Can the demise of democracy and free markets be far behind?

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Arnold Kling foresees the Twilight of the Bourgeoisie and The Coming of Neo-Feudalism:

Overall, Kotkin’s thesis that the bourgeoisie is in decline is persuasive and disturbing. It is persuasive because the importance of education in social status is everywhere evident. In the 1950s, there were many corporate leaders who had only a high school education, and there were few with graduate degrees. Today, that is reversed.

The consolidation of economic power in Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google has been sudden and striking. It has confounded those of us who looked at the Internet revolution as a phenomenon that would empower smaller enterprises by decreasing the importance of physical capital.

The first wave of the Internet boom, in the late 1990s, was characterized by feverish entry and vigorous competition in the realms of Internet search, on-line shopping, and the hardware and software that consumers would use to access the World Wide Web. In contrast, the current tech boom seems to have entrenched the leaders in their respective positions.

Deirdre McCloskey has argued persuasively that bourgeois virtues raised the status of innovation and commerce, paving the way for our modern economic and political systems. If, as Kotkin argues, the status of the bourgeoisie is in the process of decline, can the demise of democracy and free markets be far behind?


  1. Jim says:

    The markets are as free as ever.

    If you don’t like it, start your own Amazon.

  2. Harry Jones says:

    The next elite are biding their time in Galt’s Gulch…

  3. David Foster says:

    If he’s talking about Feudalism, I’d think one of the primary driving forces would be lack of personal physical security, caused by riots, vandalism, and tolerance for crime. Makes people want to live in places that are gated and/or where they know everybody.

  4. Ash Staub says:

    I know it’s a trite criticism at this point, but what democracy? The extent to which the demos can influence their immediate environment is so small as to be negligible, and has been for a while. If by democracy they mean the power simulation which satisfies the common man’s need to feel like they matter, then good. It’s a distraction that placates them and allows for further and further State intrusion on individual life under the guise of “democracy”, that the individual had a hand in the actions of the State and should therefore permit them.

  5. Dave says:

    In a village economy, it’s easy to be the best baker, blacksmith, cobbler, or whatever in your village. In a global economy, you’re either the best in the world at something or you’re dogshit. How could this not lead to massive inequality?

    Democracy is impotent because it isn’t global, so individuals, corporations, and websites can easily shop around for a more amenable jurisdiction. Free markets will mostly survive because places without them are soon lacking food, electricity, and clean water.

  6. Harry Jones says:

    Dave, as long as there’s a long tail, it’s not all that hard to be best in the world at something. That something may be almost meaningless, but “almost” makes all the difference.

  7. Jim says:

    In a given field, there is a factor indicating the degree of separation between “being the best” and “being seen to be the best”.

    In some fields, this is fairly low. In many fields, this is surprisingly high.

    As this factor increases, the significance of self-promotion increases with correspondingly.

    In software, for instance, the factor approaches 1: there is an almost perfect separation.

    Perhaps this is why it is so much more profitable to tell people what they need than it is to give it to them.

  8. Jim says:

    “I know it’s a trite criticism at this point, but what democracy? The extent to which the demos can influence their immediate environment is so small as to be negligible, and has been for a while.”


    The “demos” have all of the weapons, together having martial überhegemony, and it is taking the full weight of the most sophisticated psychological control grid in the history of human existence to keep these “demos” from organizing.

    Remember this: the exxxtreme mind-altering techniques you see today, in the movies, television, in the netflix, are not used flippantly. The business of the state is fulfilling its mission objectives as easily, inconspicuously, and unobtrusively as possible. If they are using it on you, it is because they must use it on you.

    The fact that they have turned their systems up to 11 is both a display of strength and an admission of weakness.

    It is a display of strength: look what we can do to you without retribution.

    It is an admission of weakness: we are forced to do this by circumstance, and have fully exhausted our margin of error.

    Hubris! Ye mortal enemy of tyrant everywhere.

    Let us have our pro-human future. It is ours.

    It is yours.

  9. Dave says:

    Harry, you’re looking through the eyes of a high-IQ person, who can get pretty good at just about anything with a hundred hours of study and practice, and is probably world-class in a sub-sub-field of something he first took an interest in at age twelve.

    It’s not like that for people of average IQ, and people of below-average IQ are economically useless, even if they have college degrees.

  10. Kirk says:

    One of the things about science fiction and all the rest of the speculation about politics and how humans organize themselves is the severe lack of both imagination and prescience you can observe with the supposed savants discussing it all.

