liberal (white) guilt as altruistic punishment

i really like this! bjk suggests (link and emphases added by me):

“White guilt, I was thinking about it. Steve Sailer thinks that white guilt has nothing to do with guilt but with status striving. But status doesn’t seem an adequate explanation, and it’s not really very fair to liberals, who say they have honest intentions, and why not? So then what explains the really deep emotional bitterness many liberals feel towards southerners? Not that they’ve ever met somebody with a confederate bumper sticker, but the disdain for Bubba goes deeper than the surface. So then I thought about a wife marrying a new husband. Suddenly she’s dependent on him and his income, maybe on her parents if things go bad, and then on her in-laws, in that order. But if the extended family is weak and distant, and the parents are poor or on bad terms with her, she rightly sees herself in a very vulnerable situation. So she votes for democrats. Compare her with someone who marries a cousin. Now she is not dependent on just her husband, but her husband depends on her also, and there is a strong reinforcement of the marriage from the in-laws.

“So in the perspective of both women, there are three kinds of people: nuclear family, in-laws, and strangers. The first woman, dependent to a great extent on her nuclear family, looks to the strangers as an insurance policy, either literally (by buying insurance) or through the state. But the second women sees the state as simply strangers – she is much better off relying on her extended family, which is large enough to serve as insurance, and includes her in-laws.

So you might figure these two cases are symmetrical, but they’re not. Lady a indirectly relies on lady b, but not vice-versa. Lady b doesn’t think about a at all, except to try to avoid the revenuer. But lady a gets spittle-spewing furious at b if she can’t rely on b, but b just shrugs her shoulders. Not her problem.

So to get back to liberal guilt, what we call liberal guilt is really altruistic punishment directed against other whites (blacks may be the plaintiff but are not really party to the dispute). This altruistic punishment is directed at whites (crackers, bubbas and other racists) who do not engage in stranger-stranger reciprocity via the state ie are shirking their duties.

“So white guilt is not misnamed – it’s the attempt to makes other whites feel guilty, not any feeling of guilt whites feel towards blacks.”
_____

that’s really good. thanks, bjk!

and the southern lady — lady b — doesn’t even have to marry her cousin nowadays to not be so interested in helping out lady a. she, and a majority of her fellow southerners, might just have very different altruistic attitudes than yankees due to their different evolutionary histories (i.e. puritans vs. border reivers and cavaliers).

(and, yeah … blacks and other minorities [such as they are for now!] definitely seem to be pawns in this game … whatever the h*ck it’s all about.)

(note: comments do not require an email. a tarsier in the hand is worth … something or other.)

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134 Comments

  1. “Lady b doesn’t think about a at all, except to try to avoid the revenuer. But lady a gets spittle-spewing furious at b if she can’t rely on b, but b just shrugs her shoulders. Not her problem.”

    That would be true if healthcare cost what it did back when we didn’t know how to do a triple bypass. Lady B is probably in a community structured around the need for local agricultural labor. In less than a decade that will be 100% automated. So, when there aren’t anymore farming jobs to maintain culturally isolated, tight-knit communities of gun-loving white folks across America, how does lady B pay her medical bills when she gets some disease she’s never heard of? Presumably a century ago she’d have just died, but we don’t really do that anymore for various reasons.

    If she could get a tattoo saying she didn’t want any emergency care that would cost more than her manly man (and immediate kin) could provide, then perhaps lady B could get away with saying she’s all Ayn Randy and independent-like.

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  2. Thanks hbdchick. I think the first commenter is right that it’s kinda stupid to try to explain long-standing divides in terms of contemporary politics. Obviously the civil war was not about health care.

    Let’s take one example of white guilt. The owner of the Washington Bullets, Abe Pollin, hired a general manager, Wes Unseld, and employed him for over a decade. But Wes Unseld was perhaps the most incompetent GM in the NBA, ever. He made one bad deal after another. He traded away Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and Chris Webber and got nada in return. This was clearly an example of white guilt – the owner simply felt a level of “white guilt” that would not have spared a white GM. OK. But is Abe Pollin in a status competition? Maybe. Clearly he wanted to be liked, and DC is a black city. And he wasn’t punishing anybody, except himself and the the fans of the team (alas). In this case, a certain amount of status striving plus a little “rooting for the underdog” combined to ruin my favorite team. So that is clearly NOT a case of altruistic punishment. And Sailer is right, Pollin did not personally feel at all guilty.

    But most “white guilt” is not so well-intentioned, and consists mostly of accusing other whites of racism.

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  3. This is an excellent snapshot of the conflict between historic inbreeders and historic outbreeders, and why this is partly intractable, despite the pundits and political commentators inability to understand this.

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  4. @Alexa – even more than the welfare critics, you are taking a stereotype and extrapolating it to predict a future you have not been to. Adding in the data that health care is expensive and will only get more so, you have created a narrative that is perfect for confirmation bias. My prediction is that no facts will trouble you heretofore.

    Government benefits come in many forms, with varying degrees of approval from the society at large. That the broad term “welfare” allows women to get away from bad husbands is a plus. The problem comes is they can also get away from marginal, decent, or very good husbands. The reflection is that husbands of varying quality have less guilt about leaving poor, marginal, decent, or very good wives as well.

    This is even clearer when we look at family formation at the outset. As Charles Murray noted, many pathologies were unleashed around the mid-60’s, as young people had ever-less need to be cautious who they had sex with. Just what the world needs, eh? I note in passing that the other changes – birth control abortion, no-fault divorce had similar mixed results. They solve (I do not mention any moral issues here) some of the worst tragedies, at the expense of creating others. In this case, a generalised greater (much greater) acceptance of premarital sex among an age group already noted for its dumb impulsivity and neglect of long-term consequences, resulted.

    Catastrophic for those children, and for all of us left to deal with the resulting patholgies. As for altruistic punishment, more mobile populations want all places in a society to provide the protection they think they might need, as they will not have family or even a strong longstanding friendship network to rely on if they move from Portland to Denver to Austin. For those who are single, especially with children, this is even more the case. They have themselves and the state to rely on, and so need the state to pony up everywhere. When they expand their narratives to imagine who else this includes, they are less likely to think of actual networks with a variety of people, but people much like themselves in other places. 30 y/o women with a child tend to picture other 30 y/o women with children, likely poorer because that is what they fear, and they resent deeply that everyone doesn’t want to support them at the level they think they should.

    And so the sad stories – many of them true, but still highly selected.

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  5. @avi – “That the broad term ‘welfare’ allows women to get away from bad husbands is a plus. The problem comes is they can also get away from marginal, decent, or very good husbands.”

    yup. =/

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  6. Nice try, but Bubba’s mother relies on Medicare too. And Bubba himself may be on Medicaid.

    So none of us, except the truly wealthy, will go through our lives without relying on a federal program (which is partly a result of the economics of the federal spending itself, which drives up the cost of health care, etc., beyond the reach of average Americans).

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  7. @juan – “So none of us, except the truly wealthy, will go through our lives without relying on a federal program (which is partly a result of the economics of the federal spending itself, which drives up the cost of health care, etc., beyond the reach of average Americans).”

    you’re right about that!

    but that wasn’t really the point of the discussion. what i’m interested in is why lady a is ok with contributing to the commonweal, but lady b (and her man, bubba) are not (even though, at the same time, they might be VERY ok with TAKING from the common pot!).

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  8. i said: “…lady a is ok with contributing to the commonweal, but lady b (and her man, bubba) are not (even though, at the same time, they might be VERY ok with TAKING from the common pot!).”

    for the record, i think this is one of the fundamental problems with “lady b”/clannish societies, and that is that, while they generally do not want to contribute to the common pool (to varying degrees), they are VERY happy to TAKE from the common pool as much as possible to the benefit of themselves and their extended family members.

    thus you get ridiculous scenarios like those being played out in the piigs these days: in places like italy and greece, everyone tries to avoid paying taxes, but at the same time they all want to retire when they’re 58 on a full state pension.

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  9. @HBD Chick:

    “for the record, i think this is one of the fundamental problems with “lady b”/clannish societies and that is that, while they generally do not want to contribute to the common pool (to varying degrees), they are VERY happy to TAKE from the common pool as much as possible to the benefit of themselves and their extended family members.”

    I think that encapsulates very well the fundamental problem with America today, in general.

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  10. @jayman – “I think that encapsulates very well the fundamental problem with America today, in general.”

    definitely seems to be going that way more and more. =/

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  11. Steve Sailer probably understands the way thing work. Inclusive fitness has little to do with it. Martin Nowak nails the cause: indirect reciprocity. People want to have a reputation for being good. And of course they want to be thought good by people who can do them some good. What’s the use of being thought a white people’s advocate? None at all.

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  12. Here’s something I wrote 8 years ago about an issue that has kind of died out, but seems like a reasonable example:

    The endless gun-control brouhaha, which on the surface appears to be a bitter battle between liberal and conservative whites, also features a cryptic racial angle. What blue-region white liberals actually want is for the government to disarm the dangerous urban minorities that threaten their children’s safety. Red-region white conservatives, insulated by distance from the Crips and the Bloods, don’t care that white liberals’ kids are in peril. Besides, in sparsely populated Republican areas, where police response times are slow and the chances of drilling an innocent bystander are slim, guns make more sense for self-defense than in the cities and suburbs.

    White liberals, angered by white conservatives’ lack of racial solidarity with them, yet bereft of any vocabulary for expressing such a verboten concept, pretend that they need gun control to protect them from gun-crazy rural rednecks, such as the ones Michael Moore demonized in “Bowling for Columbine,” thus further enraging red-region Republicans.

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  13. @sean – “Princeton donors were 99 to 1 for Obama.”

    heh. yeah, of course they were!

    @sean – “‘TWO key strategies for intelligent co-operation are “direct reciprocity” (I treat you according to how you have treated me) and “indirect reciprocity” (I treat you according to your reputation).'”

    ooo, martin nowak, mr. controversial. (~_^) not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    here’s the rest of that quote:

    “Direct reciprocity is widespread in the animal kingdom, but indirect reciprocity is far rarer. Nowak has a simple explanation: ‘You can say it beautifully in one sentence, like my colleague David Haig at Harvard has done: “For direct reciprocity you need a face; for indirect reciprocity you need a name.” For efficient indirect reciprocity, you need to be able to tell a story: “Yesterday, when I had the following interaction with a certain person, this happened. So don’t trust that person.”‘ It is humanity’s ability to engage in this story-telling that led Nowak to give our species the title ‘super-cooperators’.”

    that seems to make sense — for humans. i could buy that. so, being politically correct — and being pressured into it via liberal (white) guilt — is indirect reciprocity at play. no?

    what is that south american tribe that linguistically can’t — or don’t — relate second-hand information this way? they feel such info just cannot be relied upon. anybody know who i’m thinking of?

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  14. @sean – “Inclusive fitness has little to do with it. Martin Nowak nails the cause: indirect reciprocity. People want to have a reputation for being good.”

    i don’t see that the two are mutually exclusive — or, in fact, aren’t related. i should think that both direct and indirect reciprocity could affect both one’s fitness and inclusive fitness. if you, yourself, have a bad reputation, you could bring down your whole family (i.e. affect your inclusive fitness). which is, perhaps, why some families disown their politically incorrect members. this is just the western version of my “inclusive inclusive fitness” (in the arab/muslim version, you don’t just disown the family member that disgraced you, you kill them).

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  15. Maybe inclusive fitness in the widest sense is far more important that those donors realize, but they’re operating with an eye to their reputation in elite white society, where a reputation for ignoring inclusive fitness considerations is still the essential key to success.

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  16. Is there a donation that will not be accepted by HBD bloggers? But the white elite won’t donate to them. Now why is that? I think it may well be because Nowak’s ideas are most applicable to the class of white liberals (ie white elite) whose motivation is what we are talking about.

    The “evolution of cooperation by indirect reciprocity leads to reputation building, morality judgement and complex social interactions with ever-increasing cognitive demands”. At the individual level it may pay to behave as if inclusive fitness is the only consideration. But, there is multi level selection going on. A group where people are competing to for a reputation for being selfless will win out every time against one where everyone is trying to be a ‘big man’ – allegiant only to close blood relatives.

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  17. @bleach – “Is there an unfalsifiable just so story that will not swiftly be accepted by HBD bloggers?”

    uh … that hbd bloggers are individuals who have evolved to readily accept “just so” stories? (~_^)

    (note that i haven’t said that i’ve accepted bjk’s idea — or even any of my own — just that i like them.)

