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From the New York Times opinion section:

Ancient History Shows How We Can Create a More Equal World
Nov. 4, 2021

By David Graeber and David Wengrow

Mr. Graeber and Mr. Wengrow are the authors of the forthcoming book, “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity,” from which this essay is adapted. Mr. Graeber died shortly after completing the book.

… For a long time, the archaeological evidence — from Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, Mesoamerica and elsewhere — did appear to confirm this. If you put enough people in one place, the evidence seemed to show, they would start dividing themselves into social classes. You could see inequality emerge in the archaeological record with the appearance of temples and palaces, presided over by rulers and their elite kinsmen, and storehouses and workshops, run by administrators and overseers. Civilization seemed to come as a package: It meant misery and suffering for those who would inevitably be reduced to serfs, slaves or debtors, but it also allowed for the possibility of art, technology, and science.

That makes wistful pessimism about the human condition seem like common sense: Yes, living in a truly egalitarian society might be possible if you’re a Pygmy or a Kalahari Bushman. But if you want to live in a city like New York, London or Shanghai — if you want all the good things that come with concentrations of people and resources — then you have to accept the bad things, too. For generations, such assumptions have formed part of our origin story. The history we learn in school has made us more willing to tolerate a world in which some can turn their wealth into power over others, while others are told their needs are not important and their lives have no intrinsic worth. As a result, we are more likely to believe that inequality is just an inescapable consequence of living in large, complex, urban, technologically sophisticated societies.

We want to offer an entirely different account of human history. We believe that much of what has been discovered in the last few decades, by archaeologists and others in kindred disciplines, cuts against the conventional wisdom propounded by modern “big history” writers. ​​What this new evidence shows is that a surprising number of the world’s earliest cities were organized along robustly egalitarian lines. In some regions, we now know, urban populations governed themselves for centuries without any indication of the temples and palaces that would later emerge; in others, temples and palaces never emerged at all, and there is simply no evidence of a class of administrators or any other sort of ruling stratum.

It would seem that the mere fact of urban life does not, necessarily, imply any particular form of political organization, and never did. Far from resigning us to inequality, the new picture that is now emerging of humanity’s deep past may open our eyes to egalitarian possibilities we otherwise would have never considered.

… What held these early experiments in urbanization together, if not kings, soldiers, and bureaucrats?

Classical city-states had a variety of types of government ranging from monarchy to democracy. Aristotle’s students tabulated the constitutions of about 170 city-states, although, sadly, we only have their write-up of democratic Athens.

In Western Europe over the last millennium, cities, such as Frankfurt, tended to be more bourgeois in order than the rest of society, while vast palaces like Versailles and Blenheim tended to be located in the countryside. Of course, the bourgeois valued property rights, which Graeber was suspicious of.

In general, which class is on top is related to the reigning technology of warfare. For example, as Victor Davis Hanson has shown, ancient Greek city-state battles were largely fought by middle-class farm-owning infantry who could afford an expensive sword, spear, shield, and helmet, while aristocratic cavalry were less effective.

In contrast, in Athens in the 400s BC, the navy came to the fore, with working class men making good money rowing ships. We have the impression from movies like Ben Hur that only tyrannized slaves rowed galleys, but the proles of Periclean Athens and Piraeus actually liked rowing, which made democratic Athens’ aggressive sea-based grand strategy politically feasible.

Unfortunately, we have much poorer documentation for most of ancient history than we do for Athens in the 5th century BC, so the complex interplay of warfare, technology, class, and politics that we can begin to grasp from master historians Herodotus and Thucydides is up for surmise in most other times and places.

For answers, we might turn to some other surprising discoveries on the interior grasslands of eastern Europe, north of the Black Sea, where archaeologists have found cities, just as large and ancient as those of Mesopotamia. The earliest date back to around 4100 B.C. While Mesopotamian cities, in what are now the lands of Syria and Iraq, took form initially around temples, and later also royal palaces, the prehistoric cities of Ukraine and Moldova were startling experiments in decentralized urbanization. These sites were planned on the image of a great circle — or series of circles — of houses, with nobody first, nobody last, divided into districts with assembly buildings for public meetings.

… Careful analysis by archaeologists shows how the social freedoms of the Ukrainian city dwellers were maintained through processes of local decision-making, in households and neighborhood assemblies, without any need for centralized control or top-down administration.

I’m not wholly skeptical of Graeber’s general concept of low government urbanity, but the notion that archaeologists can figure out the software from the hardware of 6000 year old ruins seems ambitious.

Can we correlate the constitutions of Greek city-states with the structure of their ruins? For example, democratic Athens built the superb and thus vastly expensive Parthenon, the financing of which undermined the Delian League and thus eventually set off the Peloponnesian War.

… Why has anyone with even a passing interest in the origin of cities heard of Uruk or Mohenjo-daro, but almost no one of Taljanky or Nebelivka?

… Obviously, we have no idea how relatively happy the inhabitants of Ukrainian mega-sites like Maidanetske or Nebelivka were, compared with the steppe-lords who covered nearby landscapes with treasure-filled mounds, or even the servants ritually sacrificed at their funerals (though we can guess). And as anyone who has read the story knows, Omelas had some problems, too.

But the point remains: Why do we assume that people who have figured out a way for a large population to govern and support itself without temples, palaces and military fortifications — that is, without overt displays of arrogance and cruelty — are somehow less complex than those who have not?

Here’s a guess at what Talianki would have looked like 6000 years ago. It appears to have three sets of walls or ditches or palisades, what I would call “military fortification:”

Here’s double-walled Nebelivka:

And here’s triple-walled Maidanetske:

It sure looks like Graeber’s favorite Ukrainian settlements featured “military fortifications.”

Reading up on this wholly new topic to me, I see a lot of references to “mega-structures,” such as the “Temple of Nebelivka:”

Why would we hesitate to dignify such a place with the name of “city”? The mega-sites of Ukraine and adjoining regions were inhabited from roughly 4100 to 3300 B.C., which is a considerably longer period of time than most subsequent urban settlements. Eventually, they were abandoned. We still don’t know why. What they offer us, in the meantime, is significant: further proof that a highly egalitarian society has been possible on an urban scale.

Why should these findings from the dim and distant past matter to us today? Since the Great Recession of 2008, the question of inequality — and with it, the long-term history of inequality — have become major topics for debate. …

What we need today is another urban revolution to create more just and sustainable ways of living. The technology to support less centralized and greener urban environments — appropriate to modern demographic realities — already exists. Predecessors to our modern cities include not just the proto-megalopolis, but also the proto-garden-city,

The less centralized and greener urban environments modeled on the proto-garden-city sure sound a lot like … The Suburbs.

Anyway, to go back to Graeber’s argument, being a nice modern leftist, he seems to ignore the need for defense of your people and property from The Other. Instead, the enemy is only the better organized and more effectual of your own people. The danger from The Other is just a trope.

In contrast, Mancur Olson famously drew the distinction between Roving Bandits (e.g., the Vikings) and Stationary Bandits (e.g., the French feudal lords). The Franks would put up with a lot from their Stationary Bandits for defense from the Roving Bandits.

But, while Stationary Bandits, who have incentives to see their peasants prosper so they and their heirs can extract more rent and taxes and tithes from them, are generally to be preferred to Roving Bandits with their I-want-the-marshmallow-NOW timeframe, it sure would be nice to do without either.

Perhaps those Ukrainians of 5-6000 years ago were smart and lucky enough to avoid both.

The domestication of the horse probably made Roving Bandits much more formidable. When the horse entered into military history is unknown. The era of these Ukrainian semi-cities may have preceded the weaponization of the horse on the Eurasian steppe. And perhaps their downfall may have been related to the arrival of domesticated horses.

In any case, military fortifications, such as walls, which Graeber stupidly dismisses as “overt displays of arrogance and cruelty,” would be key to avoiding rape and pillage by The Other. Historian David Frye’s book Walls documents that down through history until the invention of cannon, wall-building (or other defensive lines, such as palisaded ditches) was the best solution for the Hobbesian war of all-against-all that was otherwise the default for human existence.

It’s possible to build walls cooperatively without a centralized authoritarian government.

But it’s hard. Free-riding and treason are constant temptations to shirk contributing voluntarily to wall-building.

For example, the U.S. failed to build a border wall during the Trump era.

 
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  1. Hodag says:

    Sparta didn’t have walls. Sparta was famously unequal, with continual war against the Helots.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    , @Reg Cæsar
  2. The last sentence of Sailer’s essay is so important.

    The failure of the US to build walls against immigrant “invasion” will likely be the source of its decline over the next few decades. It looks perhaps unstoppable now (or perhaps not).

    This source of a civilization’s decline is very much not unprecedented. Failure to build defences against invasion is historically the most common cause for the decline and collapse of successful nations.

    Let us hope that Europe avoids this unhappy fate.

  3. Ralph L says:

    Eisenhower stopped a Mexican invasion without a wall. It takes sustained political will and a hard nose. This being UNZ, I’d like to know why Israel gets a wall and we don’t.

  4. @Hodag

    Sparta liked to fight. So much so they would pick fights, and for a while seemed really good at it and scared people off from ever attacking them (e.g. the anecdote about Phillip of Macedon refusing to attack Sparta after a particularly terse exchange where the Spartans basically dared him to).

    Which also reminds me of the Roman strategy of negotiation. Basically, the Romans would walk up to any unconquered foreign city or tribe and demand they basically surrender already as if they’d lost a battle to the Romans already and demand total fealty and payment. Rather like a mafioso in a movie, only instead of saying “Shame if anything bad happened to you” the Romans would threaten directly “We will annihilate you, destroy your city, and make you slaves.”

    Snot-nosed historians and business school professors love to claim that this made no sense, the Romans were bad negotiators, etc. But it actually made complete sense:

    -The Romans loved to fight.
    -The Romans held great warriors as their greatest citizens and political leaders; a great win on the battle field was the only ticket to political power during its heyday.
    -The Romans were really, really good at fighting and innovating at fighting for a very long time. (Someone put it poetically that the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians excelled in innovating and creating beautiful art for aesthetics, the Romans only practiced the art of war, and did it beautifully. )

    So the Romans would make these outlandish, insulting, extreme negotiation demands of potential opponents. So the opponents who had never heard of the Romans would get pissed off and throw them out and now the Romans had what they really wanted: a casus belli . Or the opponent would be so scared of the Romans that they would give them exactly what they wanted — which, honestly, the Romans wanted less than a fight.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @James Forrestal
  5. Daniel H says:

    Mesopotamian cities, in what are now the lands of Syria and Iraq, took form initially around temples, and later also royal palaces, the prehistoric cities of Ukraine and Moldova were startling experiments in decentralized urbanization.

    The salient point is that these Scythian cities were located closer to the Canadian border.

    • Replies: @Alden
  6. dearieme says:

    Once upon a blog I pointed out to Graeber that he’d made a howler. He’d referred to some period of history as lacking a World Empire (or some such expression that he favoured). What about the Ottoman Empire, I enquired.

    In an ideal world he’d have replied “Oh bugger, I overlooked that”. In the sleazy world of academic Social Sciences I expected instead a spurious explanation that in some way it didn’t meet his (unstated) definition.

    But what I got was empty bluster and rudeness. No scholar he. Indeed, the impression I got was that he was rather stupid, rather ignorant, and rather nasty.

  7. Some Guy says:

    A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories…

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

    “Defense is cruelty” – Who said it?

    A. George Orwell
    B. The prosecutor of Kyle Rittenhouse
    C. A NYT “expert” gushing about triple-walled cities “without military fortifications”

    • Replies: @Gary in Gramercy
  8. Anon[296] • Disclaimer says:

    From the excerpts here I don’t have enough details to know exactly what periods he’s talking about, but some comments (largely from a reading of Raoul McLaughlin on the Silk Road):

    1. A lot of early cities paid tribute to a distant ruler/people in exchange for being left alone, e.g. 3,000 goats and 100 oxen per year. This had the bonus of discouraging local upstarts also. So the archeological record cannot be trusted.

    2. Studying this stuff is really hard. Maybe there are extant accounting records in a readable language, but usually not. Rivers changed course, so islands disappeared. The Caspian Sea has been wildly unstable in its shoreline. City locations and identification becomes hard. And cities were built on top of cities built on top of other cities, ad nauseam, with a modern city on top of everything. Figuring out what’s what is like concocting a new hominid species from a worn finger bone (which was common, pre DNA). And then there are cities that are underwater, like the more recent case of Roman Alexandria.

    3. There were cities that were essentially ancient truck stops, places part of whose raison d’etre was for travelers or troops or the ruler to find water and fresh horses on the way to somewhere else. Babylonian Buc-ee’s.

    4. Internal cities, not on a “border” or transit route of neighboring enemies were not very fortified. The Parthians dumped thousands upon thousands of Roman POWs in cities in the middle of nowhere, and they were stuck, and by the time of the next war would have Parthian kids who couldn’t speak Latin and they had gone competely native. Also, there are tons of “Greek” cities all over the place, populated by descendants of Alexander’s camp followers and soldiers.

    5. A lot of non-militarized cities survived by changing sides and supporting the winner in wars by neighbors. This carried a risk, since a wrong call often resulted in the entire city being killed or sold into slavery.

    • Thanks: Muggles
  9. Daniel H says:

    The mega-sites of Ukraine and adjoining regions were inhabited from roughly 4100 to 3300 B.C., which is a considerably longer period of time than most subsequent urban settlements. Eventually, they were abandoned. We still don’t know why.

    Well here’s a guess. Around 3300 BC the inhabitants of Ukraine (proto Indo Europeans) came to realize that they were much smarter, technologically capable and more physically fit than peoples to the east and west and went on the move, creating extremely inegalitarian societies in Europe and India (the effects of which persist in India until this day), so much so that, one way or another, the Scythian invaders took all the women of Europe, through the generations, as concubines denying any hope that the men of this vast area would contribute anything lasting to the future gene pool. Now, that’s what you can really call DIE (diversity, inclusion, equity).

    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
  10. By sheer coincidence, wherever we have (decoded) writing the societies are stratified.

    This reminds me of this story, which Sailer wrote about a few years ago, about neolithic males disappearing from the gene pool in Spain

    ‘Iñigo Olalde, from Harvard Medical School, US, said: “It would be a mistake to jump to the conclusion that Iberian men were killed or forcibly displaced.”‘

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47540792

    A lot of what is going on these days is down to what scientists have to do to get past peer review, and woke review.

    Emil Kierkergaard has some examples of papers with highly counter-narrative content that manage to get published because the authors cleverly obfuscate, or even omit, the offending data from the abstract.

    The abstract is what the pop sci journos will read.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  11. Reading up on this wholly new topic to me, I see a lot of references to “mega-structures,” such as the “Temple of Nebelivka:”

    Looks a lot like the barn from Peter Weir’s Witness. So basically a city dweller historian thinks that a barn from primitives in Eastern Europe is on the same level as the Parthenon or the Temple of Zeus. Basically, a barn has the same artistic value of what traditionally has been heralded as the main aesthetic values of Antiquity. Sounds a bit like an agenda at work to recon the past a la “Nah, that Greek Roman stuff wasn’t all that, get a load of this cool barn!”

  12. “Unfortunately, we have much poorer documentation for most of ancient history than we do for Athens in the 5th century BC, so the complex interplay of warfare, technology, class, and politics that we can begin to grasp from master historians Herodotus and Thucydides is up for surmise in most other times and places.”

    Actually, there is a source of above average documentation during Antiquity. About 39 books, (Genesis to Malachi), written during the millennium before CE, that gives an inside look into a specific people (some might say their descendants are still among us). A couple of books, known as Chronicles, would tend to be considered historical based books. At its best, some of the books certainly hold up and can be favorably compared with Herodotus and Thucydides’ accounts of the ancient world.

    • Agree: Dutch Boy
    • Replies: @dearieme
  13. Arclight says:

    Isn’t the story of more equal societies for most of history that of large numbers of people being equally poor? An exception could be mid-20th century America with its broad middle class…probably best exemplified by southern CA, but the relatively high standard of living at reasonable cost proved to be transitory.

    • Agree: TruthRevolution.net
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  14. eric says:

    Graber mainly wrote about economics but his Ph.D. is in anthropology, which is notoriously left-wing among academics, allowing his shoddy research to avoid serious criticism. He romanticizes kinship-based societies of the past that had less inequality, as if they weren’t poor, stifling, oppressive, and warlike. A modern-day Rousseau, romanticizing natives. He was against Bullshit Jobs but for more government and non-profit institutions, which are where most bullshit jobs are.

    • Agree: Muggles
    • Thanks: Redneck farmer
  15. They don’t get called cities because they weren’t built by the ancestors of the people living there. Also, this implies that Civilization is possible without southwest or east Asians.

  16. nebulafox says:
    @eric

    Rousseau put away his five kids in orphanages in a time period where that could be potentially fatal for the kid. Most parents who did that in the 1700s couldn’t feed the child and didn’t have any other choice but to gamble on the possibility the orphanage might.

    Rousseau wasn’t one of them.

    “Do as I say, not as I live.” Some things never change. Revealed preferences, gentlemen. Revealed preferences.

    • Thanks: JimDandy
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  17. teo toon says:
    @Peter Johnson

    The failure to build the border wall during Trump’s presidency was due to the treason of the political and the bureaucratic classes despite Trump pushing for it to be built; now, under the Brandon “administration”the treason, even the deliberate genocide and replacement of the aforementioned classes and the 1% is in up in our faces; only the profoundly ignorant and stupid do not see it.

  18. nebulafox says:

    Why is a more equal world desirable? Shouldn’t the skilled, the beautiful, the noble be allowed to shine? Done properly (it goes without saying that our current system of crony capitalism and meritocracy does not), it would help make lesser people become more rich, more skilled, more accomplished too, within their own limits.

    Now, if instead of abstract “equality”, we speak of equal human dignity, and equal treatment under the law, that’s well worth fighting for. In fact, I have a suspicion that discussions about “equity” are a great way for American elites to avoid discussion about our de facto two track justice system, for instance, or how forcing service workers to be masked makes it psychologically easier to not dwell on the practical implications of their own choices. It’s the same game as having a corporate board of people from every skin color and creed, but the same schools, same outlook, same mentality, or imposing monolithic culture across the world while proclaim a sterilized diversity.

  19. Dan says:

    Graeber was a red diaper baby, so we may assume he was indoctrinated from day one. He also died from acute pancreatitis, an illness very common to alcoholics. Maybe that’s why he got the boot from Yale. He lived a rich life for a supposed anarchist. Inequality? In his every breath.

  20. David Rolfe Graeber (/ˈɡreɪbər/; February 12, 1961 – September 2, 2020) was an American anthropologist and anarchist activist. His influential work in economic anthropology, particularly his books Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011) and Bullshit Jobs (2018), and his leading role in the Occupy movement, earned him recognition as one of the foremost anthropologists and left-wing thinkers of his time.[1][2][3]
    Born in New York to a working-class Jewish family

    David Wengrow’s ethnicity is not mentioned by Wikipedia.
    https://forebears.io/surnames/wengrow
    The above website assures us that this unusual surname is most prevalent in the United States, but has the highest density in Israel.

    As Maestro Steve might say, I’ve started to notice a pattern here !

  21. @nebulafox

    Exactly. If a poor American has a bigger house than a rich German or Frenchman/woman, why do they obsess about equality?
    If a poor European or American has an income that a upper middle lass African or Romanian can only dream of, why is that omitted.
    Dishonest leftist reporting and scientific analysis omits very important information, with intent to mislead the world to think in communist ways about equality in poverty.
    Rich talented people increase general richness and pull up the lower classes. All illegal immigrants vote with their feet to be discriminated in ‘racist’ white supremacist countries. They understand things better than our dumb elites.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  22. Art Deco says:

    For answers, we might turn to some other surprising discoveries on the interior grasslands of eastern Europe, north of the Black Sea, where archaeologists have found cities, just as large and ancient as those of Mesopotamia.

    Not buying.

    • Replies: @pyrrhus
  23. @Arclight

    Isn’t the story of more equal societies for most of history that of large numbers of people being equally poor?

    Agreed, Arclight, and the people that arrange this are usually called Communists.

    I’m guessing that these historians of pre-history, David Graeber and David Wengrow among them, are nothing more than Communists. Note that they are seriously proposing that there is a much better way to run society. We just need to think about it and do it all differently. Does that sound familiar?

    We’ve been through this bit in America in the 1970’s, but our society was still conservative enough and not so stupid as to listen to people like these. They went ahead and built communes out in the country, or in the jungles of Guyana (that one didn’t work out so well), and shut down a few months after their parents quit sending them any more money.

    I also agree with Steve that these guys thinking they can find out all about old societies from a few pieces of pottery in the ground is pure rectal extraction.

    One more thing: With their speculation that only smaller civilizations can run without social classes, how about people like these propose that America cut back the overreaching Feral Gov’t and let States and cities do their own things? These guys don’t ever bring that up.

  24. @eric

    Thanks, Eric – I hadn’t read through the new comments when I wrote.

    Agreed, NebulaFox ( x 2 )!

  25. Maidanetske in 3700 BC looks awfully like Maiden Castle, Dorset, built around 600 BC.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
  26. G. Poulin says:

    A court historian , otherwise known as a PBA (professional bullshit artist), engaged in agenda-driven research. Don’t go into plastics, son; the real money is in shilling for the ruling class.

  27. ic1000 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    > guys thinking they can find out all about old societies from a few pieces of pottery in the ground

    I don’t think it has to be baloney. Combine shards with ancient and modern DNA, burial goods, linguistics, and more — the past is not entirely unknown.

    When it comes to plausible syntheses on that general topic, Razib Khan is probably the best person around. Judging from the caliber of his interviewees, I’m not alone in this opinion.

