clans in the news: deutschland

*update below*

from gates of vienna, excerpts from a translation of this article (links and emphases added by me — there are a LOT of links in the original article, presumably mostly to german sites):

“Germany: A ‘Society of Prey’ — Kurdish-Lebanese Clans and the Helplessness of the Constitutional State

“While the federal government and the opposition in the Bundestag adamantly regard immigration as an indispensable contribution to Germany, the intensity of the conflicts between some groups of immigrants and German society is steadily increasing.

“One example of this are many social problems caused by members of Kurdish-Lebanese clans in Berlin, Bremen, and Essen, cities which according to declarations from judicial authorities are out of control….

Regarding Lebanese clans, hierarchically organized groups meet strong ethnic self-awareness and a strong family cohesion which is supported by a large number of young men ready to fight a modern society composed of small families and with liberal institutions that can hardly assert themselves when facing this challenge….”

long-term inbreeding vs. long-term outbreeding (i think). there’s more…

“… An anonymous crime investigator mentioned that this group considers Germans to be ‘a society to be looted, both as born victims and losers….'”

morality applies to the ingroup and not to the outgroup. some more…

“… The police often meet aggressive groups of men while patrolling the streets, men who are part of families in which ten children per woman is not a rarity, who are available in large numbers and can be quickly mobilized because of an unemployment rate of 90% and the culturally-conditioned tendency of men from these groups to remain in the streets all the time. The police must more and more frequently retreat and even traffic stops against members of these families can be made only with extra police presence.

According to the Commissioner for Integration of Neukölln, the male members of the Lebanese clans are generally prone to a special level of aggressiveness. The children in these families increasingly realize that no German can be in a position to set limits for them. The mere mention of their family name would be enough to force others to give them money and other goods. An admonition in the school or a mere criticism of a neighbor is seen as an attack against the collective honor of the community, to which one is ready to respond with violence. Individual members of a clan can always count on the support of many male relatives. For example, in March 2012, when the German Sven N. fatally injured a Lebanese in Neukölln in self-defense, he had to leave the district after receiving threats from the Lebanese clan. The attacker who died was, however, considered by many of his relatives as well as by Arabs and Turks in Berlin as a martyr and buried in a ceremony in which several thousand Muslims were present.

“At their main centers in Berlin and Bremen, members of these clans appear as a group strongly prone to criminal activities. According to the central police department in Bremen, 1000 out of the approximately 2,600 Lebanese in Bremen (mostly men) are registered as suspects of having committed crimes. The statistical result is that almost every male Lebanese in Bremen was at least once a potential subject of a legal proceeding. In Berlin, the crime rate among Lebanese youth in cases of aggravated robbery is about 16 times higher than among ethnic Germans. The overall incarceration rate is 14 times higher than the average of the male population in the same age. Even amongst heavy offenders, Lebanese are strongly overrepresented. The former Berlin Attorney Roman Reusch spoke of ‘proper training for professional criminal activities’ in some Lebanese clans. Police sources reported similar information. Male family members would often begin committing crimes as early as elementary school age. Imprisonment would be understood in their environment as a kind of an initiation rite.

“Hostility to Germans is extremely blatant among many members of the Lebanese clans, who according to a report from the Süddeutsche Zeitung: ‘despise everything that is not part of their culture, first and foremost the Germans.’ According to information from the media, an internal report made by the Berlin police described the situation of the Germans in places with strong Lebanese presence as follows:

“‘For German youths residing in districts that are dominated by ethnic gangs, the situation, according to the criminal police experts, has already become dramatic. Their withdrawal with defensive behavior was perceived as weakness, which meant a loss of honor — and also danger: The number of German teenagers being beat up or robbed because they were an easy target was significant in ethnically dominated conflict-ridden neighborhoods….’

“The mayor of the district of Neukölln, Heinz Buschkowsky, had in this context pointed to different cultural conditions that hinder self-assertion on the German side:

“‘The enemy is the hated Germans, they are the target of their aggression, and they have nothing to counter the flash mob which gathers in a few minutes via a circulated SMS, a group of people who immediately display a threatening attitude. Germans are considered easy prey…. We raise our children to be non-violent. We reject violence at these encounters and teach this attitude to our children. Others teach their boys to be strong, brave and ready to fight. The starting situation is simply not equal.

