We may reasonably suppose that the first six civilizations were founded by high IQ peoples. Their homelands are now all occupied by low IQ peoples, as for example Egypt and the Indus Valley. And any smart people currently in the vicinity of the Indus valley are descended from foreign invaders who conquered a low IQ population that had lost or was losing the capability to operate cities and irrigation.
The Maya created writing and the positional number system, and used it to accurately predict the motions of the moon and sun. Their descendents were for the most part homeless nomads, their largest city being two hundred mud huts. Their great cities were abandoned, even when they commanded key resources. The descendants of the Maya are obviously incapable of operating a great civilization, indeed, without white rule, could not even have cities, or political units larger than tiny tribes with poorly defined territories. They wound up running naked through the jungle with pointy sticks to the extent that they had any jungle.
You would think that positive eugenics is natural in a civilization. The smartest people get to the top, command and effectively utilize all the good stuff, so have more surviving children. And sometimes it does work like that.
But if the smart people are the ruling and fertile people, they will proceed to ensure that their smart children get all the top jobs. This will disturb the topmost rulers, who would like to have limitless freedom to appoint obedient people to the good jobs, regardless of ability, and more importantly, regardless of family. In particular, they would like the freedom to not appoint the sons of powerful rival families. If you have a bunch of fertile smart industrious men inserting their kids into the top jobs, then you wind up with aristocratic or semi aristocratic system. The Bishop is succeeded by the Bishop’s son, which bothers the pope no end. The colonel is succeeded by the colonel’s son, which bothers the general, which bothers the King. One drastic solution, popular in China, is to give the top jobs to eunuchs. You want a top job, have to give up your man parts. Note the striking similarity with today’s political correctness, which requires metaphorical castration of males, and prefers literal castration of males.
Affirmative action for women makes a lot more sense when we recall that working women, unlike working males, do not reproduce, therefore will not be succeeded by their children. If you are a ruler, able (aristos) fertile patriarchal families are a problem, working women and eunuchs are the solution. And if the very smartest women are not all that bright, all the better, will be less capable of plotting against you. So the smartest females do not reproduce. Even if working women are substantially less productive than working men, working men are threat, working women are not a threat. Similarly any measures to prevent the affluent white male children of affluent white males from getting ahead. Such measures are rationalized in the name of social justice, but such measures give the most powerful more power.
From the point of view of the emperor, eunuchs are a better solution than working women, since eunuchs are substantially smarter than women, and have zero offspring, not merely near zero offspring.
A system of rule by the best (aristos) will, if the best are fertile, tend to become hereditary or semi hereditary. Thus patriarchy plus meritocracy will give rise to aristocracy, because affluent patriarchs have numerous sons, the meritocrats start running the system as a job placement program for their numerous sons, and the Pope will not be happy. Conversely, when the King tries to do stuff to make it less hereditary, he is apt to make the best less fertile.
One would suppose the mandarinate to be eugenic, and indeed China, unlike other civilizations, has not become a low IQ wasteland. But mandarin exam was corrupted to select for grinds rather than smarts. Any test can be gamed. The more that scoring high in the test matters, the less predictive of accomplishment it is. Thus selecting people on the accomplishments of their family and recent ancestors is apt to produce more accurate predictions than over reliance on an examination system. If the outcome of an IQ test has little direct effect on your career, it will accurately predict accomplishment. If you hand out nice jobs on the basis of an IQ test, considerably less so. If nice jobs are handed out on the basis of the test, the test is apt to become a marathon of rote memorization, which is what happened with the Chinese mandarinate exam. But for obvious reasons, emperors were unenthusiastic about handing out nice jobs on the basis of family accomplishment, for accomplished families are rivals.
Fertility in our civilization is of course massively dysgenic, because women are artificially placed in the workforce and education, with the most able women being most forcefully helicoptered into courses and jobs far beyond their ability.
As “Smart and Sexy” demonstrates, our mandarinate exam (the SAT and LSAT) has been jiggered to avoid selecting too heavily for ability. If, however, our mandarinate exam was fixed as proposed in “Smart and Sexy”, and if we had patriarchy, our civilization, like the Chinese, could avoid becoming a desolate wasteland of low IQ savages running through the woods with sharp sticks. And it would not be hard to make our mandarinate exam better than the traditional Chinese mandarinate exam.
The Chinese communist party currently selects on test results, on family accomplishment, and on individual accomplishment. This is likely to give substantially better results than the traditional Chinese mandarinate exam. Unfortunately they also are affirmative actioning women, probably for the same reasons we are, and this is producing significant dysgenesis in China.