    Why, for the love of God, would feudalism and empire come back as the “big ideas” of the far future? Does Empire make sense on an interstellar scale? Does feudalism make sense in a modern economy?

    I would say neither one makes sense. Conditions that obtained for the late Roman Republic and early empire do not transpose easily into modern terms, nor does the feudal. Political structures and formats meant to deal with those conditions, and which were successful at the time are not likely to reproduce themselves again in our current situation.

    Feudalism is based on a warrior caste structure, in its essential form. Not everyone in a society can devote the time, effort, or money into warrior training in order to be a superior hand-to-hand combatant, which is what the basis of feudalism boils down to–Creating and supporting those warriors to defend the rest of the social structure. Today? LOL… Yeah, give me six weeks and an ammo budget, and we’ll have guerrillas that can tackle most of your professional armies and do enough damage to them that you’ll have to eventually resort to WMD and genocide, if you want to win. Give me more time and training, we’ll do even more damage. This does not militate towards a modern feudal military caste system…

    Likewise, empire. Try setting up a British Empire today, and the same thing that took the original down will take it from underneath–The inflexibility of it all, economic, social, and military. China is doomed because of it–They have pissed their short-term advantages away already, and will likely be seeing nothing but stagnation and rot here on out. Mostly because of their self-delusion on all levels–When the local CCP can spend billions building cities that aren’t occupied and are falling apart as I write, that bespeaks an essential self-delusion of the entire system that will eventually catch up with them, and probably already is. I fear the biggest problem of the next fifty years is going to be dealing with China’s having to come to terms with the last thirty years of economic and social self-deception, and the effects that has produced.

    Not like we’re any better, but with the open nature of the system across most of the West, it’s a lot harder to hide.

    New social structures and ways of doing things are what we need, and will have to have. You can’t transpose our current institutions onto future conditions, because they simply won’t work. Imagine trying to make the current city governance of New York or even London workable in an artificial environment out past Jupiter, where a single moment of inattention, self-deception, or incompetence could doom the entire habitat? How is that going to work?

    No, going forward is going to mean coming up with new ways of doing things, things that aren’t going to include “Empire” or neo-feudalism. Care to imagine what happens when you try to make yourself lord over all your fellows, when all it takes to end your dominance is someone “forgetting” to do any of the hundreds of little things that keep your stupid ass breathing in a deep-space vacuum? All your victims have to do is tweak one little thing about your life-support, and you are one with the cosmic all.

    I have no idea what it’s going to look like, but I will submit that the future isn’t in our past. Far more likely is that we’re going to see things become simultaneously more chaotic and way more organized–But, it’s going to be a different sort of organization, one that is deeply cellular and self-sufficient, not imposed from without. It is going to be the difference between what you see in a veteran Special Forces team and a squad of recruits run by a drill sergeant–Things will get done because the members of the team need to get done, not because some power-mad knucklehead decides that they need doing on a whim and a prayer…

  11. Harry Jones says:

    Dave, a lot of people don’t want to face this: low IQ people have been screwed since the invention of the steam engine. Factory automation was another nail in the coffin.

    Judge Smails said the world needs ditch diggers too. But the market for ditch diggers is steadily drying up for reasons that have nothing to do with globalization. We’ve got mini backhoes now.

  12. Kirk says:

    Looking at the mess the high-Q types have made of things, I don’t think the future belongs to them, either…

    If you have the wit and wisdom to look around at all of the failed premises and promises the “technocratic elite” have made over the last century or so, you should really be wondering if that “high IQ” thing you’re so enamored of is really a positive thing. Of late, I’m afraid I have to conclude that it’s really more of a destructive force than it is a positive one–Had we kept on with our small-scale “low-Q” ways, we’d probably be a hell of a lot better off. We certainly wouldn’t be scraping human excrement off our shoes after walking the streets of San Francisco, that’s for damn sure. The old-timers would never have stood for that sort of thing, and the indigent dysfunctionals would not be lolling about taking drugs in public, either.

    The “brights” ain’t so bright, when you start actually evaluating performances and outcomes. Frankly, I’m of the opinion that it is far past time we begin looking at outcomes, and holding these lackwits accountable. If your billion-plus dollar expenditures on the homeless results in a net increase in the homeless population in your entire region, along with an accompanying reduction in the quality of life for the average taxpayer, I think you and your theories have failed, requiring that they be thrown out onto the dustheap of “Well, that didn’t work…”.

