Cities and Accomplishment
From the desk of Fjordman on Tue, 2010-06-22 15:21
Australia’s landmass of 7.6 million square kilometers is comparable in size to all mainland states in the USA minus Alaska, roughly eight million km2, but Australia has about 22 million inhabitants whereas the USA has over 300 millions. Both countries have similar histories in the sense that during the European colonial period, white settlers took over the land and built technologically sophisticated societies there, yet only one of them became a leading world power. This is because much of Australia and its water except for the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland in the northeast is desert. The soil is poor and not nutritious. Most of the population is settled along the coast in the south and east, from Adelaide via Melbourne and Sydney to Brisbane. Simply put: Australia’s geology and ecology cannot sustain anywhere near the number of people we find in the USA. In this case, geology and geography matter a great deal. Australia is also located far away from major trading regions elsewhere. Thanks to modern transportation and communications technology, this drawback is less serious than it used to be, but it is still a significant factor shaping the country’s economic life.
At the other extreme, Greenland, the world’s largest island, is more than half of the size of the USA at 2,175,600 km2, but with merely 57,000 or so inhabitants it has the lowest population density on Earth (excluding Antarctica, which is populated only by a few scientists) at 0.026 people per square kilometers. This is because cold and inhospitable Greenland is largely covered by ice and glaciers. By contrast, the most densely populated areas in the world are Macau in China and Monaco in Europe at 18,534 and 16,923 inhabitants/ km2, respectively.
Other geographical factors that are of great significance for the evolution of a society are waterways, navigable rivers and access to the major oceans. No serious historian could ever properly write the histories of Britain or Japan without taking their island locations into account as a major factor in its own right. Several scholars have pointed out that the more rugged shape and topography of Europe compared to China is one of the reasons why China was unified politically earlier than Europe, an idea that deserves serious consideration. The Roman Empire at its height controlled only about half of Europe, not the far north and east.
Many events can best be explained by a combination of IQ and other factors. The Portuguese exploration of the African coast in the mid-1400s started the global Western European expansion. This exploration required a certain minimum IQ, which European nations had but sub-Saharan Africans did not have. This explains why Europeans travelled to Africa yet Nigerians didn’t discover Europe, but it does not explain why the Chinese didn’t explore the Atlantic, which they may have had the technological know-how to do if they wanted to.
The Europeans possessed a number of cultural and commercial push-and pull factors such as the drive to find new Christian converts and the desire to gain access to the lucrative spice trade of the Indian Ocean without Muslim middlemen. Asians did not possess a similar desire to go to Europe. Yet IQ does not predict which European nation would start this process. There is little reason to believe that the Portuguese had higher average IQ than the Poles, the Hungarians or the Finns. What Portugal did have was a favorable location next to the Atlantic Ocean and Africa which made it ideally situated to undertake long expeditions. All of the major European colonial powers were located in the far west, with access to the major oceans.
This does not mean that water access is an absolute necessity; Switzerland provides us with an important counterexample of a mountainous and completely landlocked country that has managed to create and sustain a very high economic, technological and scientific level. Nevertheless, sea access has normally constituted a considerable advantage. The only Eastern European country capable of projecting power far outside of Europe proper was Russia.
While many parts of Western Europe developed a dynamic and politically important population of urban traders, the lands in the eastern half of the continent suffered from less urbanization and more social restrictions, with less and less economic freedom the further east you moved toward Asia. These differences grew with the establishment of the Atlantic maritime economy and the Industrial Revolution. By the year 1700, the population in the whole of Eastern Europe was roughly equal to that of France alone; the only really significant urban markets in East-Central Europe were Constantinople, Vienna, Prague and Warsaw.
Chattel slavery within Europe was abolished in the post-Roman era, one of Christianity’s most positive contributions. Yet reality is not so simple that all those who were not slaves were free men who could carry arms and had freedom of movement. Serfdom at its most repressive constituted little more than modified slavery, and it intensified in Eastern Europe just as it declined in Western Europe. Capitalism, too, was a Western European invention.
The Middle Ages witnessed the rise of the specifically European, above all Western European, phenomenon of the semi-autonomous city, organized and known as commune. Stadtluft macht frei ran the medieval European dictum – city air makes one free. When the count of Flanders tried to reclaim a runaway serf whom he ran across in the market of Bruges, the bourgeois drove him out of the city. Cities consequently became poles of attraction and places of refuge. Migration to urban areas improved the income and status of the migrants and their families, but not their health. Cities were dirty and vulnerable to crowd diseases, European ones at least as much as some Asian cities. It was only in-migration that sustained the numbers of urban dwellers. Serf emancipation in Western Europe was directly linked to franchised villages and urban communes and to the density and proximity of these gateways.
Where cities and towns were few and less free, as was the case in much of Eastern Europe, serfdom persisted and worsened. Between 1400 and 1650, the social and legal conditions of peasants in the eastern half of Europe declined, as many free farmers lost their freedom. Russian, Polish and other lords seized more land for their own estates and demanded ever more unpaid serf labor. The daily life of peasants was hard everywhere, but the visibly harsher social conditions in the East were commented upon by Western European travelers.
The political power of peasants in Eastern Europe was weaker than in the West. Many serfs were bound to their lords in hereditary service and had to do much forced labor without pay. Russian serf families were regularly sold with or without land, and serfdom was abolished in Russia as late as in 1861. In Western Europe, free farmers and townsmen were the natural enemies of the landed aristocracy and would often support the crown in its struggles with local seigneurs. David S. Landes explains in The Wealth and Poverty of Nations:
“European rulers and enterprising lords who sought to grow revenues in this manner had to attract participants by the grant of franchises, freedoms, and privileges – in short, by making deals. They had to persuade them to come. (That was not the way in China, where rulers moved thousands and tens of thousands of human cattle and planted them on the soil, the better to grow things.) These exemptions from material burdens and grants of economic privilege, moreover, often led to political concessions and self-government. Here the initiative came from below, and this too was an essentially European pattern. Implicit in it was a sense of rights and contract – the right to negotiate as well as petition – with gains to the freedom and security of economic activity.”
City-states have been among the most dynamic entities in history, from ancient Mesopotamia and Greece to Renaissance Italy; their Achilles’ heel is that they are often too small to effectively defend themselves against aggression from larger political entities. They enjoyed greater success when they formed alliances, such as the medieval Hansa in northern Europe.
Science is first and foremost the creation of urban, literate cultures. Scandinavians produced the first significant scientific figures during the Renaissance period, and the likelihood of this happening was greatest in the region that was closest to the European mainstream and had the highest level of urbanization. This figure did emerge in the shape of the astronomer Tycho Brahe, who came from the Kingdom of Denmark, born in southern Sweden. With a roughly similar IQ and most other things being equal, the rate of excellence within the Nordic countries should be highest in Denmark and southern Sweden and slightly lower in more sparsely populated Norway and Finland. In the latter countries, it should be highest in urban regions such as the Helsinki area and the southwest coast of Finland and the Oslo Fjord region and partly Bergen in Norway. This hypothesis corresponds well with observed reality. For the same reason, many of the great accomplishments in Scotland took place in the densely populated Central Lowlands, which includes the cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.
