02 Jan 2011

Cleverness Absent Intelligence

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Ferdinand Bardamu thinks that contemporary Western society is too clever by half, though not nearly intelligent enough, and argues that cleverness is considerably over-rated.

Most of the people and cultures we think of as smart are merely clever. The Chinese and Japanese are entire races of clever sillies, which is why China will never become a superpower (despite the braying of the self-appointed “experts”) and why Japan has been stuck in a recession ever since the 80′s, when those same “experts” said that THEY would take over the world. Clever sillies…. are problematic because they justify the life-destroying, culture-wrecking idiocies they push with their “smartness.” Feminism, socialism, neoliberalism, multiculturalism, political correctness – all of them are pushed by clever sillies who are witty enough to implement a policy but too stupid to understand why it’s a bad idea. (Note: I don’t exclude myself from this analysis. I’m willing to admit that I’m not that smart.)

This is a big part of the reason why I am so hard on nerds. Nerdiness is, at its core, a manifestation of clever silliness. Nerds and their fellow travelers conflate cleverness and intelligence and suffer – and make everyone else around them suffer – because of it. Being able to do complex math in your head or invent elaborate theories about the hidden meanings of Star Trek episodes does not make you smart, they just mean you’re good at wasting your brainpower on things that don’t matter. Modern society encourages cleverness and punishes intelligence, which is why Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner direct the American economy while the people who could actually fix the recession are virtual unknowns.

His comments were provoked by Alte‘s observation that too much intelligence seems to spell doom for a society.

There is a definite point where the benefits of additional intelligence are outweighed by the associated decline in female fertility. Once a population crosses a certain “IQ limit”, it begins to shrink dramatically and sink into massive debt (in an attempt to sustain its living standard despite a declining population). At that point, those of lower IQ will begin to outbreed those of higher IQ, the country will default on its debts, and enter a period of economic decline and austerity. This is simply the natural ebb-and-flow of civilization. Civilizational leadership then passes on to the next “up-and-coming” region (currently Oceania, then the BRICs [Brazil, Russia, India, China –JDZ], then Africa).

2 Feedbacks on "Cleverness Absent Intelligence"


Many people are clever enough to be able to tell others what they ought to do. Few of them are smart enough to resist forcing them to do so.

Antonio Perales del Hierro

I am enjoying very much learning (or re-learning) about cleverness vs intelligence, having some use for these descriptives, and the difference betwixt, in my ‘zine Hate Crime Review. Issue #1 will focus on my two obviously ” clever” central California siblings and their criminal, fatuous and clumsy attempts to continue draining adulation from their community, and money and property from their too-generous now 94 year old mother, who unknowingly helped to create these monsters. As “self elected ” do-gooders they seem to want to continue their shameful charade on the poor and marginalised, whom they pretend to represent, to the effect that “help is on the way” when they actually burned out decades ago..Your description of China and Japan as “clever sillies” is intriguing–but you leave me curious about how you perceive our good old USA in this regard. Of course I hope that you find my question an intelligent one and not the other, but don’t stint. I thank you in advance.


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