This essay has been published under the title “The Population Cycle Drives Human History — from a Eugenic Phase into a Dysgenic Phase and Eventual Collapse” in The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies 32 (2007) 327-358. During a time in which I was very ill and feedback was impossible, by the editors have been made a number of unauthorized changes, in some cases even distorting the content. In the following you can read the full text of the original authorized version.
In this context, I recommend “A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World“, Princeton University Press 2007, by Gregory Clark, too.
The Population Cycle Drives Human History — from a Eugenic Phase into a Dysgenic Phase and Collapse
By Volkmar Weiss
German Central Office for Genealogy, Leipzig
In the period before the onset of demographic transition, when fertility rates were positively associated with income levels, Malthusian pressure gave an evolutionary advantage to individuals whose characteristics were positively correlated with child quality and hence higher IQ, increasing in such a way the frequency of underlying genes in the population. As the fraction of individuals of higher quality increased, technological progress intensified. Positive feedback between technological progress and the level of education reinforced the growth process, setting the stage for an industrial revolution that facilitated an endogenous take-off from the Malthusian trap. The population density rose and with it social and political friction, especially important at the top of the social pyramid. Thus, from a certain turning point of history, the well-to-do have fewer children than the poor. Once the economic environment improves sufficiently, the evolutionary pressure weakens, and on the basis of spreading egalitarian ideology and general suffrage the quantity of people gains dominance over quality. At present, we have already reached the phase of global human capital deterioration as the necessary prerequisite for a global collapse by which the overpopulated earth will decimate a species with an average IQ, still too mediocre to understand its own evolution and steer its course.
Key words: IQ; Dysgenics; Democracy; Poverty; Francis Galton; Darwinism; Fertility; Demographic transition; Human capital
The Cycle of Constitutions
About 50 years ago, in the former communist East Germany, I asked my schoolteacher what would happen after communism. He answered: “Nothing else, because communism is the final stage of human history.”
At present, the President of the United States does not stand not alone in his conviction that democracy is the final stage of history to which all the world is headed. However, 2,350 years ago, Aristotle wrote in his “Politics” that democracy is only one stage in history and would be superseded by another stage. From the history of the Greek city-states, he gained the insight that any particular constitution depends on the distribution of poverty and wealth. “There must therefore necessarily be as many different forms of governments as there are different ranks in the society, arising from the superiority of some over others, and their different situations.” But Aristotle knew also: “The first and principal instrument of the politician is the number of the people; he should therefore know how many, and what they naturally ought to be.” And Myrdal added in 1938 (p. 33): “No other factor — not even that of peace — is so tremendously fatal for the destinies of democracies as the factor of population. Democracy, not only as a political form but with all its content of civic ideals and human life, must either solve this problem or perish.” Because the number, density and social structure of a population (Lopreato and Crippen, 1999) are never constant but always changing (Sorokin, 1937; Weiss, 1993), the constitution of a state is never constant, but always changing, too, from monarchy to aristocracy, further to oligarchy and democracy, not in a linear fashion, but with steps backwards and forwards. Sooner or later the cycle of constitutions leads to democracy — according to Aristotle, “of all the excellent constitutions … the worst, but of bad ones, the best.” Necessarily, the deficiencies of democracy (Hoppe, 2001) must be made up by taxes, confiscations, and fines imposed upon the well-to-do. In such a way, democracy inevitably degenerates into a corrupt government of the plebs and mobocracy. A “dictatorship of the proletariat”, which in the name of democracy (Somit and Peters, 1997) redistributes without any constraints from poor to rich, from the brave and diligent to the paupers, destroys the economic power of the society in its roots. Finally, the people will hail an autocrat as savior, and after a complete breakdown the cycle starts again.
Is our history actually cyclic (Galtung and Inayatullah, 1997)? And if so, in which phase of history are we living today?
We have all grown up with an understanding of history as involving linear progress. We all know a number of indicators, which show a change in one and the same direction — either rising or decreasing — over centuries. When we look at shorter periods, these may include fluctuations and a change of slope. The percentage of people employed in farming has decreased from nearly 100% to 2% in highly developed industrialized nations. Accordingly, the productivity of labor rose in all economic sectors over many generations. In the past century life expectancy rose dramatically. There are a lot of further statistics showing a clear trend (Inglehart and Wetzel, 2005): The incidence of divorce has multiplied over just decades. The public view of homosexuality is changing. In Europe the number of Christian believers has been decreasing, with fewer and fewer people attending church. In contrast with this, in France the number of Muslims rose from half a million around 1960 to more than five million forty years later (Gourévitch, 2000); a parallel development took place in Germany and other countries. In many schools in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Southern California indigenous children are only a minority. People keep more and more pet animals; the relative proportion of social spending in German cities is rising; the birth rate is dropping, and so on. Nobody doubts that all these trends (Noelle-Neumann, 1978) — with the exception of the rise in labor productivity, say optimists — cannot continue indefinitely. If so, this would presumably end with a sudden change, a revolution (Goldstone, 1991), or a cataclysm (Chesnais, 1995; Brander, 1998; Laqueur, 2007).
In marked contrast to the unshakable faith of politicians and scholars in the march of progress, all great religions announce — with their own variations — an end of the world, apocalypse and rebirth.
The Rise and Fall of Civilizations
If we look at the history of the rise and decline of mighty empires (Cipolla, 1970), we get the impression that any rise is followed by a decline, progressing according to certain rules (Kennedy, 1987). The best-known example is the decline and fall of the Roman Empire (Christ, 1970). The causes of this have long troubled critical thinkers, because they hope to learn from history something that will help with the preservation of their own society (Galtung, 1996). But in some way, deeper insight seems to be blocked, since the history of Sparta and Athens repeats itself (Buchanan, 1999).
The only exception might be China. But even within China the build-up and break-up of a powerful central state has been repeated several times within the last 3000 years. Traditional Chinese historiography interprets Chinese history as a succession of dynastic cycles. The founder of a line, ruling by the Mandate of Heaven, naturally was a man of ability, drive and action. He eliminated his rivals, unified China, established an effective government, levied moderate taxes and secured the frontiers. Roads were built and irrigation systems repaired. The restoration of peace led to population increase, greater production, and correspondingly greater revenues. Under later rulers the bureaucracy grew like cancer and the costs of government rose. Each dynasty began to experience financial difficulties about a century after its founding. But as taxes increased, more and more peasant proprietors lost their plots to the large landowners, who began to evade taxation. Thus a vicious circle was set in motion — rising taxes, falling revenues, neglected roads and dikes, and declining productivity. Finally, under chaotic circumstances, the dynasty disappeared from the stage of history, in a swirl of peasant revolts, warlord coups, and nomadic raids. Curtailed by plague, famine, and war, population numbers diminished dramatically. Then China entered a prolonged period of disunity and disorder (Chu and Lee, 1994) similar to that in Europe following the collapse of the Roman Empire.
