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In each generation from 1500 to 1750, between 1 and 2% of all English men were executed either by court order or extra-judicially (at the scene of the crime or while in prison). This was the height of a moral crusade by Church and State to punish the wicked so that the good may live in peace.

Meanwhile, the homicide rate fell ten-fold. Were the two trends related? In a recent paper, Henry Harpending and I argued that a little over half of the homicide decline could be explained by the high execution rate, and its steady removal of violent males from the gene pool. The rest could be partly explained by Clark-Unz selection—violent males lost out reproductively because they were increasingly marginalized in society and on the marriage market. Finally, this decline was also due to a strengthening of controls on male violence: judicial punishment (policing, penitentiaries); quasi-judicial punishment (in schools, at church, and in workplaces); and stigmatization of personal violence in popular culture.

These controls drove the decline in the homicide rate, but they also tended over time to hardwire the new behavior pattern, by hindering the ability of violent males to survive and reproduce. The last half-century has seen a dramatic relaxation of these controls but only a modest rise in the homicide rate among young men of native English origin.

The above argument has been criticized on two grounds:

1. Executed offenders were not the worst of the worst. They were often people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

2. Executed offenders may have had children who survived to adulthood.

This week’s column will address the first criticism. Did execution remove the most violent men? Or did it randomly remove individuals from, say, the most violent third?

Many genetic factors influence our propensity for personal violence: impulse control; violence ideation; pleasure from inflicting pain; etc. Regardless of how strong or weak these factors may be, the propensity itself should be normally distributed within the male population—it should follow a bell curve. If we move right or left from the population mean, the number of men should initially decline very little, with the result that over two-thirds of the men can be found within one standard deviation of the mean.

We really have to go one standard deviation to the right before the men begin to seem abnormally violent, but the remaining right-hand “tail” leaves us only 16% of the male population. What if we’re looking for a man who’s at least twice as violent as the normal two-thirds? He’s in the far right 1%. In a single gene pool, violent men stand out not just because they are noticeably abnormal but also because they are much less common.

Identifying the most violent men. But how?

Were these men the ones that the English justice system executed between 1500 and 1750? Murder is violence taken to its logical extreme, yet most murder cases went unsolved in early modern England. The crime was difficult to prove for want of witnesses, either because none wished to come forward or because they had likewise been murdered. There were no police, no forensic laboratories, and much less of the investigative infrastructure that we have today. If you committed a one-time murder, your chances of not getting caught were good.

The criminal justice system in the eighteenth century [...] therefore operated on a rationale very different from that of a modern state, with its professional police forces, social services and a fully bureaucratised law-enforcement system. In the early eighteenth century at least, the enforcement of law and order depended largely on unpaid amateur officials, the justices of the peace and the parish constables and other local officers. (Sharpe, 2010, p. 92)

This is not to say that the justice system gave murder a lower priority. Rather, with the limited resources available, judges and juries engaged in “profiling.” They scrutinized not only the offence but also the accused—his character and demeanor, his behavior during the crime and in the courtroom, and his previous offences. Juries could be lenient in cases of first-time offences for theft, but this leniency disappeared if the accused had a criminal history.

The justice system thus looked for signs that the accused had already committed worse crimes or would go on to do so. Ironically, our current system is the one that tends to catch people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, i.e., inexperienced one-time murderers.

Hanged for robbery but guilty of murder

This may be seen in a book, published in London in 1735, that told the life stories of 198 executed criminals. Of the 198, only 34 (17%) had been sentenced to death for murder. A much larger number, 111 (56%), were charged with robbery, being described as highwaymen, footpads, robbers, and street robbers. Finally, another 37 (19%) were executed simply for theft (Hayward, 2012; see note). Robbery was punished more severely than simple theft because it threatened both life and property, especially if the victim failed to cooperate sufficiently or seemed to recognize the robber.

Robbery is the taking away violently and feloniously the goods or money from the person of a man, putting him in fear [...]. Yea, where there is a gang of several persons, only one of which robs, they are all guilty as to the circumstance of putting in fear, wherever a person attacks another with circumstances of terror [...] And in respect of punishment, though judgment of death cannot be given in any larceny whatsoever, unless the goods taken exceed twelve pence in value, yet in robbery such judgment is given, let the value of the goods be ever so small. (Hayward, 2013, p. 27)

Sooner or later, a robber ended up killing. We see this in the life story of Dick Turpin, who was hanged for cattle theft, even though he had committed worse crimes:

The process of reconstruction may not tell us much about Turpin’s personality, but it does give us the opportunity to put together a remarkable criminal biography, a tale of violent robberies, of murder, and, eventually, of the horse-thefts that led to his execution. (Sharpe, 2010, p. 8)

Allegations of murder came up in trials of robbers, but typically remained unproven because no witnesses could be produced. Nonetheless, the accused would sometimes confess to murder, either to clear his conscience or, in the wake of a death sentence, because he had nothing left to lose, like this man convicted for highway robbery: “This Reading had been concerned in abundance of robberies, and, as he himself owned, in some which were attended with murder” (Hayward, 2013, p. 91). A member of another gang, when caught, confessed to a long string of murders:

[...] he, without any equivocation, began to confess all the crimes of his life. He said that it was true they all of them deserved death, and he was content to suffer; he said, moreover, that in the course of his life he had murdered upwards of three-score with his own hands. He also carried the officers to an island in the river, which was the usual place of the execution of those innocents who fell into the hands of their gang [...] (Hayward,2013, p. 1014)

In most cases, however, the accused would deny involvement in murders even after being condemned to death:

There has been great suspicions that he murdered the old husband to this woman, who was found dead in a barn or outhouse not far from Hornsey; but Wigley, though he confessed an unlawful correspondence with the woman, yet constantly averred his innocency of that fact, and always asserted that though the old man’s death was sudden, yet it was natural. (Hayward, 2013, pp. 92-93)

At the place of execution he behaved with great composure and said that as he had heard he was accused in the world of having robbed and murdered a woman in Hyde Park, he judged it proper to discharge his conscience by declaring that he knew nothing of the murder, but said nothing as to the robbery. (Hayward, 2013, p.96)

In the wrong place at the wrong time?

