krvna osveta

anonymous has been under the false impression that i think that all balkan peoples are exactly the same. of course, nothing could be further from the truth (i’m hbd chick, after all! — emphasis on the “D” in this instance), which i’ve explained to him (her?) here. also, to date i’ve written a couple of posts on the greeks (here and here) and one on albanians. if i thought all balkan populations were the same, i wouldn’t have bothered to do that, would i?

anyway — what i do think is that there are, indeed, some underlying behavioral tendencies which all of the balkan populations share — tendencies towards clannishness and, in some cases, even a more extreme tribalism. after all, it’s not a coincidence that the word we use for balkanization is BALKANization. but there is variation in the balkan populations: from the apparently very clannish mountain dwelling albanians to the less-so-but-still-rather clannish greeks. the serbs fall in here somewhere as well, a good portion of them closer to the greeks in behavior, but some of them more like the mountain albanians, which i’ll get to below.

first of all, what am i talking about here when i refer to clannish behaviors? what i mean is that some human populations here on planet earth (a majority, in fact, i think) are so family-oriented — extended family-oriented, often to the point of actually living in clan or tribal groups — that they fail, to some degree or another, at contributing voluntarily to a successful commonweal (to use m.g.’s phrasing!). clannish groups, to some degree or another, don’t manage liberal democracy, the avoidance of corruption, to have very civic societies, or to peacefully coexist with neighboring clans/tribes. i don’t think that other behaviors — like creating great art or science or building a large civilization — are, necessarily, hindered by clannishness. the chinese/han chinese, for instance, appear to have been marrying cousins/been clannish for a couple thousand years and it didn’t get (too much) in their way.

i also happen to think (theorize) that you get (different degrees of) clannishness by long-term inbreeding (regularly marrying first or second cousins) and/or long-term endogamous mating (regularly marrying something like third to fifth cousins); but even if that is not correct (which is, of course, entirely possible!), it is still very clear that clannish societies don’t do well in the areas mentioned above (not that liberal democracy, a lack of corruption, civicness or peaceful coexistence are necessary in life — just that, if, for whatever reasons, achieving one or more of those is your goal in life, being clannish ain’t gonna get you there!).

if westermeyer is right that mountainous populations inbreed more than lowland populations — and there are good indications that he is — then we shouldn’t be surprised that balkan populations have a history of close mating patterns…

…which is what i have found so far: at least some greeks have (or had up until recently) a preference for third cousin marriage; bosnian muslims have a preference for marrying in-laws (i.e. maternal relatives); and both macedonians and albanians seem to be ok with marriage to maternal relatives, too.

and, as we’ve seen before, the genetics back up this idea that balkan populations have been inbreeding/endogamously mating much more than other populations in europe — here’s a nice map of the within-country identical by descent rates for various european populations — the larger the circle, the more genes that are identical by descent in that population (albanians ftw!):


_____

so what about the serbs?

well, most (all?) serbs, of course, are christians, and have been since sometime around the seventh-ninth centuries — so right there we can safely guess that they’ve been at the receiving end of some sort of cousin marriage ban/s down through the centuries since that point. the conversion of serbs to christianity happened later than populations further west in europe, so they probably haven’t been subjected to the cousin bans for as long as, say, the english or the french.

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, i wrote an introductory post on mating patterns in medieval eastern europe. here’s what i had found out about the serbs:

levin also points out that the serbs seemed to, overall, have more regulations about cousin marriage than either the russians or bulgarians. the serbian church had heavy penances for even second cousin marriage, so perhaps the serbs have been outbreeding for longer than the russians.”

why the serbs were more focused on eliminating cousin marriage than the russians or bulgarians, i don’t know. but it’s interesting. the other question, of course, is how well were these regulations enforced? at this point i don’t know — and it may be difficult to find out — but going forward i will be keeping an eye out for any info on that. i think, though, that it’s safe to guess that, at least compared to most other balkan/eastern european populations, with the likely exception of the greeks, the serbs might have a relatively long history (800-1000 years?) of some amount of outbreeding (at least avoidance of first and second cousin marriage).

so how do the serbs fare when it comes to liberal democracy, corruption, civicness and inter-clan fighting? well, the serbs aren’t included in the woodley & bell paper on consanguinity and democracy, so i’ll have to skip that one.

corruption? not so good. serbia ranks #86 on transparency international’s corruption perceptions index. that’s far below the u.k. @16 or the u.s. @24. better than albania, though, which came in @95. but worse than greece @80.

civicness? not so good either. at or below the eastern european average on all the civicness questions — mostly below — and the east european averages are well below the averages for the anglo world. better than russia or bulgaria for many of the questions, though. (interestingly, stronger in church/religious org. and sports than labor unions.):

and how about inter-clan fighting or blood feuds (which are so popular in albania and were even in parts of greece)? well, it’s complicated.

some serbs — those in montenegro — along with the montenegrins and albanians there — did seem to practice krvna osveta or vendetta from the medieval period into the nineteenth century, but not (so much?) the serbs in serbia. the serb population in montenegro was comprised of clans and they fought with other clans, both fellow serbs and clans from other ethnic groups.

why the difference between serbs in serbia and serbs in montenegro? well, perhaps the serbs in montenegro simply felt more annoyed at having to live alongside other (hostile) ethnic groups and, so, battles ensued. or…

