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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ancestral communism


I have the feeling that most of us, modern urbanites don't really have a good grasp on how hunter-gatherer societies are or used to be. I was just correcting someone who claimed that slavery existed among ancestral foragers, for example... but worst was the example given: the Vikings!


A lot of people don't seem to understand well the difference between agrarian and hunter-gatherer societies; in many other cases I have needed to object that Amazonian or Papuan natives are not true foragers but actually jungle farmers, and therefore have social structures that are more complex and quite different. But there are very few modern examples of real hunter-gatherers, mostly on the verge of extinction, but there are some, namely: Bushmen, Pygmies, Australian Aboriginals, Negritos, Andamanese and some Arctic peoples like the Inuit and the Nganasan (am I missing any?). These are diverse enough to constitute a good example of how real Paleolithic societies, our ancestors, might have been.

Victor Grauer has been exploring them in his latest posts at Music 000001 but yesterday's post is particularly insightful and synthetical. He makes clear that foragers like Bushmen and Pygmies have a set of values that are highly egalitarian and cooperative, while allowing for a great deal of individuality too. He makes a difference between these social values, transmitted generation after generation, that secure social cohesion and persistence, and the reality not always as idyllic as some would expect.

There are occasional problems in such "utopic" societies, like murder or wife beating or mere petty cheating. However the worst practices of "more advanced" societies are to be found nowhere:

What we do not see are evidences of: cannibalism, head-hunting, endemic warfare, female mutilation, prostitution, slavery, blood-feuds, raiding, etc.


30 comments:

Anonymous said...

You make an important point: black Africans are not hunter gatherers.

In our genes

"Among most hunting and gathering people both sexes work to provision offspring; in particular males allocate much of their reproductive effort to parental effort. These “dad” societies contrast with “cad” societies in which males allocate reproductive effort to mating effort, that is to competition with other males for access to females.[...]

Among low density gardeners, on the other hand, the typical pattern is that most of the gardening work is done by women, freeing men from subsistence responsibilities. Boserup (16) calls these “female farming systems,” a euphemism for societies where men live off women. Freed from domestic responsibility, men can occupy their time decorating themselves and planning the next raid."

The Inuit seem to be the most peaceful hunter gatherers.

Maju said...

I was not specific of Black Africans because it's clear for all that these (excepting some groups like the Hadzabe, which are click-speakers in fact) are farmers and pastoralists.

I don't believe in the fancies of defining behaviour on this or that gene. They may be contributing factors but researchers are hard pressed to come up with spectacular results and more so are journalists, so every other minor discovery is made up the new landing on the moon for a few days.

There are many matrilineal and matrifocal societies among Black Africans anyhow, whatever you choose to believe. There are also very much hardworking men. Africa is very big and diverse.

Kepler said...

click-speaking, unlike French speaking, is not a usual profession.
You are comparing apples with mangos, Maju...you know, classical confusion of causes with effects.
There is no cannibalism right now in Europe, that I know of...

Do you know a little bit about the life of the Yanomamö?

Maju said...

I know that the Yanomamo are farmers, as are all or most of the Amazonian tribes.

However if you go to the post that inspired me to write this one and browse through the comments, you may notice that Victor partly corrected me, saying that raiding and blood feuds are known to exist among some huntergatherers, mostly in America.

We also suspect that Cheddar Man, who was a forager, was a cannibal as well.

Kepler said...

I thought he ate cheese :-).

Seriously:
hunter gatherers need much more land. That also implies they were spread very thinly. Peaceful contact with the others - as long as the density was kept low - were much more important than for other people.
By the way: the After the Ice book contained a lot of details about how those processes of interaction pre-farming took may have taken place in Europe.
Still: it was out necessity in a continent with very few humans.

Maju said...

Of course: economy and society are not disentangled.

The Zoé are hunter-gatherers, right? They are much more peaceful (and "feminist") than most other Amazonian tribes.

Kepler said...

