Now some experts believe we are starting to see the end of the Flynn effect in developed countries - and that IQ scores are not just levelling out, but declining. Some believe the Flynn effect has masked a decline in the genetic basis for intelligence, so that while more people have been reaching their full potential, that potential itself has been declining.This comes on the heels of studies that assert that Westerners have become less and less "clever" since the 19th century, with IQ dropping slightly more than 1 point per decade, or 14 points since Victorian times, as increasing urbanization and food availability changed reproductive conditions in a way more favorable to the left-hand side of the bell curve.
Some have even contentiously said this could be because educated people are deciding to have fewer children, so that subsequent generations are largely made up of less intelligent people. Richard Lynn, a psychologist at the University of Ulster, calculated the decline in humans' genetic potential. He used data on average IQs around the world in 1950 and 2000 to discover that our collective intelligence has dropped by one IQ point. Dr Lynn predicts that if this trend continues, we could lose another 1.3 IQ points by 2050.
So this begs the question: Why the decline? Possible reasons include youth culture, social media, and drug use, which are thought to depress cognitive development, and political liberalism and its offshoots such as feminism. Personally, I find it more than a little ironic the dysgenic association between increasing female education and labor force participation and the overall decline in the cognitive ability of their children. Oh, what we have sacrificed on the altar of maximized individual autonomy.
Another possible contributing phenomenon to this observed cognitive decline is the welfare state, itself another daughter of liberalism which was borne into the West in the late Victorian era. Welfare and similar social redistribution schemes burden (and therefore depresses fertility) the clever and productive to subsidize (and therefore boosts fertility) the dim and less productive. In addition, the decline in popularity of patriarchal family structures in favor of ones preferred (and subsidized) more by liberalism--that is, families headed by women--impede the transmission of social and physical capital from fathers and paternal grandparents to the next generation. And finally, the socio-sexual "liberation" of women set aside restraints on, and consequences of, what was previously immoral sexual behavior. As a result, "chicks" are free to act upon their desire for "jerks" who, among other things, aren't likely to be inclined to invest in the children they sire.
So it seems that liberalism is not only a moral disease, but a social one as well. Mike Judge's 2006 movie Idiocracy was supposed to be satire, but sadly it appears to be predictive instead.