“the rule of the clan”

john derbyshire pointed out this new book to me (thanks, john!)…

The Rule of the Clan – What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom

…written by a fellow named mark weiner.

(clans are so IN nowadays! (~_^) )

here’s a little taste of what’s in the book — from the introduction [kindle locations 120-140]:

“What exactly is the rule of the clan? When I refer to the rule of the clan, I mean three related contemporary phenomena.

“First, and most prominently, I mean the legal structures and cultural values of societies organized primarily on the basis of kinship-societies in which extended family membership is vital for social and legal action and in which individuals have little choice but to maintain a strong clan identity. Today these societies include many in which the United States and its allies have a major strategic interest, such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Nigeria, and Somalia, but they have existed across history and throughout the world. Sometimes they are described as ‘tribal,’ though I tend to avoid the term because in English it carries a host of negative and racialist connotations. This strict form of the rule of the clan also includes the traditional Hindu caste system and Indian joint family, despite the manifest great differences between tribal societies and rapidly modernizing democratic India.

“Second, by the rule of the clan I mean the political arrangements of societies governed by what the Arab Human Development Report 2004 calls ‘clannism’….”

“clannism.” i like that.

These societies possess the outward trappings of a modern state but are founded on informal patronage networks, especially those of kinship, and traditional ideals of patriarchal family authority. In nations pervaded by clannism, government is coopted for purely factional purposes and the state, conceived on the model of the patriarchal family, treats citizens not as autonomous actors but rather as troublesome dependents to be managed.

“Clannism is the historical echo of tribalism, existing even in the face of economic modernization. It often characterizes rentier societies struggling under the continuing legacy of colonial subordination, as in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, where the nuclear family, with its revolutionary, individuating power, has yet to replace the extended lineage group as the principle framework for kinship or household organization. A form of clannism likewise pervades mainland China and other nations whose political development was influenced by Confucianism, with its ideal of a powerful state resting on a well-ordered family, and where personal connections are essential to economic exchange….”

uh huh. additionally, actual clans have also been making a comeback in china as of late.

“Third, and most broadly, by the rule of the clan I mean the antiliberal social and legal organizations that tend to grow in the absence of state authority or when the state is weak. These groups include petty criminal gangs, the Mafia, and international crime syndicates, which look a great deal like clans and in many respects act like them….”

and, of course, the mafia, and many other international crime syndicates (like balkan criminal gangs which have spread across europe during the past decade or so), ARE extended family-/clan-based. make no mistake — a lot of these groups are not just clan-like.

looks to be a very interesting book — and information packed! i look forward to reading it, and no doubt i’ll have more to say about it soon! (^_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. yemeni clansmen/tribesmen.)

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49 Comments

  1. “where the nuclear family, with its revolutionary, individuating power, has yet to replace the extended lineage group. . .”

    As if that were bound to happen sometime really soon now. The invaluable service hbd* chick is rendering her readers (including hopefully some of our foreign policy elites) is letting them know how exceptional Western societies are in this regard and how long it took us to get this way.

    Maybe then they can figure a way to make representative democracy work with, rather than against or at cross purposes to, the anthropological realities.

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  2. JUDICAL racialism is a civic rhetoric or discourse through which the racial boundaries of civic life are defined based on the perceived capacity of minority groups for specific forms of legal behavior”. Implicitly Weiner is targeting a group, Can you guess who the bad guy is?

    “Weiner, an expert in constitutional law and legal history, shows us that true individual freedom depends on the existence of a robust state

    “He forcefully presents the case that individual rights will be weakened, not strengthened, by the diminution of state power. Personal liberty will be challenged due to the need of people to place greater reliance on the family structure to ensure survival. This decentralization will enhance the power of the kin-based group, with its collectivist organization of honor and blood feud and social justice among kin. [..]The author turns to Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon history to show how clans and the liberal state have coexisted in the past and continue to do so. He makes a convincing case that it is the strength of the clan structure, rather than the Islamic religious worldview, that breeds terrorism in countries such as Pakistan or Syria. ”

    So Pakistanis are just the Klan with a tan, and liberal legalism evolved in the US through some mysterious process unconnected with WASPs being inclined to be nice. US culture is not an outcome of WASPs being congenitally empathetic liberals. Oh no! Anglo Saxon whites’ natural inclination is to persecute powerless minorities; this needs to be kept in check by amping up the power of the state. So Wiener wants a state to target whites and prevent them from resisting assimilation, which is tantamount to terrorism – in his mind.

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  3. I look forward to your review of the book. Judging by his other work, this Weiner fellow seems like your quintessential anti-Western, oh-look-what-we-did-to-the-poor-noble-savages type. But you don’t often expect those types to write books like this . . .

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  4. Actual terrorism is leading to a huge state apparatus for surveillance which is largely redundant for it’s original purpose. The Wieners of this world are talking up the national nonminorities as threats to civil society, and (it seems to me) is trying to portray traditional culture and populations in Western countries as having vicious mob rule as their default setting.

    If you want to know what future societies in the West are actually going to look like then read Adam Ferguson . Here.

