March 11, 2013

"How Social Darwinism Made Modern China"

Ron Unz has a new article in The American Conservative:
How Social Darwinism Made Modern China
A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe China's least noticed advantage is the middle class go getter attitudes found in the poor.

You can't have an estimated one million Chinese living in Africa from out of nowhere without a strongly motivated contingent of peasants.

Also China because of its sex selective abortions is going to have a huge gender imbalance especially among its farmers. I wonder if half the rural men won't be able to marry and have kids, what kind of results that selective pressure will have in just one generation.

dearieme said...

It's always struck me as odd that we refer to the Middle Kingdom, but refer to its ruler as an Emperor.

Portlander said...

Haven't read it, but its going to be hard to take seriously when the first graph is so grossly cherry picked as this one:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ChinaGDP_2e.jpg

I wonder, is the hockey stick guy from the the global warming graphs doing freelance work now?

Anonymous said...

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/meritocracy-almost-as-wrong-as-larry-summers/

Duke of Qin said...

The contemporary English translation of the Middle Kingdom comes from an archaic Chinese term from the pre-Qin era when the rulers still styled themselves as Kings (Wang). Prior to the 20th century, the more common literary name of China in English was not the Middle Kingdom but the Celestial Empire (Tian Chao).

Anonymous said...

It's like an actual dog whistle, if you read it right :)

Anonymous said...

Someone once said, accept social Darwinism the easy way or accept natural Darwinism the hard way.

Anonymous said...

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/03/britains-queen-elizabeth-endorses-gay-rights-2590104.html

Queen endorses queer privilege. But, then the royal and aristocratic elites have been patrons of gay privilege forever.
Queen and the elites now coming out of the closet with this fact.
They prefer fancy gays over the plebs.

Anonymous said...

1) The theory that passing tests in China leads to increased fertility is at best a hypothesis. I don't see much evidence one way or another. The names thing may be meaningless, there are lots of Blacks with the first name Scott, or last name Scott or Scotland (ragtimers Scot Joplin and James Scott, and the current Baroness Scotland of Asthal). So?

2) This appolotgist for the cutural revolution says the cultural revolution was a departure from the Chinese past, and may be in the process of being undone by Chinese educrats. I wonder if the educrats were educated by American educrats, who according to John Taylor Gatto traces their methods back to Hindu India.

Opening Book Event with Dongping Han speaking on his book, The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village

http://www.revolutionbooks.org/p/rediscovering-chinas-cultural.html

Anonymous said...

Excellent article.
Full credit to Ron Unz for his authorship.

Anonymous said...

China, the social darwinist intellocracy. America, the reverse social darwinist "democratic" mega-middle-school run by greedy musclebound metrosexual morons in stuffed white shirts running around harassing others for their own good. But this Fuhrer class doesn't eat smelly food nor spit, so they really must be saints.

Anonymous said...

You know, the whole Oberlin KKK fright week thing seemed to have had an element of fun. It's like kids preparing to see a horror movie. They know they'll be scared, but they are excited by the thrill of being scared. It's like if someone says, "I saw Big Foot" or "I saw Chupacabra", people are both scared and happy to be scared. It's like WOW, something to get all freaked about.
The funny thing about horror genre is not just that they scare the audience but the audience WANT TO BE SCARED. It's like kids getting a blast out of the Blair Witch Project. It seems Oberlin was having fun with the Blair Klan Project.
Horror stuff not only offer the thrills but a sense of community. When friends get all freaked at a horror showing, they feel closer together, a kind of it's "Us vs the monster" feeling.

Anonymous said...

I think Unz is wrong to focus only on exams. Chinese intellectual culture had cachet far beyond who passed the exams. A rich merchant or peasant wanted his daughter to marry someone who was educated EVEN IF the prospective groom didn't pass the exam.
And there were many well-educated and smart Chinese who didn't pass the exam but still had a reputation in the community as a learned person. Such a person would have been favored as son-in-law by a rich family.

It's like if your daughter can't marry a Harvard man, it's still better to have her marry a top public university man than a total loser.

Whiskey said...

I agree with Unz's comments about the ideological blinders in the modern West, and how it hampers our progress.

BUT ... the article and underlying research is flat out wrong about much of the West. First aristocrats regularly churned over, due to war, dynastic failure, rebellion, etc. Example: England has been ruled by the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts, and the Hanoverians within five hundred years. Among the lower aristocracy the churn is even greater, along with local languages (Breton, Occitan, Welsh, Cornish, etc.).

Consider the Dukes of Burgundy. At one time Europe's dominant aristocrats, today non-existent.

The state of constant warfare and uncertainty, but not total anarchy, led Europeans to do things that Chinese would not do. Adopt gunpowder and push it as far as possible, destroying the mounted knight system. Or doing the same with printing presses, or compasses, etc.

The downside of an examination system is that risk taking and entrepreneurship is about zero. Today, China has zilch in the way of technological innovation, which remains in places like Japan or South Korea, or the West. The West, being more uncertain (ditto South Korea and Japan) rewarded consistently entrepreneurship and innovation more than China. A lot more.

Anonymous said...

What about Japan compared to China?

Japanese system was essentially feudalist--or close to it--, and there was a caste system put into place. Though Japan used the exam system for entering the bureaucratic class, the system was not democratic. Peasants couldn't take the exam and had to be stuck tilling the fields. My guess is merchants were barred too. I think the task of running the government was left to the samurai class, so only samurai--5% of the population--could take exams and become bureaucrat-scholars(though surely there were exceptions. Hideoyoshi, the great terrible shogun, was from peasant background, and before the consolidation of the Japanese caste system, the class barriers hadn't been so rigid.)
But despite differences, Japanese are in IQ and temperament not all that different from the Chinese--though, to be sure, Japanese tend to be a nicer and more orderly.

Anonymous said...

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

How about the Korean case of scholar-literati class?

Wiki says:

"From the sixteenth century and increasingly during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, high ranking offices were monopolized by a few grandee families based in Seoul or Han River Valley, therefore blocking any chance of gaining high ranking posts by many provincial families of pedigree. However, provincial magnates began to refer themselves as yangban whether they did or did not hold government offices. As more and more local families claimed to be yangban, and exercised provincial influences through various local institutitions, such as local council, pedigree acknowledgement and Confucius school (seowon), the term lost its original meaning and became a sort of social status which had a confusing legal standing. Its economic and cultural domain was rather clear though. A landlord who studied classics at seowon(서원, 書院)could be easily looked upon as yangban by the local populace. People could now even purchase yangban status by paying to procure either lower government posts or jokbo, the noble pedigree."

