“Noticing” by Steve Sailer

Noticing: An Essential Reader
Steve Sailer
Passage Publishing Co., 2024

Politically incorrect data blogger Steve Sailer has just released a new book of essays on a variety of taboo subjects which is well worth reading. Most pieces in this collection are already available from various outlets including VDARE and Taki’s Magazine. Unfortunately, Noticing: An Essential Reader 1973-2023 does not actually cover 50 years of essays as the subtitle implies. The earliest is from 1992, but any but the most obsessive fans will still find something here they have not seen before.

Before readers contact their lawyers I should mention that Sailer did in fact publish something in 1973, namely a brief letter to the editor of National Review which he reproduces in the introduction. However, this was before he finished high school, and he did not begin publishing for pay until around 1990. As he explains, he had an interest in data such as baseball statistics from a very young age. This initially led him to work in data analysis for a marketing research company, but he also noticed broader patterns in human affairs.

As a child he was very impressed by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a presidential advisor who hosted a seminar at Harvard covering the latest data on the question of school funding and school performance. A study commissioned by the Johnson administration known as the Coleman Report had come to a politically incorrect conclusion: when it came to doing well in school, money was far less important than other factors, whether cultural or genetic, on the part of the students themselves. Sailer’s writing career has largely followed similar lines, as he rejects the standard dogma that all people are equal. However, he also rejects the idea that, as he paraphrased a sociologist of the time, “people aren’t equal, and I just can’t stand it.” Instead he has made a career of calmly and politely noticing facts which the current elite brands as racist, sexist, and so on.

One of the less expected areas of human biodiversity covered here is cousin marriage, which is very common in the Muslim world but quite unusual in the West. His essay on the topic was written in the context of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which it was often claimed would bring the country freedom and democracy. There was some public skepticism of the idea that Iraq would become a “Jeffersonian democracy,” but few were willing to explain why, as that would be racist. Sailer explains that through the longstanding custom of inbreeding, Muslim countries have become especially unsuited to our system of government.

All people have a natural instinct to prefer those who are genetically similar to themselves, but how strong this instinct is varies depending on how similar they are. Due to high rates of inbreeding over many generations, Muslims tend to be more similar to their extended families than White people in the West are. Compared to their own families, even their neighbors are relatively alien to them. This leads to the highly clannish mindset reflected in the Arab expression “me against my brother, my brother and me against my cousin, my cousin and me against the world.”

Individualist Western societies, by contrast, have historically had relatively weak family ties apart from close relatives, and they have depended on a common national identity — “me and nation,” if not necessarily against the world, at least having their own distinct culture and shared interests. Without this, there is little basis for any sense of the common good, and thus for trust between the people and the government, or even between members of the same community. Instead there is constant conflict between different clans, tribes or sects.

In such an environment, what appeal can there be in concepts such as impartial justice or free and fair elections? They may have elections, but these will only be tribal warfare by other means. Why should the loser feel bound to respect the results? If one group has power, they will only use it to enrich themselves and abuse others. This is what we seen in many “nations” in the Middle East and Africa. Of course, there may be other reasons for this as well — the average IQ is significantly lower in these regions than in the West, and low IQ is correlated with corruption and nepotism, but Sailer leaves the subject of intelligence for other essays.

Another unexpected topic is golf course design. This is not a subject that appeals to mainstream journalists for several reasons. It would be hard to frame the sport as “inclusive”— not only do many golf courses cost over $10 million to construct, but many are the property of “exclusive clubs accused of racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism.” Golf players tend to be White, male, gentile, and straight, with the architects being largely Scotsmen.

There is also the question of aesthetics. Modern artists and architects often aim to be offensive, creating something deliberately unattractive to most viewers. Sailer argues that the appearance of golf courses, by contrast, reflects common human instincts. He refers to one study in which people from 14 countries were surveyed about what they would “like to see in a painting.” The two artists who commissioned the polls then produced the “most wanted painting” for each country based on the responses. Most of the resulting works were landscapes, and shared the common elements of lakes, grass, trees and hills or mountains. As Sailer puts it they “look remarkably like golf courses.” Other research has confirmed that people “respond strongly to landscapes with open, grassy vegetation, scattered strands of branchy trees, water, changes in elevation.” One theory is that this reflects the African savannah on which the first hominids evolved, to which we still have an instinctive attachment.

