May 23, 2010

"The Pinch" by David Willetts

An excerpt from my new and quite long VDARE.com column introducing an important English book that hasn't been published yet in America:
The best political book published recently in the English-speaking world has one of the worst titles: U.K. Tory MP David Willetts’ The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children's Future—And Why They Should Give it Back.

By this point, American Baby Boomers have so endlessly (and insufferably) navel-gazed that it’s almost impossible to force yourself to read further once you reach the words “Baby Boomers” in a title. The smaller U.K. baby boom hasn’t been so relentlessly rehashed—but that’s not the reason to read this book by the Universities and Science minister in the new coalition British government. ...

The Pinch provides an intellectual framework for thinking about far more than just the debt-related issues raised in Willetts’s lengthy subtitle—timely as those are in this era when the debts piled up during the Bush-Blair “in hock to the world” era are rapidly coming come due. For example, without Willetts spelling it out much, his analysis of the foundations of Anglo-Saxon culture helps explain why the same tendencies that make our societies successful also make them peculiarly vulnerable to immigration. I'll extrapolate on his insights below.

What made possible the Anglo-American heritage of self-governing liberty under law?

Although The Pinch is about England, it’s eminently relevant to American readers. As Willetts says: “England and America share a similar civil society because we share the same (rather unusual) family structure.”

To Willetts, the key to Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism is the nuclear family structure. “When it comes to families, England was the first nuclear power,” Willetts quips.

In his important first chapter, to which he gives the unapologetic title “Who We Are,” Willetts explains the “deep features” that have distinguished England, and its overseas offshoots, from the rest of the world.

England has been “not just different from Papua New Guinea or Pakistan; it is also quite different from France and Italy and most of Continental Europe,” except for Holland and Denmark.

And this difference dates to at least 1250—and perhaps back to (or beyond) the Dark Age days of King Canute.

Following Cambridge anthropologist Alan Macfarlane, Willetts attributes this northwestern European model to the folkways of the ancient Germanic tribes. As Ben Franklin noted, “Britain was formerly the America of the Germans.”

The Anglo-Saxons managed to hit the sweet spot between the kind of cut-throat individualism seen in a handful of cultures (most notoriously the Pushtuns of Afghanistan, who subscribe to the extraordinary proverb “When the floodwaters reach your chin, put your son beneath your feet”) and the more workable extended family cultures seen in, say, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

These broad and loyal extended families do make for cultures of good restaurants. But they aren’t so good at paying their honest share of taxes, as the Greek government’s tax evasion-driven financial crisis is pointing out once again.

In his engaging non-academic style, Willetts outlines the deep structure of Englishness:
“Instead, think of England as being like this for at least 750 years. We live in small families. We buy and sell houses. … Our parents expect us to leave home for paid work …You try to save up some money from your wages so that you can afford to get married. … You can choose your spouse … It takes a long time to build up some savings from your work and find the right person with whom to settle down, so marriage comes quite lately, possibly in your late twenties.“

... This distinction between extended and nuclear family structures has profound political implications according to Willetts. In the lands of extended families, “Helping relatives with contracts and jobs is not seen as corruption but as a moral obligation”. Moreover, “It means that voting is by clans: it is hard to have neutral contracts enforced by an independent judiciary when family obligations are so wide-ranging and so strong”.

... There are clear advantages to extended families: “Big clan-style families are better than nuclear ones at spreading advantage and pooling risk …” Extended families serve as miniature welfare states. If one kinsman strikes it rich, he’ll employ his relatives who need jobs.

Without all this, the English had to dream up self-regulating institutions because “Small families need civil society more:”

“But it was not just voluntary societies which provided mutual support. … Instead of the mutual exchange of the extended family, small families must buy services. For example, insurance schemes, annuities, and savings help protect you when there is no wider family with such obligations.”

Thus, the English were among the pioneers of complex capitalist contracts.

In turn, this early “capitalism without factories” prepared the British to make perhaps the greatest contribution to humanity or recent centuries: the Industrial Revolution, which freed humanity from the Malthusian Trap in which population grows as fast as the food supply, leaving the lower half of society hungry:

“That the Industrial Revolution began in England is a crucial piece of evidence in support of the argument that we have a distinctive economic and social structure.”

In Willetts’s depiction, the English resemble my 2006 description of white Americans:
“They believe on the whole in individualism rather than tribalism, national patriotism rather than ethnic loyalty, meritocracy rather than nepotism, nuclear families rather than extended clans, law and fair play rather than privilege, corporations of strangers rather than mafias of relatives, and true love rather than the arranged marriages necessary to keep ethnic categories clear-cut.”

The Anglo-Saxon nuclear family has greatly benefited humanity. Still, it has its disadvantages.

The nuclear family is expensive. Each small family wants its own place to live—ideally, a house with a garden. Not surprisingly, the crowded British Isles were long the emigration capital of the world, as people headed out for the emptier lands of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Why don’t Anglo-Saxons like to live in large, noisy My Big Fat Greek Wedding-style homes? Unfortunately, Willetts doesn’t address this. Personally, I don’t see much evidence that people from other cultures get along better with their relatives. They just don’t seem to mind screaming at their cousin-in-laws as much as Anglos would mind.

Perhaps the kind of civil personality cultivated by civil society (and the English became famously polite) is more pained by domestic discord. Civil society seems to breed more polite personalities who can get along with strangers. You can shout abuse at your loved ones because they are stuck with you, but non-relatives have to want to deal with you.

(Or maybe civil personalities enable civil societies? What’s chicken and what’s egg is seldom clear in these virtuous circles of feedback.)

This relative lack of nepotism and ethnocentrism makes Anglos simultaneously both successful and at risk of being out-maneuvered by less idealistic groups.

... One increasing problem with civil Anglo personalities is that they tend to value fair play and neutrality so much that they can blind themselves to the interests of their own descendants.

Read the whole thing there (there's lots more) and comment upon it here.

103 comments:

Melykin said...

In Vancouver Indo-Canadians build "monster houses" that fill the entire lot. That there is a high rate of domestic abuse in that culture isn't surprising. Who would want to live with their in-laws permanently, with no hope of having your own home? No wonder they are always killing each other.

agnostic said...

I wonder if their reliance on non-kin relationships makes the English better or worse intuitive psychologists overall.

Better because, relative to kin, strangers have less of an interest in sending you honest signals. You have to have a sharper Theory of Mind to decode strangers' signals.

Worse because dealing repeatedly with strangers requires trust and an assumption of good faith on your part about how the strangers will act. If that trust and good faith isn't there, non-kin interactions could never reach the heights that they have in England.

And signaling your trust requires you to blind yourself (to some degree) to what's going on in the stranger's mind. You would only lift the veil of their persona and peep into their mind if you didn't trust them in the first place.

This is also why the English have more gracile appearances than clan-based races -- who would trust a stranger who looked menacingly robust? If some hormone controls both how trusting or opportunistic you are as well as your skull morphology, amount of body hair, or whatever, then natural selection for more trusting people will also make them look more gracile.

Steve Sailer said...

"This is also why the English have more gracile appearances than clan-based races -- who would trust a stranger who looked menacingly robust? If some hormone controls both how trusting or opportunistic you are as well as your skull morphology, amount of body hair, or whatever, then natural selection for more trusting people will also make them look more gracile."

That sounds nuts ... but then when I stop and think about the kind of actors who get picked for English Gentleman roles (Jeremy Irons, Ralph Fiennes, David Niven, etc.) I think you are onto something. Bob Hoskins is always going to look like an interloper who didn't go to Eton no matter how much he perfects the accent.

Social scientists should run experiments on veteran Hollywood casting agents instead of UCSB students: tell them a role show them pictures of models who aren't actors and see who they pick and why.

Whiskey said...

