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The Triple A's of Homicide: Agriculture, Alcohol, and Alphas
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The commentator T. Greer, who incidentally has a wonderful blog of his own, writes in response to my Charlie Hebdo post:

“And because of the critical import of IQ to virtually all aspects of human behavior, it explains a whole host of other domains – crime, unemployment, etc. – in which Muslim immigrants continue to underperform.”

Things are more complicated than this.

They sure are.

Today I have been reading through the data in the 2010 UNODC report on global crime and have been a bit surprised with what I’ve found. SS Africa is of course a pretty violent, crime ridden place. But the Near East isn’t. Rape, robbery, murders — on everything but kidnappings M.E. countries are safer than Latin America, Eastern Europe, Russia, and in some measures, China (!). Folks in the Middle East might be clannish, but they are not unusually violent.

There are some caveats here.

For instance, international rape statistics are all but useless. If you took them at face value, as a woman you would be terrified at stepping outside the door in Sweden, while not having a second thought about doing so in Pakistan.

Needless to say, that is not how things work. For a rape to happen, you need four male witnesses in Pakistan, and just one dissatisfied woman in Sweden.

The only crime statistics that are really are more or less consistent throughout the world, with the exception perhaps of some undercounting in the most Third World places, are homicides. Below is a map of the murder rate per 100,000 people as of the latest data.

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

The Middle East in general has higher criminality than both Western Europe and East Asia, including China. (Note that the homicide rate of the UK, France, and China is at exactly 1.0/100,000, just marginally missing out on the map’s lightest color). But it is not any higher than Eastern Europe’s, and very much substantially lower than Latin America’s

But lets say the stats are correct. Where does that leave us? Why do global IQ levels correlate poorly with global crime rates, violence, and terrorism?

Well, I wouldn’t say that the correlation is exactly bad. Sub-Saharan Africa is right about where we would expect it to be. Latin America is somewhat more violent than what we would expect from its IQ, and the Middle East less. At first glance, this is a real issue, because they are otherwise, at least superficially, similar (broadly similar average IQs and levels of economic development, high religiosity, high machismo). Meanwhile, by far the lowest violence countries – those in Western Europe and East Asia – are also those with the highest average measured IQs. The US is a substantial outlier, more violent that it “should” be. But once we adjust for its specific demographic characteristics – after all, your typical American suburbia with “good schools” are no more dangerous than any European or East Asian city – the puzzle resolves itself.

Source: The Bell Curve (Charles Murray and Richard Hernnstein).

Source: The Bell Curve (Charles Murray and Richard Hernnstein).

And as Charles Murray showed, IQ is a very good predictor of criminality rates amongst US whites. Why does it work less well for the world at large? Mostly because the world at large is a great deal less homogenous, and as such several other major factors, or “multipliers,” come into play. I think there are three really big ones.

Agriculture: Agriculture was generally associated with the appearance of centralized states, which gradually usurped a monopoly on violence. There is a tenfold decrease in homicide rates between hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists (an anthropological fact recently popularized by Steven Pinker). And another tenfold decrease between early agriculturalists and advanced agriculturalists, as happened in Early Modern Europe and probably considerably earlier in China. The very first civilizations sprang up in what is now the Near East and Egypt, and through shackles, stones and scimitars, they’ve been weeding out the more individually psychopathic elements of their population for a very, very long time. These selective pressures had considerably less time to run in Africa and Latin America, before they were extinguished more or less altogether by human rights interventions (fun fact: Venezuela was the world’s first country to abolish capital punishment).

Alcohol: Crime rates were notoriously high among heavy-drinking Irish immigrants in the 19th century US, but over time they gradually sobered up and converged with the European average. Russia, and eastern Slavs in general, are a huge homicide outlier relative to the Caucasoid average. This is overwhelmingly a function of the region’s alcoholism epidemic, in particular of vodka binge drinking, which began to soar in the 1960s, peaked in the 1990s, and only began to sustainably retreat in the past decade. One estimate (Nemtsov 2003) showed that alcohol was involved in some 72% of Russian homicides. Your typical Russian homicide isn’t getting shot in the streets by some young punk, but a bunch of middle-aged dudes hacking each other to death in their vodka-soaked apartments (just read through scandalous magazine The Exile’s archived “death porn” columns from the 2000s and you’ll get the idea). Remove that, and Russia’s homicide rates become almost European. The most alcoholized Western European country is Finland, whose homicide rates are twice to two-and-a-half times as high as that of Sweden, Denmark, or Norway (all of which have far more Third World immigrants), and the same as Greece (which is far more macho, in contrast to the Finns’ more depressive, placid personalities, and is up to 0.5SD lower in IQ). Alcoholism is endemic in peoples who made the transition to modernity, or at least its accoutrements, without the interval of agriculture. Greenland has a very high homicide rate. So, too, do the northernmost Canadian provinces. In Russia, of the ten oblasts with the highest homicide rates, four are majority populated by indigenous peoples (including the top three), while another three have very substantial indigenous minorities.

Blue = boobs, red = butts. Source: Pornhub.

Blue = boobs, red = butts. Source: Pornhub.

