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Feeling the Other's Pain
We don't respond equally to signs of emotional distress in other people. In the Reign of Terror by Jessie Macgregor (1891), The Walker Art Gallery (c), Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation, Credit: Wikimedia Commons
We don't respond equally to signs of emotional distress in other people. In the Reign of Terror by Jessie Macgregor (1891), The Walker Art Gallery (c), Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation, Credit: Wikimedia Commons

We like to think that all people feel empathy to the same degree. In reality, it varies a lot from one person to the next, like most mental traits. We are half-aware of this when we distinguish between “normal people” and “psychopaths,” the latter having an abnormally low capacity for empathy. The distinction is arbitrary, like the one between “tall” and “short.” As with stature, empathy varies continuously among the individuals of a population, with psychopaths being the ones we find beyond an arbitrary cut-off point and who probably have many other things wrong with them. By focusing on the normal/abnormal dichotomy, we lose sight of the variation that occurs among so-called normal individuals. We probably meet people every day who have a low capacity for empathy and who nonetheless look and act normal. Because they seem normal, we assume they are as empathetic as we are. They aren’t.

Like most mental traits, empathy is heritable, its heritability being estimated at 68% (Chakrabarti and Baron-Cohen, 2013). It has two distinct components: cognitive empathy and affective empathy. Some researchers identify a third component, pro-social behavior, but its relationship to the other two seems tangential.

Cognitive empathy appears to be the evolutionarily older component of the two. It is the capacity to understand how another person is feeling and then predict how different actions will affect that person’s emotional state. But this capacity can be used for selfish purposes. Examples are legion: the con artist; many telemarketers; the rapist who knows how to charm his victims …

Affective empathy is the younger component, having developed out of cognitive empathy. It is the capacity not just to understand another person’s emotional state but also to identify with it. A person with high affective empathy will try to help someone in distress not because such help is personally advantageous or legally required, but because he or she is actually feeling the same distress.

Affective empathy may have initially evolved as a means to facilitate relations between a mother and her children. Later, and to varying degrees, it became extended to other human relationships. This evolutionary trajectory is perceptible in young children:

Children do not display empathic concern toward all people equally. Instead, they show bias toward individuals and members of groups with which they identify. For instance, young children of 2 years of age display more concern-related behaviors toward their mother than toward unfamiliar people. Moreover, children (aged 3-9 years) view social categories as marking patterns of interpersonal obligations. They view people as responsible only to their own group members, and consider within-group harm as wrong regardless of explicit rules, but they view the wrongness of between-group harm as contingent on the presence of such rules.(Decety and Cowell, 2014)

Similarly, MRI studies show that adults are much more likely to experience emotional distress when they see loved ones in pain than when they see strangers in pain. A stranger in distress will evoke a response only to the degree that the observer has a high capacity for affective empathy. The higher the capacity the more it will encompass not only loved ones but also less related individuals, including total strangers and nonhumans:

Humans can feel empathic concern for a wide range of ‘others’, including for nonhuman animals, such as pets (in the Western culture) or tamagotchi (in Japan). This is especially the case when signs of vulnerability and need are noticeable. In support of this, neural regions involved in perceiving the distress of other humans, such as the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, are similarly activated when witnessing the distress of domesticated animals(Decety and Cowell, 2014)

While we associate affective empathy with morality, the two are not the same, and there are situations where the two come into conflict. In most societies, kinship is the main organizing principle of social relations, and morality affirms this principle by spelling out the duties to one’s parents, one’s kin, and one’s ethny. The importance of kinship may be seen in the Ten Commandments, which we wrongfully assume to be universal in application. We are told we must not kill, steal, lie, or commit adultery if the victims are “thy neighbor,” which is explained as meaning “the children of thy people” (Leviticus 19:18). High-empathy individuals may thus subvert morality if they view all human distress as being equal in value. At best, they will neglect loved ones in order to help an indefinitely large number of needy strangers. At worst, strangers may develop strategies to exploit high-empathy individuals, i.e., to milk them for all they are worth.

Mapping empathy in the human brain

Empathy appears to arise from specific mechanisms in the brain, and not from a more general property, like general intelligence. It is produced by a sequence of mental events, beginning with “mirror neurons” that fire in tandem with the observed behavior of another person, thereby generating a mental model of this behavior. Copies of the model are sent elsewhere in the brain to decode the nature and purpose of the behavior and to predict the sensory consequences for the observed person. Affective empathy goes further by feeding these predicted consequences into the observer’s emotional state (Carr et al., 2003).

Recent MRI research has confirmed that empathy is associated with increased development of certain regions within the brain. Individuals who score high on cognitive empathy have denser gray matter in the midcingulate cortex and the adjacent dorsomedial prefontal cortex, whereas individuals who score high on affective empathy have denser gray matter in the insula cortex (Eres et al.,2015). A high capacity for affective empathy is also associated with a larger amygdala, which seems to control the way we respond to facial expressions of fear and other signs of emotional distress (Marsh et al., 2014).

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Can these brain regions be used to measure our capacity for affective empathy? Two studies, one American and one English, have found that “conservatives” tend to have a larger right amygdala (Kanai et al.,2011; Schreiber et al., 2013). This has been spun, perhaps predictably, as proof that the political right is fear-driven (Hibbing et al., 2014). A likelier explanation is that “conservatives” are disproportionately drawn from populations that have, on average, a higher capacity for affective empathy.

Do human populations vary in their capacity for affective empathy?

Is it possible, then, that this capacity varies among human populations, just as it varies among individuals? I have argued that affective empathy is more adaptive in larger, more complex societies where kinship obligations can no longer restrain behavior that seriously interferes with the ability of individuals to live together peacefully and constructively (Frost, 2015). Whereas affective empathy was originally expressed mainly between a mother and her children, it has become progressively extended in some populations to a wider range of interactions. This evolutionary change may be compared to the capacity to digest milk sugar: initially, this capacity was limited to early childhood, but in dairy cattle cultures it has become extended into adulthood.

I have also argued that this evolutionary change has gone the farthest in Europeans north and west of the Hajnal Line (Frost, 2014a). In these populations, kinship has been a weaker force in organizing social relations, at least since the early Middle Ages and perhaps since prehistoric times. There has thus been selection for mechanisms, like affective empathy, that can regulate social interaction between unrelated individuals. This selection may have intensified during two time periods:

- An initial period corresponding to the emergence of complex hunter/fisher/gatherers during the Mesolithic along the shores of the North Sea and the Baltic. Unlike other hunter-gatherers, who were typically small bands of individuals, these people were able to form large coastal communities by exploiting abundant marine resources. Such communities were beset, however, by the problem of enforcing rule compliance on unrelated people, the result being strong selection for rule-compliant individuals who share certain predispositions, namely affective empathy, proneness to guilt, and willingness to obey moral rules and to expel anyone who does not (Frost, 2013a; Frost, 2013b).

- A second period corresponding to the spread of Christianity among Northwest Europeans, particularly with the outbreeding, population growth, and increase in manorialism that followed the Dark Ages (hbd chick, 2014). The result was a “fruitful encounter” between the two: on the one hand, Christianity, with its emphasis on internalized morality, struck a responsive chord in these populations; on the other hand, the latter modified Christianity, increasing its emphasis on faith, compassion, and original sin (Frost, 2014b).

Conclusion

Recent research has brought much insight into the nature of empathy, which should no longer be viewed as being simply a noble precept. We now understand it as the outcome of a sequence of events in specific regions of the brain. We have also learned that individuals vary in their capacity for empathy and that most of this variability is heritable, as is the case with most mental traits. Moreover, empathy has two components—cognitive and affective—and the strength of one in relation to the other likewise varies. Although we often consider affective empathy to be desirable, it can have perverse and even pathological effects in some contexts.

References

Carr, L., M. Iacoboni, M-C. Dubeau, J.C. Mazziotta, and G.L. Lenzi. (2003). Neural mechanisms of empathy in humans: A relay from neural systems for imitation to limbic areas, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), 100, 5497-5502.
http://www.ucp.pt/site/resources/documents/ICS/GNC/ArtigosGNC/AlexandreCastroCaldas/7_CaIaDuMaLe03.pdf

Chakrabarti, B. and S. Baron-Cohen. (2013). Understanding the genetics of empathy and the autistic spectrum, in S. Baron-Cohen, H. Tager-Flusberg, M. Lombardo. (eds). Understanding Other Minds: Perspectives from Developmental Social Neuroscience, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
http://books.google.ca/books?hl=fr&lr=&id=eTdLAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA326&ots=fHpygaxaMQ&sig=_sJsVgdoe0hc-fFbzaW3GMEslZU#v=onepage&q&f=false

Decety, J. and J. Cowell. (2014). The complex relation between morality and empathy, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18, 337-339
http://spihub.org/site/resource_files/publications/spi_wp_135_decety.pdf

Eres, R., J. Decety, W.R. Louis, and P. Molenberghs. (2015). Individual differences in local gray matter density are associated with differences in affective and cognitive empathy, NeuroImage,117, 305-310.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811915004206

Frost, P. (2013a). The origins of Northwest European guilt culture,Evo and Proud, December 7
http://www.unz.com/pfrost/the-origins-of-northwest-european-guilt/

Frost, P. (2013b). Origins of Northwest European guilt culture, Part II, Evo and Proud, December 14

http://www.unz.com/pfrost/origins-of-northwest-european-guilt/

Frost, P. (2014a). Compliance with Moral Norms: a Partly Heritable Trait? Evo and Proud, April 12
http://www.unz.com/pfrost/compliance-with-moral-norms-partly/

Frost, P. (2014b). A fruitful encounter, Evo and Proud, September 26
http://www.unz.com/pfrost/a-fruitful-encounter/

Frost, P. (2015). Two paths, The Unz Review, January 24
http://www.unz.com/pfrost/two-paths/

hbd chick (2014). Medieval manorialism’s selection pressures, hbd chick, November 19
https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/medieval-manorialisms-selection-pressures/

Hibbing, J.R., K.B. Smith, and J.R. Alford. (2014). Differences in negativity bias underlie variations in political ideology, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37, 297-350
http://www.geoffreywetherell.com/Hibbing%20et%20al%20paper%20and%20commentaries%20(1).pdf

Kanai, R., T. Feilden, C. Firth, and G. Rees. (2011). Political orientations are correlated with brain structure in young adults,Current Biology, 21, 677 – 680.
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(11)00289-2

Keysers, C. and V. Gazzola. (2014). Dissociating the ability and propensity for empathy, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18, 163-166.
http://www.cell.com/trends/cognitive-sciences/pdf/S1364-6613(13)00296-9.pdf

Marsh, A.A., S.A. Stoycos, K.M. Brethel-Haurwitz, P. Robinson, J.W. VanMeter, and E.M. Cardinale. (2014). Neural and cognitive characteristics of extraordinary altruists, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, 15036-15041.
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/42/15036.short

Schreiber, D., Fonzo, G., Simmons, A.N., Dawes, C.T., Flagan, T., et al. (2013). Red Brain, Blue Brain: Evaluative Processes Differ in Democrats and Republicans. PLoS ONE 8(2): e52970.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0052970

(Reprinted from Evo and Proud by permission of author or representative)
 
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  2. My personal impression is different. To me, affective empathy depends on intellectual abilities: the abilities to identify, distinguish and memorialize your first material, i.e. your own emotions.

    In fact, all matters called “empathy” are mere ascriptions of emotions to other people. And without a study of your own emotions, your ascriptions will be misunderstanding, sentimental and kitschy, as is so often the case.

    Ideas about the infallibility of human knowledge lead to a mysticist approach in gnoseology. Blending out the fallibility of human empathy leads to a mysticist approach in studies about the origins of empathy.

    By the way. we can always ask how far brain structure influences mental behaviour and how far habitual mental behaviour influences brain structure. That problem could be solved by longitudinal studies about the different development of different brains (and its probable causes). You are just in the right position to inform us about such studies, if they exist.

    Read More
  3. Peter, what do you think of Chakrabarti and Baton-Cohen’s psychometric of empathy, and have you ever seen any other psychometric of anything like it?

    I wish there was a way to avoid the self-report problem.

    Read More
  4. LIBERALS HAVE LOWER IQ’S; MOST OF THEM ARE PSYCHOPATHS TOO.

    Thanks for the interesting article. One point you raised is the difference between conservative and liberals.

    All the data we have in front of us shows clearly that liberals have lower IQ’s, low morals and are indeed psychopaths, devoid of culture and morality.

    Examples:

    IQ: Most of the liberals are in the soft sciences like sociology, political “science”, etc. where IQ’s are lower. Most of the students in engineering and math had higher IQ’s were more logical and considered “conservative.” Many of the liberals on campus were just sheep who had never thought about things.

    Low Morals: Most of the Democrats are crooks and criminals. Example: Sexual predator Bill Clinton, Harry Reid the election thief, crook Obama, and a 1000 others.

    Most of the Demograts are just crooks and criminals. They just tell lies, such as pretending to love aliens, telling lies like they will be “united with family” “land of immigrants” and tell a 1000 other lies to their sheep liberals, but their real intention in the alien invasion is to import low IQ sheep that will vote for them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    Thomas has made his proclamation.
    , @Realist
    "LIBERALS HAVE LOWER IQ’S; MOST OF THEM ARE PSYCHOPATHS TOO."

    Massachusetts has the highest IQ....very liberal.

    Mississippi has the lowest IQ.....very conservative.

    As for psychopaths I give you John McCain!

  5. Jayman,

    I don’t agree with hbd chick when she characterizes populations west and north of the Hajnal Line as “Germanic.” I tend toward the view that the Germanic languages, like Indo-European languages in general, are intrusive to Europe. If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic.

    This mental package created a potential to develop very large and complex societies, but this potential remained largely unexploited until the end of the Dark Ages. It was only then that everything fell into place, thereby allowing Northwest European societies to take off and eventually become globally dominant.

    Stogumber,

    A lot of commenters seem to have the same reaction, i.e., empathy is just a side-effect of intelligence. The more intelligent you are, the more empathetic you must be. You’re wrong. Psychopaths can be very intelligent.

    By longitudinal studies, do you mean studies of how affective empathy develops over time from infancy to adulthood? Yes, such studies have been done, but they have mostly been done on participants of European origin. There has been some work in China, which indicates a much weaker differentiation between affective empathy and cognitive empathy in Chinese participants.

    Part of the problem is that research tends to reflect broader assumptions held by society in general. Researchers are willing to investigate whether “conservatives” and “liberals” differ in empathy, but not whether human populations differ.

    Anon,

    That publication by Chakrabarti and Baron-Cohen is simply a chapter in a book. It’s basically a review article. There is broad agreement that empathy breaks down into two components: cognitive and affective. Some researchers use the term “emotional empathy” instead of “affective empathy,” and some researchers speak of a third component: pro-social behavior.

    You can avoid the self-report problem through neuroimaging.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    "If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic."

    That's an odd statement...as far as I know the Finnic languages are generally supposed to come from the Urals region and to have spread westwards much later than the Mesolithic. No one knows what kind of language European hunter-gatherers spoke during the Mesolithic (nor do we know the language of the first farmers).
    , @Anonymous

    I don’t agree with hbd chick when she characterizes populations west and north of the Hajnal Line as “Germanic.” I tend toward the view that the Germanic languages, like Indo-European languages in general, are intrusive to Europe. If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic.

    This mental package created a potential to develop very large and complex societies, but this potential remained largely unexploited until the end of the Dark Ages. It was only then that everything fell into place, thereby allowing Northwest European societies to take off and eventually become globally dominant.
     
    What do you think of Duchesne's view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.
    , @Pat Casey
    I don't want to give too much up, bc I am writing a book, but you should really consider the Irish on this count. I'm no expert mind you, but as of yet its very odd that the Irish Gaels are evidently Gaelic byway of Basque country. As in, its not clear how these people got Gaelic names. Particularly when you consider the friendly migration and trade routes between Ireland and Spain from 16th century up. The two nations got along unusually well. But on the point of empathy, don't discount how American your perspective necessarily is. Something so nebulous its nearly grotesque stalks around this continent thinking on whatever level that its the white race. Yeah, ok. What you find is that, Jews are only comfortable with Jews, Brits are dissolving unless they're in a pack, Germans are hearty and noble in general, Irish and Germans are pally, and Scotch-Irish are backward unless elite. The ideal of America is the mongrolization of the races. "Empathy" is only a thing that needs studying in america. Go to Ireland and ask somebody about studying empathy and they'll think you're righting a novel. Families empathize bc its a given. Harder to do that with strangers. But damn learned essay.
    , @Anonymous
    Contemporary Northwest Europeans are only about half Mesolithic and Northern European, with the other half being Mediterranean and Southwest Asian. Southern Europeans are about 2/3 and higher Med/SW Asian. Northeast Europeans have higher amounts of Meso/N. Euro ancestry than NW Euros do. This doesn't necessarily seem to correlate with Meso/N. Euro ancestry. What do you make of the Med/SW Asian ancestry, which is significant in NW Euro and prominent in Europe in general?
  6. Cognitive empathy appears to be the evolutionarily older component of the two. It is the capacity to understand how another person is feeling and then predict how different actions will affect that person’s emotional state. But this capacity can be used for selfish purposes. Examples are legion: the con artist; many telemarketers

    ARISTOTLE: “distinction marks off Tragedy from Comedy; for Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life.

    If you have a low opinion of people you can write a comedy about horrendous suffering of the innocent, as Marquis de Sade did in The 120 Days of Sodom. DeSade played quite a role in precipitating the storming of the Bastille, a pivotal event of the French revolution, by screaming from his cell to crowds outside that the guards were slaughtering the prisoners. It wasn’t true but he had cognitive empathy enough to understand what the effect would be. A population of high affective empathy individuals who can be taken advantage of could lead to a selection for an inability to see people as being worthy of sympathy, and that ability would be of most use to someone with the power of dissimulation and Machiavellian intelligence. Writing great fiction, as DeSade did, could be a indication of those attributes. I think they would tend to be found in the higher reaches of society, in the knowledge class, where strategies to exploit high-empathy individuals, i.e., to milk the lower orders for all they are worth, would pay off.

    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting. I think intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community are the ones who are using ethical issues for their personal aggrandisement, although their powers of disimilation and possibly self-deception would make true motivations difficult to determine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting. I think intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community are the ones who are using ethical issues for their personal aggrandisement, although their powers of disimilation and possibly self-deception would make true motivations difficult to determine.
     
    Horizontal transmission evolves virulence. The degree of vertical transmission of the "intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community" with the community itself would mitigate virulence and exploitation. But if the "intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community" tend to be strangers themselves with a history of migrating between communities, then we should expect them to be very exploitative.
    , @skep
    Be careful with the french revolution; i think you speak about an official and wrongful narrative. The 14 th july revolution was nothing else but an oligarchic coup to take over the king Louis XVI and put in place the duke of Orleans. It had been prepared the eve of the event in Duke of Orleans masonic lodge (see Guy Breton's "les beaux mensonges de l'histoire": chap 9); nothing to do with french people, the guys that took the Bastille were a mix of bandits -that were looting paris since the month of may-, of citizen militias who wanted weapons to fight the first, and duke of Orleans' guys.
  7. @Peter Frost
    Jayman,

    I don't agree with hbd chick when she characterizes populations west and north of the Hajnal Line as "Germanic." I tend toward the view that the Germanic languages, like Indo-European languages in general, are intrusive to Europe. If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic.

    This mental package created a potential to develop very large and complex societies, but this potential remained largely unexploited until the end of the Dark Ages. It was only then that everything fell into place, thereby allowing Northwest European societies to take off and eventually become globally dominant.

    Stogumber,

    A lot of commenters seem to have the same reaction, i.e., empathy is just a side-effect of intelligence. The more intelligent you are, the more empathetic you must be. You're wrong. Psychopaths can be very intelligent.

    By longitudinal studies, do you mean studies of how affective empathy develops over time from infancy to adulthood? Yes, such studies have been done, but they have mostly been done on participants of European origin. There has been some work in China, which indicates a much weaker differentiation between affective empathy and cognitive empathy in Chinese participants.

    Part of the problem is that research tends to reflect broader assumptions held by society in general. Researchers are willing to investigate whether "conservatives" and "liberals" differ in empathy, but not whether human populations differ.

    Anon,

    That publication by Chakrabarti and Baron-Cohen is simply a chapter in a book. It's basically a review article. There is broad agreement that empathy breaks down into two components: cognitive and affective. Some researchers use the term "emotional empathy" instead of "affective empathy," and some researchers speak of a third component: pro-social behavior.

    You can avoid the self-report problem through neuroimaging.

    “If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic.”

    That’s an odd statement…as far as I know the Finnic languages are generally supposed to come from the Urals region and to have spread westwards much later than the Mesolithic. No one knows what kind of language European hunter-gatherers spoke during the Mesolithic (nor do we know the language of the first farmers).

    Read More
  8. ,

    w.r.t. longitudinal studies – The studies I’d like to see are studies about how far “brain features” (matters as e.g. the size of the amygdala) are “developing” or changing over the time – from baby to adult. If there’s a kind of development – and that in different directions with different people – we might ask ourselves about the reasons for that development. (I know there are a lot studies about correlations between brain features and behaviour or emotional peculiarities in adults. But people are too quick in assuming that the brain must be the cause and the behaviour/emotion the effect.)

    w.r.t. cognition and empathy – in every field of cognition you need not only the abilities, but also the interest. Isn’t the problem of the psychopath simply his lack of interest?

    Read More
  9. @Tom_R
    LIBERALS HAVE LOWER IQ’S; MOST OF THEM ARE PSYCHOPATHS TOO.

    Thanks for the interesting article. One point you raised is the difference between conservative and liberals.

    All the data we have in front of us shows clearly that liberals have lower IQ’s, low morals and are indeed psychopaths, devoid of culture and morality.

    Examples:

    IQ: Most of the liberals are in the soft sciences like sociology, political “science”, etc. where IQ’s are lower. Most of the students in engineering and math had higher IQ’s were more logical and considered “conservative.” Many of the liberals on campus were just sheep who had never thought about things.

    Low Morals: Most of the Democrats are crooks and criminals. Example: Sexual predator Bill Clinton, Harry Reid the election thief, crook Obama, and a 1000 others.

    Most of the Demograts are just crooks and criminals. They just tell lies, such as pretending to love aliens, telling lies like they will be “united with family” “land of immigrants” and tell a 1000 other lies to their sheep liberals, but their real intention in the alien invasion is to import low IQ sheep that will vote for them.

    Thomas has made his proclamation.

    Read More
  10. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    Jayman,

    I don't agree with hbd chick when she characterizes populations west and north of the Hajnal Line as "Germanic." I tend toward the view that the Germanic languages, like Indo-European languages in general, are intrusive to Europe. If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic.

    This mental package created a potential to develop very large and complex societies, but this potential remained largely unexploited until the end of the Dark Ages. It was only then that everything fell into place, thereby allowing Northwest European societies to take off and eventually become globally dominant.

    Stogumber,

    A lot of commenters seem to have the same reaction, i.e., empathy is just a side-effect of intelligence. The more intelligent you are, the more empathetic you must be. You're wrong. Psychopaths can be very intelligent.

    By longitudinal studies, do you mean studies of how affective empathy develops over time from infancy to adulthood? Yes, such studies have been done, but they have mostly been done on participants of European origin. There has been some work in China, which indicates a much weaker differentiation between affective empathy and cognitive empathy in Chinese participants.

    Part of the problem is that research tends to reflect broader assumptions held by society in general. Researchers are willing to investigate whether "conservatives" and "liberals" differ in empathy, but not whether human populations differ.

    Anon,

    That publication by Chakrabarti and Baron-Cohen is simply a chapter in a book. It's basically a review article. There is broad agreement that empathy breaks down into two components: cognitive and affective. Some researchers use the term "emotional empathy" instead of "affective empathy," and some researchers speak of a third component: pro-social behavior.

    You can avoid the self-report problem through neuroimaging.

    I don’t agree with hbd chick when she characterizes populations west and north of the Hajnal Line as “Germanic.” I tend toward the view that the Germanic languages, like Indo-European languages in general, are intrusive to Europe. If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic.

    This mental package created a potential to develop very large and complex societies, but this potential remained largely unexploited until the end of the Dark Ages. It was only then that everything fell into place, thereby allowing Northwest European societies to take off and eventually become globally dominant.

    What do you think of Duchesne’s view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.

    Read More
  11. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sean

    Cognitive empathy appears to be the evolutionarily older component of the two. It is the capacity to understand how another person is feeling and then predict how different actions will affect that person’s emotional state. But this capacity can be used for selfish purposes. Examples are legion: the con artist; many telemarketers
     

    ARISTOTLE: "distinction marks off Tragedy from Comedy; for Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life.
     
    If you have a low opinion of people you can write a comedy about horrendous suffering of the innocent, as Marquis de Sade did in The 120 Days of Sodom. DeSade played quite a role in precipitating the storming of the Bastille, a pivotal event of the French revolution, by screaming from his cell to crowds outside that the guards were slaughtering the prisoners. It wasn't true but he had cognitive empathy enough to understand what the effect would be. A population of high affective empathy individuals who can be taken advantage of could lead to a selection for an inability to see people as being worthy of sympathy, and that ability would be of most use to someone with the power of dissimulation and Machiavellian intelligence. Writing great fiction, as DeSade did, could be a indication of those attributes. I think they would tend to be found in the higher reaches of society, in the knowledge class, where strategies to exploit high-empathy individuals, i.e., to milk the lower orders for all they are worth, would pay off.

    So, I'm not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting. I think intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community are the ones who are using ethical issues for their personal aggrandisement, although their powers of disimilation and possibly self-deception would make true motivations difficult to determine.

    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting. I think intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community are the ones who are using ethical issues for their personal aggrandisement, although their powers of disimilation and possibly self-deception would make true motivations difficult to determine.

    Horizontal transmission evolves virulence. The degree of vertical transmission of the “intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community” with the community itself would mitigate virulence and exploitation. But if the “intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community” tend to be strangers themselves with a history of migrating between communities, then we should expect them to be very exploitative.

    Read More
  12. FEELING OTHERS’ PAIN.

    Sir, if I may respectfully correct your grammar, your title should be:

    FEELING OTHERS’ PAIN.

    There is no need of the article ‘the’ as you are referring to pain in general, not a particular pain.

    The word “Other” is singular, its plural is “others”, and the possessive of the plural is others’.

    If you meant the singular, your correct title could be:

    FEELING ANOTHER’S PAIN.

