Saturday, February 18, 2012

Devlin on Murray: Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010

By Nicholas Stix

Charles Murray’s new work, The State of White Americanot to be confused with the eponymous work of five years ago that I edited and co-authored—is to a large degree concerned with the yobbification of America, a theme he sounded, as a warning, in The Bell Curve (with the late Richard Herrnstein), 17 years ago.

Marriage and religion are both dying among the white working class. Simultaneously, both institutions are relatively robust—especially marriage—among the white upper classes. Social classes which 50 years ago dealt with each other on reasonably civilized terms, have become completely alienated from one another, and have little to do with one another. (The well-to-do whites eliminated working-class whites from their lives, and replaced them with illegal aliens, a topic that Murray apparently avoided, like the plague.)

F. Roger Devlin has written a brilliant, 7,100-word review of Murray’s book, in The Occidental Quarterly.

Roger is the most brilliant critic of the feminist project to destroy marriage, and turn sexual relations into a state of perpetual war, and not in the sense of the once-humorous phrase, “the battle of the sexes.” While he is eminently readable, he is, however, the hardest important contemporary writer I know of, to quote. He does not cooperate by providing the reader with sound-bites. He can, however be summarized, though I will do so using less elegant language than he did:

‘Charles Murray sees the decline in white, working-class marriages as being due to men being derelict in their duties. The truth, however, is that feminism robbed men of their previous status, while expecting them to fulfill their duties, while it gave women a condition of license. As a result, there was no good reason for working-class men to continue to act as their fathers had. Such behavior would merely result in their paying mercenary ex-wives who divorced them, and stole their children.

‘Working-class white men had always been expected to be selfless; feminism demanded a continuation of same, while demanding that women be granted license to be completely selfish.’

Devlin writes,
The author begins with a description of American life on the eve of the Kennedy assassination…

Only three and one-half percent of American families were headed by a divorced parent. In many neighborhoods, houses were left unlocked and children could go about unsupervised.

But American women had “much to be outraged about,” the author tells us, such as being expected to marry and have children! If Murray gets portrayed as a ‘hard-rightist,’ it is only because presenting data honestly is now all such a designation requires or implies.

College education occupies young people during their prime mate-seeking years.
Combine this fact with the cognitive sorting now performed by the college admissions process and you get intellectual
homogamy: people marrying those with similar cognitive ability. This level of ability tends rather strongly to get passed on to their offspring. Most children within the cognitive elite have parents with an average IQ of 117 or more. Only about 14 percent of them are produced by parents from the bottom half of the distribution.

So while the brilliant son of a plumber from Podunk will still occasionally break into the Ivy League, there will never be enough others like him to determine the character of those schools. Most of his classmates will come from affluent families, and a disproportionate number from the new upper class itself. American meritocracy has ended up producing something like a hereditary upper class….

The number of children born to white, unwed mothers has skyrocketed from three percent in 1960 to nearly thirty percent today. For mothers without a high school diploma, the figure is now around sixty percent. Many of these mothers are teenagers, and their children often end up being raised by the grandparents. Yet among mothers with a college degree, the proportion of unmarried births has yet to rise above three percent.

So far as I know, Devlin has not written a book on American sexual relations, but I sure hope he does.

There are two main ways to approach Murray: In terms of race, and of sex. Devlin approaches him, based on the latter factor. It remains for someone to review him, based on his handling of the race question.


1 comment:

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks. Excellent comments about Devlin.