April 9, 2014

Sailer on Gregory Clark's "Son Also Rises"

From my column in Taki's Magazine, a review of Gregory Clark's new book on surnames and social mobility:
Economic historian Gregory Clark, a Glaswegian now at UC Davis, has been extending a main channel of British science into the 21st Century. His new book, The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility is another milestone in the revitalization of the human sciences after their long, self-inflicted dry spell in the later decades of the 20th Century. 
One of the central concerns of British thinkers from the 18th Century into the mid-20th Century was the scientific study of breeding. The British agricultural revolution that began about three centuries ago led to the scientific breeding of livestock, including thoroughbreds. (Indeed, various meanings of the word “race” in English—a contest of speed, a lineage, and a breed—are related to the British passion for breeding racehorses.)

Read the whole thing there.


Anonymous said...


Lots of common sense in the comments section of 538.


Mono Chalabi tries to quietly pass over obama's 77 cents to the dollar oversight, but the commenters wont have any of that.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. I'm surprised you make no mention of the Social Register, and the individual and family names that were occasionally removed, due to scandal or choosing the "wrong" career. This at times did reflect the downward mobility of certain families.

Obviously, the Social Register isn't considered as important as it used to be. Besides the old money WASPs of the SR getting pushed aside by New Money(very often Jewish), this is largely because the current zeitgeist(interesting enough, and as you pointed out, largely promulgated by Jewish intellectuals) is extremely hostile to the idea that breeding and genes plays any role in success, at least outwardly. At best, we are told that people from a distinguished lineage just inherit some unfair economic advantages, and nothing more.

Which method is better at maintaining power and privilege in the long-term remains to be seen.

The old WASP way: "Sure we are powerful, but we were breed for success, and intelligence, and/or worked hard(or ancestor worked hard) for our money!"

The Jewish elite way: "You must pretend not to notice we are much smarter, and so much more successful than others!"

Anonymous said...

people of squalor

Shawn the Spinosaurus of the Blogosphere said...

Very good article.

It's notable that Charles Darwin himself was born with a silver spoon. If he was born poor he would not have had the luxury of his adventurism and free time for writing.

Anonymous said...

'American exceptionalism' is a masked projection of Jewish Exceptionalism.


'almost totally primitive savages'

Said by whom? Tom Metzger? Botha?

No, by a 'universalist-exceptionalist'.

Anonymous said...


dearieme said...

Our recent Prime Minister, John Major, is the son of Tom Major-Ball. His older brother Terry was Terry Major-Ball. But (WKPD) the ex-PM "was christened John Roy Major": I blame his mum.

Anonymous said...



Funny how both Israel and NY emerged from the crises of violence of the 80s/90s.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Sailer fellow you speak of?

Power Child said...

Why Oh Why does Takimag break their articles into two pages by default? Or at all?

Come to think of it, none of the "Dark Enlightenment" sites are very user-friendly, and hardly any are responsive.

It's a real shame.

Whiskey said...

Steve, I think you are making a big assumption error here. Jews are hardly the most anti-Darwin elites; pretty much all the current WASP elite is anti-Darwin and anti-Darwinism was a major thread in 19th intellectual thought, with none other than Mark Twain as one of the major proponents of it. Surely you've read Puddin'head Wilson, which is a fairly comprehensive rejection of Darwinism and inheritance.

The problem is smart people. Specifically those smart people not involved in breeding animals. They tend to fall in love with utopian, blue-sky schemes (see Bruce Charlton's "Clever Sillies") because they can see major parts of their own culture simply don't work or are lies: the Talmud, Torah, and Old Testament for Jews, the Old and New Testaments for post-Catholics like Anatole France ("Penguin Island"). Guys like France, like Stendhal, like Mencken, from a Catholic background, could see that a lot of tradition was phony. So they did things like Twain in the Holy Land (recounted in Innocents Abroad) snuffing out a "miraculous" lamp that had burned for centuries.

Rejection of hereditarianism allied to titles of nobility, inheritance, feudalism, etc. was part and parcel of that.

Its not Jews, its Smart non-rural people. Its as much Twain (Puddin'head Wilson, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Innocents Abroad) or France or Stendhal (the Red and the Black) or Mencken (basically anything he wrote) rejecting pretty much anything traditional including sound notions of inheritance and genetics which were well understood by rural people breeding horses or cattle or dogs.

manolo said...

Edmund was the younger brother (the older was Peter, William Moseley); he rebelled partially against his older brother. (No-one mentioned this over at Taki's, and Disqus doesn't play well with my 3rd-party-rejecting setup.)

Anonymous said...

Have to confess, I was unaware that French Canadians did so poorly. Of course, I was probably just subconsciously lumping them with the overall population of French Americans.

Anonymous said...

For Who-Whom the Bell Tolls

The Old Man and the PC (James Watson story)

To Have and Have Not Noticed

Anonymous said...

OT: Chechens being Checheny

Whiskey said...

Follow up, Bruce Thornton at Hoover has a post on the elite's disdain for the common man and tradition, but it goes further back than Wilson. Platonic Noble Lies about the nature of society with a Republic ruled by wise technocratic philosopher kings is as old as the Greeks.