People with high intelligence need a chance to realize their potential, which they generally won’t have if they are uneducated farmers living at a near-subsistence level. Isaac Newton came from a family of English farmers, but his educated uncle recognized the boy’s talent and arranged for him to be sent to the university. Had it not been for this, Newton would not have been able to develop his theory of gravity. This illustrates the cluster effect: Individuals with great natural abilities need access to other people with high intelligence for intellectual stimulation, competition and exchange of ideas. A sheep herder sitting on an isolated mountain top with an IQ of 150 will no doubt be an extremely clever sheep herder, but not a world-class scientist. The cluster effect is slightly less important today than it was in the past since modern technology has made it easier to communicate with people in other places and countries without being physically close to them, but having access to a stimulating environment with intelligent people is still a tremendous advantage. Talent begets more talent.
Cities were not only where most of the significant figures worked, but also where many of them were born and raised. Obviously, they are important because many people live there, yet even if we adjust for population size and measure accomplishments per capita or per thousand individuals, cities still predominate over their rural surroundings. This does of course not imply that all large European cities were equally dynamic in all eras. Paris was far more dominant in French cultural life than any German city ever has been in German cultural life.
Germany has produced unusually many significant figures from scattered places, but cities were clearly relevant there as well. Cities attract both human and financial capital and often have a well-developed infrastructure of libraries and meeting places for exchanges of new ideas and impulses. They can be industrial, political or financial centers, but having a leading university or educational institution is particularly important for the rate of accomplishment.
According to Charles Murray’s modern classic Human Accomplishment, the Big Three in accomplishments are Britain, France and Germany, with Italy as number four. Significantly after the first four we find the region formerly known as Austro-Hungary plus Russia and the Netherlands, followed by Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, the Balkans, Norway, Portugal and Finland. Britain, France, Germany and Italy combined account for 72 percent of all the significant figures in the arts and sciences from 1400-1950. If we break down the regions and cities, we find that great accomplishment was primarily concentrated in the European core, defined as Britain from the Scottish Lowlands with most of England and parts of Wales, southern Scandinavia, the northern and eastern regions of France including Paris, the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Germany, parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and last, but not least, the northern half of the Italian Peninsula including Rome.
Certain regions stand out even within the Western European core, for instance Tuscany in northern Italy and southeast England in Britain. More than one hundred European cities or towns qualified for their own code in Human Accomplishment: In Austria, Graz and Salzburg made the list in addition to the capital Vienna. In present-day Belgium: Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Ixelles, Jehay-Bodegnée, Liège, Louvain (Leuven), Namur, Saint-Amand and Tournai. In Britain and Ireland: Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Dublin. In the Czech Republic, Prague and Brno; in Denmark, Copenhagen and Århus. In France: Besançon, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Le Havre, Lille, Lyon, Marseilles, Metz, Montpellier, Nancy, Paris, Rouen, Strasbourg, Tours and Valenciennes. In Finland, the capital Helsinki.
In Germany: Augsburg, Berlin, Bonn, Breslau (situated on the River Oder, currently known as Wrocław in south-western Poland), Cologne, Danzig (now Gdansk on the Baltic coast of northern Poland), Darmstadt, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt-am-Main, Freiberg, Göttingen, Halle, Hamburg, Königsberg (after World War II known as the Russian city of Kaliningrad), Leipzig, Lübeck, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Tübingen, Wittenberg and Würzburg. As examples such as Breslau, Danzig and Königsberg remind us, certain areas and cities have belonged to different countries at different times, following wars and the rising or declining fortunes of the various European nations. Germans exerted considerable cultural influence in East-Central Europe for many centuries. The southern coast of the Baltic Sea was a region of mixed Germanic, Slavic and Baltic influence; Copernicus probably spoke fluent German as well as Polish. Poland in turn went from being one of the largest states in Europe to non-existence as a political entity by the early nineteenth century.
In Greece we find Athens and in Hungary, Budapest. In Italy the most important cities were Bologna, Brescia, Cremona, Ferrara, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Parma, Piacenza, Pisa, Rome, Siena, Turin, Venice, Verona and Vicenza. The centers in sparsely populated Norway were the cities of Bergen and Oslo; in the very densely populated Netherlands they were Amsterdam, Delft, Haarlem, The Hague (Den Haag), Leiden, Rotterdam and Utrecht. In Poland, the previous capital city, Kraków and the present one, Warsaw. In Portugal, Lisbon. In the Russian Empire, Kiev (in the Ukraine), Moscow, Riga (the capital of Latvia), Saint Petersburg, Tallinn (the capital of Estonia), Vilnius (the capital of Lithuania) and finally Smolensk on the Dnieper River in far western Russia. In Sweden, Stockholm and the university town of Uppsala. In Spain: Barcelona, Cordoba, Granada, Madrid, Seville and Valladolid. Among the towns in dynamic Switzerland, Basel, Geneva and Zürich led the way.
The general level of education rose steadily in the Western world throughout the modern era. In Belgium and the Netherlands, the number of university students rose 3.5 times faster than the population from 1850-1900 and 8.6 times faster from 1900-1950. In France, the university population rose 48 times faster than the increase in population from 1900 to 1950. Urbanization has been one of the most pronounced hallmarks of industrial civilization, from the nineteenth until the early twenty-first century. There was a powerful trend of urbanization of the world’s population throughout the twentieth century which exceeded the rapid increase in the total global population. As of 2010 it has been projected that the majority of the world’s population, for the first time in the history of mankind, live in urban areas. At the same time, the number of university students has gone up sharply, both in absolute and in relative terms.
After 1950 the percentage of Western youths taking higher education continued to rise, especially from the 1960s, 70s and 80s onward when women joined in greater numbers, to the point of numerically dominating many university campuses. In short, the global number of urban, literate people with higher education has never been higher than after 1950, yet Charles Murray claims that the rate of great human accomplishment stagnated or declined during this same period. This means either that Murray is wrong in this regard or that the most recent increase in towns and higher education hasn’t paid off as well as the previous ones did.
Perhaps we had reached a point at the mid-twentieth century where most of the people with very high IQs in the West already took higher education, whereas those who joined later slightly lowered the average IQ of those with a university degree. Critics claim that too many people spend years of their lives at higher education, even those who do not strictly speaking need it. Society needs truck drivers, yet truck drivers do not normally need a master’s degree in English literature to be competent at their job. Another problem is the proliferation of Marxist groups in campuses. Many Western university students these days will come out with a warped and twisted view of the world and of their own civilization, which is not productive.
Also, while some major cities such as Berlin, Shanghai, Seoul or Tokyo have reached a high level of technological and economic sophistication, they are all predominately populated by high-IQ groups. By contrast, Mexico City is one of the largest cities on the planet, yet this fact hasn’t made Mexico a leading force in science or innovation. Nineteenth century London had poor and dirty quarters at the same time as it was arguably the most dynamic and innovative place in the world, but it is possible to argue that the growth of megacities in poorer countries in recent years has given rise to a new type of dysfunctional urban areas with massive slums.
Submitted by Capodistrias on Thu, 2010-07-01 13:08.
"Re: 'a system that recognizes the full spectrum of human biodiversity.'
America already had such a system. In theory for many decades, but in deed only in the 1960s. Free market in people. Meritocracy. No institutionalized discrimination on account of race, gender etc. From each according to his proven talents to each suitable job according to society’s needs as expressed in a free employment market."
The 1960s thru a looking glass.
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Thu, 2010-07-01 07:38.
Re: a system that recognizes the full spectrum of human biodiversity.
America already had such a system. In theory for many decades, but in deed only in the 1960s. Free market in people. Meritocracy. No institutionalized discrimination on account of race, gender etc. From each according to his proven talents to each suitable job according to society’s needs as expressed in a free employment market.