    The NYT pre-emptively cancelled Khan before he’d finished writing his first Op-Ed. So their readers can get comfortable with Graeber/Wengrow woke-friendly Blank Slatism. Not hard for them to do.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  28. MGB says:
    @eric

    That’s some insightful precog review of the book. I have it on order and am excited to read, although I share commenters skepticism of theories drawn from archeological debris. That criticism also applies to the dog eat dog picture painted of human history to the even more highly speculative theorizing of evolutionists. I don’t dismiss all of iSteve’s criticism of graeber but some of his commentary here is thin. There are necessarily limitations on variations of political development, but just like technological innovation there are regional and ethnic differences so I don’t see why there can’t be significant variations in political forms depending on time and place. And a more egalitarian model doesn’t mean that society wouldn’t recognize the need to wall itself off from predators of the steppe, human or in human. ISteve also skips over part of what I understand one of their main arguments to be, that the development of agriculture and civilizations don’t need to go hand in hand. As for this

    In any case, military fortifications, such as walls, which Graeber stupidly dismisses as “overt displays of arrogance and cruelty,”

    Yes, it may be a reflexively lefty, anarchist remark, but it accurately describes our current military mission, ringing the globe with fortifications, in other words fortifications aren’t always the result of defensive need.

    In any event, hadn’t heard of the Olson and Frye books. Short money for used copies. Hope to read them together with Graeberwengrow when I get it in a week or so.

  29. Thea says:

    Shocking how these people truly believe that life in the world could ever offer good without bad trade-offs.

    They really believe wealth and the good life can just spring up like mushrooms on a rainy night with no sacrifice on our part.

    I blame Hollywood.

  30. I’d take these guys more seriously if they weren’t so forward with their politics.

    As for the seemingly egalitarian ring city:
    1. Maybe the technology of the time wasn’t able to build what we’d recognize as a palace, and the rich had to content themselves with occupying more little hovels than average.
    2. Everyone there really was equal, but the whole thing was a slave city onto which a roving warlord swept down to collect his tribute.

    • Agree: mc23
  31. Anonymous[217] • Disclaimer says:

    David Graeber died recently

  32. To quote the late Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017): “Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.”

  33. “… Why has anyone with even a passing interest in the origin of cities heard of Uruk or Mohenjo-daro, but almost no one of Taljanky or Nebelivka?”

    Actually, we’ve likely READ about Uruk, using the conceptual framework (writing) invented in Uruk that spread from Uruk. Minor point.

  34. inertial says:

    Ah, the Cucuteni–Tripolye culture (or, as PC ninnies recently insist we call it, “Trypillia”.) A really impressive civilization; beautiful pottery. But these are people who supposedly burned and rebuilt their settlements every 60-80 years; no wonder they rarely built anything big or monumental. It’s highly unlikely they were egalitarian; it’s just that the inequalities in wealth and power were expressed in some other way. Like owning a lot of cattle, or nice bronze tools and weapons, or more elaborate pots, or bright clothes.

    It’s unfortunate that these ancient European civilizations never invented writing, and so their stories remain untold. What a Cucuteni town was like? Why did they build all those megaliths on Orkney? What happened at Tollense? We may guess but we’ll never know for sure.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  35. Graeber died a few years ago. He was an anarcho Communist. His work on money and debt really destroyed the libertarian myth of barter leading to money.

    It looks like a rather heavy handed twisting of the evidence. Killing servants requires servants, so there is inequality. Walls and defense structures and temples take some leadership.

    In the absence of evidence, imposing an anarcho Communist framework on ruins doesn’t make it fact. Lords and kings don’t always have palaces, but they tend to grab onto power and build up their families and tribes. While a bunch of egalitarian farmers may come together to build a defensive structure in face of invaders, eventually someone is on top.

  36. The technology to support less centralized and greener urban environments — appropriate to modern demographic realities — already exists.

    Alright, I’ve had it enough … When I read “green”, I see red.

    • LOL: kaganovitch
  37. Tiny Duck says:
    @Peter Johnson

    white people are going to have to learn to pay there faire share and be decent or else be held accountable

    it doesnt matter anyway demographics will change

    I see many white women with Children of Color

    Its over for you old bitter men

    The future is more just and loving and it does NOT include you

    Die now and curse in vain

  38. @nebulafox

    You’re not taking into account that Rousseau’s kids were French.

    If I had French kids, Orphanage beckons.

  39. Abe says:

    These sites were planned on the image of a great circle — or series of circles — of houses, with nobody first, nobody last

    Every great Womyns Studies career arc begins with an unwanted dangling and fondling on the knee of drunk “uncle” So-and-So. Every great liberal male anthropologist career arc begins with a whole school year of picked dead last for kickball.

    • LOL: Almost Missouri
  40. Mr. Anon says:

    Left-wingers dig cities. They want everyone stuffed into human-habitrails, the better to monitor and control them:

    https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda

    Or course, the leftist foot-soldiers of such an agenda are just doing the bidding of wealthy elites who want to usher in a World of neo-serfdom. You want to know what they want for you? Just listen when they tell you.

    Of course, nobody would really be planning such a thing in reality, would they?

  41. fish says:
    @Ralph L

    You know why……

    • Replies: @Hugo Silva
  42. AaronB says:
    @nebulafox

    In practice, in every society the worst elements rise to the top – those who want to dominate other people and amass vastly more wealth then they need. What Steve calls ” Stationary Bandits”.

    In fact, anthropologists have been so puzzled at why humanity made the shift to civilization, as civilization offers a worse life to everyone, including the elites, and was so difficult to sustain – that some have speculated that the sole reason for civilization was that some people have a psychological need to dominate others (feel superior to them). This would mean civilization is the product of a psychological deficiency.

    Perhaps, but we don’t really know. It remains a puzzle.

    As for the genuinely superior, who rarely are on top simply because the “noble” aren’t interested in dominating others or having more wealth then they need, and the talented and skilled are more interested in their skill or craft, the point is, there is no reason they should be allowed to coerce anyone else – let them shine, but let everyone else be free too.

    I don’t think anyone really minds mild levels of inequality that is largely non coercive, but that isn’t consistent with civilization.

    • Disagree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @nebulafox
  43. AaronB says:

    I certainly appreciate Graebers contribution here, but I think the primary field of investigation here has to be psychological.

    Returning to a simpler and more egalitarian society, one more conducive to happiness, would certainly have to be accompanied by a huge psychological shift.

    There are certain psychological states and beliefs that “go” with inegalitarian civilization; anxiety about death and the future, and the consequent need for extreme control.

    Without relaxing these attitudes, extreme inequality isn’t going anywhere. It’s the best mode of social organization for those psychological states. That’s why Jesus tried so hard to reduce fear about the future and the anxiety over death.

    So to me it seems like the most important field of investigation for why humanity creates these social organizations that that don’t even make those on top happy, is psychological.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  44. Catdog says:

    Historian David Frye’s book Walls documents that down through history until the invention of cannon, wall-building (or other defensive lines, such as palisaded ditches) was the best solution for the Hobbesian war of all-against-all that was otherwise the default for human existence.

    Fortifications were still very effective in the cannon age. Cannons are even better for defense than for offense. Cannons for defense had two big benefits. One, sallies were easier because the enemy had to keep their camp respectable distance from the walls in order to stay safe. Two, the attacker’s cannons had to be of sufficiently large size, and had to be wheeled quite close to the walls in order to effectively damage them. This meant that the attackers would have to slowly create a web of trenches in order to approach the walls to even use their guns effectively.

  45. Catdog says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Graeber is a lefty-anarchist sometimes credited as one of the original Occupy organizers. I’ve read his book Debt and wasn’t much impressed by it. He sees what he wants to see.

  46. Art Deco says:
    @Ralph L

    This being UNZ, I’d like to know why Israel gets a wall and we don’t.

    Because Israel’s political class does not despise its common and garden population, nor does it dote on the exotic. Fragments of Israel’s intelligentsia do despise their country, but their attitudes do not have much influence over politicians. Ergo, Israel’s government is willing to defend Israel’s people.

  47. a wall is more symbolic than anything. Modern america is very different from 4000 bc ukraine. illegals are not here to pillage, but to participate. If you stop letting them participate they will leave on their own. Just prosecuting their employers and ending birthright citizenship would end the threat of illegal immigration and probably be more popular politically.

    • Replies: @Corn
    , @pyrrhus
    , @pyrrhus
  48. This book sounds like a long way to go to say you want open borders. Those walls? They were there to show people who wanted a better life where to sneak in and find it.

    Science fiction speculating on the future is often a reflection of fashionable ideas in the present, and retrofitting the past is the job of historical storytellers. Did you know Achilles was black? So was Cleopatra and Ann Boleyn and Beethoven. The Kangxi emperor wuz a Kang, I tell you!

  49. @Ralph L

    As far as I recall, Israelis built their wall because of terrorist activity.

    No terror- no wall.

  50. In any case, military fortifications, such as walls, which Graeber stupidly dismisses as “overt displays of arrogance and cruelty . . .”

    It’s difficult to imagine that this is the good-faith conclusion of this character’s academic inquiry, rather than a current year conformity of his work to fashionable political views. “Arrogance and cruelty” are not a commentary on whether walls worked and therefore proliferated (one imagines that if they didn’t generally work well at excluding aggressors and multiplying the force of defenders that ancient and medieval peoples would have, you know, quickly given up on digging up giant stones, transporting and stacking them with masonry joints which seems to have been quite a bother). But I suppose that in a way he has a point – people on the inside of the wall are at least for a time very unequal to people on its outside.

    Wasn’t the reason given for why Sparta did not gird itself with defensive walls the boast that its soldiers were so far superior to their peers that Spartan warriors provided a better defense than walls? “A city is well-fortified which has a wall of men instead of brick.” (attributed to Lycurgus). That seems arrogant to me, and the Spartans weren’t exactly known to have been light on cruelty.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @mc23
  51. Throughout most of human history cities have always depended on providing human beings with access to basic services within walking distance of where they live.

    American suburbia has been constructed almost entirely based on the post-Fordian notion that every family has access to motorized transportation, so services can be at a distance from homes.

    Thus the United States, more than any other country, has developed an infrastructure of housing developments, freeways, parking lots, supermarkets, and Drive-In fast food restaurants and banks.

    However now that it is becoming apparent that the internal combustion engine has side effects that may destroy the planet, America is facing an existential crisis.

    Probably archaeologists of the future will be asking themselves what the hell Detroit was for and why aerial photography shows lots of rectangular grid patterns in the North American desert.

  52. It’s weird to see an op-ed published by a man who has been dead for over a year. Presumably his co-author worked with the op-ed page to adapt material from their book.

    Keeley’s _War Before Civillization_ is an extremely convincing critique of hippy archaeology that wants to pretend war didn’t exist before states. It’s laugh out loud funny when Keeley lays out their gaslighting such as claiming that walls were just symbolic or that we can’t really know why or how thousands of arrowheads, some of them lodged into skeletons, ended up in some ruins.

    • Replies: @Rob
  53. Careful analysis by archaeologists shows how the social freedoms of the Ukrainian city dwellers were maintained through processes of local decision-making, in households and neighborhood assemblies, without any need for centralized control or top-down administration.

    Or that the guards lived somewhere else.

    In all seriousness, these walled enclosures of uniform buildings do resemble concentration camps, especially given paucity of weapon finds and anthropological diversity of remains found. Conceiving a viable economic model at the given level of technology is a problem, of course; but perhaps those sites were run by ancient leftists. /sarc

  54. Jack D says:

    Of course, the bourgeois valued property rights, which Graeber was suspicious of.

    Correct, this is why Graeber gave all of his worldly goods away to the poor and lived as a mendicant beggar, in order to live his principles.

    Oh, wait, he didn’t?

  55. LP5 says:
    @TGGP

    Ret-conning ancient history, an ambitious move by Graeber. Some might even say risky.

    Turchin, Henrich and Khan are more likely to appeal to the realist audience.

  56. ex-banker says:

    The history we learn in school has made us more willing to tolerate a world in which some can turn their wealth into power over others, while others are told their needs are not important and their lives have no intrinsic worth.

    Why conflate wealth with intrinsic worth? Similar to how anti-hereditarians accuse their intellectual rivals of suggesting that those with higher IQ are superior to those with lower IQs. How warped is your view of humanity not to recognize that IQ is not perfectly correlated with human value? Pure projection, given how they look down upon their lessers.

  57. @eric

    He romanticizes kinship-based societies of the past that had less inequality, as if they weren’t poor, stifling, oppressive, and warlike.

    Two examples that come to mind are traditional Gaelic society up until say 1746, and 19/20th century Sicilian culture wherever they happened to live.
    Did Graeber do undergrad in the ’70s, by any chance? It’s familiar in its utopian woolliness, all that Marshall Sahlins noble savage stuff.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  58. Humans are apex predators, against non-humans for sure. Also against humans who they don’t particularly care for. Economic inequality & political subordination in humans is analogous to inequality & subordination in a pride of lion’s.

    Male lion’s seem like the Stationary Bandits v Roving Bandit scenario baked into evolution. You don’t want to be raped or starved to death? Follow orders and I will chase off the Bad Guys. And maybe bring down the Big Game. In return, me & my buddies get the best cuts and the cutest gals. That’s been the deal that twas ever thus.

    Of course now the predation is done by trasnsnational companies rather than national countries. Their owners can be anywhere. So we get the Roving Bandit effect.

    Robots entail automation which entails command economy. Thst doesn’t sound to equal to me.

  59. If career politicians such as schumer, pelosi, the clintons, the cuomos, the kenedeys and the bushes aren’t our ruling class, then what are they. And they do treat us as serfs. Don’t have to look to ancient Egypt. Build, back better is the current pyramid.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
  60. Nimrod says:

    Steve, you’re being really charitable towards Graeber’s purblind ignorance about archaeology. The massive cities that he’s talking about were waxed by Indo-European steppe warriors. The process is described in detail in Lawrence Freedman’s War Before Civilization and David Anthony’s The Horse, the Wheel, and Language.

    As Anthony shows, the creation of these cities had nothing to do with equality, democracy, feminism, or anything else leftists like. It had everything to do with protecting the vulnerable farming communities from raiding by hard-charging, male-dominated, hierarchical Aryan ubermenschen from the steppes. Horses did come later, but the Indo-European speakers already had sufficient military advantages over these goddess loving equalitarians to beat the ever living daylights out of them.

    Of course Graeber missed the context of all of this. You can never, ever, teach a liberal.

  61. bomag says:
    @Peter Johnson

    I’m trying to think of times when walls failed. Troy? Constantinople?

    Seems that one needs to project force beyond a wall. GW Bush said we need to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here. Wish he would have carried through and kept us safe.

  62. ‘But the point remains: Why do we assume that people who have figured out a way for a large population to govern and support itself without temples, palaces and military fortifications — that is, without overt displays of arrogance and cruelty — are somehow less complex than those who have not?’

    Why do we assume this? Well, for starters, because they never developed written languages. Then too, as the author implies, there wouldn’t appear to be any monumental buildings. So we assume they’re ‘somehow less complex’ because they’re apparently less complex.

    Moreover, from what we know of societies which didn’t create such artifacts — pre-contact Hawaii for example — they could be plenty stratified and plenty arrogant and cruel. They just hadn’t gotten around to saying it with gigantic buildings.

    The article is complete bullshit and an example of wishful thinking masquerading as serious intellectual activity. It doesn’t say much of any interest about our past — but it is evidence of the decline of our present.

  63. Jack D says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    That’s ridiculous. Yes, the days of the internal combustion engine appear numbered, but not as few as you may think – the current target for end of PRODUCTION appears to be 2035 (and this may get extended) and cars can last 20 years or more, so many of us here will not live to see an all electric world maybe 40 years or more hence.

    But, current electric cars (and future ones will be even better) are at least adequate if not perfect replacements for the gasoline car, and combined with renewable fuel sources (and assuming no collapse of civilization) should be good for at least the next century if not longer. In fact, the horse and cart was the main means of transport in Europe for maybe 2,000 years. It would not shock me (no pun intended) to see electric cars zipping around 2,000 years from now. Electric power has now been in the home for a century and a half and there is zero indication that it is ever going to be phased (no pun intended) out (although again it may be produced by solar panels rather than coming from the grid). It is difficult to conceive of any advanced future civilization that will NOT depend on electricity.

  64. @ic1000

    Combine shards with ancient and modern DNA, burial goods, linguistics, and more — the past is not entirely unknown.

    With the exception of linguistics (is there any writing from these people that can be interpreted?), I agree, IC. Yes, one can find out what they cooked with, what kind of tools they had, how they set up their city, and maybe who they were related to. There’s no way these archaeologists can know how they ran their government (if any) and whether they had a classless society, etc. That sounds like, well, rectal extraction, as I put it.

    • Replies: @ic1000
  65. ‘…It’s possible to build walls cooperatively without a centralized authoritarian government…’

    It’s particularly possible if there’s someone everyone can see it would be a good idea to keep out.

    I’ll also point out that walls — such as Hadrian’s wall, the great wall of China, and modern frontiers — have a symbolic function.

    It’s usually physically possible to breach them — but the wall is a statement. On one side of it, you can do what you want — we don’t care. Come across it, and you’re in trouble. The wall defines the claim to authority.

    It’s like a picket fence around one’s yard. Of course you can just step over it — but I don’t want you doing that. That’s why I put the fence there. The significance is as much symbolic as literal.

    • Replies: @MM
  66. Another way to look at rulers is they are specialised function of system administration.

    Thus a powerful body delegates various critical functions to specialised organs, liver, kidney etc. The brain is that organ which specialises in cerebral regulation of behaviour, critical for forward planning and out-witting rivals. In return it gets expensive accommodation and lots of energy.

    Likewise the Body Politic has specialised organs of governance, such as rulers and regulators. Also specialised authorities, such as doctors, who “know best”. They get more power and money, but they get things done.

    Of course sometimes specialised organs get greedy and become rent-seekers.

    • Agree: JerseyJeffersonian
  67. @Art Deco

    ‘Ergo, Israel’s government is willing to defend Israel’s people’ those of Israel’s people who are Jews. Note the absence of bomb shelters, spending on education, etc for the gentile population.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  68. Graeber, Sailer, and all of you are full of shit. None of you know anything about anything.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @TWS
    , @Ghost of Bull Moose
  69. @Achmed E. Newman

    these guys thinking they can find out all about old societies from a few pieces of pottery in the ground is pure rectal extraction.

    Bit harsh on the poor old diggers. Actual archaeologists are properly concerned with survey, stratigraphy, taphonomy, relative chronologies and comparative artifact studies. Dead folk’s old rubbish, the order it arrived in, and a whole lot of dirt. Possibly where it arrived from, on a good day.

    They go to specialists for palaeozoo/veg, geol. and environment stuff, also the e/m prospecting and Lidar surveys and all that stuff.

    Those few who stray outside the muddy confines of their squalid trade invariably end up making arses of themselves. For instance, Lord Colin Renfrew, or the characters currently in charge of the Stonehenge projects.
    As one arch. prof (English version, dept. head) muttered to me nearly 40 years ago (of his mate, a rising rockstar prehistorian) “Xxxx’s fucking mental. He thinks he can see into the minds of dead people!” Needless to say the archaeo-necromancer had a side gig in Soc. Anth., and is still a self-declared marxist.

    In their world, if Humanity is behaving correctly, and progressing through the various (imaginary) stages as per Karl’s deskbound theorising, then all their social and psychological behaviours must conform to the cultures of whatever contemporary bunch of savages the ethnographers pretend to have understood and in the worst cases derived theories from, sometime back in the last century.

    Based entirely on the assumption that because they have technologies broadly comparable to whatever bits of imperishable dross (like potsherds, stone, some metals) the professional midden-rakers have very expensively and haphazardly retrieved and seriated, therefore their societies were necessarily organised in much the same way, because Marxism. Or something. It’s a religion, so can’t be falsified. Just point and laugh.

    • Thanks: Achmed E. Newman, Rob
    • Replies: @Rob
  70. Graham says:
    @Peter Johnson

    Lithuania is building a wall, or more accurately a stout chain link fence with razor wire on top, right now. For some reason the Daily Telegraph won’t allow comments on that story, or the story about increasing numbers of people crossing the Channel illegally to England. It seems they are frightened of their readers.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  71. zundel says:

    what life was like before the arrival of ye murderous rape-thief R1b’s:

    ‘These settlements underwent periodical acts of destruction and re-creation, as they were burned and then rebuilt every 60–80 years. Some scholars[who?] have theorised that the inhabitants of these settlements believed that every house symbolised an organic, almost living, entity. Each house, including its ceramic vases, ovens, figurines and innumerable objects made of perishable materials, shared the same circle of life, and all of the buildings in the settlement were physically linked together as a larger symbolic entity. As with living beings, the settlements may have been seen as also having a life cycle of death and rebirth’

    the culture complex is called ‘Cucuteni–Trypillia’ if any of you are interested, though i’m assuming this is a null set.

    it’s really funny when smart guys like steve sailer — who seem to otherwise imply extremely powerful causal links between genes and behavior — all of a sudden, quite conveniently, seem to “forget” that they’re talking about completely different people here (than roving murderous steppe ilks, ie, your ancestors), living within a completely different cultural-behavioral complex

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
  72. HA says:

    I’ll believe all this as soon as they authenticate all those wise and peace-loving matriarchial “feminist” pre-literate societies we were told about a while back.

    Once upon a time, the many cultures of this world were all part of the gynocratic age. Paternity had not yet been discovered, and it was thought … that women bore fruit like trees—when they were ripe. Childbirth was mysterious. It was vital. And it was envied. Women were worshipped because of it, were considered superior because of it…. The discovery of paternity, of sexual cause and childbirth effect, was as cataclysmic for society as, say, the discovery of fire… Gradually, the idea of male ownership of children took hold….Gynocracy also suffered from the periodic invasions of nomadic tribes…. The conflict between the hunters and the growers was really the conflict between male-dominated and female-dominated cultures…. women gradually lost their freedom, mystery, and superior position. For five thousand years or more, the gynocratic age had flowered in peace and productivity. Slowly, in varying stages and in different parts of the world, the social order was painfully reversed. Women became the underclass, marked by their visible differences.

