Immigration & I.Q. The Debate Continues

By Michael Masters
Volume 6, Number 1 (Fall 1995)
Issue theme: "Infamous immigrants"

Seymour Itzkoff's book, The Decline of Intelli-gence in America, received favorable review in the New York Times - a genuine surprise since the Times is an acknowledged center of liberal thought and Mr. Itzkoff's theme is decidedly un-liberal. His thesis is that, through a confluence of many factors - social, economic, political, ideological and moral - the average intellectual level of the American population is in precipitous decline. Furthermore, since intelli-gence is a necessary condition for the existence of civilization, the decline experienced in America, and to some degree in other Western nations, has the power to turn America into a Third World nation.

Readers of The Social Contract will find many similarities between Decline and The Bell Curve by Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein. But there is an additional twist. While Itzkoff treats intelligence at length, he also creates a vital link between falling national intelligence and the pattern of immigration America is experiencing. Itzkoff makes his case bluntly

The argument of this book is simple The United States of America is declining as a nation. This decline can be confirmed by any of the criteria that historians have ever used to measure the state and condition of a people ... The real problem is our changing demography.

As a professor at Smith College, Itzkoff could easily pass for a member of the establishment, but his explanation for America's present plight is frankly inhospitable to the reigning orthodoxy on social issues. The liberal view holds that achievement - especially for ethnic minorities - is determined by environ-mental factors, such as home life, education and the adverse impact of that favorite liberal excuse, 'racism.' He comes down solidly on the side of nature in the nature/nurture controversy

Some will protest that the argument from nature is too deterministic. Their tired rationalization is that we still do not know the precise relationship between nature and nurture. Therefore we are honor-bound to try, yet once more, a new and more efficient set of environmental amelioration programs, even after the failure of all the others.

To this he adds,

Intelligence is part of each individual's inheri-tance, as are one's height and personality ... Because people of similar ethnic backgrounds have usually bred together, it is inevitable that they will share an intellectual and personality profile.

If this is indeed the case, then the question naturally arises, why is all this not common knowledge?

The scientific evidence for the biological roots of our social behavior continues to accumulate, and with incremental speed ... Yet we are paralyzed into inaction by our frustrations with failure. And our nation falls ever more deeply into risk. Why?

The answer is that we have not been allowed to confront the truth.

If a nation bars or places restrictions upon the public examination of any issue, it will inevitably foreclose any possibility for the attainment of truth, and thus the instrumental possibilities for reform and renewal.... That is precisely what we are doing to ourselves. The intellectual leadership of the great public media institutions and the universities has effectively handcuffed our elected political representatives, preventing them from considering solutions. The taboo word is, of course, race.

Itzkoff is careful to point out that both bright and dull individuals appear in all races. However, central to his thesis is the great hidden truth, verified by many researchers, that intelligence also varies by race. He cites the by-now-well-documented fact that the African-American mean [IQ] is in the 80-85 range, compared to a white average of 100. The African average may be even lower, as low as 70 according to Ulster psychologist Richard Lynn.

Less well known is the fact that the average IQ in Mexico is about 95 and that of Central and South American Indians - source of most of the 'Latino' immigration - is about 90.

The implications are stark ... Low human intelligence relative to an explosively cerebralized techno-economic and cultural world community has resulted in the historical obsolescence of a vast proportion of the oncoming population of our planet.

The Uninvited Tidal Invasion

Perhaps nowhere is Itzkoff more compelling than in his description of America's future under our present immigration policy. He compared the inexorable course of immigration - which he calls a 'hot war' - to the lapping of the incoming tide around a sunbather on the beach

Imagine you are lying at the beach. Lying on

the soft moist sand, ocean wavelets breaking just below you, gulls screeching above, the warm sun, the smell of surf, a delicious unity with nature. The tide is rising in the late afternoon drowse. An oozing of saltwater tickles your heels. The moments flow along in a dreamy doze. Suddenly the water is there again. This time it seems to surge impatiently up your bathing suit and shudders cool water into the small of your back.

You should head up the beach to the dry crowd of umbrellas, into the cacophony of a rock beat and scolding mothers. Just a moment more, but don't wait too long. If it's a real surge, you will be pulled into the beckoning roar. The power of cosmic inevitabilities will drag you down. You may, in one unwary moment, join the eternal chaos.

The tide is immigration, a force that we do

not want to confront. We are thus vulnerable to its encompassing embrace. It is an embrace that will suck us back into evolutionary history if we delay too long [emphasis added].

It is at this point in Itzkoff's exposition that he confronts what many believe to be the ultimate truth about immigration. However uncomfortable it may be to liberals, religious people and minorities, civilization is largely the creation of the Northern hemisphere. Given the forces of biological entropy unleashed by immigration - and the irreversible demographic transformation it is wreaking on the north - civilization itself is at risk.

For several hundred thousand years, the genes of evolutionary destiny have been heading south. Also, in little wavelets, they transformed humankind. They created Homo sapiens and then, almost everywhere, Homo sapiens sapiens. The work of evolution is far from complete in our very variable super-species. If it is to be completed, we must halt this uninvited tidal invasion of the genes of the south, at the least until they can be transformed into the form of high intelligence, and all over the world [emphasis added].

Itzkoff admits that this may sound crass but adds,

the situation is crassly serious. The United States, along with other European cultures around the world, is at risk. An epochal change is in process. For the past 35,000 years, the genetics of European intelligence, passed around the world, have laid the groundwork for what we call and treasure as civilization. Civilization in the West is now in jeopardy.

It is the same message Jean Raspail brought forcefully to Western Civilization in his apocolyptic 1973 novel, The Camp of the Saints. ;