    But, we keep doubling down, listening to the Emperor’s clothiers. Somebody better open their fucking eyes real soon, now…

  13. Kirk says:

    Oh, and Harry…?

    Here’s a thought for you, RE: High-IQ types and the world they’re building for themselves.

    Just how smart are they, if they’re creating a civilization that automatically locks out the majority of their fellow humans? Say that you’re only able to really succeed when you’re 85th percentile or higher: How long, do you think, that that situation will last? How long will the have-not types tolerate the higher-scoring ignoranti running things into the ground before they start culling them?

    Either the majority moves forward, or the minority won’t achieve lasting success. It’s that simple; you lock out the people who don’t do well on that entirely artificial test regime, and they’re inevitably going to figure out that the game is rigged, and that generally does not work out very well, now does it? Where are the numbers going to come from, when the “cognitive elite” needs cooperation and mass effort? Think the “lock-outs” are going to suddenly decide they should play ball?

    All this self-congratulatory bullshit by people that really aren’t all that wise, but who can do very well on highly abstract artificial test regimes? Disturbs the hell out of me, because I am one of them. Thing is, the one lesson I’ve taken from life is that I’m nowhere near as smart as my test scores might suggest, and that there’s a hell of a lot more to what makes for a successful and happy life than what you did for a couple of hours in some classroom somewhere.

    And, frankly, looking around me at the mess this entire “IQ regime” has made of things, the less I want to be a part of it. We look at the Arab/Islamic world, and wonder at how screwed up it is due to their literal worship of their holy texts without resort to any real thought processes, but are we any different? Shit, so long as you have a Harvard or Yale graduation certificate on the wall, you need never think again–You’re on a track for acclaim and success, no matter what. Look at Obama, or any of the other “success stories” we’ve gotten out of those glorious institutions…

  14. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Kirk makes some good points about how our Best & Brightest have screwed up royally. But there is nothing new about that. Even when there were real Royals, the King of Spain screwed up badly enough to lose out to the Queen of England, and her descendants screwed up so badly they lost a global Empire in less than a generation. The guys who held the commanding heights with Sears did not see Walmart coming.

    Where did we go wrong with “Democracy”? Simple answer — universal suffrage. If we each had to earn the right to vote, the people we choose as leaders would be very different.

  15. Sam J. says:

    Jim says,”The markets are as free as ever.

    If you don’t like it, start your own Amazon.”

    This is not even remotely true Amazon lost money for years. Over a decade. If you don’t have ties to GlobalHomo you will never raise the capital to compete.

    This is becoming more and more a problem every year as GlobalHomo finance gobbles up every business in sight with FED printed money, but only for those with the right connections.

    It’s not Capitalism at all. It’s global Oligarchy financial capitalism and Jews own the central banks.

    We should tax them to where every penny ever given to them is taken back. After all what did they give us to create credit…nothing. Not a damn thing. We take back every single thing they bought and divide it among the countries they took it from, cut taxes and live off of the Corporate profits.

  16. Sam J. says:

    Gavin Longmuir,”…Where did we go wrong with “Democracy”? Simple answer — universal suffrage. If we each had to earn the right to vote, the people we choose as leaders would be very different…”

    This is the Supreme Courts fault in the US. States used to having voting restrictions in some States and the Supreme court made it illegal.

    They should be overruled by Congress and told not to rule on this again.

  17. Sam J. says:

    Kirk,”…Just how smart are they, if they’re creating a civilization that automatically locks out the majority of their fellow humans?…”

    Yes much agreement.

    Not only that but they are actively trashing anyone not at the top with rules, regulations, etc while not taking care of basic services because they apparently can’t be bothered. I mean the power is being cut on rotation in California. The fires they had were because they didn’t check the hangers that held up the wires. They recovered the one that caused the fire and the wires sawed all the way through it and caused BILLIONS and BILLIONS of damage.

    The spillway had a few cracks in it that could be fixed for a few million but they didn’t, then a big hole opened they could have fixed with an all hands on deck and maybe 30 million, but they didn’t, and now they are putting out multiple billions to fix something that could have been patched and taken care of slowly. They knew the high water was coming. It wasn’t a surprise. And the spillway might not have even been a problem if a valve that released water in the dam had not been broken, and not fixed.

    Most of the water in their irrigation canals that feeds the cities are leaking over 50% of the water, but they won’t fix them.

