Sunday, June 14, 2009

Radio Derb, and black as a better predictor of Democrat than liberal

++Addition++Radio Derb transcripts are accessible here.


Because I am a laggard who relatively recently began to finally equip myself with podcasts wherever I go, instead of relying on radio, I am only this week discovering John Derbyshire's weekly half-hour broadcast entitled "Radio Derb", a middlebrow commentary on the events of the previous seven days with a sardonic witiness that feels like a mix of Tom Wolfe, Rush Limbaugh, and Ted Danson's Becker character, delivered in a euphonious British accent (euphonious, of course, because it is British).

Anyway, shameless self-promotion is better made late than not at all. The installment for the week of April 10 includes the Derb discussing (starts at about 18:30) a previous post concerning per capita federal welfare spending by state. He closes the segment with a silly riff on the word "epigone":
The blogger who calls himself Audacious Epigone dug through some government statistics and came up with a list of states by per capita federal welfare spending. Top of the list: District of Columbia, with almost 300 dollars per capita. Wonder if that includes all the salaries and benefits of the Congresscritters. Why not — they should count as welfare cases, shouldn't they? It's not like any of them have marketable skills. Bottom of the list was New Hampshire, with only 53 federal dollars per capita. Now I'll listen a bit more respectfully to Mark Steyn when he talks about what rugged individualists they are up there in the Granite State … though I'm still going to remind him that the state went for Obama in November. My own state, New York, is number 2, with 218 federal dollars per capita, followed by California with 173. Number 6 is Vermont, which is a bit of a mystery. How come Vermont gets 146 dollars in welfare per capita from the feds when New Hampshire gets by on 53? Is this related to the fact that Vermont's just legalized homosexual weddings? Bit of a mystery. Well, thanks for that, Audacious Epigone.

What is an epigone, though? It's one of those words I can never remember. Hang on, let me look it up … "an imitative follower, an inferior imitator." Hm, right. But why don't we pronounce the "e" at the end, like we do with "epitome"? Shouldn't we say "ep-i-gon-e," or "ep-i-tom"? Who knows? I guess there are some doors man was
never meant to open.

In hearing this, I am embarrassed that I've yet to give an explanation for the choice of the pseudonym. Like many others here, after reading Steve Sailer for awhile, I recognized him to be one of the most perspicacious and underappreciated intellectuals in the modern world and hoped that in taking a quantitative, empirical approach to issues involving human biodiversity, I might be able to add in some small way to the popular understanding of things as they actually are. It would surely involve making some controversial assertions (from which Randall Parker, another major inspiration, never shied away)--hence the audacity--and, to the pleasure of Socrates, I was fully aware that I couldn't even see Steve's shadow, let alone stand in it--hence the epigone.

Tearing myself away from the mirror, the Derb later asserts that blacks are anchored further to the left than is any other major sub-group in the US. He doesn't specifically mention liberals among the groups out-flanked by blacks, but he could have. Indeed, blacks were more likely to vote for Obama last November than self-described liberals were, 95% to 89%. Yes, but a black man ran for the Presidency. It was a unique result due to tribalistic loyalty, right? No--the story was the same in '04. Kerry won 88% of the black vote compared to 85% of the vote among liberals. In 2000, 90% of voting blacks backed Gore, while only 80% of liberals did.

The GSS confirms that blacks--liberal, conservative, and otherwise--are more reliable Democratic stalwarts than are liberals. Covering the same time period, 76.5% of blacks self-identify as Democrats, while 68.4% of liberals do. Even conservative blacks, 71.9% of whom are Dems, are more politically antagonistic toward the GOP than liberals are.

GSS variables used: PARTYID, POLVIEWS(1-3)(5-7), RACECEN1(2), YEAR(2000-2008)


John said...

Thanks, Audacious. Your readers might care to know that Radio Derb transcripts are posted here, though usually a couple of days after the broadcast.

OneSTDV said...

HalfSigma had a similar post yesterday about Jews voting Democrat.

I think this data implies that many minorities see the Republican party as exclusively for the majority: white Christians. Blacks are notoriously antagonistic to white power structures and voting Republican is probably seen as allowing that to persist. That's why individuals like Sowell and Clarence Thomas are deemed race traitors.

Ron Guhname said...

This is an excellent instance of where "they're all the same" is basically correct.

BGC said...

I would imagine that voting Democrat is related to dependency on the state - in various forms.

Audacious Epigone said...


Got it, thanks!


Right. It might not be accurate to describe blacks as leftists, given the social connotations the term carries, but because of the perceived antagonism of the white power structure's party, they vote for leftists more reliably than any other group does.