    Who wrote those wise words, you ask? Why, it was the world-renowned scholar of — and undisputed authority on –early antiquity, Ms. Gloria Steinem herself. And with backing like that, I’m not surprised historical evidence was deemed unnecessary. But even so, I’ll just wait for that to be verified before buying into this new addendum to what early history was really about.

    • Replies: @mc23
  73. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:

    Buddhism believes that life is about suffering, that humans suffer because we have desires. What do humans desire? Beyond basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, some of us also desire companionship, happiness, health, safety, knowledge, wealth, power, status etc. As long as we have needs and desires, conflicts will arise. It is inevitable. Carnivores live in the kill and/or be killed environment their whole lives. From animals to humans, the need for organization arose as a safeguard against attacks from outsiders.

    As long as there are organizations, there will be hierarchy, for someone needs to be in charge. The larger the society, the more complex the organization. Due to differences in ability and drive, humans by nature will be segregated into different parts of a hierarchy. There is not a successful company or society in history that is completely flat in structure, for that is no organization at all, simply every man for himself, which would only lead to more conflicts. The difference is, instead of being united in fighting against outsiders, a society without hierarchy is besieged with internal conflicts. These conflicts will be even more amplified when humans of vastly different cultures are thrown together to compete for the same resources – jobs, housing, etc. Instead of organizing along geographical lines, a multicultural society will inevitably organize along cultural lines, because it is human nature to distrust those who look and sound vastly differently from us, esp. as each group gets larger.

    To suggest any differently is to ignore history and reality. But I guess that shouldn’t surprise anyone. That’s the left’s forte — always coming up with ideas that are counter-intuitive and devoid of common sense, which is why their ideas always fail, because they always confuse ideals for ideas.

    • Agree: Bert
  74. The left is increasingly living in a land of make-believe.

  75. Arclight says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    There are lots of people that romanticize the Native Americans as living some in-tune with nature existence that colonizers ruined. While there are some tribes that were pretty peaceful, the real history of most of North America’s tribes is far from idyllic.

    Human population growth is normally limited by either lack of resources, disease, or violence. North America had abundant natural resources, lacked many of the communicable diseases that Europeans or Africans had been exposed to, so that leaves the last item as the primary reason this vast continent was so under populated. Theoretically this was a more decentralized and flat society, but let’s not kid ourselves about what that meant in practice.

  76. Old Prude says:
    @Ralph L

    A wall, like any obstacle is an “economy of force” measure. It conserves the resources required for defense. Defense can be effected without a wall or razor wire or a moat, but it is easier and cheaper to do with such measures in place. Any sane people with the means would have them.

    • Agree: SteveRogers42
    • Replies: @Wokechoke
    , @Reg Cæsar
  77. But, while Stationary Bandits, who have incentives to see their peasants prosper so they and their heirs can extract more rent and taxes and tithes from them, are generally to be preferred to Roving Bandits with their I-want-the-marshmallow-NOW timeframe, it sure would be nice to do without either.

    Yep, a brief history of the world:

    Hunter gatherers: we were fairly egalitarian (chief can’t get too big for his britches or spear in the back), but very violet and … low limit on human knowledge, capability.

    With the neolithic agricultural revolution we gained the ability to generate an agricultural surplus, and opened up the possibility of population expansion and “civilization”. However, with that we also get not just disease and the Malthusian grind and but opened a Pandora’s box of parasites and looters living off of productive people.

    The civilized solution to this is of course republican government–i.e productive and responsible men cut out–or at least rein in–the parasites and govern themselves.

    The American republic, far from perfect, was better than most on this score.

    But this is precisely what the minoritarians and the financial and government parasites have worked so avidly to destroy the last 60 years; what the David Graebers hate; what sends the Dana Milbanks into fits of apoplexy. The thought of ordinary productive people governing themselves without the verbalist yakkers ordering them about, without the parasites’ hands on their wallets–the horror, the horror!

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Thanks: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @Rob McX
    , @Bert
  78. @Ralph L

    ‘Eisenhower stopped a Mexican invasion without a wall. It takes sustained political will and a hard nose. This being UNZ, I’d like to know why Israel gets a wall and we don’t.’

    Israel gets a wall and we don’t because the Jews want to protect that society but they don’t wish to protect this one.

    Now you know.

    • Agree: El Dato
    • Replies: @Art Deco
  79. Altai says:

    Something I noted is that Edward Said used to have a big problem with ‘Orientalism’ partly because he chafed at all of non-European Eurasia being clumped into one.

    But from a North-West European perspective, there is something significant that all those societies have in common in terms of their structures. They seem to maintain a more unequal and corrupt familialism (The archetypal ‘gold chain man’) and low trust. The many differences pale in comparison to the many similarities in terms of their differences to North-West European society.

    Even today you find Indian and Chinese immigrants in the West commiserating over how much they have in common in terms of the differences between their social mentality (IE, status seeking) and the broader Western mentality that is more pro-social and less status obsessed. The same with the classic Jewish/Asian pairings that are (Or were, maybe people are more self-conscious and maybe there are more Asian men to reduce the very high out-marriage rate among Asian women) common in big cities on the West and East coasts.

    These things seem to be redolent of the core areas of deep agriculturalist ancestry. They climax in areas around the Levant where countless groups live among each other with high rates of endogamy for centuries since their societies seem based on an assumption of high rates of clannishness and low trust nepotism along with status seeking.

    And I like how the NYT doesn’t see how the only ethnic and cultural combinations that seem best able to create high levels of equality and social consensus on a comprehensive social welfare system are formerly homogeneous Scandinavian countries with people with higher amounts of HG ancestry.

  80. @Jonathan Mason

    However now that it is becoming apparent that the internal combustion engine has side effects that may destroy the planet,…

    Calm down, Jonathan! The planet will be fine. It’s the people that are fucked.

    How many times do I gotta do this?

    Save the trees.
    Save the bees.
    Save the whales.
    Save those snails.

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
  81. Luke Lea says:

    Steve writes: “The less centralized and greener urban environments modeled on the proto-garden-city sure sound a lot like … The Suburbs.”

    That’s why I describe my proposal to construct new garden cities thirty to forty miles beyond the outer fringes of exurbia, not as a rejection of the big city, but rather as the third and final stage in the suburbanization of the metropolitan complex. It’s all laid out in my book, The Seventh Millennium: A look at Life’s Possibilities in the New Age Before Us. which is available on Amazon:

  82. @Tiny Duck

    Get lost, you’re not funny.

    And- you’re not even Tiny Dick.

  83. @Dan

    Perhaps my favorite book title of all time is, “If you’re an egalitarian, how come you’re so rich?” by the Stanford professor G.A Cohen, who offers a critique of Rawls from the Left.

    The title is aimed at his fellow academics.

  84. Luke Lea says:

    Like Steve suggests, those huge neolithic “cities” remained neolithic only because the conquerors hadn’t gotten there yet. The role played by military conquest in the establishment of class societies has been remarkably underplayed in most traditional accounts of how civilization began. I wonder why?

    In any case I attempt to remedy that deficiency in by means of a rather spectacular hypothesis I advance in an academic article of mine. Here is the abstract:

    Employing the term allegory* In its original sense, we hypothesize that the Adam and Eve myth was originally conceived as a political allegory about military conquest, made possible by the development of agriculture. Based on evidentiary clues internal to the text itself we conjecture that it began its life in the oral traditions of a subject population that found itself on the bottom of society somewhere in northern Mesopotamia near the Neolithic boundary. We conclude with a general observation on the underreported role of military conquest in the historical process.

    [*Allegory From Greek allos meaning “other” and agora meaning “gathering place” (especially the marketplace). In times past it was common to do one’s chatting at the marketplace. Some of the topics discussed were clandestine in nature and when people spoke about them, for fear of being punished, they would speak indirectly. That is to say, they would speak about one thing in such a way as to intimate the actual information to the listener. Thus, the persons discussing clandestine matters were said to be speaking of “other things” in the marketplace. Eventually the words joined and became associated with the act of speaking about one thing while meaning another.]

    Readers who are interested will find the whole paper here:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/10q-cx2v05UnAsHb9BaRBZqYtPljiMZ52h6UxvHj0duA/edit?usp=sharing

    Or alternatively you can purchase a copy of my new book, Three Uneasy Pieces (about the Bible and History), which is available on Amazon.

  85. Whiskey says: • Website

    Graeber was a typical idiot utopian communist. One who denied the basic reality of both human nature and civilization in favor of a utopia to be achieved inevitably by mass slaughter. One could argue the mass slaughter was the whole point.

    Civilization always needs MORE. More power, more food, more people, more skilled labor, as it moves to more and more complexity. Moving food around from one place to another, maximizing crops/food, transport efficiency, movement, and military power.

    That last is the killer. Resources, including now fossil fuels, minerals, as well as crops, land, and skilled labor matter. Those with superior resources in military matters can conquer and take that from those with lesser. We can’t live in peace. Only the dead have seen the end of war. Xi and China are not going to be happy to be poor and equal. Neither are other aggressive nations. Bill Gates is not giving away his wealth and power nor his hobby of apparently having sex with 14 year old girls. Nor is Bill Clinton. The Glasgow Climate summit saw more than 500 private jets flying in, including Gates, Zuck, Bezos, and Clinton. Those people are not giving up their power and inequality.

    Some societies can mitigate the worst of inequality and some can make it greater. But that is all.

  86. Nimrod says:
    @Tiny Duck

    Tiny Duck is back!!

    I hadn’t seen you in awhile. How’s the troll farm doing?

  87. David Graeber was an anarchist agitator and most of what he has written can easily be dismissed as bullshit with little basis in fact.

  88. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:

    These gentemen should have read Robert Nathan’s The Weans before they began their archaeological studies.

    “It is the year 7859 and archeologists have unearthed a civilization lost for more than 5,000 years. Who are these “Weans” from the Great West Continent? Researchers at Kenya’s Ruwenzori University have published their findings….
    “The Weans were probably not at all a friendly or hospitable people… There was excavated from the earth of a small island in the ocean just beyond the terminal land-mass at n.Yok, a hollow figure—or at least part of one—of what appears to be a giantess, or possibly a goddess, with one arm upraised in a threatening attitude. Within what is left of her shell, heavily encrusted with bird-droppings and worm-mold, our diggers uncovered a fragment of script, in blocked letters or signs, translated ‘Keep off the …’
    “… the richest of the diggings, Pound-Laundry (which may have even been the capital of We itself)….
    The etymology of Pound-Laundry, archeologists note, is intriguing: They translate the first word of the name as ‘washing’; the second is obviously the sign for ‘weight.’ It is not known what—if anything—was washed there.
    “… a yearly celebration was held during which bombs were exploded [footnote: ‘bombs bursting in air…’] and vast quantities of dogs were roasted and consumed ….”

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2664067-the-weans

    The original magazine article from which the book was developed:

    https://www.joshpachter.com/pages/weans.pdf

    Note: the “security threat” warning you may get from joshpachter dot com is because of the “www.”

    • Thanks: Rob McX
    • Replies: @Rob McX
    , @Rob
  89. dearieme says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Until the OT reaches the House of Omri, though, it’s probably all fiction. After that it may only be mainly fiction. Certainly the stuff about Abraham, Moses, and the conquest under Joshua is rubbish.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  90. the notion that archaeologists can figure out the software from the hardware of 6000 year old ruins seems ambitious.

    and arrogant

    Perhaps the competent built the cities and were later joined by the, uh, human misery, kind of like blacks moving to South Africa from less prosperous places on the continent.

  91. @dearieme

    “… But what I got was empty bluster and rudeness. No scholar he. Indeed, the impression I got was that he was rather stupid, rather ignorant, and rather nasty.”

    Did you save, and can you quote, your colloquy with Graeber? ‘Twould be interesting (judging from your description).

  92. dearieme says:
    @Expletive Deleted

    Traditional Gaelic society in Ireland was pitilessly cruel to the lower orders. And beneath them were the slaves.

    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
  93. @YetAnotherAnon

    At the back of the central hilltop area you can still see the slight lumps across the ridge defining the original neolithic enclosure.

    Recent research has concluded that the enclosure at Maiden Castle began to be built probably in the 3550s or 3540s cal BC. It is possible that the two circuits were dug in the same year, almost certainly within a single generation.

    Most decent-sized IA hillforts have a neolithic predecessor, usually multivallate, and using a lot more sizeable oak timber (because they still had it, not cut down and nibbled off by sheep).

  94. ic1000 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    > There’s no way these archaeologists can know how they ran their government (if any) and whether they had a classless society, etc.

    Yeah, but… there is that Y chromosome finding that some steppe chieftain from the 122os or so, I forget his name 😉 has a couple of million direct descendants today. Definitely a society of equality and classlessness, there. Some not-quite-as-extreme findings from prehistory (no time to look them up) cast doubt upon the idea of a socialist Eden in the cities of that era.

    • Agree: James N. Kennett
    • Replies: @James N. Kennett
  95. Yngvar says:

    Physical barriers were also put up to keep livestock inside and beasts out.

  96. @Arclight

    There are lots of people that romanticize the Native Americans as living some in-tune with nature existence that colonizers ruined. While there are some tribes that were pretty peaceful,

    Yeah, they had big walls.

  97. Ian Smith says:

    At one time I was tempted to check out Graeber’s book on debt but after hearing what a pseudo-intellectual Marxist jackass he is, I’ll pass.

  98. Yes, living in a truly egalitarian society might be possible if you’re a Pygmy or a Kalahari Bushman.

    Many Pygmies are held in slavery by Bantu people. When times are hard, they are sometimes treated as bushmeat. But because the enslavers are the sacred Bantu, we are not supposed to notice.

    The Bushmen of the Kalahari are the largest remnant of the San people who once populated the whole of southern Africa before the arrival of the Bantu and the Dutch.

    For answers, we might turn to some other surprising discoveries on the interior grasslands of eastern Europe, north of the Black Sea, where archaeologists have found cities, just as large and ancient as those of Mesopotamia. The earliest date back to around 4100 B.C.

    Soon afterwards, the Bronze Age arrived and these Neolithic civilizations were violently usurped. I do not know whether David Reich’s team have estimated the proportion of the post-conquest Ukrainian gene pool that came from the pre-conquest people; but the figure for the people who built Stonehenge in the late Neolithic, shortly before the arrival of the Beaker People in Britain, is a mere 10%.

    @YetAnotherAnon (#25)

    Maidanetske in 3700 BC looks awfully like Maiden Castle, Dorset, built around 600 BC.

    Iron-Age Britons lived in these hill forts until the Romans arrived.

    There seems to be a general pattern here. We do not know much about life in any of these places: perhaps it was more egalitarian than in other places and times, as these authors claim. But when conquerors with more advanced technology arrived, possibly from thousands of miles away, the old way of life came to a violent end.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    , @pyrrhus
    , @Anonymous
  99. El Dato says:

    I never thought that Saganic thinking (“All Aliens we may meet are friendly, because they will be so advanced that this must be so”) would be applied to history which basically consists of repeat episodes of someone coming in uninvited and planting an axe into the head of the Local Chief Upholder of Religion after a brief exchange of words.

    But it’s 2021.

    I like the idea of insectoid hyper-intelligent aliens which aggressively clean the galaxy of anything that looks bad.

    • Thanks: Charon
  100. @ic1000

    There were three Bronze Age men who left an even bigger imprint on the European gene pool than Uncle Genghis achieved in Asia: two thirds of Europeans are descended from these three men by the direct paternal line.

    https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/handful-bronze-age-men-could-have-fathered-two-thirds-europeans/

    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8152

    If there was ever a socialist Eden in the Neolithic, it died a horrible death.

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  101. Thea says:
    @eric

    About 15 years ago the American Anthropological Association put out a release that they were essentially removing scientific rigor from their definition of and anthropologist. This pissed off archaeologists and biological anthropologists who regularly utilize the scientific method and care about getting facts right. Cultural anthropology attracts women like flies to honey. Linguistic anthropologists are usually better than cultural anthropologists but threw their lot in with the feminized crowd.

  102. TWS says:
    @obwandiyag

    Ok, if that’s true, why are you here?

  103. Art Deco says:
    @dearieme

    Sounds like a standard-issue academic. Likely worse in some disciplines than others.

  104. tyrone says:
    @Tiny Duck

    “The future is more just and loving”……..just as soon as you exterminate the people you disagree with…….look in the mirror and read your comment out loud.

  105. Art Deco says:
    @Colin Wright

    because the Jews want to protect that society but they don’t wish to protect this one.

    It’s the responsibility of Americans, not Jews qua Jews, to protect this society. There isn’t some set of Joo wire-pullers controlling George W. Bush’s brain or George Will’s brain.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  106. We want to offer an entirely different account of human history.

    They are hardly the first to try. Iron-Age hill forts were obviously built to protect their inhabitants – but from what? A slightly earlier generation of historians claimed that protection was required not from other people, but only from wild animals; and that arrow heads tend to be found in the largest numbers at the entrances to the forts, not because these places were the focus of battles, but because hunters dropped their arrows there as they were entering and leaving.

    Common sense suggests otherwise; and historians have responded by moving their revisionist Eden to an earlier period where there is less evidence to work with.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
  107. @Nimrod

    Of course Graeber missed the context of all of this. You can never, ever, teach a liberal.

    It’s even harder when he’s dead … I mean, a little bit at least, right?

    • LOL: Nimrod
  108. Art Deco says:
    @Colin Wright

    Note the absence of bomb shelters, spending on education, etc for the gentile population.

    The ‘absence’ is in your imagination only, not in the palpable world in which we live.

    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/1957986/numbers-arab-university-students-israel-doubled-10-years

    Arab students account for 18% of Israel’s higher education census, 10% of those enrolled at Tel Aviv University, 10% of those at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and 20% of those at the Technion.

    Why would Hezbollah and Hamas be bombing Arab villages?

    • Disagree: Colin Wright
  109. Bert says:

    Temporary walls helped the German tribes to slay more than 15,000 Roman soldiers in the Teutoburg Forest. Walls are one of humanity’s most useful inventions. An anthropologist who doesn’t understand that is incompetent.

  110. @bomag

    Jericho? Well, they had better horn sections back in the day …

    • LOL: Rob McX, Nimrod
  111. Rob McX says:
    @AnotherDad

    There’s only one problem I have with your comments – the term minoritarian. “Anti-white” would be more appropriate for the people who rule America and many white countries elsewhere.

    Being ruled by a minority isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Of course it helps an awful lot if that minority is of the same race as the ruled. But even rule by another race can be benign. Compare South Africa before and after apartheid.

    Also, saying “minoritarian” implies that things would change if and when whites become a minority, or some coalition of non-whites becomes a majority. They won’t. Unless whites stop what’s happening, their enemies will hunt them down to the last one.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Old Prude
    , @Jack D
  112. Bert says:
    @AnotherDad

    Your brief history overlooks the relevant fact that after the first 1000 years of agricultural sedentarism in Mesopotamia the looters gained control and forced the population’s majority to sweat for gruel doing corvee labor. The elite of those small cities probably took the harem from everyman’s dream to their own reality. See Scott’s “Against the Grain” though he doesn’t touch on the motivations behind the enslavement the populace. Agriculture allowed despotism that would not be possible otherwise.

  113. @AaronB

    ‘…There are certain psychological states and beliefs that “go” with inegalitarian civilization; anxiety about death and the future, and the consequent need for extreme control…’

    A sense of ethnic distinctness and entitlement? A willingness to take all the cookies for one’s own group coupled with a lack of any genuine concern for the rights of others?

  114. Corn says:
    @bingobongo

    If you stop letting them participate they will leave on their own. Just prosecuting their employers and ending birthright citizenship

    Honestly the failure to make E-Verify mandatory frustrated me more than lack of a wall.

  115. @Art Deco

    ‘It’s the responsibility of Americans, not Jews qua Jews, to protect this society. There isn’t some set of Joo wire-pullers controlling George W. Bush’s brain or George Will’s brain.’

    But that’s just it; there more or less is just such a set of Jewish wire-pullers.

    The eight largest contributors to Biden’s campaign were all Jews. Five of the first six whites announced for his cabinet were Jews; and the sixth was half Jewish. The Speaker of the House is Jewish; the whatever of the Senate is Jewish. Our President has declared himself a Zionist. Look at who controls most of mainstream media; look up the names of the authors of most the articles pushing the establishment’s agenda. All but one of the presidents of the Ivy League universities are Jewish.

    …all this for a group representing two percent of the nation’s population.

    It really couldn’t be more obvious — but you would deny it.

    • Replies: @Ralph L
    , @Art Deco
    , @Anon
  116. AaronB says:
    @nebulafox

    Graebers book addresses your point. I just started reading it but so far it’s great – everything he writes is at least highly interesting and insightful, and full of interesting little known facts from history and anthropology that make you think about human society differently, even if you don’t agree.

    He is one of those rare writers that even if you don’t agree with him, he expands your sense of the possible.

    After all, imagine we framed the problem differently, the way it might have been fifty or 100 years ago: as the concentration of capital, or oligopoly, or class power. Compared to any of these, a word like ‘inequality’ sounds like it’s practically designed to encourage half-measures and compromise. It’s possible to imagine overthrowing capitalism or breaking the power of the state, but it’s not clear what eliminating inequality would even mean. (Which kind of inequality? Wealth? Opportunity? Exactly how equal would people have to be in order for us to be able to say we’ve ‘eliminated inequality’?)

    The term ‘inequality’ is a way of framing social problems appropriate to an age of technocratic reformers, who assume from the outset that no real vision of social transformation is even on the table.

    Debating inequality allows one to tinker with the numbers, argue about Gini coefficients and thresholds of dysfunction, readjust tax regimes or social welfare mechanisms, even shock the public world’s population own 44 per cent of the world’s wealth!’) – but it also allows one to do all this without addressing any of the factors that people actually object to about such ‘unequal’ social arrangements: for instance, that some manage to turn their wealth into power over others; or that other people end up being told their needs are not important, and their lives have no intrinsic worth. The last, we are supposed to believe, is just the inevitable effect of inequality; and inequality, the inevitable result of living in any large, complex, urban, technologically sophisticated society. Presumably it will always be with us. It’s just a matter of degree.

