2013 May 22 Wednesday
The Richwine Flap: What Is Behind the Diversity War?

Education Realist makes a great point mainstream media publications took Jason Richwine's arguments quite seriously until it became convenient to turn on him in a feeding frenzy around the fight over the immigration amnesty legislation in Congress. It speaks to the intensity of the intellectual warfare waged by the major media that they can turn on you very suddenly if one of their cherished goals (flood America with cheap left-voting labor) is threatened.

Richwine is not retreating or apologizing. Good for him.

In fact, I argue for individual IQ selection as a way to identify bright people who do not have access to a university education in their home countries. I realize that IQ selection rubs some people the wrong way, but it can hardly be called “extremist.” Canada and Australia intentionally favor highly educated immigrants. My proposal is based on the same principle they use (pick skilled immigrants), but it offers a much better chance for disadvantaged people to be selected.

Is something else at work here? Has the Left's identity politics made it easier for the moneyed elites to buy the Left?

Before the 1970s, labor unions were the most effective advocates for economic equality in American life. At the same time, they were for the most part indifferent and in some cases actively hostile to the liberatory aspirations of gays, women, and blacks.

Today’s progressives usually see this hostility as an expression of bigotry, and thus miss its strategic significance. For the labor movement, workers’ collective power against employers was vastly more important than individuals’ freedom to pursue their sexual orientation or personal ambitions. The unions’ success in the postwar period is partly attributable to the subordination of all other considerations to the goals improving wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Ethnic pluralism simultaneously makes people less altruistic, less trusting, and less able to come together in solidarity to push for a policy.

More generally, it is hard for a society characterized by ethnic and cultural pluralism to generate the solidarity required for the redistribution of wealth. People are willing, on the whole, to pay high taxes and forgo luxuries to support those they see as like themselves. They are often unwilling to do so for those who look, sound, or act very differently. In this respect, the affirmations of choice and diversity that now characterize American culture, tend to undermine appeals to collective action or shared responsibility. If we’re all equal in our right to live own lives, why should we do much to help each other?

Since the billionaires are so in favor of increased immigration I'm beginning to wonder: Do the wealthy see the destruction of civic engagement as a feature of immigration because it undermines rival power centers?

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

Think about it. If there is no social capital only people who can hire lobbyists and make big payments to support candidates end up having much of a say. The low trust society is a society more easily bought by the wealthiest.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 May 22 10:38 PM 

Mike said at May 23, 2013 12:58 AM:

"Has the Left's identity politics made it easier for the moneyed elites to buy the left?"

I haven't got round to reading it yet, but I think this is the theme of Kerry Bolton's book "Revolution from Above"

He basicaly argues that ring wing liberal financiers have provided a lot of the funding for new left identity movements, in part to get greater control of national economies and promote neoliberal economic policies.

Airien said at May 23, 2013 10:36 AM:

"If there is no social capital only people who can hire lobbyists and make big payments to support candidates end up having much of a say. The low trust society is a society more easily bought by the wealthiest."

That's an interesting thought. Are there any examples from other countries where we know this has happened?

Randall Parker said at May 23, 2013 8:48 PM:


America is already an example of where this is happening.

Immigration is eroding support for the welfare state in Sweden btw.

SOBL1 said at May 24, 2013 5:09 AM:

I'd argue that the left's tribal identity politics and McCarthyish smearing of the other side as racist for any policy opposition acts as a shield for the major source of their fundraising since '90 (big biz). The absolute pillaging of the middle and lower classes since '90 has had a smiley multiculti face covering for it. Same bankrupt elite looting policies as the right, which is associated with big biz. Think of ho perfect Obama is for them. Blacks support him still around 90% despite being screwed over and harmed worse than other groups since 2008 yet they would never march on DC (not that it would do them any good) with Obama in the White House.

Florida resident said at May 31, 2013 2:09 AM:

I agree with W.H. Regnery,
that "Right " should defend Richwine. On the other hand, Richwine is not an angel.
I spent about 10 raw hours of reading Richwine’s dissertation, and read it in full.
Chapters 1 through 6 are excellent;
they contain very serious analysis of IQ in general and
of IQ for particular cohorts of immigrants.

I learned something that I did not understand previously;
namely, that different IQ tests may have different g-loading,
and potential relevance of this to Flynn-effect.
Chapter 7 is called “IQ Selection as Policy,” pp. 123-134.
On the bottom of p. 126 he writes:
[ … ] For purposes of this discussion, it is sufficient to say that philosophers have identified both the welfare of the nation and the welfare of potential immigrants as important considerations. Intuitively this conforms to how most Americans view immigration policy. They want a policy that helps themselves, helps other Americans, and helps foreigners, each to varying degrees.
I [i.e. Richwine] propose the general principle that conforms to that desire. The US should first define exactly what it wants for itself from its immigration policy. Then, design a selection system that meets those goals, while still providing substantial benefits to potential immigrants. In mathematical terms, the US should maximize the welfare of its immigrants, subject to the constraint that the selection system meets the country’s own goals. Literally optimizing this abstract objective function is probably not possible, but it is a worthy ideal to work toward. [ … ]
So, he forgets about the preamble to US Constitution,
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Nothing is said in the “Preamble” about welfare of immigrants, and everything about
“ourselves and our Posterity”.
The rest of Richwine’s Chapter 7 is in the same style:
the principle is “US should maximize the welfare of its immigrants,”
while “the country’s own goals” are considered only as
“constraint that the selection system meets …” !!!
I wonder if Richwine’s wife considers the principle of their family life as
and the family own goals just as the “constraints” ?!?
Besides that, in his desire to invite about 1 million of sub-Saharan Africans with IQ greater than 115 [top of page 131]
he pretends to have never heard about the notion of “regression to the group’s mean”.

Florida resident said at May 31, 2013 10:45 AM:

Text of Richwine’s dissertation:

By the way, reference to the Preamble to US Constitution is Steve Sailer's idea.

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