There is something I want to share with “fellow Europeans”, and it is something hard to describe. It is to, in a moment, “feel” the past. How can I convey this? How can I show this?
Around 7700 BC, white skin had “reached fixation”, or the highest prevalence in the genome until today or some later decline, in modern-day Sweden. Some time around 3500 BC, white skin reached fixation in the rest of Europe.
I don’t say this because white skin is super-important (though melanin is a hormone and it’s absence will have causal effects on behavior), but just to give an idea of how quickly a genetically-based trait can spread. The late Henry Harpending in his book “The 10,000 Year Explosion” explains introgression, whereby the genes of a different population can enter another population, and then those genes get selected upon, the result being that a trait could spread through the population faster than you would expect from traditional natural selection.
For example, a mutation that increases fitness by 10%, if it came into existence in a single person, would come to dominate a population of 149,000 people in about 125 generations. If each generation is 25 years, this would be 3,125 years. And that’s assuming the mutation only happens in one place. If the mutation for light skin or ability to drink milk into adulthood independently crops up in 10 places, and has a 10% reproductive advantage, then it would “fix” (reach nearly 100% prevalence) in a population of 1.49 million in 3,125 years. If it independently pops up 100 times, 14.9 million.
And since most people at the time successfully had between 1 and 3 children, factoring in the number who had zero, a 10% increase in reproductive fitness wouldn’t be noticed. If people who could tolerate lactose had 2.1 kids on average versus 1.9 for those who didn’t, what would this look like in practice? Well, in 10 households with lactase persistence, 9 would have two children, and 1 household would have three. In 10 households that did not have adult lactose tolerance, they would have 9 with two children, and 1 household would only have one. Nobody who wasn’t keeping records and looking for these kinds of correlations would even notice.
But the important takeaway is that evolution happens fast – or at least the “small” things such as the range of cognitive differences between what are considered functional humans.
The Collapse in Homicide
From 1300 to 1900, there was a collapse in homicide rates in most European countries.
In 2003, Manuel Eisner did amazing work estimating the historical homicide rates in England, Belgium & Holland, Scandanavia, Germany & Switzerland, and Italy:
Historical Homicide Rate in England (Eisner 2003)
Historical Homicide Rate in Holland and Belgium
Historical Homicide Rate in Scandanavia
Historical Homicide Rate in Italy
Historical Homicide Rate in Germany and Switzerland
Remember these are all logarithmic scales, and so the decline in from each y-axis interval is a 10 times decline.
Historical Homicide Rates in the 5 Regions
Eisner also combined all of this data here:
Bogoyavlenskiy et. al also found some historical homicide data for Russia from 1880 on:
During the mid 1980s-early 1990s, Russia appears to have had a spike up to medieval levels of homicide. More recent data shows Russia with a homicide rate of around 9.5, which is probably about as high as England in 1450.
Gregory Clark, in A Farewell to Alms, also shows the proportion of noble males who died violent deaths declined over this period:
Keep in mind the lower life expectancies than today, only reaching 62.7 years for males around 1805. This means that to some extent, the higher homicide rates in the middle ages are merely a function of a higher proportion of the population being at peak homicide years.
By comparison, blacks in the United States are only about 10 times more likely to commit homicide than whites are. This puts the stereotype that the Romans had of the violent “barbarian” in a new context. And of course the Viking Age, according to wikipedia, is said to have been from around 775 to 1050.
My interest here is not so much in the homcides for their own sake. It is about the kind of people they were. The fact that there were 10 times as many murderers in England than among similarly-aged white males in England today is not, on it’s own, all that interesting.
What IS interesting is that you probably also had 10 times the amount of behavior, in the whole population, that is associated with murderousness today.
Based on state-level racial ratios on homicide data, UNDOC’s estimate of the US homicide rate, and the presumption that the US in 2013 is 62% non-hispanic white, 14% black and 16% hispanic, we get an estimated homicide rate of 1.87 per 100k for US Whites, 14.08 for US Blacks, and 4.77 for US Hispanics. US Whites then are about 1.5 times more violent than Western Europeans. This is small enough that it could easily be “cultural”, but it could also be that the kind of people who emigrated places like the United States were on average more violent than the Europeans who stayed behind.
This would make US Whites about 1.5 times more violent than modern Western Europeans, but also suggests that Europeans in 1250 AD were more violent than US Blacks are today; in fact probably 3 times as violent.
If this seems radical, consider the use of public executions, in which members of the crowd would chop off limbs to keep as souvenirs.
A Genetic Argument
Shifts in homicide can be explained with “environment” or “culture” or changes in law. For example, the spike in homicide in Russia following the end of the USSR was not a result of a rapid change in Russian genetics.
But when we consider a change from 1250 to 1750, that’s 500 years, or 20 generations of 25 years each. And when we see either a gradual, or a series of stepwise changes over that time, then a genetic explanation becomes plausible.
There are two mechanisms by which this change could have come about. The first is the war on murder, and the second is the downward social regression of the elite.