…”serbia” has moved around quite a bit over the centuries, but it has been more-or-less centered around where serbia is today:

as you can see, large areas of “serbia” — to the north — have often been located on the pannonian plain. those serbs who were a part of the kingdom of hungary definitely were flatlanders. perhaps this is why the serbians, historically, have been inclined towards outbreeding — a lot of them have been living in the lowlands. and, perhaps, the stringent regulations against cousin marriage issued by the medieval serbian orthodox church were directed mostly to the mountain dwelling serbs. dunno. but, certainly, that montenegro seems to be almost entirely covered in mountains (MONTEnegro), once again might fit the pattern of uplanders inbreeding and lowlanders not-so-much (montenegro serbians being more clannish, thus prolly inbreeding? serbian serbians not so clannish, thus prolly outbreeding more?).

serbians in serbia might not engage in vendetta today — or even in their recent past — but they do have some tendencies in that direction, like the royal blood feud between the houses of karađorđević and obrenović. the karađorđević-obrenović feud was something like what the plantagenets would’ve gotten up to, only in the nineteenth century rather than the fifteenth.

also, from that font of all knowledge, wikipedia:

“Another related feature, often lamented by Serbs themselves, is disunity and discord; as Slobodan Naumović puts it, ‘Disunity and discord have acquired in the Serbian popular imaginary a notorious, quasi-demiurgic status. They are often perceived as being the chief malefactors in Serbian history, causing political or military defeats, and threatening to tear Serbian society completely apart.’ That disunity is often quoted as the source of Serbian historic tragedies, from the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 to Yugoslav wars in 1990s. Even the contemporary notion of ‘two Serbias’ — one supposedly national, liberal and Eurocentric, and the other conservative, nationalist and Euroskeptic — seems to be the extension of the said discord. Popular proverbs ‘two Serbs, three political parties’ and ‘God save us from Serbs that may unite!’, and even the unofficial Serbian motto ‘only unity saves Serbs’ (Samo sloga Srbina spasava) illustrate the national frustration with the inability to unite over important issues.”

yup.

previously: mating patterns in medieval eastern europe and balkan endogamy and more on albanians and ελλάδα and more on greece and this one’s for g.w. and the flatlanders vs. the mountain people

(note: comments do not require an email. my favorite serbian thing!)

37 Comments

  1. SERBIA STRONG REMOVE KEBAB http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl_GFSjRESk

    Another related feature, often lamented by Serbs themselves, is disunity and discord

    What ethnicity doesn’t feel this way about themselves? Castigating your own ethnicity for disunity is itself a civil rallying cry for unity. The real tribalists don’t do that. They don’t even realize they should.

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  2. HBD, like I’ve said. I like your blog. You bring up some great points and point to some very interesting links. You’d go farther by sometimes admitting “I don’t know that much about this” or “yeah, you brought up a great point I didn’t consider”….and not just to your fans here. Conceding the occasional point is a sign of confidence – perhaps you are young and may yet learn this.

    The mountain-flatland theory is admittedly an interesting one. But you are playing into some serious logical fallcies here about clannishness and violence – in fact your views on th Balkans seem more in common with the mainstream/NYT view of the world rather than a radical interpretation which you seemingly pride yourself on.

    As I’ve written multiple times now, the tribal/clan aspects of the Balkans have less to do with defining the Balkans peoples than does political and religious imperialism. Finding oneself on a civilizational faultline does some significant things to the people of any place.

    Your failure to grasp and put this into its proper context – though you admit there is more to it than the intermarriage and clan thesis – narrows your view so much that it makes your argument(s) just alternate caricatures of the repeated prejudices and propoganda found in the mainstream. You used biological determinism to convince yourself of “balkanization” in the Balkans and the Serbs as the local “baddies”, and “proved” it to me with a series of links to (i) Wikipedia, (ii) your own essays, and (iii) a table on civic associations that doesn’t get at the point I am addressing. Woo-hoo, congratulations! Not all hyperlinks (footnotes) are created equally. And , oh, context matters. This isn’t growing bean sprouts in the lab.

    To really make the point – I refer you back to my question on the Germans in the post I just left in the other thread on “rotten in rotterham”. Please do enlighten me with how German violence is explained in the bigger picture of civic associations, cousin marriage, mountain vs flatlanders. Let’s tally all the violence inflicted on the Balkans by oustiders (or just start with the Germans) and THEN see how your theories stand or fall? More data should be better to a scientifically minded gal such as yourself, no?

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  3. @anonymous – “You used biological determinism to convince yourself of “balkanization” in the Balkans and the Serbs as the local ‘baddies’….”

    i have never, ever anywhere on this blog — or anywhere else that i can recall — said or even implied that serbs are the “local baddies.” i don’t know where you are getting that from.

    @anonymous – “You used biological determinism….”

    no, not biological determinism, but human biodiversity and evolution by natural selection. of course events matter, but i happen to be interested in human biodiversity.

    i think we shall have to agree to disagree on this point.

    @anonymous – “Please do enlighten me with how German violence is explained in the bigger picture of civic associations, cousin marriage, mountain vs flatlanders.”

    the germans aren’t clannish. they don’t war between themselves as clans. wars between nations are a completely different issue and not what i’m talking about here. the point is irrelevant.