Hombre, spill your beans:
are you an anarcho-primitivist Basque?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_gatherer
:-)
I must own up I never heard about the Zoe. Thanks, now I learnt something.
I will check out again the studies about the Yanomamö, but as far as I remember back when Alexander von Humboldt visited Venezuela they were really hunter gatherers.
In any case: it is obvious that when you are on the run you have to be a generalist and everybody is doing everything, specially if you do not have the technology that will automate some actions.
Women cannot be having many children either: they can only take two small children at a time.

So, if you really want to say "communism" is good because Paleolithic people were kind of doing, be! But then few people would like to go back to those times.
Hunter-gatherers were better off than the first farmers for many years (taller, healthier), but at the end they were displaced.

Maju said...

... are you an anarcho-primitivist Basque? -

In a sense I am, yes. I am at least somewhat nostalgic of that period.

... but as far as I remember back when Alexander von Humboldt visited Venezuela they were really hunter gatherers.

Amazonian peoples are mostly what are called silviculturists (or something like that): they know and practice some farming, specially yucca, which is the staple food, but they also rely heavily on hunting. Guess you could consider them transitional in some ways but they are not pure hunter-gatherers and have not been for a long time.

They can't be considered a clear example of hunter-gatherer society.

The Zoe or Zo'é are a very nice people (there's a Spanish language documentary on them) but I just checked and they are not true HG either, as they rely on yuca (manioc) as well.

So, if you really want to say "communism" is good because Paleolithic people were kind of doing, be! But then few people would like to go back to those times.

For good or bad it is just plainly impossible to go back those times. But it is also true that we have evolved in that lifestyle and that our psychology and even physiology (think of obesity for instance) is "designed" for that.

If we want to be able to live happily and not just the Christian or Capitalist hell-on-earth, we need to at least to some extent recover that kind of lifestyle. That's why some sort of communism is so necessary, as well as some sort of real ecology and some sort of participative democracy.

Kepler said...

You are idealizing the era, you know it. Birth mortality was extreme, you would be considered already one of the oldest in your tribe. Mind: under such criteria I doubt you will find a single hunter gatherer these days, not even the Inuit or their counter part in Siberia, perhaps some of the San in Namibia, if anything.

FYI:

Yuka is still present in Venezuelans' diet, the same as maize. We also eat potatoes, but not as much as in Europe, for which we eat more rice.

I wrote most of this:
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carabobo#Historia
My region was thus a meeting point of the maize and the yukka culture.

There is a painting there of one of your cousins, Mr de Aguirre :-)
Yuka is practical because you can keep it for a long time, as long as you keep it dry.

Maju said...

No. Birth mortality was not as high. What do you think: that the human constitution is designed for hospitals?

Please! We are a fully able animal!

You may be right to some extreme about life expectations... but I see absolutely no point in living past the 40s, so no big deal. I think our age is sacrificing life quality for mere quantity: in years and objects accumulated. But with no purpose in it nor greater happiness.

But that doesn't mean that the oldest person would be 40 or 50. Even if life expectancy is low, some people do reach old age. If you watch the documentary I say about the Zoé, you'll see they can perfectly reach to their 80s and 90s - and without any need of western medicine.

The only thing I would miss in such a lifestyle would be the kind of ample knowledge we (some of us) have access to nowadays. But guess I could dedicate my neurones to botanics instead. It's not like we are going to know everything while trapped in this compact 3D reality.

In any case, the challenge is to regain all we can of such natural lifestyle in order to be more fully human. We can't scrap history but we need to reconcile with ourselves somehow.

The time has come. Expansion has reached the limits of planet Earth and outside there is nowhere we can live without highly inefficient artificial support. We have to touch ground and stop believeing in false ideas like "growth" and private wealth.

Kepler said...

I agree a radical rethinking has to take place regarding environment, but I don't think it has to do with capitalism or communism.
Of course, you will say "communism" ha been never tried. They have tried, in my opinion, and although they did not get there, they screwed it time after time in the process, and in doing so, they also screwed up the environment.
I think we need better education, more open debates of very divering ideas and transparency.

Maju said...

Call things the name you wish. The case is that ecology and capitalism are in clear collision.