Alphas: Latin Americans are known for their machismo. So are Africans and Arabs. The men have an acutely developed sense of jealosy, displaying an aggressively possessive attitude to women rarely seen nowadays in the West, and both the men and womenfolk respect traditional masculinity. Those who do not are despised, and are called “faggots” without the slightest trace of irony. They prefer butts over boobs, a macho/alpha/r-strategy vs. wimpy/beta/K-strategy Rorschach test if there ever one. You can see it on the roads, and you can see it in the nightclubs. That said, I would wager that as it relates to individual violence, there is a very big difference between the machismo of Latin Americans and Africans, and the machismo of Arabs. It all comes down to family types. Both Africa and Latin America are characterized by exogamous family types, while the Arabs are highly endogamous. The former is characterized by intensive competition for mates, with women enjoying a large degree of social and sexual freedom – which translates to hypergamy in practice – so there is a large payoff to being all rough and badass. In contrast, in most of the Muslim world and virtually all of the Arab world, by the logic of the endogamous community family and its institution of cousin marriage, many men already have a partner “pre-arranged,” and if not, there is not much they can do about it anyway, no matter how hard they posture. They have to act much more respectable because marriages are arranged through families.

One obvious factor I left out is the prevalence of guns. Though I am pro-gun myself, I think it is very likely that in net terms, they do increase homicide rates – after all, killing someone with a pistol is much easier than with a knife – although they might well reduce other crimes such as burglaries. But the overall effect appears to be much smaller than that of IQ, agriculture, alcohol, and alphas.

So, to return to T. Greer’s comment:

There are other factors — sociological or genetic — that need to be part of this discussion. IQ doesn’t take us the whole way.

Add in (limited historical exposure to) agriculture, (vulnerability to) alcohol, and (unrestrained) alpha males as multipliers.

Higher IQ is invariably better than low IQ. All of the high IQ regions (>100) have low homicide rates.

While Arabs are more macho than Westerners, they are restrained by their traditional family system. Islam prohibits alcohol, and the peoples of the Middle East have a longer history of agriculture than any other.

If you’re affected by just one of those three factors, you’re still basically fine.For instance, Finland is substantially more alcoholized – if to nowhere near as big an extent as Russia or Ukraine, let alone Greenlanders and Yakuts – than either the US or the rest of Western Europe. But its homicide rate is only very modestly higher than what it “should be” going just from its average IQ.

But when you start getting affected by two or more of these factors, things start getting hairy fast.

How would this theory logically pan out in various regions?

Africa: Short history of agriculture, too many alphas, low IQs. The traditional family system, which is polygamistic, just accentuates the problem, as female hypergamy and hence intense male competition is unleashed in full. Result – Very high homicide rates.

Latin America: Short history of agriculture, too many alphas, mediocre IQs. In some Latin American cities, as a man, you are as likely to die a violent death as you’d have had as a member of a constantly warring hunter-gatherer band in the Paleolithic. Result – Very high homicide rates.

Middle East: Very long history of agriculture, mediocre IQs. The Islam they currently practice bans alcohol entirely, and pretty successfully at that. While they are macho, this personality factor is neutralized by their family system (it is worth noting that Turkey and Iran, where the family system isn’t as rigidly endogamous as among the Arabs, also happen to have generally higher homicide rates despite being richer and more developed). That leaves just the low IQs. Thus, their homicide rates are substantially higher than the most civilized parts of the world, i.e. Western Europe or East Asia, but no higher than in Eastern Europe, and much lower than in Africa or Latin America.

Eastern Slavs: Respectable IQs similar to Mediterranean Europeans, as are machismo levels, but significantly less exposure to agriculture. And a lot more alcohol. So as expected, homicide rates amongst South Slavs, e.g. Serbs and West Slavs, e.g. Poles are now pretty low – almost as low as in Western Europe proper (though against that you have to adjust for them having far fewer Third World immigrants). The East Slavs and Balto-Finnish groups, however, are still in the grip of a strong if receding alcohol epidemic, so their homicide rates are considerably inflated, if to nowhere near African or Latin American levels. Even in Russia itself, homicide rates amongst ethnic Russians veer higher as you go north, where Slavic Russians admixed with Balto-Finns. The Balto-Finns were the last major European ethnic group to adopt agriculture. (While the alcohol epidemic as of today is less severity in Estonia or Latvia than in Russia, to say nothing of Finland, that is a function of their greater socio-economic progress).

Indigenous northern peoples: IQs aren’t bad, but short history of agriculture, plus alcohol. They aren’t near as macho as the above groups; children would have needed much more paternal investment to survive in the frozen north, hence too much male competition would have been an evolutionary dead end. But their alcohol epidemics tend to be so vast in scope that it really needs to be observed to be appreciated.

19th century frontier Americans: Had extremely high homicide rates. In his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker gives homicide rate figures of 50/100,000 for Abilene, Kansas, 100/100,000 for Dodge City (no wonder you want to get the hell out of it), 229/100,000 in Fort Griffin, Texas, and 1,500/100,000 (sic) in Wichita. Back then, apart from being a bit less intelligent than today (Flynn Effect), Americans were also far more alcoholic. This is little known now, but back then, the US was known as the “Alcoholic Republic,” with alcohol consumption per capita being roughly twice what it is today despite much lower incomes. The frontier towns would not only have been more alcoholized than average, but were also extremely macho, explained in theory by the high male-to-female ratio, and immemorialized by the lingering cultural legacy of the Colts and cowboys of the Wild West.

 
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  1. It’s amazing that the wimpy/beta/K-strategists have the ability to obliterate all the macho/alpha/R-strategists with nuclear weapons, tanks, and carpet bombing.