When we look at the history of Russia from a broad perspective we can see, after some centuries of rise, the unmistakable signs of decline — with military defeat in the wars against Japan in 1905 and the Central Powers in 1917. In retrospect the period of communism seems to be nothing other than a period of progressive decay (Collins, 1999), coming to a preliminary climax in the break-up of the Soviet Union. The military victory of 1945 turns out to have been an episode running contrary to the general trend. If we use the terminology of Aristotle, after 1953 the tyranny of Stalin was replaced by the oligarchy of the Politburo. But all this development took place against the background of an egalitarian ideology, as is characteristic for any phase of final decline.
Likewise in smaller communities, rises and collapses have occurred. The best known example is Easter Island (Striening, 2001; Ponting, 2006), one of the most remote inhabited places on earth. The population of Polynesian settlers grew from a handful to 7,000 or even more. In just a few centuries, the people of this island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism. With the disappearance of the food surplus, social hierarchy broke down. By around 1700, the population began to crash to nearly one-tenth of its former number. In 1722, as the first Europeans landed, they found a society in a primitive state. Nobody could comprehend how it was possible that these people had been able to erect the huge stone statues for which the island is famous. Similar crises and population cycles have been reported on an even larger scale from other areas and cultures (Russell and Russell, 1999) — for example, from the Maya and the Anasazi.
During the past century the population of the world has multiplied as never before. In the 17th century, at the beginning of the cycle we live in, the world had 400 million inhabitants; when Karl Marx wrote his Communist Manifesto, it had about 1 billion. When I attended school and asked my schoolteacher, in vain, what would happen after communism, the world had about 2 billion inhabitants. In the past century the doubling periods became shorter, so now, in 2007 we have 6.7 billion. Projections, which may be right at his point, are of a maximum of 9 or 10 billion around 2040.
Around 1970 the ?Club of Rome? predicted that our progress, if there is no substantial change, would lead inevitably to a collapse. The world as a whole threatens to become a Mega-Easter Island (Meadows et al., 2004). In the meantime there are a lot of expert opinions (Wallerstein, 1998; Lee and White, 2001; Kaplan, 2000; Itzkoff 2003a and 2003b; Weiss, 2007) that fix the worldwide collapse some time around 2040. Those who are able to look behind the daily news and are aware of long-term trends, can read the writing on the wall. The present sharp increase in the prices of energy and commodities is likely to prove no transient phenomenon. In the industrialized countries, especially by high input of energy and fertilizers, agrarian yields may be steadily improving; but in the Third world the deserts are eating the savannahs and drinking water is becoming a rarity. Each year, women must go greater distances to collect firewood for cooking. Large areas in poor countries are completely over‑exploited and over-populated and, without any hope of improvement, people are demographically trapped (Diamond, 2005).
Cyclic Decline Instead of the Hoped-for Equilibrium
“The keystone to an understanding of the evolution of nations is the different rate of increase of the different categories of the population”, wrote Gini (1930). However, in the industrialized countries the number of native inhabitants shows no further increase, but a decrease. Over how many generations this number will decrease, nobody knows. For such a development the established authorities of demography have no theory to offer, despite their having been aware of the decline of the birth rate very early and having projected its proximate course and consequences. For decades, professors of demography have been satisfied with the “theory” of demographic transition, which predicted a stable population would be reached in some unknown future. Yet, to the astonishment of the professors, who seemed to be blind to the fact that equilibriums in nature and society are rare but cycles are common, birth rates were dropping still further and are now far below the level for natural population replacement. But why are birth rates dropping in such a way? Academic demographers can provide hundreds of arguments and opinions, but control variables and causes seem to be hidden from them. The solution of the mystery can be found in the papers of some young economists (Galor and Moav, 2002) — to which the present paper will return.
It is not only the industrialized countries of Europe and Asia, but also the white populations of North America, Australia and South Africa, that have for decades been falling short of the magical number of 2.0 offspring per woman (Buchanan, 2002). The newly industrialized countries are following suit at a rapid pace (Eberstadt, 1998). Among Arab societies — supposed hold-outs of high-birth norms — Tunisia and Lebanon have already fallen below replacement fertility (Wattenberg, 2004). In India it is not only big cities that no longer generate local births to sustain their current population numbers over the long term, but so does the densely populated federal state of Kerala, governed by communists (Eberstadt, 2001). Many 20th century population forecasts and demographic assessments are proving famously wrong (Longman, 2004; Steyn, 2006).
In the last 30 years in France (Laulan, 2003) and Germany (Weiss, 2000) a number of books appeared, in which a population policy was called for in order to stop the imminent population implosion. The politicians were blamed for doing nothing, or not enough. In such a way each industrialized country would have culprits of its own. But the similarity of probable outcomes (Demeny, 2003) in nations as different as Japan, Korea, Germany, and Italy suggests that the general trend must have a deeper and more general cause.
Looking at the speed at which the birth rate is falling within both old and new industrialized countries, while attending to the distribution of ages at which women marry and bear children, and to similar demographic parameters, the convergence between the developments within Eastern Europe, the historically Catholic Southern Europe and Protestant Europe is impressive to such a degree that it seems there must be an underlying law. But what law? If all industrialized countries, and in the meantime all newly industrialized countries, too, despite their different historical backgrounds, are affected by sub-replacement childbearing patterns, the cause must be much deeper than the policy of each country, which — as in ancient Sparta and in Rome — has proved and is proving entirely helpless (Schade, 1974).
An accompaniment of the population cycle is always the progressive concentration of the inhabitants in the large cities. “At this level all civilizations enter upon a stage … of appalling depopulation. The whole pyramid of cultural man vanishes. It crumbles from the summit, first the world-cities, then the provincial forms and finally the land itself, whose best blood has incontinently poured into the towns, merely to bolster them up awhile. At the last, only the primitive blood remains . … This residue is the Fellah type,” wrote Spengler in his book The Decline of the West (1922; 251). He comprehended the essential elements of the downward spiral in a typological way, without proving his conclusions statistically. Until far into the 19th century — thus also in the ascending phase of Europe — in all large cities, more men died than were born in them. Large cities grow and always flower at the expense of the surrounding countryside. In the crowded conditions of any large city, culture, economics and prostitution flourish better than human reproduction. Right now, one billion people live in slums (Davis, 2006).