If we look at executed criminals, their profile is not that of unfortunates caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most were young men who had done their work in the company of likeminded young men. Those who operated alone were atypical, like this highwayman:

Though this malefactor had committed a multitude of robberies, yet he generally chose to go on such expeditions alone, having always great aversion for those confederacies in villainy which we call gangs, in which he always affirmed there was little safety, notwithstanding any oaths, by which they might bind themselves to secrecy. (Hayward, 2013, p. 93)

For most, long-term safety was a secondary concern. Their behavioral profile—fast life history, disregard for the future, desire to be with other young men and impress them with acts of bravado and violence—stood in contrast to the ascendant culture of early modern England. One example is this robber:

[...] when he returned to liberty he returned to his old practices. His companions were several young men of the same stamp with himself, who placed all their delight in the sensual and brutal pleasures of drinking, gaming, whoring and idling about, without betaking themselves to any business. Natt, who was a young fellow naturally sprightly and of good parts, from thence became very acceptable to these sort of people, and committed abundance of robberies in a very small space of time. The natural fire of his temper made him behave with great boldness on such occasions, and gave him no small reputation amongst the gang. [...] He particularly affected the company of Richard James, and with him robbed very much on the Oxford Road, whereon it was common for both these persons not only to take away the money from passengers, but also to treat them with great inhumanity [...] (Hayward, 2013, pp. 108-109)

This sort of description comes up repeatedly. Most condemned men struck observers as very atypical, and not merely among the worst third of society. In 1741, an observer described a hanging and the interactions between the condemned men and a crowd composed largely of their friends:

The criminals were five in number. I was much disappointed at the unconcern and carelessness that appeared in the faces of three of the unhappy wretches; the countenance of the other two were spread with that horror and despair which is not to be wondered at in men whose period of life is so near [...]

[...] the three thoughtless young men, who at first seemed not enough concerned, grew most shamefully wanton and daring, behaving themselves in a manner that would have been ridiculous in men in any circumstances whatever. They swore, laughed, and talked obscenely, and wished their wicked companions good luck with as much assurance as if their employment had been the most lawful.

At the place of execution the scene grew still more shocking, and the clergyman who attended was more the subject of ridicule than of their serious attention. The Psalm was sung amidst the curses and quarrelling of hundreds of the most abandoned and profligate of mankind, upon them (so stupid are they to any sense of decency) all the preparation of the unhappy wretches seems to serve only for subject of a barbarous kind of mirth, altogether inconsistent with humanity. And as soon as the poor creatures were half dead, I was much surprised to see the populace fall to hauling and pulling the carcasses with so much earnestness as to occasion several warm rencounters and broken heads. These, I was told, were the friends of the persons executed, or such as, for the sake of tumult, chose to appear so; as well as some persons sent by private surgeons to obtain bodies for dissection. The contests between these were fierce and bloody, and frightful to look at [...] The face of every one spoke a kind of mirth, as if the spectacle they beheld had afforded pleasure instead of pain, which I am wholly unable to account for. (Hayward, 2013, pp. 8-10)

The situation in early modern England was akin to a low-grade war, and it was not for nothing that its justice system seems to us so barbaric. The judges and juries were dealing with barbarians: gangs of young men who led a predatory lifestyle that made life miserable for people who ventured beyond the safety of their own homes.

Conclusion

We are still left with the original question: Were these criminals the most violent 1 to 2% or a random sample of a much larger proportion? In general, they behaved quite unlike most people, especially if they belonged to gangs, which seem to have been responsible for most homicides. It is hard to see how such people could correspond even to the most violent 16%—a range of individuals that begins one standard deviation to the right of the mean, at which point behavior just begins to seem “abnormal.”

In all likelihood, execution removed individuals who were more than one standard deviation to the right of the mean, with a strong skew toward people more than two standard deviations to the right—in other words, something less than the most violent 16% with a strong skew toward the most violent 1%.

These assumptions differ from those of our model, which assumes that execution removed the most violent 1 to 2%. On the other hand, our model also assumes that each executed criminal would, in the absence of execution, have killed only one person over a normal lifetime. Clearly, many people among the executed were already serial murderers, not so much among the convicted murderers as among the convicted robbers. It is difficult to say whether the two sources of error would balance each other out, since we need more information on (1) just how abnormal the executed were in terms of behavior and (2) how many people they would have otherwise killed over a normal lifetime.

Executed criminals were probably a heterogeneous group. A quarter of them (mostly the thieves) would have likely killed 0 to 1 people on average if allowed to live out their lives. Another quarter may have averaged 1 to 2 murders. Finally, the remaining half may have had an ever higher score. Within this last group, we can be sure that a hard core of individuals would have each gone on to kill dozens of people, if they had not already done so.

Note

The other executed criminals were identified as 8 housebreakers, 7 forgers, 4 pirates, 2 incendiaries, 1 threatening letter writer, 1 ravisher, 1 thief-taker, and 1 releaser of prisoners. Wherever a single individual was charged with more than one crime, I classified him or her under the most serious offence, i.e., murder took precedence over robbery, and robbery took precedence over theft.

Of the 198 executed criminals, 9 were women. The book actually tells the life stories of 201 criminals, but three of them were not executed. I excluded the life stories in the appendix (7 murderers and 4 thieves) because they came from a much earlier time period and may have been less representative.

References

Frost, P. and H. Harpending. (2015). Western Europe, state formation, and genetic pacification, Evolutionary Psychology, 13, 230-243. http://www.epjournal.net/articles/western-europe-state-formation-and-genetic-pacification/

Hayward, A.L. (2013[1735]). Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals – who Have Been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining Or Other Offences, Routledge.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13097/13097-h/13097-h.htm

Sharpe, J. (2010). Dick Turpin: The Myth of the English Highwayman, Profile Books.

http://books.google.ca/books?hl=fr&lr=&id=4PLg58uSY2QC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&dq=the+myth+of+the+english+highwayman&ots=-tncTTdZlQ&sig=hBBGSOhajnOpHc_G6_128gSDgtc#v=onepage&q=the%20myth%20of%20the%20english%20highwayman&f=false

(Republished from Evo and Proud by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:

    gangs of young men who led a predatory lifestyle that made life miserable for people who ventured beyond the safety of their own homes.

    That sounds like some cities in the US with large populations of blacks.

  2. Numinous says:

    A theory cannot be proven using one sample case. Do reliable numbers exist for the rates of executions and the corresponding increase/decrease in homicide rates in other countries and cultures besides Tudor and Stuart England?

    • Replies: @RW
  3. Georg says:

    Aside
    from hanging, there were some other ways of handling
    robbers and the like: sending to colonies, or navy or army.
    This depended a lot on times of war or how much the
    plantators in Virginia payed for such slaves.
    This makes quantitative analysis more complicated of
    course.
    On the other hand this would mean that the 13 colonies
    and Australia got a big share of wrongdoers.
    Is this still a factor in US/Australia?
    Georg

  4. I wonder if a similar analysis could be performed on the practice of lynching in the United States. It would, of course, be complicated by the racial angle: although a fair number of whites were lynched, the practice impacted the black population more, while the English population during the time of this study was homogeneous. And a lynching would result in little or no record to examine, or at least nothing as detailed as the description of the criminals executed during this period in England. Finally, advancing the hypothesis that lynching had some kind of a salutary effect on a population would end the career of any social scientist inclined to suggest it. (In Europe it might result in criminal prosecution.)

    • Replies: @JayMan
  5. one aspect of history that may have been a significant factor in this “war on male criminals by the upper class of Britain” was that the upper class was making money off of North America. The more labor they could move from the British Isles to North America, the more money the upper class made.