    The homeless problem could be solved by letting people live in RV’s and vans like the homeless were doing themselves and providing a place to park with showers but…instead they tow their RV’s, harass them constantly and refuse to let them park anywhere. I added up the money they spend on homeless and if they took several years of this they could build small 500 sq, ft. apartments even at the highest cost to build but, they won’t do that. It may very well be that many homeless are drug addicts but living in a tent on the side of the road or a drainage ditch is not helping. It’s a fact that not all of them are drug addled miscreants. Where a shed cost a million dollars to buy some people are not going to be able to afford a house.

    They allow people to put tents up by peoples houses to make them think the problem is the people not giving them enough money but fact is they waste any they get and do nothing to solve problems.

    There was a movie about people who lived in the Los Angeles county. Way out in the desert and suddenly the county sends masses of inspectors to constantly ticket them for anything they can dream up. We’re talking people who’s nearest neighbor might be 5 miles away. I mean the middle of the desert. Many people had their houses demolished by the county.

    It’s one thing to push your way to the top but shitting on everyone at the bottom while being totally incompetent at providing even the most basic services is no way to run anything.

    It may very well be that the only proper recommendation to be a civil servant these days is that you are a pedo and they have it on tape.

    These assholes need to stop blaming the average people for this huge disaster they are unfolding. They are running things so they need to do so with some sort of intelligence.

  18. Harry Jones says:

    So much hate here for the high IQ types.

    I hate arrogant people, but I hate smart arrogant people a lot less than I hate stupid arrogant people. Smart arrogant people occasionally screw up, but stupid arrogant people never do anything else.

    “Just how smart are they, if they’re creating a civilization that automatically locks out the majority of their fellow humans?”

    Considering the alternative, it’s not so bad. Having known some colossally stupid and destructive people, and having gotten them forcibly out of my life, I have to say I’m better off without them. Don’t talk to me about my fellow humans. They never cared about me. They barely cared about themselves. So I don’t much care about them.

    Also, some drug addicts start to get their lives together after they’re forced to fend for themselves. Just stop enabling them and let them hit bottom.

    But drug addicts aren’t the majority. Ditch diggers are. Given enough automation, we can create enough surplus production to support a sustainable welfare state. Gainful employment will be a moot point. A meaningful life always was a foregone conclusion anyway. Let them sit at home and drink beer and play Candy Crush all day. What more do they need?

    And give them all the pot they can smoke. They’ll be happy as clams.

  19. Kirk says:

    Y’know, Harry… I’d have no problems with the “High IQ types” if there was anything, anything at all which they’ve come up with that was actually, like, working.

    Everywhere I look, it’s failure. High-speed rail in California? Homelessness? Education? Any of that crap working well?

    We were a hell of a lot better off when we didn’t worship the IQ test, and warped society out of reality in the mistaken belief that “smart people” could make things work better. Time was, you weren’t judged on your test scores, but on your merits and your actual performance. Now? LOL… Do well on tests, and that’s a Golden Path to prosperity and authority. And, yet, the work product that these golden children produce is utter shiite.

    Name for me, if you will, one single solitary aspect or thing they’ve improved upon. I look around, and all I see is wreckage, from education to dealing with the “homeless”, most of whom would be comfortably institutionalized were it not for the brilliantly unworkable theories that the “brights” have come up with over the years for dealing with them.

    I grew up listening to these people, and for awhile believing their bullshit. What I now conclude is that they’re basically that same set of precious little intellectuals I had to put up with during those interminable “group projects” my lazy-ass teachers used to force on us. Most of us recognize the type–The ones who’d stand around criticizing, but who never produced anything useful, in the form of ideas or real work.

    I don’t hate these people–Yet. But I’ll be damned if I listen to them, anymore. Their kids are the ones out on the front lines of the “protests” in Seattle and Portland, tearing down things built over generations, with nothing besides intellectualized wishful thinking and utter pap to replace them with.

    My grandmother graduated from a Portland high school, back around the turn of the last century. She had good grades in subjects I couldn’t even get classes in when I went to high school, things like Greek, Latin, and actual hands-on science that they wouldn’t let us even do the lab work on when I was her age. She got an actual education, one that I suspect was probably superior to what you could get at a community college, today–And, the reason that changed? The fucking “intellectual elite” running education during the intervening seven decades–I was bored out of my mind, going through their trite motions, learning nothing. There was a reason I never went to college, and that boiled down to the fact that I couldn’t face four more years in classrooms run by time-serving dolts, who “did well on their tests”.

