October 26, 2012

Pinker takes a crack at explaining red v. blue states

Steven Pinker takes a crack at explaining the red state - blue state map:
But while these theories help explain why the seemingly diverse convictions within the right-wing and left-wing mind-sets hang together, they don’t explain why they are tied to geography. The historian David Hackett Fischer traces the divide back to the British settlers of colonial America. The North was largely settled by English farmers, the inland South by Scots-Irish herders. Anthropologists have long noted that societies that herd livestock in rugged terrain tend to develop a “culture of honor.” Since their wealth has feet and can be stolen in an eye blink, they are forced to deter rustlers by cultivating a hair-trigger for violent retaliation against any trespass or insult that probes their resolve. Farmers can afford to be less belligerent because it is harder to steal their land out from under them, particularly in territories within the reach of law enforcement. As the settlers moved westward, they took their respective cultures with them. The psychologist Richard Nisbett has shown that Southerners today continue to manifest a culture of honor which legitimizes violent retaliation. ... Admittedly, it’s hard to believe that today’s Southerners and Westerners carry a cultural memory of sheepherding ancestors.  But it may not be the herding profession itself that nurtures a culture of honor so much as living in anarchy.

Okay, but my copy of Fischer says that most of the South was settled not by Scots-Irish but by Southern English, who came from an authoritatively-governed wheat-growing and cattle-raising culture.

You can't talk about why the South today has a lot of white solidarity centering around the Republican Party and the North does not without talking about the, uh, Canadian border. 

Pinker's Massachusetts is 6 percent black, so what's the worst that could happen if the Democrats control the statehouse? A bunch of white Democratic politicians will just steal billions more on the next Big Dig. But, eventually, it will get dug. Every so often the white people of Massachusetts elect a Mitt Romney to cut down on the thieving by white Democrats, but it's really not that big of a deal. 

Mississippi is 37 percent black, so what's the worst that could happen if the Democrats control the statehouse? Well, blacks will make up the majority of the Democrats, so ... Detroit, Gary, East St. Louis. Not surprisingly, almost all the white people in Mississippi make sure to vote Republican. 

You can see the same white solidarity in liberal cities like New York and Chicago in mayor's races. Blacks went one and done in the New York's mayor's office and the Democrats are 0 for 5 in NYC ever since. But New Yorkers will vote overwhelmingly for Obama next month because that's not a real important job like Mayor is, so they can afford to make symbolic gestures of racial enlightenment at the national level.

(Something that's worth bringing up here is that for a few decades now, better educated blacks have been voting with their feet to move away from liberal Northern states to the white-run state of Georgia. That was background for Tom Wolfe's 1990s Atlanta book A Man in Full. Blacks get a small city to run at the center of a vast white-dominated conurbation in a Republican-dominated state, and despite not unexpected problems, the system works fairly well. There's a general pattern that white conservative states like Georgia and Texas tend to be better for blacks and Latinos than white liberal states, which is, in the long run, a very big problem for Republicans: when Republicans are successful at doing what they want to do, such as encouraging building jobs and houses, their success attracts non-Republicans.)

Anyway, there are other reasons red states are red and blue states are blue, as well, such as the dirt gap. A large number of red states are in the upper Louisiana Purchase and surrounding areas and are mostly white. Some are extremely orderly and nonviolent, such as Utah, and others are not. Land availability is the big issue driving them red.

147 comments:

BrokenSymmetry said...

"...Scots-Irish herders. Anthropologists have long noted that societies that herd livestock in rugged terrain tend to develop a “culture of honor.” Since their wealth has feet and can be stolen in an eye blink, they are forced to deter rustlers by cultivating a hair-trigger for violent retaliation against any trespass or insult that probes their resolve."

Which group of Scots-Irish are we talking about here?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think Pinker is trying to use Albion's Seed to support his own book, but the cities with the high rates of violent crime are Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, Oakland, Baltimore, Philly... (with Newark & New Orleans comprising the homicide tag team) So I'm not really catching the North-South highlander/gentleman-planter dynamic there.

Anonymous said...

Also: I'm curious, how would a cog psych guy like Pinker measure the regions' latent criminality? Surely among the reasons for less "honor-based" crime in Nowheresville, MN or VT is due to the game not being worth the candle.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 2:49 AM. Ok, where did those blacks up North come from? Did the slave ships drop 'em off in Detroit in 1720? I'm down with much of the paleocon argument except when they start making excuses for the South. Ya know it is possible to be an anti-multikulti realist and not have any sympathy for Southerners, who continue to cause more trouble than most of 'em are worth(sf Iraq war, John Hagee, and rural Southern counties as parasites)

I'm not arguing some of Mr. Sailer's points, but methinks he views the South from a distance and plays down white on white violence and the importance of preventative violence in maintaining status. What about higher rates of violence, per capita, in low-black populated areas? Southern Appalachia is more violent than upstate NY or heavily Swedish counties in WS I'm betting. Blame that on the blacks? Where I grew up in rural VA, blacks were few, maybe 10-15% of the population. Granted, their young men were a pretty violent lot, per capita, but so were the rural whites.

Fischer's weakness in dealing with Southern violence is he ignores the role of violence and brawling in the lower class of what he calls culture #2. The Lees, Carters and Washingtons might not have fish-hooked noses or mouths out of whack or engaged in tavern brawls, but there is anecdotal and court-records evidence that the sons and grandsons of their indentured servants and tenants and poorer neighbors did. Indeed, as I recall, some of the evidence that Fischer musters up for his theory about culture #4 comes from Byrd's history of the dividing line. Byrd was not dealing with borderers, he was dealing with frontier po'whites with roots in the Tidewater. Moreover, lowland whites in the South also engaged in extensive animal husbandry. Perhaps this can be explained by "border" influence in the Tidewater that Hackett Fischer ignores. The tidewater farmers were notorious for neglectfully letting their herds of hogs and cows run wild in the piney woods. I'd recommend Virginia DeJohn Anderson's Creatures of Empire and the late Terry Jordan's North American Cattle-Ranching Frontiers.

Jeff Burton said...

Why the focus on the English? The largest European ethnic group in America is German. Why doesn't anyone care about where all those Germans came from? Any analysis on south vs north German immigrants? Where they went? Any regional influence or concentration?

This Prussian-American wants to know.

Steve Sailer said...

"how would a cog psych guy like Pinker measure the regions' latent criminality?"

Boston has a vibe of white violence that almost no other city in America has. Take your 3 Boston movie stars -- Damon, Affleck, and Wahlberg. The first two are nice boys who play at being scary Boston thugs for the movies. But Wahlberg was a genuinely bad guy as a teenager. What he did to that Vietnamese guy was horrible. He's lucky he's not just getting out of prison now.

But Boston doesn't have a lot of guns, so it doesn't show up in the homicide statistic. An unarmed society is an an impolite society. The Boston Irish view is that a few punches, a few kicks, maybe a concussion are all just good fun, boys being boys. Pinker doesn't really notice this.

Steve Sailer said...

I'm trying to think of my experiences with scary white people in the U.S.:

- Driving with my parents up a peaceful Kauai rural road in 1981 and all the Maui Wowie farmers staring daggers at us.

- Taking a wrong turn up a holler in the Ozarks in 1991 on the way from Walmart HQ to the Fayetteville airport, with hillbillies on porches staring at me like I was a Revenooer.

Now that I think about it, I can recall driving through Bridgeport in southwest Chicago, where the Daleys are from, on July 4, 1983, coming back from a White Sox night game as being pretty scary just being a white guy in a car. I would not have wanted to be a black guy on foot.


Steve Sailer said...

"Fischer's weakness in dealing with Southern violence is he ignores the role of violence and brawling in the lower class of what he calls culture #2."

I presume culture #2 is lowland southerners?

I think the answer is that Albion's Seed's two northern origin cultures, Puritans and Quakers, were self-selected for their orderliness. Quakers were pacifists, and the Puritans weren't as nice, but they were super self-disciplined. The lowland southerners are more average in origin -- some upscale quasi-aristocrats and some downscale people. As the soccer riots up through the 1980s showed, the English like themselves a good fight, probably more than their Americans cousins do. But it's hard to blame that on sheepherding or lack of government like Pinker does.

A confusing issue is that if you have a strong government to keep guns out of the hands of the citizens, as in England, then casual violence is more acceptable because people only rarely wind up dead from brawling for fun. In rich, well-armed America, however, you don't have a soccer riot culture because people can get seriously hurt.

dearieme said...

"The largest European ethnic group in America is German." Really: how was that measured?

eah said...

News From Obama’s Home State

Three states form the base of Democratic political power in the United States: California, New York and Illinois. All three states are locked in an accelerating economic, demographic and social decline; all three hope that they can stave off looming disaster at home by exporting the policies that have ruined them to the rest of the country...Illinois politicians, including the present President of the United States, have wrecked one of the country’s potentially most prosperous and dynamic states,...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sailer,

My apologies for folks who haven't read the book, I wasn't clear. I did mean the Lowland Southern culture with its roots in the Chesapeake. The second of Fischer's 4 main cultures.

I would agree with your premise about self-selection playing a role. Quakers, for example, came from some of the same places as the Borderers. While the areas aren't the same, there is a decided bit of overlap. But they tended to be more bourgeois, or were Northern English peasants who became more bourgeois, and reaped the benefits of a bourgeois world-view, after adopting Quakerism.

What's interesting is that this notion, connecting lower-class Southern and English pathologies is an old idea and was pretty mainstream in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but was ignored as in more recent decades the focus has been on Celtic influences.

On a well-armed society being more polite, Southerners might have always been armed, but that doesn't mean they had the money to purchase good firearms or keep stocked with ammo. I think of this now, reading the comments about the Boston Irish and the UK Soccer fans. The richer the South got, the better and more guns they got. The eye-gouging, nose-biting, knife-fights which characterized the old South, the pre-WW2 South of less spending cash or credit, are gone. Is it because everybody has a well-armed gun cabinet these days? Indeed, the rural South, for all its problems, is less violent than it was 100 years ago. I'd say t.v. helped out a lot. My father said that half the fights he witnessed as a boy in VA, some involving fence palings, were caused as much by drunken boredom as anything else.

Jeff, the topic of Germans in the South and Border South, and the differences between 18th and 19th-century immigrants remains a topic that has not captured the popular imagination like the Celts or Anglo-Saxons. Many people are unaware of the German demographic contribution to the Upland South.

Anonymous said...

Well, I disagree that the deep south is good for blacks or mexicans. The deep south has always had high black poverty. Texas high mexican poverty.States like Wyoming are much better for minorites since those states have few minorites and are cheap. people run to states like Texas because its warmer.

Anonymous said...

