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December 5, 2012 / JayMan

HBD Chick Vindicated?

Corruption

(Courtesy Geoffery Miller)

This is the perceived level of corruption, by nation, across the globe. The darker the country, the more corrupt it is perceived to be by its inhabitants. One cannot escape how the Northwestern European countries and countries founded by them stand out on this map. This was compiled by Transparency International, see their website by clicking on the map. Also there see a table of each country’s ranking and the clickable version of this map. This is stated on their website:

The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 – 100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean. A country’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories included in the index. This year’s index includes 176 countries and territories.

It’s nice to see all that HBD Chick has been discussing for the past two years in graphical form.

Previously: An HBD Summary of the Foundations of Modern Civilization.

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16 Comments

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  1. Staffan / Dec 6 2012 3:41 PM

    This is going to sound a bit racist but it’s clear that the people that are least corrupt are the artists formerly known as Aryans, along with the Japanese. At first I thought the pattern would match that of IQ but it’s interesting to see how India and China are similar in corruption when the Chinese are much more intelligent than the Indians. Perhaps a genetic component? Another thing may be geographical isolation, not that it is unrelated to genetics.

  2. Staffan / Dec 6 2012 5:32 PM

    All I got from the link was, “the shift from tribes to not-tribes via the changing mating patterns which prolly impacted altruism genes amongst other behavioral traits”.

    If you break up the tribal system by outlawing marriage between first cousins, it seems like you get an environment that promotes people who are less tribal, but not necessarily more altruistic. It may be that altruism only makes sense within a small group and that this trait becomes maladaptive. After all, being nice to people you are close to increases the chances that they will reciprocate, but being nice to strangers minimizes this chance. But if you have altruism and manage to root out tribalism, then you have created something that isn’t quite viable. Of course, that may be the current situation – the West being flooded by people who are exploiting this altruism which they have no intention of reciprocating.

    • JayMan / Dec 6 2012 5:46 PM

      But if you have altruism and manage to root out tribalism, then you have created something that isn’t quite viable. Of course, that may be the current situation – the West being flooded by people who are exploiting this altruism which they have no intention of reciprocating.

      Precisely. Back then, the altruistic individual and the reciprocating partner were both under selection for genes for reciprocal altruism because he often depended on you as much as you did on him. Without a clan network to fall back on, people increasing found themselves sinking or swimming depending on their ability to cooperate with other people, and increasingly these people were non-relatives (or, not necessarily close relatives; outbreeding causes all the people in a country to become related to one another, on some level). Since these were places were, overall, mono-ethnic (or became mono-ethnic as all the invaders interbred to become one people, as in all the ex-Western Roman provinces), everyone was subjected to this selective pressure.

    • redzengenoist / Dec 7 2012 1:57 AM

      One other thing is, NWE’s used to ostracize those who played selfishly. This is a powerful theme throughout stories from European history. Punish the cheater.

      That doesn’t happen anymore. Now, when others play selfishly, NWE’s punish themselves for not being inclusive enough.

    • JayMan / Dec 7 2012 11:52 AM

      Indeed. Perhaps as the number of cheaters dipped below a certain critical threshold, selection for genes for detecting and punishing cheaters began to relax, since they were no longer as needed.

    • redzengenoist / Dec 7 2012 2:20 PM

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8605-brain-scans-reveal-mens-pleasure-in-revenge.html

      I keep thinking about this study, and I really, really want to facilitate a GWAS on quantifiable pleasure at punishing cheaters. Just the pleasure. People will often go to great lengths and expense to punish cheating, going well beyond the point of rational self-interest, and I’m convinced that this is somewhat distinct from (also pleasurable) vengeance/retaliation behavior.

      Besides the high correlation with extreme maleness of neurological phenotype, I strongly suspect that it’s differently wired in clannish vs outbred frameworks (clannishness implies protecting cheaters if they’re from the right clan) and that Libertarians – those supposedly most anti-authoritarian of people! – take quantifiably more pleasure in the punishment of cheaters than others.

    • JayMan / Dec 9 2012 11:23 AM

      Yes! You made me think of this article (it took me a long time to find it!). While, in general, a society full of reasonable people is a good thing, if there aren’t a certain minority of vindictive jerks (who punish cheaters and transgressors), they are in trouble:

      Reasonable people don’t harm common interests. “I’m not willing to let working families across this country become collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington,” Obama said this week as he gave up a campaign promise not to extend tax cuts for the wealthy, in exchange for extended unemployment benefits.

      Obama represents a widespread pattern among liberals. Talk-radio experiments featuring left-wing ranters fail, even as there is insatiable appetite for right-wing fulmination. Given a choice between compromise and absolutism, reasonable people seek the middle ground. This is why many commentators see the Democratic Party as the party of compromise.

      This is a grown-up attitude. If your neighbors blast loud music at 2 a.m., it may feel right—but isn’t reasonable—to aim giant speakers at their house and blast them out of bed at 4 a.m.

      When scientists study different societies, groups with a higher percentage of reasonable people come out ahead of groups that have fewer reasonable people. But here’s the curious thing: Really successful societies always include people who sometimes act in angry, vindictive, and spiteful ways.

      These people are not aberrations or cautionary signposts. They are essential. Get rid of them, and the group will function less well.

      Take a common traffic scenario. Police cordon off a lane for road construction. They post signs a mile ahead of the roadblock telling drivers to merge into the remaining lane. The reasonable thing is to merge as quickly as possible. But this creates free passage in the blocked lane, and selfish drivers take advantage of the situation. They zip ahead of everyone else using the blocked lane. This makes the jam worse for everyone, because the sneaky cars merge close to the roadblock.

      In a world of reasonable people, everyone would ignore the free riders. But in a world where some people are prone to vindictive anger, a driver might aggressively take matters into his own hands. He could move his car partly into the blocked lane in order to prevent others from racing ahead. He does this because he cannot stand to have others take advantage of him. The driver who acts in this way can be the recipient of violent road rage. He receives no thanks from anyone. But by deterring freeloaders, he can make the jam less onerous for everyone.

      Modern liberal NW Euro-derived societies are in this position, and are poorly able to defend against the “free riders” and outright abusers presented by foreign immigrants who aren’t so inclined.

    • redzengenoist / Dec 9 2012 12:43 PM

      Hah, clever analysis. Hard to falsify, but it’s reasonable.

      My fundamental suspicion is that no change in genetics have taken place from the freeloader punishing societies of yore, and that vindictiveness is very sensitive to what a young man is told is the manly thing to do. Culture and propaganda, in other words. In South China, acting out is seen as immature. In North China, vindictiveness is masculine. No one is more aggressively vindictive than a liberal who believes he’s crushing vs an evil racist, while I suspect that the same liberal would be reluctant to punish a jerk in traffic.

  3. Chris / Dec 9 2012 5:43 AM

    There is no genetic explanation here. All countries have gone through periods of horrendous corruption. I don’t know for sure why some nations seem intractably corrupt, there are likely multitudes of reasons. But placing the blame on someone’s chromosomes is taking the lazy way out, IMO. Corruption is likely due to cultural and economic conditions. As countries develop their economies and there’s a more even distribution of wealth, there is less incentive to try and beat the system. For example, giving police and judges adequate pay makes them less likely to be tempted by bribes. In a country like Russia, police officers are paid miserably, whereas in the U.S., it’s a middle class salary job. Thus you have people working hard, risking their lives every day and still in poverty. It’s no surprise that they turn to bribes to supplement their income. If there’s any pattern you see it’s that affluence and transparency/justice are strongly correlated. Scandinavia is the least corrupt region in the world, and not incidentally it’s the region with the most even distribution of wealth on the planet according to the Gini coefficient.

    • JayMan / Dec 9 2012 9:01 AM

      There is no genetic explanation here.

      Really? And, yet what you post contradicts you.

      I don’t know for sure why some nations seem intractably corrupt

      WHY?

      But placing the blame on someone’s chromosomes is taking the lazy way out, IMO

      Because there’s so many better explanations, right? You even apparently don’t seem to think so: (“I don’t know for sure why some nations seem intractably corrupt”).

      As countries develop their economies and there’s a more even distribution of wealth

      And just WHY does that happen (particularly to some countries but not others)?

      Scandinavia is the least corrupt region in the world, and not incidentally it’s the region with the most even distribution of wealth on the planet according to the Gini coefficient.

      Again, WHY is that so?

      We’re trying to get at the truth here. In so doing, we will inevitably run into thinks that contradict our preconceived notions and worldview. We can’t let those stand in the way, however. The goal is to find the correct, not the one that appeals to you.

    • redzengenoist / Dec 9 2012 9:58 AM

      You have the direction of causation backwards.

      Try to find a study or indicator saying that poorly paid scandinavians resort comparatively more to bribes and corruption.

  4. Chris / Dec 10 2012 9:42 PM

    Jayman, I take it you’ve exhausted any other explanation other than genes?? I seriously doubt you have. I know this is an HBD blog, thus you are more apt to leap to any conclusions that would validate that perspective. Are you not aware that corruption was once rife in the USA? Look at the that went on during the Guilded era. You think there was some genetic mutation between then and now that’s responsible for the decline of corruption? Of course not. There are socioeconomic/cultural factors at work. What do the Western European nations(and I’ll include other Anglosphere countries outside of Europe) have in common? They are progressive cultures. I don’t mean progressive in the political(left-leaning) sense of the world. I mean it in the sense of forward-looking. Progressive cultures are always looking for ways to improve upon themselves and create a more equitable society. They have the strongest history of democracy. Corruption has fewer opportunities to fester in such environments. These are *cultural* traits that came from cultural and social development, not genetic traits. IQs in Russia are comparable to scores in England, but the difference in corruption is vast, as is the difference in distribution of wealth, democracy and transparency. Russian culture also is very machismo relative to the West, where they are used to living under the reign of the strong-man with an iron fist. Now that I said that it reminds me of something else I think may explain the difference. I think nations lie on a continuum of masculine-feminine values. Nations with feminine values are preoccupied with compassion, political correctness, feminism, anti-patriarchy, egalitarianism. The most culturally feminized part of the planet is Scandinavia where there is simply no culture of strong masculinity. It’s driven by feminist values bordering on androgyny. Men in Scandinavia are completely emasculated. This is somewhat true throughout the West but the apex is Scandinavia. Russia on the other hand, there is no feminism, there are strong roles of men and women and they respect the strong man. The more I think about it, you could almost perfectly plot where a country falls on the corruption perception index by where it falls on the masculine-feminine continuum. Countries where there is a strong culture of machismo, where male values dominate and there are strong roles between the sexes tend to be the most corrupt. You will see this the least in Anglo-Germanic-Nordic countries, and it becomes increasingly more masculine as you head east and south.

    • JayMan / Dec 10 2012 10:13 PM

      Jayman, I take it you’ve exhausted any other explanation other than genes??

      Have you not heard of Occam’s Razor? One seeks the explanation with the fewest terms, not the other way around (though that’s not how social science is currently practiced).

      Are you not aware that corruption was once rife in the USA? Look at the that went on during the Guilded era.

      Very much so. Just why was that?

      You think there was some genetic mutation between then and now that’s responsible for the decline of corruption?

      Corruption in the U.S. has hardly gone away. Even still, one rather significant genetic change has taken place, and that is that White Americans have began mixing. That is, they are on their way to becoming one people.

      What do the Western European nations(and I’ll include other Anglosphere countries outside of Europe) have in common?

      Yes, just what do they have in common?

      They are progressive cultures. I don’t mean progressive in the political(left-leaning) sense of the world. I mean it in the sense of forward-looking. Progressive cultures are always looking for ways to improve upon themselves and create a more equitable society. They have the strongest history of democracy.

      And how did they get that way?

      These are *cultural* traits that came from cultural and social development, not genetic traits.

      First, where does culture come from? You are merely declaring, dogmatically, and baselessly, that such things cannot be genetic, when the evidence clearly disagrees with you.

      I think nations lie on a continuum of masculine-feminine values. Nations with feminine values are preoccupied with compassion, political correctness, feminism, anti-patriarchy, egalitarianism. The most culturally feminized part of the planet is Scandinavia where there is simply no culture of strong masculinity.

      Even if this is so, which I’m not convinced that it is, HOW would they get this way?

  5. Luke / Dec 12 2012 11:53 PM

    Off topic sort of but I just ran into this article on the feasibility of intergalactic travel: http://www.wired.com/science/space/news/2008/08/space_limits?currentPage=all

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