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  4. @ihtg – “The real tribalists don’t do that. They don’t even realize they should.”

    yeah. maybe goes to show that the serbians are somewhere in between — not crazy tribal like the arabs, but didn’t have quite enough outbreeding to develop into a more cooperative society like you find in anglo nations.

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  5. “i have never, ever anywhere on this blog — or anywhere else that i can recall — said or even implied that serbs are the “local baddies.” i don’t know where you are getting that from.”

    Oh?

    “the germans aren’t clannish. they don’t war between themselves as clans. wars between nations are a completely different issue and not what i’m talking about here. the point is irrelevant.”

    Ohhhh??

    Well what did you mean then:

    “i give you serbian war crimes (here and here for instance). now i’m not interested in getting into some sort of debate over who was in the “right” in any of those battles — but the nature of the killings in these situations, and who was killed (i.e. other ethnic groups with whom the serbs have shared long-standing animosities), fits the profile of how balkan peoples behave towards “the others” in the region.”

    These sure seem like links to accusations of atrocities by Serbs against neighboring nations as proof of a, how did you say it,….“strong desire to fight like mad with other populations in the neighborhood”.

    If not “other nations”, how else should I interpret your use of the words “other populations” or “the others”?

    You went down the path of implicating the Serbs (and other Balkan peoples) as (a) similar to Albanians and (b) extraordinarily violent. And suggested that this trait had something to do with the wider clannishness, cousin-breeding pattern, and mountain-origins of the peoples as a point of distinction (presumably from the rest of “peaceful” Europe)? Didn’t you go this route? Or what exactly were you meaning?

    Again, it was you, not me, that wrote:

    “what i do think is that there are, indeed, some underlying behavioral tendencies which all of the balkan populations share — tendencies towards clannishness and, in some cases, even a more extreme tribalism. after all, it’s not a coincidence that the word we use for balkanization is BALKANization.”

    And if you weren’t projecting the Albanians’ Middle Eastern traits of a tendency toward tribalism and vendetta violence (and proclivity toward raping young girls?) onto some or all of the other Balkan peoples, what exactly were you meaning?

    Because I thought we agreed that the statistics show that the Serbs have one of the highest rates of private gun ownership in the world and yet one of the lowest rates of murder – gun or otherwise – as opposed to, say, Albanians. But you said other Balkans peoples shared this Albanian clannish behavior toward uncivic behavior,…”well at least the Serbs”.

    And, by the way, isn’t the use of “human biodiversity and evolution by natural selection” to come to a conclusion about why a population has a tendency to behave a certain way the very definition of bilogical determinism?

    It seems quite convenient how the narrative morphs and finally ends with my line of argumentation becoming “irrelevent” once the facts or the introduction of a wider context get in the way of discussing your (overly narrow) theories leading to certain (erroneous) conclusions.

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  6. Anonymous. Time for some plain old-fashioned limit-setting here. You have accused hbd* chick of being snide. No, that would be you. Your tone is horrendous. Whatever justification you feel by believing that you are right and others wrong is not sufficient – not close – to excuse your rudeness. I don’t know this woman, I don’t know you, I don’t have a dog in this fight. You may in fact be far more correct than she. But to this particular point, all that would be irrelevant. Your tone is unacceptable in decent discussion. I will assume that you proofread your text. If so, if you are unable to hear that you fail miserably, then I conclude you have an anosognosia that precludes self-observation, and further explanation will be futile.

    I have found by long experience that engaging others who have no ability to see themselves is pointless. Such folk are often worth reading, as they may be intelligent and have things worthy of note. But there is no point in discussing anything with them. No point.

    Deep breath. Think long and hard before assuming that I don’t know anything about discussion in general, or about the balkans and the attitudes of its peoples, and wading in with a stirring defense of your righteousness. Really, you should hesitate before going there.

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  7. I feel terrible about having offended the sensibilities of the one called Assistant Village Idiot. I sincerely apologize for this.

    I just happened to think HBD was being snide. But perhaps, in my haste, so was I. She seems like a big girl though and, while both she and I may have been snide, I’d say neither of us was as belligerant as you’d have us believe I was.

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  8. @anonymous – “Again, it was you, not me, that wrote:

    “‘what i do think is that there are, indeed, some underlying behavioral tendencies which all of the balkan populations share — tendencies towards clannishness and, in some cases, even a more extreme tribalism. after all, it’s not a coincidence that the word we use for balkanization is BALKANization.’

    “And if you weren’t projecting the Albanians’ Middle Eastern traits of a tendency toward tribalism and vendetta violence (and proclivity toward raping young girls?) onto some or all of the other Balkan peoples, what exactly were you meaning?”

    you failed to quote — and perhaps to read? — what i wrote immediately following that sentence:

    “but there is variation in the balkan populations: from the apparently very clannish mountain dwelling albanians to the less-so-but-still-rather clannish greeks. the serbs fall in here somewhere as well, a good portion of them closer to the greeks in behavior, but some of them more like the mountain albanians, which i’ll get to below.”

    if you read that as me implying that the serbians are the most violent population in the balkans, well then i’m sorry that you have a reading comprehension problem.

    i clearly — clearly — stated that there is variation in the balkan populations, meaning that they’re not all the same as one another. and i also clearly stated that, as far as i know so far (because i haven’t read about all the balkan populations yet), that the albanians living in the mountains seem to be the most violent — and the greeks some of the least — AND that a good portion of the serbs are more like the greeks in their behavior (although more corrupt according to transparency international). if you interpret all of that as me saying that the serbs are the region’s “baddies” — well, so be it. but i did NOT say that — that’s just you deciding that i did.