“Government employees are being increasingly threatened and intimidated, too, and therefore they avoid conflicts with the clans. There were also examples reported in Bremen in which the police no longer investigated complaints made by Germans in cases involving Lebanese clans. Judges and prosecutors who are involved in cases against them are under police protection due to threats from members of those Lebanese clans. The Berlin youth court Judge Kirsten Heisig said she had been threatened by a clan after she sentenced some of its members to prison. Shortly afterwards she committed suicide under circumstances that have not been fully clarified. According to the head of the department of Organized Crime in the Berlin public prosecutor’s office, it is possible for the clans to ‘clearly exercise any kind of influence on evidence’ due to their capacity to threaten. Video recordings document the disproportionate behavior of Lebanese against legal personnel, who do not dare to oppose them. A judge allowed herself to be insulted in court for nine minutes without even daring to contradict the accused person. Many Lebanese criminals receive remarkably mild punishments, and if they have to go to prison, they enjoy privileges and continue their illegal activities from behind bars, while acquittals are hailed as victories over the German state….

“Meanwhile, leftists try to mobilize Arab youngsters as allies against the police, and the liberal journalist Malte Lehming explained the problems as an expression of social progress and said of Lebanese and other youth gangs:

“‘They are young, brave, mobile, hungry, willing to take risks, initiative. The country needs such people.'”

hmmmm. maybe he’s right. finally…

“… According to the police in Bremen, well-integrated Lebanese from important clans are an ‘absolute exception.'”
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update 12/29: here are some links to msm stories which were linked to in the original german article @sezession.de. i’ve provided the links to the german msm stories and to corresponding google translations. enjoy! (several of these articles are multiple pages long, so make sure to click through to the other pages. note that not all of the links below go to the first page.):

Arabische Großfamilien – Staat kuscht vor kriminellen Clans (United Arab families – state lies down against criminal clans)

Organisierte Kriminalität – Schrecklich nette Familien (Organised crime – Terrible nice families)

KRIMINALITÄT – Blutige Selbstjustiz (CRIME – Bloody vigilantism)

Clans in Deutschland – Machtlose Polizei (Clans in Germany – Powerless police)

Bremer Clan: Mord mit Ansage (Bremer clan: murder with announcement)

Arabische Kriminelle in Deutschland – Das regeln wir unter uns (Arab criminals in Germany – We agree among us)

Deutschlandradio Kultur – Länderreport Arabische Clans (Germany Culture – Country Report: Arab clans << kinda a messed up translation. sorry!)

Angst ist ein schlechter Ratgeber – Einblicke in die Parallelgesellschaft Neuköllns (Fear is a bad advisor – Insights into a parallel society Neukölln)

Kriminelle Großfamilien – Sechs arabische Clans im Visier der Polizei (Criminal extended – Six Arab clans targeted by the police)

Kriminelle Großfamilien halten Polizei auf Trab (Criminals extended families keep police on their toes)

Die bittere Wahrheit über Multi-Kulti (The bitter truth about multiculturalism)

Niedersachsen – Verband besorgt über Gewalt in Gerichtssälen (Lower Saxony – Association concerned about violence in courtrooms)

Warum lässt sie sich das gefallen? – Miri-Schläger beschimpft Richterin 9 Minuten lang (Why she puts up with that? – Miri-Schläger insulted Judge for 9 minutes). this and the following three articles are related to the miri-clan.

Bremer Justiz: Warum kuschen Sie vor den Miris, Frau Richterin? (Bremer Justice: Why fawn at the Miri, Judge?)