    The clerisy has earned everything it gets in the coming years, and I’m going to laugh my ass off when the band-aid finally gets pulled off. Most of these people have contributed nothing except division and intellectual sophistry over the years, and I think the market for that is about saturated.

    The actual root problem here is that these people have been taught, carefully, that they are superior beings, homo intellectualis, and that they owe nothing to their fellow citizens except contempt. The “rest of us” are gradually catching on to this, and the results for the “intellectual elite that isn’t” are not going to be pretty. They’ve gotten away without being held accountable for performance or effect, and that’s a situation that never works out well, at all. The French aristocracy could offer up notes on that sort of situation, were they self-aware enough to recognize why the Revolution came.

  20. Sam J. says:

    ““intellectual elite”

    Let them eat research papers and Diversity.

  21. Dave says:

    Feudalism fails because modern warfare is all offense, no defense. Castles and knights in shining armor do not stand up well to modern firepower. I was hoping that feudalism would emerge in Venezuela, as it’s the simplest social system that allows people to grow food and eat it, but it hasn’t. If any man stood up and said, “I am lord of this domain, and these peasants shall work for me in exchange for my protection”, a sniper’s bullet would take him out right quick.

    I’m smarter than the entire faculty of Harvard University put together, but so is any non-brainwashed person with a three-digit IQ. Harvard has not selected for intelligence in a very long time.

    If you think I’m joking, watch “My Sex Junk” and realize that every Bible-thumping tongue-talking redneck has a more accurate understanding of sex and biology than Bill Nye the Science Guy!

    This madness is self-limiting, thank Darwin. Having forgotten how babies are made, white liberals are depopulating into political irrelevance, and their reign of error is devolving into something more nakedly tribalistic. Goodbye Joe Biden, hello Ilhan Omar.

  22. Harry Jones says:

    Kirk: high IQ types invented all the technology that makes our society work, including the device you’re reading this on. Show some appreciation. Or else get some stone knives and bearskins and make your own computer.

    The people running California are not high IQ types. They’re children of privilege. No, not white privilege. Plain, ordinary privilege.

    But give them credit: they’re running California, and you’re not. Privilege only goes so far. Ultimately, the majority of voters are to blame. And you know who they are.

    In a democracy, the average IQ types set policy. Never forget that. Don’t like the policy? You know whom to blame.

    Bill Nye’s scientific credentials are rather sketchy. He’s very good at what he does, but what he does is not science.

    All societal progress is driven by technological progress. All technological progress is driven by high IQ types. The average people just use what the smart people give them. The stupid people can’t even manage that much.

  23. Kirk says:

    Harry… Really? Work? For what value?

    Intelligence is a tool. Period. And, like any tool, when it is misapplied, it can do great damage.

    As well, your definition of “intelligence” is not mine; my belief is that if it doesn’t work, it ain’t “intelligent”.

    The breakdown of society has been fostered by all these “intellectual giants” who’ve espoused “solutions” that most normal people would have looked at and gone “Yeah… That ain’t gonna work.”. Examples abound–”Let’s not punish the criminal… It’s not their fault… Bail is cruel and unusual…”.

    How’s that working out, again? New York has witnessed an exponential increase in violent crime, something the “normies” would have predicted the minute the “intellectual elite” brought the idea up–And, did. We can witness the actual real-world result before us, in the daily news of the city. Same-same with Chicago.

    I hate to tell you this, but these people aren’t actually what I’d term functionally intelligent; they’ve become the equivalent of post-turtles, creatures who’ve managed to get to the top of things, and who nobody can figure out who put them there, running things. It certainly hasn’t happened out of a surfeit of success.

    You worship the mindless “elitism” produced by the testing system–Which is, in the end, a self-referential self-licking ice-cream cone of actual abject failure. I challenge you to produce an actual case where these creatures have done a damn thing to improve anything they’ve touched. Everywhere I look, I see destruction and failure.

    There is a difference between the things that the “High-Q” types produce, and actual intellectual and scholarly excellence–On the one hand, we have the actual genius of men like Feynman and Wozniak, and the abject failures of the “intellectual elite” technocrats who demanded the launch of the Challenger despite the lower-level drudges who said it was ill-advised.