    The fact is that the desire for profit creates ideology, creates politics, molds and shapes culture.

    There are of course many obscuring and obfuscatory rationalizations that cloud and obscure the profit motive as the prime mover for societal changes such as this “war on male criminals by the upper class of Britain”. But behind many such societal changes lies the profit motive of the upper class (the civil rights era is a perfect example of such).

    Restated, this “war on male criminals by the upper class of Britain” was a way for the upper class to increase the labor supply in north america–they hounded lower class males away from the British Isles and to North America. The effect? More profit for the upper class.

    It’s not a conspiracy; it’s an ecosystem.

  6. Sean says:

    In general, they behaved quite unlike most people, especially if they belonged to gangs, which seem to have been responsible for most homicides.

    I went through a list of famous highwaymen on Wikipedia and it seems to me that there are few grounds for thinking they were often responsible for a string of murders. A couple, including Turpin, are known to have shot dead men trying to arrest them.

    I am not qualified to comment on the statistics of removing criminal genes. I suppose that killing people in the course of a robbery is not ever something robbers do unless they can help it, for the very good reason that it makes them much more likely to be caught. The Ratcliff Highway murders created a sensation. Certainly a dissolute criminal lifestyle of thieving makes one much more likely to murder (or be murdered) in the kind of personal disputes that agresssive people get into Charles Peace. All in all I am a bit dubious that there is this simple relationship between the decline in murder and the execution of actual murderers for other crimes. I think there must be a general criminal propensity with a potential for murder, and that was what the executions removed

    • Replies: @iffen
  7. Also, the heightened violence was from lower class men was due to ending of the feudal estates and the loss of common lands that people could use to make a living from. THe rich people TOOK the land in the british isles and left the poor people with nothing.

  8. “Many genetic factors influence our propensity for personal violence: impulse control; violence ideation; pleasure from inflicting pain; etc.” additional important factors are probably some kind of fearlessness, physical strength and high self esteem.

  9. Keith Vaz [AKA "Sir Charles Pipkins"] says:

    If we executed all black men in the US, we’d probably cut the crime rate to <1% of what it is now.

  10. @Keith Vaz

    And if we executed all men and women, we could prevent ALL (100%) crime.

    BTW obviously blacks are not responsible for 99% of all crime in the US, so even your numbers are wrong.

  11. JayMan says: • Website
    @reiner Tor

    Thank you sir. Dang people.

  12. Fred Reed says:

    Peter,

    In the Knock-Out game, now far too common to be regarded as an aberration, a group of blacks brutally beats a victim, laughs, displays absolute callousness, etc, with no economic goal. I certainly won’t encourage you to write a paper on the genetics and lose your job, but if you ever do so under a pen name, please send me a copy.

    Most crime is committed by career criminals. It would be hard to find an armed robber of thirty who didn’t have a rap sheet going back to puberty.

    Is it possible that as society clamped down on casual violence, the aggressive went into the army or capitalist–ie, fiercely competitive and remorseless–commerce and conquered almost everywhere? Since the military is the choice of those inclined to violence, it doesn’t seem wise to leave it out of the equation. I know quite a number of (very high intelligent) men who are responsible citizens in America but did two or three tours in Viet Nam, which you only do if you like it. They go medals.

    • Replies: @unpc downunder
  13. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor

    Depends on the crime. Interracial rape in the US may well be 99% black.

  14. pakicetus says:
    @Keith Vaz

    If we executed all black men in the US, we’d probably cut the crime rate to <1% of what it is now.

    It would go down by around 40%, assuming the DoJ’s statistics are correct.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  15. unit472 says:

    While I think there is a genetic component to violent criminal behavior trying to determine if executions between 1500 and 1750 in England had the effect of culling the most violent genetically seems tenuous. Too many other factors at play. Might some of the real brutes been rewarded for their violence as the ‘muscle’ for the aristocracy , engaged in the slave trade or building an empire in the Americas and West Indies. Running a sugar plantation in Barbados or Jamaica with slave labor likely required an abundance of violence, at least initially and those who had the ‘right stuff’ to survive and prosper as Imperial foot soldiers would have been highly successful in passing their genes on and not just to slaves or subjugated populations. What the Spanish called pirates the English called privateers and here too men who did not shirk from violence could prosper.

    There are cultural factors too. It was only 70 years ago that Japan was a Bushido society such that its soldiers were among the most ruthless the world had ever seen and, while they may have fought to the last man in a dozen or so pitched battles against American forces, the truth is most of the Japanese Army went home after the war and its soldiers morphed into ‘salary men’ by the time they retired.

  16. Sean says:

    Iceland has a low crime rate, but then they castrated beggars in medieval Iceland.

    • Replies: @JayMan
    , @Jamie
  17. Sean says:

    In a BBC News Magazine feature originally published on 16 May, 2013, US law student Andrew Clark asked why Iceland, awash with guns, has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world. ‘Frankly, there is no perfect answer as to why Iceland has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world’

    Why violent crime is so rare in Iceland

  18. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    He’s probably thinking of violent crime, not crime in general.

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @pakicetus

    What about violent crime? Specifically, violent crime involving unrelated perpetrators and victims?

    • Replies: @pakicetus
  20. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    We wouldn’t need to execute. Castration or sterilization would work as well.

  21. syonredux says: • Website
    @reiner Tor

    According to the FBI SHR data, in 2011 there were 6,309 black homicide victims in the United States.

    The homicide rate among black victims in the United States was 17.51 per 100,000. For that year, the overall national homicide rate was 4.44 per 100,000.
    For whites, the national homicide rate was 2.64 per 100,000.

    http://www.vpc.org/studies/blackhomicide14.pdf

  22. syonredux says: • Website
    @Keith Vaz

    “If we executed all black men in the US, we’d probably cut the crime rate to <1% of what it is now."

    Well, it would reduce the homicide rate quite a bit, but not by 99%

    According to the FBI SHR data, in 2011 there were 6,309 black homicide victims in the United States.

    The homicide rate among black victims in the United States was 17.51 per 100,000. For that year, the overall national homicide rate was 4.44 per 100,000.
    For whites, the national homicide rate was 2.64 per 100,000.

    http://www.vpc.org/studies/blackhomicide14.pdf

  23. RW says:
    @Numinous

    I wonder the same thing.

  24. pakicetus says:
    @Anonymous

    Violent crime would go down by 38.5% (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf)

    I couldn’t find info on “violent crime involving unrelated perpetrators and victims”.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  25. In each generation from 1500 to 1750, between 1 and 2% of all English men were executed either by court order or extra-judicially (at the scene of the crime or while in prison).

