I occasionally read various HBD blogs and I’m always bemused by the IQ fetishism. Now I’m not denying that IQ is important and I think it is likely that genetics is the major (but not sole) factor in determining a person’s IQ. I just don’t think it’s as all-important as the HBD crowd thinks.
On such blogs you will always find commenters solemnly intoning the mantra that only a high IQ population can create and maintain a functional society. Now it’s certainly true that high IQ populations have been quite successful in building functional societies. Western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia are obvious examples. The problem is that once they’ve built those functional societies high IQ people seem to be overcome by an overwhelming desire to destroy them.
So what is going on? My personal belief is that part of the explanation is that that IQ tests do measure something real but the quality that they measure is only a component of overall intelligence but not the totality. To be a “smart” person requires more than just IQ. Unfortunately the other components of “smartness” are not easily measurable. Those other components include what is usually referred to as common sense. And there is not necessarily a correlation between IQ and common sense.
There’s also the problem that a high IQ can be an actual disadvantage. It seems to make people more inclined to believe things based on theory rather than experience, and often to believe things based on fanciful theories that make no actual sense.
The other part of the explanation is that maintaining functional societies requires a lot more than just being smart. An instinct for self-preservation is necessary. Some degree of self-confidence is required as well. For a society to survive the members of that society have to believe that they have a right to survive and that their society is worth preserving.
Some moral sense is required. Without that moral sense civilisation soon declines into decadence. The family decays. Degeneracy becomes more and more the norm. Society rots from within.
It’s unfortunate that these other very necessary qualities do not seem to be at all well correlated with high IQ. In some cases there may well be a negative correlation.
When you look at countries like Sweden, Germany, the United States and Britain (all countries bent on self-destruction) it becomes painfully obvious that high IQ is not much help in maintaining functional societies in the long term. Japan, with an average IQ slightly higher than those countries, seems to be much less interested in destroying itself. On the other hand Taiwan, with about the same average IQ as Japan, seems to be enthusiastically embarking on a program of national self-destruction. Russia, with average IQ comparable to the US, seems to have very little interest in destroying itself.
China’s average IQ seems to be roughly equal to that of Japan and they have no interest whatsoever in national suicide.
When it comes to national survival IQ does not seem to be terribly important.