As readers of this web page know, Thilo Sarrazin, a 65-year-old member of the governing board of the German central bank, has sparked outrage in his country and throughout Europe with his new book, Germany Does Away With Itself. Just as they would in the United States, the media in Germany have dismissed the book as “anti-Islamic hate” without bothering to consider its arguments. There is one German reviewer, however, Volkmar Weiss, who has not only taken the time to study Mr. Sarrazin’s arguments but who fully understands and agrees with them.
Dr. Weiss originally published his review on the German Amazon website, where the book is currently the number-one seller. Amazon removed the review, however, and it has been reposted here. We provide a full-text translation below.
Germany Does Away With Itself will get hardly any attention in the United States, and AR staff suspect that the chances of an English translation are low. However, it is clearly a very important book that examines Germany’s (and by extension Europe’s and America’s) social problems from an unflinchingly race-realist perspective. It has also touched a responsive chord in Germany; despite the media brush off, the book is enjoying a huge commercial success. As in the United States, ordinary people know when they are being flimflammed.
The latest word from Germany is that Mr. Sarrazin will resign from his banking job. Let us hope that will allow him to spend full time promoting his book and–who knows–maybe even run for office.
What follows is, we believe, the first full-scale review of Germany Does Away With Itself. to be published in English.
Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Does Away With Itself). byy Thilo Sarrazin, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2010. 461 pp. 22.99 euros.
For about 40 years the topic that Sarrazin tackles in this book has been taboo in Germany. In 1999, when I was looking for a German publisher that would accept a manuscript I had written, no one dared to accept it. “Please understand the reason for the rejection,” the editorial director at a major Munich publishing firm wrote to me. “We fear a storm of outrage that would harm our business.” (Eventually the book was published, albeit in Austria, under the title Die IQ-Falle [“The IQ Trap”]).
Given this, the courage of Tobias Winstel of the Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (DVA), the major German publisher that accepted Sarrazin’s book, is all the more praiseworthy. For its intuition and its willingness to take a chance, and with shrewd marketing, the publisher has been rewarded with a fabulous commercial success.
In this bold and detailed look at the modern welfare state, Sarrazin deals with the relationship between social and biological factors, and even writes about the inheritability of intelligence (IQ). As experience has shown, anyone in our society who does that risks being treated with contempt and to being marginalized as a right-wing extremist by relentless adversaries.
According to Friedrich von Hayek, the term “social” or “socialist” in modern political life really means “redistribution,” and a “socialist party” should more aptly be called a “redistribution party.” In a liberal-democratic society, the parties that garner the most votes are those that during election campaigns promise to redistribute wealth. This sets in motion a fateful process of decline, which Sarrazin thoroughly reviews in all its consequences, citing solid data and with the rational arguments of an informed and thoughtful minority.
Sarrazin boldly confronts the underlying outlook of those who hold power and decide policies because they are able to secure majorities in election campaigns. Establishment party politicians, whose weal and woe depends on election majorities and the attitude of voters, have predictably reacted to Sarrazin’s book like a flock of chickens that’s startled by a hawk that suddenly appears in its midst. Even before the book was published, they felt compelled to condemn the author on the basis of a few sentences taken out of context that were quoted in the media. If only they had first read the book itself! For this is a remarkably well written and hard-hitting book. Its editor, and the author’s wife, a teacher, have made sure that it’s virtually free of error or misstatement.
Based on what the media had reported before it was published, I feared that this would be a polemical work without supportive sources and evidence, which all too often is the case with non-fiction books that top the bestseller lists. But no. The source references are solid. The numerous tables and graphs are all carefully referenced, as befits a scholar (which Sarrazin had been before taking a post with a Social Democratic Party foundation). There’s an index of persons as well as a subject index
The book is divided into nine chapters, along with an introduction, an acknowledgements section, and 50 supplemental pages that include the source references, the indexes, and tables of population projections. (Regrettably missing is a listing of the 35 tables and ten graphs.)
In the introduction Sarrazin writes: “I base my remarks on empirical studies, but my arguments are direct and without frills. . . . From an economic standpoint, Germany today is in the last phase of a golden age that . . . gradually is now coming to an end. Over the past 20 years real income of workers has not increased, and within ten years, at the outset, it will decline as part of a long-term trend.”
