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I’ll let the tweets speak for themselves:


(Republished from JayMan's Blog by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Yes but says:

    The high verbal IQ liberal neocons feared Iraq because (prior to the sanctions) it was a relatively progressive secular Arab state that if left unchecked would have threatened Israel’s status as the only legitimate middle eastern country. Thus they used their rich lobby power, voices in the White House inner circles, academia, think tanks, blogs, and New York media to push for sanctions in the 1990s and war in the 2000s deceptively arguing it was in America’s interests. They especially hated Saddam because he fired scud missiles at Israel and funded Palestinian suicide bombers.

    They used their high verbal IQ to get exactly what they wanted. Saddam is gone & Iraq is chaos & Israel did not have to sacrafice it’s blood, treasure or political capital to make it happen. They’re not delusional at all. They are absolutely brilliant from the perspective of their ethnic genetic interests

    • Replies: @misdreavus
  2. Ivar says:

    In regards to Greece, there’s also the fact that in a country that’s nearly entirely mountainous, almost no central government is possible. I know you and HBD chick have both mentioned mountainous geography as a factor in IBD, but I thought it bears repeating. I also want to make a point that I don’t think either of you have yet.

    So we know that in mountainous terrain, infrastructure and communication costs > the revenue from collectible taxes. It’s that simple. (Unless you confine most of your population to two or three hyper-urbanized coastal cities as Japan does on its main islands.) Couple the Hajnal line to topography, and you have your explanation for most of Europe’s divergence in culture and government. See there are two ways a society can be shaped by rugged geography. In Northwest Europe, we find that from as far as the Baltic uplands to the Central and Eastern Alps, there emerged devolved federal systems, a localized democratic form of governance, as in the Holy Roman Empire or Switzerland’s complicated canton system. In Southern Europe and Eastern Europe on the other hand, well, I’ll just point you to wikipedia’s page on banditry:
    But why the difference between the two? Well, my running hypothesis is that it comes down to the distribution of navigable waterways. See, the cost of river transportation is ten times lower than land transportation and if you look at Northwest Europe, you see the Fjords of the Scandinavian mountain range and the rivers of the Swiss Alps (They provide 90% of the water to the European lowlands.). Greece on the other hand only has two really navigable rivers. The moral of the story: The mountains of Northwest Europe came with their own highways!

    Genes are both the clay and the sculptor of culture, but the natural landforms and climate are the oven that hardens them into place.

    Okay, now I’m going back to waiting for Jayman to post the poll results. Hehe.

    • Replies: @EH
  3. @Yes but

    “relatively progressive secular Arab state”


  4. Tregon says:

    While Marxism encourages the oppressed (non-whites, wimmin, gays, et al) to act as collectives, libertarianism encourages the oppressors (whites in general, straight white males in particular) to act as individuals. That’s not a recipe for a happy future. And funnily enough, a single tribe of philanthropic folk are hugely over-represented in both Marxism and libertarianism.

    Of course, it does not compute that JayMan and misdreavus (members of oppressed communities) should accept HBD (ideology of oppressing community).

    • Replies: @Ivar
  5. Matt_ says:

    I am not the most versed in economics. The way I hear the story, the Greeks were more or less told to do what they did by American financial and Euro political institutions.

    Why? Because these parties sought to profit.

    The big problem for the Greeks, is that they cannot adjust (devalue) their currency’s value, and this is pretty much because they joined the Euro, and joining the Euro was effectively a promise by the Germans, and other Euro members that they would bail them out.

    That’s not to deny any responsibility to the Greeks. Yet, the Greek crisis seems more of a story of primarily German desire for an integrated Eurozone, and for new and highly unsustainable markets for their exports. The Germans don’t accept that they have to consume and can’t indulge in obsessions with prudence. Not that they, the Germans, as people, even with relatively high savings rates actually have much personal wealth or debt (their household wealth is low, and they don’t have large households), all the wealth being locked up in “German” capital that they don’t actually own and which is theoretically available to the German state.

    Re: Iraq, I’m not sure anyone would actually have to know anything about “HBD” (used here for making assumptions about high heritabilities of particular cultural traits) to make predications, or that it would improve accuracy. Just look at the cultural history and regional geopolitics in Iraq without stressing out about heritability (or trying to estimate it) and you’d get a better prediction.

    Also, I mean, approvingly citing positve assumptions that could’ve been made in the 1950s about South Korea’s future economic performance… How is that compatible with making blithe assumptions that North Korea’s traits compared to the South are possibly due to genetic factors?

    • Replies: @pseudoerasmus
  6. Ivar says:

    I’m astonished by this argument. It seems to me that the difference between libertarianism and socialism/Marxism is that the libertarians believe that the rich deserve to be rich and powerful, that the poor deserve to be poor and oppressed, and that socialists/Marxists disagree.