If it is acceptable to presume that self-described liberals vote Democratic--and that's nothing that'll get you in trouble--then it should be even more acceptable to presume the same about blacks.


What about Jews and SWPLs, though? Dependency trumps social issue/status concerns, then?

Anonymous said...

Many white Christians perceive the Republicans to be acting in their best interests. Most minorities perceive the Republicans to be acting in the best interests of white Christians.

Why on earth is the Republican Party deliberately handicapping itself by betraying its natural base?

BGC said...

AE said: What about Jews and SWPLs, though? Dependency trumps social issue/status concerns, then?

Dependency is only the first approximation; but many high IQ Democrats work either in the public sector, or else areas that depend on heavy public sector subsidy (e.g. education).

However, a second approximation is that higher IQ is associated with a personality type including greater Openness. Openness is associated with left wing views.

I am writing a piece on this at present, but in brief I think Satoshi Kanazawa is correct to say that increased IQ leads to the adoption of anti-biological / non-spontaneous opinions and behaviors - and I would add that these are then used as an advertisment (sexual selection style) for high IQ.

Socialism is a non-spontaneous and non-biological viewpoint - and defending the absurdities of socialism is a high IQ signal.

Another aspect of this is that high IQ people regard biologically-implausible high IQ signals as being evidence of a higher (less instinctive) kind of morality.

So if you do *not* believe in HBD, or that humans respond to incentives (like lower taxes or jail for crime), or you *do* believe in pacifism/ unilateral disarmament or the intrinsic desirability of 'diversity'; then you are signalling your higher IQ and your greater moral sophistication since ordinary, dumb, spontaneous human reasoning would lead to opposite conclusions.

SO, the two main groups of Democrat voters are 1. those who are dependent on the state and 2. those who are signalling high IQ by their non-biological behaviors.

The Democrat electoral strategy is to increase the percentage of people dependent on the state (which is what the so-called 'stimulus' package is about, and also mass immigration of permanent dependants) - and to rely on the fact that high IQ people will use their intelligence to devise non-intuitive and non-biological rationales as to why this strategy is both nationally beneficial and more-moral.

Thereby both sides of the Democrat voting base will be expanded and satisfied - killing two birds with one stone.

Audacious Epigone said...


Fascinating. SWPLs, in creating complex epicycles, are less concerned with veracity than with being so nuanced and multi-faceted that less intelligent and less cosmopolitan are unable to keep up. It's a new sort of secular Scholasticism.

Why the dependency class votes the way it does is obvious. But the seeming absurdity of some leftist positions, like counseling instead of jail time for convicted criminals or an immigration policy based on family reunification and refugee asylum rather than merit or affluence, strikes me as so baffling that I find it impossible to see it from the leftist viewpoint without concluding that the position is destructive. But in your conception, this destructiveness is incidental--the intention is that the average joe is not going to agree with it.

Anonymous said...

The Audacious Epigone,
You are discussing the conservative sort of Democrat, in your analysis, correct? If so, I agree with you, and have a little theory to share.

My thoughts on black conservatism, as pondered from an evo-psycho perspective. These are no doubt amateurish, but probably someone smarter can redirect me to a better analysis. It's pretty quick and dirty, no grand thesis.

Originally posted at Half Sigma's:
[I]t is my belief that blacks are actually more socially conservative. I mean, if you are able, you exploit your position and ignore your ideological views about society, but de novo they would not have the kind of open society Westerners enjoy today. I would classify Black commitment to the Democrats as a function of lower IQ (not able to see all the sides of a position that liberals tend to be able), and a frank Marxist kind of admission to garner more economic power than they otherwise would be able in an industrialized society like the United States'.

I'm thinking about something like male lions and a pride of lionesses. When a juvenile male lion matures, he is kicked out of the pride and attempts to co-opt a group of females. If there are cubs present that are not sired by him, he kills them. Thus, there should be some sort of selection in those same cubs to be fearful of strange-looking males, or writ larger in polygynous societies, a greater out-group hostility. This would be less of this impetus in species (or races) that require more parental investment, since fewer dominant males would be able to raise large broods. So, a strange male is not necessarily so dangerous to young cub, so they do not arouse the same fear.

Finally, I think the differential affinity for out-groups is one of the primary dividing lines that naturally separate social conservatives from social liberals. In my experience, it is rare to meet a Black SWPL. Economic conservatism is a different beast, that may be underlied by a Christian morality, but I think it is more that it requires a substantial intelligence to understand the abstract Hayekians criticisms of centralization, so it isn't as tied to the aforementioned traits. Conservatism that is understood to be married to free trade is a historical anomaly, it was not so until the 19th century. I think over on the Continent that was more clear, that there was difference between the Liberals, the Whigs, and the Tories.