Steve, a really good point, but a couple of quibbles. White British Chav women have no problem getting pregnant by a whole raft of different guys. The scene in Idiocracy is not really "Affordable Family Formation."

It is quite simply an upper-class woman's disgust at her beta husband not being manly enough for her to want to get pregnant by him.

Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Jessie James, do you doubt that if an upper class professional woman got pregnant by any of these guys, she'd have an abortion? Heck she'd be happy to have the kid even as a single mother, and even without any financial support. Because these guys are Alphas and so are genetic winners. Providing "sexy sons" who can propagate their genes forward through being a charming A-hole. Instead of "boring" stuff like going to work every day, being reliable, etc.

Falling birth rates in the West are mostly a function of women finding most Western men lacking, in the stimulation dept., as much as high home prices. Home prices are cheap in places in the interior. Young women don't flock to them to find affordable families! Instead to the most PRICEY places on the Planet, NYC, DC, Chicago, SF, LA, etc. Why?

Because that's where the hot men are. The movers and shakers, and the sexy layabouts who are tattooed bicycle messengers.

Don't forget, a lot of the anti-White (i.e. "White people are boring and worthless") rhetoric comes from White women who find beta, supplicating, placating, pedestalizing, White Knighting guys (and no one does that better than White Guys) revolting. And the lack of that attitude in non-White men refreshing. See the overt sexual fantasies *MARRIED* White women writers in the NYT describe about Obama. Their husbands probably disgust them.

Steve you're a tall guy. That automatically gives you a massive pass from women on behavior shorter men get killed for. Including White guy romantic notions. Women find men who express emotions distasteful (or gay, and thus OK), while men who make them cry, delightful.

Reg Cæsar said...

By this point, American Baby Boomers have so endlessly (and insufferably) navel-gazed...

No, most of us have done no such thing, and are quite sick of being called "baby" after 50+ years.

This "endless" generational obsession started around the time we were born-- whether in the press, in academe, or on Madison Avenue, you'd have to look up-- but was well underway before we could talk or wipe ourselves without help, and will no doubt continue to haunt us until we can no longer wipe ourselves without help.

I remember a 1970 column in Life (or perhaps Look or NYT Magazine) in which the writer was shocked-- shocked!-- that kids born in 1950 were already 20 years old. Can't remember the author's name, but I'm pretty sure he was born before 1946.

jody said...

it's not true at all that the english have a history of thinking things should be "fair". in fact, there is no human group in the history of the world which generally subscribes to the idea that anything should be fair.

after being unfairly dominated themselves for hundreds and hundreds of years, the english turned around and were totally unfair to everybody else for hundreds and hundreds of years. only within the last 100 years have english people around the world even started to think that anything should be "fair". this modern idea of "fairness" is a total aberration. english history, like the history of every other human group, is a history of complete and utter unfairness.

the default human position is that nothing should be fair. english speaking nations are extremely strange with their idea that things should be "fair". every other group still thinks nothing needs to be fair.

self interest overwhelmingly remains the default position of all human groups. the decline of the english speaking nations coincided with the rise of the idea that things need to be "fair". before they started to think this way, english speakers totally dominated the planet. after they started thinking this way, they soon became so concerned with "fair" that they literally, can barely defend their own lives without wondering if it would be "not fair" to do so.

Fred said...

Whiskey,

Maybe the solution is to reach back into your Scots-Irish heritage and start picking bar fights. Once women realize you were 'born fighting', they will start perceiving you as an interesting, dangerous alpha. Then you may procreate and spread your seed. And America will be enriched.

jody said...

"Falling birth rates in the West are mostly a function of"

they're a function of birth control technology. they are absolutely, positively not a function of anything else, period.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey said...

"Young women don't flock to them to find affordable families! Instead to the most PRICEY places on the Planet, NYC, DC, Chicago, SF, LA, etc. Why? Because that's where the hot men are. The movers and shakers, and the sexy layabouts who are tattooed bicycle messengers. Don't forget, a lot of the anti-White (i.e. "White people are boring and worthless") rhetoric comes from White women who find beta, supplicating, placating, pedestalizing, White Knighting guys (and no one does that better than White Guys) revolting."




Or it might, just might, be that those cities are where the jobs are. But don't let that small fact pull you out of rant mode.


Get laid whiskey. You'll find that if you lose your virginity, you'll also lose most of your rage.

Harmonious Jim said...

Anglo-culture was once the source of immense strength and progress, but now it seems may be at the root of our intergenerational troubles. (Much the same point could be made about Western culture more broadly.) History inflicts yet another cruel irony upon us!

Willetts diagnosis is acute, but his cure seems vague. Steve`s frank prescription (take three immigration-sanity pills immediately) depends in part on those pinched twentysomethings waking up. Alas I see no sign of that.

Reg Cæsar said...

[Falling birth rates in the West are] a function of birth control technology. they are absolutely, positively not a function of anything else, period. --Jody

Really? Then how do we explain this?:

The birth rate in France diminished much earlier than in the rest of Europe. Consequently, population growth was quite slow in the 19th century, and the nadir was reached in the first half of the 20th century when France, surrounded by the rapidly growing populations of Germany and the United Kingdom, experienced virtually zero growth.
--Demographics of France per Wikipedia

Those crafty French must have been hiding their "technology" from everybody else!

Anonymous said...

Falling birth rates are a function of:

1. Available safe and effective contraception.

2. The decline of traditional religion, and its substitution by the two competing modern religions of narcissm, and white ethnic self-hatred.

3. Intensive anti-procreative propagandising at school and on TV; the creation of female expectations of financial independence, and their enablement by either social security or the mass education of women.

4.Generalized selfishness, and the de-emphasis on children as a form of wealth.

5. Legalized and funded abortion-on-demand.

6. Anorectic models, much too thin to have a functional pituitary-gonadal axis, and who thereby glorify infertility.

7. The deception of young adolescent girls that they can delay pregnancy into their late 30's without the risk of infertility.

One could go on. But it's not just contraception; this is just the means.

Anon.

Reg Cæsar said...

Baby boomers had tight immigration controls when they were entering the jobs market but then relaxed them when they wanted more workers coming along behind... --Willetts

In Britain, perhaps. In America, the controls were loosed in 1965-- before any boomers (other than a handful of Georgians) were allowed into the voting booth. Or job market, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

"This relative lack of nepotism and ethnocentrism makes Anglos"

How do you back up your claim that historically Anglos have been less ethnocentric?

James said...

I think any theory which has as its basis the civility of Brits in 2010 needs some work under warranty. No-one who has visited Britain (especially London) in recent years would find that any premium was now being placed on Anglo etiquette. There might be some Anglo etiquette left in Yorkshire's Southwest East Riding, but nearer to London ... forgeddaboutit.

Americans love attacking the French (especially Parisians). However, from my experience, nowadays those French can usually be prevailed on to be reasonably courteous to the stranger (as long as he tries to speak the French tongue). Not long ago I was at Paris's Gare du Nord train station during peak hour, and even the hard-pressed ticket clerk had time to answer my questions. (My French, though fluent, is not so accent-less that it would fool a native speaker.)

Whereas it's the Brit chav whose own argot is so foul that he needs to chew on soap.

R. J. Stove, reporting on a visit to Belgium (for The American Conservative last February), found the Belgians a refreshingly polite contrast, on the whole, with the Brits. After describing a pleasant interaction asking directions from a native of Brussels, he goes on to describe what it's like trying to deal with Londoners:

Me (in English): Excuse me, sir, where is Highbury and Islington Underground station?

First London Stranger: (pause for thought) Humph. (second pause for thought, followed by wordless departure in opposite direction)

Me: Excuse me, sir, where is Highbury and --

Second London Stranger (dressed like corporate executive and clutching cell phone): Har the fook would Ah fookin well know, you fookin orsehole? Can't you fookin well see Ah'm fookin well on a fookin phone call, whah don't you fookin well go fook yourself, you fooker?"