Why are big and fierce animals rare? Their place in the food chain is the most exposed and their existence requires a large number of smaller animals — hares, deer and so on — which need plants as fodder. In German we speak of somebody as a “Big Animal” if he is a man of the first rank; but his status also depends upon the large number of poor citizens who work for him or pay taxes. The ecological space of big animals is limited. They themselves are the first to perceive when their space is becoming crowded (Colinvaux, 1980).
As many studies have shown, the land-holding peasantry in Central, West and Northern Europe had far more children in the rising phase from the 16th to the middle of the 19th century, who reached the age of marriage than did the smallholders, rural landless and urban poor (Weiss, 1990) — in whose families grew up at an average fewer than two children (Weiss and Munchow, 1998). Because in Europe — in contrast to the situation in the new areas of settlement for the white race overseas — the number of places for land-holding peasants was limited, this social stratum and the upper stratum in the towns were eventually the first to begin using birth control (Clark, 2007).
In the last decade, a handful of young economists became aware that there is no reasonable theory for the fact that after a certain point of historical development the well-to-do have fewer children than the poor. From purely theoretical considerations, these economists drew the conclusion that there must have been a turning point in a cycle; from which point onwards the poor had more children than the rich (de la Croix and Doepke, 2003). In the early stages of industrialization, when physical capital was the prime engine of economic growth, societies were marked by a stable class structure. In the second half of the 19th century the process of industrialization enhanced the importance of human capital in production and induced the capitalists to lobby for the provision of universal public education. In such a way, a socio-economic transformation of the class structure was triggered in reaction to the increasing importance of human capital in sustaining profit rates. However, poor parents had for a much longer period of time a greater number of children and invested little in education (Schneider and Schneider, 1996). Hoping they had produced a gifted child, they knew that the price for its education and upward mobility was to renounce the birth of further children (Galor and Moav, 2006). Finally, a widening of the distribution of income and wealth increases the fertility differential between the rich and the poor, which implies that the percentage of the underclass rises, which has little sense for education. Consequently, an increase in inequality lowers average education and, therefore, economic growth. Many nations are arriving at this stage now. For the richer group, wealth becomes by inheritance more and more concentrated among a few rich heirs; on the other hand, the poor masses are growing in numbers and becoming poorer.
How Fast do Things go Downhill?
In 1865 appeared the report of the Englishman Charles Boner, who traveled through Transylvania: “But how is it that these German colonists, all thinking men, should thus dwindle away, instead of peopling the land with their race? … The man of substance could not bear the thought of his possessions being divided. For a middle state he had a decided distaste; and the patrimony could not be increased to provide amply for each member of a numerous family… There are villages where the population has remained stationary for a hundred and more years. In others, where originally every inhabitant was German, with but a few Wallack huts outside the boundary, there is now hardly one Saxon left, and the whole population is Wallack, and the change has taken place since the childhood of men still living. Even from the pulpit, difficult as the subject is, it has been vigorously and eloquently treated… Everywhere, throughout the land, the Saxons, who took the first, are now gradually falling into a secondary position. The Wallacks are increasing so fast, that their ever-growing population displaces and threatens soon to overwhelm entirely the original settlers. … The number of their representatives in the Transylvanian Parliament is so great, that they carry ever measure by an overwhelming majority. They seek office with avidity. … Most of these men are in every respect unfit for office. .. In the numerous judicial cases, in which they have to decide between Saxons and Roumain, the Saxons go to the wall. They expected that while their numbers remained stationary, those of their serf dependants would do the same. But their calculations have proved false; the vassals have grown in strength, and the hum of their voices, always raised to demand new concessions, grows louder and louder.”
Today, three generations later, this crowding out of the Saxons has been finished. Beyond a small residue there are no more Germans in Transylvania. The two World Wars were only stages in a long development, whose consequences the travel writer foresaw correctly in 1865. If a population has fallen below a critical size, it comes then, after a very long decline, within a short time to a complete collapse — in the case of Transylvania to the emigration of the German residual population, in the case of Kosovo to the mass escape of the Serbs.
Let us look at South Africa where a national census was carried out in 1921. The director of the statistical office of the Union of South Africa, C. W. Cousins, commented on the numbers in the following way: “While within the last 30 years the non-European population by natural growth has increased around 2,630,000, the European population increased … its number by only 500,000.” Therefore, in Cousins’ opinion, it would probably be decided within the next 25-50 years whether the Europeans would remain separate from the colored races as a population element that was proportionally strong and driving the further development of South Africa or whether the colored races would exceed them so much in number and peacefully replace them, so that they finally would constitute only a thin upper stratum, which some day could be eliminated easily. Cousins then published three variants of the possible population projected until 1971. Indeed, in 1971, the actual number lay between these projections. In 2002, of approximately 44 millions counted, legal inhabitants, only 13% were still white (more recent numbers suggest 10%). So from 1890 to 2005 the numerical ratio between black and white shifted from 50 : 40 to 90 : 10 and continues to shift farther. The change of power, envisaged by Cousins in 1921, took place in 1994. The day on which the mass escape of the whites begins has yet to arrive. For Kenya this day is already history; the former Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) is living through it at present. Also in South Africa, the brain drain has long been underway: qualified young people are emigrating to Europe, Australia or Canada. If the IQ data given by Lynn and Vanhanen (the blacks of South Africa average IQ 66, whites 94, coloreds 82) are correct, then from 1890 to 2005 the average IQ of South Africa sank from 81 to approximately 70 and continues to sink.
Malthus argued that a population always increases more than the means for its subsistence. From this, Darwin drew the conclusion that natural selection, which eliminates the unfit, brings about an equilibrium between propagation and carrying capacity. From 1841 on, when overpopulated Ireland suffered from cruel famines, in consequence of which, and also by emigration and celibacy, the population of the island halved from eight million to about four, this seemed to be an example of a Malthusian collapse. But the theoretical model of Darwin fails in the cases of the German peasants of Transylvania, of the white population of South Africa and of the upper and middle stratum of the prosperous industrialized countries. In order to interpret this behavior and to predict its outcome, we need more insights than the analogies by Spengler of the growth and final decay of all cultures.
In the period before the onset of the demographic transition, when fertility rates are positively associated with income levels, the Malthusian pressure generates an evolutionary advantage for individuals whose characteristics are positively correlated with child quality. Those who are successful in economic competition, those who acquire and hold more property, or develop skills that allow for higher wages, are also more successful reproductively and increase their representation in the population. High-quality individuals generate higher wealth and have more resources for a larger number of offspring of higher quality. As the fraction of individuals of the quality type increases, technological progress intensifies. Positive feedback between technological progress and the level of education reinforces the growth process, setting the stage for an industrial revolution that facilitates an endogenous take-off from the Malthusian trap.
