All humans love to kiss, so kissing must go back to early hominids and even chimps and bonobos. This is how ethologists and evolutionary psychologists think when they write about the subject. Just one thing. Even in historic times not all humans loved to kiss. Far from arising millions of years in the past, kissing... Read More
As an example of the cowardly, defeatist, ethnomasochist cancer rapidly eating away the vital organs of Western civilization, the “grooming” scandals in the English town of Rotherham have made less of a stir than they should have. VDARE.com at least has not been remiss here. For a good quick introduction to the scandals, I don’t... Read More
In England, executions peaked between 1500 and 1750 at 1 to 2% of all men of each generation. Were there genetic consequences? Were propensities for violence being removed from the gene pool? Did the English population become kinder and gentler? Such is the argument I made in a recent paper with Henry Harpending. In this... Read More
In each generation from 1500 to 1750, between 1 and 2% of all English men were executed either by court order or extra-judicially (at the scene of the crime or while in prison). This was the height of a moral crusade by Church and State to punish the wicked so that the good may live... Read More
“Ach, the Sassenachs (English) be greet’in and gurn’in (moaning, groaning, wailing) most mightily.” Every so often, the Scots like to rise up and give the Sassenachs a big scare. Next week, they are threatening to break their union with England and Wales which has been in effect since 1707. The United Kingdom may be no... Read More
When I read news from the country of my birth, the emotions I experience (with rare exceptions) are disgust, horror, and despair. This last week, for example, saw the sentencing of the Woolwich killers. These two young men, English-born to Christian Nigerian parents, converts to Islam, ran down an off-duty British soldier in May last... Read More
Last week I took a trip back to England for a family event. It was my first time in the Old Country since 2008 (for a different family event). Family business took up most of my time; I had little opportunity for exploring. What follows are some random notes and observations. In a way, the... Read More
HBD Chick and I talk about how rates of historic inbreeding have had an important impact on the selective pressures acting on the traits of various peoples living today. We have often used Europe and the Middle East as examples of this, because strong regional variations in historic rates of inbreeding exist in those places.... Read More
Homicide rates in England, 1200-2000 (Eisner, 2001) States seek to pacify their territories by monopolizing the use of violence. With each passing generation, violent individuals are ostracized, imprisoned, or executed, their predispositions being thereby selected out of the gene pool. Has this “genetic pacification” made longtime State societies kinder and gentler places to live in?... Read More
Did the end of the Middle Ages bring a rapid shift to individualism in English society? Or was something already going on beforehand? For most of human history and prehistory, our lives were based on kinship—economically, socially and even spiritually. Kinship determined who provided whom with the basics of life: food, shelter, and clothing. And... Read More
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is visiting us here in Manhattan this week. As I write this, she has just got through delivering an address to the U.N. General Assembly, 16 of whose member nations have her as their head of state. The speechwasn't anything very substantive, but then she's a constitutional monarch. Non-substantive speechifying... Read More
The Edwardians, by Roy Hattersley
I am not sure how much the title of this book means to an American reader, or what connotations the word "Edwardian" has over here. Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria, ruled Britain and her empire from 1901 to 1910. In the common usage of British people, though, the Edwardian age is always taken... Read More
I visit the land of my birth.
Over to England to join a conference on anti-Americanism. Good conference: thought-provoking ideas from a roomful of conservatives, including some personal favorites: Roger Kimball, NR's own John O'Sullivan, Paul Hollander, and others. Some of the contributions, including mine, will probably be printed up in a forthcoming issue of that excellent magazine The New Criterion. They... Read More
That wonderful English cuisine.
Robert Browning, Rupert Brooke and Will Godwin's Australian miner notwithstanding, I don't think English people are much prone to homesickness. Quite a large number of English expatriates are glad to be out of the place. They will tell you what the sailor told George Borrow in Lavengro: "England was a hard mother to me, as... Read More
Britain's imported race problem.
"What's all this about race riots in England?" my American friends keep asking me. "Who are these 'Asians' that are throwing rocks at the police? What's their beef? Can you explain this?" You bet I can. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. It is important to understand that England's race problem is nothing like... Read More
Britain's foot-and-mouth epidemic.
The roast beef of Old England doesn't look so appetizing nowadays. An outbreak of foot and mouth disease was diagnosed two weeks ago on some English farms. The disease is transmitted by a virus, the aphthovirus, which belongs to the same family as the rhinoviruses that cause the common cold in humans. It is lethal... Read More
I am old enough to remember when we Brits used to snigger at you Yanks about your obsession with race. The brains of white Americans, we used to murmur smugly to each other over buttered pikelets and a cup of Ty-phoo, had been addled with guilt. You just couldn't get over the fact that some... Read More
Under Prime Minister Tony Blair and his cohorts, Great Britain is threatening to become almost as totalitarian, if not more, in its reconstruction of history as the United States under Bill Clinton. One such cohort is Ken Livingstone, the new mayor of London, whose contribution to constructing the new order is to propose that the... Read More
The Isles, by Norman Davies
Forty years ago the English comic-song duo of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann produced their "Song of Patriotic Prejudice," a sort of spoof English — as opposed to British — national anthem. After an introductory verse to set the theme ("The rottenest bits of these islands of ours / We've left in the hands of... Read More
A survey of some books on U.S. history
On the weekend of the Fourth one's thoughts turn naturally to the history of these United States, and to one's own lamentable failure to read as much history as a good citizen (or, in my case, intending citizen) should. But quality is a fair substitute for quantity, so here are some of the best from... Read More