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Unread January 3rd, 2009, 02:05 PM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Cool Steyn & Rushton?

Probably not on the surface of such things as "culture" but...

The concepts of impulsiveness as a product of gene-environment interactions can get you nowhere. On the other hand, the effects of a turbulent culture on pregnant women and stressful early education for those same children may channel development into mob behaviors, combat, and suicidal attacks. (The educated, fed, future-oriented are more apt to leave the arena and bet on the battle's outcomes or stay completely away.)

Steyn makes acute observations about the importance of "culture" in comparison with economic comforts. On the other hand, rearing patterns could lead to kids imprinted to fight and die or to become mothers of many such kids.

Further, in the minds of cultural relativists, to mention "genes" is to excuse Hitler and invite the resurrection of the mobs he once inspired. The stonings, bull horns, and mob protests that typified German, Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish treatment of central Europe's Jews but in modern times directed toward such as Ed Wilson, Robert Plomin, and Phil Rushton, particularly in regard to intelligence, criminality, or our emotional tics and voids.

I may need to spend time with Huntington.

Meanwhile, from Mark Steyn:

"A decade and a half ago, in his most famous book "The Clash Of Civilizations," professor Huntington argued that Western elites' view of man as homo economicus was reductive and misleading – that cultural identity is a more profound behavioral indicator than lazy assumptions about the universal appeal of Western-style economic liberty and the benefits it brings.
Very few of us want to believe this thesis.

"'The great majority of Palestinian people,' Condi Rice, the secretary of state, said to commentator Cal Thomas a couple of years back, 'they just want a better life. This is an educated population. I mean, they have a kind of culture of education and a culture of civil society. I just don't believe mothers want their children to grow up to be suicide bombers.'

"Thomas asked a sharp follow-up: 'Do you think this or do you know this?'

"'Well, I think I know it,' said Secretary Rice.

"'You think you know it?'

"'I think I know it.'

"I think she knows she doesn't know it. But in the modern world there is no diplomatic vocabulary for the kind of cultural fault line represented by the Israeli/Palestinian dispute, so even a smart thinker like Dr. Rice can only frame it as an issue of economic and educational opportunity. Of course, there are plenty of Palestinians like the ones the secretary of state described: You meet them living as doctors and lawyers in Los Angeles and Montreal and Geneva … but not, on the whole, in Gaza.

"In Gaza, they don't vote for Hamas because they want access to university education. Or, if they do, it's to get Junior into the Saudi-funded, Hamas-run Islamic University of Gaza, where majoring in rocket science involves making one and firing it at the Zionist Entity. In 2007, as part of their attempt to recover Gaza from Hamas, Fatah seized 1,000 Qassam rockets at the university, as well as seven Iranian military trainers.

"At a certain unspoken level, we understand that the Huntington thesis is right, and the Rice view is wishful thinking."

More at

Rushton JP (2005) Ethnic nationalism, evolutionary psychology, and Genetic Similarity Theory. Nations & Nationalism. 11(4), 489–507.
Strogatz, S. (2003) Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order. NY: Hyperion.
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Unread January 4th, 2009, 12:45 PM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Arrow More on Sam Huntington & Phil Rushton

Peter Csermely discusses the fracturing and scavenging of collapsing networks. Huntington used "culture" as his defining unit of organization. Take it to biology and you immediately enter the world of gene-environment interactions, including the notion that genes make environments, including cultures.


"Sam Huntington as Plainly Correct"

"Rod Dreher, The Dallas Morning News

"If you've heard of Sam Huntington at all, it's probably because of his 1996 book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order . He was the Cassandra who showed up at the post-Cold War victory party to point out that history hadn't ended at all and that Western liberal democracy hadn't been vindicated as a universal ideal. In fact, he said, the world was headed into a time of multipolar conflict in which culture was the dominant factor in international relations...."

"... His final book, Who Are We? The Challenges to America's Identity (2004), drew the usual caterwauling from multiculturalist bien-pensants. He argued that the essential American identity is rooted in the Anglo-Protestant culture of the founding generations. Immigrants from the world over have been grafted successfully onto this essential culture and its ideals, hence the historical success and dynamism of our nation.

"We are at a crossroads now, he contended, because the nation is being overwhelmed by an unprecedented level of Latin American immigration at precisely the moment when its ability to assimilate them to traditional Anglo-Protestant norms (as inculcated in U.S. Catholics, Jews and other non-Anglo, non-Protestants) is flagging because our elites no longer believe in them. Either we figure out how to revitalize our Anglo-Protestant culture - which is not the same thing as ethnicity - or we could see the fracturing of America along linguistic and cultural lines."

More at Http://

Reference: Csermely, Peter (2006) Weak Links: Stabilizers of Complex Systems from Proteins to Social Networks. NY: Springer (esp. Pp 74-76). Brody (2008) also touches this topic lightly in Rebellion.
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