26 November 2011

Our Crimes, Ourselves

Part of the Late Twentieth Century Delusion is an aggressive (but selective) blank-slatism that assumes each ethnic / gender group should show up in prisons, universities, and space shuttle missions in precise proportion to its percentage in the general population. (The U.S.'s billion-dollar sports industry excepted.)

Prisons in particular have vexed affirmative-action policy-makers, as they stubbornly refuse to fill up with 72% Euros, 12% Afros, 12% Hispanics, and 4% Asians (to say nothing of 50% male / 50% female).  In more sensible times, social scientists noticed that different groups committed different amounts and types of crimes, and imagined possible reasons why.

"Non-hispanic white", that U.S. Census monolith, is itself a racial stew whose components have long fascinated ethnographers.  Dutch sociologist W.A. Bonger combed through a great many studies on ethnic European criminality and presented his findings in the 1943 tome Race and Crime.  Clearly ill at ease with the determinist worldview and openly derisive of German race science, Bonger was still a man of his age, allowing himself speculations on ethnicity that would ban him from today's academia.  (To say nothing of the title of his book.)

What did he find?

19 November 2011

Provisioning...or Mating?

Morality or Biology?  Those engaged in the culture wars tend to focus on the first; those combing through the genome, the second.  In 'Paternal Provisioning versus Mate Seeking in Human Populations,' Edward M. Miller offers us tantalizing insight into the why of some of our African brethren's puzzling behavior.  An exercise of historical interest, perhaps, to compare his conclusions with the anthropological observations of those who've gone before us.   

Says Miller [all emphasis ours]:

'In some species, males devote more effort to seeking mating opportunities. In other species, they devote more effort to assisting their offspring. In each species, males evolve to use the strategy that most promotes their fitness.

'[...] In warm climates, females typically can gather enough food for themselves and their children. In cold climates, hunting is required to survive winter, and females typically do not hunt (other than for easily captured small game). Hence, offspring survival requires male provisioning in cold climates. Thus, cold climate males were selected to devote more efforts to provisioning, and less to seeking matings. In warm climates, such male provisioning was not essential, even if desirable.'

12 November 2011

'Lewd, idle, froward, and unconstant'

                            'Yes, Zeus made this the greatest pain of all:
                            A man who's with a woman can't get through
                            a single day without a troubled mind.'
                                                      Semonides of Amorgos, 'Woman,' 7th century B.C.

           Receptionist, to novelist Melvin Udall:   'How do you write women so well?'
        Melvin Udall:   'I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.'

                                           Mark Andrus, 'As Good As It Gets,' 1997 A.D.

Those born and raised amid the Late Twentieth Century Delusion were force-fed many lies.  'Race is only skin-deep,' for one.  'Anything unpleasant happening anywhere on the planet is somehow attributable to Europeans'-- We've all heard that one.  But perhaps the most insidious?

'There are no real differences between women and men.'

How silly it sounds, and yet how thoroughly this bêtise has seized the spirits of our educated classes.  Denying it can cost you your professional reputation, the respect of your peers, even your plum job as president of Harvard.

But reaction has set in. The radical (for our days) notion that women are not the same as men has found eloquent defenders, from the unsentimental Chateau Heartiste to the optimistic Dalrock.  Perusing such sites could prove demoralizing for woman weaned on Late Twentieth Century Delusion.  Yet it is often the case that in criticism lies truth.  Disagreeable truth, but isn't much truth disagreeable?

In this realm as in many others, men who came before us had things to say, though they are today considered high heresy. When a group we belong to is criticized, our first reaction is to shift blame.  The problem lies not with us, no, it lies with you, you hater of the feminine, you misogynist.  And yet... Looking at ourselves through the eyes of this Other Tribe, these Men, could tell us much.   Dare we meet these dead men's gazes unflinchingly?

05 November 2011

More Able and Less Able

The More Able will dominate the Less Able, always and everywhere.

Right-thinking people in the West are indignant about Europe's past colonial plunders.  They are furious at the thought of Western companies swooping in to buy up state assets from highly-indebted African countries.  More sanguine are they, however, about this:

"Roll up, roll up, roll up. Elgin Marbles, Acropolis, Mykonos. Anyone? You don't have to be an ancient Greek historian to understand the significance of it. But maybe it helps.  [...]  Under pressure to raise €50bn as the quid pro quo for its massive €110bn (£98bn) bail-out, Greece is being forced to hawk its industrial and commercial backbone to the highest bidder."

Who's buying?