    This may or may not be true. There is no doubt that many were executed, but the actual number of executions may be exaggerated. One standard college textbook says that the level of capital punishment is sometimes overstated, and that quote- “Capital punishment was never as extensive as, in theory, it should have been. For instance, only about a quarter of those accused of felony before the assize courts in Elizabethan England were eventually hanged.” (Crime And Punishment In England: An Introductory History, Briggs et al 2005)

    Several reasons exist. One such for example is “benefit of clergy”- i.e. exemption of clergy which included not just bishops or parish priests but everyone with even light connections- such as minor officers associated with the Church. Indeed it as custom at the end of the Medieval period to accept that every literate adult male could claim benefit of clergy. quote- Briggs et al

    “All an accused man had to do was prove that he could read a passage from the Bible- normally the opening verse of Psalm 51. If he could do this he would be granted benefit of clergy. In practice, this meant that instead of being sentenced to death a prisoner would have the letters M (for murderer or T (for thief) branded on his thumb and would then be set free.”

    “Two statutes of 1623 and 1692 extended benefit of clergy to women, while a further act of 1706 removed the literacy test. But all this tinkering and adjustment did not alter the fact that between 1500 and 1800 thousands of convicted felons escaped hanging by pleading benefit of clergy.”

    “The system of benefit of clergy was one reason for the partial enforcement of the death sentence. But there was, too, a range of other mitigating factors at work. Cases were dismissed, judges handed down lesser sentences; pardons and reprieves were common. Reprieves were, in the words of Blackstone, ‘the withdrawal of the sentence for an interval of tome’ and they often led to a full pardon.”

    “”On top of all this came the behavior of juries. Frequently juries would find defendants guilty of lesser crimes than those they had been charged with. Professor Beatie has calculated in Surrey juries reduced the charges in about a quarter of non-clergyable cases that came before them in the years 1660-1800… Throughout the early modern period, therefore, a motley collection of devices and subterfuges was employed to save people from the gallows. Father, more often than not, these devices were deployed with the blessing and even active cooperation of the authorities.”

    (FROM: Crime And Punishment In England: An Introductory History, Briggs et al 2005)

    The above argument has been criticized on two grounds:

    1. Executed offenders were not the worst of the worst. They were often people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Per above, the ACTUAL level of executions may be overstated.

  26. @leftist conservative

    Leftist conservative says:
    one aspect of history that may have been a significant factor in this “war on male criminals by the upper class of Britain” was that the upper class was making money off of North America. The more labor they could move from the British Isles to North America, the more money the upper class made.

    How specifically did the upper classes make money? Wouldn’t the exit of such labor hurt the upper class and cause wages to rise on England? And per the Briggs book above on Crime and Punishment in Britain, sometimes the upper classes collaborated to REDUCE the number of executions. Are you saying they profited more by extracting fines in lieu or the rather more permanent, revenue dampening solution- death?

  27. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @pakicetus

    Which rows are you looking at in that table?

    The crucial metric would be things like homicides, physical assault, rape, etc. involving parties unrelated and unknown to each other. Domestic violence and abuse, for example, aren’t public safety and order problems.

  28. Sean says:
    I went through a list of famous highwaymen on Wikipedia and it seems to me that there are few grounds for thinking they were often responsible for a string of murders. A couple, including Turpin, are known to have shot dead men trying to arrest them.

    These highwaymen may not necessarily have been executed, due to the many exemptions, and variable rulings by juries, as well as frequent reprieves granted by various figures in authority (Briggs 2005). Multiple offenses though would generally draw an actual execution, and single offense captures as well, depending on the particular jury, or lack of reprieve granted in a particular locale, by a particular authority.

    Leftist conservative:
    Also, the heightened violence was from lower class men was due to ending of the feudal estates and the loss of common lands that people could use to make a living from. THe rich people TOOK the land in the british isles and left the poor people with nothing.

    But couldn’t the pushing out of these lower end whites lead to improvement of remaining white stock, as some eugenic proponents maintain? And didn’t the removal of these more backward whites allow a flourishing of capitalism, as land consolidations aided capital accumulation, and thus later investment?

    Sir Charles Pipkins says:
    “If we executed all black men in the US, we’d probably cut the crime rate to <1% of what it is now."

    The “culling” hypothesis may have some truth to it, if only by removal of the most violent whites. Transport to Australia or the Barbadoes would also “cull” out other white undesirables. As regards the black homicide rate of 17.51 per thousand this is high, but often surpassed by whites- it just depends on the time period you want to study. The supposedly more self-restrained Dutch of Amsterdam posted a whopping 47 per 100,000 in the 16th century, higher than any rate ever recorded for New York City, Irish and all. pstein and Gang 2010. Migration and Culture, Vol 8) In Maryland the rate at which unrelated European adults killed was 29 per 100,000 adults per year in the mid 1600s. In white Virginia it was 37 per 100,000. The supposedly more virtuous Yankee peoples in colonial America in the Chesapeake posted a rate of 12 per 100,000.

    In some decades of the 1800s, white San Francisco posted rates well above 17.5. Even allegedly milder white Oregon posted a rate around 30 per 100,000. (Randolph Roth- Homicide Rates in the American West) Using modern FBI formulas, mostly white Los Angeles County in the 19th century ran up a body count of about 414 homicides per 100,000. (McKanna 2002. Race and Homicide in 19th Century California). Nor is the West unique. Studies show the heavily white Scotch-Irish Kentucky-Tennessee borderlands posting a rate of 24 per 100,000 starting in the 1850s. ( –Randolph Roth, 2009. American Homicide). In a study of homicides in white Russia, it was found that in 1998, the homicide victimization rate was 23.9 per 100,000. The 1999 homicide figures were substantially up over those for 1998.” –Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, Vol 1. 2002 (David Levinson ed) p. 1426.

  29. @Enrique Cardova

    Some words for you:”spirited away”, kidnabbed/kidnapped, transported, white slaves, etc.

    I leave you to your research.

  30. Peter said
    We are still left with the original question: Were these criminals the most violent 1 to 2% or a random sample of a much larger proportion? In general, they behaved quite unlike most people, especially if they belonged to gangs, which seem to have been responsible for most homicides. It is hard to see how such people could correspond even to the most violent 16%—a range of individuals that begins one standard deviation to the right of the mean, at which point behavior just begins to seem “abnormal.” In all likelihood, execution removed individuals who were more than one standard deviation to the right of the mean, with a strong skew toward people more than two standard deviations to the right—in other words, something less than the most violent 16% with a strong skew toward the most violent 1%.

    Fair enough. I have no doubt the removal of the extreme cases [the “1 to 2 percenters”- must have had some kind of impact, even if local. Didn’t mention it in the earlier thread, but per Briggs et al 2005, some of those among this class would not necessarily be executed- some in total- over the country as a whole were such cases were occurring- were granted reprieves or transported, or had jury authorities or judges/prosecutors reduce the seriousness of the charges. So the execution of these undesirables may not have been a clean sweep.

    But would it be enough to exercise a “culling” effect of genetic pacification on the population of Europe as a whole to genetically produce an allegedly, kinder, gentler European, as some argue? I don’t think it had that big a genetic impact. However as part of a general deterrent reducing the legitimacy of personal violence, as part of the ongoing process of state centralism and power, as part of reduced localized crime levels- and as part of the “civilizing” effect Norbert Elias talked about, I think it did have some impact in the mix.