  117. Anonymous[407] • Disclaimer says:

    Graeber is like the Jimi Hendrix of bog-standard social-science faculty groundhogs. He’ll probably release more bestsellers after his death than what he had while he was alive.

    • LOL: Ian Smith
  118. backup says:

    Well. The world doesn’t speak languages derived from whatever the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture spoke. It speaks languages derived from what their neighboring steppe lords.

    That speaks volumes.

  119. anon[307] • Disclaimer says:

    various hbd personalities:

    steve shoe:

    steve sailer:

    jared taylor:

    pumpkinperson:

    oprah and jayman:mugabe:///thelonious monk radio. all thelonious. all the time.///

  120. pyrrhus says:
    @Art Deco

    Not credible at all…Cities are rarely if ever built on grasslands..They are built next to water, or in the desert, reducing the risks of both attack and disease…

    • Agree: Old and Grumpy
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  121. pyrrhus says:
    @bingobongo

    Not credible at all…Cities are rarely if ever built on grasslands..They are built next to water, or in the desert, reducing the risks of both attack and disease…

  122. J.Ross says:

    The age of universal slavery and human sacrifice shows the way to equality.

    IF college graduate THEN throw into the pit,
    without worrying if you are missing out on something. They’ll like the pit. They were just babbling about how the pit is the basis of universal equality.

  123. pyrrhus says:
    @bingobongo

    There would still be the welfare, the free medical care, and all manner of black market jobs to be had…

  124. Nothing says egalitarian civilisations better than fortified cities and settlements, along with masses of slaves to do the scut work to keep them going.

  125. @Tiny Duck

    Well, at least this time you spelled “vain” correctly; I was thinking you couldn’t hit it sideways.

  126. @Some Guy

    None of the above: it’s Lawrence Taylor.

    • LOL: Forbes
    • Replies: @Old Prude
  127. J.Ross says:

    Incompetence within incompetence: The FBI confirms that Joe Biden is a child molester.

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
  128. Old Prude says:
    @Rob McX

    The “agree” was meant for AD. As to your comment, I think I can comment for AD, that homosexuals, trans and cripples are examples of minoritarianism (clunk, clunk, clunk…) that have nothing to do with race.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
  129. In any case, military fortifications, such as walls, which Graeber stupidly dismisses as “overt displays of arrogance and cruelty,”

    Steve,
    To be fair to him, he is sloppily lumping in walls with palaces and temples. The reference to these as arrogant and cruel is kind of a summary of the line thinking presented in Against the Grain by James Scott.

    Scott pretty much summarizes the standard interpretations of very early state formation and paints a picture of palaces and temples as organization hubs for managers of slave societies. I say pretty much because he also presents a view that some walls may have been built around the earliest settlements to keep slave populations in rather than keep marauders out. (I don’t remember if that’s his speculation or a minority view among archaeologists.). Or, like the PRC’s Great Firewall, to keep the free from mingling with and influencing the un-free, which is a kind of nuanced view of “marauding”.

  130. @Tiny Duck

    Yes! We sure wouldn’t like to do like our white ancestors and kick the worlds’ collective asses and make a first world civilization out of it all. Better to enjoy the deep soy and cornacopia of 24/7 porn, tick-tok, and netflix.

  131. @Arclight

    An absolutely ripping read is any Colonial-era account of White (usually English, at that date) women abducted by local tribes after raids and massacres, and their experiences.
    If you can’t be bothered, just find some stuff about ISIS and (for ex.) Yazidi kids. Their pretty much age-old co-ethnics, but inconveniently situated on Allah’s divinely-bestowed turf. A bit like current urbanised, no-go areas of Yorkshire or Lancashire.
    Where’s Richard Planta genet and Henry Twdr when you need ’em , eh?

    Tommy Malthus had a view. The old Yorky bigot.

    It is said that the passion between the sexes is less ardent among the North American Indians than among any other race of men. Yet, notwithstanding this apathy, the effort towards population, even in this people, seems to be always greater than the means to support it. This appears from the comparatively rapid population that takes place whenever any of the tribes happen to settle in some fertile spot and to draw nourishment from more fruitful sources than that of hunting, and it has been frequently remarked that when an Indian family has taken up its abode near any European settlement and adopted a more easy and civilized mode of life, that one woman has reared five, or six, or more children, though in the savage state it rarely happens that above one or two in a family grow up to maturity. The same observation has been made with regard to the Hottentots near the Cape.

    Damned if I can remember if it was him or Adam Smith remarked that the then much-feted noble savage of the New World, the Indian warrior of Rousseauian myth, was indeed “the aristocrat, the one in one hundred” supported by uncountable deaths, murders and female slaves (squaws), and who would be murdered in his turn for want of sons.

    Hey ho, such is life, Mehitabel.

  132. @jimmyriddle

    Yeah, acdademia as an intellectual fortress of what is supposed to be the status quo – and indictor of who we want to be. A magic mirror, which shows our contemporaries, who thy want to be.

  133. @Dan

    His Wikipedia entry has this tidbit: he “graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in 1978.” Another fascinating factoid: he “grew up in Penn South, a union-sponsored housing cooperative in Chelsea, Manhattan, described by Business Week magazine as ‘suffused with radical politics.’”

    This is, if anything, an understatement. Penn South’s construction was sponsored and largely funded by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), one of New York’s most politically-active labor unions, particularly in service of “progressive” ends. It was “feminist” before such a thing was popular, as the majority of its members were women. One Gus Tyler — who eventually ran for president on the American Communist Party ticket in 1976 — was founding director of the ILGWU’s Political Department, “whose primary function was to engage union members and their families in political issues at the local, state and national levels.” https://researchworks.oclc.org/archivegrid/collection/data/64059115

    There may be no place in New York City — not even the worst slums in Brownsville, East New York or the South Bronx — less likely to produce a child (one with two Jewish “working-class intellectuals” for parents) destined to graduate from Andover.

    When you said, “Inequality? In his every breath,” you hit it into the upper deck.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  134. @zundel

    the culture complex is called ‘Cucuteni–Trypillia’ if any of you are interested,

    Called all sorts of stuff, depending on which academic sphere the work is being translated from, and its age (the research, not the museum-basement-loads of old crap).
    Still the same old shit. That doesn’t change. CCT is shortest and least irritating when wading through it, but one has to retcon the older terms in order to get a grip on it in the literature, grey or otherwise.
    Are you Ukranian?

  135. Anon[378] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: A lot of my white knight friends are poasting on Facebook about the John Eisenman case. It might be a trial of the century as far as the whole sex trafficking moral panic goes. The guy on trial is not accused of sex trafficking, mind you. Those cases have a pesky tendency to end with the accused proving their innocence or pleading to some lesser charge. But the demand for witches exceeds the supply, and this case seems perfect. John Eisenman is on trial not for sex trafficking but for killing his daughter’s ex-boyfriend who supposedly “sold her into prostitution.” Even if true, it’s no defense to a murder charge, though it might be a mitigating factor during sentencing. But the white knights seem to think the guy should be acquitted outright, which is ridiculous. I pointed out that it might have happened that:

    1. Girl runs away.
    2. Runaway discovers that surviving as a runaway requires money.
    3. Prostitution seems a fast and easy way to get it.
    4. When Dad catches runaway, she decides it’s easier to just blame her ex-boyfriend rather than admit responsibility.
    5. Dad, perhaps influenced by the whole #BelieveWomen idiocy, accepts it on faith and decides to be the judge, jury, and executioner.

    But they just didn’t want to listen. It’s true that a healthy society doesn’t allow its 16 year olds to be defiled at will. But in a world where lots of kids grow up without fathers, where even girls without fathers are often permitted to sleep around because the fathers just look the other way, and where “virgin” is a term of abuse for men and boys, a blanket rule that you need the permission of a teenage girl’s father to have sex with her has a lot of potential for abuse.(The opposite pattern, with a teenage boy, is also possible, though being real no one cars.)

  136. @AaronB

    ‘In practice, in every society the worst elements rise to the top – those who want to dominate other people and amass vastly more wealth then they need. What Steve calls ” Stationary Bandits”…’

    Lol. Some of us have another name for them, Aaron.

    How are your parents doing, by the way?

    • Replies: @Chester
  137. @fish

    Because Israel has polítical will, and America doesn’t.

    Now the interesting question is why doesn’t America have polítical will to build a wall?

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  138. Cato says:
    @dearieme

    Graeber was an interesting person, but clearly an activist and not a seeker of truth. In that respect, he followed his academic discipline, cultural anthropology.

  139. Jack D says:
    @Gary in Gramercy

    There may be no place in New York City — not even the worst slums in Brownsville, East New York or the South Bronx — less likely to produce a child (one with two Jewish “working-class intellectuals” for parents) destined to graduate from Andover.

    Not really. Jewish working class intellectuals may tend Red but they also tend high IQ. Andover is a place with lots of high IQ people. Brownsville or the S. Bronx – not so much. Of course nowadays they recruit from there for DIEversity reasons anyway, but not back in Graeber’s day.

    The Jewish working class in America (like the Jewish farmer class from which I came) lasted exactly one generation and then all their kids became dentists and accountants. The parents (the workers, not the farmers, who are small businessmen) were naturally Leftist because they were oppressed workers.

    • Replies: @Matt Buckalew
    , @Anon
  140. Guys, Yella Beezy has been arrested for sexual assault. You will recall he was shot three years ago. And now this. Damn.

  141. Jack D says:
    @Rob McX

    Being ruled by a minority isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    It was quite common for European rulers (hereditary royalty) to be a different nationality than the people they ruled. England first had Norm (French) kings and then German kings (the current royal house – Mountbatten is Battenberg spelled backwards). Czar Nicholas II spoke English better than he spoke Russian. Etc.

  142. joe862 says:

    The title is “Ancient History Shows How We Can Create a More Equal World” but it looks like they never get to the how. Claiming there may have been more equal urban areas doesn’t show how at all.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  143. Anon7 says:

    I could swear I’ve heard this one before…

    “…urban populations governed themselves for centuries … there is simply no evidence of a class of administrators or any other sort of ruling stratum.”

    You see, Americans? You don’t need your national government or your constitution, you don’t need police or a free press.

    Perfectly egalitarian life just happens! It’s natural, just cast off your chains!

    пролетарии всех стран, соединяетесь!

  144. @Jack D

    My ancestors settled this country as lawyers and gentlemen. We brought the milk and honey with us that your ancestors so greedily slurped up.

    Funny how that natural leftism doesn’t recede even when they become the oppressors. Well that’s not being fair not one ounce of leftism left in your average New York landlord.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Jack D
  145. @obwandiyag

    Steve accepts Bitcoin, but you can use Zelle or just contribute through Vdare if you want.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  146. Anonymous[334] • Disclaimer says:

  147. Anon[334] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    The Jewish working class in America (like the Jewish farmer class from which I came) lasted exactly one generation and then all their kids became dentists and accountants.

    How did these Jews learn to farm?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  148. J.Ross says:
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    Have you successfully sent him bitcoin? I tried and found that his address was rejected. I am considering sending him “real money” (in light of the coming dark winter) but, barring categoric rejection, would advise against any “real money” with representations of the peregrination of the Big Dipper around Polaris (so he isn’t forced to disavow, so the media can’t pretend they’re discovering forbidden model train sets). If in doubt, bars with numbers and letters stamped into them cannot be misinterpreted.

  149. Rob says:
    @valleyboyphd

    It’s weird to see an op-ed published by a man who has been dead for over a year. Presumably his co-author worked with the op-ed page to adapt material from their book.

    Graeber is not letting the wall between this world and the next keep him from speaking his mind!

    It’s kind of sad. Presumably he wrote this to help secure the positions of his graduate students in academia and his wife in money from book sales. The man cannot even tell the truth when he is beyond retaliation.

  150. J.Ross says:

    OT Republicans take a break from filming “Cremaster 6: The Really Really Really Gay Part” to completely surrender to Democrats and voluntarily pass, in exchange for nothing, the “Destroy America Act.” You had one job, Mitch and Kevin.

  151. Rob says:

    Is there any fiction, even (maybe especially) of a techno sword and sorcery-style, science fiction about what a post-mid-sized apocalypse North America would look like? I’m guessing the Midwest would be internally feuding, raiding, and raping horse clans hunting a recovered buffalo population, or perhaps feral cattle, with farmers living along all the rivers.

    The Mississippi would be the super Nile, connecting disparate post-American cultures. The whites in small towns and farmland Midwest would likely have genocided the black population, but maybe everyone would be DarkAmish, a people inured by war with the hated horsemen, not sure what ethnicities they’d be descendants of. Perhaps they’d be an eclectic mix, uniting what was most American: fighting, freedom, and fillies.

    Any fiction like that? Maybe even prepped fiction? Achmed, do you know?

  152. J.Ross says:
    @Rob

    David Kzin’s The Postman, which is itself spun off of a Niven-Pournelle subplot (one of the best ones) from Lucifer’s Hammer?

    • Replies: @Peter Lund
    , @Rob
  153. @Luke Lea

    Thanks. This was an interesting read. I had actually come to somewhat similar conclusions, although I had not made the association of the serpent with agriculture.

    Two criticisms:

    As a rhetorical matter, you would be better off dropping the issue of matrilocal lifestyles. If matrilocality was a thing, it would have been in periods long pre-dating the writing of Genesis, but the line you quote is the writer of Genesis addressing Genesis’ readers’ lifestyles, not explaining what was going on in Eden. Intuitively from the text and also seen in that context, the meaning is not that men physically move away from their parents but their loyalties ineviteably re-focus from their parents to their mate-pairing. Your anachronistic interpretation weakens the paper overall. Moreover, it isn’t necessary for there to have been a matriarchal situation in order for women to have been the original proponents and developers of grain agriculture.

    While I do agree that there are apparent connections between grain agriculture, early war, and the Genesis narrative, I’m not sure Genesis is connecting the development of grain agriculture to anything through a self-conscious allegory (although the point about the serpent is strong). I think it’s more likely that it represents a faint memory of life in northern Mesopotamia before agriculture while being opaque as to the reasons for the change. If you try to imagine yourself inside that period of transition to agriculture, which happened over long periods and multiple generations, it would have been impossible to have enough perspective to see that any kind of transition was happening, and without that perspective, the connection between agriculture and the “fall” of war and slavery wouldn’t be possible. That’s why we don’t see Adam and Eve engaging in hunting and gathering, which would have been a logical set-up to the comments in Genesis about man having to labor in fields after the fall. Rather than presenting a contrast between hunting-gathering and farming, the Genesis story seems to present contrast between “labor-less” agriculture and “labor-ful” agriculture, which is the assumption people would make if they were inside an agricultural society, had a faint mythic-literary memory of nomadic life, but didn’t have any understanding that their own agriculture had been an innovation away from that life. Indeed, for most of the historical period, people have lacked that understanding, which is why Genesis is so often interpreted to mean that “pre-fall man” was vegetarian or in some other way not associated with animal death when the plain meaning of many parts of the Old Testament is that God regards animal death as a good.

    You might be interested in the book Against the Grain by James Scott. It goes into greater detail about the changes needed to transition from nomadic hunter-gatherer to settled farmer. One thing that Scott talks about is the transition from large-game consumption to small-game consumption that pre-dated the transition to grain agriculture. In this context, your identification of the serpent in the story is interesting, as perhaps the serpent came to be identified with agriculture as snakes were found in areas that attracted vermin that fed on the grain, and perhaps people were initially drawn to focus on wild grains by hunting for the same small game as snakes.

    • Replies: @Luke Lea
  154. @Rob

    Interesting idea. You could make up some sort of long-term solar storm that would prevent the re-development of technology through an “ongoing continuous EMP” situation.

  155. JMcG says:
    @Rob

    Well, you’ve got Lucifer’s Hammer, the Stand, and The Road, for a start. None of those deals with as fully realized a world as you seem to be looking for though.
    I had a hard time getting through The Road as my son was the same age as the boy in the book at the time. Cormac McCarthy is frighteningly well tuned in to existential dread.

  156. Anon[254] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Study study about Harvard indicates that more than 43% of white admits are ALDC. (Athletes, legacies, those on the dean’s interest list, and children of faculty and staff.) “Our model of admissions shows that roughly three-quarters of white ALDC admits would have been rejected absent their ALDC status. Removing preferences for athletes and legacies would significantly alter the racial distribution of admitted students away from whites.”

    https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/713744

  157. OT: With Biden and the D’s on the ropes and flop-sweating profusely, GOP congress critters ride to the rescue to help the administration and help pass the infrastructure bill.

    I guess two days of improving morale and momentum was too much for them, they had to blow it off the front page and cut the rope instead of letting Biden and the Dem leadership twist.

    Fuckin’ idiots.

  158. Twinkie says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Sparta liked to fight. So much so they would pick fights

    On the contrary, while Spartans liked to train for fighting and terrorized their helot population, they were generally very reluctant to engage their peers (Homoioi – full citizens) in combat. Why? Because there were very few peers (the bulk of their army being made up of confederates such as the Perioikoi and whatnot and usually also non-Spartan allies). So the Spartan government was extremely sensitive to casualties. Indeed, the Spartan social policy of isolating the peers from their families until quite late in age meant a very low fertility rate for them. This lack of manpower became very serious for the Spartans as losses began to mount in lengthy wars (in any case, warfare in the Eastern Mediterranean was shifting from confrontations between heavily armed Hoplites to that of lighter, more versatile troops such as hybrid spearmen-javelineers). Spartans eventually became a non-entity and a circus show relic.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  159. @Jack D

    Czar Nicholas II spoke English better than he spoke Russian.

    A fact the Russian firing squad may very well have had in mind as they shot him.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    , @Ralph L
    , @Wokechoke
  160. Twinkie says:

    ancient Greek city-state battles were largely fought by middle-class farm-owning infantry who could afford an expensive sword, spear, shield, and helmet, while aristocratic cavalry were less effective.

    I don’t think I would categorize the full citizens of Greek city-states as “middle class.” That would be more appropriate for the Roman Republic’s early citizen-soldiers.

    Also, you left a really expensive and important item in your description of an ancient Greek Hoplite’s panoply (from Greek Panoplia) – armor. A full panoply usually meant a shield (Hoplon/Aspis), a helmet, a cuirass (initially linen usually, but later metal), and a set of greaves for defense and a spear and a short sword for offense.

    Southern Greek polities were weak in cavalry, because of their terrain and mode of production, that did not suit horses, but some northern Greek and hybrid populations were famed for their cavalry (e.g. Thessalians who were later employed by the Macedonians).

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  161. Wokechoke says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Temples were often granaries and treasury sites. Like a nice barn. With a Freize.

  162. Wokechoke says:
    @Twinkie

    The Sicilian Greeks were famous horsemen. One thing about horses is the allergy issue. It used to kill large numbers of people. Horse saliva and dander was a big cause of respiratory infection after inflammation.

  163. Wokechoke says:
    @Old Prude

    It’s a cattle pen for horses and sheep.

  164. @Tiny Duck

    white people are going to have to learn to pay there faire share

    I see many white women with Children of Color

    Children such as Jenee Pannell.

    Man shot in Phoenix road rage incident with girlfriend, child in car; arrest made

    • Replies: @Dan
    , @Bardon Kaldian
  165. @Matt Buckalew

    My ancestors settled this country as lawyers and gentlemen.

    Mine were quite the opposite. They came to work.

  166. Rob McX says:
    @Anonymous

    There was excavated from the earth of a small island in the ocean just beyond the terminal land-mass at n.Yok, a hollow figure—or at least part of one—of what appears to be a giantess, or possibly a goddess, with one arm upraised in a threatening attitude.

    Did they not see “Give me your tired, your poor…”?

  167. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    The Spartan theory of walls was that the best defense was a good offense.

    It’s nicest when you don’t need walls because your enemies never get close to your cities. London hasn’t had maintained walls in a long time because the English have done most of their heavy fighting on the other side of the Channel: e.g., Agincourt, Waterloo, the Somme.

  168. Rob McX says:
    @James N. Kennett

    We do not know much about life in any of these places: perhaps it was more egalitarian than in other places and times, as these authors claim. But when conquerors with more advanced technology arrived, possibly from thousands of miles away, the old way of life came to a violent end.

    That’s the problem. Even if you build a society that’s egalitarian (whether or not that’s a good thing), you’ll probably be conquered by one that isn’t.

    • Agree: Charon
  169. Anonymous[453] • Disclaimer says:
    @Graham

    To be absolutely honest, due to advances in electronics, with such gadgetry as drones, CO2 detectors, night vision gear, infra red detectors, body heat detectors, heart beat detectors, motion sensors, ground microphones, human smell detectors – yes, really – various types of electrical trip wires etc etc – augmented by good old fashioned cuddly canine friends – when applied to a highly mobile highly active border force, combined with a good clear demarcated open border strip, render actual massive physical barriers redundant.

    This technology is mature, tried, tested and trusted, and rather inexpensive. Only problem is western politicians are too shitty to implement it.

  170. @Steve Sailer

    London hasn’t had maintained walls in a long time because the English have done most of their heavy fighting on the other side of the Channel

    Whereas Wall Street…

  171. Rob McX says:
    @James N. Kennett

    Common sense suggests otherwise; and historians have responded by moving their revisionist Eden to an earlier period where there is less evidence to work with.

    Go back far enough in time and you’ve got limitless scope for projecting your own political beliefs on the scanty evidence.

  172. Anonymous[453] • Disclaimer says:
    @inertial

    Perhaps they burned their cities every ’80 years or so’ because they got too vermin infested, and the inhabitants could make the causal link between vermin and disease.

    • Agree: mc23
    • Replies: @mc23
    , @Anonymous
  173. El Dato says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Weren’t the Mongols manoeuver warfare 24/7? I think they only upgraded from tents ensembles to cities when they took Chinese ones.

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

    The Mongols then mercilessly pillaged Yinchuan, slaughtered the city’s population, plundered the imperial tombs west of the city, and completed the effective annihilation of the Western Xia state.

