Saturday, May 10, 2014

Geno-cultural eucivicism

The "culture is not genetic" crowd is finished, they simply don't realize it yet because they a) have never thought logically through their position, and, b) are not up on the relevant science. This study of differing Han cognitive styles is but one of the many examples that is putting the coup de grace into the blank slate myth:
It has long been suggested that China's reliance on rice fostered collectivist attitudes, and the Confucian emphasis on group allegiance and conformity. Such attitudes are even cited as explaining why Europe, rather than China, was the home of the industrial revolution: the revolution was based on scientific thinking, which is held to rely on individualism and openness to innovation. But the idea that growing rice promotes a group mentality remained speculation.

Talhelm and his colleagues in China decided to test it. They gave standard tests for cognitive style, individualism, and in-group loyalty to 1162 students in six cities across China, in wheat or rice-growing areas. All were Han Chinese, China's dominant ethnic group, so other differences were hopefully minimal.

Nevertheless, they found many differences in cognitive style. For instance, students from all-wheat areas were 56 per cent more likely to think analytically than students from all-rice areas. For example, when asked to match the two closest of sheep, dog and grass, they grouped sheep and dog, which appear most similar. Students from rice-growing areas grouped sheep and grass, as these have the closest relationship to each other in real life, and to them this relationship mattered more than physical resemblance.
I read Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance yesterday, and while it was not without flaws, it does make for a useful roundup of the current state of genetic science as it presently relates to race, culture, and civilization. It is very nearly a restatement of my time-to-civilization hypothesis, and even provides some evidence in support of this.

Due to the intertwining of genetic microevolution, culture, and individual behavior, it is very likely that the differences in cognitive style observed are the result of genetic microevolution in the divergent Han populations brought about by the different growing cultures. It might be useful to think of these "cultural selections" as inadvertent genetic programming which tends to have either eucivic or dyscivic consequences over time.

I will get into this in considerably more detail over the next week, but after reading Wade's book, it is apparent to me that geno-cultural eucivicism is likely to become one of the more important concepts of the 21st century.



Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 10, 2014 6:39 AM  

I read Betrayers of the Truth, which Wade co-authored with William Broad, some years ago, and can vouch for his perspicacity and scientific rigor overall.

Anonymous Cranberry May 10, 2014 6:53 AM  

Rice miRNAs effect human gene expression.

Nutrition and the preferred type of food one consumes does appear to have a not-so insignificant effect on development and gene expression.

I wonder what miRNAs wheat might have that alters gene expression in humans. This has me wondering whether eating wheat is actually what caused us to cultivate it and build cities around an agrarian wheat economy.

Eating cooked meat gave us bigger brains, the theory goes. Did eating wheat make those brains sharper and more focused?

Anonymous Josh May 10, 2014 7:10 AM  


IIRC, part of Jared Diamond's argument in Guns, Germs, and Steel was that wheat was a more protein dense grain than grains in other parts of the world.

Anonymous Cranberry May 10, 2014 7:16 AM  

Yes, Josh, wheat is among the highest protein grains, wheat and oats are the top two, from looking at various charts.

Just imagine those nefarious plants, recognizing that humans could be easily enslaved to perpetuate the plant's legacy, by easily reprogramming the human with augmented behavior patterns. I keed, a little. But there is some research that suggests this is a part of the story.

Blogger Dominic Saltarelli May 10, 2014 7:18 AM  

I blame the androgynous state of the "millennial" generation on soya.

Anonymous H May 10, 2014 7:32 AM  

These days it seems like Soy and Corn are forced into every food, I wonder what effects they have on us.

Anonymous H May 10, 2014 7:35 AM  

Also, I wonder if this holds up for Middle Eastern cultures which tend to be clannish. I am Armenian and we, as well as other Middle Eastern cultures, eat a lot of rice pilaf. Perhaps I should switch.

Blogger njartist May 10, 2014 7:38 AM  

Curious. This connection between rice and the Han who are the main ethnic group of China raises the question as to how they will relate to or advance western - wheat based - technology.

Anonymous Salt May 10, 2014 7:48 AM  

Did eating wheat make those brains sharper and more focused?

