Economics · Society

Thoughts on Jordan Peterson (V): The Jewish Question

Despite my criticism of Jordan Peterson, I used to view him, in general, more in a positive than a negative light. This has flipped now, due to his poorly written and deliberately misleading post “On the so-called ‘Jewish Question'”, which exhibits shoddy reasoning and can be debunked very easily. I will cut Jordan Peterson a little bit of slack as he as repeatedly stated that he is poor at math. If you look the other way, this would excuse the mistakes he makes that would make you flunk Statistics 101. Surely, we should hold a professor of psychology to a higher standard, though.

First, I have to point out that whenever you come across an article, thesis or book that starts with “On”, you can reliably deduce that the author is pretentious. There is no additional information conveyed by that proposition. It used to be very common among German intellectuals in the 19th and early 20th century, and probably still is. You can find countless works in German that start with the proposition “Über“. I suspect it seeped into the English language that way, as the German educational system once had a great influence abroad. Read up on Humboldt’s ideal of education, for instance, or the modern PhD, which is a German invention as well; it is sometimes referred to as “German-style PhD”, which emerged in the 19th century. That was just a side-note, though. Anyway, if you call your essay “On X”, you sound erudite to your equally philistine audience who will nod approvingly. It is a lot more difficult to find a concise title that captures what part of X you want to elaborate on.

In Jordan Peterson’s essay, a much more fitting title would have been, “An Attempt of an Explanation of the Overrepresentation of Jews in Western Public Life”. That is what he attempts to deliver, even though he fails badly. He does not even dare to question the premise. To him, it is as clear as day that Jews are of superior intelligence, which is of course begging the question. Here is a relevant excerpt:

Well, Jews are genuinely over-represented in positions of authority, competence and influence. New York Jews, in particular, snap up a disproportionate number of Nobel prizes (see this Times of Israel article), and Jews are disproportionately eligible for admission at elite universities, where they, along with Asians, tend to be discriminated against (see this Newsweek article).

Elite universities like Yale and Harvard do not select based on objective metrics. If they did, they would look like Caltech, where 2/3rds of incoming students are Asian, and you could count blacks on two hands. Instead, the admissions officers of places like Yale and Harvard use what they call a “holistic” approach for the purpose of evaluating candidates. Thus, they focus on the racial composition they would like to have and, voila, you end up with high-performing Asians being massively underrepresented at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Copious data that Jewish academic performance is far below the performance of Asians has been gathered and discussed in Ron Unz’s The Myth of American Meritocracy (alternative source). The argument Unz develops is that Asians are dramatically underrepresented at elite universities, based on academic performance, while Jews are dramatically overrepresented, based on academic performance. Elite universities are all about “muh diversity”, so they much rather admit a few more black students of inferior ability, and a few more Jews, than a bunch of Asians. This is not me spewing some “right-wing hate”, but fact. Asians get heavily penalized in their SAT scores, while affable white Jews and token blacks get a boost.

Jordan Peterson’s argument is essentially the following: “Ashkenazi Jews have an IQ much higher than average, and because IQ is a good predictor for success, they are more successful, and if you don’t believe this, you’re a Nazi”. First, the claim that the average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews is 10 to 15 points higher than the average IQ of Whites is not undisputed. In the essay I linked to above, for instance, Unz shows that this is a claim that has been made only very recently, and that there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Second, and this is where Statistics 101 comes in, Jordan Peterson is incredibly dishonest in neglecting relative population sizes. Even if Ashkenazi Jews had an IQ that is one standard deviation above the average, the resulting numbers would still not justify the overrepresentation of Jews. Jordan Peterson may be, by his own admission, bad at math, but he surely doesn’t know so little about statistics that he thinks that population size is irrelevant. (That’s a clear ‘F’ for you, professor!)