    Ferguson knew all about the clansmans’ violence and aggressive mindset, having been a chaplain to a Highland regiment, but he also saw that warriors had a sense of honour, that was lacking in polite society. Herman summarises Ferguson’s view as “Left to itself, commercial society would become humanity’s tomb “

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  5. @sean – “Oh no! Anglo Saxon whites’ natural inclination is to persecute powerless minorities; this needs to be kept in check by amping up the power of the state. So Wiener wants a state to target whites and prevent them from resisting assimilation, which is tantamount to terrorism – in his mind.

    whoa, whoa, whoa! where on EARTH are you getting all that from?

    heh. i think you are reading waaaay too much into his book (the new one on clans) — especially before having read it. (have you read it? no, i didn’t think so.)

    his thesis — which is wrong, of course (i think) — and others have (had) similar ideas (like pinker on violence, for example) — is that, if the right sort of state comes along and passes the right sort of laws that encourage and protect individual rights, then these societies miraculously become individualistic and universalistic instead of ones based around kinship and clans. he thinks that “clannism” puts a damper on the development of individualism (and, therefore, modernization) — and he’s right — it’s just that he gets the “why” wrong (i think) — i mean why clans exist at all (and how to get rid of them, if that’s what you want).

    what he’s arguing for (in this book, anyway — i haven’t read his others) is that we should help out those peoples out in the world who want to become modern like us by helping them to develop states with good laws that protect the individual, yada, yada, yada. (never mind that this isn’t how it works.) what he also argues is that we should make sure to protect our good governments in the west so that we don’t, ourselves, become “clannist” — i.e. devolve into self-interest groups based around races or ethnic groups or religions or whatever. of course, that is obviously already happening, but not because we’re neglecting our state institutions, but rather because we keep importing more and more clannish peoples.

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  6. @dl – “Judging by his other work, this Weiner fellow seems like your quintessential anti-Western, oh-look-what-we-did-to-the-poor-noble-savages type.”

    maybe he’s like that, i dunno. i didn’t even check out his other books. in this book, while he does, for example, put part of the blame for why africa is so screwed up on colonialism, he also says that that is only part of the explanation for why africa is such a mess. he doesn’t explain, though, what he thinks the other parts of the explanation might be, but most of the book is not devoted to africa — this was only in an aside really.

    he does very much get that clans and clannism hold societies back — in the sense that it’s difficult to have a modern, western-style society with clans. what he doesn’t seem to get is why there are clans in the first place. he — like many others — puts the cart before the horse, i think: “you get clans when you don’t have a well-functioning central government that protects the individual and individual rights.”

    uh, no. you get a well-functioning central government that protects the individual and individual rights AFTER you get rid of the clans (which have biological roots, of course, so they’re not so easy to get rid of).

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  7. WEINER argues that juridical racialism .. at the expense of racial groups unprotected by law. … that Boas’ transformation of the idea of culture – rubrics . . . that were absorbed into the law itself” Weiner sees Myrdal’s work as the one that [*795] turned the formulations of thinkers like Madison Grant, Henry Cabot Lodge, and John Wesley Powell on their head. Now, “all citizens were capable of holding the full range of legal rights [and] Myrdal’s view of civic belonging . . . nationalized the idea of law itself, breaking the strict association of law with racial essence that inhered in earlier forms of juridical racialism” (p.118). ”

    In my opinion Professor Weiner’s work is bent on establishing a ‘strict association’ between racialism and one group. Immigration restriction based on the unsuitability of immigrants epitomises that to Weiner. Grant is quoted as regarding Japanese as “constitutionally incapable of recognizing the authority relationships grounding Western democracy”

    I very much doubt Weiner now thinks Grant was right, or that his new book on clans is in any way suggesting that importing people from the four corners of the earth is a bad idea. The main ‘probem’ Weiner is concerned with is majorities. He mentions majorities other countries having these tendencies, but his case studies all concern the US majority.

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  8. “if the right sort of state comes along and passes the right sort of laws that encourage and protect individual rights, then these societies miraculously become individualistic and universalistic instead of ones based around kinship and clans. he thinks that “clannism” puts a damper on the development of individualism (and, therefore, modernization) — and he’s right”

    Ah, but societies (European ones at least) can ‘miraculously’ change from clan based to civil society in the blink of an eye. Even if they are pretty inbred ( which Highland clans were, as you said). Adam Ferguson saw this process first hand.

    “So, if poverty was one keynote of Highland life, war and violence was another. It is what made the Highlander admired, and feared. Daniel Defoe watched them walk the streets of Edinburgh. ‘They are formidable fellows, all gentlemen, will take no affront from any man, and insolent to the last degree.’ But he also noted the incongruity of one of these proud men with his weapons and tartan (another myth: genuine Highlanders wore plaids in any color that pleased them, regardless of their clan) walking as upright and haughty as if he were a lord, while driving a cow in front of him. Duels, murder, and feuding were constants in the Highlands, as was scorning, or taking food and shelter by force from tenants of other clans when a feud was under way.” (Herman). There was a sense of honour to friend and foe alike as well.

    Yet clan bonds dissolved when the cheif put things on a commercial basis. as happened with the Camerons. As loyal supporters of the Royal House of Stuart the Camerons had a formidable enemy in the huge Clan Campbell which was firmly allied to the British government. At Sheriffmuir in 1715, John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll had halted a run of successes for the Jacobite clans and their commander John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar. However in 1737 Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll decreed that tacks were to be let out to the highest bidder rather than being given to a tacksman with family connections, consequently many of the older sort of tacksmen were dispossessed. Because they mustered the tenants, acted as officers and functioned as shock troops in time of war, Argyll had inadvertently made himself militarily weaker through breaking the traditional bond with tacksmen. The army raised by the Jacobites in the rising of 1715 was far larger that the one in 1745, but the opposition in Scotland was stonger. In 1745 the camerons COULDN’T STOP A SMALLER ARMY. because they had moved from clannis aliegence to civil society by a simple change to the economic basis of the relationship to the chief.

