absence of various social pathologies andndysfunctions. They support these argumentsnby close statistical analysis of datanpertaining to “cognitive ability” (intelligence)ncorrelated with other data onnsocioeconomic status, childhood and educationalnbackground, criminal history,noccupational achievement, and familynformation. Through statistical analysisnthey argue that social dysfunctionsn(poverty, unemployment, injury rates,ncrime, broken families, child neglect andnabuse, illegitimacy) are more closelyncorrelated with low IQ than with socioeconomicnstatus and that therefore lownintelligence and not the social environmentnbears a causative relationship tonthese dysfunctions, just as higher IQnbears a causative relationship to successfulnsocial behavior.nDespite the hysteria that greeted ThenBell Curve and its treatment of race andnIQ, its chapters on those subjects are perhapsnthe most disappointing in the book.nHerrnstein and Murray are in no sensenracialists and in fact share all the commonnprogressivist phobias about discussingnrace at all or using it as a concept.nThus, they seem uncertain that raceneven really exists as a valid biological categorynand rely on the circumlocutionn”ethnic” to avoid mentioning the subjectnas much as possible. “What does itnmean to be ‘black’ in America, in racialnterms,” they mutter, “when the wordnblack (or African-American) can be usednfor people whose ancestry is more Europeannthan African?” In fact, they themselvesnanswer this particular questionnlater on in discussing the pioneering researchnon African IQ by ProfessornRichard Lynn of the University of Ulsternat Coleraine. While the IQs of Americannblacks, whose genetic endowmentncontains a considerable Caucasian contributionndue to past interracial breeding,nare on average below the mean Americannwhite IQ by a significant 15 points (ornone standard deviation in statistical jargon,non which Herrnstein and Murray relyntoo much), Lynn has found that thenIQs of the less racially mixed Africannblacks are on average some 30 pointsnbelow those of American whites. Thenmeaning of race as a concept, that is, isnnot falsified by the existence of a raciallynmixed population in a particular country.nYet despite no small amount ofnhemming and hawing, the authors do acknowledgenthe reality of racial differencesnin intelligence and the hereditarynbasis of a major part of such differences.nIn general, however. The Bell Curve isnnot the best available introduction tonthe subject of racial differences in IQ.nArthur Jensen’s Straight Talk about MentalnTests, Daniel Seligman’s A Questionnof Intelligence, and Philippe Rushton’snnew book are all easier to read and to follow,nat least as thorough, and rathernmore compelling and straightforwardnthan what Herrnstein and Murray havenpublished. 7736 Bell Curve’s main contributionnto racial psychometries is simplynthat it has generated so much controversynand attention that it has effectivelynsmashed the taboos surrounding thensubject that so many on the left andntheir poodles on the right are eager tonkeep. After The Bell Curve controversy,ndiscussion of race and government policiesnabout race will be considerably morenopen and honest than before.nWhat Herrnstein and Murray donemphasize is their theory thatnAmerican society is becoming increasinglynstratified by intelligence, with thensocial segregation and polarization ofnhigh and low IQs in a way that threatensnthe historically liberal character of thencountry. The emergence of a “cognitivenelite” monopolizing high social, economic,nand political positions may leadnto the construction of what the authorsncall a “custodial state” that will be increasinglynauthoritarian and even racist,nperceiving the stupid, socially pathological,nracially different, and resentful cognitivenproletariat beneath it both as anthreat and as an object of fear.nUnfortunately (or maybe fortunately)nthey do not prove this thesis, and therenseem to be several gaps in their case fornit. In the first place, modern technologicalnsocieties are hardly the first innwhich high intelligence has led to highnsocial position; this has been true in earlier,npremodern, and ancient societies asnwell. In the second place, in neither premodernnnor modem societies is intelligencenthe only source of social stratification,nand in ours as in other societiesnthere will continue to be highly intelligentnpeople who do not do particularlynwell in life because of personality, circumstance,nconstraints on opportunities,nand other unavoidable barriers to upwardnmobility, as well as not-so-bright peoplenwho rise to the top.nMoreover, of all the social problemsnthis country faces, the prospect of beingnruled by people who are too intelligent isnsurely not one of them. The bureaucra­nnntization of modern society in fact meansnthat people move upward in organizationsnby showing that they are able tonthink and perform according to establishednroutines, not by being creative orninnovative, and the major problem tonwhich The Bell Curve points is what thenauthors call “dysgenesis”: the downwardnpressure on the distribution of cognitivenability in the United States caused by (a)nthe failure of high IQ people to reproducenadequately, (b) the high fertilitynrates of low IQ groujDS, and (c) the immigrationnof low IQ groups into the countrynin recent years. “About 57 percent of legalnimmigrants in the 1980s came fromnethnic groups that have scores significantlynbelow the white average, and innconsequence the IQ mean for all immigrantsnis likely to be below 100,” theynwrite. The dysgenic trend, not an oligarchynof the smart, is the real dangernthat the book’s conclusions yield.nThe political and policy prescriptionsnthat Herrnstein and Murray recommendnare ambiguous. Though they claim annallegiance to the Jeffersonian and Federalistnprinciples of the Framers, a numbernof their concrete recommendations advancenin somewhat revised forms thenegalitarian and statist policies of this century.nThus, while they advocate then”ending of affirmative action as currentlynpracticed,” the suggestion is not quitenas radical as they seem to think. They actuallynendorse “returning to the originalnconception of affirmative action,” whichnthey see as ensuring that as many qualifiednracial minorities as possible arenrecruited to universities and high-skillnjobs. In general, Flerrnstein and Murraynare willing to accept without much questionna good many egalitarian, redistributionist,nand statist preconceptions, and itnis impossible to read this book withoutnrecalling once more James Burnham’sninsight about neoconservatives—thatnthough they may have broken with muchnof the formal doctrine of the left, theynstill retain the “gestalt of liberalism” andnhave not yet purged themselves of itsnmoral and psychic reflexes. Nevertheless,nHerrnstein and Murray do make a powerfulngeneral case against egalitarianismnand for a considerably reduced level ofngovernment interference in market andnsocial relationships, even if several ofntheir specific policy proposals seem toncontradict their general principles.nThe Bell Curve is an important book,nbut its importance accrues mainly fromnthe controversy it has generated andnMARCH 1995/29n