  31. Fred said:
    Is it possible that as society clamped down on casual violence, the aggressive went into the army or capitalist-ie, fiercely competitive and remorseless-commerce and conquered almost everywhere?

    This is quite possible. Several histories show that in past times, the military was at least sometimes used as a dumping ground for “undesirables” or misfits, into the lower ranks. Vagabonds, beggars etc were often impressed into the military, in both the naval and land forces. The Ottomans, Germans and the British back in Medieval times and later all to some extent, used forced draft military recruitment to flush “undesirables” from the ranks of the better folk. Even in Russia one study notes that communities and landlords used conscription to send off criminals, troublemakers, drunkards and men deemed disobedient, unruly or simply lazy. Over the centuries, European military forces became more professionalized, but time and time again the record shows army authorities complaining about the quality of the personnel provided.

    So to some extent European militaries, at some level drew off the “dregs” of society, variously defined in their own eras. Casualty rates in war would no doubt impact these at a higher rate, cutting off their participation in the gene pool.
    (Erik-Jan Zurcher- 2013- Fighting For a Living: A Comparative History of Military Labour)

    The flip side is that while LOCAL homicide rates in a territory may have gone down (as private vendettas were suppressed, clans crushed, more criminals caught), predatory violence over a wider zone went up. The newly centralizing governments crushed “wild” unregulated violence, and harnessed the resources gained into aggression against other weaker groups and neighbors- hence the numerous succession, dynastic, predatory and religious wars in Europe since medieval times. The same pattern is shown in the many wars of America, including the colonial and/or imperial adventures in South America the Philippines, Vietnam (where the US gambit was defeated), and various internal wars against the natives. Re the internal wars, lower-end whites such as the Scotch-Irish rendered good service on the frontier, compared to the more effete, or sheltered eastern types.

    Leftist conservative says:
    Some words for you:”spirited away”, kidnabbed/kidnapped, transported, white slaves, etc.

    Sure, but you avoid offering anything SPECIFIC as to how the upper class at home in England would make money by shipping poorer whites away- and the terms are in some ways contradictory to what you are claiming. White slaves in the 1700s or 1800s for example would be primarily a phenomenon of the Muslim world of North Africa. People in Europe had to pay hard cash ransom to get the white slaves back. And if anything, shipping out low-end white labour caused wages to go up, and new labor demands to be made in England. These labor demands eventually would energize a burgeoning union movement that threatened the elites. Wouldn’t they have been better off by keeping surplus white labor at home to suppress wages and undermine class solidarity?

  32. Whiskey says: • Website

    The Aristocracy made money on the triangle trade. Slaves to the West Indies. Slaves made sugar and rum. Sugar and rum to North America for tobacco and cotton. Tobacco and cotton to Africa for slaves.

    A famous example. How could anyone miss it? At no time was the export of White labor from England part of that.

  33. Sean says:
    @Whiskey

    No. there was transportation of white criminals to the West Indies. There were also poor white English who effectively sold themselves into slavery (indentured labour).

  34. @Whiskey

    Some words for you:”spirited away”, kidnabbed/kidnapped, transported, white slaves, etc.

    I leave you to your research. A hint–try Google….

  35. IA says:

    Maybe OT but found this online:

    “It has been estimated that between 1683 and 1715, nearly 30,000 out of 120,000 Corsicans were killed in vendettas, and between 1821 and 1852, no fewer than 4,300 murders were perpetrated in Corsica.”

    Vendetta has a long history in Corsica. Surely the decrease is related to cultural factors and not genetics.

    BTW, it’s a beautiful place with friendly people, but you can rile them very easily.

    • Replies: @anon
  36. JayMan says: • Website
    @Diversity Heretic

    I wonder if a similar analysis could be performed on the practice of lynching in the United States

    .

    Here you go:

    See also:

    • Replies: @iffen
  37. JayMan says: • Website
    @Sean

    Iceland has a low crime rate, but then they castrated beggars in medieval Iceland.

    That’ll do it.

  38. AG says:

    Hanged for robbery but guilty of murder

    In modern day, Mafia were put in prison for tax-evation instead of murder which was hard to find evidence without reasonable doubt. Long prison sentence has the same effect as execution in term of reproductive fitness.

    Bottom line, impulsive behavior with lack of anger control, weak future orientation (less concern for future consequence) have become unfit factors in Darwin competition in civilized societies where laws and rules were enforced.

    Just think about road rage in this day of age, aggressive drivers were on the list of Darwin award. The countries with longer history high way driving will produce more pacified drivers in couple of hundred years. With elimination of aggressive drivers, traffic accident and death should go down. Calm and reserved manner will prevail.

    According to Paul Fussel, higher social class, less aggressive driving behavior on the high way. So human underclasses are subject to Darwin pressure. In other words, behaviors associated with low SES were under negative selection pressure.

    http://www.amazon.com/Class-Through-American-Status-System/dp/0671792253

  39. @Whiskey

    Whiskey says:
    The Aristocracy made money on the triangle trade. Slaves to the West Indies. Slaves made sugar and rum. Sugar and rum to North America for tobacco and cotton. Tobacco and cotton to Africa for slaves. A famous example. How could anyone miss it? At no time was the export of White labor from England part of that.

    Yes, and Leftist can still give no specific examples. He only offers contradictory claims. “White Slaves” would be part of the Muslim piracy thing. So how did the “elites” make a profit from that? Europe had to PAY OUT silver and gold for ransom. Where are the so-called “profits” in this case?

    IC says:
    “It has been estimated that between 1683 and 1715, nearly 30,000 out of 120,000 Corsicans were killed in vendettas, and between 1821 and 1852, no fewer than 4,300 murders were perpetrated in Corsica.”

    Vendetta has a long history in Corsica. Surely the decrease is related to cultural factors and not genetics.

    Indeed. Some argue that southern Europeans like Italians, or Corsicans, was more backward and violent, compared to more peaceful northern Europe. But this is dubious. One of the most violent peoples in Europe are from northern Europe- the Irish. And the mass genocide and slaughter by Germans in Europe shows allegedly more peaceful northern European “role models” are anything but.

    In other words, behaviors associated with low SES were under negative selection pressure.

    This may be true internally, but the record also shows that the upper classes redirected violence against neighbors and other internal enemies as they sought to consolidate more power. So while INTERNAL things like banditry or vendettas might be more suppressed, the upper classes expanded violence in another direction, as the constant dynastic wars of succession, religious wars and wars of conquest within Europe, including wars within individual territories attest.