Speaking of Africa, Sailer covers Black-White differences in several essays. His writing on IQ mentions the 15-point difference between the Black and White averages, while other pieces cover Black advantages in athletics. His attitude toward Blacks may be jarring to some White readers. He effusively praises Black athletes and celebrates the desegregation of sports. Blacks are in some ways “superior” as he puts it, while Whites are merely more “nerdy.” Some of his comments endorsing interracial marriage are likely to raise the blood pressure of readers of any color. However, there is no reason to believe any of this is insincere, and it makes it difficult for the normie reader to dismiss his writing as motivated by “hate” or “White supremacism.”

The topic most likely to be already familiar to readers is the much higher crime rate among Blacks as compared to White Americans, but the author addresses this in a particularly original way in one essay. In 1999, a less politically correct time, the liberal magazine Slate published a debate between Sailer and economist Steven Levitt over the latter’s theory that the legalization of abortion had reduced crime. Levitt compared crime rates in 1985 and 1997 and concluded that abortion had prevented many future criminals from being born.

As Sailer explains, the theory was superficially plausible, as Blacks had three times the abortion rate of Whites while having eight times the murder rate. However, there was a major spike in crime in the intervening years in connection with the popularity of crack cocaine and the associated gang warfare. In 1993 the murder rate among 14-to-17-year-olds, who were born in the 1970s after Roe v. Wade, was 3.6 times the rate for the same demographic in 1984. The contrast was even higher for Black males in particular. Sailer argues that the same cohort had lower crime rates by 1997 partly because so many of them were already in jail or dead.

There is a surprisingly balanced section dealing with Jews included here. The first of this group of essays is a review of psychologist Richard Lynn’s The Chosen People, a book analyzing Jewish accomplishments in various fields in an admiring manner. Lynn found Jews dramatically overrepresented in Nobel Prizes and numerous professions, as well as in counts of prominent individuals. He attributed this to the high average IQ of the Ashkenazi, the majority ethnic group among Jews globally, which based on numerous studies he estimated at 110. However, he conceded that their intelligence alone would only account for them being overrepresented by about 2 to 1 in the professions, and yet the actual ratio is often much higher. Lynn attributes this to “strong motivational and work-ethic qualities,” and cites data suggesting Jewish students are more likely to aspire to both a high income and a high status in society.

The next essay however follows from the first in an unexpected way, although it was written earlier. If Jews have been so successful, why is it still taboo to say so? Sailer notes that the mainstream representation of Jews is still that of a vulnerable minority. He cites a 2006 article by Jewish commentator Noah Millman who was surprised to hear a rabbi admit in a sermon that Jews had a great deal of influence in the US. Millman was used to hearing Jewish leaders argue that Jews should identify with other supposed victim groups because they themselves are in a weak position — historical victims who might be persecuted again in the future. Yet as Sailer points out, Jews are only 2% of the US population and yet made up 35% of those on the 2009 Forbes 400 list of the country’s wealthiest individuals. Almost half of The Atlantic’s list of the 50 most important pundits were Jewish. Sailer credits this contradictory state of affairs to a Jewish elite who seem quite intolerant of criticism or even noticing on the part of gentiles, for reasons that are left to the imagination.

Another essay makes similar points while returning to the subject of golf. Sailer covers the common complaint that Jews were unfairly excluded from White Anglo-Saxon Protestant country golf clubs, and so were forced to establish their own organizations. He goes into depth on the subject and makes several interesting points. First, it is unlikely that many Jews would have preferred WASP country clubs to their own. Like most people of any ethnic group, they enjoyed being surrounded by their own kind. Their own clubs were exclusive as well, with a 1962 report by the Anti-Defamation League, of all people, coming to the conclusion that Jewish clubs actually discriminated against Christians more than vice versa. Jewish establishments reflected the cultural preferences of Jews— in comparison with their WASP counterparts they focused more on eating than drinking and clubhouses than golf courses. Many were even better funded than their gentile equivalents.

