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Physicist, Startup Founder, Blogger, Dad

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Yuri Slezkine: The Jewish Century



Yuri Slezkine of UC Berkeley, author of The Jewish Century (reviewed in The Nation).

@7 min "I was unprincipled enough to put down Russian in all my official paperwork because, obviously, it made it much easier to get into college." [ Slezkine is half Jewish; his father is Russian. See They take students like you there and I'm not Asian. ]

@29:30 The evolution of anti-semitism in the Soviet Union. From an overrepresentation of Jews in the early Soviet leadership, to (post-WWII and -Stalin) an era of quotas and overt discrimination, and an increasing identification of the Soviet state with Russian nationality.

From the introduction to The Jewish Century:
The Modern Age is the Jewish Age, and the twentieth century, in particular, is the Jewish Century. Modernization is about everyone becoming urban, mobile, literate, articulate, intellectually intricate, physically fastidious, and occupationally flexible. It is about learning how to cultivate people and symbols, not fields or herds. It is about pursuing wealth for the sake of learning, learning for the sake of wealth, and both wealth and learning for their own sake. It is about transforming peasants and princes into merchants and priests, replacing inherited privilege with acquired prestige, and dismantling social estates for the benefit of individuals, nuclear families, and book-reading tribes (nations). Modernization, in other words, is about everyone becoming Jewish.

Some peasants and princes have done better than others, but no one is better at being Jewish than the Jews themselves. In the age of capital, they are the most creative entrepreneurs; in the age of alienation, they are the most experienced exiles; and in the age of expertise, they are the most proficient professionals. Some of the oldest Jewish specialties-commerce, law, medicine, textual interpretation, and cultural mediation-have become the most fundamental (and the most Jewish) of all modern pursuits. It is by being exemplary ancients that the Jews have become model moderns. ...

60 comments:

B.B. said...

Kevin MacDonald wrote an interesting review of The Jewish Century for The Occidental Quarterly.

Diogenes said...

here's solman's report on chua: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/international/july-dec03/wto_9-12.html

and so, as alan dershowitz said in the "vanishing american jew", "the reality corresponds to the ravings of anti-semites." dershowitz went on to explain that despite the influence of jews (in america at least), jews did not conspire, were not in agreement on everything.

to which the OBVIOUS response is, "so what alan?"

amy chua's "world on fire" is a must read. it's not as if the jews were the only small minority with such outsized influence. chua herself is from overseas chinese parents (the philippines). the overseas chinese in se asia and even in some pacific island countries put the jews to shame.

of course, anyone who knows anything about judaism and its european form in particular (unlike many jews today), would know that murray's explanation of jewish accomplishment IS the explanation, and h & c's silly. for one thing, the shulchan aruch was sufficient for non-ashkenazim, whereas the ashkenazim studied the talmud intensively. but at the same time the accomplishment of the very few sephardic jews in europe in the 20th c. has also been spectacular. cohen-tannoudji and derrida are examples in france.

5371 said...

The twentieth century is over.

gs said...

Sorry, I don't have time to play the hour-long video. However, I read the review in The Nation as well as Kevin McDonald's cited by B.B. I searched both reviews for 'Holocaust' and got no hits.

It is incredible that a book titled "The Jewish Century" can be reviewed without mentioning the Holocaust. The fault is apparently---I haven't read the book---not Slezkine's but the reviewers': This interview with him yields multiple hits on 'Holocaust'.

BobSykes said...

Considering the virulent anti-semitism in European and American universities, especially among leftists, we might be in for a repeat of the Holocaust.

Of course, the Nazis and Communists were leftists, too.

Pincher Martin said...

The overseas Chinese don't put Ashkenazi Jews to shame. They simply compete against less impressive ethnic majorities. Who would you rather have as your competitor in business, finance, science, and the arts? A white American? A German? A Slav? Or a Javanese? It's no wonder the Chinese ended up owning nearly all the productive enterprises in SE Asia. They had no competition. Had the overseas Chinese emigrated in large numbers to Korea and Japan instead of SE Asia, I'm sure we wouldn't take much note of their success and influence today.


