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Why Re-Colonization? Commonweal Orientation

Driving in Varanasi, India
(Part II of two)


Europe and the U.S. are both being overrun with illegal immigrants from the South. We recently asked the question, ‘Why?’ One answer, we’ve found, could be the former’s higher levels of Future Orientation. This ability to fully conceive of and plan for the future creates societies that are the envy of the world.

Africa’s illegal aliens flood into Europe; Latin America’s flood into the U.S.

But we also argue that a second quality is drawing the masses to Euros’ doors. We call this trait Commonweal Orientation. Where it is found in abundance, safe and prosperous societies seem to flourish. So what is it, and why has it been so unevenly distributed on Planet Earth?

 

I. Low Commonweal: A character sketch

For those of us born in high-trust societies, it may come as a surprise that low commonweal orientation, also known as low trust, clannishness, or amoral familism, is anything but rare–globally, it is not the exception but the rule.

1) Low-trust: Don’t be a sucker

Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth:

The queue–mark of civilization? Or mark of the easy mark?

 

 

a) Semitics

Via HBD Chick, Marjorie Miller explains the Israeli concept of ‘freier’

A freier, in Israeli eyes, is a shopper who waits in line to pay retail. It is a driver who searches for legal parking rather than pulling onto the sidewalk with the other cars. … The fear of being a sucker turns driving into a bumper-car competition and makes grocery shopping as trying as arm wrestling.

… ‘In London, the culture is to give way, be a gentleman, don’t compete,’ said Peri, the former editor. ‘But an Israeli is the opposite. If you are stronger, why should you give way to someone weaker? In a debate, the British will say, ‘You have a point.’ In a debate here, no Israeli will admit he has been persuaded to change his mind. That shows weakness.’

Not being a freier in Tel Aviv

 

 

Americans often find the Israeli attitude intolerably rude. Israelis, meanwhile, find Americans to be the biggest freiers of all. They are naive idealists. …  Americans are perceived as innocents who follow the rules and who believe a person will actually do what he promises to do. ‘An American is willing to trust until someone proves to be untrustworthy,’ Shahar said. ‘Israel is much more like the rest of the world, where the basic assumption is that people . . . should not be trusted until proven trustworthy.’

The ugly Israeli: ‘You will sell me chocolate. … You are my worker, I paid money for you!’

 

 

David Pryce-Jones, who lived many years among the Arabs:

‘Public welfare’ is a concept without meaningful application [in the Arab world]; there is no common good.  Generosity is suspect as a ploy for advantage.  Idealism and sincerity are penalized.  Self-sacrifice is akin to lunacy or martyrdom.

The garbage-strewn rooftops of Cairo

 

 

David Lamb, after three years in Cairo:

But here’s the curious thing: While Egyptians are content to live in filthy, battered buildings, the insides of their homes are always immaculate.  … When I asked friends if anyone had ever considered a neighborhood block association or an owners’ association to clean up common areas, they would chuckle and say “Oh, THAT would never work here.”  No doubt it wouldn’t. My friends did not feel that their responsibility extended beyond their own boundaries. 

b) Persians

 

Steve Sailer quotes Iranians Firoozeh Dumas and Dayi Hamid on the Persian concept of ‘zerangi’:

… When we first came to America in 1972, my father was amazed at the way Americans waited in line at Disneyland. No complaints, no cutting. In Iran, we have zerangi, a concept that loosely means “cleverness.”

… Most, if not all the time in Iranian culture and society, a zerang person is seen in a positive light … For example, a person who knows how the American legal system works and is able to work it to his or her advantage is zerang. A person who is resourceful in business and has made something of himself is zerang. … It does not stop here; a person who is able to wittingly cheat people, companies, businesses, governments of money is zerang and an idol for many Iranians. …We Iranians, although outwardly criticize corruption, internally glorify it and wish to master it.

c) Iberians

Haggling in Peru

 

Brazilian social anthropologist Roberto DaMatta has observed the stark contrasts between his countrymen’s behavior within the family circle and without.  In sum:

If I am buying from or selling to a relative, I neither seek profit nor concern myself with money. The same can happen in a transaction with a friend. But, if I am dealing with a stranger, then there are no rules, other than the one of exploiting him to the utmost.