Wiki says even non-exam-passers were so taken with the title of 'yangban' that they called themselves that, and in time, it kinda came to mean 'upper middle class' of whoever aspired to be 'respectable'. I wonder if something similar took hold in certain provinces of China, or if the Chinese were far more discerning in who was in and who was out.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure this can be called social darwinism.
SD means the truly best really got the leg up. It's different from natural darwinism where the toughest survive.
Social Darwinism exists within the rule of law that ensures and protects the system that gives advantage to the truly talented, especially in higher spheres like intelligence and creativity.
What happens in places like Haiti isn't social darwinism since it's just a lawless dog-eat-dog where the most brutal and toughest gain advantage. It's more like anti-social darwinism.

the idea in the 19th century was that in a free society with rule of law and equal opportunity for all, the genuinely talented would rise to the top, even rags to riches.

but was China about that kind of meritocracy? The exam system was flawed because it only favored a certain kind of smarts, especially of useless knowledge that had nothing to do with science, technology, math, and etc. It was a test of pomposity.
Also, even though exams were open to all, Chinese language is very difficult and only the rich could educate their kids to take exams.

As for the peasants, I'm not sure what operated among them was a free market system. Though most Chinese didn't become scholars, they were all under the rule of the bureaucratic class, and China was a land of tons of regulations and taxes. There was even a tax on using outhouses at one time. Also, Chinese were so superstitious that they often didn't act rationally.
Also, true social darwinism seeks to find new ways to gain an advantage, but the xenophobic and ultra-conservative chinese culture suppressed new ideas from both abroad and even at home.

So, if American social darwinism was about smart people looking for new ways to create a new world of new industry and innovation, the chinese competition was about sticking to the same methods to play a dog-eat-dog game.
There wasn't much in the way of evolution of ideas and methods. It favored the tenacious, ruthless, and cunning, but I'm not sure it really favored the intelligent since one didn't need much smarts to follow the old ways and stick with received wisdom.

jody said...

for being so meritocratic, they sure are into stealing stuff. not coming up with any of their own cientific medical or engineering research, seems to be their preferred method of "meritocracy". intellectual property, what's that? just steal whatever you need. oh, and i'm sure government internet censorship provides a good environment for intellectual development. surely that fosters intellecutal honesty, being able to compare...bascially none of the available information about the world, and getting only the chinese government version of the facts on any topic.

one might get the idea that china is not meritocratic at all, but more about getting ahead by any means necessary. cheating on tests, cheating on government forms, cheating on the road by not even following simple traffic rules, seems to be the chinese way. they tend to be rude, pushy, loud, and obnoxious. even the concept of waiting in line seems to alien to many of them. just push your way to the front, who cares about fairness or rules.

Anonymous said...

Two days, no blog posts and then a link to Ron Unz's article? You aren't ghost writing for him are you Steve?

Seriously, I get a kick out of opinions that Africa is going to be the new China. Yes, some people are that stupid. See:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/03/10/1622222/china-using-state-secrets-label-to-hide-pollution

search for "Africa".

Luke Lea said...

Though Chinese statistics are not to be trusted, I think Unz makes a persuasive case for the influence of social Dawinism on China's genetic profile. However . . .

there are a few things he left out. Due to inbreeding (see hbd*chick's arguments) the Chinese have zero sense of civic responsibility or of the public good. Cheating is acceptable behavior in their culture and is therefore deeply embedded, possibly genetically. This hinders the development of large, efficient organizations of almost any kind. There has never been an independent commercial middle-class in China, unlike in medieval Europe, so whatever special qualities are associated with such a lifestyle has never developed. The Chinese have never been a militaristic society, thank goodness, but instead have traditionally preyed on themselves. Large criminal gangs are a way of life. The ethnic and genetic unity of the Han is easily over-stated. Then there is the well-known docility of the population, which limits their effectiveness as immigrants, at least in Western societies where more outgoing personalities rule the day.

It does seem plausible that China will dominate her immediate neighbors in Southeast Asia, as she traditionally has (not including China or the Phillipines however) and her demographic situation argues that she might overrun the less-densely populated areas to her immediate north and west. In dealings with the West she has always been a diplomatic bungler, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

OTH, the urbanization of China is churning the population of China as never before. The old patrilineal clan structures are disappearing under the influence of that process, and of the one-child process. This combined with the exponential growth of Christianity both in the cities and the countryside and among the elites as well as the common people could lead to a more individualistic, liberal social order eventually. It will take generations however, maybe even centuries, before China becomes anything like the West.

Anononymous said...

"fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history"

"lifted themselves economically from oxen and bicycles to the verge of automobiles"


1. Have Communist revolution.

2. Go back to the stone age.

3. Almost catch up with the rest of the world (in your shiny new verge-of-automobiles)

4. Have "fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history"

5. Collect underpants (from slave-labour sweatshop)

6. Profit.

Anonymous said...

"fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history"

This is deceptive. Chinese had a model to emulate, and copying is much easier than innovating.
In a way, Chinese had four models to emulate and learn from:
Western Europe, America, Japan, and 'Asian Tigers', three of which--Singapore, HK, and Taiwan--were Chinese. And Asian Tiger Chinese went to mainland to help out and invest and tutor and etc.

China also had anti-models to learn from. They knew from the USSR and their own experience that communism wasn't it. They learned Latin American model was crap.
Since 'Asian tigers' did it by copying and the West, China had something to work on. (Success of China seemed to have energized Indians too.)

Anonymous said...

"It will take generations however, maybe even centuries, before China becomes anything like the West."

By then, the West will be no more. Europe will have turned to Eurafrica. As for America? Mexican immigration will likely slow as Mexican birthrate drops, but African immigration will increase, and US will become Amerifrica.

gcochran said...


Ron does not say that the imperial exam was a major factor in selecting for intelligence in China. He says that the number of winners, who did receive big benefits that probably translated into increased fitness, was very small compared to the population of China, and thus not a significant selective factor.

He's correct.

Anonymous said...

but was China about that kind of meritocracy? The exam system was flawed because it only favored a certain kind of smarts,

In other words, it was an IQ test that made no claims of not being culture-biased. It was a quick way of selecting a managerial class needed for a massive rice-based agricultural civilization. Any moron could run a wheat farm, which is why many of them did in the West. INS they all were all morons, rather that wheat farming did not select for intelligence quite the same was as rice. Rice requires long-term planning and engineering, most of it social rather than physical.

