universalism vs. particularism

these are really just some notes on universalism vs. particularism that i want to jot down before i forget about them. (been known to happen.) i’ll be coming back to these ideas of universalism and particularism — particularly wrt ideas about morality and actual moral behaviors — in a later post(s).

previously, in this post:

“in ‘Corruption, Culture, and Markets,’ lipset & lenz…[pgs. 119-120 – links and emphases added by me]…

“‘The second major cultural framework, one derived from Plato via Banfield, assumes that corruption is in large part an expression of particularism — the felt obligation to help, to give resources to persons to whom one has a personal obligation, to the family above all but also to friends and membership groups. Nepotism is its most visible expression. Loyalty is a particularistic obligation that was very strong in precapitalist, feudal societies. As Weber implied, loyalty and the market are antithetical. The opposite of particularism is universalism, the commitment to treat others according to a similar standard. Market norms express universalism; hence, pure capitalism exhibits and is sustained by such values.'”

now, from Communicating Across Cultures [pgs. 81-82 – links and emphases added by me]:

“Universalistic-Based versus Particularistic-Based Interaction

“Independent-self individuals like to use a ‘universal’ set or a ‘fair’ set of standards to measure others’ performance. In comparison, interdependent-self individuals prefer to use a ‘contextual’ or a ‘particular’ set of criteria to evaluate others’ performance in different situations.

“According to Parson’s (1951) work, there are two kinds of societies: ‘universalistic’ and ‘particularistic.’ Independent-self individuals tend to be located in universalistic societies, whereas interdependent-self individuals tend to be located in particularistic societies. People in universalistic societies, such as Canada, the United States, Sweden, and Norway, believe that laws and regulations are written for everyone and must be upheld by everyone at all times. In contrast, for people in particularistic societies, such as China, South Korea, Venezuela, and Russia, the nature of the particular relationship in a given situation will determine how you will act in that situation (Trompenaars, 1994).

For members of universalistic societies, the law or regulations should treat everyone equally. On the other hand, for members of particularistic societies, the laws or regulations can be molded to fit the specific relationship or the in-group needs. Universalistic work practice emphasizes the importance of detailed contracts and penalty clauses in order to conduct business properly; particularistic work practices focuses on developing interpersonal trust and close social ties to maintain work commitment.

“The in-group asserts a profound impact, especially in particularistic societies. The concept of an ‘in-group’ can refer to both the actual kinship network to which you belong (e.g., your family group) and the reference groups (e.g., work group, political group) with which you identify closely. On the cultural level of analysis, the definition of the in-group can vary tremendously across cultures. For example, in the United States, the in-group is typically defined as ‘people who are in agreement with me on important issues and values’ (Triandis, 1989, p. 53 [pdf]). For the traditional Greeks, the in-group is defined as ‘family and friends and people who are concerned with my welfare’ (Triandis, 1989. p. 53). For the Western Samoans, the in-group consists of the extended family and the immediate village community (Ochs, 1988). For many of the Latin American groups, in-group refers to the extended family and the immediate neighborhood. For Arab cultures, in-group refers to immediate and extended family networks of parents, spouses, siblings, related cousins, and even honored guests who are unrelated to the host….

“For individualistic [universalistic] cultures, the in-group and out-group share a permeable boundary; for collectivistic [particulartic] cultures, in-group and out-group interaction follows a clear set of prescribed, identity-related behaviors.”

i think that there’s a connection between individualistic [outbred] societies having more universalistic ideals/morality and clannish [inbred] societies having particularistic ideals/morality.

kevin macdonald wrote extensively on how gypsy morality applies only within gypsy society — gypsy morality does not apply to non-gypsies [pdf]. in other words, gypsies are inbred [pg. 10 – pdf], clannish, and have a very particularistic moral system. at the other end of the spectrum we’ve got groups like the unitarians where everything goes, really, and just about everybody is included.

i’d like to think more about all the different religions/religious denominations and all the various moral systems in general and work out which ones are universalistic and which ones are particularistic — and how much. if you’ve got any ideas about all this, drop them in the comments, please! (^_^) for instance, roman catholicism is pretty universalistic (“catholic”) in that anybody can join up, but you do have to join up to be saved, so it’s not 100% universalistic. then you have judaism in which, i think, there’s a range of universalism-particularism — you can’t join the hasidim (i’m assuming), but you can convert to (is it?) reform judaism. but, again, you’ve got to join up.

one group that i think is particularly interesting is the calvinists. calvinism is often characterized as being individualistic in that the reform churches broke with roman catholicism and, like other protestants, argued for a more direct connection between individuals persons and god; but calvinism is, in fact, very particularistic in its ideas of reprobation and double predestination. you can’t just join up — god has to choose you. that’s particularistic.

previously: individualism-collectivism and familism, respect for parents, and corruption

(note: comments do not require an email. calvin.)

88 Comments

  1. It’s not true that you can’t join the Hasidim.

    In general, I’m not sure whether or not you can join and how easy it is to join is a good criteria for measuring “tribalism” of a given group. Becoming a Muslim is extremely easy (“There is one god and Muhammad is his prophet!”), becoming a Jew is extremely hard, but this does not correspond exactly to the clannishness of members of said groups.

    What’s possible is that the terms of admission to these groups may have corresponded with their clannishness at one point in history, and has remained with them as “cultural baggage”.

    Reply

  2. @ihtg – “It’s not true that you can’t join the Hasidim.”

    well, it’s more difficult then. and/or in some branches of judaism it’s more difficult to join up than in others. that was my point. and there’s also all that discussion about “who is a jew?” for purposes of allowing people to immigrate to israel. so, clearly, judaism not a 100% universalistic group — plus there is variation within the group (as within christianity, for instance) — which was the point i was trying to make about judaism. some branches are more universalistic than others.

    @ihtg – “In general, I’m not sure whether or not you can join and how easy it is to join is a good criteria for measuring ‘tribalism’ of a given group.”

    i think it’s one useful measurement that needs to be coupled with others. i’m more interested in how universalistic or particularistic various moral systems actually are — that’s probably a better indication of clannishness or not — but the whole package is interesting to look at, i think.

    Reply

  3. Two items:

    If this is true it has many interesting and far reaching ramifications. It makes me wonder if many of the dysfunctions of American ‘free market’ capitalism stem from particularistic ideals taking hold as in-groups promote from within, take ownership of a given corporate or government entity and proceed to plunder it for their own gain until they are forcibly ousted. The idea that they might run the business or organization for the benefit of the shareholders/citizens simply never occurs to them. They assume that anyone else if put their place would also reward their friends/family/benefactors, it’s just natural. Yet the end result is a broken institution that limps along until it is acquired or bankrupt.

    I am the spawn of two disparate families, one of English, Irish and German blood and another of Polish/Russian descent. The entire Polish side of my family is very clan oriented, they are constantly having big reunions, keeping in touch, staying at each others homes, visiting for group vacations, etc. There are very few divorces among them, educational attainment isn’t their primary aim, nor is there much intellectual curiosity, fun with family seems to be the biggest goal. They are very religious and their motto could easily be “blood is thicker than water,” The other side is not that way at all, they are generally private about religion when they are not atheists, standoffish, barely get together at all and barely keep in touch except when they feel the need to broadcast accomplishments. There are many many broken marriages, estranged wives, husbands and children, people who don’t talk, people who only talk about themselves, people with wild mental conditions and wilder beliefs but also lots of (excessive?) educational attainment. If I were to make a family motto for them it would be: “Sociopathy: It’s the new normal.”

    My point of making this comparison is to point out that both groups have distinct disadvantages. The clannish folks are friendly (to their own) and loving but not curious or creative. The universals are like a bag of mixed nuts and you can’t keep them in the same room without fireworks of some kind. I’ve noticed in the past how the west coast of the US seems to have the universalism (as measured by openness to experience) but without the ingrained neuroticism of the East coast. I wonder if that’s due to fewer folks of English/German descent.

    Reply

  4. hbdchick:

    OK. I’ve noticed that you seem to use “Hasidic” as a catch-all term for “hardcore Jews” who retain the most “Middle Eastern” traits, but that’s not entirely correct. The Hasidic movement, which began only in the 18th century, can be seen in some ways as a Europeanization of Orthodox Judaism, incorporating charismatic and mystical elements that were unusual to Judaism at the time.

    Reply

  5. This seems closely related to various developmental stage theories, particularly Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. His stage 3 is about conformity to the desires and practices of the local group based on social-role identity. Stage 4 is law-based and universalistic (but takes the norms as unquestionable, whereas later stages relativize them). In some societies, most adults make it to at least stage 4, whereas in others, few make it past stage 3.