Most blacks fail at college entrance exams? Fine, maybe they ought to try the stockroom or the sales counter at Macys, or Arthur Murray’s dance school. Equal opportunity. Let the outcome be up to each individual.
Whites fail to gain a “fair share” of glamor NFL and NBA slots? Forget the racial bean counting; let the best shine. No women firefighters? Too bad. Sooner or later one will be found who can bench press 220 lbs. Give her a chance then – and only then.
We twisted, adulterated and prostituted that meritocratic system out of all recognition, yet it was the very best core of America and the mainspring of its success. That mainspring is shattered now.
One more thing. Except if you be disabled or independently wealthy, you work or you starve, just like in Hong Kong. That’s how you turn even the muddy swamp that was HK into a giant economic engine.
Submitted by Dunnyveg on Wed, 2010-06-30 23:05.
I think there are two reasons why high IQ doesn't propel a country to scientific and technological prominence. The first is the role of testosterone. In low IQ people high testosterone is associated with criminality; in high IQ people it is associated with creativity. And Oriental Asians have the lowest testosterone rates of any of the major groups. IQ is important, but the reductionist approach should be avoided.
The second reason is cultural. For instance, both Argentina and Bulgaria are within intelligence parameters for whites. But neither has exactly been a hotbed of scientific or technical innovation.
Having studied American slavery pretty thoroughly, particularly the brilliant work of Eugene Genovese, I think Fjordman is being a little hard on bonded labor systems.
If we assume we were NOT all created equal, then slavery and serfdom at least become comprehensible.
IQ is about intelligence, which is about the ability to deal with abstractions like past and future. In particular, high IQ is associated with lower social pathology rates, and with the ability to make good decisions. It is also the case that IQ is largely inherited, and there is little we can do to raise low IQ's.
Unlike pre-modern societies, modern societies have yet to learn to recognize human biodiversity, much less deal with it well. Our prison and welfare systems are hardly paragons of success.
Bonded labor is how pre-modern societies dealt with low IQ people. These low productivity societies simply did not have the money to build prisons en masse or to provide welfare to those too lazy to work. These people had to be made to work like everybody else.
Capitalism only exacerbates the problem as it benefits the most capable, while largely leaving the less capable to fend for themselves, which historically is at the root of revolution and social instability. Human inequality means that capitalism will guarantee socialism.
Bonded labor systems, including socialism, suffer from the opposite problem. Since all the slave, "comrade", or serf has to do (at least in theory) is what they are told to be taken care of, this system is of great benefit to the least capable; it means slaves and serfs don't have to think, something the least capable aren't good at.
I'm not at all sure how to accomplish such a thing, but we need a system that recognizes the full spectrum of human biodiversity. This would mean guidance for the least capable so they can stay out of prison and be productive citizens while allowing the more capable to reach their full potential. This system has not yet been created.
I don't have all the answers; I'm not sure I have any of them. What I am sure of is that the first step to solving a problem--any problem--is seeing that problem for what it is.
The City of Takuan Seiyo v The City of .....?
Submitted by Capodistrias on Mon, 2010-06-28 23:27.
"The Church has morphed into a school of pedophilia, as Alexandra Colen’s article reminds us, or a training prep for dhimmis, as the daily news adduces."
No, since Alexandra Colen and others who are willing to fight the good fight are also members of the Church, Dr Colen's article does not "remind us" of any such metamorphosis.
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Mon, 2010-06-28 21:58.
Thanks for the references. “Not an accident” is a key precept here. It’s not an accident either that this watering down of education, literacy and the ability to think happens alongside similar degradations in practically every other area of Western society. Starting at the hard end, warfare has now evolved into pretend-warfare, at least against barbarian foes. Industrial activity has been replaced by e-mailed orders to Chinese manufacturers of low-cost, low-quality products. Economic activity has been supplanted by printing many more pieces of multicolored, official-looking paper, shuffling this paper between the right pocket and the left one, and surfing on the resulting pools of phantom liquidity. Governance has morphed into a three card monte game run by malignant narcissists. Art has been transformed into a multi-modal codification of serial humping, serial dismemberment or serial libel of the Western heritage. Gender has been transformed into a social construct, injecting humongous confusion and tearing noise (in the Norbert Wiener sense) into the most fundamental element not only of man but of the universe. The Church has morphed into a school of pedophilia, as Alexandra Colen’s article reminds us, or a training prep for dhimmis, as the daily news adduces.
It’s impossible to keep up with the scope and magnitude of all this coordinated destruction. And, returning to the City subject, it’s impossible to mount a proper defense – in deed rather than talk -- except if people who are still literate, discerning of reality and antagonistic to this New World Order revive the historical function of at least a few still-salvageable cities. The history, economic and cultural capital, infrastructure and sociable arrangements of a city, particularly and old one, are necessary so that consolidation of a counter-fulcrum and germination of a new West can take place.
Trap and Ferber
Submitted by kappert on Mon, 2010-06-28 10:29.
CDU Berlin speaker Peter Trapp and CSU Europe Expert Markus Ferber outed themselves by demanding an intelligence test for immigrants (unfortunately not for politicians). 'Canada demands a higher intelligence for immigrant children than for their own' and 'human reasons cannot be the only criterium for immigration', are the splendid arguments. This Alien-IQ-Test remembers Henry Herbert Goddard, who already in 1913/1914 attested low intelligence of immigrants from Russia and Italy and ... Jews. That wouldn't be politically correct nowadays, would it? Herrnstein and Murray detected other ethnic group to wear the low-IQ label. Hopefully there is a test on the Trap/Ferber species.
Submitted by Thomas F. Bertonneau on Mon, 2010-06-28 09:23.
Responding to Takuan Seiyo:
I have published quite a bit since the mid-1990s concerning college student literacy, or rather the literacy-deficiencies of college students. It is a truism, but nevertheless a truth, that anti-literate instruction methods in K-12 are responsible for much of the typical college student’s inability to read. But there is one additional factor, among many, that is relevant here. Most of what is offered to students in high school and again in college as literature or simply as reading material is insipid propaganda – like the titles on the “common reading” list – the healthy reaction to which is: “I would rather be water-boarded than read this!” Consequently the idea that the typical college student forms about books is that they are all as boring as Enrique’s Journey or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, two titles from the list.
I have often voiced the opinion that the mere functional literacy and logical confusion of the typical freshman is not an accident. That is to say, it is not the case that educators are urgently trying to produce some other, better condition but are failing for some reason to do so.
Rather, the result that one sees is the intended result. This method of sealing the mind against actual thought is close to the “Newspeak” strategy in Orwell’s novel, but at the same time subtler than what Orwell depicts because it requires no active suppression of the Great Books. The Great Books disappear, even though they continue physically to exist in libraries and private collections, because no one is capable of reading them.
On “gluttony and sluttony”: I too found this to be evidence of a kind of mental activity, not literate, but oral. The orality-literacy distinction enables us to return to Fjordman’s “Cities” topic because literacy was both a cause and a condition of the European city right through the first half of the Twentieth Century. Walter Ong wrote of “the alphabetic consciousness.” Neil Postman wrote of “the Typographic Mind.” Today’s urban masses are not literate, but they are not exactly oral in their thinking either. They possess neither an intact literacy nor an intact orality. They are image-oriented and, to coin a phrase, kinetic-mimetic in their communicative style.