Will the anti-gluten movement result in greater mush for brains?

Anonymous Cranberry May 10, 2014 8:03 AM  

IDK. A GF trial didn't reveal any need for me to avoid it, I felt the same eating it or not. But I read a few GF blogs, and mush-head appears to be the order of the day for some of them. Lots of wooo in the nutritional blogging sphere.

That said, I am sympathetic to people with food allergies and those who need special therapeutic diets. I find that people who eat GF or allergy free tend to be less about hype.

Anonymous Cranberry May 10, 2014 8:04 AM  

eat allergy-free for therapeutic or medical reasons, I mean.

Anonymous Anonymous May 10, 2014 8:06 AM  

Gluten didn't become a problem until recently. The amount of gluten in wheat has been increased greatly in the last century, and food processing increases the gluten in flour further (because it's what makes dough stretchy, so bread rises higher and fluffier) while removing some of the nutrients that might have helped us process it. Also, traditional methods of fermenting grain, which helped break down the anti-nutrients in the seed, aren't used much anymore.

So it could be that the high protein content of wheat, including the gluten, was beneficial for a long time, until we made it too much of a good thing.

Anonymous Cranberry May 10, 2014 8:07 AM  

cail, I find I have better overall tolerance for einkorn and spelt than dwarf modern wheats.

Anonymous jack May 10, 2014 8:28 AM  

This discussion does beg the question of the 10k elephant in the room, that being GMO products. I avoid these things like the plague. And, soy. You can go to the Carotec site [they sell high end vitamins and mineral supplements] and read their decades long battle against soy in the archives. The soy lobby will do its best to destroy you should your voice become too well known. That, and the scandalous legal model of monsanto and their like.
I try not to become too excited about the various conspiracy theories that abound, but, darn, don't it seem the 'they' are prepping us for something; possibly early death, or genocide? I think I will go and collect some or our free range eggs and home grown oats and have breakfast.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2014 May 10, 2014 8:40 AM  

It's crude.
Correlation is not Causation.

And Lamarck is now right, in part. While Darwin is and always will be wrong.

Evolution [where it means macro morphological changes] is wrong.

Blogger Cataline Sergius May 10, 2014 8:44 AM  

I've commented here before on the Ainu and Aboriginal peoples shared haplogrouping and the big noticeable shared trait regarding a lack of innovation. But they have other cultural similarities as well. Particularity in art work and religion. Considering how long theses two groups separated something other than cultural decent must be at work.

Blogger Michael May 10, 2014 8:48 AM  

So we can expect the Leftards to go on a crusade to force us to eat more rice and all become good little collectivists? #EatMoreRiceVoteDemocrat

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 10, 2014 9:03 AM

Mewling, shivering bunnies, deluded into thinking their collective bleatings might conceivably equal even one decently robust, full-throated roar. They have my pity.

Anonymous Speaker-To-SFWAs May 10, 2014 9:05 AM  

Sorry, Vox. Had I know you were going to excise the troll's piddling, I wouldn't have commented upon it. My bad.

Anonymous The other skeptic May 10, 2014 9:13 AM  

Correlation is not Causation.

But it requires an explanation ...

Blogger Tank May 10, 2014 9:17 AM  

I'm going to pick up Wade's book at the library today (surprisingly, there was no waiting list). I laughed out loud when I saw that you read it "yesterday." Prolly going to take me a bit longer to get through it.

Anonymous The other skeptic May 10, 2014 9:19 AM  

Rice miRNAs effect human gene expression.

Yes, but, from the comments:

An attempt to replicate the claims in this paper has been published here: Dickinson B, 2013. The researchers were unable to make the same observations.

Perhaps they should have published in the Journal of Unreproducible Results.

Anonymous VD May 10, 2014 9:33 AM  

Sorry, Vox. Had I know you were going to excise the troll's piddling, I wouldn't have commented upon it. My bad.

No worries. I find it a little strange that they so often feel the need to tell people here what I said here when it is still posted here. It's not as if I have retracted or denied anything that I wrote.