If anything, the West evolved a system where high intelligence was nice but not necessary.

especially of useless knowledge that had nothing to do with science, technology, math, and etc.

Or St. Augustine.

Also, Chinese were so superstitious that they often didn't act rationally.

Socrates and the magic hemlock, the Inquisition, witch-burnings, witch-hangings, Galileo and Bruno trials, Scopes Monkey Trial, War on Drugs, residential schools, conscription, Freudian psychology, mental institutions, detachment parenting, the masochistic flagellations of Victorianism, nucleophobia, various prohibitions through the ages on such useful life-saving medical treatments as surgery, anesthesia, blood transfusions, gene therapy, etc.

No-one has a monopoly on irrationality.

cheating on tests, cheating on government forms, cheating on the road by not even following simple traffic rules, seems to be the chinese way

The Vince Lombardi attitude, yuppies, cheating on elections (done by practically every modern president except Carter and Reagan).

Ex Submarine Officer said...

It isn't one thousand years of meritocracy, although that was a refining effect.

Try 10 thousand years (or however long) of rice culture. That'll weed out the non-conformists.

Anononymous said...

Chinese were already smart in 31 AD. They developed their extra IQ and it's necessary larger skull and brain size as hunter-gatherers in cold northern Asia during pre-history. Same with English upper classes.

Du Shi
"31 AD ... first to apply ...a waterwheel... to operate bellows ... of the blast furnace ... to forge cast iron, which had been known in China since the 6th century BC."

Greg Pandatshang said...

"Middle Kingdom" is a loose translation, to say the best. Perhaps better rendered as "Central Country", with "country" having roughly the same range of meaning as in colloquial English: both the regime and the land-and-people. "Emperor" is a reasonably good translation, I suppose, although the Chinese term in question is used only for emperors of China, not of other countries.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps better rendered as "Central Country"
----------

mebbe central domain.

Anonymous said...

Try 10 thousand years (or however long) of rice culture. That'll weed out the non-conformists.

Not the non-conformists, but the bloodthirsty knuckle-dragging dummies with delusions of grandeur and entitlement. Mind you, they do make the best warriors, but have the annoying habit of taking over the societies they protect.

Anonymous said...

"First aristocrats regularly churned over, due to war, dynastic failure, rebellion, etc. Example: England has been ruled by the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts, and the Hanoverians within five hundred years."

Whiskey is as always wrong. All of these dynasties flowed from each other. When the throne was passed through the female line, the name of the dynasty changed. It functioned a bit like a modern surname. Nothing more to it than that. If we don't count Harold Godwinson's few months on the throne, I don't think there was a time since England was first unified roughly 1200 years ago when neither the reigning king nor queen was descended from the original unifiers, the kings of Wessex. The current queen is descended from the first king. Almost all of the people in-between were members of the same lineage. It's just that it's not entirely a male-line lineage. The male line goes back to Dark Age German nobles, not to Dark Age English ones.

The churn, nut just in England, but all over Europe, was usually within-family churn.





Anononymous said...

China's economy only go so far, as the limit to industrial production is a supply of fuel. They could manufacture cars for everyone, but there would be no gas for them. They need their bicycles.

USA consumes 30 million barrels oil per day.
China consumes 6 million barrels oil per day.
China has 4.1 times as many population.

If China's per capita oil consumption were to match ours, they would need 123 Million Barrels per day vs our 30.

World's total combined oil production is 85 million barrels per day. China's consumption would be 150% of worlds production. And then there's still India...

They would need 11 Saudi Arabias. Or 36 Iraqs.

Saudi Arabia 11 million barrels per day.
Iraq 3.4 million barrels per day.
Venezuela 2.5 million barrels per day.

Anononymous said...

Per capita oil demand
Gallons oil per capita per day
USA 2.6
China 0.3

Oil Consumption
Million Barrels per day:
USA 30
China 6

USA population 315 million
China population 1,300 million
Ratio 4.1

China with USA per capita oil consumption:
123 Million Barrels per day

List of countries by oil production
Million barrels per day:
World 85
Saudi Arabia 11
Iraq 3.4
Venezuela 2.5

Anonymous said...

Oh please Augustine basically from scratch created the political-theological paradigm that was to prevail until the enlightenment. Have you ever read Confucius, it would be like if for two thousand years all the West could muster was Boethius. Like a really repetitive Boethius that's always saying father knows best.

Jody nails it. The originality in the Chinese political experiment is to see whether or not kleptocracy can suceed on a trickle down basis. Think about that for a second China's social compact is the government sayings shut up stay calm, and we will keep stealing stuff and hopefully we can pass the West before it collapses. What truly makes China such an appalling place is to compare it to Japan. IQ tells us a lot but ever time I look at China I think there has to be some basis of creativity and innovation that IQ doesn't capture,

Anonymous said...

Got to love how witch burning and witch hangings gets counted as two separate marks against the west. Does that mean I can count every species of dog Chinese eat as a separate flaw. What about every species of snake Chinese use in those Chinese "PGH" formulas.

Anonymous said...

Radder rows rest

Did Fu Manchu pass his exams, or did he have to turn to a life of crime for lack of better prospects?

foseti said...

I read this a few days ago.

Why does Unz take so many words to make a point?

Does anyone know of anyone that's tried to explain what Ron Unz's overall point is? He's written several of these pieces that dance around race and IQ topics, but I can't really see a consistent point.

Anonymous said...

Does the one-party Chinese Communist System increase or decrease levels of corruption?

One could argue that China is so huge and it has so many poor and backward people that it needs a powerful central authoritarian rule to keep it together and maintain the peace. If China goes democratic, freedom will aid corruption and chaos more than transparency and good governance.

On the other hand, communist party has clamped down on free flow of information and punished whistle blowers, and so many big shots have been able to get away with lots of abuse.

I dunno. I don't think democracy will work in China as of now.
But unless the communist party allows more freedom, a lot of issues of corruption will go unaddressed.

And there's the issue of rule of law. Has such succeeded in Taiwan, HK, and Singapore? If yes, can it work on a national scale in China where so many localities don't trust one another?

Ironically, the rich in China look to the one-party communist rule for protection from the masses of poor. If the one party communist party rule goes away and democracy arrives, the masses of poor might go with politicians who promise to soak the rich a lot more.

Anonymous said...

Gallons oil per capita per day
USA 2.6
China 0.3

----------

Economically and socially, there is no single China.

I wonder what the numbers would be if we were to compare rates for top 300 million Chinese and 300 million Americans.

