The Roots of Civilization
by Dr. William L. Pierce
TURN ON A LOCAL television news program in just about any large city in this country, and the chances are nearly 100% that you’ll hear and see at least one Black announcer telling you what’s happening. He’ll be dressed and groomed just like the White announcers, and, in most cases, his enunciation will be so similar that you can close your eyes for a moment and almost convince yourself that you are listening to a White person.
In smoothly modulated tones the Black announcer will tell you about the intricacies of the latest financial scandal at city hall, give you a crisp rundown on upcoming cultural events, and perhaps even offer a sage comment or two on the state of public morality. Never once will he stumble over the polysyllabic words in his script or lapse into ghetto speech. At the end of the program he will engage in the customary few seconds of light banter with the other news announcers, and you can hardly help being overwhelmed by the conviction that, really, the only difference between him and his White colleagues is a matter of pigmentation.
That, of course, is exactly the conviction the directors and producers of the program intend you to be overwhelmed by. It is a conviction totally at odds with that held by most White Americans only a generation ago. Of course, the Amos’n’Andy image of Blacks hardly able to speak or tie their shoes was an overly simplistic image, but so is the one now created by today’s media managers. Blacks can be trained to read news scripts with competence, to get to work on time and sober, and to dress and talk almost exactly like the best type of Whites. But the differences between Blacks and Whites nevertheless run far more than skin deep. Those concerned with the survival of America and of Western Civilization need to understand these differences fully.
The difference which has been most widely discussed is the quantitative difference in the average Intelligence Quotient, or IQ for short, between Blacks and Whites. For many decades in this country, despite intensive efforts by educators, politicians and the testing companies themselves, Blacks have and still do consistently score 15 points lower than Whites on standardized IQ tests.
But there is also a qualitative difference in the intelligence of Blacks and Whites, and this difference is even more significant than the quantitative difference in IQs. Blacks, in other words, are not just on average slower to learn than Whites, but their mental processes differ in their essential nature from those of Whites.
At learning tasks which require only memory — for example, simple arithmetical operations and spelling — properly motivated Blacks can do nearly as well as Whites. But at tasks which require abstraction, or inference of a general rule from a series of instances — and this includes virtually all problem-solving operations — Black performance falls far below that of Whites.
This Black inability to reason inferentially and to deal with abstract concepts is reflected in the almost total absence of Blacks, despite decades of “affirmative action,” in those professions requiring abstract reasoning ability of a high order: physics and mathematics, for example. Government quotas have brought a sharp increase in the number of Blacks in American colleges and universities in recent decades, and Blacks have flooded into many professions as a result, but the sciences have remained virtually all-White. You may see Black nuclear physicists in the movies, but in real life the only Blacks you will find in physics labs are janitors and technicians — and not many have qualified as technicians.
This qualitative difference in racial intelligence is overlooked by many — and it is easy to see why this is so: most of us have a simplistic notion of human intelligence. We think of some people as being “dull” or “slow” and others as being “bright.” If a person is “dull,” he is slackjawed and unkempt, his speech is slow, and his vocabulary is limited; our vision of him is modeled on that of the classic village idiot. And we think of a “bright” person as one with a quick tongue and a neat appearance.
We have been taught by TV that our former classification of Blacks as a race of village idiots was in error. So now we make the opposite error of assuming that, since many of them have a quick tongue and a neat appearance, they are approximately as “bright” as White people.
Human intelligence is many-faceted. It cannot be adequately characterized by such terms as “dullness” or “brightness.” A good memory and a facile tongue — that is, what modern educators loosely refer to as “verbal skills” — do not imply an ability to deal with abstract concepts and solve problems.
The former and the latter are separate — and independent — facets of intelligence. The former is what we more easily notice, but it is the latter on which our civilization is based. And the latter is closely linked to race.
The racial dependence of abstract reasoning ability is no secret. Anatomists have been aware for many years of the morphological differences between the brains of Blacks and Whites, and neurologists and psychologists today understand that it is in precisely those portions of the brain which in Blacks are less developed than in Whites that abstract reasoning takes place.
But because Blacks do not suffer a corresponding deficiency in their ability to develop verbal skills, we allow ourselves to assume equality where there is none, and we try to explain away troublesome facts like low IQ scores with nonsense about “cultural bias.” One only has to look at the high IQ scores of recent Asian immigrants, who suffer far more than US Blacks from cultural differences, to put the lie to that argument.
