How Intelligent is your Government? Dumb or Smart? It matters.

"A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices"
George Orwell

National IQ and the Human Capital Index are a direct function of Government IQ 


The objective of this blog is to show that Government IQ is the primary driver of economic and social performance and wellbeing.

The paper quoted below shows that National IQ and the National Human Capital Index have a tight correlation close to 1.0.

To allay any fears upfront.  National IQ is seen as a variable that moves with key Human Capital Indexes.

My thesis therefore is to show that National IQ and the HC Index are both dependent variables of the independent variable, Government IQ.

I will also address practical solutions to raise Government IQ.  I will use South Africa as a case study.

I encourage interested parties to read the Lindenwood paper referred to below, carefully, together with the many and useful citations.

Measuring Human Capital Across Countries: IQ and the Human Capital Index Lindenwood University

Digital Commons@Lindenwood University, Center for Economics and the Environment. 2018

The John W. Hammond Institute for Free EnterpriseMeasuring Human Capital Across Countries: IQ and the Human Capital Index

Gail Heyne Hafer, St. Louis Community College-Meramec. 

R. W. Hafer, Lindenwood University 

IQ and HCI Correlation.  Key findings 

Here are the key findings of the paper and the extensive global research.

Across all countries there is a high correlation between National IQ and the Human Capital Index.  This means that when IQ is high, the Human Capital Index will be high.  And the reverse will be true too.  When IQ is low, the Human Capital Index will be low.  The significance of this finding cannot be underestimated.  

If you raise either IQ or HCI you raise the other.

(My thesis discussed below is that both National IQ and HCI are the direct product of Government energy, ethics and intelligence.) 

Note.  The Human Capital Index is a measure designed and measured annually across countries by the World Economic Forum.  It measures 46 factors that indicate well-being.  These include factors such as education, longevity, income per capita, GDP per capita, health and health care, access to food and water, individual freedom, security and access to good government.

Further key findings include the following.

  • Higher levels of corruption correlate with lower levels of intelligence. (Potrafke, N. 2012. Intelligence and corruption. Economics Letters, 114, 109-112.) 
  • Higher levels of intelligence correlate positively with democratic systems of freedom, autonomy and innovation.
  • Conversely lower levels of intelligence correlate with totalitarianism and an absence of individual freedom and autonomy.

Based on data from 124 countries, the average global IQ is 86,54 and the Human Capital Index is 67,22. The maximum IQ is 107,10 and the minimum IQ is 60,10.  (See Table 1, Page 4.)   

Readers are referred to the final Appendix of the report for the list of countries and their IQ's and HC  Indexes.

Table 1 and Figure 1 below are from page 4 in the report.      

The Government IQ Hypothesis.  South Africa, a case study 

"A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude."
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

The Government IQ Hypothesis is as follows.

The IQ of any Government can be measured directly by National IQ and the National Human Capital Index.

A rise in Government IQ will lead directly to an increase in both IQ and HCI.

A fall in Government IQ will lead directly to a decrease in both IQ and HCI.


For three decades of consulting to corporates we have used the model that leadership energy drives all organisational energy and financial performance.

Our measure of human energy is based on the work of Nikola Tesla on energy generated by the human race.

In essence he said that all human energy is based on the laws of physics.  It consists of the product of intelligent thinking and intelligent action per unit of time.

In our work we measure both leader and organisation energy and apply specific tools and methods to generate new levels of energy and performance.

In addition we have devised a specific tool to assess whether a system is gaining or losing energy.  (Where energy really is the 'fuel' to do work.)

This forms the background to our Government IQ hypothesis.

In every organisation, leaders create the climate or context for performance.  Exactly the same principles apply to all governments.  Their job is to provide the infrastructure and support to maximise the economic and social potential of all its citizens.

And just as a CEO and the Executive Team are responsible for the level of organisational energy and performance of an organisation, so too is a Government team directly responsible for a country's energy and performance.  As measured by IQ and HCI.


Those of you who know South Africa will know that it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with wonderful and friendly people.  It is a country of enormous and untapped potential.

However it is fighting to survive the crippling effect of decades of a corrupt and hopelessly incompetent government - all the hallmarks of low Government IQ.

Note.  All as per the four year Zondo Commission, whose damning 50,000 page report outlines in detail the decade of criminal State capture, orchestrated by a previous president and a troika of thieves from India.  All ably abetted by a coterie of international consultants including McKinsey, Bain, SAP, KPMG and others.

The report says little of the private sector banks and corporates who clearly enjoyed the orgy of indiscriminate bribes, backhanders and general unethical and dishonest behaviour.  Of course it takes two to tango.

