outbreeding and nationalism

mr. mangan, esq., tweeted not too long ago (link inserted by me): Finnish nationalism was really weird in that it was begun and lead by ethnic Swedes.”

i don’t think that’s weird at all, because i bet that swedes have a longer history of outbreeding than ethnic finns, and, with more and more outbreeding, a group’s “circle of inclusiveness” widens (i think). i’m not 100% certain that the swedes have a longer history of outbreeding than ethnic finns, but i’m betting that they do based on the fact that the finns are outside the hajnal line and the swedes are not, and the general pattern seems to be that those populations that are inside the hajnal line are long-term outbreeders, while the rest are just not. another example resembling the swedish-finnish one is the irish nationalist movement of the 1700-1800s which was heavily influenced by the more outbred anglo-irish.

(btw, daniel olsson tweeted back to mr. mangan that finnish nationalism started with the fennoman movement which, according to him, was comprised of ethnic finns, but, in actuality, it appears that the earliest fennomen were indeed ethnic swedes!)

in “Nationalism and Vernaculars, 1500-1800” in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism, peter burke mentions that in thinking about early european nationalist movements [pgs. 23-24]:

“…a number of distinctions need to be made. One important distinction is that between older nations such as England and France, for instance, and newer nations such as Britain or the United Provinces of the Dutch Republic, which has a better claim than the United States of America to be the ‘first new nation’, since it was founded nearly two hundred years earlier.”

so there we have it yet again — as in so many other aspects (the decline of internal violence, for instance), it is the earliest outbreeders in europe that are the “older nations”, whereas the later nation states, like italy, are inbreeders. unfortunately (for me and my theory), germany doesn’t really fit this picture, unless we try to imagine the holy roman empire as a naiton state?…no, that won’t work…always causing trouble the germans. i still think it’s significant, though, that the earliest european nations were some of my “core”, outbreeding europeans and not any of the peripheral groups.

more from burke:

“A second distinction separates small nations such as the Swedes or the Venetians from larger ones such as France or Spain. (The Venetians were surely as much a nation as anyone in early modern Europe, since the city state was independent, and its inhabitants spoke a distinctive language, now classified as a dialect, while expressions of Venetian patriotism were common.)”

this is also directly related to my point about outbreeding and nationalism — yes, the early modern venetians were a nation, but the reason their nation was so small/narrow compared to england or france was because the italians had a longer history of inbreeding than the english or french. the nation was just venice and not “northern italy” or something larger, because the northern italians’ “circle of inclusiveness” was not as broad as that of the english or french (because the italians were not as outbred).

finally:

A third is the distinction between nationalism, in the sense of an organized social and political movement, and a more diffuse national sentiment, national consciousness, or national identity — which may be stronger or weaker in different places and times and among different social groups. The fact that in French, for instance, the term *patriotisme* came into use around the middle of the eighteenth century, while the term *nationalisme* emerged in the 1790s, suggests that important cultural changes were taking place at that time. It should be added that although the term ‘nation’ was used more rarely and more vaguely before the late eighteenth century than it has been since that time, proud references to the English, French, Spaniards, Germans, and so on are not difficult to find in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as will be seen later in this chapter, even if the question as to who is Dutch, Swedish, Polish, et cetera, was rarely if ever raised in this pre-passport age.”

yes. this is now on my To Do List — find out more about the evolution of national sentiments/consciousness around europe (and the rest of the world) as well as nationalistic movements. the two are obviously related, but not exactly the same thing. it would be very interesting to know which populations were the earliest at feeling like a nation — especially feeling like a big nation, like “french”.

the historian patrick wormald has argued that the english viewed themselves as “english” already at the time the venerable bede (d.735) was writing his famous history (see, for example, chapter five in The Making of English National Identity). that would be truly incredible if it’s true! presumably the “english” at that time would’ve been just the anglos and not any of the enslaved britons. also, hard to know if it was only the intelligensia, like bede, who held this view, or also the anglo-saxon man on the street.

daniel hannan also makes a cautious argument for an early appearance of the english as a nation in Inventing Freedom [pgs. 73-74]:

“[T]he birth of England as a nation-state can be dated to Alfred’s wars. In 876, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ‘all the English people who were free to give him their allegiance [in other words, were not under Danish occupation] owned Alfred as their King.’

“This is not the first reference to the English people. The concept of an English race, an Angelcynn, had existed from at least the eighth century, possibly earlier. What was new was the idea that all the Angelcynn, by virtue of their common identity, should recognize a single sovereign.”

again, this seems incredibly early for ideas of a nation to be floating about, but perhaps it’s true. still, hard to know if the english people also felt this, or if it was mostly chroniclers and kings and princes.

Further Research (and Rumination) RequiredTM! (^_^)

nowadays, of course, the “circle of inclusiveness” that many outbreeders hold to has expanded waaaay beyond nationalism to include pretty much everyone on the planet (“invite the world!”) and even the members of other species (for example the calls for human rights for chimps — not there’s there’s anything necessarily wrong with that! (~_^) )

(note: comments do not require an email. i can haz human rights?)

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chinese cleaners smarter than western professionals

here’s the latest re. the most recent pisa test results (various news outlets are reporting that the below also applies to the u.s. and canada – check google news for pisa+oecd):

“China’s poorest beat our best pupils”

“Children of factory workers and cleaners in Far East achieve better exam results than offspring of British lawyers and doctors, says OECD.

“British schoolchildren are lagging so far behind their peers in the Far East that even pupils from wealthy backgrounds are now performing worse in exams than the poorest students in China, an international study shows.