Downward Social Regression
From 1250 to 1800, the top 35.4% of the population by wealth or other status indicators of status had 32.9% more offspring than the bottom 65% did within “Europe and North America”, according to a paper by Vegard Skirbekk in 2008:
Fertility by Social Status in Europe and North America (Skirbekk 2008)
And so what this means is that, assuming these numbers are roughly accurate, the top 35.4% of the population produced 42.16% of the next generation. And so in ten generations, the bottom 64.6% was effectively replaced by the top 35.4%. If we assume a generation time of 25 years, there were 22 generations from 1250 to 1800, and so the top 35.4% “replaced” the bottom 2.3 times. Of course in reality it wouldn’t have happened exactly like this, as there’s no rule saying that certain genotypes were necessarily wiped out, just that they kept getting mixed in with constant waves of downwardly mobile offspring from the “upper class”.
So how much of a genetic effect would this have had? Well, that would depend on how much the top 35.4% and bottom 64.6% of the population differed in genetic ways.
In A Farewell to Alms, Gregory Clark actually documented this playing out in Suffolk County, England:
The War on Murder
Another factor that would reduce violent behavior and, more important and interestingly, the other traits that go along with a violent personality – is that from around 1000 AD to around 1750 AD, countries in Catholic Europe had very draconian punishments against criminality.
What Henry Harpending and Peter Frost argued in their paper Western Europe, State Formation, and Genetic Pacification was that from around 1000 AD to 1750 AD, about 1.5% of every male generation was executed for some sort of crime, either by court or by mob. Over 30 generations, this adds up to 45% of the males, or just 22.5% of the population. But the effect on whatever genotypic correlates with criminality will be greater than this.
This is an important point. It is not merely that those criminal individuals got removed. It is that their genes got removed out of the collective genetic tumbler. And so it is not merely that a few bad apples got removed each generation, but that those genes then couldn’t spread throughout the rest of the population. Each criminal can thus be seen as a vessel with a cluster of more criminal genes. And so when executed, those genes got removed throughout.
And each generation, there would be fewer and fewer hard criminals popping into existence, because there are fewer criminal genes within the whole of the population, and so it would be less and less likely that an individual would get a “criminal draw” from the tumbler.
The reduction in the number of true criminals may interest some people, but I find that rather trivial and boring. What is interesting to think about is what traits a lower percentage of “criminal genes” among Western Europeans produces in a typical person. They’re not going to kill you, but they may be more willing to get in a fight, they may be more likely to get drunk, and they’re probably not very abstract thinkers or very entrepreneurial, or intellectually-oriented.
So conceptually, removing 0.75% of the population each generation for 30 generations could remove something like 50% of the “criminal genes”, since you’re removing the most concentrated clusters of those genes each generation, not just the equivalent of the top 22.5% of a single generation.
We also don’t know how heritable homicide was in the middle ages. Arguments for it being very low could have to do with there being more variation in education levels (literacy vs. illiteracy), the developmental effects of undernutrition, famine and disease.
There’s also the argument that around 80% of the population had the same job – farmer – and the same education level – none – and the same parental socioeconomic status – peasant. And that the middle ages actually serve as a controlled environment experiment, and since everyone lived in the same crappy environment, any differences between individuals would be a function of genetic differences.
We know that the heritability of aggressiveness in the modern world is about 0.4. Given that we can speculate reasons for the heritability of variance in homicide in the middle ages being higher or lower than the modern figure, 0.4 seems to be the best starting assumption.
But for those who wish to say that variance in criminality in the middle ages must have been overwhelmingly due to environment – remember that it was still overwhelmingly males being executed for crimes, just as it is today. And we at least know that THAT gap is a function of genetic differences, perhaps made larger with societal expectation. The female executions happened, but they were few enough to ignore.
The European Revolution
Something that I think is difficult for the modern person to comprehend is just how regimented and proscribed ancient economies were. Take “the market” for example. For you it’s an abstract thing, but in medieval Europe – or anywhere – it referred to specific locations where all major exchange was regulated.
For example, the price of grain may be allowed to be haggled, up to a point where the laws of a particular market may disallow selling at too high or too low a price. To sell manufactured goods, you had to be licensed, and while the gilds didn’t always have legal monopolies – it was kind of irrelevant. Lets say you wanted to start a shoe-making business; well, first you would have to set up your practice with all of those costs, and all of your manufacturing techniques would have to be the same as the current gild in order to be a licensed seller at a particular market.
And then, after all of that, you would have access to one of the 800 markets in England, each of which served about 10,000 people.
If one wished to sell at a different market, they may have to pay a toll or tariff. The market was an institution, with its own market court, prison and could even carry out executions.
In such an environment, what does “starting a business” even mean? How would you get a “loan”?
There’s no real way to “make it big” in producing stuff. At most you could become a tradesman, but it was far easier to try to get an apprenticeship into a gild than to start a new business. As in, starting a new business would be basically impossible, something almost never done, to the point where it wouldn’t even enter the minds of anyone to do so.
The European revolution went like this:
1. (1000 AD – 1500 AD) Increased yield in agriculture resulting from the privatization of common land and the creation of capitalist farms allowed for more people to live in cities around 1600. There weren’t factories at this point, but a higher proportion of people able to be something other than a farmer.