Blogger IM2L844 May 10, 2014 9:54 AM  

geno-cultural eucivicism

Nice term. I've wondered why it is that those who are prone to philosophical thinking often tend to invent new terms rather than trying to redefine old ones. And they never offer a definition. They just use them as if they already are, or should be, well understood. I see this with Feser, Pruss and others (obviously Vox) all the time. Interesting. The problem with this, of course, is that most people can't, or don't bother making the effort to, put 2 and 2 together on the fly and simply gloss over it.

Anyway, I've seen various weights as percentages assigned to behavioral influences in the nature vs. nurture debates. I tend to think it is probably almost exactly 50:50. That is, I think we are born gentetically predisposed to certain inclinations, but God has provided us with even odds for whether or not those inclinations can be overrriden by external influences or overcome through reasoning and will power.

Anonymous Stephen J. May 10, 2014 10:17 AM  

"Correlation is not Causation."

Agreed. Plus I've seen statistical analyses so badly mauled everywhere else that I have to admit I've become skeptical of conclusions based largely on them, regardless of whether I'd consider those conclusions theoretically possible in principle or not. (That's not a criticism of Wade's rigor, merely a note of how confirmation bias can slip through any statistical analysis.)

I certainly buy the idea that genetics influences culture, I simply don't think there is (or can be, given the impossibility of working with "cultures" in an experimental empirical fashion) enough evidence to indicate that it outweighs the influences of environment and choice.

Anonymous ZT May 10, 2014 10:17 AM  

Not sure how this shows the "culture is not genetic" at least not in the Chinese are all Socialists since. If anything this shows that culture AND genetics has an impact as Han who eat rice VS Han who eat wheat are both Han but both show different traits. Thus the "Han" distinction is broken.

If anything this would further show that we could manipulate genetic traits through cultural immersion. However that sill leaves your "time to civilization" in tact, but it negates the automatic assumption that "all Han" are socialists. If anything it is "Most rice eating Han are socialists"

As for the wheat thing... today's wheat is not the wheat of our forefathers. Given the US huge dependence on wheat (for food, corn is now more a fuel source then food) for food we seem to have gone crazy culturally. Over the last couple of years I have become "wheat sensitive" I have to eat more rice/corn based carb if I eat carbs at all. However I theorize the rapid expansion of highly processed flour is having detrimental affects on the US Genetic base. I don't believe it is something that people just finally started to diagnose. I think it is environmental and getting worse with the amount of crap they are adding to foods.

At this point I would like to try breads made from <a href=">Kamut</a> to see if it has the same affect that current wheat has on me. My theory is it will not in which case it will help confirm that current GMO cross pollinated wheat is damaging to some people.

Blogger LibertyPortraits May 10, 2014 11:11 AM  

Eucivicism - try saying that three times fast.

Anonymous Dr. J May 10, 2014 11:23 AM  

it is very likely that the differences in cognitive style observed are the result of genetic microevolution in the divergent Han populations brought about by the different growing cultures.

I'm assuming that the researchers speculate that the culture that surrounds the crop is the more important factor than the actual nutritional content of the two, since they didn't look at what the children consume. You can't take this type of research very seriously. There should be enough skepticism about the validly of actual scientific articles to render any social science on a par with streetside polls. I wonder, how do they validate that cetain answers correlate with collectivism and others with individualism?

But even assuming the paper's validity, I'm not sure how you make the leap to genetic micro-evolution in the two populations. Is it not far more likely that the two groups have differential gene expression that molds brain development over time. The genetic code is fairly rigid. It tolerates mutation poorly, yet has incredible adaptability. But there's also organ plasticity. The findings of the study could just as easily be explained by neuroplasticity during brain development (drawing on the slate).

Take the classic example of bacteria with antibiotic resistance. Exposure to the antibiotic triggers expression of the resistance gene. Once the antibiotic is gone, the bacteria shuts down production. It's not the structure of the DNA, but how the blueprint is utilized in response to certain external pressures, that leads to the change in mentality in these kids. Up to a certain age, the effect would be reversible, and certainly not heritable.