    • Replies: @Dutch reader
    Yeah, but then the macho/alpha/R-strategists move into the wimpy/beta/K-strategists' countries, rape their women, and bully the governments to provide freebies for them. So who is better off in the end?
  2. Hokie says:

    Looking at the data from the wiki page, Tajikistan has a rate of 1.26, Uzbekistan 3.7, and Turkmenistan at 12.8. I left out Kazakhstan because large Russian minority. What account for Turkmenistan being so different from the other two? Turkmen are very similar to Uzbeks (mongol paternal lineage, iranian maternal lineage) while the Tajiks are standard Iranians. A quick search on google on central asian alcoholism only shows the Kazakhstan has the highest alcohol consumption in the region (supporting your hypothesis). So why is Turkmenistan weird?

  3. Regarding the American Wild West not only did consist heavily young unmarried men but there was also probably a selection effect on the nature of the young men who wound up there.

    Huck Finn probably lit out for the territories. Tom Sawyer probably became a lawyer in Jefferson City.

    • Replies: @unpc downunder
    I thought the big factor in the US Wild West was the lack of policing. Crime rates were much lower in the frontier parts of Canada and Australia, which had similar demographic issues. Gambling and alcohol were also more tightly regulated in the British Commonwealth countries.
  4. Steve Sailer has talked about a “jealousy belt” that includes Arabs and Sicilians and, possibly, Latinos, but notably excludes sub-Saharan Africans, and elsewhere has remarked that sub-Saharan African polygamy is marked by an absence of jealousy on the part of the alpha males with their harems. If a wife sleeps with one of the unmarried betas skulking in the bushes around the edge of the farm, on which only the women work with their hoes (pun intended?), the alpha patriarch doesn’t feel particularly jealous, at least according to Steve’s sources. What do you know about this?

  5. When you cross the border dividing El Paso Texas and Ciudad Jaurez Mexico you are leaving El Paso which had 5 murders in 2012 and you are entering Ciudad Juarez which had ~1200 in the same year. The reasons for this huge discrepancy has nothing to do with genetics or alcohol, El Paso is 82% latino . What was happening here was no secret, a vicious and violent drug war was going on between two factions to control the import of drugs into the United States.

    You cannot simply dismiss this violent hot spot to a one time occurrence of an ongoing drug war. All across latin america narco terrorism flares up when government become so weak that criminal activity goes unpunished. Of course it is more complex than that but it is an important and necessary requirement for these situations to wind out of control. I would suggest that there is another A to be included to your list, anarchy. Whenever and wherever violence is not well controlled by an in place justice system things can spiral out of control completely independent of the three A’s listed.

  6. Also, could you explain what’s alpha about preferring butts to boobs?

  7. Good post! You really think like scientist with respect to data and fact.

  8. spot on

    Also, could you explain what’s alpha about preferring butts to boobs?

    eye contact?

    • Replies: @jtgw
    Meaning it's more alpha to want intercourse without eye contact? Not intrinsically implausible, but I'd like to see this idea substantiated by something more serious than a map from Youporn.
  9. The association between national IQ and homicide rate is not huge. I think it is around -0.2 or -0.3. But that’s not nothing, either.

    One could put an optimistic spin on this. If there is a worldwide FLynn effect and IQs rise by another 30 points per century (as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries), then this should put some severe downwards pressure on homicide rates.

    National IQ is more closely related to homicide rates than is democracy. Lots of democracies e.g. in Latin America are homicidal, plenty of autocracies e.g. in the Middle East are non-homicidal. So, the policy of spreading democracy is not much value from this angle. More democracy won’t mean less homicide.

    Here’s one oddity from the wikipedia list of homicide rates. Algeria has a rate of 0.7/100,000. France a rate of 1.0/100,000. Yet, it is Algerian-origin Muslims over-represented in French prisons. They ought to be slightly under-represented!

    • Replies: @PandaAtWar
    "If there is a worldwide FLynn effect and IQs rise by another 30 points per century (as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries)"

    30 points per century IQ rise, really?

    And "as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries" ?

    hmmmm... the avg IQ of Confucius/Laozi/Zhuangzi/Mocius era 2,500 years ago, the era of Chinese Cultural Renaissance, must be about -700 then? lol.
    , @skep
    "Yup, 30 points, 2 standard deviations, during the 20th century. Seems bizarre, going from 70 (retarded) to 100 (normal). But it is so."

    Would it be rather a problem of genotypic vs phenotypic? R Unz related the case of irish soaring from 70 points in the 70's to 100 now. It would mean there is a kind of maximum in each ethnic group / race? I think that the median IQ in France in the early 19's century was around 100 (to be verified), but mesured after 20 years of mandatory school, and a relatively good educational level formarly (parochial schools).

    "Here’s one oddity from the wikipedia list of homicide rates. Algeria has a rate of 0.7/100,000. France a rate of 1.0/100,000. Yet, it is Algerian-origin Muslims over-represented in French prisons. They ought to be slightly under-represented!"

    There is too the problem of in-group vs out-group, or kinship-based society, and the very harsh repressive system in Algeria: many would never be tolerated there (aggressivity toward women, girls, teachers, or any kind of autority), but are in France or UK. Many Maroccans or Algerian-borns I know were shocked by West laxity in crime repression.
  10. @Whyvert
    The association between national IQ and homicide rate is not huge. I think it is around -0.2 or -0.3. But that's not nothing, either.