    Reply

  6. @ihtg – “I’ve noticed that you seem to use ‘Hasidic’ as a catch-all term for ‘hardcore Jews’ who retain the most ‘Middle Eastern’ traits, but that’s not entirely correct.”

    yeah, i do tend to use the hasidim as my go-to example of “hardcore jews,” and maybe that’s sloppy on my part, and perhaps i should cut it out. (*^_^*)

    but they’re the most clannish group of jews i can think of — outside of north africa or yemen or iran, anyway — that’s why i refer to them a lot!

    and, for the record, i don’t think that they “retain the most ‘middle eastern’ traits”. i’ve never said that. what i have said and what i think is:

    “mitterauer drops a hint that medieval jews became concerned about inbreeding along with christians in europe — it being the general zeitgeist of the time — but, unfortunately (for me), he doesn’t give a reference for his claim (drat) [pg. 72]:

    “‘We find it difficult to comprehend today just how preoccupied the era was with the fear of incest — and not only in the various Christian churches but in Jewish circles as well.’

    my *guess* is that jews living in areas of europe where the cousin marriage bans were taken very seriously — france, germany, england (my ‘core europe’) — followed suit to some extent or another, while jews living in area of europe where the cousin marriage bans were not taken seriously — eastern europe, southern europe — did not. this may be why more open forms of judaism (reform judaism) originated in places like germany, whereas you get more closed forms (hasidism) in eastern europe.

    in other words, there’s an east-west, more clannish-less clannish divide in ashkenazi jews mirroring the east-west, more clannish-less clannish divide in europe in general.

    and, while it is funny that a lot of the things that the hasidic jews do — separate men and women a lot, women should cover their hair, greater particularistic morality — middle easterners and arabs also do (although in slightly different ways), i don’t think this is necessarily proof that these behaviors in the hasidim are some sort-of hold-over from their ancestors’ origins in the middle east. maybe. but i think it equally as likely that these things just popped up again in eastern european jewish society because it was comparatively so inbred and clannish. these same sorts of behaviors pop up all over the place in inbred, clannish societies.

    for instance, one common trait across inbred, clannish populations seems to be a strong interest in controlling the reproductive opportunities of women. so, in the middle east and arab world you’ve got purdah. with the hasidic jews you’ve got those goofy wigs and frumpy clothing and general separation between the sexes. in sub-saharan africa you’ve got genital mutilation (you can’t keep the women in purdah, after all, ’cause they’re the ones who have to go out and work in the fields!). in china you’ve got foot binding. in yanomamo society, the men just follow their women out into the gardens and guard them as they work.

    inbreeding and clannishness seem to lead to similar sets of behavioral traits over and over again. which makes sense, really, ’cause there’s only a handful of sets of behaviors that are really important in life (i.e. reproduction, gathering or production of food, etc.) — and not an infinite way to arrange these things.

    Reply

  7. @Sisyphean:

    “My point of making this comparison is to point out that both groups have distinct disadvantages. The clannish folks are friendly (to their own) and loving but not curious or creative. The universals are like a bag of mixed nuts and you can’t keep them in the same room without fireworks of some kind. I’ve noticed in the past how the west coast of the US seems to have the universalism (as measured by openness to experience) but without the ingrained neuroticism of the East coast. I wonder if that’s due to fewer folks of English/German descent.”

    Not really. The West Coast, in terms of ethnicity, is very similar to the Northeast, having originally being settled by New Englanders that sailed (yes sailed) west (Portland, Oregon is named after the Portland right here in Maine), with some Scotch-Irish and others from interior coming during the gold rush.

    As for the personality distribution, see these posts:

    Book Review: Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (2012) by Susan Cain | Staffan’s Personality Blog

    The Split Personality of America | Staffan’s Personality Blog

    The Personality and Geography of the Entrepreneur | Staffan’s Personality Blog

    Reply

  8. @HBD Chick:

    “in other words, there’s an east-west, more clannish-less clannish divide in ashkenazi jews mirroring the east-west, more clannish-less clannish divide in europe in general.

    and, while it is funny that a lot of the things that the hasidic jews do — separate men and women a lot, women should cover their hair, greater particularistic morality — middle easterners and arabs also do (although in slightly different ways), i don’t think this is necessarily proof that these behaviors in the hasidim are some sort-of hold-over from their ancestors’ origins in the middle east. maybe. but i think it equally as likely that these things just popped up again in eastern european jewish society because it was comparatively so inbred and clannish. these same sorts of behaviors pop up all over the place in inbred, clannish societies.”

    I’d say that’s almost certainly true. Ashkenazis from NW Europe are highly liberal (indeed, the prototypical liberals in many folks minds), whereas those from Eastern Europe are much less so. Half Sigma/The Lion noted that Jews in Brooklyn, NY, who are predominantly of Russian extraction, are rather conservative in behavior and voting patterns.

    Reply

  9. hbdchick: See, the goofy wigs of Hasidic women are actually a liberalization. The more conventional practice is to just cover the hair with a scarf or whatever.

    The Hasidic movement seems to have emerged as a middle path, trying to find a compromise between hardcore “Litvish” Judaism and heretical movements like the Sabbateans and the Frankists, to satisfy the desires of an exploding Eastern European Jewish population that was yearning for change and increasingly influenced by Christian habits. Of course, shortly afterwards secularism would arrive on the scene and change everything.

    Reply

  10. @sisyphean – “It makes me wonder if many of the dysfunctions of American ‘free market’ capitalism stem from particularistic ideals taking hold as in-groups promote from within, take ownership of a given corporate or government entity and proceed to plunder it for their own gain until they are forcibly ousted.”

    yup! yup, yup, yup. (^_^) and, unfortunately, the rot started early in the u.s. — check out the wikipedia page for “spoils system” (yet another post i’ve been meaning to write!). jackson was, of course, scots-irish. so was another (in)famous early american politician reknowned for his corruption.

    it just ain’t good to introduce clannish groups into a universalist system! they (*ahem* we) will wreck the place!

    @sisyphean – “The entire Polish side of my family is very clan oriented, they are constantly having big reunions, keeping in touch, staying at each others homes, visiting for group vacations, etc. There are very few divorces among them, educational attainment isn’t their primary aim, nor is there much intellectual curiosity, fun with family seems to be the biggest goal. They are very religious and their motto could easily be ‘blood is thicker than water,’ The other side is not that way at all, they are generally private about religion when they are not atheists, standoffish, barely get together at all and barely keep in touch except when they feel the need to broadcast accomplishments.”

    heh! you could be describing the two sides of my family there! mother’s side — very clannish. i’ve got 51 first cousins on just that side and know half of them very well and see them regularly. father’s side (which has got some germanic ancestry in it) — nobody talks to anybody! my parents divorced, and they haven’t spoken in years. dad didn’t talk to his parents and still not to his sister. his sister didn’t talk to their parents either. she and i have no contact. and i was out of touch with my father for a long time (i fixed that, though! (^_^) ). definitely sociopaths UNunited! (~_^)

    @sisyphean – “My point of making this comparison is to point out that both groups have distinct disadvantages.”

    yeah! advantages and disadvantages on both sides. with the individualistic-universalists you can build — well, western civilization as we know it. with the clannish-particularists you always have a BUNCH of people you can fall back on.

    @sisyphean – “I’ve noticed in the past how the west coast of the US seems to have the universalism (as measured by openness to experience) but without the ingrained neuroticism of the East coast. I wonder if that’s due to fewer folks of English/German descent.”

    you should check out this post if you haven’t already. and this post and this post by staffan! (^_^)

    edit: oops! staffan’s posts that i linked to are the same ones that jayman linked to above. he beat me to it! (^_^)

    Reply

  11. Jayman: Most Jews in the US are “Russian”. It’s just the recent immigrants who have been, ahem, thoroughly shaped by the Soviet experience.

    Reply

  12. @ihtg – “See, the goofy wigs of Hasidic women are actually a liberalization.”

    oh, sure! but they’re still covering their hair. and those frumpy clothes…. oh, dear. (~_^)

    Reply

  13. @david – “This seems closely related to various developmental stage theories, particularly Kohlberg’s theory of moral development.”

    huh! yeah, that is an interesting parallel. will have to think about that some more…. thanks!

    Reply

  14. On Calvinism, or at least my sister’s brand:

    It’s not so much that you have to be elect to join the club, it’s more that you joining the club demonstrates that you are elect. It’s an interpretation of Mark Chapter 4, all the stuff about how the faithful will spread the gospel but it will be a losing game, that the people will hear but not listen and see but not understand. If you hear the story of God and Christ and happen to discover faith and belief, then congratulations, you are one of the people god decided would find faith upon hearing the word. Major exception to the general rule, though, so “elect” you are.

