Modern Society Staggers On Dumbly, by the Z-Man.
The evidence is pretty good that Western man is dumber than his ancestors. We have more overall knowledge than our ancestors, but our ability to add to it is in sharp decline along with our ability to use it. The people in charge now struggle to do the basics of government, like maintain order and the infrastructure. In America, streets are crumbling and there are regular power failures in parts of the country.
A good small-scale example is the city of Baltimore. All of the machinery that was put in place back when it was an important city is still in place. The people running that machinery today are not doing so well. They clearly lack the intellectual firepower to operate that machinery. Baltimore is one of the most dangerous cities in the world and it is suffering from a steady population decline. The political class is so incompetent they can’t even run the graft system properly. …
When you look at many American cities like Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, Newark and so on, the question is not “How did they get to this point?” The question is, “How have they not collapsed by now?” Part of it, of course, is the surrounding infrastructure that keeps them propped up. In the case of Baltimore, the rest of the state is taxed to keep Baltimore City government going. Federal dollars pour in to keep the cops on the streets and the schools open for business.
That’s fine for cities, but that cannot work for the country as a whole. Like those cities, the national government is increasing incompetent. Both official political parties are in such steep decline that the next election will offer a choice between a carny barker and a dementia patient.
The sober minded will always feels as if the current age sits on the shoulder’s of giants, but the gap between the best we have today and just a few generations ago is breathtaking.
For six months the government at all levels has been sabotaging the economy and civic life with the Covid panic. Tens of millions have been thrown out of work. No one knows how many businesses have closed for good due to the Covid lock downs. Food lines are popping up in the suburbs. How is it that none of this has resulted in civil unrest or at least a few protests?
Of course, no one can really know what is happening. The media told us over 50 million people were thrown out of work due to the panic. The empty streets seem to confirm it, but they also tell us unemployment is below 10%. The stock market has returned to the levels it was at before the panic. The media also tells us that the riots we saw over the summer were a figment of our imagination. How can anything work when no one can be sure of anything being told to them by the rulers?
Like Rome for close to three centuries, America staggers on, despite the problems and the decline of the ruling class. In the case of Rome, there was no organized force capable of toppling her. In the case of America, the global order assumes America will be the pivot point, the fulcrum on which order balances. As long as people are being fed and have shelter, they will not rise up to challenge the rulers. Like Rome, the great stagger will continue until the corpse of the empire collapses.
Are modern people really dumber? Afraid so.
According to reaction time data — from which IQs can be inferred — the average IQ in London around 1850 was 15 points higher than the average IQ in Britain today. That’s the difference between a teacher and a doctor, or between the white group average IQ and the black group average IQ in the US today. We encourage our smart women to have careers rather than kids, and there is next no winnowing of the gene pool that natural selection needs to make a population fitter. Affluence is making us dumb.