“The children of factory workers and cleaners in parts of the Far East are more than a year ahead of the offspring of British doctors and lawyers, according to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development….

“As part of the study, children were asked to name their parents’ occupation to determine its effect on pupil performance. Across the world, children whose parents work in professional careers generally outperform those in elementary jobs such as caterers, cleaners, factory workers and labourers.

“The study, involving more than 500,000 pupils worldwide, found children of elementary workers in many Far Eastern nations outperformed the sons and daughters of professional British children.

“The children of UK professionals scored an average of 526 points in maths. But this was overshadowed by an average score of 656 registered by the children of professionals in Shanghai-China and 569 among children of the country’s elementary workers. The children of parents in unskilled jobs in the UK scored an average of 461, the equivalent of two and a half years behind.

“Elementary workers’ children in Hong Kong (542), South Korea (538) and Singapore (534), also outperformed more affluent British peers. In Japan, Vietnam, Liechtenstein, Japan and China-Taipei, relatively poor children were only marginally behind the wealthiest British pupils.

“The report said: ‘In the United States and the United Kingdom, where professionals are among the highest-paid in the world, students whose parents work as professionals do not perform as well in mathematics as children of professionals in other countries — nor do they perform as we as the children in Shanghai-China and Singapore whose parents work in manual occupations….'”

no idea if any of these results were broken down by race, ethnicity, etc.

and a related story from a while back:

“Report: Chinese Third-Graders Falling Behind U.S. High School Students in Math, Science”

“According to an alarming new report published Wednesday by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, third-graders in China are beginning to lag behind U.S. high school students in math and science.

“The study, based on exam scores from thousands of students in 63 participating countries, confirmed that in mathematical and scientific literacy, American students from the ages of 14 to 18 have now actually pulled slightly ahead of their 8-year-old Chinese counterparts.

“‘This is certainly a wake-up call for China,’ said Dr. Michael Fornasier, an IEA senior fellow and coauthor of the report. ‘The test results unfortunately indicate that education standards in China have slipped to the extent that pre-teens are struggling to rank among even the average American high school student….'”

(~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email. or an average pisa score above ca. 450.)

funniest line from true detective. ever.

here’s the funniest (truest) line from true detective. ever. so far.

retired detective martin hart (woody harrelson) is describing in an interview with two detectives — who happen to be black — how dedicated to investigating (obsessive!) his former partner rust cohle (matthew mcconaughey) was:

hart: “Rust spent a lot of off duty running DBs, weeks of it, coon hound in another life.”

detective papania: (sounding a bit annoyed/incredulous) “Coon hound?”

hart: “I meant raccoon hound. Everybody is a fucking drama queen nowadays. Jesus.”

heh. (~_^)

i’m tellin’ ya, if you’re looking to waste an hour of your life here and there, you could do a lot worse than to watch true detective. here’s the kind of reaction people tend to have to it.

a study in swiss

so some people have asked me: what about the swiss then? why are they behaving so badly? are they just a bunch of clannish cuckoo clock makers or what?

first of all, everything’s relative. the results of the swiss referendum to curtail immigration were actually reeeally close — just 50.3% voted yes (that was out of a 55.8% voter participation rate) — so it's not like the vast majority of the swiss citizenry want to slow down immigration to their country. and we are only talking here about slowing down immigration to switzerland — the referendum was about reducing the number of people from the e.u. that will be allowed to migrate to switzerland in future — and they haven’t even agreed upon what they’re going to reduce it to yet — it was NOT about ending immigration altogether. nor have the meanie, meanie swiss decided to deport any current immigrants in switzerland or anything like that.

meanwhile, saudi arabia HAS deported 250,000 illegal immigrants in just the last three months — another two million have self-deported since last march when the saudi immigration laws changed — and the saudi government hopes to deport an additional two million over the course of the next year. (they’ve got something like nine million immigrants in the country.) the saudi government will also fine companies that do not meet quotas for hiring saudi citizens — businesses will have to pay a fine for each non-saudi employee they have over and above the number of saudi employees.

it’s hard to become a citizen of switzerland, of course — even non-swiss who are born and raised in the country have to apply for citizenship, and it’s usually the citizens of their respective cantons who vote on whether or not to give applicants citizenship — but it’s next to impossible to become a saudi arabian citizen if your family isn’t/ancestors weren’t saudi. and up until last year, the saudi government made it very difficult for non-saudis to marry saudi women — it’s still not very easy. not so in switzerland. some groups in saudi arabia don’t like and won’t marry — on principle! — other groups in saudi arabia. why the difference in attitude towards foreigners and outsiders in the two countries?

the gdps (the economists’ favorite metric) of the two countries are not all that different (in millions of u.s. dollars): saudi arabia=711,050 and switzerland=631,183 (note that the swiss get there without all that oil). so that’s probably not the problem. a little over 23% of the population in switzerland is comprised of immigrants — the number is ca. 30% for saudi arabia. perhaps the proportionally greater number of immigrants in saudi arabia accounts for the different reactions to immigration in the two countries, but i somehow doubt it. dunno. maybe it’s where the immigrants come from? in saudi arabia, they’ve mostly got immigrants from the indian subcontinent, yemen, and the phillippines. the largest immigrant groups in switzerland consist of people from italy, germany, the former yugoslavia/albania, portugal, and turkey (turks and kurds). so a larger number of immigrants in saudi arabia are from farther-flung places than those in switzerland, but, still, the saudis expelled 800,000 yemenis in the early 1990s, and how different can they be from saudi nationals?