So the question would be - what happens to an infant who's taken from a rice to wheat culture? Does he match the new culture, or has he inherited rice tendencies, so to speak? The slate may not be blank, but it's range of modification is vast.

Blogger IM2L844 May 10, 2014 11:38 AM  

It has been shown that micro-evolution can happen very rapidly due to environmental dietary pressures (i.e., finch beaks). It's absurd to think that beaks are okay, but brains are immune.

It may be difficult to empirically quantify it, but when we think about how cultures arise and how cultural 'norms' can become ensconced as a part of the local cultural in the first place, it's certainly a reasonable conclusion that micro-evolutionary alterations in the brains vis-à-vis environmental dietary pressures on local gene pools plays a significant role over the course of a few generations.

Blogger Brad Andrews May 10, 2014 11:42 AM  

I tend to wonder if God mixed up more than just the languages at the Tower of Babel.

Anonymous Gdeck Bob May 10, 2014 11:52 AM  

I've heard all my life that "You are what you eat".

Maybe there is something to that after all.

Anonymous Don May 10, 2014 12:39 PM  

So we became sheep after eating grains? Makes me think we should stick with meat, vegs and dairy. I say dairy because our pastoralist ancestors kicked plenty of farmer ass.

Anonymous rycamor May 10, 2014 1:14 PM  

Seems to me from everything I have read that the fingers point both ways on this stuff. Genes lead to choices, and choices lead to genes. Gene expression can be affected by what we eat (and how much we eat), how we exercise (or don't), and by whether we choose to take risks or engage in aggressive behavior. In other words, it's a complex interworking that is affected by a combination of happenstance, choice and necessity. But the interesting part about it is that choice *does* matter, over generations. The choices you make towards fitness and self-discipline of all sorts actually affect your genes and those of your children. How much of an effect that has from one generation to the next is probably small, but it would be interesting if we end up discovering sort of a "7th generation" pattern here... In other words, 7 generations of collective hard work or sloth leading to a permanently altered genome in a population group? And that in itself providing the spur towards civilization or away.

My take-away from "genes lead to choices and choices lead to genes" is that pehaps a relatively small group of extraordinary people can affect a population if they get in the right place and provide the right impetus. I think of it like Douglas Hofstadter's strange loop theory. Somehow in there we escape determinism, cause leading to effect, but effect folding back upon cause, and how it works isn't exactly obvious... sort of a singularity going on.

Anonymous rycamor May 10, 2014 1:21 PM  

In related news... Most Europeans to be fatties by 2030.

And... there was a collective groaning of the caucasian genome.

Blogger rycamor May 10, 2014 1:23 PM  

The Story of Wheat: from Civilization's Uplift to its Downfall.

Blogger stareatgoatsies May 10, 2014 1:50 PM  

From reading the article, the study doesn't seem to say anything about divergent evolution other than to assume it away - "All were Han Chinese, China's dominant ethnic group, so other differences were hopefully minimal." Something similar with genetic analyses involved might have a chance of teasing out the contributions of culture/genetics. Or maybe they could find some 3rd-generation urban populations that could be traced back to wheat or grass growing areas and correlate that with individualism or whatever.

Blogger RobertT May 10, 2014 2:26 PM  

What about the growing body of evidence that grains (and rice for that matter) may be the root cause of all the diseases of civilization ... obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease,etc., etc.? Taubes and Perlmutter are two authors that have suggested this.

Blogger ajw308 May 10, 2014 2:40 PM  

Vox, google has me thinking you've added two new words to the lexicon. Can we get definitions for dyscivic and eucivic?

Blogger Tom Kratman May 10, 2014 2:46 PM  

This is actually an interesting point. One of the ideas I'd really kind of like to write is, "What if, when he was baking pastries at the Parker House in Boston, some Brahmin had taken Ho Chi Minh under wing and sent him to Harvard, or may BC, in neither of which was he likely to find much support for socialism, instead of him studying in Paris where it was all the rage?"

The problem I run into is that Ho was Vietnamese, and Vietnam had _all_kinds_ of cultural reasons to think socialism could work. I haven't yet figured out how Ho could have been broken of that. Showing him apple orchards, maple syrup farms, and wheat and cornfields wouldn't have worked.

