IQ & Brain Size: Are they the Sole Arbiters of One’s Worth?

 

Prologue

To buttress their arguments regarding the inherent superiority of the white races, various right wing research institutes started measuring & comparing the IQs & Brain Sizes of the various races throughout the world.

Their initial results seemed to confirm their proposition thereby corroborating their racist beliefs regarding the abilities of various races.

They even went so far as to classify the white races & rated the Slavs as no better than the black races of the world. From a Germanic perspective, these white races were classified as untermenschen.

The end result of this philosophy was the gas chambers & an intolerance & loathing of other races of supposed lesser mentality ability.

Due to the use of this data to suppress other races, much like the effect of the eugenics movement, it cast aspersions on all who delved in this sphere. Inasmuch as these tests seemed to confirm their prejudices, other factors produced troubling results. The issue would never be susceptible to such facile conclusions.

 

Variability

This is the singular event which has created the most consternation amongst those propagating the theory of racial superiority.

If brain size per se were the only arbiter of intellectual ability, then why did Einstein not have the largest brain ever known to mankind? On his death, his brain was removed & preserved for posterity. The fact that it was not the largest by a large measure has confounded the theorists that brain size was the sole arbiter of intelligence.

Furthermore it was presumed that one’s brain size was determined by one’s parent’s brain size. If that were true, how is the IQ of the three progeny of my parents so widely variable? From an extreme of 165 at that end it was no greater than 120 at the other end of the scale.

Another troubling fact from an Aryan perspective was the fact that the Chinese had on average a brain size 5% greater than that of whites. This fact is seldom trumpeted by those espousing their white supremacist ideology. Solely based on brain size so beloved of the right-wing racists surely the Eastern Asians should be dominators of the world yet until recently have languished in abject poverty.

Furthermore if the treatment of people has to be based upon one’s brain size then surely the current emancipation of the female has to be put on hold.   With a brain size being only 97% that of males, surely they should be debarred from voting & senior management positions & rigidly segregated into the menial occupations of society.

Why would such right wing racist groups not tolerate such an eventuality but nonetheless propound it for races of a darker hue?

The reason for not applying it equally across all races is merely an adjunct of their racist viewpoint of life. In marked contrast they will argue that a woman occupying some high position has the mental ability to hold such position yet there is no such forgiveness of the variability of mental & other abilities amongst darker races.

Instead of judging such persons on their abilities, it becomes a racial question.

How unfair!

The irony of such white supremacist groups is that they tend to attract the dregs of white society comprising the lowest IQs. Even within the Nazi ranks, the loyal party member in the 1930’s was the person without a job & often without the ability to obtain one. Yet they were precisely the ones who were the most vociferous regarding the Jews, the Romas & the Slavs.

Irony personified!

Even within a race, there is a huge variability of IQ. Apart from the Nazis, those that base a person’s worth on their race have never suggested euthanasia for their race’s lower IQ members let alone their imbeciles.

 

Social conditions

Social & political conditions have a significant influence on development. Two examples will buttress this argument. Firstly the Americas. At a facile level, being no less facile than brain size as a factor, the reason for the economic development of the Americas could surely be attributed to the language spoken. The inability of the Latin American countries to grow economically when compared with their English speaking northern brothers in America & Canada should only be attributed to their language. Despite this “self-evident truth”, nobody has adopted this plausible approach. Some have attributed these differences due to social differences between the Spanish & the British backgrounds. Why weren’t these facile answers adopted? Due to its patent absurdity!

In fact the lack of economic development in Latin America is solely attributable to the initial political dispensations in each hemisphere. In the north there was an overarching emphasis on individualism combined with the maxim that everybody had to own their own piece of land. This encouraged self-sufficiency & hard work. South of the Mexican border things were different. The wealthy 5% acquired all the land & (ab)used the peasants to till the land. This resulted in a bifurcated society with the top 5% in possession of 95% of the land & the wealth & with the bottom 95% having 5% of the wealth.

Trapped within a system that discouraged them from using their wit & initiative to progress, the 95% sought every reason not to allow the 5% to prosper at their expense. This was a typical lose-lose situation.

In marked contrast, the north Americas encouragement of property ownership resulted in every person doing their utmost to improve themselves. As a consequence, they thereby improved society generally.

This basic human trait is what has even distinguished the progress of Britain vis-à-vis the Chinese. Being brighter, the Chinese should have long since overtaken the British in economic development but yet it was the British where the Industrial Revolution manifested itself & not China. The sole factor that can be attributed to this reversal of roles in spite of the Chinese larger brain size, was the fact that innovators & inventors could profit themselves from their endeavours in Britain instead of the nebulous authority residing in the Emperor in China.

Thus was born the myth of white racial superiority.

In marked contrast to Mao’s centralised control, Deng Xiaopeng unleashed the harness on the private sector. Even without a commercial legal system underpinning it, the economy has grown spectacularly in the past 30 years. The Chinese did not suddenly developed larger brains due to the use of a wonder drug. Rather it was their innate mental ability together with a freer economic milieu which enabled this growth.

A Person’s Worth

Feelings of personal worth & appreciation drive productivity & improvement.

It is analogous to a boss who continually berates his staff for their incompetence & who wonders why nothing changes. Without fail this produces malcontents & bitterness. Likewise with children; the continual chastising of them produces such equally undesirable effects.

The denigrating of people whether through vituperative outbursts or patronising & condescending attitudes of our fellowman will never build a productive workforce or an inclusive society.

Irrespective of one’s IQ, one has a need to feel appreciated & that one’s efforts are not going unnoticed.

The studies in the 1920s at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Plant by Elton Mayo conclusively proved this assumption. In spite of being the most progressive company in the area as regards occupational practices, the plant was beset by discontent & disgruntlement. Yet even within this sea of resentment, there were islands of contentment. Various tests regarding their physical working conditions conclusively proved that the cause of their fulfilment & gratification was that they felt appreciated. In subconscious gratitude, their performance was far in excess of their fellow workers in spite of their working conditions not being the most salubrious.

 

The Future

To this day, these contradictions have impeded the development of a cogent concept of IQ, brain size & personal worth.

Furthermore their use to buttress racist claims of superiority, have befogged the issue. The controversy is more intractable than that & not susceptible to simplistic cant.

A person’s worth is not determined by their brain size, their IQ & colour of their skin. Such is the path to intolerance & social dysfunction. Rather it should be based upon the individual’s competence, abilities & behaviour & not some racial surrogate for these factors.

Social, economic & political factors have just as much impact on one’s performance as sheer brain size. Enmeshed in racist ideology, such questions will continue to fall foul of polarised attitudes rather than reasoned rational debate.

More is the pity as these issues are societal issues writ large & not for the closed minds of bigots.

 


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