For more discussion, search for Bertonneau + Can’t Read, Can’t Watch, Can’t Comprehend. That is the title of the first of a three-part article for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education policy. Links should take interested parties to parts two and three of the series.
Literacy and Education
Submitted by mpresley on Mon, 2010-06-28 22:28.
Professor Bertonneau writes: The orality-literacy distinction enables us to return to Fjordman’s “Cities” topic because literacy was both a cause and a condition of the European city right through the first half of the Twentieth Century. ...Walter Ong wrote of “the alphabetic consciousness.”
Herbert Marshall McLuhan was Ong's mentor. McLuhan himself was a student of Harold Innis. Whereas Ong and Innis were, from all accounts, serious thinkers with a serious demeanor, McLuhan came across as somewhat of an oddball. It was too bad, really, but much was his own fault. His later books (done in collaboration with Quentin Fiore) were rather contrived. But Gutenberg Galaxy, Understanding Media, and Space in Poetry and Painting were different.
In those McLuhan discusses different kinds of "spaces," including architecture and the design or layout of cities. Taking up on Dr. Bertonneau's post, these men saw the difference among types of writing (phonetic alphabetic v ideographic and so forth) and pondered the psychological effects of how we communicate, and how it determines to a degree not only what is communicated, but how it is received.
Before the invention of movable type, books were manuscript, and meant to be read aloud. There was no need for and no desire to achieve "closed" private space in architecture. The ear was the main sense organ (for interpersonal communication, that is), so open space was the norm. With the introduction of commodity books, the eye became the dominant means of transmitting information, and closed architectural space was necessary (ever try to read in a crowd?).
They argued that learning reading is not particularly natural--at least when compared to using the ear. Eye cultures tend to be uniform and logical. Everything in its place, and a place for everything. Not so with the ear, which has no perspective, and for which everything is sudden. It is the difference between the Dutch painters, and, say, Cubism. Mozart and John Coltrane. Just about anyone and James Joyce.
If any of this is the case then I have much respect and even sympathy for teachers who attempt to go beyond the tribal "ear" way of understanding our world, at least with students who are not prepared for engaging written material. For a bright student, Shakespeare is probably somewhat intelligible. Not sure about Milton. I can't imagine how one even begins to have students confront this material. However, as has been stated, or at least implied, with "universal" education all bets are off. Some are just not equipped, and never will be. Is it helpful for them and society for universities to churn out folks with degrees in ethnic studies (that is, anti Western propaganda), or Marxist (whatever that means, today) sociology?
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Sun, 2010-06-27 21:03.
I agree with your point about ‘racist’ but I think that we ought to reclaim this word, like many others. I use it in the non-pejorative sense to indicate an attitude of race-determinism. I do not see anything morally wrong with it, but I see something that is conceptually and factually wrong. To say that the Chinese are shorter than the Dutch is no more “racist” than to say that the Blacks have a lower IQ than Whites. Both are borne out by empirical reality. But it is racist, i.e. conceptually wrong, if you do not bring statistical notions into this – simply because the two tallest men in the world are Chinese, and the man with whom you are having this conversation may turn out to be Walter Williams.
It’s time to stop flinching and cowering when the demented Left starts flinging about its R missiles. At the same time, it’s proper to educate our own primitives that comparisons between groups of people are valid only if you frame them statistically and do not apply deductive reasoning with respect to individual members of such groups. The standard dictionary definition invoking ‘superiority’ ought to be purged too, without necessarily criminalizing the notion of superiority. Superiority in what? Verbal agility or numerical facility? Basketball or fencing?
Devaluation is a cultural phenomenon too
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Sun, 2010-06-27 20:40.
I rather like the rhythm of gluttony and sluttony. You have here the transition of our culture from the more left-lobe centric to the right-lobe centric like the African one (the latter being my own observation in situ, can’t cite supporting authority). It’s not longer the nimbleness of the mind flitting between nuances of concepts, but the agility of the hips.
I should very much like to hear your opinion about the “Common Reading List” shared by many US colleges. It would benefit all if someone with your CV took the time to expose the incredible cheapening of the intellectual content, the determined tunneling under Western civilization that’s embodied in this list due to its obsession with books dealing with the Third World or written by writers other than the nonwhite and nondead. No other way to avoid DWM, dead white males like Homer, Virgil or Camoes, is there? I happened upon this subject at the ‘Common Reading and Liberal Bias’ entry in the Pur si Muove blog of a much-too-mild philosophy prof.
I would not dream of
Submitted by Thomas F. Bertonneau on Sun, 2010-06-27 12:21.
I would not dream of disagreeing with Takuan Seiyo. To demonstrate my hearty agreement, I offer the following: The syllabus of my classics-in-translation course (versions of which I have taught at three different institutions) includes Homer’s Odyssey, Euripides’ Iphigenia, Plato’s Symposium, Virgil’s Aeneid, Apuleius’ Golden Ass, Augustine’s Confessions, a handful of Icelandic stories including Hrafnkel’s Saga, and two items concerning early Christianity in the British Isles – Bede’s Life of Saint Cuthbert and the anonymous Voyage of Saint Brendan. The following snippets come from the various final examinations, on which uniformly over the years I have asked students to write an essay discussing the theme of order, as it works itself out in the succession of books. Incidentally, the main character of The Golden Ass is named Lucius. Despite the fact that this name occurs hundreds of times in Apuleius’ story, no student has ever spelled it correctly.
Introductory paragraph for an essay: “Literature is the key foundation for all types of litercy. Without litercy there would be no means of proper communication.”
On Homer’s Odyssey: “In the Odessey, Odysseus expects a marvelous homecoming, is slowed down by various absticals, including the island of the cylcopese, and the plod of the suitors to kill Odysseus’ son, which escapes me.”
On Homer’s Odyssey: “Odysseus kills the suitors after a lack of proper behavior, which happened again in Virgil’s The Aeneid, written roughly around the time of ca. 400 BC, in the fifth and fourth centuries. Along the way, Virgil is haulted by numerous things, like the stay of Dido in Carthage and hostilities on the land of which we now call Italy and Cecicilli. While in a fight with Tiresias, the death of Tiresias brings some order to the people.”
On Homer’s Odyssey: “By examining the books read this semester, I can flush out several quotes. In the first book studied, the Odyssey, by Homer, we examine how our hero, Odysseus is on his way home after saving Troy.”
On Homer’s Odyssey, more or less: “Most of Athens took place in the Labronze age after time emerged again, giving rise to Plato. But first Homer had to write down his Odissy in the alphabet, which The Golden Ass would also use in telling the story of Lucious.”
On Homer’s Odyssey: “Athene helps Telemachus and Odysseus to be reunited and restore order to Troy. This all took place around 450 B.C. but it was not written down until 800 B.C.”
On Homer’s Odyssey: “Odysseus, the main character, though having the hand of Venus (Venus-Isis) right on his side, is faced with much despair when he has to leave his wife and son’s behind before he goes on many ‘adventures’ and encounters things. He defeats the Cycalopse after barely being eaten and meets Nausicaa while naked then stumbling over Calypso who holds him prisoner and gives him all of the winds.”
On Homer’s Odyssey: “Beginning with Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ written down around 800 BC, when infact the events took place in the 4th century. There are many examples of order, tragedy, and some triumph.”
On Homer’s Odyssey: “In Homer’s Odyssey while Odyssus is gone for ten years trying to get home from Calypso’s isle about 700 B.C. and enduring the many abstacles he faces along the way, the entire time’s he’s trying to restore order with in his selfs life.”
