heavily Catholic cities. Moreover, to the extent Thernstrom is right when he notes that the development of truly large cities of over three million is associated with a higher percentage in the professional and managerial categories, the rate of development of such cities should work to the advantage of the Protestants. To be sure, there may still be more professional positions in the North as a percentage of the total work force. However, in order for this to benefit Catholicmobility the Catholics would have to take the positions, from Protestants, since the total professional pool is not growing as fast as in the Protestant sectors of the country.
Given a large enough city, one can see the dynamism of the adjustment to industrialization within Italian populations in the same city. In Bensonhurst, a traditional little Italy in New York, one-fifth of the population is 65 or over and more than 10 percent of women workers are blue collar. In South Richmond, on Staten Island, where over one-half the population is Italian, less than 8 percent of the population is 65 or over, and less than 2 percent are blue collar.
Thernstrom’s data indicates that there was a much higher degree of mobility by Italians in Boston than his comments suggest. Italians were the most overrepresented on the non-English speaking immigrants in the very lowest occupational category, unskilled labor. Yet we have seen that in a single generation they nearly reduced their participation in that category to the city-wide norm. While it may represent a dramatic change in some particulars, it occurs at a social level which is really not of interest to most academicians. Their underlying assumption is that white Protestant America is upper-middle class. Accordingly, Thernstrom merely notes that Italians moved up a notch without attempting to analyze what really happened.
Someone who attempts to account for what happened within the confines of the IQ theory, however, sees a puzzling problem. In order for Italians to have lowered their representation in the very lowest unskilled labor cohort so dramatically, they greatly outperformed the native white population in the same labor category.
Now, IQ psychologists maintain that the argument for the genetic basis of the IQ score is inextricably tied to the bell curve. “Intelligence” follows a certain distribution. Why did Thernstrom not find that Italians made fairly rapid advance into white-collar occupations? He did but his terminology blurred the reality.
Thernstrom’s use of words like “rate” and “trajectory” is as misleading as his use of “mobility.” For example, he notes that only 10 percent of Italian men employed in Boston in 1910 held white-collar jobs, approximately the same as the Irish 20 years earlier (12 percent). In 1910 65 percent of the Italians were unskilled or semiskilled workers, again, the same percentage as the Irish in 1890. Thernstrom then notes that Italian immigrants increased their representation in the middle class from 12 to 35 percent during a generation, while British immigrants of an earlier period, had enlarged their representation in the white-collar world from an already large 26 percent, to 53 percent. The text suggests that the mobility of the Italians was less than that of the British, but the figures indicate the reverse. The British doubled their representation in white collars while the Italians tripled their membership. The success of the Italians in putting about a third of its members in white-collars within a single generation suggest a very rapid acculturation when one realizes that in 1940, when practically everyone in the 1910 sample would have achieved his final occupational level, only 39 percent of the male labor force of Boston wore white collars.
Thernstrom’s confusion on mobility is even more obvious when he applies the concept to the achievements of the sons of the original immigrants. Only 18 percent of first generation Italian men 45 or older were white-collar workers in 1950, compared with 52 percent of first generation British immigrants. Second generation Italian men in the 25 – 44 age bracket (the “sons” of the older group) had increased their representation in the white-collar category to 31 percent, while the second generation British figure remained roughly the same at 49 percent. Yet Thernstrom suggests that Italians made slow progress between generations compared to Englishmen.
Thernstrom mistakenly assumes that he found that Catholics had a low occupational mobility because he began his research with preconceived notions about Catholics. While he is skeptical about Greeley’s findings, he enthusiastically embraces Herbert J. Gans’, The Urban Villagers: Group and Class in the Life of Italian Americans, which contains very little data. Gans’ report on Italians’ attitude toward work could not be clearer. They do not like the stuff: It leads to ulcers, heart trouble, and early death. They would find tough sledding in the future as automation decreases employment opportunities in simpler jobs. However, they will be able to sustain tough times because their ethnic and cultural background allows them to accept job loss and unemployment as inevitable. This sounds something like Jensen’s prediction that the most serious problems associated with an IQ deficiency will be found at the lower end of the distribution. As work becomes more demanding, there will be increasing numbers who will be able to find any employment.
One should find then that the unemployment rate among Italians is higher than that of the majority. What if one does not find that? How one locates an “attitude” toward work by different ethnic groups is a very difficult matter. The blonds have, for a very long time, had an appreciable advantage in per capita wealth over most of the planet. But did that reflect an attitude about work or something different?
In English speaking Australia, the host population found a very different attitude about work among Italian immigrants than Gans found. A Committee of Enquiry established in 1931 by the Australian government caused some alarm precisely because the Italians worked hard. In spite of government sanctioned preferences in favor of blond Australians, farms were passing to Italian owners. The problem appeared to be that the Italians would put in longer hours than the host population. “We found impartial northern Queenslanders genuinely alarmed at the steady Italian penetration, which is still in progress. The Italian works harder and for longer hours than the British Australian.”
As I noted, there is a literature that finds that Italians made a rapid economic acculturation. A European sociologist writing about Italians in Montreal found a high commitment to work. Almost half of his sample had been small farmers or agricultural laborers in Italy. But through extremely hard work they were able to dramatically improve their position. “Thus, while only 14 per cent of the immigrant generation work in white-collar occupations, 57 per cent of the second and third generation Italians do. This is a striking commentary on the social mobility of persons of Italian descent.”
College age Italian Americans should probably read some of the literature about them with a certain amount of skepticism. It has only been in recent years that scholars of Italian American background, and other turn of the century Catholic immigrant groups, have begun to describe themselves in the academic press.
I have a kind of litmus test to determine whether the anthropologist or sociologist was actually looking for information about Italians, or was “reporting back” to the host culture what the blonds thought they knew anyway. The test is how the report deals with savings.
If there is one hard, objective, numerical economic generalization one can make about Italians, it is that they can save money. At every level of income, Italians can be characterized as savers; often saving much more than their neighbors, whether at home in Italy, in Protestant Australia, Catholic French Canada, the United States, Argentina, and Brazil While I disagree with some of Samuel L. Bailey conclusions, his data confirm the ability of Italian immigrants to save money.
The most telling evidence in the blond Protestant academic canon that the anthropologist had pre-judged Italian immigrants is in William Foote Whyte’s classic Street Corner Society discussion of savings. He finds an enthusiasm for gambling that periodically allows for display and popularity, but finally must prove harmful. He thinks that he has evidence that Italians share an inability to appreciate money and the centrality of its importance in the modern world, and a willingness to sacrifice the steady day by day discipline of savings for a momentary increase in status on the corner.
Gans’ description of Italians attitude toward savings is predictably similar: The Italians’ need for display destroyed their ability to save and eventually purchase their own homes.
Even though Italians had one of the lowest family incomes in New York City in the early 20th century, of the groups studied they had the lowest percentage of households with a budget deficit, and the one with the highest budget surplus. The director of the 1909 study concluded that while Americans, Germans and Irish did not save until they had yearly incomes in the $900 or $1,000 range, Italians and some other southern and eastern European groups began saving at $700 or $800 levels. After spending some time on this issue I am convinced that there are no objective studies that suggest Italian Catholics save less money at various income levels than blond Protestants.
Perhaps locating “attitudes” about work and savings make a simple story unduly complex. Assume that one finds that Italians go from having a per capita income of about a fourth of England’s, to roughly the same as England’s; or the Japanese from one-half of the U.S. norm to about the same as the U.S., in just two generations. Have attitudes changed? Or did something very simple, and very easy to measure, occur?
The Mobility of Italian-Americans: A Sociobiological Analysis
Apart from the issue of comparisons between Italian and English immigrants, the curious close similarities between the Italian experience and the history of the Irish in Boston demonstrate the hard biological ledge beneath the reality the sociologists see and report. On virtually every social and educational measure: Appearance, linguistic background, family structure, size, familiarity with the host Protestant population, independence of women; there was simply no comparison between the two groups. Italians were “foreigners” in a way the Irish never were. The fact that second generation Italians were reflecting roughly the same occupational and income experience as the Irish, about 20 years earlier, when they were second generation, points to something about the shift from an agricultural to an industrial society which has its own integrity, its own potency, operates across ethnic boundaries, ignores class, and is not much affected by the collection of qualities usually bundled under the label “cultural.” Something is moving people around the chessboard.
I know of no study that claims to have reliably compared the intellectual potential of whole nations. Such a study may be impossible since language and behavioral experiences are so different across ethnic boundaries. Nevertheless there is some evidence that suggests that the IQ distribution for Italians is not much different than for the white American majority.
There is a close correlation between the IQ test and several other types of examinations that have been used to predict occupational and educational achievement. Practically everyone in America takes one or more such exam during his or her educational and working lives. Because the tests are often administered to groups under less than optimal conditions by non-psychologists, a score for any particular child may not be as good an indicator for that child’s ability as a score on an individually administered test. Nevertheless, when one compares the performance of very large groups, one might assume that imperfections would creep in randomly and that mean scores of the groups would be more or less accurate.
In the 1960’s the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement began a study of reading comprehension which included England, the United States, Italy and twelve other countries. It would not be possible to make fine comparisons of national intelligence from the survey. Some countries have wealthier, and superior school systems. Some languages may allow for more precise and more difficult distinctions, in different areas. Also, different percentages of the total age cohort were in school systems. Still, the report itself suggests that large differences in ability would have been found, had they existed. The differences among the industrialized countries were small and somewhat inconsistent from age level to age level. There was a report in the academic press which does not address the issue of Italian intelligence directly, but does present data which indicates that the IQ of Italian children in the study did not differ significantly from the U.S. or English average.
Recent economic history shows a more decisive break with the 18th 19th and early 20th century experience than most intellectuals realize. It is interesting that both Greeley and Thernstrom make respectful nods to Weber’s thesis of the Protestant ethic. Greeley notes that Weber himself was dubious whether the differences in economic wealth between Catholics and Protestants would survive a lengthy period of industrialization. Thernstrom states that while the attacks on the thesis in America have been heavy, he does not find them persuasive.
The place to examine the theory is not America, however, but where it was promulgated: Europe. While it may seem strange today, there was a voluminous literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that assumed that the British were the highest representatives of capitalists as financiers, engineers, organizers, and merchants. An American geography text in 1933 reported that the British had a higher per-capita wealth than any population in the world outside of North America. A careful analysis might have revealed some problems in the productivity trends of the British economy; certainly the impression that the English enjoyed some innate superiority in dealing with an industrialized order was understandable enough. They had enjoyed a sizeable advantage in consumption since they gave birth to industrialization. Catholic Southern and Eastern Europe remained backward and poor for a very long time. Weber’s thesis must have simply put an academic stamp on what most people already knew.
In fact, however, Europeans had known something about the English and the blonds generally, for a long, long time prior to industrialization. It may be anyone’s guess when a really substantial advantage in living standards was established, but there is anecdotal non-quantitative literature that would locate the advantage generations, centuries even, and prior to industrialization. Adam Smith, writing around the time of the American Revolution, in the last quarter of the 18th century, favored a tariff for England to protect her work force from imports made by cheap foreign labor.
There can be no doubt that by 1900, after approximately a century and a half of industrialization,England had an overwhelming economic advantage over Italy. One estimate placed the United Kingdom’s share of world manufacturing output at 18.5 percent, while Italy’s share was 2.5 percent; and the Italian per capita level of industrialization was about one-eighth of the U.K. By 1914 per capita income in Italy was only 45 percent of Britain’s.
But by the 1950’s a change was becoming visible which would make a dramatic difference in the long-standing ratio between the living standards of the average Englishman, and the average Italian. A study of over 100 industries in different nations estimated that real per capita compound annual growth in Italy’s GDP from 1950 to 1987 was 3.9 percent in Italy, and 2.2 percent in the United Kingdom. By 1968 the Italian per capita GNP was about two thirds of the U.K. figure. Wages and benefits inItaly were approximately equal to Britain’s in the late 1980’s, and the CIA reported that by 1988 the Italian and British GNP were virtually identical. One commentator opined that Italy had a higher standard of living than Britain, which may or may not be the case. While there continues to be a division in consumption between the Italian north and south, it would be a mistake to exaggerate the matter. The two sections have traveled in tandem. The ratio of the South to the North in yearly per-capita income was about 60 to 70 percent in the 1980’s. While large, the difference is not much different than the ratio between the northern Atlantic states in the United States, and many Southern states; a ratio which has also remained reasonably stable across generations.
It is clear that a tremendous advantage that Britain had enjoyed for centuries essentially ended in the last half of the twentieth century. Certainly there were institutional political “environmental” forces which played a role in the change. The most obvious and dramatic difference between the economic policies of the Italian and British governments dealt with the Common Market.
The difference in the way the two populations received the Common Market surely reflected the difference in the ways the respective populations felt about Roman Catholicism and Catholic Europe at a very basic visceral level. The city which was chosen to identify the initial treaty in the evolution that led to an economically integrated Europe, Rome, was probably indispensable in bringing together the two peoples which would be responsible for the market succeeding or failing: French and German. Romemay not have been able to play this role if a heavily Protestant East Germany had been part of the equation at the time.