The first chapter, titled “State and Society,” is an impressive 12-page historical overview, devoid of gross factual error, that spans the centuries from ancient Egypt to the present. He concludes this section with the apt remark, “Every study confirms that the more industrious, educated, entrepreneurial and intelligent the population, the more successful is the economy, the society and the government. In rankings of successful countries, Germany has always been near the top.”
Chapter 2, titled “A Look Into the Future,” deals with labor productivity and economic performance in general. “If the number of productive people shrinks, economic growth can be sustained only through higher labor productivity per hour,” he writes. In Germany, though, this growth has decreased significantly.
Chapter 3, titled “Signs of Decline: Taking Stock,” is characterized by the phrase from Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” “Even if we are good and remain so,” he writes, “it will still be ever more difficult, because others are getting better and, above all, more numerous.” Here he deals for the first time with figures of university graduates in mathematics, computer science, natural science, and technology, which, he writes, are “The fields that really drive technological progress, and which are decisive in setting the direction and extent of technical innovation.”
In these fields the number of successful graduates has declined, particularly among engineers, in both absolute terms and in relative terms compared to other countries, particularly China. In the 50 pages of this chapter he lays out the book’s key arguments–based on sound data and without factual or logical error–on the decisive relationship between immigration trends, intelligence levels, educational performance, PISA [Program for International Student Assessment–an international ranking of student ability] test scores, social class, poverty, and social differences in birth rates.
In Chapter 4, “Poverty and Inequality,” he writes: “The key problem is not material poverty, but rather intellectual and moral poverty.” It’s that latter form of poverty that keeps one from escaping from material poverty. In this chapter the former Finance Minister of the city-state of Berlin shows his knowledge and understanding of the reality of social-welfare redistribution.
Chapter 5, “Labor and Politics,” is another well-informed overview that no reasonable person can fault.
In Chapter 6, “Education and Justice,” which is based on common sense, Sarrazin presents the first really striking points of his basic thesis. This chapter (as well as chapters 7 and 8) deserves to read carefully, line by line. Brief quotations can provide only a hint of its essence. For example, “Many educational optimists are simply unable to come to terms with innate differences in aptitude. Instead, they wish for an egalitarian educational system that ideally produces equal performance results. . . . The advocates of the ‘comprehensive educational system’ should understand that the inevitable result of encouraging the most of each pupil is not equality, but rather greater inequality. That’s because the greater the opportunities for achievement, the more that genetic reality will manifest itself.”
The anecdotes he presents from his own educational path enable the reader to gain a better human understanding of the author. Even in elementary school he was not a model pupil.
He deals with the close correspondence of PISA assessment test results with IQ test results, a correlation that has been confirmed by Siegfried Lehrl, Heiner Rindermann, and this reviewer. “On average, children in a given country learn less the greater the portion of those who go on to higher education.”
When Sarrazin was Berlin’s Finance Minister, he turned down additional funding for education for the city-state. In doing so, he pointed out that among the various German states, Berlin (along with the city-states of Bremen and Hamburg) was already spending the most per pupil and had the best pupil-teacher ratio, but nevertheless had the lowest PISA assessment test scores. That’s when Sarrazin first asked himself, “Why is that?”
What he writes here about social mobility shows greater factual understanding and insight than anything than the establishment sociologists of our day, locked in their stereotyped patterns of thought, regard as valid, or at any rate permit themselves to say outloud.
Making use of his wife’s collection of school textbooks, Sarrazin shows how the required levels of basic ability in reading and mathematics have fallen in recent decades. And that makes it ever more difficult to find qualified apprentices for skilled positions in industry. But it gets worse.
In recent decades university texts on differential psychology, that is, in dealing with intelligence and IQ, have become, on average, ever more simplistic and stupid. Anyone who wants to become a professor of psychology, sociology, genetics, or political science will not have even a slim chance of attaining such a position if he identifies and analyzes problems with anything like the depth and complexity that Sarrazin shows here. And anyone who already holds such a position and perhaps secretly agrees with Sarrazin would bring his career to a sudden end if he were openly to express his opinion, without significant reservations and limitations. Similarly, anyone who is asked about these matters by a representative of the mass media is reduced, out of fear, to voicing confused nonsense, as happened with Elsbeth Stern, whom Sarrazin had cited. (Dr. Stern is a prominent German educational psychologist who has been desperately backpedaling, repudiating her own research, ever since Sarrazin quoted her favorably.) Anyone who might cautiously express agreement with Sarrazin should be at least about 65 years of age.