    Ferguson pointed out in his influential study of alienation (MARX took …from Adam Ferguson: In his Essay on the History of Civil Society, Ferguson contended that “the result of ever-greater specialization in the economy will lead. . .to a system of social stratification and subordination in which thinking itself will, in time, become the particular province of one class of people only..” )

    In his new book, Weiner recommends strengthening the “professional classes” .

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  9. Correction and added to, above should read read :- “‘In 1745 Clan Cambell and the power of the state, COULDN’T STOP A SMALLER REBEL ARMY than the one they had defeated in 1715, because the basis of allegiance was different.

    If you want to put Wener in that context – he is a Whig, a 1688 man. He is distrustful of the old allegiances (racial rather than religious) among the majority, and sees a foreign alliance as the best protection from clannish tyranny, but it is the clannishness of his countrymen folk like Weiner worried about , then as now, not incomers. To protect civil society Lowland Scots welcomed William Of Orange. The elite (and most lowlanders hatedthe Highlanders for their part oppressions when they were servants of the Stuart state, but in Edinburgh the initially belicose young intellectuals in militia melted away from their unit as they marched out to fight the Jacobites. Ferguson’s point is the liberal intelectuals of polite society won’t fight for their principals when it comes to it, and that will mean state power has to do the job; no matter ho benevolent their intent it will lead to a government of force by a small elite.

    In my opinion modern liberal intellectuals and legalists (of which Weiner is one) see home gown clannishness as the enemy, and the see foreigners as a ally against their own people.

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  10. Sorry about all those typos (not a deliberate strategy a la Alter).

    THE truth is that no human …is impartial. If your mission were to design a being incapable of perceiving the world impartially, you couldn’t improve much on our current design. Part of the problem is that we have sophisticated methods of hiding our biases. Supreme Court Justices are liable to emphasize precedents that support their preferred legal conclusions. It’s not enough to want to be impartial; our biases are so well hidden that we’re destined to be partisan as long as we’re motivated to promote one conclusion over its alternatives.”

    In my opinion Weiner is so motivated.

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  11. No evidence of racial discrimination in criminal justice processing: Results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Good news right? So why has there been no media coverage. Could it be the same reason that explains why Weiner (in his previous book) emphasizes precedents for legal racial exclusion from nearly a century ago.

    Sorry to go on so much, but anyone who thinks a law professor like Weiner, at an elite institution like Rutgers, is in favour of curtailing immigration needs some reality therapy.

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  12. @sean – “Sorry about all those typos (not a deliberate strategy a la Alter).”

    heh. (^_^) no problem.

    i’m sorry that wordpress doesn’t have a function which enables commenters to preview their comments before they post them (if wp has such a function, i haven’t found it). i didn’t think of it before choosing to use wp (i picked wp mostly because i was turned off by blogger’s “hate speech” paragraphs in their user agreement).

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  13. @sean – “Sorry to go on so much, but anyone who thinks a law professor like Weiner, at an elite institution like Rutgers, is in favour of curtailing immigration needs some reality therapy.”

    i’m always the first one to agree that immigration — esp. mass immigration — is an important topic nowadays — it’s THE most important and urgent topic at the moment, afaiac — but i don’t know why you’re bringing up immigration wrt to weiner and this particular book.

    this book, The Rule of the Clan, is about clans and ‘clannism’ and what that means for societies that are structured in that way. there’s no mention of immigration in the book at all. it’s NOT the topic of the book.

    maybe weiner is pro-immigration and discusses that in his other books. i dunno, ’cause i haven’t read them. but the issue is not directly relevant here. (except, imho, that we should be careful in the west not to import too many clannish or tribal peoples — like pakistanis — because, for one thing, they’re not going to fit in to western society which is not clannish.)

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  14. @sean – “Ferguson pointed out in his influential study of alienation (MARX took …from Adam Ferguson: In his Essay on the History of Civil Society, Ferguson contended that ‘the result of ever-greater specialization in the economy will lead. . .to a system of social stratification and subordination in which thinking itself will, in time, become the particular province of one class of people only..’)”

    ferguson was wrong. he didn’t understand human nature or evolution (i’ll forgive him, though, ’cause he lived before darwin (~_^) ) [pg. 8]:

    “The attainments of the parent do not descend in the blood of his children, nor is the progress of man to be considered as a physical mutation of the species. The individual, in every age, has the same race to run from infancy to manhood, and every infant, or ignorant person, now, is a model of what man was in his original state. He enters on his career with advantages peculiar to his age; but his natural talent is probably the same.”

    wrong. he was right about the lamarckian part, of course (probably), but he missed out on the force of natural selection — and so his conclusions about the nature(s) of man were just … wrong. and, unfortunately, probably everything else he concluded was wrong, too, since he started off with incorrect first principles.

    different individuals and different peoples is different. such is life.