    Thus once various enemies were crushed in various regions of Britain, or as that suppression was ongoing, the upper classes turned or added their predatory attentions to Wales, Ireland and Scotland. On the continent the same pattern. The Thirty years War for example of the longest, most destructive conflicts in European history. It saw the devastation of entire regions, with famine and disease significantly decreasing the population of the German and Italian states, the Kingdom of Bohemia, and the Low Countries. The war also bankrupted most of the combatant powers. Both mercenaries and soldiers in armies were expected to fund themselves by looting or extorting tribute, which imposed severe hardships on the inhabitants of occupied territories. As one of the constant wars up and down Europe, it may have had some culling effect, though soon after other wars broke out.

    • Replies: @AG
    , @IA
  40. if one can be bothered read entire books, the knowledge is out there. For example:

    http://www.amazon.com/White-Cargo-Forgotten-History-Britains/dp/0814742963

  41. AG says:
    @Enrique Cardova

    The violence by upper class is not based on rage or impulsive behavior. It is business decision with cold calculation.

    In other words, violence of elites is future oriented rational decision. You do not win war by rage but careful calculation and planning. This kind of violence is very different from underclass impulsive behavior.

    Most successful generals were engineer type people who often very quiet in life.

  42. IA says:
    @Enrique Cardova

    Dorothy Carrington, in The Dream-Hunters of Corsica, has some interesting things to say about vendetta. For one, it is very old. It may have begun as a way to protect a family from a slain member’s spirit. They had to appease his spirit by the act of revenge.

    There was little in the way of established order. Vendetta would enforce order in lieu of a respected judicial system.

  43. krakonos says:

    @Enrique Cardova

    The flip side is that while LOCAL homicide rates in a territory may have gone down (as private vendettas were suppressed, clans crushed, more criminals caught), predatory violence over a wider zone went up. The newly centralizing governments crushed “wild” unregulated violence, and harnessed the resources gained into aggression against other weaker groups and neighbors- hence the numerous succession, dynastic, predatory and religious wars in Europe since medieval times.

    Since when? The difference after state formation was that states were bigger, more organized, units than tribes. Before state formation tribes had been fighting each other the same way as states were doing later.
    State lowered impulsive violence and directed organized violence.

  44. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Enrique Cardova

    Come back next week when leftist conservstive will be making exactly this argument. He is an inverate bellyacher about excess labor driving down wages. Nevermind how the aristocracy in England feverishly sought the corn laws to protects its man source of wealth- land in England. He’s a deeply confused and embittered man.

    • Replies: @leftist conservative
  45. iffen says:
    @JayMan

    So what is your opinion? Did lynching remove enough aggressive individuals to affect the gene pool? Would the black crime rate be even higher if there had been no lynchings?

    • Replies: @Jim
  46. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @leftist conservative

    The upper class in Britain made money clearing their lands of tenants because they could then turn their lands to more profitable enterprises, not because they increased the labor supply of North America. The labor to land ratio decreased with colonization. The lower class consequently improved its economic prospects. Their wages went up because there was more land available.

    • Replies: @leftist conservative
  47. iffen says:
    @Sean

    removing criminal genes

    Don’t we have to prove that these “genes” exist before we start drawing all sorts of conclusions?

  48. IC says:
    The violence by upper class is not based on rage or impulsive behavior. It is business decision with cold calculation. In other words, violence of elites is future oriented rational decision. You do not win war by rage but careful calculation and planning. This kind of violence is very different from underclass impulsive behavior.

    Agreed in general, but not necessarily an absolute pattern for the upper classes. There are plenty of examples of elites making war via rage or impulse. Hitler made some decisions based on personal pique or rage, or impulse. Likewise some of the kings went to war or ordered operations based on personal feeling and emotion. Warfare requires some planning of course, if only to move troops and supplies into place- so to a greater extent, some plan ahead is needed- but this is the execution phase of a decision. Irrational and impulsive behavior can still ultimately guide various elites in the initial decision for war. On the individual level, while planning may be less elaborate, criminals are often known for detailed, sophisticated planning ahead, as well as cold calculus to do various crimes- ranging from murder to theft. This of course does not apply to the usual crimes of passion, or drunken melees or fights.

    IA says:
    There was little in the way of established order. Vendetta would enforce order in lieu of a respected judicial system.
    Hmm, from what I have heard of the vendetta, it could be conducted in the heat of the moment, or as a result of cold, rational planning as to when a “hit” should take place. Maybe as you say in various places, vendetta was the judicial system until the centralized state took over.

    Krakonos says:
    The difference after state formation was that states were bigger, more organized, units than tribes. Before state formation tribes had been fighting each other the same way as states were doing later. State lowered impulsive violence and directed organized violence.
    Agreed, though under new and improved state directed violence, it is unclear if the overall levels of violence in various regions or in Europe generally went down. The Thirty Years War saw massive widespread violence that bankrupted and devastated many parts of Europe. Local vendettas may have been better pacified, but rather than dozens or hundred killed in confined areas, you have much larger scale violence, with hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions killed over a wider area.

    And “states” could be small territories or kingdoms under a petty local tyrant or regime. Violence could be looked at from both levels- the individual criminal, and mass state directed violence- individual pacification, along with expanded state or regime violence. On top of that the large scale regime violence often had violent blow-back at the local levels. The creation of new regimes or petty jurisdictions could be one result, or widespread disorder from defeated or demobilized men- as during the Thirty years War when rootless mercenaries and soldiers commenced an orgy of looting, rape, extortion and robbery that became the scourge of some European areas.

  49. @Anon

    Anon says:

    Come back next week when leftist conservstive will be making exactly this argument. He is an inverate bellyacher about excess labor driving down wages. Nevermind how the aristocracy in England feverishly sought the corn laws to protects its man source of wealth- land in England.
    He’s a deeply confused and embittered man.

    I am cornfused. And I am deeply sorry to have offended your delicate sensibilties.

  50. @Anonymous

    Anonymous says:

    The upper class in Britain made money clearing their lands of tenants because they could then turn their lands to more profitable enterprises, not because they increased the labor supply of North America.

    They made money both ways. My knowledge comes from authors who footnote to original documents. Took me years to get that knowledge. I cannot put it into a forum post. I linked to a book. Read it if you will. Read the sources. I did.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  51. Jim says:
    @iffen

    I think in the case of the lynching of blacks we are talking about a much shorter time period, a few decades, not centuries as in the case that Peter is discussing.

    • Replies: @iffen
  52. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Peter, You should not forget about the war on witches in the same period.

    The most evil , envious , maleficent females were wiped out, together with their genes .

  53. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @leftist conservative

    Wages are determined by the margin of production. What this means is that a laborer’s bargaining power in the market is determined by their next best alternative to wage labor. Typically, that alternative, where available, has been homesteading.

    That was the historic difference between the “New World” and the “Old World.” The New World was a land of opportunity because it had a lot of high quality land available for the taking. Not just for elites, but for any citizen who was willing and able.

    • Replies: @leftist conservative
  54. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Wrong. Leftist is quite correct. Those who ran the New World gave limited opportunity. They excluded millions of blacks for example. Even after the Civil War they forbid blacks from buying land in some places, and lynched blacks who seemed to be getting “too prosperous.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  55. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Leftist agrees with me, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

    We’re not talking about blacks anyway. We’re talking about the lower classes of the British Isles.