    My impression from the stories I’ve heard is these folks are no dummies. You can’t just fake faith, they’ll figure it out. They’re also rather prone, at least from my very universalist perspective, to in-group favoring behavior, especially when it comes to marriage. So once you’ve joined the church you will be well expected to marry someone within it (on both fronts, as in 1 – expected to marry and 2 – two someone within the church). And before they’ll let you do so you’ll be more or less interrogated to make sure you both are true believers (making sure the kids stay with the church IMHO), and for benevolent reasons like making sure you’re a good match and the marriage is likely to last.

    Reply

  15. HBD: I read those links you pointed to and it makes sense that the West has less neuroticism because of the settlement pattern. This echoes the thinking of Woodward in American Nations which I found fascinating. I wonder what creates the high openness low neuroticism personality type, if it has something to do with blending outbred and inbred traits. I say that because I score way high on openness on the big five and very low on Neuroticism (very unlike my German family side). I’m an oddball in the family, the only visual artist in either branch.

    Reply

  16. @david – “This seems closely related to various developmental stage theories, particularly Kohlberg’s theory of moral development.”

    Typically the theorist is seeing him/herself as a top stage person from a top stage culture and defining others as ‘less than’. From the perspective of the particularlist, the universalists are deficient in social thinking and likely they consider them incurably naive to the true (corrupt) ways of the world… because to them life isn’t about building institutions for everyone it’s for having fun with family and accumulating as much wealth for you and yours as you can.

    Reply

    1. Sure, Kohlberg has been criticized on similar grounds before. (Although more from an egalitarian “how dare you suggest people from other cultures are not as good as WE are” pov.)

      I have no dog in the fight, but… advocates of the theory would note that individuals reliably pass through stage 3 before reaching stage 4 (if they do). So the situation is not symmetrical. That doesn’t show that stage 4 is “better,” though; it’s a value judgement.

      Reply

  17. Jayman,

    Ashkenazim “from” NW Europe are actually from Eastern Europe. They migrated there in substantial numbers recently from Eastern Europe. Until recently, the Jewish presence in Western/NW Europe tended to be Sephardic.

    Reply

  18. I think the crux is humans are social animals and group activities are neccessary e.g. raising a barn, so how do you organize that? The easiest way and what seems to be the human default pattern is cousin-marriage and clannishness which seems to create similar patterns of behaviour everywhere – including a very particularist morality.

    (I think there’s an intermediate level as well. Group activities above the scale of the clan were neccessary before cousin-bans e.g war. I think religion played a big part in creating those collections of clans (through creating a meta family tree where all the clan chiefs were descended from the same ancestral gods) and then eventually a priesthood plus a temporary warchief turned into hereditary kingship. This is still a collection of clans but they recognize a larger *us* in certain contexts e.g. when in conflict with an outiside group.)

    If somehow cousin marriage is banned among a clannish population then the force of kin-gravity will gradually weaken and eventually go but there will still be a need for individuals to co-operate for group activities so they *have* to develop an alternative way of achieving the same thing. If you don’t have clannish particularism then you *must* have an alternative of some kind. I think this is the key point to recognize. Some alternative method of getting people to co-operate becomes neccessary for the first time.

    Except i don’t think it is the first time as i think universalism was there from the start but *recessive*.

    When you think about the Arab proverb:

    ““Me and my brother against my cousins, me and my cousins against the village, me and my village against the tribe, me and my tribe against the rest of the world.” is an old Arab saying.”

    What happens when you have to decide between your two brothers fighting or two of your cousins? When the particularist code doesn’t apply because two individuals are at the same level of relatedness then you fall back on universalist principles. If it’s between your brother and your cousin you don’t ask who started it. If it’s between your two brothers you do. So it seems to me universalist principles e.g. “fairness” still exist in particularistic morality but they are *recessive* i.e. they only apply when the dominant particularistic morality is tied.

    In individualist societies it flips round and universalist principles become dominant and particularistic ones recessive – still there but recessive.

    Reply

  19. cont.

    I think you can see the interplay of particularistic and universalist principles in the Irish Traveller documentaries.

    Also taking the last point again

    “In individualist societies it flips round and universalist principles become dominant and particularistic ones recessive”

    If you accept the idea of that “flipping” process taking place within previously clannish, particularist societies their new universalism might well take different forms in different environments. For example if you think Protestantism may have grown out of this individualising process then the form adopted might follow environmental patterns e.g. marginal mountain farming forms of protestantism vs fertile valley forms of Protestantism.

    Reply

  20. I am a Gujarati Hindu and I have found your discussions about clannishness etc. fascinating. (As is your blog in general.)

    On the face of it, caste is a textbook example of particularistic clannish social organization. On the other hand many Hindus — not just the modern westernized ones — believe in universalist sentiments such as “all religions are pathways to God.” In fact I believe Razib once mentioned a survey on his blog that showed Indians were more likely than people of any third world country to accept the idea that Atheists can be moral.

    Perhaps the reason the system didn’t become totally particularistic is because amongst upper castes there is a parallel system of gotras or “lineages.” also inherited patrilinearly. One has to marry within ones caste but not within the same gotra in that caste which would be considered tantamount to incest. (There was a notorious honor killing case reported in Indian newspapers last year related to a young couple of the same gotra who tried to elope.)

    Other castes have similar structures. For instance the ubiquitous Patels have “gol”s or circles of villages. A Patel can marry someone from another village in the gol but not from his own.

    All this means that while a Hindus prospective marriage partners are relatives they are not usually first cousins unlike in Muslim society and this I think mitigates some of the extreme particularism which might otherwise arise.

    Reply

  21. but calvinism is, in fact, very particularistic in its ideas of reprobation and double predestination. you can’t just join up — god has to choose you. that’s particularistic.

    Actually they have to choose you. It was a hard club to be accepted into. At least that is one of the impressions I come away with. Not sure what double predestination is but I’m struck by how similar the idea of genetic determinism is. There’s also a lot of folk “natural selection” in the gospels: separating the sheep from the goats, those who have ears to hear, the good seed that fell upon the ground, etc.

    As for Judaism, there are two competing narratives that have been at war in that faith tradition since the beginning, one universalistic, associated with Abraham, and one tribal, associated with Moses. You can argue that the Hebrews would never have survived without Moses, but your can also argue (as did the later prophets) that there would be no point in surviving without Abraham. I discuss all this in my essay on The Torah and the West Bank, which has some original scholarship, hopefully convincing, on why this tiny people, I speak of the ancient Hebrews here, not the Ashkenazis, had such an out-sized influence in the Hellenistic, Roman, and later Islamic worlds. To say nothing of the European.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kWOWh30eyIiqR36w04M_9X3rjQKuBtQuPGwFW9xdYik/edit?usp=drive_web

    Reply

  22. (Delete my last post – formatting was weird. Keep this one).

    So this universalism/particularism divide is much larger than family loyalties or interpersonal rules/regulations. It applies to everything. In almost all measures, denizens of the Anglo-sphere are far less context driven and far more inclined to universal rules than people from other cultures – especially China, Japan, Korea, and other parts of the “Sinosphere”.

    I invite readers here to see my eariler post “West and East and How We Think” and the book it is based on, The Geography of Thought: How Easterners and Westerners Think Differently… and Why.

    This bias for the “particular” (I prefer the word “contextual” or perhaps “context-specific”) tendency of Asians vis a vis Americans can be seen at a very basic level. Rod and Field test designed to test field dependency. That link has the details; it suggests that at a basic cognitive level Americans are able to distinguish between a physical object and its environment better than Chinese can.

    I will just quote a few more of the studies summarized in the post to give a better picture for how wide ranging this bias towards the particular is:

    Chinese, Korean, and American students were asked to read newspaper reports about mass shootings. When asked why the killings happened, Chinese and Korean students were far more likely to blame situational factors (such as “he was isolated from the rest of his class” or “availability of guns in the United States”) while Americans were more likely to focus on the shooter’s personality traits or psychological problems (such as a “suffered from severe depression” or a “political belief that guns were a legitimate means to address grievances”). (p. 112, 129).

    Most toddlers who grow up in a European language environment learn new nouns at twice the rate at which they learn verbs. East Asian toddlers learn verbs at a faster rate than they learn nouns. (p. 149)

    When asked to describe themselves either in particular contexts or without specifying a situation (e.g. I work very diligently on school projects, I am a loving child, or I like to cook with my friend vs. I am loving, diligent, or I like to cook ) Japanese people had difficulty describing themselves without referencing context; Americans not only preferred to describe themselves in terms of universal attributes, but many had trouble understanding the concept of describing themselves ‘in context’ at all. (p. 53)

    ….