Investment in human capital increased gradually in the pre-industrial era due to a gradual increase in the representation of individuals with higher inherited qualities. The demographic transition generated a reversal in this relationship. In the Malthusian regime there is a positive correlation between income and fertility rates, whereas in the modern growth regime this correlation is negative (Lam, 1997). Once the economic environment improves sufficiently, the evolutionary pressure weakens, and the quantity of people gains dominance over quality.
Global Human Capital Deterioration
At present, in all industrialized countries, even in the newly industrialized and the developing countries, women with middle and higher education have far fewer children than uneducated women — e.g. in China it is only half the number. For men, since they often marry downward, the negative relationship between social status and child number is not pronounced in such an outspoken way, but verifiable. Since the genotypic value of IQ and educational status are highly correlated, from these data there follows a worldwide dysgenic development, a worldwide decrease of the genotypic IQ. Of course, he who is poor is not automatically dull; to be rich, moderate intelligence is often sufficient, there is only a general correlation between income and IQ.
The middle class, to which in industrialized countries about a third of the population belongs, determines by its number of children whether the society goes up or down in the cycle. The offspring of the middle class supplies the largest percentage of socially upward mobile individuals and in each generation the highest absolute number of the highly gifted, with an IQ above 123 (Weiss, 1992). The highly gifted originate only to a small degree from the marriages of the highly gifted themselves, because the highly gifted proportion of any population is always very small. Beginning in the rising phase, with the formation of a meritocratic society, with the expansion of the educational system and by educational selection, nearly all gifted from the lower classes are sieved out. In the end nearly all women with medium and high IQ can be found in corresponding jobs and occupations, which makes the rearing of a large number of children difficult. The childlessness or child paucity of the upper third of society has the consequence that average IQ is decreasing, and the cycle enters its phase of descent, which is now being reached world‑wide (Itzkoff, 2003b).
Already in the last quarter of the 19th century, the decrease of birth rates in the upper stratum led to the assumption of a threat of an accompanying decrease of the average giftedness of a nation (Blacker, 1952). But, contrary to all such expectations, cognitive test scores, which are not natural constants and can be influenced by many factors, were rising over many decades. In view of the Flynn Effect, the argument that a dysgenic development was imminent seemed to be ridiculous (Neisser, 1998). However, to a geneticist (Weiss, 2000) it seems certain that — in analogy with the acceleration of human height — such a rise could only be a rise in phenotypic values and not in genotypic ones. For example, in a representative study of the National Institute of Demography of France (Gille et al., 1954) it was shown that in any social stratum the average IQ of later-born sibs is lower than the IQ of first- and second-born. In any social stratum the seventh child of a sibship has an IQ that is about 10 points lower than the IQ of the firstborns. It is not that in any stratum the least intelligent parents have the most children; but if parents have to distribute their care and money among a larger number of children each later‑born child gets less. From this we can conclude that on its own the decreasing and smaller size of sibships in the general population may have contributed heavily to the past phenotypic IQ increase appearing as the Flynn Effect.
Hence, to measure and prove a dysgenic trend of IQ is extremely difficult. Whether the sea level is rising or falling, a fixed point on the water line marked at a determined day remains fixed (apart form the effects of earthquakes). The IQ, however, is a relative measure always calibrated to the median of a reference population which is only in an idealized population and distribution of test scores identical with the arithmetic mean of a Bell Curve. Lynn and Vanhanen (2002) chose the median of the United Kingdom 1979 as the score 100 of their “Greenwich IQ”. But no country can claim to be resistant to any change. In the 2000 and 2003 PISA (Programme for International Students Assessment) studies, 500 and 100 are chosen as mean and standard deviation (Rost, 2005; Rindermann, 2006), with the result that in 2003, by the first time inclusion of Turkey into the sample of reference, the average “PISA-IQ” of Germany and other countries rose without their contributing anything to such an effect. Educational politicians in industrialized countries could even be more proud of their nations’ rising IQ if Brazil and other third‑world nations would be included in the sample from which the general mean is calculated and even prouder if the nations were weighted by the total numbers of school children in the respective countries (Weiss, 2006).
In order to minimize such methodological pitfalls, we set out in the following the (by Rindermann, 2007) corrected arithmetic mean of the PISA scores of the Netherlands (528), New Zealand (525) and the United Kingdom (528) as IQ 100; 15, corresponding to 527; 100. In 2000 and 2003, PISA subjects were aged 15 years. It is a pity that Lynn and Vanhanen do not give the average birth years of their data sets, but it can be assumed that the subjects in their collection came from the parental generation of the PISA subjects.
In the study “Child poverty in rich countries in 2005” the poverty threshold is defined as the percentage of children living in households with incomes below 50 per cent of the national median income. The percentage of children living in poverty could be high, because many children are born to the poor or because the well-to-do have relatively less children. In the area of the former West Germany, for example, more than 40% of women with an academic degree remain childless (Weiss, 2002). “The Report series has regularly shown, there is a close correlation between growing up in poverty and the likelihood of educational under-achievement, poor health, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, criminal and antisocial behavior, low pay, unemployment, and long term welfare dependence. Such problems are associated with, but not necessarily caused by, low income (for example, low levels of parental education or parental skills)” (UNICEF, 2005, p. 6).
A high percentage of children in poverty could provide a strong hint as to a dysgenic trend in the respective country; a small percentage could hint at a eugenic trend (Weiss, 2007b). Indeed, the 8 richest countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France) in the “Child Poverty League” (UNICEF, 2005, P. 4) — with no more than 7.5% of their children living in poverty — have on average no IQ decrease; Finland, where only 2.8% children live in poverty, even has an IQ-increase of 6 points. But Germany (losing 6 points, down to a mean IQ of 96), Italy (children poverty 16.6%; IQ loss 7 points) and Mexico (children poverty 27.7%; IQ loss of 17 points) exhibit a clearly dysgenic trend.
Now we put these poverty percentages in context with the percentage of children who got a PISA-IQ of 88 and lower. The fifteen countries that have a below-average percentage of low IQ children (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Japan, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand) have on average the same mean IQ as given by Lynn and Vanhanen. However, the eight countries with an above- average percentage of dull children (Hungary, Germany, Greece, Poland, Spain, Italy, USA, Mexico; Luxemburg being excluded because of its smallness) have a mean IQ drop of 6 points. In this way, comparing three bodies of independently collected data, Lynn-Vanhanen-IQ, PISA-IQ, and children poverty percentage, we have evidence for eugenic and dysgenic trends on a national scale, reaching up to 6 points within one generation. Maybe the trend would be even more visible if the Lynn-Vanhanen-IQ could be uniformly scaled to the year of birth (1960).
