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January 16, 2017 / JayMan

Clannishness – The Series: A Finer-Grained Look at How It Happened

(This is also published at The Unz Review)

In my earlier entry (Clannishness – The Series: How It Happened), we saw that the thing that made the difference between WEIRD Northwestern Europeans and their more clannish neighbors was the selective pressures that each underwent during their histories – particularly since the fall of Rome until the present. This era in time established the conditions in which different sort of individuals survived and reproduced, eventually leading to the modern world as we know it.

As before, it is to be understood that these differences have a genetic basis. That is, they are heritable. This means that genetic differences between different peoples lead to differences in their behavioral traits, which, collectively, manifests as cultural differences. We should be clear that all human behavioral traits are heritable, with “nurture” (as it’s commonly thought of) playing a minimal to nonexistent role in each. As John Derbyshire put it, “if dimensions of the individual human personality are heritable, then society is just a vector sum of a lot of individual personalities.”. See my Behavioral Genetics Page for more. The rest of this entry proceeds assuming an understanding of this reality.

To recap, in Northwestern Europe it was bipartite manorialism that selected for a certain type of people not seen elsewhere in the world.





In Eastern and Southern Europe, and much everywhere else in the world, it the selective factor was the various forms of “vicious” societies, where heavy dependence on relatives for social life selected for individuals who were “particularist” (as opposed to universalist NW Euros) and distrustful of outsiders. As HBD Chick put it:

part of william hamilton‘s theory of inclusive fitness/kin selection, which explains how altruism ever could’ve arisen at all (altruism here having a very specific definition), is that it should be possible for genes for altruism to be selected for if close kin interact regularly. kin don’t need to recognize one another for altruism to be selected for. as long as closely related individuals don’t move far from one another — that is, if a population is viscous — selection for altruism might happen.

i can’t see why this couldn’t also apply to lesser forms of altruism, not just the kind where you sacrifice your life for two brothers or eight cousins. you know what i mean. like: reciprocal altruism or nepotistic altruism. or just pro-social behaviors. whatever you want to call them. seems to me that nepotistic behaviors ought to be selected for more easily in viscous populations (if they increase fitness, of course).

and some populations are more viscous than others

But beyond this, there are great differences between different NW European countries, along with great differences between different clannish societies. Why is this? No doubt, part of the answer is the precise selective pressures each experienced. Let us try to take a look at what those may have been.

This entry will also be a sequel to my earlier post, More on Farming and Inheritance Systems – Part I: IQ – consider this Part II to that post. There I discussed the IQ differences across Europe, and how they could have arose. I will return to that topic and expand on it a bit here.

The differences among peoples of Europe proceeds on a sort of gradient, which is visible when you look at the World Values Survey data:

Indeed, as HBD Chick’s modifications (from the one where i draw squiggly lines all over the welzel-inglehart cultural map | hbd chick) make it clear:

The left image are the countries within the Hajnal line, while the right are countries that have practiced father’s brother’s daughter marriage.

Across these regions, many social indices proceed along this broad gradient. WEIRDness peaks in the areas bordering the North Sea (England, the Netherlands, northern France, southern Scandinavia) and diminishes in all directions from there. This area is also the area of peak human accomplishment (see Clannishness – The Series: Zigzag Lightning in the Brain and “core europe” and human accomplish-ment | hbd chick), which likewise roughly diminishes in all directions from there.

WVS axes

Why is this? I’d argue that two main selective factors are involved, at least with respect to HBD Chick’s theory. (I will also discuss two other important selective pressures not directly related to HBD Chick’s theory below).

One was simply the length of time under the manorial system. The longer a selective pressure is (consistently) applied, the stronger the evolutionary change that occurs. The manor first appeared in Austrasia (roughly northern France) and spread outward from there.

The second factor is the farming and inheritance systems that arose – in part due to geography and climate, in part due to the characteristics of the people who adopted them:


We see that the farming and inheritance systems form roughly concentric rings outward from the North Sea. One could imagine that the social systems of each became steadily more “viscous” as you moved away from the North Sea.

Indeed, by the time you reach Eastern Europe, you find that there was a period of actual communal living. In Russia, farming peasants (the bulk of the population) lived in communes, the Obshchina, an arrangement that persisted into the 20th century. Wikipedia has this to say about these (emphasis added):

The organization of the peasant mode of production is the primary cause for the type of social structure found in the Obshchina. The relationship between the individual peasant, the family, and the community leads to a specific social structure categorized by the creation of familial alliances to apportion risks between members of the community. In the Obshchina alliances were formed primarily through marriage and common descent of kin. Usually the eldest members of the household made up the Mir to govern the redistribution of land. The families came together to form a community that depended on making taxes more equitable and the concept of mutual help. Jovan E. Howe writes, “The economic relations so established are essentially distributive: through various categories of exchanges of both products and labor, temporary imbalances such as those occasioned by insufficient labor power of a newly-established family unit or a catastrophic loss, which places one unit at an unfair reproductive disadvantage in relation to its allies, are evened out.[2] In addition the alliance system had residual communal rights, sharing exchanges during shortages as well as certain distributive exchanges. Furthermore the structure defined by these alliances and risk-sharing measures were regulated by scheduling and the ritualization of time. Howe writes, “the traditional calendar of the Russian peasants was a guide for day-to-day living. The names attached to calendar dates, the calendrical periods into which they were grouped, the day on the week on which each fell, and the sayings connected with them encoded information about when to undertake tasks, but also about when not to work, when it was necessary to perform symbolic actions, take part in rituals and compulsory celebrations”.[3]

Peasants (i.e. three-quarters of the population of Russia) formed a class apart,[4] largely excepted from the incidence of the ordinary law, and governed in accordance with their local customs. The mir itself, with its customs, is of immemorial antiquity; it was not, however, until the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 that the village community was withdrawn from the patrimonial jurisdiction of the landowning nobility and endowed with self-government. The assembly of the mir consists of all the peasant householders of the village.[5] These elect a Village Elder (starosta) and a collector of taxes, who was responsible, at least until the ukaz of October 1906, which abolished communal responsibility for the payment of taxes, for the repartition among individuals of the taxes imposed on the commune. A number of mirs are united into a volost, which has an assembly consisting of elected delegates from the mirs.

This is a quintessential viscous society, and vastly different from the corporate, more atomized ways of Northwestern Europeans at the time. (See also M.G.’s post on the matter: Those Who Can See: The Tsar is Far).

Whereas the circum-North Sea peoples depended on free movement of people and impressing themselves among non-relatives, the inhabitants in the more peripheral European areas had to rely on family or distinct structured alliances with particular people. Democracy flourishes in Northwestern Europe (for better or worse) and is distinctly weaker to the south, east, and in the Celtic fringe – where particularism and strategic social alliances reign.

It should be said here for those that don’t notice that the gradient along the WEIRDO-clannish dimension exists within various European countries.

Great Britain:




From Differences Between the North and South of France – As Told By Dana

 French people all over are wonderfully nice (I was even published about it!). However, I find people in the north to be friendlier and less superficial than people in the south. Although people in the north may tend to be a bit more initially reserved, they quickly become so friendly when you get to know them! On the other hand, southerners are upfront quite nice, but it is often only surface level.

I am cat-called and harassed on the street a billion times more in the south than I ever was in the north.

Life’s pace in the south, especially when it comes to work, is much slower and more leisurely.