Yeah, my findings were similar.

Anonymous said...

I was arguing on Facebook the other day - someone has to take the culture war to the enemy - with a witless liberal girl. She assured me the reason Britain had the industrial revolution and not India was due merely to cultural differences. IOW it doesnt matter if Britons are replaced with Indians, the culture will catch up, somehow.

But why did Britain have a different culture? I guess her answer would have been. .because.. .er. ..Britain had a different culture.

The witless liberal in a nutshell.

Anonymous said...

Most continental Europeans and indeed most Scottish and Irish people would agree with the statement that the English, generally, are a very cold-hearted,snobbish, snooty, inhospitable and unwelcoming people, (and not to say cruelly vindictive and unforgiving) a fact that most probably could be traced to genetics than to culture.
The Irish, who know the English better than any other race does, will attest to all of the above.
For example, the English, as a rule never talk to their neighbors.It is extremely common never to exchange a word with a next-door neighbor for decades, let alone years.Small, idyllic country villages generally don't accept 'strangers' (a 'stranger' means someone who cannot trace his bloodline in that village for over 200 years). Strangers are generally ostracised and hated by the villagers - even if they are of pure English stock.
Another example, the English tend to ignore and ostracise new co-workers in their factory or office ('he's not one of us, you know'), who are generally made to feel unwanted and unwelcome,(the English love forming exclusive cliques at work who drink together and slander the outsider as much as possible).
Nice houses in the 'stockbroker belt' of Surrey are never sold to rich people who are 'not our sort', a neighbor's committee secretly vets the purchaser and rejects him.
Everything is to do with going to the right public school, being connected to the right regiment or Royal Navy or Air Force and being 'one of us' (an exclusive and unspoken bond that keeps the oiks, wogs, frogs,paddies, wops, krauts, yids etc out).
Think of Margot Leadbeatter in the classic BBC TV comedy of the 1970s, 'The Good Life'.
The English might have no time for extennded family, but they have the most canny radar in the World for keeping out the 'wrong sort' by all sorts of tricks, subterfuge and qualifications etc, whilst secretly recognising their own and keeping to their own.


By 'one who knows'.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Bob Hoskins, is in fact a 2nd generation Polish Jew (and former chartered accountant, early recordings of him show him speaking perfect 'BBC English', not his stage 'gruff Cockney'),as a close perusal of his phenotype will attest.
I suspect that 'Hoskyns' is not his original family name.

Simon in UK said...

agnostic:
"This is also why the English have more gracile appearances than clan-based races"

Eh?

Anglo-Saxons aren't particularly gracile. Among Europeans Sicilians look notably more gracile to me. And they're certainly no more gracile than Arabs. Heck, Africans are more gracile!

Leaving out the g-word, do the English look more trustworthy? Demeanour varies a lot by geography and by social class. I'd say Germanics do seem to appear more trustworthy than Mediterraneans, subjectively, but nothing to do with gracility.

bgc said...

1. Willetts is a smart libertarian. Sadly, he is also dishonest. I predict that this indicates he wants power more than he wants to implement his principles.

2. Secularism is the key missing factor from this analysis, since secularism ensures low fertility among the ruling classes. The UK is now not merely secular but anti-Christian.

In contrast to Christian America, the notion that the secular English have to limit family size due to house prices is absurd - the English do not want large families in the first place (i.e. desired fertility is only slightly higher than attained fertility).

Aside from devoutly religious minorities (and there are _very_ few of these) pretty much the only native English with large families are those too dumb or feckless to use contraception.

3. With the prevailing national hedonic and this-worldly calculus for morality, the only reason any English person would care about between-generation unfairness is if the idea of it makes him feel miserable.

But when depressed at the thought of inter-generational inequity, if the Englishman can cheer himself up by some kind of distraction (for instance by getting drunk) then the 'problem' disappears from his mind, hence the problem is 'solved'.

Willetts power-seeking secular libertarianism has zero chance of doing England any good whatsoever - since its idea of good is merely utilitarian; and utilitarianism is invariably self-subverting by selfish short-termism.

Steve Sailer said...

"R. J. Stove, reporting on a visit to Belgium (for The American Conservative last February), found the Belgians a refreshingly polite contrast, on the whole, with the Brits."

My one business trip to Belgium (1994), I found everyone very polite, very stereotypically English, like in a David Lean movie.

London, eh, not so much.

Zachary Latif said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with Extended families, if they are modern and liberal.

I'm lucky to live in one and its a great support network. It needs constant communication to establish a positive framework but the institution can be adapted for the better.

I always believe our emerging global culture must be a true mixture of East and West rather than just a projection of one-side.

The Enlightenment has so much to teach the world but that doesn't mean there is no space for traditional values.

Zachary Latif said...

Also by the way I'm quite a strong libertarian as well..

donAlvar said...

Once upon a time, a good many lunatic, aggresive and dangerous reiligious wackos living in the United Kingdom were expelled to America. Now America is the United Kingdom without the sense of humour, and with vast extensions of corn fields to force inbreeding.

dearieme said...

Anyone who discusses the Belgians without distinguishing the Flemings from the Walloons is visiting the wrong blog.

Simon in UK said...

Re English fertility, my impression is that rural/small-town Church of England Christians are still close to replacement level, while middle class secularists are probably below 1.0/woman. When you look at whites ownly it's not hugely different from the US situation.

Re manners - Londoners are ruder than most Brits, especially the WWC, I was a bit shocked by this when I first arrived here (London). Upper middle class types in leafy Richmond are still pretty polite though, and you'll still meet 'English gentleman' types in certain parts of central London.

'Fookin' - that sounds Liverpudlian to me.

Anonymous said...

Just askin' cause unlike everyone here i am not an expert - what about the Scottish Clan system?
and weren't the Lowlands basically north englanders/??

This system seems to have faded away but at one time it was quite prominent and tribal.

Anonymous said...

and are quite sick of being called "baby" after 50+ years.

Then stop acting like one. Your generation is the most self -serving, destructive immature generation in American history.

Anonymous said...

"One could go on. But it's not just contraception; this is just the means. "

Could you please include men/boys attitudes in your list? It takes two. I don't know how often I've read on here about how men shouldn't get married or commit to children. Usually this is ascribed to the irrational demands of feminism; however, such male attitudes are nothing new and even in the old days, there were plenty of sayings about how men should avoid marriage. Of course in the real world they could not avoid it mostly, because of the sexual standards and because people needed partners due to the division of labor. And often they ended up appreciating each other.
Nowadays male marriage avoidance is blamed on feminism although no men really want to support women financially all their lives. Yet they gripe about women wanting careers and being in the workforce to extent they (women) don't have time to procreate. Women get old whether they have careers or not; even if they procreate and raise the kid (or two) they still have 50 or more years left on the planet. Better to be engaged in doing some work, making money, than otherwise.
btw, a major reason for the low birth rate is low mortality. Nowadays your two children will almost certainly live to grow up. No such surety 100 years ago.

SF said...

"In contrast, the more clannish Scots kept alive kin-spirit, transmitting it down to their Scots-Irish descendants,"

The Scots-Irish, according to "Albion's Seed," were English speaking people descended, like most of the island, from a mixture of Celt, Saxon and Danish. They got their clannishness from centuries of border warfare, not necessarily from any ethnic differences. Many of them were geographically on the English side of the border.

Anonymous said...

"Home prices are cheap in places in the interior."

Yes, and wages are low in those same locations.

The wage/housing price ratio is the important thing, and mass immigration is having a very negative impact on this.

Anonymous said...

'one who knows' - a hilarious portrait, some truth yet strangely distorted and unreal.