    And that was that.

    In any case, contrary to this neo-archeology, Julian Jaynes’ ideas are at least interesting.

    This classic hasn’t been posted yet:

  174. @Old Prude

    A wall, like any obstacle is an “economy of force” measure. It conserves the resources required for defense. Defense can be effected without a wall or razor wire or a moat, but it is easier and cheaper to do with such measures in place. Any sane people with the means would have them.

    There is an impressive one at Eton that Boris Johnson once defended:

    Possibly from “dangerous” types like Edward Durr, Jr:

  175. Rob McX says:
    @Old Prude

    Yes, but the focus of “protecting minorities” is mostly anti-white, even though this isn’t openly stated. As for the LBGT angle, the purpose of this is not to be more inclusive of sexual minorities. It’s to undermine white society by normalising deviant and degenerate behaviour and confusing young and impressionable people about their identity.

  176. Lurker says:
    @rebel yell

    Russian or ‘Russian’?

    • Thanks: SteveRogers42
    • Replies: @Rob McX
  177. Chester says:
    @Colin Wright

    Have you no decency? His parents were gassed 6 times by Hitler himself! They barely survived!

    • LOL: Verymuchalive
  178. Ralph L says:
    @Colin Wright

    The Speaker of the House is Jewish

    Pelosi? That’s Italian!

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  179. @bomag

    “GW Bush said”
    Well, he was speaking to Israel and he did make good on his promises.

  180. @J.Ross

    His own child. I understand why he is good with screwing my children now, too.

  181. @James N. Kennett

    Nah, just and example of “Rodriguez Theory.”

    Until feminists up end this, and generally speaking, children are given the last name of their father. Some fathers sire only girls, so that father’s last name is not passed along to the next generation. Slowly and inexorably over time, there are fewer last names.

    Eventually, everyone will have the same last name. And the odds are that name will be Rodriguez.

    • Replies: @James N. Kennett
  182. @Peter Johnson

    It’s too late , the barbarians are no longer at the gates, they’re inside and running the show

  183. @J.Ross

    > David Kzin’s The Postman

    David Brin.

  184. Ralph L says:
    @rebel yell

    That and Nicholas was ethnic German/Danish and his wife all German.

  185. MM says:
    @Colin Wright

    Agreed. Probably the most famous example of this was Julius Caesar bringing his army across the Rubicon, which was the border separating “the provinces” (armies were OK) from “Rome” (armies were treason).

  186. @Verymuchalive

    What we need today is another urban revolution to create more just and sustainable ways of living. The technology to support less centralized and greener urban environments — appropriate to modern demographic realities — already exists. Predecessors to our modern cities include not just the proto-megalopolis, but also the proto-garden-city,

    you say you want a revolution

    well, you know,

    you could move out to the boonies and build your own damn green city.

    The fact is those places exist all over the USA and Europe. They are called small towns.

    Dude needs to get out more.

    Graeber died at 59

    Covid? + hiv?

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  187. Art Deco says:
    @Colin Wright

    But that’s just it; there more or less is just such a set of Jewish wire-pullers.

    No, they don’t exist except in your imagination.

    The eight largest contributors to Biden’s campaign were all Jews. F

    Did you tally up the contributions? The eight largest anything is not going to be of much importance when you have millions of contributors. (That’s assuming you can count).

    The Speaker of the House is Jewish; the whatever of the Senate is Jewish.

    Annunciata d’Alesandro Pelosi had three grandparents who were born in Italy and a fourth who was born shortly after her parents arrived from Italy; her mother grew up speaking Italian; the family was at least nominally Catholic and Pelosi herself has five children. As for Patrick Leahy, his mother’s parents were born in Italy and his father’s were entirely descended of Irish immigrants.

    Five of the first six whites announced for his cabinet were Jews; and the sixth was half Jewish.

    Four members of his cabinet are Jewish – Blinken, Yellen, Garland, and Mayorkas. That’s not a salient datum about any of them.

  188. mc23 says:
    @HA

    Sounds like Ms. Steinem was reading the works of Robert Graves. I would have thought it was Graves at first but the term gynocratic age was a flag.

    Graves referred to an earlier age as a matriarchy, age of the “White Goddess”

    Good thing Steinem used gynocratic and not White Goddess. She would be canceled today and besides feminism and poetry don’t mix.

  189. I hope Steve reaches out to Unz poster and Peoples Republic of China advisor Michael Hudson, a former Graeber colleague.

    Hudson writes books about the relationship of of historical imperialism, including the US version, to its, its dominions’, and the world’s economies. And he headed a Peabody archaeological research team to which, I believe, Graeber contributed, that publishes on these questions.

    IMO, Steve could accurately test Hudson’s answers.

  190. Jack D says:
    @Matt Buckalew

    1933 called and said it was time to renew your Der Stürmer subscription.

  191. Mr Mox says:

    If egalitarian societies were all that rage wouldn’t they have become the norm over time?

    Agricultural societies replaced hunter/gatherer societies thousand of years ago, and Darwin’s evolutionary ideas are not restricted to biology alone. Yet, the only, remotely egalitarian, societies I can think of are secluded tribes, deep in the rainforests, and even those probably have a Chief or some elders who run the show.

    On top of that, such societies are extremely vulnerable to any outside interference. Even a calcified Marxist should realize that – but then again; in Marxism, common sense always takes second seat to wishful thinking.

  192. @Nimrod

    Lawrence Freedman’s War Before Civilization is an eye opening book that has been completely ignored in favor of leftist twaddle like Graeber’s.

    • Agree: Nimrod
  193. Dan says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Charming girl. Those face tattoos are frosting on the cake. Looks great in orange too.

  194. Weren’t all those ancient cities built with slave labor (non black kind)? Also didn’t they all have natural and man made defenses around them? The world will never be equal. Except for the pharaohs buried with their living slaves and servants under mountains of rock, we might be all equal when we die and meet our maker? However on earth we are not due to looks, intelligence, and inheritance. Inequality is universal in the entire animal kingdom. What has made man different was the occasional noblesse oblige practiced by those dwelling in the tippy top.

  195. Anon[734] • Disclaimer says:
    @Colin Wright

  196. Jack D says:
    @Anon

    On the job training. One taught the next.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  197. Wokechoke says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Sparta was essentially an Island capital. The Peloponnese has a tiny causeway onto it easily defended by 10,000 men. The coasts were their walls. No need for a city wall. Athens had to have a wall given their exposed position on a large plain and the road to Piraeus the port.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Agathoklis
  198. nebulafox says:
    @Jack D

    >Czar Nicholas II spoke English better than he spoke Russian. Etc.

    That specific detail is not true: the last two Tsars embraced Russification and insisted on speaking Russian when the rest of the court preferred French. Although Nicholas was mostly German and Danish genetically, he thought of himself as nothing other than Russian. Despite the Russian state’s ultimate failure to reach out to non-Orthodox Christians, this sort of thing was still common in the Tsarist empire, from Kornilov and Ungarn-Sternberg to Vladimir Lenin.

    But your greater point is true. This isn’t limited to Europe. China, India, and the Middle East had plenty of conquest dynasties of foreign extraction, as I’m sure you probably know. And yeah: Nicholas and Alexandra seemed to want nothing more than to live as a normal Victorian bourgeois couple, raising their children in a private setting. If Nicholas was born to be King of England instead of Tsar of all the Russias, they could have done just that: and probably would have been successful monarchs.

  199. @Reg Cæsar

    There was some Jesus involved. You never know what to expect from those “Hispanics” ..

    https://www.wionews.com/world/spains-former-king-juan-carlos-injected-with-female-hormones-to-control-his-sex-drive-ex-cop-423290

    Spain’s former king Juan Carlos ‘injected with female hormones’ to control his sex drive: Ex-cop

    Spain’s former king Juan Carlos was allegedly “injected with female hormones by Spanish secret service to control his rampant sex drive”, an ex-police chief has sensationally claimed.

    Jose Manuel Villarejo, an ex-police commissioner currently on trial over blackmail allegations, told a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday that Spain’s National
    Intelligence Centre (CNI) had to administer the 83-year-old exiled monarch “female hormones and testosterone inhibitors to lower his libido.”

    https://royalcentral.co.uk/europe/spain/king-juan-carlos-of-spain-was-injected-with-female-hormones-as-his-sex-drive-was-a-danger-to-the-state-167327/

    King Juan Carlos of Spain was ‘injected with female hormones’ as his ‘sex drive was a danger to the state’
    …………………………………
    According to The Times, Villarejo said: “The National Intelligence Centre injected female hormones and testosterone blockers to control his libido because it was considered a problem of state that he was so horny.”

    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
  200. nebulafox says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The reason most Roman cities built walls during the Crisis of the Third Century was because prior to that, the empire was as secure as any ancient empire was going to be. The exceptions during the “classical” period of the empire (pre-Flavian sack Jerusalem had an intimidating series of defenses) were non-Roman cities that had built them before the Romans arrived.

    Rome itself made do with late Iron Age fortifications until the second half of the 3rd Century, when the famous Aurelian Walls were built.

  201. Travis says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    There is nothing amiss with the climate. Seas are not rising, global temperatures have not increased significantly over the last 30 years and global temperatures were much warmer during the medieval warm period (MWP), or little climatic optimum, that from approximately 900 ce to 1300. It was also warmer during the Roman Climatic Optimum, a period of unusually-warm weather that ran from approximately 250 BC to AD 400 when CO2 levels were 50% lower. Carbon dioxide increased from 180 to 280ppm after the last glaciation 11,000 years ago. Over the past 200 years this has risen to 410ppm. Of this figure, human contribution worldwide is 7 ppm. The small warming we have observed over the past 50 years has brought more benefits than harm to humanity. Yet we are still cooler than the Roman Climatic optimum and the medieval warm period when CO2 levels were far lower. Carbon dioxide is one factor in the configuration of overall climate, not ‘the’ factor. It is far less influential than water vapour, clouds, sunlight, orbital variations, seasonal change, & or the rise and fall of all life, a massive carbon sink.

    A warmer climate benefits mankind. Higher CO2 levels improve crop yields and help green the planet. There is no climate emergency. Banning internal combustion engine will have little effect on CO2 levels, as passenger cars only produce less than 20% of the manmade CO2 and driving electric cars barely reduces the carbon footprint of driving, Since producing the batteries results in significant CO2 emissions due to increased mining.

    Electric cars produce more toxic pollution than Gasoline powered cars due to the required mining of cobalt and lithium which results in significant pollution and toxic waste. The lifetime carbon footprint of a Tesla is about equal to a midsize car. If all passenger vehicles were electric the reduction in CO2 emissions would barely be noticed.

    • Thanks: Mr. Anon, Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  202. nebulafox says:
    @AaronB

    >In fact, anthropologists have been so puzzled at why humanity made the shift to civilization

    Because civilization gives you a better chance at living long enough to have your own kids. The noble primordial savage is a figment of the overly sheltered imagination.

    • Agree: S. Anonyia
  203. AaronB says:
    @nebulafox

    Of course, that’s not what the anthropological record says.

    Try reading Against The Grain by James C Scott.

    But it sounds like you’ve closed your mind on this one.

  204. @Art Deco

    Did you tally up the contributions? The eight largest anything is not going to be of much importance when you have millions of contributors. (That’s assuming you can count).

    Not to step into this argument, but that part is nonsense, Art. Politicians don’t remember each of the 5 million contributors that gave them 20 bucks apiece, average. They do remember that guys who give them 10’s or 100’s of thousands each, and some might even say that that’s who said politicians actually WORK FOR.

  205. SafeNow says:

    My “uh oh, we poked China too hard” meter is now set at 30% probability. Human nature hasn’t changed much, but what’s different today, different from all the history and all the walls, is the nuclear military technology. And Biden is surrounded by people whose default mode is the Blinken-at-Anchorage mode.

  206. Art Deco says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    They do remember that guys who give them 10’s or 100’s of thousands each, and some might even say that that’s who said politicians actually WORK FOR

    Mr. Colin Wright thinks Nancy Pelosi is Jewish. His memory’s not so great.

  207. @Art Deco

    ‘Mr. Colin Wright thinks Nancy Pelosi is Jewish. His memory’s not so great.’

    You had me there — I mistakenly assumed Steny Hoyer was Jewish, actually. The rest of what I claimed is accurate; and you failed to address it.

    It’s not a fantasy that Jews exert a grossly disproportionate and mischievous influence over this country; it’s a reality.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Anonymous
    , @Reg Cæsar
  208. @Art Deco

    As I wrote, Art, I’m not trying to step into that argument.

    Although, I will jump in with “Good luck, yourself, Bella Lugosi!”, least I think that’s what they’ve been chanting at the race track … I dunno, it’s loud …

  209. Any thoughts on the stampede at the Astroworld festival in Houston last night? At least eight trampled to death, far more injured. Kind of an unusual happening in America. I think it was at the Travis Scott show

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  210. pyrrhus says:
    @James N. Kennett

    Yes..As I recall, 3 Bronze Age chieftains accounted for about 70% of the modern descendants from that not-quite-equal era…

  211. Prosa123 says:

    OT: white people stampede at a rap concert, eight dead, 200+ injured.

  212. @Art Deco

    1. of course you’re right.

    2. then, Biden & his financial supporters seem to be cowardly narrow-minded people, whichever ethnicity, capable only for their personal gain (Après moi, le déluge). They are simply both cowards & as if hypnotized by their perception of “the world”.

    Also, most people are unable to grasp that many politicians simply take others’ money & later conveniently “forget” everything. In a sentence: Why were you so dumb to give me money & expect I’d return you a favor? Lenin- Germans & Parvus story.

    But one should not overlook unpleasant Jewish activism, stemming not from some Grand Hymie Conspiracy, but from the fact that activist Jews are, well- nuts and inimical to host society:

    https://forward.com/fast-forward/467922/refugees-biden-trump-hias/

    Relieved but disappointed’: How America’s Jewish refugee aid agency is doing 3 months after Trump

  213. @Jack D

    Czar Nicholas only spoke English with his wife, who had a poor command of Russian. He and all of his children spoke Russian fluently and he used Russian when alone with his children. He and his children considered themselves Russian despite their mostly German ethnic background. The girls’ desire to marry Russians and remain in Russia is part of why the oldest two were still unmarried in their early 20s at the time of the execution.

    A lot of Russian nobles (not Nicholas or his father) historically preferred to think of themselves as culturally European, though, and they used French at court.

  214. Anon[130] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    A couple of times this week I was reading an article and someone came up, who I’ve never heard of, who was identified as a MacArthur fellow, and I immediately and unconsciously chuckled to myself, thinking “Must be a flake or nutter.”

    Upon reflection I realized I didn’t always think of the MacArthur this way. It was an organization that gave some recognition to talented people in niches that would otherwise be ignored. And yeah, a few flakes for variety. Now it’s all flakes and crazies.

    Talk about destroying a brand!

    • Agree: J.Ross
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  215. @Achmed E. Newman

    And that’s only part of it: machers like these probably can act as “bundlers”, influencing others to add in their contributions to the targeted politician (and letting this fact be known to the politician); they probably are big wheels in other zionist organizations such as the ADL (and likely again to let that fact be known to the targeted politician).

    So these are force multipliers, well beyond their already quite noticeable personal influence-buying contributions. Score.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  216. Mr. Anon says:
    @GeologyAnon Mk 3

    Any thoughts on the stampede at the Astroworld festival in Houston last night? At least eight trampled to death, far more injured. Kind of an unusual happening in America. I think it was at the Travis Scott show

    It does happen from time to time, like the Who concert disaster in Cincinnati in 1979:

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

    • Replies: @GeologyAnon Mk 3
  217. Mr. Anon says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    If only MI-5 had thought to do that to Prince Andrew.

  218. Luke Lea says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    Thanks for reading it. You may not have noticed, but I actually conjecture that the story was written around the time large-scale military conquests began (early 4th millennium BCE give or take a few hundred years) and that it was the product of a single human author’s imagination, which, if true, would make it curiously enough the oldest surviving verbal artifact. Not that I think that’s so important. I say nothing about matriarchy except that it probably never existed. But even so, I appreciate your long comment. Finding readers is hard.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  219. @Alice in Wonderland

    Acute pancreatitis actually, which can be the result of alcoholism. Otherwise, in agreement.

    Graeber was merely one of those shysters who made a lot of money peddling this utopian garbage. But, of course, don’t ask them to practise what they preach, or put their money where their mouth is.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  220. J.Ross says:
    @Anon

    And I would go one further: it is entirely possible for an academic (especially an older one) to be competant, sometimes even brilliant, but when an “expert” is introduced as a university professor I reflexively code them as a politically correct drool-gatherer, who cannot master a Mr Coffee or derive juice from an already-cut orange, until proven otherwise.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  221. J.Ross says:
    @Colin Wright

    What are we supposed to be impressed by when the shabbes goy who cleans the floors at HIAS or holds the umbrella for Shulamit Weiss-Wing is identified as not having been to synagogue recently? I care about getting attacked, not church attendance.

  222. @Daniel H

    Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!

  223. @Anonymous

    There’s a reason for having an actual physical barrier rather than a so-called virtual one: it’s passive and no amount of whining on the part of treasonous ethnic agitators is going to help them cross it.

    • Agree: Jack Armstrong
  224. @nebulafox

    Shouldn’t the skilled, the beautiful, the noble be allowed to shine?

    Historical the ruling class come from three classes:

    1. Aristocracy: power through military conquest and through blood lineage of conquerors

    2. Meritocracy: power through bureaucratic exams

    3. Oligarchy: power through money

    For 1 there’s a lineage that looms large, that of Genghis and his successors, who’s (co-)founded two of the last three Chinese dynasties. Yuan: through Kublai Khan, Qing: the first Manchu Emperor, Shunzhi’s mother descended from Genghis’s brother Qasar.

    In India, the Mughal Empire was founded by Babur, grandson of Tamerlane, who did not descend from Genghis but shared an ancestor.

    The first cousin of Kublai, Batu Khan, was also know as, Батый первый царь Россииб, Batu the first Czar of Russia.

    [MORE]

    Antiquity
    Xia 夏 dynasty (2070 – 1600 BC)
    Shang 商 dynasty (1600 – 1046 BC)
    Zhou 周 dynasty (1046 – 256 BC)
    Spring and Autumn 春秋 period (722 – 476 BC)
    Warring States 战国 period (476 – 221 BC)
    1st Empire
    Qin 秦 dynasty (221 – 206 BC)
    Han 汉 dynasty (206 BC – AD 220)
    Three Kingdoms 三国 (AD 220 – 280)
    Jin 晋 dynasty (AD 266 – 420)
    Northern and Southern dynasties 南北朝 (AD 420 – 589)
    2nd Empire
    Sui 隋 dynasty (AD 581 – 618)
    Tang 唐 dynasty (AD 618 – 907)
    Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms 五代十国 (AD 907 – 960)
    Song, Liao, Jin, and Western Xia dynasties 宋辽金夏 (AD 960 – 1279)
    3rd Empire
    Yuan 元 dynasty (AD 1271 – 1368)
    Ming 明 dynasty (AD 1368 – 1644)
    Qing 清 dynasty (AD 1644 – 1912)
    Modern
    Republic of China (AD 1912 – present)
    PRC (AD 1949 – present)

  225. @nebulafox

    conquest dynasties

    This is a concept founded by German-American historian and sinologist Karl August Wittfogel. There are some criticisms since Yuan and Qing (especially latter), in instituting the imperial exams, was ruled by a mix of conqueror aristocracy and meritocracy. Zeng Guofan and Zuo Zongtang are examples of scholar meritocrats who later dominated the Qing military.

    PRC shares many institutional similarities with Qing, Xi is a member of the aristocratic clan Princelings, 太子黨. His father Xi Zhongxun co-commanded one of four original field armies of the PLA.

    On the other hand Xi’s two predecessors, Hu and Jiang both rose through the CCP meritocracy.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    , @Reg Cæsar
  226. Anonymous[222] • Disclaimer says:
    @James N. Kennett

    Many Pygmies are held in slavery by Bantu people. When times are hard, they are sometimes treated as bushmeat. But because the enslavers are the sacred Bantu, we are not supposed to notice.

    Similarly, the usual fate of war captives in west Africa before Atlantic slavery was to be eaten.

  227. Whiskey says: • Website

    Historically, figures like Crassus tend to fail against men who are leaders of military men. Money can buy only so much. So the Tech Oligarchs and other big shots have money. But nothing else. No one is going to die for Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. By contrast, Napoleon, Caesar, and Alexander did not lack for men willing to fight and die for them personally.

    But that requires a whole set of attributes that leaders today just lack. The argument is that virtual armies of trannies, blue haired land whales, ordinary harpies, blacks etc. indicating “that’s not OK” means that compliance can be forced via Twitter / Youtube bannings. Hah.

    Human society has not changed in the fundamentals despite technology. Whoever can muster the most loyal, effective, and decisive band of killers runs things. That was armed hoplites with spear and armor during Classical Greece, the Roman Legions paid as professional soldiers during the Repulic/Empire, mounted armored knights with lances during the Medieval period (following seafaring armed raiders during Viking Era), and then mass levies of firearm wielding mass armies.

    Today, whoever can muster a combination of highly skilled mechanics, pilots, vehicle drivers, skilled infantry, artillery, etc. plus support people will dominate. Plus smart guys coming up with new more decisive weapons. A bunch of trannies screaming on Twitter is not it.

  228. @Wokechoke

    ‘Sparta was essentially an Island capital. The Peloponnese has a tiny causeway onto it easily defended by 10,000 men. The coasts were their walls. No need for a city wall. Athens had to have a wall given their exposed position on a large plain and the road to Piraeus the port.’

    Wouldn’t the entry to the Peloponnese have been controlled by Corinth? Also, at what point — if ever — did Sparta gain a monopoly of power within the Peloponnese? A quick check shows Argos, for example, as a rival into the fifth century BC.

  229. @Arclight

    Actually, the continent wasn’t under-populated. European diseases spread through trading networks and ordinary travel ahead of European settlement, and led to decreases of 50-95% in native populations. The continent *became* under-populated after contact with people from the east.

