Blog powered by Typepad

« Aren't coincidences creepy? | Main | Is intelligence like pornography? »

Friday, 30 March 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Yes, a fine piece of journalism from Luce. He brings out the humour without being intrusive.

I feel like I want to read Murray. I never have, despite being familiar with his work through countless summaries and commentaries. He is anathema to most of the soft liberal types I mix with. I agree with you about the difficulties of measuring IQ, but I still think there is something in the biological inheritance argument. Just a tendency, maybe, but we see viciousness and stupidity passed on biologically in animals, and anyone who has had children knows that they come into the world at least partially formed.

It is one of the great truths of American life (and of Australian too) that the belief in a lack of class distinction is entirely bogus. It may of course be advantageous to promote that untruth - it's certainly easy to believe that it's less destructive than the tedious class consciousness of the English and its endless provision of excuses for not even bloody trying to get ahead. But, useful or not, it ain't true.

"a “cognitive elite” that tends to do all the things its blue-collar counterparts have forgotten how to do, such as get (and stay) married, read to their children, quit smoking, eat salad and get educated."

So, quite unlike our own 'elite' here then?

So they get married more? Or is it that they have the money that the removal of the tax-breaks for married couples and the active reward for women to leave a marriage to be better off financially (more benefits, priorities for housing, etc. all without losing any of the 'perks' of having a husband courtesy of the courts which give them all he has anyway - all policies courtesy of those self-same elites left unaffected by them) doesn't matter? (even so I'm not sure whether marriage rates and divorce rates differ that noticeably across the spectrum of 'class'. If so I feel the monetary aspect will have a sizeable effect, since it is cited as the main rationale in the majority of separations and divorces, is it not?)

Read to their children? Hmm, maybe nanny, the au pair, the rest of the staff do, but I'll be surprised if the 'elite' actually spend much time with their children. (If there is any evidence that the elite spend more or better time with their children I'm afraid I have yet to see it, and there is some evidence that the opposite is true)

Quit smoking and eat salad? Oh please! They continue smoking and eat Pate de Foie Gras and duck a L'Orange because they can afford to (and in the case of our elite get special smoking areas in public buildings, HOP anyone, and it is subsidised by we mere plebs. Just like them telling us flying is 'bad for the planet' whilst jetting around the world to preach this mantra, as well as for their well deserved holidays, it's just bad when you or I do it). The difference in outcomes, in health, couldn't have anything to do with not working in heavy, dirty and dangerous professions whilst enjoying private health-care could it?

Educated? Of course, the self-same 'elites' who have destroyed our education system then go on to avoid it like the plague and only send their offspring to private educational institutions, don't they?

"virtues of industriousness, marriage, honesty and religiosity"

Is he serious? The 'elites' actively attack each of those listed virtues. I'll be honest and nearly choked on the listing of honesty and religiosity both of which the 'elites' have never shown the slightest inclination to allow others to practice, let alone practice themselves.

Rather than an “ecumenical niceness” the 'cognitive elites', both in America and here, are instead afflicted with an 'ecumenical hypocrisy'. And again rather than “preach what they practice” they 'fervently and constantly preach their idealogical claptrap whilst practicing the exact same thing they preach against'

(In the States look at someone like Steve Jobs, so anti-smoking that Apple won't honour guarantees on products sold to smokers, yet he 'allegedly' was a regular smoker of 'pot'. Here, smoking and fatty diets almost a PC sin, unless you are a MP with dedicated smoking areas and subsidised Cordon Bleu food for 'our betters')

As to IQ, I'm still operating on the impression that that was debunked as almost impossible to measure due to cultural and educational bias (towards those similar to the person designing the test). Whilst there may be a genetic component to 'intelligence' (whatever that is) the studies that show genetic heritage would be tainted by the issues of health, education and opportunities would they not?

Rant over! All in all, I'm not sure what to think of Mr Murray (and I'll assume some difference in who he sees as 'elites' and my assumption of who he is talking about), but being that I enjoy an intellectual conversation I think I'd like to reserve a place at the table for next time too.

Ho,hum, 'W', and we're off to the Nurture/Nature races!

DM, to be a tad pedantic (now where did I get that from?), "the belief in a lack of class distinction" might not be "bogus" because it could be held very genuinely even if it is wrong. There's a long list of such beliefs!

Able, my invoice for 100 guineas is on its way to you. Providing you with space to hyperventilate is part of the medical services offered here at D&N but alas we must charge for our time and space. You will notice that the amount is in guineas which indicates proper, professional Harley Street rates! By the way, are you feeling better? In the nicest possible way, I hope not, because I do so enjoy your rants!

Yes, me too. Only to have a look at the face of the FT reporter when he saw the check. Only for that I like M. Murray (and for the martini).

But I think, after reading some interviews but not the book, that he has a good point: the people who lives following mostly todays values (namely, the poor) are the ones who less can afford it. Makes you think.

The comments to this entry are closed.