England, predictably, was not enthusiastic about the market, and tried, over a number of years to find alternative trading structures to join. But, in retrospect, one sees that the alternatives the U.K. tried just could not have worked. On the continent, a few miles away, an enormous economic reality was coming into existence.
However, basically, the change that allowed Italians for all practical purposes to catch up with Englandwas not a trading arrangement. The change that enabled Italians to consume as much as Englishmen in Europe was the same change that enabled the children of Italian immigrants to earn as much as the white average in America.
When one compares the economic history of Italian immigrants and their offspring in America with the census population that most closely represents the IQ distribution for the American white norm, one sees the same behavioral change that occurred in Europe. The reason for the disparity between Greeley and Thernstrom becomes immediately visible. The population category that reflects the white American IQ distribution is “native white of native parent.”
The Bureau of the Census has published data on various groups indicating occupational distribution, education, unemployment rate, entrepreneurial activity, rate of institutionalization, income and percentage living in poverty. Table 1 and Table 2 at the end of this chapter compare first and second generation Italians with native born white Americans for 1970, roughly the time of Thernstrom’s study. Table 1 assumes that the native whites of native parents in the 25 to 44 year old cohort are children of people included in the 45 to 64 year old cohort. Similarly, Table 2 assumes that foreign born Italians in the 45 to 64 year old cohort are parents of the population listed as American born ethnic Italians of foreign or mixed parentage in the 25 to 44 age cohort. While these assumptions are obviously not true in each instance, the 20-year difference should enable us to spot major changes between the generations. Thernstrom uses a very similar procedure to buttress his findings, although he restricts his sample to immigrant groups in the Boston area.
Behaviorism plays a large role in explaining the activities of populations in centuries old agricultural villages of a few thousand souls, but when it is time to explain what happens to populations that encounter industrialization, behaviorism must be wrong. If one looks at the tables with the background noise turned off, what is really striking is the “orderliness” of it all.
The key is the change in the locus of the experiments. If the experiment is conducted in the modern city, instead of the pre-modern agricultural village, one sees a curious fit between people, and school. On the narrow issue of economics, it is virtually certain that by the second generation transfer payments move funds from ethnic Italians to native born whites of native born parents.
There are probes in the domestic U.S. that are analogues for international reading scores: They can substitute as kind of IQ tests for certain large populations. The Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) was given nationally to over a million potential white servicemen. While the AFQT is not precisely an IQ test, its correlation with standard IQ test is about as high as the correlation among the various tests. Rhode Island is emphatically a state with a non-British, non-Protestant stock. A majority of the state was either foreign born, or the children of immigrants as recently as 1910. It is the most Catholic State in the union, has a majority Catholic population, and Italians may be as much as one fifth of the total population. In 1968, the last year for which data is available, Rhode Island had the highest pass rate of any state in the continental United States. Jensen suggests that the sample is good enough to indicate that the mean IQ of white Rhode Islanders is somewhat above the national white average.
By 1968 the overwhelming majority of Italian, Irish and French Canadian (a Catholic population heavily represented in Rhode Island) youngsters registering for military service, had grown up speaking English. It was very different from the situation that had prevailed in the first third of the century.
I sent an earlier version of this paper to Dr. Eysenck, and he was gracious enough to respond. A copy of his letter is attached as an appendix at the end of this book.
For some reason the two Stanford professors cited did not pursue Pintner’s writing on Italian-Americans. They clearly left the impression that Pintner was comfortable with the conclusion that there was about a 16 point difference between the white average and Italian Americans. When one actually looks at what Pintner wrote, one has a very different impression. He pointed out that Italians scored much better on non-verbal IQ tests, and discounted the notion that there could be a 16 point difference between them and the majority. Indeed, some of the test results he presents seem to indicate that Italians were performing at national norms. In a 1923 paper he characterizes the difference between the Italians and the national average on non verbal tests as “not very great.” One wonders whether the place where the sample was taken would have made a bigger difference than Pintner suggests. He notes that, for native-born Americans, IQ scores from urban groups were higher than for rural ones, and scores of children from the largest cities were about 10 points above scores of children from the smallest.
Psychologists have attempted a finer grained analysis of the country versus city deficit, by dividing the country children into two groups: those living in a district where the land was hilly and the soil inferior, and those in districts with good soil. In the poorer areas only about 20 percent scored above the median for the city pupils, versus 36 percent for the children from the superior farm areas. The authors interpreted the results to show that the more intelligent farmer would find the greater opportunity. Whatever the merits of the conclusion, the data reveals striking difference between the rural and urban child, among native born whites. Again, this demonstrates that test results that compared Italian youngsters with urban white Americans students, rather than the native born whites as a whole, dramatically overstate the American norm. The states that performed the worst on the AFQT were states that are heavily white rural and protestant.
Certain psychologists recognized this at a very early stage in the development of IQ tests. As early as 1926, some psychologists used Armed Force data as indicia that the blonds did not have the dramatic IQ advantage that the majority apparently believed. They pointed out that states with heavy representation of Southern Europeans were scoring higher than many states of the Old Confederacy.
Mexican-American youngsters in the American Southwest may represent a parallel to Italian children in the Northeast three of four generations ago. The children do poorly in verbal tests, but their scores on IQ tests utilizing drawings or designs were not much different from the white American norm. The fact that Spanish as well as English was spoken in over 80 percent of the Mexican-American homes was largely responsible for low scores on the language tests. In Toronto very similar results were obtained from tests of children of Italian immigrants. They did poorly on tests that relied on language skills, but their mean score fit within parameters established by Canadians of other European ancestry on the more culture free tests. While language tests may be the preferred type of IQ test for certain purposes, they present an obvious problem to children from households that do not speak the test language well.
There is a parsimonious explanation consistent with IQ theory which can account for the fact that second generation unskilled Italians left the unskilled work force much faster than their age cohort among native born whites, for the advantages that English born immigrants maintained over their American born cousins, and for the fact that Italy has basically reached parity with the British economy. Greeley is more right than Thernstrom, but he is not convincing when he attempts to use economic statistics to locate psychological types, albeit somewhat at odds with Weber’s analysis.
The great economic advantage that the blonds, particularly Englishmen, enjoyed for centuries was primarily due to behavioral differences. A very wealthy agricultural society from the beginning, it became differentiated along educational dimensions very early.
Until the very recent past Englishmen and Italians lived within very different behavioral/economic systems. In 1904 one observer claimed that 85 percent of Italian immigrants to America had been peasants in Italy. A source from 1911 stated that 67 percent had engaged in agricultural labor inItaly. Immigration records of the United States Government indicate that the occupational distribution of Italian immigrants who gave Louisiana as their ultimate destination during the period 1899-1903 was as follows: 33.7 percent were farmers or farm laborers, 12.5 percent were laborers, and 36.4 percent (including women and children) had no occupation. Those listed as having no occupation probably spent at least part of the time doing unskilled agricultural labor. The figures not only indicate that Italian emigrants were agricultural workers; they suggest the nature of the society the emigrant left behind.
Danilo Dolci states that in 1953 47.7 percent of Sicilian breadwinners were agricultural workers. A Danish sociologist writing in 1965 reported that about 29 percent of the Italian labor force were engaged in agriculture versus only about 5 percent for Great Britain. Indeed one text states that only about 7 percent of the British labor force were engaged in agriculture as far back as the 1930’s.
An Italian publication reported that in 1963 about 38 percent of employed workers in the Italian South were engaged in agriculture. Over the next 20 years the percentage of the Southern workforce engaged in agriculture was cut in half to about 20 percent. This was about the percentage that had been engaged in agriculture in the Center/North in the early 1960’s. Between 1950 and 1985 the average per capita productivity tripled in the South.
By 1983 the percentage of the Italian work force in agriculture had been reduced to 15 percent. The change was accompanied by a dramatic improvement in living standards. By the late 1980’s economically Italy had roughly caught up with Great Britain. While the history, in certain particulars, is a specifically Italian story, the theme is general. Removing agricultural labor from the national work force, via a school system is an economic improvement, always.
Weber’s analysis is pre-IQ. That is its great handicap. I believe that emigrants from backward agricultural villages probably do carry a mindset into the industrialized world that is a handicap. The overwhelming thrust of the data, however, is that if the IQ scores are roughly comparable with the host population, it does not much matter.
Peasants from agricultural villages moving into the great urban slums that inevitably accompany industrialization are forced to perform at that seam between the behavioral monotone of the agricultural village, and the relentlessly differentiating city. What happened within the population of Italian immigrants to the U.S. has to happen within every large, newly industrialized work force. In a nutshell, the kid that can do more does more, and he gets paid for it There is no way to subject this hypothesis to an experimental analysis, but if economic figures continue to show that certain national economies, particularly in Asia, gain ground on Britain or the U.S., it is inevitable that it will attract attention.
Baily posits a kind of continuum representing Italian adjustment with Buenos Aires at one end, New York and Toronto at the other, and San Francisco and Sao Paulo in intermediate positions. In a sense five different stories. Certainly one thinks that on the social level there is something to it. Like most minorities, Italians probably live in a somewhat limited social universe in Toronto, exhibiting a more or less defensive style. But on economic issues, my position is that there is only one big story, a story that is at the heart of economic development generally, and, in an intense and dangerous way, at the heart of nuclear weapons.
That is, even if Toronto is more different than Italy than Argentina or San Francisco the larger economic reality should not be much different if the playing field is more or less fair. I sent an earlier version of the paper to Professor A. H. Richmond, one of Canada’s most recognized authorities on European immigration, and he too graciously replied. His response is included as an appendix.
What one has then is a dispute among academicians concerning Italian economic advance. Thernstrom and Gans report slow advance; Boissevain, Greeley and Richmond find an impressive ability to play the economic game; and Baily suggests that “it depends.”
I am proposing a model of economic development that utilizes the data that indicates IQ scores follow a more or less normal distribution. A schematic representation of the difference would show agricultural societies by a behavioral curve that is skewed to the left against a normal distribution. The tasks are simple and do not tap the mental abilities of most of the work force. Industrialization tests the intelligence of the population in a new way. It pushes the behavioral reality to a closer fit with the IQ distribution.
No one else is saying this. Everyone else is wrong.
Besides being original the concept has some advantages over traditional accounts which make use of “class” or “culture.” It is consistent with a great deal of IQ data and it can be disproved. Agricultural workers are moving into industrializing urban centers around the globe. If the theory is right, the children of the newly arrived peasantry should be more mobile than the host population, everywhere. Differentiation is the behavioral spine of the modernization process.
The theory could also account for the fact that British immigrants were more successful than native white Americans. Workers in industrialized countries have had an opportunity to realistically assess their abilities. After nine or ten years of education, most people probably have a sense of the kind of work they could do. People who are factory workers in England, and do not think that they could do much more in the U.S., stay home. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and have a certain degree of affluence. Peasants in backward agricultural villages are faced with a very different option. Anyone who can leave does.
Now, to be fair to Thernstrom, his method of identifying economic performance is the accepted norm of labor economics. One identifies various ethnic groups, makes comparisons across these groups within middle age cohorts, and identifies more and less productive groups.
Professor George Borjas of Harvard University, identified as America’s leading economist on immigration issues presents data showing that between 1940 and 1979, the typical immigrant went from having more education than the typical native, to having less. Similar trends are found with labor force participation, unemployment rates, and earnings. He abstracts various economic data such as income inequality and skill levels in source country to provide a functional explanation for the lower economic performance in the U.S. But income inequality is not a variable that can be separated from behavioral issues. Tremendous inequality is inherent in a country compressed into three classes: peasants, administrators and owners. The only possible avenue of change leads through the 11th grade, which is to say the peasantry disappears into the urban slum. There will still be income inequality, but there will also be the beginning stirrings of an educated middle class.
For some, that trip to the city takes place across an ethnic seam. They emigrate. It is bound to cause some problems for the relatively unskilled native. Intuition and data point to the same conclusion. The immigration pattern of the 1980’s, which saw the foreign born share of the U.S. work force move from 6.9 percent to 9.3 percent in 1988, created disproportional competitive burdens for Americans who were already struggling to hold their own.
Borjas presents a model that identifies the quality of immigrant as a function of how certain data of the host country match up with data of the U.S. The “quality” issue is a matter of positioning the immigrant in the upper or lower tail of his native country. He says that the U.S. insures a poor result in its immigration policies because it insures the poorly paid and low skilled worker against disasters, while it taxes highly skilled professionals
The argument may be more misleading than helpful. The fundamental issue is not income inequality, political freedom or ethnicity, but behavior. Income distribution in a peasant society is not related to political equality: It is an unbundled feature of the behavioral monotone. My response to Borjas is that the income distribution of a source area can not perform the discriminatory function he assumes it performs, if the population has not been in the 11th grade, or in the 11th grade long enough. The conclusion that the immigrants will remain a permanent disproportional burden is not warranted. The children of that immigration cohort may become as productive, which is to say as differentiated, as the native population.
Parsimony is the test arena. Does the theory handle the data with a simpler theoretical structure?