Anononymous said...

Speaking of witches...

Eleven elderly people accused of being witches have been burned to death by a mob in the west of Kenya

Anononymous said...

More witches, with video...

Witches burned alive in Kenya

Anononymous said...

Like, until Christianity came along, everyone was o.k. with witchcraft. Like, just go ahed and cast spells and curse people and stuff, we dont mind.

rob said...

So Unz is saying that Chinese bred themselves into the sort of people who don't even try to swerve when a kid is in the road. Chinamen have so little concern for other people that helping someone who got hit by a car is proof that the helper ran 'em over. They don't seem to understand altruism.

We need ton of them here, cheating on tests, stealing intellectual property, and evading taxes!

Anonymous said...

What bout every fluoride molecule that Protestants put in American drinking water?

Bill said...

Unz doesn't discuss the fact that Chinese who have "made it" are amongst the least likely to engage in old-fashioned labor, and most likely to exploit their underlings.

Chinese peasants are wonderful people in many ways. Hard working, generous, sacrificial -- you name it. It's very easy to develop an attachment to them. Nevertheless, the Chinese cultural tendency is to exploit them ruthlessly.

The saying "there but for the grace of God" has an entirely different interpretation in China. Maybe it has something to do with the notion of karma, but it's generally taken as license to abuse one's lessers.

This is not necessarily a winning strategy in the long run. It guarantees periodic upheaval and mass oppression. It casts a dark shadow on the ruling class, and cries out for revolution. If there is any social Darwinism in China, it is swept out by a flood of moral cleansing from time to time. I have no doubt that the Chinese are keener and more capable in many ways due to the pressures of survival that their system introduces, but a higher level of justice than brutish social Darwinism does prevail, even in the Middle Kingdom.

anony-mouse said...

Er, those centuries of China being ruled by exam takers led to their quick defeat by forces sent by a little island halfway around the world. They couldn't even stop that island from forcing them to import poison until that island changed its policies.

A lot of those exams consisted of being able to memorize the sayings of Confucius. Apparently this doesn't stop bullets.

And where do the warlords fit into any of this? What exams did they take?

And did any of the exam questions ask 'How do you live your life without inventing anything?'

Its very nice that China has had huge economic growth over a grand total of 30 years. Hasn't made up for the previous 500 has it?

Anonymous said...

"Did Fu Manchu pass his exams, or did he have to turn to a life of crime for lack of better prospects?"

He flunked. It's Charlie Chan who passed.

I think Fu is fool in Chinese.

Anonymous said...

"He flunked. It's Charlie Chan who passed.

I think Fu is fool in Chinese."


That's what it means in ebonics too. Maybe this will help them save money on those multi-lingual ballots if ebonics and Chinese have other similarities.

Anonymous said...

Er, those centuries of China being ruled by exam takers led to their quick defeat by forces sent by a little island halfway around the world. They couldn't even stop that island from forcing them to import poison until that island changed its policies.

By the time the soul-saving crusaders from that island reached the Middle Kingdom with their kegs of holy fluoride ... oops I mean opium, the Middle Kingdom had been ruled for centuries by mentally challenged book-burning horse-bound savages from the North. You know, the Mongols.

The Great Wall was supposed to have stopped them. I suppose that China could have raised an army and out-mongoed the Mongols, and maybe beat them without becoming just like them. Anyway, the savages spread through east Asia and nearly killed the continent. Pol Pot was their last echo. Europe, at least Western Europe, is very, very lucky they never had to fight the Mongols, nor suffer under their looting and raping. I really wonder if they could have done a better job defending their homelands than the Chinese, Indians, and Koreans.

Anonymous said...

stealing intellectual property

Call the RIAA/MPAA death squads!

John said...

OK, so the Chinese have a test-based meritocracy and that explains their intelligence.

Meanwhile the Japanese have a feudal system similar to that in the West yet have higher IQ's than the Chinese.

This reminds me of the low-carb theory of obesity. We're obese because we eat carbs, but Asians eat more carbs and are thin.

It is beginning to seem to me that the intellectual vice of the age is cherry-picking - simply being too lazy to take a truly comprehensive look and see all the facts in a particular case.

Instead, everyone has a pet theory and then just cherry picks the evidence.

I have found that one of the best intellectual disciplines one can chain oneself to is to always look for counterfactuals.

Are the Chinese smart because they had a test-based system and not feudalism? Scan the world for counterefactuals

Are high-carb societies obese? Look for counterfactuals

But then, why do so when it takes effort? Worse, it's boring, and dull, and everyone wants to be a genius these days, with the next big grand theory to unify everything. No one is content with a modest intellectual contribution.

Which brings me to the special quality of Chinese civilization that is worth admiring and perhaps adapting in the West - it's modesty and avoidance of extremes.

Having spent much time in Asia, it seems to me that Asian civilization is much less prolific in malcontents and neurotics and miserable individuals generally, and that much of this has to do with the quality of restraint, measure, and balance that is a central pillar of their culture, and used to be a central pillar of Western culture before the disastrous romantic movement that glorified excess that began in the 18th century. Is it any surprise that the West began to produce around this time an extraordinary number of of malcontents and neurotics and miserable people, artists especially? Ancient Greece and Rome, like Asia, also believed in measure, restraint, and moderation - for a time, and then excess and destruction set in.

If our modern contact with Asia leads us to rediscover the virtue of moderation and avoidance of excess - either to rediscover the sources for these virtues from within our own culture or to discover them anew from modern Asian sources - then it will be all to the good.

We might produce less eccentric genius in the West then, but how much happier, saner, and more balanced will our lives be?

Anonymous said...

In the 1933 novel, The Bride of Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu claims to hold doctorates from four Western universities. In the 1959 novel, Emperor Fu Manchu, he reveals he attended Heidelberg, the Sorbonne, and Edinburgh.

Guess they didn't ask about extracurriculars back then. Of course Fu Manchu is probally the one Asian whose extracurriculars aren't gay like violin and chess club. Eh, you could add Jeremy Lin and that short Texas A&M linebacker Dat something from a decade ago.

Anonymous said...

Chinese peasants are wonderful people in many ways. Hard working, generous, sacrificial -- you name it. It's very easy to develop an attachment to them. Nevertheless, the Chinese cultural tendency is to exploit them ruthlessly.

At least they aren't anti-respectful uppity pinheads that go on strike every two years, and demand exorbitant pay and frills such as music in the washrooms and carpeted toilet seats, while bragging about their alleged toughness.

David said...