Australia and Canada show an IQ‑increase despite high percentages of children in poverty. Maybe a dysgenic trend is checked by selective above‑average IQ immigration.
Very disquieting are IQ changes in Latin American and third world countries: Argentina has a Lynn-and-Vanhanen-IQ of 96 (PISA‑IQ 77); Brazil 87 (68); Chile 93 (81); Indonesia 89 (72); Mexico 87 (70); Peru 90 (63); Uruguay 96 (79).
The downward trend has an easy explanation: In Brazil, for example, as early as 1970, the 2.5% of women living in the top income group had two children or less (Wood and de Carvaiho, 1988, 191). However, in the four poorest strata, comprising 48.5% of the population, women had an average of 7.4 children. Consequently their share of the population grew to 58% in 2000, while the share of the top income group dwindled to 1.4%. In contrast with this, in 12 national fertility surveys taken around 1970, Finland was the only country with a positive relationship between husband’s income and education and achieved fertility (Jones, 1982).
In the World Population Prospects (2006) we find a table (p. 7. Table I, 2) of the countries and areas accounting for about 75 per cent of the world population (estimates and medium, 2005 and 2050). In 2005, 24 countries made up to 74.7 per cent of the world population. If we weight the average IQ (taken from Rindermann, 2007) of these countries with their population in millions, we obtain an average IQ of 90. In 1950, by the analogous calculation, we obtain an average of 94; in 2050, however (with newcomers as Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan and Colombia on the list, all with populations more than 60 millions and an average IQ below 80), we predict an average IQ of only 86. If we take the list of countries by population in 2005 and extend the list by a further 31 countries, reaching in such a way up to 90 per cent of world population, we correct the world average IQ to 88. But a difference of plus or minus two seems to be within the limits of error of measurement for any such average, because for some countries the values are only estimates. Considering that at any time any such world average is heavily influenced by the value of China, doubt should be entertained whether the average IQ of China is indeed 105. This average may hold for the coastal regions, but perhaps not for the provinces in the interior. In view of the fact that within Germany the IQ difference (Ebenrett et al., 2003) between the prosperous regions in the south and economically backward federal states in the former East German northeast and even Bremen amounts to about 10 IQ points (the same size as the difference between Massachusetts and Mississippi; McDaniel, 2006), why should the situation in China be different? Also, for decades in China, as in most countries all over the world, highly qualified women bear only half the number of children as unqualified women.
On the basis of a “List of countries by population in 1907” (English Wikipedia, entry from the Nuttall Encyclopaedia) we are able to calculate a world average IQ of 94, the same as in 1950. Given the available demographic data, hence from about 1960 to about 2040, the world average IQ is dropping about 8 points under the assumption of a stable average IQ for each country. However, as shown above for some Latin American countries, these averages are not stable but in obvious decline. A decline can also be expected for numerous industrialized countries because of immigration of unqualified workforce from the Third World, dysgenic birth rates or selective emigration of qualified people (for example from former communist East Europe to the West). Summarizing from all these data we conclude that a drop of world average IQ of more than 10 points, even up to one standard deviation of about 15 points, seems to be real and imminent. This means a drop of about 3 points per generation, or even up to 5 points.
Independently, on the basis of the IQ data given by Lynn and Vanhanen (2002) and statistics of the U.S. Census Bureau, Lynn and Harvey (2007) calculated the average world’s IQ, confirming the general trend downward. They found a mean of IQ 93 in 1950, of IQ 90 in 2000 and of IQ 87 in 2050. This is in very good agreement with our results here: IQ 94 in 1950, IQ 90 or 88 in 2005, IQ 86 in 2050.
Beside the rise in prices of energy and raw materials, environmental pollution and so on, mankind also faces population pollution. This is a word that could easily be misunderstood and therefore “human capital deterioration” might be a better term. If nature had a plan to destroy the greater part of mankind and in this way protect the earth against over-exploitation, human capital deterioration would be the surest way to reach this goal. And because in a democratic society population pollution is politically non-existent and even impossible by definition, the success of the counter-strike of nature against a species that is intelligent enough to propagate and fill the earth, but not intelligent enough to understand and to regulate its ultimate resource – the human mind and thus its population quality of its own– seems to be guaranteed.
An important threshold value is IQ 105. A person scoring 105 and above can acquire higher education, can operate a small business successfully or be an independent craftsman. In the world-wide web one finds a table published by a scientist writing under the pseudonym “La Griffe du Lion”. It shows a linear relationship between the percentage f of the population with an IQ above 105, crucial for economic power, and the gross national product of the country. From the major gene theory of IQ (Weiss, 1992) follows that the frequency m2 of the dull allele M2 is the square root of (1 ‑ f), where f is the “smart fraction”. The frequency of the bright allele is ml (1 — m2). The smart fraction f follows from the Hardy-Weinberg‑Law in power 2 + 2 in m2 + m2 power 2, where f ml power 2+2m1m2.
From the “Table of IQs, smart fractions and GDP” the national frequencies for Ml and M2 can easily be calculated. For the Congo the frequency of Ml is near zero, for Singapore near 0.20, which is my estimate for highly developed Eurasian populations (Weiss and Weiss, 2003). The power of a nation does not depend on its mere numbers, but of the number in its cognitive elite. This is the lesson learned from these data.
A decrease in the world’s average IQ from 94 in 1950 to 86 in 2050 means a decrease of the gene frequency of Ml from 0,12 to 0,05 and a decrease of the smart fraction f with an IQ above 105 from 22% to about 10%;, that means a relative decrease of about 4% per generation. This is the reality that we have to face. In an economically healthy society with an average IQ of 100 the smart fraction f comprises 36% of the population.
In 1998 each percentage point increase of f was worth about $600 to the per capita GDP (gross domestic product). Consequently, a country with an average IQ of 100 had a real GDP per capita of about $22,000 (as, for example, Germany), with IQ 94 of $13,000 and with IQ 86 only $6,000 (as in the Philippines). In 2050, our future will have to reckon with such relations. Of course, a correlation between IQ and individual contribution to GDP in the same direction can also be found within countries.