Another thing Georgia good for blacks not MS,LA or Ark. Blacks do better in purple Va or Co than most the south. Mexicans do better also in some small states than Texas. In fact south Texas including Brownsville is the poorest spot in the nation.

Anonymous said...

Actually the Mississippi legislature was majority Democratic until fairly recently.

The South actually did things in the reverse order from what your theory predicts - they started voting Republican for President first, then for Senator and Representative, and only recently for state legislators.

Anonymous said...

"I'm trying to think of my experiences with scary white people in the U.S."

Okay, I'm gonna try that experiment, too.

And: thinking, thinking... and, thinking...

Thinking...

Nope, I'm drawing a blank. Zero scary white people in my memory banks.

I grew up in a tough-ish (but not SUPER tough) white working class town, and I knew lots of guys who were perfectly capable of being scary if provoked or surrounded, and perfectly capable of winning a fight even if outnumbered or outmatched. But none of them was actually 'scary' in the sense that none of them went looking for trouble or intentionally harmed other people. I can only recall knowing three guys who ever actually got sent to jail: one was for drugs, one was for committing a non-violent burglary so bone-headedly retarded that it would take a whole blog post to explain what he did, and the third might have been for assault. Pretty low batting average.

I knew some whites who were sort of a perpetual low-grade nuisance on the street, but not what you'd call 'scary.'

Of course, I left as a young man and never really went back for very long, so I don't know the rest of the story. But I somehow doubt that the mature 29-year-old mooks became more dangerous than their fairly harmless 19-year-old selves.

Matthew said...

"But New Yorkers will vote overwhelmingly for Obama next month because that's not a real important job like Mayor is, so they can afford to make symbolic gestures of racial enlightenment at the national level."

I think this misses the fact that a big chunk of New York's economy comes from government economic policy. The finance industry's share of corporate profits has more than tripled since the late 70s, now typically hovers around 35%, and in some years is over 40%.

There is a lot of yammering about how the US government subsidizes red states with taxes from blue states, but the explicit policy of both Republicans and Democrats for 40+ years - free trade, mass immigration, and a deregulated finance industry that is too big to fail - has benfitted the big coastal cities more than it's hurt them, especially New York.

Anonymous said...

"Really: how was that measured?"

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=european+ethnicity+percentage+USA

Anonymous said...

You're right, Sailer, nothing builds white solidarity like living in a majority non-white area for a few months.

Marlowe said...

Farmers can afford to be less belligerent

Try looking at the history of the ancient Greek city-states. Read some Victor Davis Hanson.

Like most pedagogues, Mr. Pinker over-extends. He ought to stick to explaining why small children eventually stop saying 'goo-goo'.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about where the North vs South German immigration went in the USA, but here is a handy stereotype map of Germany. Given that they are stereotypes, there is probably a good deal of truth therein but I can't verify. Perhaps a German can comment.

http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewblog.php?topic_id=176649

Assistant Village Idiot said...

dearieme - because people whose ancestors came from Bristol 3-400 years ago don't necessarily know that and just call themselves "American, I guess." I've seen the stat many times, and it's a self-report.

The Scots Irish also settled the Merrimack Valley, a little before they settled Appalachia. Fischer knows that but plays it short. New England has had a lower violent crime rate since colonial times, and still does. However, it has been rising with the admixture of non-puritan groups.

I'll buy Pinker's premise that herding cultures have such responses as honor culture, and that such things persist even after Enclosure Acts and the like; farmers, not so much. But consider that each group would likely have an opposite reaction to armed invasion: the herder can take his wealth up over the hills, the farmer is stuck. Then too, the main "non-violent" cultures in Pinker's book-thesis were the trading cultures around the North Sea. That wealth is also portable and needs protection.

That's the problem with just-so stories. They can be made to go wherever you want.

bluto said...

Dearieme,
Well they count noses or at least as many as they can.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries.jpg

Anonymous said...

All this 'herding' business is a bunch of bull, if you pardon the pun.

As far as I understand the first 'southern' states to be settled were along the eastern seaboard of the USA. The big thing was using the warm climate to grow cash crops - that could not be grown in Europe - such as cotton, tobacco, rice etc, hence the need for plantations snd slavery.
'Herding' so far as it was carried out in Britain generally meant raising sheep on marginal land that was either too hilly or too poor to grow crops. Likewise, marginal land in Scotland was used for beef cattle raising. Dairying, which is exceedingly common in Britain, is another matter altogether. The lush green grass and abundant rainfall of Britain meant that dairying is/was everywhere, in particular the south-western couties that are within close communication with London. Dairying is usually combined with arable farming.
Likewise, in the USA stockraising is in the main, confined to those areas which are too dry/hilly/cold or just unsuitable for cultivation. Economics dictates that stockraising is 'second best' use for agricultural land.
I never thought of the classic 'red-neck' states of Tennessee or Kentucky of being big sheep or cow country. Texas is another story, but much ot it is bone dry and was settled much later.
The big stockraising states are in the cold northern mid-west - hardly hill-billy territory.

Anonymous said...

"The largest European ethnic group in America is German." Really: how was that measured?

Well, every ten years in this country there is this thing called "the Census", and in the penultimate one (2000) every household in the nation was asked to identify its primary ethnic identification. 42.8 million Americans identified as being of primarily German ancestry (15.2%), and this was far in excess of the next three categories (Irish: 30.5M; African: 24.9M; English: 24.5M). See http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/c2kbr-35.pdf

Anonymous said...

Another interesting view of the German-American population would be to look at the county plurality map.

You could walk from coast to coast only going through counties with a German plurality.

Anonymous said...

Growing up in London in the 1970s, inter-school violence used to be a big thing.
Basically boys from rival schools (schools were mostly single sex then), used to meet up in public parks (or 'commons' as they are called), for set piece pitched battles. There were fighting leagues and much kudos for the 'hardest' school.
As I recall, the school-yard (or 'playground') fighting league in which individual boys were ranked according to martial prowess counted for everything - a pecking order if there ever was one. That 'little league' started from first starting school at age 5, and persisted to leaving (as most did) at age 16. Woe betide if you were not a fighter.

Steiner said...

As a matter of fact, most of the physical area of the United States was settled by German-Americans: see census map here. This gets zero play in the popular press, and when academics like Pinker and Hackett-Fischer make such a statement, one has to wonder.

Which begs the question (everywhere unasked except by me) why do these German-Americans refuse to go solidly Republican, when, being prosperous, enterprising white people, you'd think they would.

I suspect that the answer, particularly in places like Wisconsin, has to do with fierce anti-German persecution during and after WWI. As a result, you saw strong support in these states for "Socialist" candidates like Eugene Debs, and hostility towards the mainline parties, particularly Republicans, that persists to this day.

Londoner said...

Yeah, the 'South = scots-irish ' meme is pretty much without foundation. Seems to me that southerners periodically pick an identity that appeals to them for vague romantic reasons, and run with it. Weren't large numbers of southerners supposedly descended from normans and cavaliers at various times?

There are maps that break down (white) American ethnicities by county - so super-detailed - which don't show any preponderence of Scots-Irish in the south.

Anonymous said...

"An unarmed society is an an impolite society."

Contrast rude, thin-skinned Boston Massholes with taciturn, generally thick-skinned Vermonters. Historically and ethnographically, the two states have a lot in common- old Yankee stock with lots of white ethnic Catholic immigrants overlaid- but Vermonters are armed to the teeth, while Boston is Hoplophobic in the extreme.

Dahinda said...

There are two streams of thought in the US today, military worship and victim worship. The military worship part probably comes from the herder mentality that Pinker talked about and it does play into some of the red state vs blue state pattern but not all. The Canadian Border theory also comes into play as well.

Anonymous said...

diversity breeds conservatism in the white working class. It is the cause of conservatism in the white working class. The South has always been more 'diverse' than the north in that climate there favored the use of nonwhite slaves there. That is the cause of the greater tendency of southern whites to be conservative.

The only truly leftist nations in the history of the world were/are homogeneous, white and small. Large size increases factions in a nation, i.e., increases heterogeneity.

The more diverse, i.e., the more factions, in a nation, state, city, neighborhood, workplace, etc., the less trust exists, the less social capital exists, the less cohesion exists. This conditions leads to conservatism. This is the genesis of conservatism among the working class. The rich are conservative because they have money (both the Dems and GOP are conservative, albeit in different ways).

The USSR and Red China were never leftist, but claimed to be.

Sweden, denmark, switz, germany, norway, ireland, netherlands, austria, canada, australia, et al, these are the only leftist nations ever to be non-conservation. All leftist to varying degrees, depending primarily on the size of the nation, because smaller is les diverse.

As the pseudoleftist culture that was grown by the elites in america spreads to the rest of the white western world, it has enabled the elite to import more nonwhites via mass immigration, thus causing more factions/diversity, leading to less trust, less cohesion/unity and less social capital. This conditions has caused the other white nations in the western world to become more conservative and less trueleftist in recent years.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled pseudopolitical discussion...

Anonymous said...

Steve did you ever do a follow up post on 1493 and the contention that the North-South split matched the Indian tribes who were slave vs. non slave holding? The original settlement/colonial culture has/had a mixture from the aboriginal cultures the were closest too.

Are Southern states more violent because they ended up opposite relatively more violent tribes?

AllanF said...

Oh please, Pinker's argument falls apart like Obama's foreign policy when one looks at the county level data.

US or Canada, and I suspect anywhere you go where there are people, it's exactly the same: population density, AKA dirt gap.

Mark Plus said...

I can tell that Pinker disdains my Scots-Irish tribe. Pinker's safety and comfort as a tenured academician depend on the willingness of American rednecks with their martial tradition to defend the whole country, including the groups within it which hold them in contempt.

Anonymous Rice Alum #4 said...

dearieme, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German-American:

According to American Community Survey in 2010 data, Americans reporting German ancestry made up an estimated 17.1% of the total U.S. population, and form the largest ancestry group ahead of Irish Americans, African Americans and English Americans.

Anonymous said...

When I read the article I thought it quite odd that Pinker brought up Albion's Seed without explicitly mentioning Puritans or Cavaliers, but rather farmers and herders. Fischer's argument focused primarily on the different ways that the various settler groups thought about things, and not so much on the economics. Was Pinker giving us his own personal interpretation of the argument of the book, or did he just not read it?

Baloo said...

I read that about Germans years back. The reasoning was that it's true if you count English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish separately.

Anonymous said...

The Crown Heights riot really screwed the Black community in NYC... The jews never forgive or forget.

Paul Mendez said...

@Steve:

There are also a few low-income white neighborhoods in Baltimore and Philly that are genuinely scary.

Sheila said...