On Homer’s Odyssey: “The Odessy, written down around 800 B.C., its events are said to actually take place around 500 B.C.”
On Euripides’ Iphigenia: “The Greeks were told by the gods that Agamemnon’s daughter Iphigenia would need to be sacrificed in order for the winds to blow. After Iphigenia was sacrificed and the winds were blowing again allowing them to continue on to Troy order began to be restored because the Greeks saw their experience with disorder was for a reason and they must trust their leaders and things will be fine in the end.”
On Virgil’s Aeneid: “Had Aeneas disobeyed and stayed in Carthage, he would have never gone on to win the Trojan war, and the country of Italy would not exist. After death, no progress was made on Dido’s part.”
On Virgil’s Aeneid: “A large wooden horse is brought by Aeneas from Troy, which Queen Dido thinks is a sign of appreciation. When the wooden horse is opened up and a number of Greek soldiers jump out, Dido is in shock. Thankfully, Aeneas and his men show up and promise to restore her disorder.”
On Apuleius’ Golden Ass: “Disorder was also present in Apuleius’ novel The Golden Ass. This was where Lucius was a young man who lived in the Byzantine Empire. Lucius was about to be forced to have sex with a donkey in front of people. Fortunately he was fond of his own horse and was saved.”
On Apuleius’ Golden Ass: “The story of Lucious, wrote in the second of two centuries AD, has gluttony and also sluttony.”
On Apuleius’ Golden Ass: “In 1517 Apuleius wrote The Golden Ass.”
On Augustine’s Confessions: “Much like Odyssus Augustine, who at one time was reared as a saint in Hippo, is tempted by pretty women as well as by a pear tree. But later he loses his self-control problem and converts into a Christian.”
On Hrafnkel’s Saga: “Thorbjorn rounded up a posse that hacked Hrafnkel to death eventually leaving him tortured. This showed their uncivilized erges.”
On Hrafnkel’s Saga: “Anonymous is the author of Hrafnkel’s Saga but which is never named, showing how weak he was when compared with Homer who was named.”
On Hrafnkel’s Saga: “Hrafnkel’s Saga of the tenth century was written in 1839, the same year as The Voyage of Saint Brendan.”
On Hrafnkel’s Saga: “It is feudalism that causes chaos and halts the further progression of progress.”
On Hrafnkel’s Saga: “Hrafnkel was a great leader because he was understanding and treated animals with kindness as well. He also knew how to kill which was important for a leader.”
On the Vikings generally: “During the ice ages the Vikings diminished and then evaporated.”
[From a Similar Course Dedicated to Medieval Literature]
On The Quest of the Holy Grail: “In ‘The Quest of the Holy Grale’ Galahad, which was by Jean de Joinville of the 17th century, was going around looking for piece of mind. Around this time the enlightenment also occurred.”
On Joinville’s Life of Saint Louis: “The Crusades was a war fought over in the holy land by the Romans, Catholics and Protestants.”
On Camoes’ Lusiads: “About the same time as this there was a renizance in Italy with Greeks, and depth prespective and also numerous changes in moors and the types of thought that was allowed. There costumes were very colorful about this time. One of them, I forgot his name had a telescope.”
@ Dr. Bertonneau
Submitted by traveller on Sun, 2010-06-27 13:01.
Are you sure you can stay sane in such an environment?
IQ and number crunching
Submitted by Capodistrias on Sun, 2010-06-27 05:47.
Doesn't the very existence of a large number of university towns , each with what might pass as goldilocks' populations call into question placing too much emphasis on numbers as either the source of the problem or the solution?
'Numbers' on this issue is what is commonly referred to as a distractor answer in standardize testing. While it appears to be a perfectly acceptable answer, the right answer, the more comprehensive answer probably has more to do with morals and ethics, than math and demographics.
BTW, the OSS found IQ tests less then satisfactory in assessing how well an individual would do in the real world; life and death situations, they found it necessary to add tests for what they called "effective," later "practical" intelligence. In other words, a bit of a distractor, when it came to choosing between right and wrong.
IQ + culture v. ersatz education
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Sat, 2010-06-26 21:16.
@mpresley – You mentioned an interesting point; what a disappointment the African residents have turned out to be to the Chinese. Of course, the Chinese who are not merely racialist but racist knew what to expect from the beginning, but commie ideology, economic interests in Africa, and a need to acquire a veneer for the sake of trading with the fool West overrode deeply seated prejudices.
@TBertonneau – I believe that the modern American university is to higher education what modern American government finance is to fiscal and monetary probity. It’s a giant bubble full of empty noise and easy gratification. It has grown so for these reasons, among others:
1. Since IQ tests are illegal, for prospective employers a college diploma is a substitute for what a HS diploma (from a real HS) plus IQ test could once ascertain.
2. It’s a major tool for equalizing outcomes rather than opportunities between the races, what with Affirmative Action admissions etc.
3. It serves well the “self-esteem” cult when morons who can’t spell or calculate percentages are given tasseled caps and parchments.
4. It’s a giant re-education camp where a Socialist–Third World Liberationist professoriate can properly orient successive managerial generations.
BTW, I would include law school as a major in purely ideological studies.
Takuan Seiyo wrote:
Submitted by mpresley on Sun, 2010-06-27 17:35.
Of course, the Chinese who are not merely racialist but racist...
This is getting a bit off topic, so please forgive. Today, the word "racist" is so loaded that it's hardly worth using, anymore. On the other hand, your point is, I believe, generally the case. At the same time, the Chinese are adaptable, generally law abiding, and can usually appreciate civilization, even when they have not made such a good practice of it, themselves. There is definitely a "pecking order" or racial hierarchy among them, as is the case for all of us, actually.
But what is most interesting is that recently, in Belleview, France, Chinese organized a street demonstration that turned violent. Some 8-10 thousand Chinese were demanding police protection from violent "Asian Youths" aka: Arabs. Evidently there was a purse snatching, a crowd of Chinese caught the Arab thief, turned him over to the police, and the police let him go. Then the crowd began assaulting the police. Chinese were arrested.
This is what happens when cities become multi-cultural, and when the indigenous government refuses to do anything about either it, or the resulting crime. Quite ironic that mostly law abiding Chinese must become violent in order to secure their demands for protection against Arabs. And I wonder, where are the French? It is, after all, their country. Or it was until recently, I guess.
Coffee Houses in 1770s Philly and 2010 TBJ
Submitted by Capodistrias on Sat, 2010-06-26 16:11.
@ Prof B & Mpresley
Thank you gentlemen for a good laugh with my morning coffee. Now where is that Takuan S fellow? Is that him with a counter and census form strolling the streets? What's that he is saying? "One, too many posters on this site." ?
Submitted by Thomas F. Bertonneau on Sat, 2010-06-26 13:20.
Fjordman writes: “Perhaps we had reached a point at the mid-twentieth century where most of the people with very high IQs in the West already took higher education, whereas those who joined later slightly lowered the average IQ of those with a university degree. Critics claim that too many people spend years of their lives at higher education, even those who do not strictly speaking need it.”
The second sentence corresponds to my three decades, more or less, of observing the American university from within, with a few qualifications. (1) Some students are emotionally and intellectually out of place in college, where they have been propelled by peer-pressure, parental pressure, the requirements of affirmative action, or simply by the prospect of a good time as represented on TV and in the movies. These students should be somewhere else – working in a job, taking technical or vocational training, or doing a combination of both.
