The Untruth About Stefan Molyneux 3: IQ
One of the greatest challenges of having a public conversation about complex philosophical topics is the wide differences in expertise between those new to the conversation, and those well-versed in prior arguments and evidence.
Formal education deals with this problem by
requiring mastery of more basic skills before being exposed to more challenging
That does not happen in a podcast.
I want to provide enough challenging topics
to maintain the interest of long-term listeners – while not simultaneously
alienating new listeners. I have to teach intro to philosophy – as well as
intermediate and advanced philosophy – all at the same time.
In particular, I let listeners guide the
conversation during call in shows. I gauge the level of expertise of the
listener, and respond accordingly.
Now – one trick of my attackers is to take
a more advanced conclusion, and present it without any of the prior arguments
This way, the conclusion can be perceived
as shocking or offensive.
Group differences in IQ exist, and have
been well-validated for over a century. I am far from alone from discussing
these realities – Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Douglas Murray – as well as many
other public intellectuals – have talked about these facts.
However, the discussion has been often
viciously suppressed – partly so that the conclusions can be presented as
“shocking” and “racist.”
But here is the reality:
I’m not particularly interested in race.
I am, however, interested in peace, which brought
me to the topic quite a few years ago.
Racial conflicts are quite high.
Group differences exist in a meritocracy,
and meritocracy exists in both natural and man-made environments.
If I try to survive unaided in Africa, I
will not do very well. Prior to modern technology and medicine, the average
white European only survived for 11 months in Africa.
The meritocracy in modern Western market economies
is largely conceptual and intellectual.
In a free market, IQ is a strong predictor
of financial success.
Financial success is not everything in life
– the rich are not “better” than the poor – and should have no more rights or
privileges – but wealth differences are easily measurable, and can cause great
Ashkenazi Jews, East Asians, whites,
Hispanics, blacks, pygmies and the indigenous population of Australia all have
different IQs as groups.
As I have constantly reiterated, we can
never justly judge an individual by group averages.
Men are on average taller than women, but
we cannot rationally predict whether any INDIVIDUAL woman will be taller than
any individual man.
We have a problem – a challenge – in
society, which is that different groups in society have different levels of
education, income, home ownership, total assets and so on.
When I say that it is “insane” to ascribe
ALL differences in group outcomes to racism and bigotry, I really mean it – but
it assumes a certain understanding of facts long suppressed.
What do I mean by this?
Well – men go to jail far more often than women.
Is that just because the legal system is
sexist and biased against men?
There are very few Chinese or Japanese
athletes in the NBA – which is disproportionately black.
Is that because the NBA is racist against
Chinese or Japanese athletes?
Of course not.
IQ has correlations to income, educational
achievement, criminality, marital stability and a wide variety of other social
and economic outcomes.
Group variations in IQ produce many group
differences in outcomes.
These group differences are significant,
No society can utterly ignore these
And here’s what’s most important: different
ideologies will provide different explanations.
The most prevalent current explanation for
economic ethnic differences is white privilege and white racism.
This explanation is false.
If whites are so racist against non-whites,
why do East Asians and Indian immigrants make more money than whites in
Why do East Asians across the world make so
If whites are racists against blacks, why
do black immigrants to majority-white countries make so much more money than African-Americans?
The answer usually provided is the “legacy
European Jews were oppressed for centuries
in the West – culminating in the horrors of the Holocaust, which was certainly
worse than slavery in most respects.
Yet when European Jews came to America – often not speaking English and with little or no money – they very rapidly achieved income parity with whites.
Japanese-Americans were stripped of property and thrown into concentration camps under FDR – yet their incomes remain higher than the white average.
If it’s just that whites unreasonably hate
blacks, why are so many black artists and politicians loved and celebrated? How
could Barack Obama have been elected?
No – the “racism plus oppression” narrative
If groups that remain less wealthy in a
market meritocracy are constantly told that whites hate them and stole from
them, and continue to oppress them at every opportunity, then the stage is set
for a racial war.