    Anyone who plays the game of authoritarian adherence to the “expert” is a fool; the “experts” are mostly charlatan idiots without real intellectual or scholarly attainment. The amount of “irreproducible results” in modern academia and science should serve as a cautionary measure for anyone appraising the value of what these “intellectual yet idiot” types have contributed. Tell me again–How many times have their pronouncements on the health effects of coffee or eggs in the diet flip-flopped in your lifetime? How many times have they turned in results that were actually at the behest of their paymasters in various interest groups, again? How about the FDA’s dietary advice, which is what was actually behind the explosion in obesity? Or, more recently, the flip-floppery demonstrated over the efficacy of masks during the Covid-19 manufactured pandemic?

    End of the day, most of these people should be prosecuted for fraud. Once enough time has passed, I can about guarantee that Fauci is going to be seen as eminently wrong, and beholden to financial interests he stood to make profit off of. Not to mention, the number of times the asshole behind the Imperial study predicting mass death from Covid-19 has been wrong about disease in the past. If I remember right, his projections for the Mad Cow scare were something on the order of hundreds of thousands of dead from it. What did we get, again…? A few hundred?

    No, Harry… I’m afraid that yours is the god who failed. Wake up to that fact, and recognize that whatever it is that the IQ testing regime measures, it isn’t a predictor for real-world merit or success. Most of the people who score well on that damn thing are generally sadly deluded and entirely ineffectual autists whose work needs extensive checking and validation before actually being used in real-world conditions. Their track record for running things is utter shiite.

  24. Dave says:

    Carbs are cheap; meat is expensive. Since the dawn of agriculture, only rich people could afford an all-meat diet. Now that the government is expected to provide food to its citizens, you can either explain to the poor why you expect them to get 90% of their calories from grass seed (processed into flour and corn syrup), or fake up some scientific studies showing that carbs are healthy and meat is bad.

  25. Erich Schwarz says:

    Harry and Kirk: I think you may be talking past each other. There *is* a high-IQ section of society whose technological work has produced the entire modern world; and there’s a putatively high-IQ section of society who’ve promulgated nonsense which is now corroding the entire modern world, perhaps to destruction. They’re different sections, with different goals and ideals.

    This point is hardly new; C.P. Snow made it in his lecture (later book) “The Two Cultures”. Literary intellectuals hated his making that point … as they would.

  26. Kirk says:


    LOL… Or, as happened in reality, the rigorous scientific types accept outright bribes to publish “science” supporting the appropriate carbohydrate industrialists. Which the presumably amenable-to-bribery-and-good-jobs-after-retiring-from-government-work FDA officials rubber-stamp, ‘cos “It is good for agribusiness…”.

    It’s all intellectual sophistry and incompetence, all the way down. An honest scientist wouldn’t have done that sort of thing, but the worshipers at the altar of sciencism will refuse to see that fact, and keep right on sacrificing at the altar of “SCIENCE!!!”, never recognizing that because they don’t do their own fact-checking for themselves, that they are just as ignorant and gullible as the most fervent Evangelical Baptist. And, more likely to be fleeced by their anointed chosen ones, because they’re far too arrogant and certain to ever look under the altar cloth for the hidden man-behind-the-screen.

  27. Kirk says:

    Ran across this story, which is a perfect illustration of why I find the current BS over credentials and testing such a tragicomic waste of time:

    Here’s a guy who was successfully doing the job, only without having gotten the requisite certifications and qualifications. Yet, once it was discovered he’d told lies on his CV, they put him in prison and tried to take back all the money he earned doing the jobs.

    Stop and think about that, for just a moment: He did the jobs he lied to get quite successfully for many years. Hell, he was even praised for his performance by peers and supervisors alike–Yet, because he didn’t have the paper qualifications to get those jobs, they threw the book at him.

    I’d wager that whatever replacement they found for him that was “qualified”, they were probably not as good at what he was doing as he was. Which kind of leads to the next question–Exactly what good are those pieces of paper? Why the hell are we asking for them, in the first place?

    This whole IQ test/credentialing scam is a blight on our civilization. The actual reality of performance and results ought to be the only measure used to assess success or failure, not some idiotic set of papers that enable most of these cretins to fail ever upwards through the ranks.

    Think about it: This guy did his “stolen” jobs in exemplary fashion for years, and when they found out he didn’t have the papers, instead of asking themselves why they were asking for them in the first place, they threw him out of his job and prosecuted him for fraud. The real fraud was that they demanded those paper qualifications in the first damn place.