IF a smart person lives in a rural environment, where he can see for himself the truth of breeding geese, ducks, chickens, cows, horses, dogs (and people) certain truths are unavoidable no matter how much a person might be emotionally inclined (as a member of an up and coming middling class rather than gentry) to reject them.

Twain you will recall quickly exited rural Hannibal for life as what would be analogous today as a jumbo jet pilot; a Mississippi River pilot. Mencken and France and Stendhal were all urbanites.

The idea of start from zero, rebuild society, etc. comes from urban or not-rural people who have never embraced certain hard truths about evolution, inheritance, and breeding.

This is not a Jewish thing, rather a rural gentry high IQ / urban or not rural High IQ divide.

Seeing only things that are not true (various religious traditions/stories/myths) among non-rural people leads the smartest among them to reject the whole tradition as a lie, including inheritance. Hence the utopian dreams that persist like a nasty cough among our urban elite. Darwin and his like were not perhaps more genius than Einstein, but unlike Einstein (a noted transnational utopian who rejected Darwinism) could see for themselves inheritance at work in their daily lives.

Ironically it is probably guys like Caesar Milan the Dog Whisperer who have the most examples in front of them. Certain dog breeds respond to stimuli differently, but all have a base level of dog-ness that respond to a set of basic stimuli and social hierarchy as social animals.

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, I may commented about this before, but it's appropriate to bring it up now. A couple of Irish researchers did a similar surname study regarding Irish political party affiliations:


The short version is that, even when controlling for other factors, those with native Gaelic surnames were markedly more likely to support Fianna Fáil (historically the "Anti-Treaty" party, opposed to any compromise with the British), while those with Norman or "Old English" surnames (descendants of Medieval English Catholic colonists) were more likely to support Fine Gael, historically a "Pro-Treaty" party favoring the 1921 compromise over Northern Ireland.

Normans and Gaels have had some degree of intermarriage since at least the 13th century, and have effectively recognized no distinction between themselves since the end of the 17th century, sharing as part of a common identity their Catholic religion, their mostly non-elite social class (both having been largely dispossessed of their land by the new Protestant Anglo-Irish class), and increasingly even the English language. Granted, certain Irish nationalists with English surnames have Gaelicized the spelling over the years, but these are usually easy to spot. Moreover, the genetic difference between the Irish and the English is quite minimal.

It's a pretty devastating rebuttal of the idea that Spanish-speaking Mestizos can somehow be encouraged to vote Republican within one or two generations. The Normans in Ireland have been enthusiastically assimilating for over 800 years, and they still vote differently to this day.

Anonymous said...

"Obviously, the Social Register isn't considered as important as it used to be."

It is still very important. It just isn't important to those whose names are not listed or who have never heard of the SR.

That would be most of the United States, BTW.

Speaking of the SR, they have a nifty little online website with news and wedding announcements:


One wedding was featured in the Washington Social Diary:


The bride is a descendant of James Madison and the groom is a descendant of Richard "King" Carter.

The Carter family still owns Shirley Plantation in Charles City County, VA:


Anonymous said...

I am new to iSteve, but it seems to me that simply starting with Galton and moving into agricultural research is a better starting point than horse breeding. I suppose it depends on whether one finds earlier examples more convincing than more recent but rigorous work.

I see the advantages of horse breeding as an example. There is nothing that clarifies the mind like betting ones own money on ones opinion.

I don't really know what is going on now, but anyone that would actually attend a Public, Land Grant College and major in (god forbid) agriculture could never be considered any sort of intellectual. Or maybe they are just getting rich working for Monsanto working on GM crops. Or farming a few sections of land using the huge John Deere equipment. Using GPS, they are getting close to running it on auto pilot. More fun than working in an office.

Anonymous said...

A question about Weyl. On his Wikipedia page, it said that he generally opposed miscengentation but did think it was OK under certain circumstances. But the entry doesn't elaborate on that, and Googling his name doesn't reveal what those circumstances were. Any idea what those circumstances would be?

Anonymous said...

Power Child: "Come to think of it, none of the "Dark Enlightenment" sites are very user-friendly, and hardly any are responsive."

Ah, but much less advertising ;)

Gilbert P

David said...

What's in a name? Mencken in his private memoirs tells of a traveling US reporter who had trouble with a British hotel's refusing to confirm his reservation. Though very annoyed, the reporter made the trip anyway. When he arrived at the hotel, the man at the desk looked very relieved to see him, saying, "Yes, Mr. Washington, of course your room is ready." This was the 1920s, and "Washington" was considered a black name. The hotel was holding the resevation in abeyance until Mr. Washington's race could be determined at sight.

Dahinda said...

Whiskey wrote:"
Its not Jews, its Smart non-rural people. Its as much Twain (Puddin'head Wilson, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Innocents Abroad) or France or Stendhal (the Red and the Black) or Mencken (basically anything he wrote) rejecting pretty much anything traditional including sound notions of inheritance and genetics which were well understood by rural people breeding horses or cattle or dogs."
H.L. Mencken was a big proponent of how breeding efftected human populations, nations etc.. Much of what he is denounced for today (basically anything he wrote)is his belief that people are not equal and how aristocrats and people of good breeding naturally rise to the top!