Milde Strafe für diesen brutalen Miri (Mild punishment for this brutal Miri)

Polizei löst Siegesfeier des Miri-Clans auf (Police solves victory celebration at the Miri clan)
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previously: clans in the news: aleppo and clans in the news: the lebanon and clans in the news

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

consanguinity and homicide

luke says/asks:

“It is interesting to compare world maps of consanguinity and murder rates…. Incidentally, someone who is proficient in computing correlation coefficients could use the country tables in the two links above to compute an actual number.”

here at hbd chick, we take reader requests! (^_^)

so i plotted the consang.net data as compiled by woodley & bell — just to be consistent — against the intentional homicide rates as compiled by the united nations office on drugs and crime and got … *drumroll please!* …

…nuthin’. zip. zilch. nada. a correlation of -0.0758. in other words, there is noooo correlation between modern consangunity rates and known intentional homicide rates. i love non-result results! they’re some of the best. (^_^)

here’s a chart for you — x-axis=consanguinity rates, y-axis=intentional homicide rates (as bob would say: that’s a scatter plot!):

consanguinity and intentional homicide - scatter plot

and here’s a table of the data sorted by homicide rates:

consanguinity and intentional homicide

like i said, though, i think there are problems with using the modern consanguinity rates when we are (i think probably/possibly) talking about the evolution of behaviors — and steven pinker thinks that there are probably some problems with the collection of homicide rates in certain countries. still — no correlation is no correlation.

previously: consanguinity and democracy

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more on genetics and the historical decline of violence

the good professor harpending who, unlike me, actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to population genetics, took a mathematical look at my suggestion (guess!) that there might have been enough time over the medieval period for genetic changes in the population to have resulted in the historical decline of violence in nw europe that pinker described in The Better Angels (see also eisner).

prof. harpending concludes that — yeah, sure — there might’ve been enough time (from the 1300s to the modern period) to effect such a genetic change. it would’ve been a bit of a push, but it could’ve happened:

“In the present case we need a response of 1/28 of a standard deviation per generation. Assuming an additive heritability of 0.5 (the true value is probably 0.8 or so from literature on the heritability of aggressive behavior in children) the selective differential must be about 1/14 or .07 standard deviations per generation. In terms of IQ this would correspond to a one point IQ advantage of parents over the population average and in terms of stature parents with a mean stature 0.2 inches greater than the population average. This would occur if the most homicidal 1.5% of the population were to fail to reproduce each generation.”

no, i didn’t understand most of that either.

i do understand that he thinks he went conservative in his calculation (i.e. using an additive heritability [<< two links there] of just 0.5 although he thinks it's probably more like 0.8), so that might mean that his calculation should actually be even more in the hbd-ist’s favor. in any case, he concludes that natural selection against “genes for violence” (or selection for “genes for nonviolence”) could explain the historical decline of violence in nw europe “if the most homicidal 1.5% of the population were to fail to reproduce each generation.” a bit of a push, maybe, but possible. (if they really did fail to reproduce.)

he suggests:

“Justice was famously brutal and harsh in Medieval and Renaissance England so this may not be an entirely meaningless exercise. In this excellent essay Peter Frost suggests that the nearly the same selection against violence occurred in the several centuries before the fall of the Roman Empire, and he provides grisly details of Roman treatment of criminals.”

that is one route to go — have the state simply remove the bad guys out of the gene pool.

i’d like to suggest another route (and this is where i’m going to start sounding like a broken record): that they got rid of clannishness in medieval nw europe.

why should getting rid of clannishness matter? because, for whatever reasons (i think the reasons are connected to inclusive fitness), clannish people are violent. blood feuds, honor killings, general obstreperosity — clannish people are just not peaceful.

why? i think it’s ’cause clannish populations are inbreeders and inbreeding alters the possible inclusive fitness payoffs. if you’re from an inbred group, you don’t have to stick your neck out for two brothers or eight cousins to increase your inclusive fitness. if your group is inbred enough, you might only have to be altruistic (in the biological sense) to just one brother or only four cousins (’cause you share that many more genes with your inbred relatives than individuals in an outbred population would, capiche?).

in an inbred population, violent clannish behaviors — which are just the flip-side of being altruistic towards one’s relatives (i.e. be really un-altruistic towards one’s un-relatives) — would/could quickly be selected for since the inclusive fitness payoffs are greater for each altruistic act. and this is exactly what wade and breden (1981) found: inbreeding can accelerate the selection for altruism genes (see also here).