Capitalist accountability, the so-called "economic science" is not a science but a political doctrine and is not economic: it does not deal with managing (-nomos) the environment (eco-), except in a highly predatory sense.

Whatever is not directly appropriated by individuals or corporations, like air or whatever other naturally occurring stuff, has value zero and hence can be destroyed in the context of this predatory "economy". This is so obviously unreal and harmful for all that it essentially makes "economic science" a global fraud much worse than religion.

And regarding the Stalinist system, it must be clear for all that it's based on the same principles of accumulation of capital, even if that happened in the context of a socialist economy. It was so extremely tied to the overall capitalist context that it worked well while the paradigm was Fordist but, unable to reform itself, it could not survive in a Toyotist context.

That system has fallen but now its time for its nemesis to do the same.

Ken said...

Henry Harpending is worth listening to about hunter gatherers
" When I (HCH) was a graduate student in the 1960’s I spent a year and a half in the northern Kalahari desert doing fieldwork with !Kung Bushmen, foragers who lived by foraging wild foodstuffs and hunting game animals. a graduate student in the 1960’s I spent a year and a half in the northern Kalahari desert doing fieldwork with !Kung Bushmen, foragers who lived by foraging wild foodstuffs and hunting game animals.

His comment
"I would also suggest that at the very low end of subsistence, Bushmen or Shoshone, everyone was too busy trying to get enough to eat to find any payoff to violence. Violent !Kung are essentially executed by the groups, i.e. lynchings.

Would be interesting to know what the Crow and Sioux and Comanche were like before the horse showed up"

Peter Frost replied:-

"There seems to be more selection for violence in early agricultural societies (with little or no State formation) than among hunter-gatherers. For instance, the agricultural Iroquoians were more violent than the hunter-gatherer Algonkians. In short, the creation of a storable food surplus tends to increase the potential for social equality and the accompanying struggles for power"

Genetic pacification? .

"For most humans, little has changed since time immemorial. ‘They’ trust only close kin and long-time friends. ‘They’ kill over questions of honor and loss of face. And ‘they’ admire men whom we consider to be thugs.

But there has been change in some regions, like the European world, East Asia, and parts of South Asia. For the historical economist Gregory Clark, the ultimate reason is the rise of the State and its monopoly on the use of violence. This monopoly created a new set of selection pressures. What had once been rewarded in the struggle for existence was now penalized. And vice versa.[...]
Clark ascribes this behavioral change to the reproductive success of upper- and middle-class individuals whose heritable characteristics differed statistically from those of the general population, particularly with respect to male violence. Although initially a small minority in medieval England, these individuals grew in number and their descendants gradually replaced the lower classes through downward mobility. By 1800, such lineages accounted for most of the English population[...]

Ken said...

I think a case could be made for seeing an intolerant religion (or interpretation of it ) thriving in certain regions of the modern world as a consequence of the short history that states with a monopoly on violence have in those countries.

"[G]enetic change speeded up.... because we were entering new cultural environments.

One of them arose with the emergence of the State and its monopoly on the use of violence. This marked a sea change in human relations. Previously, men often used violence for their own advancement, and not simply in self-defense. The goal was to become a ‘big man’—someone who could dominate the local community through bluster, bullying, and charisma. Such men were more successful not only socially but also reproductively. They tended to attract more mates and sire more children.

The tables were turned with the rise of State societies. Over large territories, power increasingly fell into the hands of a few big men, often only one, and violence became a privileged instrument of their power. This left all other men with three options:

1. Forsake violence, or at least keep it under the radar screen of State detection.
2. Subordinate it to State goals, i.e., join the army.
3. Embrace it and become outlaws. [...]

Thus, within the borders of Statist societies, survival and reproduction came to depend on one’s willingness to comply with the State, including its monopoly on the use of violence. Successful individuals were now those who had a higher threshold for expression of violent behavior, especially when acting on their own initiative. They also tended to be individuals whose relative inhibition of violence could be released only by the voice of authority.[...]"

