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Murray’s Empirical Wisdom Confirms ‘Into the Cannibal’s Pot’s’ Analytical Truths
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My 2011 book, “Into the cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa,” rests on two axiomatic truths, and I excerpt (pp 40-41 & 126-128, 2011):

“In all, no color should be given to the claim that race is not a factor in the incidence of crime in the US and in South Africa. The vulgar individualist will contend that such broad statements about aggregate group characteristics are collectivist, ergo false. He would be wrong.”

“Generalizations,” I continued, “provided they are substantiated by hard evidence, not hunches, are not incorrect. Science relies on the ability to generalize to the larger population observations drawn from a representative sample. People make prudent decisions in their daily lives based on probabilities and generalities. That one chooses not to live in a particular crime-riddled county or country in no way implies that one considers all individual residents there to be criminals, only that a sensible determination has been made, based on statistically significant data, as to where scarce and precious resources—one’s life and property—are best invested.” (“Into The Cannibal’s Pot,” pp 40-41)

In short, generalizations about certain group characteristics are, in aggregate, valid. These, however, do not contradict the imperative to treat each and every individual as an individual.

In his infinite wisdom, but with a different—strictly empirical approach—social scientist Charles Murray has ushered into mainstream this very same truth. In a luminous little book, “Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America,” Murray counsels precisely that:

“…when mean differences between groups are real, it is absolutely essential to resist generalization; it is essential to accept the reality of documented group differences but to insist on thinking of and treating every person as an individual.”

Next, in “Into the cannibal’s Pot,” I explained that we conservatives and libertarians who oppose affirmative action, set asides and quotas, because of our unfettered fealty for a merit-based, free-market based society are, sadly, promoting “half-truths,” as I put it. Here’s why:

“Free market economists have long since insisted that the rational, self-interest of individuals in private enterprise is always not to discriminate. ‘The market is color-blind,’ said Milton Friedman. ‘No one who goes to the market to buy bread knows or cares whether the wheat was grown by a Jew, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or atheist; by whites or blacks.’ As Thomas Sowell put it, ‘prejudice is free, but discrimination has costs.’” (ITCP pp. 126-128)

Inherent in these arguments, I had argued, in 2011, is that, while not untrue, they are incomplete, mere half-truths:

“Arguably, however, [our] good economists … are still offering up a half-truth. Rational self-interest does indeed propel people, however prejudiced, to set aside bias and put their scarce resources to the best use. But to state simply that ‘discrimination is bad for business’ [and that a pure, free-market meritocracy would solve the problem of racial underrepresentation] is to present an incomplete picture.”

“This solecism stems from the taint the word ‘discriminate’ has acquired,” I posited. “The market … is discriminating as in discerning—it is biased toward productivity. Hiring people on the basis of criteria other than productivity hurts the proprietor’s pocket. Thus, we can be fairly certain that, absent affirmative-action laws, the market would reflect a bias toward productivity.” (Into The Cannibal’s Pot, p. 127.)

And the clincher:

“In other words, what the good economists [and good conservatives] are loath to let on is that a free market is a market in which groups and individuals are differently represented. Parity in prosperity and performance can be achieved only by playing socialist leveler,” I wrote. (ITCP pp. 126-128.)

Murray’s work agrees—and amplifies this point, writing on June 6, 2021, that, “refusing to confront race differences in means … leads in a straight line to thinking that the only legitimate evidence of a non-racist society is equal outcomes. … the logical conclusion is that the state must force equal outcomes by whatever means necessary.”

Prior to the publication of my essay, “Systemic Racism Or Systemic Rubbish?,” on August 6, 2020, an astute editor, a young lady, inquired about empirical studies for the immutable truths therein.

“The thesis of systemic racism,” I countered in the piece, “is derived from the logical error of reasoning backward. ‘Backward reasoning, expounded by mystery author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through his famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes … applies with reasonable certainty when only one plausible explanation for the … evidence exists.’”

But, I reasoned, “Systemic racism is most certainly not ‘the only plausible explanation’ for the lag in the fortunes of African-Americans, although, as it stands, systemic racism is inferred solely from one single fact: In aggregate, African-Americans trail behind whites in assorted academic and socio-economic indices and achievements.

“Equalizing individual and intergroup outcomes … is an impossibility,” I added, “considering that it is axiomatically and self-evidently true to say that such differences have existed since the dawn of time.”

It is what it is. Aggregate group differences in intellectual achievement, athleticism, and inhibition-control are here to stay.