(2) Some students are marginally prepared for higher education but manage to learn something, a mixture of general and special knowledge, in a marginally coherent way; they leave the institution with a veneer, at least, of civilization. It would probably be no great loss to society if these students joined those in the first group by skipping college for some more meaningful occupation, but at the same time the admittedly less-than-coherent education that they do glean from their studies is not harmful and might constitute a small net gain for civilization.
(3) Some students are competently prepared for higher education, but major in purely ideological subjects. (I would include education studies.) Despite the appearance of their cumulative records (they have higher grade point averages than the students in the second group), the students in this group have nothing constructive to offer society and they likely represent a net decline in the level of civilization.
The charge of gigantism laid against the modern, dysfunctional Millionenstädte is equally applicable to the modern, dysfunctional universities and university-systems. When cities reach a certain population size, quantity, which is already a quality, becomes the opposite quality, and civic order de-coheres (Los Angeles, Detroit, Buffalo). When I attended UCLA for the first time as an undergraduate in the early 1970s, the student population was something like thirty thousand. Some state university campuses, like the one in Columbus, Ohio, boast larger numbers than that. With twenty or thirty thousand students – larger than the population of most European cities in 1700 – there is no possibility of coherence. But there is plenty of opportunity for mischief and manipulation.
The Founding Fathers would have done well to include a second Constitutional stricture on the model of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of education.”
Dr. Bertonneau proposes a new amendment
Submitted by mpresley on Sat, 2010-06-26 13:35.
The Founding Fathers would have done well to include a second Constitutional stricture on the model of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of education.”
It would not matter. The first time a school hired a "visiting" professor, the commerce clause would be invoked and you'd be right back to where we are now. I'm only being a little facetious, of course, since you can never kill the Leviathan short of killing it, I'm afraid.
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Sat, 2010-06-26 02:28.
From the “Economic History of Philadelphia”:
“By the 1770's Philadelphia had a population of 30,000 and was the third most important business center in the British Empire, exceeded only by London and Liverpool.”
What strikes one familiar with the city is that the people who formed the dynamo from which sprang many salutary features of American life and of its subsequent republican system lived within walking distance from each other and from the public places they frequented. Benjamin Rush could stop by the Franklin household to collect Ben, walk with him to Christ Church to pick up Robert Morris after morning service, on the way passing by London Coffee House to say hi to Haym Solomon, and continue the small circle via Betsy Ross’s front door to lunch with Thomas Jefferson at the City Tavern. Philadelphia was a sprawling place already then, but the concentration of the people who counted and the walkability of their terrain must have helped in the alchemy that resulted.
Submitted by Capodistrias on Fri, 2010-06-25 21:46.
I'm a little skeptical of density playing a determinative role , though I understand that hasn't really been asserted by most commentators. A factor yes, but why hasn't places like Syracuse, Buffalo, etc., managed to turn things around after all these years? Shouldn't the density factor be working in their favor?
Demographics tends to be more a symptom of other problems cultural and moral than the problem in and of itself. (Which you and others on TBJ have noted)
Unless we are talking a sudden, massive influx or exodus of people, I think demographics tends to be more part of the 'what' rather than the 'why' of History.
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Fri, 2010-06-25 21:07.
Note that in my first entry in this thread I wrote:
“We have abandoned the cities to the indigenous and immigrant “visible minorities” of lower cultural development and to the socialist machines that draw them there via income and power redistribution schemes.... To progress – in the non-leftist, non-demented sense of the word – we have to repopulate and regain at least some cities from the socialist mafia and its clientele. Some alchemy is possible in a European-culture city that’s not possible otherwise. And by “European culture” I mean a non-socialist culture.”
All this precludes the examples you bring forth. BTW, I’ve visited in Shenzen and lived for five weeks in Guangzhou. The former is an artificial Frankenstein, but the latter does excel in the only areas in which the Chinese culture still excels: commerce and gastronomy. Anyway, neither the size nor the location of those is applicable to a West-centered discussion of sub-mega cities.
@ Takuan Seiyo
Submitted by mpresley on Sat, 2010-06-26 12:30.
“We have abandoned the cities to the indigenous and immigrant “visible minorities” of lower cultural development. ...Anyway, neither the size nor the location of those is applicable to a West-centered discussion of sub-mega cities.
My comment was meant as an aside, and can be ignored as such; but it is interesting to note current problems within a mostly semi-permanent African area known as the Guangzhou "Chocolate City." The problems caused by these Africans (who, it must be noted, have nothing much in common with the so-called "African Americans" of our inner cities) demonstrates the fundamental incommensurablity among disparate groups--a problem one finds whether speaking of Europe or the Americas. The Chinese should learn from Western experience in these matters.
But the Chinese cities are, as you say, a different sort of creature, as the people themselves are different. I only mention any of it because one ought to familiarize oneself with the ascending economic future (--at least unless some fundamental economic change happens in the West). In many respects they themselves are transient entities inasmuch as a seemingly greater portion of the "indigenous" population migrates to and from the cities, living there on a temporary basis in order to enjoy "seasonal" factory work. As far as Shenzhen goes, commerce is it's only reason for existing. Whether it is a Frankenstein or not remains to be seen, and depends upon whether the CCP can effectively manage "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics," or if it winds up killing its creator.
To progress – in the non-leftist, non-demented sense of the word – we have to repopulate and regain at least some cities from the socialist mafia and its clientele.
Demographics and immigration tells the tale. As far as the US goes, I doubt such a thing will happen. That is, I cannot imagine any existing "liberal" city ever being repopulated or regained. As has been often mentioned in many places, perhaps a "balkanization" will manifest wherein like groups simply abandon existing large and medium cities (or whole states), and migrate to less populated environs creating their new cities in the image of the inhabitants. But these things take time. Maybe too much time, especially given the current state of the economies. And it would only work if states assert their constitutional autonomy, since much of the current social destruction is directed by the center. But the Constitution is the first thing that has been abandoned, today.
Does Size Matter?
Submitted by Capodistrias on Fri, 2010-06-25 14:43.
Well someone had to ask it before the google ad popped up. Perhaps even more offensive here on this site is a suggestion that Henri Pirenne might be a good writer to bring into this discussion.
As a refuge from a destroyed City, Buffalo, NY, I'm very familiar with what the good Doctor is talking about. Anyone familiar with the SUNY system and other botched attempts around the country to impose the best and brightest on local populations should not be surprised that one Paris educated quack might muck up everything.
Does size matter? Yes and no, is my kappertian perspective on the matter.
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Fri, 2010-06-25 11:11.
Just one final query. As a teacher yourself, why do YOU think pupils today "find it hard to detect why they should learn"? Whose fault is that? And what would YOU suggest as a viable solution to the problem?
Perhaps you'd also be kind enough to answer my original question. I'll ask it again.
Q: Are you suggesting that there is too much, or too little discipline in the classroom nowadays?
Submitted by kappert on Fri, 2010-06-25 10:09.
Cities in 1700 were pretty small: Boston 4000, Edinburgh 5000, Freiburg 8000, Genève 26000, Heidelberg 5000, Leiden 15000, Oxford 12000, Philadelphia 11000 (biggest US City (no exact numbers for Cahokia), Pisa 19000, Uppsala 4000, in comparison the European big ones: Paris 425000, Milano 246000, Istanbul 164000, Kyiv 155000, London 139000, Venezia 132000, Firenze 132000, Praha 109000, ... Only after 1820 began the big rush to the cities and its explosive demographics. In China and India things were different. Beijing reaches the million mark in the 14th century and had its up and down in the following centuries (1700: 1,35 Mio.). In 1700, 5 Chinese cities pass the 500000 mark, and cities like Kyoto, Tokyo, Ayutthaya, Ha Noi, Delhi count more tha a quarter million. Biggest city in the Mediterranean is Cairo with 255000 inhabitants.