no — there’s a difference in attitude toward foreigners between saudi arabia and switzerland that i think cannot be (completely) accounted for by economic circumstances or how foreign the foreigners are. the swiss want to slow down immigration to their country — the saudis don’t really like you marrying their women! the saudis, imho, are definitely muuuuch less universalistic (see here and here) in their thinking than the swiss.

buuuut the swiss seem maybe to be less universalistic than other western european groups. ‘sup with that? are they more inbred than other western europeans or what?

before i get to that, i should note that the french-speaking areas together with zurich did NOT vote for decreasing immigration as enthusiastically as the german- and italian-speaking regions (h/t daniel olsson! – map source [opens pdf]):

swiss referendum map 02

as mario on twitter pointed out, there are more immigrants in the french-speaking cantons and zurich (ca. 25% foreign born) than other areas of the country — from the telegraph:

“Interestingly, those areas with the most immigrants, and therefore with the most overcrowding, typically voted against the proposals.”

it could very well be that foreign born swiss citizens tended to vote against this proposal — someone ought to check. anecdata: i have a cousin who is a naturalized swiss citizen, and she voted against the proposal. (see? what do i keep saying? gotta be careful with letting in immigrants!)
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anyway…i have some notes on switzerland and the swiss, but don’t have a complete picture of the history of their mating patterns (yet). here’s what i’ve got so far…

in late antiquity, the gallic helvetii inhabited the swiss plateau — no idea what their mating patterns or social structures were like — and, of course, the romans were present. some people in switzerland were christians already by the early 300s a.d., but remember that the first of the church’s cousin marriage bans didn’t appear until the early 500s a.d.

with the collapse of rome, the burgundians moved into western switzerland and the alemanni into the north onto that plateau. again, don’t know anything specific about the mating patterns/social structures of either of these groups, but seeing as they were germanic populations, it’s likely that they had similar mating patterns/social structures to the other germanic groups: some amount of cousin marriage, residential nuclear families, and bilateral kindreds that were of import in everyday life and, most especially, in legal issues including wergeld payments and feuding (see the links under “germans” in the “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column for more info).

the alemanni and burgundians were conquered by the franks in the early part of the sixth century, and presumably the franks would’ve tried to impose their ideas on marriage in their new dominions and/or the burgundians and alemanni might’ve wanted to imitate their new overlords. avoiding cousin marriage may not have been part of that package right away, though — recall that, although the church banned cousin marriage in 506 a.d., the frankish king didn’t issue a secular law banning cousin marriage until sometime in the 750s, but then by the 800s the franks thought it (heh) barbaric to marry even a second cousin (see this post). how well this law was enforced outside the frankish heartland in north/northeastern france — or if it even applied throughout all of the frankish kingdom(s) — i don’t know. i would think it likely that, whatever the case, the pressure to avoid cousin marriage would’ve been strongest in the core areas of the frankish kingdom(s) — austrasia and neustria in northern and northeastern france — since that’s where the practice really got going the earliest, and that the degrees of pressure and/or enforcement would’ve been weaker the farther one moved away from that core — but i could be wrong about that. additionally, the alpine regions of switzerland simply never would have experienced manorialism, a system in which enforcement of the cousin marriage bans was made easier (lords of the manor often had to approve marriages, plus there were typically churches/ecclesiastical-types attached to manors) and which pushed for nuclear family units.

fast-forward to the reformation (i told you i didn’t have the complete picture!) — one of the outcomes of the reformation was that many of the new protestant nations/churches reversed the catholic church’s cousin marriage bans — cousin marriage is not prohibited anywhere in the bible, so many of the reformers just threw the bans out (plus they were also disgusted with the church charging for dispensations as they were with the indulgences). however, in the 1500s (1530s), many cities and cantons in switzerland actually reinstated the cousin marriage bans — zurich, bern, basel, schaffenhaussen, saint gallen. geneva had never done away with them. the tide changed again, though, beginning in the 1600s, and over the course of the next couple hundred years, the bans on cousin marriage were gradually lifted. from “Kin Marriages: Trends and Interpretations from the Swiss Example” by jon mathiue in Kinship In Europe: Approaches to Long-Term Development, 1300-1900 (2007) [pgs. 214, 215, 224, and 216]:

“After an especially conservative phase in the late sixteenth century, the rolling back of the prohibitions emerged as the dominant trend, similar to that in the German lands….

“Thus, except for the canon rules, which for Catholics remained valid in their religious existence, the familial marriage prohibitions were rolled back three degrees over the course of 350 years….

Around 1500, one could only marry his fourth cousin; by 1900, first cousins were acceptable as marriage partners. The dispensations for forbidden kin marriages, documented in local and central records, show a parallel development. They increased practically everywhere, and especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, became a common occurrence….

“That the lawmakers repealed the restrictions despite every counterargument is thanks not just to the new relationship between state, church, and citizen, which had developed since the revolution. Earlier juristic practice had already had to take into consideration the values of the populace to some extent, and here it appears that large groups surmounted their aversion to kin marriages, because they were increasingly interested in marrying their kin.”

so, at the same time that the secular and canon laws against cousin marriage were being relaxed in the country, swiss roman catholics were, additionally, applying for greater numbers of dispensations from the church to marry cousins. here is table 11.1 from “Kin Marriages: Trends and Interpretations from the Swiss Example”. the number before the slash (/) in each instance is the percentage of marriages up to and including third cousins; the number after the slash, the percentage of marriages up to and including second cousins. you can see that there was a general increase in the percentage of first and second cousin marriages in all of the locales over the time period. of course, the rates don’t come anywhere near the rates of first and second cousin marriage in saudi arabia today (50%+), but the third cousin rates seem quite high to me [pg. 217 – click on table for LARGER views]:

switzerland - mathieu - table 11.1

by way of comparison, many of the first and second cousin marriage rates in the 1800s are higher than those for the same time period in southern england, and the third cousin marriage rates are MUCH higher. for southern england, the rates were: first cousins=2.2%, second cousins=1.7%, third cousins=2.2%. the swiss rates are more like rates seen in parts of scotland (see also the other rates in the table in that post).

