Premodern and prenationalist

Friday, April 20th, 2018

India seems postmodern and postnationalist, Steve Sailer notes, but it might be more accurately called premodern and prenationalist:

India is the land of diversity, which is another word for inequality. India is kind of a subcontinental-scale version of a Democratic-ruled American city, such as Baltimore, where world-class talent such as Johns Hopkins resides side by side with intractable social problems.

India puts much of its effort into higher education, while allowing its mass schooling to be awful. Two Indian states tried the PISA test in 2009 and both scored at sub-Saharan levels, with the northern state doing even worse than the southern state. In math, Indian eighth graders performed at the level of South Korean third graders.

India’s ruling party at present is the strident Hindu nationalists under Prime Minister Modi, who are unfashionable in the West. They are trying to introduce the kind of old-fashioned patriotic indoctrination, such as playing the national anthem before movies, that Western countries adapted a century ago.

Good luck to them. You can see why they are trying so hard to instill the kind of national pride that the Chinese accomplished through violently throwing out the foreign devils. Indian infrastructure, for instance, remains shoddy, especially its shameful lack of sewage systems.

But that’s a small price to pay in the minds of American elite opinion for India rising above patriotism.

Another feature that makes our commentariat comfortable with India is that Indians don’t seem to be all that mechanically facile, perhaps especially not the priestly Brahmin caste, with whom Western intellectuals primarily interact.

And the Indians tend to be more verbally agile than the Chinese and more adept at the kind of high-level abstract thinking required by modern computer science, law, and soft major academia. Thousands of years of Brahmin speculations didn’t do much for India’s prosperity, but somehow have prepared Indians to make fortunes in 21st-century America.


Indians are made up of roughly three groups comparable to those who populated Europe since the last Ice Age. First came hunter-gatherers, then Dravidian-speaking farmers from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East (more Turkish for Europe, more Iranian for India). Finally, the Yamnaya steppe nomads, who were more or less the Aryans of 19th-century German racist legend, invaded both vast peninsulas.


In India, however, unlike Europe, the Aryan conquerors eventually imposed a stupendously elaborate caste system dividing the subcontinent into thousands of inbreeding jatis. While the medieval European system of Three Estates (clergy, nobility, and commoners) could conceivably have some deep Aryan ties to the four main castes of Hinduism, there’s little in Europe like the jatis.

Who are the Brahmins? They appear to be the descendants of Aryan conquerors who rigged Indian culture to keep their heirs on top for thousands of years. [...] In other words, some of the racist Aryan theories of European scholars have turned out to be partially correct.


  1. Bob Sykes says:

    The very low IQ’s of the vast Dravidian majority means that India cannot achieve the economic miracle of the Han. The same problem dooms Africa, most of Latin America and most of the East Indies.

  2. Kirk says:

    “…very low IQ’s of the vast Dravidian majority…”.

    Upon which data do you base this assertion? And, for that matter, to what do you ascribe this “problem”?

    You start using a broad brush like that, you’d best remember how often such calumnies were used in the past, and how often they were proven wrong by actual performance and experience. Who was it that described the Japanese as never being able to be decent combat pilots because they were all near-sighted bespectacled dwarves who would never be able to fight the white man…?

    Pearl Harbor, Singapore, and the fates of the Prince of Wales and Repulse taught us how accurate that characterization was; I wonder what lessons will teach us the opposite of your assessment of the “Dravidian majority”?

  3. Boo says:


    Factually you are wrong.

    The vast majority (i.e. north India) are Aryans who make up the lower-IQ peoples. The south Indian people, Dravidian, are ‘generally’ smarter and include Telugu and Tamil Brahmins.

    In addition, much of the low IQ is attributable to low aggregate scores in nutrition and sanitation/healthcare. Whether this is fixable is a different question, but both nature and nurture play a role.

    Muh IQ is a stupid idea, not least because we only measure intelligence on a relative scale, so what an IQ score means in a specific situation ranges from sweet FA to (almost) everything, i.e. IQ is less useful as a diagnostic tool than one would hope.

  4. Lu An Li says:

    “Who are the Brahmins? They appear to be the descendants of Aryan conquerors who rigged Indian culture to keep their heirs on top for thousands of years”

    According to the Hindu faith the world only exists because the gods exist. And the gods only exist because the Brahmin make the prayers, rituals, supplications, incantations, etc. No Brahmin, no world.

  5. Anonymous Brahmin says:

    As a Brahmin, though I’d love to hear that my caste is the best of the best, the top of the top, I have come to realize that there’re a lot of talented people from every caste.

    In the US I have run into several doctors who were Patels (Peasant caste, fourth out of fifth in traditional hierarchy), several successful businessmen who were Reddys (again, Peasant caste, fourth of fifth in hierarchy) and so on.

    In the UK, much of the Punjabi and Sikh diaspora is from the lower and outcaste part of the pool. And yet, they do fairly well. Not as well as Jews, sure, but still pretty well.

    In Singapore, where the bulk of the Tamil Indian diaspora is of lower and outcaste origin, they still do almost as well as the Chinese.

    I was formerly quite pessimistic about India’s long term prospects given my belief in HBD, but on further reflection I think we will do just fine.

    We may not have all the whizz-bang gadgetry of the Chinese but we’ll have more soft power and wealth-transferring ability. More CEOs, less engineers.

  6. Kirk says:

    In the entire history of the world, I don’t think there has ever been an objectively true case where we’ve been able to see something like what every ethnic and racial group claims: Inherent superiority over the “other”, however they might define that.

    And, likewise… There’s not a single damn case where I can think of some group going “Oh, hell yeah… We’re inferior, utterly and incontrovertibly… We completely agree with those guys over there, who are saying we are…”.

    From this, I think we can safely infer a couple of things: One, that those who claim superiority for themselves are generally entirely delusional, and that most humans are too egotistical to admit it when they’ve got problems in the cultural/social/biological matrix they’re embedded in, and that’s in either direction.

    Friend of mine is a Sikh; his take on the whole thing vis-a-vis Indian caste is that it may actually be a “real” thing–But, only in India, with the entire cultural “thing” surrounding it in place. Break the people out of their castes, by way of transplanting them somewhere else, and all of a sudden, all those assumptions and expectations go to hell. He’s got a hell of a story about a couple of his friends, who were very low-caste in India, coming to America and suddenly turning into completely different and more successful versions of themselves, only to revert upon returning to India.

    Culture is a strange, strange thing, and unexpectedly influential in some areas that we think are not touched on by that aspect of the human condition.

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