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  18. @sean – “A group where people are competing to for a reputation for being selfless will win out every time against one where everyone is trying to be a ‘big man’ – allegiant only to close blood relatives.”

    really? tell that to the arabs. or any tribal society.

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  19. @sean – “…they’re operating with an eye to their reputation in elite white society, where a reputation for ignoring inclusive fitness considerations is still the essential key to success.”

    not ignoring inclusive fitness considerations, i think, just that, due to nw europeans’ long history of outbreeding, and subsequent selection for reciprocal altruism in those populations (or at least a de-selection for strong familial altruism, if you can say de-selection), nw europeans don’t have such strong feelings for their extended family members or their clans or their tribes. they’re more individualistic — and more universalistic in their morality — so they think more of themselves and their immediate familiy members — and how they and their immediate family fit into the broader society (see, for example, the posts about the english under the mating patterns in europe series in the left-hand column below ↓). there are no longer extended family/clan boundaries in nw european society, so inclusive fitness considerations are not so strong — or another way of looking at it is that those inclusive fitness considerations extend out to the whole of society — universally really.

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  20. @steve – “The endless gun-control brouhaha, which on the surface appears to be a bitter battle between liberal and conservative whites, also features a cryptic racial angle…..”

    so … what people consider “moral” (ban guns/don’t ban guns) is really just what they think will be good for them and theirs (disarm nearby criminals/arm oneself against the occasional criminal).

    but this example, awkwardly, has also gotten all wrapped up in another moral question: whether or not you can say all people are not the same (i.e. equal/unequal). however, this second moral question isn’t really a directly practical one, but rather connected to indirect reciprocity — i.e. one’s reputation based upon where one stands on this “important” moral question (which should really just be a matter of empircal fact or not).

    so the second element is part of steve’s moral status game theory — and is connected to indirect reciprocal altruism — but the first part is just a direct “moral” question that two different groups with different opinions/situations are arguing over.

    humans are so confusing.

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  21. @hbd chick – so … what people consider “moral” (ban guns/don’t ban guns) is really just what they think will be good for them and theirs (disarm nearby criminals/arm oneself against the occasional criminal).
    but this example, awkwardly, has also gotten all wrapped up in another moral question: whether or not you can say all people are not the same (i.e. equal/unequal). however, this second moral question isn’t really a directly practical one, but rather connected to indirect reciprocity — i.e. one’s reputation based upon where one stands on this “important” moral question (which should really just be a matter of empircal fact or not).
    so the second element is part of steve’s moral status game theory — and is connected to indirect reciprocal altruism — but the first part is just a direct “moral” question that two different groups with different opinions/situations are arguing over.
    humans are so confusing.

    Let’s simplify the question then. Actually we have two questions:

    Question 1: Why do similar people under different circumstances arrive at different solutions to different problems?
    Answer: It is the only rational thing to do, we adapt to circumstances.

    Question 2: Why do we try to generalize circumstantially correct choices and attribute them to broad general moral principles when none exist?
    Answer: I never figured that one out, but it is a European thing. As a rule Africans and East Asians don’t do this. This has nothing to do with being on the right or the left politically, people of European ancestry tend to habitually generalize everything. We need to be “right” in a broader sense, we don’t really like ad hoc solutions.

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  22. Vasilis, I disagree with your answer to questiom2. In the US at least the right has never proposed universal solutions, but stuck fast to the Tenth Amendment, states rights… which by its nature favors ad hoc solutions. Alabamans don’t argue that Illinois has no right to restrict guns, they say that the Federalgovt has no rigt to dictate how AL handles the matter… while people from Illinois(well really Chicago) will say yes we do have the right to butt our nose in Alabama’s legislation, you ignorant hicks, now obey your superiors. it’s not a ‘European’ thing really, it’s a w.e.i.r.d. progressive thing, even when the South wanted to walk away from the country the progessive party decided this was intolerable that the will for self determination be granted

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  23. The Puritan settlers of New England were inbred.

    But, they had a distinctive ideology,
    ‘prospective members had to convince the congregation that they had indeed been chosen by God by relating “the workings of Christ” on their soul’.

    The following economic principles were regarded as false according to Puritan ideals:-
    If a man lose by casualty of sea, etc., in some of his commodities, he may raise the price of the rest.
    That a man might sell as dear as he can, and buy as cheap as he can.
    If a man lose by casualty of sea, etc., in some of his commodities, he may raise the price of the rest.
    hat he may sell as he bought, though he paid too dear, etc., and though the commodity be fallen, etc
    That a man may take advantage of his own skill or ability, so he may of another’s ignorance or necessity.
    Where one gives time for payment, he is to take like reward of one as of another. (ie charge interest)

    The Puritans didn’t do too badly against other ‘tribes’ . Their ideology marches on.

    Reply

  24. @sean – “The Puritan settlers of New England were inbred.”

    no. the population of england, on the whole, is much, much more outbred than almost any other population in europe. the english have a comparatively long history of outbreeding going right back to at least the middle ages. please see the posts on england in the “mating patterns in europe” series (left-hand column below ↓), especially the following posts:

    but what about the english?
    more on consanguinity in england (and scotland)
    exogamous marriage in medieval england
    more on medieval england and france
    consanguinity in england – north vs. south

    and the southern english (including the puritans) were/are definitely much more outbred than the border reivers folks ever were.

    Reply

  25. @vasilis – “Why do similar people under different circumstances arrive at different solutions to different problems?”

    a good question, but i don’t think that yankees and southerners are all that similar. (~_^) more similar to each other than a yankee and an australian aborigine of course, but rather different at the same time.

    @vasilis – “Why do we try to generalize circumstantially correct choices and attribute them to broad general moral principles when none exist?
    Answer: I never figured that one out, but it is a European thing. As a rule Africans and East Asians don’t do this. This has nothing to do with being on the right or the left politically, people of European ancestry tend to habitually generalize everything.”

    i think (of course!) it has something to do with the history of outbreeding in europe. made the population more individualistic and, therefore, more universalistic. i’m an individual, so are all those other people out there, therefore the rules that i want applied to me i should also apply to them. what is “good” should be good for all, not just my (extended) family.

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  26. @anonymous – “it’s not a ‘European’ thing really, it’s a w.e.i.r.d. progressive thing….”

    i’d agree with that, but say that it’s not a “european” thing, but a n.w. european thing (leaving the highland scots, border reievers and irish out of it).

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  27. Relative to other groups form Britain Puritans were not outbred. Yet they are more idealistic and altruistic. That may have something to do with them being from the most Danish part of Britain. It certainly is to do with them being economically advanced. A market economy only works where there can be basic trust between unrelated people. And the British are the descendants of the economically successful. (Clark)

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  28. @sean – “Relative to other groups form Britain Puritans were not outbred.”

    relative to other groups from britain — relative to the highland scots, the welsh, and (i think) the cornish — yes, the puritans were definitely more outbred.

    relative to other english groups — i’m not so sure.

    hackett fischer has got the puritans coming from east anglia. i came across some info before about east anglia and kent showing that, in the medieval period and even down into the modern period, east anglians were more extended family oriented than the population of central england. that smells of close-ish matings to me, but i have no (or little) info about that one way or another so far (but i mean to find out!).

    so i guess what i’m saying is that i think (i think) that the east anglians are, in fact, more inbred than english folks in central england, but less inbred than the peripheral groups like the highland scots and welsh. not sure yet about this, but that’s what it’s looking like so far to me.

    @sean – “Yet they are more idealistic and altruistic.”

    yes, they most certainly are/were! perhaps they found themselves in a happy medium between inbrededness and outbrededness? not so inbred that they were clannish/tribal, but not so outbred that they became completely individualistic, losing all or most of their group cohesion? dunno. that’s just me speculating wildly.

    @sean – “That may have something to do with them being from the most Danish part of Britain.”

    the danelaw and/or the anglos, saxons and jutes. -?- dunno.

    @sean – “It certainly is to do with them being economically advanced.”

    that definitely helps!

    @sean – “A market economy only works where there can be basic trust between unrelated people.”

    absolutely! and that’s where i think my outbreeding theory comes in. the english became a very, very successful “nation of shopkeepers” because (in part, of course) of their long history of outbreeding. they couldn’t have done it without the oubreeding, anyway, ’cause with too much inbreeding, you’re just clannish/tribal and market economy … well, it doesn’t run so smoothly or easily then. you’ve got to do a LOT of policing, then, because inbred groups are wont to cheat.

    @sean – “And the British are the descendants of the economically successful. (Clark)”

    yes. well, the english — and the lowland scots, i think.

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  29. Well Catholic countries must be said to be less inbred than nonCatholic as no consanguinity whatsoever was allowed by the Church. So how explain the rogue state making the breakthrough? I think there was gene culture evolution towards trust and forbearance. Martin Nowak says ‘punish and perish’. That might not be true in some environments, but it seems to have been increasingly true in England; even though the successful married cousins not infrequently Case in point, the incredibly creative and successful businessman Josiah Wedgwood. Note that Wedgwood was a prominent slavery abolitionist.

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    1. I’m writing a post that will discuss the historical colonial divisions in America as discussed by Albion’s Seed and their implications for American politics, including the recent election (which had a noticeable regional split in the White vote).

      In short, it seems that there is fairly clear evidence that the division between the more outbred groups, that is the Puritan and the Quakers, and the more inbred groups, that is the Cavaliers and the Borderlanders, is an important distinction that heavily impacts the differences between White Americans today, culturally and ideologically.

      Also, it seems much of the discussion on the topic around the blogosphere use “Puritans” to refer to American northerners and “Border Reivers”/”Scotch-Irish” to refer to American southerners. As far as the Britons are concerned, the contributions from the other two groups (Quakers in the Midwest and Cavaliers in the Lowland South) as important, if not more important that the former two groups to current American politics. I’m not sure if everyone is just using this as a shorthand?

      The evidence amassed to date that I’ve seen (a large share of it by HBD Chick) strongly suggest that this general analysis:

      “So you might figure these two cases are symmetrical, but they’re not. Lady a indirectly relies on lady b, but not vice-versa. Lady b doesn’t think about a at all, except to try to avoid the revenuer. But lady a gets spittle-spewing furious at b if she can’t rely on b, but b just shrugs her shoulders. Not her problem.

      “So to get back to liberal guilt, what we call liberal guilt is really altruistic punishment directed against other whites (blacks may be the plaintiff but are not really party to the dispute). This altruistic punishment is directed at whites (crackers, bubbas and other racists) who do not engage in stranger-stranger reciprocity via the state ie are shirking their duties.

      “So white guilt is not misnamed – it’s the attempt to makes other whites feel guilty, not any feeling of guilt whites feel towards blacks.”

      …is largely correct. The are other political nuances, but, fundamentally, the differences between the Democratic North coastal states in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest (and their exclaves in the Northwest) and the Republican strongholds of the South and the interior West are due to the source stock that colonized these areas. Hence, these differences are in good measure intractable.

      And this is with good reason, for all involved. The system that the Puritans and Quakers set up requires a strong emphasis on the “commonweal” and supporting such. This is why Democrats want to raise taxes and promote social welfare programs. Individuals in such a system simply don’t fare as well unless everyone is chipping in (of course, the problems of non-Whites that drain the system is another issue that hasn’t quite caught their attention). Hence, the hostility towards Red Staters.

      Just the same, individuals in Red States have a strong disincentive to favor social welfare programs because people there are indeed less likely to return the favor; it really is a bad idea to give too much to the common good.

      Theoretically, Red Staters are more able to depend on extended family. But here’s a question on the matter: is that true today? Are Whites in the South and West today more kin-centric? My (somewhat limited) experience in those parts of the country seems to indicate that they’re just about as individualistic as Blue Staters. I understand that kin-groups are still a major feature in Appalachia, but how about the rest of red America?

      A problem of this day and age is that the stress from the endless influx of foreign immigrants is putting pressure on the various groups of American Whites, because it is forcing their different ideologies on the matter to be expressed. If there wasn’t such an issue that served to illicit these different responses, more harmony could reign, but for now, that doesn’t seem to be what we’re likely to see.