    I don’t mean to be picky or supercilious, but it is hard for others to believe or respect us for what we are saying if we don’t use proper grammar or spelling.

    Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaggers
    That's just a pointless grammar "correction." Other is meant to be singular, so the title is fine as is. I prefer the way that Mr. Frost worded it over your suggestion.
    , @random observer
    I had assumed he meant it to refer to "the Other", the social science constructed term in use to refer to any person/culture/entity outside of one's own frame of reference and identity. Empathy would mean the capacity to recognize the similarity of the Other and to appreciate that it might share one's feelings and reactions.

    That would make the grammar correct.
  13. peter says:
    A person with high affective empathy will try to help someone in distress not because such help is personally advantageous or legally required, but because he or she is actually feeling the same distress.

    Yes, and a good example of this is seen in the well known parable of the Good Samaritan, who helps the distressed victim even when it is not personally advantageous. It is significant that the priest and the Levite sidestep the suffering victim- symbolic figures perhaps of the legalistic, religious, inbred Jew- while the Gentile, the Samaritan, is the one that outstretches his hand in mercy.

    .

    The importance of kinship may be seen in the Ten Commandments, which we wrongfully assume to be universal in application. We are told we must not kill, steal, lie, or commit adultery if the victims are “thy neighbor,” which is explained as meaning “the children of thy people” (Leviticus 19:18).

    Partially true practically, but as held by traditional Jewish and Christian teaching the 10 commandments are universal in application. The words “thy neighbor” refers to the first PRACTICAL level of application, which is only logical. One would be hard pressed to covet someone’s wife in the abstract 8000 miles away, while the commandment would be very real and immediate when applied to your neighbor’s curvy wife next door. The same principle would apply to Leviticus 19:18 which ends with “thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself.” The universal application of this is universal. Practically the first people to apply this to are people close by, and related people, but this does not negate its universal application.

    A number of other laws of Moses mandate kindness and empathy towards the outsider. Deuteronomy 10:18 refers to Jehovah who is merciful and generous towards the stranger. Verse 19 mandates “and ye shall love the stranger, for ye have been strangers in the land of Egypt.”

    .
    I have also argued that this evolutionary change has gone the farthest in Europeans north and west of the Hajnal Line (Frost, 2014a). In these populations, kinship has been a weaker force in organizing social relations, at least since the early Middle Ages and perhaps since prehistoric times.

    There is some truth to this, although Jewish culture mandates affective empathy in some ways towards the alien and the stranger. Europeans are the beneficiaries of this Jewish culture in part, mediated through their adoption of Christianity, and in part, learned to be more empathetic towards non-kin, not because those in the Hajnal Line are kinder, nicer people, but because they adopted Christianity, a Jewish offshoot.

    Deuteronomy Chap 24: 17 – 22 mandates that the stranger or outsider receive justice, and that the fields re not to be swept clean in the name of mean-spirited efficiency but that the surplus be left in place for the stranger, and so on.. Below are some examples of Jewish empathy towards the outsider:

    From: Deuteronomy 24:
    “Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, or of the fatherless; and thou shalt not take in pledge a widow’s garment.”

    When thou reapest thy harvest in thy field, and forgettest a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not return to fetch it; it shall be for 16the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow..

    When thou shakest thine olive-tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

    When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterwards; it shall be for 18the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.

    And thou shalt rejoice in all the good that Jehovah thy God hath given to thee, and to thy house, thou, and the Levite, and 19the stranger that is in thy midst.

    When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thy produce in the third year, the year of tithing, thou shalt give it to the Levite, to the stranger,

    and so on..

    Exodus 23: 10-12 likewise shows inclusiveness, and even the stranger, the alien, the outsider was to enjoy the rest of the Sabbath:

    And the stranger thou shalt not oppress; for ye know the spirit of the stranger, for ye have been strangers in the land of Egypt. ..

    Six days thou shalt do thy work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest; that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger may be refreshed.

    —————————————- ———————-

    An initial period corresponding to the emergence of complex hunter/fisher/gatherers during the Mesolithic along the shores of the North Sea and the Baltic… Such communities were beset, however, by the problem of enforcing rule compliance on unrelated people, the result being strong selection for rule-compliant individuals who share certain predispositions, namely affective empathy, proneness to guilt, and willingness to obey moral rules and to expel anyone who does not (Frost, 2013a; Frost, 2013b).

    This is reasonable, although it must be noted the record is mixed. The coastal peoples frequently victimized others with murderous violence. Their most notable eruption was in the violent Viking Age. And rule-compliant individuals with proneness to guilt, and willingness to obey moral rules and to expel anyone who does not are hardly a monopoly of northern Europe.

    .
    - A second period corresponding to the spread of Christianity among Northwest Europeans, particularly with the outbreeding, population growth, and increase in manorialism that followed the Dark Ages

    There is some truth to this as well, although northern Europeans like Germans within the Hajnal line were to show some of the most murderous examples in history of NON-empathy, and this towards fellow Europeans some of whom, such as in Poland and Czechslovakia, have long had “Hajnal-like” family patterns like those further north. It is also hard to see how the Hajnal line patterns could have affected a level of empathy above and beyond that of other European areas. As noted above the violent Vikings were purveyors of much painful NON-empathy inflicted on victims in a wide arc across Europe- from pillage, plunder and enslavement of the Irish, to the same of hapless victims in the Slavic zone. Peter is probably correct that the influence of Christianity, softened “Hajnal harshness”.

    —————————————- ——————————————– ———————-

    It would be interesting to see if the expanded role of women in Northern Europe, as softened by Christianity, may have had a hand in expanded empathy. The many convents and religious associations for females for examples may have played a hand given the various charitable and mercy mission activities of these female groups. Thomas Sowell reports that in contrast to the harsher lands of the Caribbean where short-term driven absentee owners and their overseers ruthless drove their charges and imported more when they died, American plantations usually had an owner’s wife on site to provide some minimum of assistance to slave women especially where pregnancy was concerned.

    This may have influenced the lower mortality rate on American plantations, as compared to a more relentlessly vicious place like Haiti, where most of the population died off within a decade and had to be replaced with fresh imports from Africa. Whether the American pattern was based on actual empathy, or on a desire to keep the workforce and its progeny alive longer for continued extraction of its labor (since new imports were restricted) is open to interpretation. But women are associated in many places with greater empathy. Women played a significant role in the Abolitionist Movement for example.

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  14. @Tom_R
    FEELING OTHERS' PAIN.

    Sir, if I may respectfully correct your grammar, your title should be:

    FEELING OTHERS' PAIN.

    There is no need of the article 'the' as you are referring to pain in general, not a particular pain.

    The word "Other" is singular, its plural is "others", and the possessive of the plural is others'.

    If you meant the singular, your correct title could be:

    FEELING ANOTHER'S PAIN.

    I don't mean to be picky or supercilious, but it is hard for others to believe or respect us for what we are saying if we don't use proper grammar or spelling.

    Thanks.

    That’s just a pointless grammar “correction.” Other is meant to be singular, so the title is fine as is. I prefer the way that Mr. Frost worded it over your suggestion.

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  15. Thomas says:
    LIBERALS HAVE LOWER IQ’S; MOST OF THEM ARE PSYCHOPATHS TOO. All the data we have in front of us shows clearly that liberals have lower IQ’s, low morals and are indeed psychopaths, devoid of culture and morality.

    Not really. Actually ‘HBD’ data shows that liberals have HIGHER IQs, (Kanzawa 2010), and of course there are plenty of right wing psychopaths as well. One of them, caused the deaths of over 250,000 Americans in WW2. As for morals, WW2′s systematic mass murders of tens of millions of civilians by anti-liberals speaks for itself. Perhaps you don’t understand “all the data in front of you.”

    .
    Sean says
    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting. I think intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community are the ones who are using ethical issues for their personal aggrandisement, although their powers of disimilation and possibly self-deception would make true motivations difficult to determine.

    Indeed. Cynical players at the top, whether of the right or left, are known to show very little empathy.

    .
    Anon says:
    Duchesne’s view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.

    Duchesne put some interesting propositions on the table. But in terms of the development of empathy, it is difficult to see his Indo-Europeans as pace-setters in that regard. Peter’s argument of a later development within the Hajnal line as mediated by Christianity seems a better fit. In fact Duchesne touts the uniquely aristocratic warlike culture of the Indo-Europeans and he consistently tries to argue that the development of such aristocratic culture was an indispensable component of the rise of the West. As such his approach minimizes a lot of empathy in the Western tradition, particularly the Christian tradition. He more stresses Hellenism, the Romans, and the tribal “barbaric” cultures and their “heroic” virtues. This less empathetic, more aristocratic, domineering “heroic” approach is the foundation of his Indo-European pattern. There is relatively little place in it for “weak” things like empathy.

    Peter’s argument though brings out another creditable side of the Western package. The heroic, aristocratic, domineering wielders of power, extractors of resources and crushers of the weak are not the whole picture, although critics of the West present this as the whole. There is another aspect and that is brought out by empathy. This is why often only the West will respond with such generosity to disasters and crises, why Western churches will spend massive amounts of time and money in works of mercy and relief when there is absolutely no payoff or profit to be had.

    Some on the right mock this as weakling liberalism, or religion. Others point to cynical self-serving motives. There is no state of purity anywhere though, and such expansiveness, such generosity is actually a strength of the West in many cases (I do not say all). While I d0 not agree with a rigid “Hajnalism” as creating some state of perfect people, this aspect of the West is a positive one and needs to be recognized and credited more, rather than be dismissed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I'm assuming the right wing 'psychopath' you are referring to is Mr. Hitler.

    Is there any basis for this claim?... his policies certainly created a disaster, but I've not heard any serious historian label him as clinically ill...At least not until his last days... and even that wouldn't fall under the label 'psychopath'

    The guy became a vegetarian, due to his compassion for animals.

    I'm not his fan, but the cartoon Nazi/hitler stuff has morphed into something silly and destructive...he was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place.

  16. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Bill Clinton famously said, “I feel your pain”:

    Did he say that because of affective empathy, or because he’s a psychopathic politician?

    Read More
    • Replies: @robt
    Bill was 'having a laugh', because it is well-known in philosophy that you cannot feel someone else's pain.
  17. @Peter Frost
    Jayman,

    I don't agree with hbd chick when she characterizes populations west and north of the Hajnal Line as "Germanic." I tend toward the view that the Germanic languages, like Indo-European languages in general, are intrusive to Europe. If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic.

    This mental package created a potential to develop very large and complex societies, but this potential remained largely unexploited until the end of the Dark Ages. It was only then that everything fell into place, thereby allowing Northwest European societies to take off and eventually become globally dominant.

    Stogumber,

    A lot of commenters seem to have the same reaction, i.e., empathy is just a side-effect of intelligence. The more intelligent you are, the more empathetic you must be. You're wrong. Psychopaths can be very intelligent.

    By longitudinal studies, do you mean studies of how affective empathy develops over time from infancy to adulthood? Yes, such studies have been done, but they have mostly been done on participants of European origin. There has been some work in China, which indicates a much weaker differentiation between affective empathy and cognitive empathy in Chinese participants.

    Part of the problem is that research tends to reflect broader assumptions held by society in general. Researchers are willing to investigate whether "conservatives" and "liberals" differ in empathy, but not whether human populations differ.

    Anon,

    That publication by Chakrabarti and Baron-Cohen is simply a chapter in a book. It's basically a review article. There is broad agreement that empathy breaks down into two components: cognitive and affective. Some researchers use the term "emotional empathy" instead of "affective empathy," and some researchers speak of a third component: pro-social behavior.

    You can avoid the self-report problem through neuroimaging.

    I don’t want to give too much up, bc I am writing a book, but you should really consider the Irish on this count. I’m no expert mind you, but as of yet its very odd that the Irish Gaels are evidently Gaelic byway of Basque country. As in, its not clear how these people got Gaelic names. Particularly when you consider the friendly migration and trade routes between Ireland and Spain from 16th century up. The two nations got along unusually well. But on the point of empathy, don’t discount how American your perspective necessarily is. Something so nebulous its nearly grotesque stalks around this continent thinking on whatever level that its the white race. Yeah, ok. What you find is that, Jews are only comfortable with Jews, Brits are dissolving unless they’re in a pack, Germans are hearty and noble in general, Irish and Germans are pally, and Scotch-Irish are backward unless elite. The ideal of America is the mongrolization of the races. “Empathy” is only a thing that needs studying in america. Go to Ireland and ask somebody about studying empathy and they’ll think you’re righting a novel. Families empathize bc its a given. Harder to do that with strangers. But damn learned essay.

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    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
    “Empathy” is only a thing that needs studying in america. Go to Ireland and ask somebody about studying empathy and they’ll think you’re righting a novel.

    Well the traditional Irish are known as intensely tribal- indeed employers in the US sometimes had had to use different work crews to separate employees from different warring clans or districts. But here again is where the mediating influence of Christianity comes into play, enabling affective empathy over a broader range, rather than stay within the bounds of the usual kin or clan.
  18. Does crying over sad movie count as affective empathy? Does that mean women have higher degree of affective empathy?

    Characters by Sylvester Stallone and John Wayne look very much psychopathic (or just lack of emotion).

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    If the root cause is the mother-child relationship women ought to have higher affective empathy (on average).

    It would reflect a very early specialization / division of labor.
  19. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Enrique Cardova
    Thomas says:
    LIBERALS HAVE LOWER IQ’S; MOST OF THEM ARE PSYCHOPATHS TOO. All the data we have in front of us shows clearly that liberals have lower IQ’s, low morals and are indeed psychopaths, devoid of culture and morality.

    Not really. Actually 'HBD' data shows that liberals have HIGHER IQs, (Kanzawa 2010), and of course there are plenty of right wing psychopaths as well. One of them, caused the deaths of over 250,000 Americans in WW2. As for morals, WW2's systematic mass murders of tens of millions of civilians by anti-liberals speaks for itself. Perhaps you don't understand "all the data in front of you."


    .
    Sean says
    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting. I think intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community are the ones who are using ethical issues for their personal aggrandisement, although their powers of disimilation and possibly self-deception would make true motivations difficult to determine.

    Indeed. Cynical players at the top, whether of the right or left, are known to show very little empathy.


    .
    Anon says:
    Duchesne’s view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.

    Duchesne put some interesting propositions on the table. But in terms of the development of empathy, it is difficult to see his Indo-Europeans as pace-setters in that regard. Peter's argument of a later development within the Hajnal line as mediated by Christianity seems a better fit. In fact Duchesne touts the uniquely aristocratic warlike culture of the Indo-Europeans and he consistently tries to argue that the development of such aristocratic culture was an indispensable component of the rise of the West. As such his approach minimizes a lot of empathy in the Western tradition, particularly the Christian tradition. He more stresses Hellenism, the Romans, and the tribal "barbaric" cultures and their "heroic" virtues. This less empathetic, more aristocratic, domineering "heroic" approach is the foundation of his Indo-European pattern. There is relatively little place in it for "weak" things like empathy.

    Peter's argument though brings out another creditable side of the Western package. The heroic, aristocratic, domineering wielders of power, extractors of resources and crushers of the weak are not the whole picture, although critics of the West present this as the whole. There is another aspect and that is brought out by empathy. This is why often only the West will respond with such generosity to disasters and crises, why Western churches will spend massive amounts of time and money in works of mercy and relief when there is absolutely no payoff or profit to be had.

    Some on the right mock this as weakling liberalism, or religion. Others point to cynical self-serving motives. There is no state of purity anywhere though, and such expansiveness, such generosity is actually a strength of the West in many cases (I do not say all). While I d0 not agree with a rigid "Hajnalism" as creating some state of perfect people, this aspect of the West is a positive one and needs to be recognized and credited more, rather than be dismissed.

    I’m assuming the right wing ‘psychopath’ you are referring to is Mr. Hitler.

    Is there any basis for this claim?… his policies certainly created a disaster, but I’ve not heard any serious historian label him as clinically ill…At least not until his last days… and even that wouldn’t fall under the label ‘psychopath’

    The guy became a vegetarian, due to his compassion for animals.

    I’m not his fan, but the cartoon Nazi/hitler stuff has morphed into something silly and destructive…he was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Enrique's comments about the the inherent evil of whiteness, any and every discussion used to batter away on that subject. He likes to draw replies so he can enlarge on his pet theme; he did a dozen long comments over several hours one day last week. You might as well try to argue with a jackhammer.
    , @Enrique Cardova
    You say Hitler: "was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place." OK, going with what you say- in what way was Hitler's decision to carry out the systematic mass murders of the Holocaust a rational decision? Be specific.
    , @random observer
    I think I get where you are coming from but there are problems with characterizing Hitler as "rational". Not psychopathic, perhaps, even at the end, but definitely irrational by customary standards.

    He made too many huge strategic and operational military decisions not only without seeking the best information, but even ignoring or aggressively rejecting information available to him. Some early gambles, taken by rejecting professional advice but within reasonable boundaries of total information, paid off. Later, such gambles were taken on ever grander scale and in the face of overwhelming contrary information, and he doubled down all the time despite repeated massive disaster.

    That's nearly the essence of irrationality.

    There is a strong case to be made that rationality is purely instrumental- nothing is objectively reasonable, a course is reasonable if it tends to move toward the achievement of a desired goal. The definition of goals is a fundamentally irrational and separate process.

    Even by that standard, Hitler's behaviour from at least December 1941 was irrational in the extreme if his goals actually included: winning the war, expanding German power in Europe, building a basis for future world power, or keeping a Nazi regime in power. His actions tended to undermine these potentially rational goals, and his actions therefore must be called irrational.

    If his goal actually was to destroy Europe in a Wagnerian contest of German and Slav, and he didn't care which was the winner because the winner would by definition be the strongest [there is a last days quote from him expressing disinterested surprise that the Slav had proved himself stronger after all], then his actions were rational if defined as steps toward that goal.

    While I am actually persuaded by the aforementioned idea that goals are always pre-rational and reason can only be tested instrumentally, colloquially I can't find a better term to rate the goal of national suicide other than to call it "irrational".

    Many have also remarked on the irrationality of his wasting so much manpower and resources on killing Jews instead of fighting enemies actually putting troops in the field. If one accepts his idea that his enemy was the Jews, and the others merely their instruments, then this becomes more rational on some level. And yet it was irrational still, since the Jews he was killing were all helpless civilians, whereas his actual enemies were deploying millions of armed men and thousands of tanks, guns and aircraft against him. Even if all were merely the military arm of the Jews, it makes no sense to waste resources on non-threatening targets to the detriment of the fight against threatening ones.

    Especially since it should have been clear early on that doing so was not even negatively affecting the morale of the enemy, as why should it have... The victims were not citizens of the western allied nations and Hitler should have been well aware that Stalin didn't care about his own citizens. By that standard, it was less rational even than Allied bombing. It too failed to break enemy morale, but at least attempting to do so made some kind of theoretical sense until disproved. They were at least killing the enemies' civilians on their home soil, marginally reducing manpower, draining off military resources, and smashing up some hardware and production capacity. The Holocaust had no impact on the warmaking capacity of the Allied or Soviet nations at all. Complete waste of time and resources unless pretty sure the Allies were defeated or near as not, which was never the case after 1941.

    Again, unless national suicide is already the expected and accepted outcome and the sole purpose of the war is to take as many of those unarmed populations along for the ride.

    This is, to use the scientific term, batsh*t crazy.

    Not to mention launching a rerun of a war Germany had already lost once and expecting a better result. Granted, he gambled that France was a shell of its former self and was right. Clever clogs. On the other hand, it should have been fairly clear that Russia would prove stronger than before. If only because they had invested so much more heavily in artillery, had so many tanks [even the crappy early ones were not obviously worse than the panzer 1 and 2 Hitler started with, and the T34 was known about in June 1941] and had an obviously more motivationally capable regime than that of Nicholas II. And America had essentially come out of the First war richer and stronger and with its manpower capacity and morale intact.

    And of course Germany in 1939 was smaller, and poorer relative to major competitors than Germany of 1914. He did well with that starting point, and France's collapse was a radical improvement for Germany, but it's still hard to see how the Germany of 1939 could defeat the same constellation of foes the Kaiser's empire had failed to defeat.

    Right up until June 22 1941, and perhaps even up to December 8 1941, German policy could be considered rational albeit reckless. From December 8 1941 at the latest it can be called rational only if the Wagnerian scenario was the desired goal. Or if Hitler had been playing the battlefield elements with some sign of seeking a settlement that involved keeping some gains.
  20. @Sean

    Cognitive empathy appears to be the evolutionarily older component of the two. It is the capacity to understand how another person is feeling and then predict how different actions will affect that person’s emotional state. But this capacity can be used for selfish purposes. Examples are legion: the con artist; many telemarketers
     

    ARISTOTLE: "distinction marks off Tragedy from Comedy; for Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life.
     
    If you have a low opinion of people you can write a comedy about horrendous suffering of the innocent, as Marquis de Sade did in The 120 Days of Sodom. DeSade played quite a role in precipitating the storming of the Bastille, a pivotal event of the French revolution, by screaming from his cell to crowds outside that the guards were slaughtering the prisoners. It wasn't true but he had cognitive empathy enough to understand what the effect would be. A population of high affective empathy individuals who can be taken advantage of could lead to a selection for an inability to see people as being worthy of sympathy, and that ability would be of most use to someone with the power of dissimulation and Machiavellian intelligence. Writing great fiction, as DeSade did, could be a indication of those attributes. I think they would tend to be found in the higher reaches of society, in the knowledge class, where strategies to exploit high-empathy individuals, i.e., to milk the lower orders for all they are worth, would pay off.

    So, I'm not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting. I think intellectuals and masters of moralistic rhetoric within a community are the ones who are using ethical issues for their personal aggrandisement, although their powers of disimilation and possibly self-deception would make true motivations difficult to determine.

    Be careful with the french revolution; i think you speak about an official and wrongful narrative. The 14 th july revolution was nothing else but an oligarchic coup to take over the king Louis XVI and put in place the duke of Orleans. It had been prepared the eve of the event in Duke of Orleans masonic lodge (see Guy Breton’s “les beaux mensonges de l’histoire”: chap 9); nothing to do with french people, the guys that took the Bastille were a mix of bandits -that were looting paris since the month of may-, of citizen militias who wanted weapons to fight the first, and duke of Orleans’ guys.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    The "Paris Mob" was drawn from the urban proletariat which was less than 10% of the French population at the time of the French Revolution. Had the Revolution been truly "democratic" it would have been dominated by the French peasantry and would have taken a completley different and much more conservative direction.
  21. @Anonymous
    I'm assuming the right wing 'psychopath' you are referring to is Mr. Hitler.

    Is there any basis for this claim?... his policies certainly created a disaster, but I've not heard any serious historian label him as clinically ill...At least not until his last days... and even that wouldn't fall under the label 'psychopath'

    The guy became a vegetarian, due to his compassion for animals.

    I'm not his fan, but the cartoon Nazi/hitler stuff has morphed into something silly and destructive...he was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place.

    Enrique’s comments about the the inherent evil of whiteness, any and every discussion used to batter away on that subject. He likes to draw replies so he can enlarge on his pet theme; he did a dozen long comments over several hours one day last week. You might as well try to argue with a jackhammer.

    Read More
  22. @Anonymous
    Bill Clinton famously said, "I feel your pain":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBmFwKH5bVY

    Did he say that because of affective empathy, or because he's a psychopathic politician?

    Bill was ‘having a laugh’, because it is well-known in philosophy that you cannot feel someone else’s pain.

    Read More
  23. @Anonymous
    I'm assuming the right wing 'psychopath' you are referring to is Mr. Hitler.

    Is there any basis for this claim?... his policies certainly created a disaster, but I've not heard any serious historian label him as clinically ill...At least not until his last days... and even that wouldn't fall under the label 'psychopath'

    The guy became a vegetarian, due to his compassion for animals.

    I'm not his fan, but the cartoon Nazi/hitler stuff has morphed into something silly and destructive...he was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place.

    You say Hitler: “was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place.” OK, going with what you say- in what way was Hitler’s decision to carry out the systematic mass murders of the Holocaust a rational decision? Be specific.

    Read More
    • Replies: @silviosilver
    "Be specific," you say. Okay then. There's no evidence that Hitler ordered any holocaust - a point conceded by mainstream holocaust historians - or indeed that he had any knowledge of such. Specific enough for you?
    , @Anonymous
    Are you aware that there was a great deal of systematic murder going on before Hitler got into power, very nearby in the Soviet Union?

    There was actually a huge amount of upheaval. For some reason we don't hear much about it (?) Not many movies, museums etc. but literally *millions* of people died and were murdered between WW1 and Hitler's rise.

    The uncomfortable fact is, this murder and mayhem was instigated and executed to a large degree by ethnic Jews.

    In Germany there was a desperate economic situation, and politics were very polarized... street battles between Fascist Nationalist types and Bolshevik Internationalist types.

    Hitler was a German Nationalist... Jews being traditionally stateless international people tended to be very gung ho on international communism...They were in a death struggle - there was a very *real* conflict there. It wasn't an imaginary virus or mental illness. The Jews in Germany were extremely powerful in the Media/economy and their interests and outlook were so implacably against Hitler's vision they had to be removed forcefully. Very harsh...but not necessarily a result of a mental illness.

    Now I’m going to drop a bit of a stinkbomb... I’m personally growing less and less convinced that Holocaust was as 'systematic' as it has been commonly portrayed. There’s actually no documentation that confirms definitively that Hitler even wanted Jews *killed* - They were rounded up, that is not in question - but they were viewed (not without reason) as ethnic/political enemies, so in wartime this could be viewed as quite logical - The same was done with Japanese in the US and Canada, on a smaller scale.

    I realize this is a controversial statement, and I don’t say it to be ‘edgy’. Like most people, I’ve always accepted the conventional narrative, but I’ve read things on the internet that have made me question some of the things I've been taught since childhood. To be very honest, I don't know what to believe anymore. Personally, I’m convinced that the mass media is engaged in a huge amount of distortion and obfuscation - I simply don’t believe anything the ‘official’ channels say any longer. Perhaps I’m going a bit crazy here too Enrique! (but I don’t think so)

    In any case, I'm not Jewish or German, so the issue is not as big of a moral touchstone for me as you might think. It's a very ugly slice of history, but I don't think it has universal lessons any more than any other ugly incident in history. Leftists don't seem to have learned much from the millions upon millions of dead their ideas have caused either - they plow onward!