Wise young lady that she is, my editor on “Systemic Racism Or Systemic Rubbish?” found the analytical, logical method (which is in the Aristotelian and Misesian traditions) persuasive.

Murray says the same thing, with reference to mounds of empirical data:

“We have been unwilling to say openly that different groups have significant group differences. Since we have not been willing to say that, we have been left defenseless against the claims that racism is to blame. What else could it be? We have been afraid to answer. We must.”

Disarmed of the firearm of truth, analytical and empirical—without standing our ground on the immutable truths of aggregate groups differences, while we take care to treat each individual on his or her merit—we conservatives are rendered intellectually defenseless.


Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian think piece since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s currently on Parler, Gab, YouTube & LinkedIn, but has been banned by Facebook and throttled by Twitter.

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  1. Race-ism is rruth. Join the Racestance.

  2. Realist says:

    Very good article.

    Disarmed of the firearm of truth, analytical and empirical—without standing our ground on the immutable truths of aggregate groups differences, while we take care to treat each individual on his or her merit—we conservatives are rendered intellectually defenseless.

    Nice play with metaphors.

    • Thanks: ILANA Mercer
  3. It is well-intentioned, but I don’t think it can work. Simply, the world order we live in has been created by white, Europe-derived powers after WW2 after the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. They thought, at least in theory, that better world would emerge with universal human rights, however imperfect they may be.

    But, with decolonization of Africa and Asia, we have seen that human beings, re their capabilities and cultures, just won’t behave uniformly. Differences are too big and permanent. If the UN had divided the world in 5-10 cultural/religious/racial zones, then it could exist. Now, as it is- global world just cannot survive, because inequality is absolutely ineradicable.

    Take, for instance, Denmark and Pakistan, their GDP (not per capita).

    Denmark, population 5.8 million
    GDP \$ 350 billion

    Pakistan, population 217 million
    GDP \$ 278 billion

    And, Africans, wherever they are, cannot even come close.

    So, the only way to a relatively peaceful coexistence is re-segregation & partition of the world into various zones (racial, cultural, religious, economic..).

    Otherwise not only the US, but most of the affluent world will have collapsed, or those whose will to live is stronger, will nuke most 3rd worlders in order to save themselves from black & brown demographic invasion.

  4. A quick look at world maps tell the story quickly, in meme form.

    World map for IQ compared to GDP….it’s just what you’d imagine.

    Same for world map for IQ (or race) and murder rates…..again, just what you’d expect.

    The term “racism” is an utterly bullshit made up term used to demonize innocent whites….to supposedly explain the failures of non-whites.

    In fact, “racism” is used as a phony justification for white genocide.

    The same jewish elite that has promoted race denial for the last 100 years is ironically the single most hyper-ethnocentric group on planet earth. The jewing says that race doesn’t exist, but the white race are evil parasites. TBH, the jewing never made much sense to me….perhaps my nose is too small.

  5. SafeNow says:

    Denmark vs. Pakistan comparative GDP is fascinating, thanks. Here’s another: Denmark has 126 titled chess players, including 11 Grandmasters. Population-huge Pakistan has 3 titled players, and has never produced a GM; this is not for want of trying, as chess has been popular in Pakistan since the 1950’s. I think this is more meaningful than comparing Nobel science winners, because with chess you don’t need a developed STEM infrastructure around you.

  6. Bose says:

    No wonder Ilana has a credibility problem. Whether or not Murray’s theories have any scientific merit or whether they are a product of the fantasies of a compulsive contrarion is a matter for legitimate debate. I do not believe science backs up Murray’s theories however, science has always produced its own share of cranks, charlatans and people who go against the scientific grain. What is laughable is seeing Ilana using Murray’s theories as a scaffold to promote her long forgotten book and quote passages from it as if anyone cares.
    Whatever Murray’s personal feelings are and he claims to be a Liberal, White nationalist bigots have always used Murray’s theories to reach contradictory conclusions. White Nationalists say if African Americans are underachieving, it means they have low IQ but if they are overarching they are beneficiaries of affirmative action. These people refuse to acknowledge any achievement by African Americans. The reality however is, African Americans, despite being mere 14% of the population, pull well above their weight. They have already produced one President and another one of part African heritage will almost certainly enter the White House when the current incumbent goes to the great Democrat convention in the sky. African Americans have revolutionized contemporary music and culture throughout the West and in America itself, Ophra is the most recognisable face and it is the dream of every famous person to be interviewed by her.
    Murray and his supporters amongst the army of bigots use data selectively to reach their conclusions. If people of African extraction are somehow less intelligent than whites, then how come the children of Jamaican and African immigrants routinely outperform poor whites in educational attainment?