The Milgram experiment: A cross-cultural perspective.

"To date, only Shanab and Yahya (1978) have replicated the Milgram experiment with non-European subjects, these being 48 students at the University of Jordan in Amman. The Jordanian subjects resembled Milgram’s in being just as willing to inflict pain under orders (proportion = 62.5%). But they differed in being more willing to inflict pain on their own initiative. When allowed to choose the shock levels, 12.5% of the Jordanians delivered shocks right up to the top end of the scale.

One in eight Jordanians is a sadist? And these were university students, presumably the cream of Jordanian society. How would the experiment have turned out if done with Bedouins, for instance, or some other group where the State has only recently monopolized the use of violence?"

So it seems that the hunter gatherers were much less violent than agriculturists, but more violent than modern westerners are in personal interactions at least

Maju said...

I can't agree with the end of your first post, Ken. I mean Clark's weird ideas about demic expansion of "upper and middle class" (ridiculous!) and their "downward mobility" (even more ridiculous: downgraded upper/middle class are pure losers: they can't normally compete in the lower ranks with "natural born" workers. who know how to behave as such).

The expansion of the upper and essentially middle class happened, as Marx already described in his age for some areas of Europe like southern England by upward mobility of low class "lackeys", who began earning more and more thanks to the colonies. The same happened in other periods, as a good deal of Frankish nobility was made up of promoted slaves, for instance (or a good deal of Roman low nobility were mere upgraded plebeians or provincials).

3. Embrace it and become outlaws. [...]

Chinese wisdom says that the state is the tool of the powerful, the tool of the people (in such contexts) is the secret society: the mafia.

In fact anyone with basic sociological knowledge knows that all subordinate groups rise in the social ladder (rather collectively) by means of mafias.

Re. Jordanians. I must remind you that civilization is much older in West Asia than in Europe and that the peculiarity of Europe is its barbarism, which is at the origin probably of its republican tendencies. The first known city (as defined by being walled, a concept that persisted till recently) was Jerico, near Jordan. The oldest civilization was Sumer in southern Iraq.

It's been argued also that the success of Britain in the Modern age was caused by its underdevelopment in terms of the pre-existent feudal society. Only this underdevelopment allowed for a majority of free people to create a bourgeoisie class. The case is the same in other contexts, like Basques and (north) Catalans in relation to Spaniards, Dutch in relation to other Germans and their Spaniard overlords, Baltic peoples in relation to Russians, Czechs in the Austro-Hungarian context and even Jews in a more international context...

You own a lot of confusing information. I again wonder if you have an agenda or are just completely misled by reading the wrong authors.

Ken said...

It was the merchants that benefited from the empire not the workers according to Adam Smith.

I've read that the enclosure of the commons land only really happened in England. I can believe peasants in France and Germany ect were more able to rise in status. But I don't think they all succeeded in doing so, only a small minority would be capable of that.


Natural selection in proto-industrial Europe .
"England, in particular, saw a rise in fertility that contributed two and a half times as much to the increase in growth rates as did the fall in mortality, largely through a younger age of first marriage. This was how England overtook France in total population.

The baby boom was particularly strong among one class of people: semi-rural artisans who produced for the larger, more elastic markets that developed with the expanding network of roads, canals and, later, railways. Their family workshops were the main means for mass-producing textiles, light metalwork, pottery, leather goods and wood furnishings before the advent of factory capitalism. Unlike the craft guilds of earlier periods, they operated in a dynamic economic environment that had few controls over prices, markets or entry into the workforce. "They were not specialized craftsmen in life-trades with skills developed through long years of apprenticeship; they were semi-skilled family labour teams which set up in a line of business very quickly, adapting to shifts in market demand" (Seccombe, 1992, p. 182). Their workforce was their household. In more successful households, the workers would marry earlier and have as many children as possible. In less successful ones, they would postpone marriage or never marry."