    I don’t think Hitler was a psychopath... and again, I don’t think any *serious* historian even claims that he was. But like I said, I’m not his fan, so I don’t really care all that much. He did what he did for whatever reason... it’s history now. The issue for me, is more how people such as yourself have been using that history to achieve you political/ethnic goals in the present.

    The left has been very good at using Hitler/Nazi cartoons to push forward their agenda. They have developed a very useful technique of labeling their ethnic/political enemies as ‘mentally ill’

    I see the most shameless, bald-faced lies in the media, and honestly, I think... *psychopath*... I see some very *irrational* people and ideas coming out of your camp these days too, Enrique. I’m not willing to concede that those who would disagree with Enrique Cardova are ‘mentally ill' any longer...Hitler or not...sorry.

  24. @Tom_R
    LIBERALS HAVE LOWER IQ’S; MOST OF THEM ARE PSYCHOPATHS TOO.

    Thanks for the interesting article. One point you raised is the difference between conservative and liberals.

    All the data we have in front of us shows clearly that liberals have lower IQ’s, low morals and are indeed psychopaths, devoid of culture and morality.

    Examples:

    IQ: Most of the liberals are in the soft sciences like sociology, political “science”, etc. where IQ’s are lower. Most of the students in engineering and math had higher IQ’s were more logical and considered “conservative.” Many of the liberals on campus were just sheep who had never thought about things.

    Low Morals: Most of the Democrats are crooks and criminals. Example: Sexual predator Bill Clinton, Harry Reid the election thief, crook Obama, and a 1000 others.

    Most of the Demograts are just crooks and criminals. They just tell lies, such as pretending to love aliens, telling lies like they will be “united with family” “land of immigrants” and tell a 1000 other lies to their sheep liberals, but their real intention in the alien invasion is to import low IQ sheep that will vote for them.

    “LIBERALS HAVE LOWER IQ’S; MOST OF THEM ARE PSYCHOPATHS TOO.”

    Massachusetts has the highest IQ….very liberal.

    Mississippi has the lowest IQ…..very conservative.

    As for psychopaths I give you John McCain!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jim
    I believe that the average IQ of the state of Mississippi is about 94. I believe that the black percentage of the population in Mississippi is about 37%. Assuming that the average IQ of black Mississippians is the US black average of 85 this implies an average IQ for Mississippi whites of about 99.

    Southern whites tend to have somewhat lower average IQ's than northern whites but the low average IQ's of southern states is almost entirely due to the higher black population of these states. The black population in these states generally vote for "liberal" candidates while the white voters generally vote for more conservative candidates. In the south the conservative voters who tend to be white are clearly higher in average IQ than liberal voters who are much more likely to be black.
  25. “We like to think that all people feel empathy to the same degree.”

    Who in the world thinks that? I’m not exactly a grade A student of humanity but I never thought that. Nor that the only distinction is between the mass of men who ‘feel empathy to the same degree’ and psychopaths. How can anyone get out of childhood and not see it as more like a spotty continuum?

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  26. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    Jayman,

    I don't agree with hbd chick when she characterizes populations west and north of the Hajnal Line as "Germanic." I tend toward the view that the Germanic languages, like Indo-European languages in general, are intrusive to Europe. If this mental package began to develop in the Mesolithic, we are probably looking at a population that spoke proto-Finnic.

    This mental package created a potential to develop very large and complex societies, but this potential remained largely unexploited until the end of the Dark Ages. It was only then that everything fell into place, thereby allowing Northwest European societies to take off and eventually become globally dominant.

    Stogumber,

    A lot of commenters seem to have the same reaction, i.e., empathy is just a side-effect of intelligence. The more intelligent you are, the more empathetic you must be. You're wrong. Psychopaths can be very intelligent.

    By longitudinal studies, do you mean studies of how affective empathy develops over time from infancy to adulthood? Yes, such studies have been done, but they have mostly been done on participants of European origin. There has been some work in China, which indicates a much weaker differentiation between affective empathy and cognitive empathy in Chinese participants.

    Part of the problem is that research tends to reflect broader assumptions held by society in general. Researchers are willing to investigate whether "conservatives" and "liberals" differ in empathy, but not whether human populations differ.

    Anon,

    That publication by Chakrabarti and Baron-Cohen is simply a chapter in a book. It's basically a review article. There is broad agreement that empathy breaks down into two components: cognitive and affective. Some researchers use the term "emotional empathy" instead of "affective empathy," and some researchers speak of a third component: pro-social behavior.

    You can avoid the self-report problem through neuroimaging.

    Contemporary Northwest Europeans are only about half Mesolithic and Northern European, with the other half being Mediterranean and Southwest Asian. Southern Europeans are about 2/3 and higher Med/SW Asian. Northeast Europeans have higher amounts of Meso/N. Euro ancestry than NW Euros do. This doesn’t necessarily seem to correlate with Meso/N. Euro ancestry. What do you make of the Med/SW Asian ancestry, which is significant in NW Euro and prominent in Europe in general?

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  27. I don’t think Christianity was important, beyond being a rationalization tool of this new empathy born out of outbreeding. Islam has been non-tribal from the very beginning but tribes have kept on existing in the Muslim world.

    All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. (From the Last Sermon of Muhammad)

    I think manorialism and the ban of the Catholic Church against cousin marriages are the causes of this increase in empathy when it comes to the Middle Ages period.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
    imnobody says:
    I don’t think Christianity was important, beyond being a rationalization tool of this new empathy born out of outbreeding.

    Actually as Peter shows, Christianity was a key component. The many institutions of mercy developed by the churches show this, among other things.


    .
    I think manorialism and the ban of the Catholic Church against cousin marriages are the causes of this increase in empathy when it comes to the Middle Ages period.

    So you say but present no specific examples, nor cite any evidence. IN fact what you say here is contradictory. Up above you say Christianity was not very important, yet now you cite the Catholic Church's ban on cousin marriages as being an influential part of the empathy mix. Which is it? The 2 positions are contradictory.
  28. @Enrique Cardova
    You say Hitler: "was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place." OK, going with what you say- in what way was Hitler's decision to carry out the systematic mass murders of the Holocaust a rational decision? Be specific.

    “Be specific,” you say. Okay then. There’s no evidence that Hitler ordered any holocaust – a point conceded by mainstream holocaust historians – or indeed that he had any knowledge of such. Specific enough for you?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Take your mutually trollish discussion somewhere else please.
    , @Anonymous
    That is a flagrant, flaming, grotesque lie.
    No such thing has been said or written by "mainstream historians" - or indeed any person outside a small circle of pathological fantasists.
    Unz.com should implement strict censorship of any variants of holocaust denialism, including the "But Hitler didn't know" version of it.
  29. @Tom_R
    FEELING OTHERS' PAIN.

    Sir, if I may respectfully correct your grammar, your title should be:

    FEELING OTHERS' PAIN.

    There is no need of the article 'the' as you are referring to pain in general, not a particular pain.

    The word "Other" is singular, its plural is "others", and the possessive of the plural is others'.

    If you meant the singular, your correct title could be:

    FEELING ANOTHER'S PAIN.

    I don't mean to be picky or supercilious, but it is hard for others to believe or respect us for what we are saying if we don't use proper grammar or spelling.

    Thanks.

    I had assumed he meant it to refer to “the Other”, the social science constructed term in use to refer to any person/culture/entity outside of one’s own frame of reference and identity. Empathy would mean the capacity to recognize the similarity of the Other and to appreciate that it might share one’s feelings and reactions.

    That would make the grammar correct.

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  30. So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting

    Sean,

    It’s both. There will always be some variability within any population, and some individuals will be less empathetic than others. This is why affective empathy cannot survive in a population unless there is some mechanism to expel low-empathy individuals.

    as far as I know the Finnic languages are generally supposed to come from the Urals region and to have spread westwards much later than the Mesolithic. No one knows what kind of language European hunter-gatherers spoke during the Mesolithic

    German,

    I was referring to the Germanic substrate hypothesis, see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_substrate_hypothesis

    Proto-Germanic shows not only considerable lexical borrowing from a non-Indo-European substrate, but also widespread inflectional alterations. This is not simply the sort of borrowing that happens when linguistically different peoples come into contact. It looks like Northwest Europeans originally spoke a non-Indo-European language and continued to retain aspects of it after adopting Indo-European.

    No one really knows what this original language was, and the point is irrelevant to my argument. I lean toward the proto-Finnic hypothesis, but I realize that this is a minority view.

    The studies I’d like to see are studies about how far “brain features” (matters as e.g. the size of the amygdala) are “developing” or changing over the time – from baby to adult.

    Stogumber,

    Such studies are possible through neuroimaging. A true longitudinal study would look at the same individuals at different ages from infancy to adulthood. Evidently, it would take two decades to do such research.

    in every field of cognition you need not only the abilities, but also the interest. Isn’t the problem of the psychopath simply his lack of interest?

    Stogumber,

    Concretely, what difference does it make if the genetic predisposition lies in a person’s interest and not in his/her ability?

    What do you think of Duchesne’s view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.

    Anon,

    I don’t follow you (I haven’t read his book). The “take off” of Northwest Europe began around the 11th century with the end of the Dark Ages, the expansion of North Sea trade, and the consolidation of state power in that region. That’s long after the coming of the Indo-Europeans.

    ‘HBD’ data shows that liberals have HIGHER IQs

    Enrique,

    It depends on how you define “liberal.” Do you mean people who vote for “liberal” parties or people with a “liberal” sensibility? The latter definition would probably include me.

    I dislike using words like “liberal” and “conservative” because I’ve seen how these terms have changed meaning over time, even over the past thirty years.

    “Empathy” is only a thing that needs studying in america.

    Pat,

    I’m not an American, but a lot of “heartland America” resembles what I see in rural Ontario: high church attendance, willingness to help strangers, high investment in social capital, and genuine friendliness. And this all happens spontaneously, without prodding from Big Government. All of that is disappearing now, and it saddens me.

    Does that mean women have higher degree of affective empathy?

    IC

    Yes, women score higher on affective empathy than men do. This may be because affective empathy began as a means to facilitate relations between a mother and her children.

    Random,

    “We like to think that all people feel empathy to the same degree.”

    Who in the world thinks that?

    That is the socially normal view. And a lot of people have internalized that view. I often talk with people about this sort of thing– both “liberals” and “conservatives” — and most seem to think we are blank slates at birth. Anybody can become anyone with enough love and education.

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    • Replies: @random observer
    Yes, I see that connection.

    Oddly, it hadn't occurred to me in this context. Not because I am unaware of the blank slate idea, of course. I had it myself for long years, from a vaguely libertarian conservative perspective.

    But I didn't necessarily assume it would imply that all people would end up sharing empathy, or any other attribute/capability, equally. Even if one is the pure product of one's environment and inputs, those inputs differ so widely that any human would still reach adulthood with variant qualities of all kinds.

    Surely even blank slatists would admit that society has not actually reached the stage in which every human actually grows up in an identically secure, stimulating, progressive environment; it is the heart of their policy to say that we have not and must strive to do so. With that in mind, even they should expect that humans, being differently raised, will have different outcomes.
    , @German_reader
    "No one really knows what this original language was, and the point is irrelevant to my argument."

    Yes, it isn't really relevant...sorry for nit-picking, it's probably a bad habit of mine.
    , @Anonymous

    I don’t follow you (I haven’t read his book). The “take off” of Northwest Europe began around the 11th century with the end of the Dark Ages, the expansion of North Sea trade, and the consolidation of state power in that region. That’s long after the coming of the Indo-Europeans.
     
    True, but that was also long after the coming of the Mesolithics or proto-Finnics.

    Duchesne argues that Northwest Europe's economic and cultural take off was an expression of the Indo-Europeans and IE culture.
    , @Pat Casey
    Aprish the reply. And I'm glad to know your not an American. My country is terribly sick, and unfortunately infectious. Tho I understand Canada has unspeakable speech laws, which I can only say, I learned a lot about the Holocaust by, if you recall the name Frank Loichter (sp?). When I went to Canada, I realized I could no longer be laissez faire, like Murray Rothbard, b/c clean cities are simply so much nicer to my taste. And yet my bedroom is filthy, and that's sort of my point. Because so is Dublin. And as much as I love your nations clean cities, and increasingly just don't respect the USA, I would never live in Ontario, if I had to give up going to Dublin. You can imagine how empathy for this standard has a ripple effect in a nation with no norms, like my USA.

    But there's also something incredible about imagining empathy deriving from women and children, as though women and children could have become an issue at all if women and men had never known what each other were. I don't doubt empathy is outside the metric parameters of intelligence, because its hard to imagine intelligence mattering at all if beings didn't begin with the assumption that other beings were the same beings. The less people are plainly like each other the less they can empathize. My sole point is that empathy is most importantly (since psychos are rare) a simple set of assumptions that worked cause they don't need empathy. In my country, you need, to get along for the most part, a lot of sophisticated empathy. And so many people have never been less happy on the average in human history than they are today in the USA.
  31. @silviosilver
    "Be specific," you say. Okay then. There's no evidence that Hitler ordered any holocaust - a point conceded by mainstream holocaust historians - or indeed that he had any knowledge of such. Specific enough for you?

    Take your mutually trollish discussion somewhere else please.

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    • Replies: @silviosilver

    Take your mutually trollish discussion somewhere else please.
     
    I'm trolling nothing. I find Enrique's idiocy completely insufferable so I responded sharply to him. I'm perfectly capable of defending my point of view, but I won't pursue it here out of respect for Frost, who seems to equate an interest in historical truth with Nazi apologia. In reality, one look at my physiognomy would dispel in less than a second any suspicions that I'm a Nazi sympathizer. In the long run I consider it a given that the damn will burst on these issues, and at that point you are going to want people capable of acknowledging historical realities who are not Nazi sympathizers to generate more palatable interpretations of historical events than people who are. Until then, I'll quietly slink away and play the "troll" role simpletons like Sean assign me.
  32. @Anonymous
    I'm assuming the right wing 'psychopath' you are referring to is Mr. Hitler.

    Is there any basis for this claim?... his policies certainly created a disaster, but I've not heard any serious historian label him as clinically ill...At least not until his last days... and even that wouldn't fall under the label 'psychopath'

    The guy became a vegetarian, due to his compassion for animals.

    I'm not his fan, but the cartoon Nazi/hitler stuff has morphed into something silly and destructive...he was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place.

    I think I get where you are coming from but there are problems with characterizing Hitler as “rational”. Not psychopathic, perhaps, even at the end, but definitely irrational by customary standards.

    He made too many huge strategic and operational military decisions not only without seeking the best information, but even ignoring or aggressively rejecting information available to him. Some early gambles, taken by rejecting professional advice but within reasonable boundaries of total information, paid off. Later, such gambles were taken on ever grander scale and in the face of overwhelming contrary information, and he doubled down all the time despite repeated massive disaster.

    That’s nearly the essence of irrationality.

    There is a strong case to be made that rationality is purely instrumental- nothing is objectively reasonable, a course is reasonable if it tends to move toward the achievement of a desired goal. The definition of goals is a fundamentally irrational and separate process.

    Even by that standard, Hitler’s behaviour from at least December 1941 was irrational in the extreme if his goals actually included: winning the war, expanding German power in Europe, building a basis for future world power, or keeping a Nazi regime in power. His actions tended to undermine these potentially rational goals, and his actions therefore must be called irrational.

    If his goal actually was to destroy Europe in a Wagnerian contest of German and Slav, and he didn’t care which was the winner because the winner would by definition be the strongest [there is a last days quote from him expressing disinterested surprise that the Slav had proved himself stronger after all], then his actions were rational if defined as steps toward that goal.

    While I am actually persuaded by the aforementioned idea that goals are always pre-rational and reason can only be tested instrumentally, colloquially I can’t find a better term to rate the goal of national suicide other than to call it “irrational”.

    Many have also remarked on the irrationality of his wasting so much manpower and resources on killing Jews instead of fighting enemies actually putting troops in the field. If one accepts his idea that his enemy was the Jews, and the others merely their instruments, then this becomes more rational on some level. And yet it was irrational still, since the Jews he was killing were all helpless civilians, whereas his actual enemies were deploying millions of armed men and thousands of tanks, guns and aircraft against him. Even if all were merely the military arm of the Jews, it makes no sense to waste resources on non-threatening targets to the detriment of the fight against threatening ones.

    Especially since it should have been clear early on that doing so was not even negatively affecting the morale of the enemy, as why should it have… The victims were not citizens of the western allied nations and Hitler should have been well aware that Stalin didn’t care about his own citizens. By that standard, it was less rational even than Allied bombing. It too failed to break enemy morale, but at least attempting to do so made some kind of theoretical sense until disproved. They were at least killing the enemies’ civilians on their home soil, marginally reducing manpower, draining off military resources, and smashing up some hardware and production capacity. The Holocaust had no impact on the warmaking capacity of the Allied or Soviet nations at all. Complete waste of time and resources unless pretty sure the Allies were defeated or near as not, which was never the case after 1941.

    Again, unless national suicide is already the expected and accepted outcome and the sole purpose of the war is to take as many of those unarmed populations along for the ride.

    This is, to use the scientific term, batsh*t crazy.

    Not to mention launching a rerun of a war Germany had already lost once and expecting a better result. Granted, he gambled that France was a shell of its former self and was right. Clever clogs. On the other hand, it should have been fairly clear that Russia would prove stronger than before. If only because they had invested so much more heavily in artillery, had so many tanks [even the crappy early ones were not obviously worse than the panzer 1 and 2 Hitler started with, and the T34 was known about in June 1941] and had an obviously more motivationally capable regime than that of Nicholas II. And America had essentially come out of the First war richer and stronger and with its manpower capacity and morale intact.

    And of course Germany in 1939 was smaller, and poorer relative to major competitors than Germany of 1914. He did well with that starting point, and France’s collapse was a radical improvement for Germany, but it’s still hard to see how the Germany of 1939 could defeat the same constellation of foes the Kaiser’s empire had failed to defeat.

    Right up until June 22 1941, and perhaps even up to December 8 1941, German policy could be considered rational albeit reckless. From December 8 1941 at the latest it can be called rational only if the Wagnerian scenario was the desired goal. Or if Hitler had been playing the battlefield elements with some sign of seeking a settlement that involved keeping some gains.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    These kind of comments can quite effectively discredit the post. Enrique strikes again
    , @Anonymous
    You are far more knowledgable about this stuff than I am, so I won't question your analysis.

    My concern with this cheesy Nazi/Hitler boogeyman schlock, is that it is being used as a political weapon *in the present*

    I don't know or care if Hitler was clinically ill or not....and if he was a diagnosis of 'Psychopath' seems unlikely.
    , @Enrique Cardova
    Random Observer says:
    I think I get where you are coming from but there are problems with characterizing Hitler as “rational”. Not psychopathic, perhaps, even at the end, but definitely irrational by customary standards. He made too many huge strategic and operational military decisions not only without seeking the best information, but even ignoring or aggressively rejecting information available to him. Some early gambles, taken by rejecting professional advice but within reasonable boundaries of total information, paid off. Later, such gambles were taken on ever grander scale and in the face of overwhelming contrary information, and he doubled down all the time despite repeated massive disaster. That’s nearly the essence of irrationality.

    At last, someone with depth, who can actually do some worthy analysis. Excellent points all. But would you not say that some seemingly irrational actions such as the Fuehrer "stand fast" - "no retreat" orders may have prevented a rout on fragile sectors of a crumbling front? See for example the argument here:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/34sgwh/was_hitlers_strategic_acumen_really_that_bad/


    .
    Even by that standard, Hitler’s behaviour from at least December 1941 was irrational in the extreme if his goals actually included: winning the war, expanding German power in Europe, building a basis for future world power, or keeping a Nazi regime in power. His actions tended to undermine these potentially rational goals, and his actions therefore must be called irrational.

    Hmm, a reasonable analysis.

    .
    Many have also remarked on the irrationality of his wasting so much manpower and resources on killing Jews instead of fighting enemies actually putting troops in the field. If one accepts his idea that his enemy was the Jews, and the others merely their instruments, then this becomes more rational on some level. And yet it was irrational still, since the Jews he was killing were all helpless civilians, whereas his actual enemies were deploying millions of armed men and thousands of tanks, guns and aircraft against him. Even if all were merely the military arm of the Jews, it makes no sense to waste resources on non-threatening targets to the detriment of the fight against threatening ones.

    Fair enough. What you say here shows how what is viewed as "rational" can operate on different levels.


    Again, unless national suicide is already the expected and accepted outcome and the sole purpose of the war is to take as many of those unarmed populations along for the ride. This is, to use the scientific term, batsh*t crazy.

    Hmm, indeed.


    .
    On the other hand, it should have been fairly clear that Russia would prove stronger than before. If only because they had invested so much more heavily in artillery, had so many tanks [even the crappy early ones were not obviously worse than the panzer 1 and 2 Hitler started with, and the T34 was known about in June 1941] and had an obviously more motivationally capable..

    I am not so sure. It is true as you say Germany was weak in certain material aspects, and Hitler went to war expecting quick victories without preparing for a long, vicious war of material, but the flip side is German advantages in QUALITY over quantity. The French had more tanks, more men, etc but German QUALITY in training, organization, ground level leadership, tactics and coordination was decisive. Likewise the Russians had a better standard battle tank but failed in communication- lack of radios for example- and coordinated tactics. It was only after severe losses, coupled with American Lend-Lease aid and more importantly recovered production that the Soviets eventually one. Hitler's early gambles paid off utilizing Germany's strengths against his enemies. The Germans stung the Americans painfully too when they entered the fray in North Africa, painful lessons the Americans absorbed and learned from. The Fuehrer failed to sustain that qualitative advantage over time.

    .
    Right up until June 22 1941, and perhaps even up to December 8 1941, German policy could be considered rational albeit reckless. From December 8 1941 at the latest it can be called rational only if the Wagnerian scenario was the desired goal.

    Agreed in part. But think of the obvious second scenario.

    (a) Rather than, as you correctly point out, wasting all those resources and personnel killing unarmed civilians and building extermination camps, better their labor had been pressed into helping the German war economy? And indeed per Rhodes 2002 (Masters of Death) Germany towards the end suffered labor shortages, but ironically, kept right on killing potentially productive labor. Some of this labor was skilled, and some of it fled Germany, where it was helpful in developing new weapons like the atomic bomb. Suppose all that skill had been retained on the German side?

    (b) Rather than alienate tens of millions of Slavs why didn't Hitler offer generous nationalist terms in exchange for cooperation? Many of the suppressed Slav nationalities hated Stalin. Why have all these people fighting against you when Stalin's empire could have been divided against him? But yet, Hitler offered no option to many Slavs, except death, Hitler alienated so many that it virtually ensured a substantially hostile rear area. I read one book that estimated over a quarter of a million German troops in Russia alone had to be kept guarding lines of communication from Soviet partisan attacks.

    .
    , but it’s still hard to see how the Germany of 1939 could defeat the same constellation of foes the Kaiser’s empire had failed to defeat.

    Hitler's war had a reasonable prospect of victory in the East, but as some have pointed out, his many military blunders hurt those prospects. He failed to finish off Moscow, a very important target, and seemed of two minds later on, dividing his forces between the Caucasus in pursuit of "living space" resources dictated by his propaganda, and other key targets- with the end result that neither was achieved. Knowing he was facing a ruthless existential enemy in Stalin, he still failed to prepare for a worse case, and secure a full mobilization of the German economy until very late in the game. He alienated massive numbers of Slavs who had little choice but to fight for Stalin, since all Hitler offered was extermination.

    He could have saved himself untold grief in the West if he had held off declaring war on the US and just provided Japan material and rhetorical support, even with the advantage of hindsight in knowing from history how US resources tipped the balance in WW1. These and other blunders wrecked any reasonable chance of victory it could be argued.

    But anyway, I am done with Hitler, but as far as empathy, some do argue that a more cooperative/collaborative approach towards the Slavs, might have made a significant difference in the resources needed for occupation duty, as well as mobilized political support against Stalin.

  33. @Peter Frost
    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting

    Sean,

    It's both. There will always be some variability within any population, and some individuals will be less empathetic than others. This is why affective empathy cannot survive in a population unless there is some mechanism to expel low-empathy individuals.

    as far as I know the Finnic languages are generally supposed to come from the Urals region and to have spread westwards much later than the Mesolithic. No one knows what kind of language European hunter-gatherers spoke during the Mesolithic

    German,

    I was referring to the Germanic substrate hypothesis, see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_substrate_hypothesis

    Proto-Germanic shows not only considerable lexical borrowing from a non-Indo-European substrate, but also widespread inflectional alterations. This is not simply the sort of borrowing that happens when linguistically different peoples come into contact. It looks like Northwest Europeans originally spoke a non-Indo-European language and continued to retain aspects of it after adopting Indo-European.

    No one really knows what this original language was, and the point is irrelevant to my argument. I lean toward the proto-Finnic hypothesis, but I realize that this is a minority view.

    The studies I’d like to see are studies about how far “brain features” (matters as e.g. the size of the amygdala) are “developing” or changing over the time – from baby to adult.

    Stogumber,

    Such studies are possible through neuroimaging. A true longitudinal study would look at the same individuals at different ages from infancy to adulthood. Evidently, it would take two decades to do such research.

    in every field of cognition you need not only the abilities, but also the interest. Isn’t the problem of the psychopath simply his lack of interest?

    Stogumber,

    Concretely, what difference does it make if the genetic predisposition lies in a person's interest and not in his/her ability?

    What do you think of Duchesne’s view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.

    Anon,

    I don't follow you (I haven't read his book). The "take off" of Northwest Europe began around the 11th century with the end of the Dark Ages, the expansion of North Sea trade, and the consolidation of state power in that region. That's long after the coming of the Indo-Europeans.

    ‘HBD’ data shows that liberals have HIGHER IQs

    Enrique,

    It depends on how you define "liberal." Do you mean people who vote for "liberal" parties or people with a "liberal" sensibility? The latter definition would probably include me.

    I dislike using words like "liberal" and "conservative" because I've seen how these terms have changed meaning over time, even over the past thirty years.

    “Empathy” is only a thing that needs studying in america.

    Pat,

    I'm not an American, but a lot of "heartland America" resembles what I see in rural Ontario: high church attendance, willingness to help strangers, high investment in social capital, and genuine friendliness. And this all happens spontaneously, without prodding from Big Government. All of that is disappearing now, and it saddens me.

    Does that mean women have higher degree of affective empathy?

    IC

    Yes, women score higher on affective empathy than men do. This may be because affective empathy began as a means to facilitate relations between a mother and her children.

    Random,

    “We like to think that all people feel empathy to the same degree.”

    Who in the world thinks that?