      Reply

  30. @sean – “Well Catholic countries must be said to be less inbred than nonCatholic as no consanguinity whatsoever was allowed by the Church.”

    unfortunately, we can’t use that as a shorthand (catholic=no/little consanguinity) ’cause for large parts of its history, the roman catholic church has given out dispensations to individuals wanting to marry their first cousins.

    see, for example, the cousin marriage rates in italy — a very roman catholic country. as recently as the 1960s, cousin marriage rates in sicily — in agrigento — were 48%!

    for whatever reasons (including a combination of political and socio-economic), it was the northern — northwest — europeans who took the outbreeding message to heart.

    @sean – “I think there was gene culture evolution towards trust and forbearance.”

    yes, i think so, too.

    @sean – “Martin Nowak says ‘punish and perish’. That might not be true in some environments, but it seems to have been increasingly true in England…”

    yes, but the question is WHY england?

    @sean – “…even though the successful married cousins not infrequently.”

    comparatively infrequently, actually. at least in the modern period. george darwin found that the landed gentry in england (his class of people, in other words) married their first cousins at a rate of 3.75% (the peerage had the highest rate at 4.5%). frankly, that’s nothing compared to the rates you see today in places like saudi arabia and pakistan (50%+).

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  31. @jayman – “I’m writing a post that will discuss the historical colonial divisions in America as discussed by Albion’s Seed and their implications for American politics…”

    awesome! look forward to that.

    @jayman – “…including the recent election (which had a noticeable regional split in the White vote).”

    yeah, there hasn’t been any really good discussions of that — at least not as far as i have seen.

    @jayman – “In short, it seems that there is fairly clear evidence that the division between the more outbred groups, that is the Puritan and the Quakers, and the more inbred groups, that is the Cavaliers and the Borderlanders, is an important distinction that heavily impacts the differences between White Americans today, culturally and ideologically.”

    i think (think) this is the case — more outbred puritans and quakers vs. more inbred cavaliers and borderlanders. but i’d still like more data for most of the regions, though….

    definitely the borderlanders were the most inbred. i’d like more evidence for this, too, but i think a very strong argument for this having been the case can be made even at this point. hackett fischer mentioned the high rates of within-clan marriages (25% of marriages in 1500-1600s) in one of the border counties, cumbria, for instance. that seems to be the general pattern for the entire region — marrying within the clans, probably to cousins of some sort (first, second).

    the cavaliers (and indentured servants) — hackett fischer has them from the south of england, a region i don’t have any marriage data for yet. i have some data for a neighboring region, wiltshire, where cousin marriage rates were very low between the 1700-1900s. i said in that post that wiltshire was a part of the south of england where the cavaliers came from, but i’m not so sure about that now — here’s wiltshire and here’s hackett fischer’s “south of england”. i’d have to go back to Albion’s Seed to see what he said.

    because of its landscape, wiltshire was a region that was heavily manorialized in the medieval period, so extended families might’ve been well broken up in that region of the country early on (like in northern france). not so sure about hackett fischer’s “south of england” (wessex). i know when you get all the way into cornwall, further to the west of wessex, that, although manorialism was present there, it didn’t break up extended families/clans (kinda like in poland and eastern europe). but i don’t know what happened in between wiltshire and cornwall in wessex. was wessex more like wiltshire? more like cornwall? something in between? dunno.

    so, were the cavaliers/indentured servants inbred or outbred? i’m not sure at this point. certainly the cavaliers in virginia were! were they copying the cousin-marrying practices of their ancestors back in england? dunno. and the indentured servants? dunno.

    the puritans from east anglia? how inbred/outbred were they? see my comment above.

    and the quakers … i have nooooooo idea! which is very frustrating.

    hackett fischer mentioned in Albion’s Seed (i’m NOT imagining THIS! (~_^) ) that english historians have tended not to write regional histories of england, unlike historians from the continent. (guess that says something about the english right there!) i find this to be a shame/frustrating ’cause it’s obvious that there are (or were) regional differences in the english population, and i, for one, want to know more about those!

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  32. @jayman – “Also, it seems much of the discussion on the topic around the blogosphere use ‘Puritans’ to refer to American northerners and ‘Border Reivers’/’Scotch-Irish’ to refer to American southerners. As far as the Britons are concerned, the contributions from the other two groups (Quakers in the Midwest and Cavaliers in the Lowland South) as important, if not more important that the former two groups to current American politics. I’m not sure if everyone is just using this as a shorthand?

    i think it’s been over-simplified in the blogosphere (steve-o-sphere!).

    yes, yankees = puritans, but also the quakers, and i don’t think the two groups are/were exactly the same.

    and, yeah, i think everyone thinks of southerners as border reivers, but that ignores the cavaliers (i’m guilty of this, too, i know). i mean, the “distressed cavaliers” gave us people like thomas jefferson with all of his sentiments/ideas … which are NOT like those of a border reiever!

    it’s complicated. there is a north-south divide, but there are also divisions within the north and the south.

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  33. @jayman – “Individuals in such a system simply don’t fare as well unless everyone is chipping in (of course, the problems of non-Whites that drain the system is another issue that hasn’t quite caught their attention).”

    yes. also, there is, i think, the problem of certain other whites who are also glad to drain the system — another problem which i think is overlooked. (i can talk about this ’cause some of these are my people! (~_^) ) european-americans from more inbred areas of europe (think of the piigs populations) on the one hand don’t want to contribute to the commonweal (like the greeks and the italians not paying taxes), but at the same time they are very, very happy to collect all the benefits from Big Government that they can — because they’re clannish!

    i think there are two broad groups of white-americans who vote democratic: the outbred puritans/quakers who are oriented to the commonweal — and their attitudes would mean that such a system would work — AND a good portion of the piigs peoples (and in the u.s. that means italians, irish, greeks, etc. — especially those in urban areas).

    one good thing about the piigs peoples is that, like the border reivers, they might wake up sooner to the fact that the country is being given away to some other group(s). (then again, maybe not while they’re being bought off, i.e. benefit from the system.) the wholesome yankees miss this point ’cause they’re so universalistic in their mind-set — which is both their strength and weakness!

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  34. @jayman – “But here’s a question on the matter: is that true today? Are Whites in the South and West today more kin-centric?”

    that’s a good question! something to try checking out using the gss maybe. i’ll put that on my “to do” list.

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  35. There are huge differences between north Italy and the South. Even on the mainland there are places where Abanian is spoken even today. But the north is the most economically succesful I think there would be less cousin marriage there.

    Relative to other people in Britain commercially orientated people like Josiah Wedgwood married cousins not infrequently Yet they were (relative to other people in Britain) not ethnocentric.

    Note that on his days off (from giving Charles Darwin his brians, inventing modern sales and pottery techniques ect) Wedgwood was a prominent slavery abolitionist. Altruism or what?

    I think that a hopeful trusting attitude (not a suspicious vengeful one) became increasingly adaptive in a market economy and that’s the root cause of what we are calling ‘liberal (white) guilt ‘. And thats why those descended from economically succesful people, ie white elite in England and west EUROPE, are the most liberal part of the population.

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  36. @sean – “But the north is the most economically succesful I think there would be less cousin marriage there.”

    absolutely (please see the post i linked to for the data). but i would write it the other way around: i.e. since there is less cousin marriage in northern italy, the north is the most economically successful. (~_^) or that’s part of the reason anyway.

    @sean – “Relative to other people in Britain commercially orientated people like Josiah Wedgwood married cousins not infrequently….”

    commercially oriented people in england in the 1800s (i.e. those who submitted their marriage notices to the pall mall gazette) married their first cousins at a rate of 3.54%. the landed gentry married their cousins more: 3.75%. the peerage: 4.5%. the numbers are here for you to look at.

    @sean – “Wedgwood was a prominent slavery abolitionist. Altruism or what?”

    yes. or liberal (white) guilt. (~_^)

    @sean – “I think that a hopeful trusting attitude (not a suspicious vengeful one) became increasingly adaptive in a market economy and that’s the root cause of what we are calling ‘liberal (white) guilt ‘.”

    yes. but how do you get to a point where a “hopeful trusting attitude” gets selected for? how do you go from clannish/tribal to hopeful and trusting? that’s my question. and, why did it not happen anywhere else but nw europe, primarily in england?

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  37. In my opinion an important reason was that people in south east England were largely Danish. Denmark is the country where ice age sexual selection of women and its corollary relaxation of traits deriving from male-male competition (ie tribal clannishness and suspicion) was and still is most strikingly epitomized

    The Danish psyche is as far from being clannish as it is possible to get..Remember that the eastern ‘English’ suffering Viking attacks were to a great extent ethnically Danish. The ‘Anglo Saxons’ were Jutes (from Jutland) and Angles (Angeln) via Fresia. ‘Anglo Saxons’ did very little real fighting Bishop Wulfstan complained Saxon lords often looked on and did nothing as their wife and daughters were gang raped by Vikings. Not very clannish. Denmark is the most tender minded minded country in the world; more accepting of homosexuality (Vikings had sex with one another on the longboats BTW) than any other state, homosexuality was legalised in 1933, the age of consent is 15, first country to legalize same sex unions. It goes overboard on sustainable energy “the Danish Government has set a goal of running the entire country on renewables by 2050. What makes Denmark’s announcement even more unusual is that it has won support from across the country’s political spectrum” A modern Viking Danish protester: ‘No one would care if a Palestinian was hit with a rifle’ “While volunteering for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the West Bank over the past six weeks, Ias says he has witnessed “a process of ethnic cleansing that has been going on since the start of the occupation”.

    Gregory Clark says ‘There was a regional dimension to the fraction of the population employed outside farming. In
    particular this fraction is high even in rural areas in East Anglia: Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. There
    is other evidence that these were indeed prosperous areas in the late fourteenth and fifteenth
    centuries. In East Anglia in 1381, the poll tax returns suggests 14 percent of the rural population
    were engaged in cloth production, compared to 6 percent for rural England as a whole’.

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  38. @sean – “Denmark is the country where ice age sexual selection of women and its corollary relaxation of traits deriving from male-male competition (ie tribal clannishness and suspicion) was and still is most strikingly epitomized.”

    this is incorrect for the viking age time-period you’re talking about. the danish vikings were very clannish at that point in time, as were all the vikings (i.e. scandinavians). the pre-christian — and post-christian for quite a while — anglos, saxons and jutes in england were also clannish. see lorraine lancaster’s Kinship in Anglo-Saxon Society I & II for more details (i’m planning on doing a post on those papers one of these days, though).

    it wasn’t until after christianity arrived (and both groups started outbreeding) that either of these groups stopped being clannish — and that was later for the danes than for the english since they adopted christianity somewhat later than the anglo-saxons in england.

    @sean – “The Danish psyche is as far from being clannish as it is possible to get.”

    maybe nowadays, but not back in the early medieval period.

    @sean – “‘Anglo Saxons’ did very little real fighting Bishop Wulfstan complained Saxon lords often looked on and did nothing as their wife and daughters were gang raped by Vikings.”

    probably propaganda.

    @sean – “Vikings had sex with one another on the longboats BTW.”

    reference?

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  39. No ref for Vikings having sex with one another, but I reddit in a book I scanned through in Borders that Vikings were frequently accused of working each others passages, by the English.

    Don’t know why Wulfstan would’ve said that if it wasn’t true. The Saxon chroniclers complained a lot about their cowardly army. Ref for both is ‘The Year 1000’.

    Church prohibitions against blood relatives marrying were aimed at preventing aristocratic families arranging marriages to consolidate their power and wealth, not a tendency for the average person to marry relatives. The upper classes commonly arranged marriages. In west Europe romantic love was most important factor, left to themselves people are very reluctant the marry in their family.

    The population of the Scandinavian peninsular may often be lumped in with Danes but in my opinion they have little in common.The Viking Danes were after gold, (to get women) male slaves to sell for gold, or they just stole English.women. The cause likely was widespread female infanticide.

    The early ‘Saxons’ (Danes) married British women, (going by burials). Obviously kinship was very important everywhere 1000 years ago. I have provided a ref showing it was the most Danish part of England that was in the forefront of the transition to a market economy society where a hopeful trusting attitude was rewarded by natural selection.

    Organised in clans can mean clannish, depends what is meant by ‘clannish’ though. . The Scottish Highland clan was basically similar to a Mafia ‘family’. Being a member didn’t imply blood relationship Only a small minority (the tacksmen) were blood relatives of the chief. The vast majority were simply living on the clan’s land as tenants.