>When the throne was passed through the female line, the name of the dynasty changed. It functioned a bit like a modern surname. Nothing more to it than that.<

It turned out that way, but there was more to it than that. They didn't just sit around "passing the throne through the female line" like passing around a joint. There were a few awfully sticky family rows on the way - like that War of the Roses business. And Henry IV's (or his son Henry Monmouth's) putting down of about three serious rebellions was but another instance of Ye Olde Famiglia's mettle's being tried. It was a blood-soaked existence that would have daunted Al Capone.

Btw, I love this in Shakespeare (yes, I know it's fiction):

HENRY IV, dying, desperately whispering to his son and heir Henry Monmouth -

All my friends, which thou must make thy friends,
Have but their stings and teeth newly ta'en out,
By whose fell working I was first advanced
And by whose power I well might lodge a fear
To be again displaced; which to avoid,
I cut them off and had a purpose now
To lead out many to the Holy Land,
Lest rest and lying still might make them look
Too near unto my state. Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action, hence borne out,
May waste the memory of the former days.

jody said...

those numbers for oil consumption are wrong.

china uses about 10 million barrels of oil per day right now. under obama, the US does less stuff, and has dropped to about 17 million barrels. china produces about 4 million barrels per day, and the US, thanks to dumb, backwards, evil conservatives, has increased oil production from 5 million barrels per day up to 7 million barrels per day. this is helpful, but note the WHOPPING difference between production and consumption.

world production is about 85 million barrels per day. now think about how little an extra 2 million barrels per day actually makes in the grand scheme of things, and have a chuckle at all these news stories that the US is on the verge of being "energy independent". only if importing 10 MILLION barrels of oil EVERY SINGLE DAY is the same as being "independent". note also the US imports almost all of the uranium it uses in it's 103 commercial fission reactors. it produces about 5 million pounds of uranium per year, but burns 100 million pounds. importing 95 million pounds of uranium per year is considered "independent".

world oil production is still going up. 85 million barrels per day is not the upper limit. it can climb higher still, if demand, and price, keeps going up. but it can't keep going up forever. i doubt it go up to 100 million barrels per day and stay there for years, though. so there's a ceiling somewhere, regardless of demand.

jody said...

note the problem here for the purported idea that china faces limits to growth imposed by a shortage of oil, versus what's actually happening. china only uses 11% of world oil production. the US only uses 20% of world oil production. that's only 31%. both nations together aren't even taking half the oil pie. there's plenty of oil for either nation to significantly increase it's oil consumption if it wanted or needed.

the two nations will converge on oil consumption at some point after 2020, and there will be enough oil for that to happen. maybe they will converge somewhere around 16 million barrels per day. both the US and china are willing to pay twice as much for oil as they are right now. 110 US dollars per barrel of brent oil is not too high a price, and neither will 220 dollars be too high a price. so just imagine how expensive energy is going to become in only 10 years. enough to almost prohibit economic growth in the US. but not in china.

combine this with trade deficits versus trade surpluses, huge mountains of debt versus huge mountains of money, and the future is exactly the opposite of what was stated. US growth is certain to slow way down under expensive oil. it won't have as much effect on china.

we haven't even gotten into coal.

jody said...

coal: right now, china burns as much as the rest of the world COMBINED. china burns 3 times as much coal per year as the US. and it's only going...up. in china, in india, heck, in germany, in JAPAN. originator of the kyoto protocol - which they simply drop whenever it's inconvenient to their economy.

shut down nuclear reactors, start importing coal and natural gas, burn that instead, and incur largest trade deficit in japanese history. japan went 78 billion dollars negative in 2012, thanks to turning off their reactors and switching to imported fossil fuels to run those toyota factories.

so the liberals and their whole "we're gonna stop global warming by stopping coal" thing? yeah. that's not gonna happen. i remain agnostic about man made global warming, but let's say, it is happening. well, NOTHING is going to stop it. the liberals are just wasting their time. they probably do feel good beating their chests about it, though. they've never been real good at realizing where their jurisdiction ends however. the chinese just laugh at american lawyers and their silly impotent laws which don't bind foreign nations.

germany has their own coal, the only domestic energy resource they possess. so when they deactivated their reactors, they just built new coal power plants. germany had what might have been the largest trade surplus in german history in 2012. 242 billion dollars. that's bigger than china's trade surplus.

jody said...

imagine that. germany can pay down 1 trillion dollars in debt every 4 years. amazing what having a real economy can do for you. meanwhile the US hemorrhages 600 to 700 billion dollars a year, every year, just in trade. in 2012 it had the largest trade deficit between 2 nations ever, in the history of the world. a 300 billion dollar trade deficit with china.

and the US goes another 1 trillion into debt every year too. so add up that lost 650 billion in trade every year, and the 1 trillion in paper debt, and not only can the US never pay down any principle, it is going to start having trouble paying interest on debt before 2020.

although not solely responsible for the beginnings of this catastrophe, obama is BY FAR the largest contributor to it, and will put the US in a hole from which it will never recover. that natural gas boom (thanks again to dumb, backwards, mouth breathing conservatives who don't understand science or math, or so it is claimed) is not going to save the US from anything really.

Anonymous said...

Like, just go ahed and cast spells and curse people and stuff, we dont mind.

Go ahead, think of yourself and your family first rather than the Holy Infallible All-Knowing Church and State and some high mucky-muck useless eater with the funny hat, blood-drenched sword, and the 15 IQ and compassion of a snake. That is the essence of BUH-LACK MAGIC! (eeeeeeeeeeek)

TGGP said...

Unz seemed a little embarassed when his old undergrad paper popped up on Steve Hsu's site, glad to see he's reworked it.

Whiskey, of course, is wrong. Greg Clark and others have measured social mobility over the long run with surnames. Swedes with aristocratic surnames are still much more likely to be in the upper class, likewise with Norman surnames in England. These papers were discussed at iSteve earlier, and Whiskey commented on the one just about England's Normans.

Ranse T. said...

Frankly, I think all these discussions of meritocracy in China vastly underestimate the importantance of cronyism/family ties. Bribery is extremely common, and getting decent positions is much more based upon connections there than here. Alot of it is not publicly expressed, but everyone knows and admits it goes on, and can give plenty of examples. I wouldn't exactly call it meritocracy, rather they maintain a thin veil of meritocracy over a deeply corrupt system.

Steady Dan said...

Ron is really on a roll of discussing Asians as a way of tackling problems confronting white Americans. More power to him, but I'll feel more encouraged when mainstream articles can actually express these things in terms of white Americans.