    That is the socially normal view. And a lot of people have internalized that view. I often talk with people about this sort of thing-- both "liberals" and "conservatives" -- and most seem to think we are blank slates at birth. Anybody can become anyone with enough love and education.

    Yes, I see that connection.

    Oddly, it hadn’t occurred to me in this context. Not because I am unaware of the blank slate idea, of course. I had it myself for long years, from a vaguely libertarian conservative perspective.

    But I didn’t necessarily assume it would imply that all people would end up sharing empathy, or any other attribute/capability, equally. Even if one is the pure product of one’s environment and inputs, those inputs differ so widely that any human would still reach adulthood with variant qualities of all kinds.

    Surely even blank slatists would admit that society has not actually reached the stage in which every human actually grows up in an identically secure, stimulating, progressive environment; it is the heart of their policy to say that we have not and must strive to do so. With that in mind, even they should expect that humans, being differently raised, will have different outcomes.

    Read More
  34. @random observer
    I think I get where you are coming from but there are problems with characterizing Hitler as "rational". Not psychopathic, perhaps, even at the end, but definitely irrational by customary standards.

    He made too many huge strategic and operational military decisions not only without seeking the best information, but even ignoring or aggressively rejecting information available to him. Some early gambles, taken by rejecting professional advice but within reasonable boundaries of total information, paid off. Later, such gambles were taken on ever grander scale and in the face of overwhelming contrary information, and he doubled down all the time despite repeated massive disaster.

    That's nearly the essence of irrationality.

    There is a strong case to be made that rationality is purely instrumental- nothing is objectively reasonable, a course is reasonable if it tends to move toward the achievement of a desired goal. The definition of goals is a fundamentally irrational and separate process.

    Even by that standard, Hitler's behaviour from at least December 1941 was irrational in the extreme if his goals actually included: winning the war, expanding German power in Europe, building a basis for future world power, or keeping a Nazi regime in power. His actions tended to undermine these potentially rational goals, and his actions therefore must be called irrational.

    If his goal actually was to destroy Europe in a Wagnerian contest of German and Slav, and he didn't care which was the winner because the winner would by definition be the strongest [there is a last days quote from him expressing disinterested surprise that the Slav had proved himself stronger after all], then his actions were rational if defined as steps toward that goal.

    While I am actually persuaded by the aforementioned idea that goals are always pre-rational and reason can only be tested instrumentally, colloquially I can't find a better term to rate the goal of national suicide other than to call it "irrational".

    Many have also remarked on the irrationality of his wasting so much manpower and resources on killing Jews instead of fighting enemies actually putting troops in the field. If one accepts his idea that his enemy was the Jews, and the others merely their instruments, then this becomes more rational on some level. And yet it was irrational still, since the Jews he was killing were all helpless civilians, whereas his actual enemies were deploying millions of armed men and thousands of tanks, guns and aircraft against him. Even if all were merely the military arm of the Jews, it makes no sense to waste resources on non-threatening targets to the detriment of the fight against threatening ones.

    Especially since it should have been clear early on that doing so was not even negatively affecting the morale of the enemy, as why should it have... The victims were not citizens of the western allied nations and Hitler should have been well aware that Stalin didn't care about his own citizens. By that standard, it was less rational even than Allied bombing. It too failed to break enemy morale, but at least attempting to do so made some kind of theoretical sense until disproved. They were at least killing the enemies' civilians on their home soil, marginally reducing manpower, draining off military resources, and smashing up some hardware and production capacity. The Holocaust had no impact on the warmaking capacity of the Allied or Soviet nations at all. Complete waste of time and resources unless pretty sure the Allies were defeated or near as not, which was never the case after 1941.

    Again, unless national suicide is already the expected and accepted outcome and the sole purpose of the war is to take as many of those unarmed populations along for the ride.

    This is, to use the scientific term, batsh*t crazy.

    Not to mention launching a rerun of a war Germany had already lost once and expecting a better result. Granted, he gambled that France was a shell of its former self and was right. Clever clogs. On the other hand, it should have been fairly clear that Russia would prove stronger than before. If only because they had invested so much more heavily in artillery, had so many tanks [even the crappy early ones were not obviously worse than the panzer 1 and 2 Hitler started with, and the T34 was known about in June 1941] and had an obviously more motivationally capable regime than that of Nicholas II. And America had essentially come out of the First war richer and stronger and with its manpower capacity and morale intact.

    And of course Germany in 1939 was smaller, and poorer relative to major competitors than Germany of 1914. He did well with that starting point, and France's collapse was a radical improvement for Germany, but it's still hard to see how the Germany of 1939 could defeat the same constellation of foes the Kaiser's empire had failed to defeat.

    Right up until June 22 1941, and perhaps even up to December 8 1941, German policy could be considered rational albeit reckless. From December 8 1941 at the latest it can be called rational only if the Wagnerian scenario was the desired goal. Or if Hitler had been playing the battlefield elements with some sign of seeking a settlement that involved keeping some gains.

    These kind of comments can quite effectively discredit the post. Enrique strikes again

    Read More
    • Replies: @random observer
    I don't get it. You mean because I went on too long, was not sufficiently well-structured, or because I argued that Hitler cannot be described as rational even on his own terms, unless his terms are defined in the most apocalyptic possible way?

    I was even going to add that Hitler's ostensible war against "the Jews" was itself a sign of irrationality, since conjuring fictitious enemies and then focusing on them to the detriment of the real military enemies one has made, and claiming they are the same in the face of available information, is irrational insofar as it is willful rejection of one's environment. But around here you can never be too sure who will find that provocative.

    If you mean my reply would provoke Enrique, well maybe so. But I was theoretically at least replying to someone else.
  35. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Enrique Cardova
    You say Hitler: "was a rational man making very difficult decisions in an extremely chaotic time and place." OK, going with what you say- in what way was Hitler's decision to carry out the systematic mass murders of the Holocaust a rational decision? Be specific.

    Are you aware that there was a great deal of systematic murder going on before Hitler got into power, very nearby in the Soviet Union?

    There was actually a huge amount of upheaval. For some reason we don’t hear much about it (?) Not many movies, museums etc. but literally *millions* of people died and were murdered between WW1 and Hitler’s rise.

    The uncomfortable fact is, this murder and mayhem was instigated and executed to a large degree by ethnic Jews.

    In Germany there was a desperate economic situation, and politics were very polarized… street battles between Fascist Nationalist types and Bolshevik Internationalist types.

    Hitler was a German Nationalist… Jews being traditionally stateless international people tended to be very gung ho on international communism…They were in a death struggle – there was a very *real* conflict there. It wasn’t an imaginary virus or mental illness. The Jews in Germany were extremely powerful in the Media/economy and their interests and outlook were so implacably against Hitler’s vision they had to be removed forcefully. Very harsh…but not necessarily a result of a mental illness.

    Now I’m going to drop a bit of a stinkbomb… I’m personally growing less and less convinced that Holocaust was as ‘systematic’ as it has been commonly portrayed. There’s actually no documentation that confirms definitively that Hitler even wanted Jews *killed* – They were rounded up, that is not in question – but they were viewed (not without reason) as ethnic/political enemies, so in wartime this could be viewed as quite logical – The same was done with Japanese in the US and Canada, on a smaller scale.

    I realize this is a controversial statement, and I don’t say it to be ‘edgy’. Like most people, I’ve always accepted the conventional narrative, but I’ve read things on the internet that have made me question some of the things I’ve been taught since childhood. To be very honest, I don’t know what to believe anymore. Personally, I’m convinced that the mass media is engaged in a huge amount of distortion and obfuscation – I simply don’t believe anything the ‘official’ channels say any longer. Perhaps I’m going a bit crazy here too Enrique! (but I don’t think so)

    In any case, I’m not Jewish or German, so the issue is not as big of a moral touchstone for me as you might think. It’s a very ugly slice of history, but I don’t think it has universal lessons any more than any other ugly incident in history. Leftists don’t seem to have learned much from the millions upon millions of dead their ideas have caused either – they plow onward!

    I don’t think Hitler was a psychopath… and again, I don’t think any *serious* historian even claims that he was. But like I said, I’m not his fan, so I don’t really care all that much. He did what he did for whatever reason… it’s history now. The issue for me, is more how people such as yourself have been using that history to achieve you political/ethnic goals in the present.

    The left has been very good at using Hitler/Nazi cartoons to push forward their agenda. They have developed a very useful technique of labeling their ethnic/political enemies as ‘mentally ill’

    I see the most shameless, bald-faced lies in the media, and honestly, I think… *psychopath*… I see some very *irrational* people and ideas coming out of your camp these days too, Enrique. I’m not willing to concede that those who would disagree with Enrique Cardova are ‘mentally ill’ any longer…Hitler or not…sorry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
    Silvio says:
    “Be specific,” you say. Okay then. There’s no evidence that Hitler ordered any holocaust – a point conceded by mainstream holocaust historians – or indeed that he had any knowledge of such. Specific enough for you?

    You are of course completely wrong. Almost EVERY credible historian of the Holocaust notes that Hitler planned and ordered it. They don't "concede" anything as bogus as you say. But see such "specifics" as historian Ian Kershaw 2000, 2008 which shows Hitler's clear intention- from Mein Kampf to the multiple conferences to iron out the details, to reports seen and commented on with satisfaction by the Fuherer. (2000). Hitler 1936–1945: Nemesis. (2008). Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution.) See also Richard Rhodes 2002. Masters of Death which details the SS side of the machinery and the decisions made by Hitler. As early as 1939 (Jan 21 to be precise) he proclaimed to the Czech Foreign Minister: "We are going to destroy the Jews." (pg 37). And there are literally thousands of other references, but you already knew that. See further reading on the link below from the US Holocaust Museum where historians "concede".. lol
    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143


    .
    Anonymous says:
    Are you aware that there was a great deal of systematic murder going on before Hitler got into power, very nearby in the Soviet Union?
    Of course, and agreed.

    .
    The uncomfortable fact is, this murder and mayhem was instigated and executed to a large degree by ethnic Jews.
    Let's look at this. Josef Stalin was a NON Jewish Georgian who killed millions of civilians using Russian secret police and soldiers. So how is this something done by "ethnic Jews"?


    .
    In Germany there was a desperate economic situation, and politics were very polarized… street battles between Fascist Nationalist types and Bolshevik Internationalist types.
    Sure. No question there.

    .
    Hitler was a German Nationalist… Jews being traditionally stateless international people tended to be very gung ho on international communism…They were in a death struggle – there was a very *real* conflict there.
    So tens of thousands of Jews who had lived multiple generations in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, some of whom had converted to Christianity or given up Judaism, and were citizens for multiple generations, were "stateless" people?


    .
    It wasn’t an imaginary virus or mental illness. The Jews in Germany were extremely powerful in the Media/economy and their interests and outlook were so implacably against Hitler’s vision they had to be removed forcefully. Very harsh…but not necessarily a result of a mental illness.
    OK so you are saying Jews are a perennial virus that had to be "cleansed" in Hitler's vision? Just want to be clear about your theory.


    There’s actually no documentation that confirms definitively that Hitler even wanted Jews *killed* –
    lol.. you are of course completely wrong, for almost every credible historian of the Holocaust says the opposite. See at least 15 in the link below. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143

    .
    I realize this is a controversial statement, and I don’t say it to be ‘edgy’. I simply don’t believe anything the ‘official’ channels say any longer. Perhaps I’m going a bit crazy here too Enrique! (but I don’t think so)
    No I don't think you are crazy at all. I think you are completely wrong, but you are being honest. You believe Jews are parasites and that their liquidation was a rational, reasonable act. If that is your honest opinion, hey, so be it.

    To tie in with Peter's post. Would you say that Hitler's attitude towards said Jews demonstrated a lack of affective empathy?
  36. @Sean
    These kind of comments can quite effectively discredit the post. Enrique strikes again

    I don’t get it. You mean because I went on too long, was not sufficiently well-structured, or because I argued that Hitler cannot be described as rational even on his own terms, unless his terms are defined in the most apocalyptic possible way?

    I was even going to add that Hitler’s ostensible war against “the Jews” was itself a sign of irrationality, since conjuring fictitious enemies and then focusing on them to the detriment of the real military enemies one has made, and claiming they are the same in the face of available information, is irrational insofar as it is willful rejection of one’s environment. But around here you can never be too sure who will find that provocative.

    If you mean my reply would provoke Enrique, well maybe so. But I was theoretically at least replying to someone else.

    Read More
  37. This is why affective empathy cannot survive in a population unless there is some mechanism to expel low-empathy individuals.

    Reputation can exclude from reciprocal advantage. But bad apple individuals start within the group, and become social outcasts.

    I don’t see there was interaction of the group with other groups in this coastal cooperative scenario. It was just the coalition group and individuals.

    Read More
  38. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @random observer
    I think I get where you are coming from but there are problems with characterizing Hitler as "rational". Not psychopathic, perhaps, even at the end, but definitely irrational by customary standards.

    He made too many huge strategic and operational military decisions not only without seeking the best information, but even ignoring or aggressively rejecting information available to him. Some early gambles, taken by rejecting professional advice but within reasonable boundaries of total information, paid off. Later, such gambles were taken on ever grander scale and in the face of overwhelming contrary information, and he doubled down all the time despite repeated massive disaster.

    That's nearly the essence of irrationality.

    There is a strong case to be made that rationality is purely instrumental- nothing is objectively reasonable, a course is reasonable if it tends to move toward the achievement of a desired goal. The definition of goals is a fundamentally irrational and separate process.

    Even by that standard, Hitler's behaviour from at least December 1941 was irrational in the extreme if his goals actually included: winning the war, expanding German power in Europe, building a basis for future world power, or keeping a Nazi regime in power. His actions tended to undermine these potentially rational goals, and his actions therefore must be called irrational.

    If his goal actually was to destroy Europe in a Wagnerian contest of German and Slav, and he didn't care which was the winner because the winner would by definition be the strongest [there is a last days quote from him expressing disinterested surprise that the Slav had proved himself stronger after all], then his actions were rational if defined as steps toward that goal.

    While I am actually persuaded by the aforementioned idea that goals are always pre-rational and reason can only be tested instrumentally, colloquially I can't find a better term to rate the goal of national suicide other than to call it "irrational".

    Many have also remarked on the irrationality of his wasting so much manpower and resources on killing Jews instead of fighting enemies actually putting troops in the field. If one accepts his idea that his enemy was the Jews, and the others merely their instruments, then this becomes more rational on some level. And yet it was irrational still, since the Jews he was killing were all helpless civilians, whereas his actual enemies were deploying millions of armed men and thousands of tanks, guns and aircraft against him. Even if all were merely the military arm of the Jews, it makes no sense to waste resources on non-threatening targets to the detriment of the fight against threatening ones.

    Especially since it should have been clear early on that doing so was not even negatively affecting the morale of the enemy, as why should it have... The victims were not citizens of the western allied nations and Hitler should have been well aware that Stalin didn't care about his own citizens. By that standard, it was less rational even than Allied bombing. It too failed to break enemy morale, but at least attempting to do so made some kind of theoretical sense until disproved. They were at least killing the enemies' civilians on their home soil, marginally reducing manpower, draining off military resources, and smashing up some hardware and production capacity. The Holocaust had no impact on the warmaking capacity of the Allied or Soviet nations at all. Complete waste of time and resources unless pretty sure the Allies were defeated or near as not, which was never the case after 1941.

    Again, unless national suicide is already the expected and accepted outcome and the sole purpose of the war is to take as many of those unarmed populations along for the ride.

    This is, to use the scientific term, batsh*t crazy.

    Not to mention launching a rerun of a war Germany had already lost once and expecting a better result. Granted, he gambled that France was a shell of its former self and was right. Clever clogs. On the other hand, it should have been fairly clear that Russia would prove stronger than before. If only because they had invested so much more heavily in artillery, had so many tanks [even the crappy early ones were not obviously worse than the panzer 1 and 2 Hitler started with, and the T34 was known about in June 1941] and had an obviously more motivationally capable regime than that of Nicholas II. And America had essentially come out of the First war richer and stronger and with its manpower capacity and morale intact.

    And of course Germany in 1939 was smaller, and poorer relative to major competitors than Germany of 1914. He did well with that starting point, and France's collapse was a radical improvement for Germany, but it's still hard to see how the Germany of 1939 could defeat the same constellation of foes the Kaiser's empire had failed to defeat.

    Right up until June 22 1941, and perhaps even up to December 8 1941, German policy could be considered rational albeit reckless. From December 8 1941 at the latest it can be called rational only if the Wagnerian scenario was the desired goal. Or if Hitler had been playing the battlefield elements with some sign of seeking a settlement that involved keeping some gains.

    You are far more knowledgable about this stuff than I am, so I won’t question your analysis.

    My concern with this cheesy Nazi/Hitler boogeyman schlock, is that it is being used as a political weapon *in the present*

    I don’t know or care if Hitler was clinically ill or not….and if he was a diagnosis of ‘Psychopath’ seems unlikely.

    Read More
    • Replies: @random observer
    OK, I'll buy that. Especially as to the contemporary political use. Even perhaps to the point of questioning whether "psychopath" would be an accurate description of him- I agree probably it is not accurate. There are plenty of bad and/or nuts categories without inaccurately applying the empathy-excluding category of psychopath. Agreed on all of that.

    Although psychopaths and sociopaths are very prone to mad gambles and thrill seeking [read the fascinating memoir "Confessions of a Sociopath"] which certainly applies to Hitler's style in some ways, on the whole Hitler's behaviour seems far too emotional to be considered psychopathic or beyond empathy. If anything, his empathic capacity was just directed in peculiar ways toward targets of affection not everyone else could see. But not psychopathy.
  39. @Peter Frost
    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting

    Sean,

    It's both. There will always be some variability within any population, and some individuals will be less empathetic than others. This is why affective empathy cannot survive in a population unless there is some mechanism to expel low-empathy individuals.

    as far as I know the Finnic languages are generally supposed to come from the Urals region and to have spread westwards much later than the Mesolithic. No one knows what kind of language European hunter-gatherers spoke during the Mesolithic

    German,

    I was referring to the Germanic substrate hypothesis, see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_substrate_hypothesis

    Proto-Germanic shows not only considerable lexical borrowing from a non-Indo-European substrate, but also widespread inflectional alterations. This is not simply the sort of borrowing that happens when linguistically different peoples come into contact. It looks like Northwest Europeans originally spoke a non-Indo-European language and continued to retain aspects of it after adopting Indo-European.

    No one really knows what this original language was, and the point is irrelevant to my argument. I lean toward the proto-Finnic hypothesis, but I realize that this is a minority view.

    The studies I’d like to see are studies about how far “brain features” (matters as e.g. the size of the amygdala) are “developing” or changing over the time – from baby to adult.

    Stogumber,

    Such studies are possible through neuroimaging. A true longitudinal study would look at the same individuals at different ages from infancy to adulthood. Evidently, it would take two decades to do such research.

    in every field of cognition you need not only the abilities, but also the interest. Isn’t the problem of the psychopath simply his lack of interest?

    Stogumber,

    Concretely, what difference does it make if the genetic predisposition lies in a person's interest and not in his/her ability?

    What do you think of Duchesne’s view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.

    Anon,

    I don't follow you (I haven't read his book). The "take off" of Northwest Europe began around the 11th century with the end of the Dark Ages, the expansion of North Sea trade, and the consolidation of state power in that region. That's long after the coming of the Indo-Europeans.

    ‘HBD’ data shows that liberals have HIGHER IQs

    Enrique,

    It depends on how you define "liberal." Do you mean people who vote for "liberal" parties or people with a "liberal" sensibility? The latter definition would probably include me.

    I dislike using words like "liberal" and "conservative" because I've seen how these terms have changed meaning over time, even over the past thirty years.

    “Empathy” is only a thing that needs studying in america.

    Pat,

    I'm not an American, but a lot of "heartland America" resembles what I see in rural Ontario: high church attendance, willingness to help strangers, high investment in social capital, and genuine friendliness. And this all happens spontaneously, without prodding from Big Government. All of that is disappearing now, and it saddens me.

    Does that mean women have higher degree of affective empathy?

    IC

    Yes, women score higher on affective empathy than men do. This may be because affective empathy began as a means to facilitate relations between a mother and her children.

    Random,

    “We like to think that all people feel empathy to the same degree.”

    Who in the world thinks that?

    That is the socially normal view. And a lot of people have internalized that view. I often talk with people about this sort of thing-- both "liberals" and "conservatives" -- and most seem to think we are blank slates at birth. Anybody can become anyone with enough love and education.

    “No one really knows what this original language was, and the point is irrelevant to my argument.”

    Yes, it isn’t really relevant…sorry for nit-picking, it’s probably a bad habit of mine.

    Read More
  40. @Anonymous
    Are you aware that there was a great deal of systematic murder going on before Hitler got into power, very nearby in the Soviet Union?

    There was actually a huge amount of upheaval. For some reason we don't hear much about it (?) Not many movies, museums etc. but literally *millions* of people died and were murdered between WW1 and Hitler's rise.

    The uncomfortable fact is, this murder and mayhem was instigated and executed to a large degree by ethnic Jews.

    In Germany there was a desperate economic situation, and politics were very polarized... street battles between Fascist Nationalist types and Bolshevik Internationalist types.

    Hitler was a German Nationalist... Jews being traditionally stateless international people tended to be very gung ho on international communism...They were in a death struggle - there was a very *real* conflict there. It wasn't an imaginary virus or mental illness. The Jews in Germany were extremely powerful in the Media/economy and their interests and outlook were so implacably against Hitler's vision they had to be removed forcefully. Very harsh...but not necessarily a result of a mental illness.

    Now I’m going to drop a bit of a stinkbomb... I’m personally growing less and less convinced that Holocaust was as 'systematic' as it has been commonly portrayed. There’s actually no documentation that confirms definitively that Hitler even wanted Jews *killed* - They were rounded up, that is not in question - but they were viewed (not without reason) as ethnic/political enemies, so in wartime this could be viewed as quite logical - The same was done with Japanese in the US and Canada, on a smaller scale.

    I realize this is a controversial statement, and I don’t say it to be ‘edgy’. Like most people, I’ve always accepted the conventional narrative, but I’ve read things on the internet that have made me question some of the things I've been taught since childhood. To be very honest, I don't know what to believe anymore. Personally, I’m convinced that the mass media is engaged in a huge amount of distortion and obfuscation - I simply don’t believe anything the ‘official’ channels say any longer. Perhaps I’m going a bit crazy here too Enrique! (but I don’t think so)

    In any case, I'm not Jewish or German, so the issue is not as big of a moral touchstone for me as you might think. It's a very ugly slice of history, but I don't think it has universal lessons any more than any other ugly incident in history. Leftists don't seem to have learned much from the millions upon millions of dead their ideas have caused either - they plow onward!

    I don’t think Hitler was a psychopath... and again, I don’t think any *serious* historian even claims that he was. But like I said, I’m not his fan, so I don’t really care all that much. He did what he did for whatever reason... it’s history now. The issue for me, is more how people such as yourself have been using that history to achieve you political/ethnic goals in the present.

    The left has been very good at using Hitler/Nazi cartoons to push forward their agenda. They have developed a very useful technique of labeling their ethnic/political enemies as ‘mentally ill’

    I see the most shameless, bald-faced lies in the media, and honestly, I think... *psychopath*... I see some very *irrational* people and ideas coming out of your camp these days too, Enrique. I’m not willing to concede that those who would disagree with Enrique Cardova are ‘mentally ill' any longer...Hitler or not...sorry.

    Silvio says:
    “Be specific,” you say. Okay then. There’s no evidence that Hitler ordered any holocaust – a point conceded by mainstream holocaust historians – or indeed that he had any knowledge of such. Specific enough for you?

    You are of course completely wrong. Almost EVERY credible historian of the Holocaust notes that Hitler planned and ordered it. They don’t “concede” anything as bogus as you say. But see such “specifics” as historian Ian Kershaw 2000, 2008 which shows Hitler’s clear intention- from Mein Kampf to the multiple conferences to iron out the details, to reports seen and commented on with satisfaction by the Fuherer. (2000). Hitler 1936–1945: Nemesis. (2008). Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution.) See also Richard Rhodes 2002. Masters of Death which details the SS side of the machinery and the decisions made by Hitler. As early as 1939 (Jan 21 to be precise) he proclaimed to the Czech Foreign Minister: “We are going to destroy the Jews.” (pg 37). And there are literally thousands of other references, but you already knew that. See further reading on the link below from the US Holocaust Museum where historians “concede”.. lol

    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143

    .
    Anonymous says:
    Are you aware that there was a great deal of systematic murder going on before Hitler got into power, very nearby in the Soviet Union?
    Of course, and agreed.

    .
    The uncomfortable fact is, this murder and mayhem was instigated and executed to a large degree by ethnic Jews.
    Let’s look at this. Josef Stalin was a NON Jewish Georgian who killed millions of civilians using Russian secret police and soldiers. So how is this something done by “ethnic Jews”?

    .
    In Germany there was a desperate economic situation, and politics were very polarized… street battles between Fascist Nationalist types and Bolshevik Internationalist types.
    Sure. No question there.

    .
    Hitler was a German Nationalist… Jews being traditionally stateless international people tended to be very gung ho on international communism…They were in a death struggle – there was a very *real* conflict there.
    So tens of thousands of Jews who had lived multiple generations in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, some of whom had converted to Christianity or given up Judaism, and were citizens for multiple generations, were “stateless” people?

    .
    It wasn’t an imaginary virus or mental illness. The Jews in Germany were extremely powerful in the Media/economy and their interests and outlook were so implacably against Hitler’s vision they had to be removed forcefully. Very harsh…but not necessarily a result of a mental illness.
    OK so you are saying Jews are a perennial virus that had to be “cleansed” in Hitler’s vision? Just want to be clear about your theory.

    There’s actually no documentation that confirms definitively that Hitler even wanted Jews *killed*
    lol.. you are of course completely wrong, for almost every credible historian of the Holocaust says the opposite. See at least 15 in the link below. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143

    .
    I realize this is a controversial statement, and I don’t say it to be ‘edgy’. I simply don’t believe anything the ‘official’ channels say any longer. Perhaps I’m going a bit crazy here too Enrique! (but I don’t think so)
    No I don’t think you are crazy at all. I think you are completely wrong, but you are being honest. You believe Jews are parasites and that their liquidation was a rational, reasonable act. If that is your honest opinion, hey, so be it.