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  9. @anonymous – “Because I thought we agreed that the statistics show that the Serbs have one of the highest rates of private gun ownership in the world and yet one of the lowest rates of murder – gun or otherwise….”

    no, we never agreed upon that. you mentioned it in a comment to the previous post (on albania), but never provided a reference for it, so i don’t know if it’s true or not.

    edit: and anyway, i clearly wrote in the post that serbs in serbia do not engage in vendetta (krvna osveta), so again i don’t know why you’re bringing this up. -?- it seems irrelevant. -?-

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  10. @anonymous – “And, by the way, isn’t the use of ‘human biodiversity and evolution by natural selection’ to come to a conclusion about why a population has a tendency to behave a certain way the very definition of bilogical determinism? “

    nope.

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  11. 1. Yes, you state there is variation across the peoples, but seem to ascribe more bad traits (tendencies toward violence, I suppose?) to Serbs than Croats or Greeks but less than Albanians. Difficult to ascertain how you concluded that from your table on civic associations.

    2. On firearms ownership and murder rates:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list

    3. On biological determinism…perhaps it is narrower than biodiversity in that it takes less environmental factors into account. But your conclusions are deterministic along biological (e.g., cousin marriage) and biodiversity (e.g., environment…mountain vs flatlanders) I will concede both variants of the bio- line of argumentation come into your statemenmts.

    4. You are avoiding the main question which puts your whole deteriministic conclusion into question.

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  12. “edit: and anyway, i clearly wrote in the post that serbs in serbia do not engage in vendetta (krvna osveta), so again i don’t know why you’re bringing this up. -?- it seems irrelevant. -?-”

    So what exactly makes the Serbs more like Albanians and the Croats and Greeks less like Albanians?

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  13. @anonymous – “what exactly were you meaning?”

    again, from the post above (feel free to re-read it … closely):

    “first of all, what am i talking about here when i refer to clannish behaviors? what i mean is that some human populations here on planet earth (a majority, in fact, i think) are so family-oriented — extended family-oriented, often to the point of actually living in clan or tribal groups — that they fail, to some degree or another, at contributing voluntarily to a successful commonweal (to use m.g.’s phrasing!). clannish groups, to some degree or another, don’t manage liberal democracy, the avoidance of corruption, to have very civic societies, or to peacefully coexist with neighboring clans/tribes. i don’t think that other behaviors — like creating great art or science or building a large civilization — are, necessarily, hindered by clannishness. the chinese/han chinese, for instance, appear to have been marrying cousins/been clannish for a couple thousand years and it didn’t get (too much) in their way.

    “i also happen to think (theorize) that you get (different degrees of) clannishness by long-term inbreeding (regularly marrying first or second cousins) and/or long-term endogamous mating (regularly marrying something like third to fifth cousins); but even if that is not correct (which is, of course, entirely possible!), it is still very clear that clannish societies don’t do well in the areas mentioned above (not that liberal democracy, a lack of corruption, civicness or peaceful coexistence are necessary in life — just that, if, for whatever reasons, achieving one or more of those is your goal in life, being clannish ain’t gonna get you there!).”

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  14. @anonymous – “So what exactly makes the Serbs more like Albanians and the Croats and Greeks less like Albanians?”

    wow. you really do have a reading comprehension problem.

    i didn’t say that the serbs are more like the albanians — i said that a good portion of them (the ones in serbia) are more like the greeks, and the ones in montenegro sound more like, in terms of vendetta — but perhaps not exactly like (i’m not sure) — the albanians.

    quote from the post:

    “the serbs fall in here somewhere as well, a good portion of them closer to the greeks in behavior, but some of them more like the mountain albanians, which i’ll get to below.”

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  15. @anonymous – “1. Yes, you state there is variation across the peoples, but seem to ascribe more bad traits (tendencies toward violence, I suppose?) to Serbs than Croats or Greeks but less than Albanians. Difficult to ascertain how you concluded that from your table on civic associations.

    i didn’t. and i didn’t. and i haven’t even mentioned the croats.

    @anonymous – “On firearms ownership and murder rates”

    thank you.

    @anonymous – “You are avoiding the main question which puts your whole deteriministic conclusion into question.”

    i’m sorry, but i honestly don’t know what your main question is at this point. if you could repeat it — succinctly — i’ll try to answer it (if i haven’t already).

    i do have to run soon (it’s getting late), so i might not have time to reply ’til the morning.

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  16. I’m just asking you to be straight-forward here:

    1. Do you believe the Balkans peoples or people (insert whichever peoples you wish in blank _____________ ) are more predisposed to violence than other people / other Europeans?

    2. Do you base this on finding that said people(s) exhibit a greater degree of clannishness, more close-kin / cousin marriage, and derive from mountainous regions?

    3. Does “violence” in this case mean (a) violence within their nation / metaclan or (b) violence toward other nations / clan groupings, or (c) both a and b.

    4i. In these conclusions – to the extent that I’ve noted your conclusions accurately, please correct as necessary – do you think it (a) at all relevant, (b) equally relevant, or (c) more relevant that outside imperial powers have inflicted more death on the Balkan region and sought to manipulate religious affiliations inside Balkan nations?