As the multikulti explodes around me here in the Dallas suburbs, I always note the license plates and drivers of the most irritating vehicles (jabbering away on cell phones [women and Asians], going 30 mph in the left lane [women and Asians], blaring music [blacks and Mexicans]). Perhaps 75% of the out-of-state plates are from New Jersey, California, or Michigan. The majority of these drivers are black. Yet the paper tells me I live in an overwhelmingly White, conservative district. Oh dear, oh dear, the confusion.

John D said...

Steve said: A confusing issue is that if you have a strong government to keep guns out of the hands of the citizens, as in England, then casual violence is more acceptable because people only rarely wind up dead from brawling for fun. In rich, well-armed America, however, you don't have a soccer riot culture because people can get seriously hurt.

Right, there's that. A simple fist fight is one thing. In any escalated scenario, where people could end up in prison, there's a whole other calculation. I think most Whites have at least some vague notion of what happens to Whites in prison.

The cost is way too high for most Whites to engage in more serious violence. Now, if the economy completely tanks, all bets are off. The cost/benefit dynamic completely changes.

Paul Mendez said...

You can see the same white solidarity in liberal cities like New York and Chicago in mayor's races.

As a native Washingtonian, I'm interested to see what happens now that "Chocolate City" has gone majority-white again.

The two plausible white mayoral candidates (Graham & Catania) are also homosexuals, which has its pluses and minuses in a city like DC.

Some might say that the current mayor, Vincent Gray. and previous mayor, Adrian Fenty are so barely black that the transition has already happened.

In my opinion, DC will continue to elect black mayors because the white people know they have Congress as a sort of super-mayor/protector that will veto any truly outrageous behavior by our nominal negro ruling class.



Elli said...

I've got most of my NC mountain ancestry traced to 1800, some to 1630s Jamestown. There is not a single Scots-Irish name; every one is English except for one Welshman.

And herding? These settlers moved into forests and cleared enough land for a subsistence farm. If you have game to hunt and a pig to kill in the fall, why do you need a herd?

If you've moved beyond subsistence farming into cash farming, you still won't have a herd. You'll have corn or tobacco or cotton (if you're in Georgia or south) or liquor or molasses or vegetables.

There weren't many cities in the south that would support dairy or meat farmers, who would have to farm close to the cities, not hundreds of miles away in the mountains. And those cities would have been in the plantation regions with a slavery economy.

Hell, maybe it's herds of human beings Pinker is talking about.

Anonymous said...

This Prussian-American wants to know.

This Prussian-American - with an English name.

Steffen said...

My thinking tends to be on the differences between urban and rural.

In a rural area, it's easy to see what your tax dollars buy you. Paved/gravel roads, and snow removal outside of the city limits, with the county Sheriff's car making occasional rounds. The fire department will come when you call, after some delay. Your trash removal, water, and power bill you pay personally. The bones of the system are plainly seen, and you could fend for yourself, when necessary. Most country folk know if the government services provided to them were privatized, and they paid for them personally, they would save a great deal of money.

In the urban areas, all the noise, bustle, and the plain fact that there is no need to think about where the services come from serve to conceal the inefficiencies of the system. If you have never needed to worry about how things are automatically done, then they must be done well. Otherwise you would have needed to correct them yourself.

Ray Sawhill said...

I found driving thru West Virginia pretty scary. Met some nice, bright people there, but good lord some of the rest of them ... A good doc about life in W. VA is "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia." (The Whites being a family, not a race.) People we later met in Kentucky told us that, when they wanted to go east, they made a point of driving around, and not thru, West Virginia.

Ddraig Verdd said...

"The largest European ethnic group in America is German."
That's based on people's self assessment in various surveys and it's wrong. The reason is, of course, that everybody who had a German great grand father will put German as the origin (even if all the rest are of British origin). Also most of the people in Appalachia put just American. The truth is that until recently most of the population of the US was, at least in part, descended from people born in America before 1800. There have been huge waves of German immigration but they have been assimilated quickly to the existing cultural patterns (with the exception of religious minorities like Amish).

Whiskey said...

The Scots Irish settled the Backwoods. Appalachia, Kentucky, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, northern Mississippi, Alabama, etc. It was the Southwest English, the old Wessex Saxon aristocrats, that settled Tidewater Virginia and the Carolinas.

And no, these were not Highlanders, but Lowlanders. Guys on the border who spent the last 2,000 years or so in constant fighting, developing clan protection, extreme personal mobility, and extreme personal independence along with superstition and the like as a result.

And no Steve, I think you're missing the point.

In Southern England, violence as part of daily life had largely ended a hundred years after 1066. The Kings Justice mostly worked. There weren't constant invasions. The King was mostly a good thing, providing security, law, and order. Sure it was oppressive, but it worked as it did in the Midlands. That pretty much ended at the border country where it did not work, and violence as a way of life continued right up until Culloden. Until it was finally suppressed.

If you were on the Tidewater, with a lot of armed men under your pay, you tended to have a fairly sympathetic view of the state and order. That was true for Puritans who were in close proximity to each other and tightly knit. And had an even stronger view of the State. "Hillbillies" those backwoods guys constantly rebelled, and generally failed, because they were spread out (low population density) and largely distrustful of everyone. "Deep Culture."

Whiskey said...

Let me add, Fischer notes that the Puritans hung not only "Witches" but nice old Quaker ladies preaching. Meanwhile there was never even a Witchcraft trial in Virginia, where "divination" was common among chance-obsessed aristocrats. The backwoods people were extremely cruel with kittens and puppies, throwing them into ovens to "christen" them in obvious pagan hold-overs, and lived even more superstition-driven lives (Twain as part of the "Quality" of the backwoods people -- his father was rich -- writes of this constantly in Life on the Mississippi and Huck Finn where he recounts superstitions that tormented him as a boy).

Most of the Backwoods people were armed very well, only in northern cities (the Irish are not the "Scots Irish") did disarming take place. There were knife schools before Samuel Colt's repeating firearms made them less effective, where you could learn the stuff that Col. Bowie and others of the time perfected. Most people were armed at all times because there was no law and bands of robbers who killed their victims after robbery were common. Twain describes one bunch that operated when he was a boy, estimating they killed about 4,000 people, mostly White.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Burton;"Why the focus on the English? The largest European ethnic group in America is German. Why doesn't anyone care about where all those Germans came from? Any analysis on south vs north German immigrants? Where they went? Any regional influence or concentration?

This Prussian-American wants to know."

Founder effect; Fischer argues (rightly, to my way of thinking) that subsequent European immigrants have, to varying degrees, assimilated to the norms of the Anglo founders of the main cultural hearths in America: Chesapeake tidewater (English gentry from the south of
England and their retainers), New England (middle class English and their sacerdotal elite, from East Anglia), Pennsylvania (Quakers from the Midlands), the Backcountry (Border folk from the Anglo-Scots border).For example, JFK was a mix of Irish Catholic and Anglo New England; Grace Kelly was a mix of Irish Catholic and Pennsylvania's Quaker inheritance, etc.

Syon

Steve Sailer said...

"Steve did you ever do a follow up post on 1493 and the contention that the North-South split matched the Indian tribes who were slave vs. non slave holding? The original settlement/colonial culture has/had a mixture from the aboriginal cultures the were closest too."

I said that?

Wow, that's either brilliant or stupid. If somebody knows more about it than I do, please look into it.

beowulf said...

Its astonishing how completely the parties have switch teams (or rather traded out their entire rosters to each other) since the Civil War. US Grant won the Presidency in 1868 losing the white vote, he won because of the overwhelming support among black voters who loved the Radical Republicans (for one thing, they protected their right to vote).
The Radical Republicans leaders such as Thad Stevens and Ben Butler were like time travelers, a century ahead of their time (supporting voting rights for blacks AND women? crazytalk!). Its a pity really that Butler turned down Lincoln's VP offer in 1864. That guy was so hardcore he would either have been a hell of a life insurance policy for Lincoln or 500% better than President Johnson and his weak sister Reconstruction policies.

I advised and so urged that the States in rebellion should be divided into territories held under military control...[and] given specific names. For instance, Virginia should be the territory of Potomac; North Carolina, the territory of Cape Fear; South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, the territory of Jackson; Louisiana, the territory of Jefferson ; Texas, the territory of Houston, and Arkansas, the territory of Lincoln. I believed that the lines of those territories should be so drawn as to cut up the boundaries of the original States so that there should be nothing of State pride left.
http://books.google.com/books?id=HYEyAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA904#v

pat said...

There seems to be a central weakness in this theory. How long does it take? And how long does it take to change?

If I'm a Scots-Irish immigrant this theory says I'm belligerent because I'm descended from herders. OK. That's possible. If I had been descended from farmers I would have been less pugnacious. OK. That's also possible.

But then when I become a farmer why don't I adopt the non-violent farmer life style? How long does the legacy of herding ancestors affect someone?

How long did it take for the Scots-Irish to develop their aggressive herding behavior? The Irish came to the islands from the mainland in paleolithic times. Herding is neolithic. So presumably the aboriginal Irish picked it up in Ireland. They did not behave this way on the mainland.

If this is true how is this aggressiveness transmitted? Is is genetic? Were a couple thousand years of herding in Ireland sufficient to make a permanent impact on the Irish genome?

Aggressiveness is located in the limbic system - mostly the amygdala. Is there any evidence that the Irish or Scots-Irish amygdala is different?

This herding makes you touchy and nasty theory isn't much of a theory. It's more of a "just so" story.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

That's based on people's self assessment in various surveys and it's wrong. The reason is, of course, that everybody who had a German great grand father will put German as the origin (even if all the rest are of British origin).

What is your evidence for that? Anecdotally, I find quite the opposite to be true--the more remote a German ancestor the less likely the Census respondent is to put down "German" and put down something more 'fashionable' like "Irish" or "American".

And in any case, you're just flat-out wrong when you say

There have been huge waves of German immigration but they have been assimilated quickly to the existing cultural patterns (with the exception of religious minorities like Amish).

In point of fact the German-American community remained remarkably unassimilated for almost seventy years. From 1848 to 1917 those waves of immigrants joined and stayed in what was called "Germania"--the archipelago of Germans in five main cities (New York, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee) with a highly-developed parallel network of insurance companies, newspapers, Turnverein, social clubs, libraries, debating clubs, church organizations, etc. Intermarriage was rare. It was as unassimilated as the current MexAmerican mass, with the exception that it was made up of industrious, law-abiding people who worked in parallel cooperation with the dominant Anglo institutions. Only the First World War was enough to break it up and start forced assimilation to the main 'cultural pattern'. My father's family were originally forty-eighters supplemented by later arrivals in the 1880s--but no one married Irish or French Canadian until starting around 1940.

Anonymous said...

On the vast number of German-Americans:This gets zero play in the popular press, and when academics like Pinker and Hackett-Fischer make such a statement, one has to wonder.