The U.S. share of world production is a place to test the theory. There is no doubt that the American/Great Britain share of the world economy shrunk in the second half of the 20th century, while the share of newer industrialized states, particularly East Asian states, increased. According to one estimate, between 1950 and 1992 the Japanese share of world gross economic product went from slightly over 3 percent to 8 percent. In 1950 the West created about 64 percent of the world’s economic product; in the 1980’s the percentage had shrunk to 49 percent. By 2013 the share will have decreased to 30 percent 
Lester Thurow sees the wage pressure on that portion of the American work force with low skills as an inevitable result of “factor price equalization.” Very large international trade flows have forced the American worker to compete with the foreign worker. Unskilled American workers began the 1980’s with wages far above the unskilled foreign worker. Competition forced wages for unskilled Americans toward a more appropriate alignment. Practically all of the U.S. improvement in GNP in the 1980’s went to the top one-third of the work force.
Thurow does not treat IQ data, but clearly it is germane to the discussion. As more foreign workers leave peasant villages, and join the industrial work force, the pressure on wages for the low skilled work that that former peasant can do must increase.
The American unskilled laborer was receiving wages above what he “deserved” in a competitive market place, because the skilled American engineer was giving the American worker an opportunity to be the first low skill participant in an activity which was far more productive than agricultural labor. That protected status can not continue, once foreign peasants, with more or less equal IQ levels, are brought into an industrialized economy.
Thurow suggests that recent trends in technological development and test data reflect that Americans are not smarter than other populations. He tells us that when the rest of the globe puts in more effort, it receives higher returns. But effort is really a peripheral issue. The important question is the locus of the effort. Effort expended in maintaining a peasant-based agriculture can not measurably alter wages, consumption or technology. It can only hide a potential. While traditional economics accounts for development changes through “sectors,” learning operates throughout every economy, all the time.
It is not helpful to approach agriculture as just another sector for economies that have 60 or 70 percent of the work force in the direct production of food. A true peasantry behaves as a member of a system within separate villages, outside the reach of the national government. The central governments of most peasant-based societies played a much smaller role inside the village than the blond critics thought. The central government can create a new economy only where it can force the village to support a school.
The school and the slum are not enemies of agriculture: They are the places where the village is converted and rationalized: The man with a shovel, writ large, has to consume like a man with a shovel. A handful of intellectuals and idealists can not deliver a modern living standard to millions of men armed with only shovels.
Economists who call the peasant condition “poverty” miss the reality of the system: The controls at the heart of that condition maintain the balance, and keep true poverty, that murderous year, at bay. The industrial worker or intellectual, experiencing a recession, or even a depression, has experience and abstraction available to him. He knows something is going wrong. The peasant, faced with the bad year, has no such awareness. He has been through these before. The verities got them through before, they will work again. And, often enough, they do.
I suspect most intellectuals would be surprised how many European nations have experienced the same development changes as Italy. Between 1965 and 1993 the European farm population was halved. Between 1950 and 1972 the proportion of the Soviet population classified as urban, went from 39 to 59 percent.
The migration of agricultural workers to the major cities of South America has been well publicized in the past few years, but the movement has a long history. Japanese immigrants told their children to leave the farm and the agricultural life, for life in the city and opportunity, decades ago. In Canada, the fact that the French province has more or less reached economic parity with the mid-point of Englishspeaking Canada reflects a very large, and mostly unexamined change. An industrialized Quebec is a very different part of the mix than it was when it was overwhelmingly rural and agricultural.
I argue that the move from the peasantry to the urban slum must always involve the differentiating effect that the IQ distribution demands, but that the move also vastly improves the material lives of everyone involved. Consumption issues for very large populations must involve productivity issues for the same population.
One wonders when it was that people first thought that a society could consume what it could not produce. One wonders when it was that people first made the assumptions that because people have some power to manipulate the environment, they have all the power they need to manipulate their society.
Theodore Parker’s celebrated sermon in 1846, A Sermon on the Perishing Classes in Boston,concerned the Irish and may have been the earliest attempt by an intellectual to grapple with the problems posed by the entry of a non-Protestant peasantry into an industrializing America. His observations would fit comfortably on the op-ed page of the Boston Globe today. Among the points: Any society that can engineer a canal system to harness the power of the mighty Merrimack River could certainly prevent poverty and delinquent behavior. A nation that could expand across a continent could abolish crime, intemperance, and pauperism.
Between June 9, 1845, and June 2, 1846, over 1200 people were committed to the house of correction: one of every fifty-six residents of Boston over the age of 10. Education would be the answer. If Catholics would not attend public schools, perhaps it would be possible to for them to have separate schools, as was done for the Africans.
Now, Parker was addressing the problems presented by the first great wave of foreign agricultural workers to enter America. And he was fairly sympathetic. Still, he did not see what no one could have seen without IQ data. If some of the Irish had problems, some of the Irish were very, very smart, and were going to do very, very well. And there would be a population in the middle.
Native White Males of Native Parents
years old years old
% classified as
administrative 27.1 31.0
years completed 11.4 12.5
% unemployed 2.6 2.7
workers 15.2 8.8
% institutionalized 1.1 .93
Family Income of Native White
Population of Native Parents
years old years old
median income $11,149 $10,559
poverty level 6.8 7.3
U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1970, National Origin and Language.
years old years old
foreign born native of
% classified as
administrative 15.1 31.8
years completed 8.4 12.4
% unemployed 3.3 2.4
workers 13.6 9.7
% institutionalized .45 .51
Family Income of Italian Americans
years old years old
foreign born native of
median income $11,360 $11,832
poverty level 4.6 4.6
U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1970 National Origin and Language.
University of London
British Postgraduate Medical Federation INSTITUTE OF PSYCHIATRY
De Crespigny Park
The Bethlehem Royal Hospital Denmark Hill
and LONDON, SE5 8AF
The Maudsley Hospital 01-703 5411
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
Professor H. J. Eysenck, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Mr. R. Peppe,
5 Ray Street
Manchester, NH 5th. May 1975
Dear Mr. Peppe,
Thank you for your interesting letter of April and the enclosed data. I think the problems you have are not problems for the theory at all, and the findings could have been predicted from genetic theory. The phenomenon of regression to the mean ensures that even if you start out with a specially selected low scoring sub-population, future generations resulting from an inter-breeding of this sub-population will regress more and more to the mean of the total population which one imagines would be 100 for Italians, Greeks, etc.
Author’s Note: Sentence not pertaining to Italians deleted.
I discuss the problem of regression in my book The Measurement of Intelligence in some detail; I think it is a most fascinating and intriguing aspect of the theory and one that is not widely known or well understood. If this explanation does not satisfy you perhaps you could write to me again.
With best wishes,
- J. Eysenck.
INSTITUTE FOR BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCH YORK
SURVEY RESEARCH CENTRE University
667-3022 Area Code 416 4700 Keele Street,
Downsview, Ontario M3j 1p3
December 4, 1980
Mr. Richard R. Peppe
25 Birch Street
Derry, New Hampshire
Dear Mr. Peppe:
Thank you for sending me a copy of your article on “Italian Emigration and Economic Productivity”. I find your conclusions interesting and in no way incompatible with the Canadian experience of immigration fromItaly and other southern European countries.
I enclose a reprint of a recent article which may be of interest to you. (Anthony H. Richmond and Ravi P. Verma, “Income Inequality in Canada: Ethnic and Generational Aspects,” Canadian Studies in Population 5, 1978.) You would find further relevant materials in the following publications:
- H. Richmond and W. E. Kalbach, Factors in the Adjustment of Immigrants and their Descendants (Ottawa Statistics Canada 1980).
- H. Richmond, Ethnic Variation in Family Income and Poverty in Canada(Toronto: York University, Ethnic Research Program, 1978).
I hope you will find these materials useful.
- H. Richmond
York – IBR
The Queen did not respond, while Palmerston was not one to hear sermons from a Chinaman.
Walter A. McDougall[cxxiv]
The first interesting issue is to see how the blonds fit with the development of the communist bureaucracy. Was it a creation of an elite from an undifferentiated peasantry that had been educated by the blonds, and then turned on the blonds? Or was it the evolution of a class that had long predated the blond assault, and had, bureaucrat by bureaucrat, indignity by indignity, formed a coherent political movement to do many things, among them, keep the blonds out?
How important a role will the blonds play in future histories of Japan and China? Assume that I am right about the centrality of the 11th grade and that the 11th grade would never have been introduced into the traditional peasant village without a central authority with enough force to shove a school system down the peasant’s throat. Given the reality that bureaucrats, democratic or not, are educated people, it was inevitable that a modernizing central bureaucracy would introduce education into the wider population.
Were nuclear weapons inevitable in China? I believe that the informal racism that Englishmen inevitably practiced against the Chinese did insure the development and maintenance of a nuclear weapons program. The Chinese, democratic or not, will not forget the insults and slurs that accompanied the blue-eyed soldier in Asia.
It was inevitable that any modernizing bureaucracy would take on a specifically anti-Western posture. The histories of most of the former colonies of the U.S., France or England reveal a fair measure of racial resentment against Europeans. Nuclear weapons carry the promise of “never again.”
Nuclear weapons do not reflect the immense economic effort and stress that American periodicals have suggested for half a century. If you have a growing economy, if you can save money, and if you have a large talent pool of young men who are really good in 11th grade algebra, you can force the blond three-year-old into the betting pool.
However well or poorly the blonds and Third World modernizing bureaucracies fit together in the future, the die for nuclear weapons was cast in the 20th century. The fundamental truth about nuclear weapons in Asia has a central core: China will never give them up.
Insofar as industrialization means that productivity comes from a differentiated work force, we are not in a “post industrial” age, and none is in sight. The behavioral changes that one identifies with industrialization snap the age-old connection between a resource base, and consumption.
The book on the behavioral change from a peasantry to an industrialized work force is told in a number of chapters: the move to the city, the education of the boys, the limits on family size, the differentiation of the work force. But the chapter which really makes a long-term difference on nuclear weapons, is the one on the East Asian boy in algebra class.
Japan from 1956 to 1987, changed the inside of the blond’s head more than anyone would have thought possible in 1956. The movie Back to the Future has a marvelous scene where the 1950’s American is scornful of Japanese products, and the 80’s version is surprised to hear it.
An economic corollary of the rule that peasant populations moving into urbanized industrialized cities should typically be economically more mobile than the host population is the rule that the country with a larger share of its population undergoing urbanization should show a faster rate of economic growth than countries with more stable populations. Macroeconomics has abstracted and reified national experience. What is convenient to measure within national systems: tariffs, monetary policy, government spending, tax issues, become operational categories. Dissonance mandates the second look. Parsimony favors behaviors that occur everywhere.
Japan is exhibit 1, China exhibit 2, and Korea exhibit 3 for the claim that the introduction of a school system into a peasant society overwhelms everything else. Success in enjoying much higher living standards amidst political repression is not much of a riddle.[cxxv] Indeed the repression was the first step in the process of higher living standards. Both communists and fascists forced the peasants to keep the 15-year-old boy in school. The repression brought by the central government into the village, when one regards the 15-year-old as the important variable, was trivial compared to the truncated lives of 100 previous generations of 15-year-olds who spent their lives pulling weeds.
The movement of the peasant away from the fields has not escaped notice. In 1993 the Chinese government apparently became concerned that the increasing consumption gap between the 200 million involved in the industrializing economy and the 900 million who remained peasants, was a problem.[cxxvi]
The conventional western orthodoxy is to celebrate the free market, rather than the man in motion. There has been concern about the future of unemployed Chinese agricultural laborers, possibly 100 million, out of work and “afloat,” drifting around China, causing crime, instability, and ever more Chinese.[cxxvii] But without Chinese workers in motion, China has to remain an agricultural peasant country, and must consume what the peasantry can produce. Sometimes that production can not even keep people alive.
That tremendous mass of people is not a horde. Given what we know about IQ data and China, some, among that 100 million, have immense talent.
Whether in fascist Brazil, Communist China, or democratic England, the behavioral change always has to look a certain way. There will never be a better economic historian than Charles Dickens. There is no easy way to make illiterate peasants into an industrial workforce.
Virtually any activity the peasant attempts will be more productive than the seasonal agricultural work he left behind. The behavior of a handful of powerful men hundreds of miles removed from the village is, in truth, not of much moment, and can not cancel out the gains of millions of young people learning how to read.
Economic development inevitably involves migration out of the village. One thinks principally of the migration of men. But there are examples in Southeast and East Asian countries where young women play a key role in the shift from agriculture to industry. It is not new. A marvelous statue honoring the Mill Girls is an outdoor display in Manchester, New Hampshire, the site of the Amoskeag Mills, one of the earliest really large industrial sites in the country. An exhibit in a nearby museum shows living arrangements for the young women in the new city, away from home and the farm. Samuelson celebrates a China without cities full of filth, cursing in the streets, and beggars.[cxxviii] But the city is the site of education, differentiation, and capital accumulation. The village and its controls were not wrong, but they must be replaced.
The new city is a peculiar mix of the village and the present everywhere. Businessmen in Hong Kong maintain a water tank with 5 black fish to absorb the office bad luck.[cxxix] Whether the Germans are racists or not, it is not possible to read of their anguish at having Mediterranean families slaughter lambs in the apartment downstairs, without some measure of sympathy.