Have you ever actually lived in England?

I doubt it.

Im not sure the Irish or Scottish do 'know' the English better than anyone.

For instance relativa migration rates mean thatwhile many Irish & Scottish people settle in England the reverse is much less the case. So Irish (and Scottish to a lesser extent) people can go all day, all week, all year and not meet anyone English at all.

In England otoh its really just about impossible to have a social, academic, working life without spending time with Irish & Scottish people. You are going to be at school, work, pub with them, they will be your neighbours.

So the Irish 'knowing' is based on historical prejudices a lot of the time, rather than lived experience.

Which I suspect is the same as the 'one who knows'.

Anonymous said...

You can listen to a talk by Willets at the LSE:

How rich are the baby boomers and how poor are their children?

Speaker: David Willetts MP

This event was recorded on 16 February 2010 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

David Willetts will analyse the distribution of income and wealth between different generations in Britain. He will investigate why the baby boomer generation have done particularly well for both income and wealth. He will then look at why the younger generation face much less favourable economic circumstances. Drawing on his new book The Pinch he will firmly place the issue of fairness between the generations on the political agenda.

Available as: mp3 (31 MB; approx 68 minutes)


http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/podcasts/publicLecturesAndEvents.htm

Anonymous said...

I read the entire article at Vdare, and it much more eloquently stated points Ive clumsily been trying to make online for years. Thanks, M

Anonymous said...

I don't know how often I've read on here about how men shouldn't get married or commit to children.

Nihilism is as prominent in the HBD movement as it is in any of the other upper echelons of our society.

I don't know whether there's any use in trying to fight it, other than maybe engaging in the occasional cheerful joust [like urging Whiskey to get laid].

OhioStater said...

Well Steve it seems big government is here forever!

You said nuclear family Anglos built companies and institutions to serve in the place of an extended family.

If the Anglosphere family size shrinks (spinster, lifelong bachelor, single parenthood), then we'll need additional institutions such as the government and welfare.

Obsidian said...

Steve,
Interesting analysis, and I am tempted to read the book by Willets. However, I am familar with Fukyama's work which kind of makes the same point. With that said, what you have to say about Adam Bellow's work, In Praise of Neptotism? I think he makes the case that nepotism is no respector of clime or even culture, and indeed, we see this in our time, all the time: the Bushes, the Clintons, Ron and Rand Paul,Tim and Luke Russert, the Fords, Conyers and Kilpatricks, etc, et al. All of this took place here in the States and for the most part, among Anglo-Saxon descended Whites.

So, could you please explain?

Thanks.

Obisidian

Anonymous said...

Top-Shelf stuff Steve.

"Leaving out the g-word, do the English look more trustworthy? "

Yes. Blue eyes. As opposed to "Greek Sprinter Evading A Drug Test Eyes" featuring dark irii and pupils dilated to the size of dinner plates.

Anonymous said...

"The birth rate in France diminished much earlier than in the rest of Europe. Consequently, population growth was quite slow in the 19th century...
Those crafty French must have been hiding their "technology" from everybody else!"


Um, didn't Napoleon march a ton of young Frenchmen to their deaths in Russia? Now if they had just embraced the theology of Joseph Smith...

Matra said...

Don't forget, a lot of the anti-White (i.e. "White people are boring and worthless") rhetoric comes from White women

A lot of this sentiment is due to women being more susceptible to media propaganda. And, no, the Harvard WASP Mafia does not dominate Madison Avenue or Hollywood.

Second London Stranger (dressed like corporate executive and clutching cell phone): Har the fook would Ah fookin well know, you fookin orsehole? Can't you fookin well see Ah'm fookin well on a fookin phone call, whah don't you fookin well go fook yourself, you fooker?"

So the "second London Stranger" was a northerner, I take it?

Are Londoners ruder than most English? Assuming you can find any English in London I'd say the answer is yes, probably. Just like Parisians, New Yorkers, Torontonians, etc, aren't as polite as their fellow countrymen.

Most continental Europeans and indeed most Scottish and Irish people would agree with the statement that the English, generally, are a very cold-hearted,snobbish, snooty, inhospitable and unwelcoming people, (and not to say cruelly vindictive and unforgiving)

You're an American aren't you?

The Irish, who know the English better than any other race does, will attest to all of the above.

The ordinary Irish are too parochial to know any other nationality well.

For example, the English, as a rule never talk to their neighbors.It is extremely common never to exchange a word with a next-door neighbor for decades, let alone years.

Sounds more like a North American suburb than any part of England I've stayed in.

Another example, the English tend to ignore and ostracise new co-workers in their factory or office ('he's not one of us, you know'), who are generally made to feel unwanted and unwelcome,(the English love forming exclusive cliques at work who drink together and slander the outsider as much as possible).

This statement goes no more for the English than any nationality outside of North America. Compared to the Germans and French the English are very easy going, especially if they are working class and northern.

Anyone who discusses the Belgians without distinguishing the Flemings from the Walloons is visiting the wrong blog.

There seems to be another unique group: Brussels francophones who are racially Flemish.

Janus said...

I personally found Parisians to be some of the most polite people I encountered in Europe. The only French needed is "Parlez vous Anglais?" For some reason they seem to get a bit annoyed if you simply assume they speak English. They'll almost invariably respond "un petit peu" and then graciously help you in English. The other key is to not be loud or brash.

Anonymous said...

"This relative lack of nepotism and ethnocentrism..."

Every majority group everywhere believes itself to lack ethnocentrism, unlike those pesky, clannish minorities. But when the shoe is on the other foot...

I can guarantee you that in, say, Zimbabwe the Anglos are just as nepotistic and ethnocentric as anyone - they have to be! Or, for a less extreme example, take any large expatriate community of British or Americans.

Glossy said...

Why did some cultures develop nuclear families and others extended families? I'm guessing that ancient and medieval agricultural techniques could feed fewer people per square mile in northern Europe than in the warmer Mediterranean. Northerners had to spread out across the landscape more thinly than southerners. In practice this probably meant that in order to reduce the chances of his own future family starving, a son had to go out and build his own homestead far from his parents' farm.

Julius Caesar wrote in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico that the typical German of his day felt cramped in if he was able to see from his home the smoke of his closest neighbor's farm. Caeser found that remarkable.

James Kabala said...

Whiskey, since John Edwards is the only one of those four with a documented illegitimate child, I would suspect that probably quite a few women have aborted their children, unless they were all using non-failing contraception. (And if they were so eager to have these men's children, why were they using contraception at all?) Also, Edwards is hardly an alpha male personality.

Melykin said...

It is true that north western Europe (and its diaspora) is more "fair" than the rest of the world, if by fair you mean less corrupt. Look at the map of the Corruption Perception Index at transparency.org:

http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2009


These less corrupt countries are also the most functional, prosperous and attractive countries to live in. But this all might change now that the rest of the world is flooding into these countries and bringing their corrupt cultures with them.

It is curious that these less corrupt countries are also historically Protestant. The Catholic countries are more corrupt, and get more and more corrupt as you go south. Eastern Orthodox countries are even more corrupt. The Islamic countries are the most corrupt and dysfunctional countries in the world (at least among those not populated by sub Saharan Africans)

The civil society that Willetts describes is basically SWPL.

Besides nuclear families, other characteristics that distinguish this culture (or at least a subset of it) are:

-a culture of volunteering and giving to charity, of caring for people in need even though they are not related to you

-fighting against slavery (historically) and poverty (today)

-keeping pets, and not tolerating unkindness to animals (William Wilberforce was a leader both in the fight against slavery and the fight against cruelty to animals)

-a tendency to go out into nature, or wild areas, as a form of recreation

-working to protect endangered species

-exploring exotic corners of the world, not necessarily for profit, but for knowledge and/or adventure

These characteristics are not just historical--they exist as distinguishing features today. For example, in British Columbia we get a lot of tourists from the historically Protestant parts of Europe who come here for adventure holidays. We also get lots of SWPL Americans and eastern Canadians and Australians. Also not so SWPL types (or those with a different variety of SWPLness) to hunt and fish. Tourists from Japan like to visit Banff, but they just seem to want to look at the mountains, not hike in them. They stick together on bus tours and don't look for adventure.