    To tie in with Peter’s post. Would you say that Hitler’s attitude towards said Jews demonstrated a lack of affective empathy?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    A/ I realize Stalin was a Georgian. This doesn't alter my point. Jews were disproportionally involved in Stalinist atrocities. I think this is fairly well documented.

    B/ There were many innocent people caught up, and were victims. The same could be said about Japanese in Canadian/American camps. I've heard that half of the Japanese retained loyalty to US/Canada even after they were interned. The point is, it was impossible to know which half was which. (this is an example and obviously on a much smaller scale)

    C/ *I'm* not saying anything, Enrique... I promise I won't blame you for the Great Famine, if you you don't blame me for Auchwitz (deal?).... I'm *supposing* the degree of jewish support for Bolshevism was such that it made them enemies in Hitler's mind. I wasn't born at the time, and I'm not well read enough to determine how much truth there was to this... But obviously this was the perception of the Nazi leadership and a fair amount of the general public, so I suspect there was a fair amount of anti-nationalist sentiment among Jews.

    D/ It's funny, what cemented this doubt in my mind was a comment posted by unz commenter extraordinaire Sam Shama... Only a few days ago in another thread. The thread topic strayed to the Holocaust (as it often does!)... And there was the usual back and forth of links to documents, which were forged/incomplete/or trumped by other links to other documents. (Impossible to make heads or tails of it all for the layman)...and I was Shocked that Sam actually conceded, that there were none. Now obviously he claims the Nazi leadership kept it hush hush and the few documents that existed were destroyed. But he *did* admit that there were no 'smoking gun' documents...which surprised me because Sam is a Jewish activist par excellance... And smart to boot! He'll tell you himself that he 'clocks in' at 204 on the IQ scale. So I trust what he says here. There *may have been documents* but they were destroyed. I honestly hope we can get some conclusive evidence one way or the other. And I hope historians are given the freedom to look carefully at this ...even complete cranks should have absolute freedom to present their theories (I feel strongly about this)

    E/ Don't assign your dramatic thoughts and language into my head. Please. You don't know me, you aren't in a position to do this.

    Now thankfully, we get back to the topic at hand, (and apologies to Mr. Frost for hijacking his thread.)... Did Hitler have have a lack of affective empathy ? This is actually a good question worth investigation. I would say 'yes' when it came to the Jews... But 'no' when it came to his own people. He obviously made decisions that were catastrophic for European Jews, and he was ruthless about it. But at the same time he was a Vegetarian who loved animals, and he certainly loved *his* people. He devoted his life to a cause outside of himself.

    I'm not sure what sort of mechanisms are at play in the mind that allow someone to love their own group and treat another with such ruthlessness/callousness? But I think it's a very common human trait. It's also odd because of there are theories that Europeans are actually *more* empathic (I tend to think there is some truth to this) but it makes Hitler a bit of a mystery.
  41. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting

    Sean,

    It's both. There will always be some variability within any population, and some individuals will be less empathetic than others. This is why affective empathy cannot survive in a population unless there is some mechanism to expel low-empathy individuals.

    as far as I know the Finnic languages are generally supposed to come from the Urals region and to have spread westwards much later than the Mesolithic. No one knows what kind of language European hunter-gatherers spoke during the Mesolithic

    German,

    I was referring to the Germanic substrate hypothesis, see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_substrate_hypothesis

    Proto-Germanic shows not only considerable lexical borrowing from a non-Indo-European substrate, but also widespread inflectional alterations. This is not simply the sort of borrowing that happens when linguistically different peoples come into contact. It looks like Northwest Europeans originally spoke a non-Indo-European language and continued to retain aspects of it after adopting Indo-European.

    No one really knows what this original language was, and the point is irrelevant to my argument. I lean toward the proto-Finnic hypothesis, but I realize that this is a minority view.

    The studies I’d like to see are studies about how far “brain features” (matters as e.g. the size of the amygdala) are “developing” or changing over the time – from baby to adult.

    Stogumber,

    Such studies are possible through neuroimaging. A true longitudinal study would look at the same individuals at different ages from infancy to adulthood. Evidently, it would take two decades to do such research.

    in every field of cognition you need not only the abilities, but also the interest. Isn’t the problem of the psychopath simply his lack of interest?

    Stogumber,

    Concretely, what difference does it make if the genetic predisposition lies in a person's interest and not in his/her ability?

    What do you think of Duchesne’s view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.

    Anon,

    I don't follow you (I haven't read his book). The "take off" of Northwest Europe began around the 11th century with the end of the Dark Ages, the expansion of North Sea trade, and the consolidation of state power in that region. That's long after the coming of the Indo-Europeans.

    ‘HBD’ data shows that liberals have HIGHER IQs

    Enrique,

    It depends on how you define "liberal." Do you mean people who vote for "liberal" parties or people with a "liberal" sensibility? The latter definition would probably include me.

    I dislike using words like "liberal" and "conservative" because I've seen how these terms have changed meaning over time, even over the past thirty years.

    “Empathy” is only a thing that needs studying in america.

    Pat,

    I'm not an American, but a lot of "heartland America" resembles what I see in rural Ontario: high church attendance, willingness to help strangers, high investment in social capital, and genuine friendliness. And this all happens spontaneously, without prodding from Big Government. All of that is disappearing now, and it saddens me.

    Does that mean women have higher degree of affective empathy?

    IC

    Yes, women score higher on affective empathy than men do. This may be because affective empathy began as a means to facilitate relations between a mother and her children.

    Random,

    “We like to think that all people feel empathy to the same degree.”

    Who in the world thinks that?

    That is the socially normal view. And a lot of people have internalized that view. I often talk with people about this sort of thing-- both "liberals" and "conservatives" -- and most seem to think we are blank slates at birth. Anybody can become anyone with enough love and education.

    I don’t follow you (I haven’t read his book). The “take off” of Northwest Europe began around the 11th century with the end of the Dark Ages, the expansion of North Sea trade, and the consolidation of state power in that region. That’s long after the coming of the Indo-Europeans.

    True, but that was also long after the coming of the Mesolithics or proto-Finnics.

    Duchesne argues that Northwest Europe’s economic and cultural take off was an expression of the Indo-Europeans and IE culture.

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  42. Cognitive empathy appears to be the evolutionarily older component of the two. It is the capacity to understand how another person is feeling and then predict how different actions will affect that person’s emotional state. But this capacity can be used for selfish purposes. Examples are legion: the con artist; many telemarketers; the rapist who knows how to charm his victims …

    This is hog wash – apes have natural empathy – all kinds of animals exhibit empathy.

    The notion expressed in this “cognitive empathy” is an oxymoron. Language is being perverted – empathy without caring is not empathy. Please find some other way of explanation. Just say “false empathy.”

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    • Replies: @anon

    The notion expressed in this “cognitive empathy” is an oxymoron. Language is being perverted – empathy without caring is not empathy. Please find some other way of explanation. Just say “false empathy.”
     
    Think of it as hunter's empathy - it's a tool to help you kill - while the originally maternal kind is to stop you killing.
  43. @Peter Frost
    So, I’m not sure that the strangers are the ones who are doing the exploiting

    Sean,

    It's both. There will always be some variability within any population, and some individuals will be less empathetic than others. This is why affective empathy cannot survive in a population unless there is some mechanism to expel low-empathy individuals.

    as far as I know the Finnic languages are generally supposed to come from the Urals region and to have spread westwards much later than the Mesolithic. No one knows what kind of language European hunter-gatherers spoke during the Mesolithic

    German,

    I was referring to the Germanic substrate hypothesis, see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_substrate_hypothesis

    Proto-Germanic shows not only considerable lexical borrowing from a non-Indo-European substrate, but also widespread inflectional alterations. This is not simply the sort of borrowing that happens when linguistically different peoples come into contact. It looks like Northwest Europeans originally spoke a non-Indo-European language and continued to retain aspects of it after adopting Indo-European.

    No one really knows what this original language was, and the point is irrelevant to my argument. I lean toward the proto-Finnic hypothesis, but I realize that this is a minority view.

    The studies I’d like to see are studies about how far “brain features” (matters as e.g. the size of the amygdala) are “developing” or changing over the time – from baby to adult.

    Stogumber,

    Such studies are possible through neuroimaging. A true longitudinal study would look at the same individuals at different ages from infancy to adulthood. Evidently, it would take two decades to do such research.

    in every field of cognition you need not only the abilities, but also the interest. Isn’t the problem of the psychopath simply his lack of interest?

    Stogumber,

    Concretely, what difference does it make if the genetic predisposition lies in a person's interest and not in his/her ability?

    What do you think of Duchesne’s view in his book The Uniqueness of Western Civilization He attributes the NW Euro take off of the modern period to the Indo-Europeans and the influence of Indo-European culture.

    Anon,

    I don't follow you (I haven't read his book). The "take off" of Northwest Europe began around the 11th century with the end of the Dark Ages, the expansion of North Sea trade, and the consolidation of state power in that region. That's long after the coming of the Indo-Europeans.

    ‘HBD’ data shows that liberals have HIGHER IQs

    Enrique,

    It depends on how you define "liberal." Do you mean people who vote for "liberal" parties or people with a "liberal" sensibility? The latter definition would probably include me.

    I dislike using words like "liberal" and "conservative" because I've seen how these terms have changed meaning over time, even over the past thirty years.

    “Empathy” is only a thing that needs studying in america.

    Pat,

    I'm not an American, but a lot of "heartland America" resembles what I see in rural Ontario: high church attendance, willingness to help strangers, high investment in social capital, and genuine friendliness. And this all happens spontaneously, without prodding from Big Government. All of that is disappearing now, and it saddens me.

    Does that mean women have higher degree of affective empathy?

    IC

    Yes, women score higher on affective empathy than men do. This may be because affective empathy began as a means to facilitate relations between a mother and her children.

    Random,

    “We like to think that all people feel empathy to the same degree.”

    Who in the world thinks that?

    That is the socially normal view. And a lot of people have internalized that view. I often talk with people about this sort of thing-- both "liberals" and "conservatives" -- and most seem to think we are blank slates at birth. Anybody can become anyone with enough love and education.

    Aprish the reply. And I’m glad to know your not an American. My country is terribly sick, and unfortunately infectious. Tho I understand Canada has unspeakable speech laws, which I can only say, I learned a lot about the Holocaust by, if you recall the name Frank Loichter (sp?). When I went to Canada, I realized I could no longer be laissez faire, like Murray Rothbard, b/c clean cities are simply so much nicer to my taste. And yet my bedroom is filthy, and that’s sort of my point. Because so is Dublin. And as much as I love your nations clean cities, and increasingly just don’t respect the USA, I would never live in Ontario, if I had to give up going to Dublin. You can imagine how empathy for this standard has a ripple effect in a nation with no norms, like my USA.

    But there’s also something incredible about imagining empathy deriving from women and children, as though women and children could have become an issue at all if women and men had never known what each other were. I don’t doubt empathy is outside the metric parameters of intelligence, because its hard to imagine intelligence mattering at all if beings didn’t begin with the assumption that other beings were the same beings. The less people are plainly like each other the less they can empathize. My sole point is that empathy is most importantly (since psychos are rare) a simple set of assumptions that worked cause they don’t need empathy. In my country, you need, to get along for the most part, a lot of sophisticated empathy. And so many people have never been less happy on the average in human history than they are today in the USA.

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  44. Everybody,

    I have no control over the comments made here. All I can do is implore everyone to show a bit of common sense. This is not a post about Hitler and I don’t appreciate getting sloppy kisses and big bear hugs from keyboard Nazis. Please take your commenting elsewhere.

    Contemporary Northwest Europeans are only about half Mesolithic and Northern European, with the other half being Mediterranean and Southwest Asian.

    You are incorrect. In fact, there is very little measurable genetic admixture from Middle Eastern Neolithic farmers in Scandinavia. In the British Isles, the introgression is in the vicinity of 20%.

    “We obtained 249 million base pairs of genomic DNA from ~5000-year-old remains of three hunter-gatherers and one farmer excavated in Scandinavia and find that the farmer is genetically most similar to extant southern Europeans, contrasting sharply to the hunter-gatherers, whose distinct genetic signature is most similar to that of extant northern Europeans.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6080/466.short

    I am aware of the genetic data from central Europe, but even there — where the degree of admixture should be higher — there is evidence that the incoming farmers were themselves later replaced by the descendants of acculturated hunter-gatherers.

    Surely even blank slatists would admit that society has not actually reached the stage in which every human actually grows up in an identically secure, stimulating, progressive environment

    Yes, they would “admit” that. In fact, that’s the socially normal view. If people show low levels of empathy, it’s because they have not been kindly treated themselves.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    According to this, the British are around 33% Med and 17% SW Asian, and the Danes are about 30% Med and 16% SW Asian:

    https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/reference-populations/
    , @SFG
    " This is not a post about Hitler and I don’t appreciate getting sloppy kisses and big bear hugs from keyboard Nazis."

    As they say on another popular internet forum, you must be new here. ;)
  45. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Enrique Cardova
    Silvio says:
    “Be specific,” you say. Okay then. There’s no evidence that Hitler ordered any holocaust – a point conceded by mainstream holocaust historians – or indeed that he had any knowledge of such. Specific enough for you?

    You are of course completely wrong. Almost EVERY credible historian of the Holocaust notes that Hitler planned and ordered it. They don't "concede" anything as bogus as you say. But see such "specifics" as historian Ian Kershaw 2000, 2008 which shows Hitler's clear intention- from Mein Kampf to the multiple conferences to iron out the details, to reports seen and commented on with satisfaction by the Fuherer. (2000). Hitler 1936–1945: Nemesis. (2008). Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution.) See also Richard Rhodes 2002. Masters of Death which details the SS side of the machinery and the decisions made by Hitler. As early as 1939 (Jan 21 to be precise) he proclaimed to the Czech Foreign Minister: "We are going to destroy the Jews." (pg 37). And there are literally thousands of other references, but you already knew that. See further reading on the link below from the US Holocaust Museum where historians "concede".. lol
    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143


    .
    Anonymous says:
    Are you aware that there was a great deal of systematic murder going on before Hitler got into power, very nearby in the Soviet Union?
    Of course, and agreed.

    .
    The uncomfortable fact is, this murder and mayhem was instigated and executed to a large degree by ethnic Jews.
    Let's look at this. Josef Stalin was a NON Jewish Georgian who killed millions of civilians using Russian secret police and soldiers. So how is this something done by "ethnic Jews"?


    .
    In Germany there was a desperate economic situation, and politics were very polarized… street battles between Fascist Nationalist types and Bolshevik Internationalist types.
    Sure. No question there.

    .
    Hitler was a German Nationalist… Jews being traditionally stateless international people tended to be very gung ho on international communism…They were in a death struggle – there was a very *real* conflict there.
    So tens of thousands of Jews who had lived multiple generations in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, some of whom had converted to Christianity or given up Judaism, and were citizens for multiple generations, were "stateless" people?


    .
    It wasn’t an imaginary virus or mental illness. The Jews in Germany were extremely powerful in the Media/economy and their interests and outlook were so implacably against Hitler’s vision they had to be removed forcefully. Very harsh…but not necessarily a result of a mental illness.
    OK so you are saying Jews are a perennial virus that had to be "cleansed" in Hitler's vision? Just want to be clear about your theory.


    There’s actually no documentation that confirms definitively that Hitler even wanted Jews *killed* –
    lol.. you are of course completely wrong, for almost every credible historian of the Holocaust says the opposite. See at least 15 in the link below. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143

    .
    I realize this is a controversial statement, and I don’t say it to be ‘edgy’. I simply don’t believe anything the ‘official’ channels say any longer. Perhaps I’m going a bit crazy here too Enrique! (but I don’t think so)
    No I don't think you are crazy at all. I think you are completely wrong, but you are being honest. You believe Jews are parasites and that their liquidation was a rational, reasonable act. If that is your honest opinion, hey, so be it.

    To tie in with Peter's post. Would you say that Hitler's attitude towards said Jews demonstrated a lack of affective empathy?

    A/ I realize Stalin was a Georgian. This doesn’t alter my point. Jews were disproportionally involved in Stalinist atrocities. I think this is fairly well documented.

    B/ There were many innocent people caught up, and were victims. The same could be said about Japanese in Canadian/American camps. I’ve heard that half of the Japanese retained loyalty to US/Canada even after they were interned. The point is, it was impossible to know which half was which. (this is an example and obviously on a much smaller scale)

    C/ *I’m* not saying anything, Enrique… I promise I won’t blame you for the Great Famine, if you you don’t blame me for Auchwitz (deal?)…. I’m *supposing* the degree of jewish support for Bolshevism was such that it made them enemies in Hitler’s mind. I wasn’t born at the time, and I’m not well read enough to determine how much truth there was to this… But obviously this was the perception of the Nazi leadership and a fair amount of the general public, so I suspect there was a fair amount of anti-nationalist sentiment among Jews.

    D/ It’s funny, what cemented this doubt in my mind was a comment posted by unz commenter extraordinaire Sam Shama… Only a few days ago in another thread. The thread topic strayed to the Holocaust (as it often does!)… And there was the usual back and forth of links to documents, which were forged/incomplete/or trumped by other links to other documents. (Impossible to make heads or tails of it all for the layman)…and I was Shocked that Sam actually conceded, that there were none. Now obviously he claims the Nazi leadership kept it hush hush and the few documents that existed were destroyed. But he *did* admit that there were no ‘smoking gun’ documents…which surprised me because Sam is a Jewish activist par excellance… And smart to boot! He’ll tell you himself that he ‘clocks in’ at 204 on the IQ scale. So I trust what he says here. There *may have been documents* but they were destroyed. I honestly hope we can get some conclusive evidence one way or the other. And I hope historians are given the freedom to look carefully at this …even complete cranks should have absolute freedom to present their theories (I feel strongly about this)

    E/ Don’t assign your dramatic thoughts and language into my head. Please. You don’t know me, you aren’t in a position to do this.

    Now thankfully, we get back to the topic at hand, (and apologies to Mr. Frost for hijacking his thread.)… Did Hitler have have a lack of affective empathy ? This is actually a good question worth investigation. I would say ‘yes’ when it came to the Jews… But ‘no’ when it came to his own people. He obviously made decisions that were catastrophic for European Jews, and he was ruthless about it. But at the same time he was a Vegetarian who loved animals, and he certainly loved *his* people. He devoted his life to a cause outside of himself.

    I’m not sure what sort of mechanisms are at play in the mind that allow someone to love their own group and treat another with such ruthlessness/callousness? But I think it’s a very common human trait. It’s also odd because of there are theories that Europeans are actually *more* empathic (I tend to think there is some truth to this) but it makes Hitler a bit of a mystery.

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  46. @random observer
    I think I get where you are coming from but there are problems with characterizing Hitler as "rational". Not psychopathic, perhaps, even at the end, but definitely irrational by customary standards.

    He made too many huge strategic and operational military decisions not only without seeking the best information, but even ignoring or aggressively rejecting information available to him. Some early gambles, taken by rejecting professional advice but within reasonable boundaries of total information, paid off. Later, such gambles were taken on ever grander scale and in the face of overwhelming contrary information, and he doubled down all the time despite repeated massive disaster.

    That's nearly the essence of irrationality.

    There is a strong case to be made that rationality is purely instrumental- nothing is objectively reasonable, a course is reasonable if it tends to move toward the achievement of a desired goal. The definition of goals is a fundamentally irrational and separate process.

    Even by that standard, Hitler's behaviour from at least December 1941 was irrational in the extreme if his goals actually included: winning the war, expanding German power in Europe, building a basis for future world power, or keeping a Nazi regime in power. His actions tended to undermine these potentially rational goals, and his actions therefore must be called irrational.

    If his goal actually was to destroy Europe in a Wagnerian contest of German and Slav, and he didn't care which was the winner because the winner would by definition be the strongest [there is a last days quote from him expressing disinterested surprise that the Slav had proved himself stronger after all], then his actions were rational if defined as steps toward that goal.

    While I am actually persuaded by the aforementioned idea that goals are always pre-rational and reason can only be tested instrumentally, colloquially I can't find a better term to rate the goal of national suicide other than to call it "irrational".

    Many have also remarked on the irrationality of his wasting so much manpower and resources on killing Jews instead of fighting enemies actually putting troops in the field. If one accepts his idea that his enemy was the Jews, and the others merely their instruments, then this becomes more rational on some level. And yet it was irrational still, since the Jews he was killing were all helpless civilians, whereas his actual enemies were deploying millions of armed men and thousands of tanks, guns and aircraft against him. Even if all were merely the military arm of the Jews, it makes no sense to waste resources on non-threatening targets to the detriment of the fight against threatening ones.

    Especially since it should have been clear early on that doing so was not even negatively affecting the morale of the enemy, as why should it have... The victims were not citizens of the western allied nations and Hitler should have been well aware that Stalin didn't care about his own citizens. By that standard, it was less rational even than Allied bombing. It too failed to break enemy morale, but at least attempting to do so made some kind of theoretical sense until disproved. They were at least killing the enemies' civilians on their home soil, marginally reducing manpower, draining off military resources, and smashing up some hardware and production capacity. The Holocaust had no impact on the warmaking capacity of the Allied or Soviet nations at all. Complete waste of time and resources unless pretty sure the Allies were defeated or near as not, which was never the case after 1941.

    Again, unless national suicide is already the expected and accepted outcome and the sole purpose of the war is to take as many of those unarmed populations along for the ride.

    This is, to use the scientific term, batsh*t crazy.

    Not to mention launching a rerun of a war Germany had already lost once and expecting a better result. Granted, he gambled that France was a shell of its former self and was right. Clever clogs. On the other hand, it should have been fairly clear that Russia would prove stronger than before. If only because they had invested so much more heavily in artillery, had so many tanks [even the crappy early ones were not obviously worse than the panzer 1 and 2 Hitler started with, and the T34 was known about in June 1941] and had an obviously more motivationally capable regime than that of Nicholas II. And America had essentially come out of the First war richer and stronger and with its manpower capacity and morale intact.

    And of course Germany in 1939 was smaller, and poorer relative to major competitors than Germany of 1914. He did well with that starting point, and France's collapse was a radical improvement for Germany, but it's still hard to see how the Germany of 1939 could defeat the same constellation of foes the Kaiser's empire had failed to defeat.

    Right up until June 22 1941, and perhaps even up to December 8 1941, German policy could be considered rational albeit reckless. From December 8 1941 at the latest it can be called rational only if the Wagnerian scenario was the desired goal. Or if Hitler had been playing the battlefield elements with some sign of seeking a settlement that involved keeping some gains.

    Random Observer says:
    I think I get where you are coming from but there are problems with characterizing Hitler as “rational”. Not psychopathic, perhaps, even at the end, but definitely irrational by customary standards. He made too many huge strategic and operational military decisions not only without seeking the best information, but even ignoring or aggressively rejecting information available to him. Some early gambles, taken by rejecting professional advice but within reasonable boundaries of total information, paid off. Later, such gambles were taken on ever grander scale and in the face of overwhelming contrary information, and he doubled down all the time despite repeated massive disaster. That’s nearly the essence of irrationality.

    At last, someone with depth, who can actually do some worthy analysis. Excellent points all. But would you not say that some seemingly irrational actions such as the Fuehrer “stand fast” – “no retreat” orders may have prevented a rout on fragile sectors of a crumbling front? See for example the argument here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/34sgwh/was_hitlers_strategic_acumen_really_that_bad/

    .
    Even by that standard, Hitler’s behaviour from at least December 1941 was irrational in the extreme if his goals actually included: winning the war, expanding German power in Europe, building a basis for future world power, or keeping a Nazi regime in power. His actions tended to undermine these potentially rational goals, and his actions therefore must be called irrational.

    Hmm, a reasonable analysis.

    .
    Many have also remarked on the irrationality of his wasting so much manpower and resources on killing Jews instead of fighting enemies actually putting troops in the field. If one accepts his idea that his enemy was the Jews, and the others merely their instruments, then this becomes more rational on some level. And yet it was irrational still, since the Jews he was killing were all helpless civilians, whereas his actual enemies were deploying millions of armed men and thousands of tanks, guns and aircraft against him. Even if all were merely the military arm of the Jews, it makes no sense to waste resources on non-threatening targets to the detriment of the fight against threatening ones.

    Fair enough. What you say here shows how what is viewed as “rational” can operate on different levels.

    Again, unless national suicide is already the expected and accepted outcome and the sole purpose of the war is to take as many of those unarmed populations along for the ride. This is, to use the scientific term, batsh*t crazy.

    Hmm, indeed.

    .
    On the other hand, it should have been fairly clear that Russia would prove stronger than before. If only because they had invested so much more heavily in artillery, had so many tanks [even the crappy early ones were not obviously worse than the panzer 1 and 2 Hitler started with, and the T34 was known about in June 1941] and had an obviously more motivationally capable..

    I am not so sure. It is true as you say Germany was weak in certain material aspects, and Hitler went to war expecting quick victories without preparing for a long, vicious war of material, but the flip side is German advantages in QUALITY over quantity. The French had more tanks, more men, etc but German QUALITY in training, organization, ground level leadership, tactics and coordination was decisive. Likewise the Russians had a better standard battle tank but failed in communication- lack of radios for example- and coordinated tactics. It was only after severe losses, coupled with American Lend-Lease aid and more importantly recovered production that the Soviets eventually one. Hitler’s early gambles paid off utilizing Germany’s strengths against his enemies. The Germans stung the Americans painfully too when they entered the fray in North Africa, painful lessons the Americans absorbed and learned from. The Fuehrer failed to sustain that qualitative advantage over time.

    .
    Right up until June 22 1941, and perhaps even up to December 8 1941, German policy could be considered rational albeit reckless. From December 8 1941 at the latest it can be called rational only if the Wagnerian scenario was the desired goal.

    Agreed in part. But think of the obvious second scenario.

    (a) Rather than, as you correctly point out, wasting all those resources and personnel killing unarmed civilians and building extermination camps, better their labor had been pressed into helping the German war economy? And indeed per Rhodes 2002 (Masters of Death) Germany towards the end suffered labor shortages, but ironically, kept right on killing potentially productive labor. Some of this labor was skilled, and some of it fled Germany, where it was helpful in developing new weapons like the atomic bomb. Suppose all that skill had been retained on the German side?

    (b) Rather than alienate tens of millions of Slavs why didn’t Hitler offer generous nationalist terms in exchange for cooperation? Many of the suppressed Slav nationalities hated Stalin. Why have all these people fighting against you when Stalin’s empire could have been divided against him? But yet, Hitler offered no option to many Slavs, except death, Hitler alienated so many that it virtually ensured a substantially hostile rear area. I read one book that estimated over a quarter of a million German troops in Russia alone had to be kept guarding lines of communication from Soviet partisan attacks.