CH&H's explanation of Ashkenazi Jewish achievement is far more compelling than Murray's. It accounts for the presence of rare genetic neurological diseases (some associated with higher intelligence), the history of Jewish secular achievement in Europe (negligible in classical times, but immediate and impressive upon emancipation). Finally, the accomplishments of Sephardic Jews have been unimpressive. I think that only half-a-dozen have won Nobel prizes outside of literature and peace. That might seem impressive at first for such a small demographic, until you realize that the Ashkenazim have won more than double that number in just the last four years.

Hacienda said...

The 20th century was the century of the PAWS.

5371 said...

But the institutions which Cochran credits with breeding superior intelligence into the Ashkenazis also existed among the Sephardis, so the theory in that form makes no sense at all.

Pincher Martin said...

You have to look at both sides of the equation and then ask yourself what makes more sense.

Do Sephardic Jews have higher IQs and correspondingly higher levels of accomplishment in challenging fields compared to the Ashkenazim? Do they suffer from the same genetic diseases at approximately the same rate as the Ashkenazim?

If your answers are no, then a thesis that claims the Sephardic Jews aren't as accomplished today because they didn't engage in Talmudic studies to the same degree as the Ashkenazim doesn't explain the available evidence as well as the CC&H hypothesis.

Pincher Martin said...

The book is mistitled. I'd say ninety percent of the book is about the role Jews played in modern Russian history. Slezkine mentions the Jewish experience in the rest of Europe, the U.S. and Israel, too, but not nearly as much as I expected.

Diogenes said...

no, dummkopf, the sephardim aren't as accomplished because 1. they lived outside of europe and 2. (if a racial explanation is necessary) they are less european in ancestry.


the tiny number of sephardim in europe in the 20th c WERE very accomplished!


AND, sephardim raised on kibbutz with ashkenazim score MUCH higher on iq tests than other sephardim, just as blacks raised by whites score MUCH higher (as children). this might've been a reference in hernstein & murray, i don't remember. kibbutz ashkenazim have scored 130 on some tests, the sephardim not as high but >= 120.


needless to repeat, but cochran just doesn't know the facts or doesn't care to know them. he's an entertainer not a thinker, just like chomsky.


and regarding whether or not ashkenazi accomplishment is genetic, or to what extent it is genetic, one should always keep in mind pearsons law of diminishing returns and the recent evidence that the genetic basis of cognitive test scores is all in the g factor. that is, it appears that whereas iq is heritable generally speaking, very high iq is NOT.

Diogenes said...

pincher, you're showing your true colors here. filipino americans are among the highest earning. is it because they're all actually chinese? i worked with an indonesian. his sister earned a degree in architecture from harvard. she scored 800 on the sat m and something like 300 on the v. he wasn't chinese.


AND, steve hasn't mentioned it, but according to flynn chinese and japanese americans actually don't have higher iqs than european americans, BUT perform as if they had much higher iqs, as if they had mean iqs of 120 and 110 respectively. so do filipino americans follow this pattern?

Pincher Martin said...

"pincher, you're showing your true colors here. filipino americans are among the highest earning ethnic groups. is it because they're all actually chinese?"

Yes, almost all high achieving Filipino Americans in intellectually challenging fields or engaged in serious business are actually Overseas Chinese (華僑). Certainly that possibility couldn't have escaped your attention if you read World on Fire, as you claim you did. Amy Chua is a high achieving Filipino American, as was her father and sisters. I doubt that anyone in the Chua family thinks of themselves as Filipino, even though the family's point of departure for the U.S. was in fact the Philippines and both of the Chua parents were either born or raised there. As Ms Chua points out in the beginning of her book, Chinese Filipinos are frequently targeted by the locals because of their obvious success, which makes them stand out in that underachieving part of the world.

"i worked with an indonesian. his sister earned a degree in architecture from harvard. she scored 800 on the sat m and something like 300 on the v. he wasn't chinese."

I never claimed that not a single smart Javanese, Malay, or Filipino who did not have Chinese ancestry. But they are extremely rare. You're pretty safe assuming such talented folk from that part of the world are Chinese until told otherwise.