According to Wikipedia, there are five to six million Jews descending from the Ashkenazis in the US. There are also around 224 million whites in the US. Assuming the whites have an average IQ of 100 and the Ashkenazi Jews, or their descendants, one of 115, both with a standard deviation of 15, then the number of high-IQ whites completely dwarfs the number of high-IQ Jews. Here’s the math, starting with white Americans: assuming a binomial distribution, 97.72% have an IQ of less than 130, so 2.28% have an IQ of 130 or more. Thus, there are a little over five million white Americans with that IQ. That is already about the total of all Jews. (Do you realize that we’re onto something now?) Furthermore, 0.13% have an IQ of 145 or more, which is around 290,000. Going even further, 0.0032% have an IQ of 160 or more, which is around 7,200.

In comparison, here are the numbers for Jews. This is not difficult to compute. You only have to shift the curve one standard deviation to the right. I’ll give you one elaborate example, the rest follows accordingly. If Whites have an average IQ of 100, with a standard deviation of 15, and Jews have an average IQ of 115, with a standard deviation of 15, then 84.13% of whites have an IQ of less than 115, and, conversely, 5,87% have an IQ of 115 or more. For Jews, we simply shift the numbers and move the curve one standard deviation to the right. Thus, with an average IQ of 115 and a standard deviation of 15, 84.13% of Jews have an IQ of less than 130, and, conversely, 5,87% have an IQ of 130 or more. In numbers, this means that, when charitably picking the high estimate given on Wikipedia, there are 352,200 Jews in that category. The corresponding number of whites was over five million. Going further, there are 2.28% of Jews who have an IQ of 145 or more, which is 136,800. The number of whites was 290,000, which is more than twice as high.

This is what Jordan Peterson has to say to that:

Simply put: if a very complex job or role requires an IQ of 145, three standard deviations above the mean and characteristic of less than one percent of the general population, then a group with a higher average IQ will be exceptionally over-represented in such enterprises.

Okay, Doctor, if that is the case, then how come that Jews vastly outnumber Whites in some professions? Are you sure it can’t be due to nepotism, sorry, in-group preference?

One of the biggest fallacies of “educated” people is that they believe that educational efforts automatically lead to economic rewards. This is true to some extent, but the smartest guys at university are not necessarily those who will have the greatest success. An excellent example is Mathematics. Sure, a solid grasp of mathematics opens a lot of doors for you, and if you get chewed out in Calculus or Linear Algebra, you can still do a soft science like psychology. However, the smartest people in mathematics may well be doing pure mathematics, and career success for them is hardly a guarantee. You will have no problems finding guys with PhDs from the best mathematics departments in the world doing stints as high-school teachers or ending up in jobs they could have gotten straight after their Bachelor’s.

Being smart and hard-working is not a bad start. However, there is something that will propel you even further in life: not being dumb, well-connected, and rich. If you have attended an elite university, you may have bumped into people who managed to intern at Goldman Sachs during high school, or who got hired at a boutique private equity firm despite not having much going for them. Maybe you know people who easily acquired funding for their startup to the tune of millions. Spoiler alert: it’s all about money and connections. If you have money, you get the connections, and if you have connections, you’ll get the money. The kid who interned at Goldman was the son of a partner, the chick who got that sweet PE gig the daughter of an investor, the guy who got millions for his startup the son of an entrepreneur. This is part of money talks.

Blatant in-group preference can play out in many ways. For instance, I know two professors of a particular ethnic minority who (one may be a Jew, incidentally), as far as I can tell, only ever accepted PhD students of their own ethnicity. How is that for meritocracy? Jews are notorious for supporting their own, much more so than others. Gee, I wonder how this will affect societal outcomes? It couldn’t be that a Jewish newspaper editor would support Jewish authors, or a Jewish academic hire Jewish post-docs? Nah, that certainly doesn’t happen in reality, or does it?

