Transcript: Charles Murray On Human Diversity
The indefatigable writer and political scientist talks IQ with me, and much more.
Charles had a new — and explosive — new book out, Facing Reality. This conversation is not about that. Instead, I wanted to discuss his previous book which received almost no attention, Human Diversity.
The episode originally aired on May 28, 2021 and you can listen to it here. Some money quotes from Charles:
“At 78, I love to give advice to kids and I say, ‘There’s only two things you need to do: find your soulmate, and find something you love to do. Everything else is rounding error.’”
“I want to live in a world where excellence is rewarded. That’s a very deep human characteristic, I think.”
“But there’s one thing the high IQ people out there have got to come to grips with. It is a completely unearned gift.”
“What happens if 60% of whites or some other large proportion of them say, ‘Hey, if identity politics works for blacks, why can’t it work for us?’ And therein lies catastrophe.”
Andrew: Hi, and welcome to a new Dishcast, this time with — drumroll! — Charles Murray, a legend really, in Washington, and in public policy questions. We've known each other now for more than a quarter of a century.
I've always had the rather naive belief that what Charles writes is really fascinating, has been incredibly insightful about what's happened in America and the West the last 30 or 40 years that I've been alive. I've enjoyed his work. This is obviously a minority position, to say the least, but it also helps that I know the man, and have known him for quite a long time. As a real kid back in the day when I was editing The New Republic at an absurdly young age, we entered a firestorm together. And we've been going through it ever since, obviously I at a much lower degree of difficulty than Charles.
How does it feel, Charles, after all these years to be still this focus of such energy and such intensity? When, in fact — we're going to talk about your book, Human Diversity — it's in fact an incredibly dense academic text that requires a certain amount of patience in even trying to understand it. How does it feel after all these years, Charles?