    4ii. Do you dispute that German and Turkish invasions / occupations resulted in higher absolute deaths of Balkans peoples than absolute death toll caused by intra-ethnic murder or localised (i.e., exclusively Balkan on Balkan) violence these past 500 years?

    5. Do the Albanians stand out as unique (even among Balkans peoples) in their (over)representation in not only vendetta violence but violent crime in general (drug trade, murder, rape, etc) locally and across Europe?

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  17. Look if this isn’t saying that Serbs are more like Albanians and Greeks are less like Albanians, then I’m not sure I comprehend your English:

    “but there is variation in the balkan populations: from the apparently very clannish mountain dwelling albanians to the less-so-but-still-rather clannish greeks. the serbs fall in here somewhere as well, a good portion of them closer to the greeks in behavior, but some of them more like the mountain albanians, which i’ll get to below.”

    You said something of the sort as regards the distinction between Croats and Serbs in another thread whereby the Croats were deemed to exhibit more civic attributes, and I’m glad to quote if it really helps.

    But this is getting circular and contradictory again with a lot of insistence on your part about just how clear – clear in italics! – you’re being. So maybe it is time to call it a night. You can answer my 5 questions above, if you like and when you like – there is no hurry. It is your blog afterall! I hope I made them succinct and to the point.

    Have a good evening

    Reply

  18. @anonymous – “1. Do you believe the Balkans peoples or people (insert whichever peoples you wish in blank _____________ ) are more predisposed to violence than other people / other Europeans?”

    some balkan populations (the mountain albanians, for instance) are more predisposed to clannish violence than some other european populations (the english, for instance, but not the auvergnats — or the southern italians, from whom we get the word “vendetta” after all).

    @anonymous – “2. Do you base this on finding that said people(s) exhibit a greater degree of clannishness, more close-kin / cousin marriage, and derive from mountainous regions?”

    i base how clannishly violent any given population is upon reports of how clannishly violent they are — i.e. if they engage in vendettas or blood feuds, etc.

    @anonymous – “3. Does ‘violence’ in this case mean (a) violence within their nation / metaclan or (b) violence toward other nations / clan groupings, or (c) both a and b.”

    i’m interested in how populations function within themselves — so, for example, do its members trust one another implicitly — including the unrelated ones — or not? or would they rather engage in a vendetta over some insult?

    violence is just one part of the picture — and i’m mostly interested in a certain type of violence that seems to go along with clannishness, like fighting between clans (i’d throw in things like honor killings and rapes of unrelated women as well).

    @anonymous – “do you think it (a) at all relevant, (b) equally relevant, or (c) more relevant that outside imperial powers have inflicted more death on the Balkan region and sought to manipulate religious affiliations inside Balkan nations?”

    relevant, of course, particularly the last part that i highlighted there. however, part of the problem with clannishness — everywhere, not just in the balkans — is that it is often difficult for clans/tribes to unite together to work for the same cause. thus you can have the ottomans come in to the balkans and play divide and conquer — easily. which is another reason why i think it’s important — crucial — to understand the implications of genetic relatedness within and between populations.

    @anonymous – “4ii. Do you dispute that German and Turkish invasions / occupations resulted in higher absolute deaths of Balkans peoples than absolute death toll caused by intra-ethnic murder or localised (i.e., exclusively Balkan on Balkan) violence these past 500 years?”

    no. but, i’m sorry, that’s a silly question. and, again, not related to what i’m talking about here.

    @anonymous – “5. Do the Albanians stand out as unique (even among Balkans peoples) in their (over)representation in not only vendetta violence but violent crime in general (drug trade, murder, rape, etc) locally and across Europe?”

    well, i don’t know for sure because i haven’t read about all the vendetta cultures in europe yet, or all of the mafioso-type organized crime operations, but the ones [edit: albanians] that are involved in that sort of thing do certainly seem to be particularly violent and nasty, yes.

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  19. @anonymous – “Look if this isn’t saying that Serbs are more like Albanians and Greeks are less like Albanians, then I’m not sure I comprehend your English:

    ‘but there is variation in the balkan populations: from the apparently very clannish mountain dwelling albanians to the less-so-but-still-rather clannish greeks. the serbs fall in here somewhere as well, a good portion of them closer to the greeks in behavior, but some of them more like the mountain albanians, which i’ll get to below.'”

    SOME of them more like the mountain albanians. and, as i explained further down in the post, that SOME are the serbs in montenegro.

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  20. Your application of deductive logic is very selective and not very tidy.

    #1 – I asked a direct question…you didn’t fill in the blank…”some”…which exactly?

    OK – some (in italics, bold) Serbs are like Albanians and some are like Greeks…but Greeks overall are less like Albanians?…which are on the extreme end of clannishness and clan-related violence…do I read you right? If so, based on what? Because some of the Serbs live in mountainous regions and some in the Pannonian plains? And the Greeks live on what exactly and marry whom precisely? Just trying to define / contextualize the argument here.

    #2 – vendetta violence, ok I get it. But weren’t you ascribing more violence to peoples with higher levels of cousin-marriage and mountain-dwelling? Just trying to connect your train of thought. I think we established – ok, I’m satisfied with concluding – outside of Albanians very little such violence exists in the rest of the Balkans; it’s indistinguishable from the rest of Europe. Is this correct?