Atlanticist: a) Pupil and teacher behaviour has changed over the decades, harsh authoritarian structures were abandoned, the generalistic approach was substituted with focussed teachings. Nowadays, pupils find it hard to detect why they should learn, that's the challenge for education policies. b) I mean perspective in the sense of the word.
@Fjordman @Takuan Seiyo
Submitted by Thomas F. Bertonneau on Fri, 2010-06-25 07:41.
Responding to Fjordman and Takuan Seiyo:
I attempted an Internet search, but could not adequately define the parameters, to discover the answer to the following question – What was the population in these cities in 1700 AD?
Boston (North America)
I feel absolutely sure that the answer in every case is under 100K; at the next step down in surety, under 50K; and at the next step down, under 25K.
Cities are important. Small cities, shading into large towns, might be especially important. If resisters to the New World Order want to be effective, perhaps they should begin concentrating themselves in cities like Syracuse, New York, or Malmö, Sweden.
Part of the pathology of swollen megalopolitan cities is the college- and university-system that rides on them. The colleges and universities are among the most perniciously anti-civilized pseudo-institutions of the contemporary dispensation. All ten of the cities in my list are conspicuous for their anciently established institutions of higher learning. A single doctorate-holder from the Ecole normale in Paris furnished the ammunition for destroying almost every literature program in almost every North-American college and university.
Accomplishment as a diminishing return of size
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Thu, 2010-06-24 21:58.
Further to Dr. Bertonneau’s comment, the small-is-good principle holds true not only for the old days, when world population was much smaller, but for modern times too. The pre-war city of Lwów that I adduced in the previous comment had a population under-300k, and its intellectual, artistic and scientific output was such that Wikipedia has several entries on it. If you look nowadays, the output in these areas in under-300k cities with good universities, such as Montpellier, France (265k), Madison, Wisconsin (208k), Leiden, Holland (117k), Fribourg, Switzerland (34k) etc. seems to be on a per/capita basis many times that of any in the 2 million+ cities. At least it’s a testable hypothesis. Another one is that the percentage of autochthons is positively correlated with such metrics of accomplishment.
a little further to the east...
Submitted by mpresley on Thu, 2010-06-24 22:26.
It is interesting to view our usual Western ideas of cities with those of Asia, particularly China. In southern China, in Guangdong province, (and right across the bay) are three cities that are almost contiguous in fact, although not in their actual city limits. In this relatively small area are Guangzhou, the Shenzhen City Special Economic Zone, and Hong Kong. There are probably 50 million people within the environs; even the government doesn't know for sure.
Shenzhen is about 30 years old. My impression is that after the death of the Chairman, Deng Xiaoping stood across the bay and saw the economic "miracle" of HK. He was always a hard-line Communist politcally, but unlike his erstwhile boss, he understood the economic stupidity of Marxism, and he understood the potential of the Chinese.
There is no great "intellectual, artistic, or scientific" output in Shenzhen (at least in the sense that Takuan Seiyo means, if I understand him correctly), but the economic spirit and drive dwarfs anything we in the West understand. Compare Shenzhen with one of our former manufacturing cities, say Detroit, and one will shudder with cold anxiety at what we've become.
Size of cities
Submitted by Thomas F. Bertonneau on Thu, 2010-06-24 20:25.
Fjordman writes: “Even if we adjust for population size and measure accomplishments per capita or per thousand individuals, cities still predominate over their rural surroundings.”
Even in Hellenistic times careful observers could see that the dominant megalopolis-type of city differed from the polis-type of city of the Greek world prior to Alexander the Great. Pre-Macedonian Athens, with its property-holding class of fifty thousand adult males – the context of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, not to mention the tragic poets – was obviously a distinct and limited phenomenon in comparison with Antioch under the Seleucid dynasty or Alexandria under Ptolemaic dynasty. The population of Alexandria in the time of Julius Caesar might have been as high as half a million. Rome in the time of Marcus Aurelius might have supported as many as a million people. Similarly the European burgher-cities of the Fifteenth Century were quite small compared to the Millionenstädte of the last half-century. The burgher-cities had populations in the tens of thousands only. Those were the cities that produced the magnificent articulation of European civilization between the Eleventh and the Nineteenth Centuries. I incline to agree with Oswald Spengler’s sense that the modern Millionenstädte represent an aberration in which the quantitative increase of population translates inevitably into a qualitative decrease in livability on the one hand and a loss of cultural articulation on the other.
My native Los Angeles offers a case in point. In 1954 when I was born Los Angeles was still only a Zweimillionstadt, as it had been in the late 1930s. When I left California in 1989, the population of the city had at least doubled in the meantime; more than that, Los Angeles had merged physically with its many satellite cities so that, even where the city as legally defined ceased and another civic polity began, physically speaking no such frontier was noticeable. Today a monstrous swath of threatening cityscape stretches from the San Fernando Valley to Pomona in one direction and San Diego in another; there is no civic spirit but only the cynical regime of the pro-Mexican city government under its radical mayor.
If Western Civilization has a future, I imagine not to lie with the Millionenstädte, with their metastatic pathologies, but rather with smaller civic polities with populations in the range below a half a million, and perhaps also in small towns with populations in the tens of thousands.
Submitted by Capodistrias on Thu, 2010-06-24 16:04.
Your post, (as all your posts do), confirm that the Kappert Syndrome does indeed take place. Congratulations!
Your prospect for obtaining a coherent reply?
Start flapping your arms, mutter Zionist terrorist epithets and Kappert Airlines will have you landing on Kappert Isle where coherency is always soley dependent on Kappert's perspective.
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Thu, 2010-06-24 11:29.
What do you mean by the phrase "changes in discipline and zealousness"? Are you suggesting there is too much, or too little discipline in the classroom nowadays? Also, when you say "loss of future perspective", did you actually mean to say loss of future PROSPECTS? The latter would suggest all the fault lies with society and the student a completely innocent 'victim' in the process, while the former tends to place at least some of the blame firmly in the lap of the errant student. Which one is it?
Submitted by Capodistrias on Thu, 2010-06-24 02:27.
I think one has to 'widen' the pathology you identify even more. The expansion of the welfare state and its mentality that so devastated American cities especially in the NE and the Midwest was simply part of a political patronage system that the Democratic party and their allies exploited to maintain power. Yes a large part, a major component of their blat system, but the ethnic make-up of that network of recipents was hardly confine to African-Americans. The destruction and collapse of America's urban landscape was a multi-ethnic, multicultural undertaking.
The Kappert Syndrome
Submitted by Capodistrias on Thu, 2010-06-24 01:37.
Kappert is here making an interesting assertion:
"As human population grows and will continue to grow, the conclusion which is to be drawn shows that the bigger the population density less intellectual competition will be produced. Means, humanity is going duller."
Unfortunately, I think Kappert, in a fit of Gnostic self-righteousness, is attempting to impose "a secondary reality" on the real world. Hence, on Kappert Island, where Kappert is the only permanent and 'intelligent' life form, it is true that if one was to add a second Kappert to the population less intellectual competition would be produced. (The headline in the Kappert Castaway Gazette might read: "Kappert Island Dullard Via Second Coming." )
However, whether humanity is doomed to be made duller by an increase in population density, that must remain an open question for the non-Kappertian mind.