I don't know what Pinker would say, but Hackett-Fisher's theory is that later immigrant groups are largely "grafted" on to one of the four British folkways he identified. He specifically opines that the German-Americans, whether Pennsylvania Mennonites who arrived starting in the 17th c. or Catholic Bavarians who got off the boat in Bismarck's time, almost all collectively fused into the Delaware River Valley Quaker culture stream.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Re German immigration: Plus, founder effects are considerable. Germans were not building a culture, but moving into one already settled by the English.

Yet I still return to the self-report aspect. English surnames are (generally) more generic sounding to our American ears, and thus not identifiable to another country. German surnames remain more distinctive, and serve as a reminder of heritage.

When we can measure up the DNA more exactly, we will know more. Until then, it is enough to know that the American project was well under weigh long before there were more than a few Germans. Those came later. Culturally, this matters. As for socialist tendencies, I will suspect that was more the Scandinavians. I still have Uncle Mannfred's Swedish Socialist Songbook.

Svigor said...

To Anonymous 2:49 AM. Ok, where did those blacks up North come from? Did the slave ships drop 'em off in Detroit in 1720? I'm down with much of the paleocon argument except when they start making excuses for the South. Ya know it is possible to be an anti-multikulti realist and not have any sympathy for Southerners, who continue to cause more trouble than most of 'em are worth(sf Iraq war, John Hagee, and rural Southern counties as parasites)

Another deluded Yankee who blames the South for freeing the slaves. How does one argue with someone like this without being insulting?

P.S., not only did the Yankees create the black problem, they also ran the shipping industry that brought them here.

Steve Sailer said...

Also, there was some selection going on regarding immigration that kept the British imprint on regions: as Ben Franklin complained, Quakers recruited German Pietists to immigrate to Pennsylvania because they were similar in religion and culture and thus would vote for Quaker leaders. Nordics tended to move to Yankee areas like Minnesota, where they found the climate and culture compatible.

Matthew said...

"The largest European ethnic group in America is German."

What were the numbers for Bavarians, Hessians, and Schleswig-Holsteinians? Why do we separate English from Scottish from Irish ancestry when these people were all coming from a single, unified country, while the Germans weren't?

I'm not sure what the cause is, but something funny's been going on in the census with regards to people reporting English ancestry. In 1980 26.3% of Americans - 49.6 million people - reported English ancestry, in 1990 it was down to 13.1%, and in 2000 it was down to 8.7%. In absolute terms, fewer than half as many people (24.5 million) today are claiming English ancestry as did so as in 2000. They are not being replaced by people claiming "American." Add American, British, English, Welsh, Scottish, and Scotch-Irish together and it barely comes to 20%. Did I miss a holocaust or something?

"Seems to me that southerners periodically pick an identity that appeals to them for vague romantic reasons, and run with it."

I believe the Southern connection to a Scottish identity dates back to at least the Civil War, which
is why the Confederate flag was modelled on the St. Andrew's Cross.

"I've got most of my NC mountain ancestry traced to 1800, some to 1630s Jamestown. There is not a single Scots-Irish name; every one is English except for one Welshman."

Are tracing where they actually came from or just looking at the names? Scottish names aren't all Mc's and Mac's. I have many ancestors who came from Soctland (via Northern Ireland) and non of them had names generally thought of as Scottish.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree about Boston and New England generally, very white, much more so than the South and the Midwest. Regarding New York, I remember David Dinkins being termed the future of the city back in 1989 and when he ran for reelection in 1993, well it's now been two Republicans for the last 19 years in the Big Apple, in a city that went 80 percent for Cuomo in 1994. I wonder why? Probably the same reason rich white people there didn't let Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech suffer the same fate that CCNY did in 1970, despite much hand wringing at the Grey Lady.

Svigor said...

The rich are conservative because they have money (both the Dems and GOP are conservative, albeit in different ways).

Are the rich really conservative? I don't think they are. I like to keep things simple: the reason the left is winning is because that's where the money is.

Svigor said...

Furthermore, it's the Yankees who have at every turn exacerbated the black problem.

Lol, and you guys want to lay it at our feet? Just more of your insanity.

Svigor said...

Liberal Denial Will Only Get Worse

In the last week, he has caught and passed the president in most national polls, especially those without samples that are not overestimating the number of Democrats who will turn out to vote.

[...]

Evidence that the Obama campaign thinks it is trailing is everywhere, as the president swings away at his rival as if he were the challenger not the incumbent. Even more telling is, as I wrote yesterday, the first evidence that some influential people within the president’s re-election team are starting to plant stories in the media alleging that an impending defeat isn’t their fault.

[...]

Feeding this denial is the widespread oversampling of Democrats in polls that still show the president leading the race. The assumption that the turnout of the president’s supporters will match or exceed those that lifted him to a historic victory in 2008 seems to be based more on a leap of liberal faith than evidence, but it is statistical tricks like that that are keeping Obama’s head above water in the polls.

[...]

Just as misleading is the fact that the heavy turnout in early voting states, like Ohio, of Obama’s supporters may be skewing likely voter formulas in the president’s favor. As Josh Jordan writes in National Review today, given the emphasis the Democrats have placed on getting their base out to vote early while Republicans count on theirs to turn out on Election Day, the president’s ability to stay ahead or tied in Ohio polls may be a statistical anomaly that won’t be corrected until the ballots are counted.

The Republican press has started to catch up to where I was over a week ago.

Ray Sawhill said...

My own Scotch-Irish ancestors first showed up in far western Pennsylvania. Loads of 'em settled in that area. Stills, booze, Indian fighters. They were behind the Whiskey Rebellion.

Anonymous said...

An interesting Gedanken experiment that Mr. Pinker might consider performing: Calculate US homicide rates excluding non-whites from the calculation. The rates are only slightly higher than those in most European countries. When you exclude non-whites, there is still a very slight Southern culture of violence effect. But it's rather negligible.It is interesting that rates of violent crime in Scotland have been approaching US rates for the past couple of decades. No one is really sure why that is.

agnostic said...

"In 1980 26.3% of Americans - 49.6 million people - reported English ancestry, in 1990 it was down to 13.1%, and in 2000 it was down to 8.7%. In absolute terms, fewer than half as many people (24.5 million) today are claiming English ancestry as did so as in 2000. They are not being replaced by people claiming "American." Add American, British, English, Welsh, Scottish, and Scotch-Irish together and it barely comes to 20%. Did I miss a holocaust or something?"

Quoted for emphasis. Here's Greg Cochran on the subject:

"Fashions change. For example, the fraction of Americans who report English ancestry has dropped drastically since 1980 – so much that so that you would have to wonder about secret death camps if you took it seriously. But it’s fashion. I looked at the census numbers for my home county, and then looked at the phone book: Census result was 20% English ancestry, real number was more like 80%. Of course this means that people in the US claiming a particular ethnicity can not only have limited ancestry from that group, but be oddly unrepresentative as well."

http://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/being-the-dutch/

Anonymous said...

"Its astonishing how completely the parties have switch teams (or rather traded out their entire rosters to each other)"


LOL

and more LOL

Anthony said...

Anonymous @ 2:57AM
Surely among the reasons for less "honor-based" crime in Nowheresville, MN or VT is due to the game not being worth the candle.

Honor-based crime is the *only* crime which is worthwhile in places with no money.

Except drugs, but most of the violent crime in the drug scene is a form of honor crime.

Anonymous said...

"not only did the Yankees create the black problem, they also ran the shipping industry that brought them here."

No. The North wanted to end the slave trade in 1789, its the South that demanded it stay open till 1808 and its the South that crippled its enforcement and its the Southern Fire-eaters that wanted the Confederacy to re-open it.

If the Yankee ship owners traded slaves before 1808 its because the South didn't want to and because the British traders charged too much.

Anonymous said...

"I believe the Southern connection to a Scottish identity dates back to at least the Civil War, which
is why the Confederate flag was modelled on the St. Andrew's Cross."

It is probably the influence of Sir Walter Scott. Mark Twain blamed the civil war on Sir Walter's writings.

"It was Sir Walter that made every gentleman in the South a Major or a Colonel, or a General or a Judge, before the war; and it was he, also, that made those gentlemen value their bogus decorations. For it was he that created rank and caste down there, and also reverence for rank and caste, and pride and pleasure in them. Enough is laid on slavery, without fathering upon it these creations and contributions of Sir Walter. Sir Walter had so large a hand in making Southern character, as it existed before the war, that he is in great measure responsible for the war. Mark Twain - Life on the Mississippi."

Anthony said...

As I pointed out when Westhunt was discussing this, the census allows you to only claim one ethnicity, thus the results from decade to decade will vary due to fashion, since so many whites are ethnically mixed. My wife could claim German or Irish with equal validity; English and Danish would be a stretch, but she does have recent ancestors who are fully one or another of those. I'm not sure which she'd put down if she got the Census long form.

agnostic said...

The older spatial distribution of herders could have led to the present shape of who lives in a high or low dirt-gap area. Herders spread themselves out, while farmers pack in like bees in a hive.

So over time, those who were more adapted to high-density living -- farmers more than herders -- populated the metropolitan areas, developing all the land, and sending up housing prices. They brought with them their culture which is more law-based than honor-based.

This is part of the Big Assortment or whatever it's called, people with certain dispositions congregating in areas that they're most adapted to.

agnostic said...

Pinker is talking about different subsistence styles that selected for different cultures and behaviors, whether he thinks it's culturally or genetically transmitted.

So it's irrelevant if the Scotch-Irish or Bavarians within the past 100 or so years find themselves within a farming-friendly area, and do not herd livestock anymore like their generations of ancestors had. The cultural / genetic shaping of their ways has remained, since they've been herding far longer than they've been sitting at a desk.

It's the same type of explanation for the continuation of tropical African culture and behavior within the American black population.

Or to choose a more relevant example, the persistence of the culture of honor among Pakistanis in the UK. They come from generations of herders, milk-drinkers, and cowboys, and have adopted the culture of honor that is shared to greater or lesser degrees by all pastoralist peoples. It doesn't matter if they've been transplanted to an urban industrial environment.

agnostic said...

It deserves a post of its own, but very briefly consider the difference in trajectories between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

The USSR system came from a largely agricultural population. A large part of the ethnic identity in the Russia-Ukraine area is based on their opposition to the never-ending waves of pastoralist nomads from the Steppe.

The Yugoslav system came from a far more pastoralist population -- not much farming to be had up in them thar mountains. As predicted, the culture of honor, revenge, and feuding is a lot stronger in the Balkans than in Russia or Ukraine.

The Soviet system was more in line with the Utopian vision of all-wise, all-powerful, and all-kind experts designing and implementing the Great Plan.

The Yugoslav system went more toward the Tragic vision, and was popularly called "market socialism," with kind of socialistic organization within firms, but market competition between firms.