Lawrence Harrison, who spent decades working in Latin America, has identified what he calls the ‘attitude system typical of Hispanic America’:

[…] a limited radius of social identification resulting in a lack of concern for the interests and well-being of people outside the family, and for the society as a whole; the generalized absence of trust throughout the society; absence of due process, […]  low incidence of organized group solutions to common problems; nepotism and corruption; tax evasion; absence of philanthropy.

View of the Juarez Monument in Mexico City

He cites Argentine Mariano Grondona, who claims familism can chip away at ‘the lesser virtues,’ or

‘daily small antisocial acts such as the indiscriminate disposal of trash in vacant lots and gutters.’

The Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset says ‘the most widespread and dangerous characteristic of modern Spanish life’ is called ‘particularism‘:

Among normal [sic] nations, a class that desires something for itself tries to get it by agreement with the other classes. . . . But a class attacked by particularism feels humiliated when it realizes that in order to achieve its desires it must resort to these organs of the common will.

Chronicler of Spanish mores Fernando Diaz-Plaja once spoke of a encounter in Madrid with a young boy cutting in line at a bus stop to reserve spots for him and his mother:

The fault wasn’t [the boy’s]. His parents, his older brothers, his uncles had taught him that society is a jungle and that you don’t get anywhere unless you think only of yourself.

2) High-trust: Living among the suckers

If ‘non-freier’ / ‘zerangi’ is the norm on Planet Earth, then what is the exception?

a) English

In stark contrast to the above, NW Europeans–and first and foremost the English–are famous for their notion of ‘fair-play’. Salvador de Madariaga, in his Englishmen, Frenchmen, Spaniards (1929):

…the English sensitiveness to the ‘laws of things’–the law of the road, the law of the sea, the law of the hunting field. … the English are the teachers of the world, not merely in their quickness to perceive these natural laws, but in their cordial and sincere obedience to the restrictions which they impose upon each individual for the good of the whole.

Each Englishman is his own regulator. … The need of outside safeguards or guarantees of any kind is therefore less urgently felt than in other countries. The average level of honesty in English civil life is singularly high, as is shown in the usual disregard for detailed precautions against fraud or deceit.

… No bureaucracy in the world can vie with the English Civil Service in its devotion to the interests of the country. … it owes much also to that instinct for co-operation, that objectivity, that absence of self-seeking, of vanity and of personal passion which are typical of the whole race.

b) Scandinavians
In Finland, even geese get the right of way

 

Denmark, called ‘the happiest place in the world,’ is said to be singularly high-trust:

The second pillar of happiness is a high level of trust between people, even for a stranger on the street, according to Wiking. This could be a spillover effect from people’s high level of trust in the government, which is underpinned by a low level of corruption. “We have a belief that our democratic institutions protect us and that the state… wants what is good for us,” he said. … “Danish society is more cohesive. The quality of social relations is somewhat stronger” than in the rest of Scandinavia, Wiking said.

Sharing the road in Copenhagen

 

Pre-immivasion, corruption was so low in Sweden they didn’t even have vocabulary for it. From Simona Pattioni, via HBD Chick:

The Swedish language does not have an appropriate word for clientelism, and when journalists refer to clientelism in other countries, they usually have to add that this is a practice where politicians exchange favors for political support. Yet, on the whole, the practice of clientelism is relatively unknown in Sweden. Evidence from scientific research suggests that the Swedish bureaucracy works in a relatively universalistic manner.

c) Japanese

Japanese queuing for supplies in Aobaku after the 2011 earthquake

 

Francis Fukuyama on the Japanese:

Consensus comes about relatively easily in Japan. … Networks based on reciprocal moral obligation have ramified throughout the Japanese economy because the degree of generalized trust possible among unrelated people is extraordinarily high. … Something in Japanese culture makes it very easy for one person to incur a reciprocal obligation to another and to maintain this sense of obligation over extended periods of time.

The low-trust have thus told us in their own words how they operate.  But what does such a trait look like, scaled up to the level of a society? And why are the people that create these societies so tempted to try to get away from them? We shall start with anecdotes, then take a look at the numbers.

 

II. Low Commonweal Orientation: The Macro

‘Building a better life for my family’ often means fleeing the corruption and fraud which is flower among the low-trust.  For some concrete examples of what these millions of people are running from, we shall look at  1) political corruption, 2) civil service corruption, 3) welfare fraud, 4) tax fraud, 5) education fraud, and 6) the ‘lesser virtues.’

Japanese queuing for supplies after tsunami, Chinese jostling for salt during shortage

 

In addition, we shall see not only how the low-trust operate at home, but also how they operate when we let them into our high-trust enclaves.