"AND, steve hasn't mentioned it, but according to flynn chinese and japanese americans actually don't have higher iqs than european americans, BUT perform as if they had much higher iqs, as if they had mean iqs of 120 and 110 respectively. so do filipino americans follow this pattern?"



Most Filipino Americans are not Chinese, so the simple answer to your question is no.


I've read Flynn's book that has the chapter on Asian American IQ, and he does indeed claim that Asian-Americans outperform their test scores. But he doesn't assign such a high mean IQ score to Chinese and Japanese Americans. In fact, quite the opposite. Because the study Flynn was looking at was dated, he was looking at older populations where the Chinese and Japanese Americans were very close to, and occasionally even below, the European mean. (I'm sure if he did a similar study now, however, he would find the Chinese population much different because of immigration.) But he found they outperformed their test scores due to a cultural emphasis on hard work. The effect was modest, however.

5371 said...

My comment was directed precisely against that thesis. But what is the CC&H hypothesis?

Pincher Martin said...

However you direct your comment, we have a phenomenon in need of explanation. You can choose not to explain it or you can look for the best explanation. I think CC&H provide the most compelling hypothesis that fits most of the known facts.


That doesn't mean it's right. But Diogenes, who I was responding to, believes that Charles Murray's explanation is better. I think he's wrong for the reasons I gave.

5371 said...

So what are these two alternative explanations? Please summarize them, as briefly as you like.

Pincher Martin said...

You're better off just reading the two pieces yourself. They're both on the web. CC&H even sent a long letter to Commentary questioning Murray's reasoning. I'm not sure if Murray responded or not.

5371 said...

It would have taken you less time just to type in links, then. I don't know what CC&H stands for.

Pincher Martin said...

It's not CC&H; it's CH&H Cochran Hardy, and Harpending. That's my mistake.


As for the rest, do your own work. I'm not your hired Google boy.

Diogenes said...

if you had read my post you would know that i know chua is from the philippines. so apparently according to you all of the reason for filipino americans being third in median household income is due to chinese filipinos. yet mainland chinese are far down the list from filipinos.

flynn assigns an "as if" mean. it's reported in the 2012 installment of "intelligence knowns and unknowns", "Intelligence: New Findings and Theoretical Developments." i don't remember if flynn claimed the same in his little book.

Diogenes said...

one fact i never hear mentioned is that jewish achievement in business and science is not general.



for example, private equity and hedge fund billionaires are majority jewish. the same for fortunes in media, entertainment, and at one time in the recent past fashion.


and jews are much more over-represented among theoretical scientists than lab scientists. in synthetic organic chemistry they are much less conspicuous than in computational chemistry for example.

5371 said...

All right, since our colleague has flounced off, maybe you could tell me what Murray's explanation is.

Diogenes said...

chh: restrictions on types of employment available to jews in europe raised their mean iq. according to chh ashkenazi jews have more genetic disorders related to the nervous system than other groups suggesting selection for intelligence.

murray: the expectation that all male jews would be literate and students of their religion raised their mean iq. the dumb jews left. this also seems to work for the janes and the friends and the parsi.

Pincher Martin said...

"no, dummkopf, the sephardim, mizrahim, etc. aren't as accomplished because 1. they lived outside of europe (the tiny number of sephardim in europe in the 20th c WERE very accomplished!

You're clearly trying to convince me by your own personal example that not all Jews are smart. Keep it up. You might win the debate.

The difference in population between the Sephardim and Ashkenazim doesn't explain the difference in relative achievement. Sephardic Jews have won nine Nobel prizes in over a century of the awards being given out. That compares to over 160 Ashkenazi Jews who have won the Nobel Prize in the same fields over the same period of time.

Even assuming Ashkenazi Jews outnumber Sephardic Jews by nine to one - a reasonable estimate prior to the Holocaust, but not after - you're still left with nearly double the achievement level.

As to the Mizrahim, if we consider them as separate from the Sephardim (they're often grouped together), then they shouldn't even be part of this discussion. That's where Murray's article goes most wrong. Whatever their importance in Muslim lands during the Middle Ages, the Mizrahim have long underperformed in Israel and there is no sign they are catching up.

" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... and the richest non-chinese in hong kong is an iraqi jew, malcolm kadoorie. two of the richest men in britain are iranian jewish brothers, surname Tchenguiz) and 2. (if a racial explanation is necessary) they are less european (or at least more southern european) in ancestry and 3. if a selection for intelligence is required then as cochran himself has said, "think horses not zebras."'

Mere anecdotes. The wealthiest Mexican - and occasionally the wealthiest man in the world - is Carlos Slim, an Arab Mexican. One of the best known Brazilian businessmen is Carlos Ghosn, a Lebanese Brazilian. One of the most famous public intellectuals of the last half century is Edward Said, an Palestinian American. I could go on and on and on with examples like this. It doesn't prove Arab immigrants are as outstanding example of overachievement like the Jews. It merely shows that nearly any small group of a middling performing demographic will have a few outstanding examples for idiots to glom on to.

"AND, sephardim raised on kibbutz with ashkenazim score MUCH higher on iq tests than other sephardim, just as blacks raised by whites score MUCH higher (as children). this might've been a reference in hernstein & murray, i don't remember."



I'm quite sure you don't remember. For if you did, then you surely would recall that these so-called IQ effects on underachieving minorities, when they happen at all, don't last. In fact, they're famous for either not lasting or not happening.


As for the rest, you're clearly throwing in a lot of crap you don't understand in the hope that something sticks. Good luck with that.

Pincher Martin said...

You're still hoping someone will spoon-feed you with knowledge, huh?

5371 said...

It seems clear that Diogenes had the right approach to interacting with you, and I the wrong one.

Pincher Martin said...

It's pretty clear that neither one of you have any idea what you're talking about it, but you keep your ignorance on a pretty short leash with a series of one-sentence posts while Diogenes tries the splatter approach hoping something will stick.

5371 said...

Thanks, Diogenes. Both theses seem to me not to hold water. As I have said, Askenazi institutions do not differ from Sephardi. The classification of genetic disorders appears arbitrary. As for Murray, I don't know of any evidence that the less intelligent were actually forced to leave. And how can either thesis be reconciled with the weak performance of Israeli Jews on the PISA tests?

Pincher Martin said...

The original discussion was prompted by your remark on the Overseas Chinese. It was not about who immigrates to the United States and what they earn once stateside, but about the general performance of the Overseas Chinese (in SE Asia) and how it compares to the Ashkenazi Jews. Perhaps you forgot what you wrote: " the overseas chinese in se asia and even in some pacific island countries put the jews to shame." That was what I was responding to.

"if you had read my post you would know that i know chua is from the philippines. so apparently according to you all of the reason for filipino americans being third in median household income is due to chinese filipinos."



Yes, as I said, that would probably be some of it.


Chinese Filipinos are a very small part of the population of the Philippines, but they are a much larger part of the urbanites, business owners, and English speakers in the country. Another factor behind that statistic, however, would be that most Filipinos who immigrate to the U.S. speak English and so have a leg up on many other immigrant groups. I see a lot of Filipinas who are obviously not Chinese, for example, study to be nurses. Nursing is a good job, but not intellectually challenging.


But again that was not what we were originally talking about. Income statistics on U.S. immigrant groups are often misleading in representing home countries because of small samples and selection bias. I once saw a detailed report years ago that showed Egyptian immigrants to the U.S. were among the highest earning of all immigrants groups. Indian and Pakistan immigrants to the U.S. also do extremely well, but that has less to do with the median abilities of those groups back in their home countries and more to do with the particular Indians and Pakistanis who make it to the states.


Similarly, many uneducated Chinese from the Chinese mainland are now making the boat trip over to the U.S. (legally and illegally) because of family and business networks that require their labor. They're not all just coming here to go to Berkeley. So you'll see higher than expected levels of poverty among Chinese immigrants to America, as well as significant levels of achievement.


I liked Chua's book, but your response to it illustrates the danger of relying on it too much. The Overseas Chinese in SE Asia put the Ashkenazim to shame in a couple of areas only because the Jews aren't competing against people with an average IQ in the mid-eighties (and perhaps even lower, once you factor out the Chinese contribution to those scores).