Whites are probably a minority in the university student population in British Columbia. But programs that involve outdoor study or animals are almost entirely white, and also attract students from places such as Germany and Britain.

Germans are noted for buying remote ranches and wilderness lodges in British Columbia. People from India buy blueberry farms close to Vancouver.

To me, SWPLness is the most attractive thing about western culture. But it seems to contain the seeds of its own destruction. I wish there was some corner of the world where SWPLs could just live in peace. But there isn't. Someone I know recently spent the night in Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay) on Baffin Island. The cab he took from the airport was driven by someone from Sri Lanka.

BamaGirl said...

"Anglo-Saxons aren't particularly gracile. Among Europeans Sicilians look notably more gracile to me. And they're certainly no more gracile than Arabs. Heck, Africans are more gracile!

Leaving out the g-word, do the English look more trustworthy? Demeanour varies a lot by geography and by social class. I'd say Germanics do seem to appear more trustworthy than Mediterraneans, subjectively, but nothing to do with gracility."

Sigh. How many times must it be repeated that even the English aren't exactly "Germanics" (outside of East Anglia)?
The English, and to a greater extent the Irish, Welsh, and Scots are mostly descended from Neolithic peoples who have been in the British Isles for thousands of years. The "Cheddar man" was even revealed to have descendants living within a few miles of where the remains were discovered. Now, I have never been to Europe persay but I'll say this: Most Southerners are primarily English/Scottish/Irish. Most mid-westerners are German/Scandinavian. The two groups are fairly easy to distinguish between, both culturally and physically.

Mark said...

Please spare us too much of the hackeyed "not so much."

Anonymous said...

White English welfare yobs and soccer hooligans would be flattered by your romantic ideas about their culture. Hasn't there been a spate of suicides in the UK triggered by ASBO violators?

DYork said...

I first heard of David Willetts yesterday while watching the Armando Iannucci pieces on David Cameron.

David Willetts' appearance will always overwhelm the words he puts on a page. He shows up at about 2:00.

It's the age we live in.

He's the kind of White man who would make whiskey *sigh**sigh**sigh* knowing that he stands no chance with the ladies when in competition with tattooed bicycle messengers, unemployed motorcycle gang members and sullen skateboard champions.

Anonymous said...

Disclaimer: I'm English

Gracile? I'm not so sure. Unthreatening and trustworthy I could buy, but not in ways that specifically are related to gracility... (http://data.tumblr.com/iNlLn3NHbkd1biwl7NLmn6qdo1_500.jpg). I'm sure it's false.

"a fact that most probably could be traced to genetics than to culture."

Not that I'm agreeing with you that this trait is real (it's a lot less plausible that the dour, tightfisted scotchman or the drunken, sentimental and clannish irishman, neither of which is that plausible), but such (famously insular?) populations as Canadians, Australians and NZers could probably help you establish a control for this.

as to nuclear families, it's interesting that this varies from Kevin MacDonald's theory wherein this a trait (basically) of all northern European and European cultures. is having an extended family culture like the Swedes and Finns and French (apparently) do that big a deal? and crucially, for the purposes of this argument, is the family structure actually predictive of response to immigration?

Graham Asher said...

"one who knows" seems to have collected all the unpleasant cliches about the English that he or she can find... apart from the bad manners, one wonders whether it's just a projection of the writer's own character. I know anecdotes aren't data, but speaking from personal experience, I can report that I, a lower-middle-class white Englishman with an unfashionable occupation and an undistinguished appearance and accent, bought a house in a small south-eastern English village four years ago, and my wife and I were welcomed with extreme kindness. All our neighbours visited us within a few days of moving in and introduced themselves; since then they have been friendly and helpful, and invited us to numerous parties and other local events. My wife is black, which doesn't seem to have made any difference. There is one other black person in the village, which is mainly white working class with a sprinkling of professionals.

Gene Berman said...

Agnostic

I think you're only partly right. It is not a given that the stranger has less interest in signalling honestly; whether or no depends on specific circumstances. What's clearer is greater chance that one will be cognizant and prepared to deal successfully with the tropes and stratagems of the more familiar and less prepared to detect and deal with those of the stranger.

Marc B said...

"They just don’t seem to mind screaming at their cousin-in-laws as much as Anglos would mind."

Not all of us, because I freakin' hate it. My mostly Scotch-Irish friends were shocked the first time eating over at my house because they thought everybody (grandparents included, of course) were angrily yelling at each other.

Yet we were nearly cut off from that typical extended ethnic family model by distance and choice, and most of us were only half Sicilian, but unfortunately retained their uncivilized temperament. It is an obnoxious and ugly way to live, but too many of my people thrive on it. I am reminded of that the first time I angrily lashed out at a former German/Irish girlfriend and she started crying because she never had anybody fly off the handle at her like that before, and didn't know how to take it. And don't get me started on the sick Mama/Gino dynamic, with the doting mother helping her son stay in an extended adolescence under her roof past 30(I know one named Gene).

I much prefer the culture of the descendants of German, French, and English settlers I met out West. Not much to say or get upset over, but there often isn't a whole heck of a lot to talk about, so why bother.

David said...

>Could you please include men/boys attitudes in your list? It takes two [ETC.]<

One of the better comments lately.

spacehabitats said...

Let's make it a little simpler. The Northern European's are genetically predisposed to care about morals, ethics, and society in general. To a greater or lesser extent, everybody else isn't.

That's why we are considered (by them) to be such suckers when it comes to.., well, just about everything.

We have no "street smarts". We don't know how to haggle in the bizarre, we feel guilty about bribing or taking bribes, we feel guilty about the impact our 2.3 children will have on future generations, we feel guilty about things our great-great-grandfathers did,....

Heck, we even feel guilty about things somebody else's great-great-grandfather did, just because we share the same skin color.

We're even stupid enough to pay reparations for it!

Bill said...

We can operationally define the prudent as those who have children when they are married and the imprudent as those who have children when they are unmarried.

Actually, that's been turned upside down by family law. Getting married is simply an imprudent idea for men, because the exposure is too high.

A man - especially one who makes median income (alimony and asset division are generally regressive) - who has children out of wedlock is actually making the less risky choice.

Divorce often means homelessness or living with one's parents for men. If a guy has his own house (or lease), even if he doesn't get custody of his kids, at least he still has a place to live and a place for the kids to stay during his residential time.

Getting married is not by any means a prudent choice.

Camlost said...

Fertility rates in a group of women are tied to the average level of educational attainment achievable to that group of women.

Glossy said...

It's interesting that the English aristocracy, like all aristocracies, has always tended towards the extended-family end of the spectrum. It's only the middle and lower classes who lived in nuclear families in England.

The aristocracy and the royals practiced early, arranged marriages between close relatives. Large numbers of relatives normally lived under one roof. Stately homes were rarely bought or sold - they were supposed to be either inherited or acquired in the course of acrimonious family feuds.

I've read that within France the border between the nuclear-family and extended-family cultures traditionally ran in a diagonal line from a point on the coast just north of Brittany to Geneva. There is a map in Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment which makes it clear that the area north of that line produced significant figures at a much higher rate than the area south of that line. However, Murray does not mention the line's significance in regard to family structure.

Anonymous said...