The lower classes in England did die out judging by the disappearance of their surnames as Clark documented

Guess which surnames died out in pre-industrial England?
"E]vidence from...surnames...again shows the takeover of English society by the economically successful between 1600 and 1851, and the disappearance of the criminal and the poor. A man's economic success in pre-industrial England predicted a permanent increase of his surname frequency, and hence his gene frequency, by 1851"
However Gregory Clark is an idiot .
"I myself was so confident of the consensus of the end of the business cycle that I persuaded my wife after the collapse of Lehman Brothers to invest all her retirement savings in the stock market, confident that the Fed would soon make things right and we could profit from the panic of a gullible public. The line 'Where is my money, idiot?" is her's'."

Maju said...

The lower classes in England did die out judging by the disappearance of their surnames as Clark documented.

According to World Names Profiler, Clark makes up almost 0.25% of all surnames in the UK and the other Anglosaxon countries of the world. It seems a rather common surname (for comparison Smith makes up 1.2% to 0.9% in these countries, only 5 times more frequent).

You read the wrong authors: it's obvious. It's also obvious that you want to believe such fantasies.

Ken said...

I don't follow you Maju, Clark is a name that was never lower class as it is rather obviously derived from a occupation that required literacy. ie Clerk People with that name would be expected to be more intellectually capable than average, eg James Clerk Maxwell who father changed his surname from Clerk by adopting 'Maxwell'.

The most highly rated name is 'Palmer' which is said to be a corruption of a trainee knights title, but that is a byway.

Names that disappeared would have to be a bit rare (like 'Elvis') in addition to being lower class I grant you, unless they had a cachet like 'MacGregor'. (Clan MacGregor was banned for its lawless behaviour and most of of those with the name today are probably not entitled to it).

Maju said...

The lower classes in England did die out judging by the disappearance of their surnames as Clark documented.

There's no comma and my English is surely not as good as yours to notice on first read that maybe a "such as" or "like" would be better than just "as".

So Clark is Clerk. I would have never thought it had any relation whatsoever, as they are spelled differently.

I am reading Clark's paper and the figures don't seem statistically significant. First, it's testaments, not a birth registry and poor people like myself don't make testaments because they have nothing of value. Second, in the Anglosaxon world it's way too easy to change one's name and everywhere spellings often change.

For example, take Creame (obviously and old spelling of Cream) it's found mostly in Canada at low frequencies and not anymore in Britain. However the modernly spelled version, Cream, is more common in the UK and, while the frequency is low compared with more common surnames, it is still quite higher than in America. The Creames/Creams did not go extinct nor, mostly, migrated to the colonies.

I'm finding all those surnames at the WNP: Cutmore has a frequency in the UK or 29 per million (more in Australia), Fossett is found in UK and USA at 6 per million, Elvis is found in Britain at 2 per million, etc.

We cannot reject with any confidence, however, the hypothesis that the median was the same across all wealth levels of those leaving wills.

Compare (using WNP) also the example of 1881 Benefield surname spread (Kent and south London) and today: loosely spread by large parts of Britain (2 pM on average), including Scotland, but much more common in New Zealand (38 pM) and the USA (23 pM).

Anglosaxon colonies did benefit of those who the motherland did not want. Some of those, like Steve Fossett, would eventually become successful businessmen.

Doesn't seem like Clark's research is well done.

There's also a reason why I removed Gene Expression from my reading list and the blog roll: pseudoscientific elitism.

Maju said...

Clan MacGregor was banned for its lawless behaviour and most of of those with the name today are probably not entitled to it.

I don't believe it.

Whatever the case, there is a McGregor among this blog's public followers and he should answer to this better than me... if he finds this discussion.

Ken said...

"The expansion of the upper and essentially middle class happened, as Marx already described in his age for some areas of Europe like southern England by upward mobility of low class "lackeys","

Marx was descended from long lines of rabbis on both sides of his family.



I think your english is very good.

Maju said...

Marx was descended from long lines of rabbis on both sides of his family.

So?

Whatever you may think I'm not antisemitic. I do disdain Judaic (Christian, Muslim, etc.) religion but so did Marx.