    #3 – you are intrdocuing new arguments here, namely trust and unity among national sub-units, clans…but I’m ok with that because I agree they have some relevance…still, as regards violence, you are talking about a “certain type” of violence…the type that supports your conclusions and not the type that puts your conclusions into question?

    #4 – you agree….but it’s “irrelevant”… it reminds me of a botanist friend…much as you are focused on biodiversity and its implications…as judged by a set of criteria….explicitly deliniated…”certain”…not “all”…criteria….he would also be able to form conclusions about the Balkans…but frankly his expertise on the indigenous coniferous species of the Balkans, while quite deep, impresses me little – little, not meaning not at all, but little – in formulating a conclusion about the causes and drivers behind Balkan peoples’ behaviors.

    Sure, that’s a bit extreme and maybe unfair to a degree, but I hope you’ll get my point because I think it applies.

    P.S.

    As relates to #3-4, you’ve totally back-peddled and ignored our exchange because international violence is what you were writing about repeatedly until I invoked data that put your conclusions about Balkan peoples’ unique behaviors into question.

    Reply

  21. http://meatslap.ytmnd.com
    @hbdc: Bless you for your efforts. But in the end, “anonymous” is responsible for his own betterment.

    @Anon: I must concur with Mr. Idiot. You repeatedly misrepresent the positions of Ms. Chick in your rebuttals of her (such as your last paragraph of your last post, which seems to entirely miss/misrepresent the theses explored in the blog). One might generously chalk this down to an honest misreading, as Ms. Chick has done, and seek to repair your misread. But worse still, you’re simply rude towards a very obliging and scrupulous researcher. Both faults without providing much in the way of data supporting your own contentions, or value otherwise added (except for an interesting link, for which you were duly thanked for, but which does not serve to rebut Ms. Chick).

    If I were the website proprietor, I’d probably conclude the debate without further comment, and continue on being awesome as usual.

    Reply

  22. redzengoist: Are we reading the same blog? I’m quoting directly from the post above. How am I misrepresenting?

    I read, re-read, and re-re-read HBD Chick’s post above. I quoted it directly.

    “what i do think is that there are, indeed, some underlying behavioral tendencies which all of the balkan populations share…”

    She makes a proposition about Balkans peoples being clannish (some more than others but all of them more often than not…or moreso than most Europeans, or at least Anglos and Germans as explicitly stated)….

    “clannish groups, to some degree or another, don’t manage liberal democracy, the avoidance of corruption, to have very civic societies, or to peacefully coexist with neighboring clans/tribes”

    …and concludes that this explains the greater proclivity to lacking in civic behavior and out-group violence, among other things.

    She became irate I didn’t post enough of her statements? Well should I paste in the entirety of the post – it’s above, everyone can read it. Am I missing the gist of it by posting what I’ve posted?

    HBD Chick then posted comments contradicting her own original posts by arguing that she wasn’t talking about out-group violence afterall – this became “irelevent” when I introduced simple data and argument about other sources of out-group violence in the Balkans which are far more significant and could threaten her entire conclusion. So then responding to me by quoting comments she posted after the original piece – which contradict her original post – she is able to refute my position by having altered her argument. How convenient is that?

    I challenged both the proposition on the extent of clannishness and the extent of violence that trully differentiates the (non-Albanian) Balkan populations. And you and the “Idiot” are just chastising my tone without contributing to the argument which you seem to believe HBD Chick has clearly laid to rest. On what logical terms? Maybe I am “old school” and following some alternate rules:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deductive_reasoning

    I like the HBD enthusiasts because they introduce some new and relevant ideas to the understanding of human behavior and are not afraid to be politically incorrect in the process. But too many resemble the modern “social scientist” which means they can be, and often are, narrow in their views and equally political and obstinate about the validity of their often overly simplistic and erroneous conclusions which stem from this narrow view of the world.

    HBD Chick will claim the other stuff matters but is comfortable making sweeping generalizations without much regard for the other stuff (and then in the amended posts denying even having made the generalizations which are clearly in the original post preceding them!). What if per chance the other stuff matters more – a LOT more – than the actual stuff considered in making the conclusion?

    This might represdent the difference between science and understanding.

    link

    From the above link on science: “Apparently it’s that the people practicing “social science” can’t be bothered to do the hard work necessary to understand any particular phenomenon. They perform some basic survey, or conduct a simplistic correlation study and immediately are ready to make profound statements on human behaviors.”

    Indeed.

    Contrary to what you wrote, posting some interesting links and applying some findings from the realm of biodiversity (even correct findings) and then making sweeping statements about populations does not constitute “research”, “scrupulous” or otherwise. It represents blogging.

    Because we have here science enthusiasts mistaking banter for research, repetion for applied logic, and narrowness for thoroughness we get into this sort of mess.

    I will cease with my arguments because I think I have more than made my point for the reasonable observers of this site to see for themselves.

    Reply

  23. @anonymous – “She became irate I didn’t post enough of her statements?”

    irate? when was i irate? i don’t recall feeling irate or acting in an irate manner.

    what i reacted to was you taking one of my sentences out of context. you said that this sentence of mine…

    “what i do think is that there are, indeed, some underlying behavioral tendencies which all of the balkan populations share — tendencies towards clannishness and, in some cases, even a more extreme tribalism.”