The slum forces the peasantry to give up habits and preferences. Certain behaviors will remain constant, but much will change. The standard blond punch list of familism, corruption, parsimony, low public morality and control of women will remain; but they will not be as intense as in the village.
Moreover some of the list will be helpful in developing an industrialized economy. Virtually every peasantry, at every income level, will save more than the blonds. I suspect this is particularly true of East Asians.
Just as the peasant moved into, and helped shape the behavior of the new city, so the city begins to form the new village. The modern rice farms that engineers and technicians from the urban areas are creating in Southern Brazil are going to destroy the market for innumerable small inefficient rice farmers throughout South America. Sao Paulo helps insure a continuing march of peasants to its slums.
Inflation may be another phenomenon that is inherently part of the path to development. Designing a currency for a stable sea of peasant villages is one thing. Hitting the right mark once the sea of peasants starts to move, and the product mix explodes, is very different.
The Japanese experience of jumping the gorge between a peasant society and an industrialized society will be very difficult for another population to emulate, because Japanese sores on quantitative tests will remain out of reach for most. Japan forced the world-class Sony engineer, the most important member of the developing middle class, to pay higher prices for food by keeping out competition which would have crushed the inefficient 5-acre citrus farmer.
There is a downside if the subsidy which the industrial sector pays to the agricultural sector goes on too long. One is not surprised to read that Japan in the 1990’s still had more people in agriculture than in manufacturing steel, cars, auto parts and metalworks totaled together.[cxxx] This has to affect the overall productivity of the Japanese economy. On the other hand, when one considers what the productivity of the Japanese economy was at mid-century when the Japanese were considering sending their surplus agricultural labor to compete with Mexicans in the California sun bowl, the overall judgment has to be that they handled a tremendous behavioral transformation very well. The policies did carry the seeds of certain inefficiencies that would become visible, but they also offered some protection to the workers who were actually planting seeds.
There is an economic risk that American pressures to force the Japanese to open its markets to agricultural goods will backfire. The trend toward fewer farmers is inevitable everywhere. By accelerating that process, America may find that it has simply increased the efficiency of an intellectually superior work force; a work force that has cost America good jobs.
Japanese may resent American advice, and bullying on the issue,[cxxxi] but, to be fair, it appears that there are a fair amount of Americans, both conservatives and liberals who resent Japanese success.[cxxxii] Even scholars, such as John K. Fairbank, cite “motivation” as the quality which is responsible for Japan’s successful drive to reach technological parity with the U.S.[cxxxiii] That is, he imputes a kind of social minded animus to the familistic Japanese.
The view presented here is that as the Japanese agricultural population began to shrink, it was inevitable that Japanese would begin to overtake the West. The workforce was simply too smart for it not to happen.
Europeans and Americans have longed viewed the future as a contest among white people. Alexis de Tocqueville, writing 150 years ago, observed that America and Russia each seemed destined to hold the destinies of half the world.[cxxxiv] A century and a half later, Americans assert their duty to demonstrate “Global Leadership.”
A developing East Asia, disrupts the blond agenda, changes the focus, destroys the simple dichotomy, and deflates the imperial sail. The heroic example and political tutelage that Anglo-Americans have felt destined to bring to the world for three centuries or more begins to give way to algebra, long hours, putting money in the bank, and head down engineering. When an Asian minister predicts that by 2020 East Asia will have a GNP larger than that of Europe, and twice that of theU.S., one sees that blond cohesiveness has helped develop Asia cohesiveness.[cxxxv] Polls seem to suggest that the Japanese are quite confident of their abilities to compete with Americans.[cxxxvi] Is it reasonable to suppose that where Japanese and American policies diverge, the Japanese think thatAmerica is exerting “leadership?”
As rapidly expanding school systems in Asia and Eastern Europe identify the academically gifted, it was predictable that they would put pressure on the blond economies. Factor equalization is a fact of life for labor too. The product is not the only item in motion.
Education of any type makes a very dramatic difference to the first generation of peasants to experience the process in a disciplined way. The difference between no school and the very poorest school is behaviorally a much bigger jump than the difference between the poorest school; a dilapidated, unheated, poorly furnished shack at the edge of a cow field, and the most modern building at Philips Exeter.
Authoritarian governments do create military structures, and do inflate the currency; but they also can do something else that will be of longer duration. They can force the peasant father, in the village and in the slum, to keep the boys in school until they are fifteen. The skill that the first generation of peasants learns, reading, is more important than any skill that any generation learns after them. For all their mistakes, that is the skill that the fascists and communists brought to millions of boys and girls in the twentieth century.
As time goes on, and economies develop, reading is taken for granted. Sharp demarcations develop between subject matter, and disciplines, for a number of reasons, one being narrowly financial. People bid for the services of an outstanding student in the computer sciences all over the world. The fact that roughly one fifth of college graduates take jobs that do not usually require a degree indicates that specific technical expertise makes a difference.[cxxxvii]
The scores that East Asian students reach on quantitative tests are indicia of how their economies will do as they become more complex, more computerized, more engineered. Hopes (?) that with increasing wealth the Japanese will become inefficient compared with Americans, will be disappointed.
America did build on a tremendous base of talent and resources: Machinery, iron and steel, cars and trucks, and petroleum accounted for over half of American manufacturing exports in 1929.[cxxxviii] The tie between that product list and America’s natural resources can not be missed. But it would be simplistic to connect the asset base with the export success. Without researching the matter, it looks like the same list which, except for petroleum products, would be very well represented in Japan’s post war success. The list represents a lot of money. Everyone wants the list. The key to holding on to the list is a work force than can improve the list faster, and at less cost, than the competition.
None of this is new, of course. Many economists have tried to locate economic development in discrete variables, and there have been studies that find that education has been a very large contributor to development.[cxxxix]
The Japanese and Chinese are not going to fade as economies become more technologically driven. They will have problems, as all economies have problems. But over time, year after year, decade after decade, the advantage they have on quantitative tests just has to become more visible as economic life becomes more technological, more abstract.
What is missing in conventional economics is the understanding that a peasant society is not an absence of education, nor an absence of wealth, nor an absence of learning. Skinner would have guessed that. It is learning within a system, a system that worked, but a system that can not survive the building of the schoolhouse.
Peasant learning kept millions alive for millennia. Writ large, on the issue of mentalism, there is more than one economics. There is an economics where Skinner is more right than anyone else; and then there is an economics where IQ data trumps everything else.
Physical capital is important; intelligence can not do the job unaided. In the early 1990’s Poles, Czechs and Romanians went to France to pick grapes for $40.00 a day.[cxl] The wages exceeded those that even skilled workers, such as computer programmers, could earn at home. Literacy rates in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and some other Eastern European countries are 98%; as high or higher than they are in parts of the European Community; and the production of scientists and engineers in Poland Hungary and Czechoslovakia compares favorably with the EC.[cxli] However one sees how recently this work force was transformed from a peasantry when one reads that the road density is only about 40 percent of the EC figure.[cxlii] Urbanization, education and capital accumulation all ride the skin of an expanding behavioral balloon.
It is a great curiosity that an agricultural population can turn into an industrialized work force so quickly. As the forced fit of the village turns into the free form of the slum, one sees a very rapid adaptation. The prediction that the slum will have a deleterious effect on intelligence is questionable. The alternative to the slum for the great majority of the world is not suburbia; it is the village. At the most basic biological level, increased mobility of both men and women diminishes marriages between related people, and dramatically expands the potential pool of mates. Moreover, it would be a great curiosity if intelligence began to decline just as the environmental payoff for intelligence dramatically increased.
East Asians have to be the most dramatic example of the underlying truths about mental measurement tests. In a sense one could make the same observations about peasant societies that one could make about low status jobs in industrialized societies: They include a much wider distribution of IQ scores than high status positions. The well-known affinity East Asians have for quantitative subject is a special problem for a strictly environmental analysis of the data.
How one should account for Japan’s quite dramatic and quite sudden improvement in IQ scores has been the topic of a fair amount of discussion. A 1975 test given to over a thousand Japanese youngsters in 1975 revealed that the average was 111, a full 11 points above the U.S. average.[cxliii] Apparently Japanese scores have always been a few points higher than western scores, but the great advantage appeared with the generation born after World Way II. Schooling was one variable that might be responsible. One forgets how rural and agricultural Japan was as late as the 1950’s, and how that inevitably hindered education. In the fifties only about half of junior high graduates continued to high school; by 1980 that figure had improved to 94 percent.[cxliv]
Perhaps isolation of young people is the kind of social deprivation which compresses IQ scores in a way that other familiar negative phenomena; low income, poor schools, inferior housing, bad diets, do not. In which case the sociologists evaluation of the urban slum really understates the advantages the new environment offers.
Certainly no blue-eyed country changed so dramatically and so recently as Japan did. The fundamental high distribution of the Japanese may always have been present, but education, and social contacts beyond the village, permitted the Japanese people to demonstrate their capabilities.
A telling detail about the Japanese is their history in Brazil, a country where, surprisingly, they number in the hundreds of thousands. They began as agricultural workers, replacing black slaves. While they did not face the kind of discrimination black people faced in the U.S., they were still perceived as different, and certainly they faced handicaps both as Asians and non-Christians.
Three generations after their arrival in Brazil, the Japanese have helped transform Brazil. At one of the best known universities about 12% of the student body is Japanese, a figure much higher than their share of the Brazilian population, and they have done very well there.[cxlv] One wonders how a purely environmentalist explanation would handle the same phenomena in Japan, Hawaii, California, and Brazil. And the key is to remember that the Japanese in each setting began the journey as agricultural labor, the least favored employment classification.
China and Japan are ancient civilization. Tinbergen speculated that, because more able and enterprising people will leave, one might expect to find the poorest people at the site of the most ancient civilizations.[cxlvi] By the end of the next century no one will offer that speculation. The Japanese and the Chinese have demonstrated that a population can be very intelligent, but have their intelligence hidden by the behavioral monotone that is the peasant village.
The central theme for economic development is the fit between IQ data and the modern economy. Other issues are important but the economic issues can not be changed until the population changes its behavior and begins attending school. The process once begun is irreversible.
Plans to maintain the kind of lead the blonds, particularly Americans and Englishmen, had in economics and technology could never have been realized once the rest of the world began educating its boys. How should the English-speaking blonds handle the challenge?
No one is certain, but I believe that the plans one hears to subsidize high tech operations by squeezing low-tech service jobs may carry a risk. The Asians will be very tough long-term competition. Maybe it would be better to have relatively fewer assets in high tech, international trade, and more in concededly lower paying less productive domestic operations, where they will not be as vulnerable to a smart but poorly paid work force.
Assume that a graph could be constructed showing the world’s awareness of the Japanese as engineers overlaid on the movement of Japanese peasants to the cities. The articles extolling theToyota would follow the transfer of populations from the country to the city.
None of this is meant to deny the long term advantages of free market industrial economies. North and South Korea may be as good a real time, real world test as one will ever see.
Throughout his writings, and over a long career, Skinner maintains an impressive consistency of focus, as well as an awareness of his preferences, on epistemological issues. He liked analysis; the problem with statistical solutions is that they open the gates to the invented cause.
Wilson is less clear on the issue. Sometimes he seems content with the statistical solution; one assumes a biologist would have to feel that way if he thought that he has insights which students of human behavior could use. I confess that I become uneasy when Wilson uses an analysis that refers to the familiar “edifice” of knowledge, with a broad base presumably consisting of physics supporting a kind of pyramid topping out with either human behavior or knowledge about human behavior at the commanding height.[cxlvii]
There is simply no way to determine if the fundamental unit is biology, or the behavior you just performed, until you know what it is you want to explain. Human intelligence picks and chooses between history and statistics as it tries to predict within a discipline. The discipline, like the man, comes with preferences that it may not be able to lose.
Ethnicity seems to be downplayed in much American sociobiological writing. Of course the same issue is missing in Skinner too, but since he thought that he was locating lawfulness, science, in environmental history, it is less curious. Perhaps sociobiology really has not addressed the blond’s behavior because the blonds are writing it, and their behavior seems to them to be the universal behavior.
The assumptions the blonds make are the same every large dominant ethnic population make. Their behavior is the universal behavior. Consider Lester Thurow’s observation that if a fifteenth-century observer had been asked to predict that one part of the globe was about to conquer the rest of the planet, he probably would have chosen China as the conquering party.[cxlviii] It had the familiar requisites: technology, population, and organization.
An outsider however might have noticed something else. The Chinese behavior was just different from the blonds’ behavior. The English noticed it. One supposes that others had they seen as far, would have noticed it. Perhaps, if one researches German literature, one would notice very similar patterns in what Germans noticed. The Chinese were like many other populations: in closed villages, familists, very poor, and more likely to be tied to specific regions than the English or the Germans.
And I doubt that the astute 15th century observer, when he tried to predict the future, would have overlooked a much more important variable. The successful army is the army that carries its aggression informally, inside the head of its soldiers. The great army is the army that carries its idealism within the same cutout as its racism. Nobody doubts that the British inside China just look both more impressive, and more racially aggressive, than the Chinese look inside Britain.
