the anglo-saxons and america 3.0

been reading America 3.0 written by two of the chicago boyz (hey chicago boyz! *waves*). i got interested in the book after reading daniel hannan’s review of it in the telegraph a couple of weeks ago in which he said:

“Their conclusion? That English, later Anglosphere, exceptionalism, is very real. That the rise of our language and culture to their current unprecedented dominance – what one commentator terms ‘Anglobalisation’ – is based on a series of properties that are either unique to the English-speaking peoples, or shared only with a handful of kindred cultures in northwestern Europe. Among these properties are the common law, representative government, Protestantism, dispersed landownership, civil associations separate from the state and – of particular interest to these authors – the unusual nature of the family.

They show that the Anglosphere dispenses with the extended family structures which, in most places, have legal as well as cultural force. In many societies, the peasant family has traditionally been treated as a kind of collective landowner, within which there are reciprocal responsibilities. Children, even in adulthood, have been expected to work on the family plot, receiving board and lodging. Marriages are typically arranged, and daughters-in-law come under the authority of the head of their new household. Even when the law recognises individual autonomy, custom is often slow to follow.

“The Anglosphere scarcely resembles the Eurasian landmass in its family structures. Our notion of the family is limited and nuclear. Most English-speakers in most centuries wanted to set up home on their own, independently, with just their spouse and children – although economic circumstances did not always allow that aspiration to be fulfilled.

The notion that the limited family underpins Anglosphere exceptionalism – which draws heavily on the work of the French anthropologist and demographer Emmanuel Todd – is intriguing. I see the cultural difference all around me in the European Parliament. In most Continental states, your social life is largely taken up with your extended family: you have an endless stream of weddings and christenings to go to, sometimes of very distant cousins. Britons and Americans, by contrast, expect to leave their parental home in their teens, either to go to university or to work. We make friends away from home, and they become the core of our social life. Indeed, the word ‘friend’ carries more force in English than in many European languages, in which it is bestowed quickly and generously, but often means little more than what we mean by a Facebook friend. When a Spaniard says of someone ‘es muy amigo mío’, he simply means that he gets on with the chap.”

oh, emmanuel todd! i love emmanuel todd!

i disagree with lotus and bennett on two major points.

firstly, that the u.s. is on the verge of an economic/societal upturn that will be even bigger and better than those of the past (thus the title of the book). meh. maybe. i’m not so hopeful as they are, but that’s probably just because i’m a pessimist. i’ll be very happy to be proven wrong!

my other disagreement with the authors is more of an irreconcilable difference [pgs. 25-26, 60-61]:

“What we have found in our research is that our distinctive and exceptional American culture has extremely deep roots, stretching back over a thousand years, long before our own national Founding and our Constitution, long before the the first English settlements in North America….”

yes, definitely. i’d agree with that. but…

“The word ‘culture’ may seem amorphous, something you would know by intuition but cannot necessarily pin down. Even professional anthropologists, whose job it is to study and understand culture, seem to have trouble pinning down exactly what they mean by it. For our purposes, we define culture as the distinctive patterns of behavior within a specified group of people that are transmitted from one generation to the next and are not genetic in origin.

It is very important to understand that culture is not genetic. Adopted children and immigrants may come from entirely different genetic backgrounds, but they adopt artifacts of culture such as language, values, and customs as readily as do biological children of parents within that culture. It is indisputable that the culture we describe in this book can be and has been adopted by people of every possible ethnic background….”

well, no … not exactly.

“[T]he strictly racial explanation for the Germanic roots of English liberty is simply and demonstrably incorrect. We now know more about human biology and genetics than did the writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We know for a fact that there is no genetic basis for the English way of life. There is nothing special in the DNA of any English ‘race’ that especially suits them for liberty….

“The historical record as it now stands, based on documents, archeology, and genetic evidence, shows that *the foundations of English liberty were not genetic or racial, but cultural, institutional, legal, and political*.”

oh, no, no, no, no, no!

i’m actually not interested in debating this in this post, but, in response to these passages, i will just ask my one, favorite, hopefully irritating question: where does culture come from?
_____

i do want to nitpick a small-ish point with lotus and bennett, though. their main argument is that the anglo-saxon absolute nuclear family goes way, waaaay back — pretty much to, or nearly to, the time of the settlement of the anglo-saxons in england — and, thanks to that, both england and america have been characterized by all sorts of neat things like: individualism, a love of liberty, nonegalitarianism, competitiveness, an enterprising spirit, mobility, voluntarism, middle-class values, an instrumental view of government, and suburbia (a spacious home and backyard for each and every nuclear family).

i generally agree with that assessment, although, as you know, i’d throw mating patterns into the mix there — especially that the mating patterns of the angles and saxons and other germanic tribes probably affected their family types, the general pattern being: the closer the mating types, the larger the families (think: the arabs with their father’s brother’s daughter marriage and their huge clans/tribes), while the more distant the mating types, the smaller the families (think: well, think the english with their avoidance of close cousin marriage for ca. 1000-1200 years and their absolute nuclear families). and, of course, i’d toss evolution and genetic differences between populations in there, too.

lotus and bennett, amongst other points, say of the saxons that settled in england that [pg. 75]:

“- They were free people. They were independent minded, individually and in their tribal organization….
– They owned property individually, not communally, and not as families. Adult children and parents had separate and individual rights, not collective rights as a family.
– They traced their lineages through both the male and female line. This prevented clans or extended families from forming and becoming exclusive, as happens when lineage is traced solely through the male line. As a result extended families or clans did not have collective legal rights, or any recognized political role.”

yes. but this is a slight oversimplification of the situation. no, the pre-christian germanics didn’t have strong clans, but they did have kindreds which were, in fact, very important in many cases when legal issues arose, in particular in the instance of wergeld payment and collection, i.e. compensation for when a member of a kindred was injured or killed. the members of a person’s kindred in germanic society — and this includes anglo-saxon society in early medieval england — were obliged to undertake a feud if wergeld payments were not met — by the guilty party’s kindred. in other words, two whole kindreds were involved whenever someone was injured or killed by another person.

this was a sort of clannishness-lite, then — actual clans did not exist in pre-christian germanic society, but kindreds did. and these extended families were very important in early anglo-saxon society, even though people may have regularly resided in nuclear family units. according to lorraine lancaster, this didn’t change until after ca. 1000 a.d., four- to six-hundred years after the anglo-saxons arrived in england, when wergeld began to be paid/collected by a person’s friends or fellow guild members rather than extended family members [pgs. 373, 375 – see also this post]:

“Phillpotts has effectively demonstrated the weakness of Anglo-Saxon kin groups compared with certain related systems on the continent….

“During the period they [‘friends’] gained continued importance as oath-helpers. After the end of the tenth century, it was even permissible for a feud to be prosecuted or wergild claimed by a man’s associates or guild-brothers. If murder was done *within* the guild, kinsmen again played a part….”

so, yes, the importance of the nuclear family does have its roots in germanic and anglo-saxon society, but the extended family in the form of the bilateral kindred was also a very significant element of germanic societies — until quite late in some regions of europe. the importance of the germanic kindred waned over the course of the early medieval period, very much so in england, i think thanks to The Outbreeding Project undertaken by northwest europeans beginning in the early medieval period. (see mating patterns in europe series below ↓ in left-hand column.)

previously: kinship in anglo-saxon society and kinship in anglo-saxon society ii and medieval germanic kindreds … and the ditmarsians and emmanuel todd’s absolute nuclear family and “l’explication de l’idéologie”

(note: comments do not require an email. coooookieeee!)

84 Comments

  1. “i disagree with lotus and bennett on two major points.

    firstly, that the u.s. is on the verge of an economic/societal upturn that will be even bigger and better than those of the past (thus the title of the book). meh. maybe. i’m not so hopeful as they are, but that’s probably just because i’m a pessimist. i’ll be very happy to be proven wrong!

    You’re not hopeful with good reason, unfortunately:

    Mapping the Road to American Disunion – JayMan’s Blog

    Hell even NBC Nightly News is going along with this… :\

    Reply

  2. both england and america have been characterized by all sorts of neat things like: individualism, a love of liberty, nonegalitarianism, competitiveness, an enterprising spirit, mobility, voluntarism, middle-class values, an instrumental view of government, and suburbia (a spacious home and backyard for each and every nuclear family).

    Nonegalitarianism, or egalitarianism? It seems that both are often cited in this context.

    Reply

  3. @paleo retiree – “Thumbs up to the book generally?”

    yes. yes, thumbs up to the book generally. especially if one keeps in mind that the authors overlooked biology, and one is willing to forgive them for that (which i am!). (~_^)

    i’d give the book four out of five stars: half a star off for missing out on biology/evolution and half a star off for all the optimism. but, if i were in an optimistic mood (which does happen some days!), i’d give ’em four-and-a-half stars!

    i am in absolute agreement with them that: 1) there’s an exceptionalism to the anglos and anglo-america, and 2) that this has to do with the long history of the nuclear family in the anglo world. i just disagree with them on why that should’ve been (their purely culture vs. my biology+culture).

    Reply

  4. Doesn’t “culture” imply extra-genetic transmissible morals, memes, etc.? If it was just genetic, then that would mean it wasn’t culture as we understand it but reflexive behaviors and instincts. It would mean that when someone teaches someone else something, there is no actual teaching going on in the way we commonly understand it. It just looks like there is teaching, there is communication of transmissible ideas going on. But in reality, what would be happening if culture was just genetic would be that the teacher’s genes would make her behave in such a way that it appeared to people that she was communicating something to the student, and the student’s genes would express themselves in the student’s body to make the student appear as though he were receiving teaching from the teacher, even though no information was being communicated between them.