A serious shortcoming in Sarrazin’s presentation of his case is his failure to cite molecular genetic evidence for the inheritability of aptitude. But that’s understandable. For decades molecular genetic research, has confirmed, consistent with the Mendelian laws of inheritance, a close correlation of IQ among people in the same family groups. At the same time, though, this correlation is simply not acknowledged in society at large. Around the world there have been some 200 studies on the genetics of schizophrenia for every one on the genetics of general intelligence. In conducting research into rare but clearly inherited forms of mental retardation, great effort and much money is expended to find and study close blood relatives, even in remote corners of the world. But no one considers conducting, let along funding, analogous molecular genetic studies of families and family groups close at home that have a high proportion of gifted persons in the key technological fields.
One can only hope that the results of studies of the genetics of IQ will one day become widely and socially acknowledged, perhaps as an unintended by-product of making public comparative group studies of persons who are not able to read and write well, or of Alzheimer victims, or of those who have ADHD. According to recent reports from the National Institute of Genetics in China, research into the genetics of IQ is being considered there. (In my view, this report is most likely a trial balloon of China’s intelligence service to test what people in western democracies secretly think of the idea.)
Many have been wondering why Sarrazin is a Social Democrat. In the section of his book where he lays out his proposals for educational reform, he suggests an answer. His proposals include obligatory placement of children in nurseries and kindergartens, day-school programs, mandatory homework, school uniforms, and so forth. None of this is original, and it all costs money. Sarrazin knows that money is in short supply, and will be even more scarce in the years to come. And what if there’s no fundamental improvement even if these reform proposals are adopted? Only occasionally does he use colloquial terms such as stupid and unintelligent. On page after page he uses such “politically correct” terms as “better educated” and “educationally disadvantaged.” All the same, in today’s world this does not disguise his real views about stupidity and intelligence.
In Chapter 7, “Immigration and Integration,” Sarrazin makes use of recent data and test results that were not available to me when I was writing my book The IQ Trap. His provocative theme here is that large-scale immigration of Muslims, who have below-average IQs, is a potential social time bomb. He writes: “In Germany an army of integration specialists, Islam researchers, sociologists, political scientists, community activists, and naive politicians are working intensively, hand in hand, to play down the situation, deceive themselves, and deny the problems.” Sarrazin isn’t one of them.
On page 287 is an incomprehensible sentence that, in my view, is contrary to the book’s overall theme. “This relative failure can hardly be attributed to innate abilities and talents, because it relates equally to Muslim migrants regardless of background.” Did an editor insert this sentence and the ones that follow?
In Chapter 8, “Demography and Population Policy,” Sarrazin brazenly violates the unwritten rules of the game of democracy. He writes of the “shift in the population structure towards one of less intelligent or uneducated groups.” In our society no one is allowed to think such a thing, much less to draw conclusions from it!
On page 375 Sarrazin even quotes this reviewer, who had written: “In the early 1970s a loose group of individuals who had thought seriously about the relationship between IQ and birth rate was able to influence social and educational policies in the GDR [German Democratic Republic–East Germany]. This group was also able to bring about a range of policy decisions that resulted in a qualitative population policy, even though that term was never used and there was never any public discussion of the issue. (In a democratic society, perhaps that’s the only possible way to achieve something in this field–that is, through cross party political consensus with minimal public discussion.)”
In 1996 J. Dorbritz and K. Schwarz published a table in the Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft (“Journal of Population Science”) showing that the portion of childless women in western Germany aged 30&3150;39 with technical skill certification was 31 percent, while the portion of childless women in this same age and educational group in the former GDR (eastern Germany) was only 5 percent. Similarly, the portion of childless women in western Germany aged 30&3150;39 with university degrees was 37 percent, but the portion of childless women in this same age and educational group in the former GDR was only 8 percent.
This shows that in the period 1970–1990 the German Democratic Republic was the only state in modern times that achieved an extraordinarily successful qualitative population policy and in which higher education for women was not a form of “birth control.” In the GDR the basis for this was an overarching consensus without public discussion–that is, precisely the opposite of what’s being kicked off with your book, Mr. Sarrazin! Such a thing has never happened in a democratic society because it’s contrary to its very nature.
The topics of social integration, immigration, and education are handled in the public-political life of a democratic society as if they are constantly being discussed, even if somewhat superficially. But these topics are taken up only to make it easier to avoid discussion of the deeper issues dealt with here in Chapter 9–that is, the relationship between birth rates, the inheritability of intelligence, differences in intelligence among various groups, and a nation’s economic performance.