A TV documentary on Caucasoid mummies found inside China indicated that some of the Caucasian graves included Chinese. The conclusion was that the Caucasians and the Chinese had learned to live in harmony and intermarried. I doubt it. It does not sound like the blonds anywhere else.
Peppe’s First Sociobiological Rule is that The Size of the Behavior Indicates its Age. If, in the 21st century, we see the blonds everywhere exhibit a consistent pattern as far back as we can see we have a good idea of what they were doing in small isolated tribes thousands of years ago, where we can not see.
A TV news story featured 11 American women who had adopted Chinese babies; all baby girls; 11 to zip. It is not possible to see that statistic and realize that something is going on, something that is not random. The only rational conclusion is that American women think that something is wrong with Chinese males; in a way that they do not think that something is wrong with Chinese females.
Now, this is innocent enough; China and the U.S. are separated by thousands of miles. But what ifChina and the U.S. were next to each other; think Germany and Poland?
What would the conclusion be if the sex ratio of the Chinese bodies in the graves of the mummies favored women by a very large amount? It would mean the blonds were able to kill the men and appropriate the women. Is this a basic biological thread that ties the pre-Christian blonds together with the 21st century blonds, through four thousand years?
Is the discovery of the mummies an opportunity to see something real about ethnic relations? Suppose the researchers found virtually no male Chinese skeletons? Could it help move English speaking blond history from a political theory featuring a principal thinker, John Locke, and supporting characters on three different continents to a different deeper reality? Could it do something deeper? Could it really present, as nothing else could, the story of history as ethnicity? Could it help everyone accept in China the presence of nuclear weaponry as a specific answer to a specific blond characteristic?
The graves could establish the historic integrity of ethnic types. If the final nuclear conflagration features Chinese and American engineering, “History” could be reduced to three Major Events: The Caucasoid graves, the 11th grade, and nuclear weapons
If comedy is cyclical, tragedy is linear and predictable.
I know what nuclear weapons are. The other 5 billion people on the planet are wrong. The first task is to spot the functional realities.
Where does a discussion of SDI belong? With a discussion about technology? About freedom? About history? About religion? Or about ethnicity and the 11th grade?
SDI, an SDI which really works, or more accurately, an SDI which everyone knows really works, is an absolute requirement for the blonds to continue to maintain their ancient posture toward the wogs. The bell will never go off signaling that China and Russia have accepted that Americans will be secure while they will remain vulnerable. The contest finally is not between technologies; it is between technicians. When one watches the top of the deck of one thousand million Chinese, or the best science students out of two hundred million Slavs, concede permanent defeat in an intellectual contest, one is not witnessing a lot of engineering: One is witnessing a miracle.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, children from different ethnic groups all over the world attend algebra and history classes. This was not true for any century preceding the twentieth. For the purpose of understanding why SDI, a defensive weapon, will not prove any more successful than offensive nuclear weapons; one must take a morning off and look in on schools in villages throughout the wog world.
For the wogs, the key in algebra class is to identify a handful of young men who will prove themselves so adept at abstract quantitative reasoning that they will be able to cook Winston Churchill and Thomas Jefferson in their homes in the blond world. Which is to say, to be able to begin to exclude over 90 percent of the boys taking algebra from that classroom that will be the heart of their nuclear weapons program 8 years hence.
The key in history class is behaviorally very different. An undifferentiated, dirty, low skilled, parasite ridden, impoverished horde of illiterate peasant boys has to develop a more or less common past. They have to see each other in a world driven by ethnicity. Part of that history is seeing Winston Churchill, Lord Kitchener, Siegfried, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, FDR and Thomas Jefferson as a package: a racist package, that has put some version of the sign “Chinese and Dogs Stay Out” over the landscape on five continents.
The important point in history class is to give an ethnic group a coherent past. It is not propagandizing: It is inherent in that class. History has a point of view. What would the text look like on the Indian reservation if it had not been written by a White?
Now that children all over the world are in school, what does that Slavic 11th grader in Russiahear about the Germans? What does that Chinese 11th grader hear about Englishmen and Americans? What are they fated to hear? Can anyone imagine that they could hear anything else? Without an outside powerful religious institution challenging the state, there will be no institutional challenge to the cultural anthropology that the Chinese, the Slavs or the other wogs learn. It was clear, after the dust had settled following the collision between American and Chinese planes, that some Chinese “men on the street” were authentically more anti-American and aggressive than the Communist leadership.[ii]
The process of national identity is inevitably different in the peasant world than in the blond world. Great fighters carry their country with them. The peasantry has its country assigned to it by bureaucrats, via the 11th grade. China was announced to thousands of Chinese peasants by the central government, in a way that Germans, Englishmen and Americans never had to have their countries announced to them.
The Russian and Chinese 11th grades will be the most important factors in determining the wisdom of developing an American SDI program. Because the best algebra students in each county are roughly equivalent; a defensive nuclear program for America is likely to lead to a weapon system that will break down the defensive system. For the North American continent, it could be as much a mistake as an offensive nuclear program. Everything depends upon whether the Chinese and Russians can be talked into accepting the program.
No one believes that a nuclear defense system against Russia or China will ever be so good that the blonds would be willing to risk the total destruction of their civilization. In European military history, nuclear weapons represent a resolution of the debate between Catholic Europe about that minutia of rules for wars, and blond Protestant Europe’s rejection of the notion of a code for war as inherently absurd. In the nuclear age the Catholic version will prevail. In the working out there will be no price worth a nuclear confrontation. There will be rules for conflicts between populations that have nuclear weapons.
This means something concrete to the Russians, in very concrete specific places. Is the Russian presence in Chechnya a monument to traditional Russian ruthlessness?[iii] Or is it just another validation of the way the world is; not much different than the blond presence in what had been Australia, North America, Mexico, or Africa? Force and the threat of force formed the nation state everywhere. Moreover, great powers behave like great powers. When the Communists forced the blonds out of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan one saw national power serving an ethnic end.[iv]
Nuclear weapons do not change the status of the struggle as an ethnic struggle. What nuclear weapons do is to change the characterization of the struggle as the “Great Game” inside the head of western housewives. Once the blond housewife sees what she has to bet, the characteristics that suggest “game” begin to recede.
Compare two pieces from Boston area newspapers: one dealing with the Chinese in Tibet, and one dealing with the blonds at Plymouth. The editorial on the Chinese calls forth imagery of Buddhist compassion dealing with the steel of Chinese imperialism and promises the familiar promise of the arc of history uniting, finally, with the shining ideal of justice.[v]
The story about Plymouth features an Indian who was invited to speak at Plymouth’s 350th anniversary gala. The speech he planned to make included a report from a book published in 1622 inEngland that said that Pilgrims took as much of the Indian’s provisions as they could carry, and that they robbed the Indians’ graves.[vi] The descendants of the Pilgrims did not let him make the speech.
Now, why should a 1622 publication in England lie about the event in a report about and to Englishmen? The point, finally, is not about bad people in two places. The point is that nation building everywhere looks a certain way in a relentlessly ethnic world.
The two great calls to battle for Anglo American intervention revolve around “stability” and “justice.” They necessarily serve different interests. Adopting both of them promise a lot of work, and an inevitable clash with the other great powers who would like to do, more or less, what Englishmen and Americans did in the formation of England and America.
Germany’s role in World Wars I and II do not look to be rational to Anglo-America because there was nothing that Great Britain or the United States desperately wanted in 1914 or 1937 that they did not have. They could go anywhere and do everything. And they were safe from attack at home.
Germany and Russia never had a comparable psychic wealth. They always had each other. Taking land from Scotsmen, or Irishmen, or Indians, or French Canadians, or aborigines, or even 10 million Mexicans is one thing. Taking it from a couple hundred million Slavs is a wildly different thing. If you guess wrong about your ability to put the Slavs on reservations, it becomes a problem for a long, long time. Particularly if they can locate a 15-year-old Sakharov. The intensity of the ethnic conflict inevitably underlines and strengthens nationalism. Once Russia survived Marxism, some degree of Pan-Slavism was as predictable as the New Hampshire legislature’s reaction to the success of the blue-eyed people in taking over half of Mexico.
My guess is that somewhere, in some journal written by an Italian priest, a few years after Luther began his revolution, there is an eerily prescient observation about nuclear weapons at the end of the 20th century. While this priest knew that the Germans knew the Italians, he also knew the blonds. The blonds, whether they spoke German or English would never be satisfied to live in one space. Once they had their own religion, something would have to be developed to keep them in defined parts of the planet. Nuclear weapons will keep the blonds out of Russia and China. The Russians and Chinese do not think that nuclear weapons are worthless.
SDI is simply the same nuclear arms race with a new label. The Russians think that they have, once and for all, won what was perceived by both them and the Germans as a centuries old race war. The most important prize in that Russian victory is a cylinder pointed at Germany which, should it go off, will, for all practical purposes, amount to a genocide. It is a tribute to the blond aesthetic, social morality, intelligence, organizational skill, and determination that that is what it took to be safe as a neighbor next to the Germans. The Russians will make every imaginable sacrifice to maintain that cylinder in working order. SDI threatens that Slav victory.
When should one begin the story of nuclear weapons as a game in which everyone understood that this was going to be real competition? One might begin it before or immediately after World War II. Certainly there were sophisticated observers inside the military and technical programs who were aware of Russian attempts to develop a nuclear weapon well before the end of the Korean War. In fact, I was 10 in 1950 and I can remember a discussion in the early 1950’s between my father and a neighbor about a newspaper report on Russian efforts to build nuclear weapons that could eventually threaten the U.S.
The first part of the game featured bigger and bigger bombs. That
phase essentially ended in the mid 1950’s after Russia demonstrated that it had the technical expertise to develop a hydrogen bomb. The fact that the U.S. could produce a bigger and more technically advanced bomb than Russia just became uninteresting. The Russian bomb was big enough. There was something else about that Russian bomb. It focused a lot of attention on the competition. Intellectuals who otherwise were not much interested in politics, paid attention the day that the news reports featured what Russian engineers could do.
Compare Cuba in 1962 and Eastern Europe in the 1990’s. In 1962 the American Secretary of State said that Russia blinked because of American power. Now, update that story to that morning in 1999 when Russia landed a few hundred paratroopers in that airport in the former Yugoslavia at the request of the Serbs, to the rage of the United States. Did the thousands of nuclear weapons that theSoviet Union amassed during those 40 years make a difference? Did the change serve an ethnic end? I suggest that the few hundred troops the Russian landed at that airport in the teeth of Anglo-American opposition established an ethnic reality the blonds did not want to recognize.
It is easy to overlook how long, considering the total duration of the nuclear arms race that SDI has been around. More than likely there were references to defensive systems from the 1940’s. However, assume for the sake of argument that President Reagan’s speech in 1983 was the modern beginning of SDI as a major political program.[vii] I would argue that that period of time represents a more substantial amount of time, compared to the length of the nuclear arms race than is generally recognized.
For my purpose, 1955, the demonstration that Russia could build a hydrogen bomb, was the year when the blond establishment should have recognized the competition for what it was: a game played by a handful of young men with phenomenal talent. It established the Slav nuclear engineer as an excellent engineer.
Now, divide the offensive side of nuclear weapons into three categories: the blast, the delivery, and, finally, the instrumentation. Sit back, take a sip, and consider how fantastic the engineering became on both the Russian and American side in each of those three categories in that brief period between 1955 and 1983. One began that period with people talking about essentially saving the country, by being able to control the damage of the blast. One began that period by people measuring the ability of bombers to get through defensive systems, in Northern Canada, thousands of miles away, a matter involving hours. One began that period by wondering if the Russian instrumentation would put the energy on the North American continent, or in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Just 28 years after 1955 everyone was satisfied that Russia could, in less than an hour, drop that energy in the middle of Washington, D.C.
By contrast, begin the story of SDI as a visible active political program in 1983, and consider what has been achieved in terms of really reducing American vulnerability in roughly 20 years. Nothing. There have been promises: One read in 1989 about fantastic particle beam shields in space by the mid-1990s.[viii] One read in 1989, just 6 years after President Reagan’s proposal, that SDI is precisely the type of program which plays to American strengths in technology: communications, miniaturization and instrumentation systems.[ix] But no one bets their family on a menu of competitive advantages. One bets the family on a product that one knows, without doubt, will protect one’s family. From this perspective, the reality is that a defensive system remains as illusory at the beginning of the 21st century as in the 1980’s.
What is the difference? Why did the progress in offensive weaponry proceed so quickly, while progress in defensive systems is so delayed? The blond optimist will argue that the
difference is that America was forced to play the game with unfair and unnecessary constraints. The optimist will argue that adhering to treaty provisions meant that America could not turn its great potential loose: The only way to solve the problem is to take all constraints off and, if need be, put defensive systems into space.
I suppose that we will never know until all the constraints are off, but I think that the difference is competing against nature, a landmass and time on the one hand, and, on the other, competing against another gifted engineer. The issue simply is not a stationary as opposed to a moving target. The issue is competition.
The competition to the blonds is coming from places no one would have predicted in 1955. The idea that China, not to say North Korea, could develop a weapon which could hold the blonds at bay by threatening the 3-year-old blond at home, would have been just unbelievable in 1955.