Farmers are more tolerant of Great Plans being handed down to them, and playing their little role within the great scheme of things. Herders are too independent to put up with that, so Yugoslavia never became as centralizing as the USSR.

Yugoslavia was a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, and so was the leader of Egypt and an Aryan leader of India. I.e., places with substantial pastoralist backgrounds (after the Arabs and other cowboy groups had over-run Egypt, of course).

That's a fitting orientation for herders on the global, international stage -- non-aligned, however fiercely tribal they might be on a local scale. Let the civilized farmers blow themselves up, while we continue to eke out a living.

There was an exception that proved the rule in the Balkans -- namely Bulgaria. It is not very mountainous, has lots of arable land, and has not been as pastoralist or honor-based as the former Yugoslav countries.

And sure enough, it became a satellite of the USSR, not of Yugoslavia, because their subsistence styles were closer together.

sunbeam said...

I think white southerners are becoming less violent as time goes on.

And either they are assimilating rapidly into the mainstream of America, or America is being moved to them on a lot of cultural issues.

I'd say most of America seems to be adopting southern white attitudes towards academic achievement.

Southern accents are fading away rapidly too. I could see the effect in my generation, and younger people know don't talk the same way they used to.

Well Honey Boo Boo does.

Anonymous said...

I'm not arguing some of Mr. Sailer's points, but methinks he views the South from a distance and plays down white on white violence and the importance of preventative violence in maintaining status. What about higher rates of violence, per capita, in low-black populated areas? Southern Appalachia is more violent than upstate NY or heavily Swedish counties in WS I'm betting. Blame that on the blacks? Where I grew up in rural VA, blacks were few, maybe 10-15% of the population. Granted, their young men were a pretty violent lot, per capita, but so were the rural whites.


We'd be better off if more men were accustomed to violence. Most men used to be, even in the North. Rather than calling on white men in West Virgina to be more like those in Vermont, I'd prefer that men in Vermont be a little more like those in West Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Or to choose a more relevant example, the persistence of the culture of honor among Pakistanis in the UK. They come from generations of herders, milk-drinkers, and cowboys, and have adopted the culture of honor that is shared to greater or lesser degrees by all pastoralist peoples. It doesn't matter if they've been transplanted to an urban industrial environment.

Except Pakistanis aren't known for their honor, word, courage, physical and spiritual bravery, etc. They're known for the exact opposite traits.

You're confusing mere patriarchy with honor.

Pakistanis and other similar groups such as Arabs don't actually have an honor based culture. That's why they're such terrible fighters, can't organize, are such physical and moral cowards, etc. They can't uphold honor and oaths.

Anonymous said...

So it's irrelevant if the Scotch-Irish or Bavarians within the past 100 or so years find themselves within a farming-friendly area, and do not herd livestock anymore like their generations of ancestors had. The cultural / genetic shaping of their ways has remained, since they've been herding far longer than they've been sitting at a desk.

Celts, Germanics, and their ancestors the Indo-Europeans and proto-Indo-Europeans have always farmed. They were never exclusive herders. Farming came to northern Europe between 7,000 and 3,000 years ago.

Anonymous said...

So it's irrelevant if the Scotch-Irish or Bavarians within the past 100 or so years find themselves within a farming-friendly area, and do not herd livestock anymore like their generations of ancestors had. The cultural / genetic shaping of their ways has remained

It's odd to cite Scots-Irish and Bavarians here. The stereotype of Bavarians is that they're quiet, industrious farmers. The opposite of the stereotype about the Scots-Irish. So I don't see how they're examples of the same cultural/genetic ways.

el supremo said...

The number of German-Americans in the US made me wonder why the German government doesn't try to solve its labor shortages by luring back under-employed German Americans.

German citizenship is explictly blood based, and they weren't shy about vacuuming up all the Germans in Romania and the Volga in the 90's.

Unemployed part German americans from Ohio would make a damn better supplement to the working class in Germany than Moroccans, and you'd probably have a higher standard of living as a German janitor than a Wal-Mart clerk in the midwest.

Truth said...

" Rather than calling on white men in West Virgina to be more like those in Vermont, I'd prefer that men in Vermont be a little more like those in West Virginia."

Probably not if you were married to one.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

There is definitely something to that English brawling idea.

Australians really share this. New Zealanders too. But not Canadians, at least in my experience.

Just a night out on the town, knock back some brews and wrestle, eye gouge around with the mates, no harm, no foul, and, seemingly, no grudges.

Lacking a well defined opponent, get something going w/one of your drinking buds at the same table.

Some weird English idea of sport, all just good clean fun, I guess. I've seen this pattern all over the world.

Man Mountain Molehill said...

Massachusetts politics is dominated by Boston and the surrounding suburbs - mostly everything East of Framingham. Which is majority white, ethnic, working-class Catholic, mainly Irish and Italian. Which why they tend to elect politicians with names like Kennedy, Bulger and Celucci. And the occasional Brahmin like Bill Weld. Not sure where Mitt fit in the brahminoscale.

Ray Sawhill said...

I'm going to keep on calling them "Scotch-Irish" ...

agnostic said...

"Pakistanis and other similar groups such as Arabs don't actually have an honor based culture. That's why they're such terrible fighters, can't organize, are such physical and moral cowards, etc. They can't uphold honor and oaths."

Right, that's why all those suicide bombers and other terrorists keep wimping out at the last second. And why all those southern Italians in the mafia movies keep wussing out of what they've promised or feel themselves bound to carry out.

Just google something if you don't know what you're talking about. You're quibbling on the definition of "honor" instead of sticking to what we've been talking about, i.e. the culture of honor, revenge, and feuding, as opposed to the culture of law and third-party arbitration and policing.

"Celts, Germanics, and their ancestors the Indo-Europeans and proto-Indo-Europeans have always farmed. They were never exclusive herders. Farming came to northern Europe between 7,000 and 3,000 years ago."

They were agro-pastoralists, practicing a mix of both. When I say herder or farmer, it means more toward one side or the other. They were definitely not pure farmers -- that's Ancient Egypt, Han China, Central American empires, etc. They were closer to being herders, most obviously in their ability to drink milk.

Proto-Indo European mythology sounds more like the Old Testament than Confucianism or Chinese folk religion, filial piety, etc.

Right up through the Roman Empire, Celts and Germanics were famous for their herding of livestock, drinking milk, and standing taller and behaving more fiercely than the agrarian Romans.

"It's odd to cite Scots-Irish and Bavarians here."

Southern Germany, especially the closer you get into the Alps, has been a historical hold-out of transhumance pastoralism.

Like the other parts of Europe that added more pastoralism to their mix, they have less faith in the Utopian vision of human nature, and are more paleoconservative. It was the hillbilly Germans who showed the lowest voting rates for the Nazis, and who were the hot-bed of anti-Nazi organizing.

And not because they were Commies (another stripe of Utopians), but again that kind of rugged individualist, non-aligned mountain man type. Speak softly but carry a big stick. You see that even more purely in Switzerland.

I'm not sure what the history of revenge and feuding is like in these areas, though. I'd expect it was more like the Hatfields and McCoys, or the Osveta in the Balkans, than in the more agrarian regions of the north / northeast.

hbd chick said...

@agnostic - "Pinker is talking about different subsistence styles that selected for different cultures and behaviors, whether he thinks it's culturally or genetically transmitted.... They [Pakistanis] come from generations of herders, milk-drinkers, and cowboys, and have adopted the culture of honor that is shared to greater or lesser degrees by all pastoralist peoples."

my bet is genetically (with a bit of culture thrown in) -- and part of this picture has to do with mating patterns (i think).

pastoralist mountain folks inbreed -- a LOT -- while lowlander agriculturalists outbreed more.

and altering genetic relatedness within/between populations can affect the selection of social behavioral traits like altruism. ergo, more "honor"-related stuff in pastoralist populations.

hbd chick said...

@albertosaurus - "Aggressiveness is located in the limbic system - mostly the amygdala. Is there any evidence that the Irish or Scots-Irish amygdala is different?"

well, the 75% of the mccoys had tumors on their adrenal glands (von hippel-lindau disease). hmmmmm....

i've been looking (not very hard, admittedly) for "genes related to aggressive behaviors" in pastoralists.

hbd chick said...

@albertosaurus - "This herding makes you touchy and nasty theory isn't much of a theory. It's more of a 'just so' story."

it's not the herding, but the inbreeding (which herders tend to do) that can lead to the touchiness and the nastiness (i think).

Anonymous said...

Honestly Ben Franklin and mark twain read better stuff guys. It's sad when Tom Wolfe is the best writer discussed in a week.

You do realize that Twain was just spilt balling right he had no idea what caused the civil war.

Anonymous said...

You have to love American history. At the end of the day it comes down to herding and Walter Scott.

rec1man said...

In India, whenever, muslims exceed 25% in a seat, they start low level rioting and low level jihad. This leads to the situation wherein BJP wins lots of seats with 30% to 45% muslim.

In Bihar state, there is a milkman caste called Yadav, that openly does a Muslim+Yadav alliance
But in North east bihar, where muslims are 40%, the Yadavs vote with the BJP
Whereas in rest of Bihar state, muslims are 12% and many castes do an alliance with muslims

This is called communal polarisation,

Whenever an aggressive minority exceeds a certain critical mass in a locality, their harassment increases exponentially, causing the majority to close ranks against the aggressive minority

Haim said...

"Pinker's safety and comfort as a tenured academician depend on the willingness of American rednecks with their martial tradition to defend the whole country, including the groups within it which hold them in contempt."

On behalf of my fellow "Scots-Irish", I'd like to thank you for defending the whole country against goat herders in central Asia, in one of the pointless wars we have sent you to fight for Israel (goat herders in Herat represent an existential threat to our good friend Israel).

David Davenport said...

... lower-class Southern and English pathologies ...

Pathologies, or useful survival traits upon which the soi-disant better classes try to free ride?

"Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Jack said...

If a person lists more than one ethnic group in the ancestry question on the Census, only the first two groups listed are actually counted. Most figures listing the ancestry of the U.S. population are actually tabulated based only on the first group listed. For example, if I listed my ancestry as "German, English" and my brother listed his ancestry as "English, German" then we would each be counted as belonging to different ancestry groups when the overall figures were being tabulated.

Another factor to remember is that calculations of ancestry are gathered only from those who actually answered the question (in the 2000 Census, 20% of people who returned forms left the question blank).

fnn said...

On behalf of my fellow "Scots-Irish", I'd like to thank you for defending the whole country against goat herders in central Asia, in one of the pointless wars we have sent you to fight for Israel (goat herders in Herat represent an existential threat to our good friend Israel).

You get the idea.

But has anyone asked Richard Perle why the Afghan War has gone on for such an incredible length of time? Are they just trying to prove how dumb the goyim are?