    What does HBD say? Well, the logical conclusion of HBD is that the rich and powerful did nothing to deserve to be rich and powerful, and that the poor did nothing to deserve to be poor and oppressed. Both are an accident of a genetic lottery that they had nothing to do with. In my own opinion, HBD is an argument for massive affirmative action for the oppressed, and for redistributive economic justice.

  7. Toddy Cat says:

    Get this misdreavus guy a blog, stat!

  8. EH says:

    Your thesis is interesting, but not applicable to Greece in general.The interior of Greece has generally been sparsely settled and isolated from important events. Regions such as Epirus fit the mountain-bandit stereotype, but piracy was always the more common type of lawlessness, and it of course depends on having the freedom of the seas rather than the constrained routes of highways and rivers. Most of Greece has always been maritime, traders and pirates. They have always been fractious, often to the point of anarchy.

    It should also be noted that contrary to the popular view, Greeks work more hours than Northern Europeans. They are also more entrepreneurial than the collectivist northerners – employment is (well, was) almost all in small businesses. Basically Greece is as it is because they have a tradition of individualism, admittedly of an odd kind which collectively takes to the streets on the slightest pretext. Freedom is their highest ideal, followed by the honor of being the scrappy underdogs making war against the powers that be – whether the Turks, the Germans, the EU, the US, the Greek Government – it hardly matters. (Literally making war in many cases – it seemed like half the old State Department list of terrorist organizations was throwaway names created for each Greek anarchist attack.) Cheating the government is their most popular form of patriotism, even more than mass marches / riots or resentment of their Turkish cousins / former oppressors.

    The Greek character and outlook is not easy to grasp without spending a few months at least in Greece, reading their history, practicing their traditional activities such as making Molotov cocktails at the Polytechniou, singing songs about killing Turks and drinking untaxed tskoudia (grappa) with breakfast. Reading Kazantzakis’ Report to Greco is about as close as one can come otherwise.

    • Replies: @JayMan
  9. JayMan says: • Website


    Two things:

    It should also be noted that contrary to the popular view, Greeks work more hours than Northern Europeans.

    Clocking hours doesn’t necessarily mean working. See here:

    Being Italian and having lived and worked all over Europe and North America, I can assure you that being physically at work and actually working are not the same thing in Southern Europe. The German media ran a series of articles about the experience of Spanish and Greek citizens who had migrated to Germany looking for work. The migrants reported being surprised to find that German workers did not make personal phone calls in the office, take numerous coffee and cigarette breaks or otherwise goof off while physically present in the workplace.

    Also, only the very largest companies in Southern Europe tend to have air conditioned offices which does not help with productivity in 100 degree heat.

    Southern Europeans may log hours, but that doesn’t mean the pound is hitting the pavement.

    They are also more entrepreneurial than the collectivist northerners – employment is (well, was) almost all in small businesses. Basically Greece is as it is because they have a tradition of individualism, admittedly of an odd kind which collectively takes to the streets on the slightest pretext. Freedom is their highest ideal, followed by the honor of being the scrappy underdogs making war against the powers that be

    On that, see HBD Chick:

    the state motto of west virginia (and the temporary slogan of the hbd chick blog (~_^) – see masthead ) — west virginia having a history of inbreeding, of course — is “montani semper liberi!” or “mountaineers always free!” again, the inbred seem to want to be — and feel more — free from the greater society at large. but they are tied more closely to their extended families, something that they don’t really seem to notice. like you say, the outbred english who are truly unique individuals (in the genetic sense) are oriented towards the commonweal because they are not tied (so much) to their families.

  10. “It should also be noted that contrary to the popular view, Greeks work more hours than Northern Europeans.”

    That’s not a good comparison. Greek productivity is around half the northern European productivity. (Even less if the comparison is restricted to Scandinavia.) So of course Greeks must work many more hours per worker in order to achieve 55-65% of northern living standards.

    However, if you did compare like with like, then the Greeks do look harder-working than the Portuguese or the Slovaks.

    Then there’s the legitimate question of whether the clocked hours capture real work, in the case of the Greeks.

    The margin of error in counting work hours is bigger than in measuring GDP. It’s easier to count production and tally spending and money incomes, than assess how much real work is involved in clocked hours.

    But if you think the clocked hours are exaggerated, that would also imply Greeks are more productive than the data say.

    Lazy or not very productive, you kind of have to pick the one or the other.

  11. @Matt_

    The Greeks do not deserve all this cruel austerity, but in two senses they have created their own situation : (1) They could leave the euro zone, but do not — early on it was argued leaving would be worse than staying, but that’s clearly not the case now ; and (2) Unlike Spain and Ireland, where the debt binge took place in the private sector (mostly in bad real estate investments), the Greek (and Portuguese) debt binge was public sector, and used for consumption. A certain lack of discipline and restraint in consumption spending even as the economy was doing ok in the 2000s, says something about the Greek creation of their own plight.

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