    When shown pictures of grass, a chicken, and a cow and then asked to select which of the three did not belong, American children were far more likely to choose the grass (because the other two are animals), while Chinese children were far more likely to choose the chicken (because the cow eats the grass). (p. 140)

    This is built into many of these languages. I speak Khmer functionally and Chinese a bit less so; in both languages (Khmer more than Chinese, but both far more than English), there are many, many, many words or phrases whose meaning is entirely context specific. English is centered on nouns (especially objects) and forces you to get specific with verbs; you can have an entire conversation in Khmer without verbally specifying an object. Context is everything.

    So families and laws, yes. But the divide between universal and particular can be seen in attitudes towards science, reasoning, identity, and the ability to observe, organize, and remember facts at the most basic level of cognition.

    Reply

  23. I have just finished reading henderson “failure of A mission” and there he wrote about Prussians being completely different from the rest of Germans: more militaristis, brutal etc. He posed that this is a result of Slavic blood admixture; but I immedietely thought about your theories, HBD. Could Prussian militarism be just a result of greater inbreeding within Prussia, compared to the rest of Germany?

    Reply

  24. @T.Greer

    Interesting link especially

    “Careful readers will notice that the “East” and “West” so studied are narrower than normally defined, with East meaning “China, Korea, or Japan” (i.e. the Sinosphere) and West meaning “America, Canada, Great Britain, or Australia” (i.e. the Anglosphere). The few studies covered that do include continental Europeans suggest that human cognition cannot be boiled down to simple West/East dichotomy. When the attitudes and intuitions of developed countries are surveyed three distinct groupings emerge: the Americans, British, Canadians, and Australians had a marked ‘individualist’ orientation, which they shared with Scandinavians and Dutch respondents. As expected, Korean, Japanese, and Singaporean preferences were far on the other side of the scale. Most surprising was the French, Germans, Belgians, and Italians, whose preferences were intermediate between the two. (p. 63-65)”

    Also

    “I speak Khmer functionally and Chinese a bit less so; in both languages (Khmer more than Chinese, but both far more than English), there are many, many, many words or phrases whose meaning is entirely context specific.”

    I wonder if Old English / Old Dutch was more context-specific?

    Reply

  25. szopeno
    “and there he wrote about Prussians being completely different from the rest of Germans: more militaristis, brutal etc”

    I think being frontier people would be part of it as well.

    Reply

  26. I’m trying to understand why latin american coutries tend to be more coletivists than individualists…
    There would be the possibility of some people being both? Specially the mixed people here, we are europeans (universalists, but less because much more of our white ancestry are southern european), american- racially mongoloid asians and africans.
    Also there the possibility for us to be sephardic ancestry.
    In brazilian northeastern, specially in interior, many people are (was) recently very endogamic.

    Reply

  27. Here we tend to have thoughts similar to Western individualistic. as the sharing of universal values ​​equal. One thing I did not understand. The text says that Latin Americans tend to be more collectivist, because they tend to focus on their families and close friends. Well, but this also happen among northern Europeans, the same thing is not it?

    Reply

  28. @uniplurus – “I’m trying to understand why latin american coutries tend to be more coletivists than individualists…”

    you and me, both! (~_^) i have to admit, though, that i haven’t looked into/thought much about latin american countries with regard to altruism and clannishness — yet! i have read a little about mexican society, but really not all that much.

    @uniplurus – “Specially the mixed people here, we are europeans (universalists, but less because much more of our white ancestry are southern european), american- racially mongoloid asians and africans.”

    remember that the theory is not that outbreeding automatically leads to a more individualistic society with universalistic ideals. the theory is that outbreeding breaks down the (genetic) connections between the members of extended families/clans which then sets up new selection pressures on the individuals in that society. the social environment changes from being one where cooperation and trust between extended familiy members is important to one in which cooperation and trust between friends and unrelated neighbors and even strangers becomes more important. what sort of people with what sorts of personalities and behavioral traits do well in that latter society? — in either of those societies, for that matter?

    so the theory amounts to: outbreeding+selection (i.e. not just outbreeding). (really the theory is: mating patterns+selection.)

    and this selection takes some time — you need many generations for this to work. if i’m right, it took several hundred years for, say, the english to become individualistic and universalistic. (they started outbreeding at the earliest in the late 600s and were already quite recognizably individualistic by the 1200s. but still — that’s ca. 500 years.)

    Reply

  29. Many vanilla comments tiptoeing past the fire, as usual, but the always clever and laudable HBD Chick continues to amass the data that informs the imperative that remains unspoken: For the individuals that exist on this planet of finite territory and resources, you must become a group or you will go away.

    Unfortunately, though there exist some among this group of individuals who grasp the imperative, the reality is that these individualistic types have, over centuries, had “the group” bred out of them. The transformation from “that” to “this” has gone on too long, and over too many generations. A dachshund can’t will itself to become a wolf, no matter how hard it might wish.

    The people of Europe, particularly northern Europe, are already the past. There’s nothing they can do about this. Their final attempt at forming a defensive collectivism saw them destroyed for good. Where collectivism hadn’t been fully bred out among them, it was eliminated.

    Since dominant groups among the various physical types on earth have for the most part defeated/neutralized their individualist neighbors who bore similar typological features (e.g. Han/Mongol, Ashkenazi/Germanic, etc…) we approach the day when these, roughly speaking, “representative” in-groups are openly opposed to each other.

    Will Ashkenazi defeat Han? Will Han defeat Hindu? How will the various GESs in play among these viable and time-tested nations work in combination with technology and resource control against the others? It’s hard to say.

    Reply

  30. @uniplurus – “The text says that Latin Americans tend to be more collectivist, because they tend to focus on their families and close friends.”

    it’s a matter of degree — and of definition.

    who do latin americans think of as members of their family? just their nuclear family plus grandparents? or are aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins’ kids family, too? collectivist groups tend to think more about that extended family than individualistic groups — and very collectivist groups — like the arabs — think in terms of their clan or even tribe (i.e. even beyond the extended family).

    northwest europeans (not including the irish or the highland scots) and americans of nw european descent tend to focus on their nuclear families. check out, for example, this post about familism in the u.s. people of english descent have much less contact with their extended family members than people of italian descent or mexican-americans.

    and when it comes to friends — sure, you are concerned about your friends, but you tend to group them more along with the whole of society than collectivist peoples do. you shouldn’t favor your friend in hiring someone for a job, for instance. you should give all applicants a fair shot, and hire the one who is best qualified for the job.
    _____

    i’ve only written a couple of posts about mexico (and none really about any other latin american countries) — you might be interested in having a look at them if you haven’t already:

    mating patterns in colonial mexico: the mayans — that’s only the mayans, obviously, and what i found there doesn’t necessarily apply to other native mexicans.
    structural endogamy — here you can see the relatedness between members of a villiage in mexico — very intertwined.
    civicness in mexico — this is an interesting post. it appears as those indigenous peoples in mexico (i.e. not mestizos or not white mexicans) are the most civic members of society in mexico. this needs to be looked into further, imho!

    Reply

  31. @joe – “For the individuals that exist on this planet of finite territory and resources, you must become a group or you will go away. Unfortunately, though there exist some among this group of individuals who grasp the imperative, the reality is that these individualistic types have, over centuries, had ‘the group’ bred out of them. The transformation from ‘that’ to ‘this’ has gone on too long, and over too many generations. A dachshund can’t will itself to become a wolf, no matter how hard it might wish.”

    yeah. can’t say that i can argue with any of that. =/

    the only thing that i can imagine happening is that, if things get bad — really bad — like sh*t-hitting-the-fan bad (complete economic meltdown, for instance) — that even the individualistic universalists will “wake up.” they’ll wake up because their immediate families — their kids — will be in serious danger.

    i just wish that it wouldn’t have to go that far. i wish they’d wake up a bit sooner. =/

    Reply

  32. @ryan – “They’re also rather prone, at least from my very universalist perspective, to in-group favoring behavior, especially when it comes to marriage.”

    that’s very interesting. very, very interesting. thanks! any insight anyone can offer me about the calvinists is much appreciated, ’cause i don’t get them AT ALL. (^_^)

    i find the calvinists so interesting because of where they arose in the first place. take a look at this map, for instance. there’s something curious/interesting going on there….

    Reply

  33. @sisyphean – “This echoes the thinking of Woodward in American Nations which I found fascinating.”

    i need to read that! haven’t read that yet.

    Reply

  34. @grey – “Except i don’t think it is the first time as i think universalism was there from the start but *recessive*….

    “What happens when you have to decide between your two brothers fighting or two of your cousins? When the particularist code doesn’t apply because two individuals are at the same level of relatedness then you fall back on universalist principles. If it’s between your brother and your cousin you don’t ask who started it. If it’s between your two brothers you do. So it seems to me universalist principles e.g. ‘fairness’ still exist in particularistic morality but they are *recessive* i.e. they only apply when the dominant particularistic morality is tied.”

    that’s really, really good. excellent, in fact! thank you!