  230. nebulafox says:
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    Like other dynasties in Chinese history, though, embracing local warlords is a sign of the end times: a cyclical Chinese analogue to Roman succession crises.

    One of the Yuan’s problems toward the end was that they veered too much from one extreme to another concerning their differentiation from the Han. The Qing were a lot more consistent in their embrace of Chinese culture and their usage of native Han talent to govern the empire. That said, even the Qing didn’t try to hide the fact that they were different from the Han Chinese. They embraced policies that kept their separate culture alive. And when times got bad, resentment did grow, as it is wont to against perceived alien rulers.

    It is true that the “anti-Manchu” dimension to the Taiping revolt can get overplayed in Western analysis. Most of the Taiping leadership was Hakka, not a particularly loved minority themselves, and as you mentioned, it was Confucian gentry turned warlords like Zeng Guofan rather than Manchu or Mongol generals that bailed the dynasty out. But it was there, and it was remembered in 1911, from the massacres of Manchu garrisons to Sun Yat-Sen’s acceptance of the “Second Hong Xiuquan” label.

    (It’s really interesting-and insightful-how Zeng Guofan went from being viewed as a traitor in the 1900s to a self-help advice hero in today’s China.)

    >PRC shares many institutional similarities with Qing, Xi is a member of the aristocratic clan Princelings, 太子黨

    “中华民族迎来了从站起来, 富起来到强起来.”

    The late Qing modernizers are smiling.

  231. Rob says:
    @J.Ross

    I read The Postman long ago, kind of remember pieces of it, I think. It’s set closer to the cataclysm than I’m hoping for, but I’ll check it out on Amazon and see what it suggests.

    Still wishing an author named Kzin expanded a plot from s Niven-Pournelle epic novel. The postman screamed and leaped!

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  232. @Hodag

    Sparta didn’t have walls.

    You don’t need 🧱🧱🧱🧱
    When you have ⚾️🏉⚽️🎱

  233. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    On the other hand Xi’s two predecessors, Hu and Jiang both rose through the CCP meritocracy.

    We are curious– what constitutes “merit” in Maoland?

  234. MEH 0910 says:
    @Verymuchalive

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Graeber#Personal_life

    Graeber married artist Nika Dubrovsky in 2019.[82] The two collaborated on a series of books, workshops, and conversations called Anthropology for Kids.[83]

    He died suddenly, from necrotic pancreatitis,[84] on September 2, 2020, while on vacation with his wife and friends in Venice.[85] Graeber died during the COVID-19 pandemic and instead of a funeral, his family organized an ‘Intergalactic Memorial Carnival’ of livestreamed events that took place in October 2020.[86] His wife, Dubrovsky, attributed the pancreatitis to COVID-19, saying they both had strange symptoms for months beforehand, and she said there was a connection between COVID-19 and pancreatitis.[87]

    https://www.patreon.com/posts/my-opinion-on-of-42824424

    OCT 16, 2020 AT 1:50 PM
    My opinion on David’s cause of death

  235. @Ralph L

    ‘…This being UNZ, I’d like to know why Israel gets a wall and we don’t.’

    That’s something of a red herring. After all, the purpose of Israel’s wall isn’t to protect the territory that is hers, but to add to it.

    If we were considering building a wall that incorporated Durango and Oaxaca into the United States, the Israeli case would be comparable.

  236. There are two general problems with these notions of pacific, matriarchal, or egalitarian societies.

    First off, one can suspect wishful thinking. It’s like people who want to think that Abraham Lincoln fought the Civil War to free the slaves. Well, you may wish that was the case, but wishing doesn’t make it so.

    So you may want prehistorical societies to have been this or that — it doesn’t follow that they were. Both the authors appear to be leftists; no doubt they want there to have been advanced egalitarian societies in the past. Whether there actually were is a somewhat different matter.

    Secondly, in the course of the expansion of Western civilization over last few centuries, we’ve encountered societies at just about every stage of human development. So — except for the most primitive of hunter-gatherers — where were these pacific societies, these matriarchies, these paradises of equality? Why didn’t we bump into any?

    They don’t seem to have existed. But we’re supposed to agree they may well have existed in the past. Well, it’s possible — but given the apparently perfect absence of any living examples, it seems unlikely.

    • Agree: Mr Mox
  237. mc23 says:
    @Anonymous

    Makes sense. To this day primitive societies are known build low fires under boats hauled up on land and rake the coals slowly heating the wood to drive our sea worms.

    In the archaeological record Tells are artificial mounds, the refuse of generations of people who occupied the site. I recall reading one account were they determined the dwellers would put down a new floor of rammed earth every few years raising the floor level by inch or two just covering their trash as they did so.

  238. @Luke Lea

    The standard scholarship puts authoring date much later. I guess your date didn’t register.

  239. Wokechoke says:
    @rebel yell

    The names of the execution squad indicate that the killers were not ethnic Russians. Try harder next time.

  240. Forbes says:
    @Verymuchalive

    his leading role in the Occupy movement, earned him recognition as one of the foremost anthropologists and left-wing thinkers of his time.

    LOL! I live in NYC and spent time at the Occupy NY encampment at Zuccotti Park discussing the Occupy agenda with numerous people–out of curiosity. Needless to say, the agenda was multifarious, chaotic, and, well, bizarre–not to mention Utopian. In other words, beyond hope or possibility.

    And if I ever heard of Graeber, I’ve forgotten him so long ago I don’t remember.

    I wonder if this presages a new NYT approach: Having published living lunatics, it now moves on to dead ones…

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  241. mc23 says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    They needed walls. 5000 years ago the sheep were a bitch.

  242. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    In past 100 or so years, it has been mostly a combination of all these.

  243. @pyrrhus

    The problem with that, is that the Black Death, which wiped out about a third of Europe’s population during the Middle Ages, hit the cities the hardest. For the most part, the small towns and countrysides were spared the major devastation from the Plague. It’s pretty much always been that way. The cities have historically had the highest deaths from plague, sickness, and other catastrophies. The main reason of course, being that there are tons of people bunched in close proximity whereas the population in the countryside is usually spread out and thus spared the devastation.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  244. Anonymous[405] • Disclaimer says:
    @Colin Wright

    You had me there — I mistakenly assumed Steny Hoyer was Jewish, actually.

    Steny Hoyer isn’t Jewish?

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Jack D
  245. @Bardon Kaldian

    Intelligence Centre (CNI) had to administer the 83-year-old exiled monarch “female hormones and testosterone inhibitors to lower his libido.”

    Wait.

    Isn’t that the standard treatment for prostate cancer?

    83 seems like the exact right age for that kind of stuff.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  246. jb says:

    Hey, Hunter Biden is an artist! I thought he, like, sat on some corporate boards or something, and there was also something about a laptop, but I don’t see anything about any of that in the article, so maybe I’m remembering wrong.

  247. Anonymous[252] • Disclaimer says:

    Speaking of cities, walls and civility, one of the most fascinating videos I have seen recently is this one. They developed a computer program that can color footage that is in black-in-white. Not the fake colors of the old technicolor or your T.V set, but 300,000,000 different spectrums of color as the Human eye sees them.

    This is such footage of N.Y.C in 1945. This is the closest you’ll ever experience to time-travel. Wow, it seems almost like an idyllic town. The imagine of school children holding their books to their chest and all motorists stopping and patiently waiting for the kiddies to cross the street even outside the traffic stop, and not honking at all or yelling profanity…so incredibly civilized. The cleanliness of the streets, the elegance of the dress and manners of people.

    New footage of an old liberal town in it’s heydays:

    When you watch this footage and the brutal contrast to today, the filfth, vulgarity, violence, etc, you have to ask yourself a painful question: What happened to Society? What went wrong?

  248. Rob says:
    @Expletive Deleted

    Bit harsh on the poor old diggers.

    Digger, please! (don’t whim me, Steve!)

    You are right as to field archeology. But every science has theorists as well as empirical workerx. Ideally, theory is consistent with, indeed pedicts, new disvoveries.

    The postwar consensus theories have done poorly in predicting the discoveries from ancient and modern DNA.

    [MORE]

    Archaeologists have earned most of the disdain the right heaps on them. Pre-WWII archeology was more accurate than post-war, roughly until the ancient DNA revolution, which arguably began in the 1980s, but did not really get going full tilt until autosomal DNA could be analyzed from field samples in the early oughts. To their credit, archeologists have accepted everything ancient DNA has shown. To their discredit, they have not accepted anything else that ancient DNA implies. In total, they are being dragged kicking and screaming to reality.

    How did we know postwar archeology and anthropology was bunk? How should everyone have known? Because it was political. The situation of the pseudo-scienceification of eugenics is identical. Because one of Hitler’s justifications for conquest was antiquarian — the Indo-Europeans came from Germany — and one of his justifications for racial and ethnically oriented horrors was quasi-anthropological — Germans are pure Aryans being exploited by Semitic Jews — nice, liberal, sometimes muscularity liberal, also American and British nationalists decided that pre-war archeology and anthro were wrong. Wrong in both senses, factually incorrect as well as immoral. They set out to rewrite (pre-)history. And would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids and their dog!

    This is not a conspiracy theory. Well, it sort of is. Except it’s true, which may give a hint as to the veracity of other conspiracy theories. Ancient movements of peoples were utilized to justify modern conquests? Ancient peoples never moved! So, we got ‘pots, not peoples.’ Multi-regional human evolution implied human variations were significant, and this was used as justification for racism? Well, okay, we were wrong before, Ancient people did move. Exactly once! When h sapiens genocided all their related species in the old world. Early genetics supported this position. There is more genetic variation in Africa. A huge chunk of the variants in other regions are present in Africa. They never mentioned, however, that gene frequencies matter.

    They then decided that this “swept in and exterminated the natives through greater intelligence and technology sounded a little too much like justification for colonialism and settler states. So, we got “climate change did in the Neanderthals. We don’t know if Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal man ever met.” If it had not been for aDNA from Neanderthals, and a chance-discovered fingerbone in a cave in Russia that had Denisovan DNA, we would never know that non-Africans have Neanderthal ancestry, likely in two pulses, else East Asians would not have more than Europeans. The fingerbone proved there were at least three (I think) pulses of Denisovan admixture, widely separated in time and space.

    Because human differences were significant and a cause of racism and anti-Semitism, we got “no evolution since out of Africa. There was not enough time.” Followed immediately by “oh, okay, fine! Skin color, hair, and facial features all evolved. But those are different! Those are simple traits. Nothing complex like differences in emotion and cognition could evolve. All those differences are culture.” Even when sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis also disproved no genetic changes since Africa dogma, we got “but those are diseases!” Without them acknowledging that if the S hemoglobin allele had not been homozygous lethal, it would have swept. Ditto cystic fibrosis. We also got, “but those are not racial differences, those are adaptations to the local environment, to disease. The Ashkenazi common genetic disorders are also adaptations to disease. It does not matter that several affect substances only found in the brain.”

    I won’t even go into “race does not exist. Racism does” as I assume everyone here is familiar. That Wikipedia does not have an “archeological and anthropological theories disproven by genomics and an ancient DNA” page is telling as to who controls Wikipedia. It also shows that for all the money wasted on philosophy and cultural studies, no philosopher has looked into the total overthrow of the postwar “consensus” in two “human sciences.” Seriously, paradigm shifts in human science should be interesting to people who study paradigms in science.

    Even sociology was gutted, as the nice, liberal new guard did not want to justify discrimination by “stigmatizing” classes and minority populations by accurately depicting their views or behaviors. This led to hilarious things like “black gang members have low self-esteem.” Or “black men want to provide for their families. Racism prevents it.” This position was not even compatible with “all is culture” as here were cultures that never changed in adaptive ways, but only maladaptive ones. The cultural differences and discrimination causing all differences position was somewhat bolstered by the success of white “ethnic” populations in adjusting to the post-war middle class and largely being invisible, names excepted.

    The “all differences are discrimination” meant sociology did not even study the most interesting and influential change in post-war America, the rise of the Jews as the dominant ethnicity. No one seems to have thought, “I wonder if Jewish views on how awful whites are or their views on the benefits of being one minority in a polyglot, multicultural state will influence policy.”

    Also tellingly, we don’t get, “anthropology and archeology were pseudosciences. These new fields, x-ology and y-ology are real sciences.” That eugenics got the pseudoscience treatment was entirely political. Considering they did not have the benefit of even knowing the structure of DNA, or how DNA codes for proteins, they figured out a huge amount of stuff. To be fair, “eugenics” is not exactly a science. It is an engineering discipline. It draws from several sciences.

    I have not even discussed how the artificial separation of genetics and evolution (eugenics! when applied to people) led to ridiculous and expensive debacles like candidate gene studies. Like people really looked for “I wonder if there is a common gene with a huge (several inch) effect on height. It led to stupid ideas like “common disease, common allele” in medical genetics, where they thought that there were common alleles that upped heart attack risk by 10%, as in, your chance of a heart attack goes from 1% a year to 11% if you have this one weird allele. Even a cursory knowledge of evolution and population genetics would have told them these ideas were nonsense.

    It led scientists to, to take a particularly bad scientific debacle, the idea that than meat caused disease. This would have been fine-ish if they had said, “eat the minimum amount of meat to get all the essential amino acids you need. Then eat mostly vegetables.” But Ancel Keys did not say that. He was all “eat mostly grains and corn. Cut all the fat you can” before him, Americans were not obese, after him, we are the second fattest nation on Earth. Thank you, Mexico, for being number one in something!

    I’m petered out. I am sure any honest or drunk anthropologist or archeologist could tell you about several other post-war positions that have been put in a cage match with ancient or modern DNA and come out dead.

    • Agree: ic1000
    • Thanks: JMcG, Jim Don Bob, Sam Malone
  249. @nebulafox

    ‘In fact, anthropologists have been so puzzled at why humanity made the shift to civilization’

    ‘Because civilization gives you a better chance at living long enough to have your own kids. The noble primordial savage is a figment of the overly sheltered imagination.’

    I suspect the difficulty is that the meat runs out.

    It’s one thing to manage to bag the occasional deer — ‘oh look, meat too! It’s another to not be able to kill the monthly deer — and have no food.

    The Indians of Eastern North America seem to have been at about that point when white people showed up and made the whole thing moot. They were starting to grow corn because their numbers had swelled to the point where they could no longer all count on there being enough deer ‘n stuff all the time.

    Then too, absent grain crops, there’s no way of making delicious beer. But the Indians hadn’t gotten there yet.

    Jack London actually has one of his better passages describing famine descending on the Canadian wilderness. It’s not the average that’s the problem — it’s the hiccups that’ll getcha. At a minimum, a nice corn crop gives you a plan B if the deer decide to vanish this year.

  250. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Ford actually was a carpenter before he became a movie star.

  251. Rob says:
    @Luke Lea

    How do we know Adam and Eve did not hsve cloth?

    It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and weave!

    This could also be “how do we know Adam and Eve weren’t black without changing the punchline.

  252. Rob McX says:

    OT: The Chinese will be terrified of the American navy’s latest ship, the USS Harvey Milk.

    • LOL: Nimrod
    • Replies: @JMcG
  253. @Mr. Anon

    I guess you’re right but thats long before I was born and I’m the old guy in my peers. Time is the hand that writes and then rushes past

  254. @Prosa123

    I didn’t see any white people stampeding. I saw a river of melanin-enhanced brethren pouring through one of the entrances, flinging themselves over fences, battering down metal detectors and stepping on each other like nothing else mattered but getting inside.

    There might have been one white face per hundred. Everyone else was black or brown.

    • Agree: HammerJack
  255. Rob says:
    @Anonymous

    Thank you for that. I’d like to suggest Motel of the Mysteries as being in the same vein, though longer. All I remember is the flush toilets’ eternal flow of water being symbolic of the burial mound’s builders’ belief in the soul’s connection with the eternal flow of life for each interred corpse. This is how we know that everyone buried there was a parent.

    A very fun book. Of course, you should get it from Amazon, not the link above. Scratch that. I changed the link to Amazon. But I did not type that sentence just to delete it. Library Genesis dot rs has it, though. They did not have Et Tu, Babe, quite the dissapointment.

    • Agree: J.Ross
  256. @Tiny Duck

    White people have always payed more than their fair share, have always behaved themselves, and have contributed to the well-being of humanity more than any other race of humans.

    The future of America is going to be one of chaos, violence, turmoil and shockingly precipitous decline, while the only ones safe from it will be rich white people sheltering behind high enclave walls, topped with barbed wire and patrolled day and night by security guards.

    When a nation loses it’s homogeneity, it loses it’s cohesion, it’s social trust, and it’s reason to even exist in the first place. Diversity is death – Just ask the Romans.

    It’s only a incidental that interbreeding with other ethnicities will lower the mean IQ of the nation drastically, reducing the number of people capable of administering America’s infrastructure to a bare handful, such as in South Africa.

    You’ll get your melanated social justice, Duck, but only at the cost of potable water and keeping the lights on. The survivors will live to regret getting what they thought the wanted.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  257. J.Ross says:
    @Rob

    At least somebody got that.
    And at least nobody mentioned that … forgettable filmic effort.

  258. @Reg Cæsar

    I’m using meritocracy as an umbrella term for part of the ruling class that may come from humble backgrounds. This does not preclude them from nepotism, cronyism, and graft. In fact often it exacerbates it. Case in point, Bill “Bubba” Clinton

    In Ming Qing times the template of merit is knowledge of Confucian classics and the annotations of Song scholar Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Books_and_Five_Classics

    In the extreme case of Ming meritocracy, the founding emperor Hongwu 洪武 out of sense of nobility, banned his own imperial clan from serving in the bureaucracy, and handcuffed the oligarchy class by canceling the Treasure voyages and Haijin or sea ban.

    This turned out far less ideal than imagined, as the constant moralizing and factionalization of the scholars would cripple the government from functioning. Eventual leading to despots of (ex-)men who did away with their genitals, the eunuchs, who because they have no descendants to worry about, are the most expedient agents of the emperors.

    In PRC the template of merit is knowledge of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. In practice this involves education as engineers, as was the case for Jiang, Hu, and Xi.

    Hu and Xi’s right-hand man, Li Keqiang, are representative members of the CCP meritocratic faction, Youth League Faction (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuanpai).

    Jiang is somewhat complicated as he based out of Shanghai, the traditional power base of the Oligarchy. His Shanghai Clique 上海幫 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_clique) is considered to balance the power of the Princelings.

    For example, Zhou Yongkang of the Shanghai Clique and one of Jiang’s proteges, was once one of the seven-member CCP Politburo, is currently residing in Qincheng Prison.

    [MORE]

    So far as warrior aristocracy chieftain, Mao is regarded as so for his resumé included, at the tactical level, against numerically superior and professionally formulated (by German advisors) KMT Encirclement Campaigns (1926-37). At the strategic level, Chinese Civil War (1945-49), Korea, and Sino-Soviet Conflict (1969)

  259. For what it’s worth, Elizabeth will no longer be Queen come St Andrew’s Day. Meet her successor:

  260. Gamecock says:

    It meant misery and suffering

    Journalistic kitsch. Just because you aren’t an elite doesn’t mean you are suffering.

    It is projection. If Graeber and Wengrow weren’t elites, they’d be suffering.

  261. @Bardon Kaldian

    Has no one noticed that she really has nothing to say? Or is a foul mouthed teenager enough of a cause for the MSM?

  262. anonymous[950] • Disclaimer says:

    Let’s not discount assorted viruses as an answer to “abandoned civilizations.” Viruses, and even bacteria really had their way, back in the day, and whole populations were easier to wipe off the map.

    Look at each map, complete with their defensive walls, and wide open spaces outside of them. Those spaces don’t look that inviting for casual strolls. The majority of t’s citizenry likely stayed in their little Petri dish.

    What looks like an enclosed xenocommunity to us, to a virologist, looks more like a club med for weary black plague viruses.

    One visit from one stranger, or a sick rat, and Virus Club Med is open!

  263. @J.Ross

    Talk about destroying a brand!

    To the MacArthur we can add the National Book Awards, the Pulitzers, the Nobels (some of them anyway) etc etc….the Fields Medal probably isn’t far behind ..

  264. Anonymous[222] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    The Greenland Vikings would do that, but instead of burning it, they would leave the house uninhabited for a year. The cold would kill all the vermin.

  265. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    No, he ain’t. As I said before, Unz regulars believe that 10 out of every 5 people they don’t like are Jewish. In unz-speak, “Jewish” doesn’t actually mean Jewish , it means “people I don’t like”. Anyone that they don’t like automatically gets labeled Jewish whether they are really German or Danish or whatever. On rare occasions, purely by luck, some actual Jews get labeled as Jewish – even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  266. Jack D says:
    @dearieme

    The Tel Dan Stele provides support for the existence of not just the House of Omri but also the House of David.

    Although, hilariously, some “scholars” offer strained readings for ביתדוד (the House of David – still understandable by any reader of Hebrew script).

    They contend that reading dwd as “David” is complicated since the word can also mean “uncle” (dōd) (a word with a rather wider meaning in ancient times than it has today), “beloved”, or “kettle” (dūd).[31][32] Lemche and Athas suggests that bytdwd could be a place-name[33] and Athas that it refers to Jerusalem

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tel_Dan_stele#Cracks_and_inscription

    Even Robert Nathan could not have made this up – these folks are beyond parody. House of Kettle? C’mon, man!

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  267. @Wokechoke

    There were a number of city-states situated between Sparta and Athens. Sparta never had hegemony over the Peloponnese.

  268. @Forbes

    2 agreements! I agree with you about the living loonies, and I agree about the dead loonies as well !

  269. @Colin Wright

    It’s not a fantasy that Jews exert a grossly disproportionate and mischievous influence over this country; it’s a reality.

    Ask Susan Epperson, Estelle Griswold, and the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut about that. However, they think it’s a good thing. As do thousands of abortion “providers”.

    • Replies: @Lockean Proviso
  270. @personfellowindividual

    When a nation loses it’s homogeneity, it loses it’s cohesion, it’s social trust, and it’s reason to even exist in the first place.