Pete Allan said...

"Whiskey said...

Let me add, Fischer notes that the Puritans hung not only "Witches" but nice old Quaker ladies preaching. Meanwhile there was never even a Witchcraft trial in Virginia, where "divination" was common among chance-obsessed aristocrats. The backwoods people were extremely cruel with kittens and puppies, throwing them into ovens to "christen" them in obvious pagan hold-overs, and lived even more superstition-driven lives (Twain as part of the "Quality" of the backwoods people -- his father was rich -- writes of this constantly in Life on the Mississippi and Huck Finn where he recounts superstitions that tormented him as a boy).

Most of the Backwoods people were armed very well, only in northern cities (the Irish are not the "Scots Irish") did disarming take place. There were knife schools before Samuel Colt's repeating firearms made them less effective, where you could learn the stuff that Col. Bowie and others of the time perfected. Most people were armed at all times because there was no law and bands of robbers who killed their victims after robbery were common. Twain describes one bunch that operated when he was a boy, estimating they killed about 4,000 people, mostly White."

If this bull is what they teach you guys in yeshivas, no wonder there is such a deep seated fear and hatred of the American goy.

Hunsdon said...

Haim said: On behalf of my fellow "Scots-Irish", I'd like to thank you for defending the whole country against goat herders

Hunsdon replied: No sweat, man. It's what we do. "It might be a lousy war, but it's the only war we've got." As Kipling put it, "it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and Tommy go away, but it's thank you Mr. Atkins when the band begins to play."

Nicer, of course, to be able to do that in service of some sort of worthy goal, something at least intended to advance the national interest.

Aye, and there'll be moonlight again.

Anonymous said...

"Germans were not building a culture, but moving into one already settled by the English."

True. But it's also true that immigrants shape the base culture. I was once told by my English graduate school classmate that the U.S. was the most "German" country she's visited outside of Europe. Relatedly, a friend from Australia observed that White-Americans are much more reserved and earnest than whites in Australia, where English ancestry predominates.

"English surnames are (generally) more generic sounding to our American ears, and thus not identifiable to another country. German surnames remain more distinctive, and serve as a reminder of heritage."

Many German surnames are not very distinctive at all. To the contrary, many German surnames are confused as English origin names. For example, "Fischer" is a common German surname that most would probably think is English. Keller, Beck, Mack and Kraft are all undistinctive German surnames. Also, there are countless names ending in "man(n)" that are of German origin that few would recognize as such, especially without the double n.

Anonymous said...

"I said that?

Wow, that's either brilliant or stupid. If somebody knows more about it than I do, please look into it. "

Sidis's The Tribes and The States?

Old Fogey said...

Regarding self-reported ethnic ancestry - Having a seriously Germanic last name I always considered myself from German stock as I was growing up - and indeed long-past the stage where I should have known better. Thinking carefully about it a few years ago, my Prussian-American family name, dating from about 1830 with one American-born ancestor having fought at Gettysburg, tells you nothing about the ethnicity of the women involved in any of the subsequent births. My own father's mother, for example (whom I never knew and therefore hadn't asked about her before) was English in ancestry. And then I suddenly realized that I am more Czech than German since my mother's grandparents came to NY from Prague early in the 20th century and all had Czech family names.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous, who wants guys in VT to be more like those in WV. You've really thought this one through, ain't ya. If only the whole country could be like TX or WV! The US is getting crappier partially because she is becoming Dixiefied. What a wonderful world it will be. You think Iraq was bad, wait till the South ain't got nothing holding her back. We'll be a Latin American style country of rapacious parvenus, with some pretensions, and surly, smugly anti-intellectual prols, a non-European, exploited working class, and did I mention the clerical establishment of this brave new world. Think cheesy suits, bad hair and god-awful giant cathedrals to bad taste: Falwell, Hagee, Leonard Repas, etc. But wait, you say Dr. D. James Kennedy was sort of classy. I wouldn't characterize his church as such, but there's no accounting for taste.

Look, it's possible to be a right-winger and not want a bunch of Pap Finns and Thomas Sutpens for neighbors. It is possible to be against the Feminist emasculating of our boys, and still not want them to end up brutes. The elements of the non-mainstream right, who, opposed to the Cultural Marxist project, get a soft spot for Dixie do not know what they are embracing. They also play down the fact that Southerners are pretty loyal, reliable shock troops for the Neo Con-Movement GOP. Do you expect they'll see the light at some point. Nothing doing, they'll stone Ron Paul and vote for the neo-conniest neo-con they can find because he talks tough. Oh, but wait, that's a good thing. We can't have VT style wussies. Let's press on, tough guys, and fight the good fight for globalization, women's rights in the ME, and free trade.

And Whiskey talks about Alpha male cads and what they can do to a society, when enabled by gals. Whiskey, the South is an example of a society run for the benefit of Alpha males. Until outside tax dollars and know-how starting flowing in, it was backwards, violent and gut-parasite ridden. But we needs us some more of that.

If possible, looking back over 100 years, I'd suggest it would be helpful to compare and contrast the stats for German-Scandinavian communities in the Midwest with those settled by Upland Southerners and you'll get what I'm driving at: violence, longevity, illegitimacy. Then compare those stats with Southern counties, look at mostly white counties if it makes you happy.

And Svigor,

I'm Southern, I've got all the bonafides, including the accent (which I am not ashamed of) and a selection of ancestors ranging from slave-owning, race horse owning gents down to men who died not even owning the ground their cabins sat on. I grew up eating hoe-cakes, pinto beans and fried squirrel downed with coffee, although I drew the line on eating mush and collards. I'm a generation removed from a log cabin on 2 sides. From my childhood, I find much of the social dynamics and socializing described by John C. Campbell in his "Southern Highlander" to be very, very familiar. But, I'm also intellectually honest, you see. So I'm all for applying blame where blame should go. To solve the problem you got to understand it. I'm not apologizing or guilty, no apologies for slavery, etc.

And to the fellow mountaineer with relative lack of Scotch-Irish ancestry. It's an uphill battle convincing people that we ain't all straight out of Ulster and Ayrshire before that. Try telling people it's possible to be actual Irish, not Scotch-Irish, in the South. Kevin Phillips alludes to it in his book and Kirby Miller has done lots of yeoman work proving the presence of Gaelic Irish in the old South, but it hasn't captured the imagination as yet. I'm not saying the Scotch-Irish weren't there, and they weren't important, but they ain't the whole story.

On the better behaved Scotch-Irish in New England, they immigrated as congregations, correct? Self-selection going on, a better class of Ulster Scot?

Anonymous said...

Steven Pinker loves to look down his nose at European people.

European American voting patterns are more diverse and changing than other voting groups like Jews, East Asians or blacks. Geographically in Presidential races rural areas tend to vote Republican and urban and suburban ares vote Democratic. In every Presidential election except 1980 since atleast 1928 Jews have voted Democratic with over 70% every time. The white vote has been more fluid in that time period and is closer to 50-50. When you get down to state, county, and citywide elections the fluidity is greater. White voters are more keen on issues that affect their lives than Steven Pinker wants to acknowledge. Why does the Midwest and South vote Republican more often than the Northeast, Pacific Coast and Great Lakes region and visa versa? The Midwest and South tend to be more rural and less industrialized compared to the blue regions. Factor in the black population in the South and their inability to properly run anything let alone government and you have white voters being PUSHED to vote Republican.

Anonymous said...

Davenport,

where are those men sleeping, Tel Aviv?

Because men sleeping in Des Moines are not safer for the influence of Southern pathologies on US politics.

Anonymous said...

"I believe the Southern connection to a Scottish identity dates back to at least the Civil War, which is why the Confederate flag was modelled on the St. Andrew's Cross."

Untrue.

The flag that Miles had favored when he was chair of the Committee on the Flag and Seal eventually became the battle flag and, ultimately, the most popular flag of the Confederacy. According to historian John Coski, Miles' design was inspired by one of the many "secessionist flags" flown at the South Carolina secession convention of December, 1860. That flag was a blue St George's Cross (an upright or Latin cross) on a red field, with 15 white stars on the cross, representing the Confederate States, and, on the red field, palmetto and crescent symbols. Miles received a variety of feedback on this design, including a critique from Charles Moise, a self-described "Southerner of Jewish persuasion". Moise liked the design, but asked that "the symbol of a particular religion not be made the symbol of the nation." Taking this into account, Miles changed his flag, removing the palmetto and crescent, and substituting a heraldic saltire ("X") for the upright one.

According to Coski, the Saint Andrew's Cross had no special place in Southern iconography at the time, and if Miles had not been eager to conciliate the Southern Jews his flag would have used the traditional Latin, Saint George's Cross.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_Battle_Flag#Battle_flag

Norville Rogers said...

I'm trying to think of my experiences with scary white people in the U.S

The Ukrainians in outer Sacramento do put me on edge, even before having seen "Eastern Promises." I think there's something naturally unsettling about people from that neck of the woods/continent. Like that hilarious Simpsons episode when Lisa got the wrong bus into Springfield's Russian ghetto, specifically the 2 guys playing chess on a barrel

Cail Corishev said...

"Taking a wrong turn up a holler in the Ozarks in 1991 on the way from Walmart HQ to the Fayetteville airport, with hillbillies on porches staring at me like I was a Revenooer."

I sit out on my porch watching for revenooers now and then myself. The thing about rural white porch sitters, though, is that they don't want anything to do with outsiders passing by. They might shoot at you no questions asked if you come onto their property, but they'll never come out into the road to mess with you or rob you. Stay off their property, and you have nothing to fear from them.

That's not so much the case when you're driving down the street past a group of "urban" porch sitters. Since they don't have well-defined property rights and boundaries, the street is part of their domain, and they're much more likely to come mess with you there if they're in the mood.

Karen said...

This entire premise ignores actual history entirely in order to prove some Grand Impersonal Forces view of events. The South, even as recently as 1976, has not always been conservative on anything but race. Texas, for example, elected liberals like Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson, went for Humphrey in 1968 and Carter in 1976, and had an entirely Democratic state administration as recently as 1990. We didn't elect any Republicans at all until we got a lot of Northern migrants in the 1970's. Dick Armey grew up in the midwest and Phil Gram was an army brat born in Georgia and raised all over. W. Bush was born in Maine and educated in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Ann Richards, Bob Bullock, Sam Rayburn, and Lyndon Johnson lived here all their lives.

All Southern states were enthusiastic supporters of the New Deal, exemplified by Orval Faubus and George Wallace who both won their first elections as New Dealers. In case you all didn't know, black people lived in the South before 1960. Furthermore, some of the most conservative states are in the mountains and the midwest and have virtually nothing but white people. See Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and Indiana. I know that in Texas, the most conservative counties are the whitest, where white people only know of any others as gardeners and TV images.