    Reply

  35. @grey – “If you accept the idea of that ‘flipping’ process taking place within previously clannish, particularist societies their new universalism might well take different forms in different environments. For example if you think Protestantism may have grown out of this individualising process then the form adopted might follow environmental patterns e.g. marginal mountain farming forms of protestantism vs fertile valley forms of Protestantism.”

    yup! that’s why i think that the calvinists are awfully interesting! (^_^)

    Reply

  36. @jaldhar – “Perhaps the reason the system didn’t become totally particularistic is because amongst upper castes there is a parallel system of gotras or ‘lineages.’ also inherited patrilinearly…. All this means that while a Hindus prospective marriage partners are relatives they are not usually first cousins unlike in Muslim society and this I think mitigates some of the extreme particularism which might otherwise arise.”

    yes, i think that could very well be right — especially if these marriage systems have been in place for a long time. compared to muslims in india, hindus hardly marry their cousins at all. and (you probably know this already) there is a big north-south divide in india in which southerners marry closely much more than northerners, so — if the theory’s right at all — we should expect to find more clannishness in southern india than in northern india. i don’t know if that’s the case or not, but from what i do know of india, it’s the northern regions that seem to be more functional.

    also, some pretty universalistic religions have come out of india — out of northern india, if i’m not mistaken: jainism, buddhism.

    i wondered before if the caste system in india ought to be viewed more as a really complex class system — a class system that’s comparatively speaking not very flexible (difficult to move up in the world in india — at least traditionally). that’s probably a gross over-simplification, though, because the castes can also be viewed as sort-of mini-ethnic groups. mini-ethnic-class groups … or something!

    in general, i think you’re right, though. the whole system didn’t become totally particularistic because, although the marriages happen within the caste, they can’t be too close. again, i’m betting there should be more particularism in southern india than in the north.

    india’s soooo complex! so many castes (plus the tribal peoples) and such a long history. i’ve been skipping over india, ’cause i don’t know where to start! (*^_^*)

    @jaldhar – “I have found your discussions about clannishness etc. fascinating. (As is your blog in general.)”

    thanks for saying so! (^_^)

    Reply

  37. @luke – “As for Judaism, there are two competing narratives that have been at war in that faith tradition since the beginning, one universalistic, associated with Abraham, and one tribal, associated with Moses.”

    ah! that’s interesting! thanks.

    and then, of course, there was jesus whose ideas were awfully universalistic, too.

    Reply

  38. @t. greer – “This bias for the ‘particular’ (I prefer the word ‘contextual’ or perhaps ‘context-specific’) tendency of Asians vis a vis Americans can be seen at a very basic level. Rod and Field test designed to test field dependency. That link has the details; it suggests that at a basic cognitive level Americans are able to distinguish between a physical object and its environment better than Chinese can.”

    thank you so much for posting this! i read about this a bit before — long time ago — and couldn’t remember at all what it was called or how it was referred to in the literature, so i didn’t know where to begin googling. you’ve saved me some hours of searching, i think! (^_^) (unfortunately, your rod and field test link didn’t come through, though.)

    this cognitive difference between east and west is fascinating! but i wonder how connected it is to the inbreeding-outbreeding things i’ve been investigating. maybe it is. dunno. but i wonder, for instance, how the arabs or the gypsies — who are very morally and socially particularistic — would score on these sorts of cognitive tests. would be interesting to know!

    Reply

  39. @szopeno – “Could Prussian militarism be just a result of greater inbreeding within Prussia, compared to the rest of Germany?”

    good question! dunno. -?- don’t know what the history of the prussian mating patterns looked like at all. something else to investigate!

    then there’s prussian socialism, too, eh? hmmmm.

    Reply

  40. @grey (and t. greer) – “Most surprising was the French, Germans, Belgians, and Italians, whose preferences were intermediate between the two.”

    ah ha!!

    Reply

  41. “the only thing that i can imagine happening is that, if things get bad — really bad — like sh*t-hitting-the-fan bad (complete economic meltdown, for instance) — that even the individualistic universalists will “wake up.” they’ll wake up because their immediate families — their kids — will be in serious danger.

    i just wish that it wouldn’t have to go that far. i wish they’d wake up a bit sooner. =/”

    There is no “waking up” though. That’s rhetoric overlaid on biology. The dachshund might at one point recognize that it’s not a wolf, but that still won’t let it become a wolf. And even realization, acknowledgement, understanding, or all those words that fall under the aegis of cognition, must be looked at as operating under selective factors as well. There are tens of millions who do not have the capacity to understand this situation.

    You are, like a few others, a mutation, in essence. Your level of awareness regarding this reality we’re surrounded by happened, I’d guess, by chance – as it does among those who come from many generations of individualists. And mutation, as you know, doesn’t usually do much good unless it benefits the mutant in resource competition, resulting in increased fitness. In the environment we exist in, knowledge of HBD doesn’t benefit us. It makes us pariahs. :(

    Keep up the good work though. You’re one of the cleverest among the current crop of alchemists.

    Reply

  42. @joe – “You are, like a few others, a mutation, in essence.”

    well, i come from a clannish population … that’s where my super powers come from! (~_^)

    @joe – “There is no ‘waking up’ though. That’s rhetoric overlaid on biology. The dachshund might at one point recognize that it’s not a wolf, but that still won’t let it become a wolf.”

    right. i’ve just been thinking (hoping) that if things get bad enough (although i don’t WANT them to get that bad!), that the individualists will start being so concerned about the future/safety of their nuclear families (towards whom they are the most oriented normally), that they’ll start to DO something to protect them. don’t know how that will play out … maybe it’ll be too late … i’m just hoping for something. some action. =/

    Reply

  43. @ Hbd Chicks
    ”you and me, both! (~_^) i have to admit, though, that i haven’t looked into/thought much about latin american countries with regard to altruism and clannishness — yet! i have read a little about mexican society, but really not all that much”

    Latin American countries are very diverse and there are collectivist groups that take advantage of the lack of strong identity or clan. I read a text that says that one reason for the pathological altruism of Europeans, especially northern Europeans, could be social alienation caused by the wide variation in intelligence in Caucasian populations. Said that Western societies are inherently unequal, hierarchical, precisely because of these differences.

    @ Hbd chicks “Specially the mixed people here, we are europeans (universalists, but less because much more of our white ancestry are southern european), american- racially mongoloid asians and africans.”

    remember that the theory is not that outbreeding automatically leads to a more individualistic society with universalistic ideals. the theory is that outbreeding breaks down the (genetic) connections between the members of extended families/clans which then sets up new selection pressures on the individuals in that society. the social environment changes from being one where cooperation and trust between extended familiy members is important to one in which cooperation and trust between friends and unrelated neighbors and even strangers becomes more important. what sort of people with what sorts of personalities and behavioral traits do well in that latter society? — in either of those societies, for that matter?

    so the theory amounts to: outbreeding+selection (i.e. not just outbreeding). (really the theory is: mating patterns+selection.)

    and this selection takes some time — you need many generations for this to work. if i’m right, it took several hundred years for, say, the english to become individualistic and universalistic. (they started outbreeding at the earliest in the late 600s and were already quite recognizably individualistic by the 1200s. but still — that’s ca. 500 years.)”

    Yes I know that, but I would like to understand the reason for northern Europeans have solved marry outside their clan sooner. I thought about some combination of personality traits and the variation iq, but it seems that East Asian has a very equal distribution and yet not become so individualistic, despite the Scandinavian also have a similar pattern.
    It may be that this universalism inherent in these societies may have developed from the Christianization of these regions, ie, had an unexpected effect, because I do not believe that the missionaries were also eugenicists-Templars. The imposition of the Christian faith combined with traces of cognitive style and personality existing and converged for modern Scandinavians.
    .

    Reply

  44. Thank you for the texts, I will see.
    It’s hard to talk about it. Well, I think that people, individually speaking, are already very complex. Imagine happened here where a lot of racial mixing?
    I’m going back to advance this topic because I think that the standards of universalism and particularism can present many differences here. I see, in my association, since the very individualistic types even those who are quite particularist or collectivist. In my case, I do not know how ‘sociopaths’ could be considered?! But I see my parents, for example, seem much more universalistic than particularistic. I also consider myself more universalistic precisely because I am extremely favorable to meritocracy, in a radical sense.

    Reply

  45. chick – looking at your Calvinist map, something which would make it make more sense: eliminate “Anglicanism” and replace it with a three-way hachure of Catholic, Lutheran, and Calvinist.

    Elizabeth and James deliberately shaped the Church of England to be a compromise between the three strains. Puritanism was more Calvinist than Lutheran, and wasn’t fully successfully incorporated into the compromise until after the Restoration.