2. (1500 AD – 1700 AD) Firms get bigger and start selling beyond their local market. They are aided by government spending on Canals and Turnpikes. This government spending is made possible by the increased tax revenue from the new tradesmen, who exist because farming is now more productive. This is commonly referred to as the “merchantilist era” or the “colonial era”.
3. (1700 AD – 1880 AD) A “common market” is formed in England, the old local markets become obsolete and are retired or simply become part of a uniform trade law emanating from London. This makes mass production profitable, i.e. factories, because now the “market” you are selling to is the whole of England, not 10,000 people, of whom perhaps only 1,000 need new shoes every year. Factories are water-powered. This is “early industrialization”.
4. (1880 AD on) The steam engine becomes economical, which is then used to make farming even more efficient, which then frees up more labor for factories, which are also made more economical as they no longer have to rely on water-power – and at that point you have entered the world of “the economy” as we know it today.
These changes occurred over the same years that the war on murder and the downward social regression was happening. Where the bottom two-thirds was being genetically replaced by the upper-third, and the equivalent of the most violent 22.5% of the population was removed from the gene pool.
The people in Western Europe in 1525 were a completely different genetic stock from the people there in 1250. And the people in 1800 were also a totally different stock from those in 1525.
And so the commoner of 1525 was the elite of 1250, and the commoner of 1800 was the elite of 1525.
What then was the commoner of 1250? He was something radically different from the modern European. He was a serf and a perpetrator of the traditional “feudal” economy that existed, with minor variation, around the whole planet.
The conclusion just pops out at you: The Industrial Revolution, product of the Agricultural Revolution, were both a product of the European Revolution. A genetic change that involved the indirect genocide and replacement of the majority of the Western European population at least twice, possibly three times. And this process probably occurred in Eastern Europe and Russia as well, though apparently to a lesser extent.
This is why the “first world” as you know it is entirely a function of the European genetic changes that created a New European, which, without any outside help, destroyed serfdom and the traditional economy and created the modern world, modern government, and a generalized “economy” as we know it.
Other peoples – the Oriental Caucasians, Indians, East Asians – only broke out of serfdom and the traditional economy when the Europeans either did it for them, or, as in the case of Japan, witnessed Europe and rapidly emulated the final outcomes of the agricultural and industrial revolution.
And when you can “see this”, it’s an amazing feeling that I don’t know how to convey with words. In an instant, you can see people, a hop skip and a jump removed from the stone age, with burlap clothes, farming in a way not dissimilar from caveman, with modest changes in their clothing – and to see, every piece of “technology” is understandable within perhaps 10 minutes of explanation. And a world where all of the technology could, in perhaps a week or so, be understood by a single person.
And the “elite” of 1250 being like “chavs” or “trailer trash” or “traq soot” slavs that you know today, and the lower classes being so casually crude, and casually violent in a surprising way. To see them go about their daily lives, and then when they catch a criminal, mutilate him, or, just for the fun of it, throw a bunch of cats onto a bonfire, and then go back to weeding their wheat fields. Then in 1500, seeing those chavs and “trailer trash”, once the elite, now just the average person, and the elite being like the average white guys of today – what we think of as normal aggression, normal levels of abstract thinking.
Then in 1750, white people who are like today, with the elite being of similar demeanor and intellectual leanings of doctors and corporate managers of today. And to see iron forged by hand into new shapes and molds, and then into the parts of a primitive steam engine, and then hand-building a steam engine with a better design, the blacksmith changing in character over the centuries from someone unrecognizably brutish and prone to fights to someone like you and me as the complexity of what he makes increases. And then the blacksmith turns into an iron workshop, and then that building gets bigger and the blast furnaces grow larger, requiring steam engines and 5-man crews to move them.
It’s like I can feel this material creation, as if crafting and screwing and gluing the wood and iron and cloth together myself, and I know the people in each phase of genetic development. I can hear an old hag cursing in some indecipherable precursor to modern English; a dashing young blonde-haired man who doesn’t look like the criminal sort at all, who then robs you, and later rapes a woman. Women who smile courteously at you, but then stuff their bags full of produce and sneak out; who mock the boys who can’t fight and are attracted to only the most physical and dominating men. People who are European in appearance, but then behave like… well… do I need to say it? As if an alien race entered their bodies. But no, that’s them! That’s who the Romans called Barbarians, the blonde brutes, until the genetically pacified Romans were overrun by the Barbarians.
The modern world as we know it came from this genetic change in Western Europe, most concentrated in England. This is where the modern world, “the first world”, started to come into existence.
Which is why First Worldism means not mere “white nationalism”, but also the mentality of the New European. Which is to say free speech, private property, and consistent law free from clannish sentimentalism, and the genetic foundation needed to sustain those things over time. And it’s proud, because there is much to be proud of! If anyone should have racial pride, it is Europeans, the more northern and western the moreso.
And when you understand what this thing is we call “modern civilization”, the totally new and revolutionary conception of property, of law, and of life itself that preceded it, the hidebound traditional economies it replaced, and the genetic changes in Europe from which it came – then you have a visceral understanding, in an instant, a holisis, of how this is absolutely it. This is the one thing that needs preserving above anything else.