The American interventionists have the same mind set about strategic relationships that British imperialist had. Arrange friendly nations in various geographical locales into alliances to be able to check a real or potential enemy from dominating that area. From the perspective of the natives, the implicit and unspoken moral rational for that policy was and is that democracy enjoys a status that justifies a blond presence, racists or no. In a world defined by different populations that assumption becomes a problem. It was inevitable that something like SDI would be proposed to continue the basic strategy.
John McCain’s proposal for a Pacific alliance joining the United States, Japan, and South Koreaand others to develop a nuclear defense from the Aleutians to Australia fits with the general blond history.[x] Non whites will see a different reality behind his proposal than will whites. America is sensitive to the actions which indicate that a developing China is doing more than just developing inside China; that it is doing something outside China, it is projecting influence or power outside its own boundaries. That projection means, at a minimum, not becoming more vulnerable to Americathan she is now.
To the heirs of British imperialism the projection seems to be inherently aggressive.[xi] Conservative Americans honestly do not see that the initial projection of force by white people intoAsia is bound to be perceived by Asians as much more unnatural and aggressive than anything thatChina is likely to do. Moreover the simple fact that the Asian powers are geographically much closer to the launch pad than Americans makes a huge difference in the chances a defensive system could actually supply security. The simple physical fact that Asians are within a few minutes of the energy source requires a system be faster and more effective by orders of magnitude than a system that could work as long as it had 40 minutes of notice.
The perspective urged here would treat Japanese, Chinese and Koreans as a single group. They all came out of peasant backgrounds, they all present a familiar familism to the blonds, and, most important, they are all good at algebra.
Comparisons between Japan, an island power next to a continent, and Great Britain’s situation are common enough. But the more important truth for nuclear weapons concerns their differences.
While the Japanese may carry some of the racist assumptions that the English carry, there is a tremendous aesthetic difference. It would be impossible not to understand some of the British racism, indeed the blond racism generally, with some measure of understanding, on that ground. The Japanese themselves understand that they do not carry that advantage.
Also, there are different realities between Asia and Europe on the two “continents.” One is not surprised to read that Margaret Thatcher retired and able to speak freely expresses some concern for the future of the Europe, because the Germans have a taste for dominance.
The comparison that would have Japan play Germany to China as France may have a core of truth.[xii] But it is not the best comparison.
Contrary to what some experts may believe, China armed with nuclear weapons is unlikely to make Japan, the only country which has tasted nuclear weapons, more belligerent. It is more likely that the Japanese would become more resentful of a blond power that will attempt to deal with Chinaas it dealt with China in the 19th century.
Japan sees the relationship between the Black Ships and Pearl Harbor in a very different way than Americans and Englishmen see it. At least one reason that Japanese expressions of guilt about World War II are much more muted than the German guilty plea, is that, logically enough, the Japanese see the role that the democratic blond racists played in setting the stage for World War II in Asia. To the Japanese, the German in Asia spoke English.
The dramatic difference in the numbers of 15-year-old boys in school in Asia at the end of the 21st century, compared with the beginning of all previous centuries is the key to why the relationship between Asians and the blondes has become very different. One wonders what Chinese leaders think about what has been accomplished within their lifetimes. They can get at Buckingham Palace. Surely they must see the difference that talent made. Whatever Liberals or Marxists might say about inherited IQ differences, they should at least consider the possibility that Russia and China became secure from the blonds precisely because biology plays a large role in determining IQ.
IQ differences became visible the instant the peasant 15-year-olds stepped into a classroom. Pundits, who find the implications of a genetic component in IQ in an increasingly technological world to be depressing, miss the larger point of how liberating this reality must be to East Asians.[xiii] The fact that North Korea may have the ability to take out an American city does not seem depressing to North Koreans.
More generally, by the middle of the 21st century it will be clear that East Asians have accomplished an economic change without parallel in the modern world. Much has been made about whether Asia success represents something about Asians or something about economic development, and what, if anything, this success portends for the U.S.
On purely economic grounds, apart from military considerations, blond America will not be worse off if East Asia does well. Boston and Route 128 have been and are totally impressive centers of technological innovation and creativity. Today, somewhere on Route 128 a 60-year-old is driving home who remembers, with regret, when Massachusetts was number 1 and California tried harder. Well, O.K., a much larger population and a bigger capital base finally meant something when they were wedded to world class educational institutions. It is a truism of economics that in the big picture no one really lost because California did very very well, and 128 did very well, and no one loses long-term because Japan and Korea, and increasingly China do well.
Once the competition involves not just economic bragging rights but invincibility, on the one hand, or vulnerability for millions of people on the other, understanding what is happening with nuclear weapons becomes a life and death issue. The simple fact is that China may in the foreseeable future become a society of over a billion people who are roughly half as wealthy as Americans, without developing a Western style democracy.[xiv] Observers who express some doubts about “Westernized” the Japanese have become, and who at least consider it possible that they may identify more with China as she inevitably begins to take up more space in the world, could be right.[xv] And it may lead to increasing areas of disagreement and anger between Asians and the blonds. For example, as Japan began to match American levels of aid to poor countries; it was inevitable that sometimes the blond establishment would have reservations about the identity and intent of the donee states.[xvi]
I have never seen a study of how Americans really feels about Japanese economic success, but it seems to me that they resent it in a way that they do not resent Germans success. One assumes that issues of racial identity are part of the difference. One assumes that the Asian former colonies of the blonds may exhibit some of the same dynamic. IQ data promise a protracted period of East Asians doing well.
At first, IQ data was just another page in the same book that the blond people had been writing for a long, long time. Eventually, everyone, but particularly East Asians, will see how different this page is. The critical mistake the blond intellectual made was to assume that the page simply reinforced what the blonds had known for hundreds perhaps thousands of years.
The entity which the IQ psychologists track is at the center of the nuclear arms race. As that truth becomes visible, one wonders how the blond populations will react.
The nuclear age beginning roughly at the mid-twentieth century has witnesses a material reality murdering an idea. In 1955 or 1956 when I was in high school, an English teacher, of English descent, and an Anglophile, would encourage the class to debate whether England should leave those places where the populations were not democratic or were not ready for democracy. The blond racism always traveled with an impressive idealism. The succeeding 40 years of the century after I graduated established the reality that an Asian engineer could keep both the idealism and the racism off of Asian soil.
The key issue for SDI is to be sure that the abstractions and generalizations that the blond intellectual applies do, in fact, fit the problem at hand. One sees references to the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, along with predictable and mostly accurate references to America’s technological leadership.[xvii] The one foreign policy issue on which hard right conservative and establishment Wall Street types agree is that arms controls do not work.
However, the view presented here is that if arms controls do not work, nothing will work. The world will be treated to a future where nuclear weapons will be stationed in space. Russia and Chinawill never agree to become the blondes’ targets.
The pundits who claim history teach lessons about nuclear weapons make two category mistakes. They abstract and reify “History” as if it were data. Second, they place nuclear war on a continuum with other wars. These are serious mistakes.
A common deep biological reality underlies Japan’s economic success, China’s growth rate, andNorth Korea threatening to develop nuclear weapons. It is interesting that Americans perceives all three as pointed at them. American conservatives who note with understated relief that Japan has economic problems too, will discover that, over a long period of time, the Japanese advantage in algebra class will not go away.[xviii] When Japanese students are dramatically better than American students in math, economic consequences are inevitable.[xix]
In China, math proficiency has obvious military implications precisely because of nuclear weapons. The English speaking blonds had been aware of Asians with some measure of curiosity, interest, a combination of humor coupled with disgust, and a great deal of puzzlement before the Asians were aware of them. Force was inevitable once the blonds began entering Asia. That is not to say that force was not part of Asia prior to the blonds; force is inevitable in the interactions between different ethnic groups. Force is part of the India/Pakistan equation. Force may be part of the continuing China/Japan debate. When one reads that Japan scrambles fighter planes to make sure that China is aware of its claim to some uninhabited islands, one sees that ethnicity promises a trend toward force.[xx]
But what is different about the blond force in Asia, is its curious combination of real idealism, and real racism. Generalizations can be made about the informal relationships between the blonds and the Asians, which would look curiously like the relationships between Slavs and Germans. Border disputes are usually, first, informal personal disputes, assaults, ranging from slurs to murders.
Nuclear weapons travel over borders. The real surprise on nuclear weapons involves Korea. Over the years North and South Korea may develop a working rapprochement which will incorporate a nuclear weapons program. Would anyone be surprised, given an ethnic world and long memories everywhere, that the first potential target on the Korean list would be somewhere near Tokyo?
Why Korea? What is there about this poor isolated country which makes them a potential nuclear threat, even to the North American continent? It is a fact that American intellectuals certainly know at some level, but almost deliberately turn shift their gaze. Korea offers an opportunity to completely re-think the realities of nuclear weapons.
Conservative analysts convinced that the American nuclear policy has been successful, plead for the return of Teddy Roosevelt, a firm hand, more muscular Protestantism. But Teddy Roosevelt never had to bet Teddy Roosevelt’s three-year-old at home, millions at a pop. Other columnists, treating North Korean nuclear weapons as an extension of North Korean economic life, believe that its trading partners have an enormous leverage over its policies.[xxi] But, what are North Korea’s nuclear weapons?
Whether true or not, the story about CIA agents encouraging Japanese officials to convert gambling machines to use magnetic cards, instead of cash, to lessen the flow of Japanese gambling money into North Korea as a way to exert leverage on its nuclear program, reinforces the image of American officialdom trying to control a behavioral problem, through the manipulation of stuff.[xxii] The fact that the Japanese were (also) stunned by the CIA’s demonstration at the amount of progressNorth Korea has made with its nuclear program demonstrates that the ability to underestimate the validity of I.Q. data is not a Caucasoid monopoly. No one, blond or not, knows how to handle that gifted Third World engineer employed in a nuclear weapons program.
Analysts, who point to deterrence and the end of the Cold War in Europe as the model for American action against North Korean nuclear weapons, miss the essential truth of the most important long range result of the Cold War.[xxiii] The American school bus is 40 minutes from Chinese and Russian nuclear missiles.
They will remain 40 minutes away, or they will move closer. They will not move further away. They serve an ethnic end. Similarly, the North Korean nuclear program serves an end that North Korea must consider as ethnic.
The notion that we are in a world of competing cultures is more accurate than the view that the world is composed of competing political ideologies; but it underestimates the intensity with which the Chinese and Russians will cling to nuclear weapons. If nuclear weapons are the canvas, the world is painted in ethnic tones. Now this does not mean that nothing can be done. But anything that can be done to lessen the risk, even for the blonds themselves, will be very difficult. Sending the Seventh Fleet through the Taiwan Strait every time there is a disagreement over the status of Taiwan, guarantees that the gifted 15-year-old Chinese turned 28, will continue to work on nuclear weapons.[xxiv]
One reads that no machine can or will replace the committed soldier in deciding disputes among nations. General Patton’s chain of being beginning with Samson swinging the jawbone of an ass, through the elephant, armor, the long bow, gun powder, and lately (1933) the submarine, all finally, giving way to the man, has an appeal and a ring of truth for the great blond fighter.[xxv]
However, once nuclear weapons became the machine, the fundamental ethnic dimension of the truism can not be missed. A blond John Henry can not beat that machine. The only question is whether he will come to that realization when the machine is 40 minutes away, or 5.
The word “game” applied to nuclear weapons competition has a certain blond look about it. It has a kind of playfulness about it, a modest nod in the direction of John Wayne.
The British upper class, certain that its role was to be very different than any other upper class, both because of ethnicity and achievement, took some steps simply to keep the real or potential enemy “off balance.” Any country that seeks to be able to affect events literally everywhere has to play that “game.”
The problem is that now other nations clearly see the ambition that Anglo-Americans have, and they see that they have to keep Anglo-America off balance. Nuclear weapons can do that. Engineering talent can do that.
One sees that even the blonds’ lack balance dealing with a nuclear armed threat. Would the Russians have landed 300 paratroopers on that airfield without a nuclear arsenal behind them?
When a voice for American interventionism, to insure that Russia does not behave like a great power in Russia’s neighborhood, summons Congress to build ABM, one sees the familiar but in a very different and dangerous setting.[xxvi] American, like Englishmen will run heroic risks, but to imagineAmerica will bet New York City to keep Russian troops out of Ukraine is absurd.
A revisionist’s account would consider America’s involvement in Vietnam a success, despite the agony, and the debacle at the end, on the grounds that it gave some nascent democracies time to develop. There may be something to it, but from the Asian perspective the main lesson was what was visible. The blonds left.
A working accommodation to avoid war might have been possible in Asia, among Asians, without the introduction of nuclear weapons. The blond conflict with Japan, the most self-aware, perhaps most intelligent Asian, was probably inevitable given the behavioral logic that accompanied Anglo-American racial sensitivities. One is not surprised to read that Macao, unlike Hong Kong, had a large population of mixed race Europeans and Chinese.[xxvii] The Japanese imperialists must have been aware of that.
It may be true that in East Asia liberal democracy remains what it was at the beginning: an Anglo-American import.[xxviii] But this is not at the heart of the continuing nuclear weapons story in Asia. The fundamental issue is ethnicity. The Chinese will never give up nuclear weapons because the Chinese have to be sure that Queen Victoria will not be back.