    Of course, once you give England some Calvinist coloring, the map looks much more interesting.

    Reply

  46. consciousness must be the greatest curse of all, its burden is so great that only a death cult can provide it any hope for salvation. bicameral man desired immortality from his religion, but conscious man wants only to the promise of oblivion… the blood-extinction of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the soul-annhilation of Nirvana.. conscious man looks at these dreary outcomes with hope and desire, his soul is so weary of life it can’t believe in anything more

    Reply

  47. @hbd chick-

    RE- Field dependence test: Here is a short blog post describing how the test works http://www.jasonpatent.com/2009/09/18/eye-of-the-beholder/

    and here is the citation for the study itself:

    Li-Jun Ji, Kaiping Peng and Richard E. Nisbett “Culture, Control and Perception of Relationships in the Environment” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000, vol. 78, No. 5, 943-955)

    Richard Nisbett books discusses dozens of studies like it.

    RE- “this cognitive difference between east and west is fascinating! but i wonder how connected it is to the inbreeding-outbreeding things i’ve been investigating”

    Ah, that is just the thing. It does not seem clearly connected to inbreeding-outbreeding things you have been investigating. But one can make a fairly convincing argument that these cognitive differences – a bias for seeing the world through a universal or contextual lens – are the root cause of the ‘universal’ and ‘particular’ social relations you have attributed to inbreeding/out breeding.

    It is not a bullet through your argument – but it is something to consider.

    Reply

  48. hbd chick: “i’m just hoping for something. some action. =/”

    Me too.

    Of course the existence of people with that preference is a favorable circumstance. It might not be enough, depending on what other positives turn out to be in play, but it’s wholly to the good.

    Being part of the solution, not part of the problem, is a good start.

    Reply

  49. I don’t think you can classify religions based on their theories of salvation. Medieval Catholicism has the same theories of salvation than modern Catholicism but the former was far more tribalistic than the latter. What matters is your behavior in thus world and not in the other world.

    Having lived 15 years in Latin America, I disagree with the sentence about Latin Americans. They are more outbred and individualistic than this sentence conveys, although less than Americans and Europeans. In the country, I live there was a war during the 80s and family with different politic ideas ended up fighting each other. Friends are very important too, despite not sharing blood ties.

    Reply

  50. also, some pretty universalistic religions have come out of india — out of northern india, if i’m not mistaken: jainism, buddhism.

    But they didn’t succeed in India, they remained minoritary because they were not compatible with the caste system. Buddhism has succeeded in a lot of countries except in India. It was a reaction against the caste system but it only succeeded when there was no asuch system.

    Reply

  51. @HBD Chick – “there is a big north-south divide in india in which southerners marry closely much more than northerners, so — if the theory’s right at all — we should expect to find more clannishness in southern india than in northern india..”

    “Inbreeding effects on human reproduction in Tamil Nadu of South India”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-1809.1977.tb01964.x/abstract

    “Forty-seven per cent of the rural women and 29% of urban were consanguineously married; in 80% or more of these marriages the spouses were first cousins or more closely related..”

    And going back to my theory about inbreeding, clannishness, and prevalence of terrorist groups: of course, in Sri Lanka there are/were the Tamil Tigers..

    Reply

  52. @jaldhar
    “Perhaps the reason the system didn’t become totally particularistic is because amongst upper castes there is a parallel system of gotras or ‘lineages.’”

    I think this can be true more generally i.e. different classes can be moving in different directions at the same time e.g. the upper class might be unbreeding while the middle class is outbreeding or vice versa.

    .
    imnobody00
    “I disagree with the sentence about Latin Americans. They are more outbred and individualistic than this sentence conveys, although less than Americans and Europeans”

    Given how Latin America was colonized i.e. people coming form lots of different places, this seems very likely at least in the urban, coastal areas but maybe not in the rural areas?

    Reply

  53. chrisdavies
    “And going back to my theory about inbreeding, clannishness, and prevalence of terrorist groups: of course, in Sri Lanka there are/were the Tamil Tigers.”

    I do think there’s a link here but i think it’s more indirect. I think inbreeding and clannishness is bad for large-scale group co-operation which makes it bad for conventional warfare since (c. 1600?, gunpowder?) and so clannish, inbred populations tend to get conquered by people who are less so. However inbreeding and clannishness is very good for small-group warfare e.g. guerilla warfare or organised crime, so those kind of populations are very good at maintaining a guerilla warfare campaign long-term.

    Good examples of this historically might be
    Britain / Ireland
    France / Brittany
    Spain/Basque

    More recently
    Sihhalese/Tamils
    America and Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, possibly Syria soon etc.

    Reply

  54. Joe “Unfortunately, though there exist some among this group of individuals who grasp the imperative, the reality is that these individualistic types have, over centuries, had “the group” bred out of them. The transformation from “that” to “this” has gone on too long, and over too many generations. A dachshund can’t will itself to become a wolf, no matter how hard it might wish.”

    Let’s think about this.

    First let’s make three assumptions:
    The human races are as distinct as canine races.
    Kevin MacDonald is right and Europeans evolved from the beginning to be individualistic.
    HBD Chick is right and sustained outbreeding suppresses heritable clannishness.

    (Could you ask for more favourable assumptions from the “doomed dachshund” point of view? I don’t think so.)

    One should still ask: what if the default for the human races for clannishness versus non-clannishness? And how strong is the tendency to drift back to that default?

    Suppose that the human default is totally mass suicidal universal altruism. That is what the idea of “racism” implies: that a total failure to prefer one’s own kind is natural and normal (for whites) and that any deviation from that ideal is an evil mental disease that must be cured, punished and suppressed (when it occurs in whites). So in a sense this is quite a familiar thought for us: zero-racism as the default. What then?

    Then the ethnocentrism that in every other race is superior to what it is in whites is like a treasure that each race has built up and sustained through selective breeding across ages. If the treasure is squandered, you need to take another few thousand years to build it back up to its artificially elevated height.

    In this case, whites started with less treasure than anyone else (Kevin MacDonald) and what they had was squandered by centuries of out-breeding (HBD Chick) so it’s gone and can’t be gotten back. (Without the creation of a new natural breeding program and at least a few centuries to breed ourselves back up without any competition, which will not happen.) We’re done.

    On the good side, we should be healthier than any other races, and healthier than we have ever been, particularly mentally healthier. This is a strong prediction of the doctrine of “racism” (that if you whites get rid of your nasty “racist” collective self-love you will be much happier and more functional) and it also follows from non-racism as a genetic default. When you demand something unnatural of a well-bred animal, like absolute perfect whiteness of coat, you pay a serious price in terms of health. It you want to have healthier, less neurotic animals, it’s better to dump the burden of perfection and let the bloodline drop back nearer to its default. (Say a few brown spots on the coat.) Since modern whites have let go of our (artificial, strained, over-bread) ethnocentrism, we should be remarkably free of defects in other ways – no depression, obesity and so on. That is quite a strong prediction of the “non-racist” default.

    Now let’s suppose that’s all rubbish. Let’s suppose that even having less clannishness than anyone else (MacDonald) still made us very ethnocentric by the standards applied to modern whites, and quite clannish enough for whites historically to have held their territory (thus explaining why we exist). Let’s suppose that we are on a conveyor belt back to our natural level of ethnocentricity, as naturally occurring mutations break down any patterns that put a brake on it. And suppose that we are no longer selecting effectively for much of anything, except (in females) for a lack of the educability needed to get to university, get indoctrinated in feminism, and wind up sterile or barely fertile. Well then, we might be getting dumber, and we also might be losing the capacities that under the leadership of our genetically superior hostile elite let us build up and sustain an “anti-racist” international order.

    Then the future is unwritten.

    Reply

  55. @ Greying Wanderer ”Given how Latin America was colonized i.e. people coming form lots of different places, this seems very likely at least in the urban, coastal areas but maybe not in the rural areas?”

    Yes, well depend on the place.

    As I said in a previous review, within the Northeast region in Brazil, inbreeding was very common and resulted in tribalism and genetic diseases like dwarfism in some villages. Already in big cities such marriage has been very unusual, at least half of the twentieth century until today.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/marriage-amongst-cousins/4428542

    Reply

  56. hbd chk – and then, of course, there was jesus whose ideas were awfully universalistic, too.

    According to the gospel of John (mostly made up) Jesus said, “before Abraham was even born, I Am!” Christianity obviously took up the universal strand and abandoned the tribal one altogether.