    One could put an optimistic spin on this. If there is a worldwide FLynn effect and IQs rise by another 30 points per century (as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries), then this should put some severe downwards pressure on homicide rates.

    National IQ is more closely related to homicide rates than is democracy. Lots of democracies e.g. in Latin America are homicidal, plenty of autocracies e.g. in the Middle East are non-homicidal. So, the policy of spreading democracy is not much value from this angle. More democracy won't mean less homicide.

    Here's one oddity from the wikipedia list of homicide rates. Algeria has a rate of 0.7/100,000. France a rate of 1.0/100,000. Yet, it is Algerian-origin Muslims over-represented in French prisons. They ought to be slightly under-represented!

    “If there is a worldwide FLynn effect and IQs rise by another 30 points per century (as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries)”

    30 points per century IQ rise, really?

    And “as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries” ?

    hmmmm… the avg IQ of Confucius/Laozi/Zhuangzi/Mocius era 2,500 years ago, the era of Chinese Cultural Renaissance, must be about -700 then? lol.

    • Replies: @Whyvert
    Yup, 30 points, 2 standard deviations, during the 20th century. Seems bizarre, going from 70 (retarded) to 100 (normal). But it is so.
    , @unpc downunder
    I wonder if Flynn has a TV.

    Turning it on and seeing reality television shows and the other crap that people watch would really make you question the idea of a 30 point rise in IQ.
  11. @PandaAtWar
    "If there is a worldwide FLynn effect and IQs rise by another 30 points per century (as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries)"

    30 points per century IQ rise, really?

    And "as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries" ?

    hmmmm... the avg IQ of Confucius/Laozi/Zhuangzi/Mocius era 2,500 years ago, the era of Chinese Cultural Renaissance, must be about -700 then? lol.

    Yup, 30 points, 2 standard deviations, during the 20th century. Seems bizarre, going from 70 (retarded) to 100 (normal). But it is so.

    • Replies: @PandaAtWar
    The 20th century must be the New, no, Hyper Ice Age in your opinion? Yee Ha! lol

    Now seriously, if there is on average 30-pts difference on the same IQ test done in the beginning and the end of the 20th century, then it's more likely a solid proof that a large percentage of this very IQ test is not IQ-related but knowledge-related, isn't it? Hence it's not a strict IQ test, but IQ+knowledge test, is it not?

  12. @Whyvert
    Yup, 30 points, 2 standard deviations, during the 20th century. Seems bizarre, going from 70 (retarded) to 100 (normal). But it is so.

    The 20th century must be the New, no, Hyper Ice Age in your opinion? Yee Ha! lol

    Now seriously, if there is on average 30-pts difference on the same IQ test done in the beginning and the end of the 20th century, then it’s more likely a solid proof that a large percentage of this very IQ test is not IQ-related but knowledge-related, isn’t it? Hence it’s not a strict IQ test, but IQ+knowledge test, is it not?

  13. Really dumb analysis. I mean, could the drug war being fought in Latin America (and promulgated by the US) be a culprit for the high murder rates in the region? Wasn’t the murder rate in Mexico, for decades, substantially lower than it is now? Isn’t the cause of this the fact that the caribbean routes for smuggling drugs were largely blocked off so then the land routes through Mexico replaced the flow? And wasn’t then the Mexican government, pressured by the “high iq” US elites, forced to fight a drug war?

    http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/582-america-is-to-blame-for-mexicos-drug-war

    • Replies: @Hans Olo
    There has been a spike in Mexico's homicide rates just within the last decade, due to the drug war. However, Mexico's homicide rate has been high for a long time. It was higher back in the 40s and 50s than it is now. And at its lowest point, during the early 2000s, it was still substantially higher than in the US.

    http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2014/12/141209_Charts-Homicide-Rates-Mex.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.jpg



    I suspect there is some tendency to underestimate, especially farther back in time. I wouldn't assume that every murder off in remote villages got reported to the authorities.

    I read an anthropology book about a Mexican village back in the 1950s....the place had about 1000 people, and it had a murder every other year.
  14. Iceland is the butt-loving outlier among boob-loving Europeans! But could you elaborate on the butt-loving=alpha bit?

    • Replies: @jtgw
    We're probably too beta to understand or something. For the record, I'm a boobs guy.
  15. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Butt lovers = alpha = Kstrategy. You see the wide hips and big butt and assume the woman is easily capable of bearing healthy children. You don’t care what happens to the child after that. Just mate and move on to the next big butt woman.

    Boob lovers = beta = Kstrategy. Big boobs suggest that the women is better able to nurse the child throughout infancy so the child is more likely to reach adulthood. If you want your kids to reach adulthood and have their own kids, you pick the big boob woman and stick with her. You have less total kids, but the ones that you have, survive.

    • Replies: @jtgw
    Ah thanks. Sounds preposterous, though. Is this idea taken seriously by any biologists?
    , @unpc downunder
    What's the story with leg men. I've noticed a lot of high IQ guys seem to prefer a nice pairs of pins to butts or boobs.
  16. @Alex
    Maybe my analysis is dumb, maybe it isn’t. One thing for sure is you can’t read. The murder rate in CiudadJaurez Mexico is definitely caused by the drug war and I clearly said so. I recommend people read this book http://www.amazon.ca/El-Narco-Mexicos-Criminal-Insurgency-ebook/dp/B005TIM8BW/ref=pd_sim_kinc_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1369FRFJHGFCJW3F3XCX

    In this book a clear case is made for violence flaring and subsiding in various areas of Central and South America IN PART because of weak government. That is all I was saying. Homicide rates (I would think this is obvious) decrease with an effective justice system and increase without it. I think this is an important enough variable that Anarchy should be included as a fourth A.