This may be contrary to the “leisurely lifestyle” but many French people here in the south (as well as Paris) drive like absolute maniacs!

The styles of houses are very different. Houses in the south, specifically in the Côte d’Azur, are very colorful … In the north of France, houses are built with wood or stone, but in a very different Nomadic or Germanic style.

(Indeed, many of these differences within France sound like the broad difference between Northern and Southern Europe.)

This map of the results of the 2012 French presidential election (from Wikipedia):



Spain (from Comparing PISA With GDP Per Capita In Spain And Italy | A Reluctant Apostate):


GDP per capita left, 2009 PISA scores right.


Also from Comparing PISA With GDP Per Capita In Spain And Italy | A Reluctant Apostate, GDP per capita left, 2009 PISA scores right:


See also Those Who Can See: Chalk and cheese


See also my earlier entry Germania’s Seed?


All of these differences exist in the direction of the gradient of clannishness radiating from the North Sea.

Of course, by the time you reach the Middle East and the Maghreb, you have life in actual clans, with high levels of inbreeding even up to the present day: (image sources here and here):

Inclusive fitness and highly viscous societies select for the highly nepotistic and incredibly corrupt societies we see there. See Those Who Can See: Why Re-Colonization? Commonweal Orientation and The Clannish World of Organized Crime | Staffan’s Personality Blog for more.

The key fact is that the fine details of the selective pressures explain the traits of the people, which in turn explains the society they create. (Which of course goes on to shape selective pressures, and hence the traits and hence societies of future people – gene-culture co-evolution).

Geography and climate is a big factor in social organization, as discussed before at More on Farming and Inheritance Systems – Part I: IQ:

The left is a map of the average minimum winter temperatures across Europe; the right is a map of average annual precipitation. While Europe has experienced several climatic swings throughout the Middle Ages, a general pattern can be seen here. While Eastern Europe is in general colder and drier than Western Europe, the Northeast is much colder than the Southeast, leading to the infamously brutal Russian winters.

Farming systems were in large part influenced by climate, which in turn affected social and inheritance systems. Indeed, as noted about France here: Differences Between the North and South of France – As Told By Dana:

because the weather in the south is so much better, people naturally spend more time outside, and therefore consequently meet and interact with more people on a daily basis. However, it’s sometimes hard to spend quality time with so many people, so the relationships are not always as deep. In the north on the other hand, people spend much more time inside because the weather is not so good during the winter, and as a consequence they spend time with fewer people. However, the people they do spend time with they are very close to. So, although it takes a much longer time to meet people in the north, once you’re friends, you’re friends for life, and you’ll tend to have long, meaningful relationships.

Introversion is more common in colder areas generally, as discussed in my earlier post Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality.

But, as we’ve seen before, one thing that varies across Europe, particularly in a roughly north-south gradient is average IQ. HBD Chick’s theory alone doesn’t completely explain the IQ differences that exist, which brings me to another key force, Clark-Unz selection.

As Gregory Clark discussed in his book A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World – and as Ron Unz posited in How Social Darwinism Made Modern China | The American Conservative, in medieval times, the wealthiest, most intelligent (see also Tollnek & Baten 2012) individuals had more surviving offspring in Europe and in Northeast Asia (see also Peter Frost Does the Clark-Unz model apply to Japan and Korea?). Over time, this led to the evolution of of increased average IQ in these areas, leading to their modern levels.

However, average IQ is significantly lower in south. Why? One factor is that without harsh winter conditions, Clark-Unz selection is less efficient. Poorer and less intelligent individuals also survived and reproduced in sufficient numbers.

Finally, an important selective factor in shaping the modern world, in addition to HBD Chick’s selection and Clark-Unz selection, is state pacification, Frost-Harpending selection:

BydoE2BIgAA43cP.jpg large

As Peter Frost writes:

While war has always been with us, personal violence has been declining in Western societies over the last millennium.

Courts imposed the death penalty more and more often and, by the late Middle Ages, were condemning to death between 0.5 and 1.0% of all men of each generation, with perhaps just as many offenders dying at the scene of the crime or in prison while awaiting trial. Meanwhile, the homicide rate plummeted from the 14th century to the 20th, decreasing forty-fold. The pool of violent men dried up until most murders occurred under conditions of jealousy, intoxication, or extreme stress.

The immediate causes were legal and cultural: harsher punishment and a shift in popular attitudes toward the violent male—who went from hero to zero. This new social environment, however, also tended to favor the survival and reproduction of individuals who would less easily resort to violence on their own initiative. Given that aggressive behavior is moderately to highly heritable, as shown by twin studies, is it possible that the high rate of capital punishment gradually removed propensities for violence from the gene pool? This hypothesis is modeled by Frost and Harpending, who conclude that such natural selection could explain a little over half of the reduction in the homicide rate. The rest of the decline may have partly resulted from violent men being increasingly marginalized in society and on the marriage market.

We see a steep decline in rates of violence across Europe:


HBD Chick had noted that the timing of this pattern follows the Hajnal line (see historic european homicide rates … and the hajnal line | hbd chick):


Frost and Hapending 2015 analyze the effects of historic executions and rates of violence across Europe. (This process likely also occurred across much of Northeast Asia.) They themselves note that the selective coefficient they devised explains much of what we see, but it insufficient to explain all of the decline.

I posit that it is the combination of all three of these forces, “HBD Chick selection (bipartite manorialism and subsequent atomized/corporate societies), Clark-Unz selection (tendency for the wealthiest and brightest to have more surviving offspring), and Frost-Harpending selection (execution of violent individuals) acted in concert in a synergistic arrangement to produce the NW Europeans we know today. The precise combination of all these forces (along with basic geographic, climatic, and food production factors) produced the varying degree of traits we see across Eurasia and North Africa today.

Indeed, beyond evolution by natural selection itself, it is amazing that there are other general trends. But geographic realities (as well as simple proximity) served to create a geographic pattern to selective pressures, and hence the societies we see today. For better or worse, these explain the features of these societies, and the consequences of such.

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January 11, 2017 / JayMan

JayMan Jr. Turns Three!

The little man has turned three years old! Doesn’t it feel like yesterday that you were reading an irreverent HBD’er and heard the great news?

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JayMan Jr 2 (Copy) JayMan Jr with Grandma 2 (Copy)

If you would like to treat JayMan Jr. to a nice birthday present (or contribute to a birthday present for Little Miss Jay next month), please feel free to make a donation. 🙂

You can donate via PayPal (accepting Visa and Mastercard) via the button below or to the right:


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December 25, 2016 / JayMan

Merry Christmas!


December 19, 2016 / JayMan

Clannishness – The Series: How It Happened

(This is also published at The Unz Review)

My earlier entry (Clannishness – the Series: Zigzag Lightning in the Brain) established that there are deep distinctions between Northwestern European peoples and most of the rest of the world, and that these differences have a huge impact on the world, including on levels of human development, the strength of democracy and democratic institutions, scientific output, and levels of social trust. If you’re unfamiliar with this division, the previous entry and materials linked within cover it all in extensive detail.

But the question is, how did it happen? How did these divisions come to be? Well, of course, my answer is evolution through natural selection – specifically, gene-culture co-evolution.

Before we can ascribe these differences to evolution, it must be understood that these differences have a genetic basis. That is, they are heritable. This means that genetic differences between different peoples lead to differences in their behavioral traits, which, collectively, manifests as cultural differences. We should be clear that all human behavioral traits are heritable, with “nurture” (as it’s commonly thought of) playing a minimal to nonexistent role in each.  As John Derbyshire put it, “if dimensions of the individual human personality are heritable, then society is just a vector sum of a lot of individual personalities.”. See my Behavioral Genetics Page for more. The rest of this entry proceeds assuming an understanding of this reality.

Now, it’s also very important to understand that evolution proceeds quicker than you’ve been led to believe. Certainly a lot faster than mainstream ideology posits (i.e., claiming that human evolution somehow came to a halt 50,000 years ago) which is demonstrably nonsense:


As seen in both the age of genetic variants and the distribution of lactose tolerance, much human evolution took place within the last 5,000-10,000 years.

But evolution can proceed within the space of a few centuries, as governed by the breeder’s equation. A few centuries of sustained selective pressure can make a considerable impact on the characteristics of a human group. We see that with Ashkenazi Jews, whose high IQ (and many other traits) evolved only within the last 2,000 years.

With all of this out of the way, what selective pressures explain the differences between Northwestern Europeans and the rest of the world? Here, we can, for now, only hypothesize. As opposed to the reality of the differences, which is easy to establish, how these differences came to be is a harder puzzle to untangle. That said, we do have some good ideas.

One aspect is that cousin marriage rates were historically very low in Northwestern Europe as opposed to the rest of the world. This would have an effect on the relationship coefficient between related individuals, having an impact on the returns for kin altruism and hence kin selection (see a table and short discussion in my earlier entry “Ethnic Genetic Interests” Do Not Exist (Neither Does Group Selection). Now while kin selection was involved, it couldn’t have been a dominant force, because kin selection is relatively weak in humans. But maybe factors that came into play along with this were involved.

In Northwestern Europe, that was likely predominantly bipartite manorialism:


The areas of Northwestern Europe that exhibit their peculiar suite of traits also went under the peculiar institution of bipartite manorialism. As HBD Chick describes here (from medieval manorialism’s selection pressures | hbd chick):

“every society selects for something.” — greg cochran

every society selects for something. it does take some time for selection pressures to make a difference when it comes to the frequencies of “genes for” various behavioral traits, of course (unless the culling is extreme): twenty generations, maybe. forty is probably better. a few hundred?

working theory is that manorialism set up selection pressures for a whole suite of traits including perhaps: slow life histories; future time orientation; delayed gratification; the good ol’ protestant work ethic; a general compliant nature and even rather strong tendencies toward conformity; perhaps even a high degree of gullibility; perhaps a few extra iq points; and even more cooperation and trust between unrelated individuals.

manorialism — “classic,” bipartite manorialism (more on that below) — started with the franks in austrasia by at least the 600s or perhaps earlier and spread gradually southwards with the frankish conquest of, well, france and eastwards during the ostsiedlung. we find it just across the channel in southern england very early as well — there are references to what sounds like features of a manor system in the laws of king ine of wessex (688-726) [see mitterauer, pg. 43]. the medieval european manor system originated, then, roughly in the area outlined in green below (yes — this is the very same area where the Outbreeding Project began.

classic manorialism was introduced to southern france (but bypassed some more remote areas like the massif central) as those regions were conquered by the merovingians and carolingians between the fifth and eighth centuries and to northern spain around the eighth and ninth centuries. the bipartite manor system never reached the southern regions of spain that were controlled by the moors. there was a rudimentary form of manorialism in northern italy even before the area was made a part of the carolingian empire, but the region was heavily manorialized (especially by ecclesiastical monasteries) after charlemagne conquered the lombard kingdom in the 770s. classic, bipartite manorialism was never adopted in central or southern italy or sicily — nowhere in the byzantine world, in fact.

the franks also pushed eastwards, introducing the manor system to central europe, beginning in the eighth century. the border of this eastward movement was, for a couple hundred years or so, the eastern boundary of the carolingian empire (look familiar?)

the “classic” form of manorialism never reached the farthest parts of eastern europe.

in scandinavia, denmark was heavily manorialized relatively early i believe (probably around the time of the first wave of the ostsiedlung, although i must check the dates), and manorialism was also very much present southern sweden (scania). the more northerly parts of scandinavia — norway, northern sweden (or sweden north of scania), the swedish-settled areas of finland — didn’t have manors per se, but were covered by a unique version of “manorialism” in which much of the population was under the thumb of the church (and sometimes petty aristocratic landowners).

This details the spread of bipartite manorialism. Here HBD Chick talks about the selective pressures it imposed:

– the bipartite estate. the bipartite estate was a key aspect of classical (north)western european manorialism. basically, the manor was divided into two parts: the lord’s part — his farm or demesne — and the peasants’ or serfs’ parts — all their individual farms. the serfs or villeins or whatever you want to call them (there were multiple categories of these peasant farmers and a range of names for them) each had farms to work which were granted to them by the lords (keep in mind that sometimes those “lords” were bishops or monks who ran the monasteries). in the earlier part of the medieval period, the serfs owed labor to the lord of the manor as payment — they were obliged to help work the lord’s demesne — but they also independently worked the farms which they were granted, both to sustain themselves and perhaps make a little profit by selling any extra produce to the neighbors or in a market. there were other obligations, too, but the above was the fundamental gist of the whole system. later in the medieval period, the duty to provide labor switched over to a more simple and direct rent system.

also early on in the period, serfs were given (or assigned) farms to work by the lord of the manor. as a young man, you might not be given the same farm that you grew up on — that your parents had worked — especially not if your father/parents were still productive workers. the lord of the manor, or his steward, would just grant you another farm on the manor to work…if there was one available…and if he chose to do so (presumably based on your merit or your familiy’s record). this system eventually changed as well into one in which a son (typically the eldest son) would “inherit” the farm that his father/parents had worked. not sure when this happened. must find out.

not everyone who was a member of a manor operation would be granted a farm to run. some individuals were just laborers on the manor (“cottagers” in england, for example), and there were plenty of domestic servants serving in the manor house, too.

not everyone who was a member of a manor operation would be granted a farm to run. some individuals were just laborers on the manor (“cottagers” in england, for example), and there were plenty of domestic servants serving in the manor house, too.

i think that there are potentially selection pressures here for several different traits or qualities. if we ask ourselves, what sort of individual would’ve done best living in this bipartite estate system, i.e. which individuals with which sorts of traits would’ve managed to reproduce the most, i think it might’ve been people with qualities including: being hard-working or industrious — those that made the most of the farm grant and produced the most food to support the most number of kids and even to sell extra produce for a profit; perhaps smarter than some of the neighbors (like the cottagers) — for the same reasons as hard-working; future time oriented — you had to be patient and wait for a farm to become available, or later in the period wait for your father to hand over the farm or die, and not start philandering about the manor before you could afford to raise kids (you also might not be granted a farm, or acquire yourself a husband, if your reputation was ruined beforehand); slow life histories — those individuals who could hold off on reproducing too early would’ve been rewarded with farms, those that did not would’ve been shunned and would lose the opportunity to reproduce further; and compliancy — you didn’t rail (too much) against the man in the manor, and anyone that did wouldn’t have gotten a farm and may have, if they caused too much trouble, been shipped off to a monastery for life.

a classic (north)western european manor, then, almost sounds like a 1960s hippie kibbutz, at least when it came to the relatedness of the individuals on the estate. (unlike a hippie kibbutz, though, The Man was clearly in charge.) the people living and working on a medieval manor in (north)western europe were not all members of one extended family or clan (which you do see elsewhere, like in eastern europe, especially russia, or southern china). this system, along with the Outbreeding Project, might’ve encouraged the selection for individuals who were willing to cooperate with other (comparatively speaking) unrelated persons. it might even have helped, along with the Outbreeding Project which got rid of much nepotistic altruism imho, to select for highly trusting — and quite highly trustworthy — individuals.

open-field system. another key feature of (north)western european manorialism was the open-field system in which shares of large “fields” were apportioned out to each family on the manor — each household would get a long strip or strips within one of these huge fields in which to grow their crops. open-field systems were used by the pre-christian germans and slavic populations (iirc), but in those contexts, extended family/kindred/clan members typically shared the fields. again, in the classic manor system, we have more unrelated individuals/families sharing these fields. residents of the manor regularly policed one another, bringing each other to the manorial court if they thought someone was cheating in the open-field system (and also in the usage of the commons), so, again, here we might have the selection for cooperative and trustworthy individuals.

– ecclesiastical manors. i think the presence (or absence) of ecclesiastical manors in any given area might be very important. apparently, ecclesiastical manors exercised more control on their residents, and until later in the period, than those headed by lay lords (more on this in a later post). so, i’d expect all of the behavioral traits associated with manorialism to be even more pronounced in areas/populations that had more than their fair share of ecclesiastical manors: south-central england, france, germany, and northern italy (and northern scandinavia?).

By the time the age of the manor in Northwestern Europe came to an end, the selective pressures it established would have allowed for the development of corporate societies. As we seen in the corporate nature of european societies and liberal democracy | hbd chick:

economist avner greif explains in “Family Structure, Institutions, and Growth: The Origins and Implications of Western Corporations” how the new, individualistic europeans developed a corporate society, one which eventually lead to democratic nations in europe [pgs. 309-10]:

“The decline of large kinship groups in Europe transpired during a period in which the state was also disintegrating and the church’s secular authority was diminishing…. A new solution was needed to solve problems of conflict and cooperation, and people got together to form corporations.

“These corporations were voluntary, interest-based based, self-governed, and intentionally created permanent associations. In many cases, they were self-organized and not established by the state. Participation was voluntary in the sense that one had to be attracted to be a member and, therefore, corporations had to cater to their members’ interests….

“By the late medieval period, economic and political corporations dominated Europe….

“Monasteries, fraternities, and mutual-insurance guilds provided social safety nets against famine, unemployment, and disability. The majority of the population belonged to such fraternities and guilds, at least in England. Because corporations provided social safety nets that were alternatives to those provided by kinship groups, they enabled individuals to take risks and make other economic decisions without interference by members of such groups. Relative to a society dominated by kinship groups, the nuclear family structure increased capital per worker by encouraging later marriages and fewer children, and it led to a more efficient distribution of labor and knowledge by facilitating migration.

“Craft guilds regulated production, training, and the protection of brand names. Universities, monastic orders, and guilds developed and distributed scientific and technological knowledge. Merchant guilds and communes protected property rights at home and abroad, secured brand names, and provided contract enforcement in exchange. Corporations, such as the Italian citystates and military orders, mustered armies to expand the European resource base.

“Many late medieval corporations were political; they had their own legal systems, administrations, and military forces. The Italian city-republics were literally independent, but most European cities west of the Baltic Sea in the north and the Adriatic Sea in the south were also political corporations (communes). Political corporations also prevailed among Western European peasants. Because such corporations preceded the pre-modern European states, they often provided these states with indispensable services, such as tax collection, law and order, and an army. Self-interested rulers were constrained in adopting policies that hindered these corporations’ economic interests or abusing their property rights (Greif, 2005). Indeed, by the thirteenth century, most European principalities had representative bodies to approve taxation and communes were represented in all of them. Economic corporations, therefore, had the ability to impact policies and, in the long run, they were influential in transforming the European state into a corporation in the form of a democracy.”

Northwestern European society was now one where the most successful types of individuals were ones not bound to kin, but rather cooperated in voluntary exchanges with non-relatives. This continued the selective pressures similar to those of the bipartite manorial system and furthered NW Europeans down the path of their individualistic, “wikified” society. This eventually led to the Scientific and Industrial revolutions as well as the rise of democracy and all the things that followed for from that.

How about the rest of the world? Why didn’t Southern or Eastern Europe or East Asia follow down this path? Well, their societies were structured differently. As HBD Chick put it in viscous populations and the selection for altruistic behaviors | hbd chick:

part of william hamilton‘s theory of inclusive fitness/kin selection, which explains how altruism ever could’ve arisen at all (altruism here having a very specific definition), is that it should be possible for genes for altruism to be selected for if close kin interact regularly. kin don’t need to recognize one another for altruism to be selected for. as long as closely related individuals don’t move far from one another — that is, if a population is viscous — selection for altruism might happen.

i can’t see why this couldn’t also apply to lesser forms of altruism, not just the kind where you sacrifice your life for two brothers or eight cousins. you know what i mean. like: reciprocal altruism or nepotistic altruism. or just pro-social behaviors. whatever you want to call them. seems to me that nepotistic behaviors ought to be selected for more easily in viscous populations (if they increase fitness, of course).

and some populations are more viscous than others:

1) inbreeding populations where close relatives marry frequently over the long-term. mating with relatives must be highly viscous [insert sweaty/sticky incest joke here]. not only do the individual members of the population likely interact fairly regularly (can depend on your mating pattern), they pass many of the genes they share in common on to the next generations — who then also interact and mate. that’s what i call viscous! and, as you all know by now, some human populations inbreed more than others, and some have been doing so for longer than others. and vice versa. (see: entire blog.)

2) populations where extended families are the norm. societies where two or three generations of families all stay together, work together, play together. viscous. plenty of opportunity for nepotistic behaviors to be selected for. on the other hand, societies of nuclear families where more distant relatives are seen only once a year on thanksgiving, and then only to argue, and where your your heir is your pet cat…not very viscous. (see:family types and the selection for nepotistic altruism.)

3) socio-economic systems which push for close relatives to remain together rather than dispersing. if that sounds vague, that’s ’cause it is. sorry. i haven’t thought through it all yet. i do have an example of the opposite for you — a socio-economic system which pushed for close relatives to disperse — and that is the post-manorialism one of northwest europe. already by the 1500s, it was typical for individuals in northwest europe to leave home at a young age (as teenagers) and live and work elsewhere — often quite long distances away (several towns over) — before marrying. then it was not unusual for them to marry someone from their new locale. not viscous. conversely, many societies outside of the hajnal line (northwest europe) have had systems which encouraged the opposite.

In most of the rest of world, regular interaction with non-relatives was a much rarer occurrence. Families were more tightly bound and were the basic medium through which most social interaction took place. This would make the successful individual in such a society a much different kind than would get ahead in Northwestern Europe. Certainly not one that would freely give trust to strangers, would expect favors from others without the other party getting something out of the deal, or would be very universalistic in their view of the world. A fundamentally different kind of person would thrive in these settings, leading to the differences we see.

This lack of voluntary cooperation may even hold back science and discovery (in addition to other large-scale ventures) in clannish parts of the world:

Even though manors of sort existed in Russia and China, as HBD Chick describes, they didn’t operate like the bipartite manorialism of NW Europe:

the “classic” form of manorialism never reached the farthest parts of eastern europe. eventually, a form of manorialism was adopted in russia and areas of eastern europe bordering russia, but it was quite different than the version western europe had had. this serfdom-heavy manor system in eastern europe also arrived very late compared to manorialism in western europe — in the fifteenth century (iirc) or in some areas even much later. classic manorialism had practically disappeared in western europe by this point

a classic (north)western european manor, then, almost sounds like a 1960s hippie kibbutz, at least when it came to the relatedness of the individuals on the estate. (unlike a hippie kibbutz, though, The Man was clearly in charge.) the people living and working on a medieval manor in (north)western europe were not all members of one extended family or clan (which you do see elsewhere, like in eastern europe, especially russia, or southern china)

Selection there operated in far more “viscous” milieus.

One way we see this expressed today is that “familial” organized crime is a general feature of clannish societies, as Staffan had noted in his post The Clannish World of Organized Crime | Staffan’s Personality Blog.

Classic organized crime outfits like those out of Southern Italy are based (or at least rooted) in clan loyalties. By contrast, in Russia, organized crime, while functionally similar, is nonetheless distinctly non-familial in nature. As Anatoly Karlin pointed out:

The Cosa Nostra is extremely hierarchic, whereas the Bratva is far more “horizontal.” … The Cosa Nostra clans are strongly familial, territorial, and substantially hereditary (though more so in the US than in Italy itself). This directly extends to the name of their basic organizational unit: The family. Membership in most Sicilian families is limited to men of Sicilian ancestry or even specific regional ties or bloodline associations.

The Russian mafia is completely different, even in etymology. It is not a “family” but a “brotherhood.” And a brotherhood not in any literal blood sense, but in a way that evokes associations with a “fraternity,” or a “band of brothers.” Organization is strongly hierarchic, as is the case in every strongly masculine institution from the army to the priesthood, but the direct control the pakhan exercises over matters such as personnel policy is far more limited relative to the godfather

By far the most striking difference is that the “Russian” mafia is strongly multiethnic. It has its origins in the heavily Jewish port city of Odessa in Tsarist times

Fast forwarding to the 21st century, some of the most prominent Russian mafia bosses of recent years were the Kurdish Aslan Usoyan

Though it is necessarily incomplete, what statistical evidence exists indicates that ethnic minorities, especially the Caucasians, are so massively overrepresented in the ranks of the Russian mafia that ethnic Slavs are a minority within it. As such, the Bratva is a highly multiethnic and universalistic organized criminal group.

Selective forces produced a form of distinctly un-WEIRD type of behavior in Eastern Europeans even if not literally clan based. Clannishness, as HBD Chick and I use the term, doesn’t mean literally based on clansViscous societies selected for viscous behaviors – low-trust in strangers, particularism, corruption.

In short, the Northwestern European manor system (and the subsequent selective pressures of the society it created) produced the guilt culture, where one’s behavior is regulated by one’s own internal feelings of guilt. By contrast, the rest of the world has some variant of the shame (or honor) culture, where behavior is regulated by societal disapproval. (See Honor, Dignity, and Face: Culture as Personality Writ Large | Staffan’s Personality Blog). These are fundamental human differences and are largely intractable in our world.

I wanted to address one final point, as I suspect critics will bring this up. Often we hear that the clannish/honor-based behavior of those from beyond the Northwestern European world can be corrected through “assimilation.” Unfortunately, assimilation is largely an illusion:

What we see as “assimilation” is largely when the “assimilated” group adopts superficial aspects of the host group. Other behaviors remain (Those Who Can See: Were you Assimilable?). As well, intermarriage with host group and selective migration can both give the appearance of assimilation, as can long-run secular changes (the kind that affect everyone, such as the move towards secularism, for example).

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October 23, 2016 / JayMan


Imagine for a moment that creationists ran the government, academia, and the media. Now, if you’ve ever argued with creationists, you know that no matter what you say, no matter what you show them, you simply can not get them to accept the incontrovertible evidence for evolution. Rather, they insist that the world was literally created in six days by God as recited in Genesis in the Bible, and will twist the facts so as to favor this belief.

ark-encounter1-730x411They are known for bringing lawsuits and appealing to their political leaders to silence anyone that dares utters the facts about evolution and exposes their children to such blasphemy. They even have their own parallel “creation science” nonsense, displayed in places like their Noah’s Ark museum.

james-watson-010But even better, since these people run society, anyone that breaks the official dogma and speaks the truth of evolution can lose their job – indeed be blacklisted so they never work in their profession again – be publicly shamed and harassed in mass media, and subject to witch hunts.

Now imagine that these people in fact actually do run society, only instead of denying evolution completely, they deny that it applies to humans, especially within the last 50,000 years…

See also: Welcome to JayMan’s Column on!


The Donald Trump Phenomenon: Part 2: Binary Thinking

March 18, 2016 / JayMan

The Donald Trump Phenomenon: Part 2: Binary Thinking

(This is also published at The Unz Review.)

In the preceding part (The Donald Trump Phenomenon: Part 1: The American Nations), I talked about the geographic (and hence ethnic) variation in support for the various 2016 U.S. presidential candidates. In this part, I will focus on the turmoil in this particular election cycle, and what it means for our society and acceptance of the reality of HBD.

This election cycle exhibits a certain ferocity not seen in earlier elections. Much of that is hatred directed at Donald Trump. The rancor will likely intensify as the election progresses, especially if Trump is the Republican nominee, as he is likely to be.

Why this vitriol? Donald Trump was always a talked-about and sometimes controversial figure, but no more so than most celebrities. There were always people who didn’t like him, but few really hated him. But now it seems certain people definitely do hate Trump. Indeed, he has now become the Great Satan in many people’s eyes, and comparisons to Adolf Hitler are common. Why?

Much as been written about Trump’s appeal to his supporters. See:

Donald Trump is not an idiot – he could be the next US President
Note from a Trump Supporter: It’s the Immigration, Stupid! | educationrealist
I was wrong about Donald Trump: Camille Paglia on the GOP front-runner’s refreshing candor (and his impetuousness, too)

But why the hate? I will argue that the hatred directed towards Trump has little to do with Trump himself or his campaign. Rather, I suspect that this is more about what a Trump presidency represents: the end of our politically correct society.

Why do people like me have to write anonymous blogs and columns on the internet when talking about the obvious reality of human biological differences (especially biological group differences)? Why do researchers face the risk of falling into The Bermuda Triangle of Science, as behavioral geneticist Brian Boutwell recently put it?

The academy, in general, is a wonderful place to work, but not everyone plays nice. Veer too far from carefully charted courses and someone may slip quietly up behind you and slide a cold piece of steel in between the ribs of your budding research career.

They’ll do this believing that they are serving public interest by snuffing out dangerous research agendas, but that won’t make any difference to you. It’ll be your reputation that will suffer grievous injury. What in the world might elicit such harsh rebuke from a community of otherwise broadminded, free speech spouting scholars? What is so verboten that it constitutes academia’s Bermuda Triangle, a place where careers disappear more often than ships in the actual Bermuda Triangle? In one word, it’s race.

[R]ace represents academia’s true Bermuda Triangle. Perhaps never has the topic of genetic ancestry been so important, yet despite its relevance, bright scholars continue to stay away from it in droves … It will not matter how noble you think your motives are, if you factor in race as a variable, your actions are subject to impeachment, and your reputation may be sacrificed as a burnt offering to our new religion.

Linda Gottfredson is a brilliant, productive, and innovative scholar. Dr. Gottfredson, however, found herself in the Bermuda Triangle some years back

crossing the boundaries of the Triangle (even if only to defend a colleague) can be frightening. Angry invectives hurled in your direction will come so fast, and so fierce, it will likely leave your head spinning, as Gottfredson illustrates (p.276):

News coverage was often lurid. The UD African-American Coalition argued that my work was not just offensive, but dangerous. My ‘‘so-called research” and the social policies I ‘‘was likely to propose” were ‘‘liable to threaten the very survival of African-Americans” (Tarver, 1990, p. 6A).

Within the Bermuda Triangle, you see, it is a free for all when it comes to accusations and motive indictment. There is no suitable defense, trying to mount in fact one will only fan the flames.

Such facts are effectively embargoed in our society, and anyone who breaks this taboo can face serious social consequences.

As John McWhorter put it in his piece Antiracism, Our Flawed New Religion:

One hearkens to one’s preacher to keep telling the truth—and also to make sure we hear it often, since many of its tenets are easy to drift away from, which leads us to the next evidence that Antiracism is now a religion. It is inherent to a religion that one is to accept certain suspensions of disbelief. Certain questions are not to be asked, or if asked, only politely—and the answer one gets, despite being somewhat half-cocked, is to be accepted as doing the job.

“Why is the Bible so self-contradictory?” Well, God works in mysterious ways—what’s key is that you believe. “Why does God allows such terrible things to happen?” Well, because we have free will … and it’s complicated but really, just have faith.

It stops there: beyond this first round, one is to classify the issues as uniquely “complicated.” They are “deep,” one says, looking off into the air for a sec in a reflective mode, implying that thinking about this stuff just always leads to more questions, in an infinitely questing Talmudic exploration one cannot expect to yield an actual conclusion.

Antiracism requires much of the same standpoint. For example, one is not to ask “Why are black people so upset about one white cop killing a black man when black men are at much more danger of being killed by one another?” Or, one might ask this, very politely—upon which the answers are flabby but further questions are unwelcome. A common answer is that black communities do protest black-on-black violence —but anyone knows that the outrage against white cops is much, much vaster.

Why? Is the answer “deep,” perhaps? Charles Blow, at least deigning to take the issue by the horns, answers that the black men are killing one another within a racist “structure.” That doesn’t explain why black activists consider the white cop a more appalling threat to a black man than various black men in his own neighborhood. But to push the point means you just don’t “get” it (you haven’t opened your heart to Jesus, perhaps?)

The Antiracism religion, then, has clergy, creed, and also even a conception of Original Sin. Note the current idea that the enlightened white person is to, I assume regularly (ritually?), “acknowledge” that they possess White Privilege.

The call for people to soberly “acknowledge” their White Privilege as a self-standing, totemic act is based on the same justification as acknowledging one’s fundamental sinfulness is as a Christian. One is born marked by original sin; to be white is to be born with the stain of unearned privilege.

Antiracism parallels religion also in a proselytizing impulse. Key to being an Antiracist is a sense that there is always a flock of unconverted heathen “out there,” as it is often put about the whites who were so widely feared as possibly keeping Barack Obama from being elected (twice). One is blessed with, as it were, the Good News in being someone who “gets it,” complete with the Acknowledging.

Finally, Antiracism is all about a Judgment Day, in a sense equally mesmerizing and mythical. Antiracist scripture includes a ritual reference to, as it were, the Great Day when America “owns up to” or “comes to terms with” structural racism—note that “acknowledge” is a term just as appropriate—and finally, well, fixes it somehow.

Yet Antiracism as religion has its downsides. It encourages an idea that racism in its various guises must be behind anything bad for black people, which is massively oversimplified in 2015.

The fact is that Antiracism, as a religion, pollutes our race dialogue as much as any lack of understanding by white people of their Privilege. For example, the good Antiracist supports black claims that standardized tests are “racist” in that black people don’t do as well on them as other students. But Antiracism also encourages us to ask why, oh why black people are suspected of being less intelligent than others—despite this take on the tests, and aspiring firefighters and even teachers making news with similar claims that tough tests are “racist.” Now, to say that if black people can’t be expected to take tests then they must not be as smart is, under Antiracism, blasphemous—one is not to ask too many questions.

Here’s a video of McWhorter discussing this for those who prefer:

Of course, I’ll go a step further than McWhorter and say NW European-derived society isn’t today just antiracist; it’s anti-sexist/anti-misogynist, anti-homophboic, and anti-transphobic as well. In the blanket terms, today’s Western society is politically correct. Sinners against these doctrines face serious consequences, as James Watson, Larry Summers, Satoshi Kanazawa, Jason Richwine, and many others exemplify.

As I said, the fundamental thread is to deny biological group differences, particularly those that are inherited (the key exceptions being the doctrine that homosexuality is 100% genetic and inborn, despite the fact that it is neither of those things – and the Althouse rule for sex differences). There is a wall against biology in Northwestern European societies (that is also fervently embraced by many Ashkenazi Jews).

Hence, we see the hatred and derision directed towards Donald Trump. In the modern Western religion of antiracism/political correctness, Trump and his potential ascent to the White House represents the possible end of our politically correct society. Indeed, Trump isn’t just a divisive presidential candidate; to adherents of antiracism/political correctness, Trump is the Antichrist. 

To merely speak openly about the possibility of any inherited biological group difference, no matter how limited, or small, can lead to discussion of other, possibly larger differences. This opens the door to a Pandora’s box of inherited biological group differences. Perhaps it will turn out that there are “winner” and “loser” groups in today’s modern world. Perhaps the reason the world looks like it does today…


… is because of those differences.

Worse still, this would mean admitting failure in the great hope – the hope that one day humanity can be perfected and poverty, war, prejudice, etc. can be eliminated. Acknowledging inherited biological group differences – that is, human biodiversity, means that the idyllic world of the Star Trek franchise will never come to pass no matter how much social “progress” occurs.

Even among those who aren’t necessarily so Pollyanna about the reality of human group differences, many still wish to suppress knowledge of their existence for another reason: because they believe it is what is holding our multiracial society together. I have mentioned something similar before (see hbd fallout | hbd chick):

“Back when groups differences weren’t so taboo in Western society, and one could talk about them openly, society was *also* more racist (this was pre-Civil Rights here in America). It is possible that in order for society to be aware of the reality of HBD, it must be actually be *racist*.

“Think of all the simmering resentment in Whites that are the victims of these crimes (as a Black man, I wouldn’t talk to this soldier’s family about now). And on top of that, imagine all the Whites that are not necessarily so politically correct about race. How would they react? (Here’s an example: Far-right extremists in eastern Germany quietly building a town for neo-Nazis.)

Can you have a multiracial society in one that is honest about group differences? … Will people *really* run with the understanding that differences *on average* don’t apply to every last individual, or will group solidarity rule the day? How will intelligent and completely inoffensive Blacks, for example, be treated by Whites then? The example of Chechens challenges the notion of treating people as individuals, because arguably they are so tribal and violent on average that even a modest number of them can cause problems (there are only 200 in America). But if they pose a problem in that way, what about other groups?

I still don’t know the answer to these questions. I fully admit that a society that openly acknowledges group differences may in fact also be a racist one. The reason I think this is not so much because of the way I think most people will behave. I think most Westerners can take this knowledge in stride. However, there are elements that won’t. Many of Trump’s supporters are indeed bona fide racists. There is no social policy or prescription that necessarily follows from knowledge of inherited group differences. But it is the very nature of people determines how they will react. Some groups want to deride/persecute/destroy other groups they feel are tainted or inferior. Nazism didn’t come out of a vacuum, and it too is a result of the nature of the people who embraced it. (Indeed persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany was most intense in areas that had a long history of killing Jews – see Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany, Voigtländer & Voth 2010.) The key thing here is that it was not facts about racial differences themselves that led to the behavior of the Nazis or Cavalier-descended White American Southerners. It was their own traits, particularly their attitudes towards other groups. In fact, if you spend enough time reading the stuff put out by White Nationalists (as I unfortunately can’t avoid all that much in my line of work) you will find that many of their beliefs about race and biology are factually inaccurate, and their beliefs are twisted from the reality to suit their agendas (see The Problem with HBD, the Dark Enlightenment, Neoreaction, Alt-Rightism, and All That Jazz and “Ethnic Genetic Interests” Do Not Exist (Neither Does Group Selection)). The reality however is that these people don’t need much justification to pursue their aims – they want to act against other groups anyway. It is their nature.

Quite likely racists, neo-Nazis and the like will be more vocal in the event of a Trump victory (or even a Trump defeat). There is nothing saying that they will rule the day, however. That is not a given, and I suspect, broadly, that it’s not likely. Nonetheless,  the Antiracist/P.C. crowd view acknowledging inherited biological differences as opening a floodgate that could usher in practices such as coercive eugenics (i.e., forced sterilizations – see also Razib Khan: Eugenics: the problem is coercion) or Jim Crow policies, or worse. That is a big part of why reasonable policies such as limiting immigration or restricting entry from certain groups (like Muslims) are off the table. To the Antiracist crowd, the matter of group differences is binary: we either are acknowledging them at all or we’re not.

Restricting certain groups (or any immigration) moves us from being a universalist society – where all people (and peoples) are treated equally, to a particularist one, where people are treated differently according to their inherent qualities. That’s a line they don’t want us to cross, for the aforementioned reasons.

Yet I will argue that this rebuke of biology, despite whatever semi-rational basis it might have, is in reality just another group attribute. Just like the Nazis embraced biology and extreme particularism, certain NW Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews have an inherent discomfort with biology – supremely ironically, because of their biology. 

Easy examples of this:

These individuals regard biological bases to behavior as being wrong, or if not wrong, then dangerous or evil and they hate and/or fear them. But they are perfectly happy with “environmental” sources to human differences, and changes brought about with such.

But this fear reveals a deep logical inconsistency. While it’s true that belief in a biological basis to human differences has been involved in many societal evils, such as Jim Crow, forced sterilizations, and Nazism, the belief that there are is no biological basis to human behavior – the belief that we are blank slates – has led to great many more atrocities. While the off chance that an HBD-aware society might lead to discrimination and Nazism may exist, runaway blank slatism isn’t much better. You don’t hear much discussion of this guy:

Runaway blank slatism has arguably killed many times more people that the Nazis ever did.

But those who rail against biology barely acknowledge this. Part of the reason is that many in the Western Left are sympathetic to communism and its ideals. Some even believe that communism can still work if “properly implemented”.

Even the softer authoritarianism sweeping the West (e.g, in Sweden, Germany, and Britain) is too uncomfortable for my taste. It’s never good when society goes too far towards either extreme.

At the end to the day however, there is a reality regardless of what elites want us to think. Suppressing science only works so well because truths about the world will keep getting rediscovered. Modern technology is pushing ahead, and the facts continue to pour in. There is however a backlash in the West. The ascent of Donald Trump is the American manifestation of this, as is the rise of many nationalist candidates and parties in NW European countries. This could potentially be a good thing, because one of the most pressing problems facing Northwestern European-derived societies is unrelenting migration into them.

Trump is the only candidate who is taking a position against continued mass immigration, which must be halted soon for the good of both Western societies and ultimately the migrants themselves.

(All that said, let me make clear that I think that Trump is a less-than-ideal candidate for president for several reasons. For one, he appears to support the increasing encroachment of government into our civil liberties and the burgeoning Security State. He appears to be weak on established science – a fantastic irony – exemplified by his amenity to anti-vaxxers – an almost unforgivable sin in a leader. He also doesn’t seem to have clear and realistic economic plans and instead copies the mainstream conservative doctrine on things like taxation and healthcare. Now, those considered, Trump doesn’t appear to be much of a deeply principled politician – in stark contrast to Bernie Sanders – and is probably not all that attached to many of these positions. This leaves hope that his views on these matters might be changed. Might.)

Interesting and important times lie ahead. Let’s hope it turns out well.

On the matter of hope, as you know, I recently had another child, a beautiful daughter to give JayMan Jr. a playmate.

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March 11, 2016 / JayMan

The Donald Trump Phenomenon: Part 1: The American Nations

(This is also published at The Unz Review)

The 2016 U.S. presidential race has brought out a serious whirlwind of events, the likes of which haven’t been seen in a long time, if ever. Despite my own expectations for a boring campaign, this election cycle has been anything but. Most significant to this excitement has been the rise of Donald Trump – and, to a lesser extent, the rise of Bernie Sanders. Much has been said about these men, including much in an attempt to figure out what is behind their popularity. However, this election, particularly the battle against Trump, has taken on a larger scope, in ways that far exceed the man. The election is about grander issues. In good part, it is about the fate of the very character of the nation itself – and indeed, of all of Western society.

While there may be a perhaps an unprecedented series of events occurring in this election, there are nonetheless clear patterns to the vote, patterns we’ve seen before.

For one, the American nations (see American Nations Series) have played a large role in the 2016 presidential race. The reason for this, ultimately, is because demographic factors are what drives elections, at least in our era. Contrary to popular analysis (even that within the HBD sphere), the composition of a region’s population dictates said region’s vote – at least, much more so than situational factors such as economics, crime, or urbanicity. This is plainly obvious to the genetically informed, but is ignored by most mainstream discussion of politics. Mainstream sources struggle to find “environmental” factors that dictate the vote, and they run into trouble every time when they do.

None of this should be surprising, since we know that political views are highly heritable (from Hatemi et al, 2010):

Political chart heritability

There is minimal effect of “the environment” within cohorts (and the differences between cohorts is likely primarily situational). The way people vote is a reflection of who and indeed what they are. It has nothing to do with how they were raised by their parents, where they grew up, or where they live now (except to the extent current self-interest is involved). (See also The Behavioral Genetics Page, particularly the post The Son Becomes The Father.) To understand that vote, you must understand the people.

To quickly recap, the United States (and for that matter, Canada) is divided into several broad ethnocultural regions – nations if you will.

North American Nations 4 3

These regions exists thanks to the continuing legacy of the founding populations and the various assortative migrations (founder effects and boiling off) that have happened over the history of the country. This was described by Colin Woodard in his book American Nations. In my American Nations Series, I detail the various ways these nations are visible today as well as discuss their genetic roots.

In the present election cycle, the nations are playing a role. First, here is a map of support for Donald Trump across the country (from Nate Cohn).


Many have dubbed this an “east vs. west” split (as opposed to usual north/south split typically seen), but it isn’t really that, as Trump has modestly strong support near the West Coast. Rather, we see that Trump is strong across the usual “Dixie” nations, the Tidewater, the Deep South, and especially Greater Appalachia. He also has fair support across Yankeedom, but is comparatively weak in the Midlands. There is a pronounced “hole” in Trump’s support, but a look at this second map shows precisely where:

US Personality

Trump is weak in the “Friendly & Conventional” zone of the country. This map is drawn from personality studies detailed in Rentfrow et al (2013). The “Friendly & Conventional” zone is an area high in extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness and depleted in openness to experience (see Predictions on the Worldwide Distribution of Personality). A modern popular notion likes to lump together the interior of the country as the “Flyover Zone”, being universally Christian, conservative, and traditional. But the American nations maps and this one clearly show that that idea is too simplistic. These areas do vote strongly Republican in the general presidential election, but there is much more nuance than that.

For one, there is a key difference in the overall composition. Greater Appalachia is composed heavily of Ulster Scots, originally from the Anglo-Scottish border area. The Deep South and the Tidewater derive from the English Cavaliers from southwest England.

By contrast, the “Friendly & Conventional” zone is heavily German and Scandinavian in ancestry. Furthermore, the area has been heavily “boiled-off,” as more liberal and adventurous individuals have fled the area for decades, leaving a core of traditional and conservative individuals in its wake (as detailed in my post More Maps of the American Nations). These conservatives are quite unlike their Southern counterparts (see Genes, Climate, and Even More Maps of the American Nations):

The "Friendly & Conventional" region (Rentfrow et al 2013), a region of German/Scandinavian extraction that has been "boiled down"

The “Friendly & Conventional” region (Rentfrow et al 2013), a region of German/Scandinavian extraction that has been “boiled down

They vote overwhelmingly for Trump rival Ted Cruz (map from The New York Times):

Trump Cruz map’s style of religious conservatism and less aggressive, less bombastic style appeals more to these voters.

Ironically, Trump’s support is apparently weak among one of his own, German-Americans (from Fulford, Petkov, and Schiantarelli 2015, discussed in Demography Is Destiny, American Nations Edition):

German ancestry 2010

Trump’s support in the Northeast seems to correlate to Italian areas:

trump northeast zoom italian americans zoom

Whether or not it is Italian-Americans – or people who live in areas with Italian-Americans – who are supporting Trump is not clear. (His stronghold in Eastern Massachusetts suggests he has considerable Irish-American support as well.)

On the Democratic side, again we see the American nations coming into play in the battle between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Clinton-Sanders contest between Clinton and Sanders shows Bernie being particularly weak in the Dixie nations. But Sanders is particularly strong in the north, especially in Yankeedom, his current “home” nation.

There is clear north-south pattern to Clinton vs. Sanders, but the battle between these two is also literally a battle between Black and White.

Most of Bernie’s losses stem from his deep lack of support among Blacks.

But there is more going on here than just that. The map of Clinton vs. Sanders looks very similar to the map of Clinton vs. Obama back in 2008 (from here):


We see a clear north-south divide, even among non-Black voters. Bernie is strongest in the same areas Obama was, with the exception that he is not carrying the Black vote. However, there is more going on to the regional Clinton-Sanders split than just Black-White differences If we assume the pattern among White Democratic voters is similar to what it was in 2008, which is suggested by the current maps, we see Bernie is decidedly weak among White Democrats across the Dixie nations, and weak across much of the old Rust Belt (central Yankeedom/the Midlands).

Why is this the pattern? The reason is simple. Bernie Sanders, with his message of Scandinavian-style socialism appeals most strongly to very WEIRDO voters. As recounted in several of my previous posts, particularly The Rise of Universalism (see also Clannishness – the Series: Zigzag Lightning in the Brain for a key recap at the beginning of the post), people with a ancestry from Northwestern Europe are more likely to be oriented towards the “commonweal.” This is the notion that there should be societal institutions in place to serve the common good, on many levels. Democratic socialism is a natural outgrowth of that, as we see in Northwestern European countries and their offshoots. WEIRDO people are distinct from all other peoples in the world, and it is these people that make up Bernie Sanders’s base (which I get to see first hand here in Maine, as I live in a pretty WEIRDO part of the state).

In other parts of the country, more clannish Whites dominate. These are the Scots-Irish and the English Cavaliers in the South, as well as Irish, Italians, and various Eastern Europeans across parts of Yankeedom, the Midlands, and “New Netherland.” These peoples aren’t as impressed with Bernie’s calls for socialism – being more oriented to their own kin than to common society – and hence support Hilary Clinton.

Therefore, despite standing to benefit from Bernie Sanders’s socialist ideas, Blacks, especially those in the South  don’t succumb to Bernie’s WEIRDO appeal (he may have more appeal with Blacks in the North).

And indeed, we see some interesting psychological differences between supporters of the various candidates:

From Trump’s voters aren’t authoritarians, new research says. So what are they? – The Washington Post

1. Trump voters are no more authoritarian than supporters of Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio

2. What really differentiates Trump’s voters from the other Republicans is the populism. 

Trump voters are the only ones to score consistently high on all three populist dimensions. Cruz and Rubio’s supporters, for example, don’t express high feelings of anti-elitism. In fact, on this scale, they are strongly anti-populist, identifying with authority rather than rejecting it.

The psychology of Democratic voters also becomes apparent. In many ways, Bernie Sanders’s supporters are the mirror image of Trumps, except for the anti-elitism. Where Trump’s supports are nationalists, Bernie’s supporters are universalists. They rail against the elites much like the American revolutionaries railed against the English crown and the aristocracy. (And no doubt this is why Bernie doesn’t stress his own previous anti-immigration views during his campaign.)

Edit, 3/12/16 [I also wanted to touch on another aspect of Trump’s support that has come up frequently. That is that Trump’s support correlates with where middle aged White death rates are highest.

From Death predicts whether people vote for Donald Trump – The Washington Post. Of course, an explanation for this is easily produced, and it partly captured in a recent article of geographic correlates of Trumps’s support:

Trump Support correlations

This is from The Geography of Trumpism – The New York Times. The key is those lacking a high school diploma. As we saw  in my earlier post IQ and Death, people (and peoples) with lower IQ tend to die sooner. Many of the areas rich with Trump supporters are lower IQ working class area. These areas are depleted of higher IQ individuals (many often more liberal and WEIRD and often have left for the cities). In essence, these areas are boiled down – areas bereft of human capital. This explains both the poor economic prospects and the shorter lifespans.

As well, there is an ethnic component. As we saw, Trump’s support is strong with the Scots-Irish, and many of the above correlates are those of Scots-Irish areas. As we saw in my earlier posts HBD is Life and Death and More Maps of the American Nations, Scots-Irish areas of the country have shorter lifespans and a greater incidence of problems such as prescription drug overdoses.


Stoke Death Rates, Whites

Stoke Death Rates, Whites

What these people have discovered, again, is the American nations. ***End Edit***]

All of these regional differences, however, will mostly collapse to the usual American nations regional differences in the general election.

American Nations 2012nationwidecountymapshadedbypercentagewonD

It is the precise balance in the close contest states that will determine the winner.

Pundits will continue to make predictions about politics (especially about geographic patterns) and will continue to be wrong because they do not take regional genetic diversity (even among Whites) into account.


In the next part, I will discuss the rancor surrounding the presidential election and the Trump candidacy, and the deeper issue behind it all.