ancient chinese hbd thinking

from wu qi, the fourth century b.c. chinese version of jared taylor (~_^) [pg. 12 – links added by me]:

Qin‘s nature is strong. Its terrain is difficult. Its government is severe. Its rewards and punishments are reliable. Its people do not yield; they are all belligerent. Therefore they scatter and fight as individuals. As the way to attack them, one must first entice them with profit and lead them away. Their officers are greedy for gain and will separate from their generals. Take advantage of their separation to attack them when scattered, set traps and seize the key moment, then their generals can be captured.

Chu‘s nature is weak. Its terrain is broad. Its government is disorderly. Its people are weary. Therefore when placed in formations they cannot maintain them long. As the way to attack them, strike and cause disorder in their camp. First ruin their morale by nimbly advancing and then rapidly withdrawing. Cause them fatigue and toil. Do not join in actual combat, and their army can be destroyed.”

apparently, wu characterized all of the nine cultural regions of china at the time like this, but i haven’t found them yet (to be honest, i haven’t looked that hard).

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the problem with china

i remember reading a long time ago about how, when bangkok’s elevated train system was built (don’t recall if it was the failed berts or the skytrain or what), everything from the pillars to the platforms was made over dimensioned, because everyone, all the city planners and the engineers, knew — they all knew — that there would be cheating involved at every stage of the construction process — watered down concrete would undoubtedly be used, reused steel reinforcements would take the place the new ones that should’ve been installed, etc., etc. everything had to be over dimensioned to ensure that the whole thing wouldn’t just fall over. (costly, no?)

china has the same fundamental problem — what m.g. has referred to a disregard for the commonweal. the chinese (and other asians, with the apparent exception of the japanese) simply care less about unrelated members of their society than northwest europeans do. and this goes way back — from greif and tabellini [pgs. 18-20]:

“Charity in pre-modern China was generally given to kin. The innovator of the clan trust, Fan Chung-yen (989-1052), “had ruled that the lineage should aid only relatives with lineage ties that were clearly documented in the genealogy” (Smith, 1987, p. 316). Only in the early 17th century non-Buddhist, impersonal charity permanent organizations were established on some scale. Although the Chinese authorities encouraged impersonal charity, moral philosophers decried it viewing the diversion of assistance way from kin immoral. A popular 17th century morality book “tells of a generous scholar who was derided by a member of his lineage for lightly giving money away to strangers ”(ibid)….

“The lack of self-governed cities in China was not simply due to a more powerful state, but also to a pervasive kinship structure that facilitated state control over cities. Indeed, immigrants to cities remained affiliated with their rural kinship groups. As late as the 17th century, in a relatively new city “the majority of a city’’s population consisted of so-called sojourners, people who had come from elsewhere and were considered (and thought of themselves as) only temporary residents …. suspicions were always rife that sojourners could not be trusted ”(Friedmann, 2007, p. 274). As noted above, families that moved to cities retained ‘their allegiance to the ancestral hall for many generations, the bonds of kinship being much closer than those of common residence’ (Hsien-Chin, 1948, p. 10).”

allegiance in china, for a very long time, has been to the clan, not the broader community.

china’s being touted nowadays as the “IT” country of the twenty-first century (third millennium?). maybe. certainly the chinese seem to have the requisite number of iq points — and intelligence is, of course, essential in succeeding in this world. you definitely don’t get very far without it.

but — and if anyone ever takes anything away from this blog, i’d like it to be this — there’s more to human biodiversity than iq.

think, for example, about the probable differences in the life histories of your average person with an iq of, say, 135, and a psychopath with an iq of 135. or a neurotypical with an iq of 135 vs. an aspie with 135. different, right? (no, i’m not saying that the chinese are a bunch of psychopaths — i’m just trying to illustrate that iq is not everything.)

the chinese are not trusting — read greif and tabellini — nor particularly trustworthy (they don’t trust each other!). not when it comes to non-family members anyway.

it’s mighty difficult to build a civil society — or, i think, a successful market economy — without trust — without concern for the commonweal. i don’t see the chinese doing it anytime soon — not without a little evolution first.

china might turn out to (continue to) be a smashing economic success story — if it does, it’s going to look very different from what happened in europe/the u.s. the system won’t be built on trust in strangers — maybe in families/clans, but not strangers — so it won’t be built on corporate entities, not public ones anyway (see greif and tabellini, pg. 24). something to keep in mind if you’re gonna do some, what half sigma has dubbed, hbd investing in china.

(note that none of this is meant to be a criticism of the chinese, nor should it be taken as such. they’re merely hbd observations. we westerners might not particularly like how the chinese operate, but in terms of numbers, they are clearly in the lead right now in the Game of Life. their system may prove to be the superior one — although it didn’t get them to the moon first. or mars.)

previously: the return of chinese clans and the return of the return of chinese clans

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consanguinity and entitlement

the following prolly doesn’t mean much ’cause, for one thing, the sample size is prolly too small (26 countries) — just think of it as me goofin’ around. (^_^)

however, for your mid-week pleasure, here is the 0.49 correlation (such as is it — see short but sweet intro above) between consanguinity (means taken from hoben, et. al.) and percentage of those who think democratic governments definitely ought to tax the rich to subsidize the poor (% responding “10”):

and here’s a nice picture. x-axis=mean consanguinity rates. y-axis=percent responding *10* to this question. (click on chart for LARGER view.)

previously: a sense of entitlement and a sense of entitlement ii

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guanxi, clans and employment in china

**update: see addional material added below.**

below are a couple of tables from Rural China: Economic And Social Change In The Late Twentieth Century (see previous post) that i thought were awfully interesting. recall that the authors of Rural China conducted surveys in seven townships (zhen) in china over the course of ten years. here they asked workers what sort of relationship they had to the management of wherever they happened to work (click on image for LARGER, not-so-fuzzy view):

“good relationship in general” = guanxi, according to the authors. that’s a lotta workers (57.6%) being hired in part/fully because they’ve got some guanxi with the management!

also note the high numbers of kin/fellow clan members (15.2%) being hired by kin/fellow clan members. that’s either a lot of family businesses and/or just the hiring of a lot of family members (and/or something else i haven’t thought of?).

zongshizhuang, jinji and xinzhou have the highest rates of kin/clan hirings: 24.8%, 22.5% and 24.8% respectively. pingle also has a pretty high rate at 16.2%.

it’s perhaps not so surprising that jinji has such high rates since ningxia province (in which jinji is located) is the home of the hui people (see below) who are muslim and who have moderately high (2.9-11.2%) consanguinieous marriage rates [see pg. 3 here – opens pdf] — not to mention the fact that presumably they marry endogamously (i.e. within the hui population) in general and have done for quite some time.

thirty-seven percent (37%) of guizhou (where xinzhou is located) consists of small groups such as hill-tribes and the like. some of these groups also have high consanguineous marriage rates — and are also obviously very endogamous — such as the yizu with a consang rate of between 12.7-14.6% [pg. 3 – opens pdf].

pingle is in western sichuan, where there are perhaps greater numbers of tibetans and other minority groups. i’m not 100% sure about that. nor do i have any idea what the traditional mating patterns of tibetans are like.

zongshizhuang, in hebei province, is less understanable, though, since most of the population is han chinese. you’d think zongshizhuang would have kin/clan hiring rates similar to the other han chinese regions of china in the survey (dongting and yuquan for example) unless the three percent of manchurians living there makes a difference, but that’s hard to see why.

interestingly, the locales with the lowest kin/clan hirings — dongting, yuquan and xiangyang — have the highest guanxi hirings: 68.3%, 78.4% and 71.8% respectively.

here are the locations of each of the zhen surveyed:

– dongting: southern jiangsu province.
– zongshizhuang: hebei province.
– jinji: ningxia province (where the muslim hui people live).
– pingle: western sichuan province.
– xinzhou: guizhou province.
– yuquan: heilongjiang province (manchu territory).
– xiangyang: eastern sichuan province.

**update: here’s a quote from Rural China that i wanted to include in this post, but i couldn’t get access to it on google books earlier (passing the witching hour seems to have helped for some reason! (~_^) ). it’s the couple of paragraphs that go along with the two charts above [pgs. 250-251]:

“Only 5 percent of respondents to this question argued that they had no particular relationship to the management; 54.7 percent had guanxi in some other way or other; almost one-third were related to individuals in the management, were on friendly terms with them, or came from the same geographical area. In better-developed regions the percertage of those without personal relationships with the management was much higher than in other places. Obviously, better economic development seems to reduce the importance of guanxi structures as far as employment is concerned, which is why in Dongting, Yuquan, and Xiangyang relatives were of less importance than in other locations (see Table 9.11).

“In Zongshizhuang (66.6 percent), Pingle (41.8 percent), and Jinji (40.0 percent) employment was realized by means of relations, friendship, and geographical origin. Correlations have shown that the percentage of those with guanxi to the management increased with employee age: 6.1 percent of the individuals below twenty-five years were without such relationships, but 1.3 percent of the individuals over forty-five enjoyed thm. The same applied to the realtionships of friendship and locality. As far as the educational level was concerned, the group of university graduates was remarkable: 11.1 percent had no relationship to the management. That is easily explained. Rural enterprises urgently need specialists and are willing to employ them without relationships.”

previously: the return of chinese clans and china today…

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