so, to get rid of violence, you could get rid of clannishness. and to get rid of clannishness, you need to get rid of inbreeding. which is exactly what happened in medieval europe starting in the early part of the period. the roman catholic church, supported by secular authorities, banned cousin and other close marriages beginning in 506 (i think that’s when the first ban on cousin marriage was laid down).

enforcement of the various cousin marriage bans, which ranged from first to sixth cousins depending on what century you’re talking about, wasn’t easy — at least not in the beginning. the church, for instance, didn’t require that a marriage ceremony take place in a church until something like 1000 or 1100, so enforcement by the church in the early middle ages was probably patchy at best. however, there were LOTS of secular laws throughout nw europe banning close marriage, including very much so in anglo-saxon england. just a couple of examples: the law of wihtred from the 690s outlawed cousin marriage — and the punishment for cousin marriage in another anglo-saxon law from sometime the 900s-1000s was slavery for the perpetrators. again, difficult to know how well these laws were enforced; but that there were plenty of such laws indicates that the authorities were keen to do something about all this close marriage.

the law of wihtred is, i think, the earliest anglo-saxon law that i’ve come across which made cousin marriage illegal (at least in the part of england where the law of wihtred applied). so the push against inbreeding in anglo-saxon england started at least as early as 690 a.d. again, it may not have been very effective at that point, but england’s outbreeding project had begun by that point.

lorraine lancaster, still considered the authority on anglo-saxon kinship, concluded that, although its importance was beginning to wane (as indicated by a shift in who would be awarded wergeld in the event of a crime against a person, that person’s kinsmen or their guild), an individual’s extended kindred remained of importance in anglo-saxon/english society well into the 1000s. that suggests to me that “clannishness” was still around in the 1000s in england. feuding was definitely still a regular event.

the situation had changed quite a bit by the 1300s when nuclear families were all the rage and englishmen no longer relied so extensively on their extended families. people were still violent in 1300s england, but of course the shift from clannishness to non-clannishness — i.e. from violence to non-violence — would’ve taken some time. evolution doesn’t happen overnight.
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the state’s monopoly on violence and outbreeding don’t have to be mutually exclusive explanations for why there may have been a genetic change in nw europeans leading to a decline in violent behaviors. the answer might be both. like jayman said

“Inbreeding, and hence clannishness, can interfere with this process, because while the State is selecting for less violent people, clan conflict presents a counteracting selective pressure for people who are more violent (and can fight feuds).”

…so in places where inbreeding has not abated or did not abate as early as in england — the arab world/middle east, china (or parts of it anyway — h/t luke!), the highlands of scotland, the auvergne — the state hasn’t managed to quell violence as easily. the combo of outbreeding + an effective state seems to be a winning one. better yet if you don’t need such a very strong state (modern nw europe) and the population is just non-violent naturally.
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this is all just a theory, of course — theory with a small “t”. but, as cochran and harpending have said (h/t kiwiguy!):

“Whereas tests of hypotheses ought to be careful and conservative, generation of hypotheses ought to be speculative and free-ranging.”

so there! (^_^)

there ought to be a way of mathematically modelling my suggestion — i.e. that the historical decline of violence in nw europe is at least partially the result of the de-selection (if you can say that) of “genes for violence” due to a reduction in inbreeding — but since i’m pretty much numerically illiterate, i won’t be the one working up those models. i would think, though, that in addition to using the breeder’s equation in the calculation, you’d also want to factor in inbreeding/outbreeding somehow.

see also: Genetics and the Historical Decline of Violence?

previously: what pinker missed and “violence around the world” and outbreeding, self-control and lethal violence

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what pinker missed

human biodiversity.

i’ve pretty much finished reading pinker’s The Better Angels — i’ll admit to you right now that i skimmed chapter 8, “Inner Demons,” so i’ll have to go back and give that a proper read — and i’ll also say right now that it’s an amazing book! definitely worth a (full and attentive!) read. and i agree with steve sailer that pinker is really, really thorough and covers everything you could imagine that might be related to violence.

except human biodiversity.

pinker is obviously no blank slater, so he knows that evolution has shaped human behavior. but, at least as far as i could see, he doesn’t give much cred — not in this book anyway — to the fact that different populations might differ in average behavioral patterns including violence — differ because of their different evolutionary histories. recent evolutionary histories. pinker seems to be hooked on the idea of human nature rather than human natures, and that’s too bad.

he does mention cochran and harpending’s ideas about human evolution accelerating since the start of the agricultural revolution (’cause there’s more people!) — and he brings up the “warrior gene” (MAO-A) and gregory clark’s work — but then he sets them aside saying [kindle locations 13807-13817]:

“So while recent biological evolution may, in theory, have tweaked our inclinations toward violence and nonviolence, we have no good evidence that it actually has. At the same time, we do have good evidence for changes that could not possibly be genetic, because they unfolded on time scales that are too rapid to be explained by natural selection, even with the new understanding of how recently it has acted. The abolition of slavery and cruel punishments during the Humanitarian Revolution; the reduction of violence against minorities, women, children, homosexuals, and animals during the Rights Revolutions; and the plummeting of war and genocide during the Long Peace and the New Peace, all unfolded over a span of decades or even years, sometimes within a single generation. A particularly dramatic decline is the near-halving of the homicide rate during the Great American Crime Decline of the 1990s. The decay rate of that decline, around 7 percent a year, is powerful enough to drag a measure of violence down to 1 percent of its original level over just two generations, all without the slightest change in gene frequencies. Since it is indisputable that cultural and social inputs can adjust the settings of our better angels (such as self-control and empathy) and thereby control our violent inclinations, we have the means to explain all the declines of violence without invoking recent biological evolution. At least for the time being, we have no need for that hypothesis.”

poppycock!

we aren’t talking about “time scales that are too rapid to be explained by natural selection.” pinker pointed out himself (referencing eisner) that the pacification of england (and a couple of other nw european countries) started as early as the 1300s — maybe even earlier — hard to know for sure ’cause the records don’t go back farther. (but, as jayman once said, the fact that we actually have records for england and these other european countries that go back as far as they do says something about those populations right there!)

the 1300s to pinker’s humanitarian revolution (basically the enlightenment) of the 1700s? that’s four hundred years right there — plenty of time for evolution to have happened (see also here for example [pdf]) — especially if the selection pressures for these more soft and squishy, as opposed to nasty and brutish, behaviors had been there. which i think were, thanks to the roman catholic church’s bizarre requirement that catholics outbreed — a practice that medieval nw europeans seem to have jumped upon with (comparatively) great enthusiasm (see “mating patterns in europe” series in left-hand column below ↓) — eventually anyway.

furthermore, while the anglo-saxons in england were still marrying their cousins in the 500-600s, to the dismay of st. augustine (the one who went to england), my guess is that their outbreeding project was probably well underway by the 800s thanks to pressure from the church and secular authorities (e.g. see first note here). definitely by 1000 to be really conservative. so the evolutionary time period we’re talking about is probably actually seven hundred, or even nine hundred, years long. p-l-e-n-t-y of time for natural selection to have worked its magic.

what were these selection pressures that resulted in nw europeans going all soft and squishy? well, because of the church’s various bans on close marriages (which were also backed by many nw european secular authorities), the degree of genetic similarity between close and extended family members in nw european populations was reduced, so inclusive fitness payoffs were similarly reduced for these populations. since there was no longer sooo much to be gained genetically by helping your second-cousin-once-removed, clans — and clannish behaviors — disappeared in england and other parts of nw europe. being successful in life — and, most importantly, reproduction — thus depended more on your alliances with neighbors and friends rather than your extended family. and it was these behavioral patterns — along with gregory clark’s bourgeois, middle class traits — that were increasingly selected for in nw medieval european populations. more and more over the period, it paid off less and less to be brutal and cruel to your unrelated neighbors — why would anybody cooperate with you if you were brutal and cruel to them? — so eventually nw medieval europeans chilled out. they became more individualistic — and universalistic in their thinking/sentiments. until — voilà! — we got the enlightenment. which DIDN’T happen anywhere else but in nw europe — where people had been outbreeding (relatively speaking) for several hundreds of years.

even if i’m wrong, which is impossible pretty likely, it remains a fact that this pacification process started in nw europe, really with the english, and not anywhere else in the world (except maybe in some pockets here and there). and THAT requires explaining — which i don’t think that any of pinker’s social, cultural or rational explanations do. why england? why nw europe? what was so different there?

previously: “violence around the world”

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“violence around the world”

from steven pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, chapter 3: The Civilizing Process (links and emphases added by me):

“VIOLENCE AROUND THE WORLD

“The Civilizing Process spread not only downward along the socioeconomic scale but outward across the geographic scale, from a Western European epicenter. We saw in figure 3–3 that England was the first to pacify itself, followed closely by Germany and the Low Countries. Figure 3–8 plots this outward ripple on maps of Europe in the late 19th and early 21st centuries. [click on image for LARGER view. – h.chick]:

FIGURE 3–8. Geography of homicide in Europe, late 19th and early 21st centuries.

In the late 1800s, Europe had a peaceable bull’s-eye in the northern industrialized countries (Great Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, and the Low Countries), bordered by slightly stroppier Ireland, Austria-Hungary, and Finland, surrounded in turn by still more violent Spain, Italy, Greece, and the Slavic countries. Today the peaceable center has swelled to encompass all of Western and Central Europe, but a gradient of lawlessness extending to Eastern Europe and the mountainous Balkans is still visible. There are gradients within each of these countries as well: the hinterlands and mountains remained violent long after the urbanized and densely farmed centers had calmed down. Clan warfare was endemic to the Scottish highlands until the 18th century, and to Sardinia, Sicily, Montenegro, and other parts of the Balkans until the 20th. It’s no coincidence that the two blood-soaked classics with which I began this book — the Hebrew Bible and the Homeric poems — came from peoples that lived in rugged hills and valleys.”
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this is the same pattern we’ve seen several times now: an epicenter of england (+ poss. the netherlands) with some feature originating and spreading out from there (or thereabouts) to eventually encompass most of “core” nw europe — england, france, belgium, the netherlands, northern italy, germany, denmark and maybe sweden/norway — but missing out the periphery of europe — highland scotland, ireland, parts of southern france, spain and portugal (especially to the south), southern italy, the balkans including greece, and eastern europe.

we see this pattern in the history and spread of manorialism in medieval europe (the epicenter is actually more northern france/belgium in this case); we see it in the hajnal line; we see the pattern in the varying levels of civicness in different european populations; pinker’s seen it in the dropping levels of violence in europe over the course of history (see also this post); and, of course, it seems to be the general pattern of the history of outbreeding in europe, i.e. more/longer in the epicenter, and less and less the further away you get from it. as ya’ll know, i think that last one is important.

here’s more from pinker from earlier in the same chapter:

“In 1981 the political scientist Ted Robert Gurr, using old court and county records, calculated thirty estimates of homicide rates at various times in English history, combined them with modern records from London, and plotted them on a graph. I’ve reproduced it in figure 3–1, using a logarithmic scale in which the same vertical distance separates 1 from 10, 10 from 100, and 100 from 1000. The rate is calculated in the same way as in the preceding chapter, namely the number of killings per 100,000 people per year. The log scale is necessary because the homicide rate declined so precipitously. The graph shows that from the 13th century to the 20th, homicide in various parts of England plummeted by a factor of ten, fifty, and in some cases a hundred—for example, from 110 homicides per 100,000 people per year in 14th-century Oxford to less than 1 homicide per 100,000 in mid-20th-century London.

“FIGURE 3–1. Homicide rates in England, 1200–2000: Gurr’s 1981 estimates.

“The graph stunned almost everyone who saw it (including me—as I mentioned in the preface, it was the seed that grew into this book). The discovery confounds every stereotype about the idyllic past and the degenerate present. When I surveyed perceptions of violence in an Internet questionnaire, people guessed that 20th-century England was about 14 percent more violent than 14th-century England. In fact it was 95 percent less violent….

“Were the English unusual among Europeans in gradually refraining from murder? Eisner looked at other Western European countries for which criminologists had compiled homicide data. Figure 3–3 shows that the results were similar. Scandinavians needed a couple of additional centuries before they thought the better of killing each other, and Italians didn’t get serious about it until the 19th century. But by the 20th century the annual homicide rate of every Western European country had fallen into a narrow band centered on 1 per 100,000….

FIGURE 3–3. Homicide rates in five Western European regions, 1300–2000.”

of course the scandinavians needed a couple of extra centuries to become not-so-violent — they were a couple of centuries behind the rest of nw europe in converting to christianity and, therefore, in starting their outbreeding project. but once they did, they took the cousin marriage regulations to heart — the swedes, at least, continued to ban first cousin marriage even after the protestant reformation. and the italians — well, they just never took the church’s precepts seriously, especially in the south.

huh. i just noticed that there was an increase in homicides in nw europe in the nineteenth century — see those bumps there on the last chart? apparently, there was also an increase in cousin marriage rates in many countries in europe in the nineteenth century (see second half of this post). hmmmm….

previously: outbreeding, self-control and lethal violence

(note: comments do not require an email. better angels << you'll like this one! (~_^) )

random notes: 11/02/12

some eskimo groups engaged in blood feuds. ruh-roh. from Eskimos and Explorers about the mackenzie eskimos (mackenzie inuit) [pg. 195]:

“Murders committed in anger were relatively common, and blood revenge led to further retalitory murders and family feuds. In one instance a woman’s rejected suitor killed her as she slept. In another a man who refused to sell his belt was stabbed in the back and killed by a person who hoped to buy the belt.

“A feud that erupted about 1860, soon after intensive historic contact, was recorded by Nuligak, a Mackenzie Eskimo. One man hoped to marry the daughter of another, but the father of the girl refused to permit the match. The rejected suitor took a valuable steel-bladed knife from one of the father’s younger sons, and the father was furious. At the first opportunity he killed not only the thief but one of his companions. As the feud spread, a cousin of the original murderer allied himself with the thief’s relatives, and more people were killed. Finally the father of the girl and the betraying cousin killed each other, but the feud continued on. As Nuligak wrote, ‘In the olden days the Inuit slew those who killed their kinsmen. One vengeance followed another like links in a chain.’

“Terrible feuds have been reported among most Eskimos, and they often spanned a number of generations….”

dunno about the mackenzie inuit, but the yupik eskimos (are mackenzie eskimos yupik eskimos? i didn’t figure that out…) have one of the highest incidence rates of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) — and carriers of CAH alleles can show “symptoms of androgen excess” — like being more aggressive, perhaps? dunno. melykin pointed out that there are high rates of violent crime in areas of canada populated by eskimos.
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from ed west in the telegraph u.k.:

“The EU was dreamed up in French and German. That’s why the British have never fitted in”

“The European project developed in the region between Paris, Brussels and the Rhineland, the heartland of the old Frankish Empire….”

isn’t THAT curious?! the modern european feudal project (for what else is the e.u. apart from feudal with a bunch of local [i.e. national] politicians playing vassals to the eurocrats?) had its origins pretty much right where medieval feudalism got going — austrasia. what is it about those people in that region?
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more on extended family human traffickers (can’t we just call them slavers?) from the balkans:

“Police bust Balkan child trafficking ring in Nancy”

“French police have arrested seven people for running an international child trafficking ring in Nancy, north east France.

“The ring is thought to have bought children from Macedonia or Kosovo for €1000 to €1500 and then sold them on to Belgium and Germany for €10,000.

Seven members of a family originally from the Balkans were arrested on Tuesday after a month of police investigation.

“According to local paper Est Républicain, several other members of the family had also been arrested in Germany in relation to the ring.

“Police took in two girls, both about 12-years-old, for questioning. They say they do not believe the girls were subjected to sexual abuse or used as slaves, but traded in line with ‘local customs’ in the traffickers’ home countries.”

in line with WHAT “local customs”?!
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corruption in china — it’s a family affair. from the nyt:

“Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader”

“[N]ow 90, the prime minister’s mother, Yang Zhiyun, not only left poverty behind, she became outright rich, at least on paper, according to corporate and regulatory records. Just one investment in her name, in a large Chinese financial services company, had a value of $120 million five years ago, the records show.

“The details of how Ms. Yang, a widow, accumulated such wealth are not known, or even if she was aware of the holdings in her name. But it happened after her son was elevated to China’s ruling elite, first in 1998 as vice prime minister and then five years later as prime minister.

“Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, an investigation by The New York Times shows. A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the prime minister’s relatives — some of whom, including his wife, have a knack for aggressive deal making — have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion….

“Unlike most new businesses in China, the family’s ventures sometimes received financial backing from state-owned companies, including China Mobile, one of the country’s biggest phone operators, the documents show. At other times, the ventures won support from some of Asia’s richest tycoons. The Times found that Mr. Wen’s relatives accumulated shares in banks, jewelers, tourist resorts, telecommunications companies and infrastructure projects, sometimes by using offshore entities.

“The holdings include a villa development project in Beijing; a tire factory in northern China; a company that helped build some of Beijing’s Olympic stadiums, including the well-known ‘Bird’s Nest’; and Ping An Insurance, one of the world’s biggest financial services companies.

“As prime minister in an economy that remains heavily state-driven, Mr. Wen, who is best known for his simple ways and common touch, more importantly has broad authority over the major industries where his relatives have made their fortunes. Chinese companies cannot list their shares on a stock exchange without approval from agencies overseen by Mr. Wen, for example. He also has the power to influence investments in strategic sectors like energy and telecommunications.

“Because the Chinese government rarely makes its deliberations public, it is not known what role — if any — Mr. Wen, who is 70, has played in most policy or regulatory decisions. But in some cases, his relatives have sought to profit from opportunities made possible by those decisions.

“The prime minister’s younger brother, for example, has a company that was awarded more than $30 million in government contracts and subsidies to handle wastewater treatment and medical waste disposal for some of China’s biggest cities, according to estimates based on government records. The contracts were announced after Mr. Wen ordered tougher regulations on medical waste disposal in 2003 after the SARS outbreak.

“In 2004, after the State Council, a government body Mr. Wen presides over, exempted Ping An Insurance and other companies from rules that limited their scope, Ping An went on to raise $1.8 billion in an initial public offering of stock. Partnerships controlled by Mr. Wen’s relatives — along with their friends and colleagues — made a fortune by investing in the company before the public offering….”

tptb in china NOT amused by nyt story.

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violent DEMOCRATS swayed more by extreme political rhetoric…

…than violent republicans, that is. at least according to one study.

the set-up from boing boing:

“Nathan Kalmoe, a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Michigan … ran an online survey, involving a diverse group of 412 adults from all across the United States. The survey respondents read two political ads—one that used neutral words like ‘work for’, and the other that used metaphorically violent works, like ‘fight’. Then they responded to statements about what was and wasn’t acceptable behavior. Things like, ‘Some of the problems citizens have with government could be fixed with a few well-aimed bullets.'”

and the results from josh rosenau’s blog:

“‘[E]ven mild violent language increases support for political violence among citizens with aggressive predispositions, especially among young adults.’

“This effect is not uniform. Most people reject any attempt to justify political violence, and for most people, seeing a violent political ad doesn’t change that. But Sides explains:

‘Seeing violence political ads DID have an effect among those with a predisposition to aggression, as measured with a standard psychological battery. Among those with the greatest predisposition to aggression, being exposed to a violent political ad increased their support for political violence by about 20 points on a 100-point scale. Among those with the least predisposition to aggression, being exposed to a violent ad actually decreased their support for violence.

‘This conditional relationship — between seeing violent ad and a predisposition to aggression — appears stronger among those under the age of 40 (vs. those older), men (vs. women), and Democrats (vs. Republicans).'”

so, watch what you say to young, aggressive, male LEFTISTS.

the original research here.

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