Southern conservatism in its current form is an Astroturf phenomenon of the 1970's and 80's, produced when Birchers from the midwest and California decided to use race as cover to pass regressive economic legislation. All of your theories of "dirt gap" and "diversity makes whites conservative" posit that impersonal economic forces control over the actions of actual humans. The guy who originated this way of thinking of history was not conservative.

Anonymous said...

Notice most of the south that has small hispanic populations passed e-verify programs like Ga,Al.and Sc like Az while Fl acts like Tx. Texas with the exception of Lamar Smith and Poe usually opposes e-verify because its too far right thinks companies should not be told who to hire.Nikki Haley is twice the politician that Marco Rubio is but the tea party pushes him more.She supported e-verify.

Anonymous said...

"It is interesting that rates of violent crime in Scotland have been approaching US rates for the past couple of decades."

I don't know if they're approaching US rates, but they're twice English rates for homicide - impressive when you consider that English rates back in 2004 (last tinme I looked) included a 25% NAM contribution. Scotland's still relatively white.

Scotland's ethnically very mixed though - Pict, Celt, Norman (especially at the elite end, Robert de Brus, Balliol etc), Dane and Anglo-Saxon (Northumbria extended to Edinburgh).

Welsh influence too - William de Walys and the Cumbric-speaking kingdoms like Strathclyde and Rheged.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hen_Ogledd

Anonymous said...

Hey folks, remember this Sailer article in Vdare on Thomas Sowell's theory that black bad behavior was the result of aping, ..err, imitating Scot-Irish behavior and personality traits?
"Tom Sowell's "Black Redneck" Theory—Ingenious, But Insufficient
By Steve Sailer on May 15, 2005

...Oddly enough, Sowell curtly dismisses the least-remarked but most distinctive influence on African-Americans: that they are Americans from Africa.
In tribute to Steven Pinker's book The Blank Slate, I call this tendency to ignore the African in African-American, to assume that they brought no traits with them, the Black Slate Theory..."
Indeed!

Anonymous said...

That's true, even California has the rural divide. A crappy rural interior where the Republican Party in suburbian Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties have to favor big ag farm subsidies and illegal immirgation. In Fact the bay area might lost 2 million people since its liberal whites and asians that have less babies while Kern,Frenso and many of the interor counties could another 5 million since they are hispanic.

Anonymous said...

"The tidewater farmers were notorious for neglectfully letting their herds of hogs and cows run wild in the piney woods."

...

"I'd recommend Virginia DeJohn Anderson's Creatures of Empire and the late Terry Jordan's North American Cattle-Ranching Frontiers."

I'm not sure if it's from one of these books, but from somesuch I recall the following basic outline of how ranching got started in the new world.

In particular regards to cattle, the herds running wild resulted from a standard technique used in the early days of the age of exploration. Early Portuguese and Spanish explorers (in particular) took livestock with them (no refrigeration). Before returning from a new location (and loaded up with whatever, presumably), they would drop any unneeded "herd founding" cattle over the side. (Cattle apparently swim pretty well.) If lucky, when they returned or passed through in a few years, they would expect to find that they could re-provision off the growing herd. Places that cattle did well were places warranting further exploration for colonial/military settlement, water sources were likely good, not a large native population, and so on. There apparently were thus free-roaming herds in the Carolinas (the pine barrens, etc.) before there were European settlers.

Early ranchers in the US did not have much fencing. Different cultures handled things in different ways, using different technology. In the English-descended early south, ranching was done using "traps", salt licks, cattle chutes, bull-whips, and cattle dogs. A trap is similar to a pen, but larger, maybe a couple acres. The notion was to use dogs and whips to run free-ranging cattle into a trap, with water and salt keeping them there as you "fenced them in". (This required a lot less fence building.) Ropes were not used that much (cattle roping was apparently unknown). Instead, cattle were run into chutes (essentially two fences close together where guys on each side can man-handle cattle and you can run poles through the fences behind and forward to fix cattle in place). Horses were not much used. Western (Spanish) saddles did not exist, so you couldn't rope from horseback. Cattle were essentially "the fat of the land". Particularly at first, nobody was standing around guarding "their" cattle, cattle were more like fish in the sea.

The true European invader... Bessie the Cow! ;)

Svigor said...

No. The North wanted to end the slave trade in 1789, its the South that demanded it stay open till 1808 and its the South that crippled its enforcement and its the Southern Fire-eaters that wanted the Confederacy to re-open it.

If the Yankee ship owners traded slaves before 1808 its because the South didn't want to and because the British traders charged too much.


Like when the North wanted to end the slave trade, or how long the South demanded it stay open, change the fact that the North forced emancipation on the South, LOL.

Or what excuses Yankees tell themselves about their ancestors will change the facts of their slave-trading, lol. You don't get out much, do you? If you had, you'd know better than to go blaming the black problem on Southerners, heh.

You're in the wrong forum for this argument, Yankee. You want the ones most Americans frequent, the ones where everyone has to pretend emancipation was good for whites if they want to keep posting.

Anonymous said...

Jamestown was founded in 1607. The Thirty Years War, one of the worst in Europe's history, took place between 1618-1648. Much of this war occurred in Germany and along the Rhine. Go north along the Rhine, you end up in the Netherlands, pretty much across the channel pointing toward London. Perhaps the majority of those "Pennsylvania Dutch", from earliest colonial American times, are likely German (although at the time there wasn't one "Germany"). Folks like the Amish and a number of similar groups came from ravaged places like Alsace, areas of which had been largely depopulated, with instances of cannibalism of dead bodies reported after 1636. Population in some German regions was probably reduced by as much as 40%.

Later Germans settled a significant chunk of central Texas. Maybe a dozen of these counties voted against joining the Confederacy.

For an interesting and bloody intersection of frontier "free-cattle" attitudes and German farming attitudes (very different), in the aftermath of the Civil War, see the Hoodo Wars[2] of Mason county.

Volksverhetzer said...

When it comes to rural people being dangerous, I think it depends on how you meet them.

I have not been in hillbilly country in the US, but if hillbilly Europe is similar, the first rule is try to show them you have honest intentions by acting friendly. The second rule is to show that you don't look down on them, but rather treat them as experts at living where you are visiting.

Saying that you don't know what the local customs are, so that you apologize in advance if you might break them, also helps when you find yourself among strangers.

Being rural myself, it is really annoying to be treated like an idiot by city people, who thinks fashionable clothes and opinions are a good indicator to the value of other people.

The many times when I have been visiting rural areas in Scandinavia, Switzerland, France or Germany, I have never experienced anything hostile, but rather had my prejudices confirmed, about rural people being more friendly an welcoming, than urban people. Also worth mentioning is the stereotype in Norway about rural America as the place to go, if you want to meat friendly Americans.

On a monkey level, it is also probable that you become wary, when people you don't know, become wary of you. That you are afraid of the rural people, is also an indication that you are one of those strangers that is just out looking for something to steal.

Volksverhetzer said...

"Germans were not building a culture, but moving into one already settled by the English."

I know the "English" nations have been through two wars with Germany, and because of this have purged their history of German influences, but this is just too God damn stupid.

"English" culture is mainly just a subset of Germanic culture, and if you had known any practical trade like sailing, weaving, woodworking, farming, etc, you could have looked at the vocabulary, and understood that the British Isles was part of the cultural area around the North Sea, as the specialist words are shared among them. Only very seldom do you meet tools or techniques that has a unique name, although they are seldom shared by all.

The word veneer can work as an example as the word started out as "fin" like fin on a fish, where the word have wandered back and forth between France, Holland and Germany, slowly getting it modern meaning of a thin slice of wood that is glued onto something.

That the intellectual elite in the English speaking nations think they are better and more educated people for using Greek or Latin words, is a result of Universities and Normans, and not because England was culturally isolated from France, Holland, Northern Germany or Scandinavia.

Anonymous said...

Someone tell me how north v. south NZ fits into this picture.

Anonymous said...

Karen is correct a book called suburban warriors blames Orange County and San Diego for the modern conservative movement. They got the ball rolling but because of Reagan's IRCA which legalized thousands of hispanics and Kennedy's reform of legal mmirgation they still played a roll in the conservative movement. Today they OC and SD moved to the left slightly while the south moved to the right.

Anonymous said...

"Karen is correct a book called suburban warriors blames Orange County and San Diego for the modern conservative movement."

Yeah, if it weren't for Orange County we'd still have the German Democratic Republic to get enthusiastic about.

Anonymous said...

"Kennedy's reform of legal mmirgation"

LBJ and Emanuel Celler reform on legal immigration you mean.

Anonymous said...

"But New Yorkers will vote overwhelmingly for Obama next month because that's not a real important job like Mayor is" - they don't have city/country managers in NYC/USA?

"The number of German-Americans in the US made me wonder why the German government doesn't try to solve its labor shortages by luring back under-employed German Americans.

German citizenship is explictly blood based, and they weren't shy about vacuuming up all the Germans in Romania and the Volga in the 90's.

Unemployed part German americans from Ohio would make a damn better supplement to the working class in Germany than Moroccans, and you'd probably have a higher standard of living as a German janitor than a Wal-Mart clerk in the midwest. " - Because what they have not a labor shortage but a cheap labor shortage. same as America.

"Until outside tax dollars and know-how starting flowing in, it was backwards, violent and gut-parasite ridden. But we needs us some more of that. " - While the environment of the south is not at all hospitable to whites, lets give southerners credit for actually being able to eradicate diseases and parasites, and improve their communities, with the requisite inflow of both technology that makes living in such an environment possible, and of course the aforementioned transfer of wealth. Lots of places are backwards, violent, and disease ridden with money flowing in and even better technology than the south got(in the case of the hookworm being "wear shoes dumbass").

David Davenport said...

All of your theories of "dirt gap" and "diversity makes whites conservative" posit that impersonal economic forces control over the actions of actual humans.

Cross town school busing and Section 8 housing -> more diversity -> more conservative whites, North or South.

ATBOTL said...

Steve, do you really think that whites in Boston don't murder each other more because there aren't many guns there?

Why is the murder rate so fantastically higher in Russia than in the Balkans? 10.5 per 100,000 population in Russia vs. 1.5 in Bosnia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Anonymous said...

"Mississippi is 37 percent black, so what's the worst that could happen if the Democrats control the statehouse? Well, blacks will make up the majority of the Democrats, so ... Detroit, Gary, East St. Louis. Not surprisingly, almost all the white people in Mississippi make sure to vote Republican. "

How does that explain why the Republican parties in the South are a bunch of evolution-denying fundies? And why they are hell bent on getting rid of abortion to make sure that the black population goes through the roof?

Anonymous said...

"And why they are hell bent on getting rid of abortion to make sure that the black population goes through the roof?"

