How Can We Explain the Coming European Idiocracy?

This post is a follow-on to yesterday’s article on the recent PNAS finding of a “reverse Flynn Effect” in Norway. IQs appear to be similarly falling in France, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, and elsewhere in Europe.

Yesterday we looked at the recent paper in PNAS by Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg which reveals a significant generational drop in IQ in Norwegian male cohorts — a “reverse Flynn effect.” Other researchers have found similar results in the UK and in several European nations. An IQ decline of roughly 7 IQ points per generation was seen by Bratsberg & Rogeberg in Norway.


Instead of getting smarter, humans have started getting dumber.

The study by the team consisted of analyzing IQ test results from young men entering Norway’s national service (compulsory military duty) during the years 1970 to 2009. In all, 730,000 test results were accounted for. In studying the data, the researchers found that scores declined by an average of seven points per generation, a clear reversal of test results going back approximately 70 years. __ Source

PNAS paper abstract:

Population intelligence quotients increased throughout the 20th century—a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect—although recent years have seen a slowdown or reversal of this trend in several countries. To distinguish between the large set of proposed explanations, we categorize hypothesized causal factors by whether they accommodate the existence of within-family Flynn effects. Using administrative register data and cognitive ability scores from military conscription data covering three decades of Norwegian birth cohorts (1962–1991), we show that the observed Flynn effect, its turning point, and subsequent decline can all be fully recovered from within-family variation. The analysis controls for all factors shared by siblings and finds no evidence for prominent causal hypotheses of the decline implicating genes and environmental factors that vary between, but not within, families. __ PNAS

We know that previous research from the UK had already discovered the problem:

The drop has been calculated to be between 2.5 and 4.3 points every ten years, according to two British studies. __ Decline in IQ Ongoing

The causes for this IQ decline in European populations will certainly be multi-factorial. Despite what is claimed in the abstract, one of the many factors involved is apt to be genetic or epigenetic in nature. Mating and procreative choices within the indigenous Euro populations have a distinct genetic component — even though the authors and editors of the PNAS paper above would consider those effects to be entirely cultural and environmental.

Adding the Dysgenic Effect from Immigration Makes it Worse

Lower IQ immigrants coming to Europe from Africa and the middle east can only add to the depressant effect on average IQ levels in European populations. The combination of both internal and external causes for declines in average IQs speed the coming of idiocracy in government, economy, scientific development, and the maintaining of high tech critical infrastructures.

Given the close correlation between national average IQ and GDP, economic prosperity for the future of Europe depends upon the honest addressing of this problem.

For a period of time — perhaps several decades — the residual effect of the “smart fraction” of indigenous Europeans and more gifted immigrants may well carry the economic prosperity and technological infrastructure on its backs. Eventually the combination of declining aptitude and increasingly bad governance will tip the balance toward rapid decline and collapse — unless precautions are taken.

First, Identify the Causes of the “Dumbing Down” Effect

The “reverse Flynn Effect” phenomenon is still new, and has barely been comprehended by most cognitive researchers. Teasing out all the genuine effects from confounders and artifacts will take time. Then, finding the causal agents for these genuine effects will likewise take time. Finally, finding effective counter-measures that are politically acceptable to the increasingly “dumbed down” populations will take time and political capital.

Bad government can destroy everything far more quickly than any dysgenic effect. But a combination of bad government and a dumbed down population — a far more likely outcome of the processes mentioned above — is especially pernicious, since it is likely to lead to bloody insurgencies, civil wars, and serial revolutions leading to long term decline.

Which Brings Us to the “Islands of Competence” Concept

Islands of competence are reasonably well-functioning high tech jurisdictions that exist in a sea of badly governed incompetence and idiocracy. Competence Islands can only exist by a careful maintenance of boundaries and constant internal training at all levels — to fend off the surrounding entropy. Trade with the outside can be maintained, but must be to the advantage of the competent party, without any undue altruism.

Each generational cohort must be carefully trained to optimise its skills and talents — as well as resilience and creativity — in the face of unstable and high entropy surrounding conditions.