    ….was an example of me…

    “projecting the Albanians’ Middle Eastern traits of a tendency toward tribalism and vendetta violence (and proclivity toward raping young girls?) onto some or all of the other Balkan peoples”

    …but obviously i couldn’t have meant that when in one of the following sentences (in the same paragraph) i said…

    “but there is variation in the balkan populations….”

    so, for the LAST time, i’ve never said or meant that all balkan populations are the same — i’ve never said or meant that all balkan populations are just like the albanians.

    do NOT repeat that misrepresentation of what i have written … or i might just become irate. (~_^)

    Reply

  24. @anonymous – “projecting the Albanians’ Middle Eastern traits of a tendency toward tribalism and vendetta violence … onto some or all of the other Balkan peoples”

    i’m not projecting anything. in addition to the albanian blood feuds, serbs in montenegro and montenegrins in montenegro also practice (or practiced) blood feuds — krvna osveta. also, the maniots in southern greece. so that’s three other groups in the balkans that practice blood feuds or have a very recent history of it.

    Reply

  25. Besides being an HBD enthusiast are you also a fan of Derrida? I mean should we now get into some surreal dual over semantics whereby you make up the rules employing quantum theory and relativity because the meaning shifts everytime you use the word? Or should we stick with basic English usage?

    There are “variations” but there are also “indeed, some underlying behavioral tendencies which all of the balkan populations share”. Such that the Balkans peoples in general “don’t manage liberal democracy, the avoidance of corruption, to have very civic societies, or to peacefully coexist with neighboring clans/tribes” such as the Anglos and Germans are able to. Hmmm. You didn’t say they were all “just like” the Albanians and I never said you said so….but you DID say they all share some traits like those exhibited by the Albanians which makes their abilities defective in managing civic society and regulating violence. Afterall, “it’s not a coincidence that the word we use for balkanization is BALKANization”.

    And then you proceed to equivocate over the ever-shifting semantics on the margin while continuously ignoring the fact that the overall conclusion fell apart once the necessary breadth of data and context was injected into the discussion. We’re gonna have a discussion over societal violence on the Balkan penninsula and only consider mating patterns and mountainous geography and exclude from the definition relevant in-group variables (Turkish jannisarism leading to fratracidal violence) or out-group variables (repeated German invasions and the Holocaust which wiped out double digit percentages of population….repeatedly) and expect the conclusions to hold water? Just because your interest happens to be biodiversity? Talk to my botanist friend – his interest happens to be coniferous trees and there might actually be an overlap of your hypothese out in the Twilight Zone.

    You are so obviously quibling on the margins that I would be irate if it weren’t so transparently hilarious! I’ll consider this a surrender and confirmation you’ll try harder next time. ;-)

    Reply

  26. @anonymous – “…the overall conclusion…”

    what overall conclusion? you seem to think that the topic is about violence (i guess you got that from the albania post), but it’s not.

    exactly what do you think the overall conclusion is? (’cause i think we’re having very different discussions here.)

    Reply

  27. @anonymous – “There are ‘variations’ but there are also ‘indeed, some underlying behavioral tendencies which all of the balkan populations share’.”

    exactly.

    think of it like a spectrum. a spectrum running from liberal democracy/little corruption/civicness/concern about the commonweal –> to –> no liberal democracy/lots of corruption/low civicness/concern about extended family (at the expense of the commonweal).

    now, not coincidentally, i think (and i’m hardly the first to notice this), these things all seem to correlate with degree of relatedness between family members in a population. in societies with low amounts of cousin marriage, you find liberal democracy/little corruption/civicness/concern about the commonweal, and in societies with high amounts of cousin marriage, you find no liberal democracy (or it functions very badly)/lots of corruption/low civicness/concern about extended family (at the expense of the commonweal).

    inter-clan/-tribal fighting is just one more aspect connected to all this (as are, i think, honor killings and rapes of unrelated women).

    that is how i can say that there are behavioral tendencies shared in all the balkan populations, AND YET there are variations.

    the most outbred of the balkan populations (the serbs in serbia? a majority of mainland greeks?) are more toward the left (outbred) side of my spectrum, whereas the albanians and, i suspect, the montenegrins, are more toward the right (inbred) side of my spectrum. [edit: and, of course, many (all?) of the other balkan populations will fall somewhere along the spectrum, but not necessarily exactly where the serbians or albanians are. somewhere in between. or perhaps some balkan group is even more clannish than the albanians. dunno. and perhaps some balkan groups won’t be near the other balkan groups on the spectrum at all. maybe one or more of them will prove to be as outbred and as liberally democratic, civic, uncorrupt, etc., etc., as the anglo-world. dunno.]

    THAT is the overall conclusion of this blog, which i don’t think you’ve grasped.

    Reply

  28. @anonymous – “We’re gonna have a discussion over societal violence on the Balkan penninsula….”

    that’s not what the discussion is, or has been, about. that seems to be the discussion that you want to have, but that’s not my point. never has been.

    Reply

  29. @anonymous – “OK – some (in italics, bold) Serbs are like Albanians and some are like Greeks…but Greeks overall are less like Albanians?…which are on the extreme end of clannishness and clan-related violence…do I read you right? If so, based on what?”

    some serbs (the ones in montenegro) are like albanians who are rather extreme when it comes to clannishness and clan-related violence (but nothing compared to, say, the arabs).

    other serbs (the ones in serbia, so i’m guessing the majority of them) are like greeks who are not so extreme when it comes to clannishness and clan-related violence, but who are, nevertheless, pretty corrupt and not very civic-minded (compared to, say, the anglo-world).

    some greeks (the maniots, for example) are (or were) like the albanians in that they are/were clannish and given to vendettas, but yes — most of the greeks don’t seem to be this way (at least nowadays).

    got it?

    based on what? based on information about vendettas (krvna osveta, for example), info from tranparency international, the paper on consanguinity and democracy that i quoted in the post, and the civicness scores from the world values survey also quoted in the post, amongst other sources.