Submitted by kappert on Thu, 2010-06-24 10:00.
The PISA study organized by OECD came up with interessting results regarding 'cities'. Throughout Europe, pupil performance reaches a low in urban surroundings, while the countryside performs better. Within cities, urban violence influences pupil behaviour and performance. Cities offer more equal opportunity for all students, while schools in the countryside suffer from social and sometimes ethnic segregation. All in all, pupils' performances dropped over the last decades. The reasons are multiple: changes in discipline and zealousness, distraction by popular media, loss of future perspective, and so on. Thanks to Capo, the 'Kappert Syndrom' really takes place.
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Wed, 2010-06-23 21:43.
Having experienced and explored how this process works in the United States, I reached the conclusion that the Muslim syndrome you cite is just the most extreme manifestation of a wider pathology. The same process has taken place in the U.S. long before Muslims and other 3rd World immigrants started arriving in large numbers. It was the result of the largesse of deluded “progressives” such as Mayor John Lindsey of New York. The largesse attracted black “internal immigrants” from the South, where they had to work for a living, to the large cities where the governing elite lavished welfare on them.
The only city beheaded by Muslims in the U.S. is Dearborn. But the cities beheaded by Blacks are many, and quite a few are beheaded by Latino migrants. Philadelphia, where Whites are a minority and the entire government is black, is now known as Killadelphia. The stories come out of Detroit daily, and they are hair-raising. Los Angeles, if not beheaded, is being strangled by its ethno-nationalist Mexican mayor, with giants swathes of it occupied territory where a hot war is being fought between various groups of foreign invaders and the police tiptoeing out of fear of being labeled "racist."
BTW, I no longer travel to London or Paris or Amsterdam, though I used to. Those cities are no longer in Europe as far as I am concerned.
Submitted by Fjordman Blogger on Wed, 2010-06-23 12:31.
Reconciler: There is very strong evidence in favor of treating IQ as the single most important factor in determining a country's economic level. I'm merely suggesting that isn't the only one.
Takuan Seiyo: As I stated in my older post Beheading Nations http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1183 , We have seen videos on TV of Muslim Jihadis beheading infidel hostages. Less attention has been paid to the fact that Muslims are beheading entire nation states. Although this is happening in slow motion, it is no less dramatic. Historically, the major cities have constituted a country’s “head,” the seat of most of its political institutions and the largest concentration of its cultural brainpower. What happens when this “head” is cut off from the rest of the body? In many countries across Western Europe, Muslim immigrants tend to settle in major cities, with the native population retreating to minor cities or into the countryside. Previously, Europeans or non-Europeans could travel between countries and visit new cities, each with its own, distinctive character and peculiarities. Soon, you will travel from London to Paris, Amsterdam or Stockholm and find that you have left one city dominated by burkas and sharia to find… yet another city dominated by burkas and sharia. For some reason, this eradication of unique, urban cultures is to be celebrated as “cultural diversity.”
societies and IQ
Submitted by kappert on Wed, 2010-06-23 12:29.
So, can we learn from this essay? Lacking a definition in the text, here are some clues to show the wide-ranging scientific research and fantasy on the subject. IQ is a Gaussian curve, though flexible and needs constant normalization upgrades, invented by Alfred Binet (1889). Diagnosis for intellectual learning capacity was (is) a top hobby of psycho scientists, like Jürgen Guthke from Leipzig, the Russian School of Psychoanalysis, Howard Gardner's multiple intelligence, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence, Damasio's behavioural neuropsychology. Nicolas Humphrey and Frans de Waal adopt the theories of Machiavelli on Chimpanzees and Bonobos, coming to the conclusion that the thriving force in the development of higher intellectual capacities is the competition within a social group. This brings us to cities. The dimension of a city is of great importance regarding their inner competition structure. Medieval European cities of 20-50.000 inhabitants proved to be most competitive, compared to smaller African villages with around 1000 members and larger Asian cities like Damascus, Baghdad or Beijing with hundreds of thousands inhabitants. Therefore, societies will develop in a different way. It is still pertinent that smaller cities with universities work better than mega-universities in mega-cities. Geography and well-being of the population is a prerequisite for intellectual work and does not affect genetics. Discoveries and inventions will happen, we have many achievements in history worked out by several scientists simultaneously in different geographical sites. Even the non-existence of Newton or Darwin would have postponed the knowledge only a few years or decades. As human population grows and will continue to grow, the conclusion which is to be drawn shows that the bigger the population density less intellectual competition will be produced. Means, humanity is going duller.
Submitted by Reconciler on Wed, 2010-06-23 03:33.
There is no scientific basis for the claim that IQ lead nations to thrive better than others in science, technology and cultural development. The relationship is exactly the opposite. The IQ is something that you cannot measure as a potential of unconditioned humans. It is absurd to assume that the IQ is an independent factor from rather than a collective measure for a whole range of human cultural traits and techniques.
Humans irrespective of their nationality or ethnic origin have a potential intelligence at birth that varies across any given population according to a natural probability distribution (Gaussian bell curve). Throw a sample of 100 nigerian and of 100 jewish babies together, they will exhibit the same intelligence distribution as the unmixed samples. Furthermore, there will be no significant difference in intelligence between both groups. Anyone who claims that has absolutely no clue about human genetics, anthropology and science in general or has an agenda.
The Jewish cultural peculiarities alone are the reasons for their high percentage of achievers in science, art and other fields. The nigerian cultural backwardness alone accounts for their lack of achievers. Any Nigerian would have the possibility to become an achiever by our standards, if he had the "right" upbringing. Unfortunately very few Nigerians will ever have the opportunity to grow up in a jewish family. Most of them will be conditioned by their environment to be good Nigerians with Nigerian thinking methods and Nigerian cultural techniques.
Cities as now-idle engines of rebirth
Submitted by Takuan Seiyo on Tue, 2010-06-22 22:54.
Fjordman has opened here an important window, and one we should look through when seeking to regenerate the West. We have abandoned the cities to the indigenous and immigrant “visible minorities” of lower cultural development, and to the socialist machines that draw them there via income and power redistribution schemes. Euro-origin people of accomplishment and of the means that come with that have abandoned the cities, except if they be a part of the socialist system that thrives off the urban dysfunction. However, to progress – in the non-leftist, non-demented sense of the word – we have to repopulate and regain at least some cities from the socialist mafia and its clientele.
You have to add the city now known as Lviv to the class of cities that belonged to different countries at different times and that are linked to the pattern of German –Slavic shifts. As the Austrian Lemberg and Polish Lwów it was the home of the famous Polish School of Mathematics (a few names would be Herman Auerbach, Stefan Banach, Kazimierz Bartel, Stanislaw Ulam, Richard von Mises), renowned economists (such as Richard’s brother Ludwig), scientists like Adolf Beck and Rudolf Weigl, countless artists and thinkers on the order of Martin Buber, Zbigniew Herbert, Emanuel Ax, Paul Muni, on and on.
Some alchemy is possible in a Europen-culture city that’s not possible otherwise. And by “European culture” I mean a non-socialist culture. The same city of the above paragraph produced little of renown in its Soviet reincarnation as Lvov or the Ukrainian one as Lviv. But then, the Germanics, the Jews and the Poles were gone, and that matters too...