Second, although many Jews were indeed rejected from country clubs due to their origins, this often had nothing to do with gentiles. Many cities had two Jewish country clubs, one German and one Russian, with the German one generally being considered the superior one. German Jews for many years excluded Russian Jews, whom they considered crass and uncouth.

How, then, did the country club myth develop? Sailer argues that just as the Israeli government whips up public hostility towards neighboring countries as a means of distracting from domestic issues, Jewish elites in the US promote an exaggerated image of hostile gentiles in an attempt at “healing gaps within the Jewish community by castigating Christians.” Unfortunately neither the Anti-Defamation League nor the Southern Poverty Law Center has filed for bankruptcy in the time since these essays were written, so the basic dynamic remains unchanged.

Sailer ends the book with an interesting piece entitled “What If I’m Right.” Here he covers the implications of his observations in a typically modest manner. Many liberals claim that if noticing were to be normalized, this would justify drastic policies such as slavery or even genocide. Sailer finds this baffling, although he gives them the benefit of the doubt in assuming they are not projecting their own desire to commit such acts. Instead he posits that they feel a haughty sense of superiority to other Whites based on their own IQs, so they assume that recognition of such differences between races would mean similar contempt on the part of Whites toward Blacks.

As many of his essays clearly show, this is not the case. He is surprisingly sympathetic toward minorities even while being blunt about their shortcomings. Obviously he takes an interest in these issues because he would prefer to see less crime and fewer untimely deaths, not because he means to exalt Whites or vilify other races. If anything, he has embarrassingly little attachment to his own race. As Scott Greer has already pointed out, he would do better to take an interest in Whites as such, rather than the colorblind “citizenism” he currently advocates. The latter could further erode Whites’ ability to take their own side while being increasingly outnumbered and overwhelmed by other groups.

Steve Sailer has produced a well-written set of essays which can introduce a non-ideological reader to the facts we are not supposed to notice about human nature. Denial of these facts has been the basis of disastrous policies, as he has often pointed out. But even aside from policy, it is degrading to attempt to believe lies, particularly regarding critical facts of life. Sailer’s book should be uplifting and enlightening to anyone exposed to the modern mendacity around diversity and equality.


12 replies
        • Pierre de Craon
          Pierre de Craon says:

          Thank you, Kevin. With respect to the third of your three links, it was difficult to know whether the more appropriate response was laughter or tears. The “answers” read as if they are all sourced from AI. If indeed they are, I offer the Jewish programmers a sardonic tip of the hat for their success in getting the machine to show no embarrassment as it prioritizes mendaciousness, hypocrisy, and double-dealing over rationality and integrity.

          The biggest surprise for me, however, was the discovery that Maximilian Krah, a man whose name I have not seen for at least ten years, is now an important figure in the AfD.

          When Krah was last regularly in my thoughts, he was the primary counsel for the Society of Saint Pius X (the SSPX), the foremost worldwide organization for Traditionalist Catholic priests and laity. Krah became something of a devil figure—for diametrically opposed reasons—to several different groups that were at loggerheads with one another over Krah’s involvement with helping Bishop Richard Williamson engage an attorney to defend him against the “Holocaust denial” charges that the US/Jewish-controlled judicial establishment of Germany brought against the bishop for giving an interview that he, Bishop Williamson, had been assured in writing would not be broadcast in Germany. (A Jew lies; what a surprise!)

          The point I am getting to is that fifteen years ago, Krah was insistent that Bishop Williamson’s failure to believe in the truth of the Holocaust mythology was an error on the bishop’s part (cf. this interview). Now Krah himself is being attacked and condemned for insufficient Judeophilia and for lèse-majesté toward those who have proclaimed the Holocaust too sacred and the institutions of wartime Germany too evil to have their historicity queried or even examined. Curiouser and curiouser.