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  15. @sean – ” In 1745 the camerons COULDN’T STOP A SMALLER ARMY….”

    what are you talking about, “smaller army”? it was 8,000 vs. 7,000 at culloden, advantage to the hanoverians.

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  16. Going by reviewers, Weiner’s new book seems to leaning on some instances of clanism in Anglo Saxons, and he thinks an increasingly strong state suppressed that tendency(which as you argue fed back to ifurther increase the stregnth of the state). His own site has the summary “In the absence of a healthy state, humans naturally tend to create legal structures centered not on individuals but rather on extended family groups. The modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions at our peril.”

    OK he isn’t talking about immigration, but which group in a modern liberal state does he see as posing a CONTINUING threat by having this ‘powerful drive’ to create ‘legal structures’ that faviour their extended family groups? IMO it’s Anglo Saxons he has in mind, but they were weaned of clannism through church and state mandated outbreeding long ago, as anyone who reads your site will know. So he is barking up the wrong tree, and the wrong peoples too.

    What he says about Arab countries and how they could/should be governed ignores the fact that they are not ‘countries’ in the western sense at all. They artificial creations composed of groups which hate one anothers guts, and which have only been held together by authoritarian regiemes. Moreover, they’re riven by geographically local powers, religious, ethnic, sectarian and clan rivalries. In many cases the ‘professional class’ he suggests strengthening does not exist except where they have been drawn from the same small ruling minority which rules over the majority; a fundamentaly unstable condition that ensures they can’t be governed like western nation states. And Weiner is ingnoring the inbred nature of the population with his recomendations. They can’t work with those people.

    For example Iraq has in effect broken into seperate statelets though the West does not recognise them, preferring to maintain the fiction that freedom is not at the price of stability The tiny Alawites sect over all the rest in Syria. Only Egypt is a real country which could maybe hold together under democracy, yet, in Port Siad the locals killed 74 people, mostly supporters of a visiting Cairo team when they came to watch a football match.

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  17. @sean – “Ah, but societies (European ones at least) can ‘miraculously’ change from clan based to civil society in the blink of an eye. Even if they are pretty inbred (which Highland clans were, as you said)…. In 1745 the camerons … had moved from clannis aliegence to civil society by a simple change to the economic basis of the relationship to the chief.”

    nope. you haven’t demonstrated that at all. show me some links to some data/info on how civic and non-clannishe the mid-eighteenth century highland scots were.

    i can tell you right now, you won’t find any:

    “Honour killings: when blood feuds ruled the clans”

    “… Among those fighting, or continuing to ‘bang it out bravely’, were the Lindsays and Ogilvies in Angus in the 1400s, the Cunninghames and Montgomeries in Ayrshire in the 1520s, and Highland clans such as the McDonalds and Mcleans almost in perpetuity….”

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  18. @sean – “…which group in a modern liberal state does he see as posing a CONTINUING threat by having this ‘powerful drive’ to create ‘legal structures’ that faviour their extended family groups? IMO it’s Anglo Saxons he has in mind….”

    you couldn’t be more wrong. in fact, he holds the anglo saxon legal tradition/history up as a model of the right way of doing things — if you want to get rid of clans, that is.

    i think you should read the book before drawing any conclusions about it.

    edit: @sean – “His own site has the summary ‘In the absence of a healthy state, humans naturally tend to create legal structures centered not on individuals but rather on extended family groups. The modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions at our peril.'”

    oh, yes. i see what you’re getting at. sorry.

    yes, he is (imho incorrectly) concerned about “clannism” making a comeback in western society, but trust me, he isn’t just worried about anglo-saxons doing that. he’s worried that we’re going to break down into different “clan” groups along the lines of different races, religious groups, etc. — which is, of course, right — about the races anyway, but that’s another discussion altogether.

    and, yes, that’s why he doesn’t like the idea of a really small government like libertarians tend to prefer (he doesn’t like libertarians). but, of course, if we didn’t have all this mass immigration at the moment — and political correctness — we wouldn’t have this problem of the return of “clannism” (which isn’t TRUE clannism at all, of course — except kinda/sorta in some cases where members of one race join forces — or members of certain ethnic groups like mexicans or pakistanis).

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  19. @sean – “What he says about Arab countries and how they could/should be governed ignores the fact that they are not ‘countries’ in the western sense at all.”

    he does take that into consideration, i.e. that clans/tribes in the middle east (and africa, although he doesn’t really deal with africa) are often spread across countries.

    @sean – “They artificial creations composed of groups which hate one anothers guts, and which have only been held together by authoritarian regiemes.”

    yeah, absolutely!

    @sean – “And Weiner is ingnoring the inbred nature of the population with his recomendations. They can’t work with those people.”

    well, i’ll agree with you on that one! (~_^)

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  20. @sean – “If you want to put Wener in that context – he is a Whig, a 1688 man. He is distrustful of the old allegiances (racial rather than religious) among the majority, and sees a foreign alliance as the best protection from clannish tyranny, but it is the clannishness of his countrymen folk like Weiner worried about, then as now, not incomers…. and that will mean state power has to do the job; no matter how benevolent their intent it will lead to a government of force by a small elite.

    “In my opinion modern liberal intellectuals and legalists (of which Weiner is one) see home gown clannishness as the enemy, and the see foreigners as a ally against their own people.”

    spoken like a true clansman! (~_^)

    (don’t forget that i come from clannish stock myself, so try not to take anything critical i say about clans and clannishness personally. i’m only trying to be realistic about how clannish societies work and what makes them tick. you know, i ought to do a post about the positive aspects of clannish societies, because there are positive things about them.)