    • LOL: JMcG
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  7. BuelahMan says:

    Let me remind you that this author is jewish and she cannot (will not) acknowledge that jews are the very ones who have pummeled the US with other races. What she refuses to acknowledge is that it is a jewish, Talmudist concept thru and thru.

    A decent jew would do such.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  8. @Bose

    This is silly.

    Blacks or African-Americans are prominent in two fields: entertainment & sports. Only fools deny that. And basically nowhere else.

    As far as entertainment goes, it is basically popular music. While I don’t care about “black music” (nor for the most of pop- music), it can be said that blacks created or influenced jazz, swing, gospel, blues… while now they’re into rap, which is crap no one with a gram of brain listens to.

    This type of music is plainly inferior to any “real” folk music, for instance those from Scandinavia or Caucasus. To mention even almost 1000 years old 3rd rate European music is to put all Afro-American musical achievement into a rather sad perspective.

    As for sports, blacks are excellent at disciplines where a big amount of energy is spent in a short period of time (sprinting, basketball, …). They are moderately present in world sports like association football, tennis,.. while almost completely absent from all other sports (water sports, mechanized sports, handball, volleyball, air sports, ..:

    Regarding IQ tests, I don’t think much of them, but it is evident that Africans- wherever they are- do not excel in:

    * exact sciences
    * engineering
    * business and entrepreneurship
    * social sciences
    * humanities
    * military professions
    * politics
    * film industry
    * arts (literature, music- real, visual arts/painting, architecture,..)
    * performing arts
    * innovation & invention
    * social planning
    * ….

    This could be bearable. The problem arises because blacks, as a rule, cannot sustain relatively functioning modern society (roads, buildings, water, garbage disposal, ….).

    Can anyone imagine that blacks could be given, say, 3-4 US states, go there, and sustain the level of civilization of, say, Cambodia or Chile?

    No, neither do I.

  9. @BuelahMan

    Jewish anti-white conspiracy “theory” is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever met.

    I sometimes wondered – can this idiocy be refuted by rational arguments? And again & again I’ve come to the conclusion: no. It cannot. It is a perfect blend of obscurantism, blind hatred, paranoid magical thinking & sheer stupidity.

    As a world-view, extreme anti-judaism is not refutable by any means.

    It conflates a few Jewish businessmen, one absolutely irrelevant female (Lerner Spectre) whose only claim to “fame” comes from her irritating statement on the need to “diversity” in Europe & some ethnically Jewish activists & has beens.

    So, I ask seriously: where can we see that global policy of, say, Bush 2, Obama, Trump, Merkel, Berlusconi, May, Hollande,… was influenced in any significant manner by these people (or others)? How do Lauder or Redstone “work” in dismantling & subverting “white” European civilization? What is so special about all these names that, in any significant way, can’t be seen among the likes of Koch brothers, Bezos, Deripaska, Carlos Slim, Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates etc.?

    That’s why Grand Joo Conspiracy is so great: you don’t need to prove anything. There is no need for rational analysis of events, knowledge of facts… nothing. Just point to a few not very likeable persons & QED.

    • Replies: @cohen
    , @BuelahMan
  10. cohen says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    So why the Jews are so interested in mixing of races. Immigration promotion is historically documented by Rabbis and Prominent Jewish Leader. If any doubt we can furnish the documents or videos. I personally like videos. A picture is worth more than thousand words (change the figure to suite yourself).
    While promoting integration and immigration Zionist dont want immigration to Israel or marriages for that matter. Only when it suits their political purposes (Ivanka or Chelsea Clinton, married to convicted Zionist’s sons) for obvious advantages. Nothing wrong with it. Would they would allow their sons to marry black African American women. N…….O

    It entertaining to see the video of dumb Israeli telling a Palestinian family “If I dont dont take you land someone else will take it” He is a genius like Einstein or stone/rockhead or crack head (as Tesla used to call him).
    A reminder, in the past you failed to answer some of my dumb questions. At least a dumb answer would be acceptable. Your name is on my radar. Anytime I see your comments I will put some questions to get answer. I know those question will make you and other Zionist very violent but this a safe medium to be civil and see if you could engage in genuine debate by answering.

    What do you think of this video banned on youtube

    Video Link

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  11. BuelahMan says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Anyone who can’t see it throughout their entire history is either a ignorant, blind, fool or one of them outright lying to cover for their machinations.