The Cycle Cannot be Stopped Because our Understanding of its Course Comes too Late
Approximately 160 years ago, Marx understood, as an eminent analyst, that in a certain transitory phase the entire world becomes irrevocably part of a meritocratic burgeois society and everything will become a commodity. According to Marx, history has to be understood as an unbroken series of class struggles, and each epoch would have a population law of its own. But which law, when and why? Perhaps we make progress in our understanding if we regard each social class or stratum, each religious group or in-its-self‑interest-acting structure — including even the state bureaucracy — as a biological species that strives to maximize its size and its portion of the social cake at the expense of all the others. Since humans belong to a species that is capable of conscious birth control, therefore the social groups and strata, for which the crowding effect becomes noticeable at first (and for which emigration plays as pressure valve no important role), will begin with birth control. Since such control begins in the different social strata at different times, their numerical weights shift. When this became obvious around 1900, it induced Galton to found the eugenic countermovement (Soloway, 1990). In view of the small numbers of children in the upper stratum, Galton predicted a drop in the general intellectual level. However, the opposite came about. Improved living conditions, better education and the smaller numbers of sibships led, after 1900 in all industrialized countries, to a clear rise of the IQ test scores of about 15 IQ points. Although this Flynn Effect could only be phenotypic and not genotypic, to the broader public the arguments by Galton and his adherents seemed to be exaggerated and untrustworthy. As we know today, the decline in IQ test scores predicted by Galton, as measured by phenotypic values, needs two or three generations, or nearly a century, to be expressed in test scores. But within this century the political climate has changed fundamentally (Scheler, 1921). Today, 100 years after Galton, his political aim to promote the birth of gifted children is no longer up-to-date (Lynn, 2001), since all men must be seen as genetically equal in intellectual endowment. Therefore, Galton’s goal has nowhere the slightest chance of being realized as a national policy (Lee, 2000; Reiss, 2000; Burch 2005); so there seems no hope that the march of the lemmings into the Great Chaos may be stopped. When the insight began, it did not immediately produce the expected consequences, and once the consequences eventuated, any effective policy is mentally handcuffed by egalitarian ideology.
Myrdal (1940, 188ff.) wrote far‑sightedly: “The basic principle for population policy in a democratic country … is, that a very large number of births must be regarded as undesirable. … In a democratic society we cannot accept a way of things whereby the poor, ignorant, and inexperienced maintain the stock of population. … .The deepest dilemma of democratic population policy is that we do not desire … a reversal of industrialization and rationalization. … The general method of population policy can be described as a transfer of income from individuals and families without children to families with children. … In a democracy a population policy is a contradiction in itself. … It is not, like much other reform policy, the relatively simple question of inducing a majority to tax a minority for its own benefit. It is just the contrary: to ask a majority to tax itself severely in favor of a minority. For the majority of every population … consists of citizens who are either unmarried or have no child burdens at all, or only very light ones. … For the overwhelming majority of every people, distributional reforms in the interest of the reproducing families mean economic sacrifice.” Until now, nowhere can such a policy or even a eugenic one be maintained in the necessary long run required for any chance of success.
Among rodents — from which the primates and the species Homo evolved — we find density‑dependent regulation (Schafer, 1971), resulting in constant fluctuations of numbers, by which any plague of mice or rats is followed by the subsequent collapse of their populations. Among social mammals, which usually live in a social hierarchy, the breakdown of the population and a new start are forced upon nature by a chain of events: crowding and hence strong intraspecific competition leads to a striving for equality and to the destruction of social hierarchy (Leyhausen, 1968). A population with a destroyed hierarchy as a whole is becoming more and more incompetent and unable to act, and the individuals are fighting each other. In an overcrowded cage with rhesus monkeys we see murder and homicide, and with rodents apathy, sterility and cannibalism (Calhoun, 1962). Such cruelties have also been reported from overcrowded and undernourished camps (Werth, 2006) of prisoners-of-war. Not only on Easter Island has this cycle has been fulfilled in all its stages and its cruelties, but also several times in other and more complex human societies.
It is crucial to understand that, by means of this regulation of population density and behavioral changes being in a feedback loop, a full cycle requires the complete destruction of social hierarchy and a total disorientation of the female individuals– ‑i.e., their diversion away from the successful reproduction and rearing of offspring. Today’s humans call such behavior “emancipation” and “feminism.” Under healthy conditions, the exhibition of virility, the heat of the deer and the courtship of cocks, among men the exhibition of social prestige and prestige consummation, have the purpose of underlining the membership of a certain class. In ascending societies, the men with the largest power also have the most attractive women and the largest number of descendants. In societies, however, that are beyond the turning point of the cycle, the courtship of men and women, their awareness of the latest fashions, the brand of their cars, their prestige journey to the Seychelles and their cooing on the telescreens become ends in themselves not related in any way with the number and quality of their children. In the working life, educated women are set under an achievement pressure, which — if at all — permits only one child. Only a few can pay for service personnel that can make a full‑time job and a family with many children compatible. The ideal of a fully employed mother is a beautiful one , but only the frequent application of antibiotics guarantees the survival of many small children in the kindergartens. For a mother with three children a discontinuation of professional activity for some years is a benefit for both mother and children.
When we look back at the history of past high civilizations, it is noticeable that it was a long time before the collapse and internal decay began (Knaul, 1985). From a certain point on there were nearly only failures. The economy stagnated and the finances of the state and of the cities fell more and more into disorder. The number of people depending on welfare rose from year to year, although each new ruler declared it an aim to lower this number. The security of the citizens was no longer guaranteed; the relationship between man and woman had likewise changed as had the relationship between young and old. The whole society seemed to be stricken by an illness and incapable of making and implementing the right decisions. Although nobody wanted the decline, the states and their inhabitants steered with internal logic to an abyss in such a way, as if they had no other goal than falling into the abyss. Today, is not our situation similar (Burnham, 1964)?
If a biological species over-exploits its ecological space, then natural selection will be directed against the species as a whole and will regulate the species by a catastrophe to a size that makes a new start possible. Whereas in the ascending phase individual selection plays a large role and the allele frequencies of genes, which are positively correlated with achievement parameters — in the case of Homo especially with the IQ — rise, in the descending phase group selection becomes decisive. This density‑dependent switching from individual selection to group selection is the crucial point in our argumentation, leading far beyond Darwin and Marx (Witting, 1997). The respective population has the same fate as an army after a lost battle. Members of the defeated group are liable to be killed or enslaved, and the tribe is decimated or even extinguished. Similarly, if the earth would weary of a population that is over‑exploiting its space, after a certain point evolution would show its limits to such a population and would program it, after a certain point of no return, toward a collapse. Until now all such catastrophes, if they concerned human populations, were regional ones. For the first time, mankind as a whole has now set the controls for a global collapse. The different regions of the world are in different, but more and more rapidly converging phases of this cycle.