    The market economy society where a hopeful trusting attitude was rewarded by gene-culture natural selection probably greatly enhanced a tendency that already existed especially in the Puritans, who were largely from economically active classes from east Anglia (ie Danes). Danish ancestry was important

    Anyway, I think what is called ‘guilt’ here derives from social identity not inclusive fitness. There are social controls enforcing group norms ( ie having an open hopeful trusting attitude ). Liberals see themselves as part of a group, a group that has rules. So they feel guilty if they think they are breaking the rules. And if they see someone else breaking the rules they want them punished. But the white elite ARE genetically disposed to think that way, because they are descended from economically successful people.

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  40. @sean – “…frequently accused of working each others passages, by the English.”

    well of course people will talk trash about their enemies! not a good source.

    @sean – “Don’t know why Wulfstan would’ve said that if it wasn’t true.”

    to shame people into perhaps fighting back more against the viking raiders — particularly on behalf of the church. those chroniclers said all sorts of things that weren’t true (“st. patrick drove all the snakes out of ireland!”) — you gotta take a lot of what they said with a grain of salt. and anyway, how would he know that men were standing around letting their wives and daughters be raped? sounds like some ridiculous gossip to me.

    @sean – “Church prohibitions against blood relatives marrying were aimed at preventing aristocratic families arranging marriages to consolidate their power and wealth, not a tendency for the average person to marry relatives…. In west Europe romantic love was most important factor, left to themselves people are very reluctant the marry in their family.”

    nope and nope. not in the pre-christian period. read jack goody and michael mitterauer on the history of marriage in europe.

    @sean – “I have provided a ref showing it was the most Danish part of England that was in the forefront of the transition to a market economy society where a hopeful trusting attitude was rewarded by natural selection.”

    it was also the same part of england that had the longest history of the most outbreeding starting in the early medieval period. (~_^) if there was a connection to being danish and the development of a market economy (and liberal democracy, etc., etc.), then why didn’t those things happen first in denmark? surely there are/were more danes there than in the danelaw region? why did clark’s middle class arise in england first rather than denmark?

    @sean – “Only a small minority (the tacksmen) were blood relatives of the chief.”

    nope.

    @sean – “Liberals see themselves as part of a group, a group that has rules. So they feel guilty if they think they are breaking the rules. And if they see someone else breaking the rules they want them punished.”

    most people/s are a member/s of groups with rules, only their rules are not like those of liberal whites. why not? — is the question. (which is kinda/sorta a rhetorical question. don’t feel compelled to answer — unless you want to. (^_^) )

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  41. Men without women!
    Canute ruled Denmark and England so it is not gossip that the Saxons were totally ineffective against Vikings they paid off the gang rapiing, murdering woman stealers with Danegeld then were were conquered by Danes. But note that “Aethelred bought two years peace with the Danes for 36,000 troy pounds (13,400 kg) of silver. In 1012, following the capture and murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the sack of Canterbury, the Danes were bought off with another 48,000 troy pounds (17,900 kg) of silver.(Wikipedia)” So England was already economicaly highly advanced. And I have provided a reference (Gregory Clark no less) for the heavily Saxon (Danish) east being the most economically advanced of all.

    It’s true the breakthrough didn’t happen in Denmark, killing baby girls forced men to become Vikings, but was hardly likely to help them devolop their society in economic ways. Nor was the the inflow of vast amounts of silver an aid to productive economic activity. (Spain’s economy was retarded by that too).

    While I’ll say just having a lot of Danes in the population was in andsufficient, there were other factors, I still think the high proportion of Danish ancestry in England was an important factor. Danes are by nature pacifistic (Peter Frost on genetic pacification). They had a head start.

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  42. Re Highland clansThe link is good evidence for consanguineous marriage being common in the Scottish highlands in the medieval period, AMONG THE RELATIVES OF CHIEFS. But they were only a tiny fraction, the vast bulk of the population of the Highlands were peasants with no blood relationship to the chief. You can’t go by the second names such as MacDonald, They were given those en mass when it became necessary to have a second name. Those who were related to the chief, the tacksmen, did mainly immigrate to America though.

    BTW the Ulster plantation was mainly from the nearest part of the country not the Borders.

    Also the Highland clans were important far later than is said in that post, a few Clans nearly conquered Britain in 1745

    “The conclusion of this enterprise was such as most people both at home and abroad expected; but the progress of the rebels was what nobody expected; for they defeated more than once the king‘s troops; they overran one of the united kingdoms, and marched so far into the other, that the capital trembled at their approach, and during the tide of fortune, which had its ebbs and flows, there were moments when nothing seemed impossible; and, to say the truth, it was not easy to forecast, or imagine, any thing more unlikely, than what had already happened.”. (The History of the Rebellion in the year 1745.)

    Re. guilt Kevin MacDonald answers it in the first chapter of A People that shall Dwell Alone. Humans can think up ways of doing things that go aganst people’s instincts and socialize them into accepting and internalizing a group strategy. Hence guilt.

    But there is no reason to think that inclusive fitness must be served by such a group strategy, or motivate it . In his The Super Cooperators , Martin Nowak contrasts “Hamilton’s idea” with the “standard” or “common sense” approach. He says of inclusive fitness “it is not at all a universal or a robust idea but rests on particular mathematical assumptions.”

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  43. @sean – “it is not gossip that the Saxons were totally ineffective against Vikings….”

    sure, maybe ineffective, but that doesn’t mean that they were standing around doing nothing. it could just have meant that they were outnumbered or not armed well enough or whatever.

    @sean – “And I have provided a reference (Gregory Clark no less) for the heavily Saxon (Danish) east being the most economically advanced of all.”

    yes, but that doesn’t prove that something about having danish ancestry makes one more economically advanced. like i asked already: then why not in denmark first?

    @sean – “Danes are by nature pacifistic….”

    danes today are pacifistic, but you can’t extrapolate their behavioral patterns today back into the past. on the one hand, you’re telling me that the viking invaders were violent (raping and pillaging) and on the other hand you’re telling me that they’re pacifistic by nature. which one is it?

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  44. @sean – “Re Highland clansThe link is good evidence for consanguineous marriage being common in the Scottish highlands in the medieval period, AMONG THE RELATIVES OF CHIEFS.”

    nope:

    “The existence of close ties of consanguinity or affinity between married persons was common in the Highlands….”

    and see the macpherson clan genealogy.

    @sean – “BTW the Ulster plantation was mainly from the nearest part of the country not the Borders.”

    not according to hackett fischer. and not according to wikipedia (for what that’s worth! (~_^) ) thanks for the link, though — i will investigate further.

    @sean – “Also the Highland clans were important far later than is said in that post, a few Clans nearly conquered Britain in 1745.”

    well that’s interesting to know! thanks!

    @sean – “Re. guilt Kevin MacDonald answers it in the first chapter of A People that shall Dwell Alone. Humans can think up ways of doing things that go aganst people’s instincts and socialize them into accepting and internalizing a group strategy.”

    yes. i actually think that macdonald has got that part wrong. and i think nowak is incorrect, too. so we shall have to agree to disagree on the inclusive fitness point, i guess!

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  45. Of course there were other factors that taken together were more important than Danish ancestry, but I still think it was important. It was a necessary but not sufficient condition for England being first to make the breakthrough.

    Danish men in the Viking era HAD to act like evil bastards if they wanted to get a woman. Women were scarce in Demark due to female infanticide. They hit easy targets and outnumbered the English at the point on contact. Hense Viking depredations do not show any particular masculine-courageousness on the part of Danes any more than the The St. Brice’s Day massacre shows that the Saxons were courageous. Both populations were largely ethnically Danish in any case.

    I think Danes are less violent due to them being the population that is least selected for male male competition, all other things being equal, being less selected for male-male competition would make for fewer violent men and a head start in economic development.

    Your latest post points out the importance of having a low proportion of violent men.

    No I can’t prove the pacifist-liberalism of todays Danes is a genetic characteristic dating from the ice age. However, consider: Liberal Denmark has a full share of male homosexuality, not so surprising, but how explain them having few lesbians. Moreover Denmark has least masculine digit ratios and the lowest male fertility (semen quality) in Europe, in the world. That’s biology, that’s genetic.

    They hit easy targets The St. Brice’s Day massacre

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  46. @sean – “Liberal Denmark has a full share of male homosexuality, not so surprising, but how explain them having few lesbians.”

    well, i dunno (although i will note that those figures are for danish-americans, not danes — although that might not make that much difference). but that doesn’t convince me that medieval danes (danish vikings) were not clannish and given to violence — like all the other europeans at the time. i don’t see the connection, to be honest with you.

    @sean – “Moreover Denmark has least masculine digit ratios and the lowest male fertility (semen quality) in Europe, in the world. That’s biology, that’s genetic.”

    digit ratios are probably genetic, but semen quality doesn’t have to be (although it’s obviously biology!). the latter could be anything … something in the water (flouride! (~_^) ).

    but remember — digit ratios — or whatever genetic trait you want to discuss — don’t have to have been laid down in the paleolithic. don’t forget about The 10,000 Year Explosion.
    _____

    i’m pretty sure that the early medieval danes (the danish vikings) were clannish and pretty violent (as violent as any other nw european group at the time). but i’m not 100% sure … so i will investigate … and work up a post. prolly in the next couple of weeks. (^_^)

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  47. @HBD Chick, Sean:

    “@sean – ‘Liberal Denmark has a full share of male homosexuality, not so surprising, but how explain them having few lesbians.’

    well, i dunno (although i will note that those figures are for danish-americans, not danes — although that might not make that much difference).”

    It probably does make a big difference.

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  48. Ethnic Danes were clannish and violent, just not as suspicious and aggressive as other peoples. All other things being equal, (they were not Britain obviously had other advantages, eg being an island) that gave a country with a lot of them a head start to make the breakthrough to a market economy. Yes gene culture evolution would further decrease violent tendencies, but as you so perceptively point out Denmark’s history was not all that different from other countries so why would the 10,000 YE type of evolution particularly affect their genetic traits Economically successful classes and individuals are less violent. There is a connection between digit ratio and violence.

    Fluoride? No chance, The Danes are as concerned with pollution and public health as one would expect. They even put a special tax on fast food.

    Jason Malloy found a “1988 survey from Denmark. The interviewer asked 625 women if they had had any homosexual experiences. Here.

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  49. @sean – “Ethnic Danes were clannish and violent, just not as suspicious and aggressive as other peoples.”

    they were vikings!! and even later in the medieval period, their bishops were pretty violent.

    but i’ll check out the social structures (including kinship) and violence in the pre-christian, early medieval period and work up a post on them. remind me if i forget!

    @sean – “why would the 10,000 YE type of evolution particularly affect their genetic traits”

    well, i don’t think the 10,000 ye type of evolution did particularly affect only danish genetic traits, wrt clannishness and violence that is. i think that’s something that happened right across nw europe, but particularly in england+the netherlands. i don’t see why your ice age effects should’ve only happened to the danes, either? why not other groups in northern europe?

    @sean – “Fluoride? No chance, The Danes are as concerned with pollution and public health as one would expect. They even put a special tax on fast food.”

    i was just kidding about the flouride. (~_^) internet conspiracy theory. the danes, btw, have rescinded the “fat tax” — if that’s the fast food tax you’re talking about.

    @sean – “Jason Malloy found a “1988 survey from Denmark. The interviewer asked 625 women if they had had any homosexual experiences.”

    yes. i still don’t think you can extrapolate backwards into time and conclude that, because today danish women are not lesbians, therefore the danes of the past must have been non-violent. especially when all the historical evidence goes against that (they were vikings!!).

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  50. Denmark is a state with a long standing liberal attitude to homosexuality and a high rate of male homosexuality, but a dearth of lesbians. If there is a pausible explaination for that, apart from a genetic opimization of Danish females for traits directly useful in reproductive fitness, I don’t know of it.

    I think that the Ice Age sexual selection affected much of the population of northern Euope, optimising female reproduction and relaxing relection for male -male competition, The population of the area we know today as Denmark probably was fairly typical of north Europeans 10,000 years ago. It’s the others who have altered, relatively speaking. IMO Denmark is the discrete population (parts of N. Germany might be quite similar) in northern europe that has the least genetic change since the Ice Age.

