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Hive Mind

HiveMind [1]1,380 words

Garett Jones
Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own [2]
Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016

In Hive Mind, economics professor Garrett Jones departs from the usual individualistic focus of libertarians like himself in that he makes the case, knowingly or not, for more ethnocentric policies. He does this in a normie-safe manner; the reader might at times suspect he is a secret shitlord, but is being careful not to offend orthodoxy too directly.

Jones writes in a simple accessible style which sometimes leaves the reader hoping for more details. This was a wise move, in that it encourages independent research, which may be more effective in red-pilling the reader. Luckily there are extensive endnotes, and six papers to which the author contributed are cited.

The book discusses the value of IQ for the success of groups. Jones believes that being part of a high-IQ group is far more valuable than having a high IQ as an individual, and discusses several reasons for this. Simply bringing this up contributes to red-pilling even without going into the details on race and IQ, in that it points out another area in which diversity is not a strength.

The functioning of groups is investigated here partly in terms of cooperation, and high-IQ groups are for several reasons more successful in this sense. Jones draws this conclusion from research investigating several different aspects of cooperation.

Firstly, high-IQ individuals are more patient. This means they tend to have higher rates of savings. Their patience is part of a higher general concern for the future, as Alt-Right readers may already know from looking at racial differences in time preference.

Second, they are more pleasant in dealing with others, at least initially. They will however be more willing to punish others when it turns out that others are not playing fair.

Third, they are more perceptive, that is, they are more able to accurately assess what others are thinking and feeling. In terms of group cohesion, this means less paranoia and pointless infighting.

As one might guess from all of the above, low IQ is a good predictor of corruption. High rates of corruption are exactly what one would expect when people have less concern for long-term consequences, less inclination to treat others fairly, and less understanding of whether others are trying to take advantage of them.

One interesting finding is that if one group of people is divided into two groups which are each homogeneous in terms of IQ, the average productivity will be higher than if it is divided into two more heterogeneous groups. The benefits of homogeneous IQ, in other words, are not a matter of simply hoarding advantages for one group which will be lost by the other. Instead it benefits the wider group for people on different levels of intellect within it to interact more with their own kind.

Although it is of course not presented this way, the above could be taken as support for a policy of ethnic nationalism or segregation. Many readers will doubtless think of this on their own, which may be more effective than the author bluntly endorsing such policies to those still viscerally repelled by them.

An appendix provides two sets of national IQ estimates, covering most countries in the world. This may be particularly helpful for anyone confronting normie suspicion of this type of data. Indeed, some countries have very different average IQs depending on which data set you consider more valid, but those countries for which this is the case tend to come out dramatically lower than the West in either case. No one has estimates in which Muslim nations, for instance, have similar intelligence to our own.

Jones comments on a similar point with regard to estimates of the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans. There were disagreements between IQ researcher Richard Lynn and psychologist Jelte Wicherts concerning which studies were worth including in these estimates. While Lynn’s initial figure was 67, which is at the level of mental retardation, even Wicherts’ highest estimate was only 82. The latter would put the average sub-Saharan African at the 12th percentile in the UK.

Jones shies away from any explicitly pro-white policy, or even from excluding immigrants on the basis of IQ. He even brags that he signed a letter endorsing mass immigration, although he does not claim that this would be the best policy for native whites. Instead he defends it mainly in terms of benefits to the immigrants.

Of course, employed immigrants from poorer countries will likely earn more money here by benefiting from our more functional society. But the fact that we are so much more functional is exactly why we need to maintain our distinct culture, which means excluding most of the world. Jones unfortunately does not come to this conclusion.

The political implications of some of the findings covered, thankfully, are mentioned. One chapter is dedicated to the positive influence of patience and cooperation on politics, and another to the issue of well-informed voters. Jones believes that higher-IQ voters would be more likely to hold politicians accountable for their behavior due to their greater capacity to remember that behavior, and also cites evidence that they tend to hold more pro-market and socially liberal views, somewhat like his own. Obviously, the situation will get worse in all of these areas if current immigration and fertility trends continue, but the author is not willing to state this explicitly.

The crime issue is ignored, although there is a well-known correlation between IQ and criminality, and a stronger one between race [3] and crime. This does not mean that there are no references to possible harm from alien cultural traits, though; there is a brief response to the concern that immigrants from less democratic and less free countries would prefer to vote for governments more like those in their homelands.

The question of how immigrants and their descendants will tend to influence the political institutions of their new homes in tremendously important: governments are made by people, after all. And since immigration by the currently less-skilled will likely be part of the future of the world’s rich economies, I sincerely hope that the rich countries will find deep and effective ways to raise the human capital, the education levels, and the test scores of all these nations’ citizens and all of their immigrants. Our future may depend upon it.

Here, then, is the typical multiculturalist attitude: hope that we are able to fundamentally change immigrants, rather than simply exclude the type of people who would require this kind of transformation.

Jones does make an effort to provide evidence that some alleged harms of low-IQ immigration are minimal, although not necessarily zero. He argues that differences in average IQ were only connected to very small differences in average earnings for immigrants once they reach the host country. A similar point is made about depressing the average American wage.

However, considering the disconnect between the author’s policy stance and the data on the issue that is the main focus of the book, this book is reminiscent of the infamous Robert Putnam study [4] on diversity, or even of a much older document. In 1929 President Hoover appointed a new National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement to study the causes of crime in the nation. The group, popularly known as the Wickersham Commission, focused mainly on prohibition and came to an odd conclusion.

After documenting the numerous destructive results of the policy, including major increases in organized crime as well as police corruption and brutality, the commission’s final report [5] endorsed even more aggressive enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment. A columnist at the time mocked it in terms which could summarize the current dominant view on race with only a few words altered:

Diversity’s an awful flop.
We like it.
It can’t stop what it’s meant to stop.
We like it.
It’s left a trail of graft and slime,
It’s filled our land with vice and crime,
It don’t enrich us worth a dime,
Nevertheless, we’re for it.

The Wickersham Report, of course, did not erase the popular contempt for Prohibition or prevent its repeal. If anything it did the opposite, regardless of the intentions of the authors or their government sponsors. Hopefully Jones’s work has a similar effect.