    @sean – “Ferguson’s point is the liberal intelectuals of polite society won’t fight for their principals when it comes to it…”

    it’s not that they won’t fight for their principals, it’s that their principals are different. liberal intellectuals from polite, non-clannish societies don’t fly off the handle and fight for the cause — because that’s not what they’re like.

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  21. If Weiner says he admires the anglo saxon legal tradition/history includeing a legal ban on cousin marriage, II have misjudged him. But the continuing threat he himself talks about: “modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions” surely suggests that he sees anglo saxon people as STILL just as clannish by nature as other people including Arabs.

    Weiner thinks a proper legal system can suppress clannish inclinations in all peoples. That is the opposite of a HBD perspective, and a recipe for internecine strife and chaos (with floods of refugees to the west). The US tries to impose its rational liberal legalism on inbred peoples and fails; who picks up the tab? Not the Weiners of this world, no the unfortunate inhabitants of countries like Iraq pay the price for the failure of those utopian schemes.

    I got a bit mixed with the names of the clans and other things. John Erskine, 22nd Earl of Mar who was notorious for switching sides, (a bit like Col. Philip Green) was sacked from a good job by the king and denied the patonage he sought. He took it upon himself to start an uprising and was able to raise an army for the 1715 rising that was far larger than the one the Stuart Bonnie Priince Charlie could muster in 1745. Yet Mar’s 1715 Jacobite rising was far less succesful than the later and much smaller one (of 1745 ) because of the resistance of the Hanovarian state ally Clan Campbell warriors, whose loyalty to their chief was ensured by there sinicure as tacksmen. But in 1737 Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll decreed that tacks were to be let out to the highest bidder rather than being given to a tacksman with family connections,

    Hence by 1745 the basis of Campbell clan life had altered ,and the Campbells could not count on their men to risk their life fighting the rebels. The point I was trying to make was that the degree of inbreeding that existed in the clans was not of decisive importance; the reluctance of Clan Campbell’s clansmen to fight was because they were now treated like hirlings rather than honoured fellow clansmen.

    The Jacobite clans like clan Cameron kept the old way wherby tacksmen had a sinicure in return for loyalty. The 1745 rising achieved far greater sucesss as a result.

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  22. @sean – “…in 1737 Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll decreed that tacks were to be let out to the highest bidder rather than being given to a tacksman with family connections, consequently many of the older sort of tacksmen were dispossessed. Because they mustered the tenants, acted as officers and functioned as shock troops in time of war, Argyll had inadvertently made himself militarily weaker through breaking the traditional bond with tacksmen.”

    thanks for that info! i didn’t know that.

    you know, duke archie was a real jerk, afaict. when he got rid of the tacksmen (quite a lot of whom were probably also campbells), he didn’t pass on the savings to any of the campbell clansmen (or other tenants living on his property), but instead RAISED the rents at the same time (pg. 167). what a dirty rotten scoundrel!

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  23. @sean – “If Weiner says he admires the anglo saxon legal tradition/history includeing a legal ban on cousin marriage, II have misjudged him.”

    oh, no. he totally misses out on clannishness and inbreeding — and, in fact, any hbd/biological explanation whatsoever. but that’s to be expected from most people really. (~_^)

    @sean – “But the continuing threat he himself talks about: ‘modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions’ surely suggests that he sees anglo saxon people as STILL just as clannish by nature as other people including Arabs.”

    yes. at least he thinks we (they — the anglo-saxons, i mean — i’m still clannish! (~_^) ) might or could slip back into “clannism” — i edited my previous comment above btw (i think we’re typing past each other right now).

    @sean – “Weiner thinks a proper legal system can suppress clannish inclinations in all peoples. That is the opposite of a HBD perspective….”

    yup!

    @sean – “The US tries to impose its rational liberal legalism on inbred peoples and fails; who picks up the tab? Not the Weiners of this world, no the unfortunate inhabitants of countries like Iraq pay the price for the failure of those utopian schemes.”

    yes. this is EXACTLY the criticism i have of the book and his thesis/plan. edit: his ideas on getting rid of “clannism” and bringing individualism to all these countries have all the same problems as “bringing democracy” to iraq/afghanistan/etc. have had.

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  24. @sean – “Hence by 1745 the basis of Campbell clan life had altered, and the Campbells could not count on their men to risk their life fighting the rebels.”

    yes, but that doesn’t mean the highlanders of the day had become civic-minded like the anglo-saxons to the south. it just means that the clansmen wouldn’t fight in some stupid battle for that jerk, duke archie — and i don’t blame them! i wouldn’t have either. in fact, i know what i would’ve done with the laird of the manor if i saw him riding through the glen…. (~_^)

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  25. Wiki on the he leading Jacobite chief was Lochiel. By the 18th century,measures such as the Statutes of Iona had obliged chieftains to spend more time in Edinburgh. Being extremely status conscious, they attempted to cut a dash by purchasing clothes in the latest French fashion, elaborate homes, imported furniture, fine wines and other trappings of gentility rather than patronizing Gaelic bards, pipers and harpists as was the traditional way to distinction for a chief. The expenditure strained their finances as the Highlands were the poorest land in Europe (tenants have been described as much poorer than Plains Indians), and the chiefs sought to increase the income from clan lands.

    Even the bonds of loyalty to old style chiefs like Lochiel ( who was himself investing in businesses and involved in selling timber off clan lands) had loosened as commercial awareness filtered though the Highlands. He had trouble getting his men to participate in the ’45 rising.

    Adam Smith: “Our imagination, which in pain and sorrow seems to be confined and cooped up within our own persons, in times of ease and prosperity expands itself to every thing around us. We are then charmed with the beauty of that accommodation which reigns in the palaces and economy of the great; and admire how every thing is adapted to promote their ease, to prevent their wants, to gratify their wishes, and to amuse and entertain their most frivolous desires. If we consider the real satisfaction which all these things are capable of affording, by itself and separated from the beauty of that arrangement which is fitted to promote it, it will always appear in the highest degree contemptible and trifling. But we rarely view it in this abstract and philosophical light. […]The pleasures of wealth and greatness, when considered in this complex view, strike the imagination as something grand and beautiful and noble, of which the attainment is well worth all the toil and anxiety which we are so apt to bestow upon it. And it is well that nature imposes upon us in this manner. It is this deception which rouses and keeps in continual motion the industry of mankind“.

    You have shown that inbreeding existed in north Europeans, but the history of the Highland clans suggests those population are not that deeply affected by it, No matter how clannish or inbred the Highlanders were, commercial society really altered them , and quite quickly. They became concerned with getting on in on in life, and the Devil take the hindmost. There was a increasingly unwilingness willingness to make sacrifices for the community.

    Adam Smith put it well, ‘we’ grow “effeminate an dastardly” through the luxury capitalism affords. But who is ‘we’, people from outside Europe may be no more inbred than many europeans were, yet react differently to life in a civil and capitalist society. This is my problem with trying to put so much weight on the degree of inbreeding.

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  26. @hbd chick

    “i’m sorry that wordpress doesn’t have a function which enables commenters to preview their comments before they post them (if wp has such a function, i haven’t found it).”

    Malcolm’s site has such a function (Waka) so I’m guessing WordPress must have the right widget somewheres – here’s Malcolm referencing it:

    http://malcolmpollack.com/2010/09/12/schlechten-tag/

    *All I know is when one crafts a comment there, the ‘as it will appear’ version appears just beneath the comment box. Might drop him a query.

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  27. @jk – “Malcolm’s site has such a function (Waka) so I’m guessing WordPress must have the right widget somewheres…. All I know is when one crafts a comment there, the ‘as it will appear’ version appears just beneath the comment box. Might drop him a query.”

    oh, right! thanks! (^_^) i’ll ask him about it.

    Reply

  28. @sean – “You have shown that inbreeding existed in north Europeans, but the history of the Highland clans suggests those population are not that deeply affected by it, No matter how clannish or inbred the Highlanders were, commercial society really altered them, and quite quickly.”

    you have not offered a shred of evidence to support the idea that the highland scots quit being clannish and became civic overnight, sean. a handful of clan chieftans who were forced by law to come together in town does not a civic society make.

    civic society means a focus on the commonweal as opposed to family members (like clan members) — it means low levels of things like corruption and nepotism — or interclan warfare and cattle/sheep raiding. you need to show that these things disappeared overnight thanks to commerce arriving in scotland. not that some clan members wouldn’t go and fight archie campbell’s battles — i wouldn’t have either since he didn’t give a hoot about his fellow clan members!

    btw, commerce or trade probably had very little to do with making the anglo-saxons and other mainland europeans civic. good grief! there’s been commerce in the middle east for at least a couple of millennia, and they’re as tribal as ever!

    while thinkers like ferguson and adam smith are somewhat interesting, they were hopeless lost in space because they didn’t have a clue about how evolution works (natural selection especially). they were just guessing, really.

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  29. Well into the 17th century ‘Sawney’ (a Scotsman) was a figure of fun in England, the country was the poorest in Europe.Thinkers of the the Scottish Enlightenment like Smith and Ferguson were able to see first hand the process whereby there was a rapid transition to a successful advanced civil society as Scotland integrated with its neighbour politically and economically. I would not say that proves anything about societies outside north Europe, but other people might think Scotland was a counter example. Especially when the word ‘clannish’ is used.

    Reply

  30. @sean – “Thinkers of the the Scottish Enlightenment like Smith and Ferguson were able to see first hand the process whereby there was a rapid transition to a successful advanced civil society as Scotland integrated with its neighbour politically and economically.”

    you still haven’t offered any evidence for this — for highland scotland. ferguson referring to the behaviors of clan leaders in edinburgh who were forced to be there does not demostrate that the highlanders had become non-clannish.

    some data please. i’ll take historic evidence in this case ’cause they probably weren’t collecting data on civicness in eighteenth century scotland.

    Reply

  31. There was a top-down transformation as a result of deliberate measures by the Scottish government to break down their clanishness. Those measures went back hundreds of years, and the stated intention was to make the Highlands like the rest of Scotland, speaking the same language too (Gaelic was said to be the cause of ‘barbaritie’.) At first they tried to settle Lowlanders in the Highland, but they were attacked. The motivation was to make Scotland less fractious, and capable of participating in the international order dominated by cohesive powers like Spain France and England (Last Of the Free p173).

    Most of the chiefs’s sons did become acculturated to Lowland norms through participating in polite society. The clan bonds were reciprocal, because the chief had an unspoken obligation to provide food and land, but when the clan chiefs (Jacobites like Lochiel included, he had an mansion in Edinburgh ) became drawn to the southern lifestyle those bonds weakened very quickly.

    The proof of that was in 1784 when the Hanovarian state felt secure enough to restore the expropriated lands to the heirs of Jacobite chiefs; they were happy to be prosperous commercial landlords extracting wealth, or they just sold the land off. (LOTF p213) Quite a contrast with the way things were done in Ireland. The degree of inbreeding was not the key factor.

    Reply

  32. Having said that, the following pesky facts suggests clans persist and work pretty well within and for an advanced society – through exam results of all things. (I would note that China has not faired too well against other powers, so clannishness in a country may lead to problems in relation to other states)

    CLARK 2012:”Elite surnames of the Imperial Era are still slightly overrepresented among modern elites in Communist China. ” .

    […] “Some scholars have interpreted this slow mobility and persistence of elites into the present as revealing the importance of kin networks, and extended family strategies (Campbell and Lee, 2011, 2012). Given the nature of the provincial exam (the pass rate is 0.33-0.5%), it was unlikely that a nuclear family could produce Juren or Jinshi over consecutive generations. For any individual child luck was as important as talent in determining success in the exams (Elman, 1992). The best strategy, then, for the heads of kinships was to pool resources and create public goods within kingships, or club goods (exclusive of other kingships).

    […] Success in the exams did not only bring glory to the chosen candidates their common ancestor, but also protection for the property rights of the entire kinship. As they obtained more land and wealth, they had more resource to invest in education. In all, the relative status of kinships was more stable over generations than that of individual families (Hymes, 1986). For “outsider” kinships, it may take one or two generations to become rich and literate, and get into the lower gentry class (Shengyuan
    , 生员/秀才, the lowest degree, 0.4-0.7% of male population in the late Qing). But it took several generations for a commoner family to produce Juren and Jinshi (5% and 1% of shengyuan, respectively). That is why it always took hundreds of years for an elite kinship to regress to mediocrity.”

    Reply

  33. @sean – “Most of the chiefs’s sons did become acculturated to Lowland norms through participating in polite society.”

    you’re completely missing the point of “clannishness,” sean.

    by clannishness what i mean is not necessarily living with and amongst one’s clan. yes, tptb tried to get rid of the clans in the highlands, especially through the clearances, and they were pretty successful. but my question is: did the people stop behaving, on average (i.e. not just the lairds), in clannish ways?

    what are clannish ways (i.e. clannishness)?

    well, actually living in clans — having your society based around clans — is a pretty straightforward expression of clannishness. so are feuds and vendettas (i think).

    but there are other symptoms, too — all related to familial altruism. nepotism. patronage. lack of civic engagement (because of lack of interest in the commonweal). familism.

    these are the sorts of behaviors that characterize clannishness. did these things change overnight in the highlands when the clans were crushed? is there, for instance, more or less or exactly the same amount of nepotism/patronage/corruption/civic engagement in scotland today as there is in england (amongst the english)? these are the questions that need to be answered. with references.

    Reply

  34. @sean – “Having said that, the following pesky facts suggests clans persist and work pretty well within and for an advanced society….”

    yes, there’s nothing to say that you can’t have an advanced society with clannism. it’s just that you can’t have one that is based on liberal democracy (fwtw) and operating on the basis of trust between unrelated individuals. you’ll have to arrange it in some other way. (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    Reply

  35. Weiner is Jewish. There’s nothing new about his book. There is a long tradition of diaspora Jews promoting the breakdown of kinship among host peoples and the replacement of kinship with universalizing ideologies as the organizing principles of society. The effect is to preserve a monopoly on kinship by Jews amidst an increasingly deracinated mass organized by universalizing ideologies originating from Jews. This new book is just the latest in this long tradition. Weiner understands that the monopoly on kinship that Jews have relatively enjoyed in increasingly deracinated white environments is threatened by non deracinated peoples, which is why he promotes aggressive measures to try to deracinate everyone (and to keep an eye on whites to make sure they don’t go feral).

    Reply

  36. @janus – “…deracinated….”

    i’m not sure that “deracinated” is the right way to look at these things. i think peoples are either kin-oriented or not so kin-oriented, not truly race-oriented, although some kin sentiments might be able to get directed into “race consciousness” feelings under the right circumstances — kinda like some sort of “tribal” feelings can get directed towards sports teams. i could be wrong about this, though — and i don’t know at all how it works.

    Reply

  37. Scotland has the second highest murder rate in western Europe, second only to Finland. There isn’t a lot of corruption

    Reply

  38. I suppose there is some patronage if you count political patronage of unions and Labour party through local government jobs with decent pay and conditions to give to supporters. The Labour party in Scotland is often the subject of suspicion because its support has historically been heavily Catholic (descendants of Irish immigrants) . Nepotism is no stronger in Scotland than it is in England IMO See here and here.

    I suppose you could say Ulster is clannish, but it’s not easy to seperate out the motivation . It’s easy to see if inclusive fitness motivating behaviour it there is no other reason for it. But where there are real conflicts of interest between communities, it’s not so obvious what ‘civic engagenment’ means. Were Palestinians leaders being civic minded by cooperating (as many did) with the early Zionist settlers, or were they being clannish by seeking their own family’s advantage at great cost to their community?