    Yes. THAT obvious.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  12. @BuelahMan

    Time to repost old stuff for new meatheads ….

    Jews are, historically, a middle-Eastern religious-cultural people living among Europeans. They’re-historically- foreigners, like Gypsies. But, unlike Gypsies: a) they are not so “racially” alien, b) they have been reshaped & reconfigured in various European/Christian countries & have become Italians, Germans, Poles, Russians, French,… Simply, hard-core Jewish nationalists & identitarians truly are aliens & sometimes enemies. But, this is a small minority. Most of them, even those with ethnic-cultural identity are not inimical aliens. Why would any reasonable European or Euro-American see them & their worship of their middle-Eastern variant of Zeus as something intrinsically dangerous to our identity is beyond me.

    American Jews, most of them, have their roots in Russian Empire (they’ve swamped earlier, more “European” German Jewish immigrants). They have retained their national culture (Yiddish, written in Hebrew script), numerous dietary laws & other customs. In short, the US got mostly unassimilated ghetto Jews.Due to their work ethics, culture, slightly higher IQ & ethnic networking, they thrived in the US in various areas & became very influential. From the early 1900s to, perhaps, Six Days War in 1967, most of them tried to assimilate & become virtually indistinguishable from WASPs.But then, things changed & many US Jews had recovered their primary ethnic-cultural identity as Jews first. Because this is a sensitive issue, there is no profusion of reliable sociological investigation data, graphs, categorizations. Just, as a rule of thumb, we can divide Jewish Americans into a few categories:

    1. JINOs. Many US “Jews” are assimilated & don’t think of themselves as Jews primarily. They account for anything between 20% and 50%.

    2. secular & religious Jews who possess partial Jewish identity, but for them it is blended with broader American loyalty. It is hard to tell how many people belong to this category.

    3. religious Orthodox Jews who may be annoying as neighbors, but are not too politically minded.

    4. the last segment would be American Jews (as different from Jewish Americans). They can be secular or religious; rich or poor; intensity of their commitment to Israel or Jewish ethnic activism may vary, but they are basically cultural aliens in US & Europe. For secularists, Auschwitz & Israel have replaced Torah & Talmud as chief emotional anticorrosives that shield them from assimilation.

    My guess is that they are somewhere between 15% and 25% of all US Jews. This segment can be further divided into subsegments (for instance, some are anti-Christian, while others are not). But, what is common to them is their clear differentiation from host national cultures, stubborn insistence on their ethnic-national individuality & a sense of being an “endangered species”. Some subsegments of this portion of American Jews are true aliens in the US & through their ethnic activism, frequently masked as moral universalism, try to subvert dominant cultural values & change host society into a shapeless mess.

    This is a minority of Jewish Americans, but they have economic, societal, cultural & political impact by far surpassing their numbers. And they seem not to learn from history: Brazilian Jews, because of the slow but inevitable future collapse of multiracial Brazilian society are just trying to “get out”. Jewish elites, across the world, are still in thrall to Nazi-Aryan iconography & mythology as the central threat to their existence, while the world has moved past it long ago.In this, last portion of Jewish Americans one can find typical traits of cultural alienation, ethnic paranoia, “us” vs. “them” mentality, ..basically, a sense of being a perpetual stranger who wants to shape the dominant discourse & identity in order to avoid- in their eyes- future pogroms & genocide. Because in the fevered mind of pathological Jewish nationalists, Europeans & whites, virtually all of them, possess the inner Nazi screaming to get out & finally finalize the Final Solution.

  13. I think Ilana is on reasonable ground to assert the validity of the inductive method — that is, at some point, sufficient individual examples may become the basis of, at least, initial, rudimentary generalisation.
    As pointed out — it’s crazy to expose yourself in a high crime area in the belief that it’s merely a “stereotype”. Crime rates often have a strong factual basis — that “race” maybe an issue is irrelevant to your security.
    Sadly, the author then links these interesting points to that tedious old whore of an issue “the free market”. Good god, when will that deceitful simpilton of an economic idea just die?
    Oh, I know, when it no longer suits the naive or cynical purposes of certain ideologues.

  14. Another fine article by Ilana Mercer.

    I’m no social scientist, but I wonder if the legacy of slavery for American blacks is cultural resentment and resistance….a kind of cultural foot dragging.

    In my experience, people from all economic and racial backgrounds seem to lift themselves and those around them when they’ve learned the happiness that stems from productive work.

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