Mormons

OneSTDV has some thoughts on Mormons, and Bruce Charlton rounds up other reactionary thoughts on Mormons and adds some of his own.

I lived out west for more than a year, and during that time (for various reasons) I had a glimpse into the associations of well-connected members of the Republican establishment. The most surprising thing I noticed during that time was that there are a lot of Mormons in the top levels of the Conservative establishment out west. They were particularly over-represented in positions which require smarts.

The other striking feature was that the Mormons were really nice. Let’s be honest, they believe some weird shit. Nevertheless, it seems to be working pretty well for them. In other words, I would also like to welcome our new Mormon overlords (as long as they stay away from my booze).

Advertisements

13 Responses to Mormons

  1. asdf says:

    Is Mormonism what Murray is advocating?

  2. Handle says:

    @ASDF: I think something like Mormonism is precisely what Murray is advocating. Philosophers have been trying to imagine something like that minus the peculiar religion for centuries – but the older I get the more I’m inclined to believe it can’t be done and some form of supernatural belief system as a provider of external behavioral-conformance motivation is an indispensable element if you have at least 40% of your overall population below IQ-100. The irony is that smart people don’t need religion to be successful and happy in life – they merely need competition with other smart people – but they just can’t help inventing new naive, deluded Utopian political fantasies to impose on everybody else.

    I spent 13 full months with a group of several hundred people, about 97% of whom were Mormons from Utah though I am neither Mormon (far from it) nor from anywhere near Utah. (bonus points for correctly guessing the circumstances).

    Minority groups act very differently (or, just more freely and comfortably themselves) when they are situationally concentrated into a local majority, which is why birds of a feather prefer to flock together.

    I was given multiple copies of the Book of Mormon (which I actually read), and some of the other levels of LDS publications (which I just browsed), and yes, there are definitely many very strange and bizarre things about Mormon doctrine that makes it semi-schismatic with the mainline Christianity tradition (to what degree is a matter of debate, or, perhaps, “taste”).

    On the other hand, they’ve almost perfectly preserved the traditional cultural mores and behavioral norms of the old Yankee Protestants throughout their class continuum – which is more than can be said for what remains of Protestantism in the Northeast. They were almost all genuinely good and decent people, firm and noble American patriots, who acted like a large family and who were friendly and inviting to outsides like myself, despite my recalcitrance at accepting their gospels and my bitter clinging to my Scotch and Cappuccinos. (Can you blame me?).

    I wouldn’t want them in charge of a coercive Theocracy (though I’d pick it any day over a Sharia-state), but I’d be happy with them in any position of authority in an institution of voluntary membership.

    They were definitely of above average conscientiousness and intelligence. I tended to notice a distinct cognitive-capacity difference between Old Mormons (those able to describe Mormon ancestors many generations back on both sides), and Newer-Converted Mormons – which made me hypothesize that the original group following Joseph Smith and Brigham Young must have had an average about a standard deviation to the right of the bell-curve. A kind of “Founder Effect”. I don’t know to what extent the practice of polygamy with high fecundity may have contributed to this Eugenic coincidence.

    During the second Great Awakening in the early 19th century, the Mormon doctrine probably appealed to people with a greater than average .. um … powers of imagination – which I’m guessing is correlated to general intelligence. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence – but as with the Jews it is definitely noticeable to a perceptive observer.

    • Foseti says:

      Interesting ideas. I hadn’t really thought of it this way, but I suppose Mormonism is something like what Murray is advocating.

    • josh says:

      If there is any eugenic effect in early mormonism, it is probably from the polygamy, no? I would also put forward that mormons were simply been *less* subject to dysgenic effects in the 20th century. How many unintelligent pure Yankees do you know?

  3. anon commentor says:

    In a class of civilizations, I would stand on the side of the LDS church against atheism. I am a muslim.

  4. josh says:

    I’ve thought for a while that mormons are pretty well fossilized 19th century Yankees. Thus, they look good by comparison.
    On the other hand, everybody used to have a sense of community, protestant work ethic, and English gentility. They simply dropped out of mainstream society during the first mass immigrations, and progressive movement. If the mormon heartland had been in Chicago, they would have declared the neighborhood unsanitary and replaced it with a scientifically designed Le Corbusier “machine for living” which would have given migrant share-cropper war workers priority while the mormons scattered into the suburbs to sit in isolation and watch Walter Cronkite, the most trusted man in America.

    They won’t make it two generations out among the English.

  5. Vladimir says:

    I’ve thought for a while that mormons are pretty well fossilized 19th century Yankees. […] They simply dropped out of mainstream society during the first mass immigrations, and progressive movement.

    Not quite — my understanding is that Mormons are frozen in the old pre-New Deal Progressive Era. Notably, their alcohol prohibition is not an original 19th century tradition, but an injunction made during that period, when prohibitionism was among the key progressivist causes.

    I have no idea how and when exactly they dropped out of the subsequent march of 20th century progressivism.

    • MC says:

      I must politely point out that you are in error. The Mormon injunctions against alcohol date back to the 1830s when Joseph Smith was still alive. Well before the Progressive Era.

      http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/89?lang=eng

      • josh says:

        Temperance has a long history in this country. The Maine Liquor Law, for example, was from 1851. Obviously, the movement was a good deal older than that.

      • Vladimir says:

        The Mormon injunctions against alcohol date back to the 1830s when Joseph Smith was still alive.

        My understanding is that these injunctions weren’t interpreted as anything like the present zero-tolerance policy until the Progressive Era. If anything, Mormons used sacramental wine before that.

      • MC says:

        You are correct that when first given the revelation was not implemented so strictly as it later was, but that was a matter of slow eradication over time. There was no discontinuous switch from lax enforcement to strict.

  6. Abelard Lindsey says:

    Mormons tend to be smart, hard-working, and genuinely nice people. Most significantly, they seem to actually be happy and enjoy doing the “family” thing. Mormons tend to be more functional compared to Baptist, Pentecostals, or RC’s. I view adherents of these other groups as being dysfunctional. Mormons, on the other hand, strike me as being functional people.

    Mormonism has a pioneering spirit within it that seems to be lacking in the other versions of Christianity. I have heard Mormonism describes as the extropian form of Christianity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: