Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? — Part 1

The Fjordman Report

The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.

This is the first installment of a four-part series.



In this essay I will compare the works and theories of Jared Diamond, especially his international bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies from 1997 and to a lesser extent his 2005 book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, with the 2007 book Understanding Human History by the American astrophysicist Michael H. Hart. Diamond’s work is very focused on the importance of geography, which brings out useful perspectives in some cases but not in all. Hart puts his emphasis on differences in intelligence between various ethnic groups seen in light of the theory of evolution. I will quote books by other authors, too, to assess the importance of law, religion, education system, capitalism etc.

I am sometimes critical of Mr. Diamond’s writings, especially his overall conclusions, but that doesn’t mean that I believe everything he says is wrong. He correctly points out that environmental destruction is far from limited to Western culture, and he doesn’t hesitate in stating that brutal and violent practices were carried out in many societies around the world.

Along with other Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya lacked metal tools, boats with sails, wheels and domestic animals large enough to carry loads or pull a plow, but they nevertheless had impressively high population densities by pre-industrial standards before the so-called Classic Maya collapse after AD 800. Because of breakthroughs in the decipherment of Mayan glyphs in the late twentieth century, our understanding of Mayan society and culture is now far greater than it was a few generations ago. Diamond elaborates in his book Collapse:

“Archaeologists for a long time believed the ancient Maya to be gentle and peaceful people. We now know that Maya warfare was intense, chronic, and unresolvable, because limitations of food supply and transportation made it impossible for any Maya principality to unite the whole region in an empire, in the way the Aztecs and Incas united Central Mexico and the Andes, respectively….Captives were tortured in unpleasant ways depicted clearly on the monuments and murals (such as yanking fingers out of sockets, pulling out teeth, cutting off the lower jaw, trimming off the lips and fingertips, pulling out the fingernails, and driving a pin through the lips), culminating (sometimes several years later) in the sacrifice of the captive in other equally unpleasant ways (such as tying the captive up into a ball by binding the arms and legs together, then rolling the balled-up captive down the steep stone staircase of a temple).”

It is interesting to notice that Western observers, contrary to what is often claimed, often show non-Western cultures too much good faith rather than being “Eurocentric.” When I was young I was once told that regularly practiced cannibalism didn’t exist in any society in early modern times; this was a racist, colonialist lie invented by prejudiced Europeans to demonize other peoples and cultures. One example would be the former cannibal dubbed “Friday” who was converted to Christianity in Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. As I grow older and investigate things for myself, I see clearly how wrong this claim was.

In New Zealand, Paul Moon in his book This Horrid Practice: The Myth and Reality of Traditional Maori Cannibalism looks at the Maori tradition of eating each other in what was generally an extremely violent society. Cannibalism lasted until the mid-nineteenth century, says Moon, a history professor at the Auckland University of Technology. It didn’t disappear until after the arrival of Europeans and Christian missionaries. Infanticide was widely practiced, too. Tribes wanted men to be warriors, and mothers often killed their daughters by smothering them or pushing a finger through the soft tissue of the skull. Cannibalism was part of a post-battle rage. “One of the arguments is really if you want to punish your enemy killing them is not enough. If you can chop them up and eat them and turn them into excrement that is the greatest humiliation you can impose on them,” says Moon. “The amount of evidence is so overwhelming it would be unfair to pretend it didn’t happen. It is too important to ignore.”
- - - - - - - - -
The head of the Maori Studies Department at Auckland University, Professor Margaret Mutu, says cannibalism was widespread in New Zealand. “It was definitely there. It’s recorded in all sorts of ways in our histories and traditions, a lot of place names refer to it.” She said Maori cannibalism was not referred to by many historians because it was counter to English culture.

We have been told that Europeans invent negative stereotypes about other peoples. Notice how in this case — and this is far from the only such example to be found — Europeans actually downplayed very real flaws in other cultures, and this was even during the colonial period.

We know that cannibalism was practiced among a number of peoples in the Americas as well, most likely including the prehistoric Anasazi in what is today the southwestern United States. As Diamond says in his book Collapse, “the existence of non-emergency cannibalism is controversial. In fact, it was reported in hundreds of non-European societies at the times when they were first contacted by Europeans within recent centuries. The practice took two forms: eating either the bodies of enemies killed in war, or else eating one’s own relatives who had died of natural causes. New Guineans with whom I have worked over the past 40 years have matter-of-factly described their cannibalistic practices, have expressed disgust at our own Western burial customs of burying relatives without doing them the honor of eating them, and one of my best New Guinean workers quit his job with me in 1965 in order to partake in the consumption of his recently deceased prospective son-in-law. There have also been many archaeological finds of ancient human bones in contexts suggestive of cannibalism.”

Jared Diamond writes in Guns, Germs, and Steel that “…the virus causing laughing sickness (kuru) in the New Guinea highlands used to pass to a person from another person who was eaten. It was transmitted by cannibalism, when highland babies made the fatal mistake of licking their fingers after playing with raw brains that their mothers had just cut out of dead kuru victims awaiting cooking.”

Diamond, an evolutionary biologist, does not reject the possibility that there could be unequal levels of intelligence among ethnic groups developed over thousands of years, but insists that if there are, Europeans are less intelligent than others, as “natural selection promoting genes for intelligence has probably been far more ruthless in New Guinea than in more densely populated, politically complex societies, where natural selection for body chemistry was instead more potent….there is also a second reason why New Guineans may have come to be smarter than Westerners. Modern European and American children spend much of their time being passively entertained by television, radio, and movies….This effect surely contributes a non-genetic component to the superior average mental function displayed by New Guineans. That is, in mental ability New Guineans are probably genetically superior to Westerners.”

Mr. Diamond has just stated that many New Guineans have widely practiced cannibalism until recent times. He says this matter-of-factly but does not clearly indicate that he disapproves of this. In fact, in his writings he appears to be more critical of television than he is of cannibalism. Moreover, he thinks it is morally loathsome if those denounced as “white supremacists” should believe that people of European origins might have higher intelligence than, say, Australian Aborigines, but he apparently thinks it is fine to say that New Guineans have higher intelligence than Europeans. Does that make him a New Guinean supremacist?

You can find traces of the concept of cannibalism in modern European culture, for instance in the story about Hansel and Gretel, one of the many traditional folk tales and fairy tales such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella that were collected and popularized by the influential German scholars and linguists Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859) in the early nineteenth century. However, in this fairy tale adapted by the Brothers Grimm, the idea of eating people was attributed to the villain of the story, the evil witch, and the practice was seen as self-evidently immoral and totally unacceptable.

Diamond indicates that he writes in order to dispel “Eurocentrism” and claims that IQ tests measure cultural learning only, not innate intelligence. Yet studies have shown for instance that people with higher IQs make wiser economic choices. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in their 2002 book IQ and the Wealth of Nations argue that a significant part of the gap between rich and poor countries is due to differences in national intelligence measured in IQ.

According to Swedish Professor Annica Dahlström, an expert in neuroscience, men are found more frequently than women at the extremes of high and low intelligence. Female geniuses exist, but they are much less frequent than male ones. The feminist establishment claims that she has misused her position as a scientist to reinforce “gender stereotypes,” yet as Dahlström says, “The difference between boys and girls, in terms of their biology and brain, is greater than we could ever have imagined.” We can now scan and follow brain activity in real time. Differences between the sexes are clearly recognizable at the age of three, if not before. The centers of the brain dealing with verbal communication, interpretation of facial expressions and body language are more developed in girls even at this early age. Nonetheless, Larry Summers, economist and President of the prestigious Harvard University in the USA, was forced to resign after a 2005 speech in which he suggested that women’s under-representation in the top levels of academia is due to a “different availability of aptitude at the high end.”

Professor Helmuth Nyborg at Aarhus University in Denmark did research which revealed that there are differences between the sexes when it comes to intelligence. This triggered massive resistance from his colleagues. He states that “Within the realms of psychology you are not allowed to talk about intelligence. You cannot measure intelligence and you cannot rank people according to intelligence. The entire field of intelligence is a so-called ‘no-go-area.’” If you still choose to proceed, you are a bad person. If you also look at differences between groups of people, not just between men and women, you are immoral and a “Nazi.” This is certainly the case for white scholars, though interestingly enough not always for Asian ones.

The problem is that this view is not logically consistent. If you believe that God, or some divine being or force, created all human beings exactly as equals, then you can talk about racism. If, on the other hand, you believe that human beings are the result of evolution, then the entire concept of “racism” is scientifically meaningless. The West at the turn of the twenty-first century is dominated by Darwinists who don’t believe in the theory of evolution. If you think that sounds like a contradiction in terms, consider the message of Guns, Germs, and Steel. The essence of Diamond’s beliefs is that evolution has been going on for billions of years, creating elephants and whales out of single-cell organisms, but then it miraculously stopped about 50,000 years ago and you are evil if you suggest that human beings were subject to evolutionary pressures after this. This is, rationally speaking, completely absurd, yet this is the unquestioned ruling ideology in Western media and academia today.

Diamond himself attempts to give a summary of his entire book in just one sentence: “History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.”

Yes, but what if different natural environments also changed the biology of different human groups in non-superficial ways, something which the theory of evolution should indicate?

The Near East had access to a wealth of useful local plants and animals. Four species of big mammals — the goat, sheep, pig and cow — were domesticated very early in the Fertile Crescent, possibly earlier than any other animal except the dog anywhere else in the world. Agriculture was launched in the Fertile Crescent by the early domestication of eight “founder crops,” the cereals emmer wheat, einkorn wheat and barley; the pulses lentil, pea, chickpea, and bitter vetch and the fiber crop flax. Thanks to this availability of suitable wild mammals and plants, people in this region could quickly assemble a potent and balanced biological package for intensive food production, which again led to complex, socially stratified societies with bureaucracies that needed some system of recording. According to Diamond, writing arose independently in the Near East (Mesopotamia), Mexico and possibly in China because those were the first areas where food production emerged in their respective hemispheres, a theory which appears plausible. This constitutes the strongest part of his work.

Eurasian crowd diseases played a huge part in the European conquest of the Americas. Cortes and Pizarro had superior steel weapons and armor against clubs and slingshots, but before the conquests of the Aztec and Inca Empires, deadly Eurasian diseases such as smallpox, often arriving long before the first Europeans got there, decimated much of the local population. Diamond correctly states that people with horses enjoyed an enormous military advantage over those without them. Only with the introduction of trucks and tanks in World War I did horses become supplanted as the main assault vehicle and means of fast transport in war.

Something momentous took place in the capabilities of early humans between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago. Diamond calls this the Great Leap Forward. Whether this was caused by a perfection of verbal skills or a general change in brain organization remains unresolved. Around 40,000 years ago the Cro-Magnons moved into Europe and after some millennia of coexistence displaced the Neanderthals. At about the same time we find the first evidence of human colonization of New Guinea and Australia via Southeast Asia. As Diamond writes:

“The rate of development was undetectably slow at the beginning, when hundreds of thousands of years passed with no discernible change in our stone tools and with no surviving evidence for artifacts made of other materials. Today, technology advances so rapidly that it is reported in the daily newspaper. In this long history of accelerating development, one can single out two especially significant jumps. The first, occurring between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, probably was made possible by genetic changes in our bodies: namely, by evolution of the modern anatomy permitting modern speech or modern brain function, or both. That jump led to bone tools, single-purpose stone tools, and compound tools. The second jump resulted from our adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, which happened at different times in different parts of the world, as early as 13,000 years ago in some areas and not even today in others. For the most part, that adoption was linked to our adoption of food production, which required us to remain close to our crops, orchards, and stored food surpluses. Sedentary living was decisive for the history of technology, because it enabled people to accumulate nonportable possessions.”

Jared Diamond accepts the possibility that there could have been major genetic changes until about 50,000 BC, but considers it “loathsome” and “racist” to suggest that genetic changes between various human groups could have happened after this. This is not sustainable when confronted with historical realities. Different groups of early humans in Africa, Europe, many parts of Asia, Australia and finally North and South America lived in different natural environments for thousands or tens of thousands of years after this and adapted to their local environments.

In fact, recent studies indicate not only that human evolution continued but that it accelerated and became greater during the last 10,000 years after the beginning of agriculture and the rise of urban civilizations, when our bodies had to adapt to new living conditions, new crowd diseases and different types of food. This is the theory behind the 2009 title The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending, which I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read as of this writing.

The main theory of Michael Hart’s book Understanding Human History is that when early humans after about 60,000 BC left Africa and settled on other continents (he uses the out-of Africa theory as his starting point, but early human evolutionary history is highly complex and much-debated), the average IQ was about 70 or lower, almost certainly not higher than that. There are humans living in Africa today who have average IQs of less than 70, and there is no strong reason to believe that human intelligence has declined in the past sixty thousand years. This level rose slowly (not more than one IQ point per millennium) during tens of thousands of years due to evolutionary pressures, but more in some regions than in others. Hart supports the “cold weather” hypothesis which says that as the climate got colder, people developed higher intelligence in order to survive in the challenging natural environment, which essentially means that the further north you get, the higher the average IQ becomes.

Theoretically speaking you should be able to see the same trend in the Southern Hemisphere the further south you get, but Antarctica was uninhabited by humans until very recently, and the only people who live there for any extended periods of time even today are scientists. In practice, therefore, this principle only applies to the Northern Hemisphere. People from Sweden or Russia should accordingly have higher IQs than people from the Nile Valley. Similarly, Koreans or Japanese should have higher average IQs than people from South India or New Guinea. Both of these examples roughly correspond to observed reality.

Changes in human anatomy and physiology that lead to higher intelligence do not come cost free, since larger brains require larger amounts of energy as well as larger heads, which create strains on the muscular and skeletal structure. However, in challenging cold climates, the advantages of higher intelligence outweighed these costs.

The Upper Paleolithic is the last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age, roughly speaking 40,000 to 10,000 years ago. The so-called Upper Paleolithic Revolution is the name given to the phenomenon that after 50,000 BC, Homo sapiens began to demonstrate signs of a new level of sophistication and abstract thought. The first stone tools made hundreds of thousands to a couple of million years ago by early humanoids were very crude and can barely be recognized as man-made objects. In contrast to this painfully slow rate of progress, rapid changes occurred during the Upper Paleolithic with the introduction of such innovations as sewing needles, early ceramics, bow and arrow, harpoons, fishhooks, flutes for music etc. Archaeological evidence so far indicates that few or none of these inventions were made by groups of humans in tropical regions; they were made by humans living in cooler climates. Michael H. Hart writes in Understanding Human History:

“Whatever the exact dates of the inventions listed may be, it is plain that the rate of technological advance was much, much higher in the Upper Paleolithic than in preceding eras. What was the cause of this great increase (the ‘Upper Paleolithic Revolution’) in the rate of technological advance? It is sometimes said that the rapid rate of intellectual and technological progress in recent eras results primarily from the fact that we are building on the foundations that earlier peoples laid. While this may be one factor, it is certainly not the whole story. After all, at most times in the distant past, human beings were not making advances over the achievements of earlier generations. The main reason why the rate of progress increased during the Upper Paleolithic was simply that humans living then were more intelligent than their distant ancestors had been. (One aspect of that greater intelligence, of course, was their greater linguistic ability.) Similarly, an important reason why the rate of progress has been even higher in recent millennia than in the Upper Paleolithic is that human intelligence has continued to grow, and is higher today than it was then.”

Technological progress accelerated during the Neolithic Era, or New Stone Age. In the Neolithic Revolution, agriculture arose more or less independently in at least half a dozen separate regions around the world, which brings us to a couple of intriguing questions: Why did this development not begin until after about 10,000 BC, and why did it then occur in several widely separated places within a few thousand years? Why was agriculture not invented in 30 or 40,000 BC even though plants and animals suitable for domestication existed already then, and humans lived in all major landmasses except the Americas?

In Michael Hart’s view, useful plants and animals were a necessary factor for the rise of agriculture, but not a sufficient one; a population with a minimum level of intelligence was needed, too. The reason why agriculture wasn’t invented by any early humans forty thousand years ago is that none of them had yet developed the necessary intelligence to successfully make the conceptual leap that was required to start growing food. Hart believes that the “threshold” level required to originate agriculture even in a region with suitable climate, plants and animals was a mean IQ in the high 80s. Following tens of thousands of years of evolutionary pressures, the average IQ of some human groups had finally become high enough, but agriculture was nevertheless not introduced first in challenging northern climates.

Hart considers the alternative geography-focused hypothesis for the development of civilization presented by Professor Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel. He suggests that the comparative backwardness of pre-colonial Australia and parts of the Americas compared to major Eurasian civilizations was entirely due to geographic factors, climate and the lack of a favorable flora and fauna. Surprisingly, he is willing to consider the possibility that there could a genetic component to intelligence as long as this reflects poorly on whites, which in my view is so intellectually dishonest that it seriously undermines his conclusions.

Michael Hart is careful, and in my view correct, in not dismissing everything Mr. Diamond says out of hand. The ancient Near East really did have a favorable climate as well as a far greater local supply of useful and easily domesticable plants and animals than any other region, which is in all likelihood a very important reason why agriculture and urban civilization emerged so early there; both Australia and the region we know as the United States were indeed badly lacking in such species. However, according to Hart the facts do not support Diamond’s theory when it is applied to a comparison between sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Mesoamerica. As regards fauna, SSA had a great advantage over Mesoamerica as it was not completely cut off from the civilizations of Eurasia. Some important aspects of Eurasian technology like pottery-making, bronze working and ironworking reached SSA from the Middle East, as did the use of domesticated camels, sheep and goats:

“Using his criteria, civilization should have begun earlier in SSA than it did in Mesoamerica, and it should have progressed more there (prior to the European expansion of modern times) than it did in Mesoamerica. In fact, though, by 1000 AD, Mesoamerica was far more advanced than SSA was, or ever had been. For example, Mesoamericans had originated writing on their own, had constructed many large stone structures, and had built large cities (rivaling any existing in Europe, and far larger than any in sub-Saharan Africa). Furthermore, the Mayan achievements in mathematics and astronomy dwarf any intellectual achievements in SSA. We must therefore conclude that, although Guns, Germs, and Steel is an informative book, the obvious superiority of Mesoamerican technology to that of sub-Saharan Africa appears to be a fatal blow to the main arguments presented in it.”

30 comments:

mace said...

Fjordman,

Assuming higher latitudes tend to produce higher IQs,we have an interesting uncontrolled experiment in regard to the future IQs of people of Northern European and North Asian descent in Australia(a hot country).
I agree with your comments on Jared Diamond,his books are very interesting, however his double standards in regard to "racism" annoyed me as well. All too common with academics, unfortunately. I once asked a specialist in Indian studies whether there was a racial element in the Caste System,her attitude and body language suggested that only a Westerner could contemplate such a ridiculous possibility. After all, only Whites are racist.

Ralph said...

Ihr grossen Staedte
Steinern aufgebaut
In der Ebene!
So sprachlos folgt
Der Heimatlose
Mit dunkler Stirne dem Wind,
Kahlen Baeumen am Huegel.
Ihr weithin daemmernden Stroeme!
Gewaltig aengstet
Schaurige Abendroete
Im Sturmgewoelk.
Ihr sterbenden Voelker!
Bleiche Woge
Zerschellend am Strande der Nacht,
Fallende Sterne.

Fjordman said...

Mace: It is conceivable that the peculiar caste system of India back in some remote past originated as an IQ preservationist strategy. High-caste peoples typically have slightly lighter skin color than those of lower caste, although there are exceptions to this rule. Few societies are more obsessed with skin color than modern India.

Yes, what we are witnessing now is an experiment of unprecedented magnitude in world history. Never before have a massive amount of low-IQ people been allowed to settle in lands where the inhabitants have substantially higher average IQ than themselves. Historically, it has usually been high-IQ peoples conquering low-IQ peoples, higher intelligence being an important reason for this.

When people are asked about what constitutes the most serious case of anti-scientific censorship in Western history, they will usually cite the case of Galileo vs. the Inquisition. That was indeed a bad moment, but the attempted censorship of the Sun-centered cosmology of Copernicus had little long-term effect. It may have had some limited impact in Catholic countries, but in the rest of Europe the Copernican theory was still studied. In contrast to China, there was no authority that could successfully censor all of Europe at the same time. Moreover, the attempted censorship in this case didn't do anything to change physical reality. The Earth still orbits the Sun.

The worst case of anti-scientific hysteria ever recorded in Western history is the "anti-racism" now promoted especially by left-wing secularists who claim to have a rational and scientific mindset. If "anti-racism" is proven to be factually wrong and people really do have different levels of intelligence and civilizational capabilities, many Western countries could by then have been severely damaged or irreversibly destroyed in the process.

It is quite possible from a scientific point of view to claim that peoples with a different genetic profile think differently, and that culture consequently is the product of a group of people with a related genetic profile. If so, Western culture is the product of European peoples and can only be maintained by them. In that case, the United States will soon cease to be a Western country as it gets a non-European majority. President Barack Hussein Obama is a transitional figure in the evolution of the USA from a Western to a non-Western country.

Baron Bodissey said...

Ralph --

This is an English-language blog. Please supply a translation if you post in another language. Many of our readers (including myself) do not read German.

If I'm not mistaken, the poem you quote is part 3 of "Abendland" by the early 20th-century Austrian poet Georg Trakl.

This is a machine translation:

Their big cities
Constructed of stone
In the plane!
Thus speechless follows
The Homeless
With dark brow to the wind,
Trees on barren hills.
Her dusky widely Flows!
Vast dreads
Eerie twilight
In Sturmgewoelk.
Her dying peoples!
Bleaching wave
Smashed on the beach at night,
Falling Stars.

mace said...

Fjordman,
"Few societies are more obsessed with skin color than modern India" -or so quick to accuse others of racism.

Afonso Henriques said...

"... civilization should have begun earlier in SSA than it did in Mesoamerica, and it should have progressed more there (prior to the European expansion of modern times)"

Have you noticed that now it is fashionable to say that "Africa is the craddle of Civilisation"? How come?
The craddle of Civilisation must be the ancient Near East, Egipt included.

Ralph said...

Indeed written 90 years ago, on the eve of destruction, with totalitarianism rising in ALL of Europe, it feels VERY present. No translation can do the original justice:

You great cities
Reared of stone
In the Plains!
Speechless with dark brow
The homeless man
Follows the wind,
Bare trees by the hillside.
You wide fading rivers!
Fearful sunsets
In tempest clouds
Inspire mighty dread.
You dying nations!
Pallid wave
Breaking upon night's shore,
Falling stars.

Afonso Henriques said...

"Assuming higher latitudes tend to produce higher IQs,we have an interesting uncontrolled experiment in regard to the future IQs of people of Northern European and North Asian descent in Australia"

Mace, I think that, at best, the "uncontrolled experiment" that was done was that of exporting Southerners to the North. In America that happened some centuries ago and their IQ did not rose - except through race mixing.

I also think that you will not go back in IQ matters just because you go South. What would be the advantage?

Have you notice that untill the 60s the world History consisted of "Northerners" invading and conquering "Southerners"?
Except the Romans, but they were quiet "Northerners as well".

The only South-North expansion has been those of the non-white attacks in Europe, which have been more or less repelled and did not affect the whole continent.

Afonso Henriques said...

"It is quite possible from a scientific point of view to claim that peoples with a different genetic profile think differently, and that culture consequently is the product of a group of people with a related genetic profile. If so, Western culture is the product of European peoples and can only be maintained by them. In that case, the United States will soon cease to be a Western country as it gets a non-European majority. President Barack Hussein Obama is a transitional figure in the evolution of the USA from a Western to a non-Western country."

Okay, right on Fjordman, I agree with you.
HOWEVER, I'd very much to know your thoughts on "semi-Western" or "Western" States like those of the Southern Cone of Latin America: Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Also, what about a Christian Lebanon?
I already know you count Israel as Westerner. Don't you?

4Symbols said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4Symbols said...

It is notable that those who promote diversity are so blind to it on a individual level, one to one our common attributes are obvious but our differences are astounding. The immediateness of this can be observed in 2nd and 3rd generation displacement.

Do a search on the Internet for 3rd and even 4th generation Italians looking for their links back home, Why?

Sir Henry Morgan said...

The Laftards say "race is culturally defined".

I prefer to say "culture is racially defined"

In broad terms, all European cultures are roughly similar; all Sub-Saharan African cultures are roughly similar; all s.Indian cultures are roughly similar; all Oriental cultures are roughly similar; etc.

Fjordman said...

Afonso Henriques: The most advanced South American countries such as Argentina and Chile are the most European ones, culturally and genetically. They also happen to be the countries that make the best Latin American wines, accidental or not. Since I've just written about wine I could mention that vines were not grown in sub-Saharan Africa prior to the European colonial period. They were brought to southern Africa by European settlers, British and Dutch. Wine came to South Africa with whites. Will it also leave when the last whites have been killed or chased out of the country? This is, of course, the least important aspect of the disintegration of SA, but wine is a cultural product and illustrates that culture follows genes.

The case of Israel is interesting. I've heard reports that it is difficult to integrate Ethiopian Jews. This is, in my view, because they have a part-African genetic profile which makes them too different from Middle Eastern or especially European Jews. If you postulate that any society cannot successfully absorb a substantial number of people with a radically different genetic profile, this will explain why Africans haven't been integrated into the United States after living there for several centuries, longer than many European immigrants who were seamlessly assimilated. We could also mention the case of the Gypsies, who come from India originally and have been living in Eastern and Central Europe for the better part of a thousand years (since the Late Middle Ages) but still aren't integrated there. If this principle holds true then we are now mass-importing tens of millions of immigrants to Western countries who will NEVER become integrated into our societies, not even centuries from now.

PS: Afonso probably won't like what Michael Hart writes about Portugal: He speculates whether interbreeding with low-IQ populations (African slaves) lowered the Portuguese national IQ during the colonial period.

jeppo said...

I think that the term "Western" to describe a people or civilization originated in the Greco-Persian wars of the 5th Century BC. It was used to delineate (and favour) the West from the East, Greece from Persia, Europe from Asia, freedom from tyranny etc., and the usage has survived in one form or another for 2500 years.

Although during the Cold War the East-West dividing line was considered an ideological border rather than a cultural one, and ran down the centre of Europe, I think a more proper 21st Century definition of "Western" would be "European", including overseas nations where Europeans are the majority.

This would be based on a people sharing a common geographical ancestry and a common civilizational history, dating back to ancient Greece. Also Westerners generally share a common language group, Indo-European, and a common religion, Christianity. And, more controversially, a common race and even skin colour, Caucasian and white respectively.

So the West would include all the nations of Europe (not including Asiatic Turkey), plus Russia, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In Latin America, Europeans form majorities in only Argentina and Uruguay, though it's sometimes claimed that they do in Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica and Cuba as well. But I would classify Latin America as a whole as a civilization in its own right, not Western but a Westernized offshoot.

In the same vein, I believe that Israel is Westerized rather than Western, as Ashkenazi (European) Jews, who founded the state, now form only about 35% of the population. They are outnumbered by Sephardic (Middle Eastern) Jews plus the 20% of the population that are Israeli Arabs.

South Africa and some of the former Soviet Asian republics could also be considered Westernized nations, though not part of the West per se.

I think that if the West is to survive as a distinct civilization, Third World (and especially Muslim) immigration must be drastically reduced or stopped altogether. Otherwise Europe and Russia will eventually merge with the Islamic world, North America with Latin America, and Australasia with the larger Asia-Pacific region.

Also the West must achieve some sort of political-economic-military unity to prevent it being broken up and devoured by rival civilizations. I think the best way to do this is through existing transnational institutions like NATO and the EU.

NATO should be expanded to include all of Europe plus Russia, and one day possibly Australia and New Zealand but no further. Meanwhile Turkey should be expelled from NATO as it's totally incompatible in almost every way with the rest of the West.

The EU should then be expanded and merged with NATO in a sort of North Atlantic Union, a larger, looser, less centralized and bureaucratic, and more democratic form of its old self. I would describe this new alliance as a sort of Fortress West, promoting the free movement of people and goods within, and forming a united front against the rest of the world.

This way even if the two greatest Western nations, the US and Russia, become minority-European countries, they will be harnessed to a European core and not be lost to the West forever.

Sorry for the long comment :)

Afonso Henriques said...

Fjordman, I quiet agree with you. I think we'll all agree that Mexico is not an European country nor a Western country despite the fact that the main influence in Mexico, by far, has been the Spanish one.

I will not talk about Argentina or Uruguay for them being too white, but what I wanted to know is *what* makes a Nation Western. Are Nations like Brazil or Chile Western? Is the United States Western? What is it that make such "multicultural" Nations continue to be Western or cease to be Western should be a good exercise for us to understand this better.
And you know I am not wanting minorities into the European club but we are talking at the National level.

About Israel: I really do think that the problem with Israel is not that much a genetical thing as it is a cultural thing: For centuries some Jews lived in Europe and others lived in muslim lands. Those Jews had roughly the same culture but had to evolve differently to the different environments.
The Ethiopian Jews are not "really Jews" as far as I know. I believe those Ethiopian Jews don't share exactly the same culture as the European/North African/Western Asian Jews. I think they are genetically Jews a little but culturally they can be better described as Africans who simply converted to Judaism. Those Jews, I think, were quiet tribal and maintained their Ethiopian practices. They are not "pure" Jews if you understand what I mean.

"Afonso probably won't like what Michael Hart writes about Portugal: He speculates whether interbreeding with low-IQ populations (African slaves) lowered the Portuguese national IQ during the colonial period."

Oh yeah...
... we don't have room to like or dislike when the truth comes. We just have to try to discover what the truth is.
I've seen a bit of the Portugal is 10% African thing, I've seen enough to make me look into that topic with much interest.

The truth is that Portugal has an African heritage that is quiet large when compared to the average European one.
But it is also true that that heritage follows a cline from the Southwest of Europe to the Northeast. And Portugal is in the extreme Southwest of Europe being the country with greater proximity and contacts with Africa. This explains why Portugal has the higher interbreeding with Africans, an interbreeding that is, after all, ridiculously small and concentrated in some known villages where African and muslim slaves worked in plantations of rice (the mortality rate was great, and the Europeans were less resistant to paludism).

The thing I want to say is that although it's true that Portugal has more interbreeding with Africans than any other place in Europe, it is ridiculous to believe that it affected the whole population - or some significant part - so that it can lower the average IQ. It simple is not possible, and I haven't seen any data where the IQ dropped in Portugal. In all the data I've seen Portugal is on the average European medium. Although the IQ seemed to peak in Northwest Europe (Brittain, the Benelux, Norway, Sweden) - which I can understand - and I don't know why, in Italy too.

Lygeia said...

Apparently, there does seem to be something to the idea that the land exerts an effect upon the consciousness and the temperament, even the body type, of the people that live there, changing them. (This may be why certain members of the elite think they can import Muslims to Scandinavia, they are expecting the land to work its "magic.) Diet and various trace minerals can effect the human endocrine system, producing different types of people (red hair, green eyes in Russia; blond hair, blue eyes in Sweden), but, as many of the posters here have correctly noted, smart people do not become dumb if they move to another country, nor do their descendants lose IQ points simply for moving south of the equator (this only follows as long as their descendants marry within their same ethnic group or at least marry someone with a similar IQ).

Race matters and regardless of how the white, European race was produced (a combination of the land effecting the genetics of the people or some other factor, such as the cold winters), it is true nonsense to posit a theory, as Jared Diamond has done, that the average brain-eating cannibal of the past (hopefully, safely esconced in the mists of times past) from New Guinea is superior to the average present-day white American or European.

Félicie said...

Fjordman: "The case of Israel is interesting. I've heard reports that it is difficult to integrate Ethiopian Jews. This is, in my view, because they have a part-African genetic profile which makes them too different from Middle Eastern or especially European Jews. "

Genetic studies confirm your suspicion. Ethiopian so-called Jews are not Jewish. This is a very controversial subject. The immigration of the Ethiopian Jews into Israel was a politically motivated event. Many Ashkenazi rabbis, such as rabbi Miller, were strongly against the immigration of African people into Israel, arguing that they are not Jewish from the religious perspective because they don't practice Torah Judaism (even very basic things!). It was the Eastern Jews who wanted to undermine the Europian (Ashkenazi) influence in Israel that forced the issue.

Later it became even worse. After all of the Falashas were brought into Israel, they started bringing in Falash Mura - regular Ethiopians - some of whose ancestors might have been Jewish Falashas. My friend teaches highschool in Israel. She tells me that they have terrible disciplinary and academic problems with these kids. Well, treasonous Israeli elites are doing exactly the same suicidal things to their country as treasonous European elites.

Here is a link to a short article on rabbi Miller's objection to Falashas.

http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5765/bechukosai/lettflshbck65.htm

Félicie said...

While we are on the topic of Israel. :)

jeppo:"In the same vein, I believe that Israel is Westerized rather than Western, as Ashkenazi (European) Jews, who founded the state, now form only about 35% of the population. They are outnumbered by Sephardic (Middle Eastern) Jews plus the 20% of the population that are Israeli Arabs."

I believe that Israel should again be divided into two states, just like in ancient times, Israel and Judea - with Israel allocated for the Ashkenazi Jews and Judea for the Sephards with the "separate but equal" motto being the ideological basis of the division. Arabs must, of course, be transferred out of the country. Ethiopians also.

mace said...

Afonso Henriques,

"I also think you will not go back in IQ matters just because you go south" As an Australian of Northern European ancestory I hope you're correct.

Fjordman,

Interesting point in regard to the lack of integration by some minorities into the mainstream. The usual PC explanation is that failure to integrate is due to prejudices by the majority society,the possibility that some of the "fault" lies with the minority group is rarely considered-publically.

WAKE UP said...

The "noble savage" was seldom noble, and often savage.

jeppo said...

Here are some hilarious examples of our PC masters expropriating our European heritage.

One_of_the_last_few_Patriots_left said...

Thank you, Fjordman, for another interesting and informative essay. I've been seeing at least a little bit of discussion on these matters in various internet sources, but of course the mainstream media (that is, "the obsolete media") won't touch it, and we are all "Racist!" for even thinking about it.

Let me point out that in tropical environments, there is little or no seasonal variation. Thus food is common throughout the year. In far northern regions (like here in New Hampshire) winter can be long and hard. Thus evolutionary pressure would tend to favor the ability to PLAN AHEAD. If you do not stock up on food stores and firewood and build shelters, you will not survive the winter. Further, larger groups of humans must CO-OPERATE to bring down the large animals found in the far north using only primitive weapons. I would suggest that large scale co-operative enterprises and long range planning are essential features of Western culture.

One_of_the_last_few_Patriots_left said...

Let me also suggest that you do a google search for "Otzi, the Iceman."
This is the chalcolithic human who was found in a thawing glacier in the Otztal Alps. If I remember correctly,
the body was found at about 10,000 feet elevation. His clothing was quite ingenious, along with the rest of his equipment. In a tropical climate, the clothing, at least, would not have been needed.

thll said...

A culture is a people's answer to the problems posed it by nature - this seems to me to be so blindingly obvious as to be beyond question. What other explanation can there be for cultural differences?

Britain and Japan are similar in that both are seafaring islands situated in the northern hemisphere close to the continental land mass; that their respective cultures evolved in the way they did surely cannot be explained by the sun rising 'earlier' in Japan.

People who believe all peoples are the same are either fooling themselves, fooling others, or have no experience of other peoples.

laine said...

I don't know how this posting escaped my attention for so long.

"what Michael Hart writes about Portugal: He speculates whether interbreeding with low-IQ populations (African slaves) lowered the Portuguese national IQ during the colonial period".

In a major Canadian city, the Board of Education about ten years ago released achievement figures according to racial/cultural background (this could never be done now).

There was one outrider that no one knew about. As has been documented many times elsewhere, the best students were Asian (as in what used to be called Oriental, Chinese, Korean etc. NOT Muslim as Asian is now used in Europe to obfuscate their crime rates etc.)

Whites were in the middle. Blacks were on the bottom but so were Portuguese. In a way this was lucky because the results could not easily be dismissed as due to a "racist" education system since non-whites were on top and Portuguese "whites" were on the bottom along with the blacks. But if it's true about inter-marriage between the two, then that could explain it.

Afonso Henriques said...

Laine,

Portuguese are not mixed with Arabs.
But we're two times more mixed with North Africans than with Jews.

We're not mixed with Jews, but we are much more mixed with Middle Easterners than with Sub Saharan Africans.

The only thing is that we have much more Sub Saharan admixture than the rest of Europe because we've been that close to Africa.

We're the Europeans who are part black in the same way that the British are the Northern Europeans who have mixed with blacks. Because there is a greater African influence in Britain and Ireland than in Scandinavia and the Baltic.

Laine, it would not influenciate the IQ.
For instance Laine, see this:

Portugal: 95
Slovenia: 95
Israel and Romania: 94
Bulgaria, Ireland and Greece: 93
Croatia and Turjey: 90

Just an example. We're usually on the European average: 105 to 95.

Rocha said...

To you that think that Portuguese are dumb or dumber because a supposed african blood.

Ireland is supposed to be dumber than Portugal and the United States AND Canada (who was untill recent times lily white) are behind Spain.
Anyway while i do believe in different IQ for different nations (even white, why not?), i do not believe that black-portuguese thing.

1.) Slaves were imported not only in Portugal but in Spain and Venice aswell. I read this bullsh*t about Portugal all the time specilly by american authors but do not find them writting about NORTHERN ITALIANS per example.

2.) Slaves had short lives. Reducing the chance of succeful reproduction and raising of children.

3.) Slaves even in USA have much white blood. So even if 10% of the Portuguese population was black the genetic impact was less than 10% because they would receive more white blood before "integrating".

4.) A slave is born of a slave woman so mullatos would be slaves and counted as such, while a free mulatto (born to a free woman) would not find an easy mate due to discrimination. Portuguese discriminated jew descendend new-christians from their conversion on 1497 to 1772 why would not they discriminate agaisnt black blood that would be even more evident.

5.) Women do not usually inherit. So if you are a single women why would you "marry" a black who had nothing to support you monetarialy?

6.) In Portugal now the mestizos who remain are in very isolated and near the frontier towns?

I know several portuguese and JUST one a woman from Minho shows any sign of African blood and even in her it's just skin color and kinky hair. It's not followed by negro traits as i see in most near-whites Brazilians. So while i do believe in some interaction the number (10%) to me it's just a lie.
As for non white blood in whites i have seen 2 white polish parents having a very asian looking daughter. Again in a strict AND DUMB sense we could and encyclopedias do write it that (Mirador, Britannica) finnish, laps, estonians, hungarians, maltese and basques are NOT white! Can someone truly beleives that? Have anyone studied the effect of mongol and turkish blood in Russians and Poles? How about Bulgarians? Are they less inteligent because of it?

Rocha said...

To you that think that Portuguese are dumb or dumber because a supposed african blood.

Ireland is supposed to be dumber than Portugal and the United States AND Canada (who was untill recent times lily white) are behind Spain.
Anyway while i do believe in different IQ for different nations (even white, why not?), i do not believe that black-portuguese thing.

1.) Slaves were imported not only in Portugal but in Spain and Venice aswell. I read all this bullsh*t about Portugal all the time specilly by american authors but do not find them writting about NORTHERN ITALIANS per example.

2.) Slaves had short lives. Reducing the chance of succeful reproduction and raising of children.

3.) Slaves even in USA have much white blood. So even if 10% of the Portuguese population was black the genetic impact was less than 10% because they would receive white blood before "integrating".

4.) A slave is born of a slave woman so mullatos would be slaves and counted as such, while a free mulatto (born to a free woman) would not find an easy mate due to discrimination. Portuguese discriminated jew descendend new-christians from their conversion on 1497 to 1772 why would not they discriminate agaisnt black blood that would be even more evident.

5.) Women do not usually inherit. So if you are a single women why would you "marry" a black who had nothing to support you monetarialy?

6.) Why would you BUY a black to marry your daughter if you could pay (dote) for a portuguese one.

7.) In Portugal now the mestizos who remain are in very isolated and near the frontier towns and there are very few of them.

I know several portuguese and JUST one a woman from Minho shows any sign of African blood and even in her it's just skin color and kinky hair. It's not followed by negro traits as i see in most near-whites Brazilians. So while i do believe in some interaction the number (10%) to me it's just a lie.
As for non white blood in whites i have seen 2 white polish parents having a very asian looking daughter. Again in a strict AND DUMB sense we could and encyclopedias do write it that (Mirador, Britannica) finnish, laps, estonians, hungarians, maltese and basques are NOT white! Can someone truly beleives that? Have anyone studied the effect of mongol and turkish blood in Russians and Poles? How about Bulgarians? Are they less inteligent because of it?

ella said...

Just wondering then if cold climate impacts the cultural IQ, what about the eskimos? They had developed an incredible form of cultural survival in the Artic north, and genetically are Asian,Mongolian and are known as the Inuit. Don't know if they had developed any great higher learning in intellect, science or technologically, by modern day IQ standards.

Geoff said...

"both Australia and the region we know as the United States were indeed badly lacking in such species...."

Actually, that idea (derived from Diamond) is false. From www.rogersandall.com, on a page that (maddeningly) no longer exists there (and which hasn't been archived anywhere I can find it):

"Academics with an idée fixe say strange things. Take Professor Jared Diamond for example. Desperately anxious to explain why Australian Aborigines kept no domestic animals other than dogs, and fearful we will think the worse of them for this, he announced in Guns, Germs, and Steel that Australia 'had no domesticable native mammals' before the arrival of Europeans."

"That sounded odd. Should we assume he mistook the wombat sitting next to him on the couch for a cushion? I would have thought that potentially domesticable animals were quite common in Australia. If raised from infancy in human company wallabys and kangaroos will hang around hoping to be fed, even though no special effort has been made to tame them...."

"Yet Jared Diamond tells us that Australia had no suitable domesticable animals that might have been raised for meat. If for some reason he imagines that the wild boars of late Ice Age Eurasia, or the fiercely horned bulls of the Minoans, would actually have been easier to domesticate than emus or wallabys ... well, what can one say?...."