    Topflight blog site you have here Anatoly. You are off to a great start. That map of the butt loving and boob loving parts of the world is wonderful.

    • Replies: @Alex M
    Was not referring to you, but rather the shamelessly biased Russian author of this article! For god's sake he gives a weak alcohol explanation for violence when clearly alcoholism is a derivative of more fundamental base problems in a society. All in the name of disassociating Russia from other "inferior" regions, since obviously they must share many traits given their relative parity in social outcomes. A far better indicator is the one you suggest. However I would forgo the alliteration and be more clear. The issue is rule of law, and such is only guaranteed by functioning democratic institutions. However this is an uncomfortable fact for fans of genetic determinism. If any two societies on this planet are similar ( in the way they function and in their outcomes) it is Mexico and Russia, corrupt plutocracies both. Russia has one big advantage though, you might have heard the saying.....
    Poor poor Mexico, so far from heaven and so close to the United States.
  17. @anon
    spot on

    Also, could you explain what’s alpha about preferring butts to boobs?
     
    eye contact?

    Meaning it’s more alpha to want intercourse without eye contact? Not intrinsically implausible, but I’d like to see this idea substantiated by something more serious than a map from Youporn.

    • Replies: @anon
    http://pps.sagepub.com/content/10/1/20.abstract

    Pair bonding (maybe).
  18. @SD
    Iceland is the butt-loving outlier among boob-loving Europeans! But could you elaborate on the butt-loving=alpha bit?

    We’re probably too beta to understand or something. For the record, I’m a boobs guy.

  19. @anon
    Butt lovers = alpha = Kstrategy. You see the wide hips and big butt and assume the woman is easily capable of bearing healthy children. You don't care what happens to the child after that. Just mate and move on to the next big butt woman.

    Boob lovers = beta = Kstrategy. Big boobs suggest that the women is better able to nurse the child throughout infancy so the child is more likely to reach adulthood. If you want your kids to reach adulthood and have their own kids, you pick the big boob woman and stick with her. You have less total kids, but the ones that you have, survive.

    Ah thanks. Sounds preposterous, though. Is this idea taken seriously by any biologists?

  20. @dave chamberlin
    @Alex
    Maybe my analysis is dumb, maybe it isn't. One thing for sure is you can't read. The murder rate in CiudadJaurez Mexico is definitely caused by the drug war and I clearly said so. I recommend people read this book www.amazon.ca/El-Narco-Mexicos-Criminal-Insurgency-ebook/dp/B005TIM8BW/ref=pd_sim_kinc_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1369FRFJHGFCJW3F3XCX

    In this book a clear case is made for violence flaring and subsiding in various areas of Central and South America IN PART because of weak government. That is all I was saying. Homicide rates (I would think this is obvious) decrease with an effective justice system and increase without it. I think this is an important enough variable that Anarchy should be included as a fourth A.

    Topflight blog site you have here Anatoly. You are off to a great start. That map of the butt loving and boob loving parts of the world is wonderful.

    Was not referring to you, but rather the shamelessly biased Russian author of this article! For god’s sake he gives a weak alcohol explanation for violence when clearly alcoholism is a derivative of more fundamental base problems in a society. All in the name of disassociating Russia from other “inferior” regions, since obviously they must share many traits given their relative parity in social outcomes. A far better indicator is the one you suggest. However I would forgo the alliteration and be more clear. The issue is rule of law, and such is only guaranteed by functioning democratic institutions. However this is an uncomfortable fact for fans of genetic determinism. If any two societies on this planet are similar ( in the way they function and in their outcomes) it is Mexico and Russia, corrupt plutocracies both. Russia has one big advantage though, you might have heard the saying…..
    Poor poor Mexico, so far from heaven and so close to the United States.

    • Replies: @Whyvert
    "The issue is rule of law, and such is only guaranteed by functioning democratic institutions. However this is an uncomfortable fact for fans of genetic determinism."

    No, an effective state that can ensure law and order is a good thing, but it is not equivalent to "functioning democratic institutions." See: China.

    Cross-national measures of democracy/freedom have a very low correlation with national homicide rates. There are lots of countries with functioning democratic institutions that have high homicide rates.

    Some people are just obsessed with democracy as the magic solution to everything. (That includes our demented leaders.)
  21. @Jim
    Regarding the American Wild West not only did consist heavily young unmarried men but there was also probably a selection effect on the nature of the young men who wound up there.

    Huck Finn probably lit out for the territories. Tom Sawyer probably became a lawyer in Jefferson City.

    I thought the big factor in the US Wild West was the lack of policing. Crime rates were much lower in the frontier parts of Canada and Australia, which had similar demographic issues. Gambling and alcohol were also more tightly regulated in the British Commonwealth countries.

  22. @anon
    Butt lovers = alpha = Kstrategy. You see the wide hips and big butt and assume the woman is easily capable of bearing healthy children. You don't care what happens to the child after that. Just mate and move on to the next big butt woman.