It's funny how nowadays the Jewish ancestry of so many people is unburied. When I was young nobody mentioned such things: Marx was German, Trostky Russian, and Claude Levi-Strauss was French.

Enfin...

I think your english is very good.

Not bad but it's clear I'm not a native speaker. Making yourself understand (and understanding others) in written form is much easier than in spoken form anyhow.

Ken said...

Ref.

"As Durkheim, who began life as David Emile, was the son of a rabbi before being the father of sociology, so Lévi-Strauss was a Versailles rabbi’s grandson before fathering structuralism. Marx, long before them, had been descended from long lines of rabbis on both sides of his family, and Freud, also descended from rabbis, had been taken hand in hand to the synagogue by his father.[...]

[T]he rigorous Talmudic sages, the philosophical Maimonides, the imaginative minds of Kabbalah and all their countless students and admirers. With two-tenths of a percent of the world’s people, Jews have won well over 20% of the Nobel Prizes, a hundred-fold excess, and that doesn’t count the human scientists mentioned here. Jewish thinkers turned their lenses on the modernity that had freed them; thinking outside the box of the dominant religion, they shaped 20th-century thought."

You don't see any connection between the special occupation of these thinkers' ancestors and their intellectual capacity.

Lévi-Strauss said…
"The selection pressure of culture—the fact that it favors certain types of individuals rather than others through its forms of organization, its ideas of morality, and its aesthetic values—can do infinitely more to alter a gene pool than the gene pool can do to shape a culture, all the more so because a culture’s rate of change can certainly be much faster than the phenomena of genetic drift."
Lévi-Strauss and gene-culture co-evolution.

Maju said...

You don't see any connection between the special occupation of these thinkers' ancestors and their intellectual capacity.

No. Religious speculation has nothing to do with science.

I may see a people, whose members were challenged by their own education to excel in whatever they tried.

I don't believe in the value of Nobel prize numbers in a world and academy dominated by the Zionist lobbies. There have been many brilliant Jews through history but before the 20th century they were not disproportionate. Only now they are grabbing the top social positions, some on their own merits of course but many others just because they belong to an organized ethnic elite that props its members and allies (like Obama, Clinton, Bush...)

Ken said...

Religious speculation has nothing to do with science.

The special form of expression used in talmudic scholarship is said to be a "complex argot" which it takes many years to master let alone conduct disputes in. Moreover reproductive success was linked to such attainment because of the prestige attached to it.

Why is it so difficult for you to accept that these things could have the effect of raising intelligence.

Zionist lobbies

Ada Yonath Israeli,2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The Zionists made a good choice in her - Israel's Nobel prize winner urges release of all Palestinian prisoners.

By the way 'her father was a rabbi, as were his father and grandfather'

Ken said...

Human Cultural Diversity.
"There are large differences among foraging groups so that generalities are few and risky.
For example almost all foragers are mobile over the landscape on a time scale of weeks to months: as resources become scarce where a group is living it simply packs up and moves elsewhere, perhaps many miles away. There are interesting consequences that follow from this mobility. There is no notion of “home ” or of “neighbors ” since people and local landscapes change from month to month. Children do not form peer gangs nor close attachments since the groups are so small that there are hardly ever peers available and, if there were, they wouldn’t be around several months later. Minor feuds are easily settled: one party simply moves elsewhere since no one is tethered to a place. There is no substantial property since it would have to be carried, so there is nothing like social class. These groups are known for their egalitarianism, a system in which social leveling is always at work.

Leveling People
One of the most famous popular essays in anthropology is Richard Lee’s Eating Christmas in the Kalahari (1969) in which he describes how his own hubris in providing an ox for a holiday feast was punished by Bushmen who assured him that his ox was so lean as to be worthless and perhaps inedible. Daily life is pervaded with put-downs, complaints, and petty arguments, all of which work as if designed to suppress any trace of leadership or political ambition."

Maju said...

So what's for you the difference between being expert in Talmud or being expert in civil law or being expert in, say, Astrology (which is also highly complex)?

All intellectual exercises train the mind, even trivial ones as "divine" law.