The bottom line is simple.  The facts speak for themselves.

Most of the state owned enterprises or responsibilities have either been ruined or are in disarray.  This includes air, rail, transport, education, employment (40% unemployed), health, municipalities (80% dysfunctional), security etc.

The most serious damage has been done to Eskom, the electricity supply commission.  After years of criminal theft, ignorance, and genuine stupidity, the country is operating right now on rolling blackouts.  It is common for households to be reduced to having no electricity for twelve of twenty four hours.

This is low Government IQ at its very worst.  Its negative consequences are being felt every day by the entire population.  (Every day I work in a coffee shop to avoid sitting in darkness and twiddling my thumbs.)

Let me stress the following.

According to the Lindenwood report (see intro for details), South Africa, despite having a first world infrastructure and being the economic engine of the African continent, has one of the lowest National IQ's and associated Human Capital Indexes in the world.

It has a National IQ of 71 which is the forth lowest of 124 countries.

It has the third lowest Human Capital Index of 60 in the study.

Further, according to a World Bank data, the past decade has seen a decline in GDP from 400 billion dollars to 300 billion dollars and a decline in per capita earnings from 8,000 to 5,000 dollars per annum.

In terms of our work we see organisations, including countries, as dynamic and complex systems that can either gain or lose energy over time, depending on the competence of leadership.

It is clear from the economic data that South Africa has been losing system energy over the last decade.  This is a movement towards maximum entropy and ultimate system shutdown.

This post will not address the extensive criminal actions of the ruling party.  Other than to say that the real consequences of low Government IQ has not just been the theft of taxpayers money, but the theft of a decent future for 60 million South Africans.

With ethical and intelligent government over the past two decades, there is no doubt in my mind that this economy could have grown by five to seven percent per annum.  This would translate conservatively into a GDP of at least 500 billion dollars per year.  Or an extra 100 to 200 billion dollars per year, ad infinitum.

Over another ten years this could mean that this corruption has effectively stolen two trillion dollars of opportunity from the next generation.  Unemployment could be at 5% instead of 40%.  Everyone who wanted to work would have a job.  Every child could receive a proper education.  National IQ and related Human Capital Indexes would be rising rapidly.

This is a rich country.  The country has the potential to ensure that everyone has a roof over their heads, enough food to feed a family, good schooling to educate children, and enough work so there is opportunity, respect and dignity for all its citizens.

There is no excuse for low Government IQ, in this, or any other country.

In the words of Aldous Huxley, all that an efficient totalitarian needs is an army of 'slaves', who don't need to be coerced, because they love their servitude.

In terms of a summary with a difference I have drafted two sets of laws.

One to generate low government IQ and one high government IQ.

It is a simple choice.

The Six Laws of Low IQ Government 

Objective.  Maximum control and power.  Who cares about the 'people?'  Dictatorship tastes sweetest.  Ignore all clever references to IQ and HCI.


Ethics drives all thinking and intelligent action.  The stoics focused on the four virtues of Wisdom, Self Insight, Judgement and Courage.  In all cases ignore all four.


Life is a zero sum game.  If someone else has something you want, take it.  You will have more, and they will have less.  A perfect outcome.


Fukuyama's Law.  Tribal law enriches the few and not the many.   Democratic systems benefit and empower the many.  Stay tribal at all costs.


Only appoint comrades to positions of power.  (Re-read Animal Farm for important and powerful low IQ principles.)


Ensure that these comrades never have the knowledge, skill or experience to actually do the job properly.  This way they stay incompetent, servile, dependent, grateful and easily persuaded to 'play the game'.


Anyone not in your tribe is the enemy.  Ignore at all costs.

The successful application of these six laws will ensure your success in destroying virtually any economy.

The Six Laws of High IQ Government 

Objective.  To create a highly successful economy, globally competitive, with maximum IQ and HC Indexes.

Be ethical.  Always.  It's the intelligent thing to do.

The country comes first.  Always.  Never the tribe.

Appoint the very best, most intelligent people to do the job.  Every time.

Design a strategy, a structure and employ the right people to achieve your goal of high National IQ and high Human Capital targets.  And measure and manage the process continuously.

Always remember.  Intelligent government is there to serve the people.  They are not there to serve you.

Have the courage to stamp out corrupt and stupid actions as soon as they surface.  Don't waste a day.

So there you have it.  In a future post I will explore new and creative steps that can be taken to increase Gov IQ.

Remember.  Too much power can make people corrupt and stupid, and the population servile and afraid.  Let's remember Aldous Huxley's prescient warning.
The Deadly Threat of Low Intelligence in Leaders
Leading is Acting. Is "Leadership" an Unrelated L...


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