    .
    , but it’s still hard to see how the Germany of 1939 could defeat the same constellation of foes the Kaiser’s empire had failed to defeat.

    Hitler’s war had a reasonable prospect of victory in the East, but as some have pointed out, his many military blunders hurt those prospects. He failed to finish off Moscow, a very important target, and seemed of two minds later on, dividing his forces between the Caucasus in pursuit of “living space” resources dictated by his propaganda, and other key targets- with the end result that neither was achieved. Knowing he was facing a ruthless existential enemy in Stalin, he still failed to prepare for a worse case, and secure a full mobilization of the German economy until very late in the game. He alienated massive numbers of Slavs who had little choice but to fight for Stalin, since all Hitler offered was extermination.

    He could have saved himself untold grief in the West if he had held off declaring war on the US and just provided Japan material and rhetorical support, even with the advantage of hindsight in knowing from history how US resources tipped the balance in WW1. These and other blunders wrecked any reasonable chance of victory it could be argued.

    But anyway, I am done with Hitler, but as far as empathy, some do argue that a more cooperative/collaborative approach towards the Slavs, might have made a significant difference in the resources needed for occupation duty, as well as mobilized political support against Stalin.

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  47. @imnobody00
    I don't think Christianity was important, beyond being a rationalization tool of this new empathy born out of outbreeding. Islam has been non-tribal from the very beginning but tribes have kept on existing in the Muslim world.

    All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. (From the Last Sermon of Muhammad)

     

    I think manorialism and the ban of the Catholic Church against cousin marriages are the causes of this increase in empathy when it comes to the Middle Ages period.

    imnobody says:
    I don’t think Christianity was important, beyond being a rationalization tool of this new empathy born out of outbreeding.

    Actually as Peter shows, Christianity was a key component. The many institutions of mercy developed by the churches show this, among other things.

    .
    I think manorialism and the ban of the Catholic Church against cousin marriages are the causes of this increase in empathy when it comes to the Middle Ages period.

    So you say but present no specific examples, nor cite any evidence. IN fact what you say here is contradictory. Up above you say Christianity was not very important, yet now you cite the Catholic Church’s ban on cousin marriages as being an influential part of the empathy mix. Which is it? The 2 positions are contradictory.

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  48. @Sean
    Take your mutually trollish discussion somewhere else please.

    Take your mutually trollish discussion somewhere else please.

    I’m trolling nothing. I find Enrique’s idiocy completely insufferable so I responded sharply to him. I’m perfectly capable of defending my point of view, but I won’t pursue it here out of respect for Frost, who seems to equate an interest in historical truth with Nazi apologia. In reality, one look at my physiognomy would dispel in less than a second any suspicions that I’m a Nazi sympathizer. In the long run I consider it a given that the damn will burst on these issues, and at that point you are going to want people capable of acknowledging historical realities who are not Nazi sympathizers to generate more palatable interpretations of historical events than people who are. Until then, I’ll quietly slink away and play the “troll” role simpletons like Sean assign me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Sean is fine with commenters saying any and every thing about every population group in the world. Except for one population group. If you say something about or related to this particular population group, for some reason Sean gets upset and whines and protests.
    , @Sean
    Saying something in order to precipitate an off topic controversy is the very essence of the common or garden troll. Enrique is the master of it, he always starts off saying he agrees with the post (to get you to read on) them he quickly switches feet and brings up Thomas Sowell's view of US racial politics, and the nazis. His first (1200 word) comment explicitly mentioned American plantation slavery. His second brought in Germany in WW2. For the avoidance of doubt, Enrique gets the dam to burst every single week; that is how he drowns the post in a torrent of off-topic mutual trolling.
  49. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @silviosilver

    Take your mutually trollish discussion somewhere else please.
     
    I'm trolling nothing. I find Enrique's idiocy completely insufferable so I responded sharply to him. I'm perfectly capable of defending my point of view, but I won't pursue it here out of respect for Frost, who seems to equate an interest in historical truth with Nazi apologia. In reality, one look at my physiognomy would dispel in less than a second any suspicions that I'm a Nazi sympathizer. In the long run I consider it a given that the damn will burst on these issues, and at that point you are going to want people capable of acknowledging historical realities who are not Nazi sympathizers to generate more palatable interpretations of historical events than people who are. Until then, I'll quietly slink away and play the "troll" role simpletons like Sean assign me.

    Sean is fine with commenters saying any and every thing about every population group in the world. Except for one population group. If you say something about or related to this particular population group, for some reason Sean gets upset and whines and protests.

    Read More
  50. @Anonymous
    You are far more knowledgable about this stuff than I am, so I won't question your analysis.

    My concern with this cheesy Nazi/Hitler boogeyman schlock, is that it is being used as a political weapon *in the present*

    I don't know or care if Hitler was clinically ill or not....and if he was a diagnosis of 'Psychopath' seems unlikely.

    OK, I’ll buy that. Especially as to the contemporary political use. Even perhaps to the point of questioning whether “psychopath” would be an accurate description of him- I agree probably it is not accurate. There are plenty of bad and/or nuts categories without inaccurately applying the empathy-excluding category of psychopath. Agreed on all of that.

    Although psychopaths and sociopaths are very prone to mad gambles and thrill seeking [read the fascinating memoir "Confessions of a Sociopath"] which certainly applies to Hitler’s style in some ways, on the whole Hitler’s behaviour seems far too emotional to be considered psychopathic or beyond empathy. If anything, his empathic capacity was just directed in peculiar ways toward targets of affection not everyone else could see. But not psychopathy.

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  51. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    Everybody,

    I have no control over the comments made here. All I can do is implore everyone to show a bit of common sense. This is not a post about Hitler and I don't appreciate getting sloppy kisses and big bear hugs from keyboard Nazis. Please take your commenting elsewhere.

    Contemporary Northwest Europeans are only about half Mesolithic and Northern European, with the other half being Mediterranean and Southwest Asian.

    You are incorrect. In fact, there is very little measurable genetic admixture from Middle Eastern Neolithic farmers in Scandinavia. In the British Isles, the introgression is in the vicinity of 20%.

    "We obtained 249 million base pairs of genomic DNA from ~5000-year-old remains of three hunter-gatherers and one farmer excavated in Scandinavia and find that the farmer is genetically most similar to extant southern Europeans, contrasting sharply to the hunter-gatherers, whose distinct genetic signature is most similar to that of extant northern Europeans."

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6080/466.short

    I am aware of the genetic data from central Europe, but even there -- where the degree of admixture should be higher -- there is evidence that the incoming farmers were themselves later replaced by the descendants of acculturated hunter-gatherers.

    Surely even blank slatists would admit that society has not actually reached the stage in which every human actually grows up in an identically secure, stimulating, progressive environment

    Yes, they would "admit" that. In fact, that's the socially normal view. If people show low levels of empathy, it's because they have not been kindly treated themselves.

    According to this, the British are around 33% Med and 17% SW Asian, and the Danes are about 30% Med and 16% SW Asian:

    https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/reference-populations/

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  52. @Realist
    "LIBERALS HAVE LOWER IQ’S; MOST OF THEM ARE PSYCHOPATHS TOO."

    Massachusetts has the highest IQ....very liberal.

    Mississippi has the lowest IQ.....very conservative.

    As for psychopaths I give you John McCain!

    I believe that the average IQ of the state of Mississippi is about 94. I believe that the black percentage of the population in Mississippi is about 37%. Assuming that the average IQ of black Mississippians is the US black average of 85 this implies an average IQ for Mississippi whites of about 99.

    Southern whites tend to have somewhat lower average IQ’s than northern whites but the low average IQ’s of southern states is almost entirely due to the higher black population of these states. The black population in these states generally vote for “liberal” candidates while the white voters generally vote for more conservative candidates. In the south the conservative voters who tend to be white are clearly higher in average IQ than liberal voters who are much more likely to be black.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    "{In the south the conservative voters who tend to be white are clearly higher in average IQ than liberal voters who are much more likely to be black."

    Not in Massachusetts.


    But the correlation is not perfect.
  53. OK, just read the author’s 44. For the record, as I hope was clear, I am on the anti-Nazi side, but point well taken.

    On a more relevant note, I appreciate this clarifying summary of the evolutionary development of empathy in humans. I am less worried than some others by the prospect that an evolutionary or neurological understanding of empathy will undermine its more traditional ‘moral’ standing. I get it, as with other human qualities whose biological underpinnings are being explored, I’m just not sold by the idea that understanding will undermine practice.

    On that note, Art 42 made some interesting points although I didn’t necessarily find them convincing either.

    “This is hog wash – apes have natural empathy – all kinds of animals exhibit empathy.”

    I am interpreting the animal empathy to which Art refers as more akin to human’s affective empathy. Is this a misunderstanding on my part and/or Art’s? Perhaps by assuming too much ‘emotion’ for lack of a better term into what is just recognition of the other on the part of said animals?

    “The notion expressed in this “cognitive empathy” is an oxymoron. Language is being perverted – empathy without caring is not empathy. Please find some other way of explanation. Just say “false empathy.”

    Here I’m just going to leap out and say I don’t think that’s right. I thought empathy just meant recognition of the other as similar and ability to understand the other’s predicament. We tend to use empathy as an extension of and expansion on sympathy- as understanding of the other’s feelings as well as mere sympathy with them. That is to say, it goes beyond ‘mere’ sympathy and is therefore more or better than sympathy. I seem to remember that view being expressed in the past. But that’s colloquial usage. Just as one can have sympathy without empathy [happens all the time, and is not to be spat on on that account], presumably one can have empathy without sympathy, ie. without ‘caring’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    Random Observer - Please see post 59 - it was for you - Art.
  54. @skep
    Be careful with the french revolution; i think you speak about an official and wrongful narrative. The 14 th july revolution was nothing else but an oligarchic coup to take over the king Louis XVI and put in place the duke of Orleans. It had been prepared the eve of the event in Duke of Orleans masonic lodge (see Guy Breton's "les beaux mensonges de l'histoire": chap 9); nothing to do with french people, the guys that took the Bastille were a mix of bandits -that were looting paris since the month of may-, of citizen militias who wanted weapons to fight the first, and duke of Orleans' guys.

    The “Paris Mob” was drawn from the urban proletariat which was less than 10% of the French population at the time of the French Revolution. Had the Revolution been truly “democratic” it would have been dominated by the French peasantry and would have taken a completley different and much more conservative direction.

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  55. @silviosilver

    Take your mutually trollish discussion somewhere else please.
     
    I'm trolling nothing. I find Enrique's idiocy completely insufferable so I responded sharply to him. I'm perfectly capable of defending my point of view, but I won't pursue it here out of respect for Frost, who seems to equate an interest in historical truth with Nazi apologia. In reality, one look at my physiognomy would dispel in less than a second any suspicions that I'm a Nazi sympathizer. In the long run I consider it a given that the damn will burst on these issues, and at that point you are going to want people capable of acknowledging historical realities who are not Nazi sympathizers to generate more palatable interpretations of historical events than people who are. Until then, I'll quietly slink away and play the "troll" role simpletons like Sean assign me.

    Saying something in order to precipitate an off topic controversy is the very essence of the common or garden troll. Enrique is the master of it, he always starts off saying he agrees with the post (to get you to read on) them he quickly switches feet and brings up Thomas Sowell’s view of US racial politics, and the nazis. His first (1200 word) comment explicitly mentioned American plantation slavery. His second brought in Germany in WW2. For the avoidance of doubt, Enrique gets the dam to burst every single week; that is how he drowns the post in a torrent of off-topic mutual trolling.

    Read More
  56. @Jim
    I believe that the average IQ of the state of Mississippi is about 94. I believe that the black percentage of the population in Mississippi is about 37%. Assuming that the average IQ of black Mississippians is the US black average of 85 this implies an average IQ for Mississippi whites of about 99.

    Southern whites tend to have somewhat lower average IQ's than northern whites but the low average IQ's of southern states is almost entirely due to the higher black population of these states. The black population in these states generally vote for "liberal" candidates while the white voters generally vote for more conservative candidates. In the south the conservative voters who tend to be white are clearly higher in average IQ than liberal voters who are much more likely to be black.

    “{In the south the conservative voters who tend to be white are clearly higher in average IQ than liberal voters who are much more likely to be black.”

    Not in Massachusetts.

    But the correlation is not perfect.

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  57. Enrique,

    Please stay on-topic. Remember, the topic is not Hitler.

    I don’t think any of you guys are trolls. You just seem to be so caught up in the revisionist/anti-revisionist subculture that you have trouble imagining there are other issues and other debates.

    I don’t want to leave The Unz Review, but this sort of thing can cause me no end of problems. Until two years ago, Canadian bloggers were held legally responsible for the comments on their blogs and could be prosecuted under Hate Crime legislation.

    The law has been changed, but the guilt by association still exists in most people’s minds. This isn’t the U.S., and people think differently. I could defend myself by pointing out I have no control over the comments, but people would ask: “Why, then, don’t you have your column removed from The Unz Review?”

    Anon,

    National Geographic is a respected magazine, but it’s hardly a primary source in a debate that has swung wildly back and forth in recent years. At one point, most academics agreed that the European gene pool was about 80% descended from native hunter-gatherers and 20% from Middle-Eastern farmers. With retrieval of ancient DNA, the tables suddenly turned, and people started saying that Europeans are mainly descended from those Middle Eastern farmers.

    Now the pendulum is swinging back. Ancient DNA does show a sharp genetic divide between late hunter-gatherers and early farmers, but a closer look at more complete time series shows that the divide is actually between the earliest farmers and somewhat later farmers. Part of the genetic divide seems to be caused not by population replacement but rather by a change in selection pressures, which then caused a shift in the frequencies of certain mtDNA haplogroups (which were formerly assumed to be of no selective value).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The more recent genetic research seems to suggest that population replacement was a bigger factor than previously believed. The "pots not people" model favored by many archaeologists and anthropologists until recently seems to be looking more and more mistaken.
    , @SFG
    Dr. Frost:

    I'm sorry to hear you live in Canada where it's legal to prosecute people over speech, but one thing you should be aware of is that most of the people interested in these 'aberrant' topics tend to hold far-right views up to and including Holocaust denial, and if you are seriously worried about legal ramifications, you should probably ask Unz if you can withdraw your stuff. I and everyone here enjoys it very much, but this is not worth going to jail over, especially with packs of SJW ready to hound anyone they can detect with 'incorrect' views. If you are so brave as to continue, God bless you...and look into getting US citizenship!

    Sure, you can believe in HBD and the Holocaust, just like you can believe in HBD and global climate change. But almost nobody does. The politics of these issues are such that whoever believes A, tends to believe B, even if A is false and B is true. I've never met anyone who just takes things on the evidence--or at least they don't admit to it. ;) Humans are social beings, after all. You pick which set of falsehoods you're willing to mouth.
    , @Melendwyr
    Perhaps this is a stupid question, but if that's what the attitudes in your country are like: Why don't you leave Canada?
  58. I can’t accept hbd chicks idea’s. There is no doubt that the Highlands of Scotland were extremely clannish (forgive the pun) until the 18th century but places like Canada that have a lot of Highland immigrants were if anything more orderly than other places. A while ago I mentioned a Canadian district that the most feared Highland clan, including the warrior class, moved to en mass.

    Interestingly there was labour-intensive seaweed harvesting in the Highlands, up untill almost the 19th century (see here).

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  59. Wiki —- Empathy has many different definitions that encompass a broad range of emotional states, including caring for other people and having a desire to help them; experiencing emotions that match another person’s emotions; discerning what another person is thinking or feeling;[6] and making less distinct the differences between the self and the other.

    Words have consequences – their meanings have relevance. Language can be abused.

    The term “cognitive empathy” is an abuse of language. In the paragraph Reed describes a situations of false empathy or dishonest empathy – but uses the word “cognitive” – the word cognitive has no positive or negative connotation to it – positive or negative is not part of its definition.

    Words have attributes – words need other words to define them, their attributes give them clarity. Surly two of the defining words of “empathy” are caring and emotion. Is it really possible to be empathic without emotion? There is an emotion that goes along with everything that is important. Some emotion is behind every human action. Empathy is a process in the mind – neurons are clicking – part of the process is the takeover of our emotions by our cognitive functions.

    Do we really need the term “effective empathy?”

    p.s. Does Reed take out our nurturing human element with all this talk about genetics and brains – is he making us out to be automatons of our genetics – is he giving no credit to nurture. When we are young, our parents pull empathy out of us, they put a value on empathy, they instill in us good empathic character.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
    It could be said that parents lay the FRAMEWORK of empathy. They can't teach it directly but whether in teaching about the golden rule, or social norms such as refraining from insults, etc, and in teaching religion, they lay the groundwork for the emergence of empathy later on. Different cultures would have different angles, or may be more directed towards close kin or tribe, but generally all societies and their parents want to instill some sort of framework.
    , @random observer
    It's not that I don't appreciate the idea that in common usage, to the extent the term or idea empathy even is in everyday use distinct from sympathy, empathy implies what Peter Frost calls "affective empathy". I also assume caring. It's just that it doesn't seem to be the only or the most generic definition.

    On that note, the wiki you cite gives four variations of a definition of empathy, only the first of which necessarily includes "caring", at least as written in that excerpt. The second includes recognizing and mirroring emotions, which is not at all the same thing. The other two can imply but do not require 'emotional' connection. All of these as written describe cognitive processes, which is not a term that requires either the presence or absence of emotion. EMotion is a cognitive process.

  60. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Frost
    Enrique,

    Please stay on-topic. Remember, the topic is not Hitler.

    I don't think any of you guys are trolls. You just seem to be so caught up in the revisionist/anti-revisionist subculture that you have trouble imagining there are other issues and other debates.

    I don't want to leave The Unz Review, but this sort of thing can cause me no end of problems. Until two years ago, Canadian bloggers were held legally responsible for the comments on their blogs and could be prosecuted under Hate Crime legislation.

    The law has been changed, but the guilt by association still exists in most people's minds. This isn't the U.S., and people think differently. I could defend myself by pointing out I have no control over the comments, but people would ask: "Why, then, don't you have your column removed from The Unz Review?"

    Anon,

    National Geographic is a respected magazine, but it's hardly a primary source in a debate that has swung wildly back and forth in recent years. At one point, most academics agreed that the European gene pool was about 80% descended from native hunter-gatherers and 20% from Middle-Eastern farmers. With retrieval of ancient DNA, the tables suddenly turned, and people started saying that Europeans are mainly descended from those Middle Eastern farmers.

    Now the pendulum is swinging back. Ancient DNA does show a sharp genetic divide between late hunter-gatherers and early farmers, but a closer look at more complete time series shows that the divide is actually between the earliest farmers and somewhat later farmers. Part of the genetic divide seems to be caused not by population replacement but rather by a change in selection pressures, which then caused a shift in the frequencies of certain mtDNA haplogroups (which were formerly assumed to be of no selective value).

    The more recent genetic research seems to suggest that population replacement was a bigger factor than previously believed. The “pots not people” model favored by many archaeologists and anthropologists until recently seems to be looking more and more mistaken.

    Read More
  61. @random observer
    OK, just read the author's 44. For the record, as I hope was clear, I am on the anti-Nazi side, but point well taken.

    On a more relevant note, I appreciate this clarifying summary of the evolutionary development of empathy in humans. I am less worried than some others by the prospect that an evolutionary or neurological understanding of empathy will undermine its more traditional 'moral' standing. I get it, as with other human qualities whose biological underpinnings are being explored, I'm just not sold by the idea that understanding will undermine practice.

    On that note, Art 42 made some interesting points although I didn't necessarily find them convincing either.

    "This is hog wash – apes have natural empathy – all kinds of animals exhibit empathy."

    I am interpreting the animal empathy to which Art refers as more akin to human's affective empathy. Is this a misunderstanding on my part and/or Art's? Perhaps by assuming too much 'emotion' for lack of a better term into what is just recognition of the other on the part of said animals?

    "The notion expressed in this “cognitive empathy” is an oxymoron. Language is being perverted – empathy without caring is not empathy. Please find some other way of explanation. Just say “false empathy.”

    Here I'm just going to leap out and say I don't think that's right. I thought empathy just meant recognition of the other as similar and ability to understand the other's predicament. We tend to use empathy as an extension of and expansion on sympathy- as understanding of the other's feelings as well as mere sympathy with them. That is to say, it goes beyond 'mere' sympathy and is therefore more or better than sympathy. I seem to remember that view being expressed in the past. But that's colloquial usage. Just as one can have sympathy without empathy [happens all the time, and is not to be spat on on that account], presumably one can have empathy without sympathy, ie. without 'caring'.

    Random Observer – Please see post 59 – it was for you – Art.

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  62. Art,

    It’s important to distinguish between cognitive empathy and affective empathy, and words must be found to make that distinction. When you deprive other people of words — for whatever reason — it becomes harder to reason coherently. This is why ideologies seek to eliminate words or change their meanings beyond recognition. When you deprive people of words, the process of reasoning is disrupted, sometimes irreparably.

    When we are young, our parents pull empathy out of us

    I’m sorry but you are mistaken. Parents can do a lot but they cannot teach empathy. What they can teach is pro-social behavior — a willingness to help others and contribute to the community. But it’s not really the same thing as affective empathy. People perceive pro-social behavior either as a moral duty or as a form of enlightened self-interest. Affective empathy is an emotional response — you actually feel the pain or joy of the other person.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    Clearly we disagree – how can “feigned” empathy be described as “cognitive” empathy – it is just not logical. When emotional empathy passes into human action – it becomes cognitive empathy (cognitive, meaning thinking) – how can it be anything different. These distinctions - cognitive and effective, as different kinds of empathy - do not make logical sense.

    Nature nurture? Don’t most people have some natural empathy within them – don’t most people have some genetic makeup that manifests the emotion of empathy? We can agree that a small percentage of adults have little or no empathy for others. Why? Can it be - nature – nurture – or both?

    Pro-social behavior. Doesn’t empathy for life come first, before pro-social behavior?

    There are Christian Semitic peoples, and Muslim Semitic peoples, and Jewish Semitic peoples – they all have different cultures, but the same genetics - how does empathy play out among them?
    , @Art

    Art: When we are young, our parents pull empathy out of us

    Frost: I’m sorry but you are mistaken. Parents can do a lot but they cannot teach empathy.
     
    May I disagree with you. I do not know if at birth there is a corner of the brain that is labeled “empathy.”

    But what parts of the child’s brain that is being activated, is most defiantly dependent on parents and environment.

    When parents read empathic stories to small children, they are imprinting their valued emotions on the child.
  63. @Peter Frost
    Art,

    It's important to distinguish between cognitive empathy and affective empathy, and words must be found to make that distinction. When you deprive other people of words --- for whatever reason --- it becomes harder to reason coherently. This is why ideologies seek to eliminate words or change their meanings beyond recognition. When you deprive people of words, the process of reasoning is disrupted, sometimes irreparably.

    When we are young, our parents pull empathy out of us

    I'm sorry but you are mistaken. Parents can do a lot but they cannot teach empathy. What they can teach is pro-social behavior -- a willingness to help others and contribute to the community. But it's not really the same thing as affective empathy. People perceive pro-social behavior either as a moral duty or as a form of enlightened self-interest. Affective empathy is an emotional response -- you actually feel the pain or joy of the other person.

    Clearly we disagree – how can “feigned” empathy be described as “cognitive” empathy – it is just not logical. When emotional empathy passes into human action – it becomes cognitive empathy (cognitive, meaning thinking) – how can it be anything different. These distinctions – cognitive and effective, as different kinds of empathy – do not make logical sense.

    Nature nurture? Don’t most people have some natural empathy within them – don’t most people have some genetic makeup that manifests the emotion of empathy? We can agree that a small percentage of adults have little or no empathy for others. Why? Can it be – nature – nurture – or both?

    Pro-social behavior. Doesn’t empathy for life come first, before pro-social behavior?

    There are Christian Semitic peoples, and Muslim Semitic peoples, and Jewish Semitic peoples – they all have different cultures, but the same genetics – how does empathy play out among them?

    Read More
  64. Mr. Frost – I apologize for confusing you with Mr. Reed – Sorry – Art

    Read More
  65. Jim says:
    Southern whites tend to have somewhat lower average IQ’s than northern whites but the low average IQ’s of southern states is almost entirely due to the higher black population of these states.

    The presence of the blacks makes no difference. When other races data are removed and southern whites (before the substantial regional migrations of other whites from outside the south after WW2) are compared to northern whites, southern whites have clearly lower IQs than northern whites. (Montagu 1972). This tracks with Kanazawa’s data showing liberals having significantly higher IQs than conservatives. Liberals tend to be located more north, and conservatives more south on average. Such “labels” can fluctuate over time. Other data (Hodson and Busseri (2012) show lower IQ is associated with both socially conservative and more racist views.

    http://www.livescience.com/18132-intelligence-social-conservatism-racism.html

    Peter’s post notes that empathy is to be expected with near kin or ethnic tribesmen. Nothing surprising there. But some northern Europeans also show a significant capacity for empathy. Note Peter’s data above. Kanai et al and Schreiber et al, found that conservatives tend to have a larger right amygdala, associated more with threat and fear-driven responses. Liberals on the average have larger and more active anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC, associated with more better engagement with informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty. Empathy towards more distant persons, rather than trusted kin in the local area would tend to involve this capacity for more complexity and novelty, and openness to new experiences.

    But this is not the whole story, for northern Europeans can also be quite liberal as well, including those inside the Hajnal line. In fact some are possibly the most liberal populations on earth at the present time and are pacesetters in numerous novel societal changes such as gay marriage. In short, high liberalism is well represented in areas with high affective empathy, and this is demonstrated both by the brain scan data, and the socio-political data showing high levels of relative liberalism among the Hajnal “core” northern Europeans. (Note- this “core” grouping excludes much of Scotland, Wales and Ireland).

    Other data confirms this general pattern. Dodd et al 2012 found that conservatives showed greater physiological responses to threatening images and liberals were more responsive to positive images. Dawes et al 2012 found that tendencies toward egalitarian and altruistic behavior correlated with the activation of the left anterior insula associated with empathy and a sense of fairness- such as rejecting unfair offers- and in situations involving admiration and compassion (Immorodino-Yang et al 2009, Mercadillo et al 2011). See book- Emotion: A Biosocial Synthesis By Ross Buck for a roundup of these studies).