    If culture were genetic, then that would mean that Miley Cyrus twerks on TV because she has black genes that made her do so.

    Reply

  5. @jet – “Doesn’t ‘culture’ imply extra-genetic transmissible morals, memes, etc.?”

    i dunno. does it?

    where does culture come from? the ether?

    Reply

  6. @hbd_chick
    We are get there. One step at a time.
    You’re no small part of it.
    At least, you’re the one who got me interested.

    (I’m doing my bit, too. Interesting conference in Turkey last month. )

    Cheers.

    Reply

  7. , the word ‘friend’ carries more force in English than in many European languages, in which it is bestowed quickly and generously, but often means little more than what we mean by a Facebook friend.

    Well, I always had the impression that “friend” in English is bestowed quickly and generously, at least compared to the way we use “przyjaciel” (friend). I think I had two or three friends in my life, and I am not sure whether they are still my friends now. However I have dozens of collegues and acquaintees. I think they all would be called “friends” in English, though…

    Reply

  8. @HBDChick RE: CULTURE

    (I don’t think this is a forum where I’ll be able to discuss ‘Culture’ with much chance of success. When I write something technical here it doesn’t seem to go over very well. But in this case, it seems worth another try.)

    If I were to say that there is a necessary relationship between the structure of economic production, the structure of the family, and the distribution of property rights between the individual, the family, the extended family, tribe and nation. And that manners are a promise of adhering to those rights. Ethics are a promise of adhering to those rights in any exchange. And morals are a promise to adhere to those rights in all of one’s actions. And that rituals, traditions and myths are a pedagogical means of transferring those rights. And that food preparation, dress, speech and various other signals, are advertisements of membership in a system of rights: manners, ethics, morals, traditions, myths and rituals. Then that would be an accurate (and unassailable) description of ‘culture’.

    The relationship between property rights, methods of production, and the structure of the family is, once pointed out, obvious, and holds extraordinary explanatory power over the differences in moral construction of peoples from different ethnic, cultural and regional backgrounds.

    That genetics tend to ALSO carry biases of moral intuition is certainly true. But the ALLOCATION and PRIORITY of those genetic moral biases is directed to slightly different ends by the structure and habits of the family, which persists, of necessity, it’s cultural norms.

    Affections.
    Curt

    Reply

  9. In Anglo culture, “Friend” or “Mate” is very close to saying “A member of my family”. Certainly more so than any other culture. This is so engrained that it’s one of the problems of universalism. Anglos have very little intuitive defense against universalism.

    Reply

  10. i dunno. does it?

    where does culture come from? the ether?

    I think culture implies extra-genetic transmissible morals, memes, etc. that cultivate certain ideas, behaviors, beliefs, etc. that aren’t strictly genetically encoded.

    If culture on the other hand is just genetically encoded, reflexive behaviors and instincts, then it wouldn’t be “culture” as we commonly understand it. It would just be a series of physiological reflexes, akin to any other physiological reflex like urination. It would mean that all the cases of what appear to be extra-genetic transmission of information, from a mother teaching a child to a man speaking to another man or reading a book, were just rather elaborate, empty rituals that don’t actually convey any information between people that wasn’t already genetically encoded. Such behavior would be very expensive and wasteful, so it’s hard to imagine why it would evolve.

    Does Miley Cyrus twerk on TV because she has black genes?

    Reply

  11. Thanks for this. We do not disagree about the importance of outbreeding. Using Todd’s categories, the Absolute Nuclear Family is exogamous by definition. When we define the American nuclear family we say “There are no limitations on whom a person can marry, except that marriage to close relatives, including first cousins, is forbidden. This causes family members to disperse and seek marriage partners outside the group they come from. Moving far from home in adulthood is commonplace.” So we don’t disagree on that point. Nonetheless, since finishing the book circa February I have discovered your blog and read a lot of it and would now have made a bigger deal about outmarriage and its significance. So to the extent we differ on emphasis in the book, that would be less true now.

    I was going to say more about the FBD families in Europe. No dispute on that point.

    Also, the business about the important of the kindreds, as shown in Phillpotts, which I recently read and I presume I got the cite from you. It is simply something we did not know enough about.

    Funny thing about a book. If you don’t publish until every last thing is run to ground, you never will publish. But if you do, people both friendly and hostile help you identify weak points. We say a little about the kindred based on what we got via Google Translate from Todd’s new book about how the pro to-ANF Saxons still lived in proximity to blood kin for mutual assistance and defense. But it was deeper than that and even had an legal or institutional dimension to it. All good stuff. It is helpful detail, and a good correction. But it does not change the basic picture.

    The question of genetics versus culture, and where does culture come from, goes to the heart of whatever disagreements we have. Too big an issue to take on in this venue, a blog comment.

    Reply

  12. @szopeno – “Well, I always had the impression that ‘friend’ in English is bestowed quickly and generously, at least compared to the way we use ‘przyjaciel’ (friend).”

    i have a vague (very vague) impression that “friend” is much more easily and frequently used in the united states, but not so much in england (thus, perhaps, daniel hannan’s impression). (“acquaintance” is far too big a word for most americans. (~_^) )

    Reply

  13. @curt – “I’m doing my bit, too. Interesting conference in Turkey last month.”

    ah! i should go to that sometime. it always looks interesting! (and i always forget about it.)

    Reply

  14. @jet – “I think culture implies extra-genetic transmissible morals, memes….”

    yes, but WHERE do those morals and memes come from??

    Reply

  15. @michael – “We say a little about the kindred based on what we got via Google Translate from Todd’s new book about how the pro to-ANF Saxons still lived in proximity to blood kin for mutual assistance and defense. But it was deeper than that and even had an legal or institutional dimension to it. All good stuff. It is helpful detail, and a good correction. But it does not change the basic picture.”

    doesn’t change the basic picture, no, but it does change the timing of what you’re saying a bit. pushes the true anglo-saxon nuclear family forward in time (closer to the present) by a few hundred years — meaning that the pre-christian anglo-saxons and the other germanics were much more “clannish” (to use my term — doesn’t mean their society was structured around actual clans) than you guys have portrayed them. the shift away from the kindreds to truly being an atomized society of nuclear families didn’t happen, i think, until after ca. 1000 a.d. (see lorraine lancaster and also katherine fischer drew on germanic laws and kindreds.) but the germanics may have been closer to that stage than other groups since their society was made up of these looser kindreds and NOT the tighter clans. it may have been easier for them to transition to an absolute nuclear family society since their starting point was NOT something like the hyper-patrilineal-clans/tribes of the arabs.

    @michael – “We do not disagree about the importance of outbreeding. Using Todd’s categories, the Absolute Nuclear Family is exogamous by definition. When we define the American nuclear family we say ‘There are no limitations on whom a person can marry, except that marriage to close relatives, including first cousins, is forbidden. This causes family members to disperse and seek marriage partners outside the group they come from. Moving far from home in adulthood is commonplace.’ So we don’t disagree on that point.”

    no, but i think we might disagree on which is the chicken and which is the egg. (~_^)

    it really seems apparent to me that — for whatever reason(s) (and i’m not 100% sure of them myself yet) — the flow of causation is:

    mating patterns >> family patterns

    sure, family patterns reinforce mating patterns — if you’ve got one of these large, fbd marrying arab clans, for instance, you’ll probably marry a cousin — but the mating patterns are really the foundations of the family patterns. and, like i said in my post, the closer the mating patterns, the larger the families — the more distant the mating patterns, the smaller the families. and this process (whatever it is) takes some time. you can’t just outbreed a bit one generation and expect to wake up in the morning with a society based on nuclear families. it does take some generations.

    the clearest example really is europe, because that’s where there’s actually been a big, historic change in mating patterns. the pre-christian germanics were marrying their cousins (of some sort — prolly not fbd, i don’t think). the historians are all in agreement on this — mitterauer, goody, ausenda. there simply would have been no need for all of the church’s and secular powers’ cousin marriage bans if they hadn’t been marrying their cousins. and, over the course of a few hundred years, they went from being kindred-based (clannishness-lite) societies to ones based on nuclear families, either absolute or stem families. other northern european societies which have shorter histories of outbreeding — egs. the irish, the highland scots, the auvergnats in france — all had extended families and/or clans until much later (yesterday, practically!).

    that is the pattern. again, how it actually works, i don’t know. i have some ideas (which i kick around here on the blog), but they might not be right. (^_^)

    Reply

  16. @michael – “Also, the business about the important of the kindreds, as shown in Phillpotts, which I recently read and I presume I got the cite from you. It is simply something we did not know enough about.”

    well, something for the second edition! (^_^)

    Reply

  17. @luke – “How do the French fit in with all this?”

    oh, you would ask about the french. always the troublemaker! (~_^)

    i don’t know enough about the history of french mating patterns yet — not all of it anyway.

    what i do know is that the nw corner of france (along with belgium and part of the netherlands) — where the franks were in early medieval europe — where austrasia was — THAT’S really where all of the outbreeding started the earliest. that’s the core center of the outbreeding project and manorialism. (and it spread from there across the channel to kent and neighboring parts of southern england.)

    the franks, then, brought their outbreeding/manorialism package with them as they moved eastwards into germany, and introduced all that to other groups like the bavarians, etc. they also brought it with them (i presume) as they moved southwards in france. but we know that parts of france — mountainous regions like the auvergne — had pretty close matings up until quite recently (and those local populations are pretty clannish) — probably because true manorialism couldn’t be introduced to these upland regions, so the whole outbreeding package was never really put into place in those areas.

    so, i think france is going to be a patchwork quilt as far as outbreeding/clannishness goes — kind-of like england/britain. the thing is, i just don’t know which areas are which yet.

    but that n/nw corner of france — including paris (which was in neustria, the first region to be taken over by the franks) — is probably the most outbred and, therefore, the most individualistic, etc. i’d put money on it, anyway.