Anonymous said...

Alien regimes have conquered and ruled some or all of China for over than 70% of the the last 1000 years and dynamic foreign elements were important in many of those not generally recognized as such.

Especially instructive is the case of the Tang, with its large non-Chinese communities, powerful foreign inflections in music and arts (a new expressiveness of motion in sculpture, Inner Asian and Indian instruments and melodies that were eagerly imported and preserved with painstaking fidelity in Japanese court music), openness to foreign religions like Aryan Buddhism, and energetic military expansion.

Its ruling Li family – like that of the preceding Sui – were and many of the Tang nobility – were martial elites from the northwest, admixed with Xianbei and Central Asian Turk and able to speak Turkic as late as the early eighth century). And unambiguous northern and western "barbarians" rose to high stations (with disastrous consequences in the form of the An Lushan rebellion, led by a Sogdian-Turkic general and quelled with large-scale foreign involvement).

Anonymous said...

"Chinese peasants are wonderful people in many ways. Hard working, generous, sacrificial -- you name it. It's very easy to develop an attachment to them. Nevertheless, the Chinese cultural tendency is to exploit them ruthlessly.

At least they aren't anti-respectful uppity pinheads that go on strike every two years, and demand exorbitant pay and frills such as music in the washrooms and carpeted toilet seats, while bragging about their alleged toughness." - Atleast what? he said they are model citizens in just about every way.

"i remain agnostic about man made global warming, but let's say, it is happening." - Good thing coal is a global cooling agent, well until we start freezing our butts off. And sucks to be anyone down wind, but society need energy period.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Assuming the enforcement wing of the meritocracy is not perfect and incorruptible, is it not possible that a 1000 years of an imperfect/corruptible meritocracy has bred a strain that is prone to gaming a meritocracry by whatever means necessary (hook, crook, cheat...) while paying lip service to the virtues of the meritocracy?

Anonymous said...

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/day_school_world_gauging_fallout_sat_scandal

Jason said...

Read Jason Liu (ABC, I assume)'s comment on Unz's article on the American Conservative website, which I think is pretty funny and interesting.

Anonymous said...

Europe, at least Western Europe, is very, very lucky they never had to fight the Mongols, nor suffer under their looting and raping.

The Chinese fought the Mongols for almost 80 years before finally succumbing. Their weakness? Being way too close to Mongolia. Europe was fortunate that Muhammad lacked Genghis's martial ability.

kgry said...

Unz: But both these strata [the “gentry” and the “mean people”] were minute in size, with each usually amounting to less than 1 percent of the general population, while “the common people”—everyone else, including the peasantry—enjoyed complete legal equality.

For now let's just assume this picture is broadly correct. Here, by contrast, was the situation in Korea, as summed up by Michael Breen in The Koreans (not the most incisive account but, for interested readers of this blog, accessibly written and previewable in Google Books), reformatted and interspersed with my comments. This is just an introductory sketch, not a comprehensive history of pre-modern Korean social organization or a detailed demography and class mobility analysis à la Gregory Clark.

Topmost classes

"The society they [ascendant Neo-Confucianists] built was a rigid, caste-like structure. There were five classes. In contrast to the earlier periods, when Korea was dominated by nobility, the country was now run by a scholarly upper class of civilian and military officials known as yangban. They represented the top 10 per cent of the population. They saw their prime purpose as the devotion to learning and self-cultivation, and the only employment they aspired to was government service. Geography was also important and there were almost no yangban in the northern and eastern parts of the country. They were actually banned from farming, commerce and other jobs.

"Technical people such as doctors and translators, and lower functionaries such as clerks, were from the chung-in or 'middle people' class. The yangban elite married within their class and lived either in separate parts of the capital or in separate villages. Despite the apartheid-like rigidity of classifications, in practice there was some fluidity between these top groups, as the 'middle people' class become permitted to sit the civil service exams [but were also at least at times impeded from reaching full bureaucratic standing regardless of whether they passed], some peasants became rich and the numbers of impoverished yangban without government office increased.

Commoners

"Over half the population were of the sang-in or commoner class. They were also known as yangmin (good people). These were the farmers, fishermen, merchants and craftsmen. There were degrees of goodness, with craftsmen the most highly regarded. Merchants and businessmen were widely considered as scum and struggled to scrape by. As a measure of their lowly status, they were forbidden by law to use the language of the yangban. Peasants were restricted by law from leaving their land and had to carry identity papers at all times. In addition, peasant households were organised into groups of five, which were responsible for keeping an eye on each other.

[1/3: cont'd...]

kgry said...

Inferior classes

"The next class was less euphemistically called the chonmin, meaning 'lowborn' or 'inferior people'. These were people in certain hereditary professions which the Choson state found dubious, such as grave-digging, tanning and butchery. It also included bark-peelers and basket-makers (perhaps because these were jobs often done by moonlighting butchers). This lowest of hereditary castes lived in separate villages, or existed as wanderers.

"The men were forbidden to wind their long hair up into a bun, or 'topknot', as the higher classes did. They had to walk in an odd jumping fashion and bow when they went past villages of commoners and yangban. If a person of higher status approached, they had to bow, step aside and grip themselves in a cringing, inferior posture until he'd gone by. Failure to bow could be punishable by hanging. Giving their children too high-sounding names, such as ui, which means 'righteousness', was also a presumption punishable by hanging. They could not smoke in front of other people; they had to use honorific speech towards even the children of commoners; they couldn't tile the roof of their house, which had to remain thatched; they couldn't wear silk clothes or straw shoes.

"Technically, they had the same status as slaves. And the caste included actual slaves, both government and private owned. It is estimated that as much as one-third of Koreans during the Choson dynasty were, in fact, slaves." [Britannica: 1/3 to 1/2 of the population for "most of the millennium between the Silla period and the mid-18th century".]

The most rigid formulations of slave disadvantage in 13th-14th century Koryo (Palais: Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions):

"In 1300, when King Ch'ungnyŏl attempted to block the Mongol demand that he abolish the current Korean slave laws [. . .] he pointed out that anyone with a taint of slavery in his blood for the previous eight generations was prohibited from holding office; slave status was inherited by children even if only one of the parents were a slave; the children of manumitted slaves would remain slaves and not inherit the "good" or free status of their parents; if the master's family died out, the slaves would not be manumitted but assigned to someone of the same lineage. [. . .] Even if a master chose to manumit a slave, good status would last only for the lifetime of the freed slave; his or her children and all future progeny would remain base or slave."

[2/3: cont'd...]

kgry said...