    A Palestinian suicide bomber could be being civic minded.

    Reply

  39. (cont.) As could a Jewish settler on the West bank of course. If you are an Israeli Jew who goes against your entire community to be well disposed toward Palestinian Israelis (see here) is that being ‘civic minded’, or is it defecting to secure a good reputation among people in WEIRD countries.

    Reply

  40. re: Clannism – “by the rule of the clan I mean the anti-liberal social and legal organizations that tend to grow in the absence of state authority or when the state is weak.”

    As opposed to those liberal clan-based societies in which the state is strong? Can he point to one?

    Reply

  41. “Sometimes they are described as ‘tribal,’ though I tend to avoid the term because in English it carries a host of negative and racialist connotations. This strict form of the rule of the clan also includes the traditional Hindu caste system and Indian joint family, despite the manifest great differences between tribal societies and rapidly modernizing democratic India.”

    I’m an Indian who was born and raised in a joint family and I’ll be raising my kids the same way. It has its pros and cons, but for me, more pros than cons. I recommend it for non-Indian Americans as well.

    Reply

  42. @america’s new hinduism – “It has its pros and cons, but for me, more pros than cons.”

    sure. it’s probably great to have a lot of people around to help with the kids/be role models for them. and it’s probably great to have a lot of family members around for support in general. i know i always enjoy being around my extended family. although i also, very much, like to go HOME and get away from them all at the end of the day, too. (~_^) (i’m a bit of an introvert, so i think it would drive me nuts to be around a lot of people all of the time.)

    @america’s new hinduism – “I recommend it for non-Indian Americans as well.”

    well, that’s the point of this blog, actually — human biodiversity — that different sorts of peoples are different — and feel differently about the various aspects of life. i think many westerners — especially those with northwest european backgrounds — probably wouldn’t enjoy living with their extended families. they prefer smaller family groups.

    so, no, i don’t think joint families are recommendable for non-indian (white) american families.

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  43. “well, that’s the point of this blog, actually — human biodiversity — that different sorts of peoples are different — and feel differently about the various aspects of life. i think many westerners — especially those with northwest european backgrounds — probably wouldn’t enjoy living with their extended families. they prefer smaller family groups.

    so, no, i don’t think joint families are recommendable for non-indian (white) american families.”

    Speak for yourself. As a white American male I very much respect and even envy my Indian Hindu friends who have happily arranged marriages before the age of 26, no divorce, and much family connectivity.

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  44. @turning the tide – “…and much family connectivity.”

    most westerners i know and know of — and by westerners i mean my “core europeans” (i.e. english, dutch, northern french, germans, northern italians, maybe scandinavians) — live in, and seem to prefer to live in because that is how they choose to live, nuclear families — maybe plus a grandparent or two — with minimal contact with extended family members (weddings, funerals, holidays, vacations, etc.). that is one of the main, defining qualities of northwest europeans along with late marriage (and a whole bunch of other stuff of course) and has been for a very long time now.

    if you’re different from that, that’s fine. but either you’re not one of the “core europeans” or you’re an exception to the rule. deal with it.

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  45. If read the Manosphere, attitudes about family are changing. We realize that the nuclear family is the first stage to the total break down of family. Anyway, Indians don’t live with their entire extended families, where did you get that idea? They live in a joint family of parents, their son(s), their son(s) wife(s) and the grandkids.

    And some American families are shifting to something similar and actually enjoying it.

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/03/real_estate/multi-generation-households/index.htm

    http://books.google.com/books/about/All_in_the_Family.html?id=RwLgwFewsawC

    As far as “introvert”. We all know that American females use that as an excuse to live “independently” and sleep with whoever they want, whenever they way, free from the hawk like vision of elders. My Hindu friends tell me that introverts would either live with their parents or be given a separate space on the property for cultivating self actualization through meditation or live in an ashram with other introverts or something. In other words, a life of modest purity.

    And I know, I know. Introverted American women don’t want to give up their awesome sex lives to self actualize. We get it already.

    Reply

  46. @America’s New Hinduism

    “I’m an Indian who was born and raised in a joint family and I’ll be raising my kids the same way. It has its pros and cons, but for me, more pros than cons. I recommend it for non-Indian Americans as well.”

    Why is India – and other countries with the same marriage model – the way they are? There are no doubt multiple reasons but one is that kind of marriage system creates amoral famililialism

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

    “He observed a self interested, family centric society which sacrificed the public good for the sake of nepotism and the immediate family.”

    There are definitely good features of those kind of family structure but they are *completely incapable* of creating the scale of public goods that the European nuclear family model can create. The pros and cons of both are shown by the direction of immigration.

    On an individual level the ideal is to be from the amoral familial side of the tracks but living among a majority commonweal population but that can only last while the commonweal people are a large majority.

    On a population level the ideal family structure was probably somewhere around 1910 in northwest Europe before it started to go dramatically off track.

    Reply

  47. nb When i say “1910” i’m gesturing at a time when the nuclear family was strongly reinforced culturally rather than deliberately undermined and also to a time when a lot of nuclear families still lived within walking distance of a lot of their relatives so they still had a lot of the advantages of extended families.

    Reply

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