The times they are a-changin’ wrote Bob Dylan – and man, they really are changing right now. This is my last post on Charles Murray’s book Human Diversity (2020). It illuminates a tectonic shift in who holds humanity’s cultural and intellectual power. It’s changing radically from arrogant elites in mainstream media and academia to independent thinkers who can see how badly these elites have abused their power and purported authority. The cancellers are about to get cancelled.
Murray writes: “They have created a world that is ideal for them, filled with the kind of complexity that they are able to navigate through which they can extract both money and power. At the same time, they have abdicated their role as stewards of the culture.” Today’s elites (the clerisy as Ross Douthat calls them) exude a fundamental misunderstanding, even a disdain, for reality. They continue to cling to an obviously wrong worldview generating growing cognitive dissonance which is causing an ongoing erosion of their “authority”.
If today’s elites are being toppled, who will replace them? The people I write about here – guys like Scott Alexander, who recently exposed The New York Times as the douchebags they are – more on him next post. It all boils down to the point I’ve been making here for years. The clerisy’s attempts to control the world – to help the poor, low IQ masses – to redistribute wealth, cannot and will not work. Government cannot confiscate wealth and power and pass it out to others. Government can only confiscate (i.e. steal) the fruits of wealth and knowledge -> money, which is not the same thing as wealth and knowledge. We know better from our War Chest of awareness – true wealth and knowledge, not the pretentious, wrong-headed, immoral beliefs of the clerisy.
Here, let’s hear Murray’s diagnosis of the clerisy’s sick misunderstanding of human worth:
…the root is the new upper class’s conflation of intellectual ability and the professions it enables with human worth. Few admit it, of course. But the evolving zeitgeist of the new upper class has led to a misbegotten hierarchy whereby being a surgeon is better in some sense of human worth than being an insurance salesman, being an executive in a high-tech firm is better than being a housewife, and a neighborhood of people with advanced degrees is better than a neighborhood of high school graduates. To put is so baldly makes it obvious how senseless it is. There shouldn’t be any relations between these things and human worth. And yet, among too many in the new upper class, there is.
The conflation of intellectual ability with human worth helps to explain the new upper class’s insistence that inequality of intellectual ability must be the product of environmental disadvantage. Many people with high IQs really do feel sorry for people with low IQs. If the environment is to blame, then those unfortunates can be helped, and that makes people who want to help them feel good. If genes are to blame, it makes people who want help them feel bad. People prefer feeling good to feeling bad, so they engage in confirmation bias when it comes to the evidence about the causes of human differences.
It’s a whole new world for those who understand and accept Mr. Murray’s ideas. And it’s the end of the world for those who refuse to accept truth and reality. They will continue to lose their power and credibility, involuntarily ceding it to those who are courageous and honest enough to see humanity as it is, not as they would like it to be.