The existence of a highly powerful Zionist Lobby that largely rules the Western Empire is hardly questionable. It's not just the academy where there is a more than odd excess of Jews but also in business, politics, etc. Jews are just 2% of US citizens but they are around 50% (or more) in all power positions, from Hollywood to the banks we are bailing out with our taxes. The rest are Zionist goyim.

It is a real problem of ethnic and ideological discrimination we will have to tackle one way or another. I strongly recommend you to read Joachim Martillo's blog if you want to learn about this highly worrying matter of Jewish supremacism because, as ethnic Jewish he knows well what's going on. Reality always beats fiction.

Maju said...

...he describes how his own hubris in providing an ox for a holiday feast was punished by Bushmen who assured him that his ox was so lean as to be worthless and perhaps inedible.

LOL. This is typical Bushman. They always do that and it's meant to keep individual success at bay because what matters is the group.

They ate the ox with delight, no doubt. But they must complain because that's their cultural way of keeping individualism under control.

Ken said...

So what's for you the difference between being expert in Talmud or being expert in civil law or being expert in, say, Astrology (which is also highly complex)?

I don't know enough about the prospects of marrying heiresses or average number of surviving children an expert in civil law or Astrology had in the past. However I am pretty sure they were not reproductively isolated to the extent Jews were (ie endogamous), nor did they practice cousin and uncle/niece marriage. I dare say those who have a lot of succesful lawyers their family tree would tend to be of above average inteligence.

Prominent Talmudic scholars were sought after as husbands for the daughters of wealthy and succesful men They gained wealth and that contributed to increased fertility and survival of the children . Poor jews' - like many poor peoples' children - tended to die off over time.



Anyway the fact is that Marx was "descended from long lines of rabbis on both sides of his family".


They maybe do help each other to get ahead at the expense of the outgroup but so do Gypsies. Many Jews had to get into prominent positions before being able to favour their fellow Jews.

How did Jews get to be so prominent in science, business, media, law, and politics in the fist place?; they are of superior intelligence that's how. Hard work, persistance, and chutzpa can only get you so far.



Joachim Martillo sometimes posts on Steven M. Walt's blog I don't like his way of putting things. I have read Karen Friedman's blog though.

Maju said...

It's as simple as this, Ken: how many Jews were outstanding in the 13th century, or in the 17th century, or even in the 19th century? Just the normal share.

Iberia for example had one of the largest Jewish communities worldwide before 1493 and how many of them were outstanding? I recall three. Probably there were more but not too many in any case.

If you look for a disproportionate number of famous or otherwise outstanding Jews before the 20th century, i.e. before Zionism, you'll be hard pressed to find them anywhere near the apportions you find them in the 20th century and this decade.

This is obviously a product of highly effective ethnic networks rather than of unusually brilliant Jewish brains.

How did Jews get to be so prominent in science, business, media, law, and politics in the fist place?; they are of superior intelligence that's how. Hard work, persistance, and chutzpa can only get you so far.

Either you are Jewish or you're dumb. Well, if you're Jewish and believe that crap, you are dumb too.

Sorry but it's the truth. I know way too many brilliant people (and by that I mean people with clearly high IQs) who do not succeed in life or have only that much success. If they'd be Jews (and Zionist - but nearly all Jews are), they'd be almost universally known (oscars, grammies, nobels, Forbes wealth lists).

How can you get away for example doing such a crappy comedy as most Jewish comedians do? Because someone is producing them. Others are better but they just don't have the hyper-supportive social network those people have.

Is that called "chutzpa" in Yiddish?

We call it "enchufe" (plug) or "amiguismo" (friend-ism), what comes to mean favoritism. And it normally goes by ideological networks like the Opus Dei (which is quite akin to Zionists nowadays - who isn't and survives?) or political affiliation, which often runs through families.

In the case of the International Zionist Network, we are talking of the largest mafia ever. Sure, we all know from The Godfather that now and then some non-Italian could thrive within the Cosa Nostra... but it is essentially an ethnic thing. Same with the Ziolobby but with much greater influence and success.