  56. this sort of discussion ( a discussion of the exploitation of white slaves in north america and their effective expulsion from the british isles after their expulsion from the commons) requires facts, facts derived from source documents. The book I linked above has the footnotes. Two other such books are REDNECK MANIFESTO by jim goad and THEY WERE WHITE AND THEY WERE SLAVES by Michael Hoffman.

    The documentation is voluminous and irrefutable. But any such discussion must take place in reference to this documentation. If you want, you can find these books on pirate book sites.

  57. @Leftist Conservative:

    OK fair enough. You have provided SPECIFIC details on how the elites exploited poor whites even binding them into a type of slavery. I don’t know why pirate sites would be necessary. Looking up the topic specifically, mainstream histories are quite open about the matter. They round up the phenomenon under the heading of “indentured” servants but the data they present is all there. For example your White Cargo book notes that the white slavery basically wound down overall, with the American War of Independence, and elites began to drive a wedge between the poor whites and blacks, with the blacks getting locked down into permanent bondage. Other sources like “Slavery in the Colonial Chesapeake (Davis 1996), or Challenging Slavery in the Chesapeake (Whitman 2007) etc etc note the brutal treatment.

    On top of that numerous white “slaves” were bound by temporary contract- some up to 14 years. Some were also criminals convicted of various crimes and sentenced to transport as punishment. Some were kidnapped, traded or shipped out to work in the antipodes. Still their situation was ultimately a lot better than the millions of Africans who were locked in for generation after generation as slaves, with no way out practically for those many millions. There were no release periods for them. Even in Australia the white convicts who served their sentences were set loose eventually. Tens of thousands of whites would be virtually enslaved, but for Africans it was in millions, with no way out, save a trivial number of manumissions (which elites often blocked) or the small number of escapes or revolts -most of which failed.

    The books also show that colonial elites manipulated the law to criminalize marriages between black and white, and specified that white women would become slaves who married a black, even though years before these laws, these marriages were considered valid or legal. Greedy elites, making profits from both black and white restricted and took away freedoms, even though they claimed America was about “freedom.” In 1776 for example free black men were able to vote in Maryland. By 1810, they had taken away this right, so as to lock in the slave system more tightly, and increase their profits. Likewise the marriage situation. The elites talked a good game about freedom, but they then took away the freedoms people had enjoyed before. The elites tricked numerous voluntary white indentures into years long periods of harsh labor.

    White Cargo shows that tens of thousands of convicts, beggars, homeless children and other undesirable Britons were transported to America against their will. Maybe this was a “culling” mechanism to rid Britain of undesirables. Could it be that by shipping out the lower-end whites, that this may have led to a reduction of violence in Britain- a “cull” by transport out?

    So you are right, the documentation is there- in plenty of mainstream books as well- if the topic is specifically looked at. So then given this manipulation by the elites, do you see this as an entire ecosystem, a sort of American gulag, set up for the profit of ruling elites? How is this a “conservative” view?

  58. @Enrique Cardova

    thanks for the summary, but you are talking to an expert in the subject.

  59. @Enrique Cardova

    So then given this manipulation by the elites, do you see this as an entire ecosystem, a sort of American gulag, set up for the profit of ruling elites? How is this a “conservative” view?

    The leftistconservative thing is just something to help people understand some small aspect of what my philosophy is. I don’t see see myself as a conservative or a leftist. Where I am is not really describable in your terminology.

    Ecosystem is a very appropriate word when it comes to politics and culture. There are environmental forces that shape the culture. What are the strongest and most well organized forces?

    Yes, america is unique in many ways because its origin was unique, and because that origin shaped our culture. There are other aspects of america that make it easy for the elites to control. The size of the federal voting districts, the heterogeneity, its federalist/separation of powers/checks and balances gov’t structure, and so forth.

    The elites seek to control their nations everywhere. America just makes it easier than most.

    Also, don’t forget that the division of poor whites/white slaves from blacks was accomplished by the white upper class in order to divide and conquer. They created these laws to bind the lower class whites to the upper class whites.

    This took place after a mixed race rebellion burned jamestown to the ground.

    Affirmative action, multiculturalism and mass immigration also serve the same purpose today, along with serving other purposes.

    Affirmative action, multiculturalism and mass immigration keep the nonwhites socially separate from whites even while they are incorporated into society as workers and consumers (thus depressing wages and increasing the GDP and consumer sales).

    Divide et impera….

    As to whether the white slave diaspora had the effect of reducing violence, yes, it probably did. But so what? Killing everyone would reduce violence, too.

  60. @Anonymous

    Thanks for the economics 101 primer, but I am not religious.

    Read the source documents cited in the book. We can go from there.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  61. A huge percentage of white americans today have ancestors who were sold at auction, often in chains, and yet this fact is hidden, and yet the rich and powerful institutions of america cram white guilt into the brains of impressionable young whites, blaming whites for the evils of slavery. We were slaves. That is of paramount import.

    1.5% of all white americans owned slaves, according to the 1860 census. And no wonder, considering that the average white man made maybe 200 bucks year back then and the average slave cost 200 to 800 bucks. No credit. Cash or solid collateral. How many americans today can come up 1 to 4 years of income in cash or collateral for business? Slavery was primarily a pursuit of the upper 1 percent. And yet the rich and powerful institutions of america cram white guilt into the brains of impressionable young whites, blaming working class whites for the evils of slavery. That is of paramount import.

    A major and forgotten cause of the civil war was that the rich slaveowners were breeding near-white slaves and selling them as prostitutes. There were large numbers of near white slaves all over the south. Further, northern whites were fearful of being enslaved themselves (see Tenzer’s book, THE FORGOTTEN CAUSE OF THE CIVIL WAR). And yet these facts are hidden, even while the rich and powerful institutions of america cram white guilt into the brains of impressionable young whites. That is of paramount import.

    The Narrative ignores certain facts, kills them, selects them for effective extinction, even while The Narrative promotes other facts to the top, selecting them for ideological triumph. Why?

  62. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @leftist conservative

    The fact that there were white slaves has nothing to do with my point about the economics of wages.

  63. @Fred Reed

    The combination of structure and danger found in the military is probably quite appealing to a lot of ADHD-inclined men with low impulse control, including some with criminal records, but I can’t imagine many careers criminals would enjoy being told what to do a lot by superiors.

    I remember listening to a talk by a criminologist who said one of the biggest employment problems among those with criminal records is they really hate being ordered around by bosses and are much more likely to blow their top with an employer or quit a job than the non-criminally inclined.

  64. anon • Disclaimer says:

    that was a very entertaining read as well as informative

    For most, long-term safety was a secondary concern. Their behavioral profile—fast life history, disregard for the future, desire to be with other young men and impress them with acts of bravado and violence

    warrior bands – violence isn’t an aberration it was selected for in some times and places where it was useful for survival and reproduction and selected against in other times and places where it wasn’t.