If we assume that man was enabled by hundreds of thousands of years of the evolution of his brain to think logically, to be imaginative and creative, even to work scientifically (Mokyr, 2005), in order to improve the natural conditions of his life in several large steps (Boserup, 1981); and that this had the consequence — in particular after the step of industrialization — of his excessive (in the 20th Century, even explosive) propagation; then such a development from the point of view of the maltreated earth must be seen as an error that has to be corrected. The earth is weary of the many humans and has the task, in order to protect itself against contamination, climatic change and exploitation of all its resources, to destroy the majority of humans within a short period. This will happen in the Great Chaos.
Already during the 19th century in Central Europe, crowding had the effect that the percentage of people depending on welfare rose and rose. The villages, where they had their right of domicile (Heimatrecht), were obliged to support the old and disabled. When the number of people who had moved away into the surroundings of important cities grew exceedingly, the villages became unable to fulfill their obligations. In order to relieve the distress of the urbanizing masses, the German Chancellor Bismarck issued the first social laws, also with the intent to undermine the position of socialists and communists pressing for general equality. If the poor had children, they demanded and received support; the poorer the mother was, the more support she got. In such a way the breeding of stupidity began. Since about 1900 on the average, underperformers beget the most children.
Humans are not much different from animals. If one promotes the reproduction of farm horses, one receives farm horses and no racehorses. As outlined before, the power of a people depends upon its percentage of intelligent and efficient ones. These cannot be produced by school and education according to demand, but they must be born before, like racehorses. It is the erroneous belief of the politically correct that ill and weak descendants, if only they are well fed and educated, would be able to uphold the high level of Western civilization or even develop it further.
Lack of food is noticed immediately. However, the lack of sufficient space, which prevents humans to test their range, is developing slowly. It is felt by all members of a community as unpleasant proportionally to the respective crowding. When around 1880 people from the villages and towns on their search for work and bread moved into the industrious villages around the large cities, this concentration of people was connected with the rise of socialists, requesting equality and universal suffrage. The first socialist members of German parliament (Reichstag) were elected in Saxony, in the industrial agglomeration between Chemnitz and Zwickau, at this time the area with the greatest population density world-wide.
The suburb of Leipzig, where I live, was around 1885 – even in an international comparison – an extraordinarily industrious village. On the meadows between the allotment gardens played large crowds of children. At that time a new large Lutheran church was built. Today the church does still exist, however, it has no more function. God has ‘left the country’ (Mak, 2000). In the square before the church a kebab shop has opened. In the shop hangs a picture hangs of the mosque in Mekka, full of people. Is this development unique or a general rule? Gods were once donated to hint with power, that there is someone who has a greater right than others to set rules and goals and request following (Alexander 1987, 207). At a time when social hierarchy is challenged, always there begins the decline of the hitherto dominant religion. Withdrawal from the church is – like the denial of the ancient Romans of their old gods – a further unfailing characteristic that a society is beyond its apex and the phase of equalizing descent has began. Who will bear no more any gentleman over itself, likewise needs no more god.
The French were the European Nation which at first in the some time in the 17th century beginning cycle reached a high population density. Under the slogan “liberty, equality, fraternity” the French revolution decapitated, as the first revolution in our present global cycle, not only the aristocracy, but also many outstanding intellectuals. Subsequently, for the first time, birth rates sunk in a country (in this case France) struck by relentless progress (Dumont, 1890). Spengler (1934) understood in its full consequence this interlinking of development, this enforced parallelism between political, economical and demographical events. The wheel of history which drives the Aristotelian cycle of constitutions expresses itself in lawful stages of the spirit of the age (Zeitgeist), the social systems, the political conditions and number of children born in the various social strata.
The pogroms in the Ukraine, which drove hundreds of thousands of Jews westwards to Central Europe, were nothing else but a further manifestation of the struggle against the unequal in a more and more crowded area (Weiss, 2000). If the members of another race or another people were overrepresented in the upper stratum, they sooner or later became the target of social unrest– ‑ and this was true not only of the Jews. Regional economic elites like the Chinese in Southeast Asia, the Lebanese in West Africa, the Indians in East Africa, the pre‑1941 numerous Germans in Eastern Europe, the Armenians in Asia Minor– all became sooner or later the subject of terror and expulsion, even extermination. He who uses democratic elections to stir up the masses against a racially, ethnically or socially differentiated elite has a good chance to win the elections and power. In the medium and long run, after the expulsion or extermination is completed, the “liberated” region is always economically in a worse situation than before; but the apocalyptic scenario in its internal logic has advanced a necessary step further.
In 1941, the religious community of the Parsis peaked at 115,000. These 0.03% of India’s population provided 7% of all engineers and 5% of all physicians of the entire country. Parsi female literacy today is 97%, the highest in India. For generations their women have been educated, they study and marry late and end up having fewer children. Since 1953 their birth rate sunk under the magic number of two, at present even less than one. Therefore, by 2020 there will only be about 23,000 Parsis in India. Many capable people went abroad, and among the shrinking remainder, cases of dependency on social welfare are growing. The Parsis symbolize ‑ even in a more pronounced way than the secularized Jews ‑ the fate of the industrialized society and of its elites, who are drowning in a sea. The Parsis are only one generation ahead. The Parsis, who were characterized by a book title (Kulke, 1974) as “engines of social change”, share their fate with the childless feminists. Having exterminated themselves some day, the changes embodied by them will again have disappeared.
A complete turn‑around of the cycle of constitutions presupposes that during the long upturn the average IQ of a population increases considerably, witch burnings are stopped and the constitutional state (Rechtsstaat) develops, which is a condition of industrial society. Prussia, Saxony, England and other states were constitutional states, before they became democracies (Zakaria, 2003). These states reached the apex of their economic ascent before 1890 at a time when, according to our present lights, they were not developed democracies.
States with only short phases of upswing and a low average IQ have no chance to reach the stage of fully developed democracy at all, but oscillate between oligarchy and tyranny, before they are drawn into the abyss. Despite this insight being such a simple one, it cannot be shared by politicians. Were they to share it, they could save the billions of dollars of military expenditures with which they intend to force upon people a democratic political order (Chua, 2003), something a people can only grow by themselves over very long periods of time. He who believes, for example, that it would be possible to establish civil society in the Congo by general suffrage, shows only that he is a prisoner of the current spirit of the age. The same incapability misguides world hunger assistance and prevents proper action against mass immigration into the First World. In the last decades we have seen economic boom, just as with Europe before 1890, in states with authoritarian governments and a high average IQ, for example in South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, or at least high variance of IQ as Malaysia.