They are hell bent against abortion because they think it is a form of murder. They oppose it on principle not because they want blacks to have more kids.

It is sort of like the northerners who were hell bent on getting rid of slavery. They opposed it on principle. The end of slavery actually screwed up many northern cities because freed blacks eventually moved there and the rest is history.

The real people to blame are the usual suspects, the rich elites who exploit other human beings. Those are the ones who brought Africans in the first place.

You reap what you sow.

Anonymous said...

"Germans were not building a culture, but moving into one already settled by the English."

In fact they were--there were plenty of places in the Midwest and Kansas where German was a primary language. This was stamped out in WWI amid the anti-German hysteria.

http://www2.ku.edu/~germanic/LAKGD/Atlas_Intro.shtml

Has some mapping of German dialects in Kansas.

The Germans/Scandis leaned socialist even before WWI. There was a big wave of immigration after the failed revolutions of 1848 in Germany and Europe as the organizers lit out for safer territory, and it included a lot of socialists and radicals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty-eighters

Gun control in Britain is historically rather recent. Before WWI there were essentially no gun control laws--you'll notice Dr Watson packing heat in the Sherlock Holmes stories--but after the War they gradually imposed more and more gun control laws, in part because of a perceived risk of Socialist revolution.

The Americans have always been well-armed. The big spike in the murder rate occurred in the 60's as social mores broke down.

Anonymous said...

"There is definitely something to that English brawling idea."

The Anglosphere countries tend to like full contact team sports like football and rugby or Aussie Rules football. You don't see as much of that in other countries.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

"English" culture is mainly just a subset of Germanic culture, and if you had known any practical trade like sailing, weaving, woodworking, farming, etc, you could have looked at the vocabulary, and understood that the British Isles was part of the cultural area around the North Sea, as the specialist words are shared among them.

I'd be the last to dispute that English is in the Germanic family of languages.

But while you are sniffing around etymology, what is really interesting is how much English terms/idioms stem from nautical usages.

Here is vanishingly small example:

Taken aback
Making headyway
Pooped
giving/getting leeway

There are hundreds of this stuff.

Simon in London said...

FWIW Scots-Irish culture does seem influential in Appallachia, central Tennessee, Kentucky, and some other areas (with a migration trail across the West to Bakersfield), though not really in the Deep South or Tidewater South. In some areas Scots-Irish got there first and set a framework for later arrivals to integrate into. Being on the frontier and generally successful means they generally left a lot of descendants.

I definitely think there's a lot of truth in the Scots-Irish being 'Born Fighting'; being half Northern Irish and half English by descent I often find myself with an inner struggle not to get overwhelmed by anger, Jekyll & Hyde style. And I've noticed that the southern English at least don't seem to have this at all.

Simon in London said...

Jeff Burton said...
"Why the focus on the English? The largest European ethnic group in America is German. Why doesn't anyone care about where all those Germans came from? Any analysis on south vs north German immigrants? Where they went? Any regional influence or concentration?

This Prussian-American wants to know."

Catholic-Americans think America is mostly Catholic, German-Americans think it's German. Actually by far the biggest settler group were English Protestants. But their descendants don't think of themselves as English so you get silliness like this.

Anonymous said...

As others have said the "Scots-Irish herder" crap is BS. Was the Ulster Plantation a shepherding operation? No, it was farming. Is Appalachia shepherd country? No, it was originally settled by hunters then subsistence farmers. And these subsistence farmers needed to kill Indians otherwise they died. Not a job for Puritans or Quakers but people that came from Ulster where killing was part of living in the 17th century. Appalachian people are tough fighters because the not-so-tough ones died at the hands of the Ulster catholics, the Cromwellians, each other, or the Indians.

Volksverhetzer said...

"But while you are sniffing around etymology, what is really interesting is how much English terms/idioms stem from nautical usages.

Here is vanishingly small example:

Taken aback
Making headyway
Pooped
giving/getting leeway"

And Dutch, Danish and Norwegian share the same trait, often with the exact same expressions.

Loose canon on the deck= Loes kanon på dekk. Usually just shortened to "loose canon" in dano-norwegian as well, implying it can shoot anywhere, rather than roll around and crush your own crew and ship.

Even most sayings are the same around the North sea, like:

buying the cat in the sack =
kjøpe katta i sekken

not crying over spilled milk =
ikke gråte over spilt melk.

The grass is greener on the other side.
Gresset er grønnere på den andre siden.

Also when it comes to ideoms, many are also very similar:

To call a spade for a spade=
Å kalle en spade for en spade

two-edged sword =
tve-egged sverd,

Glimmer of hope =
glimmer av håp

Sail under false flag
Seile under falsk flagg

pat said...

The idea that the Hatfields and McCoys had Von Hippel-Lindau disease is a speculation not an empirical finding.

We know that Pericles had his penis drop off from the Plague of Athens. There are lots of speculations as to what was that disease. Not observations, not diagnoses, speculations.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty-eighters

Regarding German cultural influence in the US, perhaps of minor interest, the modern form of Christmas celebration, with decordated Christmas trees, comes from Germany:

"The custom of the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany...

... By the early 18th century, the custom had become common in towns of the upper Rhineland, but it had not yet spread to rural areas.

... A decisive factor in winning general popularity was the German army's decision to place Christmas trees in its barracks and military hospitals during the 1870-1871 war."


Producing decorated Christmas tree ornaments, such as painted glass balls, became a way for craftsman to augment their income:

"Glass baubles were first made in Lauscha, Germany, by Hans Greiner who produced garlands of glass beads similar to the popcorn strands and tin figures that could be hung on trees. The popularity of these decorations grew into the production of glass figures made by highly skilled artisans with clay molds."

Anonymous said...

"Actually by far the biggest settler group were English Protestants. But their descendants don't think of themselves as English so you get silliness like this."

Do you have any evidence for this assertion? I'm amused at how folks on this site confidently spout made-up facts. Why would Americans be so much less interested in claiming English ancestry than claiming German ancestry? No white ethnic group was as thoroughly demonized in the 20th Century as was Germans.

Simon in London said...

Anon:
"Appalachian people are tough fighters because the not-so-tough ones died at the hands of the Ulster catholics, the Cromwellians, each other, or the Indians."

I mostly agree, but:

(1) Pace Jim Webb, no evidence that Cromwell & co (Puritans) targeted Ulster Protestants (mostly Presbyterian) at all. It would have been very stupid of them to target what in the 1640s after the Catholic uprisings was a small settler population, just tens of thousands, allied with them.

(2) Ulster Catholics are genetically and ethnically very, very close to Ulster Protestants. I got a bit of a surprise recently when I discovered that on my Ulster Protestant side, both grandfather & grandmother's names were native Irish, not Scottish. But the populations are so closely tied that that shouldn't have been surprising. The Ulster Catholics are very closely related to the west-coast Scots, and they are just as tough, smart, and mean as the Ulster Protestants. I guess this is why the English/British couldn't suppress them. Compared to fighting them, fighting Red Indians can't have been too hard.

ben tillman said...

"The largest European ethnic group in America is German."

Really: how was that measured?


Haphazardly.

ben tillman said...

I'm trying to think of my experiences with scary white people in the U.S.

Anyone been to a football game at, say, the University of Georgia? It can get pretty scary.

ATBOTL said...

"They are hell bent against abortion because they think it is a form of murder. They oppose it on principle not because they want blacks to have more kids."

The white man has a problem with principles.

ATBOTL said...

"Not a job for Puritans or Quakers but people that came from Ulster where killing was part of living in the 17th century."

Puritans were ruthlessly killing the Indians in the 17th Century. Seriously, how do you think the New England colonies happened? This has to be one of the most ridiculous Scots Irish tall tails I've heard yet: that America had to import Scots Irish because the English Americans already there were pussies.

Anonyia said...

"Try telling people it's possible to be actual Irish, not Scotch-Irish, in the South. Kevin Phillips alludes to it in his book and Kirby Miller has done lots of yeoman work proving the presence of Gaelic Irish in the old South, but it hasn't captured the imagination as yet. I'm not saying the Scotch-Irish weren't there, and they weren't important, but they ain't the whole story."

Tis true; there are regular Irish all over the Gulf Coast and lowland south. And they are just as much a part of the southern culture in those areas as anyone else. My father's family, which is mostly Irish Catholic, arrived on the Gulf coast in the 1830s.

However most of the people in the south claiming to be Irish are actually Scottish, Scots-Irish or even English/Welsh.

Anonyia said...

"Relatedly, a friend from Australia observed that White-Americans are much more reserved and earnest than whites in Australia, where English ancestry predominates. "

Interesting. Did he mean all white Americans or just some? The regional character of the South is most assuredly on the rambunctious and cynical side.

Simon in London said...

Anonyia:
"The regional character of the South is most assuredly on the rambunctious and cynical side."

?? Maybe compared to Yankees! Definitely not compared to Australians, and to a lesser extent many other British ethnies.

Simon in London said...

>>ATBOTL said...
"Not a job for Puritans or Quakers but people that came from Ulster where killing was part of living in the 17th century."

Puritans were ruthlessly killing the Indians in the 17th Century. Seriously, how do you think the New England colonies happened? This has to be one of the most ridiculous Scots Irish tall tails I've heard yet: that America had to import Scots Irish because the English Americans already there were pussies.<<

It's all relative. The historian John Keegan has a good discussion of warrior races in one of his books. By world standards, the English are certainly a warrior race. The Scots-Irish are even more of a warrior race than the English. The English have no trouble with conquering vast empires or wiping out their enemies, but putting some Anglo-Celts on your frontier still doesn't hurt.

Simon in London said...

anon:
"Do you have any evidence for this assertion? I'm amused at how folks on this site confidently spout made-up facts. Why would Americans be so much less interested in claiming English ancestry than claiming German ancestry? No white ethnic group was as thoroughly demonized in the 20th Century as was Germans."

I also am amused by how people confidently spout made-up facts. Here's wikipedia on settler demographics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_the_United_States

U.S. Historical Populations
Country Immigrants Before 1790 Population 1790 -1
Africa -2 360,000 757,000
England* 230,000 2,100,000
Ulster Scot-Irish* 135,000 300,000
Germany -3 103,000 270,000
Scotland* 48,500 150,000
Ireland* 8,000 (Incl. in Scot-Irish)
Netherlands 6,000 100,000
Wales* 4,000 10,000
France 3,000 15,000
Jews -4 1,000 2,000
Sweden 500 2,000
Other -5 50,000 200,000
Total -6 950,000 3,900,000

Dahinda said...

One of the scariest white areas that I ever went through was Maryland. Once you get outside of the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area you feel like you dropped onto the set of an over the top remake of Deliverance! Parts of Oklahoma are pretty scary too!

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