"self interest overwhelmingly remains the default position of all human groups. the decline of the english speaking nations coincided with the rise of the idea that things need to be "fair". before they started to think this way, english speakers totally dominated the planet. after they started thinking this way, they soon became so concerned with "fair" that they literally, can barely defend their own lives without wondering if it would be "not fair" to do so."

Good point, that is why America and the UK are ruined. I would include the rest of Europe also.

The English elites certainly didn't care about the horrible conditions in the factories for their own people, until well into the 20th century. That change was good ,but then they started to have to let in all these 3rd world people to change the face of their country.

Anonymous said...

The Anglo-Saxon family structure coupled with the enlightened value of indvidualism is a failed system. It has led to:

1) A major demographic decline, where self-entitled westerners are being maximally outbred in their own backyards.
2) unstainable social safety nets, because no one knows how to take care of their own,
3) self-actualization movements like feminism, the end result of which is that more than half of American chldren live in single parent homes (including a lusty quarter of all white women).

Who will pay the bills in this country? the answer has been the immigrants, but what makes any of you think brown and black people are going to fund the increasingly geriatric white population's "golden" years?

Anonymous said...

Divorce often means homelessness or living with one's parents for men. If a guy has his own house (or lease), even if he doesn't get custody of his kids, at least he still has a place to live and a place for the kids to stay during his residential time.

Not always true.I know someone who got divorced and she has 3 kids and she had to move back with her parents, while the husband got married again. Even if he has to pay some upkeep for the wife and kids, he still has a wife to earn money, so he is no worse off financially.Also, with housing the way it is, many people are so in debt that there really is nothing to divide up.

ATBOTL said...

By definition, a successful trial lawyer is an "alpha-male personality," as is anyone who wins election to the Senate and a Vice Presidential nomination.

Some of the people who hang around here are really confused about what an "alpha-male" is. In modern, civilized society, it's largely a matter of performing well in high pressure social situations. Making an argument to a jury in court is a high pressure social situation. So is most of what politicians do. Excelling in these areas is a display of fitness and dominance and automatically makes a man attractive to women.

Anonymous said...

"Aside from devoutly religious minorities (and there are _very_ few of these) pretty much the only native English with large families are those too dumb or feckless to use contraception.'

Maybe the Catholic Church should try to recruit the feckless. There is no virtue in having kids you can't afford to raise properly or don't want.

Anonymous said...

We have no "street smarts". We don't know how to haggle in the bizarre

(I assume you meant bazaar.)

Anyway, I agree but just to show the contrary nature of anecdotes...

Im a typical somewhat reticent English bloke. Some years ago I had a jewish girlfriend (according to the 'one who knows' I shouldnt even have spoken to her), she was looking to buy her first Applemac (this was mid-90s, possibly pre-ebay). We had seen one advertised in Loot at what seemed a reasonable price for the model.

We rang the guy and went round to see them. Iranian family. First thing they do is ask for more money than in the original ad. Cheeky fuckers. Where is that in the rules of negotiation?

Anyhow Jewish g/f leaves the haggling to me and somehow, Im not quite sure how, we end up getting it for a bit less than the original asking price. ie a reasonable price.

Id forgotten about this until reading the above comment. But it happened, a weird inversion. Mr Reticent English haggling with an Iranian on behalf of a Jew. The whole scenario isnt even supposed to happen, less still me coming out finacially intact at the end.

John Seiler said...

All of this is well and good. But religion, as an earlier commentator put it, also is crucial, in fact more crucial. If Charles Martel had lost and Western Europe had become Muslim, England still would have English characteristics, but it also would have men with four wives, cousin marriage, a ban on beer and gin, etc. The Magna Carta, written by monks, would have been inconceivable in a society run by mullahs.

Baloo said...

Re Bob Hoskins, this says he's part Gypsy but not Jewish.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Hoskins

Anonymous said...

Kurt Vonnegut had a book out several years ago and he mentioned the nuclear family was a poor survival stategy. He mentioned the Kennedys and Bushes as good examples of extended families where people helped each other out. It gives you peace of mind when you have people to fall back on.

Whiskey said...

Getting married is a fool's game when it results in "Kitchen Bitch" status. Women find most men they marry to be supplicating fools. Hence the "Charlene Researched This" commercials, and so on, depicting married White guys as total idiots. Likely because they let themselves go, do nice, supplicating things to their wives, and in general don't behave like a dangerous bad boy with many options.

Which is what it takes, constant "Game" with women today. A guy who is over 6 foot 3 inches can take a lot of slack. Those with less height don't have much margin. Thus marriage is pretty much a one-way ticket to divorce, or sexless, loveless child raising, probably not one's own kid, and constant cheating by the wife. Which has been normalized in Hollywood from "Spanglish" to "Funny People."

All this is of course, irrelevant if you are Peyton Manning, or Eli Manning, or Pete Carrol. Those guys don't take a penalty getting married. They don't have to run Game. They'll never be Kitchen Bitches. Its Nerdly Snerdling working in some cubicle farm that is the Kitchen Bitch.

The explanation Steve gives about housing does not make sense. Mexican and Muslim women live in the same conditions, and have higher TFRs, much higher. So too, Black women. As for migration to cities, yes high paying jobs exist there, but not for most women who move there, and often double or triple up with room-mates, and work as say, readers and assistant editors at publishing houses, low level work in fashion houses, assistant media buyers, and so. For salaries significantly below $60K. Where even an MBA level job, such as corporate finance, etc. can net you "only" 90K, in a city where that barely affords a decent place of one's own, and the opportunity to move up is low. What women are trading for in moving to LA/NYC/London/Paris/DC is excitement and opportunity to have sex with Alpha men. To me, the explanation is that Mexican, and Muslim, and Black women (the first and last groups often get pregnant without marriage) find their men more masculine and manly.

After all, when women have their own money, do they need or want a dependable, nerdly father and husband. A guy whose defining attributes are "nice and dependable?" That's the definition of Kitchen Bitch. [Courtesy Sandra Tsing Loh.] Meanwhile, gang members and low level criminals provide excitement and "sexy sons" who can insure propagation of genes forward.

I'd say traditional English culture just as well controlled female hypergamy while still providing female primary choice. I.E. a woman chose her husband, more or less, but had one choice only, had to consider things other than sexy dominance, and had no extended family to provide welfare and boundless sexual freedom.

Anonymous said...

The aristocracy and the royals practiced early, arranged marriages between close relatives. Large numbers of relatives normally lived under one roof.

Even now Prince Charles is joked about as a man who still lives at home with his mum.

This tiresome joke conveniently overlooks the fact that he hasnt strictly lived with the Queen for decades. Like other members of the royal family he has apartments for his use in various royal residences such as Buckingham palace. So in that sense he is staying under the same roof as the Queen sometimes.

R. J. Stove said...

Matra commented: "'Anyone who discusses the Belgians without distinguishing the Flemings from the Walloons is visiting the wrong blog.' There seems to be another unique group: Brussels francophones who are racially Flemish."

You won't get any disagreement from me on either count. (Leading Belgian politician Yves Leterme seems to be in the francophone-but-pro-Flemish group. He said in 2006: "apparently the French speakers are intellectually not capable of learning Dutch".)

I've got an article coming out soon, in Australia, about visiting Wallonia and, in particular, visiting Liège. Even the tourist guidebooks warn that most of Liège's citizens have pretty limited spoken English. So when in Rome ... or rather, when in Liège, do as the Liègeois do.

Yes, I presume the "second London stranger" was, by his voice, some sort of Liverpudlian. What does appear to have died out in London, judging from my experience, is the lilting Yorkshire accent that used to be reasonably common in the London of my adolescence. The most common accents in 2009 that I heard - insofar as I could identify them - were either Liverpudlian (lots of Liverpudlians seem to have moved south to the capital in search of jobs) or the local patois known as "Sarf Loondon".

Bill said...

