On High IQ Misanthropy


Bryan Caplan blogs on High IQ misanthropy: “Out of all the reactions I’ve heard to Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, the most disturbing are all variations on “Except stupid people.  They shouldn’t have kids.”  I could snark, “You mean people like you?” but that would be dishonest.  The latter-day proponents of negative eugenics have reasonably high IQs.  But their misanthropy is still morally and economically mistaken. Morally, I just have to ask the high-IQ misanthrope, “What did stupid people ever do to you?”  Their complaints are pretty petty: The dumb kids asked annoying questions in class, made fun of your Star Trek costume, etc.  Are these injuries even remotely awful enough to outweigh the fact that a human being gets to exist and enjoy life? In any case, once you reach adulthood, people of all IQs generally leave you alone if you leave them alone. If you want to give your kids a better childhood than you had, use your brains to make some extra money and move to a nicer neighborhood.”

Bryan Caplan, it seems, consider bullying of dull hoodlums as an insignificant episode in the life of great men-an insignificant episode which should be accepted and forgiven, but not forgotten, and then only because forgiveness should come easier to us than forgetfulness.  We are supposed to ‘move on’, as it is all “Okay” and because the fact of their existence is not to be acknowledged. I say “No.” “It is not Okay.”

We often underestimate how much the unwanted elements of society can annoy us. As someone rightly put it, “In High School, to be a nerd is to be persecuted.” Never mind that they made fun of my stamp collection, puzzle books and Center Fresh Cricket cards! Why am I supposed to forget that they all taunted me with it till the end of High school when I threatened to brand a child a “robber” if he takes away my Center Fresh Cricket Cards? I wonder why they all found it so funny and looked down upon me as an object of ridicule! Maybe I am supposed to get used to it as the world is by and large “unfair”. Perhaps!

In School, I had my own ways to deal with the bullying of low IQ Jocks. I used to note down the mean acts of the biggest bully and report it to my class teacher. It made me perfectly safe for the rest of my school life. In engineering college, seniors invariably think that they are entitled to bully us for the first six months of our college life. On my first day in college itself, I assured the biggest bully in my college that I will not complain to the Management if they don’t cross the limit. An open threat wouldn’t have had such an impact.

Dealing with workplace bullying was easier. The market is blind. It does not discriminate. While it can have a “de-barbarizing” effect on monsters, it can have a “dehumanizing” effect on the smart angels through forced integration with dull hoodlums who they can’t always “profitably” snub. Market is hence the greatest equalizer too. Egalitarians should be pleased no end as moral and intellectual equality should be a far more desirable end than economic equality. Unfortunately, Bryan is right when he says that the state is blocking the revenge of the nerds through redistribution and other coercive interventions. All I can do now to save the face of nerds is to quote Bill Gates: “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” He should know. He is the richest nerd on the planet.