Interesting India, Competitive China

India has
just had a remarkable election. An

Italian lady
led India`s left-of-center Congress
Party to an upset triumph over the

Hindu nationalist BJP
, which, in a curious echo of
the GOP`s

to adopt the

Sailer Strategy
, had apparently been neglecting its
base. [See Steve Sailer`s

Scroll down.
] This
has reminded Americans of two things:

  • India,
    with its billion people and awakening economy, is
    awfully important.

  • We don`t
    know much about it.

With the
help of my many South Asian readers, I`ve been trying to
brush up on India for the last five years, so let me
share a few perspectives that you might not hear

It`s helpful
to compare India to the other giga-country, China, which
is India`s opposite in so many ways. China isn`t as
simple as it looks, but it`s far less convoluted than

ancient history is superbly documented and fairly
simple, in its repetitive dynastic cycles of
consolidation, decline, and chaos. But don`t bother
trying to learn India`s history. It would be insanely
complicated … if anyone had bothered to write it down
while it was happening.

The Chinese
have seen themselves as one nation, with one rightful
ruler, going all the way back to the first emperor 2200
years ago. But no Indian ever thought of India as a

visited South Africa at the end of the
nineteenth century and found himself

classified as an Indian.

Before then,
India seemed to Indians not like a country or even a
subcontinent, but like a world. The opening pages of

Kipling`s Kim
spectacularly depict India`s
kaleidoscopic variety.

around 94 percent of the population of China is plain
Han Chinese. Racially, China`s a little more complex,
with northern and southern Chinese being somewhat
different. L.L. Cavalli-Sforza, Stanford`s

great population geneticist,
has hypothesized that
the north was settled by early modern humans coming
out-of-Africa who took the northern route around the
great mountains of central Asia. The ancestors of
southern Chinese took the southern route along the
Indian Ocean, and the two groups met up around what`s
now Shanghai.

In any case,
the two Chinese populations remained fairly similar in
looks. Moreover, the civilization invented by the
northerners proved highly attractive to the southerners,
who often peacefully assimilated.

India and
its satellite countries share a long border with

. But the Himalayas are second only to the
Sahara as a forbidding land barrier. Thus the sharpest
racial divide on earth is found along the southern edge
of the Himalayas. Mongoloid

Tibetan Buddhists
, such as the famous Sherpas of the
Everest region, are found at

high altitudes
. Caucasoid Indo-European Hindus are
found directly below them, in the warm lowlands where
the East Asians won`t venture for fear of malaria, for
which they lack resistance.


immigrant businessmen
successfully petitioned the
Reagan Administration back in 1982 to be lumped in with
East Asians so they could get

minority business development loans.
But in fact
India is more or less Caucasian. Genetically,
Cavalli-Sforza found that Indians are about three times
closer to West Europeans than to East Asians.

making racial or ethnic generalizations about South Asia
can be a mug`s game. It is the most anthropologically
complex region on earth. Arguably, its

democratic stability
rests in part on its infinite
divisions. Indians couldn`t arrange to hold a civil war
because they couldn`t coalesce into just two sides.

There appear
to have been three major waves populating India.

  • Several
    tens of thousands of years ago, an early out-of-Africa
    wave left behind a substratum of modern
    hunter-gatherer tribes, and many of the 160 million

    , at the bottom of the

    pyramid. They come in a variety of looks,
    from Caucasian to Negrito to Australoid. Thus they are
    hard to generalize about.

  • The second
    wave seems to have consisted of early Middle Eastern
    farmers. They now speak Dravidian languages and are
    most concentrated in the South. These typically small
    and dark Caucasians were largely ignored by the rest
    of the world—until the last two decades when word of
    their upper castes` impressive skills at math,
    science, and technology caught the attention of the
    business world. The center of India`s burgeoning
    software industry is Bangalore in the southern

  • The last
    and most famous of the three waves were the
    Indo-European-speaking Aryan invaders—tall,
    light-skinned Caucasians from somewhere to the
    northwest. They introduced Hinduism and its
    accompanying system of social stratification: four
    major castes (plus the poor Untouchables), along with
    countless occupation-based inbreeding subcastes, all
    further divided by region.