    Reply

  18. As much as I agree with you and the book in most things (this is one of my favorite blogs and I have learned a lot from it) it never surprises me to see that people have a high regard for one’s culture amb biology. So this book detailing how great is the anglosphere and how superior is to every other culture is written by…wait …two people from the Anglosphere. How predictable.

    Every empire feels superior from the rest of the world. When Jesuits visited China, China’s emperors thought there was no point to learn anything from abroad because China was so obviously superior. The Spanish Empire thought that it was doing God’s work. Romans during the V century believed the Empire was going to last forever. France believed in its own “grandeur”.

    To be honest, when I lived in the States, I wondered how did you end up ruling the world. The average American person is a very limited person. His ignorance about everything is abysmal. His culture is really low and his smugness is very high. I know that the people reading this blog is different but it is a minority. Maybe the reason you are ruling for now is that you speak one language, have a big country, it is not totally populated nor with natural resources exploited for millennia (such as in Europe or Asia). And the older countries are tired after centuries of wars and the collapse of former empires.

    You had two Empires one after other and it happened that both spoke English. Big deal.our moment of glory will also pass because everything pass. Then, all the reasons you give for telling to ourselves how great you are will be forgotten and will be seen as they really are: only rationalizations for being smug.

    Reply

  19. firstly, that the u.s. is on the verge of an economic/societal upturn that will be even bigger and better than those of the past (thus the title of the book). meh. maybe. i’m not so hopeful as they are, but that’s probably just because i’m a pessimist. i’ll be very happy to be proven wrong!

    I’ve been co-blogging on a couple of sites since I retired about a year ago. It requires me to follow the news–I tend to focus on international–very closely. I too am pessimistic. But when working my brain was distracted 8 hours a day by other things. Now I’m getting so I’m finding the news frankly depressing. How do you maintain your good cheer? It is not so much for myself that I’m depressed, but for my kids and grandkids.

    Reply

  20. Sorry the last paragraph should be

    YOUR moment of glory will also pass because everything passes. Then, all the reasons you give for telling YOURSELVES how great you are will be forgotten and will be seen as they really are: only rationalizations for being smug.

    My English is especially bad in the wee hours

    Reply

  21. @imnobody00 – “My English is especially bad in the wee hours”

    don’t worry about it. my reading and comprehension skills are especially bad in the wee hours, so we make a perfect match. (~_^)

    @imnobody00 – “YOUR moment of glory will also pass because everything passes. Then, all the reasons you give for telling YOURSELVES how great you are will be forgotten and will be seen as they really are: only rationalizations for being smug.”

    yes, that’s true. or, well, partly true, i think. i think it WOULD be interesting to find out why the anglosphere has been so successful (even though it won’t last forever — nothing can) — just as i think it would be interesting to know why china’s civilization was so great when it was great (is it making a comeback? maybe). i don’t think trying to figure that out will only lead to rationalizations. at least i hope not.

    but, yeah — everything shall pass. one day our sun will burn out, and if we humans haven’t left the solar system, it’ll all pass. c’est la vie.

    Reply

  22. @frau katze – “How do you maintain your good cheer?”

    oh, well, it’s not always easy. being a natural-born pessimist probably helps, actually, because we don’t expect much of the world.

    also, i happen to come from a background where there’s a lot of joking around — a LOT — nobody hardly ever takes anything seriously. an attitude like that can make life easier — except that’s probably part of why the nation from whence my people hail is one of the piigs — because nobody takes anything seriously! *facepalm*

    edit: make sure to just step back from the news/the internet sometimes. unplug. enjoy life — enjoy your grandkids! it’ll help you keep your sanity. (^_^)

    Reply

  23. I study cooperative institutions they way hbd_chick studies familial institutions. And as such I’m sure that my bias in determining causality is toward cultural rather than genetic factors.

    I’ve always been suspicious of suggestions of genetic transmission of those biases that can be transmitted by habits, norms, traditions, myths, institutions, and those that are the product of organizations: family or extended family. Maternal or Paternal. Hunter-gatherer, agrarian, industrial, post-industrial as well as Ritual, temple, church, voluntary civic order.

    But the universalist bias in indo-europeans seems to transcend those external forces. We can tell now that we have an interesting combination of :

    Lower testosterone and therefore lower impulsivity.
    Lower Impulsivity and therefore longer (lower) time preference.
    Higher verbal intelligence and therefore hIgher median intelligence.
    Higher energy levels and higher rates of burning calories, so more action oriented.
    This means that our activity is more evenly distributed than more impulsive gene pools.
    And our vision of man, as represented in our art, is as beautiful. And our metaphysical objective is to transform nature to our will.

    The east asians have much lower testosterone and impulsivity than other gene pools, but lower verbal intelligence intelligence as well. I can’t find data on their energy levels, but it appears that they are more even-tempered laborers than ‘whites’. Although their vision of ‘man’, as represented in their art is as evil in contrast to nature, which we must submit to.

    These factors are not cultural transmissions. They are genetic transmissions. Just how much of that genetic transmission is caused by cultural necessity, and how much it produced that cultural necessity is very hard to determine.

    But regardless of FIRST cause, there is certainly a relationship between the two, such that genetic and cultural factors are self reinforcing over time.

    As far as I can tell, Gimbutas was right, and the structure of military tactics is the cause of western, northern european, (white) cultural differences. And those differences have been gradually encoded in our genes over the centuries as biases.

    Reply

  24. Imnobody – YOUR moment of glory will also pass because everything passes. Then, all the reasons you give for telling YOURSELVES how great you are will be forgotten and will be seen as they really are: only rationalizations for being smug..

    No doubt eventually. In a million years, for sure. In a thousand, who knows? Personally, I’m worried about my children and grandchildren and there children after them. In other words the next few generations, a century or two. And it’s not the Anglosphere I worry about, but our liberal democratic culture and civilization, which is much more widely shared, and which we are lucky to have. Am I proud to be an American? Grateful is more like it. Glory has zero to do with it.

    Reply

  25. yes, but WHERE do those morals and memes come from??

    Well if they’re extra-genetic transmissible morals and memes, that would mean the information that’s represented by these morals and memes aren’t encoded in the genetic information that’s transmitted between parent and offspring. It would mean that Miley Cyrus twerks not because Billy Ray Cyrus transmitted a gene to her that makes her twerk but for some other reason.

    Reply

    1. One of the most problematic cognitive biases is the tendency to take a single axis of causality – a single explanation – and to apply anywhere and everywhere. It’s the ‘ideal type’ bias.

      But human beings are causally dense creatures. And behaviorally plastic creatures. Because the combination of memory and the ability to plan (reason) allows us to forecast the future, and adapt to it proactively. If we are successful, some of the biases in our memories and planning can become incorporated into our genetics. If our plans become successful, they are carried between overlapping generations by imitation and memory.

      Further, as creatures who find patterns between different stimuli, we are unable to separate ideas into neat drawers. They bleed into each other. As such we have explicit memories (knowledge) that we possess intentionally, we have habitual memories (knowledge) that we realize varies from group to group. We have unconscious associations and habits and value judgements that we take as physical properties of life, but can at some point become aware of and aware of their variation. We have metaphysical value judgements that CAUSE much of our unconscious biases. And we have genetic differences in our moral intuitions, and cognitive abilities that are the result of both genetic and in-utero experiences.

      Nearly all food habits are the result of regional necessity and economics. Almost all clothing habits are the same – the development of excellence in one minor technology or another as a demonstration of status. Almost all family habits are very similar at the same level of economic development. Childrearing seems to have as great an impact as does family structure.

      Rituals and religions are a complex topic but our knowledge of the social, political and economic reasons. We know why feasts, military tactics, the problem of uniting tribes, and the problem of constraining power, and in some places, the problem of resigning to difficult environments, found the idea of scriptural religion useful in a social context by transferring the family hierarchy to the ether.

      Our genetic makeup is different BECAUSE of these factors. Or rather, some minor biases in our genetic makeup interplayed with these cultural ‘genetics’ and the two together brought us to where we are today.

      When we argue that genetics is ‘all there is’ or culture is ‘all there is’ we are just confusing the Nature, Culture, Nurture argument further. we are making the same mistake that the ‘nurturists’ do but from the opposite end of the spectrum.

      Since we know that Nature, Culture and Nurture are three extant causal axis, then a simple application of Ockham’s razor for any demonstrated human behavior prevents us from being people wearing tin foil hats. All our behaviors are the product of these three axis.