an isonymic study (not as great as a genetics study, but hey — you work with what you’ve got) of a sample of 1.7 million swiss individuals conducted in 1994 found that (links added by me):

“…the highest consanguinity values were observed in the Grisons and in the nucleus of the founding Cantons [see map here – h.chick], while the lowest were observed in the Cantons of Geneva and Vaud, preferential areas of immigration to Switzerland from abroad…. French and Italian languages indicate minor, German and Romanisch major inbreeding.
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i said before in my post the radical reformation that my guess is that the swiss are some of western europe’s “inbetweeners” as far as outbreeding goes. i guessed that they probably got involved in The Outbreeding Project later than some other western europeans — the ones in and closer to the center of my “core” europe. and they didn’t experience manorialism either (unless some of them on the swiss plateau did?). the fact that the swiss were a bit late on the medieval reduction of internal violence in the country — as compared to the english, dutch, and belgians anyway — but were ahead of the italians on this score — is an indicator that they are inbetweeners, i think.

on reviewing the evidence that i’ve collected so far, what it in fact looks like is that, yes, the swiss may indeed have started outbreeding a bit late — possibly a bit later than the franks in the frankish heartland who were seriously outbreeding by the 800s — but, then, in addition to the late start, it looks like the swiss outbreeding project went into reverse in the 1600s. not extremely so — they didn’t resume marrying their cousins at rates that the arabs do today, or not even like the southern italians of the 1960s, but something along the lines of some of the scots in the 1800s.

so perhaps the swiss are inbetweeners BOTH because they started outbreeding a bit late (900s? 1000s?) AND because they resumed inbreeding again — somewhat — about four hundred years ago.

anyway…more on the swiss anon!

previously: more on mating patterns from deutschland (and switzerland) and the radical reformation

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

avi tuschman and the case of the missing left-wing authoritar- ianism

remember avi tuschman‘s Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us that i posted about a couple of months ago? and remember how i said that, in large part, he based his theory on what causes the differences between liberals and conservatives on results from what’s known as right-wing authoritarianism (rwa) studies, while at the same time he failed to take into account studies on left-wing authoritarianism?

in case you don’t remember, i said in that previous post:

“i’m sorry, but i can’t help but think that authoritarianism — including personality types that favor authoritarianism — also occurs on the left. a ten-second google search shows me that left-wing authoritarianism has both been researched and found to exist — something which tuschman, unfortunately, doesn’t mention in the book.”

the first two papers i found on left-wing authoritarianism were: The Presence of Left-Wing Authoritarianism in Western Europe and Its Relationship with Conservative Ideology and Left-wing authoritarianism is not a myth, but a worrisome reality. Evidence from 13 Eastern European countries. (more about both of them in the previous post.)

avi responded [my emphasis]:

“The three components of RWA that Altemeyer came up with (including submission and aggression) are NOT the same ones that I use in my analysis, although I did mention his thinking in one place in Ch. 4 where I describe how he developed the test. My own breakdown of the content on his test (shown in the chart above, without the words ‘submission’ or ‘aggression’) is a fresh analysis, and the clusters I’ve described are much more in-line with the underlying statistical factors that emerged from a meta-analysis of 88 studies on multiple political-orientation tests given around the world (including RWA).”

in the book, avi suggests that the political sentiments measured by the right-wing authoritarianism test can be broken down into three broad categories which he defines, and how you feel about the issues related to these categories predicts whether you are liberal or conservative. his three categories (which i described in the previous post) are:

“- Tribalism. Tribalism breaks down into ethnocentrism (vs. the opposite force, xenophilia, which means an attraction to other groups), religiosity (vs. secularism), and different levels of tolerance toward nonreproductive sexuality.

“- Tolerance of Inequality. There are two opposing moral worldviews toward inequality; one is based on the principle of egalitarianism, and the other is based on hierarchy.

“- Perceptions of Human Nature. Some people see human nature as more cooperative, while others see it as more competitive.”

and according to avi, as he claimed in the comment i quoted above, these three categories of his are “in-line” with this meta-analysis of eighty-eight studies conducted “around the world”. here’s what he says about that meta-analysis in the book [from chapter 5 – links and emphases added by me]:

“This breakdown of political ideology coincides very well with independent research conducted by a multidisciplinary team from Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Maryland, College Park. These professors carried out a meta-analysis of studies on political orientation in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and New Zealand. The eighty-eight studies they evaluated covered nearly twenty-three thousand individuals who took various types of political tests between 1958 and 2002. These tests included the F-scale, RWA, several other political-conservatism scales, economic-conservatism scales, self-reported ideological positions, issue opinions, and voting records.

“After analyzing all of the data, the team concluded that the ‘two relatively stable, core dimensions that seem to capture the most meaningful and enduring differences between liberal and conservative ideologies’ are: (1) ‘attitudes toward social change versus tradition’ and (2) ‘attitudes toward inequality.’ The analysis showed that, although these two factors are ‘often related to one another,’ they are ‘obviously distinguishable.’

“The meta-study’s first dimension clearly corresponds to the grey cluster (tribalism) in figure 10 [see fig. 10 here – h.chick]. The second dimension [avi’s “tolerance of inequality” – h.chick] is the same as the black cluster. What about the white cluster? The debate over the nature of human nature is the ancient subject of political philosophy, which stretches back for millennia. The problem of human nature has also been studied extensively in its own right by political psychologists and evolutionary biologists, who have made valuable discoveries about this core political topic. Moreover, the white cluster overlaps substantially with both the grey and the black clusters; we’ll explore the relationship between them later on.”

ok. so what about this meta-study of these eighty-eight studies conducted around the world? i looked it up:

Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition [pdf]

here’s what the authors of the paper had to say about the eighty-eight studies at which they looked [pg. 14]:

“The data for our review come from 38 journal articles, 1 monograph, 7 chapters from books or annual volumes, and 2 conference papers involving 88 different samples studied between 1958 and 2002. Some of the original data are derived from archival sources, including speeches and interviews given by politicians and opinions and verdicts rendered by judges, whereas others are taken from experimental, field, or survey studies. The total number of research participants and individual cases is 22,818 (see Table 1). The data come from 12 different countries, with 59 of the samples (or 67% of the total) coming from the United States. The remaining samples were studied in England (n=8), New Zealand (4), Australia (3), Poland (3), Sweden (2), Germany (2), Scotland (2), Israel (2), Italy (1), Canada (1), and South Africa (1). Sixty percent of the samples are exclusively composed of college or university student populations, but they account for only 37% of the total number of research participants included in our review. The remaining samples include family members, high school students, student teachers, adult extension students, nonstudent adults, professionals, politicians, judges, political activists, and religious ministers.

jost - table 1

i’m sorry, but THESE ARE ALMOST ALL STUDIES OF W.E.I.R.D. PEOPLE!

apart from israel and poland, all of the countries here are in western europe or are offshoots of western europe (the u.s.a., for example). and the ONE south african study was conducted on white afrikaaner students [pg. 363 in article]. 20,863 out of the 22,818 total number of participants — a full 91% of the total — were from anglo nations (australia, canada, england, new zealand, scotland, united states)!! this meta-study is NOT cross-cultural by any stretch of the imagination. where’s eastern europe (where left-wing authoritarianism has actually been found)? where’s asia (where only 4.3+ billion people live)? where’s latin america?

this is not a meta-analysis of studies conducted “around the world.” this is a meta-analysis of studies conducted on mostly w.e.i.r.d. individuals in the anglo world. which is interesting, but might not tell us much about the rest of the world.
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in his comment to the previous post, avi also said:

“There are many places in the book that discuss political extremism on the left. However, the chapter that describes what you’ve referred to as left-wing authoritarianism is Ch. 22, ‘The Altruism That Isn’t: Self-Deception among People and Politicians.’ This chapter explains why extreme left-wing regimes have authoritarian properties. Although when I use the word authoritarian in this context, I’m referring to the structure of left-wing dictatorships. Explaining why these leaders and their regimes violate the egalitarian ideologies that they supposedly espouse is a fascinating question that deserves its own chapter. Leaders (especially dictators) can of course have different interests than followers, even when they ostensibly share an ideology. So measuring tolerance toward inequality in public opinion is different than explaining how dictators behave.

in chapter 22, avi says:

“The Self-Deception of Leaders on the Extreme Left

“Extreme left-wing ideologies typically espouse radical egalitarianism. Yet in practice, Communist governments are famous for their authoritarian dictators. The hierarchy of Communist regimes presents an especially glaring moral hypocrisy. But this hierarchy has a function, which is to serve the self-interest of the dictator; without the protection of hierarchy, the leader wouldn’t be able to remain on *top*.

“In order to maintain popular support, however, left-wing dictators must continue towing a leftist ideology that exalts egalitarianism. Doing so successfully is easier with self-deception. After all, leftist revolutionary leaders would not command so much self-sacrifice from their followers if the followers suspected that their leaders had nefarious plans to sabotage the party’s ideals once in power….”

avi claims that sometimes (oftentimes!) left-wing leaders hijack their movements once they get into power and use their positions at the top for their own ends. sure. that’s pretty obvious. but then he suggests that the leaders need to deceive their followers about things like equality in their new society in order to maintain their position — i.e. the leaders have to pretend that they’re not at the top of any sort of hierarchy, but really just one among equals in society:

“Dictators of the extreme left often try to present a ‘first among equals’ image to obscure the fact that they sit on top of a steep hierarchy. To convince others (and perhaps themselves) that they are merely *primus inter pares*, these leaders are fond of wearing modest clothes. Some wear simple army fatigues. Others, such as Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez, were also known for donning tracksuits.

“Leftist dictators occasionally use titles to brandish their supposed anti-hierarchical credentials. Colonel Gaddafi’s official title was ‘Brotherly Leader’ of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Rather than taking titles such as president, prime minister, or king, some Communist leaders have assumed the role of ‘chairman’ or ‘secretary,’ suggesting a first-among-equals status on a council.”

but then avi has a hard time explaining this:

“The egalitarian ideal, however, belies a much more hierarchical reality. Indeed, leader worship pervades the cultures of extreme-leftist regimes. Vietnam’s Marxist-Leninist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh is referred to simply as ‘Uncle Hồ.’ Yet an almost god-like personality cult has sprung up around him in the Communist country. Hundreds of people constantly line up to pay homage to his embalmed body at a mausoleum in Hanoi. And an image of Ho Chi Minh appears on every denomination of đồng banknotes circulating in Vietnam.”

the reason he has a hard time explaining this is, i think, because he overlooks the existence of left-wing authoritarianism. the most parsimonious explanation for why many left-wing movements in places like venezuela and vietnam and russia wind up with authoritarian leaders is not (only) that the leaders hijack the movements and subsequently lie to their peoples, but rather because left-wingers in these non-western places are left-wing authoritarians themselves. they want strong leaders — or strong governments, anyway — that will take care of everyone.

but avi hasn’t considered that many left-wingers in some populations might have authoritarian traits, because he’s only looked at studies of authoritarianism in the west — primarily in the anglo world — and, yes, most left wingers in the west don’t seem to have authoritarian traits. only extreme leftists in the west — members of communist/stalinist parties — seem to exhibit such traits (at least according to studies so far). on the other hand, left wingers in eastern europe DO exhibit authoritarian traits — see for example Left-wing authoritarianism is not a myth, but a worrisome reality. Evidence from 13 Eastern European countries.

who knows? researchers might find more left-wing authoritarianism in other parts of the world, too — if they bother looking.

previously: our political nature and authoritarianism

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random notes: 02/09/14

some random notes on the history of mating patterns in china…

on the recommendation of john derbyshire, we have been listening to some of the great courses lectures here at home. that’s not the royal “we” by the way — i mean the d.h. and me. anyway…in From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History, the lecturer, kenneth hammond — an excellent lecturer and, incidentally, one of the kent 25 — mentions that during the southern song period (1127–1279) elites in china changed their marriage patterns. in the preceding northern song period (960-1127), the elites — the intelligensia and bureaucrats running the country — had a tendency to marry other elites from all over the kingdom. the bureaucrats — provincial administrators, for instance — would all meet up with some regularity in the capital at kaifeng and, when they were there, one of the things they’d do was to arrange their children’s marriages between their respective families. however, in the southern song period, the elites — according to the current paradigm of teh historians — began to marry much more locally. really locally, apparently — not on a national basis, and not even on a provincial basis, but within very local areas.

the first thing that came to my mind when i heard this was that it probably just reflects the general pattern in china of closer marriage in the south than in the north. my impression so far from the little i’ve read on the history of mating patterns in china — and it is so far just an impression, so don’t quote me on this! — is that there has been a greater amount of cousin marriage in southern china than in northern china (who knows for how long?) — and as a result, there is a greater importance of clans in southern china than in the north (which there definitely is). if this general pattern is true, then it’s perhaps not surprising that marriage amongst the elites became more local in the southern song period since we’re presumably talking about elites from the south. the general pattern (if it exists) would also fit with the “flatlanders vs. mountaineers” theory of inbreeding and outbreeding, since southern china is mountainous while the north has a nice big plain.

in Portrait of a Community: Society, Culture, and the Structures of Kinship in the Mulan River Valley (Fujian) from the Late Tang Through the Song (2007), hugh clark, after looking through the genealogies of the elites in this mulan river valley place in the southern province of fujian during the southern song period, has this to say about their marriage patterns [pgs. 134-135]:

[T]hese links point to a phenomenon called ‘patrilateral cross-cousin marriage’, a pattern of reoccurring affinal exchange in which sone of a union most often took the daughters of a maternal uncle as wives [mother’s brother’s daughter or mbd marriage – h.chick].

Such links, which were common in traditional Chinese culture, helped to cement ties between patrilines that could render all manner of mutual assistance, be it fiscal, political, or social, to their affines.”

so…there you go. i’ll be keepin’ my eye open for more info on all this!
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in The Elementary Structures of Kinship, claude lévi-strauss concluded that a preference for mother’s brother’s daughter (mbd) marriage had a long history in china. speaking of history, it’s been ages since i’ve read Elementary Structures, so i don’t recall exactly how lévi-strauss’ argument went, but apparently he based his conclusion on the kinship terms in the chinese language. lewis h. morgan thought similarly — that peoples categorize their relatives based upon which ones they were permitted to marry and which ones were forbidden to them. i happen to think this is correct. it’s not the only reason for why peoples name their relatives in the ways that they do, but it’s probably one of the main ones. thus the arabs have a pretty complicated naming system for all of their cousins, since marriage to some cousins (the father’s brother’s daughter or the bint ‘amm) is preferred. the chinese also have a complicated kinship terminology (but some of that is related to an age hierarchy/ancestor worship). most europeans, on the other hand, don’t differentiate between their cousins, since cousin marriage was banned for so long in europe. before the church’s cousin marriage bans, most (all?) europeans — especially northern europeans (the greeks are a bit of an exception in this story) — did name their cousins differently — the european naming system changed after the mating patterns changed — about three or four hundred years later in the case of the germans, for example.

anyway, i can’t quote lévi-strauss on mbd marriage in china for you, because i don’t have a copy of his book. but i can quote jack goody on lévi-strauss. from The Oriental, the Ancient and the Primitive: Systems of Marriage and the Family in the Pre-Industrial Societies of Eurasia (1990) [pg. 23]:

“Attempting a historical reconstruction which has some affinities with the parallel undertakings of L.H. Morgan (1870) and W.H.R. Rivers (1914), Levi-Strauss compares China with the Miwok of North America largely on the basis of terms for kin relationship and concludes his own study of China with words that reflect the earlier tendency to derive structure from terminology:

“‘We are thus brought to the hypothesis of the coexistence, in ancient China, of two kinship systems: the first, practised by the peasants, and based on a real or functional division into exogamous moieties, the exchange of sisters, and marriage between bilateral cross-cousins; the other, of feudal inspiration, and based on cycles of alliance between patrilineages (distributed or not into exogamous moieties), and marriage with the matrilateral cross-cousin and niece. That is, a system of restricted exchange and a system of generalized exchange.’ (1969:368-70)”

no idea if this theory bears any resemblance to reality, but it’s certainly interesting.
_____

finally, from Why Europe? (2010), here’s michael mitterauer on china [pgs. 83-85]:

“The quite substantial differences between Europe and China are more apparent if we take the terminology of relationship as a prime indicator of kinship systems. There is no Chinese counterpart to the parallelling process [i.e. naming paternal and maternal relatives the same – h.chick] discernible in Europe from antiquity on. Quite the opposite: an exceedingly complex system of kinship terminology was further differentiated and elaborated upon in China. Claude Levi-Strauss speaks in this connection of an ‘overdetermined system’ against which he counterposes the ‘marked tendency toward *indeterminism*’ in European cultures. Historical dictionaries from after the second century BC list no fewer than 340 Chinese terms for the different relationships between kinfolk. Typical examples of this differentiation are the terms for ‘uncle.’ The European languages have managed with one word since the great transformation in its terminology, whereas Chinese has five different words, depending on whether the father’s older brother (*bo*) is meant, or his younger brother (*shu*), the mother’s brother (*jiu*), the aunt’s spouse on the father’s side (*gufu*) or on the mother’s side (*yifu*). This example illustrates the four distinguishing criteria on which this terminology is by and large based: gender, relative age, the generation, and filiation. The strict separation of the paternal and maternal lines is particularly vital. A distinction is drawn in China and Tibet between ‘relatives of the bone’ and ‘relatives of the flesh’; it also is found in a larger area stretching from India to Siberia and embracing the Mongolian and Turkic peoples of Russia. What is meant by these forms are paternal and maternal relatives, respectively, with the former being given preference. As this example demonstrates, the terminological distinction between an older and a younger brother is made only in the patriline, a differentiation that the Chinese system of kinship shares with many cultures in its extensive surroundings. It occurs as far away as southern Europe, where Indo-European roots cannot even begin to explain this significant feature. In this case we might have to think about possible influences from the steppe nomads who came from the East….

“The traditional rules of marriage in China display the same basic outlines of a strict patrilineal ordering of kinship that is found in the terminology of kinship. From the Tang dynasty [618–907 ad – h.chick] on, legal codes prohibited marriage to a woman from four classes of relatives: first and foremost, marriage to women with the same surname, then to widows of members of the same household, to women of another generation of fairly close kinship on the mother’s side or by marriage, and finally to sisters from the same mothers by a different father (half-sisters). In China identical surnames meant in principle descent from the same patriline. The ban on marriage was valid even if the common ancestor was a long way back in the male line. The Chinese family held to these basic principles of exogamy, which can be found in many other cultures in Eurasia with an analogous kinship structure. In early medieval Europe, far-reaching rules concerning exogamy were also established, but they were confined to certain degrees of relatedness. They mainly concerned the paternal and maternal lines completely symmetrically. In China, on the other hand, the emphasis on the father’s line led to crass inequalities when it came to enlarging the list of banned female marriage partners…. Marrying relatives from the mother’s side was not forbidden in principle. In earlier times, marriage in China even between cross-cousins not only used to be permitted but was common practice. Among China’s neighbors it can be found up to this day as a preferred form of marriage.”

previously: abridged history of cousin marriage in china

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the home team

here’s something i don’t get — and have never understood to be perfectly honest with you: why are, for instance, the seattle seahawks and the denver broncos called the seattle seahawks and the denver broncos when NONE of the players are from either seattle or denver?

i know none of them are, because i checked the players’ bios on wikipedia [these are the “active” players on the teams’ rosters]. here’s where they were all born/raised:

seattle seahawks:
Tarvaris Jackson – Montgomery, AL
Clinton McDonald – Jacksonville, AR
Zach Miller – Tempe, AZ
Richard Sherman – Compton, CA
Heath Farwell – Fontana, CA
Benson Mayowa – Inglewood, CA
Derrick Coleman – West Los Angeles, CA
Caylin Hauptmann – Los Angeles, CA
Brandon Mebane – Los Angeles, CA
Walter Thurmond III – Los Angeles, CA
Bobby Wagner – Los Angeles, CA
Marshawn Lynch – Oakland, CA
Robert Turbin – Oakland, CA
DeShawn Shead – Palmdale, CA
Paul McQuistan – San Diego, CA
Malcolm Smith – Woodland Hills, CA
Doug Baldwin – Gulf Breeze, FL
Cliff Avril – Jacksonville, FL
Ricardo Lockette – Albany, GA
Bruce Irvin – Atlanta, GA
James Carpenter – Augusta, GA
Chris Clemons – Griffin, GA
Max Unger – Kailua-Kona, HI
Michael Bennett – Avondale, LA
Lemuel Jeanpierre – Marrero, LA
Breno Giacomini – Cambridge, MA
Steven Hauschka – Needham, MA
Kellen Davis – Adrian, MI
J.R. Sweezy – Mooresville, NC
Russell Wilson – Cincinnati, OH (Richmond, VA)
Alvin Bailey – Broken Arrow, OK
Michael Bowie – Tulsa, OK
Luke Wilson – LaSalle, Ontario
Jordan Hill – Harrisburg, PA
Jon Ryan – Regina, Saskatchewan
O’Brien Schofield – Camden, SC
Tony McDaniel – Hartsville, SC
Byron Maxwell – North Charleston, SC
Golden Tate – Hendersonville, TN
K.J. Wright – Memphis, TN
Christine Michael – Beaumont, TX
Clint Gresham – Corpus Christi, TX
Mike Morgan – Dallas, TX
Russell Okung – Fort Bend, TX
Red Bryant – Jasper, TX
Earl Thomas – Orange, TX
Jeremy Lane – Tyler, TX
Percy Harvin – Chesapeake, VA
Kam Chancellor – Norfolk, VA
Michael Robinson – Richmond, VA
Bryan Walters – Bothell, WA
Jermaine Kearse – Lakewood, WA
Chris Maragos – Racine, WI

denver broncos:
Chris Kuper – Anchorage, AL
Duke Ihenacho – Carson, CA
Sione Fue – Lodi, CA
Ronnie Hillman – Long Beach, CA
Winston Justice – Long Beach, CA
Malik Jackson – Los Angeles, CA
Omar Bolden – Ontario, CA
Aaron Brewer – Orange, CA
Julius Thomas – Stockton, CA
Virgil Green – Tulare, CA
C.J. Anderson – Vallejo, CA
Mitch Unrein – Eaton, CO
Terrance Knighton – Hartford, CT
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – Bradenton, FL
Tony Carter – Jacksonville, FL
Kayvon Webster – Miami, FL
Andre Caldwell – Tampa, FL
Champ Bailey – Folkston, GA
Wesley Woodyard – LaGrange, GA
Demaryius Thomas – Montrose, GA
Jeremy Mincey – Statesboro, GA
Joel Dreessen – Ida Grove, IA
Brock Osweiler – Coeur d’Alene, ID
Marquice Cole – Hazel Crest, IL
Orlando Franklin – Kingston, Jamaica
Montee Ball – McPherson, KS
Jacob Tamme – Lexington, KY
David Bruton – Winchester, KY
Chris Clark – New Orleans, LA
Peyton Manning – New Orleans, LA
Trindon Holliday – Zachary, LA
Eric Decker – Cold Spring, MN
Sylvester Williams – Jefferson City, MO
Robert Ayers – Jersey City, NJ
Nate Irving – Newark, NJ
Mike Adams – Paterson, NJ
Knowshon Moreno – Bronx, NY
Zac Dysert – Ada, OH
Matt Prater – Mayfield Heights, OH
Danny Trevathan – Youngstown, OH
Steve Vallos – Youngstown, OH
Wes Welker – Oklahoma City, OK
Steven Johnson – Media, PA
Shaun Phillips – Philadelphia, PA
Brandon Marshall – Pittsburgh, PA
Britton Colquitt – Knoxville, TN
Quentin Jammer – Angleton, TX
Louis Vasquez – Corsicana, TX
Manny Ramierz – Houston, TX
Michael Huff – Irving, TX
Paris Lenon – Lynchburg, VA
Vinston Painter – Norfolk, VA
Zane Beadles – Casper, WY

see? no one from either seattle or denver. the only guy who might arguably be described as being from seattle — and he plays for seattle, too — is bryan walters who is from bothell, wa, which, wikipedia tells me, is in the seattle metropolitan region. if i were feeling generous, i’d count him as being from seattle. maybe i will. i’ll think about it. (~_^)

again, i have to admit that i just don’t get it. must be my ass-burgers. WHY are the teams named for the cities even though (almost) none of the players are from those cities? i say just get it over with and call the teams the “microsoft seahawks” or the “regent drilling broncos.” or even just the red and blue teams. either of those options would be more honest, afaics.

also, more interestingly (to me anyway), is WHY do people from seattle and denver identify with these players with whom they share no connection — except for the fact that they transfer some of their wealth over to the players (via the owners who, of course, keep a lion’s share of that wealth)? i understand that it has to do with innate feelings of “tribalism” — wanting to belong to and identify with a group — but, well, i guess i have a hard time comprehending the appeal of artificial groups like this.

what DOES make sense to me (as far as any sports game could) are sporting events built around real groups — groups of people that have some sort of ties to one another:

– ashbourne’s royal shrovetide football match where the game is between the town’s “up’ards” and “down’ards,” i.e. individuals actually born in the town to the north or the south of the local river.

kabaddi in india and pakistan which is — or was traditionally, anyway — played between “the young males of the rival clans or villages fighting it out in sport” [pg. 165].

– i think that buzkashi, too, was traditionally played by rival clans/tribes, but don’t quote me on that because i can’t recall where i read that. it might not be the case anymore either. (btw, see this cool article!: Buzkashi: Experiencing the World’s Deadliest Sport – h/t t.greer!)

the professionalism rot set in early in american football. according to wikipedia, one of the first american football teams — the latrobe athletic association established in 1895 — was originally played by local amateurs from latrobe, pennsylvania:

“In 1895 the local Latrobe YMCA organized a local football team and announce that the team play a formal schedule. With the decision, Russell Aukerman, an instructor at the club and a former Gettysburg College halfback, was named as a player-coach. Meanwhile, David Berry, an editor-publisher of a local newspaper, the Latrobe Clipper, was chosen as the team’s manager. Harry Ryan, a former tackle from West Virginia University, was then elected as the team’s captain. The then team began to conduct daily practices in early August. Since many of the players held jobs unrelated to football, those men working different shifts were accommodated with evening drills when they could not attend regular sessions in the afternoon. Their practices were held on a vacant Pennsylvania Railroad lot at the corner of Depot and Alexandria Streets, which was lit at night by a street light.”

two years later, the entire team was made up of professional paid football players who hailed from all over the country. *sigh*

so, what do i know? nuthin’ apparently. guess the only thing i can say is: go bears?! (~_^)

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