    @anonymous – “Because some of the Serbs live in mountainous regions and some in the Pannonian plains? And the Greeks live on what exactly and marry whom precisely? Just trying to define / contextualize the argument here.”

    no. the flatland-mountain theory is NOT what i use to determine whether a population is clannish or not. that is a secondary theory that i’m following up — proposed by a guy named westermeyer (see link in post) — that populations that live in lowland regions seem to have a tendency to outbreed, while populations that live in upland, mountainous regions seem to have a tendency to inbreed (facts which are important for the reasons i gave in my comment of 10:25 a.m. above). he only looked at southeast asia, but that pattern seems to also fit wherever i have been looking.

    re. the greeks — several links about the greeks have been provided to you already. see the post again, or the “mating patterns in europe series” below in the left-hand column.

    Reply

  30. @anonymous – “But weren’t you ascribing more violence to peoples with higher levels of cousin-marriage and mountain-dwelling?”

    no.

    @anonymous – “I think we established – ok, I’m satisfied with concluding – outside of Albanians very little such violence exists in the rest of the Balkans

    like i said above, i’m not sure, because i haven’t read about all the balkan populations yet. i’ll let you know!

    …it’s indistinguishable from the rest of Europe. Is this correct?”

    again, i don’t know for sure, but to take greece, for example, which i do know something about — sure, wrt inter-clan violence, most of greece is prolly pretty indistinguishable from large parts of the rest of europe (but keep in mind that there are crazy little pockets like the auvergnats in france and some parts of siciliy). HOWEVER, there are still a lot of OTHER inbreeding-related problems in greece — the corruption, the low civicness, the difficulties with democracy. remember, the discussion is NOT just about violence.

    Reply

  31. @anonymous – “you are intrdocuing new arguments here, namely trust and unity among national sub-units, clans….”

    no, they’re not new arguments, they’re long-standing arguments here on the blog. i didn’t mention trust in this post, but i DID mention other “clannishness” problems in the post apart from the inter-clan violence, namely the difficulties with liberal democracy, corruption, and civicness.

    part (part) of this misunderstanding is my fault, i think, for not having a better introductory post for newcomers since many of the arguments are scattered throughout the blog here. i do apologize for that and am working on rectifying it!

    Reply

  32. @anonymous – “Do you dispute that German and Turkish invasions / occupations resulted in higher absolute deaths of Balkans peoples than absolute death toll caused by intra-ethnic murder or localised (i.e., exclusively Balkan on Balkan) violence these past 500 years?”

    you seem to be very focused on these foreign invasions of the balkans, and how they must’ve played a role in shaping the behavioral patterns of balkan peoples today, but you haven’t explained how they would’ve done that? how did that work? what were the mechanisms?

    i would certainly agree that the rule by the ottomans for several centuries would’ve (or could’ve) had a strong effect on behavioral patterns. there’s the introduction of islam for one thing which would NOT have discouraged cousin marriage in any way, but rather encouraged it. also, the ottomans were experts at playing ethnic groups off one another, so they certainly never would’ve done anything to encourage peaceful coexistance between the different groups.

    but i don’t see how the relatively short invasion by the germans would’ve resulted in much of a behavioral change. unless the germans only slaughtered certain types of individuals — on a large scale — and so weeded those personality types out of the population? i’m skeptical about that, though.

    again, the quest of this blog (and blogess) is to work out the connections (if there are any) between mating patterns and “innate social behaviors” like tendencies towards corruption and nepotism, etc. the inter-clan violence is just one part of that, and that cannot be down to just the invasion and occupation of foreign powers, ’cause that doesn’t explain the hatfields and the mccoys.

    the common ground between all the populations that don’t manage liberal democracy very well/tend towards corruption/lack civicness/and, at the extremes, are violent towards outsiders, (at least the ones i’ve read about so far!), is that they inbreed to some degree or another — and usually have a long history of it. the arabs (pretty much most of the muslim world, in fact), the chinese, eastern europeans, southern europeans — all, to some degree or another, don’t manage the things on the list above — and all of them, to some degree or another, inbreed and have long histories of inbreeding.

    inbreeding leads to clannish behavioral patterns — at least i think it does — sometimes including violence towards other groups (like the vendettas in some balkan populations, the italians, the populations on minandao in the philippines, the border reivers, etc.).

    Reply

  33. Ironically, Anonymous’ campaign to prove that his people are utterly unlike those horrible tribal Albanians, is itself a likely symptom of tribalism.

    Reply

  34. @ihtg – “Ironically, Anonymous’ campaign to prove that his people are utterly unlike those horrible tribal Albanians, is itself a likely symptom of tribalism.”

    yeah, but i didn’t want to go there. that’s a REALLY BIG red pill to have to swallow. (~_^)

    Reply

  35. Lol IHTG, exactly. As soon as I saw a post about the Balkans I knew what the comments were going to look like.

    Reply

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