During the upswing, there is a phase in all states with a very young population, with numerous young men – third‑born, fourth‑born, fifth‑born sons – searching for a purpose in their lives. As numerous statistics have confirmed, from such a structure of population nearly inevitably follows an expansive and belligerent policy. When in Europe this failed and did not let off sufficient steam by overseas emigration, egalitarian ideology blazed the trail for communism and social democracy. It culminated in the revolutions of 1917 and 1919 in Russia and Germany. The structure of population and of age that existed in France around 1790 and the German Reich and Russia around 1910, today obtains in Iran, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Congo and other troubled regions (Heinsohn, 2003). For the hour, which will be shown by the hand of history in Europe to be 2030, it makes nearly no difference whether England, Germany, Italy or Russia have been in World War I and II on the side of the victors or not. In all essential symptoms of crisis they are similar, and in the abyss of history there is space for all.
Prospects after the Turning Point
The cycle in which we live and that is running from the end of the 17th Century to the mid-21st Century, consists of rises and falls. The trajectory is never straight downwards, but in waves, sometimes accelerated, sometimes braked. When does a society reach the point of no return? It is in a figurative sense like the point at which the power train of a rocket goes out. From this point on the flight follows the laws of a ballistic curve, initially still rising, but then slowly declining and finally more and more rapidly falling. For the German Reich this point undoubtedly was already reached between the years 1880 and 1890, for England two or three decades earlier. This point is not to be mistaken for the peak of a culture, from which the fall is more or less rapid and constantly downward. In Germany this peak, recognizable particularly from the prestige of German-language science, lay after 1918.
The point of no return, after which there is no longer any escape from the cycle of constitutions, is the introduction of general suffrage. Unaware of the consequences, the masses cheer in a democracy with general suffrage, as if they would be biologically steered, always to those measures that will make their momentary situation easier, but that result in the long run in a degradation of the overall economy, and finally lead into disaster. The politician, who wants to win an election and power, only has to extol the increased dose of the actions that caused the situation – ever-progressive social redistribution (Anrich, 1973). If a party tries to steer against the stream, it may survive one election, but certainly not a second.
There are individual politicians who see through the vicious circle and would like to break through it. These are men and women against their time. They have no chance at all to be permanently successful. The transformation of society is an inexorable political process, in which all trends and slogans – secularization, modernization, globalization, feminism (Kingsley 1937; Kingsley and van der Oeven, 1982) and so on – have their proper place, and through which our civilisation is heading toward its goal, the Great Chaos.
In a well-established democracy a certain framework is given to all thinking and acting, which has the effect that the society cannot break away before it reaches its goal. A journalist who breaks away from these rules loses his position, a university teacher likewise or him will never be offered a chair, and for a politician of a people’s party a wrong slip of the tongue will mean its end. Reading de Tocqueville, we become aware that what we today call political correctness is nothing new, but an essential part of any democratic society (Noelle-Neumann, 1984).
For many decades I lived and worked in a communist country in the honest belief that factual knowledge on the inheritance of intelligence could contribute to create a more rational world and to counter utopian-egalitarian efforts and their devastating consequences (Pinker, 2002). Up to about 1960 in the free world the publication and discussion of behavioral genetic research caused no serious problems. However, about 1970 I noticed with astonishment, as a locked-out spectator in East Germany, the intellectual climate in the Western world (Brand, 1996). At first, this was, from my point of view, nothing other than a swelling spirit of the age, which sooner or later would become obsolete with the further progress of genetics. But when from year to year this turned out to be more and more a misconception (Pearson, 1997), it opened my eyes to deeper insights.
Today – in 2007 – more than 200 scientific studies have been published with the objective of discovering genes for schizophrenia, but only one methodologically insufficient study has been published that has searched genom-wide for genes of IQ. In many countries this research target is taboo, although the search for IQ genes is methodologically simpler and more promising than the search for genes underlying schizophrenia. There does not seem to be any foundation that will make the necessary financial means available to fund a search for the genetics of high intelligence. It can only be hoped that IQ genes will be discovered as byproducts of research targeted at genes of dyslexia, alzheimer and so on. As a result each deviation of a defined norm – upward or downward – will be attributed a defined medical condition. In such a way one will come to terms with the findings.
Already today, pedagogy sees the highly creative gifted mostly as cases endangering the collective, needing psychological consulting. German educational psychology published its last book on intelligence testing in 1974. Despite the fact that the PISA tests measure IQ very exactly (Lehrl, 2005), the terms “intelligence” and “IQ” are not mentioned once in the official reports (Weiss, 2002). It is asserted by many who claim to be authorities that individuals who are more intelligent than others because of their genetic endowment do not exist. There are supposed to be no stupid individuals, but only ‘educationally poor’ (bildungsarme) and ‘educationally distant’ (bildungsferne) people (Anger et al., 2006). These terms suggest that their condition can be remedied by increased expenditure on their education. Today, donors such as Bill Gates are providing billions of dollars for research against diseases or as support for the poor. A century ago, foundations would have provided the few millions which are needed for a successful IQ genetics. Today, a Bill Gates would be torn apart by the mass media if he were to fund some millions for IQ genetics. Those who are trying it at a smaller scale despite the hostility are declared “fascists”. “All people are equal” is the only permitted message, and inequalities have social causes that can be abolished.
The Great Chaos does not mean the apocalypse. In the cataclysms, the large and highly specialized animals always disappeared; the smaller and unassuming species survived. The question is actually only whether after the Great Chaos a new Dark Age will last for a long time in which a large part of our civilization is lost or whether a sufficient number of capable engineers will survive. Anyone who predicts that the earth will have only 2 billion inhabitants at the end of this century, contrary to the expected maximum of 9 or 10 billion around 2040, does not want to be confirmed—but rather hopes to be proven wrong.
Anyone who has travelled across Australia or British Columbia knows that a highly developed civilisation is compatible with a small population density. Until now no disaster could throw mankind back to the hand-axe. Hitherto the course of technological evolution was not a cycle but a spiral. In the lap of our old world the new one is to be recognized by the fact that millions of lowly qualified are set free and become unemployed forever. World-wide billions of humans become superfluous. In this most critical phase of evolution – around 2035 – the proportion of old-aged pensioners in the industrialized states is culminating, parallel to rising prizes of energy and raw materials, before after 2050 declining population numbers promise relief. History must pass through a bottleneck, which may turn out to be the passage through the purgatory of the Great Chaos.
I did not claim at any time that population density or population quality determines the course of history (Weiss, 2007a). They are, however, constituents in a dynamic cycle of economics and constitutions in which each step is in a feedback loop with its human capital (Williamson, 2006). Politics is nothing more than the foam on the waves. Politicians believe themselves to be the drivers of history, but they themselves are driven ones and try to regulate something that regulates itself alone (Flynn, 2001). As individuals, some may achieve an understanding of what is happening, but in mass societies they lack the power and ability to thwart the statistical laws of history.
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