    The face of every one spoke a kind of mirth, as if the spectacle they beheld had afforded pleasure instead of pain, which I am wholly unable to account for.

    CCTV of a gang stabbing can be like that – all grinning cos they’re all high as kites from doing it.

  65. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @IA

    Places like Corsica might be examples of where the marriage model makes a big difference. If a culture marries kids off at sixteen to eighteen and for example the average age of a vendetta death was low 20s then the victims would likely have already reproduced. So state formation and execution might be one way of reducing violent crime but increasing marriage age might have the same effect.

    (I’m not saying that is what happened in Corsica just that this issue is ultimately about reproduction not execution.)

  66. iffen says:
    @Jim

    Thank you for your reply and I agree, a few decades does seem insufficient. However, it is not specified as to what time period is required. I just get fidgety when people start extolling the virtues of removing people from the gene pool. Lynching reached a high point in the latter part of the 1800’s, but the removal of individuals via vigilante action had been going on for a long time. Stono was in 1739, and Nat Turner and his freedom fighters were deleted in 1831. I think that it safe to say that any Kunta Kintes that came along from the very beginning were removed from the gene pool. Further, it is not unreasonable to think that the most “aggressive” individuals were left dead in the African villages from which the slaves were captured.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Enrique Cardova
  67. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @iffen

    Further, it is not unreasonable to think that the most “aggressive” individuals were left dead in the African villages from which the slaves were captured.

    Mass unemployment and the inner city gang culture that follows selects for violence so whatever the level was in the 1950s it’s got worse since then. If you take measurements from white blue collar populations in rustbelt towns since off-shoring started in the 80s (as those stats are less likely to be rigged) and then apply them to black populations and extrapolating backwards for the earlier start date then you’ll probably be in the ball park of what it was in the early 60s.

  68. @iffen

    I think that it safe to say that any Kunta Kintes that came along from the very beginning were removed from the gene pool. Further, it is not unreasonable to think that the most “aggressive” individuals were left dead in the African villages from which the slaves were captured.

    Dubious. American slavery is filled with numerous revolts, a striking pattern given that revolts were very hard to pull off, everywhere in the world. Most slave revolts in history failed, including that of Spartacus. Haiti is one of the few in world history that succeeded. But that didn’t stop people trying. Stono and Nat Turner merely illustrate a larger scale that was unsuccessful. There were numerous other smaller scale actions. The large white population of the US generally hindered creation of time and space needed for battle, (though small fighting groups are known from Virgina’s Dismal Swamp to the bayous of Lousiana) but in areas where more space and time was available, such as in earlier Florida, the black freedom fighters, allied with the Seminole Indians, did reasonably well for decades, and were the strongest resisters in the most costly war the post 76 US Army had fought to that point.

    Elsewhere in the Americas, where guerrilla warfare could be deployed across a wide front, there were a number of successes- most notably in Surinam where independent communities of Djuka, Saramaca and other “Bush Negroes” defeated the Dutch, or the independent kingdoms of the quilombos in Brazil which lasted over a century, and beyond after the main strongholds were destroyed. Across the hemisphere- from Bolivia to Venezuela there were plenty of aggressive fighters that refused to accept the white regime. Then there were actions -from poisonings to individual rebellions. Over 250 have been documented in the US by historians and there are 485 recorded instances of slaves revolting on board slave ships.

    • Replies: @iffen
  69. iffen says:
    @Enrique Cardova

    I thought we were talking about aggressive individuals being removed from the gene pool. My opinion was that aggressive slaves or aggressive potential slaves were likely removed from the very beginning of the slave trade. This was a response to a comment that it would take more than a few decades of removing individuals. I was pointing out that it was over hundreds of years.

    BTW

    You never explained to me why if blood sports were so unpopular then why was it necessary to criminalize the sports. They are so unpopular that some American states have recently escalated the penalties from misdemeanor to felony status. Let’s not even consider the multi-billion dollar gladiator sports industries.

    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
  70. Jamie says:
    @Sean

    Do beggars have much reproductive success to begin with?

  71. @iffen

    Cracker 1 says:
    I thought we were talking about aggressive individuals being removed from the gene pool. My opinion was that aggressive slaves or aggressive potential slaves were likely removed from the very beginning of the slave trade. This was a response to a comment that it would take more than a few decades of removing individuals. I was pointing out that it was over hundreds of years.

    Well what you say is possible as to suppressing local rebellions and opposition, but overall impact may not have been significant. Certainly new arrivals from Africa particularly had to be beaten down more and harnessed into the slave regime compared to generations born into slavery on American soil, knowing little else. Various histories note that new arrivals were more likely to run away initially for example. They were more likely to fail- knowing relatively little about the new environment, geography etc. Your idea may not be implausible on a local, case by case basis level.

    But the “culling” process could work the other way. It could be more said that the slave trade and slavery actually weeded out the weaker and less aggressive. Only the more fit- the more determined and aggressive really survived the march to the coast, the Middle Passage, then slavery in the Americas. If you look at such a tiny island like Jamaica, which people compare in size to a minor small county district in Oklahoma or Kansas somewhere, yet producing a massive number of Olympic track and field champions you get an idea of fitness. In fact, Jamaica was sometimes used as a “seasoning” ground to “break in” new slaves from Africa, before they were shipped to the US. It is no accident that some of the most famous Maroon rebel fighters had their greatest success in Jamaica of all the small islands.

    The same aggressive spirit is seen elsewhere among Jamaican immigrants, who typically earn more and are more educated that Black Americans, and in some instances, among the second generation, surpass the overall white average on these 2 counts. The scornful phrase used by some Black Americans in the East- “JEW-Maican” – reflects how they see/saw the immigrants- as more aggressive, hustling, and hungry than the natives. And while not posting the success of Jews or Asians, the “Jew-maicans” were also known to be somewhat aggressive businessman. It is also no surprise that the most aggressive and powerful black nationalist mass movement in the US prior to the 1960s was founded and led by a Jamaican- one Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Other small islands show the same pattern somewhat in business and education – though not to the same extent, or getting the same publicity. As the saying in Harlem went back in the day- “Only the Bajan (the man from Barbados) could withstand the Jew.”

    .
    You never explained to me why if blood sports were so unpopular then why was it necessary to criminalize the sports. They are so unpopular that some American states have recently escalated the penalties from misdemeanor to felony status. Let’s not even consider the multi-billion dollar gladiator sports industries.
    I didn’t say much about the blood sports above, but whoever brought it up I think more hinted at its actually popularity among the lower classes. As the elites centralized state power, they suppressed these popular “uncivilized” entertainments among the unwashed lower-end masses. Re gladiatorial sports- cash talks. The controlled violence of gladiatorial type clashes like football work just fine for those elites or bosses raking in the cash.

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