Can you imagine the horrors of such an
What if these escalations could be
What if we could all get along?
Philosophically, the only place human
beings can meet and negotiate is in objective reality, using reason and
We don’t have to hate each other.
I want us all to get along.
How are we going to do that?
For over half a century, we have tried to
eliminate group differences by redistributing income and shaming whites for
Has it worked?
Because it is the wrong approach.
It misdiagnoses the problem, and so
provides the wrong solution.
The problem is that different ethnicities
have – on average – different brain volumes, different reaction times, and
different average IQs.
What is the cause of this?
There is no way to answer this with
Sub-species separated by tens of thousands
of years – and inhabiting regions as different as sub-Saharan Africa and
Siberia – have adapted in different ways to local environments.
The human brain is not somehow magically
excluded from the effects of evolution.
However, even if we never discover the
cause, it doesn’t matter much in how we deal with the current realities.
If we never discover the detailed causes
for the relative shortness of East Asians, it still doesn’t change the fact
that there will still be fewer professional East Asian basketball players.
The central answer to group differences is
IQ differences explain why Jews make more
than East Asians, who in turn make more than whites, who in turn make more than
Hispanics, who in turn make more than blacks, who in turn make more than
Australian aboriginals, and so on.
IQ differences explain why highly motivated
and intelligent immigrants make more money than whites in America.
By our late teens, IQ is 80% genetic.
IQ is not everything of course – wisdom
matters more than mere intelligence in the pursuit of happiness, and understanding
basic philosophy is essential to living a good life. I have dedicated my life
to helping people live wisely – the 650 million views and downloads of
Freedomain show how powerful philosophy is for people all around the world.
I do not require that people who talk to me
be previously educated in philosophy – it is MY job to bring philosophy to life
We can ALL understand and appreciate basic
philosophy, regardless of IQ.
Environment DOES matter of course – looking
at a genetically identical group – North and South Koreans – we can clearly see
that the market freedoms enjoyed by the South Koreans have made them far
wealthier than the bitter enslaved poverty of their Northern brothers and
In a market meritocracy, however, group
differences tend to widen.
Economic freedom highlights group
differences – income inequality often increases in the free market.
Which brings us to our most essential choice.
We can continue down this path of rage and
blame, of guilt and bribed appeasement – or we can start discussing facts,
reality, reason and science.
I know these are difficult subjects – but,
the elemental question in philosophy is: compared to what?
Many people do not understand why I focus
on these issues, and imagine that I take some sort of pleasure in the topic.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is sad and challenging information,
but I was raised to speak the truth and shame the devil – to speak the truth,
though the skies should fall.
Honesty is the first virtue – for without
it, no other virtues are possible.
Talking about IQ differences is not “white
supremacy,” because whites fall in the middle of the IQ spectrum.
If we suppress conversations about these
issues, we do NOT solve the problem of racism.
We just become racists against whites for
their imagined “privilege” and “racism.”
That is unfair.
This is no-one’s fault.
No one is to blame.
We have a challenge that we need to come
together to solve, to reason with together.
We are all human. Diversity should NOT
These facts can be denied, but they cannot
I have interviewed 17 world experts in the
field of human intelligence. I have assembled and presented detailed breakdowns
of the data and realities of group differences.
I do not do this because I love conflict,
but because I do oppose violence.
If the escalation of rage and blame for
realities which are beyond the control of any individual or group continues to
escalate, where does it end?
I would be very keen to NOT find that out.
I am guessing you would be too.
What is the solution?
The solution is curiosity, truth and understanding.
The solution is an energetic conversation
aimed at dealing with these challenges without rage, without blame, and without
All solutions must be peaceful,
voluntary and in full compliance with the non-aggression principle.
In this area – as in so many others – the
truth will not just set you free.
The truth will keep the peace.
Indeed, it is the only thing that can.