Tour d’horizon

1) Political corruption

   a) Political corruption–At home

In nepotistic countries, political fraud is not so much a mark of shame as a national sport.  Sub-Saharan Africa may be one of the most flagrant examples, as they struggle to survive while leaders live high on the hog:

President of Gabon’s goodies, bought with your aid money

In total, French authorities believe that [Congolese] President Sassou-Nguesso and his family spent 60 million euros [!] on luxury items and property in France over [2005-2011]. … a former family aid noted that Denis “changes shirts three or four times a day and boasts that he never washes them and uses them as Kleenexes.”

… in 2007 it was revealed that he had spent $400,000 on hotel bills during two visits to New York. Members of his entourage, which on one occasion took up 44 rooms in the historic Waldorf Astoria hotel, reportedly drank Cristal champagne and charged tens of thousands of dollars of room service. … Meanwhile, back home in the Republic of Congo, more than half the population lives on less than $1.25 per day.

President of Equatorial Guinea’s goodies, bought with your aid money

Aid money meant for the poorest often disappears:

At least €1 billion of EU aid poured into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in recent years went down the drain, auditors say. Looking at €1.9 billion worth of 16 aid projects in the vast, troubled, country between 2003 and 2011, it said: “Fewer than half of the programmes examined have delivered, or are likely to deliver, most of the expected results.” … He said the EU in 2005 also helped to equip and train a police force of some 1,000 officers, “but when we came down there and checked [in 2012], … we could find no trace of it.”

But aid money going up in smoke is hardly unique to Africa–some of the wealthiest on the planet engage in this sport as well:

An estimated €120 billion is lost to corruption each year throughout the 27 member states, the EU commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmstrom has said. “In public procurement, studies suggest that up to 20 to 25 percent of the public contracts’ value may be lost to corruption,” said Malmstrom on Tuesday. … the worst offenders in public procurement cases are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Romania and Slovakia.

Low-trust and high-trust peoples simply don’t look at things the same way:

Shivpal Singh Yadav is in charge of housing and construction in northern Uttar Pradesh state,  …  “If you work hard, you can steal a little, but don’t behave like bandits,” the Press Trust of India quoted Yadav as saying at the meeting in Etah town, about 124 miles from capital Lucknow.

Yadav and Papandreou: Two peas in a pod

 

As in India, so in Greece:

One of the biggest [scandals of post-EU Greece], involving the leader of the Public Power Corporation in 1986, apparently elicited the following response from then-Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou : ‘[…] he made a joke of it saying that he had no problem if an official “makes a little gift to himself,” provided that the amounts not be outrageously high.’

Latin America, which has thrown off decades of military dictatorship and embraced representative democracy, remains plagued with endless corruption scandals at the very highest levels of government, as can be seen today in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, VenezuelaGuatemala, and Peru.

Under a cloud of suspicion: Latin American leaders recently embroiled in scandal (Presidents of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Guatemala, Parliament Speaker of Venezuela)

 

b) Political corruption–Abroad

Low-trust societies create political corruption. But what happens when large chunks of their populations leave and set up shop in high-trust countries?

2010 City Council meeting in Maywood, CA

Boasting a population that is 97% Hispanic, more than half foreign born, and 40% illegal, the Los Angeles County, Calif., incorporated city of Maywood has achieved the Reconquista goal. It is now as lawless and chaotic as any place in Mexico.  Maywood was the first California city with an elected Hispanic City Council, one of the first “sanctuary” cities for illegal aliens, … Council meetings were conducted in Spanish.

… Charges of corruption and favoritism led to one recall of city council members and threats of more recalls are heard to this day. … Today, Maywood is broke. Its police department dismantled along with all other city departments and personnel. Only the city council remains.

As goes Maywood, so goes South Gate:

2012 South Gate, CA High School football team

Today, South Gate is 93 percent Hispanic. … Nearly half of South Gate’s population was born outside of the United States, and 80 percent of the town’s residents speak Spanish at home.

In 1997, Albert Robles won the race for city treasurer and began collecting an annual salary of $69,000. Meanwhile, he had seen to it that his friends and business associates were awarded city contracts worth millions. … his political opponents were not faring nearly as well. City councilman Henry Gonzalez was shot in the head but survived the wound. Another political rival had his car firebombed. The crimes remain unsolved.