    Boob lovers = beta = Kstrategy. Big boobs suggest that the women is better able to nurse the child throughout infancy so the child is more likely to reach adulthood. If you want your kids to reach adulthood and have their own kids, you pick the big boob woman and stick with her. You have less total kids, but the ones that you have, survive.

    What’s the story with leg men. I’ve noticed a lot of high IQ guys seem to prefer a nice pairs of pins to butts or boobs.

    • Replies: @jtgw
    That's an omega trait. You check to see if the legs look strong enough to run away before you can catch them.
  23. @PandaAtWar
    "If there is a worldwide FLynn effect and IQs rise by another 30 points per century (as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries)"

    30 points per century IQ rise, really?

    And "as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries" ?

    hmmmm... the avg IQ of Confucius/Laozi/Zhuangzi/Mocius era 2,500 years ago, the era of Chinese Cultural Renaissance, must be about -700 then? lol.

    I wonder if Flynn has a TV.

    Turning it on and seeing reality television shows and the other crap that people watch would really make you question the idea of a 30 point rise in IQ.

    • Replies: @jtgw
    And here I thought IQ was declining. Sheesh! Make up your minds, neoreactionaries!
  24. @unpc downunder
    What's the story with leg men. I've noticed a lot of high IQ guys seem to prefer a nice pairs of pins to butts or boobs.

    That’s an omega trait. You check to see if the legs look strong enough to run away before you can catch them.

  25. @unpc downunder
    I wonder if Flynn has a TV.

    Turning it on and seeing reality television shows and the other crap that people watch would really make you question the idea of a 30 point rise in IQ.

    And here I thought IQ was declining. Sheesh! Make up your minds, neoreactionaries!

  26. @Alex M
    Was not referring to you, but rather the shamelessly biased Russian author of this article! For god's sake he gives a weak alcohol explanation for violence when clearly alcoholism is a derivative of more fundamental base problems in a society. All in the name of disassociating Russia from other "inferior" regions, since obviously they must share many traits given their relative parity in social outcomes. A far better indicator is the one you suggest. However I would forgo the alliteration and be more clear. The issue is rule of law, and such is only guaranteed by functioning democratic institutions. However this is an uncomfortable fact for fans of genetic determinism. If any two societies on this planet are similar ( in the way they function and in their outcomes) it is Mexico and Russia, corrupt plutocracies both. Russia has one big advantage though, you might have heard the saying.....
    Poor poor Mexico, so far from heaven and so close to the United States.

    “The issue is rule of law, and such is only guaranteed by functioning democratic institutions. However this is an uncomfortable fact for fans of genetic determinism.”

    No, an effective state that can ensure law and order is a good thing, but it is not equivalent to “functioning democratic institutions.” See: China.

    Cross-national measures of democracy/freedom have a very low correlation with national homicide rates. There are lots of countries with functioning democratic institutions that have high homicide rates.

    Some people are just obsessed with democracy as the magic solution to everything. (That includes our demented leaders.)

    • Replies: @Alex M
    The "democracies" in Latin America with high homicide rates do no yet have functioning democratic institutions. For example, the impunity rate for homicide in Mexico is 98%. The government is heavily centralized with municipalities and states not collecting taxes thus making these entities very weak and non-responsive to the needs of the population. Also there are no oral trials nor civilian juries. Calling that a democracy is a farce. These countries are barely transitioning towards democracy and are doing so in the challenging environment of the drug war promulgated by the US.
  27. RE: American Homicide Rates,

    Data for 2011:

    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.

    The 2.64 per 100,000 rate for White Americans is probably an overestimate, as Hispanics/Latinos are grouped with Anglo Whites.

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

  28. @Whyvert
    "The issue is rule of law, and such is only guaranteed by functioning democratic institutions. However this is an uncomfortable fact for fans of genetic determinism."

    No, an effective state that can ensure law and order is a good thing, but it is not equivalent to "functioning democratic institutions." See: China.

    Cross-national measures of democracy/freedom have a very low correlation with national homicide rates. There are lots of countries with functioning democratic institutions that have high homicide rates.

    Some people are just obsessed with democracy as the magic solution to everything. (That includes our demented leaders.)

    The “democracies” in Latin America with high homicide rates do no yet have functioning democratic institutions. For example, the impunity rate for homicide in Mexico is 98%. The government is heavily centralized with municipalities and states not collecting taxes thus making these entities very weak and non-responsive to the needs of the population. Also there are no oral trials nor civilian juries. Calling that a democracy is a farce. These countries are barely transitioning towards democracy and are doing so in the challenging environment of the drug war promulgated by the US.

    • Replies: @Whyvert
    You are confusing two different things: a democracy and a competent/effective state (eg one that can find and punish murderers).
  29. @Alex M
    The "democracies" in Latin America with high homicide rates do no yet have functioning democratic institutions. For example, the impunity rate for homicide in Mexico is 98%. The government is heavily centralized with municipalities and states not collecting taxes thus making these entities very weak and non-responsive to the needs of the population. Also there are no oral trials nor civilian juries. Calling that a democracy is a farce. These countries are barely transitioning towards democracy and are doing so in the challenging environment of the drug war promulgated by the US.

    You are confusing two different things: a democracy and a competent/effective state (eg one that can find and punish murderers).