    About the Calvanists I agree: I just don’t get them, or haven’t in the past. They were first and last businessmen (and their preachers, whom they hired) and their religion was a kind of club. Like the Rotary, or what de Tocqueville called “civil society.” Judaism was a little like that too in the Middle Ages and of course the Calvanists looked favorably upon the Jews. A good novel of Puritan Congregationalist life in 18th-19th century is Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Pogonaut People (sp?) about her childhood growing up in a pious New England family. A lot more humor and human warmth than you might expect. And an obsession with abstruse Theological issues (as opposed to the Talmud, say).

    Reply

  57. @gottlieb
    OMIGOD I am the Easterner (each time I choose the same option as the easterners, and sometimes I couldn’t even understand why “westerners” – americans and anglos – makde their choices)

    Reply

  58. @Szopen

    LOL,kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    In my case was balanced, for many ‘questions’ i choice ‘asian answers’ and others answer ‘white… westerner questions’… Obviously that it isn’t perfect, in other words, ALL ‘westerners’ choice ‘westerners answers’ and the same for easterners asians.
    For example, in the case of figure of lion and the visual perception i could not take my eyes of the centre of figure. For some questions about ”who is in front?” i could not get a straight answer because i thought
    ” – Is relative!”

    Interesting because i conclude that the ‘asians’ think very close to ‘liberal thinking’, they thinking in a circunstances for explain the behaviour of people, it correlate perfectly with the example of liberal thinking= ”many people are violent because of its unfavorable environment” and not the genetic explaination, ”many people are violent because are genetically prediposed by this behaviour”. Western thinking are naturally ‘hbd’, LOL

    In a text that i read say asians activated their righ side of brain for read their ideograms. So i linked to brain sides and functions. In ”neuropolitics” i read the right brain side differs from the left brain especially for not following moral standards and it explain the liberal moral convictions (or ‘unusual’ moral). Probably the differences about the ”cultural thinking” among human races, ethnicities and peoples are very large than we imagine.

    Reply

  59. “OMIGOD I am the Easterner”

    “In my case was balanced, for many ‘questions’ i choice ‘asian answers’ and others answer ‘white… westerner questions’”

    A further indication that the “Westerner” definition might actually be a very specific NW European W.E.I.R.D type.

    I wonder if Poles in Poland and long-term Polish-Americans would be the same or if the ones in America had been northwestified? I’m guessing that unless a whole district moved en masse to the same neighborhood in America that they would be different.

    Reply

  60. @gottlieb – “Yes I know that, but I would like to understand the reason for northern Europeans have solved marry outside their clan sooner.”

    well, it seems to really have been an accident of history — firstly that the roman catholic church authorities decided that close breeding was a bad idea (see this post about st. augustine and thomas aquinas on their ideas on how to build a christian society — there are also other theories out there as to why the church pushed for this, like jack goody’s ideas about the church wanting to increase the donations they received from people — the thinking goes, if you break down family connections by stopping close marriages, people will bequeath their fortune to the church rather than to their second cousin, because they don’t really care about their second cousins anymore). and, then, many early medieval/medieval secular authorities went along with these church regulations and even passed secular laws against cousin marriage, probably very much because they saw the advantage of weakening clans which always cause big problems in societies since they tend to war with one another (see for example the quote from historian giorgio ausenda at the end of this post).

    the idea did occur every now and again to other secular rulers around the world — like some chinese emperors — but such a ban on marrying cousins doesn’t ever seem to have been as well enforced as it was in medieval europe — in particular medieval northwestern europe (barring ireland and highland scotland).

    Reply

  61. @gottlieb – “But I see my parents, for example, seem much more universalistic than particularistic. I also consider myself more universalistic precisely because I am extremely favorable to meritocracy, in a radical sense.”

    well, we are talking about the average behaviors of groups, here. not all individuals within those groups conform to the average. (^_^)

    Reply

  62. @anthony – “looking at your Calvinist map, something which would make it make more sense: eliminate ‘Anglicanism’ and replace it with a three-way hachure of Catholic, Lutheran, and Calvinist…. Puritanism was more Calvinist than Lutheran, and wasn’t fully successfully incorporated into the compromise until after the Restoration. Of course, once you give England some Calvinist coloring, the map looks much more interesting.”

    i absolutely agree with you! and wikipedia says that the puritans were calvinistic, so it must be true. (~_^)

    and, if hackett fischer is correct, the puritans mostly came from east anglia. and east anglia is interesting, too — extended family-wise, that is.

    Reply

  63. @t. greer – “Ah, that is just the thing. It does *not* seem clearly connected to inbreeding-outbreeding things you have been investigating.”

    well, but as greying wanderer pointed out above (thanks, grey!), maybe it is! from your post:

    “The few studies covered that *do* include continental Europeans suggest that human cognition cannot be boiled down to simple West/East dichotomy. When the attitudes and intuitions of developed countries are surveyed three distinct groupings emerge: the Americans, British, Canadians, and Australians had a marked ‘individualist’ orientation, which they shared with Scandinavians and Dutch respondents. As expected, Korean, Japanese, and Singaporean preferences were far on the other side of the scale. Most surprising was the French, Germans, Belgians, and Italians, whose preferences were intermediate between the two. (p. 63-65)”

    that’s awfully, awfully close to what i’ve been saying about individualism vs. clannishness in europe which is:

    – most individualistic/least clannish: anglos and dutch
    – followed by: french, belgians, germans, scandinavians
    – followed by: italians

    i need to look into this some more — and thank you so much for bringing it to my attention! i promise you, i will be literally floored if the patterns in the two sets of research coincide. i mean … whoa.

    Reply

  64. @imnobody00 – I don’t think you can classify religions based on their theories of salvation. Medieval Catholicism has the same theories of salvation than modern Catholicism but the former was far more tribalistic than the latter.”

    i disagree. i think it’s interesting — and telling — to note exactly who is included in all the different religious or moral belief systems. the more narrow the inclusion, the more clannish the group (i’d say), and vice versa. although i agree with you that you have to consider how religious/moral systems change through time. the roman catholic church is more universalistic today than it was 1000 years ago. but that’s telling, too, i think — about the population i mean. roman catholics have become more universalistic over time — the european ones, i mean.

    @imnobody00 – “Having lived 15 years in Latin America, I disagree with the sentence about Latin Americans. They are more outbred and individualistic than this sentence conveys, although less than Americans and Europeans.

    yeah. i’d agree with that. actually, on a continuum, i’d place a lot of latin americans alongside italians or greeks as far as “clannishness” goes (really more “extended family-ish” than clannish). that’s, of course, not including special little groups like the yanomamo.

    Reply

  65. @imnobody00 – “But they didn’t succeed in India, they remained minoritary because they were not compatible with the caste system. Buddhism has succeeded in a lot of countries except in India.”

    quite so. but my point was that buddhism and jainism (i think) came out of northern india which, at least in modern times, has less close marriage than in southern india (and slightly crazy parts of the world like arabia). who knows how far back that avoidance of close marriage goes — i need to find out (if possible) — but perhaps it goes way back.

    also, although buddhism has been very successful in east asia, it has a lot of different forms there. it’s not equally universalistic in all of its forms.

    Reply

  66. @chris – “‘Inbreeding effects on human reproduction in Tamil Nadu of South India'”

    thanks! 47% is pretty high. that’s approaching arab rates.

    @chris – “And going back to my theory about inbreeding, clannishness, and prevalence of terrorist groups: of course, in Sri Lanka there are/were the Tamil Tigers.”

    yup! =/

    Reply

  67. @gottlieb – “Already in big cities such marriage has been very unusual, at least half of the twentieth century until today.”

    remember, though — that’s too short of a time for any selection/evolution to have happened. natural selection doesn’t have to take millions of years (see The 10,000 Explosion), but half of a century is not long enough — barring some sort of extreme, extreme selection pressures.

    for latin americans (for any population, really), you need to examine the last 1000-2000 years of mating patterns/family types/social structures to work out what sorts of behaviors may have been adaptive. and then, for latin americans in particular, you need to consider where most of the ancestors of european-latin americans came from, i.e. largely places like southern spain and italy which happened to have long histories of close marriages and clannish behaviors.

    Reply

  68. @luke – “According to the gospel of John (mostly made up) Jesus said, ‘before Abraham was even born, I Am!’ Christianity obviously took up the universal strand and abandoned the tribal one altogether.”

    sure did!

    Reply

  69. @szopeno – “OMIGOD I am the Easterner (each time I choose the same option as the easterners, and sometimes I couldn’t even understand why ‘westerners’ – americans and anglos – makde their choices)”

    heh! (^_^) i must watch that video.

    Reply

  70. @Uniplurus:

    “I’m trying to understand why latin american coutries tend to be more coletivists than individualists…

    There would be the possibility of some people being both? Specially the mixed people here, we are europeans (universalists, but less because much more of our white ancestry are southern european), american- racially mongoloid asians and africans.
    Also there the possibility for us to be sephardic ancestry.
    In brazilian northeastern, specially in interior, many people are (was) recently very endogamic.”

    It’s helpful to think about the source populations. Latin Americans are, to varying degrees, mixes of Europeans, Africans, and indigenous Americans (with a couple of others, like Asians and Middle Easterners sprinkled in the mix). The Indigenous component appears to be largely inbred, and so is the African component, thanks to polygyny. So you might expect that the European component is outbred, but that’s not necessarily the case.

    As Razib Khan reports, the European component of Latin Americans (at least in the Spanish part) came primarily from two provinces in southern Spain (the inbred part of the country):

    The genetic legacy of the conquistadors : Gene Expression.

    Reply

  71. Jayman @ ”It’s helpful to think about the source populations. Latin Americans are, to varying degrees, mixes of Europeans, Africans, and indigenous Americans (with a couple of others, like Asians and Middle Easterners sprinkled in the mix). The Indigenous component appears to be largely inbred, and so is the African component, thanks to polygyny. So you might expect that the European component is outbred, but that’s not necessarily the case.

    As Razib Khan reports, the European component of Latin Americans (at least in the Spanish part) came primarily from two provinces in southern Spain (the inbred part of the country)”

    Yes, i know, southern europeans tend to be less universalist than northern and northwestern europeans.
    Well, i’m not descendent of ”conquistadores” because i’m brazilian… There are many differences between portugueses and spaniards. The last are more similar in personality for example to italians than your neighbor people. Portugueses tend to be more introspective and melancholy (specially about her past).
    I think primarily that the mix racing would like a most extreme behavior of exogamic people, but other components interfere in the ‘final result’.

    Reply

  72. Hbd Chicks @ ”remember, though — that’s too short of a time for any selection/evolution to have happened. natural selection doesn’t have to take millions of years (see The 10,000 Explosion), but half of a century is not long enough — barring some sort of extreme, extreme selection pressures.

    for latin americans (for any population, really), you need to examine the last 1000-2000 years of mating patterns/family types/social structures to work out what sorts of behaviors may have been adaptive. and then, for latin americans in particular, you need to consider where most of the ancestors of european-latin americans came from, i.e. largely places like southern spain and italy which happened to have long histories of close marriages and clannish behaviors.”

    Yes, i understand, thanks for explaination!!!
    I read on West Hunter that for example, the ”selection for intelligence” can happen less that 100 years. In other words, the selection for this type of ‘human component’ and your posterior division in different cognitive classes can happen much more quickly than we imagine, is unbelievable and amazing!! ( i understand it, Lol)

    Reply

  73. Hbd Chicks @ “Portugueses tend to be more introspective and melancholy (specially about her past).”

    saudade!”

    * = *
    Hoooowww, ho ho!!! Yes, some in portuguese language that exist its words…
    I’m melancholic…
    I’m listening this music, like a marijuana vicious,

    I’m happy into a sadness, jajajajaja

    Reply

  74. Hbd Chicks @ ”well, we are talking about the average behaviors of groups, here. not all individuals within those groups conform to the average. (^_^)”

    Yes, absolutely, i think that brazilian people tend to be in average more extrovert people and more exogamic, but there many regional differences. For example, i see in a tv show a ”carioca” woman said
    ”In Rio de Janeiro, you make many friends but the friendships tend to be artificials”
    ”In São Paulo city is more difficult make friends when you arrive, but the few friendships are deep and true.
    Extroversion can related to exogamic behavior not?
    Well, so the scandinavians should be a paradox, because they are ( stereotype that i believe) introverted and exogamic.

    Reply

  75. Hbd chicks @ ”well, it seems to really have been an accident of history — firstly that the roman catholic church authorities decided that close breeding was a bad idea (see this post about st. augustine and thomas aquinas on their ideas on how to build a christian society — there are also other theories out there as to why the church pushed for this, like jack goody’s ideas about the church wanting to increase the donations they received from people — the thinking goes, if you break down family connections by stopping close marriages, people will bequeath their fortune to the church rather than to their second cousin, because they don’t really care about their second cousins anymore). and, then, many early medieval/medieval secular authorities went along with these church regulations and even passed secular laws against cousin marriage, probably very much because they saw the advantage of weakening clans which always cause big problems in societies since they tend to war with one another (see for example the quote from historian giorgio ausenda at the end of this post).

    the idea did occur every now and again to other secular rulers around the world — like some chinese emperors — but such a ban on marrying cousins doesn’t ever seem to have been as well enforced as it was in medieval europe — in particular medieval northwestern europe (barring ireland and highland scotland).”

    VERY INTERESTING!!!!!!
    The altruism of europeans, specially the northern europeans was caused by greed of catholic church.

    Reply

  76. Wife is a UU, and has ref. book that EXPLICITLY states that they reject the problem of evil. Holy hubris, Batman! Isn’t that like putting your fingers in your ears and singing La-La-La whenever someone mentions war, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, the gulag? I’ll have to get exact quote and share it with you later. UU has done so much damage as a philosophy, it’s not even funny. For the record, I’m od-time fiscal conservative in conserv. church. F– the UU and Unitarianism. God bringing us together means He has a good/twisted sense of humor.

    Reply

  77. @mumbles – “Wife is a UU, and has ref. book that EXPLICITLY states that they reject the problem of evil.”

    oh, that’s very interesting! i have a hard time imagining a worldview that could be more universalistic than that — that there is no evil (i.e. some things are intrinsically/existentially dangerous to you and yours) out there!

    @mumbles – “I’ll have to get exact quote and share it with you later.”

    oh, yes, please! please do that if you get the chance. (^_^)

    Reply

  78. @gottlieb – “The altruism of europeans, specially the northern europeans was caused by greed of catholic church.”

    personally, i don’t think that that’s how it all got started. i think it began because some of the early church fathers (like st. augustine) were trying to work out how to build a christian society here on earth — and they realized that these clans were in the way — and could see that clans stayed strong because people married within their clans. st. augustine (and later thomas aquinas) reasoned that, if people married outside of their families, then alliances between families would grow, and you’d get a more charitable, peaceful (christian) society.

    they hacked the system — and it worked! (better than they could’ve imagined, i think!)

    but i don’t think jack goody is entirely wrong with his economic theory. once the cousin marriage (and other marriage) bans were in place, the economic benefits to the church probably became apparent, and so the whole system was maintained. and there were the dispensations, too — if you did (do!) want to marry your cousin, you could PAY the church so that they would allow you to. good money-making operation there! (~_^)

    and, then, there were the kings and princes, too. don’t forget about them. there were plenty of secular laws against cousin marriage as well. the kings and princes of europe were also very happy to get rid of (those always fighting) clans.

    Reply

  79. @ Hbd Chicks,
    well i yet continue with this idea but do not can guilty the church ’cause i’m unfair for them.

    ”@ Hbd Chicks yeah! that’s the feeling. (~_^)”

    Interesting because i do not get depressed. I’m adapted to sadness, yay, hehehe

    Reply

  80. I and my brother and our mother are also weirdos who are “happier to be melancholy”. I think it’s because it’s in our genes to accept that true happiness is fleeting, and so it is better to adapt to reality and lower your expectations and accept the harshness of life.

    Our dad is a spiritual type who is a real “go-getter, up an at ’em, think positive!”-type, and he always disagrees with my brother and I on our lack of desire to date, marry, procreate and accumulate wealth and status. But we’ve inherited his stubborn “fight for what’s right” attitude and apply to to our pro-life and animal rights activism.

    Razib does surveys every now and then of his readership, and most of us end up being INTJs, so I’m positive this personality set applies to this blog’s readership. We’re probably all a bunch of melancholy introverts obsessively trying to understand exactly why there is violence and apathy in this world.

    Re: Tamils. I am half Tamil Sri Lankan. My dad’s family converted to Christianity hundreds of years ago, due to British and Portuguese influence. The Tamils were the ones who adapted to outside culture, whereas the Sinhalese desperately tried to retain their “brownness”. Regardless of this influence, my dad’s sister married their first cousin (ew). Members of his extended family are sympathetic to the Tamil Tiger cause, but my dad, as well as myself and my brother, view it with such disdain. We just want people to use diplomacy to get along. My brother and I have afriend whose parents come from two different parts of Sri Lanka, and he also agrees with us. However, his father is sympathetic to the “Tamil cause”. I wonder if this is because our friend is outbred like ourselves? Interesting.

    Re: Portuguese. Exogamy? Interesting you mention this. I live in a city (Brampton, Ontario) with a sizable Portuguese population, and all of the women usually end up dating and marrying Jamaican guys (we also have a lot of Jamaicans here too). The Portuguese guys usually end up marrying Jamaican, Indian or Italian girls, of which we also have sizable amounts. Not too many Portuguese-Portuguese unions here.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s