    There are key qualifiers to the above noted by some scholars (lets see who spots them first) and Peter’s observations on the mediating role of religion in shaping affective empathy is also important The poster above who dismissed the influence of Christianity could not be more wrong.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Southern whites' IQ Enrique; what, prey tell, has that got to do with the post? You, not Jim, first brought the subject of the South up . How about you drop it first, eh?
    , @Anonymous
    I recall reading - and I'm afraid I don't remember where - that people who are conservative show up more frequently at the IQ extremes.

    I'm not sure if there is any truth to this.
  66. @Art

    Wiki ---- Empathy has many different definitions that encompass a broad range of emotional states, including caring for other people and having a desire to help them; experiencing emotions that match another person's emotions; discerning what another person is thinking or feeling;[6] and making less distinct the differences between the self and the other.
     
    Words have consequences – their meanings have relevance. Language can be abused.

    The term “cognitive empathy” is an abuse of language. In the paragraph Reed describes a situations of false empathy or dishonest empathy – but uses the word “cognitive” – the word cognitive has no positive or negative connotation to it – positive or negative is not part of its definition.

    Words have attributes – words need other words to define them, their attributes give them clarity. Surly two of the defining words of “empathy” are caring and emotion. Is it really possible to be empathic without emotion? There is an emotion that goes along with everything that is important. Some emotion is behind every human action. Empathy is a process in the mind – neurons are clicking – part of the process is the takeover of our emotions by our cognitive functions.

    Do we really need the term "effective empathy?"

    p.s. Does Reed take out our nurturing human element with all this talk about genetics and brains – is he making us out to be automatons of our genetics – is he giving no credit to nurture. When we are young, our parents pull empathy out of us, they put a value on empathy, they instill in us good empathic character.

    It could be said that parents lay the FRAMEWORK of empathy. They can’t teach it directly but whether in teaching about the golden rule, or social norms such as refraining from insults, etc, and in teaching religion, they lay the groundwork for the emergence of empathy later on. Different cultures would have different angles, or may be more directed towards close kin or tribe, but generally all societies and their parents want to instill some sort of framework.

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  67. @Enrique Cardova
    Jim says:
    Southern whites tend to have somewhat lower average IQ’s than northern whites but the low average IQ’s of southern states is almost entirely due to the higher black population of these states.

    The presence of the blacks makes no difference. When other races data are removed and southern whites (before the substantial regional migrations of other whites from outside the south after WW2) are compared to northern whites, southern whites have clearly lower IQs than northern whites. (Montagu 1972). This tracks with Kanazawa's data showing liberals having significantly higher IQs than conservatives. Liberals tend to be located more north, and conservatives more south on average. Such "labels" can fluctuate over time. Other data (Hodson and Busseri (2012) show lower IQ is associated with both socially conservative and more racist views.
    http://www.livescience.com/18132-intelligence-social-conservatism-racism.html


    Peter's post notes that empathy is to be expected with near kin or ethnic tribesmen. Nothing surprising there. But some northern Europeans also show a significant capacity for empathy. Note Peter's data above. Kanai et al and Schreiber et al, found that conservatives tend to have a larger right amygdala, associated more with threat and fear-driven responses. Liberals on the average have larger and more active anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC, associated with more better engagement with informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty. Empathy towards more distant persons, rather than trusted kin in the local area would tend to involve this capacity for more complexity and novelty, and openness to new experiences.

    But this is not the whole story, for northern Europeans can also be quite liberal as well, including those inside the Hajnal line. In fact some are possibly the most liberal populations on earth at the present time and are pacesetters in numerous novel societal changes such as gay marriage. In short, high liberalism is well represented in areas with high affective empathy, and this is demonstrated both by the brain scan data, and the socio-political data showing high levels of relative liberalism among the Hajnal "core" northern Europeans. (Note- this "core" grouping excludes much of Scotland, Wales and Ireland).

    Other data confirms this general pattern. Dodd et al 2012 found that conservatives showed greater physiological responses to threatening images and liberals were more responsive to positive images. Dawes et al 2012 found that tendencies toward egalitarian and altruistic behavior correlated with the activation of the left anterior insula associated with empathy and a sense of fairness- such as rejecting unfair offers- and in situations involving admiration and compassion (Immorodino-Yang et al 2009, Mercadillo et al 2011). See book- Emotion: A Biosocial Synthesis By Ross Buck for a roundup of these studies).

    There are key qualifiers to the above noted by some scholars (lets see who spots them first) and Peter's observations on the mediating role of religion in shaping affective empathy is also important The poster above who dismissed the influence of Christianity could not be more wrong.

    Southern whites’ IQ Enrique; what, prey tell, has that got to do with the post? You, not Jim, first brought the subject of the South up . How about you drop it first, eh?

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  68. @Art

    Wiki ---- Empathy has many different definitions that encompass a broad range of emotional states, including caring for other people and having a desire to help them; experiencing emotions that match another person's emotions; discerning what another person is thinking or feeling;[6] and making less distinct the differences between the self and the other.
     
    Words have consequences – their meanings have relevance. Language can be abused.

    The term “cognitive empathy” is an abuse of language. In the paragraph Reed describes a situations of false empathy or dishonest empathy – but uses the word “cognitive” – the word cognitive has no positive or negative connotation to it – positive or negative is not part of its definition.

    Words have attributes – words need other words to define them, their attributes give them clarity. Surly two of the defining words of “empathy” are caring and emotion. Is it really possible to be empathic without emotion? There is an emotion that goes along with everything that is important. Some emotion is behind every human action. Empathy is a process in the mind – neurons are clicking – part of the process is the takeover of our emotions by our cognitive functions.

    Do we really need the term "effective empathy?"

    p.s. Does Reed take out our nurturing human element with all this talk about genetics and brains – is he making us out to be automatons of our genetics – is he giving no credit to nurture. When we are young, our parents pull empathy out of us, they put a value on empathy, they instill in us good empathic character.

    It’s not that I don’t appreciate the idea that in common usage, to the extent the term or idea empathy even is in everyday use distinct from sympathy, empathy implies what Peter Frost calls “affective empathy”. I also assume caring. It’s just that it doesn’t seem to be the only or the most generic definition.

    On that note, the wiki you cite gives four variations of a definition of empathy, only the first of which necessarily includes “caring”, at least as written in that excerpt. The second includes recognizing and mirroring emotions, which is not at all the same thing. The other two can imply but do not require ‘emotional’ connection. All of these as written describe cognitive processes, which is not a term that requires either the presence or absence of emotion. EMotion is a cognitive process.

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    • Replies: @Art
    Words describe whole things – the thing being described has many attributes. A car is a wagon with wheels, a drive train, and a steering wheel – if you take away any one of those attributes – it is no longer car.

    Empathy is an caring emotion that is triggered by the plight of someone else. Caring, emotion, triggered, plight - defines empathy. If you take out “caring” – it is no longer empathy.

    p..s. "The second includes recognizing and mirroring emotions" - sorry but that is not empathy. Dictionaries publish word usage – both right usage and poor usage.
  69. @Pat Casey
    I don't want to give too much up, bc I am writing a book, but you should really consider the Irish on this count. I'm no expert mind you, but as of yet its very odd that the Irish Gaels are evidently Gaelic byway of Basque country. As in, its not clear how these people got Gaelic names. Particularly when you consider the friendly migration and trade routes between Ireland and Spain from 16th century up. The two nations got along unusually well. But on the point of empathy, don't discount how American your perspective necessarily is. Something so nebulous its nearly grotesque stalks around this continent thinking on whatever level that its the white race. Yeah, ok. What you find is that, Jews are only comfortable with Jews, Brits are dissolving unless they're in a pack, Germans are hearty and noble in general, Irish and Germans are pally, and Scotch-Irish are backward unless elite. The ideal of America is the mongrolization of the races. "Empathy" is only a thing that needs studying in america. Go to Ireland and ask somebody about studying empathy and they'll think you're righting a novel. Families empathize bc its a given. Harder to do that with strangers. But damn learned essay.

    “Empathy” is only a thing that needs studying in america. Go to Ireland and ask somebody about studying empathy and they’ll think you’re righting a novel.

    Well the traditional Irish are known as intensely tribal- indeed employers in the US sometimes had had to use different work crews to separate employees from different warring clans or districts. But here again is where the mediating influence of Christianity comes into play, enabling affective empathy over a broader range, rather than stay within the bounds of the usual kin or clan.

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  70. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @silviosilver
    "Be specific," you say. Okay then. There's no evidence that Hitler ordered any holocaust - a point conceded by mainstream holocaust historians - or indeed that he had any knowledge of such. Specific enough for you?

    That is a flagrant, flaming, grotesque lie.
    No such thing has been said or written by “mainstream historians” – or indeed any person outside a small circle of pathological fantasists.
    Unz.com should implement strict censorship of any variants of holocaust denialism, including the “But Hitler didn’t know” version of it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Thus strikes Enrique.
    , @SFG
    I thought the whole point of Unz was to avoid strict censorship of any kind...

    I mean, I think the Holocaust denial thing is stupid, but I'm not going to convince these guys, so I just ignore it. The evidence is strong enough on its own for any curious person who wants to check.
  71. @Anonymous
    That is a flagrant, flaming, grotesque lie.
    No such thing has been said or written by "mainstream historians" - or indeed any person outside a small circle of pathological fantasists.
    Unz.com should implement strict censorship of any variants of holocaust denialism, including the "But Hitler didn't know" version of it.

    Thus strikes Enrique.

    Read More
  72. Is it possible affective empathy uses brain resources that otherwise go to cognitive empathy, and those with the most affective empathy lack cognitive empathy? In other words, they can’t detect when they are being taken for a ride.

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  73. It’s not effective empathy, it’s affective empathy. “Affect” here does not mean ‘to have an effect on,’ it instead refers to an outwardly expressed emotion. With affective empathy you experience the emotion you believe the other person is having, with cognitive empathy you believe you recognize the other’s emotion, but you don’t necessarily experience it yourself. Try looking up ‘labile affect.’

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  74. Cognitive empathy is for actually recognizing the other’s emotion, not just believing you do; what use would a faculty for forming beliefs about others’ mental states be unless it gave one accurate information? In a society where everyone followed the rules (because they had affective empathy) suspicion about other people’s motives would not be particularly useful, and might easily get one a reputation for being heartless.

    “With affective empathy you experience the emotion you believe the other person is having”. And hence without sufficient cognitive empathy to accurately determine whether emotion is being faked you can be fooled into acting on a false belief about the other’s emotion. So are those with affective empathy just as good at reading people, or are the affectively empathetic easier to fool?

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  75. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Enrique Cardova
    Jim says:
    Southern whites tend to have somewhat lower average IQ’s than northern whites but the low average IQ’s of southern states is almost entirely due to the higher black population of these states.

    The presence of the blacks makes no difference. When other races data are removed and southern whites (before the substantial regional migrations of other whites from outside the south after WW2) are compared to northern whites, southern whites have clearly lower IQs than northern whites. (Montagu 1972). This tracks with Kanazawa's data showing liberals having significantly higher IQs than conservatives. Liberals tend to be located more north, and conservatives more south on average. Such "labels" can fluctuate over time. Other data (Hodson and Busseri (2012) show lower IQ is associated with both socially conservative and more racist views.
    http://www.livescience.com/18132-intelligence-social-conservatism-racism.html


    Peter's post notes that empathy is to be expected with near kin or ethnic tribesmen. Nothing surprising there. But some northern Europeans also show a significant capacity for empathy. Note Peter's data above. Kanai et al and Schreiber et al, found that conservatives tend to have a larger right amygdala, associated more with threat and fear-driven responses. Liberals on the average have larger and more active anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC, associated with more better engagement with informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty. Empathy towards more distant persons, rather than trusted kin in the local area would tend to involve this capacity for more complexity and novelty, and openness to new experiences.

    But this is not the whole story, for northern Europeans can also be quite liberal as well, including those inside the Hajnal line. In fact some are possibly the most liberal populations on earth at the present time and are pacesetters in numerous novel societal changes such as gay marriage. In short, high liberalism is well represented in areas with high affective empathy, and this is demonstrated both by the brain scan data, and the socio-political data showing high levels of relative liberalism among the Hajnal "core" northern Europeans. (Note- this "core" grouping excludes much of Scotland, Wales and Ireland).

    Other data confirms this general pattern. Dodd et al 2012 found that conservatives showed greater physiological responses to threatening images and liberals were more responsive to positive images. Dawes et al 2012 found that tendencies toward egalitarian and altruistic behavior correlated with the activation of the left anterior insula associated with empathy and a sense of fairness- such as rejecting unfair offers- and in situations involving admiration and compassion (Immorodino-Yang et al 2009, Mercadillo et al 2011). See book- Emotion: A Biosocial Synthesis By Ross Buck for a roundup of these studies).

    There are key qualifiers to the above noted by some scholars (lets see who spots them first) and Peter's observations on the mediating role of religion in shaping affective empathy is also important The poster above who dismissed the influence of Christianity could not be more wrong.

    I recall reading – and I’m afraid I don’t remember where – that people who are conservative show up more frequently at the IQ extremes.

    I’m not sure if there is any truth to this.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Enrique has a lot more cognitive empathy than those who give him the off topic rejoinders he craves. He is playing them for fools.
  76. @Anonymous
    I recall reading - and I'm afraid I don't remember where - that people who are conservative show up more frequently at the IQ extremes.

    I'm not sure if there is any truth to this.

    Enrique has a lot more cognitive empathy than those who give him the off topic rejoinders he craves. He is playing them for fools.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    If I were to set up a pay-per-view situation... Would you and Enrique both agree to step into the octagon for a no holds barred cage match?

    Enrique's prize money would go to a charity of his choice!

    With your lower degree of empathy, Sean...you could just pocket your share
  77. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sean
    Enrique has a lot more cognitive empathy than those who give him the off topic rejoinders he craves. He is playing them for fools.

    If I were to set up a pay-per-view situation… Would you and Enrique both agree to step into the octagon for a no holds barred cage match?

    Enrique’s prize money would go to a charity of his choice!

    With your lower degree of empathy, Sean…you could just pocket your share

    Read More
  78. @random observer
    It's not that I don't appreciate the idea that in common usage, to the extent the term or idea empathy even is in everyday use distinct from sympathy, empathy implies what Peter Frost calls "affective empathy". I also assume caring. It's just that it doesn't seem to be the only or the most generic definition.

    On that note, the wiki you cite gives four variations of a definition of empathy, only the first of which necessarily includes "caring", at least as written in that excerpt. The second includes recognizing and mirroring emotions, which is not at all the same thing. The other two can imply but do not require 'emotional' connection. All of these as written describe cognitive processes, which is not a term that requires either the presence or absence of emotion. EMotion is a cognitive process.

    Words describe whole things – the thing being described has many attributes. A car is a wagon with wheels, a drive train, and a steering wheel – if you take away any one of those attributes – it is no longer car.

    Empathy is an caring emotion that is triggered by the plight of someone else. Caring, emotion, triggered, plight – defines empathy. If you take out “caring” – it is no longer empathy.

    p..s. “The second includes recognizing and mirroring emotions” – sorry but that is not empathy. Dictionaries publish word usage – both right usage and poor usage.

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  79. @Peter Frost
    Art,

    It's important to distinguish between cognitive empathy and affective empathy, and words must be found to make that distinction. When you deprive other people of words --- for whatever reason --- it becomes harder to reason coherently. This is why ideologies seek to eliminate words or change their meanings beyond recognition. When you deprive people of words, the process of reasoning is disrupted, sometimes irreparably.

    When we are young, our parents pull empathy out of us

    I'm sorry but you are mistaken. Parents can do a lot but they cannot teach empathy. What they can teach is pro-social behavior -- a willingness to help others and contribute to the community. But it's not really the same thing as affective empathy. People perceive pro-social behavior either as a moral duty or as a form of enlightened self-interest. Affective empathy is an emotional response -- you actually feel the pain or joy of the other person.

    Art: When we are young, our parents pull empathy out of us

    Frost: I’m sorry but you are mistaken. Parents can do a lot but they cannot teach empathy.

    May I disagree with you. I do not know if at birth there is a corner of the brain that is labeled “empathy.”

    But what parts of the child’s brain that is being activated, is most defiantly dependent on parents and environment.

    When parents read empathic stories to small children, they are imprinting their valued emotions on the child.

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  80. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @AG
    Does crying over sad movie count as affective empathy? Does that mean women have higher degree of affective empathy?


    Characters by Sylvester Stallone and John Wayne look very much psychopathic (or just lack of emotion).

    If the root cause is the mother-child relationship women ought to have higher affective empathy (on average).

    It would reflect a very early specialization / division of labor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
    Yes, there is some data out there that shows women do have higher levels of empathy, but huge differences in actual behavior (emphatic responding) do not readily emerge in studies. The higher female pattern is somewhat dependent on the measurement technique used. For example, the largest gender differences emerge when females and males rate their own empathetic responses, where the subjects are aware they are being observed. Nevertheless the bottom line is that females do on average, tend to EXPRESS higher levels of empathy and sympathy than males in circumstances of concern to them. This expression seems to have a behavioral impact. As a result, some hold that females tend to be less likely on average to victimize others and engage in anti-social behavior. Those with strong family bonds are also less likely to express empathy and more likely to engage in anti-social behavior or delinquency. (Deflem 2006).
  81. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Art

    Cognitive empathy appears to be the evolutionarily older component of the two. It is the capacity to understand how another person is feeling and then predict how different actions will affect that person’s emotional state. But this capacity can be used for selfish purposes. Examples are legion: the con artist; many telemarketers; the rapist who knows how to charm his victims …
     
    This is hog wash - apes have natural empathy - all kinds of animals exhibit empathy.

    The notion expressed in this "cognitive empathy" is an oxymoron. Language is being perverted - empathy without caring is not empathy. Please find some other way of explanation. Just say "false empathy."

    The notion expressed in this “cognitive empathy” is an oxymoron. Language is being perverted – empathy without caring is not empathy. Please find some other way of explanation. Just say “false empathy.”

    Think of it as hunter’s empathy – it’s a tool to help you kill – while the originally maternal kind is to stop you killing.

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  82. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    On the liberal / conservative thing I think there is a connection to be drawn but it’s threeway rather than two.

    There is a standard conservative “type” who is “normally” empathetic i.e. they have it in such a quantity that is kin-first – not kin-only but first – so they’ll help out strangers but not if kin need the help.

    However I’d say there were two liberal “types”.

    1) People who have too much affective empathy so it becomes pathological and they try to save the world even at the expense of their own kin.

    2) Manipulators who have very low amounts of affective empathy themselves but realise that because other people have it they can guilt-trip them. A prime modern example would be the politician praising mass immigration and diversity while they themselves live in gated all-white communities.

    .

    (greatly over simplified but with a grain of truth imo)

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  83. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    It’s possible to have both.

    If you have the hunter’s empathy combined with the originally maternal kind then the first kind lets you spot weakness but the second kind stops you exploiting it

    for example you can spot a mile off if a good looking girl is upset over something but you can’t take advantage of it.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    If a man has the cognitive empathy to understand a girl's feelings and he gets her to believe that he is in love with her and always will be, then that does not entail him actually being in love, or having affective empathy.

    Through her affective empathy a woman may be fooled into being in love (and seduced) by the man dissimulating that he is in love, when he is not.

  84. Art seems to be under the impression that the meaning of words is static. Or perhaps he’s just contentious by nature.

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  85. @anon
    If the root cause is the mother-child relationship women ought to have higher affective empathy (on average).

    It would reflect a very early specialization / division of labor.

    Yes, there is some data out there that shows women do have higher levels of empathy, but huge differences in actual behavior (emphatic responding) do not readily emerge in studies. The higher female pattern is somewhat dependent on the measurement technique used. For example, the largest gender differences emerge when females and males rate their own empathetic responses, where the subjects are aware they are being observed. Nevertheless the bottom line is that females do on average, tend to EXPRESS higher levels of empathy and sympathy than males in circumstances of concern to them. This expression seems to have a behavioral impact. As a result, some hold that females tend to be less likely on average to victimize others and engage in anti-social behavior. Those with strong family bonds are also less likely to express empathy and more likely to engage in anti-social behavior or delinquency. (Deflem 2006).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
    correct read above-
    "Those with strong family bonds are also MORE likely to express empathy and LESS likely to engage in anti-social behavior or delinquency. (Deflem 2006)."

    -------------------------------------------

    Anon says:
    However I’d say there were two liberal “types”.

    1) People who have too much affective empathy so it becomes pathological and they try to save the world even at the expense of their own kin.

    2) Manipulators who have very low amounts of affective empathy themselves but realise that because other people have it they can guilt-trip them. A prime modern example would be the politician praising mass immigration and diversity while they themselves live in gated all-white communities.

    Well among the tens of millions of people who label themselves "liberals" this might apply to some individuals. But the same pattern can apply to some who label themselves "conservatives."

    1) People who have so high a degree of affective empathy for their closed circle of kin, that they would seek to attack or intimidate anyone or anything seen threatening, even when not remotely so.

    b) Manipulators who "guilt-trip" people into feeling negative about helping others or to hold back expressions against unfair dealings or situations. Hence in the Jim Crow South some whites who dealt fairly with blacks were sometimes scorned or considered "weaklings." Some empathetic white school teachers after the Civil War for example who attempted to teach blacks were persecuted and driven out. It is interesting that CONSERVATIVE Booker T Washington praised such empathetic schoolteachers for their service, though elsewhere they were attacked, and some even killed.

    .
    while they themselves live in gated all-white communities.

    This too could be likened to conservative CEOs or politicians who express empathy for the plight of workers, feeling their pain and so on, yet continue to encourage policies that actually outsource many of the jobs said workers depend on overseas. But agreed re above. "Limousine liberals" are famous for this type of selective empathy.

    , @anon
    Yes it can be double-edged. If a woman has more empathy but it's extremely focused on her own kids it can make them colder to other people's.

    I think there's a lot of complexity in all this because of the interplay of different genes - say both cog and affective can vary on a ten point scale then an individual might be 1/10 or 10/1 or 5/3 etc and their behavior will vary accordingly - but the foundation of it is well described in the article.
  86. @Enrique Cardova
    Yes, there is some data out there that shows women do have higher levels of empathy, but huge differences in actual behavior (emphatic responding) do not readily emerge in studies. The higher female pattern is somewhat dependent on the measurement technique used. For example, the largest gender differences emerge when females and males rate their own empathetic responses, where the subjects are aware they are being observed. Nevertheless the bottom line is that females do on average, tend to EXPRESS higher levels of empathy and sympathy than males in circumstances of concern to them. This expression seems to have a behavioral impact. As a result, some hold that females tend to be less likely on average to victimize others and engage in anti-social behavior. Those with strong family bonds are also less likely to express empathy and more likely to engage in anti-social behavior or delinquency. (Deflem 2006).

    correct read above-
    “Those with strong family bonds are also MORE likely to express empathy and LESS likely to engage in anti-social behavior or delinquency. (Deflem 2006).”

    ——————————————-

    Anon says:
    However I’d say there were two liberal “types”.

    1) People who have too much affective empathy so it becomes pathological and they try to save the world even at the expense of their own kin.

    2) Manipulators who have very low amounts of affective empathy themselves but realise that because other people have it they can guilt-trip them. A prime modern example would be the politician praising mass immigration and diversity while they themselves live in gated all-white communities.

    Well among the tens of millions of people who label themselves “liberals” this might apply to some individuals. But the same pattern can apply to some who label themselves “conservatives.”

    1) People who have so high a degree of affective empathy for their closed circle of kin, that they would seek to attack or intimidate anyone or anything seen threatening, even when not remotely so.

    b) Manipulators who “guilt-trip” people into feeling negative about helping others or to hold back expressions against unfair dealings or situations. Hence in the Jim Crow South some whites who dealt fairly with blacks were sometimes scorned or considered “weaklings.” Some empathetic white school teachers after the Civil War for example who attempted to teach blacks were persecuted and driven out. It is interesting that CONSERVATIVE Booker T Washington praised such empathetic schoolteachers for their service, though elsewhere they were attacked, and some even killed.

    .
    while they themselves live in gated all-white communities.

    This too could be likened to conservative CEOs or politicians who express empathy for the plight of workers, feeling their pain and so on, yet continue to encourage policies that actually outsource many of the jobs said workers depend on overseas. But agreed re above. “Limousine liberals” are famous for this type of selective empathy.

    Read More
  87. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Enrique Cardova
    Yes, there is some data out there that shows women do have higher levels of empathy, but huge differences in actual behavior (emphatic responding) do not readily emerge in studies. The higher female pattern is somewhat dependent on the measurement technique used. For example, the largest gender differences emerge when females and males rate their own empathetic responses, where the subjects are aware they are being observed. Nevertheless the bottom line is that females do on average, tend to EXPRESS higher levels of empathy and sympathy than males in circumstances of concern to them. This expression seems to have a behavioral impact. As a result, some hold that females tend to be less likely on average to victimize others and engage in anti-social behavior. Those with strong family bonds are also less likely to express empathy and more likely to engage in anti-social behavior or delinquency. (Deflem 2006).

    Yes it can be double-edged. If a woman has more empathy but it’s extremely focused on her own kids it can make them colder to other people’s.

    I think there’s a lot of complexity in all this because of the interplay of different genes – say both cog and affective can vary on a ten point scale then an individual might be 1/10 or 10/1 or 5/3 etc and their behavior will vary accordingly – but the foundation of it is well described in the article.

    Read More
  88. @anon
    It's possible to have both.

    If you have the hunter's empathy combined with the originally maternal kind then the first kind lets you spot weakness but the second kind stops you exploiting it

    for example you can spot a mile off if a good looking girl is upset over something but you can't take advantage of it.

    If a man has the cognitive empathy to understand a girl’s feelings and he gets her to believe that he is in love with her and always will be, then that does not entail him actually being in love, or having affective empathy.

    Through her affective empathy a woman may be fooled into being in love (and seduced) by the man dissimulating that he is in love, when he is not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    yeah like I said - it's hunter's empathy, not the nice kind

    very useful though
  89. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sean
    If a man has the cognitive empathy to understand a girl's feelings and he gets her to believe that he is in love with her and always will be, then that does not entail him actually being in love, or having affective empathy.

    Through her affective empathy a woman may be fooled into being in love (and seduced) by the man dissimulating that he is in love, when he is not.

    yeah like I said – it’s hunter’s empathy, not the nice kind

    very useful though

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  90. “So you say but present no specific examples, nor cite any evidence. ”

    Go to the hbdchik blog, if you want hundreds of pages of evidence.