Hmmm...if anyone knows, what was rice farming like in the States, a hundred years ago? Are we talking black Louisiana and South Carolina sharecroppers, working in a way not too distinguishable from pre-1865?

Anonymous Anonymous May 10, 2014 3:04 PM  

Dyscivic=bad or civilization I presume. Eu=good

Blogger Shimshon May 10, 2014 3:21 PM  

Based on this meager description, it could be that the study is flawed. Because there is more to sheep and dogs than physical similarity. Sheep are often guarded by dogs. Since this is the case, who knows what the association really is that triggered the match in the wheat-growing areas. In any case, what makes the sheep-dog match the more analytical than sheep-grass? It's not like anyone picked dog-grass, right? As far as displaying the power of cultural differences, I see the point.

Blogger IM2L844 May 10, 2014 3:29 PM  

I've heard all my life that "You are what you eat".

If that were true, Nate would be a pussy.

Anonymous Susan May 10, 2014 4:01 PM  

Regarding soy products, people who eat a lot of that in their diets are getting extra estrogen. Men do not need that. This may be one explanation for why liberals seem so sissified.

As to gluten, I agree that the whet we have now has probably been "adjusted" for more protein. However if you check food labels, they are sticking gluten into foods as an additive. The food industry has a lot of excuses why they do it, but with every Tom, Dick and Harry doing that, people are getting gluten sensitive due to the over usage of gluten additives. Avoiding bread and pasta is just a miniscule part of cutting your gluten intake. They don't just call it gluten, it hides behind a lot of names like hydrolized vegetable protein and a host of others.

Anonymous Jimmy May 11, 2014 12:29 AM  

"For example, when asked to match the two closest of sheep, dog and grass, they grouped sheep and dog, which appear most similar. "

Sounds like a Common Core question that doesn't have a definitive answer.

Blogger JCclimber May 11, 2014 1:41 AM  

every one on the paleo bandwagon loves to blame carbs.

They really should blame refined carbs. But an additional problem has reared its ugly head in the last few years. Here is a quote:

'I'm avoiding GMO's not only because of them being a bad idea, but because I'm really against the widespread use of toxic herbicides. I was reading some stuff on how to grow barley and on the forum farmers were talking about how to "dry it off" prior to harvest by spraying it with Round-Up or another herbicide. WHAAAA???!!!

So I looked THAT up, and sure enough the recommended procedure now to harvest wheat, barley, etc. is to spray the whole field with Round-Up when the grain is at the "hard dough" stage to finish it drying by killing the plant! I need to find out if oats are sprayed with round-up too because I use them a lot to feed my pigs.

Not only that, but U of Minnesota did some research on whether spraying Round-Up even helped the grain dry or increased protein levels (as some believe) and found it to only *slightly* change the drying time and it didn't affect protein at all."

This has become a common practice for many (non-organic) grain crops. It is little wonder to me that many kinds of food allergies and sensitivities are cropping up (heh!) in the last couple decades. Thank you Dow and and Monsanto! Thank you big corporate farm combines! Thank you Walmart and massive food processing factories! Thank you convenience food-obsessed American consumer!

Since we started eating whole grain organic, we've been much healthier. I do miss the scones and donuts, though.

Blogger RobertW May 11, 2014 2:38 AM  

Not only that. The modern varieties are highly genetically engineered. Monsanto and their frontmen at the USDA insist that we have nothing to worry about. But who knows what effects eating virus-laden corn and soy have on us.

Anonymous Idle Hitler May 11, 2014 4:36 AM  

Dyscivicism from Newsweek:

Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and unseemly, counterspies have told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, going far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan. A congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the testimony “very sobering…alarming…even terrifying.” Another staffer called it “damaging.”

The Jewish state’s primary target: America’s industrial and technical secrets

But a former U.S. intelligence operative intimately familiar with Israeli espionage rejected the anti-Semitism charge. “There is a small community of ex-CIA, FBI and military people who have worked this account who are absolutely cheering on [the Newsweek] story,” he said. “Not one of them is anti-Semitic. In fact, it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. It has only to do with why [Israel] gets kid-glove treatment when, if it was Japan doing it or India doing it at this level, it would be outrageous.”