I think the problem is that Jordan Peterson believes too much in meritocracy, when it is clear that we are pretty far from that ideal. Modern society is incredibly corrupt. Sure, being smart and working hard will mean that you will likely do at least okay for yourself. However, the really sweet gigs won’t be accessible this way. The really high-powered gigs depend on “pedigree” to open doors. If you want to get into high finance, you better went to a feeder school like Andover, followed by a degree at HYP. If you’re in England, the equivalent are public schools like Eton or Harrow and Oxbridge. Surely, none of that depends on money.

Oh, it seems we’ve stumbled on something else that might explain Jewish success: money. How could someone with a self-declared sky-high IQ like Jordan Peterson have missed that? If you have money, you can do whatever you want. Look at a guy like George Soros who is using his billions to undermine Western democracy. The world of high finance is full of Jews, and surely those people only have the best in mind. The “vampire squid” Goldman Sachs comes to mind again. Sometimes, I wonder if Peterson has forgotten taking his anti-depressants. Look at this again:

It’s possible that we should be happy about this, rather than annoyed: is the fact that smart people are working hard for our mutual advancement really something to feel upset?

Our mutual advancement? If you look at the warmongering the Jewish liberal elites have been engaging in over the centuries, it’s probably not inappropriate to “feel upset”. Now, if you’re a liberal dipshit who is quick to shout “Nazi”, then do a few minutes of research and look up who has been financing the great wars. Start with the Rothschild family and their importance for the Napoleonic wars. From there, branch into any direction you want. You’ll always come across Jews.

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11 thoughts on “Thoughts on Jordan Peterson (V): The Jewish Question

  1. First of all, thanks for the asian supremacy, i knew you worshipped ppl like me, you could be called an honorary qsian maybe. I would advise you to vote for ppl with asian names in any future elections, I like to do that too. Asian Power!

    Second of all, there was no need to put down jews. That is fascist and wrong. Furthermore othering introduces a bias which hinders objective thinking.
    Look here
    This single link already disproves some conclusions you made.
    Luckily for you Im an extremely smart asian and able to correct the errors in your thinking, ive got high IQ after all. I wonder how much anti-jew fake news you have absorbed that leaves out inconvenient facts like the above that dont support their conspiracy theories. Rothschild, lol…

    So in summary… keep up the asian supremacy but lay off the fascism. Fascism is unproductive and doesnt work and is evil as it leads to holocaust and genocide. You should instead look into Chinas communism as a model for the future of the world.

  2. In that post of JP’s, he forgot to close his parentheses and missed a preposition. Normally that wouldn’t mean anything, but for someone who claims to be very particular in speech, he sure doesn’t seem too concerned about his writings.

    This is tangentially related to this topic: if you were in a position in which nepotism could to a large extent benefit you, are you saying that you would under no circumstance use it to your advantage? And as a follow-up, Would your try to help your kids in any way possible? If so, what’s the difference between in-group nepotism and bias towards your kids? Where would you draw the line?

    1. Peterson’s post was very hastily written, it seems. He’s on SSRIs, which my ex-wife also used to take. When she stopped taking them because she “felt bored”, she tended to have manic episodes in which she was very productive but produced careless work. Who knows, maybe that’s Peterson’s problem as well.

      It depends. In a corrupt society, I would, but if I was aware of negative consequences, I’d be a lot less inclined. Sure, I’d help my kids. In my field, they would have to have a certain technical background, which means that there would be clear limits to what I could do if they lacked talent. In large parts of academia, finance, and politics, on the other hand, that is not the case at all. There is also the issue of scope. Helping your family is one thing, strongly preferring members of your own group over more competent members of others, is a whole different ballgame.

      1. Could you elaborate on the scope part? Where would you draw the line? Cousins? Second cousins? For me it seems like a very gray area, and I’m of the opinion that if nepotism in a field doesn’t bear significant consequences, that is if members of your group are just good enough to get the job done, and you get the added bonus of loyalty from those individuals, then it constitutes fair play.

      2. I think second cousins would be pushing it. If they really get the job done, it may not be so bad, but there are plenty of negative consequences, such as loss of morale among employees. There is also the issue that if you hire too many people who are just good enough, you better be in a really dominant position because otherwise your organization will atrophy.