When one reads the blond establishment on the nuclear threat, one is struck by how confident and consistent it remains in the teeth of a deteriorating security situation. Margaret Thatcher, in a list of reasons why the Unites States must have SDI includes the ability of the West to threaten everyone everywhere.[xxix] She does not see what a racist threat this has to be to China, indeed to all the non-blond populations who knew the British in their salad days. Any account of the British Empire written in English would begin with what a threat Russia and Spain posed; never what a threat the blonds posed. Any account in English of the beginning of the nuclear age, would sound the same.
The basic dance of ethnicity and the bomb was set in a 30 or 40 year period in the second half of the 20th century. The Slavs gained more from the development of nuclear weapons than any other population. The Chinese were second. They will not surrender their ability to force the blonds to bet the blond children the next time the blonds get the urge to kill people to do good.
Given their history, and their talent, the economic issue is simple enough: Do the Chinese have enough of an economic base to continue the nuclear weapon march? Compare the estimate that the Russians had only 4 long-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting the North American continent in the early 1960’s with the estimate that China had 60 medium
range missiles and 8 single-warhead strategic missiles in 1991.[xxx]
The relevant statistics are available in the popular conservative press.[xxxi] The allies spent 40, 000 man-years to make the Hiroshima bomb in the 1940’s; an equivalent in the 1970’s took India 2,500 man-years. What the American conservatives fail to see behind the change is the relevant variable. The issue is no longer whether the wog has access to American or Western talent: It is whether he can grow his own talent. See North Korea.
How are Korea and Vietnam connected in the head of the American blond intellectual? Is it geography? Is it history? Is it political behavior? Is it America? Is it China? Is it more universal: The nature of man? Of war? Of ethnicity?
When did they look the same? When different? When the Japanese and French went home? One wonders how they looked to the blond intellectual when Teddy Roosevelt and the Great White Fleet started to tour. How will they differentiate in the blond head when America finds out, if it does, that North Korean engineers have access to the blond nursery school?
Did Americans consider using nuclear weapons on Korean civilians? Did Americans consider using nuclear weapons on Vietnamese civilians? Did the fact that America had become vastly more vulnerable to nuclear weapons in the 1970’s than in the 1950’s play a role in the length of time the idea was actually under consideration?
Was it possible that Asians during World War II became surprised at the ferocity of British and American fighters?[xxxii] Was it possible that the populations on the receiving end of the imperialist impulse to do good ever thought the imperialists were anything other than ferocious? When the Japanese saw the percentage of Filipinos America killed just a generation before Pearl Harbor, they must have known what would happen if a withdrawal of the blonds from large sections of Asia could not be negotiated.
The explanations for the blond wars against the wogs changes wogdom by wogdom, circumstance by circumstance, but there has been a singular thread that ties the faintest stirrings hundreds of years ago at the beginning of the British Empire to today. The blond intellectual identifies the same political identity. These were not wars against people; these were wars against evil people: dictators. The cohesiveness, ideology and ambition of the Marxists heightened everyone’s awareness of the dictator, but there was not much that was said in English about the communists that was not said in English about Roman Catholic bureaucrats, Moslem bureaucrats or Orthodox bureaucrats, for centuries.
Bureaucracy is a given in peasant societies. The difference between the traditional bureaucracies and the fascist and communist bureaucracies of the 20th century is that the 20th century varieties really were agents of modernization on that most critical behavior: They put the 15-year-old into school. They stepped between the peasant father and the peasant child. That role was never required in blond societies.
The nuclear age has given the wog bureaucrat an asset totally and completely out of scale to any asset any non-blond bureaucracy controlled in any prior confrontation with the blonds. The bureaucrat now controls what a 28-year-old An Wang engineers.
The image then is of a non-democratic bureaucrat solving the blond problem through the abilities of a particular engineer. The nuclear reality expresses that, but the long future that can be predicted for nuclear weapons rides on a deeper and more durable reality. The gifted engineer is ethnic too.
The continuing behavioral spine of nuclear weaponry is made up of outstanding high school students who became outstanding college students, who became outstanding engineers, who became junior administrators, who finally run the show. They know each other, they like each other, they respect each other. They are aware of the traditional blond attitude and behavior toward them. The Russians know the Germans. The Chinese know Anglo-America.
They continually look for, and continually find, through the help of school administrators the one indispensable ingredient in the nuclear program: the very special 15-year-old. The 15-year-old as he moves through the system will take on his elders’ beliefs. He will have an ethnic perspective of life. At 15 he has the beginnings of that perspective. He will believe in the nuclear program. He thinks that he is one of the saviors of his people, the savior who solved the blond problem by developing the real final solution: the ability to just kill everyone.
The Russian nuclear engineer wants what the Russian bureaucrat wants. The Chinese nuclear engineer wants what the Chinese bureaucrat wants.
The great value of Vietnam is how long it lasted. A settlement could not be negotiated, but the blonds left anyway. Did nuclear weapons have anything to do with 1975? If one focuses on nuclear weapons to judge American statecraft of the 1950’s, what does one make of John Foster Dulles and President Eisenhower? Was Dulles’ enthusiasm for the brink of war in the middle of the twentieth century partly responsible for what Chinese engineers are engineering at the beginning of the twenty-first century?[xxxiii]
According to one source, a review of top secret State Department memoranda concerning Korea showed that American policy makers in the 1950’s did not share the horror of nuclear weapons that had become a given by the end of the century. President Eisenhower reportedly felt the use of nuclear weapons would be worth the cost if they could help achieve a substantial victory.[xxxiv] Could the dramatic increase in horror around nuclear weapons in America have anything to do with the fact that Americans are now targets?
One way to view the road from Korea, 1950, to Vietnam, 1970, and then Korea 2000, is though the nuclear lens. The picture changed dramatically because the capability of Chinese engineers changed dramatically. The blonds have always been able to visit China. What happened in that 50 year period is that it became clear that the Chinese engineer could visit London and Washington.
The incredible, and totally unpredicted, economic success of East Asians is related to their scores on tests of quantitative ability. Academic talent makes a difference. The difference translated to nuclear weapons makes a world more different for the blonds than anyone else.
For the nuclear weapons game, those successes have cultivated doubt, and maybe apprehension, in the blond intellectual’s head. The first reaction in the American press to the reality that everyone could soon wake up to a bright shining morning when the North Koreans had nuclear weapons was predictable: This is an emergency. It was the same reaction in the 1950’s with Russian technology and in the 1970’s with Chinese technology. People adjust, but the world was still changed. SeeVietnam.
One will read of American delegations traveling back and forth in an effort to find a “reasonable” compromise with North Korea. Announcements will be made announcing the final happy breakthrough, again and again. But if some dramatic agreement is not reached, it is inevitable that it will be clear one day that North Korea has access to a nursery school right outside the White House. The heart of the North Korean nuclear program is not an emotional extravaganza by a fevered aging bureaucracy.[xxxv] It is North Koreans in the 11th grade.
The Proliferation/SDI Dance
Remember the tough-minded triumphal declarations of the Reagan foreign policy team of the 1980’s. There was a Team B that would explicitly disavow arms control treaties in favor of a nuclear weapons policy that would put Russians under increasing threat.[xxxvi] Now, there will never be a consensus on what was achieved and what was lost. But the position urged here is to call attention to one undeniable change that largely became visible between the beginning of the Reagan presidency and roughly 1995. On one issue, nuclear weapons engineering, America was more vulnerable at the end of the period than the beginning.
Nuclear weapons have always had much more to do with engineering than politics. At the end of the Reagan presidency China could start a nuclear fire in Indiana. And Russia would be better at starting the fire.
Liberal and leftist nuclear scientists did not do anyone a favor when they invented their Doomsday Clock. The clock demonstrates that the Left and Reagan Republicans walk hand and hand briskly into the future, confused, sharing the same dangerous misconceptions, under the same growing ominous cloud. Connecting the hands of the clock to the intensity and volume of the visible political reality misses the consistent, steady, predictable advance of the quiet, hidden, potent behavioral engineering substrate.
SDI represents the continuation of two assumptions that have always supported the nuclear weapons program. The first is that the blonds are intellectually so superior that nuclear weapons do not represent a threat to them. The second is somewhat at odds with the first, but fits with the common assumption that nuclear weapons are just one more rung on a long, long history of weapons development: Psychological environmentalism transferred to the nuclear weapons story predicts that a wealthier economy and a heroic population will carry the day.
If one goes back to the 1950’s in the Chinese nuclear weapons program; the “beginning” for all practical purposes, one can not but help notice a curious disparity between the sophistication of the engineers who would finally be able to knock down Los Angeles, and the political economic thinking that would determine Chinese economic activity generally for a generation. One heard of plans to develop a steel industry through backyard furnaces; at the same time nuclear scientists were learning how to apply techniques a few months old.
That lack of sophistication about economic and psychological conditions no longer
applies in China. One assumes that they do see the asset that they have in the 15-year-old.
Nuclear weapons require a focus: There is no plane floating above the ethnic plane that we live on every day. One can confidently predict that the fall of communism in China will make as little difference to the Chinese ability to fashion nuclear weapons as it did in the Soviet Union/Russia. Moreover, the democratic English speaking world’s insistence that everyone treat their neighbors better than the Pilgrims treated the wogs at Plymouth, or Anglo Texas treated Mexico, may help to force a specific alliance between an Orthodox Slavic Russia and an atheistic Communist China to keep the United States under a credible nuclear threat; an alliance that, absent nuclear weapons, would be unthinkable.[xxxvii]
The Chinese see what they have done with just a very few nuclear weapons. They are unapologetic about why they and the Russians, for all their ethnic, religious and historic differences, will cooperate to ensure that Anglo-America will not be able to threaten their children with nuclear weapons, without Anglo-American children being similarly threatened.[xxxviii] The fact that Russia and China, two countries who share a land mass where there is a potential for conflict over conventional population and resource issues may cooperate with each other, rather than with the U.S., demonstrates the importance of nuclear weapons. It also shows how determined some countries are to put some kind of limits on
where the Vikings can go and what they can do once they arrive.
Political realities of the nuclear big three: The U.S., China and Russia have been permanently altered by nuclear weapons. In a sense, all of the moves within this triangle have been affected by what the 15-year-old did in algebra class in the second half of the twentieth century: For these three, when they deal with each other, there is no nuclear free zone.
At the end of the day the world is faced with a reality which will require decisions and action. The great engineer is as mobile as tanks or oil or money. What if China decides that its position will be advanced if there is a believable Muslim nuclear threat? A Muslim bomb could take pressure of it and put it on its two antagonists: India, with which it has a longstanding border dispute, and the U. S., heir to British Imperialism.
China would not have to actually give away her secrets. Her engineers could simply monitor and make suggestions about the program the Muslim engineers are pursuing. China may be criticized for this, but here as everywhere, the circumstances are important. Assume the observers were right who claim that Truman and his advisors were really aware that Japan was willing to surrender without a nuclear attack?[xxxix]
Israel and her supporters have advanced the idea that Israel should be seen as part of a democratic world, an expression of universal values and supported and protected on that basis. The real world of nuclear weapons makes that approach dangerous to both Israel and her supporters. It would be better to go to China and Russia and just admit that Israel has a very different status to Americans, and that she will be supported on that basis. In turn the United States will tacitly agree not to carry universal themes too dangerously close to legitimate Chinese and Russian interests.
While on the personal level no population has been more self-consciously ethnic than Anglo-America, the American establishment’s refusal to state that ethnicity has been and remains a legitimate source of violence by everyone, including the blonds, has become a problem to the next generation of blonds. The refusal to talk about blond ethnicity openly has been at the heart of British and American exceptionalism in international affairs. For blond intellectuals, Anglo/America floats above the ethnic world: In an ethnic world, but not of it.
One consequence of the blond refusal to see what Russia and China have to see, may be that the partnership between a self-defined Christian Russian state and an atheistic Marxist Chinese state will be more potent and dangerous to the blonds than the partnership between fascist Japan and Italy, and a racist Germany. One never knew how important the partnership was to either Russia or Chinawhen they were both Marxist states, but, given the centrality of nuclear weaponry, one sees how important the relationship is now.
Both have a very real stake in being sure that the blonds share some vulnerability to nuclear weapons. The engineering staffs in each country, big and good now, if they combine will become bigger and better.
The impression one gets from the national press on nuclear proliferation is of technology escaping from the West on little technology feet. Before the blond intellectual will understand why his three year old has become a part of the international betting pool, he will have to see the another image: a dirty little shack called a school, without plumbing or modern heating, in an incredibly poor agricultural village; part of the monotone. The 15-year-old boys in that village have been in that school, rather than the fields, for not more than 4 generations. It is an October morning; we are in algebra class. In one respect that class is like algebra class in an elite American school. Most of the boys look at the blackboard and say to themselves, “What the hell does that mean?” But there is one who says, to himself, “What is the matter with these guys?”