... “You can't embarrass an Israeli,” he said. “It’s just impossible to embarrass them. You catch them red-handed, and they shrug and say, 'Okay now, anything else?'”


Blogger bdoran May 11, 2014 6:26 AM  

Ref Han Study: Why is grouping sheep with dogs analytical and grouping sheep with grass not analytical? I'm not sure in context I disagree with the analysis.

Blogger bdoran May 11, 2014 6:29 AM  

@T.Kratman: Ho Chi Minh is a later nom de guerre, he changed name at 5 yrs old to Nyguen Ai Quoc [Nyguen the Patriot] and was always going to do what he did. Communism best vehicle at the Time. Today it might be "democracy" . If Arab then perhaps Islam and so on.

Anonymous Slightly drunk May 11, 2014 6:29 AM  

I cut out wheat years ago and my health improved dramatically. I'm not sure whether it is wheat per se or the modern crap that is vastly different from traditional wheat but I cannot recommend cutting out wheat enough. Another point to note is that we consume much more wheat today than at most points in our history. The staple of the Western diet used to be meat, vegetables, dairy, grains in that order. A big bowl of stew with milk and a piece of bread for example. Now grains are the main staple of our diet. It is possible that the main advantage of paleo is that you end up consuming much more meat, collagen, essential fatty acids etc.

Onto the thrust of the post, the idea that wheat is the building block of what makes white people supreme is bullshit. White people were pastoralists and relied much more on dairy and meat. While cities, and consequently civilisation, may be built on grains, white people came late to living in cities. Even when we live in cities we prefer our privacy, our space and retain independence - all the markers of a people more suited to acting as animal herders than city dwellers. Compare whites to Asians who love to live on top of each other or Jews (who are much more wheat eaters than whites).
The history of wheat farming is the history of slavery.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo May 11, 2014 9:04 AM  

And wouldn't you know it -- Nicholas Wade has been fired by the New York Times for writing a book questioning equalism.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet May 11, 2014 9:31 AM  


The study you quote doesn't necessarily show what you think it does; there are other options. While many are under the assumption that culture and genetics have no connection, not all are.

Would you say that religion is a product of genetics to? Most likely not and probably for the same reason you disqualify language-acquisition as non-genetic. It may seem painfully obvious to you (if these are your beliefs on those matters), but would you mind pointing out your reasoning? I'd like to get a better sense of your position.

Thank you.

Blogger Tom Kratman May 11, 2014 2:13 PM  


Oh, I'm reasonably familiar with his history and naming history. I'm unconvinced he went totally red until he went to study in Paris, but, equally, I am pretty sure that socialism fell on receptive ears there because of his Vietnamese culture.

Anonymous Azimus May 11, 2014 3:31 PM  

Came a little late to the party...

... I certainly agree that genetic homogeneity (I'm sure I mis-spelled that) is a bulwark against culture shift. However, do we need to look any farther than the UK for the exception to the rule? There is much (worthy) venerating of the Rights of Englishmen, Magna Carta, etc., that gives us much of what we believe about our rights. However, the genetic makeup of England has not substantively changed (quoting from memory... England is 93% white even including London). And yet CCTV and the banning of privately owned fire arms and the crime of badthink are all living well there? There is another dimension to genetics of culture... while I believe you are correct culture is genetic for common men such as myself ( I do as my fathers did, etc), there is an "Optimates" dimension that needs to be added. If the "Optimates" or elite of a culture have divorced themselves from it and instead use the culture as leverage against their own people, then it doesn't matter a lick whether they come from 20 generations of Hertfordshire gentlemen or if they were the first Jamaican off the boat, the same disintegration occurs apace, although with a different flavor to them. When the culture's elite abandon the culture, the culture becomes a sarcastic hollow shell, like say how Americans treat their military today, to name one small example. That sort of "2 minutes of honor" before a televised football game, but then anything more than that is a hassle or an annoyance for Joe six-pack. Whether you agree with the war or not, these people are dying for you man! But don't let me get you out of your comfort zone for more than a minute or two, so you can feel good about how you're there for the troops...