          I wish Krah luck. Heaven knows he’ll need it.

        • What’s up Skip
          What’s up Skip says:

          According to Jim Goad at counter-currents he was adopted and believed himself to be half Jewish from his teens based on his assessment of his own physiognomy and an unaccountable philosemitism. It seems some DNA work was done which probably confirmed this.

      • Glen kamara IQ66
        Glen kamara IQ66 says:

        There is speculation that he is Ashkenazi ause he is adopted. His known half is Swiss-German. He is unusually positive towards them for a supposedly dissident right personality.

  1. Devon
    Devon says:

    It’s interesting that Sailer gets very angry (see his X/Twitter) when people notice the Jewish influence in American society. It’s almost like he’s being promoted to keep the focus on the race issue and well away from the JQ.

  2. Dr. Doom
    Dr. Doom says:

    Steve Sailer and Jared Taylor both routinely don’t notice the 800 kg rat in the West. They are kosher cuckservatives that are worse than the enemy. The way they deflect from the JQ, they may be tribe themselves. Sailer is a big cuck for sports and the negro felons who play with their balls on talmudvision. Supposedly the negro retards are better at this worthless activity than White Men. Because the fake jew wouldn’t be using them if they were bad at it, would they? I mean would hymie knowingly lose money to spite White people? Yeah. The fake jew may be greedy, but it’s full of AntiWhite hate. The only reason for sportsball is to make believe that negro felons have some sort of ability and attract dumb White girls for miscegenation. All part of the brilliant plan to destroy the world by Satan that the meat puppets are programmed to do. Sailer is the Bob Costas of the Whitosphere. He always insists that negro felons are superior in an activity that serves no useful purpose, while not noticing the JQ. The JQ is the problem that the cuckservatives ignore and don’t notice. Therefore, all of the rest of the narrative is pointless. The fake jew is the problem that must be destroyed. Anything else is ancillary to this problem. Rid yourself of the fake jew and the rest of the problem is easy.

    • What’s up Skip
      What’s up Skip says:

      Whilst Jared Taylor never goes there, the same cannot be said for other writers and commenters at AmRen. It’s pretty clear that a large fraction of White nationalists were first exposed to our ideas through Mr Taylor, one reason why he is still blocked from Twitter. He provides an introduction to race realism and advocating for White separation but the crumbs are there to investigate the root causes should one wish. I think this is sensible since the indoctrination of White people into believing that Jews are higher beings and also perpetual victims is very strong. It was quite a hurdle for me to get over. For an entry level site the soft sell is appropriate. We need propaganda at all levels.

      Sportsball was once Whites only and it was no less popular. It does serve a longing in the hearts of men independent of its political uses.

  3. Andrew Wolfe
    Andrew Wolfe says:

    He is half jewish by his own admission, and there is a big kerfuffle on Twitter right now with Sailer, BAP, Lomez, Lovecraft and others in the “dissident right” being exposed as Jewish. The collection of Sailer tweets is pathetic. Miss you on that platform!

  4. Pierre de Craon
    Pierre de Craon says:

    Steve Sailer knows who butters his bread, and it isn’t people who see what the Jews’ ascendancy has done to the West or who are worried about the Great Replacement, of which powerful Jews are the authors and directors. Least of all does he respect anyone who questions the Jews’ sacred holohoax.

    In the comment thread of a Sailer column dated May 26, 2024, comment no. 3 reproduces an excerpt from Sailer’s “X” feed. Another X commenter, referring to the veracity of the so-called Holocaust, says to Sailer, “You don’t believe that. You’re just afraid to question it.” Sailer’s reply is as follows:

    Nah, I’m an elderly realist. You, in contrast, are a young idiot. Only morons believe the Holocaust didn’t happen. If you assume the Holocaust didn’t happen, the odds are you are a moron. Deal with your moronicity.

    Whether Sailer is genetically Jewish or not matters far less than the evidence he more than occasionally provides that he views authentically White concerns with something ranging from distaste to open hostility.

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