Caveats

Not in the sketch above: the hereditary hierarchies of Three Kingdoms Korea (the best known being the "bone rank" system of the extremely long-lived Silla dynasty, which may to some extent be cognate to the bone-color systems of Inner Asia); quantitative estimates of inter-caste mobility in any epoch; disruptions caused by the destruction of genealogical records; the huge number of aspirants passing themselves off as yangban by the late Choson; the marked drop in the slave population prior to the legal prohibition of slavery; regional differentiation.

For a more extended discussion of ideological context and the varying legislative and de facto standings of slaves and offspring from free/slave pairings over time, you can see the Reforms section Palais' Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions.

The very lowest segment of the population, the ritually polluted butcher-and-tanner baekjeong "untouchables", may in fact have been of originally foreign origin (Khitans and other northern war captives). Though it's been claimed that their foreign origin was eventually forgotten, 19th century European visitors did relate a persisting Korean belief in what was translated as the "Tartar" origin of the slaves. The hierarchies of the territorially expansive Balhae and Koguryeo undoubtedly had more overt ethnic aspects.

After Merezhkovsky

I deny the possibility of nobility without noblemen; the same must go for the reflexive desire for aliens to supply your nobles. What was great in Korea is what was contrary to the mass China of numberless mouths and scrabblings and the metaphysical China of "insuperable common sense, insuperable positiveness," the insistence in flesh as well as word that "everything is simple, everything is on a plane."

"The greatest empire on earth is verily the Celestial Empire, the heaven on earth, the Median Kingdom–the kingdom of the eternal mean, of eternal mediocrity."

[3/3: fin.]

johno said...

The advantage the Chinese had in this eugenic selection is their racial homogeneity. It would be much less noticable/ more socially acceptable for one family to essentially replace another in a village if they had basically the same demographic profile. Here, it would look like a whole lot like genocide. Think of the push back we seev in the States when a neighborhood gentrifies. I can't imagine the Chinese having those same reactions.

rightsaidfred said...

wheat farming did not select for intelligence quite the same was as rice.

The intelligence driver here would be in animal agriculture. Horse and cow agriculture in Europe took quite a bit of planning and cooperation. Chicken/duck/goose and pig agriculture in China maybe not so much.

Anonymous said...


imagine that. germany can pay down 1 trillion dollars in debt every 4 years. amazing what having a real economy can do for you.


We could do that if 95% of our people were Germans.

Anonymous said...

peasant households were organised into groups of five, which were responsible for keeping an eye on each other.


Like the Mormons!

Anonymous said...

"Read Jason Liu (ABC, I assume)'s comment on Unz's article on the American Conservative website, which I think is pretty funny and interesting."

It's the funniest crap I ever read:

"In general, East Asians have more foresight. Both for our individuals, and our nations."

That's why China had the foresight to see the Western and Japanese threat in the 19th century. That's why Mao came up with the economic foresight of the Great Leap Forward and the wonders it would do the Chinese economy.

"China operates on a 100 year plan."

That's the problem. No one can predict how things will be 100 yrs from now. Why plan for the next 100 rules when so much may change in the next 10?

"In generals, East Asians are more sensitive. Call it vigilance, paranoia, or insecurity. It’s the same thing. We record, and remember every instance of wrong done against us, so we may use it to leverage political victimhood."

Paradoxically, those who are most sensitive about wrongs done to them are least sensitive toward others. Chinese whine about how the world did them wrong but torture dogs and cats. Same with cruel Koreans.

"We constantly check the political status of our nations to ensure things like leftism, liberalism, and feminism, multiculturalism are not growing out of control."

Yeah, that's why Cultural Revolution happened. Chinese were so careful to watch out for leftist excesses.

"We obsess over demographic statistics even when the percentage of foreigners in our country is under 1%."

That's why Japanese, Koreans, and Taiwanese won't have any babies.

"In general, East Asians make better decisions. We have better common sense. We avoid overly risky situations (not always a good thing)."

Yeah, like Pearl Harbor.

"In general, East Asians are more proud. We easily take offense at insults to our identity."

Overt pride betrays touchiness borne of sense of inferiority.

"In general, East Asians are not nearly as emotional. This is by far the most important thing."

That's why North Koreans were so calm where Emperor Kim died.
That's why Korea makes some of the most demented movies on earth.
That's why Taiwanese politicians trade blows on the parliament floor.

This Jason guy makes the same mistake Asians made over and over. The complacency of arrogance.
"We Asians so superior in everything, we so true, we so mighty, so we all-knowing, we so clear-eyed."
Yeah, China thought so and got clobbered by the West and Japan.
Japan thought it was #1 in the 80s and got all cocky and made a whole lot of dumb economic decisions.

That's why China will fail. Too many like Jason Liu who think it's gonna be #1 because Asians got something special.
With revolution in 3D Printing and manufacturing and other innovations, China's main value as a cheap labor source will be lost. Also, China will fail to develop into a high-tech power because Chinese are too corrupt and deceitful.

diana said...

I wonder how and whether female infanticide has affected this. Has it cut down on mitochondrial DNA diversity? Does it matter?

Dahlia said...

I think Ron Unz has something about China he'd like to get off his chest...
LOL!

My quibble is with the term "Malthusian" and would like to see something else coined. Scientifically, I find it problematic.

It introduces a paradigm that sees population growth as out of the ordinary; the state of existence following a disaster that wipes out a large number of people is seen as the rule when it is the exception.

Human history has been one long tale of "avoiding the Malthusian Trap": a hunter-gatherer sees his roaming area cut in half; a drug dealer sees another taking a corner closer to his turf than he'd like; etc.

We adapt.
Further, it is my personal belief that if we try to "manage" this natural occurrence, we will be either at the mercy of either a society that does not (and thus is better adapted and hence BETTER) or the The Big One slamming into Earth before we've developed enough to colonize the galaxy.

Anonymous said...

"We adapt."

Or the system ADJUSTS, mostly by killing off millions.

Jerry said...

Unz's article is lamed by an insufficient knowledge of China. He has an ax to grind, simply.

The present success of China has more to do with Western indulgence concerning technology transfers and access to export markets. It is impossible to imagine China accumulating and leveraging capital if it had been compelled to run a net zero trade account with the West over the past 20 years. To be sure, the Western consensus is that a prosperous country will become over time a responsible and democratic participant in world affairs. This seems to have been confirmed by the cases of Japan, Taiwan, and the ROK.