It's interesting that the English aristocracy, like all aristocracies, has always tended towards the extended-family end of the spectrum. It's only the middle and lower classes who lived in nuclear families in England.

-Glossy


Interesting observation, Glossy. I'd never thought of that.

Perhaps the elite had - and still has - an interest in breaking families so as to press its advantage.

As Steve suggests, it is easier to tax the nuclear family, and presumably easier still to tax the individual.

I suspect there is a vested interest in breaking the family into its discrete components for purposes of cash extraction. The Anglo system (including business as well as government) took it to the practical extreme, but now, what with feminism and single mother entitlement, has exceeded that and is facing the point of diminishing returns.

I've studied Chinese history quite a bit, and since the dawn of the Chinese Imperium, government has done its best to maximize production and taxation. Although we might be tempted to point to the British example as unique, in fact the Chinese were idealizing and taxing the nuclear family at least a thousand years before the Industrial Revolution.

The Chinese clans - most prevalent in the south - emerged as a form of resistance against this.

I'm going to say that Willets is actually getting things a bit backward: most governments prefer the nuclear family, and try to enforce it, but it eventually crumbles under the power of extended family/group interests.

I'd say that the nuclear family is characteristic of a fairly new, almost primitive civilization, and inevitably fails under the burdens of taxation and competition with extended clan/ethnic interests.

Both Christianity and Confucianism are systems that attempt to preserve the patriarchal order needed to preserve the nuclear family, but neither can hold up to organized pressure, whether it be attorneys, avaricious clans, ethnic groups, sectarian interests, etc.

It all sounds nice to call this system proper and British, but on a wider analysis one finds that there is really nothing unique about it.

Dutch Boy said...

The first fruit of the industrial revolution was the ruthless exploitation of industrial workers with long, dangerous working hours and subsistence pay. Only when workers gave up Anglo-Saxon "individualism" for group solidarity did they start getting any major benefit from the system. As for the Baby Boomers, most of the trends blamed on us started before we were babies and the major beneficiaries of those trends were our parents (aka "the greatest generation"). The BBs and their children will pay the tab and many of us will only retire to the graveyard.

Melykin said...

Bill wrote:
It all sounds nice to call this system proper and British, but on a wider analysis one finds that there is really nothing unique about it.
--------------------

What IS unique about the Protestant countries of Europe, and their diaspora, is that they are the least corrupt, most functional countries in the world by almost any measure.

Perhaps nobody knows why this is true, but we do no for certain that it is true. Whether it will remain true after mass immigration from more dysfunctional countries remains to be seen.

Jacob Astley said...

"In turn, this early “capitalism without factories” prepared the British to make perhaps the greatest contribution to humanity or recent centuries: the Industrial Revolution. . ."

Thanks for throwing us Paleos an Edmund Burke quote. However, I just wished you understood that Whiggishness is the main reason that Anglo-Saxon culture is in a world of shit.

Reg Cæsar said...

Your generation is the most self -serving, destructive immature generation in American history. --Anonymous the Brave

Nice to hear from you again, Mr Mondale. Still smarting?

TH said...

Willetts points out that most other languages have “specific words for particular types of uncles, grandparents, and cousins”, but the English apparently never needed to develop these terms.

What is peculiar about English is that family refers to both nuclear family and more distant kin. In English, you have to speak of nuclear family and extended family, whereas many other languages have separate words for these.

Anonymous said...

Obsidian,

Again, you're confusing (as you have done before) whether nepotism is endemic and ubiquitous with whether it is occasionally of large effect within certain elite positions (for example when dealing with roughly equivalent candidates).

Nepotism and ethnocenticism are described in relative terms here and the issue is that nepotism doesn't explain, on average, very much in terms of where someone is in life (in Anglo cultures), not that it explains nothing (whether merit is defined to be something that is effectively arbitrary or not).

Clan based societies likewise also aren't absolutely indifferent to merit. It's a quantitative arguement.

Anonymous said...

Who will pay the bills in this country? the answer has been the immigrants,

I hate to break it to you, but these folks are not a net benefit to the Treasury.

Anonymous said...

Btw, for anyone interested in how it actually was in post-Roman Europe, in terms of family structure, and the place of the Chruch in this society see the following link:

http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/West-TOQ.htm

I wouldn't weight too heavily his theories about why people are such as they are, but I think actual history and descriptions of groups are illustrative of how things were.

Zachary Latif said...

The BBC just released a report that loneliness is an increasing feature of British society.

Traditionally extended clans were nepotistic but in a modern setting they are surprisingly effective when they interplay with a liberal society.

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you, but these folks are not a net benefit to the Treasury.

Not only that, but it gets worse, as they move out of illegal status, and are mainstreamed into the welfare system:


The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer
by Robert Rector and Christine Kim
May 21, 2007
heritage.org
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: ...A household's net fiscal deficit equals the cost of benefits and services received minus taxes paid. When the costs of direct and means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services are counted, the average low-skill household had a fiscal deficit of $19,588 (expenditures of $30,160 minus $10,573 in taxes)....

The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the U.S. Taxpayer
April 4, 2007
by Robert Rector, Christine Kim and Shanea Watkins, Ph.D.
heritage.org
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: ...A household’s net fiscal deficit equals the cost of benefits and services received minus taxes paid. If the costs of direct and means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services alone are counted, the average low-skill household had a fiscal deficit of $22,449 (expenditures of $32,138 minus $9,689 in taxes)...

Peter A said...

It's interesting that the English aristocracy, like all aristocracies, has always tended towards the extended-family end of the spectrum. It's only the middle and lower classes who lived in nuclear families in England.

This is also true in the US. Nepotism runs rampant in the upper upper WASP classes - the Bushs for example, or any of the old New England families. What has held the country together is the individualist ethos held by the New England and Midwestern middle class. The contrast between the attitudes of the people I grew up with and my Jewish or Italian classmates in college was striking. Where my New Hampshire highschool buddies were often essentially kicked out of the house at 18 and told to fend for themselves, the "New York" (i.e. Jewish/Italian/Greek) kids would get cars for their birthdays, had the run of their parents houses, visited cousins all the time, etc. My Jewish friends were always getting cool internships through some uncle's best friend's cousin or whatever. If I had even hinted to my old Yankee grandfather I wanted to intern at his law firm he would have shuddered at the insiderism and corruption that implied. More fools us I suppose.

Anonymous said...

"Btw, for anyone interested in how it actually was in post-Roman Europe, in terms of family structure, and the place of the Chruch in this society see the following link:"

Factual information? Why read that when we can endlessly construct romantic notions of WASP culture to suit an agenda?

ERM said...

What is peculiar about English is that family refers to both nuclear family and more distant kin. In English, you have to speak of nuclear family and extended family, whereas many other languages have separate words for these.

Globally, no doubt, but in the relevant subset of European languages, the English situation prevails. Indeed, apart from the Celtic and Slavic languages (plus Hungarian, natch) most languages borrow the Latin familia just as we do. Many have a somewhat broader term for something like tribe but family is family for the most part.

Howard Hughes said...

"is having an extended family culture like the Swedes and Finns and French (apparently) do that big a deal?"
I'm Swedish and can tell you that neither the Finnish or Swedish people have an "extended family culture". I'm not sure if the difference between the English and the continent is that big either - Germany seems pretty nuclear family-oriented to me. If anything, the German, French and Irish people seems to have adopted to Anglo-Americas culture quite well, so it seems unlikely that they really have had any big difference in family structures, compared to Britain.

Southern Italy, Spain and such places, however, might have a more focus on the extended family though.

TH said...

Globally, no doubt, but in the relevant subset of European languages, the English situation prevails. Indeed, apart from the Celtic and Slavic languages (plus Hungarian, natch) most languages borrow the Latin familia just as we do. Many have a somewhat broader term for something like tribe but family is family for the most part.