... sigh. Well I digress I'm sure. Anyway I wanted to add another dimension to the discussion.

Anonymous Sober Now May 12, 2014 3:11 AM  

@ Azimus: The people are not their leaders. The Englishman's essential drive for liberty has not changed. He has before thrown off the yoke of tyranny when it became too burdensome but has grown complacement. The man who loves liberty does not run for office except in troubled times. Whilst the liberty loving Englishmen go about their lives the worst of all men (if you want genetics they are probably over-represented by Jews - yeah I said it) become the politicans and over time the yoke of tyranny is slipped once more around the neck of the English.

If you want to get genetic about it you can probably trace the English love of liberty back to the Romans and from the Romans back to the Greeks. You can trace it forward into America and Australia and Canada and New Zealand. The same genes being passed down. The pattern repeats - overthrow tyranny, pursue liberty, become complacement as tyranny once more happens then either overthrow tyranny or move onto new horizons. Jefferson is descended from the same genes as Brutus.

As an aside I'm not sure how many of you read Dusk in Autumn but he had an interesting post once on why there is a disproportionate amount of genuises from this small location in France. He theorised (and backed up with some history) that it is there that the wildness and creativity of the Celtic blood meets the work ethic of the Germanic blood and leads to those who can envision great things and then create them.
If work ethic or creativity is in the genes why not love if liberty or morality?

Anonymous rycamor May 12, 2014 11:33 AM  

@Sober... yup. Sounds about right.

Anonymous Azimus May 12, 2014 11:52 AM  

@ sober

I appreciate and understand your comments, and I'm with you right up until the point of "these genetic traits of Englishmen only exercise themselves when its important". If the Stamp Act or the Tea Act, minor infractions by today's standards, were enough to trigger the genetic traits, why would not UK's gross police state indulgences of the 20th/21st century? I think this is where the "Optimate" piece comes in: the Optimates of 21st century UK are not on-board, ethnic English or not. The 18th century Optimates of the Colonies were on board. 'Merica is born. It is only when both Optimates and Populares (to abuse the Roman terms) are on board together for liberty that these things can happen.

Anonymous Joseph Dooley May 12, 2014 11:54 AM  

Vox, have you considered ancient Israel's absorption of aliens who adopted the home culture in your stance on assimilation?

Anonymous rycamor May 12, 2014 1:39 PM  

Azimus, two things:

1. Between WWI and WWII a huge contingent of the balls-possessing men of England died.

2. Between the 19th and 20th centuries, Englishmen who valued freedom tended to emigrate to the USA or one of the British Commonwealths.

3. There are assuredly still plenty of freedom-loving English, but their ratio has dwindled due to the above factors, as well as rampant immigration.

I still think it's possible for the liberty-loving portion of England to make its voice known, but it will have to be a drastic sea change, obviously.

Blogger rycamor May 12, 2014 1:39 PM  

OK, three things.

Anonymous Azimus May 12, 2014 2:02 PM  

@ rycamor

I couldn't agree more. I am sure I am not alone when I call WWI the "Great Western Self-Immolation War". Some of the crap from the Downton Abbey TV Series I don't care for, particularly the hand-wringing and sarcastic equivocating. However, I think they showed the wanton, wasteful, pointless destruction of that war, and the price that was paid - not just in terms of blood but in terms of culture (and France paid a far dearer price than any; 1 in 4 fighting age men killed, per Horne). I do not frequently indulge in what-ifs, but I do wonder how all the ills of communism, atheism, materialism, and all the other plagues of Western Civilization come back to a Serb shooting up a fat, rich Austrian man too stupid to take a bodyguard with him to a hostile city 100yrs ago.

However I will continue to point out that the elites of society, both in UK and US, benefitted enormously from the war at the expense of the common man. Once more it is the elite "Optimate" leveraging the culture of the common man "Populare" and betraying him - in this case for wealth and a shot at global hegemony.

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