This error in assuming Black intellectual equality on the basis of the skills displayed by Black news announcers or entertainers is just one aspect of a general tendency today to confuse style for substance. Attainments of substance require exacting analysis and prudent judgment, and an understanding of underlying principles. That’s too much like work for many moderns. We have, it seems, now come to prefer style to substance. This could prove fatal to our civilization.
“Verbal skills” may have a high survival value for the individual who possesses them, but they are not civilization-building skills. A smooth line of patter may help in selling rugs or insurance; the fast talker may more often land the good job or the pretty girl; the person with a large vocabulary and an easy, self-confident mode of expression usually makes a good impression on others — a “bright” impression. But it is the analytical thinker, the problem-solver, who, glib or not, is the founder and sustainer of civilizations.
The clever office-seeker, the successful rug merchant, the adaptable mimic, the fluent news announcer — all have more-or-less useful roles to play in civilized life — but the very existence of that civilized life depends upon men with an altogether different set of skills. That is true of Western Civilization today, and it will also be true of the future civilization we must build if the West continues on its downward spiral.
Today Western Liberals are working very hard to help the Third World become “developed” — that is, civilized. They want to prove that the Blacks and Browns of this world have just as much capacity for civilization as Whites do. And if one visits Kenya or Nigeria, one sees what does seem like a Black civilization: Blacks driving automobiles, operating elevators, using computers and calculators and telephones, and even flying airplanes.
But it is an illusion. It is the style of civilization rather than its substance. And to the extent that even the style is maintained, there is a White minority present to keep the wheels turning. In those African countries which forced nearly all Whites to leave, civilization has ground rapidly to a halt and the jungle vines have begun taking over again.
When a diesel tractor or an electrical generator or a telephone switching system breaks down in Africa, it stays broken down until a White man fixes it — despite all the Black graduates African universities have been turning out recently. And it is not a cultural problem or an educational problem.
In this country half a century ago few farmers had ever seen a university. Many had not even been to high school. Yet, when a tractor broke down they got it running again, one way or another. They pulled it into the barn, took it apart, puzzled out the difficulty, figured a way to fix it — and then did it, often using extremely primitive facilities.
It wasn’t a matter of culture. It’s what was called “Yankee ingenuity.” It’s a racial trait.
Today civilization is more complex than it was 50 years ago. A considerably higher degree of “Yankee ingenuity” is required to keep it running. Very few of us who talk glibly about space ships and lasers and computers realize that we owe the existence of these things to an extraordinarily tiny minority of our people. The technology as well as the science involved in producing something like a pocket calculator is quite complex. A lot of people can talk about it, but very, very few are capable of actually solving the problems — or even being taught to solve the problems — involved in designing and building such a device so that it does what it is supposed to do.
Another thing that many of us do not realize is what a thin thread it is which supports civilizations in general and our present technological civilization in particular. We are holding onto this thread only by the skin of our teeth, only by exerting ourselves to the utmost of our creative abilities.
I am afraid that the average American of today would assume — if he bothered to think about it — that if the average IQ of our nation were to decline by, say, five per cent as a result of racial interbreeding or a continuation of other dysgenic practices, it would perhaps cause a corresponding decline of five per cent in the level of our civilization.
Not so! A five per cent decline in average IQ would cause our civilization to collapse. That is exactly what has happened to many other civilizations in the past, far less technologically advanced than ours. Our situation is much more precarious.
The level of civilization that a people can develop and maintain is a function of the biological quality, the racial quality, of that people — in particular, of its problem-solving ability. That is why Blacks and certain other races never developed even a rudimentary civilization and are incapable of sustaining a civilization built for them by Whites — despite the apparent “brightness” of many Blacks. And it is why the race which built Western Civilization not only must regain exclusive possession of its territories, but must also act quickly to change those policies and institutions which are causing an increasing percentage of those born to our own race to be problem-makers rather than problem-solvers.
We must do this because it is the only way our race, nation and civilization can be rescued from their decline. But our civilization is not an end in itself. The tools of a civilization, once it has reached a sufficiently high level — and we have reached that level — allow us not only to weed out the problem-makers from our midst, but to insure that we will produce even more capable problem-solvers than we have produced in the past. That, in turn, will allow the achievement and maintenance of a still-higher level of civilization — which will even further enhance our capabilities for progress in every realm.
We stand today at a threshold. If we cross it successfully, we will be on the upward path toward a world of progress, peace, prosperity, knowledge, and wisdom beyond imagining. To cross this threshold requires a clear understanding of what it is that lies at the roots of civilization; it requires the ability to distinguish between style and substance; and it requires that we value substance above style.
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This is an abridged-for-broadcast version of an article in National Vanguard issue number 59, 1978. — Ed.