Diogenes said...

no, murray doesn't think they were forced to leave. he thinks they "drifted away". the jews aren't the only high achieving religious minority. the friends, jains, and parsis are too.

and, i agree (i think), jewish achievement is not genetic in origin. or, at least, it is mostly cultural.

Diogenes said...

pincher, you're a bore.

i am not jewish. not one drop as far as i know. mostly british isles with a little french and swiss. in fact, my surname is switzerdeusch. my family was at one time the largest catholic publishing house in the world.

ROT ON!

"I'm quite sure you don't remember."

nope. i remember the results, just not the footnote.

my examples are not mere footnotes. which reminds me: two of the richest in brazil are LEBANESE jewish brothers.

ROT ON!

Diogenes said...

blah, blah, blah,...

"because of small samples"

filipino americans are in fact the second largest asian ethnic group.

indian americans are number 1.

Diogenes said...

that should have been the jains, the quakers, and the zoroastrians of india. the wsj reported that unitarians outscore jews on the sat, and the quakers are right behind. dershowitz is an admirer of the quakers. so am i. the society of friends is as close to the primitive church as any.

Diogenes said...

http://www.slideshare.net/MikaOslen/the-chosen-people
"We noted in Chapter II that Jewish children with European parents and with Mizrahim parents who were brought up in the same kibbutzim have approximately the same 15-IQ-point difference as those raised separately.

IQs of kibbutzim children with European and Oriental parents (percentages) 128+ 120+ 110+ High School Graduates Both Parents European 26.1 47.0 71.2 One Parent European 19.7 42.3 74.6 Both Parents Oriental 0.4 40.8 65.2"

Diogenes said...

so this contradicts the result i've seen?

both iqs are raised.

the rednecks NEED to explain why iqs are raised in childhood, at least.

Diogenes said...

some more "anecdotes":

maimonides, spinoza, disreali, ricardo

ben_g said...

i think the difference can be explained by a deficit in spatial intelligence relative to verbal-logical/mathematical

Diogenes said...

but supposedly all of the genetic basis for cognitive test scores is in the g factor. and i don't think jews are worse than europeans at say brain surgery or whatever, just not any better.

Diogenes said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income

DK said...

There was a popular Soviet joke during the peak of those anti-Semite years (1970s): "among scientists and doctors, every third one is not a Jew" (it rhymes in Russian: средь ученых и врaчей каждый третий не еврей"). It was a rather accurate observation, actually. OT: Slezkine's Russian accent is the most unusual one. Really strange.

Rudel said...

That helps explain why the Jews got the payback they deserved in WWII. What they are doing to their genetic cousins, the Palestinians is not gaining them any brownie points either. Jews have peaked.

Rudel said...

And pace Steven Pinker things are only getting worse.

Rudel said...

" Who would you rather have as your competitor in business, finance, science, and the arts? A white American? A German?"


At least with those two groups one would expect at least a modicum of honest business ethics, unlike Scotsmen, Jews, or Chinese.

5371 said...

It was very easy for a Quaker to leave the community, usually much harder for a Jew. And especially for the Jews, leaving was usually a sequel of economic success, not the opposite.

Pincher Martin said...

Idiot. The section about "small samples" that you cut out of my post had nothing directly to do with Filipino immigrants. I simply gave a couple of reasons why income statistics aren't reliable when comparing immigrant groups.

Pincher Martin said...

Yes, it contradicts the results you've seen.

"both iqs are raised."

IQs aren't raised in most cases. And in those few cases where there is a bump, the effect doesn't last.

Pincher Martin said...

I've read Lynn's book. He doesn't make that claim. You're either lying or bluffing about a book you haven't read.

Here is the full paragraph from Lynn's book that you partially quoted:

"Second, the four Jewish peoples in Israel occupy a similar environment, with the same access to healthcare and education, but the intelligence differences between them are pronounced. We noted in Chapter 11 that Jewish children with European parents and with Mizrahim parents who were brought up in the same kibbutzim have approximately the same 15-IQ-point difference as those raised separately. Similarly, each of the pairs of Jews and Gentiles shown in Table 20.1 has lived in the same societies and are therefore matched for environmental inputs. From this, it can be reasonably assumed that the IQ differences between the pairs are largely genotypic."