  3. > I think the problem is that Jordan Peterson believes too much in meritocracy

    It seems that JP has a thesis: “Intelligence is actually a thing and is really important” and is running it into the ground. Like a lot of people who stumble across one truth or another.

    Will his take on the JQ derail the JP train? Possibly. It will be a little sad to watch his little cult of personality turn on him out of a misplaced sense of betrayal. All he ever did was stand up and say “this pronoun business is bullshit” and they decided he was the messiah.

  4. I very much enjoyed reading this post.
    I have always had a problem with Peterson’s self proclaimed high IQ. And the reason is that I expect a highly intelligent person to be able to reflect upon him/herself.
    Well Peterson has no clue whatsoever.
    Now, I cannot know how far you have gone by confronting yourself through meditation, but from one particular anecdote in your book, I can deduct that you have done quite a bit of work.
    Now contrast that with Peterson just popping another pill.

    Also, you know… the examples he gives of career women leaving the workforce because she’s a laywer at $1’500 per hour and she can’t handle it… uhm… you know… even here in Switzerland where arguably the salaries are one of the highest worldwide, half of that hourly rate would be good. Like…. there are not hundreds of 1.5k per hour paid lawyers on this planet, let alone women.
    JP is pulling these numbers out of his ass.
    I’m quite happy you found some solid number based proof that he’s talking shit. I’ve argued against his position based on his behaviour, and now you backed it up by hard facts. Like I said in my comment on your first post on him – I’d definitely not go and have a beer with him.

  5. So in this line, the problem would be the money right? Or not the money, the accumulation of wealth-power-influence some have and that gives them advantages to help their families, groups and that way perpetuate their privileges, and in a way, creating social classes with this dynamic.

    It seems like a marxist approach to the capitalist system. I do agree with you, but i think it has always been like this, i dont think there was a point on history where the “system” started to fail and now were in this mistake, maybe even in the past this was even more obvious and cynical with feudalism and slavery. Other thing i dont agree is that you seem to imply that only Jews do this, but in my experience, that is the usual dynamic of power for anyone else, and everywhere in the world. At least here in Latin América elites behave the same way, and they are not jewish.

    1. The Jews operate differently. They try to take control of countries that are not their own. A prime example is the Bolshevik Revolution. I mention that one as you are no longer called a “conspiracy theorist” or “antisemite” when drawing that connection. History has been made already. (Of course, they have also been undermining the West. For instance, you’ll find it difficult to name someone more Jewish than Karl Marx.) I don’t think there is a Jewish cabal in the strict meaning of the word, but I don’t see how anyone could plausibly dispute the enormous cultural influence of Jews, and hardly always for the good of society. Maybe look up Jewish involvement in the porn industry.

      1. Dude, I’m totally calling you an Antisemite, and you already know you are. Also, you start a post with statistics, and in the end you’re still able to land at the conclusion that money and connections trumps all that.

        You’re wrong about Jews financing all wars, you’re wrong about the Bolshevik Revolution, you’re wrong on Karl Marx (atheist), and it doesn’t matter because you’ll always find something that will be open to your interpretation.

        You should know that your path is not right for you. Or am I misreading the text when you imply that you’ve been called a Nazi, a fascist, antisemite, conspiracy theorist, …? Even if most of these don’t (quite) fit, do you think that there’s not even a sliver of truth in there? It’s never too late.

      2. You’re just kvetching. Feel free to come back with a proper argument and show where I am wrong as opposed to merely claiming that I am wrong. I use numbers. Feel free to use numbers as well, but please double-check them.

        Your claims are so off that I have a hard time believing you are not just a troll. The Bolshevik leadership was predominantly Jewish. Karl Marx wasn’t not only a Jew, but he also comes from a lineage of rabbis. You can’t be more Jewish than Marx was. Also, claiming that Jews financed “all wars” is obviously nonsensical.

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