    Don’t confuse animal courage (useful for male-male competition but disruptive to a society) and willingness to use violence as part of a collective effort with the correlation of forces in your side’s favour (and when a shortage of women due to infanticide of females provides overwhelming motivation). Of course the Danes of 1000 years ago were violent by our standards, but by the standards of the day they were peaceable (all other things being equal, which they were not). Gregory Clark found the medieval economic take off most advanced in the heavily ‘Danish’ areas of eastern England.

    Sexual selection explains the whiite skin of north Europeans (Vitamin D doesn’t) . Also, the delicate features of the European craniofacial form also point to sexual selection.
    There is only one non sexual selection explanation for impacted wisdom teeth and less robust facial features: reduced biting stress with agricultural diet. But Magdelenian girl is 13,000-15,000 years old .She had the earliest known case of impacted wisdom teeth. That was caused by the face getting smaller due to sexual selection for less robust facial features.
    “midline diastema [a gap between two front teeth] is twice as common in blacks” [while] “it seems clear that Class II problems are most prevalent in whites of northern European descent (for instance, 25% of children in Denmark are reported to be Class II).”

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  51. @sean – “Denmark is a state with a long standing liberal attitude to homosexuality and a high rate of male homosexuality, but a dearth of lesbians. If there is a pausible explaination for that, apart from a genetic opimization of Danish females for traits directly useful in reproductive fitness, I don’t know of it. “

    how about because it’s just not the case?

    here’s a 2003 study of cancer in homosexuals in denmark between 1989-1997. they studied 3,391 men — and 1,614 women — in registered homosexual partnerships in denmark. that’s a lot of non-existent danish lesbians. (google is your friend.)

    @sean – “Of course the Danes of 1000 years ago were violent by our standards, but by the standards of the day they were peaceable….”

    references, please.

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  52. Er, relative to the proportion of men sayiing so there does appear to be a dearth (ie inadequate supply; scarcity) of women saying they have had same sex experiences in the population of Denmark. It’s uber liberal, so why the discrepancy?

    All other things being equal, populations originating from the Denmark region are, and have been, relatively (by the standards of the time) peaceable , but going by the high muder rate in medieval England (Gregory Clark) probably not by modern western standards due to the pacification Gregory Clark talks about, though it would have affected them too.

    You might want to look at the 2D:4D of countries with a high murder rate.

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  53. @sean – “Er, relative to the proportion of men sayiing so there does appear to be a dearth (ie inadequate supply; scarcity) of women saying they have had same sex experiences in the population of Denmark.”

    i think that the gss results — which surveyed danish-americans and not danes remember — are unreliable. the gss shows that 0% of female respondents said they were gay, while meanwhile there were 1,614 lesbians in registered partnerships in denmark in the ’80s-’90s. there’s something amiss here, and it’s presumably not with the danish government’s marriage/partnership stats. (i wasn’t able to access the other survey for some reason. google books being a pain in the b*tt!)

    if you have some other stats for the proportion of gay men to gay women in denmark, please link to them.

    @sean – “All other things being equal, populations originating from the Denmark region are, and have been, relatively (by the standards of the time) peaceable….”

    again, references please.

    @sean – “You might want to look at the 2D:4D of countries with a high murder rate.”

    yes, that would be interesting. any idea if there’s a handy list of 2d:4d ratios by country out there somewhere? thanks.

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  54. In Western Europe highest 2D:4D is Finland, a broad faced county.
    Second-to-fourth digit ratio and facial shape in boys: the lower the digit ratio, the more robust the face.

    For the love of God! You’re going to hold me to the fire with that silly 0% from danish amercans (which I never actually cited). The study I did cite (via a link to a comment of Jason Malloy, which I messed up the first time), had a surprising low percentage of Danish women who said they’d had a same-sex sexual experience. However that gss data across various national origins did seem to show male and female homosexuality were inversely correlated.

    OK lets see if the low percentage of Danish women reporting same sex sexual experiences is inverse correlated to the percentage of Danish men reporting same sex sexual experiences . In one study it was found that 29 percent of Danish men were homosexually oriented (13% had tried it 16% were interested in trying it).

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  55. @sean – “In Western Europe highest 2D:4D is Finland, a broad faced county. Second-to-fourth digit ratio and facial shape in boys: the lower the digit ratio, the more robust the face.”

    cool. we shall have to see if we can find more measurements for other populations!

    @sean – “For the love of God! You’re going to hold me to the fire with that silly 0% from danish amercans (which I never actually cited). The study I did cite (via a link to a comment of Jason Malloy, which I messed up the first time)….”

    heh. sorry. yes, i can see that the link was messed up. i thought, though, that you were linking to the gss study! how was i to know? i won’t hold you to it anymore. (~_^)

    but, still — there does seem to be plenty of lesbians in denmark! the ratio of lesbians in registered partnerships to gay men in registered partnerships is almost 1:2. unfortunately, that doesn’t tell us how many actual lesbians & gays there are in denmark — a statistic the gubment there doesn’t seem to collect. *facepalm* so, we don’t have any official numbers how many lesbians there are in denmark as compared to gay men. i have a hard time believing it’s as low as the one survey jason malloy found. i’ll keep an open mind, though, ’cause i’m not able to connect to google books just now (lousy internet connection!) — i’ll try again later.

    @sean – “In one study it was found that 29 percent of Danish men were homosexually oriented (13% had tried it 16% were interested in trying it).”

    google books again. i’ll have to check that one another day, too, i’m afraid.

    you know that greg cochran would tell us that there must be a high “gay germ” infection rate in denmark….

    Reply

    1. Mentioning the “gay germ” theory, one way to test for it, for which I was going to write a whole blog post, but now doesn’t seem all that necessary (that may change), is to see if there is a higher incidence of homosexuality in the adopted children of gay (male?) couples. Whatever its mode of transmission, presumably years of close of contact should be able to do the trick. It is known that the biological children of gays are more likely to be gay, but that doesn’t differentiate between heredity or an infection. AFIAK, no studies on this phenomenon exist.

      A higher incidence of homosexuality among adopted children (presuming those children were adopted young, from strangers, so that there would be no bias in the pool) would support the “germ” model (it would also support the “imprinting” model, but I think that’s a bunch of BS anyway, so…). A gay germ would also go a long way towards explaining homophobia, which seems to focused on keeping gays away from pre-pubescent/pubescent children.

      Sorry to hijack your discussion! ;)

      Reply

  56. Forget about it that last ref the book isn’t a scientific one and was a bit suspect .

    It is difficult to get representative samples but i think it’s fair to say female sex sexual experience seems to be comparatively rare in Denmark even though male homosexuality doesn’t seem to be. And it is well extablished that Danish men have low fertility (apparently In Denmark one in 8 children is now born to couples where medical assistance is needed due to low male sperm count).

    The highest cancer rate for women is found in Denmark. Cancers in women would be reproductive system ones like breast cancer right?
    scandinavian peninsula

    Cochran says the cause of male and female homosexuality is probably different. I think its clear male homosexuality is more common in northern Europe, but not in the Scandinavian peninsula and fFnland which have low (masculine) 2D:4D ‘The incidence of prostate cancer in Denmark is only about half compared to other Nordic countries ‘
    Different bugs ? I think not.

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  57. @jayman – “Sorry to hijack your discussion! ;)”

    all interesting ot comments and hijackings allowed! (^_^)

    sorry guys — gotta run right now. more later….

    Reply

  58. In a comment at the West hunter post ‘Depths of madness’ I asked if Cochran currently believes an infectious agent that causes homosexuality is spread by homosexuals. Cochran graciously replied. He said he doesn’t know, but it seems unlikely.

    “Intralocus sexual conflict (IASC) occurs when a trait under selection in one sex constrains the other sex from achieving its sex-specific fitness optimum.” That’s what was found in the Red deer on the ise Of Rum, the most successful male breeders had daughters who were below in average breeding success. The most successfull breeding females tended to have sub-par sons. (Something about inbreeding from the Ise of Rum Red Deer project HERE)

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  59. @sean – “He said he doesn’t know, but it seems unlikely.”

    interesting!

    @sean – “‘Intralocus sexual conflict (IASC) occurs when a trait under selection in one sex constrains the other sex from achieving its sex-specific fitness optimum.'”

    yes, i’ve read a little about that. not very much. yet another topic on the looooong list of things to learn everything about. (~_^)

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  60. @sean – “It is difficult to get representative samples but i think it’s fair to say female sex sexual experience seems to be comparatively rare in Denmark even though male homosexuality doesn’t seem to be.”

    well, i’m starting to believe you, but i’m not 100% convinced yet. more data is required! (~_^)

    you still haven’t demonstrated, however — to my satisfaction anyway — that the early medieval/medieval danes were less clannish and/or violent than other nw european populations. i will look that up one of these days (remind me if i forget!). (^_^)

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  61. @jayman – “A gay germ would also go a long way towards explaining homophobia, which seems to focused on keeping gays away from pre-pubescent/pubescent children.”

    huh. i hadn’t heard that before. interesting!

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  62. @Sean:

    ” And it is well extablished that Danish men have low fertility (apparently In Denmark one in 8 children is now born to couples where medical assistance is needed due to low male sperm count).”

    Is that primarily due to low male sperm count or due to a high average maternal age?

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  63. @Sean:

    “It is difficult to get representative samples but i think it’s fair to say female sex sexual experience seems to be comparatively rare in Denmark”

    Yeah well, I don’t know how much I buy that (actually, I lie, I do know: I don’t buy it). Right next door in Norway, nearly 20% of young women are identifying as (primarily) bisexual.

    Indeed, your very source claims that 9% of Danish women (at least those in Copenhagen, it seems) have had same-sex encounters and an additional 33% were interested in trying it. That would translate to over 40% of Danish women having same-sex leanings!

    I think before we make too much of the frequency of homosexuality around the world, we need to get better samples. Time-depth would be nice as well, considering the rather pronounced secular changes…

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  64. @Sean:

    “I think its clear male homosexuality is more common in northern Europe, but not in the Scandinavian peninsula and fFnland which have low (masculine) 2D:4D ‘The incidence of prostate cancer in Denmark is only about half compared to other Nordic countries”

    Yeah, I wouldn’t make too much of this, either. The Nordic countries, especially Finland, are some of the most introverted countries in the world. So much for high masculinity (not that the two are always mutually exclusive, but they typically are). I personally will hold out until we get something more concrete on that one…

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  65. Well how about the level of violence in the heavily Danish population of medieval east Anglia, and later among the Puritans who were largely descended from in Puritan New England. And this dovetails nicely with the post, it’s highly relevant to altruistic punishment.

    Kevin Mackdonald on the Puritans “Both New England and East Anglia (the center of Puritanism in England) had the lowest relative rates of private crime (murder, theft, mayhem), but the highest rates of public violence—“the burning of rebellious servants, the maiming of political dissenters, the hanging of Quakers, the execution of witches.”[7] This record is entirely in keeping with Calvinist tendencies in Geneva.[8]

    The legal system was designed to enforce intellectual, political, and religious conformity as well as to control crime. Louis Taylor Merrill describes the “civil and religious strait-jacket that the Massachusetts theocrats applied to dissenters.”[9] The authorities, backed by the clergy, controlled blasphemous statements and confiscated or burned books deemed to be offensive. Spying on one’s neighbors and relatives was encouraged. There were many convictions for criticizing magistrates, the governor, or the clergy. Unexcused absence from church was fined, with people searching the town for absentees. Those who fell asleep in church were also fined. Sabbath violations were punished as well. A man was even penalized for publicly kissing his wife as he greeted her on his doorstep upon his return from a three-year sea voyage.”

    While I’m at it. An article (‘Musket Shot and the Highland Targe’. Roberts, Alasdair // History Scotland Magazine; Sep/Oct2012, Vol. 12 Issue 5, p22. ) says quite clearly “tacksmen, relatives of the chief paying little rent”.

    Wikipedia article Tacksman says “Although a tacksman generally paid a yearly rent for the land let to him (his “tack”), his tenure might last for several generations. He would often be related to his landlord, the free-holder, and might, for example, represent a cadet branch of the family of the clan chief. The tacksman in turn would let out his land to sub-tenants”

    Last of the Free: A History of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland “Standing just one step behind chiefs in clanship’s overall pecking order, tacksmen were frequently chiefs’ blood relatives – their nephews or cousins, perhaps”

    Tacksmen were the ‘clansmen’. the rest, the vast bulk of the Highland population, were just tenants.