    The question to be asked is this: If it’s so damned important to be one of the anointed “High-Q” types for these jobs, how is it that Mr. Andrewes was able to succeed at doing them, without the actual qualifications…?

  28. Harry Jones says:

    Guys… you do know they’re not allowed to use IQ in hiring decisions, right? They’re not even allowed to know.

    Technology is another word for the things we do that work.

    I’ll take Stanford-Binet until something better comes along. But it doesn’t matter, because we’re not allowed to go by it anyway.

    Don’t blame the high IQ people if you don’t even know who they are.

  29. Kirk says:

    Harry, your arguments are disingenuous at best, and outright distortions of reality at worst. Lies, in other words.

    IQ testing is supposedly not used in hiring practices, but it sure as hell is used throughout what we may term the “credentialing process” that is not only allowed, but de rigeuer throughout our society. Kids who don’t “do well” on standardized testing, including the various IQ tests, will never, ever get into the credential mills that we’ve turned our educational institutions into. If they do somehow manage, they’ll never get the scholarships, and have to pay full fare to get on the rides.

    And, note: Nowhere will anyone ever be subject to either honest performance appraisal/feedback, or held accountable for said performance. Because “credential”. As we used to say in the Army: “Fuck up, move up…”.

    Any system built on bullshit academic degrees and supposed qualifications not validated by performance is doomed to failure.

    And, looking at what these cretins have managed, I am pretty damn sure that whatever the IQ test regimes measures, it’s not real-world intelligence or potential for performance. I’m not even all that sure it measures anything at all, past the ability to do well on testing in classrooms and other controlled environments.

    Something I’d like to do with a lot of these high-browed “intellectual” types is take them out into the real world, put them under stress, and then see how well they do on the tests under those conditions. Based on a good deal of experience with the sorts of idiots they preferentially commission in the armed forces, I suspect that a “stressed IQ test” is going to produce massively different results than the ones taken in classrooms where the most stress is coming from the test itself and perhaps breaking your #2 pencil.

    Hell, I’d love to see the results of running some of these functional dolts through timed obstacle courses with puzzles along the way, and the added stress of someone waiting to ambush them and beat the crap out of them along the way. I dare say the results would be severely skewed from what we’re doing right now. Might even serve as educational for the subjects.

  30. Harry Jones says:

    Kirk, with all due respect: I’m not buying it. I see reports of rich kids hiring other kids to take their exams for them, and I think: money talks, and sometimes it talks B.S.

    There are online sites where rich kids can farm out their term papers and reports. That’s the real world.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on Harvard’s quota system.

    By the way, the credential tests aren’t all that hard. Really.

  31. Kirk says:


    I will accept your premise, but mark it “Unproven”.

    Two sides to the issue? Have you looked at academia, recently? The manner in which many, if not most, STEM programs are rolling over and playing dead for the SJW types? Does that indicate to you that there is a real difference between the two schools of “intellectual types”? It tells me that there really isn’t a whit’s worth of space between them, and that they’re all far more concerned with process and paperwork than reality.

    Additionally, your thesis that there are “intellectuals who work” is suspect; how much of the vaunted technical progress you ascribe to them is due to the anointed tested ones actually doing the work?

    Based on the way things like continental drift theory and the channeled scablands explanation have gone, historically speaking, I would contend that the anointed ones are not as bright as one might wish. How long were the coastlines of Africa and South America observable on any globe, and yet the anointed academics in geology and geography were in total denial about the implications? Continental drift, I might remind you, did not become the “conventional wisdom” until the 1950s, with convoluted theories denying the reality before anyone with a globe holding sway before it became impossible to deny.

    Intelligence and intellectualism are not well-defined by self-referential bullshit that the so-called “intelligent and intellectual” types come up with. The old saw about “man proposes; God disposes” holds sway here, and if some self-proclaimed “genius” goes forth into the world and produces real-world verifiable and undeniable results, that’s one thing. If he or she does nothing but fall on their faces, yet rage on about how much smarter they are than the “average man” who somehow manages to avoid the fall, that should tell us something about how “smart” they actually are.

    Results and reality matter. Nothing more, nothing less–And, if you can’t produce results with the “proper credentials”, maybe it’s time to question the validity and value of those credentials.

    Hell, look at AOC: Bitch has an economics degree, and is unable to do basic math or grasp the very basics of how economies function. Anyone with a degree from her school should be suing the administration and its members from the time she matriculated, because the value of that degree is now demonstrably zero.