But, I could be wrong. [I also came upon a remarkable blog from TGGPs site, written by a Sister Y or something or the other, and apparently there is actually a term to describe one crucial concept I was trying to describe, called effective polygyny, a ratio of average male fitness variance to average female fitness variance.]

I think many interesting human social questions might be answered by appealing to sexual selection, since as many evolutionary psychologists like the recent star Miller realize, it seems to have played a huge role in our evolution, according to some even leading to the brain expansion of Homo.

What do you mean by this idea, "blacks are notoriously antagonistic to white power structures?" If I didn't know you share my appreciation for rigor, that might like specious leftist nonsense. You mentioned on your blog that some Ricci-like incident happened to you personally, but I appreciate this blog because it separates the understandable emotions of politics from the data-driven research.

- Billare

The Undiscovered Jew said...

I don't believe the anti-hereditarian position has much to do with sexual selection.

The reason the left opposes hereditarianism is because social engineering is much less likely to work if humans have fixed neurological natures at birth.

On the subject of Jews, I do know that 33% of Jews under the age of 40 voted for Bush in 2004.* According to Gallup, only 29% of Jews under 35 voted for McCain, but McCain fell among all demographic groups in 2008.

The problem is that older Jews are much more numerous because the Jewish birthrate is low. The greater number of older Jews swamps the the younger Jewish vote.

* Opposition to War Grows Among Jews

The Democratic stand-bearer did better among older age groups. Bush gained fully a third of the support of Jews under 40, while Kerry polled 59%; Jews ages 40 to 59 showed 25% support for Bush and 64% for Kerry; those 60 and older went 19% for Bush and 74% for Kerry. A separate poll of Russian Jews in New York showed majority support for Bush, Harris said.

Anonymous said...


I don't believe the anti-hereditarian position has much to do with sexual selection.

I agree with you, it's an ad hoc position from the new Grand Theses leftists articulated in the '60s. Obviously not in fact, since many early progressives were prominent eugenicists. Remember Oliver Holmes' famous dissent justifying the involuntary sterilization of Carrie Buck?

"It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind...three generations of imbeciles are enough."

- Billare

The Undiscovered Jew said...

I agree with you, it's an ad hoc position from the new Grand Theses leftists articulated in the '60s.

They've been coming up with disastrous "Grand Theories" since at least 1789.

One reason I'm not a leftist, conservative, or libertarian is that I don't really care much about ideology anymore.

My thinking is largely utilitarian, that is to say, I don't care about grand philosophical visions of government.

I simply want the government to keep the trains running on time with sensible public policies.

OneSTDV said...

@ Billare:

You said:

What do you mean by this idea, "blacks are notoriously antagonistic to white power structures"?

Blacks have concocted this muddled narrative contending that all power is held by the "white man". They contend that white skin is social and economic capitol and thus black skin almost automatically disqualifies one from entering into the "white power structure". I think this is absurd as I believe America (since the 60's) is a fair meritocracy. But blacks generally do not share this belief and they believe the Republican party is supporting the persistence of this made-up societal institution known as the "white power structure".

I think you thought I might share their opinion, but I surely do not. I was just regurgitating their point of view.

Audacious Epigone said...


I am going to look at the GSS in detail to probe the assertion, but from my personal experience it does seem to me that blacks are socially conservative, possibly even more so than moderate/independent whites are.

Anonymous said...

"Thereby both sides of the Democrat voting base will be expanded and satisfied - killing two birds with one stone."

Don't forget the potential for special favor$ from politicians. What may seem counter intuitive on the surface may be good old fashioned mutual back scratching beneath the surface.

Cleanthes said...

I believe U.S. Grant received a higher percentage of the black vote in the election of 1868 than Obama did in the 2008 election.

I cannot find confirmation on the internet. Anyone know?

Blode0322 said...

Here is a clue:
Out of the 5,716,000 votes cast, Grant received 3,012,000. From this sum Grant received 450,000 black votes thus; he attained 2,562,000 white votes to Seymour's 2,653,000.

Looks like Seymour got 2.708.744 votes in 1868, so he got 55,744 non-white votes. Assuming they were all black, there were 505,744 black votes that year. Thus Grant got 89% of the black vote.

Still, I would take those figures with a grain of salt. It's not too strange to think that 11% of black would have voted for a Northern Democrat who moderately supported the Union side of the Civil War, but I still think the figures are suggestive at best.