It’s hardly a coincidence that along with the introduction of universal and equal suffrage in the late 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century, there also came the progressive income tax and the first laws giving tax breaks and subsidies for poor families with children. Thus began an irrevocable process that encourages a higher birth rate of the less intelligent. In warning of this, Francis Galton was ahead of his time. Only now, four generations later, are we beginning to feel the impact, in Germany and some other countries, of a drop in the average intelligence level.
And yet occasionally efforts to counter the most blatant abuses have been successful. In that regard, Sarrazin takes note of President Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform laws in the US. Perhaps, with this book, Sarrazin can help to achieve something similar in social policy in Germany, at least in the short run, with regard to immigration–at a time when government spending must be cut.
In the concluding Chapter 9, “A Dream and a Nightmare,” two satirical alternative prospects for Germany’s future are presented and compared. In the first, Germany adopts Sarrazin’s insights, while in the second, things continue as they have been.
This chapter reveals the book’s two main substantive weaknesses. Sarrazin extrapolates current Muslim immigration trends linearly to project the future portion of Muslims in Germany’s population. In fact, these trends will soon falter. For one thing, birth rates are also falling dramatically in Muslim countries. In Turkey, Iran, and Tunisia, the birth rate has already fallen below the replacement level to 1.8 children per women. If migration to Germany continues at current levels in the years ahead, the migrants are more likely to come from black Africa.
Second, While Sarrazin is being taken apart in the television talk shows, Chancellor Merkel is traveling around the country to gain support for her government’s energy policy. She devotes her time to what is, in fact, a most pressing issue. Sarrazin recognizes the symptoms of the crisis. But he overlooks how this contributes to the rising price of energy. More than half of the world’s available reserves of petroleum have already been consumed, and extracting the remainder will be expensive. The result will be a general world crisis.
I’m not the only one who has warned about this. My novel Das Reich Artam: Die alternative Geschichte (“The Artam Kingdom: The Alternative History”) shows how Berlin might look after the city’s Islamization. A horror is quietly overtaking us–certainly not because of Islam, but as a result of the possible and probable interrelationship of the causes of these crises, which have always been the causes of war and devastation.
An older man near the end of his working life has written an extraordinary book. For decades he had been a Cinderella of the bureaucracy. “In the form of presentations, memos, draft speeches, and essays,” he writes, “I have filled thousands of pages with counter-arguments over the past 35 years. My bosses had to survive politically, and I was there to help them.” Now he’s shown that he can do much more than that. He’s provided an overview of very complex relationships and has familiarized himself in a short time with unfamiliar disciplines.
Sarrazin was sharply criticized for recently mentioning that Jews have a special “gene.” He need take back nothing of what he said. Of course, what he meant is that Jews have similar gene distribution or gene structure patterns. (In Israel, human genetic research centers have published studies of gene distribution among Jewish population groups that confirm their differences compared with other populations.)
Someone who wants to prove that the weather is the same all year round will have little trouble finding in each month at least one day when the temperature corresponds to that of an average day in mid-May. It’s on that intellectual level that beautiful young women of Muslim background are presented on television talk shows as living witnesses to refute Sarrazin’s alleged “contempt for humanity.” The producers of these shows overlook, however, that the intelligence level of those who are interested in Sarrazin and what he says is higher than that of the general voting population, for whom nonsense is broadcast day in and day out. Sitting among those who malign and interrupt him, he sits alone but all the same triumphant.
“This book was written out of deep concern. If it contributes to taking timely and proactive measures that blunt even a few of the consequences that are warned of here, this book will not have been written in vain.” That’s how I concluded my book The IQ-Trap. Sarrazin’s motivation is the same.
The egalitarian utopia has always foundered on the biological inequality of human beings, especially differences in intelligence levels (IQ), with their social consequences, and how those differences are inherited. To save this vision of utopia and, even more, to maintain hope that one day it will finally be realized, it is important to marginalize and suppress any awareness of biological inequality. And that goes for the scientists who encourage that awareness.
For leftist politicians and the other watchdogs of this “politically correct” society, Thilo Sarrazin, social Darwinism, reactionary Mendelism, racism, right-wing extremism, and evil demons are virtual synonyms. The liberal-democratic exorcism continues.