North Germanic (Scandinavian) languages seem to make the distinction, too, even though they use the Latin word, e.g. Swedish familj (nuclear) vs. släkt (extended). Furthermore, this is true not only of Hungarian but all Finno-Ugrian languages such as Finnish and Estonian. Perhaps the broad definition of family is in use only where the Romans actually ruled?

James Kabala said...

Glossy and Peter A.: It's worth noting, however, that the British aristocracy was different from many continental aristocracies in one important way. Only one member of each family was entitled to sit in the House of Lords; younger sons (and even the heir himself until his father died, although he had a "courtesy title"), were legally commoners, although of course they retained considerable prestige and respect. In contrast, in France all younger sons were regarded as members of the Second Estate (unless they became priests and were thereby promoted to the First), not the Third.

Cordelia said...

The Explanation of Ideology: Family Structure and Social Systems (Family, Sexuality and Social Relations in Past Times)

-- Emmanuel Todd

The product description on Amazon says:

Some parts of the world are dominated by communism, others by Catholicism or by Islam and yet others by liberal doctrines. Why should this be? And why has communism triumphed in Russia, China and Cuba, yet failed in Poland, Cambodia and Indonesia? No one knows. Certainly no clear answer lies in variation of climate, environment, race or, even, economic development. The argument of this book is that world variations in social ideology and belief are conditioned by family structure. The author analyzes the distribution of family forms throughout the world, and examines the relations between particular structures, and (for example) communism, totalitarianism and individualism, as well as the links between these forms and a variety of social phenomena - illegitimacy, suicide, infanticide, marital stability and inheritance laws. He offers evidence to support the belief that family structures and kinship patterns lie behind the ideologies that have shaped the history of the 20th century.

Laban said...

"Instead, think of England as being like this for at least 750 years. We live in small families. We buy and sell houses"

Willetts seems to know as much about the UK as 'one who knows' - not a lot. From the Industrial Revolution to the 1950s, most working class people rented. Before that a poor family might hold their house by copyhold. Families weren't small, either - but infant mortality was high until the Victorian population explosion, a result of reduced infant mortality similar to, but smaller than, the current 3rd world explosions. Medicine is more effective now. Many of my great-grandparents generation had eight or more kids.

Lots of good stuff on family formation in An Economic History of Bastardy in England and Wales

Zachary Latif said...

Also I know in Farsi, Hindu & Urdu there are specific words for each relative (mother's mother, father's father, mother's brother, father's sister etc..)

Do any European languages have this; or it is just the generic aunt/uncle (I know French is like that tante/oncle)..

Anonymous said...

Zachary Latif said: Do any European languages have this; or it is just the generic aunt/uncle (I know French is like that tante/oncle)..

In Norwegian, there are distinct, albeit informal, names for maternal and paternal grandparents, e.g. "mormor" (lit. "mother mother") for mother's mother and "farmor" ("father mother") for father's mother. But there's also a more general "bestemor" and "bestefar"(grandmother and grandfather). Mormor, etc., is something you'd say in the family and not really to an outsider if you were speaking formally about your grandparent to someone -- at least that's my impression.

I don't think there are separate words for uncles and aunts, although there are separate words for cousins based on gender ("fetter" = male cousin, "kusine" = female cousin), but not according to which side of the family they're on, AFAIK.

Reg Cæsar said...

To answer Mr Latif's question, some do-- and in the least likely place, Scandinavia. The Danes have telescoped the old moder and fader into mor and far, and now regularly take advantage of the extra room to distinguish each grandparent as mormor, morfar, farmor and farfar.

I believe the other Nordics all do the same, but I'm not sure about the Finns and their truly alien äiti (mother) and isä (father). Perhaps one of the many suomalaiset who read this might tell us if äidinäiti, isänäiti, etc., are in common use. Or is she just isoäiti, i.e., Big Momma?

Anonymous said...

Irish (Gaelic) has borrowed the English words for aunt (aintin) and uncle (uncail), but the traditional words specified mother's sister, father's sister, etc.:

father's brother = deartháir athar
mother's brother = deartháir máthar
father's sister = driofúr athar
mother's sister = driofúr mathar

In Irish, you can't just say someone is your cousin. You have to specify (at least) first or second:

col ceathar = first cousin (lit. four people related)
col seisir = second cousin (lit. six people)

And the word for family means extended family = teachglach.

BamaGirl said...

Also, I even think its a bit of a myth or exaggeration that Anglo-Saxon culture is based on the model of a nuclear family. Have any of you guys even been to the inland South? Most of the people there are culturally and at least partially ethnically "Anglo-Saxon" (there are of course other influences too), and southerners are probably closer with their extended families than any other native US group.

TH said...

I believe the other Nordics all do the same, but I'm not sure about the Finns and their truly alien äiti (mother) and isä (father). Perhaps one of the many suomalaiset who read this might tell us if äidinäiti, isänäiti, etc., are in common use. Or is she just isoäiti, i.e., Big Momma?

The Finnish äiti is in fact a proto-Germanic loanword, cf. Gothic aithei. The interbreeding between Finns and Germanic people (women at least) must have been extensive when even the word for mother was loaned. The Finno-Ugric word for mother, emo, is used in Finnish to refer to animal mothers. (In contrast, Estonian uses ema for human mothers, too.)

No one would call their grandmothers äidinäiti or isänäiti, but these words can be used if you want to specify which grandmother you mean. Isoäiti is also a bit formal, most people would use mummo, mummu, mummi or some other regional variant.

Anonymous said...

Factual information? Why read that when we can endlessly construct romantic notions of WASP culture to suit an agenda?

Most refreshing, an attack on WASPs. How different from the rest of the media with its slavish, unquestioning adherence to the merits of WASP culture and mores!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be a proper Sailerian race board without a wee bit o' "Celtic" snobbishness a la BamaGirl's neolithic British bloodlines retort. Guess us non-Mayflower types had better watch out lest Homeland security spots our Dutch Boy haircuts and brachycephalic skullshapes and deposits us in the nearest FEMA camp. RAHOWA!

Anonymous said...

Cordelia - Emmanuel Todd is exceedingly difficult to find for sale [even on the used book search engines].

That book just disappeared into one great big black hole of obscurity.

[200 Years, anyone?]

Anonymous said...

Whiskey said,
"To me, the explanation is that Mexican, and Muslim, and Black women (the first and last groups often get pregnant without marriage) find their men more masculine and manly."

Blacks I can understand, but Arabs, South Asians and Latinos manlier than Whites? Really?
I had this English friend whose relative served in India during WW2. He thought the local men as unmanly cowards save the Sikhs and Gurkhas.

Cordelia said...

Anonymous said: "Cordelia - Emmanuel Todd is exceedingly difficult to find for sale [even on the used book search engines]."

It is, indeed. I can get it through my local library via interlibrary loan (it'll come from a university library). Haven't ordered it yet, but it's on my list of summer (maybe autumn) reading. :-)

A_Brit said...

"after being unfairly dominated themselves for hundreds and hundreds of years, the english turned around and were totally unfair to everybody else for hundreds and hundreds of years. only within the last 100 years have english people around the world even started to think that anything should be "fair". this modern idea of "fairness" is a total aberration. english history, like the history of every other human group, is a history of complete and utter unfairness."

You're mistaken, the Empire was all about playing fair! Now mix me a gin and tonic or I'll beat you with my swagger stick!

Anonymous said...

Anglos are as cliquish and devious as any other - they are just better at hiding their true feelings - hence the term "Anglo hypocrisy".

Anonymous said...

"Anglos are as cliquish and devious as any other - they are just better at hiding their true feelings - hence the term "Anglo hypocrisy"."

What utter rubbish and this is from a Bangladeshi who has lived in England for ten years.