    • Replies: @Alex M
    But a competent/ effective state which controls crime and allocates resources well will raise the intelligence, abilities and therefore the wealth of its population. That is what is happening in China. As more and more Chinese become educated and join the middle class, they'll demand to have greater control over their own lives. Hong Kong protests?
  30. @Kamran
    It's amazing that the wimpy/beta/K-strategists have the ability to obliterate all the macho/alpha/R-strategists with nuclear weapons, tanks, and carpet bombing.

    Yeah, but then the macho/alpha/R-strategists move into the wimpy/beta/K-strategists’ countries, rape their women, and bully the governments to provide freebies for them. So who is better off in the end?

  31. @Whyvert
    You are confusing two different things: a democracy and a competent/effective state (eg one that can find and punish murderers).

    But a competent/ effective state which controls crime and allocates resources well will raise the intelligence, abilities and therefore the wealth of its population. That is what is happening in China. As more and more Chinese become educated and join the middle class, they’ll demand to have greater control over their own lives. Hong Kong protests?

  32. ” 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.”

    Black America has a lower per capita homicide rate than most Latin American countries even though the average Latin American has more Caucasian ancestry than the average Black North American.

    • Replies: @Hans Olo
    "Black America has a lower per capita homicide rate than most Latin American countries even though the average Latin American has more Caucasian ancestry than the average Black North American."

    The United States has much more effective, better funded, less corrupt law enforcement compared to most Latin American countries.

    The US also has much less severe poverty than those countries.

  33. Have you looked at the relationship between lead poisoning and crime rates? The correlation seems to be very strong but largely overlooked by most people:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27067615

  34. Hi, can I have my comments removed from this comment thread. By using my email address as my name I’ve suddenly attracted a lot of spam to my email account.

    thanks.

  35. An interesting subtext to the boobs/butt debate is the rate of plastic surgery in Latin America. Boob jobs and more exotic plastic surgery is almost universal there, and a common gift to a girl on her 16-18th birthday. My personal experience is from Venezuela which has always favored ‘augmenting’ women and girls but now it’s completely ubiquitous, despite the economic castrastrophe continually unfolding in that country.

  36. @jtgw
    Meaning it's more alpha to want intercourse without eye contact? Not intrinsically implausible, but I'd like to see this idea substantiated by something more serious than a map from Youporn.
  37. @Alex M
    Really dumb analysis. I mean, could the drug war being fought in Latin America (and promulgated by the US) be a culprit for the high murder rates in the region? Wasn't the murder rate in Mexico, for decades, substantially lower than it is now? Isn't the cause of this the fact that the caribbean routes for smuggling drugs were largely blocked off so then the land routes through Mexico replaced the flow? And wasn't then the Mexican government, pressured by the "high iq" US elites, forced to fight a drug war?

    http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/582-america-is-to-blame-for-mexicos-drug-war

    There has been a spike in Mexico’s homicide rates just within the last decade, due to the drug war. However, Mexico’s homicide rate has been high for a long time. It was higher back in the 40s and 50s than it is now. And at its lowest point, during the early 2000s, it was still substantially higher than in the US.

    I suspect there is some tendency to underestimate, especially farther back in time. I wouldn’t assume that every murder off in remote villages got reported to the authorities.

    I read an anthropology book about a Mexican village back in the 1950s….the place had about 1000 people, and it had a murder every other year.

    • Replies: @Alex M
    Of course even before the drug war Mex homicide rate was greater than in the US as Mex is much poorer and inequality there is through the roof. But it was less than half of what it is now. Regarding the 40's and 50's, that time marked a rapid economic expansion and industrialization referred to as the "Mexican miracle". There was rapid population growth and urbanization occurring at that period so that would be consistent with a rise in violent crime. Also, you have to understand that this process of economic progress consisted of violent struggle from the working and peasant class against the oligarchs and foreign interests which dominated the economy and political life. As the graph you provide shows, once the political and economic changes are entrenched, the rate of homicide begins a sharp and constant drop. The rise after around 1968 are due once again to political and economic turmoil. In '68 there was a student movement (like many that were happening around the world at the same time) boycotting the Olympics about to be held in Mexico City, demanding greater political freedoms. On October 2nd of that year the government killed hundreds of students protesting in a public square. This launched a political movement culminating in 1988 when leftist candidate Cuahutemoc Cardenas won the presidential election but was robbed by the ruling PRI party and Carlos Salinas de Gortari became president. Naturally this was cosigned by the US as de Gortari was a neoliberal loyal to US corporate interests. This began a pattern continuing to today, where US corporate interests ally with Mex oligarchs to block a leftist president from ever being elected in Mex. The result of the ensuing presidencies of these puppets and empty suits has been an epic disaster.
  38. @Jefferson
    " 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."

    Black America has a lower per capita homicide rate than most Latin American countries even though the average Latin American has more Caucasian ancestry than the average Black North American.

    “Black America has a lower per capita homicide rate than most Latin American countries even though the average Latin American has more Caucasian ancestry than the average Black North American.”

    The United States has much more effective, better funded, less corrupt law enforcement compared to most Latin American countries.

    The US also has much less severe poverty than those countries.

  39. @Hans Olo
    There has been a spike in Mexico's homicide rates just within the last decade, due to the drug war. However, Mexico's homicide rate has been high for a long time. It was higher back in the 40s and 50s than it is now. And at its lowest point, during the early 2000s, it was still substantially higher than in the US.

    http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2014/12/141209_Charts-Homicide-Rates-Mex.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.jpg



    I suspect there is some tendency to underestimate, especially farther back in time. I wouldn't assume that every murder off in remote villages got reported to the authorities.