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  66. According to ‘The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium ‘ at 12 years old every Saxon male had to swear an fealty oath (‘frank pledge’) to the King and also to obey his local lord:- “without disputation or dissension, openly or in secret, discountenancing what he discountenances and countenancing what he countenances.” Part of the oath said that “no one shall conceal a breach of [the oath] on the part of a brother or family relative, any more than in a stranger”.

    That does not sound very clannish.

    Reply

  67. In What Makes Western Culture Unique? Kevin Macdonald says one factor is “A de-emphasis on extended kinship relationships” Importantly this was enforced long before the church was around. “During the period of the Roman Republic, there were also mechanisms that prevented political despotism by any one aristocratic family,[…] There were also extensive laws that prevented close relatives from marrying. These laws prevented the concentration of wealth within kinship groups and thus prevented the predominance of any one aristocratic family.”(Alexander, R. D. Darwinism and Human Affairs, Seattle: University of Washington) Press, 1979.

    ‘A de-emphasis on extended kinship relationships’ does not mean that there were zero percent of such relationships. Just that they were less important, compared to other parts of the world. Powerful institutions like the Roman Republic and the Church were firmly in a long standing European tradition in opposing consanguinity (though they did so for institutional reasons of their own).

    Consanguinity in aristocratic families is not typical because aristocratic families had special reasons for marrying in. Ordinary people do marry relatives, but in counties where there is a lot of polygyny, like Senegal

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  68. Re Jayman’s comments, The best evidence suggests that male and female homosexuality are indeed inversely correlated. Moreover female homosexuality is inversely correlated with liberalism. Have you any idea of the kind of pornography that was coming out of the land of Bodil Joensen in the 70’s?

    The most common cancers are reproductive system cancers. Prostrate cancer strikes at advanced age, if you live to 100 you have almost a 100% chance of getting it. High Testosterone Increases Prostate Cancer Risk Finland and Denmark are comparable counties but have very different prostrate cancer rates. Denmark’s is far lower.

    But for testicular cancer, which is the most common cancer in males aged 20–39 years, Finns don’t get it much but Danes’s rates are through the roof; male subfertility and testicular cancer share important aetiological factors. Explain that!

    Finns are only masculine in some respects and even then only compared to other Europeans. Introversion is not a sign of masculinity in men, it’s a sign of a lack of social intelligence appropriate to men.

    For example, in Pride and Prejudice Darcy’s is painfully awkward at balls. He detests dancing is prone to lengthy silences and first time he proposes to Elizabeth Bennett he delivers a strange monologue. Is that masculinity? is that the product of selection for winning women’s hearts? No, it’s more likely a side effect of pacification and selection for higher intelligence of a non social type.

    Masculinity can be seen in the character of Wickham. He is lecherous, extremely good looking, and at the ball all the women are flocking round and entranced by his smooth talk. Extraversion: a tool for mating success “…among Senegalese men One trait, however, showed a strong correlation [with mating success]. This was extraversion, defined as “pro-social behavior which reflects sociability, assertiveness, activity, dominance and positive emotions

    Now what people in the world are most like that, and like dancing eh? The Senegalese that’s who. And I know why: polygyny.

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  69. @Sean:

    “The best evidence suggests that male and female homosexuality are indeed inversely correlated.”

    It’s highly unlikely that those numbers are representative of the source countries. “Danish” Americans ≠ Danish, for the aforementioned reasons. The rate of female homosexuality is clearly off for the Scandinavian groups. Sometimes the “best” evidence available isn’t actually good evidence.

    ” The most common cancers are reproductive system cancers. Prostrate cancer strikes at advanced age, if you live to 100 you have almost a 100% chance of getting it. High Testosterone Increases Prostate Cancer Risk Finland and Denmark are comparable counties but have very different prostrate cancer rates. Denmark’s is far lower.

    But for testicular cancer, which is the most common cancer in males aged 20–39 years, Finns don’t get it much but Danes’s rates are through the roof; male subfertility and testicular cancer share important aetiological factors. Explain that!”

    There may indeed be something to this, and there may not be. By themselves, these don’t really mean much, but we’ll see.

    “Finns are only masculine in some respects and even then only compared to other Europeans. Introversion is not a sign of masculinity in men, it’s a sign of a lack of social intelligence appropriate to men.

    For example, in Pride and Prejudice Darcy’s is painfully awkward at balls. He detests dancing is prone to lengthy silences and first time he proposes to Elizabeth Bennett he delivers a strange monologue. Is that masculinity? is that the product of selection for winning women’s hearts? No, it’s more likely a side effect of pacification and selection for higher intelligence of a non social type.

    Masculinity can be seen in the character of Wickham. He is lecherous, extremely good looking, and at the ball all the women are flocking round and entranced by his smooth talk.”

    So the Finns are masculine but they’re not? Pick one please.

    Note, I’m not saying that there isn’t something to this, but I am saying that at the moment, the evidence for what you’re claiming just isn’t quite there, yet.

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  70. Most scottish emigrants to America identinfied as Gaelic. (ie Highlanders). It is true the tacksmen were very family orientatedin and that as tacks began to be let out to the highest bidder rather than being given to a tacksman with family connections, many of the older sort of tacksmen were emigrated to america. Tacksmen didn’t work (oNly peasants and wonen did that) THEY were warriors .

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  71. Higher sperm counts in Southern Sweden compared with Denmark

    The Scandinavian peninsula is not typical of northern Europe, there has been admixture from Sami.

    Ethnic differences in occurrence of TDS– genetics and/or environment?” Extensive studies considering the risk of TDS-related diseases in Denmark compared with Finland, showed higher sperm counts and lower risk of cryptorchidism and testicular cancer among Finns. However, when comparing these two populations, the question arises, to which degree this difference might be due to discrepancy in genetic background. A more obvious example of the impact of genetic factors on the risk of TDS concerns Afro-Americans having significantly lower incidence of testicular cancer when compared with Caucasians living in the USA. A yet unexplored scenario is a possible interaction between genetic and environmental/lifestyle-related factors, certain genotypes making individuals more susceptible to adverse exogenous exposures. “

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  72. Danes are the population that most resembles the Ice Age Europeans who evolved white skin other characteristics as a result of sexual selection under conditions of an excess of women, and monogamy enforced by the necessity of a mother having a dedicated hunter providing for her and the children. Selection of men for the suite of traits that help men in the winning of women was relaxed because sexual selection only operates in one direction . Hence TDS is more common in Denmark.

    Harpending and Draper:’In some societies where there is little male investment in parenting, a women’s best strategy may be to find the biggest, toughest, most attractive fellow out there,” Ms. Draper said. That way, a woman may end up with a ”sexy son” who, in turn, will successfully mate and have children.

    Hence black Africans were selected for the suite of traits that help men in the winning of women. Here. Senegal has the most polygyny, and it’s where the most extreme sexual selection of men and the most extreme type of black African is found. This takes in mental characteristics as well. For example “extraversion, defined as ‘pro-social behavior which reflects sociability, assertiveness, activity, dominance and positive emotions ‘”. Blacks have a high opinion of themselves and it’s comparative rarely that they commit suicide.”

    Danes are the population that most resembles the Europeans of the ice Age who were under sexual selection of women. The mental characteristics of Europeans are shifted towards the female end of the spectrum. Harpending and Draper have insight into human nature, They looked at the novels of Sir Walter Scott ( who of course created the romantic image of the Highlander) – “Waverley is in the army but shows little interest in adventure. One friend says of him, ”I will tell you where he will be at home and in his place — in the quiet circle of domestic happiness, lettered indolence and elegant enjoyments of his family’s estate.” These proper heroes are typically kind and altruistic “and prone to tender emotions, like love and melancholy.”.

    See how it aIl ties together!

    Reply

  73. @sean – “Well how about the level of violence in the heavily Danish population of medieval east Anglia…”

    yes, how about the level of violence in medieval east anglia? show me some data!

    @sean – “…and later among the Puritans who were largely descended from in Puritan New England.”

    i’m not asking you about the puritans. the puritans here are irrelevant. i’m asking you about the pre-christian danes.

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  74. @sean – “Tacksmen were the ‘clansmen’. the rest, the vast bulk of the Highland population, were just tenants.”

    your references do not say that the non-tacksmen were not clansmen (i.e. genetically clansmen) — they just say that the tacksmen were clansmen. that doesn’t mean that they were the only clansmen.

    @sean – “The Scottish Highland clan was basically similar to a Mafia ‘family’. Being a member didn’t imply blood relationship Only a small minority (the tacksmen) were blood relatives of the chief. The vast majority were simply living on the clan’s land as tenants.”

    the importance of unrelated clan members in the scottish highlands has been exaggerated — likely by politically correct social scientists who don’t like human biodiversity. genetic studies are showing that most clan members are related to one another. here’s one example [pdf]:

    The Genetic Structure of a Highland Clan

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  75. @sean – “According to ‘The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium ‘ at 12 years old every Saxon male had to swear an fealty oath (‘frank pledge’) to the King and also to obey his local lord:- “without disputation or dissension, openly or in secret, discountenancing what he discountenances and countenancing what he countenances.” Part of the oath said that “no one shall conceal a breach of [the oath] on the part of a brother or family relative, any more than in a stranger”.

    That does not sound very clannish.”

    yes. those oaths were part of the drive by kings & princes to eliminate clans and kindreds. as giorgio ausenda explains in “Kinship and marriage among the Visigoths” (see also here):

    “In conclusion, the strenuous effort [by the Church] to penetrate the countryside entailed a long-drawn battle against traditional religion, whose vehicle was the kin group, and substituting the authority of the elders of the kin group with that of a religious elder, the presbyteros. At the same time the king’s rule was undermined by revolts on the part of the most powerful kin groups, clans or sections, whose conspiracies and murders menaced the power of the state. Thus Church and State became allies in trying to do away with the political power of extended kin groups utilizing all manners of impositions. One of the most effective among them was to destroy their cohesiveness by prohibition of close kin marriage.

    thus all the secular laws, in addition to the church’s prohibitions, against cousin marriage in nw europe in the early medieval period.

    see also lorraine lancaster’s two articles on kinship in anglo-saxon society (i WILL do a post on those one of these days — i promise! (^_^) ) in which she explains that, even as late as 1066, anglo-saxon society was “clannish” (note that that is my word not hers — she describes the importance of kindreds throughout early medieval anglo-saxon society — i interpret that as a sort-of “clannishness” — it was a society based upon extended families rather than the individual and nuclear families).

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  76. @sean – “In What Makes Western Culture Unique? Kevin Macdonald says one factor is ‘A de-emphasis on extended kinship relationships’ Importantly this was enforced long before the church was around. ‘During the period of the Roman Republic, there were also mechanisms that prevented political despotism by any one aristocratic family,[…] There were also extensive laws that prevented close relatives from marrying. These laws prevented the concentration of wealth within kinship groups and thus prevented the predominance of any one aristocratic family.'”

    yes, but as you’ll recall, germania was not a part of either the roman republic or the roman empire. nor were the scottish highlands for that matter.

    @sean – “Consanguinity in aristocratic families is not typical because aristocratic families had special reasons for marrying in.”

    no, you are incorrect. as i’ve asked you several times already, please see:

    – jack goody’s The Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe
    – chapter 3 (“The Conjugal Family and Bilateral Kinship: Social Flexibility through Looser Ties of Descent) in michael mitterauer’s Why Europe? The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path
    – and more specific examples to which i’ve referred you like lorraine lancaster’s two articles on anglo-saxon kinship and giorgio ausenda’s article on kinship in the visigoths (see comments above).

    there are also a ton of links to references in my posts on mating patterns in europe (and elsewhere). please, check those out.

    @sean – “Ordinary people do marry relatives, but in counties where there is a lot of polygyny, like Senegal.”

    nope. please see my posts on the balkans for just one example. china, too.
    _____

    you’ve said several times now — without offering any references — that consanguineous marriage was only important amongst the aristocracy and not ordinary people in pre-christian europe (at least that’s the time period i’m talking about, so i’m assuming you’re talking about the same). i’ve offered you several references which explain that that is incorrect, but you don’t seem to have looked at them at all. if you have, i can’t tell since you just keep repeating the same, unsubstantiated line.

    if you persist in doing so, i will assume you are trolling and treat your comments accordingly.