    “Up above you say Christianity was not very important, yet now you cite the Catholic Church’s ban on cousin marriages as being an influential part of the empathy mix. Which is it? The 2 positions are contradictory.”

    Look, Enrique, I didn’t think it was necessary to explain this, when it is obvious to anybody who has basic reading skills. Yes, it was not made explicit, because, unlike with programming languages, not everything is explicit in human language but it was clear if you take the context into account.

    I meant that the fact that Christianity is universalist is not important, because Islam is also universalist. I was talking about the Christian doctrine about universalism (not in a derogatory way because I am a Christian). I didn’t refer to the laws enacted by the Christian Church and the structures of power of Christianity and their decisions.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Anon, it's the male kind.

    The country with the most affective empathy (highest taxed welfare state, first to legalise homsexuasl marriage, fanatical environmentalists ect) is also the place that has the most feminine digit ratio on the world. And the Puritans came from the part of England most heavily settled from that country. Extreme protestantism emphasises an personal relationship with God, which is compatible with individual guilt rather than shame.

    , @Enrique Cardova
    OK fair enough, but would not universalism be important? We know that people naturally will favor their own kin and clan as far as empathy. But a universalist ethos would cut across that and broaden the scope of empathy would it not? Christianity's numerous outreach missions, as part of its universalist mandate, regardless of race, tribe or tongue, with its savior, bringing mercy and salvation to all regardless of race, tribe, or tongue, would definitely be important. This does not mean Christians have not been often particularists- they have- but their universalist mandate has softened rigid boundaries, and sparked worldwide outreach and expansion.

    So when you say above:
    "I don’t think Christianity was important, beyond being a rationalization tool of this new empathy born out of outbreeding. "

    How do you mean is Christianity a rationalization tool? Are you saying empathy is solely or mostly a product of European outbreeding and Christianity is just a secondary after-the-fact justification for this? If so how do you account for the fact that Christianity embraced and practiced empathy long BEFORE much northern European manorialism or outbreeding? In fact Christians are enjoined to practice empathy from the earliest times of their religion- Titus 3 for example : "..take care to pay diligent attention to good works. These things are good and profitable to men. " and so on.

  91. @imnobody00
    @Enrique Cardova

    "So you say but present no specific examples, nor cite any evidence. "

    Go to the hbdchik blog, if you want hundreds of pages of evidence.

    "Up above you say Christianity was not very important, yet now you cite the Catholic Church’s ban on cousin marriages as being an influential part of the empathy mix. Which is it? The 2 positions are contradictory."

    Look, Enrique, I didn't think it was necessary to explain this, when it is obvious to anybody who has basic reading skills. Yes, it was not made explicit, because, unlike with programming languages, not everything is explicit in human language but it was clear if you take the context into account.

    I meant that the fact that Christianity is universalist is not important, because Islam is also universalist. I was talking about the Christian doctrine about universalism (not in a derogatory way because I am a Christian). I didn't refer to the laws enacted by the Christian Church and the structures of power of Christianity and their decisions.

    Anon, it’s the male kind.

    The country with the most affective empathy (highest taxed welfare state, first to legalise homsexuasl marriage, fanatical environmentalists ect) is also the place that has the most feminine digit ratio on the world. And the Puritans came from the part of England most heavily settled from that country. Extreme protestantism emphasises an personal relationship with God, which is compatible with individual guilt rather than shame.

    Read More
  92. @imnobody00
    @Enrique Cardova

    "So you say but present no specific examples, nor cite any evidence. "

    Go to the hbdchik blog, if you want hundreds of pages of evidence.

    "Up above you say Christianity was not very important, yet now you cite the Catholic Church’s ban on cousin marriages as being an influential part of the empathy mix. Which is it? The 2 positions are contradictory."

    Look, Enrique, I didn't think it was necessary to explain this, when it is obvious to anybody who has basic reading skills. Yes, it was not made explicit, because, unlike with programming languages, not everything is explicit in human language but it was clear if you take the context into account.

    I meant that the fact that Christianity is universalist is not important, because Islam is also universalist. I was talking about the Christian doctrine about universalism (not in a derogatory way because I am a Christian). I didn't refer to the laws enacted by the Christian Church and the structures of power of Christianity and their decisions.

    OK fair enough, but would not universalism be important? We know that people naturally will favor their own kin and clan as far as empathy. But a universalist ethos would cut across that and broaden the scope of empathy would it not? Christianity’s numerous outreach missions, as part of its universalist mandate, regardless of race, tribe or tongue, with its savior, bringing mercy and salvation to all regardless of race, tribe, or tongue, would definitely be important. This does not mean Christians have not been often particularists- they have- but their universalist mandate has softened rigid boundaries, and sparked worldwide outreach and expansion.

    So when you say above:
    “I don’t think Christianity was important, beyond being a rationalization tool of this new empathy born out of outbreeding. ”

    How do you mean is Christianity a rationalization tool? Are you saying empathy is solely or mostly a product of European outbreeding and Christianity is just a secondary after-the-fact justification for this? If so how do you account for the fact that Christianity embraced and practiced empathy long BEFORE much northern European manorialism or outbreeding? In fact Christians are enjoined to practice empathy from the earliest times of their religion- Titus 3 for example : “..take care to pay diligent attention to good works. These things are good and profitable to men. ” and so on.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Enrique, neither Christianity nor anything else can remove actual conflicts of interest between peoples , and conflicts don't have solutions, they have outcomes. If the Tasmanians had converted and were still around they would not be the majority in Tasmania.


    Peter's coalitionary marine resource exploitation explanation seems the most likely. The North sea coast of Europe is where the most affective empathy is found (look at Denmark*). It is also where the modern form of commerce and capitalism originated Hanseatic League, United provinces.

    * Some people will tell you that Denmark turned right and it did for a while but in 2011 it turned back to old policies with a vengence and under PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt Denmark gave immigrants increased rights and was admitting more non-European immigrants than ever (here) and this in a country with the highest taxes in the world . As with human beings, inner conflict is natural or normal in nations and while one can point to particular points in time as epitomising a country's ethos, the overall trend is clear. Wherever they actually enter, the immigrants are heading for north Europe, not the places where Christianity has been longest established.
  93. I suppose that most of us have understood the difference between:
    - cognition of emotions
    - mirroring of emotions
    - caring
    Even if I understand Peter Frost’s wish to distinguish clearly between cognition and mirroring, denying any relation – but meseems that this makes “mirroring” unexplainable and we end in a logical trap “It simply must be innate, because we can’t explain it”.

    We all know that mirroring cannot be taught in the standard way of teaching. But can’t it be learned by imitation, if a child has parents who practise mirroring? And what’s with reading? Reading has done a lot for me. I’m much more open to other people’s feelings and more prepared to live within their skin, if I haven’t to live with them, but only to read about them. Wouldn’t that prepare the ground for mirroring?

    Read More
  94. @Peter Frost
    Everybody,

    I have no control over the comments made here. All I can do is implore everyone to show a bit of common sense. This is not a post about Hitler and I don't appreciate getting sloppy kisses and big bear hugs from keyboard Nazis. Please take your commenting elsewhere.

    Contemporary Northwest Europeans are only about half Mesolithic and Northern European, with the other half being Mediterranean and Southwest Asian.

    You are incorrect. In fact, there is very little measurable genetic admixture from Middle Eastern Neolithic farmers in Scandinavia. In the British Isles, the introgression is in the vicinity of 20%.

    "We obtained 249 million base pairs of genomic DNA from ~5000-year-old remains of three hunter-gatherers and one farmer excavated in Scandinavia and find that the farmer is genetically most similar to extant southern Europeans, contrasting sharply to the hunter-gatherers, whose distinct genetic signature is most similar to that of extant northern Europeans."

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6080/466.short

    I am aware of the genetic data from central Europe, but even there -- where the degree of admixture should be higher -- there is evidence that the incoming farmers were themselves later replaced by the descendants of acculturated hunter-gatherers.

    Surely even blank slatists would admit that society has not actually reached the stage in which every human actually grows up in an identically secure, stimulating, progressive environment

    Yes, they would "admit" that. In fact, that's the socially normal view. If people show low levels of empathy, it's because they have not been kindly treated themselves.

    ” This is not a post about Hitler and I don’t appreciate getting sloppy kisses and big bear hugs from keyboard Nazis.”

    As they say on another popular internet forum, you must be new here. ;)

    Read More
  95. @Anonymous
    That is a flagrant, flaming, grotesque lie.
    No such thing has been said or written by "mainstream historians" - or indeed any person outside a small circle of pathological fantasists.
    Unz.com should implement strict censorship of any variants of holocaust denialism, including the "But Hitler didn't know" version of it.

    I thought the whole point of Unz was to avoid strict censorship of any kind…

    I mean, I think the Holocaust denial thing is stupid, but I’m not going to convince these guys, so I just ignore it. The evidence is strong enough on its own for any curious person who wants to check.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art
    "I mean, I think the Holocaust denial thing is stupid, but I’m not going to convince these guys, so I just ignore it. The evidence is strong enough on its own for any curious person who wants to check."

    Fifty Five million people died in that god dam war – Russians, Poles, Germans, Japanese, and Chinese died in the millions. Six million Jews dying in gas chambers is a lie. It did not happen.

    Of course one death is to many. Collective punishment is wrong! We all agree.

    The problem is that the Jews have used this false number to do more wrong – YOU - deed to get honest and not be a willing part of this hurtful lie.
  96. @Peter Frost
    Enrique,

    Please stay on-topic. Remember, the topic is not Hitler.

    I don't think any of you guys are trolls. You just seem to be so caught up in the revisionist/anti-revisionist subculture that you have trouble imagining there are other issues and other debates.

    I don't want to leave The Unz Review, but this sort of thing can cause me no end of problems. Until two years ago, Canadian bloggers were held legally responsible for the comments on their blogs and could be prosecuted under Hate Crime legislation.

    The law has been changed, but the guilt by association still exists in most people's minds. This isn't the U.S., and people think differently. I could defend myself by pointing out I have no control over the comments, but people would ask: "Why, then, don't you have your column removed from The Unz Review?"

    Anon,

    National Geographic is a respected magazine, but it's hardly a primary source in a debate that has swung wildly back and forth in recent years. At one point, most academics agreed that the European gene pool was about 80% descended from native hunter-gatherers and 20% from Middle-Eastern farmers. With retrieval of ancient DNA, the tables suddenly turned, and people started saying that Europeans are mainly descended from those Middle Eastern farmers.

    Now the pendulum is swinging back. Ancient DNA does show a sharp genetic divide between late hunter-gatherers and early farmers, but a closer look at more complete time series shows that the divide is actually between the earliest farmers and somewhat later farmers. Part of the genetic divide seems to be caused not by population replacement but rather by a change in selection pressures, which then caused a shift in the frequencies of certain mtDNA haplogroups (which were formerly assumed to be of no selective value).

    Dr. Frost:

    I’m sorry to hear you live in Canada where it’s legal to prosecute people over speech, but one thing you should be aware of is that most of the people interested in these ‘aberrant’ topics tend to hold far-right views up to and including Holocaust denial, and if you are seriously worried about legal ramifications, you should probably ask Unz if you can withdraw your stuff. I and everyone here enjoys it very much, but this is not worth going to jail over, especially with packs of SJW ready to hound anyone they can detect with ‘incorrect’ views. If you are so brave as to continue, God bless you…and look into getting US citizenship!

    Sure, you can believe in HBD and the Holocaust, just like you can believe in HBD and global climate change. But almost nobody does. The politics of these issues are such that whoever believes A, tends to believe B, even if A is false and B is true. I’ve never met anyone who just takes things on the evidence–or at least they don’t admit to it. ;) Humans are social beings, after all. You pick which set of falsehoods you’re willing to mouth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    "I thought the whole point of Unz was to avoid strict censorship of any kind" That doesn't mean you have a licence to riff on any OT subject that takes your fancy, like happened on this thread. It's not your blog.
  97. @Enrique Cardova
    OK fair enough, but would not universalism be important? We know that people naturally will favor their own kin and clan as far as empathy. But a universalist ethos would cut across that and broaden the scope of empathy would it not? Christianity's numerous outreach missions, as part of its universalist mandate, regardless of race, tribe or tongue, with its savior, bringing mercy and salvation to all regardless of race, tribe, or tongue, would definitely be important. This does not mean Christians have not been often particularists- they have- but their universalist mandate has softened rigid boundaries, and sparked worldwide outreach and expansion.

    So when you say above:
    "I don’t think Christianity was important, beyond being a rationalization tool of this new empathy born out of outbreeding. "

    How do you mean is Christianity a rationalization tool? Are you saying empathy is solely or mostly a product of European outbreeding and Christianity is just a secondary after-the-fact justification for this? If so how do you account for the fact that Christianity embraced and practiced empathy long BEFORE much northern European manorialism or outbreeding? In fact Christians are enjoined to practice empathy from the earliest times of their religion- Titus 3 for example : "..take care to pay diligent attention to good works. These things are good and profitable to men. " and so on.

    Enrique, neither Christianity nor anything else can remove actual conflicts of interest between peoples , and conflicts don’t have solutions, they have outcomes. If the Tasmanians had converted and were still around they would not be the majority in Tasmania.

    Peter’s coalitionary marine resource exploitation explanation seems the most likely. The North sea coast of Europe is where the most affective empathy is found (look at Denmark*). It is also where the modern form of commerce and capitalism originated Hanseatic League, United provinces.

    * Some people will tell you that Denmark turned right and it did for a while but in 2011 it turned back to old policies with a vengence and under PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt Denmark gave immigrants increased rights and was admitting more non-European immigrants than ever (here) and this in a country with the highest taxes in the world . As with human beings, inner conflict is natural or normal in nations and while one can point to particular points in time as epitomising a country’s ethos, the overall trend is clear. Wherever they actually enter, the immigrants are heading for north Europe, not the places where Christianity has been longest established.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    Some people will tell you that Denmark turned right...
     
    And some people would be right and you would be wrong.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/opinion/denmarks-far-right-kingmakers.html?_r=0

    "With 21 percent of the vote, up from 12 percent in 2011, the extreme right is now the second-largest party in Denmark."

    Like everywhere else there's a battle between a small liberal minority and the majority of the population which is dramatically skewed and evened up by liberal dominance of the media.

    The Danish survivalist party is near the head of the pack in terms of electoral success and your theory is wrong.
  98. @SFG
    Dr. Frost:

    I'm sorry to hear you live in Canada where it's legal to prosecute people over speech, but one thing you should be aware of is that most of the people interested in these 'aberrant' topics tend to hold far-right views up to and including Holocaust denial, and if you are seriously worried about legal ramifications, you should probably ask Unz if you can withdraw your stuff. I and everyone here enjoys it very much, but this is not worth going to jail over, especially with packs of SJW ready to hound anyone they can detect with 'incorrect' views. If you are so brave as to continue, God bless you...and look into getting US citizenship!

    Sure, you can believe in HBD and the Holocaust, just like you can believe in HBD and global climate change. But almost nobody does. The politics of these issues are such that whoever believes A, tends to believe B, even if A is false and B is true. I've never met anyone who just takes things on the evidence--or at least they don't admit to it. ;) Humans are social beings, after all. You pick which set of falsehoods you're willing to mouth.

    “I thought the whole point of Unz was to avoid strict censorship of any kind” That doesn’t mean you have a licence to riff on any OT subject that takes your fancy, like happened on this thread. It’s not your blog.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    It's up to the owner of the individual blog, I think. Razib will ban you if you act too dumb, most of them let anything go through.
  99. @Sean
    "I thought the whole point of Unz was to avoid strict censorship of any kind" That doesn't mean you have a licence to riff on any OT subject that takes your fancy, like happened on this thread. It's not your blog.

    It’s up to the owner of the individual blog, I think. Razib will ban you if you act too dumb, most of them let anything go through.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Mate, there are some hypocrites, who while whingeing on about 'topics,' are themselves, hypocritically, also introducing these and other topics. Everything is tickety-boo when they are writing and doing such, and they have no problem when their own rubbish is being discussed. They only become conveniently 'offended' when it suits them. Its like the porn actresses on Razib's thread who complain about 'hookers' giving them a bad name.
  100. Peter does not have moderating authority here. But I think there was a tiny clue in his repeatedly asking for an end to the subject in question being brought into comment threads on his posts, which certain people continue to ignore.

    Most come here to read his stuff, but some commenters come here solely to get their stuff read, or to disrupt the post through OT controversies. They should write about what interests them at their own blog.

    Read More
  101. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sean
    Enrique, neither Christianity nor anything else can remove actual conflicts of interest between peoples , and conflicts don't have solutions, they have outcomes. If the Tasmanians had converted and were still around they would not be the majority in Tasmania.


    Peter's coalitionary marine resource exploitation explanation seems the most likely. The North sea coast of Europe is where the most affective empathy is found (look at Denmark*). It is also where the modern form of commerce and capitalism originated Hanseatic League, United provinces.

    * Some people will tell you that Denmark turned right and it did for a while but in 2011 it turned back to old policies with a vengence and under PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt Denmark gave immigrants increased rights and was admitting more non-European immigrants than ever (here) and this in a country with the highest taxes in the world . As with human beings, inner conflict is natural or normal in nations and while one can point to particular points in time as epitomising a country's ethos, the overall trend is clear. Wherever they actually enter, the immigrants are heading for north Europe, not the places where Christianity has been longest established.

    Some people will tell you that Denmark turned right…

    And some people would be right and you would be wrong.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/opinion/denmarks-far-right-kingmakers.html?_r=0

    “With 21 percent of the vote, up from 12 percent in 2011, the extreme right is now the second-largest party in Denmark.”

    Like everywhere else there’s a battle between a small liberal minority and the majority of the population which is dramatically skewed and evened up by liberal dominance of the media.

    The Danish survivalist party is near the head of the pack in terms of electoral success and your theory is wrong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Oh, the NYT thinks Europeans are backward and seizes on every piece of evidence for the backlash overpowering liberal internationalism. So do nationalists and HBDers like Jayman. Danes have the most feminine digit ratio in the world, and that makes their country a special case (its different to Sweden in many ways, economic elites have far more power in Sweden read, Mark Blyth).

    An example of what Danes are like


    A 14-month-old girl who was taken away from her parents after being left alone in her stroller outside an East Village restaurant while her parents dined was ordered returned to her mother by a Family Court judge yesterday.

    The child, Liv Sorensen, had been placed in foster care by the city's Administration for Children's Services after the arrests Saturday night of her parents, Annette Sorensen, 30, an actress from Copenhagen, and Exavier Wardlaw, 49, a production assistant for the Walt Disney Company who lives in Brooklyn. The couple had left the child in a stroller outside the Dallas BBQ Restaurant at 132 Second Avenue, prompting alarmed passersby to call the police.[ ...] He said the couple did not bring the child into the restaurant in the first place because Ms. Sorensen believed that the common Danish practice of leaving children unattended outside restaurants and shops was equally acceptable in New York.
     

    The cause of national survival can't win on the evidence of everything since Enoch. Of course there is a nationalist school of thought with political representation which the NYT screeches about because it loathes and despises the mere existence of nationalists. But they have not been able to get into power and Denmark is admitting more non European immigrants than ever. Germany has in effect disarmed and given up the right to self defence, it will not have even a potential nuclear capability soon. Economists are 100 % for immigration and puffing up the county like a bullfrog. For example they are exultant that Britain will overtake Germany as the most populous country in the world in a couple of generations.
  102. @SFG
    I thought the whole point of Unz was to avoid strict censorship of any kind...

    I mean, I think the Holocaust denial thing is stupid, but I'm not going to convince these guys, so I just ignore it. The evidence is strong enough on its own for any curious person who wants to check.

    “I mean, I think the Holocaust denial thing is stupid, but I’m not going to convince these guys, so I just ignore it. The evidence is strong enough on its own for any curious person who wants to check.”

    [MORE]

    Fifty Five million people died in that god dam war – Russians, Poles, Germans, Japanese, and Chinese died in the millions. Six million Jews dying in gas chambers is a lie. It did not happen.

    Of course one death is to many. Collective punishment is wrong! We all agree.

    The problem is that the Jews have used this false number to do more wrong – YOU – deed to get honest and not be a willing part of this hurtful lie.

    Read More
  103. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @SFG
    It's up to the owner of the individual blog, I think. Razib will ban you if you act too dumb, most of them let anything go through.

    Mate, there are some hypocrites, who while whingeing on about ‘topics,’ are themselves, hypocritically, also introducing these and other topics. Everything is tickety-boo when they are writing and doing such, and they have no problem when their own rubbish is being discussed. They only become conveniently ‘offended’ when it suits them. Its like the porn actresses on Razib’s thread who complain about ‘hookers’ giving them a bad name.

    Read More
  104. @anon

    Some people will tell you that Denmark turned right...
     
    And some people would be right and you would be wrong.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/opinion/denmarks-far-right-kingmakers.html?_r=0

    "With 21 percent of the vote, up from 12 percent in 2011, the extreme right is now the second-largest party in Denmark."

    Like everywhere else there's a battle between a small liberal minority and the majority of the population which is dramatically skewed and evened up by liberal dominance of the media.

    The Danish survivalist party is near the head of the pack in terms of electoral success and your theory is wrong.

    Oh, the NYT thinks Europeans are backward and seizes on every piece of evidence for the backlash overpowering liberal internationalism. So do nationalists and HBDers like Jayman. Danes have the most feminine digit ratio in the world, and that makes their country a special case (its different to Sweden in many ways, economic elites have far more power in Sweden read, Mark Blyth).

    An example of what Danes are like

    A 14-month-old girl who was taken away from her parents after being left alone in her stroller outside an East Village restaurant while her parents dined was ordered returned to her mother by a Family Court judge yesterday.

    The child, Liv Sorensen, had been placed in foster care by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services after the arrests Saturday night of her parents, Annette Sorensen, 30, an actress from Copenhagen, and Exavier Wardlaw, 49, a production assistant for the Walt Disney Company who lives in Brooklyn. The couple had left the child in a stroller outside the Dallas BBQ Restaurant at 132 Second Avenue, prompting alarmed passersby to call the police.[ ...] He said the couple did not bring the child into the restaurant in the first place because Ms. Sorensen believed that the common Danish practice of leaving children unattended outside restaurants and shops was equally acceptable in New York.

    The cause of national survival can’t win on the evidence of everything since Enoch. Of course there is a nationalist school of thought with political representation which the NYT screeches about because it loathes and despises the mere existence of nationalists. But they have not been able to get into power and Denmark is admitting more non European immigrants than ever. Germany has in effect disarmed and given up the right to self defence, it will not have even a potential nuclear capability soon. Economists are 100 % for immigration and puffing up the county like a bullfrog. For example they are exultant that Britain will overtake Germany as the most populous country in the world in a couple of generations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I'm not sure what leaving children unattended has anything to do with this. I've seen babies unattended in Japan, and little kids wandering about in Japanese cities by themselves. Japan is not exactly a bastion of liberal internationalism. You seem to seize upon every trivial anecdote.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Yyh2QaBkU
  105. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sean
    Oh, the NYT thinks Europeans are backward and seizes on every piece of evidence for the backlash overpowering liberal internationalism. So do nationalists and HBDers like Jayman. Danes have the most feminine digit ratio in the world, and that makes their country a special case (its different to Sweden in many ways, economic elites have far more power in Sweden read, Mark Blyth).

    An example of what Danes are like


    A 14-month-old girl who was taken away from her parents after being left alone in her stroller outside an East Village restaurant while her parents dined was ordered returned to her mother by a Family Court judge yesterday.

    The child, Liv Sorensen, had been placed in foster care by the city's Administration for Children's Services after the arrests Saturday night of her parents, Annette Sorensen, 30, an actress from Copenhagen, and Exavier Wardlaw, 49, a production assistant for the Walt Disney Company who lives in Brooklyn. The couple had left the child in a stroller outside the Dallas BBQ Restaurant at 132 Second Avenue, prompting alarmed passersby to call the police.[ ...] He said the couple did not bring the child into the restaurant in the first place because Ms. Sorensen believed that the common Danish practice of leaving children unattended outside restaurants and shops was equally acceptable in New York.
     

    The cause of national survival can't win on the evidence of everything since Enoch. Of course there is a nationalist school of thought with political representation which the NYT screeches about because it loathes and despises the mere existence of nationalists. But they have not been able to get into power and Denmark is admitting more non European immigrants than ever. Germany has in effect disarmed and given up the right to self defence, it will not have even a potential nuclear capability soon. Economists are 100 % for immigration and puffing up the county like a bullfrog. For example they are exultant that Britain will overtake Germany as the most populous country in the world in a couple of generations.

    I’m not sure what leaving children unattended has anything to do with this. I’ve seen babies unattended in Japan, and little kids wandering about in Japanese cities by themselves. Japan is not exactly a bastion of liberal internationalism. You seem to seize upon every trivial anecdote.

    Read More
  106. […] Peter Frost discussed a trait that plays a significant role in universalism: affective empathy. From his post Feeling the Other’s Pain: […]

    Read More
  107. @Peter Frost
    Enrique,

    Please stay on-topic. Remember, the topic is not Hitler.

    I don't think any of you guys are trolls. You just seem to be so caught up in the revisionist/anti-revisionist subculture that you have trouble imagining there are other issues and other debates.

    I don't want to leave The Unz Review, but this sort of thing can cause me no end of problems. Until two years ago, Canadian bloggers were held legally responsible for the comments on their blogs and could be prosecuted under Hate Crime legislation.

    The law has been changed, but the guilt by association still exists in most people's minds. This isn't the U.S., and people think differently. I could defend myself by pointing out I have no control over the comments, but people would ask: "Why, then, don't you have your column removed from The Unz Review?"

    Anon,

    National Geographic is a respected magazine, but it's hardly a primary source in a debate that has swung wildly back and forth in recent years. At one point, most academics agreed that the European gene pool was about 80% descended from native hunter-gatherers and 20% from Middle-Eastern farmers. With retrieval of ancient DNA, the tables suddenly turned, and people started saying that Europeans are mainly descended from those Middle Eastern farmers.

    Now the pendulum is swinging back. Ancient DNA does show a sharp genetic divide between late hunter-gatherers and early farmers, but a closer look at more complete time series shows that the divide is actually between the earliest farmers and somewhat later farmers. Part of the genetic divide seems to be caused not by population replacement but rather by a change in selection pressures, which then caused a shift in the frequencies of certain mtDNA haplogroups (which were formerly assumed to be of no selective value).

    Perhaps this is a stupid question, but if that’s what the attitudes in your country are like: Why don’t you leave Canada?

    Read More
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