However, at the same time, those countries have now become for China examples of how not to go. Just this morning I read in the South China Morning Post:

"Western-style reform not on agenda... New CPPCC chief Yu Zhengsheng tells delegates party will follow own path and shun 'extremist' ideas of change based on foreign models."

""We will not copy models in Western political systems under any circumstances, always adhere to the correct political orientation, and strengthen the CPPCC's ideological and political foundations of collective struggle," Yu told more than 2,000 CPPCC members in the Great Hall of the People."

China has no civil society, as many have commented. There is almost nothing in the space between the family and the state--one of the unromantic reasons for the strength of family feeling in China and elsewhere in Asia. And China will remain hobbled by an exploitative, unstable, and above all unintelligent political system for the forseeable future. A country that puts the face of its greatest murderer, indeed the greatest murderer the world has ever known, i.e., Mao, on all of its currency, can hardly be said to be intelligent.

Jerry Czarnecki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Overt pride betrays touchiness borne of sense of inferiority."

Interesting observation. I feel a lot of the comments have that touchiness. This is a place for overt white pride and you can see how its linked here to fear of inferiority to China.

Jerry said...

Part II:

The Chinese excel in a certain area of intelligence having to do with taking control of large pools of information. In other words, they tend to excel in, and therefore overvalue, mere erudition. As Longinus wrote in On the Sublime, one of the prerequisites for the creation of great works of art is to have a great soul. A recent novel such as Extinction by Thomas Bernhard or The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq is more intelligent than anything that Chinese culture has on its own been able to create, I propose, writing these words at the library of Hong Kong University.

Comments commenting on "fear of inferiority versus China" or "white pride" are ad hominem attacks, strictly speaking. They are not based on any evidence or observation whatsoever, and I wonder how and why they are getting approved if this is a moderated forum.

Anonymous said...

"The present success of China has more to do with Western indulgence concerning technology transfers and access to export markets. It is impossible to imagine China accumulating and leveraging capital if it had been compelled to run a net zero trade account with the West over the past 20 years... China has no civil society, as many have commented. There is almost nothing in the space between the family and the state--one of the unromantic reasons for the strength of family feeling in China and elsewhere in Asia. And China will remain hobbled by an exploitative, unstable, and above all unintelligent political system for the forseeable future."

It's difficult to foresee the future of China. People were wrong in the early 20th century, wrong in the mid-20th century, and are likely wrong now.
Yes, China has lots of problems, but China has demonstrated the ability to change. So, what China lacks now, it could have in the future. Not necessarily but possibly. China has more to gain by remaining 'humble' and willing to learn. China has much to lose if it reverts to Middle Kingdom arrogance.

In the past 30 yrs, China has been a very dynamic nation in all areas. Even in the political sphere. It has to develop a civil society. It's not easy but still possible.

Optimists and pessimists are both wrong. There are too many variables.
If Chinese play their cards right, China can become superpower. All it has to do is become a giant Taiwan. We know from Chinese in HK, Taiwan, and Singapore that they have the ability. But China is a huge country and it's much harder to organize a nation that big. Can the Chinese do it? Who knows? Too many variables.

Anonymous said...

"And China will remain hobbled by an exploitative, unstable, and above all unintelligent political system for the forseeable future."

I couldn't disagree more. And I'm not even Asian. The Chinese people are doing better with every year. How can that be denied? They're doing better materially and they have more and more cause for pride as China keeps rising in importance. Their leaders are obviously doing a lot of things right. Doing a lot of complex things right is usually a sign of intelligence. And since the new-found wealth is obviously trickling down in China, I also question your assertion that China's elites are especially exploitative. Exploitative compared to what countries' elites?

Have Chinese shown much capacity for original thought? No. But that's not all there is to intelligence. Since Deng China seems to have been run intelligently.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/03/12/in-china-social-changes-create-booming-business-for-matchmakers/

Jerry said...

"Their leaders are obviously doing a lot of things right. Doing a lot of complex things right is usually a sign of intelligence. And since the new-found wealth is obviously trickling down in China, I also question your assertion that China's elites are especially exploitative. Exploitative compared to what countries' elites?
"

Doing some things right. Not necessarily complex things. Better than South America, India, or Africa. Intelligent in many ways, but not necessarily intelligent in a way that makes them interesting for the West.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1185828/83-chinese-billionaires-members-npc-and-cppcc-says-hurun-rich-list

My self-interested preference would be for China to keep doing well. However, the defenders of China usually fall into two categories--Chinese patriots, and typically naive Americans who've seen some surface things.


Anonymous said...

England has been ruled by the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts, and the Hanoverians within five hundred years. Among the lower aristocracy the churn is even greater, along with local languages (Breton, Occitan, Welsh, Cornish, etc.).

No, the churn is not far greater among the lower aristocracy, it's far less. In England there are baronets (holders of the lowest aristocratic title) who can trace their roots to Anglo-saxon times. God knows what your point about minor local languages is. They don't "churn" either, but slowly get encroached upon by major languages, some more slowly than others.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

Socrates and the magic hemlock, the Inquisition, witch-burnings, witch-hangings, Galileo and Bruno trials, Scopes Monkey Trial, War on Drugs, residential schools, conscription, Freudian psychology, mental institutions, detachment parenting, the masochistic flagellations of Victorianism, nucleophobia, various prohibitions through the ages on such useful life-saving medical treatments as surgery, anesthesia, blood transfusions, gene therapy, etc.

You've made your point superlatively well: you are a fool.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZgUyjzPSh8

Anonymous said...

"Socrates and the magic hemlock, the Inquisition, witch-burnings, witch-hangings, Galileo and Bruno trials, Scopes Monkey Trial, War on Drugs, residential schools, conscription, Freudian psychology, mental institutions, detachment parenting, the masochistic flagellations of Victorianism, nucleophobia, various prohibitions through the ages on such useful life-saving medical treatments as surgery, anesthesia, blood transfusions, gene therapy, etc."

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Anonymous said...

Has to be the craziest Eastwood movie. Funny as hell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erIn_2cVWp4

Anonymous said...

Face it fellas, you’re about done.

But it won’t be a new arch-nemesis you’ll be overrun with, only your own weakness.

Look how quickly things have moved in the last 50 years. Fast-forward 50 years and it won’t be China threatening foreign borders. That would be too easy. Too easy to blame on someone else. The world over, the better abase themselves before worse.

We live in interesting times, and the kind that read this material will be all but extinct before your great-grandkids can ask: “Why did that old guy have such a pale complexion? Was he sick?"

Yes dear. Yes, he was very, very sick.