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  77. I was making two points Firstly I thought you were asking for suggestions as to why your ideas about kinship don’t predict the breakthrough happening in England, because you say kinship was just as important there. I suggested, ( seriously overdoing it) that kinship maybe was actually always somewhat weaker among ethinic Danes, and that made it easier for a market economy to get off the launch pad in Anglo Saxon England.

    You’ve convinced me that consanguineous marriage was pretty important all over Europe in all social classes, and not significantly less important among Saxons than other Europeans .So weaker kinship didn’t give the Saxons an advantage in moving to a non kinship form of society.

    But that hardly suggests that kinship is the crucial factor does it? It seems to me if kinship is to be rescued as a crucial factor we need to look at the type of kinship, was it more bilateral and less patricentric as K.Macdonald says (a unilineal descent group is exemplified by the Scottish clan system).

    Second point. If kinship is not decisive that makes it more likely that the genetic characteristics of the English population was significant. I think that Danes or Saxons were genetically more open minded, more liberal minded. I cited Gregory Clark for East Anglia being the most economically developed part of England, and cited Kevin Macdonald for Eastern Anglia having had a particular character due to the enthic make up of that part of England. I can’t prove it goes back to the Ice Age.

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  78. It does go back quite a long way. According to MacDonald “The idealization of romantic love as the basis of monogamous marriage has also periodically characterized Western secular intellectual movements, such as the Stoics of late antiquity “.

    Alan Macfarlane: LOVE AND CAPITALISM” Indeed, it is difficult to imagine how western civilization, and consequently the world as it is, could have developed without the ideology and practice of romantic love. If love can exist without capitalism, it is more questionable as to whether capitalism could have existed, or could continue to exist, without love.”

    IMO tender emotions are felt by European men because of sexual selection in the Ice Age. I think there was an inherent tendency for Europeans to emphasize personal attraction as the basis for marriage, and that’s why it was able to overcame an established kinship based marriage system in Europe (which I now accept did exist). The Church was important, but its ideas took root because they were conducive to a pre existing genetic tendency to romantic love in Europeans.

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  79. @HBD Chick:

    “Between 1989 and 2005, average sperm counts fell by a third
    – The amount of healthy sperm was also reduced by a similar amount
    – Findings confirm over research that sperm counts are declining in many countries across the world”

    Yeah, I wouldn’t put too much into that, yet. The fact that their sample came from fertility clinics (and presumably from men with trouble conceiving) indicates that their sample is highly unlikely to representative of the general population.

    As well, as a friend on Facebook put it, “men in former times had higher sperm counts because they didn’t have as many opportunities for sex.”

    Of course, to which I added that there are also better ways to go it solo today. Obviously male sperm volume is a function of how often it’s discharged (since it takes time to recharge)….

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  80. @sean – “It seems to me if kinship is to be rescued as a crucial factor we need to look at the type of kinship, was it more bilateral and less patricentric as K.Macdonald says (a unilineal descent group is exemplified by the Scottish clan system)…. If kinship is not decisive that makes it more likely that the genetic characteristics of the English population was significant.”

    you’re missing the point, sean. i’m not saying that it was kinship, per se, that affected the selection for a different set of altruistic behaviors (more reciprocal vs. more familial) in medieval nw europeans. i’m saying that the mating patterns — whether more inbred or outbred — affected the selection pressures on “genes for altruism” in these populations.

    in other words, i AM talking about the genetic characteristics of the english (and other nw european populations when compared to almost every other group on the planet — minus the bushmen, apparently, and the semai in malaysia).

    please see this post so we don’t have any more confusion in our discussion! if you have any questions about that post, please let me know.

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  81. @sean – “You’ve convinced me that consanguineous marriage was pretty important all over Europe in all social classes, and not significantly less important among Saxons than other Europeans. So weaker kinship didn’t give the Saxons an advantage in moving to a non kinship form of society.”

    it did once they converted to christianity and the church and secular powers enforced outbreeding in the population in england.

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  82. @jayman – “The fact that their sample came from fertility clinics (and presumably from men with trouble conceiving) indicates that their sample is highly unlikely to representative of the general population.”

    aaaah! see? you’ve always got to read the fine print! thanks! (^_^)

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  83. @Sean:

    To your points about the masculinatization/feminization Scandinavians, no one is doubting that there are behavioral differences between these groups, certainly with respect to West Africans. To keep things on point, the relevant question was about the importance of inbreeding/outbreeding and the selective pressures that that placed on medieval Europeans, in this case the English and their Norse interlopers. HBD Chick and I have speculated before that certain qualities of the Germanic groups may have led them to the path that included forgoing cousin marriage and developing high levels of genes for reciprocal altruism. But, we have no idea, and it could just as easily have been an accident of history. You have been (unduly) projecting the traits of modern peoples backwards in time (and projecting the traits of ancient people forward as well). One has to be very careful when doing this. Human biodiversity posits not only do people vary in space, they also vary in time as well. Modern traits stop being necessarily relevant after you go back a few centuries. Sure, Greg Cochran has noted that noticeable population change does take some time, but we are dealing with timescales long enough here, since we’re talking Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity. It’s OK to speculate about things, just know the limits of ideas and know what you can substantiate and what you can not.

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  84. @HBD Chick:

    “@jayman – “The fact that their sample came from fertility clinics (and presumably from men with trouble conceiving) indicates that their sample is highly unlikely to representative of the general population.”

    aaaah! see? you’ve always got to read the fine print! thanks! (^_^)”

    That said, the paper noting the higher sperm counts in Southern Sweden compared with Denmark used a significantly more representative sample (male conscripts to the militaries of both countries, but still suffers from one problem: the Danish samples were overwhelmingly urban, the Swedish ones less so. Whether or not that matters, I’m not sure, but I guess that remains to be seen.

    Overall, I’m not concerned about falling sperm counts, if they are indeed real. Like the supposed disappearance of the Y-chromosome, this is a problem that evolution has an enormous incentive to fix….

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  85. ‘ i’m saying that the mating patterns — whether more inbred or outbred — affected the selection pressures on “genes for altruism” in these populations. […] once they converted to christianity and the church and secular powers enforced outbreeding in the population in england.’

    It seems to me you are giving the Church a lot of credit here for being an institution with discrete interests in conflict with the rest of society, and completely altering the basis of the society to suit the Church. What I know about the Church in northern Europe suggests it followed a policy of proceeding cautiously, adapting to local pagan customs rather than laying down laws that were a total break with the past ( pagan customs were not infrequently taken over wholesale by the church). It seems unlikely to me that Church had the power to force the whole society including the powerful aristocracy, to change the way they did things in ways that were totally against the interests, long established custom and inclinations of the aristocracy, just because they had converted. The Church alone did did not have that power at any time. I think it’s reasonable to think the pagan European aristocracy were somewhat receptive to those ideas.

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  86. @sean – “What I know about the Church in northern Europe suggests it followed a policy of proceeding cautiously, adapting to local pagan customs rather than laying down laws that were a total break with the past ( pagan customs were not infrequently taken over wholesale by the church). It seems unlikely to me that Church had the power to force the whole society including the powerful aristocracy, to change the way they did things in ways that were totally against the interests, long established custom and inclinations of the aristocracy, just because they had converted.”

    again.

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  87. @sean – “What I know about the Church in northern Europe suggests it followed a policy of proceeding cautiously, adapting to local pagan customs rather than laying down laws that were a total break with the past….”

    yes. that’s why st. boniface preserved thor’s tree and incorporated it into christian rituals. (NOT!)

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  88. Kevin MacDonald is familiar with those references ( he cites them) so I’m not alone. Senegal is Muslim, does that explain the amount of polygyny there?

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  89. @sean – “Kevin MacDonald is familiar with those references (he cites them) so I’m not alone.”

    terrific. kevin macdonald has read the references i’ve given you. but i want YOU to, please, READ THE REFERENCES I’VE GIVEN YOU. because nearly everything you’ve said over the past dozen or so comments has been incorrect — and all of it is dealt with IN THE REFERENCES I’VE GIVEN YOU.

    @sean – “Senegal is Muslim, does that explain the amount of polygyny there?”

    i don’t know because i’ve never read anything about senegal … and i don’t go around spouting things off the top of my head related to things i haven’t read about.

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  90. @sean – “It seems to me you are giving the Church a lot of credit here for being an institution with discrete interests in conflict with the rest of society, and completely altering the basis of the society to suit the Church.”

    if you read more carefully, you would’ve noticed that i talked about both the church and the secular powers that be (were) — i.e. kings and princes. this, as i already told you, is discussed at length by giorgio ausenda in one of THE REFERENCES I HAVE GIVEN YOU.

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  91. A summary of Goody’s ideas here. He says the Church banned consanguinity in marriage and inhertance, which had the effect of transfering wealth from the aristocracy to the Church.

    A blogger discussing Giorgio Ausenda and Sam Barnish, “A Comparative Discussion of Langobardic Feud and Blood-Money Compensation with Parallels from Contemporary Anthropology and from Medieval History,” p. 314 in Ausenda, Delogu and Wickham, eds. (2009). says …violence in the form of feuds and vendettas were no longer a crime against an individual and/or family, but a public crime, requiring that the state also be compensated”

    Re thinking my comments a bit , yes there is good evidence for Church and state power opposing consanguinity and kinship-allegiance, and imposing a new order on European society starting from the countries that were the power base of the Church in the northern Med. and then on northern Europe. This is not unlike Kevin MacDonald’s position (he cites Goody), so I shouldn’t have been implying he was opposed to that view. Although the records of Saxon England are pretty thin on the ground, I can’t say that what we do know contradicts you.

    All the same there is Rodney Stark saying that Christianity grew because it treated women better than pagan religions. Not compelling them to marry their relatives may have been an important aspect of that. Both Church and state were run by Europeans which was presumably influenced there policies through the genetic traits of Europeans. not just insititutional motives.

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  92. Messy last para there sorry. Review article, it says Goody’s claim that Western church’s prohibitions on consanguinity were extraordinarily extensive in a comparative perpective was seriously flawed. The article mentions Goody ignoring the Evans Prichard’s finding that there were strong prohibitions agaist consanguinity among the Nuer. I mentioned the high rate of polygamy, with a high rate of consanguinity (beneficial in the long term) of Senegal .

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  93. I would point out that if Cochran is right about polygyny resulting in heavy genetic load, and intensive consanguinity removing that genetic load, then it would make bio-logic sense to ban inbreeding in a monogamous system and promote it in a polygynous system, such as exists in Senegal, where polygyny is most common in all the world (and I suspect inbreeding is most common too).

    So not only was there a papist plot to relieve believers of their wealth, it could be said Church was actually correct from a genetic point of view. And in fact they explicitly made this argument. Commentary: The background and outcomes of the first-cousin marriage controversy in Great Britain.
    “the Pope advised ( in 591) that in ‘unions between consanguineous spouses … the offspring of such marriages cannot thrive’.”

    But why is it that consanguinity remained relativily common in Italy,? You said “see, for example, the cousin marriage rates in italy — a very roman catholic country. as recently as the 1960s, cousin marriage rates in sicily — in agrigento — were 48%!” Surely the Church had more influence there and exerted it for longer. It’s not conclusive, but there is evidence pointing to northern Europeans being inclined to monogamy and less keen on consanguinity. I’ll leave it there.

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  94. @Sean:

    “It’s not conclusive, but there is evidence pointing to northern Europeans being inclined to monogamy and less keen on consanguinity.”

    Inside the Hajnal line, they are. But that’s today.

    Didn’t seem to mean much east of the Hajnal line, however, even in Northern Europe…

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  95. Steve Sailer on David ‘Two Brains’ Willets ” “When it comes to families, England was the first nuclear power,” Willetts quips […] England has been “not just different from Papua New Guinea or Pakistan; it is also quite different from France and Italy and most of Continental Europe,” except for Holland and Denmark And this difference dates to at least 1250—and perhaps back to (or beyond) the Dark Age days of King Canute.

    Following Cambridge anthropologist Alan Macfarlane, Willetts attributes this northwestern European model to the folkways of the ancient Germanic tribes.The Anglo-Saxons managed to hit the sweet spot between … cut-throat individualism … and the more workable extended family cultures seen in, say, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”.

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  96. @sean – “All the same there is Rodney Stark saying that Christianity grew because it treated women better than pagan religions.”

    true.