    I read an anthropology book about a Mexican village back in the 1950s....the place had about 1000 people, and it had a murder every other year.

    Of course even before the drug war Mex homicide rate was greater than in the US as Mex is much poorer and inequality there is through the roof. But it was less than half of what it is now. Regarding the 40’s and 50’s, that time marked a rapid economic expansion and industrialization referred to as the “Mexican miracle”. There was rapid population growth and urbanization occurring at that period so that would be consistent with a rise in violent crime. Also, you have to understand that this process of economic progress consisted of violent struggle from the working and peasant class against the oligarchs and foreign interests which dominated the economy and political life. As the graph you provide shows, once the political and economic changes are entrenched, the rate of homicide begins a sharp and constant drop. The rise after around 1968 are due once again to political and economic turmoil. In ’68 there was a student movement (like many that were happening around the world at the same time) boycotting the Olympics about to be held in Mexico City, demanding greater political freedoms. On October 2nd of that year the government killed hundreds of students protesting in a public square. This launched a political movement culminating in 1988 when leftist candidate Cuahutemoc Cardenas won the presidential election but was robbed by the ruling PRI party and Carlos Salinas de Gortari became president. Naturally this was cosigned by the US as de Gortari was a neoliberal loyal to US corporate interests. This began a pattern continuing to today, where US corporate interests ally with Mex oligarchs to block a leftist president from ever being elected in Mex. The result of the ensuing presidencies of these puppets and empty suits has been an epic disaster.

  40. @Whyvert
    The association between national IQ and homicide rate is not huge. I think it is around -0.2 or -0.3. But that's not nothing, either.

    One could put an optimistic spin on this. If there is a worldwide FLynn effect and IQs rise by another 30 points per century (as they did in the 20th century in the developed countries), then this should put some severe downwards pressure on homicide rates.

    National IQ is more closely related to homicide rates than is democracy. Lots of democracies e.g. in Latin America are homicidal, plenty of autocracies e.g. in the Middle East are non-homicidal. So, the policy of spreading democracy is not much value from this angle. More democracy won't mean less homicide.

    Here's one oddity from the wikipedia list of homicide rates. Algeria has a rate of 0.7/100,000. France a rate of 1.0/100,000. Yet, it is Algerian-origin Muslims over-represented in French prisons. They ought to be slightly under-represented!

    “Yup, 30 points, 2 standard deviations, during the 20th century. Seems bizarre, going from 70 (retarded) to 100 (normal). But it is so.”

    Would it be rather a problem of genotypic vs phenotypic? R Unz related the case of irish soaring from 70 points in the 70’s to 100 now. It would mean there is a kind of maximum in each ethnic group / race? I think that the median IQ in France in the early 19’s century was around 100 (to be verified), but mesured after 20 years of mandatory school, and a relatively good educational level formarly (parochial schools).

    “Here’s one oddity from the wikipedia list of homicide rates. Algeria has a rate of 0.7/100,000. France a rate of 1.0/100,000. Yet, it is Algerian-origin Muslims over-represented in French prisons. They ought to be slightly under-represented!”

    There is too the problem of in-group vs out-group, or kinship-based society, and the very harsh repressive system in Algeria: many would never be tolerated there (aggressivity toward women, girls, teachers, or any kind of autority), but are in France or UK. Many Maroccans or Algerian-borns I know were shocked by West laxity in crime repression.

    • Replies: @skep
    "R Unz related the case of irish soaring from 70 points in the 70′s to 100 now"
    correction: from 85 to 100
  41. @skep
    "Yup, 30 points, 2 standard deviations, during the 20th century. Seems bizarre, going from 70 (retarded) to 100 (normal). But it is so."

    Would it be rather a problem of genotypic vs phenotypic? R Unz related the case of irish soaring from 70 points in the 70's to 100 now. It would mean there is a kind of maximum in each ethnic group / race? I think that the median IQ in France in the early 19's century was around 100 (to be verified), but mesured after 20 years of mandatory school, and a relatively good educational level formarly (parochial schools).

    "Here’s one oddity from the wikipedia list of homicide rates. Algeria has a rate of 0.7/100,000. France a rate of 1.0/100,000. Yet, it is Algerian-origin Muslims over-represented in French prisons. They ought to be slightly under-represented!"

    There is too the problem of in-group vs out-group, or kinship-based society, and the very harsh repressive system in Algeria: many would never be tolerated there (aggressivity toward women, girls, teachers, or any kind of autority), but are in France or UK. Many Maroccans or Algerian-borns I know were shocked by West laxity in crime repression.

    “R Unz related the case of irish soaring from 70 points in the 70′s to 100 now”
    correction: from 85 to 100

  42. The only Latin American country that has a lower per capita murder rate than The United States is Chile. Even Uruguay and Argentina have a higher per capita murder rate than The United States.

    Chile also has the highest human development index in all of Latin America.

    • Replies: @Alex M
    And it is 95% mestizo.
  43. @Jefferson
    The only Latin American country that has a lower per capita murder rate than The United States is Chile. Even Uruguay and Argentina have a higher per capita murder rate than The United States.

    Chile also has the highest human development index in all of Latin America.

    And it is 95% mestizo.

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