Science and technology can continue their development within islands of competence, even while progress is largely shut down in the surrounding socialist dysgenic idiocracies.

Take Care of Your Own Corner

While university students are being taught to solve the world’s problems according to an already discredited cookbook of bloody revolution into utopia — the people who will have to build structures of resilience and anti-fragility that can withstand the coming waves of entropy — will need to ignore most of the outside noise and set about their building.

Think along the lines of parallel infrastructures at the same time as you consider ways to make existing infrastructures more anti-fragile.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .


Review of literature on “negative Flynn Effect” (PDF) reveals scientific documentation of IQ declines in Finland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, France, and other nations.

More on recent PNAS paper:

This entry was posted in Cognition, Demographics, Idiocracy, IQ and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How Can We Explain the Coming European Idiocracy?

  1. Abelard Lindsey says:

    This is disturbing because it means the timeline we have to deal with this problem is significantly shortened.

    What I saw were the 3 causes of cognitive performance decline were: 1) Dysgenics within a given race. That is, the less intelligent members having more kids than the more intelligent members. 2) Demographic replacement of indigenous populations with immigrants of significantly lower cognitive performance. Now we have 3) which appears to be too rapid to be due to 1). The way I saw it the timeline of 1) was 100-200 years and the timeline of 2) was maybe 70-100 years. This is enough time to develop the technologies we want (bio-engineering, self-replicating manufacturing, space colonization) that would allow us to decouple from the rest of human race.

    Factor 3) makes clear we have much less time, several decades, to deal with this problem. Your “islands of competence” strategy will need to be implemented much sooner than I expected. I would say 20-30 years is how long we have.

  2. yoananda says:

    I’m french. I’m witnessing the idiocracy from inside.
    The causes I have identified : immigration, dysgenism, yes, but also, “screens” (using too much smartphone, computer, tv and other screen at young age disrupt normal brain development), and “mai 68” leftism (maybe a kind of reverse pygmalion effect).
    BUT IQ is individual.
    We could also ask if there is a collective intelligence, and what about it ? There is too few academic researches on that matter (there are some but not replicated at the moment).
    I think that for some reasons the collective IQ (CQ) is droping too.
    My point is, I don’t think that “the smart fraction” is sufficient to maintain prosperity. Because I think CQ is important and CQ does not like too much dispersion in individual IQ: homogeneity is better in that matter.
    Moreover, what I see is that even tough a smart fraction can maintain a high technology working, the dumb fraction does nothing good with it. Internet is the archetypal example of that. While smart people use internet to become smarter, dumb people use it to become dumber, the go spend time watching kitties and on social network, there are more prone to propaganda, they fall for every net-guru they found, etc … society is far worse with internet nowadays : not because internet is bad, on the contrary, but because people misuse it.
    So what’s the point of having a smart fraction that maintain a high tech society if the mass of people do stupid things with it ? It’s a dystopia.

  3. info says:

    I think the idiocracy trailer itself makes evident that its the careerism of the women that is shredding her fertility.

  4. Abelard Lindsey says:

    I’m wondering if this decline is limited to European whites? What about North America? What about other races and other regions of the world. In particular, is this happening in the East Asian countries of Japan, Korea, and China? Is this a linear continuous phenomenon or is it a short term decline that has already plateaued out?

    If it is a continuous on-going phenomenon, extrapolating it out suggests that much of Europe will be like Mexico or various Southeast Asian countries around 2045 in terms of human capital and performance. This is an extrapolation based on other the white European population. Throw in the effects of Middle-eastern and African immigration and you have Europe as another version of Brazil as the most optimistic scenario.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Look at the brouhaha over school admissions standards that discriminate against Asians. There is a reason why Asians are overrepresented at the higher end of admissions qualifications, with only a small part of that on average due to IQ.

      There is a tendency of modern young European people to coast along, and to focus on superficial irrelevancies and distractions. The postmodern neomarxist craze among them is both symptom and cause for much of the cultural decay which can be reflected in lower achievement and poorer focus. Social media is another.

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