libertarian crackers

nick land points out that it seems as though american libertarians tend to be of southern extraction — in other words, the descendants of those rustlin’ and fightin’ and inbreedin’ border reivers folks — and that they have that libertarian spirit because of their slight inbrededness. that makes a lot of sense! — and i’ve actually been thinking along those lines myself, too.

as a reminder, hackett fischer found that appalachia and areas further south were primarily settled by extended families/clans from the border areas of england-scotland, and that these folks had a looooong history of inter-clan (low scale) warfare. these northerners married their cousins or endogamously more than southern englanders did. and they brought aaaall these customs and traditions with them when they settled in the u.s.

the border reivers hadn’t been marrying their father’s brother’s daughter’s (fbd) for thousands of years like the arabs, so they weren’t tribal like the arabs. but they were clannish because they continued to marry relatively closely long after the christian church told them not to (probably something like the irish).

and being clannish means you don’t trust outsiders. and that includes THE GUBMENT.

i think it’s kinda funny that individuals from groups that are somewhat inbred (not as outbred as the southern english, but not as inbred as the chinese or arabs) and clannish — and must, therefore, be more related to their fellow family members than southern englanders and, thus, be less of individuals genetically speaking than southern englanders must be on the whole — feel as though they are very independent and individualistic persons. even though these sentiments (not liking the interference of outsiders) likely evolved in a clannish setting (i think).

for example, i noted this once before of taki of takimag. he once said:

The highly individualistic Greek is too self-seeking to submit easily to others’ dictates. His unruliness has helped him survive through the centuries of oppression, as well as to rise above adversity. But it has also made him unaware of the advantages of a communal spirit and true democratic attitudes. This has created a climate where cheating is a way of life, where the highest and lowest of citizens do not hesitate to use dishonesty, especially in politics.”

but the greek is NOT “highly individualistic.” what he is, and has been for probably a very long time, is quite genetically attached to his extended family, and so the greeks prefer their own extended families over unrelated extended families in all areas of life (thus the nepotism and the corruption) — and generally don’t trust anyone in THE GUBMENT! just like libertarian crackers.

it’s funny how these (what i think are) innate feelings of antipathy towards outsiders get interpreted by some of the holders of those feelings as being a streak of independence. it is independence in a way, but it’s independence from outsiders, not an individual indpendence like the english have which actually results in most or all of the individuals wanting to come together and form a government “of the people,” etc., etc.
_____

disclaimer: pew tells me i’m a libertarian (not really, but i do sympathize), and i’m from one of the inbred peripheral groups of europe, so there you go — i’m practically living proof! (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. huh?)

56 Comments

  1. White Southerners? You mean those people who were members of the New Deal coalition and voted for Dems until the 1970’s?

    i’m from one of the inbred peripheral groups of europe

    I say hbdchick is a Croat.

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  2. Yep. That sounds like us-all. Scotch Irish we used to be called. But then the Scots started objecting to being called Scotch. I think it’s because the didn’t want to be confused with the Scotch Irish. Yea, we used to annoy each other on the borders. But mostly it was over a thousand years of England coming in and slaughtering us but being unable to get out loyalty until the Scots thought we were their for the taking and then they’d come along and grab the country and slaughter us of a few generations but couldn’t get our loyalty and then it was England’s turn. We were all career criminals because every time somebody conquered the terrirory they became the law and claimed all the land. So all our cattle were supposed now to belong to the new landlord. That meant everything we had was now stolen property.
    There was no government with any legitimacy. If you were unlucky enough to be lilving in Nazi Germany, you would resist the government. Same deal.
    Inbred? Sure. They kept killing us off and thinning out the gene pool.
    Distrust government? Let’s see. Within the past ten years the your government has assumed the right to spy on you, to kill you without trial or even telling anybody, to leave the border open, to let rich companines give politicians money ad lib, and to make deals with foreign powers that will give them the right to do business here and to overrule American laws on things like safety, quality, unions, child labor, race and sex discrimination, pollution and so forth.
    I can sympathize with a litte distrust, too.

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  3. Hmm; reminds me of Jim Webb’s lament in ‘Born Fighting’ over his people’s failure to come together for desirable social goals.

    I think you have a point. Turning it around, it’s notable that the southern English are more like their German kinfolk in being much more trusting of authority. The southern English were the past masters of civil society, of creating clubs and societies. The southern English value their property rights, but unlike those Scots-Irish American Libertarians they recognise that a strong State is necessary to secure those rights.

    Personally I have a Scots-Irish mother and an English father, so I must combine the best of both ethnies. :p

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    1. @ Simon in London “it’s notable that the southern English are more like their German kinfolk in being much more trusting of authority” I think you are absolutely right. Although the English are mosty from a Neolithic local popualtion, they are culturally far more comfortable with authority, excercizing as well as obeying. My Scotch Irish mother had only one word of comtempt she ever used: “sheep.” I am doomed to live by my own lights.
      I have not read Born Fighting. The title galls me. Sure the Scotch Irish fight, but they do so as warriors, not soldiers. A warrior fights because he thinks he is standing for what is right. A soldier fights because he is told to. Of course soldiers are easier to recruit and generally a soldier can whip three times his weight in warriors. It helps if the army does as the officers direct. But on occasion the warriors fight under a good English sort of leader, like Washington in the first American War of Independence and Lee and other billiant generals in the second.
      The principle has been codified by the Marines (traditionally Scotch Irish. Pity the poor Japanese defending islands from divisions of red haired, sun burnt Southern boys. A red person is a devil to them. The poor Japanese just couldn’t surrender to ultimate evil.) The marines say your loyalty is first to your buddy, then to the Corps. Then your country. Then God. Authority does not top the list.
      It is indeed a pity that the Scotch Irish can’t make a country. It would be counter to our very nature. But I don’t see us as much liking fighting. Iceland, which is genetically mostly Scottish, and I very much suspect they’d find Scotch Irish if anybody cared to look into it, has not had a local war since a close call under Eric the Red.
      My own impression, by the way, is that the inbreeding of the Scotch Irish is not due to any strong family ties. There is plenty of evidence from Patrick Bateson that one is more sexually attracted to those one resembles, provided they didn’t actually grow up in the same household. We marry our kin because kin are simply sexier than anybody else, or better put, one falls more deeply in love with them. There are plenty of closet eugenics folks who will say that’s a bad thing. But when did the Scotch Irish ever care what anybody else thought?
      I hope we keep on marrying close and having lots of babies. How many free countries can you name? The US, at least until the Patriot Act. Iceland, for now. The entire European Union was dragged together against the wishes of the people. The British Commonwealth has a queen for goodness sake. Most of the rest of the countries are failed states or strikingly constrained by poverty. If you valuie freedom, hope they keep on taunting the Scotch Irish. It seems to do us good.

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  4. LH: “Of course soldiers are easier to recruit and generally a soldier can whip three times his weight in warriors.”

    As you say, depends on leadership. The British Army traditionally has had Celtic-fringe warriors as its backbone, whereas the Royal Navy was mostly English. BTW I was a bit surprised recently to discover that many Confederate generals were Scots-Irish like Stonewall Jackson, not Tidewater English like Lee. Scots-Irish *can* make good leaders as well as fighters; Andrew Jackson another obvious example. America’s outstanding generals of the 20th century seem to have mostly German surnames and mixed ancestry, though.

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    1. @ Simon in London “outstanding generals of the 20th century seem to have mostly German surnames ” Yes, I see. You know, we may have defeated Germany a couple of times the twentieth century, but when it comes to the battle for hearts and minds we have adopted: the interstate, the fast efficient little car, the desk top information processor, national socialism, dominance of politicts by big business, the a bomb, the ballistic missile, the stealth plane, the high endurance submarine and the habbit of getting into really stupid wars.

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  5. Reminds me of an explanation (by a Swede or at any rate, some form of Scandiwegian) on Tyler Cowen’s blog about how the Swedes are big fans of government, because they view it as breaking the power of the family and other small scale groups over the individual, rather than as a new group to impose greater control.

    While actual Anglo societies (those of the Anglosphere) of course, do not generally see it like this, do not really see those small scale groups as controlling, and to the extent they do tend to invest the kind of power to emancipate the individual from small scale groups in other large scale groupings, with a more voluntary component, such as corporates and voluntary societies.

    In a similar way, perhaps the clannish southern US types tend to sympathise with Gubmint and Buro when it is emancipatory to their clan (e.g. when it is involved in fighting “tyranny” large scale transnational coalitions, e.g. NAFTA and the UN or the “threat” of “Islamofascism”, or when checking the control of other clans other their clan), but not otherwise.

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    1. @ Matt “the Swedes are big fans of government, because they view it as breaking the power of the family and other small scale groups over the individual” That makes good sense. It would explain some attitudes I have run into among our such that are otherwise quite puzzling.

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  6. My impression has been that an inclination towards libertarianism is a result of being a systemizer. Ravi Iyer, Jonathan Haidt and others wrote a paper linking systemizing to libertarianism:

    “Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Roots of an Individualist Ideology”
    http://ssrn.com/abstract=1665934

    This systemizer/libertarian connection is also consistent with my personal experience. (And why you seem to be able to find a “limitless” supply of engineers who are libertarians.) Of course, personal experiences aren’t necessarily representative (even if I suspect mine is). And with respect to the paper, correlation does not imply causation.

    Note, this doesn’t imply that all or even most systemizers are libertarians. Only that systemizers are overrepresented among libertarians.

    I saw one paper recently (for which I haven’t been able to get past its paywall) from which I would infer that systemizers can be inclined towards progressivism too. Perhaps the difference between ending up a libertarian or progressive could be thought of as a difference in whether the answer to the Trolley Problem is to either both pull/push or never pull/push. (BTW, most people will pull but not push.)

    @hbdchick BTW, based on my impression of you, I’d say you are a systemizer.

    Of course, it really depends on what you mean by “libertarian”. For a while, the (recent) “tea party” movement was being conflated with libertarianism. It’s true that libertarians were involved, but once the “tea party” movement started to “pick up steam”, to me at least, it seemed clear that libertarians seemed very much NOT to be the majority. The modal tea-partier was definitely NOT socially laissez-faire, and thus definitely not a (natural) libertarian.

    (I only bring up tea-partiers as an example. Not a suggestion that you are necessarily doing any kind of conflation yourself.)

    My guess would be that when libertarian systemizers have an “anti-government” stance, it’s at least in part driven by a rejection of any concept of authority. (As I remember it, a man named Hans noticed this too many many years ago with the systemizers he was studying.)

    But being “anti-government” doesn’t necessarily make you a libertarian (as I understand the concept of libertarianism).

    I would NOT call an “anti-government” social conservative a libertarian. Although I could see some of them self-identifying as one. So, again, it depends on what you mean by “libertarian”.

    Not sure if anything I’ve said really contradicts your claims. Perhaps what Nick Land is talking about are these “anti-government” social conservatives who are attracted to some aspects of libertarianism (at least for now, until a Republican gets into power and libertarians start criticizing them).

    I guess what needs to be looked at is what Nick Land means by “libertarian”.

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  7. I think of libertarians as selfish individuals with above average talent who are confident they can make it on their own. Extreme out-breeding would favor that orientation. They do not think in terms of the nation as a whole.

    The Scotts-Irish mindset is more about honor, pride, and patriotism. If they don’t organize for the common good it is more out of ignorance and ill-discipline than principle. Being on welfare is one thing (if a man can’t support his family he doesn’t feel like a man) but being in favor of Social Security, Medicare, public schools, etc. is something else. In any case there is little to no inbreeding in the south anymore.

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  8. @ihtg – “White Southerners? You mean those people who were members of the New Deal coalition and voted for Dems until the 1970′s?”

    i’m not saying that all white southerners are libertarians — just that a lot of american libertarians seem to be white southerners. (^_^)

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  9. @linton – “Distrust government? Let’s see. Within the past ten years the your government has assumed the right to spy on you, to kill you without trial or even telling anybody, to leave the border open, to let rich companines give politicians money ad lib, and to make deals with foreign powers that will give them the right to do business here…. I can sympathize with a litte distrust, too.”

    i’m right there with ya, linton!

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  10. @simon – “reminds me of Jim Webb’s lament in ‘Born Fighting’ over his people’s failure to come together for desirable social goals.”

    ooo! gonna have to read that! thnx! (^_^)

    @simon – “The southern English were the past masters of civil society, of creating clubs and societies. The southern English value their property rights, but unlike those Scots-Irish American Libertarians they recognise that a strong State is necessary to secure those rights.”

    absolutely. i think (think) what happens is that with a good dose of outbreeding (which the southern english seem to have had — gonna have a post on that in the next couple of days), you wind up with individuals tied pretty much just to their nuclear families, and so what do you do then to form a functioning society? you have to build alliances with the other individuals out there. ultimately you come together in some sort of liberal democratic state which is endowed with certain powers to protect everyone’s individual rights.

    doesn’t seem to have happened in very many places. england. the netherlands? the french? the germans, otoh, they like their state to be stronger than the english prefer. dunno what’s going on there with them.

    re. the civil society — clubs and societies (and pubs!) — alan macfarlane is very good at describing that in those videos that i liked to the other day.

    @simon – “Personally I have a Scots-Irish mother and an English father, so I must combine the best of both ethnies. :p”

    yay! (^_^)

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  11. @matt – “Reminds me of an explanation (by a Swede or at any rate, some form of Scandiwegian) on Tyler Cowen’s blog about how the Swedes are big fans of government, because they view it as breaking the power of the family and other small scale groups over the individual, rather than as a new group to impose greater control.”

    interesting.

    @matt – “In a similar way, perhaps the clannish southern US types tend to sympathise with Gubmint and Buro when it is emancipatory to their clan (e.g. when it is involved in fighting ‘tyranny’ large scale transnational coalitions, e.g. NAFTA and the UN or the ‘threat’ of ‘Islamofascism’, or when checking the control of other clans other their clan), but not otherwise.”

    yeah, that makes sense.

    i also think that clannish peoples, in general (although i’m not sure about southern white americans), might be very happy to use — and abuse — a GUBMENT to get the most out of it for themselves and their extended family. you know — use welfare a lot — maybe cheat to get lots of welfare. that sort of thing. certainly seems to fit the greeks and italians in the sense that they don’t like to pay taxes in, but still want things like the national health care system to miraculously work for them.

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  12. @charles – “My impression has been that an inclination towards libertarianism is a result of being a systemizer.”

    ah! interesting. thnx for that link!

    @charles – “@hbdchick BTW, based on my impression of you, I’d say you are a systemizer.”

    oh, yes! (^_^) my score is off the scale (for a woman). i’ll have to dig them (the sq and eq scores) out one day for you.

    @charles – “I guess what needs to be looked at is what Nick Land means by ‘libertarian’.”

    well, he named people/institutes like ron paul and the mises institute. the usual suspects of american libertarianism — at least the ones that pop to my mind when i think of libertarianism.

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  13. @luke – “I think of libertarians as selfish individuals with above average talent who are confident they can make it on their own. Extreme out-breeding would favor that orientation.”

    well, funnily enough, i don’t think this is really the case (think — i could be wrong (^_^) ).

    i really think that lots of outbreeding gets you the english phenomenon of individuals forming societies and clubs and liberal democracies — all sorts of alliances of individuals to make things work (for all of those individuals).

    most of the talk i hear of being “fiercely independent” seems to come from people like taki or the scots-irish — or even, steve sailer once described, about the pushtun — all peoples who are inbred to one degree or another. i know it seems upside-down and backwards, but i think more inbred people feel more independent — but that’s because they want to distance themselves from non-family/clan/tribe individuals.

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  14. Maybe the problem is that I have never identified myself as a libertarian. Robert Nozick’s book on State, Anarchy, and Utopia is my idea of what libertarianism is.

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  15. Libertarian’s favor the natural distribution of income in a free market economy, which they regard as just. Isn’t that the essence of it?

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  16. The inbreeding stuff is interesting, especially how it can enlarge perceptions of in-group. Speaking as an individual with a strong instinct towards Libertarianism, I think I trend towards it because of a fierce loyalty to in-group though, more than an individualist’s desire to do things which others would frown upon. Even though I don’t want to break from Socially Conservative norms in my own behavior, emotionally, I feel it would be disloyal to demand such from fellow Americans. Of course there are a lot of people who want Libertarianism for themselves, to smoke pot, shoot machine guns, sexual freedom, etc. So there may be multiple reasons emotionally to go Libertarian. Some inherent to Conservatism, some more Leftist. I think all of politics is left or right emotions, logically justified.

    On trusting authority, I’ve always felt that in many, it is a competitive strategy, to eliminate competition through proxy. Those who hate competition (ie. outlaw guns, redistribute economics, eliminate war, agree any word including Darwinism is bad, trophies for everyone), tend to be the people who say, let’s give control to government, rather than let everyone compete themselves freely, and sort their own affairs in free competition.

    Of course, since Competitive rejection or embrace is one of the fundamental r/K traits, these competition-averse types also tend to exhibit other r-selected traits as well (tolerance/embrace of promiscuity, tolerance/embrace of single parenting, tolerance/embrace of earlier age at first intercourse, and tolerance/embrace of diminished loyalty). Politics is just r and K psychologies and urges, manifesting in our intellectual world as two competing philosophies for organizing our societies.

    There’s a reason the government lovers are called sheep. It’s the r-types who form a flock to be herded. You can’t tell a K-selected Lion what to do.

    r/K also kind of explains why the Swedish Empire eventually ended up supporting big government. Free resource availability (r-selection), and no competitive culling of the less competitive (K-selection) was the rule for a long time, and even almost went K, saved only by emigration.

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  17. @ Charles

    My impression has been that an inclination towards libertarianism is a result of being a systemizer. Ravi Iyer, Jonathan Haidt and others wrote a paper linking systemizing to libertarianism

    Re: systematising trends, Jonathan Haidt (although I am not sure if I buy his argument) describes Libertarians and Liberals as dispensing with various deontological values (foundations) for how humans ought to be (e.g. humans should be loyal, humans ought to be pure, &c.) in favor of a simpler framework of equality, freedom and pleasure. Particularly Liberals and Libertarians dispense with the communal moral bases (i.e. people should be loyal to their group and to the group’s leaders).

    As I’ve said, I’m not sure I buy it, but a system based on fewer bases would be probably be a simpler system and more self consistent for providing answers to moral problems, so this might be why Libertarianism and to a lesser extent Liberalism appeal to systematising engineers, particular as they dispense with the communal bases (loyalty to other group members and to the group leaders).

    There probably are some very strange systematizers that try to simplify morality to other bases than those Haidt states Liberals and Libertarians use, but people who try to build a whole moral system off e.g. Purity or Authority (hello fascists), would be very strange individuals indeed and would probably alienate others (and so not be very successful at building movements).

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  18. @Matt:

    Regarding:
    There probably are some very strange systematizers that try to simplify morality to other bases than those Haidt states Liberals and Libertarians use, but people who try to build a whole moral system off e.g. Purity or Authority (hello fascists), would be very strange individuals indeed and would probably alienate others (and so not be very successful at building movements).

    My impression is that systemizers tend to have rule-based moral framework, rather than the more visceral and emotional drivers of the modal person’s morality.

    My take on it is that It’s not that they are trying to simplify morality, but that they are seeking logical consistency. I.e., they’re getting rid of the non sequiturs.

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  19. @luke – “Libertarian’s favor the natural distribution of income in a free market economy, which they regard as just. Isn’t that the essence of it?”

    that sounds pretty right. i think, too, that they distrust government A LOT, and want smaller governments than even paleoconservatives want.

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  20. @anonymous conservative – “Politics is just r and K psychologies and urges, manifesting in our intellectual world as two competing philosophies for organizing our societies.”

    yup!

    for the record, i think the r/K strategies and inbreeding/outbreeding are connected. the reader’s digest version: r strategy=the inbreeders, K strategy=the outbreeders. i think. and, apparently, there are connections between pathogen load and both r/K strategies and consanguinity. (^_^)

    i’ve got plans to blog a bit about r/K strategies soon … glad to know about your blog!

    @anonymous conservative – “r/K also kind of explains why the Swedish Empire eventually ended up supporting big government. Free resource availability (r-selection), and no competitive culling of the less competitive (K-selection) was the rule for a long time, and even almost went K, saved only by emigration.”

    hmmm. interesting! i’ll have to contemplate that for a while….

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  21. @HBD: it’s an interesting idea. But does it not strike you more broadly that Libertarianism (restrictions on gubment) seems inversely correlated with inbreeding?

    I think you’re spot on about Libertarianism being about distrust, but that means distrust of perceived leaders – a trait which I would think to be less clannish, rather than more.

    On the local scale in the US, it’s possible to blandly assume that it’s the inbred Southerners who are the “real” Libertarians. But that’s a fairly squishy assumption. More broadly though, you can say with much more certainty that Libs are overwhelmingly NW European, and historically, overwhelmingly British. The only societies in history who seem to have had successful, Libertarian experiments seem to have been the most individualistic, voluntary-association types, such at the British experiment in the US. Magna Carta style limits on gubment appear to be unheard of most places on Earth.

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  22. @converge2pi – “But does it not strike you more broadly that Libertarianism (restrictions on gubment) seems inversely correlated with inbreeding?”

    well it definitely doesn’t fit with very inbred peoples — like the arabs — or even rather inbred peoples — like the chinese. that is for sure.

    but the common ground with all inbred peoples (from the arabs to the chinese to the greeks & scots-irish) is a distrust of outsiders, including the gubment. and i think this manifests itself in the somewhat inbred scots-irish in america as libertarianism.

    i could always be wrong, though. failure is always an option! (~_^)

    someone should sit down and somehow quantify who american libertarians are (and by “who” i mean what is their sub-ethnic background, like new englander or southerner). dunno who’s gonna do that, though. (^_^)

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  23. @charles – “@hbdchick BTW, based on my impression of you, I’d say you are a systemizer.”

    my sq score: 61.

    “51-80 = You have a very high ability for analysing and exploring a system. Three times as many people with Asperger Syndrome score in this range, compared to typical men, and almost no women score this high.”

    (^_^)

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  24. @HBD

    “there are connections between pathogen load and both r/K strategies and consanguinity.”

    Interesting. There is some speculation depression is an evolved mechanism to alter a strategy from competitive/aggressive, to less-aggressive and competitive/more-opportunistic. I always saw it as a shift from K to r, and infection is correlated with depression also. I was totally unaware of consanguinity’s role. I’m really looking forward to that post.

    On Sweden, I try to make the case that free resources tends to eliminate the advantage to being competitive, since the less fit don’t get culled, and therefore it favors a more r-strategy. I believe it is why nations with high levels of success (and more than enough resources) became more Liberal (at least pre-birth control), and then they overshoot the mark with all sorts of attempts to see any competition in society (and any benefit from success in competition) eliminated. The Swedish Empire (and most highly successful Empires) was just such a period, and it was marked by gradually increasing reproductive rates, and a famine which was narrowly avoided through mass exodus. Today, they avoid war, import foreigners, and are the birthplace of the Stockholm Syndrome.

    Had resources been limited early on such that the less capable were culled, only the competitvely fit would have created each new generation, and they would gradually have been programmed towards monogamy, two-parent rearing, later age at first intercourse, increased competitiveness/aggression, and more in-groupishness/group competitiveness.

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    1. @anonymous conservative “The Swedish Empire (and most highly successful Empires) was just such a period, and it was marked by gradually increasing reproductive rates” That is a very important issue. My hunch had been quite the opposite, but all the evidence I can find is indirect. To have have a nice reference? I would say the UK is a special case. It’s just too different from everybody else. You know, they invented the Industrial Revolution. And unlike other cultures, according to “Farewell to Alms” they had higher fertility among the “upper” classes. (My Scotch Irish mother was such an anti royalist that she would refer to a person’s bottom as his “highness.”)
      But other empires seem to run a more steotyped course. So if you have a reference I would be eager to devour it.

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  25. @ Charles – My take on it is that It’s not that they are trying to simplify morality, but that they are seeking logical consistency. I.e., they’re getting rid of the non sequiturs.

    Charles, I get that. I’m saying that they simplify because there is no real reason why they can’t (all the moral bases/foundations are “non sequiturs” at base – there isn’t really any reason behind them, they are simply things taken as axiomatic) and simplifying to fewer bases makes it easier to construct a consistent system.

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  26. @anonymous conservative – “There is some speculation depression is an evolved mechanism to alter a strategy from competitive/aggressive, to less-aggressive and competitive/more-opportunistic.”

    that could make sense!

    @anonymous conservative – “I’m really looking forward to that post.”

    me, too! i wonder what i’ll say. (~_^)

    it’ll actually prolly be a series of posts — first the pathogen load idea and consanguinity, and then i’ll swing it over to pathogen load and r/K, and then pathogen load, r/K and consanguinity. that’s the vague plan right now anyway.

    i’ll be interested to hear what you have to say! must come over and read your blog.

    @anonymous conservative – “The Swedish Empire (and most highly successful Empires) was just such a period, and it was marked by gradually increasing reproductive rates, and a famine which was narrowly avoided through mass exodus.”

    so you’re saying the swedes of yesteryear exhibited an r mating strategy? did they have kids when they were young, too? ’cause today they certainly exhibit a K mating strategy (don’t they?).

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  27. Incidentally, John Stuart Mill’s famous essay “On Liberty” reads like a libertarian manifesto. When he wrote it he was under the thumb of a woman he was in love with, I forget her name and the details but Gertrude Himmelfarb wrote a book about it. By the end you felt like Mill’s essay should be re-titled “On Bondage.”

    I think we should keep in mind that what we call libertarianism today was originally called liberalism in 19th century England. It was the philosophy of the new entrepreneurial class who pioneered the industrial revolution. In its most extreme form it was referred to as the Manchester School if memory serves. They opposed restrictions on child labor in factories for instance. (Did you know the earliest textile factories using the new textile machinery were almost entirely “manned” by children between the ages of 5 and 13, many of them recruited from orphanages? They worked 70 and 80 hours a week. Later, as the demand of labor increased women were brought in. Men came last of all.)

    Today I don’t think we think of libertarians as businessmen so much, at least not the ones on the web. It is more of a philosophical position held by well-educated, smart young people. Many of them will eventually modify their views as they grow older to judge by people like Steve Sailer and (I think) razib kahn.

    The open borders crowd are just jerks in my book, extreme individualists with no sense of limits. I think of it as a half-philsophy, to see how far you can go with a theory of liberty but no theory of justice (in sense of greatest happiness principle).

    Nozick’s book is a good philosophical discussion. To be consistent Nozick was forced to make an exception for wealth acquired by force or fraud or inherited from those sources. He thought this needed “rectification” (I think he called it) but seemed to believe it would be a relatively minor adjustment. (I think he was mistaken in this regard. The process of primitive accumulation is a major historical fact Moreover it continues to this day. In fact capital wealth is little else than the accumulated crime and sacrifice of centuries, plus interest. Strictly speaking, nothing else.)

    Nozick later abandoned his libertarian position, though I’m not sure why. It wasn’t over rectification as far as I know.

    Economists among you should know it is possible to rectify without destroying a free market economy. Equity, the general welfare, greatest happiness, economic redistribution ARE NOT incompatible with free enterprise, competition, markets, and a small government if by small you allow for transfer payments. But to understand why this is true you have to understand the concept of a progressive expenditure tax. Nobody does. It’s got a distinguished pedigree so more’s the pity. We live in an ignorant age.

    Reply

  28. Sorry, I was wrong about Manchester School. That was about free trade — end of the corn laws — which was essentially about class war: the landed aristocracy vs. the new bourgeoisie.

    The extreme libertarians I guess were just laissez faire. Anything voluntary should be permissible.

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  29. And instead of describing today’s web-based libertarians as “smart, well-educated young people” I might have been more accurate to describe them as “smart, self-educated young people.” Somebody said they like system building. There are lots of systems. What they really like is to try to build a consistent philosophy based on a single principle, the principle of individual liberty. The opposite approach is to try to build a consistent philosophy based on the single principle of human welfare (greatest happiness, assuming all people equally important, sentient, etc. Call it justice).. They are both doomed and for essentially the same reason: you can’t have liberty without justice and vice versa. They are correlative phenomena. Justice without liberty leads to tyranny leads to gross inequality as witness the Soviet Union and China. Liberty without justice leads to liberty for the few and poverty for the few as we see happening right now in the United States though the process has barely begun.

    Liberty and Justice are like men and women. You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them. They are both incompatible and correlative. This tension or whatever you want to call it can never be resolved and never will be. Yet we naturally long for resolution, for simplicity, for an end to the tension. Grow up and get used to it — or else become a half-man (or half-woman). The realities are subtle, complex, interesting, dramatic, dynamic, never-ending. Sort of like the wave particle duality in physics to use an analogy.

    Reply

  30. @Matt:

    Regarding:
    Charles, I get that. I’m saying that they simplify because there is no real reason why they can’t (all the moral bases/foundations are “non sequiturs” at base – there isn’t really any reason behind them, they are simply things taken as axiomatic) and simplifying to fewer bases makes it easier to construct a consistent system.

    If I understand what you’re saying, then for the most part I agree.

    Using the language of moral foundation theory, the foundations seem visceral for everyone (including systemizers). It’s just systemizers seem to reject some (but not all) of this visceral urge, to construct a rule-based morality.

    (Libertarianism being one possibility.)

    (I say “for the most part” because one could argue that at least some of these human moral foundations, although visceral, evolved towards some absolute truth. I am not arguing that. But am open to the possibility.)

    ###

    Now, this “rejecting” is probably more nuanced that what I wrote suggests. For example, we kind of make it sound that one “moral module” in the brain is responsible to all this moral behavior. I suspect that’s probably NOT how it works.

    Consider something like disgust and how it plays a role in morality:
    http://changelog.ca/quote/2012/03/31/feelings_of_disgust_influence_moral_judgements_in_some

    It seems to be one of the visceral aspects of morality; but it doesn’t affect everyone equally.

    Systemizers being, in my experience, among those who aren’t as affected by disgust, if affected at at, with respect to morality.

    Another thing to consider is social norms, and it’s role in morality:
    http://changelog.ca/quote/2012/03/19/social_norms_the_brain_and_morality

    My experience is that systemizers are less affected by social norms, if at all. (My impression is that this systemizers difference is more stark with social norms than it is with disgust. But, I suppose I’m going off on a tangent, so I’ll stop there.

    Reply

  31. @luke – “I think we should keep in mind that what we call libertarianism today was originally called liberalism in 19th century England.”

    sure. but i’m really talking about american libertarians today — i said american libertarians in the post, but maybe i should’ve specified contemporary american libertarians. i’m not talking about all libertarians everywhere at all time periods. i don’t think nick land meant that, either.

    @luke – “Did you know the earliest textile factories using the new textile machinery were almost entirely ‘manned’ by children between the ages of 5 and 13, many of them recruited from orphanages? They worked 70 and 80 hours a week.”

    yeah. not nice at all, but i don’t think it was such a weird thing for them to think of in the nineteenth century — putting children to work i mean. in most traditional agricultural societies, kids worked on the farm — pretty hard! since the industrial revolution was a transitional period growing right out of an agricultural one, i don’t think it’s odd that they should’ve thought about putting the kids to work. (no, i don’t advocate kids working in sweat shops or anything like that!)

    i spent large parts of my summer vacations as a kid on my grandparents’ farm and i was put to work! by the age of 6 or 7, it was my job to feed the chickens everyday (not that i minded! (^_^) ) — and when i was older, i was recruited along with my cousins to help with harvesting. the older folks didn’t think twice about it. of COURSE everyone would be put to work!

    Reply

    1. @ hbd chick. “in most traditional agricultural societies, kids worked on the farm ” Many years ago, I’m pretty sure it was before you were born, I was expected to read an “important” poem. I thought it was pretty lame at the time, and I shall probably quote it wrong, but it went like this:

      The golf links lie so near the mills that almost every day
      Laboring children look out and see the men at play.

      I guess it stuck in my head. As you point out, it’s not completely fair, but it’s very good as a persuader.

      Reply

  32. This seems very inconsistent. You’re torturing things to fit your thesis. New England Yankees were the most opposed to FDR and the New Deal. The South was relatively supportive. Presumably you wouldn’t draw the same consistent conclusion in this case and argue that this reflects Yankee distrust of outsiders and Southern individual independence.

    Are the Greeks in general really similar to Southern libertarians? Greeks seem to be generally statist and socialist, whether left wing, centrist social democratic, or right wing national socialist.

    Reply

  33. @boomer – “This seems very inconsistent. You’re torturing things to fit your thesis.”

    no, i don’t think i am.

    the fundamental difference, i think, between the extreme outbreeders (nw europeans) and the inbreeders (almost everyone else, not including the bushmen tho) is self-reliance. the outbreeders are individuals in every sense of the word, whereas the inbreeders are tied to the hip of their extended families (or clans or tribes).

    this doesn’t mean that the outbreeders don’t like government. quite to the contrary — they are the ones who invented government “of the people,” yada, yada, yada. they are the alliance builders — building alliances with the other individuals out there — because they have to. they don’t have extended families on which to fall back.

    the inbreeders, otoh, they want to get the most out of society for their extended families while at the same time contributing the least amount possible. thus, the PIIGS. they’re not opposed to big government operations like the new deal if it means they’ll get something out of it. at the same time, though, they want to contribute as little as possible to the common pool.

    what contemporary american libertarians and greeks have in common, i think, is that they don’t like outsiders. they feel “independent” when in reality they are not.

    most importantly, i’m not saying that the whole inbreeding/outbreeding thing can predict peoples’ precise behaviors. of course, historical circumstances matter. but there are some interesting broad patterns, i think. and i think one of them might be that an awful lot of contemporary american libertarians are southerners. (that’s an impression, though. i could always be wrong. (^_^) failure is always an option!)

    Reply

    1. @hbd chick ” i’m not saying that the whole inbreeding/outbreeding thing can predict peoples’ precise behaviors. of course” I am slowly I think getting the picture of what you are driving at. On the other hand I might just challeng your “of course” there. If you were to lump everything you attribute to inbreed-outbreed AND everything I attribute to inbreed-outbreed there is not all that much else unexplained. Seriously. The ultimate driving force of history is babies. What babies are like dictates the details. Who marries whom determines what the babies are like. … It’s just possible. There might be more going on here than either of us suspects.

      Reply

  34. @HBD Chick

    I don’t know how r or K today’s swedes are, though I would guess more r than a US Heartland Conservative, just off it being Europe. Back in the day though, in about a hundred years, the population doubled in Sweden, due to resource abundance. Before things turned K, they began a massive emigration campaign, thereby staving off K-type competition. In modern times, they were the origin of the Stockholm Syndrome, which I tend to view as an r-strategy of conflict avoidance, and today, they still have a policy of non-intervention in international conflicts. Probably more vestiges of an r history than a measure of r/K today, though.

    r and K can shift pretty rapidly in a population. I make the case that it is not only genetically imbued. Studies show those with a gene associated with Liberalism can go r or K in many respects of behavior and mating/rearing (And indeed, the work associating that gene with politics said they can go Liberal or not Liberal as well, based upon an unknown environmental variable). In mating/rearing/rule adherence, their path is determined to a large degree by the rearing style they are exposed to.

    So some individuals may match their parent’s rearing style. Probably advantageous because if r or K worked for their parents, then it is a good bet the environment corresponds to that, and it will work for them as well.

    Real time environment can also affect Conservative vs Liberal, across every facet of ideology, according to Jost. Present an individual with a fearful stimuli, and they will turn more Conservative, all around. Probably similar for r/K. Let things turn competitive, and you get a real time adaptation to the new environment, like increased paternal investment, and aggression. Sort of like how now we are cool with all the generous welfare, since things are easy, but let the economy fail and everyone struggle to put food on the table, and nobody will be in the mood for generous welfare, and everybody will be more combative.

    So just because a population in humans has a more r-strategy one generation, doesn’t mean the next generation can’t go more K and vice versa. Sort of like the counterculture Hippies of the sixties, compared the the generation of WWII vets in the the fifties.

    On systemizers being Libertarian. I wonder if todays’s technical world is culling our society for that technical, mechanical thought process, by giving those who have it advantages. Then that type of mind tends to divorce itself from emotion in every decision, and by extension, they are detached from the more emotional r/K drives.

    Wouldn’t produce Libertarianism by itself. But once that cantankerous trait got there, it might push it along as an easy framework for a fully reasoned philosophy that justified telling outsiders to go screw?

    Reply

  35. @anonymous conservative – “r and K can shift pretty rapidly in a population.”

    interesting!

    @anonymous conservative – “I make the case that it is not only genetically imbued. Studies show those with a gene associated with Liberalism can go r or K in many respects of behavior and mating/rearing…. In mating/rearing/rule adherence, their path is determined to a large degree by the rearing style they are exposed to.

    “So some individuals may match their parent’s rearing style. Probably advantageous because if r or K worked for their parents, then it is a good bet the environment corresponds to that, and it will work for them as well.”

    also interesting. it certainly does make sense to be adaptable (in the lay sense of the word) in this area — depending upon available resources, for instance. and, like you say, watching what your parents did might be a good shorthand — so you don’t have to reinvent the child raising wheel again.

    i need to read up more on all the r/K stuff. i’ve only done some cursory reading on the topic. i’ll be starting with your blog! (^_^)

    Reply

  36. My impression has been that an inclination towards libertarianism is a result of being a systemizer.

    I think there’s two kinds in the US contest. There’s the “don’t step on me” anti big government type who fit the mildly clannish people hubchik describes and the systematizer type who are effectively trying to create a logic-based religion like a collection of self-aware AI.

    .
    i think (think) what happens is that with a good dose of outbreeding (which the southern english seem to have had — gonna have a post on that in the next couple of days), you wind up with individuals tied pretty much just to their nuclear families, and so what do you do then to form a functioning society? you have to build alliances with the other individuals out there. ultimately you come together in some sort of liberal democratic state which is endowed with certain powers to protect everyone’s individual rights.

    I think that was exactly it. Less that outbreeding caused x or y directly but outbreeding required a new form of non-familial collective organisation which in turn created an environment that selected for certain traits.

    .
    the french? the germans, otoh, they like their state to be stronger than the english prefer. dunno what’s going on there with them.

    I think the limits of the north european coastal plain are a factor in this in which case there ought to be a north-south divide in Germany and France and a west-east divide in Poland with the respectively northern and western parts being similar to the Anglo-Dutch but partially compromised through their connection to the other half of their country.

    Reply

  37. When we have the necessary technology to increase the IQ of the hbd bloggers and when they bother to educate themselves in the free market theory, they will surely convert to being libertarian as well.

    The basic lack of understanding markets among hbd bloggers is reflected with the common argument that immigration would be harmful to the economy through lowering salaries of the working class: this is just absolutely false. If there is more work being done to the system then the system grows richer in absolute terms.

    It doesn’t mean that people go jobless just because there is more competition. More competition doesn’t mean unemployment for companies, engineers, or low skilled workers. There is an infinite amount of potential work to be done. You can always serve one another, and if you truly believe in the IQ numbers for different groups, there should be no question who the lowest servants end up being.

    It is true though that some US Southerners side with the markets (or should we say oppose the government) without understanding the free market theory, but I would say that they are much more likely to vote for the republicans than the libertarians.

    Most of the libertarian thinkers were Jewish intellectuals by the way, not what you refer to as crackers.

    Reply

    1. @about libertarian again ” the common argument that immigration would be harmful to the economy through lowering salaries of the working class: this is just absolutely false. If there is more work being done to the system then the system grows richer in absolute terms.” Sure the system may grow, but that doesn’t make us poor saps and richer. The money goes to the super rich. If you really like the market, then just decide how many immigrants we can handle a year. Say a hundred thousand. Auction the right off. The market will probably clear at a million bucks each. That’s a hundred billion dollars we get for being selective about what we let in. That might not be such a bad size for the government.

      Reply

  38. @about libertarianism again – “You can always serve one another, and if you truly believe in the IQ numbers for different groups, there should be no question who the lowest servants end up being.”

    the problem with your libertarian ideas is that they fail to take into account that people(s) are different in all sorts of ways, not just in intelligence (i.e. there’s more to hbd than just iq).

    some populations — in fact, most populations — are clannish to some extent or another, so they will prioritize their extended family/clan/tribe over the greater society at large. no humans are rational actors, clannish peoples least of all. they will not fit into your libertarian society and will most likely destroy it once you fling open the borders to everybody and their second cousins.

    you need a bunch of individualists to make libertarianism work. so, it will really only work with a bunch of nw europeans.

    @about libertarianism again – “Most of the libertarian thinkers were Jewish intellectuals by the way….”

    yup. precisely my point. libertarian thinkers/supporters are (paradoxically) mainly slightly clannish people — they don’t like government, because they don’t like outsiders interfering in their business (because they’re clannish).

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  39. From hat I know of US history, I agree with hbd chick’s basic premise.

    Among self-identified libertarians, there is a contingent of ethnically clannish types who are against government during times and under conditions in which they believe either: a) the government to be harming their clan more than helping their clan, or b) the government to be helping other clans more than their clan. This dynamic changes such as during the New Deal when progressive reform was co-opted by Jim Crow which allowed government to be used to the benefit of clannish Southern whites while excluding those outside their clan such as discriminatory practices that made it harder for blacks to gain benefits from New Deal programs.

    There is a similar dynamic in the Midwest, but with a less clannish twist. Northern whites were just as able to act clannish under certain circumstances (see Loewen’s Sundown Towns). There is something akin to libertarianism in the Midwest, although not quite. Midwesterners weren’t necessarily any more fond of New Englanders vying for federal power than they were for Soutern aristocrats vying for power, and this attitude they shared with their rural Southern counterparts.

    Here is the difference. The Midwestern was less clannish and less anti-government in general. Scots-Irish didn’t even like local government or any hint of social democracy, preferring freedom from towns and taking care of their own problems with vigilnte justice if necessary. Midwesterners, however, absolutely love local self-governance and social democracy and would find vigilante justice ugly. Even when applied such as with sundown towns, vigilante justice was shamefully hidden and forgotten about.

    The problem Midwesterners d with the federal government was that it didn’t allow for enough social democracy. This is why it was only in the Midwest you found long-lasting implementation of municipal socialism (e.g., Milwaukee sewer socialism or even further west with the North Dakota public bank or else consider the multitudes of farmer cooperatives in all of the Northern farming states). New Englanders and Southerners maybe both were too clannish fo the preferences of Midwesterners. They sought local democracy as the solution for a society where clannish regional societies are fighting for federal power but that isn’t the same as the clannish mistrust of government as seen as intrusive outsiders.

    I would diretly connect the Midwestern political style to Quaker plurism/multiculturalism which some argue is rooted in the Quakers having popularized the nuclear family. From an HBD perspective, this breaks the larger kinship ties and allows for more individualism. So, it is individualism plus pluralism tha makes social democracy possible, and it is social democracy that makes a well functioning large-scale government possible.

    On a gut-level, the Midwestern sensibility is rooted in an instinct for community. It isn’t kinship clannish, but it might be a larger more inclusive form of clannishness. Instead of leading to clannish fueds, it lessens conflict and suppresses violence. I have a post where I tried to pinpoint this cultural worldview:

    http://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/midwestern-values-of-community-the-common-good-/

    This difference can be seen in diverse data. For example, take gun ownership rates and gun violence rates. Both rural Midwsterners and rural Southerners have high rates of gun ownership. However, rural Southerners have high rates of gun violence whereas rural Midwesterners have low rates of gun violence. Why this difference?

    For several years now, I’ve been trying to suss out the difference between Midwesteners and Southerners, specifically the rural people of both regions. The main difference I’ve found so far is ethnicity. The rural South has a lot of Scots-Irish along with many Irish and Scottish. The rural Midwest has more Germans and Scandinavians.

    What is the main difference between these ethnic groups? Is it cultural, family structure, or genetics? Or is it how all three of these factors interact?

    Reply

  40. the states with the most libertarians are montana, alaska, new hampshire, and idaho. not exactly “the south”

    Reply

  41. I saw what you did there, Charles. I think Dr. Hans was one of us, too. At least, he just would not shut up about the poems of Grillparzer. My fondest fantasy is to acquire a Gewehr 98 or Walther P-38 provably issued to Hans Asperger by the Wehrmacht, and someday say to some annoying criminal, “Eat Aspie lead, you neurotypical asshole!”

    Reply

  42. Makes sense. Trump is Scottish (and German). He cares more for popular consensus than classic liberalism. And he definitely doesn’t trust foreigners.

    Reply

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