    Smart is as smart does; if what smart does doesn’t work, then it ain’t smart.

  32. RLVC says:

    Everything is an IQ test.

    Stanford-Binet, Wonderlic, SAT, ACT, Wordsum.

    Writing well. Speaking well. Profiting handsomely.

    Persuasive ability.

    Everything is an IQ test… except moral sensibility.

  33. Ash Staub says:

    “Nonsense. The “demos” have all of the weapons, together having martial überhegemony, and it is taking the full weight of the most sophisticated psychological control grid in the history of human existence to keep these “demos” from organizing.”

    Jim, it seems like you’re partially agreeing with me. Your argument is predicated on tacit acknowledgement of the undemocratic nature of our system, the “psychological control grid” the means of pacification. You seem to be presupposing the exact powerlessness I am claiming.

    Now, you go on to assert that such conditioning tools are necessary due to raw power potential of the unwashed masses. Great, I agree; but how does that challenge my claim? It is potential as yet unactualized. Possessing the raw materials to effect change is not the same as possessing the means. It is the nature of the demos to be malleable and subservient, and you don’t need a media industry to rule them, but it does make it easier. Paradigmatic change in information networks and other ruling institutions is a prerequisite for such actualization. Yours is an optimistic notion, and I certainly agree with the sentiment, but I fear it does not approximate the current state of affairs.

    And acknowledging the current state of affairs as undemocratic, and similarly acknowledging power disparities, is the first step in achieving the pro-human future you desire, and I’m with you on that.

  34. Sam J. says:

    I agree with Kirk that IQ has nothing to do with common sense. Many book smart IQ heavy people have no common sense at all and couldn’t run a hot dog stand.

    A fair amount of qualifications mills, colleges, are really who you know to get in and the actual instruction has been watered down.

    At the same time I believe if you want a “cheap” way to determine applicants suitability for a position IQ work perfectly well in a broad based mass way. It doesn’t account for each individual but it tracks fairly well in mass.

    IQ test qualifications are just a cheap way to sort people.

    And businesses still use IQ type test for hiring purposes.

    Qualifications, college degrees, are just a way businesses get around not giving IQ test.

  35. Jim says:

    Not quite, Ash.

    What we have is a situation of adversarial tension between two interest groups. On one side, the agency-corporate complex (ACC); on the other, everyone else.

    Powerlessness is isomorphic to slavery. You are free in proportion to your willingness and ability to defend your material interests against the bankers, the corporatists, the servants of the surveillance state, and their eunuch army, the bureaucrats and the soldiers.

    The American citizenry has devolved to a shadow of its former self, but who will say that this is accident? who will say that this “just happened”? For what use do bankers have with the self-sufficient? For what use do corporate hegemons have with an unbroken “work force”? For what use do state agencies have with a citizenry willing and able to defend its life, liberty, and property?

    The role — and the necessity — of the “conditioning tools” is precisely to foster atomization, to promote the dissolution of all social bonds intermediate to the individual and the state, to maximally forestall any and all forms of organic, grassroots, fair-trade, non-GMO, farm-to-table coordination.

    It is the nature of some races to be malleable and subservient. Other races cannot be enslaved at all: thrown into bondage, they lie down and die. These noble races, the Herrenvolk of the world, incompatible with the new world order.

    There are other races who will bear the yoke, but it does not rest easily on their shoulders. The Chechens are less compliant than the Scottish; the Scottish are less compliant than the English; the English are less compliant than the Germans; the Germans are less compliant than the Japanese; the Japanese are less compliant than the Chinese.

    There is no race more compliant than the Chinese.

    The globe-bestriding system has conscripted vast human and material resources to solving precisely this racial problem. And make no mistake: in the inner sancta, the planning rooms, dark and glowing with information, they call it what it is. Racially, the most effective solution is mixing out the less compliant Scottish and English with the more compliant Germans and Jews; next most effective is straight biological replacement.

    But it goes beyond mere descent of man. The old are more compliant than the young. The wagie is more compliant than the free man. The publicly schooled are more compliant than the privately educated. The endocrine-disrupted are more compliant than the healthy and fit and vital.

    How far can the people be pushed?

    How much will the citizenry take?

    What does the sentient world simulation say?

  36. RLVC says:

    “with the more compliant Germans and Jews”

    Now this is antisemitism.

  37. Kevin M. says:

    I read here as much for the comments as the initial post. Well done IP.

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