      Cheers

      Reply

  26. @jet – “Well if they’re extra-genetic transmissible morals and memes, that would mean the information that’s represented by these morals and memes aren’t encoded in the genetic information that’s transmitted between parent and offspring.”

    well, that’s great, but you still haven’t answered my question of where morals and memes come from in the first place.

    if you don’t know, that’s fine — i don’t know for sure, either. but what do you think? do morals and memes come from the ether? from aliens? from god(s)? where do they come from? from whence do they arise? they have to have a beginning point somewhere — don’t they?

    Reply

  27. Two questions related to this:

    1. When they differentiate English from continental, which countries do they mean by continental? Are Scandinavians and Germans included? Certainly the Latins have the familial traits as he describes, but it is strange to think of Germans behaving the same way. Perhaps they do, but if so it isn’t very well known in America.

    2. Have you found out anything about Angli-Saxon law, specifically whether it differs from Salic Law? I was reading about the latter from Michel Rouche recently, he says flatly that Salic Law afforded no protection whatsoever to individuals. It was all about mediating between clans. An individual without a family could just be murdered, raped, anything, with impunity. If things were different in England, that would lend a lot of support for the theory about the importance of family formations.

    Reply

  28. A few stray thoughts.

    1. I reviewed the book over at my place several months ago. I am a fan.

    2. I am not sure the evidence about different ethnic groups contact with extended family rebuts Lotus’ contention that America forces new-comers to adopt the nuclear family and its trappings. The better question would be how many multi-generational households each ethnic group has, right?

    3. “Where does culture come from.” Oh, from genes and souls – from the inside. But that is never really the question. The real question is how does culture spread? Not everybody is endowed to write as Shakespeare did, but plenty of people read him afterwords.

    OK, that is an obtuse example. But there are plenty of cultural features of any groups of humans that are not genetically transmitted. Fashion, for example. Or the spread of American pop music and its style has been far too fast for genetics to explain its global distribution. (Also that dratted Korean Wave. Urgh.)

    So that is really the question. Which aspects of culture are spread through hereditary means, and which are not? Take this list a large group of cultural traits:

    *Difference in men and women’s business attire
    *The use of heavy beats in music
    *A liking of spicy food
    *Celebration of the educated
    *A strong Christian faith
    *English common law
    *Civic-minded ness
    *Preference for violent sports
    *Strong avoidance of conflict
    *A penchant for debate
    *Literacy
    *Speaking with ones hands
    *saving face
    *Absolute Nuclear Family

    And many, many more.

    Some of these are more obviously physiological than others – but that is the point. Which ones are entirely learned behaviors or preferences? Which are entirely genetic? Which fit somewhere between the two extremes?

    But I think saying, “Cultures comes from genes, cuz otherwise it is just from the ether” makes all of this a little too simple. Where does culture come from? Other people. The interesting question is by what means is culture transmitted.

    4. It is worth noting that Lotus et al do not predict an immediate upturn in events. They actually predict that things are going to get worse on the short term, and that all of those troubles will be what pushes America to the 3.0 version c. 2040. They fully admit that the next two decades are going to be rough.

    Interestingly, from Jayman’s 11-nation perspective (a book which Lotus and Bennet cite, along with Albion’s Seed), their political recommendations are ideal – decentralize most decision making power to a level where the various groups can make their own social policies instead of duking it out on the national stage.

    Reply

  29. re: Michael J. Lotus – “The question of genetics versus culture, and where does culture come from, goes to the heart of whatever disagreements we have.

    To a certain extent out-marriage is a genetic phenomenon — or, rather, has genetic consequences. Closely related people have closely related genomes. The between genetic distance members of inbred social groups (families, clans, tribes) is something that closely related people may be able to detect, and it may influence their propensity to practice kin selection, which is certainly a cultural trait. (For the most expansive — extreme? — statement of this hypothesis, see here and here.)

    Now geneticists have realized of late that there are both good reasons and hard evidence which support the idea that genetic evolution proceeds much more rapidly in large out-bred societies (and in large imperfectly inbred societies also I think). Hbd*chk believes there are new alleles — genetic mutations if you will — whose frequencies are favored in inbred societies vs. outbred societies and vice versa. Such differences in frequency, she believes (correct me if I am wrong dear Host-of-this-blog) effect the cultural propensities of inbred and outbred societies.

    She may be right about this and it may be important, I don’t really know, but it isn’t necessary to think so in order to realize that genes and cultures interact in different ways in these two types of societies. Like nature/nurture, genes/culture are not mutually exclusive categories. Inbred societies can become outbred in just a few generations (case in point, diverse ethnic groups intermarrying in America). This kind of outbreeding may influence how receptive the descendants of immigrants from formerly inbred societies are to the set of Anglospherical cultural norms you list.

    All this seems relatively straight forward to me. Maybe I am missing something. I am hardly an expert.

    Reply

  30. @Luke Lea re: your answer to Imnobody.

    Exactly! Besides, although my grandparents all came from Great Britain, three were from Scotland and English was not their original language–my grandmother could speak Gaelic. Furthermore, lots of people in the US/Canada/Australia/NZ did not come from English stock either. And some readers (like me) aren’t even American. Big deal.

    As you say, I am worried about the next generation. “Glory” has nothing to do with it. I just hope things don’t collapse completely down the road.

    @hbd chick, thanks for your answer. Yep, getting away from the Internet is necessary to maintain sanity.

    Reply

  31. “It is indisputable that the culture we describe in this book can be and has been adopted by people of every possible ethnic background….”

    Perhaps this isn’t entirely true — the culture is not universally embraced by the descendants of every ethnic group within North America, but it is sufficiently transferable to have been adopted by groups other than the English-descended. English-Americans are only about 9 percent of the U.S. population, but the culture has been adopted by a much larger percentage of the population than that, even if not by 100 percent. Any person who is a product of outbreeding is essentially forced to adopt the Anglo-American culture, as the process deprives them of an extended family to fall back on. A lack of a tight extended family translates directly to the necessity of befriending and cooperating with strangers to get anything done, and the environment of the U.S. contains certain incentives that cause extended families and clans to break up. I don’t think this principle relies upon genetics.

    Black-Americans, American Indians, Orthodox Jews, Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and all recent immigrant groups have separate cultures, but mixed Caucasians, Eurasians, second-Generation Asians, etc., follow the Anglo model. The strength of this model is that it does have the power to attract and incorporate new members, even if its appeal isn’t universal.

    Reply

  32. “Any person who is a product of outbreeding is essentially forced to adopt the Anglo-American culture, as the process deprives them of an extended family to fall back on. ”

    Disagree with this. Italian and Hispanic Americans are outbred and still have huge, tight-nit extended families (and are massively prone to corruption and nepotism). There’s some missing ingredient.

    Reply

  33. @bleach – “Italian and Hispanic Americans are outbred and still have huge, tight-nit extended families (and are massively prone to corruption and nepotism).”

    italians are NOT outbred. especially not southern italians, of which we have a lot in the u.s.

    not so sure about hispanics — like mexicans, for instance. i suspect not a long history of outbreeding there, either, but i need to do more research on that area of the world. the catholic church exempted latin americans from the cousin marriage bans in the 1500s in order to get them to convert, so there wasn’t any pressure for them to outbreed — at least not at that point in time. so, likely they’ve got a much shorter history of outbreeding than northern europeans. again, though, i need to find out more.

    Reply

  34. “They owned property individually, not communally, and not as families. Adult children and parents had separate and individual rights, not collective rights as a family.”

    They didn’t originally. They held land communally *as a village* and that land was divided into strips and parcelled out to each family.

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

    “There are hints of a proto-open-field system going back to 98 AD among the Germanic tribes. Germanic and Anglo-Saxon invaders and settlers possibly brought the open-field system to France and England after the 5th century AD.”

    http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/tacitusc/germany/chap1.htm

    “Lands are taken into occupation, turn and turn about, by whole villages in proportion to the number of cultivators, and are then allotted in order of rank. The distribution is made easy by the vast extent of open land. They change their plough-lands yearly, and still there is ground to spare.”

    I don’t think Tacitus understood what he was describing but I think he is describing semi-nomadic slash and burn agriculture where a village has a terriotory 3-4 times the size it needs at any one time and moves between different locations within that terriotory every few years whenever the soil in the current location becomes exhausted (and assuming agriculture in the northern latitudes was more marginal to start with then “exhausted” in that context would just mean exhausted for conditions in that latitude).

    It seems to me this kind of semi-nomadic agriculture could produce a communal village system as there would be no point in having an individual family farm if the whole village moves every few years – and if there’s no need to have individual family farmland then there’s no need to have family level inheritance of that land and if there’s no need to keep land within an extended family then there’s no need for clannish marriage and inheritance.

    This could then lead to the looser kindred system as in that kind of food-getting environment it would make more sense to be closely related to everyone in the village and not just your extended family. So instead of explicitly marrying cousins you’d marry someone in your village / small tribal group who shared the same communal terriotory. They would still be close cousins because of the low population size but not specific ones.

    If so the system would be an early and very small-scale example of exogamy within an endogamous limit i.e. averaging out the relatedness within a population to try and get everyone equally related (as imo that leads to maximizing group co-operativeness).

    (Similar to a long-ago example hubchik posted about polynesian fishing islands.)

    If correct i’d expect current or recently existing small tribes of slash & burn agriculturists to have a similar kindred or loose clannish marriage form. If so I’d expect a description of their culture to be very similar to Tacitus’ description of the Classical Era German tribes. There may also be much more recent records of similar slash & burn practises and associated cultural forms from further north in Finland and around the Baltic.

    (There are some google-able hints of this regarding Finland but i expect the most pertinent ones will be in Finnish.)

    Anyway, if correct when they moved south and found themselves in an environment where a fixed plot of land could support a family on a permanent basis then the environmental pressure would have changed for their culture to evolve towards the clannish agricultural form that seems to be the global (non-pastoralist) default. I think that didn’t happen because of the strange fluke of

    a) Thomas Aquinas
    b) Heavy plow / manorialism
    c) Their marriage form was already the looser and more assortative kindred form and so there was less resistance to the church’s cousin ban.

    So i think this is true

    “They owned property individually, not communally, and not as families. Adult children and parents had separate and individual rights, not collective rights as a family.”

    but it only started developing around the time hubchik says c. 800s at the epicentre and extending outwards from there.

    Reply

  35. imnobody

    “So this book detailing how great is the anglosphere and how superior is to every other culture is written by…wait …two people from the Anglosphere. How predictable.”

    Different people are talking about different time periods. To everyone who isn’t willfully blinding themselves the Anglosphere and North european countries are obviously disintegrating very rapidly so the idea that the underlying culture is superior *now* is obviously ludicrous.

    However something led to the technological revolution in NW Europe and it’s extensions and to the incredible jump in power and prosperity that flowed from that from say 1300 to 1900 and I think hubchik has pin-pointed what that something was.

    If we define “superior” as that which increases group synergy then I think the culture that developed in NW Europe during that time period was plainly superior *at the time*. The question is why and is the reason why the same reason for its current disintegration. The answer to this question is particularly relevant to East and South Asians as they might be able to avoid the same fate.

    I think there are multiple aspects to it but one in particular which could help to explain both the rise and fall is the idea that group synergy is a product of the pattern of relatedness within a population. In numbers say it could be measured as

    the number of people in the population an average individual is related to as 5th cousin *or less*

    *minus*

    the number of people in the population an average individual is related to as 6th cousin *or more*

    (nb i’m just guessing the cut-off point is around that 5th-6th cousin. it might be 4th and 5th or 7th and 8th or something else)

    A national group divided into lots of clannish extended families will have a very low score by this metric as they are very highly related to a few people but distantly related to far more.

    A national group made up of clannish extended families who change to an exogamous, assortative marriage form but still marrying *within* an endogamous national limit will end up averaging out their relatedness to a level dependent on the total population size. If the population is small enough that average relatedness will fall around the cut-off point, 5th cousin in the example above, and so they will have a very high group synergy score.

    This could be why the countries that top the best country to live lists are mostly both NW Euro descended and small.

    A population that *had* a very high group synergy in the past due to this national pullme-pushyou effect (where people pull close-enough related people to them and push too distantly related people away) would break down if
    a) the population went back to a clannish marriage form
    b) too much immigration over too small a time period
    c) the population grew too large so even though the population was still equally related the average relatedness became too distant and diluted (as Aquinas himself wondered).

    So (imo) the NW Euro culture *was* superior (in group synergy terms) for a time but it’s disintegrating now and figuring out the reasons for both would be in the interests of those who want the group synergy part but not the disintegration part for their nations.

    Reply

  36. Jet
    “Nonegalitarianism, or egalitarianism? It seems that both are often cited in this context.”

    Todd uses it in a very specific context relating to inheritance i.e. dividing land equally between all the sons like the Franks or all of it going to the eldest as developed elsewhere.

    Outside that specific context the NW Euro model is *more* egalitarian because it extends the concept of equal treatment beyond the family i.e. the opposite of the Arab proverb, me, my brother, my cousin and the stranger all equal before the law.

    However this kind of egalitarianism is practical rather than idealistic for group synergy reasons so it is indirectly selfish i.e. you might not be around when your brother has an accident but if you chip into a communal ambulance fund then someone else will be there to take him to a hospital.

    Reply

  37. Jet
    “I think culture implies extra-genetic transmissible morals, memes, etc. that cultivate certain ideas, behaviors, beliefs, etc. that aren’t strictly genetically encoded.”

    There’s also gene-culture co-evolution though. A culture is partly an artifical environment that selects for certain traits.

    Aquinas had an idea for reducing clan-violence which was adopted by the Catholic Church (cultural environment). It wasn’t applied equally but where it was it changed the pattern of genetic relatedness (genetic environment). That changed genetic environment may have (i’d say probably did) select for different traits or trait frequencies that reinforced the cultural environment.

    Another example might be if an exogamous marriage form required assortative mating and that required a minimum amount of female freedom then the penalties for rape would be higher in that culture.

    On the other hand in a culture where women were required to marry a specific cousin then female freedom would be a problem not a requirement so a woman out on her own without a husband or male relative being seen as fair game for rape would reinforce the culture and so rape penalties in that context might be low to non-existent.

    The differing levels of punishment might have long-term genetic effects if the punishments were lethal in one culture and not in the other.

    Reply

  38. bleach

    ““Any person who is a product of outbreeding is essentially forced to adopt the Anglo-American culture, as the process deprives them of an extended family to fall back on. ””

    “Disagree with this. Italian and Hispanic Americans are outbred and still have huge, tight-nit extended families (and are massively prone to corruption and nepotism). There’s some missing ingredient.”

    You’re right to disagree but it’s because the authors are wrong and coming to America doesn’t magically make people outbred. By definition if a group have massive close-knit extended families then they’re not outbred.

    Individuals or individual familes moving to a new country and settling in among a majority population who are outbred are likely to assimilate into that culture but when you have mass immigration with large groups of people from the same place settling together as a group in particular neighborhoods then it’s different. In particular as the original population becomes an ever smaller percentage there’s less pressure to conform to their norms.

    Reply

  39. Something I’ve found interesting for years is that every man in my large extended family – including me – works for himself. None of us have been able to work for others. I believe this is genetic. My ancestry? Scots-Irish and German.

    By the way, no man in my family has willingly joined the military. Those who were drafted ended up in the stockade. Mine own grandfather punched an officer during WWI after he cursed him.

    Reply

  40. Greying Wanderer – “the Anglosphere and North european countries are obviously disintegrating very rapidly”

    Obviously, yes — but perhaps not actually. Our Western world has always looked like it was going to the dogs, especially from the viewpoint of the upper-middle classes. And certainly huge sections of the populace were going. Progress is slow and halting and hard to see, like the motion of the hour hand on a clock. I myself was born in 1942, maybe the darkest hour in Western history.) Yet when viewed over a sufficient time-scale we clearly see there has been enormous progress, both morally and materially, when taken as a whole. I’m not saying that is true today. But it might be. Only our grandchildren will know for sure.

    Reply

  41. the Anglosphere and North european countries are obviously disintegrating very rapidly”

    Nothing is over until the Mongols reduce you to a pyramid of skills and a heap of smoldering ash. Until then we are going to do everything we can to keep our culture and our civilization alive.

    Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.

    Churchill, of course.

    Whatever history throws at us, we will do our best to overcome it, to master and to leave our country and our civilization “not only not less but greater than it has transmitted to us.”

    Reply

  42. “Disagree with this. Italian and Hispanic Americans are outbred and still have huge, tight-nit extended families (and are massively prone to corruption and nepotism). There’s some missing ingredient.”

    That might have been accurate at one point for Italians. The mafia has collapsed, in part because outmarriage to non-Italians (or non-Sicilians) has led to a collapse of the extended family system. Italian-Americans are now atomized like the rest of us.

    Reply

  43. @anon666 – “Italian-Americans are now atomized like the rest of us.”

    and your evidence for that is? show me the data.

    edit: @anon666 – “…atomized like the rest of us.”

    oi! speak for yourself. (~_^)

    Reply

  44. “and your evidence for that is? show me the data.”

    http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp312.pdf

    Check out table 9 near the bottom. Only 13 percent of married second-generation Italian-American men born between 1936 and 1940 married other 1st or 2nd generation Italians and 27 percent of females in the same group were married to non 1st or 2nd generation Italians. That’s quite outbred, although I suppose you could argue that the rest were all married to third generation Italians. I find that unlikely though.

    More anecdotally, the members of “The Jersey Shore” were part-Irish, part-Puerto Rican, part-Chilean, etc.

    Italians aside, 25.7 percent of new Hispanic marriages in the U.S. were to non-Hispanics, and likewise 27.7 percent of new Asian marriages in the U.S. were to non-Asians. For Hispanics and Asians actually born here, that rate rises to 36.2 and 37.5, and that doesn’t account for marriage to other types of Hispanics or Asians (or to members of the same ethnicity outside one’s extended family).

    It’s apparent to me that the clan structure falls apart within North America over the course of several generation, which thus forces people to cooperate with and befriend strangers to get anything accomplished. Although I’m basically a hereditarian like you, I don’t think a genetic explanation is required here. The logistical problems of being clannish without a clan is enough to weaken those tendencies.

    Tight-knight religious groups are the only cultures who seem immune to the pressures encouraging outmarriage.

    Reply

  45. @anon666 – “It’s apparent to me that the clan structure falls apart within North America over the course of several generation….”

    i’m talking about clannishness here — the set of behaviors. NOT whether or not italian-americans live in clans, although familialism is one indicator of clannishness (and italian-americans are definitely familialistic — i’ll post more on that tomorrow — sorry, don’t have the time just now).

    i was asking you to demonstrate how italian-americans are NOT clannish, not whether or not they marry other italian-americans.

    Reply

  46. Luke Lea
    “Obviously, yes — but perhaps not actually.”

    Yes, actually. The only reason it’s even debateable is the media’s censorship of the news.

    Putnam has already shown what is happening on the ground for those people who don’t have personal experience within the urban blight. The stuff on this blog points at the reason behind Putnam’s results.

    Personally i think the damage is done and it’s too late but there’s still a point to figuring it out because a) it’s interesting in itself and b) it might be beneficial to other countries so they don’t follow in the ex-Anglosphere’s footsteps.

    Reply

  47. @Michael Lotus
    “Until then we are going to do everything we can to keep our culture and our civilization alive.”

    I agree that is a good attitude to take (not being facetious).

    Reply

  48. @anon666
    “It’s apparent to me that the clan structure falls apart within North America over the course of several generation, which thus forces people to cooperate with and befriend strangers to get anything accomplished. Although I’m basically a hereditarian like you, I don’t think a genetic explanation is required here. The logistical problems of being clannish without a clan is enough to weaken those tendencies.”

    I think there’s a lot of truth in this – the most clannish euro populations just took longer than the least. By creating industrialization and mass urbanization the early outbred created and spread an *environment* which tends to create out-marriage except among cultural-religious groups which retain their endogamous limits. However…

    The first point to make is time. The experience of the most clannish euro groups shows that the equation is (number * level of difference) / time so if that equation isn’t respected then i don’t think you should expect the same results.

    The second point is in the past there was a majority population producing a pressure to conform to their way of doing things.

    The third point is if there’s a tipping point where nepotistic, clannish behavior goes unpunished and becomes the better competitive strategy then it will increasingly make sense to people to adopt that strategy.

    (You see this all the time in the urban blight where 30 years ago people from more clannish immigrant populations would try to fit in with the majority but now the majority is actually a collection of different minorities some of which are more clannish than others everyone is going back to the way they were before because nepotism is the better competitive strategy unless *everyone* agrees not to do it and that decision is enforced.)

    It all comes down to (numbers * difference ) / time

    However there’s another aspect that interests me which is the question of whether the historical prosperity of the WEIRD populations was solely the result of more co-operative genes becoming selected within an outbred environment – in which case things in the west will dip as the original outbred population become a minority and then rise again later as genes suitable for the modern environment develop and spread among the new population – or whether there are one or more other aspects as well.

    I think there is another reason why the WEIRD populations became so prosperous and that was out-breeding within a mostly endogamous geographical limit changed the pattern and level of relatedness among those populations i.e. it wasn’t just that they were more out-bred but that the out-breeding process led to a *pattern* of relatedness where the population became *more equally* related to each other while at the same time retaining a relatively high *level* of relatedness within itself i.e. everyone in the population being 5th cousins (or something like it) on average.

    I think this change in the pattern and level of relatedness changed the self vs notself calculation throughout the entire society…

    for a while.

    Personally i think the peak of this was probably back in the 1600-1700s in the Newton-Franklin era and that peak spawned the industrial revolution which in turn increased the population much higher which in turn reduced the net average level of relatedness.

    So if correct even without immigration the WEIRD coutries would have started to come off that peak after the industrial revolution started because although the *pattern* of relatedness remained the same the *level* of relatedness

    And i think part of the reason was simply the industrial revolution pushed the population numbers higher so although the *pattern* of equal relatedness continued the *level* of relatedness dropped.

    So if correct out-breeding creates a distinct *pattern* of relatedness which is generally benign but the *level* of that relatedness is determined by the total population pool and if the pool gets too big such that the average *level* of relatedness drops too low then the group synergy dips also.

    So imo the western countries were already too outbred by the 60s and mass immigration just makes it worse.

    #

    If correct and the pattern and level of relatedness are key then immigration wouldn’t have the same negative effect if it was slower e.g.

    island with four pairs of population A

    case 1:
    a pair from population B, C, D, E arrive all at once and each marry people from population A so you end up with 2 x AB couples, 2 X AC couples, 2 X AD couples and 2 x AE couples with the result the average net relatedness within the population goes down dramatically

    case2:
    a pair from population B arrives and marry people from population A. the average net level of relatedness dips a bit but if you leave them all inter-marrying for long enough then eventually the whole population becomes 80%A/20%B i.e. the average net relatedness dips and then increases again back to where it was before

    then a pair from C arrive and marry two of the now AB people. the process repeats, first a dip in the average relatedness then given enough time you get a whole population of ABC people and a high level of average relatedness again

    repeat with D and E etc

    #

    I think there are multiple factors involved in this but it’s partly both the pattern and level of relatedness and out-breeding vs in-breeding creates the pattern but population size and extent creates the level and i think the level of relatedness is already too low except in the smallest WEIRD countries.

    Reply

  49. “i was asking you to demonstrate how italian-americans are NOT clannish, not whether or not they marry other italian-americans.”

    Ah…well, in that case, I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean. I am not sure what it would mean to be “clannish” without a clan, or how one would quantify that.

    Reply

  50. On the idea that there is a specific “kindred” form of diluted clannish marriage culture and that how it *might* be related to slash and burn agriculture.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slash-and-burn

    There’s lots of references online to far northern europe using that technique and in some cases – Finns – quite recently but i haven’t found anything yet that combines the technique with a correlated marriage culture. It would be interesting to have a list of pre-modern slash and burners to see if there was a pattern.

    There’s an interesting Caesarean quote from the wiki hinting at why i think the marriage form might have been more assortative and less arranged by the family.

    “An edition of Commentarii de Bello Gallico from the 800AD. Julius Caesar wrote about Svebians, “Commentarii de Bello Gallico, “book 4.1; they are not by private and secluded fields, “privati ac separati agri apud eos nihil est”, they cannot stay more than one year in a place for cultivation’s sake, “Neque longius anno remanere uno in loco colendi causa licet “. The Svebes lived between the Rhine and the Elbe. About the Germans, he wrote: No one has a particular field or area for themselves, for the magistrates and chiefs give fields every year to the people and the clans, which have gathered so much ground in such places that it seems good for them to continue on to somewhere else after a year. “Neque quisquam agri modum certum aut fines habet proprios, sed magistratus ac principes in annos singulos gentibus cognationibusque hominum, qui tum una coierunt, a quantum et quo loco visum est agri attribuunt atque anno post alio transire cogunt” book 6, 22.”

    In a food-getting environment like that there’d be no need for very strict arranged family marriages to keep land within the family.

    Reply

  51. @anon666 – “Ah…well, in that case, I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean. I am not sure what it would mean to be ‘clannish’ without a clan, or how one would quantify that.”

    well, that’s why i referred you to my post in which i defined clannishness: clannishness defined. if you follow the links out from the post, you’ll discover some ways in which, i think, one can quantify clannishness.

    Reply

  52. @bleach – “1. When they differentiate English from continental, which countries do they mean by continental? Are Scandinavians and Germans included? Certainly the Latins have the familial traits as he describes, but it is strange to think of Germans behaving the same way. Perhaps they do, but if so it isn’t very well known in America.”

    bennett and lotus in America 3.0 mainly use (i think) emmanuel todd’s outline of family types in europe — family types as they existed between the 1500s-1800s.

    i’ve got a map of the distribution of those family types here in this post (thanks to m.g. @thosewhocansee!) — you can just ignore the hajnal line i drew on top of it.

    as you can see, todd claims that the germans were characterized by the “stem family” — which is the nuclear family + grandparents — not the “absolute nuclear family” which typifies the anglos (and some of the dutch, the danes, and some of the norwegians). here’s more on todd’s family types.

    @bleach – “2. Have you found out anything about Angli-Saxon law, specifically whether it differs from Salic Law? I was reading about the latter from Michel Rouche recently, he says flatly that Salic Law afforded no protection whatsoever to individuals. It was all about mediating between clans. An individual without a family could just be murdered, raped, anything, with impunity. If things were different in England, that would lend a lot of support for the theory about the importance of family formations.

    no, the early anglo-saxon laws were pretty much the same as the salic law in this regard — almost everything was based around the kindred, NOT the individual. i mentioned that in the post above — that this situation didn’t really even begin to change until ca. 1000 a.d. in england. the early anglo-saxons may have lived in their own houses in nuclear families, but as bennett and lotus say, they often lived in very close proximity to close relatives. but, even more importantly, the extended kindred was very important in their lives — very much so legally. early anglo-saxon society was NOT based on the individual. but, it was, i would agree, on its way to becoming that. in many ways, it was primed to do that — much, much more so than, say, arab societies today are.

    Reply

  53. @t.greer – “3. ‘Where does culture come from.’ Oh, from genes and souls – from the inside. But that is never really the question. The real question is *how does culture spread*? Not everybody is endowed to write as Shakespeare did, but plenty of people read him afterwords….

    But I think saying, ‘Cultures comes from genes, cuz otherwise it is just from the ether’ makes all of this a little too simple. Where does culture come from? *Other people.* The interesting question is by what means is culture transmitted.

    how does culture spread — how is it transmitted — is, i will agree, also an interesting question. but it definitely is NOT “the” question, afaiac. if we truly want to understand culture — and why there are cultural differences between groups (why hasn’t EVERY society produced a shakespeare, for instance?) — then shouldn’t we be trying to figure out where culture comes from (in addition to how it is spread)? it seems to me that we’d be missing a HUGE part of the picture if we didn’t try to figure that one out. if you want to understand how the universe and everything in it works, newtonian physics are great — but it would be even better if we (meaning those really smart physicists!) could understand how the underlying quantum mechanics works.

    the example given in this comments thread is miley cyrus and her twerking (which, btw, it depresses me to no end that i was familiar with the reference and didn’t have to google it … oh, that i’ve devoted some nueral connections to miley cyrus and her twerking!!).

    ok, fine. twerking. did miley cyrus invent twerking or is it a behavior that’s she’s picked up from others? no, she didn’t invent it — twerking was invented by — african-americans in new orleans — waaaay back in the ’90s. came out of a genre called bounce music, apparently.

    which would just be a curious little fact if we didn’t know that just about every lewd dance in twentieth and twenty-first century america was invented by african-americans (god luv ’em!)!

    why?! why is that? i don’t have an answer — but i think it would be awfully interesting to know! THIS sort of understanding would tell us something about the nature of culture.

    that other individuals/peoples pick up on cultural practices is not that strange at all. humans are a social creature — one that learns (which is obviously adaptive/beneficial just in case your environment changes or if you find yourself in a new environment for some reason). i actually think that a very interesting aspect of cultural transmission is how one group of people typically changes the cultural behaviors that they pick up from another group. whites in the 1940s did NOT dance the lindy hop the way blacks from harlem did. not that there’s anything wrong with that. (~_^)

    Reply

  54. @t.greer – “2. I am not sure the evidence about different ethnic groups contact with extended family rebuts Lotus’ contention that America forces new-comers to adopt the nuclear family and its trappings. The better question would be how many multi-generational households each ethnic group has, right?

    no, because whether or not a population — on the surface — happens to live in nuclear family units does NOT tell us all we need to know about the social structures of that population.

    early anglo-saxons may have lived in small houses in nuclear family units, but bennett and lotus admit that they typically lived in close proximity to close family, and as i pointed out in the post above, the kindred was still the paramount societal unit legally up to at least 1000 a.d.

    as i said to anon666 above, we need to know whether the early anglo-saxons were — or italian-americans are — clannish. and how clannish they might be at that. need to examine a range of evidence to try to determine that, not just family types. they are just one indicator of many. an important one, but just one.

    Reply

  55. @t.greer – “4. It is worth noting that Lotus et al do not predict an immediate upturn in events. They actually predict that things are going to get worse on the short term, and that all of those troubles will be what pushes America to the 3.0 version c. 2040. They fully admit that the next two decades are going to be rough.”

    ah, well, i haven’t gotten that far in the book yet. (^_^)

    i am quietly optimistic about the robotic revolution and genetics research and the future of the u.s. (and of humankind!).

    but i think it a HUGE mistake that we continue to import tens of millions of mexicans and other central americans who are generally low-skilled (and who stay that way — see steve sailer on new mexicans) and CLANNISH (see here and here and here).

    i think that clannish behaviors are largely innate, so, unfortunately, i don’t think that all will be well by 2040 — not if we keep bringing in TENS of millions of clannish individuals.

    but for those of you who think that clannish behaviors are largely cultural — it took the anglos ca. 600-800 YEARS from their landing in england to the 1200s-1400s when english society was pretty individualistic to get rid of their clannishness. why do you think it would go any faster for mexicans in the u.s.? particularly when it’s clear that neither the italian-americans nor the irish-americans have fully gotten rid of their clannishness yet when they’ve been in this country for 130+ years now?

    no. i think that 2040 is a gross under-estimate. (but, like i said in my post, i’m a pessimist. (~_^) )

    Reply

  56. @luke – “Hbd*chk believes there are new alleles — genetic mutations if you will — whose frequencies are favored in inbred societies vs. outbred societies and vice versa. Such differences in frequency, she believes (correct me if I am wrong dear Host-of-this-blog) effect the cultural propensities of inbred and outbred societies.”

    that sounds like something i’d say! (^_^)

    one thing, though: i don’t think we always have to be talking about new alleles. we could just be altering the frequencies of already existing “altruism” or “clannishness” alleles in a population by tweaking (as opposed to twerking!) their mating patterns — make them inbreed more or less or whatever.

    i also think that, not only do these different frequencies alter the cultural propensities of inbred vs. outbred societies, but that there might be (are probably) downstream effects — i.e. that selection pressures for different types of individuals ought to change as well.

    in an inbred society composed of large family groups, you might imagine that individuals who are more biased towards their kin (or their in-group) would do well and, therefore, that sort of personality type would be selected for over time. in an outbred society made up of nuclear families, you might get gregory clark’s middle class values being selected for since the individuals have to make it on their own (no extended family which to fall back on) AND have to be able to cooperate with strangers. what sort of personality types would be selected for in THAT society?

    Reply

  57. @curt – “When we argue that genetics is ‘all there is’ or culture is ‘all there is’ we are just confusing the Nature, Culture, Nurture argument further. we are making the same mistake that the ‘nurturists’ do but from the opposite end of the spectrum.

    Since we know that Nature, Culture and Nurture are three extant causal axis, then a simple application of Ockham’s razor for any demonstrated human behavior prevents us from being people wearing tin foil hats. All our behaviors are the product of these three axis.

    yes! i said over on another blog (benjamin david steele’s), but i should spell it out somewhere here on my own blog, that i really do know that it’s not just biology. there are these emergent properties that we call culture and some amount of nuture is important, too. as humans, we do learn things, including how to behave.

    i just happen to be interested in the genetics/biology side of it because i think it’s too overlooked AND because i think the biology is the main foundation. our genetics limit us. i can’t fly, because i don’t have the genetic code for growing wings (or if i do, it’s buried somewhere in my genome, and i’ve got other genes that are shutting the wing genes off — d*mnit!). each of us has a range of behaviors that we are capable of — different ranges — and different populations have different average ranges. that’s all.

    so, i’m just following the genetics/biology thread as far as i can. but the other stuff is there, too, of course.

    Reply

  58. @bob – “Something I’ve found interesting for years is that every man in my large extended family – including me – works for himself. None of us have been able to work for others. I believe this is genetic. My ancestry? Scots-Irish and German.”

    oh, you scots-irish are stubborn! (~_^)

    @bob – “By the way, no man in my family has willingly joined the military. Those who were drafted ended up in the stockade. Mine own grandfather punched an officer during WWI after he cursed him.”

    my father wound up in the stockade, too, for not putting his helmet on during training. he said it was too hot down there in tennessee or missouri or wherever the h*ll he was to wear a helmet. (~_^)

    Reply

  59. @michael – “Nothing is over until the Mongols reduce you to a pyramid of skills and a heap of smoldering ash.”

    or they might just outbreed us (or you guys, rather — us women will be fine)! that’s always a danger. (those mongols are so sneaky like that! (~_^) )

    Reply

  60. @anon666 – “Italian-Americans are now atomized like the rest of us.”

    nope. (am i the only one around here who actually knows any italian americans?)

    from “Community and Identity in Italian American Life” in The Review of Italian American Studies (2000) [pgs. 250-251]:

    “Family gatherings…are still part of Italian American life….

    “Italian Americans, even the more affluent, remain in inner-city enclaves more than other groups do. When Italian Americans do move, many times two or more generations are involved in the exodus to a new suburban residence. If they do not locate together, Italian American family members find residences within short distances of one another. When upwardly mobile children leave their inner-city parents for the suburbs, they visit them more than any other group. When leaving the extended family, Italian Americans most often move into some modified extended family arrangement characterized by continual economic and social exchanges. Similarly, Italian American middle- and working-class children are more likely to take geographical proximity to the family into account when considering college attendance. Contemporary Italian American youth spread their wings, but not too far.

    “Although crude survey data indicate that Italian Americans are increasingly intermarrying, these measures miss the reality that many times it is the non-Italian marriage partner who is drawn into the powerful magnet of the Italian American family. In addition, intermarriage need no diminish the ethnicity of the Italian American partner nor does it mean necessarily that the offspring will not be reared in the Italian American way. Italian Americans are more entrepreneurial than most; family businesses, by definition, provide not only income and independence from outsiders but also keep the family together. Socially mobile Itlaian Americans are willing to sacrifice some career and employment opportunities in order to stay within the orbit of family life.”

    and from The Italian American Experience (2000) [pgs. 210-211, 373-374]:

    “For a long time, it was believed that this sequence was inevitably moving toward the complete absorption of Italian Americans….

    “While intermarriage rates have remained lower than for other groups, exogamy among Italian Americans has greatly increased. Divorce rates, even for the most recent generation, remain very low compared to all other ethnic groups. Italian Americans still maintain a pattern of relatively frequent family contacts, with some studies actually indicating an increase in visiting among relatives for later generations. The strength of family ties has been identified as a deterrent to residential mobility and as a factor in the maintenance of Italian American neighborhoods….

    “For Italians, family is an all-consuming ideal as is expressed by Luigi Barzini, among many others. For Italian Americans, ‘families’ usually include grandparents, whose influence on family life can be great…..

    “*L’ordine della familia*, which connotes precise boundaries, role expectations, and clear values for right and wrong behavior, is taught at a very early age and includes:

    “- Always respecting parents and grandparents;
    – Placing family needs first, staying physically and psychologically close to other members;
    – Not talking about the family to outsiders;
    – Sometimes maintaining secrets between family members to maintain personal boundaries; other family members do not need to know everythings, particularly if it will cause harm;
    – Showing respect for authority outside of the family, but not trusting it;
    – and Working hard, but also enjoying life; livining well is sharing food, music, and companionship with those one loves.”
    _____

    italian americans: much less clannish than arabs, but more clannish than anglos or anglo-americans.

    Reply

  61. @grey – “I think there’s a lot of truth in this – the most clannish euro populations just took longer than the least. By creating industrialization and mass urbanization the early outbred created and spread an *environment* which tends to create out-marriage except among cultural-religious groups which retain their endogamous limits. However…

    The first point to make is time. The experience of the most clannish euro groups shows that the equation is (number * level of difference) / time so if that equation isn’t respected then i don’t think you should expect the same results.”

    yes. exactly. and looking at both italian-americans and irish-americans, 130+ years has not quite been enough yet. both groups are still more clannish — including corrupt, etc. (don’t try to tell me they’re not — i grew up in chicago!) — than the anglos. america still needs time to assimilate THOSE groups, never mind TENS of MILLIONS of central americans … or east asians. how long is THAT going to take?

    (and never mind also that assimilation is a two-way street, so the importation of huge numbers of any of these groups will change the character of these united states in … what ways?)

    Reply

  62. @grey – “I think there is another reason why the WEIRD populations became so prosperous and that was out-breeding within a mostly endogamous geographical limit changed the pattern and level of relatedness among those populations i.e. it wasn’t just that they were more out-bred but that the out-breeding process led to a *pattern* of relatedness where the population became *more equally* related to each other while at the same time retaining a relatively high *level* of relatedness within itself i.e. everyone in the population being 5th cousins (or something like it) on average.”

    you could very well be right. it’s like that study finding that friends are related to one another as though they were fourth cousins (at least amongst whites in baltimore).

    since reading that study, i’ve been trying to imagine how it would feel to be living in a society in which everyone was (more or less) as related to one another as fourth cousins. how would one behave? how would you feel when some random person you didn’t know — but who was related to you like a fourth cousin — joined you at the bus stop? if you started talking, you’d probably hit it off — would be easy to make friends with that person, wouldn’t it?

    imagine living in a society like that! imagine if everyone around you was potentially a friend. a good friend.

    Reply

  63. @grey – “It seems to me this kind of semi-nomadic agriculture could produce a communal village system as there would be no point in having an individual family farm if the whole village moves every few years – and if there’s no need to have individual family farmland then there’s no need to have family level inheritance of that land and if there’s no need to keep land within an extended family then there’s no need for clannish marriage and inheritance.

    “This could then lead to the looser kindred system as in that kind of food-getting environment it would make more sense to be closely related to everyone in the village and not just your extended family. So instead of explicitly marrying cousins you’d marry someone in your village / small tribal group who shared the same communal terriotory. They would still be close cousins because of the low population size but not specific ones.

    “If so the system would be an early and very small-scale example of exogamy within an endogamous limit i.e. averaging out the relatedness within a population to try and get everyone equally related (as imo that leads to maximizing group co-operativeness)…..

    “On the idea that there is a specific “kindred” form of diluted clannish marriage culture and that how it *might* be related to slash and burn agriculture.”

    thanks for those thoughts! definitely need to find out more about: bilateral kindred groups, slash-and-burn agriculturalists (like you say), and, more specifically, the germanics on that north germanic plain. and, then, to ruminate about all of those a lot, too. (~_^)

    Reply

  64. Hey chick, is it possible that Italian American data suffers from a bit of a bias? It focuses on those who self identify as Italian Americans. Is that the same as people with Italian American ancestry? I suspect that the ‘assimilated’ and the inter-married will be much less likely to identify as Italian American, leaving only those ‘closest to their roots’ left in the data.

    More on the other stuff later when I’ve got time. ^_^

    Reply

  65. @t.greer – “Hey chick, is it possible that Italian American data suffers from a bit of a bias? It focuses on those who self identify as Italian Americans. Is that the same as people with Italian American ancestry?”

    yes, sure. the ever-present problem with self-reported ancestry data. (if i could just have my wish to get everyone in the country sequenced….)

    but, then, there’s no reason to think that the “english-american” data shouldn’t be similarly “off,” no? and yet they still show up as much less familistic than the italian-americans.

    the pattern is there. it may not be completely accurate due to the self-reporting problem — but it is there.

    Reply

  66. I don’t care what the numbers say, I have lived around those people my whole life and they are clannish as hell, it is clueless to suggest otherwise. But they also have no preference for cousin marriage, which is why I called them outbred. Hbd chick seems to have a broader definition of out bred than I do, however. It doesn’t matter, because the important fact is that out breeding had not changed their behaviors in America except perhaps for those outside of the northeastern, away from their co ethics.

    Reply

  67. @hubchik
    “since reading that study, i’ve been trying to imagine how it would feel to be living in a society in which everyone was (more or less) as related to one another as fourth cousins. how would one behave?”

    I think it would be like the barn-raising in that Amish movie.

    The way i imagine it is to take it to the extreme limit i.e. a society of clones. Literally every set of genes walking around is the same as yours.

    In clone world I was picturing one guy walking in front of a bus and 50 of his clones all diving to save him and about 30 getting mangled – altruism gone wrong :)

    Reply

  68. @bleach – “But they also have no preference for cousin marriage, which is why I called them outbred. Hbd chick seems to have a broader definition of out bred than I do, however. It doesn’t matter, because the important fact is that out breeding had not changed their behaviors in America….”

    a more specific one, yes. see this post: inbreeding and outbreeding. the crucial thing with inbreeding or outbreeding and the selection for altruistic behaviors (including the ones that i call “clannish”) is that the inbreeding or outbreeding has to happen over the long-term. i don’t mean thousands of years, but at least a few hundreds.

    italian-americans not marrying their cousins for two or three generations is not going to matter at all (hardly). it’s really not going to matter much if they marry other italians (or other clannish peoples), ’cause then they’ll still be swapping “clannishness genes” between themselves.

    see also this post: clannishness defined.

    Reply

  69. You still haven’t answered my question: does Miley Cyrus twerk on TV because she has black genes?

    But the more fundamental questions is: are you saying that culture is genetic such that what appears to be extra-genetic transmission of information, say a mother teaching her child something, is just an illusion, that there is no extra-genetic transmission of information taking place, that any information had already been transmitted genetically when her child was formed initially as a zygote in her womb? Or are you saying that genetic information is being transmitted, perhaps via sound waves, when the mother teaches her child something?

    Reply

  70. @jet – “You still haven’t answered my question: does Miley Cyrus twerk on TV because she has black genes?”

    i’ll say no, because i’m assuming she doesn’t have any black genes, because she doesn’t look as though she does, although appearances can be deceiving, and, so, i might be wrong about that.

    my guess is that miley cyrus twerks on tv because she has quite a few histrionic genes or at the very least a lot of extraversion genes.

    @jet – “are you saying that culture is genetic such that what appears to be extra-genetic transmission of information, say a mother teaching her child something, is just an illusion, that there is no extra-genetic transmission of information taking place, that any information had already been transmitted genetically when her child was formed initially as a zygote in her womb? Or are you saying that genetic information is being transmitted, perhaps via sound waves, when the mother teaches her child something?”

    i’m saying that i think that the behaviors that we recognize as “culture” are reflections of innate behavioral traits which have genetics (amongst other things) underlying them. there are some “accidents” (as i like to think of them) in culture of course: papua new guineans use birds-of-paradise feathers to decorate themselves while austrians do not, because there are birds-of-paradise in png and not in austria. but the fact that png-ers are more extreme in their self-decoration than austrians prolly has something to do with the average innate traits found in the population, i should think.

    like i said above, of course people learn. but what they learn — the actual behaviors — the types and flavors of behaviors — is not coming completely out of thin air. they can’t be. they have to have their roots SOMEwhere.

    Reply

  71. i’ll say no, because i’m assuming she doesn’t have any black genes, because she doesn’t look as though she does, although appearances can be deceiving, and, so, i might be wrong about that.

    my guess is that miley cyrus twerks on tv because she has quite a few histrionic genes or at the very least a lot of extraversion genes.

    If black women and Miley Cyrus are twerking, and celebrities in general aren’t twerking, why do you assume that it’s histrionic or extraversion genes and not black genes that are causing Cyrus to twerk?

    like i said above, of course people learn. but what they learn — the actual behaviors — the types and flavors of behaviors — is not coming completely out of thin air. they can’t be. they have to have their roots SOMEwhere.

    What do you mean? If you’re saying that what we call “culture” and “learning” do not involve the extra-genetic transmission of information, then that means that what appears to be extra-genetic transmission of information in ordinary life, such as a mother teaching her child something, is just an illusion. The genetic information was already transferred when the mother’s egg was fertilized.

    Reply

  72. @jet – “…why do you assume that it’s histrionic or extraversion genes and not black genes that are causing Cyrus to twerk?”

    for the reason that i already said: cyrus doesn’t look black to me, but i could be wrong about that. and i don’t “assume” that it’s histrionic or extraversion genes behind her behavior, i said i guess that. you need to work on your reading skills.

    @jet – “If you’re saying that what we call ‘culture’ and ‘learning’ do not involve the extra-genetic transmission of information….”

    nope. never said that either. again, work on your reading skills.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Greying Wanderer Cancel 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