Britain too has been importing low-trust immigrants as fast as it can, and importing their political culture as well:

Tower Hamlets, London

The move comes amid findings that “almost all” the cases of large-scale electoral fraud in England since 2000 have occurred in areas with large Pakistani or Bangladeshi communities. … The report by the Liverpool and Manchester team found both communities shared “a wide range of vulnerabilities, which may make them susceptible to becoming victims of electoral fraud”.

The main issues highlighted were the influence of the “kinship networks” combined with an absence of mainstream party political activity.

Britons fêted the great milestone of their first Muslim mayor… then promptly disqualified him for massive ballot fraud:

Bringing Bangladesh to England: Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman

 

Mr Pickles told the Commons that Mr Rahman had dispensed public money like a “medieval monarch” and oversaw an administration that was “at best dysfunctional, at worst riddled with cronyism and corruption”.  He added: “It seems to me that the mayor’s test is, ‘If you’re not actually caught with your fingers in the till, you’re innocent.’ … If I was the mayor of Tower Hamlets, I would be hanging my head in shame.”

 

2) Civil service corruption

Political fraud is one thing, but what of the civil service performance among low-trust peoples?  In such countries, dealing with functionaries like the police can be a daily exercise in bribery:

In the capital, as well as the states of Mexico, Tamaulipas and Querétaro those stopped by the traffic police pay bribes over 80 percent of the time. While these represent the worst, the national average is just under 70 percent (in only four states is it less than half of the time).

As in Mexico, so in Afghanistan:

“He’s the only honest traffic police in Afghanistan,” said Abdul Hussen Sadeq, a taxi driver.  “All the rest are like dogs,” said Hasibullah, another taxi driver, who uses only one name. “Every day they ask us for bribes. If we don’t pay, they take our licenses.”
Saboor knows as well as anyone how you make money as a traffic police officer. You accept bribes instead of giving tickets. For a price, you allow trucks to be driven in restricted areas of the city. You charge drivers to park on the street, even where parking is free and legal.

In Russia, traffic cops are so corrupt that millions of drivers have taken to installing dash-cams in order to protect against shake-downs. (Which, incidentally, is why there is so much good footage of 2013’s spectacular meteor crash in Eastern Russia.)

The police and military in Cambodia have honed graft to a fine art:

Cambodia’s Teuk Thla Market: Where corrupt police and army chiefs go to make a buck

Teuk Thla Market [in Phnom Penh] is a clearinghouse where soldiers, police and occasionally criminals haggle over all things police- and military-related, from footwear to stun guns, and even insignia of rank.

Interviews with buyers and sellers alike reveal a vicious cycle: Government officials in charge of procurement sell state-owned gear [destined for their troops] to vendors. Vendors, in turn, sell it on to other police who flock to the market after finding themselves under-equipped partly because much of the gear intended for standard issue winds up in Teuk Thla instead!

This type of procurement bonanza was also seen by journalist Keith Richburg in his travels through Sub-Saharan Africa:

Bukavu Provincial Hospital, D.R. Congo

Most African hospitals are desperately short of medicine. But on the streets outside, any type and variety of medicine is readily for sale, most of it pilfered from the hospital pharmacies or diverted before it even makes it that far. Those with money can afford to buy medicines privately; those without–and that means the vast majority of Africans–simply suffer until they die.

Kenyan civil servants have also mastered the art of graft: When the country recently set up biometric testing for all state employees, it was found that 12,000 phantom workers were being paid every month.

In India, civil service corruption is so ubiquitous it’s affecting the marriage market:

My bribe shall be your bribe

One civil servant told India Today magazine the Uttar Pradesh state’s Public Civil Service Commission had been visited by more than 5,000 families searching for grooms with lucrative bribe income potential. … families wanted their daughters to marry civil servants because they know they will take home high, tax-free bribe payments. “There is widespread acceptance of graft in the society. No parent gives a damn about monthly salary, all they are concerned about is whether he [the groom] is at a position which allows him to take bribes,” he said.

3) Welfare fraud

   a) Welfare fraud–At home

The world’s poorer countries don’t have much in the way of welfare, but where wealth meets familism, all kinds of chicanery abounds, such as on Greece’s ‘Blind Island’:

Zakynthos Island: All this and a government check too

On [Greece’s] Zakynthos Island, something like two per cent of the population were registered blind. All was not quite how it seemed, however, … an astonishing 498 of those 680 were not blind at all – or even partially sighted. But being ‘blind’ had its advantages – in particular, the €724 paid in benefits once every two months, and a reduction in utility bills. It was a scam which could be traced back to one ophthalmologist and one official, which was estimated to have cost the country €9 million. And, as Angelos discovered, it was only the tip of the iceberg.


b) Welfare fraud–Abroad

One of the hardest things for high-trust Euros to grasp, especially our Scandi hothouse flowers, is how guiltlessly the low-trust are ready to plunder their welfare rolls. Britain, whose homegrown cheating class are no slouches, still manages to roll out the red carpet for the world’s welfare scroungers:

 

In the U.S., our taste for importing health care pros from the low-trust climes has led to an all-you-can-eat buffet of multicult benefits fraud:

Twenty-five [Cameroonian] people were charged Thursday with obtaining at least $75 million in fraudulent Medicaid payments from the District of Columbia government, a series of cases that federal prosecutors said added up to the largest health-care fraud in the city’s history. Among those charged was Florence Bikundi, 51, of Bowie, Md., … she was able to [falsely] bill the city for $75 million in Medicaid .

“This investigation has revealed that Medicaid fraud in the District of Columbia is at  epidemic levels,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “This fraud diverts precious taxpayer dollars,  drives up the cost of health care, and jeopardizes the strength of a program that serves the most  vulnerable members of our society.”

Cameroonian embassy in D.C. has been linked to Medicaid fraud and money laundering

 

In fact, one of multiculturalism’s greatest successes in the U.S. has been defrauding Medicare. The FBI indictment lists read like an Ellis Island dream. In just the last few years, in addition to the above embassy-linked Cameroonian ring in D.C., we’ve been treated to a Nicaraguan fraud ring in Florida, a Filipino fraud ring in Chicago, an Armenian fraud ring in New York, a Nigerian fraud rings in Houston, as well as a multi-national Muslim Medicare fraudapolooza in Michigan.

The many faces of Michigan Medicare fraud

 

4) Tax fraud

   a) Tax fraud–At home

Tax fraud is to some extent practiced everywhere there are taxes, but some peoples seem to take on the taxman with special gusto. The Greeks, they say, have elevated it to high art:

A Daily Mail investigation in 2011 … described street after street of opulent mansions and villas, surrounded by high walls and with their own pools, which, on paper, were the homes of virtual paupers. They were all allowed to declare their own income for tax purposes – and officially, they were only earning €12,000 – or a paltry £8,500 – a year, below the tax threshold, … prompting one economist to describe Greece as a ‘poor country full of rich people’.

And, should the taxman rumble this common ruse, it can be dealt with using a fakelaki — an envelope stuffed with cash. There is even a semi-official rate for bribes: passing a false tax return requires a payment of up to 10,000 euros (the average Greek family is reckoned to pay out £2,000 a year in fakelaki.)


b) Tax fraud–Abroad

The ‘New Swedes’–‘Swedish’ families in Malmo

 

As mentioned, the Scandis are forever puzzled that the huddled masses they take in are so quick to swindle them:

In 2011 Revenue was commissioned to investigate the extent of tax evasion and possible benefit fraud in 26 Danish residential areas characterized by having … a high proportion of immigrants and their descendants.

‘I am very negatively surprised by the results. Frankly, it is disturbing and very unsatisfactory that there are such massive problems in complying with laws and regulations on tax, VAT and social services in these 26 critical areas. We will not accept that in some areas of Denmark there exists a kind of parallel economy in which the participants will only reap the benefits of the welfare state, but do not participate in the financing,’ says Minister for Revenue. ‘Revenue are shocked. Evidence suggests that it is not ignorance concerning the rules, but rather deliberate cheating. Regardless of where you were born, you must follow the rules. Tax evasion is antisocial behavior.’

Victor Davis Hanson has watched California’s Central Valley slowly Mexicanize, to interesting effect:

How to square this circle between official poverty and misery and the veneer of a well-off general public? There is a vast and completely unreported cash economy in Central California. Tile-setters, carpenters, landscapers, tree-cutters, general handymen, cooks, housekeepers, and personal attendants are all both finding work and being paid in cash. Peddlers (no income or sales taxes) are on nearly every major rural intersection.

No permit? No problemo

… At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether in high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions.

Illegal immigrants have also been an income tax fraud cash cow, as this case of collecting tax refunds for 15,000 illegal aliens at one address shows.

 

5) Education fraud

   a) Education fraud–At home

Low commonweal means cheating is expected, not stigmatised. In Indian education, it’s in many places par for the course:

Cheat sheets climb the walls to help the young test-takers inside (northern India)

At a test center in northern India’s Bareilly district, state-appointed inspectors making a surprise visit last month found school staff members writing answers to a Hindi exam on the blackboard. When the inspectors arrived, the staff members tried to throw the evidence out the window.

Sometimes the stories are horrifying. A 10th-grader in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, accused his principal last month of allowing students to cheat if they each paid about $100. The student’s impoverished family could barely manage half the bribe. Distraught, he doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire in the family kitchen. He died the next day.  In Mumbai, officials said that installing closed-circuit cameras reduced cheating by 20%, but teachers said students in at least one school in the city’s Parel neighborhood disabled the cameras by pelting them with rocks.

In China, academic fraud has reached ‘epidemic’ levels, as exposed by activist Shi-min Fang:

In 1998, after eight years studying in the US, I returned to China and was shocked to see it was deluged with pseudosciences, superstitions and scientific misconduct. From 2000, I started to publish articles on the site fighting scientific misconduct and fraud. … The majority of cases exposed are plagiarism, the exaggeration of academic credentials and faked research papers, which are endemic in China. … New Threads has exposed more than 1000 cases of scientific fraud.



b) Education fraud–Abroad

 

Like their parents, immigrant students from low-trust countries tend to bring their cultural habits with them:

As tens of thousands of Chinese students prepare to study in the U.S., they might reflect on the experience of some of those who went before them. According to an estimate by a U.S. education company, some 8,000 Chinese students were expelled from American universities last year alone – and the main reasons were poor grades and cheating.

An online discussion among Australian academics on the merits of their overseas students quickly devolved into mass spleen-venting:

‘I attended a major American research university for undergrad and I spent Sophomore year tutoring international students (mostly Chinese). There is no way that any of my tutees had good enough English or academic credentials to get into that university. They struggled hard, and almost all of them at some point offered to pay me to write papers for them. Somehow, they all had really good IELTS scores and shiny prep school transcripts. I’m certain that they had some system in place to cheat on their IELTS exams and probably their pre-college schoolwork too.’
Chinese ingenuity
‘Oh how I love the Chinese and Indian students in my Chemical Engineering program. Two were caught with cameras in a test, both still in school. Constantly cheating, constantly ducking any real work, plagiarism in every [expletive] assignment.’
‘Not just Chinese students either, the other day my girlfriend had 2 Middle Eastern guys approach her after class asking her to do their homework for cash. I’ve seen international students write entire tests on their arms and get away with it. It’s pretty disappointing.’


6) The ‘Lesser Virtues’

   a) The ‘Lesser Virtues’–At home

Driving in India–not for the faint of heart

 

What Grondona called ‘the lesser virtues’ are often little respected among the low-commonweal.

In such countries, Westerners used to order on the roadway can be in for a rude awakening. ‘How to drive in India‘ seems to be an oeuvre all its own; we shall take Jalopnik’s as representative of the genre:

 

Lanes: Meaningless stripes on the ground. Ignore at all times, or actually treat with contempt.

Oncoming traffic: Don’t even worry about it. Driving right into the path of another driver is fine. Just make sure to make an action-movie escape at the last minute to keep things exciting. People will be offended if you don’t.

Horns: A good Indian driver honks his horn while attempting any risky maneuver, such as driving pretty much anywhere at any time.

Lights: Based on the drivers I was with, headlights are for the weak and if you turn them on then you’ll be letting darkness know it won.

Pedestrians: They’ll happily walk right in front of a car doing 100 KPH without thinking twice.

Vehicle Load Limits: Three tons of quarried rock under a huge tarp on a van? Sure! Two couches on a bike? Have at it. A bull and a stack of tires on a moped? Why not?

Driving politely is one thing, but not throwing trash in public is another one of the ‘lesser virtues’ that can make a big difference. From Allan Wall, expat in Mexico:

A residential street in Panama City, where the mayor is threatening jail to solve the problem

 

Here in Mexico, people toss out litter with reckless abandon. You can see it everywhere—on vacant lots, roadsides, even in irrigation channels. … The Mexican equivalent of the EPA reported in 2001 that only 53% of the trash in Mexico winds up in officially-designated landfills and dump sites. The remaining 47% is tossed outside “in valleys, roads, vacant lots, bodies of water and clandestine dumpsites”.