    And fills in the gaps with misplaced punctuation and unnecessarily split infinitives. Pardon the broken-windows policing.

  271. @Travis

    Electric cars and other electric transportation can use solar energy if it pays, but for now, they are mostly using natural gas and coal indirectly anyway.

    Not like it’s gonna help Mr. Mason understand, but thanks, Travis, for the quick summary as to why Global Climate Disruption™, excuse the “Climate Crisis” now, is BS. I tend to try to explain how there is no working model of the Earth’s climate, so governments shouldn’t be making eonomic decisions based on a work-in-progress, not nearly good enough to say whether it’ll be warmer, cooler, wetter, or dryer in any certain region in 10 years.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  272. Anon[310] • Disclaimer says:

    Yes, that’s exactly what ancient history elucidates. Lol.

  273. I used to think self-interest, the desire to control one’s own life and set one’s own course, was the engine that drove human progress. I’m now beginning to think that trust, the ability to exist in a world where people share one’s values and one knowsone is surrounded by such people whom one can trust, is the other key. Central control/planning undermines trust – the larger the government, the less trust. Because self-interest is one’s primary driver and Central coercion is, by definition, the direct opposite of self-interest.

  274. Bitfu says:
    @dearieme

    I’m thinking that would be Naked Capitalism back in 2011. I remember you back there.

    Naked Capitalism cracks me up. One would be hard-pressed to find a better example of hubris coupled with mind-numbing stupidity. It truly is an awesome display of the Progressive Mind.

    “I’m a polymath and a poet too. MMT will save us all. Did I mention that I’m a polymath?”

    From theoretical physics to genetic sequencing…the good folks at Naked Cap are experts. At all of it.

  275. Moses says:
    @Art Deco

    But that’s just it; there more or less is just such a set of Jewish wire-pullers.

    No, they don’t exist except in your imagination.

    You’re quite fond of asserting as imaginary things that are in fact true, such as existence of Jews who espouse Jewish Supremacism.

    You denied that too as “imaginary.” But disprovable easily.

    To wit: https://www.unz.com/isteve/washington-post-democracy-dies-when-the-republican-candidate-gets-more-votes-than-the-democratic-candidate/#comment-4990055

    Jews responsible for massively disproportionate share of Dem and GOP party donations. Jews in charge of Hollywood and nearly all media. There’s more, but I’m too lazy and you know anyway. Of course they use that power.

    My fellow Jews would do well to admit that we exercise outsized influence in America compared to our 2% population. American is the best deal we ever got.

    Ben Stein once quipped “You bet Jews control Hollywood! What of it?”

    Your “imaginary” accusations are transparent and easily disproven. You are playing to stereotype and reflecting poorly on all of us.

  276. JMcG says:
    @Rob McX

    It’s an oiler. That’s an odd kind of ship that services the other ships.

    • Thanks: Rob McX
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  277. nebulafox says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    True for most epidemics, but not the Black Death. Part of the reason the bubonic plague was so devastating was that it decimated rural areas, unlike other diseases, because it didn’t rely off human vectors. It also kept coming back, generation after generation, until it burned out.

    The only places that tended to get spared from bubonic plague were places that rats wouldn’t like to live. Like, say, the deserts of Arabia during the 6th and 7th Centuries. I’m sure you can appreciate the historical significance of that while the settled societies of Rome (current and former) and Persia got demographically devastated again and again.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @RobinG
  278. nebulafox says:
    @Jack D

    It’s amusing to see the lengths that some people will go to deny any sort of historical memory, no matter how remote, in the most important book of the Western canon.

  279. Brutusale says:
    @Rob

    John Barnes’ Daybreak series.

    • Replies: @Rob
  280. @Mr. Anon

    Left-wingers dig cities. They want everyone stuffed into human-habitrails, the better to monitor and control them:

    This is also why they want everything electrified and networked.

    That way the faceless leviathan state can reach out and liquidate anyone at any time.

  281. Below is a comment of a professionally-trained historian with a special interest in the topic who actually resides in Ukraine. I have translated it from Russian (to the best of my abilities) per his request.
    ———————————————————————————————————————
    The main problem of Graeber and Wengrow’s concept is that these amazing “cities” in Ukraine that the authors refers to as an example of an egalitarian civilization — they were no cities at all.

    A child may think a city differs from a village because a city has many buildings and the buildings have many stories. But for a man with any education, a city is a center of trade and business, separate from an agricultural area. Well, these “cities” of Ukraine were simply giant agricultural settlements. Such Neolithic and Eneolithic large settlements are called by historians “proto-cities” and they are found in Middle East, including Çatalhöyük and Jericho; in Americas they are known as “pueblos”.

    People of the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture initially lived in small extended-family villages; later for some reason these villages began to merge into larger places where each family clan still had its own block. But this did not make the structure of the Trypillia society more complex, if compared with the actual city-based civilizations. Their “cities” remained agricultural settlements which existed for about 50 to 70 years; after that the soils depleted and the inhabitants moved to a new location, having set the old one on fire with some apparently special rituals.

    Also, we cannot say anything about social structure of the Ukrainian “cities” other than they did not have visible property stratification. But that does not mean they did not have any system of power, authority and domination. In proto-Indoaryan proto-cites of southern Urals region, which existed somewhat later, one may also see complete equity judging by the houses and the home implements, but the tombs display a very high degree of stratification so we have every reason to believe that even then there existed separation between the priests, the chariot aristocracy and the common folk, as established by the later Hindu tradition.

    The very fact of substituting of the meaning of the key concept “city” indicates we are not dealing with a scientific theory, as debatable or mistaken it might be. This is pure fraud and ideologically motivated pseudoscience.

    • Replies: @RobinG
    , @Jack D
  282. @Anonymous

    This technology is mature, tried, tested and trusted, and rather inexpensive. Only problem is western politicians are too shitty to implement it.

    Those Western politicians are chomping at the bit to impose all those wonderful toys on their native populations.

  283. @Achmed E. Newman

    Electric cars and other electric transportation can use solar energy if it pays

    Here is a list of prices at the pump around the world, in the ironic measurement of USD/liter:

    https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/gasoline_prices/

    Ours is conveniently almost exactly a dollar, making comparison a zephyr sirocco breeze. They range from over 2½× in Hong Kong to free for the taking in Venezuela. There is a high correlation between sunshine and oil production, eroding any incentive to seek electrification domestically and making it a threat to exports when their customers adopt it.

  284. Jack D says:
    @nebulafox

    Just as the conquest of America by Europeans was greatly assisted by the decimation of native populations by European diseases. But I’m sure that the Chinese would never think of creating a virus to use as a weapon to weaken their enemies.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  285. RobinG says:
    @nebulafox

    The only places that tended to get spared from bubonic plague were places that rats wouldn’t like to live. Like, say, the deserts of Arabia

    Also spared, the anomaly of Poland (and other center Europe??).

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  286. @Reg Cæsar

    Contraception isn’t abortion, and it reduces the abortion rate.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  287. @Jack D

    But I’m sure that the Chinese would never think of creating a virus to use as a weapon to weaken their enemies.

    More and more, I’m wondering whether the low death tolls in the Orient despite shutdowns way less stringent than those imposed in Australia and New Zealand have to do with a targeted virus that fell a little short of complete immunity for Orientals, before it was accidentally released from the Wuhan lab.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  288. RobinG says:
    @Aardvark-1111

    translated it from Russian

    Thank you.

  289. @nebulafox

    The Qing were a lot more consistent in their embrace of Chinese culture and their usage of native Han talent to govern the empire.

    The Mongols and Manchus lost their advantage away from calvary country, they needed Han siege and naval expertise to complete their conquests (example Siege of Baghdad 1258). The Qing built a bureaucracy that mirrored the Ming, except more stable since Manchu/Mongols would sit at top.

    You might like the movie Warlords 投名狀, where Jet Li plays a Xiang Army protege to Zeng Guofan, the intrigue between Manchu and Han mandarins facing the common enemy of Taipings is subtly portrayed.

    Zeng and Zuo are from the former Warring State of Chǔ 楚, a base of intense Han nationalism, while at the same time not especially hostile towards Manchus or Europeans. It was also the intellectual home of Neo-Confucianism orthodoxy (for reference see Yuelu Academy and Zhou Dunyi). Zeng was an elite performer on the imperial exams so he had enough political incentives to uphold Qing institution.

    Whereas the entire region of Guangdong/Guangxi was sinicized far later, and Hakkas were far more ethnically and culturally different than Manchus.

    Getting back to you about Justinian and Emperor Wen

    Emperor Wen of Sui (Sanskrit name: Narayana) is better compared not with Justinian but the barbarian German king Odoacer, who deposed the last Western Roman Emperor. If Odoacer had fully Latinized and made up some story of being descended from Augustus, and then going on to conquer Dacia, Anatolia, reunifying the Empire.

    Emperor Wen and later Tang Taizong are members of 关陇集团 Northwestern Military Aristocracy, of mixed Xianbei-Han ethnicity (on racial origins of Xianbei). The Sui and Tang aristocrat hobbies were polo and falconry, the women did not practice foot-binding, and were of “fuller” figures, so was a more extroverted character than Late Imperial China.

    In a sense this Xianbei-Han aristocracy is comparable to the WASP aristocracy. In being overly tolerate of ethnic diversity, invited disaster in the form of An Lushan Rebellion; in softening and losing their martial vigor, were basically wiped out by the time of Mongol conquest. There is the concept of 崖山之后无中华, Classical Chinese Civilization no longer existed after Battle of Yamen (the last stand of Song against Mongols in 1279). The later military aristocracies would be of foreign origin.

    But the advantage that China had over the Romans is that of a logographic script, so that anyone with a high school education can read at least some of the original Confucian and Sunzi texts. Even though the predecessor of PRC is the Jiangxi Soviet, founded by Comintern (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Soviet_Republic); they can still make somewhat not entirely bogus claim of continuity back to the Xia dynasty.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  290. Philip Neal says: • Website
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Sites of this kind, commonly interpreted as cities centred on temples, may actually have been meeting places where traditional knowledge was passed on in the form of rituals (chants, marches, ceremonies) along the same lines as the later memory palace technique. The Australian anthropologist Lynne Kelly has established that Aboriginals, Pueblo Indians and other traditional peoples continue such practices to this day, and she has identified strong parallels between ritual sites such as Chaco Canyon and the megalithic monuments of Europe.

  291. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    Batu Khan wasn’t the first tsar of Russia, Ivan the Terrible (who gloriously slaughtered the mongols and drove them out of holy mother Russia or made them submit to white Caucasian authority) was. You really should stop aping afrocentricts with this pathetic and ignorant “we wuz tsars” nonsense.

  292. @Verymuchalive

    I have not read Bullshit Jobs, but I learned of it only recently here and the concept is interesting and important.

    A ‘bullshit job’ is a job which has no content, no point, makes no contribution to anything: jobs like consultant, advisor, manager, administrator.

    Frankfurt on bullshit… Graeber’s definition of bullshit jobs… Geuss’s correction to Graeber: the distinction between bullshit jobs and bullshitting jobs.

    The current crisis [Covid] has only come to be what it is because of the number of people who have what we should call bullshitting jobs. A bullshitting job may or may not be a bullshit job… Some of the most important people in society have bullshitting jobs: politicians, journalists, modellers, advisors, administrators, and academics. Experts. Some initiate the flow of bullshit, the formers of opinion, and others maintain and perpetuate it, the repeaters of opinion: and they maintain it by not caring about the truth while all too ostentatiously caring about something which is aping the truth – for which our current word, laughably, is science.

    Well worth reading.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  293. Jack D says:
    @Aardvark-1111

    Until modern times, in the Ukraine there was a distinction between a “dorf” or village where peasant farmers lived (but no significant commerce was conducted) and a “shtetl” (small town) where Jews lived, which was a center of trade and commerce. In a shtetl the peasants could get their grain ground, buy a pair of boots or some cloth, sell their cash crops or excess calves, have their farm implements fixed, buy some tobacco, enjoy a drink at the tavern, etc. (my grandfather alone would have provided maybe half of these services -anything to make a zloty).

    None of these services were available in a dorf where everyone was a farmer. Everyone grew their own subsistence crops so there was nothing that the farmers could really sell to each other. Perhaps on rare occasions a farmer would barter honey for buckwheat or something with his neighbor, but for the most part they weren’t going to sell each other cabbage and potatoes because everyone grew their own.

    This is hard for Americans to understand because in America farmers each tend to live in their own widely separated farmhouses, surrounded by their own farmland. In a Ukrainian village the peasants all lived clustered together (usually side by side along a road) and the farmland surrounded the village behind the houses on either side of the road. Each peasant might own or have the right to farm several widely separated narrow strips that had come down to him by various branches of inheritance (getting more and more chopped up with each generation) – these were more often than not , NOT directly adjacent to the peasant’s house. All the farmers would tend their various plots in the daytime and then all return to the village at the end of the day. But there is a limit to how far away your plots are because you and your horse and plow have to walk to them. But I can see that in a large village the village would just get strung out along a longer strip of the road and eventually meet the next village to form a continuous strip of supervillage.

    If you look at a satellite photo of E. Europe you can still see these little strips of cultivation. Each strip might only be 10 meters wide but 200 meters long Naturally the Soviets thought that this made no sense because it did not lend itself to mechanized farming, but the vast ineffiencies of divided ownership were outweighed by the even more vast loss of linkage between effort and reward that came with collectivization.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  294. Jack D says:
    @Philip Neal

    Bullshit jobs = jobs like consultant, advisor, manager, administrator.

    Only an anarchistic could believe this. Are businesses self-organizing like beehives or anthills, such that they could do without managers? I guaranty you that 90% of the workplaces in America would fall into chaos in two weeks without a hierarchy of managers and administrators. Even Communists don’t believe that you can do away with management.

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @RobinG
    , @Philip Neal
  295. RobinG says:
    @Jack D

    AGREE.

    Actually, when I first read BS jobs, I wondered if it referred to highly productive jobs that manufacture ridiculous trash. Like the woman who became a millionaire by building a company that employed a Chinese factory to make baubles that small girls (like her daughter) could “collect” by attaching them in the open holes of their Crocs sandals. …. (And some people make fun of Native Americans for liking beads…) If your aspiration is to make money off human folly, no enterprise is too stupid, and I’m sure those children were delighted.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
  296. Rob says:
    @Brutusale

    Checked out Goodreads on it. It’s a little too close to the cataclysm for what I’m looking for. Plus, we won’t be “knocked back” to 1910 or 1810, or 5010 BC. Technology does not work that way. If we lost modern foundries and imported steel, we would not suddenly have all the foundries of an “appropriate” tech level. We’d have virtually no ability to make steel.

    Like that last book of Daybreak’s blurb (maybe an excerpt from a review) said post-cataclysmic America had biplanes. How would we have biplanes? Either a fair amount of engineering went into biplanes or a fair amount of craft — empirical knowledge of tradesmen, learned by trial and error. We wouldn’t get that back if Boeing and Airbus disappeared.

    So we’d be knocked back further? Not exactly, in 1710, there were however-many blacksmiths and their forges per capita. I’m sure someone knows how to build a forge, but there were a lot more people 310 years ago. All the cottage industry, all the crafts, they may not have known why various techniques worked, but they knew that they worked. Some women make soap, and some knit. I doubt anyone spins cloth or weaves cloth, or however you make cloth. Even “low-tech” stuff like spinning jennies takes a lot of craft to build. A Lot of men have woodworking shops, though a great many fewer than fifty years ago. I doubt they have tons of equipment that works when the power’s out.

    All the wheat is grown in the Midwest, though, we wouldn’t starve. Well, most wheat we grow is hybrid wheat. It’s sterile. We’d maybe have one harvest. But how to bring it in? Back when, lots of people knew how to farm. Even in 1910, a lot of farm equipment was horse-powered. There are not a whole lot of horses these days. Their ancestors were turned to glue and dog food when their services were no longer required.

    There’s also the greatly degraded state of natural resources. You cannot drill down fifty feet in Pennsylvania and hit oil. All those whales whose fat we burned for light? I’m too lazy to Google, but I’ll bet some species were hunted to extinction. I know non-extinct whale populations have not recovered. Even if the seas were filled with whales, no one knows how to build whaling ships. Or crew them.

    Etc

    That’s why I’m looking for hundreds of years after the cataclysm when people have picked over the ruins to the point there’s no more to be had. Where people have learned how to live on local resources, what can be traded up and down the Mississippi, and how to farm.

    Though it’s not set on earth, the War World (Pournelle’s shared future history) stories are maybe the closest I can think of. No magic or “psi” — science fiction’s magic — but disparate cultures have formed and reached something approaching a steady state. Sort of that without the Sauron super-soldiers. Speaking of P&N, remember Forrester (i think) in Lucifer’s Hammer? He mothballed and individually double-bagged tons on books. Reader’s Digest How-to manuals, biology and chemistry lab textbooks. Well, there are some places guys like that are remembered with the reverence real Americans as late as the eighties had for the Founding Fathers. Yes, I know, but you can at least see leaving immigration up to Congress and the courts was a mistake.

    Come to think of it, Lucifer’s Hammer + a few hundred years would be a great starting point. Maybe, the last fuel rods are running out of juice, and someone has to trek overland to wherever the hell to find books on fuel re-processing. But time’s running out…

    Might be there is no sci-if like this. That’s ok. There’s more action and less imagination in the near future, right before, during, and after the cataclysm. Genre fiction also has a ready market.

    • Replies: @Hereward
  297. @JMcG

    It’s an oiler. That’s an odd kind of ship that services the other ships.

    I’d venture that the ship’s namesake did a lot of servicing, some of it perhaps oiled as well.

  298. @Johann Ricke

    More and more, I’m wondering whether the low death tolls in the Orient despite shutdowns way less stringent than those imposed in Australia and New Zealand have to do with a targeted virus that fell a little short of complete immunity for Orientals, before it was accidentally released from the Wuhan lab.

    I wouldn’t put a targeted bioweapon past the ChiComms, who are more ruthless than the Russkies ever were. But carelessness in messing around with bad stuff is the simplest explanation.

    And we paid for it!

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  299. Anonymous[364] • Disclaimer says:
    @TruthRevolution.net

    Future Sailer post generator:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10174235/Bosses-one-worlds-biggest-investment-firms-need-special-approval-hire-white-men.html

    “All of our leaders have to demonstrate at their annual appraisals what they have done to improve female representation and the number of colleagues from ethnic-minority backgrounds.’

    Recruiters must now create a panel of four or five people that includes a woman and someone of an ethnic-minority background when hiring middle management staff – employees at vice-president and above.”

    The level of federally/legally-classifiable Hispanics is going to be off the charts in the next few year (all it takes is one ancestor from Spain, or Latin America, anywhere in your family history), or in the case of arguable unknown ancestral links, a legit DNA test showing same.

    • Replies: @Alden
  300. Hereward says:
    @Rob

    “Riddley Walker” by Russel Hoban fits the bill, though it’s set in England rather than the US.

    • Replies: @Rob
  301. @Lockean Proviso

    Contraception isn’t abortion, and it reduces the abortion rate.

    But it was outlawed by Protestants and legalized with the hard work and persistence of Jews. So who is right? What were their motives? Whose side do we take?

  302. @bombthe3gorgesdam

    Meh, considering that the Mongols very nearly bombed the Three Gorges Dam, it’s amazing that you want to argue over this.

    Batu Khan (c. 1205–1255),[note 1] also known as Tsar Batu[2] in Russian historiography

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

    Batu – the first tsar of Russia
    The Mongol invasion turned Russia into a Mongol colony, and in the long run turned the Russian sovereigns into despots of the Horde type.

    https://diletant.media/articles/45302248/

    “Khan Batu united Russia, therefore he was named the Russian Tsar Batu”
    In the new book, Fatih Sibagatullin

    https://www.business-gazeta.ru/article/468685

    Russian Tsar Batu | Penzev Konstantin Alexandrovich

    According to the author, there was an unspoken agreement between Khan Baty, Russian princes and the Russian Orthodox Church on mutually beneficial cooperation in organizing the Horde

    https://libking.ru/books/sci-/sci-history/101578-konstantin-penzev-russkiy-tsar-batyy.html?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=IHLVowDhxi3yq_iQ1cF3iSsXaDTSzT8vBZ_dVvslGgY-1636376717-0-gaNycGzNCOU

  303. Brutusale says:
    @RobinG

    I was talking to a friend last night about this very thing after seeing a commercial for some foolish feminine frippery. We’re all looking for the new Pet Rock to cash in!

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

  304. @Anonymous

    This is exactly right and why Trump’s “Wall” was always a stupid idea. A wall without committed defenders is just an expensive pile of rusting steel. Trump should have focused his energy on the “highly mobile highly active border force” but that doesn’t make a great campaign slogan.

  305. @Luke Lea

    Like Steve suggests, those huge neolithic “cities” remained neolithic only because the conquerors hadn’t gotten there yet. The role played by military conquest in the establishment of class societies has been remarkably underplayed in most traditional accounts of how civilization began. I wonder why?

    A rhetorical question, no doubt. But here’s a little bit of a deep dive on it anyway: The persistence of the “pots not people” canard and related tropes has much more to do with the instrumental purpose of that narrative than with its historicity or any purported “scientific” value. It establishes a narrative frame for the desired course of events in the current year. Essentially: “Peaceful migrations of peoples and diffusion of cultures have always taken place, goy! So just go along with the plan and don’t worry about it.”

    Even when violence is admitted, it’s often blamed on the invaded, not the invaders. Let’s take a look at a “scientific*” paper that was published in Nature (so you know it’s very scientific), titled A massacre of early Neolithic farmers in the high Pyrenees at Els Trocs, Spain. Seems a little… subjective already. How do they know the winners didn’t carry away their dead? Some highlights:

    The “overkill” reaction was possibly triggered by “xenophobia” or massive disputes over resources or privileges. In the present, violence and “xenophobia” are controlled and sanctioned through social codes of conduct and institutions. So that, rather than representing an insurmountable evolutionary inheritance, violence and ethnic nepotism can be overcome and a sustainable future achieved through mutual respect, tolerance and openness to multi-ethnic societies.