The Aryan
conquests are still clearly visible in skin color, in
two dimensions: geographically and socially. Northerners
and the upper castes tend to be fairer. And despite the
impressive economic growth among some of the darker
southerners, the northerners remain the social ideal.

movie stars are about as fair and tall as
Greeks. Indian marriage ads are very choosy about how
dark a prospective mate can be.

nominally outlawed a half century ago, the continuing
oppression of the Untouchables in rural India may be the
most brutal case of racial discrimination in today`s
world, outside the Sudan. The Indian government runs a
massive affirmative action program for Untouchables and
is accordingly roundly criticized by Thomas Sowell in
his new book

Affirmative Action Around the World
The program
was originally supposed to be limited to 20 years
duration and only to the lowest castes. But it has since
and open to many higher up the social scale.

On the other
hand, it`s not clear what else could be done to deal
with diversity so severe.

The average
IQ of India and China is

to the future of the world. But the question
is far from settled. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen`s

IQ and the Wealth of Nations
found three IQ
studies of China, which averaged out to 100 on a scale
where the U.S. average is 98. As I`ve tried to
emphasize, single-country averages from that

important book
should be taken with a grain of salt,
but regional averages are more reliable. The more
advanced and better-documented countries bordering China
feature even higher average IQs. So the future looks
bright for China.

In contrast,
Lynn and Vanhanen found four studies of Indian IQ that
average out to only 81.

evidence suggests that the variance in IQ is greater in
India than in China. There may be more geniuses in India
than in China but the average level of competence seems

putting together a nationally-representative sample is
harder in India than anywhere else on Earth. The caste
system, by discouraging intermarriage, has in effect
subdivided the Indian people into an incredible number
of micro-races. In India, according to

, "The total number of endogamous
communities today is around 43,000…"

So I would
keep an open mind on just what the IQ of India is. And,
of course, better nutrition, health care, education, and
more outbreeding could all work to raise it.

focuses on giving the masses a solid basic education
that prepares them for manufacturing jobs. The Chinese
are building superb infrastructure to support their
manufacturing economy. Indeed, the Chinese are building
factories so fast, that more than a few observers have
joked and/or warned that the Chinese intend in the
future to manufacture everything in the world. They
won`t ever quite get there, but the trend is remarkable
… and alarming.

This could
have dire consequences for America`s current political
and military hegemony. But the cult of free trade,
combined with the fact that nobody in the American media
cares about factory work, means that the long-term
Chinese challenge is seldom discussed. You might think
that if America had to shed manufacturing jobs, we would
prefer they go to Mexico to keep down the illegal
immigration rate rather than to China, America`s
strategic competitor. But no one seems to care enough to
discuss this either.

outside of cyberspace, remains chaotic and impoverished.
India focuses more on giving outstanding university
educations to the

meritocratic elite.

The top

Indian colleges
are by now probably the most
selective in the world. And because they teach in
English, their graduates are more of a competitive
threat to American journalists and their spouses and
friends than are the Chinese, who are merely hammering

blue collar Americans.
And who cares about them?

over the last year, the press has devoted far more
coverage to

outsourcing white collar jobs
to India than the loss
of blue collar jobs to China—or, of course, the
insourcing of jobs in America to

immigrants, legal and illegal.

reporters instinctively sense that Indians in Bombay
could do

their jobs
of rewriting press releases into news

At the elite
end of the journalism racket, I have more than a few
Indian readers who could step in and write this column
for me (Peter, please forget I said that!). But fewer
Chinese readers could do the same. The language barrier
is a big factor. But Indians also seem more interested
in the human biodiversity topics that I specialize in.
Further, Indians tend to be of a more speculative and
discursive turn of mind than the hard-headed,

practical-minded Chinese.

development has been held back until recently by their
overly metaphysical focus. Fortunately for them, recent
demands in the business world for extremely abstruse and
abstract reasoning power have finally played into the
Brahmins` traditional strength.

Still, in
the long run, homogenous China looks more formidable a
competitor for American than diverse India. One of my
Indian correspondents wrote me:

"China has
an enormous advantage over India: relative homogeneity. In China there is no significant difference in racial appearance
between the rich and the poor. They come from the same
people. In India, you can see a colour line dividing
classes every inch of the way. Sure these lines aren`t
cut and dry like black and white, and there are
overlaps, but the trends are easy to follow for anyone
willing to observe. The fact that the Chinese don`t have
4000 year old caste hatreds gives them an enormous
advantage over India."

As late as
1960, the U.S. looked like China— it was nearly 90
percent white. But now whites are down to some 75
percent—because, since the 1965 Immigration Act, public
policy has been

on making us

, like India.

How odd.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily