mating patterns in medieval/early modern scotland

this is just a preliminary look at the mating patterns of the medieval and early modern scots. ok, here we go…

first of all, there are three regions of scotland that need to be taken into account (i’m ignoring the northern isles for now): the gàidhealtachd or scottish gaelic-speaking area of the country — i.e. the “highlands and the islands“; the lowlands; and the scottish borders (where america’s scots irish mostly came from). here’s a map of the highlands and lowlands — the borders are tucked down here. keep in mind that in the medieval period, the gaelic-speaking regions extended further south to somewhere around where i’ve drawn a nifty red line (total approximation):

the broad, general pattern wrt historic mating patterns in scotland appears to be: greater amounts of cousin/endogamous marriage for a longer period of time (i.e. into the early modern period) the farther north you go in scotland; lesser amounts of cousin/endogamous marriage for a longer period of time (i.e. extending back into the medieval period) the farther south you go in scotland — with the notable exception of the border areas (see also here).

let’s start with the clans up north ’cause they’re a lot of fun! here from Finding the Family in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland [pgs. 131, 134 – link added by me]:

“[A]s early as 1336 John MacDonald of Islay applied for papal dispensation to marry his cousin Amy Macruari. According to canon law this marriage was within the forbidden degrees of consanguinity and any children born of the union would not have been regarded as legitimate. The existence of close ties of consanguinity or affinity between married persons was common in the Highlands but MacDonald was aware of the wider context and the need for his son to be regarded as legitimate by the Scottish crown.

“Clan marriages were directed towards various ends, whether political, military or economic. Prioritisation of these considerations depended on the size, standing and policy of a particular clan. A study of the marriage patterns of the chiefly family of the Mackintoshes reveals both an internal and external agenda. During the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries it was common for the children of successive chiefs to be married into local families while at least one child was married into a satellite clan of the Clan Chattan, thereby reinforcing clan solidarity. By the sixteenth century, however, a clear shift in policy is evident. Internal marriage still took place regularly although in instances where a chief had fewer children it was unusual for endogamous marriage to take place. Instead it was more important to use marriage as a means of establishing and reinforcing external alliances. However, if during a period of political instability a particular chief felt the need to reinforce clan cohesion a greater number of marriages were contracted internally.”

so, cousin marriage was common in the scottish highlands in the medieval period, but there was a shift from endogamous to more exogamous marriages sometime around the 1500s. the late medieval period, or possibly a bit earlier, was also the time when the importance of clans in scotland began to wane [pgs. 127-128].

how much cousin/endogamous marriage was there amongst the medieval highland clans? difficult to know. the partial geneaology of one clan, the macpherson clan [opens pdf], which has been well-researched, offers some clues. there are three branches of the macpherson clan — the sliochd choinnich, the sliochd iain and the sliochd ghill-iosa — and the genealogy runs from the middle of the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries [pgs. 10-11]:

“The genealogy contains almost a thousand Macphersons, men and women, besides some two hundred non-Macpherson marriage partners…. Of the total number of Macphersons about 750 are males, just over 200 are females; and over 300 marriages are recorded. These figures reflect two peculiar features of the document: daughters were ignored or forgotten unless they made a politically useful marriage; and younger sons and their male descendants do not have their marriages recorded if they were not established on separate farms of their own. This shows the relationship between patrilineal descent, marriage, and property as seen by the genealogist. Thus the genealogy contains sections liberally sprinkled with daughters and wives, while other sections consist solely of men. This partiality in the amount of information offered by the genealogy must be borne in mind in examining the marriages within the clan. The figures are given in the following table:

the total marriages for the entire clan are the the last column, highlighted in red. more from the article [pgs. 11-12]:

Rather more than one-third of the recorded marriages were endogamous, that is, they took place within the clan, both parties being Macphersons. More surprising perhaps, the geneaology reveals that marriage within the sliochd [i.e. one patriline] was permissible. Of the 119 endogamous marriages recorded in the clan, no fewer than 40 took place within one or other of the three major sliochdan. Geographical propinquity was doubtless a factor in the occurrence of some of these marriages, but a more potent force was probably the desire to prevent rights in moveable property, especially stock, and right in land from passing out of the sliochd. The same argument is probably true for inter-sliochd marriages in the clan. One curious consequence of this, perhaps, was the existence of a custom of concubinage where the rules of the Church forbade marriage. The genealogy provides one possible example of this in the case of John Macpherson of Knappach who took the widow of his deceased uncle Thomas as ‘his concubine’. The woman involved was Connie Macpherson, daughter of Donald Dow Macpherson of Pitchirn and Connie Macpherson of Essich. She was, perhaps, following the example of her father, who, after the death of her mother, ‘took as his concubine’ Eneir Cameron of Glennevis from whom the Macphersons of Clune descended. At any rate it is quite clear that the Highland clans and their major patrilineal divisions entertained no rules enforcing exogamy….

One curious result of repeated marriage within the clan was that cousin-ship was not a simple matter of two lines of patrilineal descent from a common forebear, but was exceedingly intricate. So complex, indeed, were the relationships established within the clan that many clansmen of the tenth and subsequent generations were able to trace their descent back to, not one, but all three of the original brothers, and often to one of them more than once….

“The exogamous marriages were formed with influential families, almost exclusively of the Highlands….”

so, one-third of the macpherson clan marriages were within the clan (compare this to 25% in cumbria, one of the border counties in northern england, in the early modern period), many times within one of the patrilines. the macphersons, like john macdonald we heard about above, got around the church’s bans on marriage to certain individuals (cousins, for one) simply by shacking up instead of marrying (john macdonald paid the dispensation fee ’cause he wanted his heir to be legitimate). one of the results of all this inbreeding was that macpherson cousins were more related to one another than cousins in a more outbreeding society would be.

that’s all i’ve got so far for the highland scots. now for the lowland scots — slightly later in time in the early modern period. here are some excerpts from Scottish Society, 1500-1800 related to the mobility and marriage ages of the lowland scots. both sound pretty standard for societies found behind the hajnal line [pgs. 52-53]:

Lowland Scotland was similar to England in that a high proportion of young, single men and women in rural areas left home in their teens to work as farm and domestic servants in other households. Until more detailed local studies are undertaken it is unclear whether Scottish servants left home at similar ages to their English counterparts or were younger. The origins of this system in England go back to late medieval times at least. In Scotland farm servants were too numerous in the sixteenth century for this group not to have existed at an earlier date…. Farm servants were common in Orkney, Shetland and the Hebrides in the seventeenth century and presumably must have existed in other parts of the Highlands but it is not clear whether systems of hiring and mobility in these areas were comparable with the Lowlands. They were more frequent in lowland arable areas than in the pastoral uplands of southern Scotland. In Lowland Scotland, farm servants normally hired themselves out for a year, as in England and, as Houston has shown, they commonly moved from one master to another, though usually over limited distances….”

and pg. 127:

During the eighteenth century just over 20 per cent of women in a sample of Lowland parishes had never been married by the time they reached the end of their childbearing span. Those who married did so on average in their mid-20s, like most women in north-western Europe before the nineteenth century. There is some impressionistic evidence that in the Highlands and the Islands a marriage pattern closer to eastern or Mediterranean Europe prevailed with women marrying for the first time in their late teens. These estimates, based on literary sources, are not entirely reliable, though they are lent credence by the high birth rate in the region during the eighteenth century.”

finally, one note from “In all gudly haste”: The Formation of Marriage in Scotland, c. 1350-­‐1600 — when the reformation came to scotland, the marriage laws were changed so that cousin marriage was permitted (similar changes were made in other protestant nations like germany). i don’t know if this led to an actual increase of cousin marriage in scotland or not. it may have, but then again it may not have. nowadays, it is rather ironic that protestant nations in europe, which generally do not forbid cousin marriage, have very low rates of consanguineous marriage, while roman catholic countries, where cousin marriage is banned at least by the church, generally have comparatively high rates (sometimes very high). here from “In all gudly haste” [pg. 112]:

[R]eformers altered the rules about incest and consanguinity to better reflect the values of their countrymen. The Marriage Act and the Incest Act were passed in 1567. The acts provided increased leniency to distant consanguinity by legalising first-cousin marriage in Scotland. However, they made close incest punishable by death for ‘the abhominabill, vile and fylthie lust of incest’ in relationships within the first degree. Although these were major changes in law, they did not represent significant changes in the attitudes and actions of the lairdly and noble classes, who had demonstrated similar feelings for a long time.”

previously: more on consanguinity in england (and scotland) and “culture” of honor and hatfields and mccoys

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consanguinity and entitlement

the following prolly doesn’t mean much ’cause, for one thing, the sample size is prolly too small (26 countries) — just think of it as me goofin’ around. (^_^)

however, for your mid-week pleasure, here is the 0.49 correlation (such as is it — see short but sweet intro above) between consanguinity (means taken from hoben, et. al.) and percentage of those who think democratic governments definitely ought to tax the rich to subsidize the poor (% responding “10”):

and here’s a nice picture. x-axis=mean consanguinity rates. y-axis=percent responding *10* to this question. (click on chart for LARGER view.)

previously: a sense of entitlement and a sense of entitlement ii

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guanxi, clans and employment in china

**update: see addional material added below.**

below are a couple of tables from Rural China: Economic And Social Change In The Late Twentieth Century (see previous post) that i thought were awfully interesting. recall that the authors of Rural China conducted surveys in seven townships (zhen) in china over the course of ten years. here they asked workers what sort of relationship they had to the management of wherever they happened to work (click on image for LARGER, not-so-fuzzy view):

“good relationship in general” = guanxi, according to the authors. that’s a lotta workers (57.6%) being hired in part/fully because they’ve got some guanxi with the management!

also note the high numbers of kin/fellow clan members (15.2%) being hired by kin/fellow clan members. that’s either a lot of family businesses and/or just the hiring of a lot of family members (and/or something else i haven’t thought of?).

zongshizhuang, jinji and xinzhou have the highest rates of kin/clan hirings: 24.8%, 22.5% and 24.8% respectively. pingle also has a pretty high rate at 16.2%.

it’s perhaps not so surprising that jinji has such high rates since ningxia province (in which jinji is located) is the home of the hui people (see below) who are muslim and who have moderately high (2.9-11.2%) consanguinieous marriage rates [see pg. 3 here – opens pdf] — not to mention the fact that presumably they marry endogamously (i.e. within the hui population) in general and have done for quite some time.

thirty-seven percent (37%) of guizhou (where xinzhou is located) consists of small groups such as hill-tribes and the like. some of these groups also have high consanguineous marriage rates — and are also obviously very endogamous — such as the yizu with a consang rate of between 12.7-14.6% [pg. 3 – opens pdf].

pingle is in western sichuan, where there are perhaps greater numbers of tibetans and other minority groups. i’m not 100% sure about that. nor do i have any idea what the traditional mating patterns of tibetans are like.

zongshizhuang, in hebei province, is less understanable, though, since most of the population is han chinese. you’d think zongshizhuang would have kin/clan hiring rates similar to the other han chinese regions of china in the survey (dongting and yuquan for example) unless the three percent of manchurians living there makes a difference, but that’s hard to see why.

interestingly, the locales with the lowest kin/clan hirings — dongting, yuquan and xiangyang — have the highest guanxi hirings: 68.3%, 78.4% and 71.8% respectively.

here are the locations of each of the zhen surveyed:

– dongting: southern jiangsu province.
– zongshizhuang: hebei province.
– jinji: ningxia province (where the muslim hui people live).
– pingle: western sichuan province.
– xinzhou: guizhou province.
– yuquan: heilongjiang province (manchu territory).
– xiangyang: eastern sichuan province.

**update: here’s a quote from Rural China that i wanted to include in this post, but i couldn’t get access to it on google books earlier (passing the witching hour seems to have helped for some reason! (~_^) ). it’s the couple of paragraphs that go along with the two charts above [pgs. 250-251]:

“Only 5 percent of respondents to this question argued that they had no particular relationship to the management; 54.7 percent had guanxi in some other way or other; almost one-third were related to individuals in the management, were on friendly terms with them, or came from the same geographical area. In better-developed regions the percertage of those without personal relationships with the management was much higher than in other places. Obviously, better economic development seems to reduce the importance of guanxi structures as far as employment is concerned, which is why in Dongting, Yuquan, and Xiangyang relatives were of less importance than in other locations (see Table 9.11).

“In Zongshizhuang (66.6 percent), Pingle (41.8 percent), and Jinji (40.0 percent) employment was realized by means of relations, friendship, and geographical origin. Correlations have shown that the percentage of those with guanxi to the management increased with employee age: 6.1 percent of the individuals below twenty-five years were without such relationships, but 1.3 percent of the individuals over forty-five enjoyed thm. The same applied to the realtionships of friendship and locality. As far as the educational level was concerned, the group of university graduates was remarkable: 11.1 percent had no relationship to the management. That is easily explained. Rural enterprises urgently need specialists and are willing to employ them without relationships.”

previously: the return of chinese clans and china today…

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a sense of entitlement ii

i babbled something the other day about some groups maybe having a stronger sense of entitlement than others and wondered, if so, which ones those might be. so, i did a little digging around in the world values survey to see if i could find anything interesting.

i was looking for any question/s related to redistribution of wealth issues, and this is the closest one i could find in the last survey wave (2005-2008):

Many things may be desirable, but not all of them are essential characteristics of democracy. Please tell me for each of the following things how essential you think it is as a characteristic of democracy. Use this scale where 1 means *not at all an essential characteristic of democracy* and 10 means it definitely is *an essential characteristic of democracy*: Governments tax the rich and subsidize the poor.

i know, not the perfect question. but let’s see what the results looked like anyway (see also previous post). here are the percentages of respondents answering *10* to that question — governments taxing the rich and subsidizing the poor is *definitely* an essential characteristic of democracy:

the global average is 24.9%. all of the anglo nations (great britain, u.s., canada, australia) score well below that, with australia having the most redistributive inclinations at 12.5%. most of the other european countries also score below the global average, except for romania, germany and russia. the russian federation has got the highest score of all european nations at 44.5%. (i should’ve done a breakdown of the russian fed. by region, but i didn’t. maybe i’ll work on that.)

in asia, the thais, japanese, and taiwanese all score lower — way lower — than the global average. meanwhile, the chinese, south koreans, vietnamese and indonesians are over the global average.

the interesting group, again, are the arabs/north africans/middle easterners (in green) — the father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marrying folks. all but one (iran) included in the survey are waaaay above the global average: iraq (34.2%), morocco (35.4%), egypt (58%) and jordan (62.9%). these folks often seem to be found in the extremes of surveys/studies — recall the connection between pathogens and consanguinity, and the fact that fbd marriage groups are very consanguineous despite not living in pathogen-rich environments. curious.

finally, (*envelope please*) — and the winner is — india! at 72.7%.

you’d think that poorer countries would be more interested in redistribution of wealth than richer ones, but that doesn’t seem to be the case — at least not 100% of the time. one of the countries least interested in their democratic government (if they have one) redistributing wealth is rwanda. meanwhile, germany’s not poor, but they’re all about the redistribution of wealth apparently.

in the united states, whites scored lower than the u.s. average (6.6%) at 5.8%. the “others” (asians?) scored even lower at just 3%. hispanics and blacks both desire greater redistribution of wealth in america than whites (but you already knew that!):

mexicans back in mexico score on average 18.20% on the question, with white mexicans desiring the least redistribution of wealth, indios wanting the most, and mestizos somewhere in between:

i wanted to check out the numbers for great britain by race, but the sample sizes were too small (<50) for groups like blacks and south asians, so i checked out g.b. by region instead:

prolly can’t tell much from the london score since that is such a “vibrant” city. i’m not at all surprised to see the peripheral populations in g.b. being (like the arab cousin marriers) more interested in redistributing wealth: folks up north and the north west (cumbria’s in the north west), yorkshire and humberside. meanwhile, the english long-term outbreeders in the midlands and south east don’t want the wealth shared around. dunno what to make of the scots, though! i would’ve expected to see them with a high score. hmmmmm.

i also checked out the regional scores for china having in mind that i have the impression (impression) that cousin/endogamous marriage and clans have always been more frequent/stronger in southern china than in the north (which would fit the pathogen-consanguinity theory, btw). i found that there is a -0.47 correlation between latitude and desire for the redistribution of wealth in china — the further south you go, the more people want the wealth spread around (i.e. to them) [latitudes grabbed from geohack]:

lastly, india. i broke the india numbers down by region before, so this time i thought i’d look at them by religion:

a LOT of people in india are very enthusiastic about redistributing wealth. muslims and hindus the most (muslims more than hindus), christians and sikhs the least — christians least of all. recall that muslims in india have the highest rates of consanguineous marriage in india, while sikhs and christians have the lowest rates.

(note: n>50 for all cases. way more than 50 on the national level.)

previously: a sense of entitlement and democracy and the redistribution of wealth

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the unbelievable ron unz

**update 08/12 – see below**

i’m using unbelievable in two senses of the word here: 1) that what run unz says cannot be believed, and 2) i can’t believe the things ron tries to get away with! (see what i did there? (~_^) )

an example of point 1:

ron said wrt the buj iq studies that appear in lynn and vanhanen’s IQ and the Wealth of Nations (tWoN):

“As it happens, all three of those near-100 IQ studies from 1979 are part of the 19 national samples contained in the Buj (1981) collection, which tend to be extreme outliers in all the various countries. Supposedly, the Buj IQ studies were totally non-representative and were generally conducted in capital cities, which might help explain why usually they often tend to be 10-15 points higher than other IQ studies from those same countries.”

frank pointed out that this is simply not true. and frank is right. i just went through steve sailer’s table summarizing the results of tWoN (thanks for the link, frank!) and picked out all the nations included in the buj study. here are all of the adjusted iq scores for each of those countries as found in tWoN:

103 – Moyles
101 – Buj

103 – Goosens
99 – Goosens
98 – Buj

94 – Buj
91 – Lynn, Paspalanova

Czech Rep/Czechoslovakis
98 – Buj
96 – Raven

99 – Buj
97 – Vejleskov

98 – Kyostio
96 – Buj

102.5 – Dague
96.5 – Bourdier
94 – Buj

West Germany
107 – Buj
105 – Raven
101 – Raven
99 – Winkelman

80 – Buj
62 – Glewwe

95 – Buj
88 – Fatouros

99 – Buj

98 – Buj
87 – Raven

103 – Tesi
101 – Buj

107 – Buj
101 – Raven
99 – Van Bon-Raven

98 – Buj

106 – Buj
92 – Jaworowska

101 – Buj
88 – Simoes

98 – Buj
96 – Raven
90 – Nieto-Alegre

104 – Buj
97 – Skandinaviska

102 – Raven
101 – Buj
99 – Raven

i’ve highlighted the nations where the buj scores seem to be “extreme outliers,” i.e. in which the buj scores are 10-15 points different from other iq tests done in those countries, and I only find three (3) examples: ghana, poland and portugal. if i were feeling generous, i might throw in ireland, too, with a nine (9) point difference. that’s hardly what i’d call “often.” quite the opposite — in the vast majority of the cases, the buj scores align very nicely with other test scores.

i can’t see how ron unz couldn’t have been aware of this since he’s apparently spent so much time combing through the lynn and vanhanen data. either he forgot what was really in tWoN, or … i dunno … he’s being economical with the truth? whatever the case — and given all the other “careless errors” he’s made with the data — ron is…


an example of point 2:

wrt his original data collection from the gss on how rural or urban different white american ethnic groups are, ron said:

“As for my GSS calculation, I just used RACE=WHITE, ETHNIC, and WORDSUM. My ethnic urban/rural estimate substituted RES16 for WORDSUM, and I considered Country+Farm as being ‘rural’ while ‘City+Suburb+Big City’ was considered urban. The Italians, Irish, Greeks, and Yugoslavs come out heavily urban, the Dutch heavily rural, and the Germans somewhat rural.”

i should’ve paid more attention to this at the time, ’cause now just the other day, dan pointed out (thanks, dan!) that ron just SKIPPED a whole gss category of rural/urban folks, namely the small town folks [quote from here]:

“My analysis only focused on the City/Suburb/Farm categories (leaving out e.g. small towns), since those seemed to provide the sharpest sign of some sort of surprising Rural/Urban Divide.”

why would you leave out a WHOLE CATEGORY OF THE DATA?

perhaps that’s the reason that, unlike ron, i found that german-americans are not significantly more rural than other white american ethnic groups. ’cause i used ALL the data available in the gss.

who knows what else is “not quite right” with ron’s data points given his selective use of them (plenty examples of which have already been pointed out many, many times over in the comments here on this blog — thanks to everyone who’s drawn attention to these little problems in ron’s methodology!)?


update 08/12: i’m gonna just go ahead and add one more point — the constantly shifting sands of ron’s argument.

in my first post about ron’s iq theory, i said that one point that needed to be taken into account is exactly who are taking the iq or pisa or whatever tests. i pointed out that:

“today’s french’ population includes ca. 19% (11.8M) foreign born immigrants or their direct descendants, about one-third (4M) of whom are from north africa. and the u.k. had 7.86% minorities as of the 2001 census (and it’s well known that those rates have gone up since then)…. it’s very possible that the average pisa/iq scores of ethnic french or british kids are higher than their current national scores….

“you don’t think the immigrants in these countries could bring down the pisa scores? think again. the irish have actually experienced this even with the comparatively small number of immigrants they have….” [see the previous post for the full example.]

ron dismissed that the presence of large numbers of immigrants could have any significant effect on iq/pisa scores in france or britain — or anywhere, i guess:

“You argue this might be explained because 20% of France’s population were low-IQ minorities, and the 8% of Britain’s population fell in the same category. Does this make any sense? Could a British population which was 92% high-IQ and 8% low-IQ really have the same average academic performance as an Irish population which was 100% low-IQ?”

now, in the comment thread of this very post (!) — just down there ↓ — ron says:

“The fifth widest gap is the 8.5 spread for France, with the *low* score being from Buj (but note that by 1979 France’s capital city of Paris already contained a substantial population of impoverished African and North African immigrants).”


well, which is it?! can a good-sized population of immigrants affect iq scores or not?? it’s hard to tell when you’re discussing a problem with ron unz. shifting sands, shifting sands.

here’s another example of this: ron’s original argument, if you’ll recall (and iirc), involved the “facts” that british-americans and dutch-americans are both very rural groups and that they have, comparatively, low iqs. when it was made clear to him that british-americans don’t have comparatively low iqs, he suddenly changed his tune:

“A much better example I should have used instead were German-Americans, who are significantly more rural than the white American average….”

only they’re not. see also point number 2 above.

shifting sands, again. unbelievable.

see also: Unz on Race/IQ – Is It “Game Over”? (also here)

(note: comments do not require an email. skeptical macaque is skeptical.)

a sense of entitlement

i posted this before, but i want to post it again. it’s about modern rural egypt which is very tribal:

Development and Social Change in Rural Egypt (1986), pgs. 150-51:

“The importance that poor peasants attach to the brokerage services by a single wealthy patron can be seen in the continuing importance of the extended family unit in rural Egypt. In the village of El-Diblah [pseudonymous village representative of upper egypt], as well as other Egyptian communities, politics and much of life itself are organized on the basis of large, extended families numbering 500 members or more. These extended families are broad patrilineal structures, which may or may not be able to trace themselves back to a single historical founder. While these extended families do not represent monolithic social structures, most fellahin are animated by a real feeling of belonging to a particular extended family unit. When they need a loan or help with outside government officials, poor peasants will often turn to the leader or a prominent person within their extended family. In the village of El-Diblah three of the four leading extended families are headed by rich peasants. In the eyes of most fellahin, this is exactly as it should be. In the countryside wealth acquired by virtually any means provides a good indication of an individual’s ability to deal with (or against) the ouside world.

‘Zaghlul,’ for example, is the rich peasant head of one of the leading extended families in El-Diblah. A short, wiry 55-year-old fellah, whose dress and mannerisms are almost indistinguishable from those of other peasants in the village, Zaghlul now owns about 25 feddans of land. Much of this land is planted in sugar cane, a crop that he uses to supply his own cane press that produces black molasses for local sale. As the owner of 25 feddans of land, and the proprietor of one of the few ‘manufacturing’ enterprises in the village, Zaghlul is able to dispense a wide number of agricultural and non-agricultrual work opportunities to favored members of his extended family. Many of the poorer members of his extended family live in a mud-brick settlement surrounding Zaghlul’s modern two-story, red-brick house. In the evenings a steady stream of these poor people come to Zaghlul’s house, seeking brokerage and intercessionary services (for example, help in securing agricultural inputs and medical services from the government)….”

and now here’s something about modern rural china which is very clannish:

Rural China: Economic And Social Change In The Late Twentieth Century, pg. 235:

“Private entrepreneurs are not generally unpopular in villages and peasants do not dislike and envy them everywhere. They attempt to hide their wealth and feel that they are politically without much influence…. Normally, however, private entrepreneurs are integrated in rural communities by guanxi and family relationships, particularly where functioning clans exist. Preconditions for this integration are that they do not use their financial power against the community but for its profit and that their immediate social neighborhood shares in their wealth. Certainly, they take great care not to show off, as they want to protect themselves against being asked for donations by offices or individuals, against acts of envy and revenge by poor, unsuccessful families, and against criminality….

When private entrepreneurs let the community share in their wealth, their prestige grows and official as well as individual envy decreases. Such obligations are nothing new. It is tradition in peasant societies that there are customary obligations vis-a-vis village communities. It is expected that wealthy village residents and clan members share part of their means with members of these groups or with the entire village and support them in case of need. This moral tradition, called by Scott the ‘moral economy of the peasants,’ is still alive.

The Moral Economy of the Peasant. not available on google books. d*mn!

what these two clannish/tribal groups above appear to have in common — at least one thing anyway — is that those on the lower rungs of the clan/tribe feel that they are entitled to receive assistance from those on the higher rungs of the clan/tribe.

i mentioned this before wrt intelligence. if this is a typical pattern of clannish/tribal societies, then perhaps this brings down, or holds down, the average iqs of such population since the not-so-smart are helped along to have a successful life (including reproducing) by the smarter members of their extended families. it’s certainly the opposite sort of pattern outlined by gregory clark in A Farewell to Alms in which self-reliant individuals and their nuclear families had to make it on their own using all those middle-class values.

but what about a sense of entitlement being selected for? imagine that the pattern of clever clansmen aiding not-so-clever clansmen goes on for many, many generations. and imagine that, in addition to the clever clansmen, those not-so-clever clansmen who asked for/expected help from above the most were the most successful in reproducing. you’d think that it wouldn’t take that long for feelings of entitlement to be pretty common in the population.

which populations out there seem to have the strongest senses of entitlement? which don’t? how about which ethnic groups in america do/don’t? i’m sure the awesome epigone and/or the inductivist have a relevant post or two, but i can’t recall any off the top of my head right now.

*update 08/14: see also a sense of entitlement ii

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the return of chinese clans

i posted once before about how, since the 1970s/1980s, clans have returned to china with a vengeance. (i suspect that they never really went away, just went underground.) the people’s communes, established during the great leap forward, were supposed to do away with clans. for some reason, that didn’t work.

here from Rural China: Economic And Social Change In The Late Twentieth Century (pg. 258 – emphases and link added by me):

A clan may consist of up to several thousand people. It is headed by the eldest member of the clan and a group of elder men and provides its members with economic and social protection. An internal clan law regulates clan matters.

“The vacuum created by the erosion of party and administrative structures in villages is gradually filled with traditional values. In many places in south and central China, traditional clan organizations have taken over village administration, and the activities of local functionaries are often bound to clan interests. A survey of five villages in Hubei Province in the early 1990s revealed that 41.8 percent of the individuals interviewed were convinced that village functionaries merely acted in the interests of the clan; 45.9 percent thought that they were only interested in their own profit (including clan interests), and only 12.3 percent thought that the functionaries acted in the best interests of the village inhabitants. The weakening of political control has led to a revival of traditional structures (kinship relations, secret societies, clans) that locally have even started to organize themselves politically. All over China there are reports on the new power of clans and on violent and bloody clan fights concerning forests, irrigation, building lots, and borderlines of fields and lanes. In regions where clan dominate the villages, they have frequently taken over local power in the form of VACs.

“With the establishment of people’s communes in the second half of the 1950s, the traditional clan connections were supposed to be destroyed. With the disbanding of the communes and the return to family economic activities in the 1980s, the role of the family and clan in rural areas increased and the economic function of traditional family structures was revived. As long as the village residents were organized in production brigades, family and clan connections were of no great importance. It was the return to family economic activities, at first in agriculture, that made family relations essential again. Thereafter, mutual aid and support of the production process, the need for capital when starting a business or establishing an enterprise became more and more important. Individuals could not rely on fictitious collectives, but had to rely on family or clan bonds. This process of the growing importance of family groups in the economy stimulated economic dynamism.”

and from Local Government and Politics in China: Challenges from Below (pgs. 180-181 – emphases added by me):

“Finally, the revival of traditional kinship groups and clans in Chinese villages creates competition with village authorities in China. Kinship groups and clans, which were strong rural political forces in traditional China, were suppressed but were never eradicated during the Mao era and have resurfaced in the reform era. Apart from traditional kinship groups and clans, secret societies, which were common in rural China prior to the Communist era, have also sprung up since the 1990s in the Chinese countryside. A main reason for the resurgence of kinship groups, clans, and secret societies is the peasants’ need to depend on some kind of organization or association for better protection of their interests as the feel they can no longer trust the official village authorities to do so. As a matter of fact, traditional cleavage created by kinship groups and clans have played a prominent role in villagers’ committee elections in rural regions, especially poor and remote rural ones. In some places, ‘undesirable elements’ or even ‘evil forces’ (based largely upon kinship and clan support) have come to power via village elections and have coalesced into a force resistant to carrying out township/town government policies.

finally, lots of good stuff from China: The Next Superpower: Dilemmas in Change and Continuity (emphases and links added by me):

pgs. 58-59:

Clan wars continue to be waged largely out of sight and out of mind in many rural areas, some of them having their origins in events long before the Communists took power, and even from imperial days. In August 1993, for example, in Hunan Province, birthplace of Mao, thousands of villagers fought a pitched battle armed with home-made guns, grenades and explosives that left at least five people dead, 12 seriously wounded and several buildings in ruins. Security forces had to fire tear-gas into the crowd to split up the warring factions. [see footnote 27 below.]

“Inter-regional conflicts are no longer confined to the coast-versus-hinterland syndrome. Rich provinces and cities are pitted against each other even as poor areas pummel one another with stunning ferocity. The reasons are little more than money, resources, and greed. Take the scuffles over the delineation of borders between provinces. Since 1980, more than 10 bloody clashes have taken place between the cadres and residents in Guangxi and Hunan provinces. Fifteen hundred people were allegedly killed or seriously injured in quarrels over land and water rights. Equally venomous battles have been fought between villagers living on the Qinghai-Gansu border over gold-mine rights. Two special work teams sent by the Communist Party and State Council to the area failed to solve the problem….

“Inter-provincial confrontations, of course, go back several centuries. Since 1949, thousands of Chinese have died in more than 1,000 armed conflicts over the imprecise demarcation of frontiers. They have worsened owing to the eclipse of central authority. For most of the new-style ‘economic warlords’, local development bringing tangible benefits such as wealth to close relatives and business associates is more important than heeding Beijing’s call to promote national cohesiveness….

pg. 227 – footnote 27:

“The Battle of Matian Marketplace, as it has become known, was the latest chapter in a bitter clan feud between Matian villagers surnamed Liu and Jinggang villagers surnamed Li that dated back at least to the 1920s. The Canton Evening News reported that Matian and Jinggang had been at war since 1928, when a Matian landlord ‘massacred 27 innocent Jinggang villagers in the name of eradicating Communism’, launching decades of unceasing disputes of various kinds.”

pg. 123:

But when Americans and Chinese talk about ‘democracy’, they are not necessarily referring to the same animal. Democracy as it is known in the West is the product of Roman Law, the Magna Carta, the Boston Tea Party, the Fall of the Bastille, the Industrial Revolution, and the intellectual contributions of many great thinkers, such as Rousseau, Locke and Jefferson. The Chinese are coming from an entirely different tradition.

“The great virtues that the Chinese traditionally have valued so highly are tolerance, patience and non-interference in others’ affairs. There is also the strong individualism of the Chinese, which may seem a contradiction when one is taught that it is the ‘group’ not the individual that is important in China. But loyalty to the ‘group’ is still on a family or clan basis, rather than the vaguer concept of nation. Chinese do not particularly like to interfere in what they see as ‘idle affairs’. Public spirit and civic pride are difficult to grow in this type of soil, and that mitigates against the planting of democratic ideals.

“Secondly, the parental concept of government that has evolved over millennia and survives to this day means government of the people, for the people but not by the people. Essentially, the average Chinese simply wants to be left alone to get on with daily life without outside interference from *anyone*. Democracy is the play-thing of intellectuals, and China essentially is still a peasant society which traditionally has shown little interest in voting, paying income tax or helping to run the country.

pg. 127:

“One legacy of the country’s long history is that behavior is based on the rule of man, not the rule of law. A complex body of nationally-enforced law was not considered necessary in traditional society because society had built in powerful forces of self-regulation. Government intervention was rarely needed because social order could normally be maintained through the family or clan, or other associations and occupational groupings. With the whole family liable to be blamed for the wrongdoing of an individual member [reminiscent of the albanians – h.chick], this was a powerful force to keep everyone in line.

pgs. 145-146:

“The revival of ‘feudalistic clans’ which are undermining the authority of the party in the countryside are a growing concern. Clan organizations, which were supposed to have been wiped out in the 1950s, have become the centres of power in counties with low income and education levels, according to internal circulars issued by government security units. ‘Some village cadres have abolished local party committees, with the clan chiefs becoming the de facto administrators,’ one document said. ‘In other rural areas, the election of village committees is under the control of clansmen.’

“While the revival of clans began in the early 1980s, they have become larger and much better organized recently. Rural cadres complain that clan activities have siphoned off badly needed funds for agriculture and education. The security departments cited villages in Hunan as having clan units so powerful they had refused to pay taxes or implement family planning measures. At the same time, since only males can join clans, their revival has fuelled families’ desires for male children in rural areas.

ah haaaaaaaaaaa!

One clan in central China boasts more than 30,000 members from three generations. Clan members make regular contributions to Spring Festival celebrations and the maintenance of ancestral shrines, temples and cemetaries. The Education Ministry cited the case of a county in the north-West which had more than 100 clan temples. Enthusiasts there spent more than one million Yuan ($120,500) in 1994 on clan-related activities, more than the area’s budget for schools. In the Hunan Province districts of Dingcheng and Hanshou districts, where there are several prominent clans, fights over territory or committee positions often degenerate into blood battles. ‘Many villages turn to clan organizations instead of the police or courts to settle disputes,’ a rural official in Hubei told a local newspaper.”

recall that the chinese have been regularly marrying their (mostly maternal) cousins or marrying endogamously since at least the third century b.c. (for more info, see links in mating pattern in asia series in the left-hand column below ↓ — almost at the bottom of the page.)

previously: china today…

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nowhere to run

stanley kurtz is a really, really smart guy, so when he’s got something to say, i pay attention. i think you should, too (if you don’t already — this really only applies to americans although the rest of you might be interested in it). check it out:

Burn Down the Suburbs?

there’s a book, too:

Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities

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