The boy becomes older, continues his extraordinary work in the rest of his high school career, goes to college, and remains at the head of his engineering classes. Certain adults are watching how he does with great interest. They are pleased when it looks as if he is as outstanding at 22 as he was in that village shack. Civil servants recruit him, and a comparative handful of young men from similar circumstances, into the nuclear weapons program. They have engineered the key for the lock of the future. Proliferation: the final answer for the Vikings.
Practical Problems Exist Within Time Constraints
The fact that nuclear weaponry has the behavioral look that it has makes for critical differences on the time dimension. In the nineteenth century catching up with the British Navy in the production of battleships might have taken the better part of the century for a country which was poorer thanEngland, but growing economically faster. The battleships of the challenger rolled into the ocean over the backs of millions of peasants becoming an industrial labor force. The sheer mass of stuff that comprised the ship secured a tremendously long lead-time. And, if British sailors were more skillful or braver, the competition could not force the English to bet what they were not willing to bet. The British Empire became enormous for a lot of reasons, but a couple of the most important reasons were that the English had a lot of material before anyone else had a lot of material, and the English are willing to risk their lives to stuff it down the wog’s throat on the wog’s dirt. They are as brave as they claim to be. Those advantages meant the English never had to play the Game at home.
See how different nuclear weapons fit with time. In the year 2000 a Chinese official suggested that America was overreacting to the North Korean nuclear program because North Korea would not actually have a missile able to hit the U.S. mainland for another 15 years.[xl] Assume that North Korea will be able to deliver a cylinder to Buckingham Palace or the White House by the year 2020. In a world without nuclear weapons little Korea could never threaten the U.S. and England; and theU.S. and England could always threaten North Korea.
Assume that the North Koreans saw the need to have that ability when President Eisenhower with a big blond grin threatened to bomb them with nuclear weapons in the early 50’s. They will not have matched the Anglo/American hardware but they can force Americans to bet what the American housewife really does not want to bet.
Once the threat of delivery becomes real, it makes a difference in how the policeman acts in that particular wog’s corner of the world. The problem with continuing the assumptions and policies underlying America’s nuclear weapons program is that over time the rogue that can match that 15-year-old algebra student may threaten to make trouble in a place where America really can not paper over a serious difference.
We have all heard numerous times how dangerous our times are because a nuclear weapon can be smuggled into New York in a briefcase. Well, maybe or maybe not. Typically the greybeard making the observation either wishes that the United States would make a greater effort in the nuclear weapons field, or the reverse: They would prefer the United States forget about building an expensive space based defensive system since we are all so vulnerable right now.
Both miss the point. The big very visible railroad in space carrying nuclear weaponry closer and closer to the American heartland has a kind of hidden parallel track that is spiked into the earth: The railroad on earth is labeled miniaturization. The missile in space and the bomb in the briefcase have the same father: engineering talent and they ought to be approached with the same tactics and the same explanations.
A bomb in a briefcase that can change human history represents thousands and thousands of man hours from men with very different specialties who share the same characteristic: the ability to write a 785 on the math SAT. It is tough to come up with thousands of man hours of engineering talent at that level. Nations can do it and giant corporations can do it. A collection of fanatics with a pick up truck and a briefcase can not do it. The point is that the talent has to be controlled.
For a gentile, reading the Old Testament when one is over 50 is very different from reading the Old Testament as a teenager. As a teenager one sees the Jews, an interesting group, doing a lot of fantastic things: wars, miracles, winning some, losing some; and a curious God, sometimes very visible, sometimes not, sometimes very familiar to a model that one has internalized, sometimes not.
At 50, or better 60, one sees a stage play with certain specifics highlighted. Ethnicity, as a topic, takes up more space; one is less sure how to fit God into the story. Equally important, 30 to 40 years have pushed Time into the adult’s head. Time has become an important actor. One’s life, like high school, is not forever. The Old Testament was a long long story but it was not forever. And one of the unavoidable reactions for the gray-haired reader is the awareness that after innumerable battles, losses, wins, disappointments, successes; Time finally revealed a specific result. The Jewish God is still there. The competition was not simply defeated; it disappeared.
The story about nuclear weapons is like that story in two respects: It is a big story, and it will be a long story. How it ends, matters.
The threat that China represents to Anglo-America is more than a threat that it may export hardware to America’s enemies.[xli] If one uses the British per capita GDP as a kind of consistent historical scale to measure industrialization and modernization, one concludes that the process can proceed very rapidly. From the dawn of industrialization, in, say, the first half of the 18th century to the end of the 20th there were innumerable arguments, centering around culture, IQ, religion, appearance, etc., which were used to explain why Great Britain was so much wealthier than most of the world. The middle third of the twentieth century saw school systems everywhere begin to capture very high percentages of the school age boys, and the economic figures, particularly in Asia, began to look very different.
Their great early success pointed the blond democrats toward the others’ fanaticism, rather than their own. For example, one reads that Sudan, over a hundred years ago, was the site of the same Islamic fanaticism one reads in the paper today.[xlii] How do we know that? Egypt, then virtually a British colony, joined with Britain to conquer Sudan once and for all and to put an end to resistance to British aggression in the area. “Fanatical” Dervishes armed with primitive spears attacked an Anglo-Egyptian force only to be mowed down by machine guns and other modern weaponry. InAfghanistan, the British succeeded, by force, in taking over the country’s foreign policy. The British, punishing Afghanistan for resisting, captured Kabul and burned down the Great Bazaar. The blonds read that resistance to British imperialism and racism was fanaticism, not that the British aggression represents fanaticism. As long as there were no ways to get at the policeman, his aggression is defined by his vocabulary. As long as there is no way to get at the policeman, the wog’s resistance is also defined by the policeman’s vocabulary.
The explosion of the first Soviet hydrogen bomb should have been a signal to the blond intellectual that a New World Order really was in the making. Post 1955, populations that could come up with the special 15-year-old in big enough numbers, would be able to define fanaticism for themselves. The difference between what the second modern world policeman faces from what the first world policeman faced, is not terrorism by a handful of fanatics roaming the streets of New York with hidden bombs, in a way they did not roam the streets of London. The difference is that there are non-blond engineers in the world who can make the policeman disappear.
Behaviorists were able to give shape to a different way of viewing human behavior as they set up shop in a laboratory and moved our gaze from what Skinner labeled “topography” to the probability of a given response.[xliii] One sees how different nuclear weapons are when one looks at a clock.
If one performs a simple mental adjustment, one can not avoid the dramatic increase in vulnerability for the blonds on the North American continent in a brief 45-year period after 1955. If one tries to represent what happened to American security in that period, in terms of 1955 technology; one would move 1955 bombers loaded with atom bombs from an airfield hidden behind a mountain range deep inside the Asian land mass to an airfield in Nova Scotia.
Perhaps more ominous, some of the bombers on that Nova Scotia airfield carry the Chinese flag. And there are fears that, in a few years, North Korean bombers may taxi on to the runway. No one could doubt that had President Eisenhower been told that Nova Scotia would offer its airport to Russian bombers loaded with nuclear weapons, war with Canada would have been inevitable. The horrifying became acceptable because it occurred day by day in small engineering increments, because the U.S. was also improving its offensive capabilities, and because the launching pad remained the same.
It took two generations for the wogs to move the delivery of Doomsday from over 10 hours to 40 minutes. How many generations will it take to move the delivery from 40 minutes to 5 minutes?
With apologies to Winston Churchill, no one sees the end of the story of nuclear weapons; no one even sees the beginning of the end. But we have seen the end of the beginning. The beginning was about talent and ethnicity.
I do not know if there is a God or if there is a Devil; but if there is a Devil I know what his favorite engineered product is. All things are no longer possible for any ethnic group. Nuclear weapons carry an existential message. The democratic blonds have to make serious decisions about what kind of a world they can have, and about what they can and can not do.
In the acres of space between the view expressed here and the establishment view about what nuclear weapons are, the most important point involves a shift of perspective. When one sees nuclear weapons as behavior; one sees nuclear weapons as a practical, day by day problem for the blonds; a problem that will not go away for generations. Nuclear weapons will cross that seam in middle class America’s head which separates distant, intellectual and political problems from the day to day security and financial issues which
define real life.
Some day, generations removed from the immediate threat, people may debate how nuclear weapons fit with European imperialism. Was it a chapter from an economics text? Or was it a story about ethnicity: a snapshot of how a planet divided between a peasantry and a great fighter has to look once the peasantry puts its young men in school and develops a “big enough” economy?
The two great engines that will power nuclear weapons into the future are academic talent, and ethnicity. One may predict that they will be as potent when the product is for defensive purposes as when it was frankly and honestly for attack.
Certainly September 11, 2001, will be a much more important date in the future of nuclear weapons than the pundits first publicly recognized. Large segments of the college educated, blond, professional, secularized, nominally Protestant public saw that the laws of physics operate on American soil. Many of those intelligent people could imagine something that they could not have imagined moments earlier. America had a real, visible ethnic enemy who threatened Americans in a personal and direct manner. If certain groups became intense target of American resolve, inevitably other groups began drawing a pass. There would be less generalized hectoring against the Slavs and the Chinese for human rights violations. As Americans perceive that their long-term enemy has a specific ethnic identity, there will be more attention to keeping other parties friendly, or at least neutral.
One of the gifts nuclear weapons have given the world is that they operate as a window that allows us to see through the fog into a deeper, more basic reality concerning large scale human violence. Ethnicity is the biggest figure in that reality. As such, it will operate to neutralize, blur and excuse the mistakes and terror that the twin modernizing forces of the 20th century, fascism and communism, committed. The Slavs and the Chinese know that whatever mistakes the communists made, they began a process that would keep the blonds off their dirt.
How does Islam fit with the move of the peasantry into the modern world? Certain particulars would seem to be at odds with modernization, particularly the status of women. But other particulars may prove to be the foundation of a new, and potent, and clearly anti-Western movement.
A fair amount of punditry was expended on what might happen to nuclear designs, equipment and material in Pakistan if the public there decline to follow America’s lead. If one listened carefully, one heard an echo of the old familiar concern about proliferation. But once one sees that the nuclear weapons game is not about stuff, but about talent one sees that the more basic question concerns what happens to Pakistani talent if Islam topple the pro-American government.
One can only speculate about how Islam and nuclear weapons will move into the future. The beginning of the nuclear weapons story did not feature Islam, and the beginning of nuclear weapons is all we know.
Reverend Robertson and Reverend Falwell were criticized for suggesting that the horrific result of September 11 carried a message from God, but Americans invoke the name of God so often and so publicly when things go well, that it would have been inappropriate to have absolutely no mention of God when America’s enemies are successful.
Religion has an ethnic dimension, inevitably. In a sense, for Protestants Christianity began with Luther’s conscience. Once that conscience was free, the German-Slav game, an intense, localized and brutal version of the general worldwide blond-wog game, was bound to affect the entire planet. A private informal racism has given the blue-eyed people a permanent agenda. For the four centuries following Luther, and on three continents, Luther’s neighbors have had to contend with the spectacular strengths and determination of that conscience.
But, after 1955, the blonds had to bet what they never thought they would have to bet. The blond three-year-old girl with blue eyes now shares the same role and the same status as all the other three- year-olds: Target.
[i] Nicole Bensoussan, “Tragic Vistas in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever and Do The Right Thing,” inShades of Black and White: Conflict and Collaboration Between Two Communities, ed. Dan Ashyk, Fred L. Gardaphe, and Anthony Julian Tamburri, (Staten Island, N.Y.: Italian American Historical Association, 1999), 237.
[ii] Hugo Restall, “China’s ‘Victimhood’ Breeds Aggression,” Wall Street Journal, 4 April 2001.
[iii] Claudia Rosett, “Defiant Chechnya Tests Moscow’s Empire,” Wall Street Journal, 9 December 1994, A12.
[iv] Robert D. Kaplan, “The Great Game Isn’t Over,” Wall Street Journal, 24 November 1999, A18.
[v] Editorial, “The teardrop of Tibet,” Boston Globe, 9 September 1995, 10.
[vi] Karen White, “Addressing a 25-year slight,” Brockton (Massachusetts) Sunday Enterprise, 21May 21 1995, 18.
[vii] Editorial, “SDI’s Enemies,” Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader, 10 November 1989, 31.
[ix] Editorial, “Secretary of Disarmament,” Wall Street Journal, 28 November 1989, A14.
[x] John McCain, “The Missile Threat the White House Ignores,” Wall Street Journal, 22 May 22 1996, A22.
[xi] Editorial, “AWOL in Southwest Asia,” Wall Street Journal, 6 December 1996. A18.
[xii] Arthur Waldron, “Deterring China,” Commentary, October 1995, 21.
[xiii] David Brooks, “Dark Gray Matter: How IQ Trumps Everything Else,” Wall Street Journal, 20 October 1994, A20.
[xiv] Editorial, “East vs. West,” Wall Street Journal, 16 May 1994, A18.
[xv] Charles Horner, “Under the Rising Sun,” Commentary, July 1994, 31.
[xvi] Editorial, “Japan’s Iranian Interests,” Wall Street Journal, 4 August 1994, A12.
[xvii] Editorial, “Upside-Down Arms Control,” Wall Street Journal, 26 September 1989, A26.
[xviii] Editorial, “Japan, Eek.,” Wall Street Journal, 1 June 1995, A14.
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