    “Racism,” nationalism and nepotism form their breeding ground and at best are regulated through national cultural control and international consensus.

    Complete conflation of “ought” and “is,” of normative and positive, is the highest goal of any true scientific endeavor. So what do we know about the people involved?

    Population genetic analyses characterise the victims from Els Trocs as early Neolithic migrants, members of the communities that established farming and animal husbandry on the Iberian Peninsula…

    And what do we know about the presumed “perpetrators” (a word the authors actually use to describe the other side)? Apparently there was an:

    …extraordinarily high potential for aggression on the part of the “attackers,” a phenomenon as manifested in forensics as “overkill” or “killing frenzy”

    Clearly the WHGs were the “bad guys.” OK, we get it. It sounds as if part of the authors’ agenda is to push back against the long-discredited “noble savage” trope, but it’s clearly more than that. The way that this screed keeps jumping back and forth between presenting what sounds like decent forensics, DNA analysis, etc., and spewing highly-emotional, aggressively pro-open borders rhetoric that has no real direct connection to the ostensible topic of the paper, is quite striking. “Code-switching”, as it were. But the putative “perpetrators” are not always demonized:

    …the perpetrators could have been indigenous hunter-gatherers who saw the Neolithic group encroaching upon their foraging territories, and who may have brutally enforced their claims. Alternatively, it may have been an altercation between two Neolithic groups in which disputes over territorial rights escalated

    So WHGs are “brutal enforcers” or “perpetrators,” while Med farmers just accidentally become involved in “altercations” and “disputes” which somehow “escalate” entirely independent of human agency? Clearly it’s not just sympathy for the “victims” here — the author seems to identify very strongly with the invading Med farmers, and to have an intense visceral dislike for the WHGs. Very reminiscent of Freud’s strong identification with Hannibal, and his hatred for the Romans. Who’s the lead author? Kurt W. Alt, so suggestive, but not dispositive. 4th author is a Roth. And the first reference they cite is not something directly related to forensics or archeology, but an ideological tome from the infamous Israel Ehrenburg:

    1. Montagu, A. The nature of human aggression. (Oxford University Press, 1978).

    Any public statements from the lead author? Let’s check the Daily Fail:

    Lead researcher, Kurt W Alt from the University of Basel in Switzerland says the violence was without parallel in Spain or the rest of Europe at that time.

    He said it was likely triggered after a series of escalating incidents such as the theft of cattle, land disputes or even the theft of women with one group being part of the first wave of “immigrants” from what is now the Middle East.

    So the same “indigenous WHGs bad because they xenophobically perpetrated brutal, “racist” frenzied killings against the innocent, peaceful Med farmer ‘immigrants’,” and the same explicit connection to advocating replacement-level invasion of Europe in the current year, and demonizing any resistance to it. “Science” as morality play/ propaganda narrative, with WHGs clearly standing in for current year Europeans, and Med farmers = both non-White invaders in general, and a certain Middle Eastern desert tribe in particular.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @anon
  306. nebulafox says:
    @RobinG

    Poland wasn’t spared so much as it was relatively less devastated. They “only” lost a quarter of their population. If that happened at any time other than the Black Death, it would have been considered the scarring tragedy of the century in Europe.

    As for why:

    1) King Casimir quarantined the borders strictly. Each individual town and city was kept under quarantine, and anybody who wanted to enter Poland was kept under guard.

    2) Even before that, Poland was relatively isolated from major trade links with the rest of Europe that brought rats.

  307. @Achmed E. Newman

    I also agree with Steve that these guys thinking they can find out all about old societies from a few pieces of pottery in the ground

    Besides combining artifacts with DNA and linguistics, as ic1000 suggests, there are also occasional first-hand accounts that come down. For instance, one from this area is the account of the Abbasid official, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, who a thousand years ago described the funeral rites of Varangians in what is now the Ukraine, which had probably been practiced at least another thousand years before that, so it really is a kind of window back into the ancient culture of that area.

    https://ethicsofsuicide.lib.utah.edu/selections/ibn-fadlan/

  308. @Anonymous

    New footage of an old liberal town in it’s heydays:

    I.e., before liberals got their way on everything.

    When you watch this footage and the brutal contrast to today, the filth, vulgarity, violence, etc, you have to ask yourself a painful question: What happened to Society? What went wrong?

    Liberals got power. People like David Graeber.

    Next question.

    • Replies: @Alden
  309. @Jack D

    This is the point of Geuss’s correction.

  310. @Hugo Silva

    ‘Because Israel has polítical will, and America doesn’t.’

    ‘Now the interesting question is why doesn’t America have polítical will to build a wall?’

    You’re comparing apples and oranges. Israel’s wall does not run along her border, nor is its primary purpose to keep out immigrants.

    Rather, it there to exclude Palestinians from areas of the West Bank, and permit Jews to settle there.

    It’s as if we built a wall — incorporating Chihuahua and Sonora into the United States.

  311. Rob says:
    @Hereward

    Not exactly what I’m looking for, because I’m not looking for dystopia, but I will save that for when I do want dystopia. If I’m still cognitively flexible to read a book written in funnytalk, that is.

    Remember A World Made by Hand, the novel by some peak oil is soon and suburbia is killing us, the Mother Goddess Gaia has my exact aesthetic tastes guy? The internet tells me he’s James Howard Kunstler, Sort of like that, but set a few hundred years later, and good.

  312. @Inquiring Mind

    Nah, just and example of “Rodriguez Theory.”

    It’s a question of the timescale (which I admit I haven’t calculated). If our common ancestor called Rodriguez is expected 50,000 years ago, then the common ancestor 5,000 years ago is something out of the ordinary.

  313. 36 ulster says:
    @Tiny Duck

    Back by popular demand…(haw-haw)! We missed you–well, not really.

  314. nebulafox says:
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    Thanks for the rec: and not just for the history. If you have to watch movies or TV, watching foreign ones are ideal because you practice your foreign language skills. Because of the longstanding dominance of American pop culture globally, it’s harder for a native English speaker to get the full advantages of this unless you are living abroad or you go searching online.

    So, I’m curious about two things:

    1) Why was the Qing bureaucracy more stable because Manchus were on top of it, on the throne and in the ministries?

    2) I’ve always found hanzi (and kanji) pretty logical and fun to learn, but I’m… a bit of a weirdo. Most Westerners would find the idea of that being more conducive to literacy shocking. So, did that really translate into higher literacy rates? I always assumed that in the pre-modern world, literacy was, as a rule, limited to a minority, although as always, it depended on where you were: the urban centers had higher functional literacy rates during the classical empire.

    I guess I wouldn’t be shocked if Tang China had somewhat higher literacy rates, especially since this was long after the importance of literacy declined in the Roman world, but I would have chalked that up to the imperial exams being the route to upward mobility.

    As for Emperor Wen, yeah, that makes more sense, although none of the Germanic warlords stood a chance of pulling off something similar, for several reasons (Constantinople’s land walls, for example, which actually simultaneously blocked another group of Goths that would eventually kill Odoacer). Nobody ever denied the fundamental Romanness of the latter day Illyrian emperors, some sniffy Senatorial comments aside, whereas I get the impression that for the Sui and Tang, there was a lot of later doctoring to cover up part-Xianbei “barbarian” origins. Of course, the Illyrians had several centuries to Romanize and were fully Romanized by the time the empire started to show signs of strain.

    But if the Tang had semi-barbarized origins themselves, was the An rebellion caused by the invitation of Turkic politics into the court, spilling over into intrigue? This is stuff I’m still learning, so please be patient with me.

    >they can still make somewhat not entirely bogus claim of continuity back to the Xia dynasty.

    I don’t think it is bogus at all. From my POV, the CCP seems like just another imperial dynasty that happens to believe in historical materialism. Even Mao seemed to look at it that way toward the end of his life.

  315. Alden says:
    @Daniel H

    That’s what the historians think. That cities grew up around temples and government buildings. Could be the opposite First a campground for maybe 100 people. Then permanent housing infrastructure a market place. Different areas for different occupations. Sometime after the settlers started building the city the temples were built.

    Just my opinion; groups of humans of whatever size have always been and always will be governed by the biggest baddest bully in the village. Even a nuclear caveman family. Father is the big bad boss till he gets old and strong young teen or adult son takes over.

    I believe first the people their homes occupations and then the Temple and a government organized enough to need a building. At least a jail and a small claims court.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  316. @Alden

    In the settlement of the American west, houses tended to come first to a settlement, then big institutional structures like city hall. In the settlement of Canadian west, it was sort of the opposite, with the Mounties building a station and the Hudson Bay Company putting up a store across from it, etc. But that was due to a strong government all the way back in London with excellent communications controlling the pace of settlement, so I suspect the American style was more common in pre-history.

  317. Alden says:
    @Anonymous

    You don’t need DNA. All you need is a Hispanic or Asian surname. Lots of asian White marriages and children. So the kids are given the mothers Asian surname and they are asian. Mixed asian Whites with White surnames are always discriminated against.

    Hispanic, all they care about is the Hispanic surname to send off to the affirmative action Witch Hunter General office. Italians can usually get away with claiming to be Hispanic.

    I’ve posted this before. J I’ll call her. German English Irish ethnicity. Light brown hair pale skin blue eyes German surname. right out of college got an entry level job with a county government agency. Back in ancient times when Whites could still get government jobs. Took the first promotional test and failed. Took the same promotional test 2 years later Failed. So J was destined to be stuck in the low level job forever. Not the worst thing to happen. Life long tenure decent wages.

    Then J got married. To a man with a Spanish surname. About a year after the representatives of Satan on earth the Supreme Court ruled on Griggs vs Duke Power. Basically the dumbest least qualified non White shall be hired

    The same year she married into the Hispanic race another promotional exam came along. Again she failed the test. But since she had a Spanish surname she got the job. And was promoted every few years until she became deputy head of the department.

    Her husband wasn’t Hispanic. He was ethnic German born in Germany. What was soviet occupied East Germany at the time. Soon his parents escaped and landed in Nicaragua. Started a business

    They decided to assimilate changed their name to Spanish name did their best to speak Spanish at home especially when their son started school. Things were fine till son was about 9. There was a change of government and the new dictator demanded more percent. That’s a S American thing. The dictator and his henchmen collect a cash tax from businesses that goes directly to the dictator. Some legal codes call it extortion.

    So they moved to America. Started speaking English but kept the Spanish surname because it made the immigration process easier.

    And that’s how a person of White German Irish British ethnicity born with a common German name can get to be deputy head of a government agency.

    There’s other tales can to tell. Man with an Italian surname put White on a SBA koan application was turned down. Applied again put Hispanic on the application and was approved.

    Korean mom White dad kid. Korean immigrant grandparents paid for private schools all the way, extra tutoring all the bogus extra social work activities and insisted on Stanford. He was turned down. I’m related to one of his White uncles. I advised save money with community college for a year and since like most American blacks you have a typical British last name apply again and check the black box. He did and was accepted. He didn’t even have to write an essay weeping and wailing about the horrors of being black in an asian neighborhood and attending an expensive private school full of evil racist Whites

    If you have kids or plan to give them a Hispanic last name at birth if it’s possible. Or do a legal name change before they start high school. Starting junior year they’ll get letters from colleges offering full scholarships. Junior year of college they’ll get numerous job offers Unsolicited .

    If any interviewer mentions you don’t look like a Mexican Indian They can say “my grandparents came from Cuba “. If they don’t get the job because they look White, so what. They will be getting 3 or 4 more unsolicited job offer letters next week.

    Time to go underground. Like so many persecuted and abused people have done throughout human history. 100 years ago some blacks managed to pass for White. Now it’s our turn to pass for non White.

  318. Alden says:
    @Almost Missouri

    There’s hundreds of you tube videos about the homeless situation in the liberal cities. None, not one of the ones I’ve seen mention that unlimited immigration is the reason housing is so expensive and so scarce.

    8 illegal dish washers paid \$100 a week can each chip in \$200 a month for \$\$1600 a month rent for an as small as building codes allow shabby cockroach infested studio . When the rent increases they just chip in more money. Or get more roommates

    And public housing section 8 seems to be forbimmigrants mostly illegal instead of Americans.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  319. Alden says:
    @James Forrestal

    Some pro immigration English liars now claim that the Roman Saxon and Viking invaders of England were just peaceful traveling merchants. Even the Saxons and Vikings were peaceful traveling merchants just looking for a better life.

    Soon the destruction of Lindsfarne monastery and murder of the old and enslavement if the young monks will be just the monks moving away to become regular people and the monastery all its books scrolls and treasures falling apart due to weather and lack of maintenance

    And the Romans brought hundreds of thousands of blacks Arabs etc. who all contributed so much to Roman Britain.

    All those invasions involved massive slavery theft of property and incredible violence. Especially the Vikings and Saxons. The Saxons managed to eradicate the native British language. Not even place names were left. Contrast to America where half the states cities rivers and lakes retain the native Indian names

    Florence Nightingale is being exterminated from British and nursing history in favor of the one mixed black White nurse who went to the Crimea with her.

    There’s lots of stuff about a few blacks brought to England in the 1500s Tudor Times. There were. Most were blacks bought in the Muslim MENA slave markets by merchants and brought back to England. But these liars claim the blacks were part of the very prosperous business and ruling classes. There’s also a big deal that George 3’s Queen Charlotte was black. Because some Moorish Spaniard got into her but none of her relatives blood line.

    I can understand wanna be elites trying to rise by overthrowing existing institutions. But they are trying to exterminate their own race. You can change religions or politics or occupation. But you can’t change your race. You can change the race of your children but not yourself. It’s a mass suicide. Not inflicted by men with machine guns but real self inflicted racial suicided. Liberals don’t even care when their children and grandchildren can’t get career type jobs and start a normal adult life

    • Replies: @James Forrestal
  320. ErisGuy says:
    @Rob

    Is there any fiction, even (maybe especially) of a techno sword and sorcery-style, science fiction about what a post-mid-sized apocalypse North America would look like?

    Horseclans? Eighteen novels and a GURPs module.

    “A Canticle for Leibowitz?”

    Perhaps too primitive and not techno enough.

  321. @nebulafox

    1) Why was the Qing bureaucracy more stable because Manchus were on top of it, on the throne and in the ministries?

    Absolutely. The pure meritocracy, Ming court politics was plagued with factional disputes that left the emperor in despair, therefore resort to employing eunuchs (example Donglin Movement 東林黨 and Wei Zhongxian 魏忠賢). It may seem that the scholar-officials steeped in Confucian learning are always more scrupulous than the eunuchs, but in reality not so.

    The Manchu chieftain Hong Taiji would institute an aristocracy-meritocracy mix. There was the case of the high ranking scholar-official Hong Chengchou 洪承疇, would was captured in battle and refused to surrender. Hong Taiji would lure Hong Chengchou with gold and women, when meeting him in person, took off his own fur coat and gifted it to him.

    Hong Chengchou would finally capitulate to become high ranking advisor for the Manchus. Under his advise the Qing would heavily sinicize*, and very soon the “slipperier” Ming meritocrats would fight over who can defect the fastest. The rest of the Ming-Qing War would be mostly between them and the remaining meritocrats with integrity.

    You will see that there are analogies abound of Ming with our current year, down to the factionalism and abuse of eunuch officials. Under the Manchu warrior aristocracy, these issues subsided.

    *Some centuries later, the Japanese would fail at this diplomacy where the Manchus succeeded at.

    did that really translate into higher literacy rates?

    I don’t think hanzi contributed to this specifically. Throughout Antiquity and First Empire, literacy was focused around the aristocracy 士. The Imperial Exams were instituted during Sui-Tang, by Song the aristocracy would largely fade away and give way to commoners 庶. Literacy increased but education was only available to commoners with some means.

    So is rather the trend towards meritocracy that promoted literacy. Universal literacy wouldn’t be achieved until PRC simplified the characters (this is perhaps analogous the development of Romance languages through Vulgar Latin).

    By the way the idea of Roman Sui is by way of a vastly knowledgeable libertarian professor, this is his essay on Justinian
    https://friesian.com/decdenc2.htm#sui

    An rebellion caused by the invitation of Turkic politics into the court, spilling over into intrigue?

    Exactly. Unlike the Manchu aristocracy, the Tang aristocracy were still mostly Chinese in origin, and in a “dance with the wolfs” way, adept in barbarian ways of war. In 6CE the primary barbarians were Turkic (as oppose to the Mongolic and Tungusic speakers to come later).

    The Tang emperors would hold the dual title of Chinese Son of Heaven 天子, and the Turkic Khan of Heaven 天可汗. And would play the role of protectorate of his subjects against other Steppe tribes, this extended to as far as northern Afghanistan.

    An Lushan, as a proto-Men-with-Gold-Chains, having a silver tongue, would bring an end to this.

    the CCP seems like just another imperial dynasty that happens to believe in historical materialism.

    Yes in a sense. But Japan and UK has maintained their monarchy and full regalia. Even Germany, BRD, who began on 1945, maintains the Reichsadler and Eisernes Kreuz, signifying continuity to Rome and Prussia.

    PRC has no similar regalia. But there is Hanzi and its full corpus.

    Even Mao seemed to look at it that way toward the end of his life.

    One thing about him is that he was absolutely devoted to the study of Chinese and world history. For example, the collapse of Soviet Union and the current state of US would not the least surprise him.

    Imagine being a later Eastern Roman Emperor, who steep in knowledge of Greco-Roman history and ruthless court intrigues, and how they were condemned by historians. And then carrying on those tyrannical acts by his predecessors, fully knowing that he would be condemned by later historians. This is what’s unique and mysterious about Mao.

  322. @Jack D

    If experience is any guide, you will dine out for weeks (maybe months) on that one error by an internet rando. Bon Appétit!

  323. Gene Wolfe’s highly entertaining Latro series (about a turncoat Greek who fought as a mercenary for the Persians and took a head wound, allowing him to actually see all the gods and nymphs and whatnot running around the mythological countryside) has an excellent few chapters on the political debates between the Infantry and the “Naval Mob” who were essentially the first two political parties in Athens. The sailors were more I guess you would say labor oriented and the soldiers tended toward a capital friendly focus. This was complicated by the fact that the very richest men in Athens were generally merchants who owned shipping interests so they had to throw their weight in with the naval mob generally. Highly recommended series if you’re interested in that intersection of military technology and politics.I think it must have been the inspiration for Momento also, since he has a similar affliction where he forgets everything within a couple hours and has to read his diary to figure out what’s going on. Also looks at the no-wall policy of the Spartans and how that was tied to their political and military situation and has interesting insights into Persian military organization and Zoroastrianism as a social force that I found very interesting as a Persia-fan

  324. @Alden

    ‘There’s hundreds of you tube videos about the homeless situation in the liberal cities. None, not one of the ones I’ve seen mention that unlimited immigration is the reason housing is so expensive and so scarce.’

    There’s also the point that most of those vagrants are decidedly marginal.

    Say I’m a landlord. Do I want to rent to some guy who’s likely to proceed to demonstrate why he’s been homeless, or do I want to rent to a perfectly stable winery worker and his waitress wife?

    I actually went through something similar when I used to hire casual labor. Tommy, who I sometimes had to fire in the middle of the day when he just got too weird, or some perfectly sane illegal?

    There doesn’t have to be anything personally wrong with immigrants to justify excluding them. In fact, that usually there isn’t anything wrong is just the problem. They easily push aside the more marginal members of our own population.

  325. @Alden

    But they are trying to exterminate their own race.

    Fact check:

    https://www.commentary.org/articles/liel-leibovitz/jews-are-not-white/

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/07/jews-the-ss-empire-windrush-and-the-origins-of-multicultural-britain/

    Yeah your claim is gonna be: FALSE

    You can’t possibly be as stupid as you pretend to be. Read the “scientific” paper I linked to in my comment that you are r̶e̶s̶p̶o̶n̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ attempting to derail. The author is clearly driven by ethnonarcissism — and the accompanying paranoia and virulent, unreasoning hatred toward the indigenous peoples of Europe — to such a remarkable extent that he reflexively identifies with the ancient Med farmer invaders, and views the indigenous Western Hunter Gatherers as “Amalek.”. He’s much less interested in the science than in weaponizing this archeological discovery as a “parable” for why indigenous Europeans BAD, and Middle Eastern desert tribes are GOOD. Everything is viewed through the lens of his own ethnonarcissism.

  326. anon[520] • Disclaimer says:

    we can probably create a more equal world by redistributing jewish wealth to the rest of us

  327. anon[520] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Forrestal

    does anyone believe any of this crap any more?

    they’ve all got an agenda

  328. Bill says:

    David Graeber, lying? Amazing.

  329. @Peter Johnson

    The USA’s decline and, one hopes, fall, will be due to its radical inequality, internecine hatreds exacerbated in the name of ‘democrazy’, its social malaises, the expense of its endless aggressions and its lunatic, racist supremacist delusion that it can ‘..bring China down’. The last will probably kill us all.

  330. @Jim Don Bob

    Racist drivel. The Chinese are far more CIVILIZED than the West, and the chimaeric virus has Made in the USA all over it. Cowardly mass murder is right out of the Exceptional play-book.

  331. @dearieme

    Graeber appeals to people who really don’t know very much, much like Graeber who seems to have got by on some unspectacular academic appointments, and a complete lack of charisma.

    Everything he writes is from ‘lived experience’ or to put it another way his own bias. He doesn’t like work, and I very much doubt he ever did much of either low paid work or high stress work in the real world of industry or actually doing things.

    His insight in books like Bullshit Jobs really comes down to stating some obvious platitudes such as a lot of work is meaningless and pointless like it is a new insight, but missing that we know that, it’s just difficult to tell which work is meaningless and which is worthwhile much of the time. He also misses that work has many other useful social functions.

    He also misses that all of his work by his own argument can be dismissed as total bullshit.

    Google and the corporations seem to love him though.

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