    @sean – “Not compelling them to marry their relatives may have been an important aspect of that.”

    maybe. although in societies where cousin marriage happens (including european ones), i don’t think women object to marrying their cousins any more than the men might. i mean, it isn’t obvious that women would not want to marry their cousins — except for in cases where anti-attraction feelings had been created by the westermarck effect — but aside from those, people are often attracted to family members that they didn’t grow up with — and very often strongly.

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  97. @sean – “The article mentions Goody ignoring the Evans Prichard’s finding that there were strong prohibitions agaist consanguinity among the Nuer.”

    sorry, i don’t see the significance of this. -?-

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  98. @sean – “So not only was there a papist plot to relieve believers of their wealth, it could be said Church was actually correct from a genetic point of view. And in fact they explicitly made this argument. Commentary: The background and outcomes of the first-cousin marriage controversy in Great Britain.
    ‘the Pope advised ( in 591) that in ‘unions between consanguineous spouses … the offspring of such marriages cannot thrive’.'”

    yes, i know.

    if you read some of the links i’ve given you (like here), you would’ve already known that, too.

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  99. @sean – “But why is it that consanguinity remained relativily common in Italy,? … Surely the Church had more influence there and exerted it for longer. It’s not conclusive, but there is evidence pointing to northern Europeans being inclined to monogamy and less keen on consanguinity.”

    monogamy and consanguineous marriages are not opposites, as italy and the balkans demonstrate.

    the fact that italy — particularly southern italy — has stuck to consanguineous marriages might have something to do with the fact that they never had manors there during the medieval period.

    again i recommend michael mitterauer’s Why Europe? (link in one of the comments above) in which he discusses, at length, the overlap between manorialism in medieval europe and the decline of clans/tribes. these are the same regions in which the church’s ban — and the various princes’ bans — on consanguineous marriages were most enforced.

    the manorialism connection dovetails nicely with an apparent general pattern of closer marriages occurring in highland/remote areas around the world — you just couldn’t have manors in the mountainous regions of europe like central italy and sicily, or greece, or the balkans, etc., etc.

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  100. @sean – “Following Cambridge anthropologist Alan Macfarlane, Willetts attributes this northwestern European model to the folkways of the ancient Germanic tribes. The Anglo-Saxons managed to hit the sweet spot between … cut-throat individualism … and the more workable extended family cultures seen in, say, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.”

    neither willetts nor macfarlane know what i know. (~_^)

    and, prolly most importantly, neither of them have taken a biological/genetic view on the matter. they do notice the patterns, but i don’t think they know why the patterns are there. (i may not be right, either, of course — but i think i’m closer. “folkways.” ha!)

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  101. @sean – “A summary of Goody’s ideas here….

    A blogger discussing Giorgio Ausenda and Sam Barnish….”

    i highly recommend that you have a look at the originals yourself. goody’s book on marriage, mitterauer’s on medieval europe, ausenda’s on kinship amongst the visigoths — they’re all available on google books. and, with it a little work, it is possible to read whole books on google books — just clear your cookies every now and again (don’t tell them i told you that! (~_^) ) alternatively, there’s always a library.

    i mean — don’t believe what some reviewer had to say about a source. don’t believe me! check it out for yourself if you’re interested in the topic.

    lorraine lancaster’s two articles on anglo-saxon kinship are not readily available online. (i’ll include the pdfs on my upcoming post about them. duh. i don’t have pdfs — i’ve got xerox copies. can’t post them!)

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  102. @sean – wrt to your general point that there was something about the danes that made the population that eventually became the english so special, jayman said above:

    “HBD Chick and I have speculated before that certain qualities of the Germanic groups may have led them to the path that included forgoing cousin marriage and developing high levels of genes for reciprocal altruism.”

    yes — and i think another commenter, greying wanderer, was in on those discussions, too — lord knows what post(s) they’re connected to — i might try to locate them for you later.

    one of the characteristic features of pre-christian germanic groups was that kinship was bilateral (something which you mentioned above, sean) — iow, kinship was reckoned on both the paternal and maternal sides. this may have (may have — i’m just speculating here) predisposed the germanic peoples to be more willing to give up cousin marriage when the church/powers that be began to insist upon it.

    since these groups had bilateral kinship, their form of cousin marriage was probably maternal (mother’s brother’s daughter – mbd) rather than paternal (father’s brother’s daughter – fbd) like the arabs. if that’s correct — and ausenda would disagree with me — he believes the pre-christian germans were marrying their fbds — then the degrees of genetic relatedness would’ve been broader in germanic society than in, say, arab countries today. because of that, they may have been less tribalistic than arabs today and, possibly, less hostile to the idea of outbreeding. they may even have been less clannish than the pre-christian/early medieval irish and highland scots whose kinship was reckoned paternally (mac donald — “son of donald”) — and perhaps this is why both the irish and the highland scots were more reluctant to give up their inbreeding ways.
    _____

    another possible explanation for why the anglo-saxons were different that’s been knocking around in my head has to do with the nature of germans. the stereotype of germans today is that they are very conforming — quite like east asians. were the germanics of the past like that, too? i dunno. but if they were, perhaps they simply went more willingly along with these new regulations about whom you could marry. dunno. just speculation.

    anybody know what the drd4/adhd gene frequencies are in germans today? does it resemble east asians at all?

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  103. @sean – “In What Makes Western Culture Unique? Kevin Macdonald says….”

    it’s been a while since i’ve read professor macdonald’s stuff, and i need to go back and re-read it, but i think that a lot of his premises are based on rather old fashioned evolutionary psychology ideas that the majority of our human behaviors were laid down in the paleolithic. we’re learning more and more that that is not the case. i think he missed out on this new information when he wrote What Makes Western Culture Unique?

    like i said, though, i need to go back and re-read what he had to say.

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  104. Monogamy is not the opposite of consanguinity, but it is inversely correlated with it. And that is the key IMO.

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  105. @anonymous (sean?) – “Monogamy is not the opposite of consanguinity, but it is inversely correlated with it.”

    got any data to support that statement?

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  106. ” The highest rates of consanguineous marriage occur in north and sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and west, central, and south Asia. In these regions even couples who regard themselves as unrelated may exhibit high levels of homozygosity,”Here. The highest rates of consanguineous marriage do seem be in regions with the highest rates of polygyny.

    You seem to be toying with the idea that women (and men) do not have any inherent objection to marrying relatives. Put it out of your mind. Here “In addition, facial resemblance to self decreases the attractiveness of the opposite sex (DeBruine, 2005), which reinforces the idea that perception of facial resemblance is associated with behavioral decisions pertinent to kin selection, kinship detection allowing inbreeding avoidance or adjustment of pro-social behaviors.” Inbreeding is socially imposed.

    Surely Macfarlane’s contention that Saxons emphasised personal attraction as the mate choice criteria is an attribution of highly biological/ genitic characteristIcs.

    “Using moralists and philosophers, poetry and novels, letters and autobiographies, wills and village histories I have shown that the unusual tradition of basing marriage on ‘love’ is very old in England, going back to Anglo-Saxon times. For example, Chaucer’s verse is filled with such assumptions about the prevalence of love as a basis for marriage. We can go back to Anglo-Saxon poetry such as ‘The Lover’s Lament’ and much more to the same effect.

    Throughout all social classes, a person would meet the person they wanted to marry, they would court each other, they would announce their love – and if their parents tried to block it, after a struggle the parents would usually have to give in. The presence of romantic love marriage as the institutional basis for marriage is largely unique in the world before the nineteenth century, largely being confined to England and America, yet it is widely documented in England from Anglo-Saxon times.” Here

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  107. @sean – “The highest rates of consanguineous marriage do seem be in regions with the highest rates of polygyny.”

    “seem” is the key word, there.

    it also “seemed” to luke recently that there was a correlation between consanguinity rates (today) and homicide rates (such as they are) — and it looked that way by just looking at the maps — but i found that there actually isn’t a corrleation, so it can be hard to tell without actually checking the data.

    you haven’t demonstrated a correlation between polygyny and consanguineous marriage by noting that the two “seem” to go together in the arab/muslim world. you need to look at the entire world.

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  108. @sean – “DeBruine, 2005”

    did you actually read the paper? [pg. 921]:

    “In the present study, facial resemblance, a putative cue of relatedness, increased judgments of trustworthiness but had no effect on attractiveness in the context of a long-term relationship and decreased attractiveness in the context of a short-term relationship.”

    also, how much did the researchers make the faces look like the subjects? they said:

    “Transforms were made by calculating the shape differences between the participant’s face and the same-sex composite face and applying 50% of this difference to the other-sex composite face.”

    what does that mean? i don’t know. do you? i mean — does that mean that the composite faces looked like the subjects’ parents? or siblings? or first cousins? or second cousins? etc…. that would make a difference to our discussion.

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  109. @sean – “For example, Chaucer’s verse is filled with such assumptions about the prevalence of love as a basis for marriage. We can go back to Anglo-Saxon poetry such as ‘The Lover’s Lament’ and much more to the same effect.”

    chaucer lived in the fourteenth century so we’re talking about the anglo-saxons — or the english — of the 1300s.

    the question is: what about the early anglo-saxons? what about the pre-christian anglo-saxons? what about the pre-england angles and saxons?

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  110. I’m puzzled about the lack of correlation as there is a good rationale for consanguinity in a community where polygyny is common(ie burning out deleterious mutations from older fathers), and most importantly I’ve given refs for very high rates of consanguineous marriage in the most polygynous place on earth, sub Saharan Africa (where there are many Christian polgynists BTW)

    Cross-cultural perceptions of facial resemblance between kin is a peer reviewed study by respected researchers. Their interpretation of DeBruine is right on the money, I’d expect. I see it as showing that facial resemblance is an obstacle for a type of sexual relationship where genetic quality is crucial (ie a short term one). In long term relationships other considerations come to the fore.

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  111. @sean – “I’m puzzled about the lack of correlation as there is a good rationale for consanguinity in a community where polygyny is common….”

    what lack of correlation? what are you talking about?

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  112. @sean – “Their interpretation of DeBruine is right on the money, I’d expect.”

    yes, but you haven’t explained to me what degree of genetic relatedness debruine mimicked. THAT is crucial here. do people want to avoid mating with their parents? or their second cousins once-removed?

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  113. Depends what people you are talking about. As individuals North Europeans instinctively don’t wan’t to mate with a 1st degree cousin. As part of a community they can be socialized into approving of such marriages. In other parts of the world there is far less inherent disgust, due to gene -culture co-evolution over many generations of inbreeding. For a community, there are benefits to consanguineous marriage (including burning out mutations from old fathers in polygynous societies).

    Rapaports ecogeographical rule applied to human groups would lead one to expect that close to the Equator group selection would be more important due to the population-area relationship. Human groups near the Equator (where polygyny is more common), would be subject to intense group selection. Consanguineous marriage is useful for group selection. In northernmost climes there would not be as much group selection so northern latitude societies would be more orientated to personal choice in mate selection; there would be more instinctive disgust at marrying relatives in north Europeans. North Europeans are less distrusting of people from other groups for the same reason: lack of group selection. And that’s why north Europeans punish their own people for offences against other peoples at the other peopes’ behest.
    .

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  114. @sean – “As individuals North Europeans instinctively don’t wan’t to mate with a 1st degree cousin.”

    you have no proof of this — or if you have, you haven’t provided any (good) references for it.

    your statement also contradicts all of the historical evidence for northern european mating patterns prior to ca. 1000 a.d. if you had READ THE REFERENCES I’VE GIVEN YOU you would be aware of this.

    since you don’t seem to be interested in finding out the facts, and because i’m tired of repeating myself, i’m now going to have to assume you’re trolling.

    from now on, your comments will be held in the moderation queue until they are approved by me. i will do so if you actually include proper references in your comments and/or appear to have checked out the references that i’ve given you. if not, i will assume you are trying to waste my time and i will drop them in the trash.

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  115. People don’t marry their cousins in the South. What the fuck are you basing that on. I agree white guilt is directed at other whites… . especially Southern whites who do not take on the altruistic mentality that bread winners must support all the non-workers and indigent in society. That’s exactly why Northeatern and California liberals hate Southerners and people with Southern accents, because they actually have a longer experiential history with dealing with the problems of the indigent and non-working populations and the issues that arise from cultivating that society.

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  116. @jimbob – “People don’t marry their cousins in the South. What the fuck are you basing that on.”

    they — and their ancestors — did. in the past. that is the point. see hackett fischer’s Albion’s Seed for a start.

    Reply

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