In other words, Lynn suggests in the paragraph above that the evidence shows a genetic reason behind the intelligence differences among the various Jewish groups.



Try to understand what you're quoting before you quote it.

Pincher Martin said...

"i am not jewish. not one drop as far as i know. mostly british isles with a little french and swiss."


That must be a relief to the Jews ! I'm guessing not so much for the Brits, French, and Swiss, though.

Diogenes said...

patai agrees with me.

"...exposure to a cognitively enriched (primarily Ashkenazi) kibbutz environment may be able to restore as much as two thirds of this loss in a single generation"

Diogenes said...

no it doesn't. it's pointless arguing with someone whose native language isn't english.

"IQs aren't raised in most cases. And in those few cases where there is a bump, the effect doesn't last."

the flynn effect contradicts you.

Diogenes said...

are you using "ignorance" here in the ebonics sense?

pincher you'll chew your own foot off soon enough and limp toward the truth. but it will be quite painful.

may the schwartz be with you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHw6KXbvazs

stevesailer said...

Good book.

stevesailer said...

My mini-review is featured on Amazon's page for the book:


http://www.amazon.com/The-Jewish-Century-Yuri-Slezkine/dp/0691127603

Pincher Martin said...

You're hopelessly confused. The Flynn Effect has nothing to do with raising the IQ of a group of children by a specific environmental intervention.

Pincher Martin said...

You're lying again. Or you're just stupid. I'm having a hard time deciding which.

Your first quote is from Lynn's book The Chosen People. It makes the same point I've been trying to drill into your rat-like cranium for the last few days: The IQ differences between Jewish groups are genetically hard-wired and not the result of different environments.

"patai agrees with me."



As do many other idiots. You're certainly not alone. Your point of view is common wherever double-digit IQ morons are huddling together to protect against the cold truth.

Diogenes said...

sorry pincher, but you've forced me. i've always scored in the 99th percentile on tests like the sat (including the sat). i'm a volunteer for the bgi study. you've confirmed my prejudice that people like you are are "not very smart".

the point was patai was referencing the data i spoke of. i did remember it.

1. you thought i was jewish. FALSE

2. you were sure i didn't remember the kibbutz data. FALSE

Diogenes said...

you are soooo tiresome. even through the net i can see your tattoos.

the flynn effect shows that when the genes don't change the iq can by A LOT. maybe you

would like to dismiss this as the result of better "nutrition". perhaps you believe in bigfoot.


THINK. if you can.

Butch said...

Let me first sterilise the comments section.

There are regular commenters on this blog who hae some wrong information. Ashkenazi jews do not have have the highest IQ's on earth...

The ethnic group that does has the highest income per household in america, their country of origin has a space programme, nuclear weapons and nuclear submarines. In the U.S, this ethnic group has the highest percentage of it's population to have a bachelors degree other than those from Taiwan. This ethnic group has a higher percentage of their population that has a bachelors degree(71.1% which is higher that Filipinos, Chinese Jews whites Hispanics and blacks. The reason this ethnic group does so well despite being from a third world country is the caste system in their country. Have you guessed it??? It's the Indians at the top of the caste system in india.

The indian american household average income is about $88500 a year which is higher that any other ethnic group in america. This is due to the selective immigration and the caste system

here is a complementary article on it. Courtesy of science.

http://akarlin.com/2012/08/the-puzzle-of-indian-iq-a-country-of-gypsies-and-jews/



Your welcome. I am sorry if I have offended you but this is for the sake of genetic engineering.

gs said...

At the founding of Israel after the Holocaust, and on subsequent occasions, the Arabs, including the Palestinians, tried to destroy the country. I'm not at all sure the Palestinian attitude has changed.

Make an existential attack, suffer existential consequences.

Rudel said...

The Zionists engaged in ethnic cleansing of Arab Palestinians even as early as when the first minuscule amount of Jewish settlers starting arriving in the late 19th Century. By the time of the Arab Revolt against the British in the 1930's the tens of thousands of Jews present led overt support to the British bombing and killing of Arab civilians including women and children.

Your mind has been warped by Jewish propaganda. Read Gudrun Krämer's excellent book on Palestinian history.

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8638.html

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