An intrepid Atlantic journalist took a garbage tour of Bangalore, India:

“I have to keep my windows closed all the time because of the smell,” Agarwal said angrily. “The local mutton shops dump their food waste here rather than paying for proper disposal.”

 

After about five minutes, we made our first stop: a road-side garbage dump where cows were feasting on the refuse. We were still in an upscale area, and I asked Kasturi how all this garbage ended up in the streets there. Her answer surprised me.

“My neighbors are purposely dumping it in these streets, and most don’t see anything wrong with their behavior. In India,” she went on, “waste is considered a threat to a person’s dignity and status.” Bangalore instituted door-to-door trash pickup in 2000—a forward-looking program in India at the time. But many residents believe their front door is too close to home to place garbage. Instead, they chuck their waste into these street-side dumps. “Bangaloreans dump their trash in the streets not because they are poor, but because of habit and culture,” said Kasturi. “‘As long as my house is clean,’ they think, ‘what’s the big deal?’”

Some kind souls even try to educate the natives during their travels:

View of Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal

 

‘That said, there is a terrible toss-it mentality in Guatemala. We were recently riding in a mini-van with a young boy (about 12) in the Peten region and when he made a move to toss a small styrofoam plate out the van window. I stopped him and tried to explain that if tosses a plate and everyone else tosses a plate pretty soon the road is ugly and the villages are sick and no tourists come and his dad (a local guide) is out of work. He looked at me blankly …

   b) The ‘Lesser Virtues’–Abroad

It will not surprise us to see that our lower-trust immigrants bring their habits with them when they arrive. Victor Davis Hanson again surveying California’s Central Valley:

178,720 cubic yards of trash collected per year on California’s highways

 

… California coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and often toxic substances throughout California’s rural hinterland. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only.

In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here — composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children’s plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands.

Not just in the countryside, but in the big cities too:

MacArthur Park, Los Angeles

 

Jose Fernandez looked out his apartment window near MacArthur Park [in Los Angeles] and admitted, in defeat, that he’s grown accustomed to the view: Torn couches, dingy mattresses, broken dressers, dusty headboards.  …”I’ve seen junk stay out there a week, sometimes a month,” the 24-year-old said. “Everyone walks by and stares. No one does anything about it.”

Hoping to put a stop to the rubbish, the city recently launched a $1-million cleanup effort  … Much of the focus is on the immigrant-heavy neighborhoods of Westlake and Pico-Union just west of downtown. … Chairs, rugs and other larger pieces block the alleys and sidewalks in a smelly obstacle course that sometimes reaches 10 feet high.

Blogger Logical Meme on his experience in Connecticut:

 

“I work in Hartford CT … The area of the city where I work, a formerly pristine area in the city`s heyday, is a battle zone representative of urban minority life. …  Hispanics are, by far, the majority constituency.

The sheer amount of trash and litter thrown everywhere is mind-blowing. On the sidewalks, in the grass, in the road, everywhere. Bottles, cans, candy bar wrappers, styrofoam cups, an endless supply of cigarette butts, empty cigarette boxes, etc… The littering I speak of cannot be characterized as anything less than sheer contempt and disrespect for basic norms of civility and appropriate behavior…

The French too have suffered from their guests’ affection for littering. In heavily immigrant Seine-Saint-Denis, to the north of Paris, the government has launched a 5 million euro highway clean-up campaign:

 

The highways of [majority immigrant] north Ile-de-France have been targeted for clean-up.  Garbage has been piling up there due to incivility as well as the gypsy camps dismantled recently, which left huge piles of trash.  In some places, veritable open-air dumps have taken over. The prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis has complained to the government, stating, “In far too many places, garbage has become part of the landscape. This cannot go on.”

 

France lets its Gypsies camp anywhere, then happily picks up the tons ofcultural enrichment they leave behind

 

Aside from driving politely and not littering, another ‘lesser virtue’ which the Teutonics hold dear, and their immigrants seem unaware of, is the art of queuing:

When Israeli-born author Ayelet Tsabari first immigrated to Canada in 1998, a strange sight caught her eye on the sidewalks of Vancouver. Beneath every Canadian bus stop sign, as if commanded by an invisible drill sergeant, citizens young and old automatically formed into neat, ordered lines. “I was wondering, ‘Why are people standing like that?’” she said.

And the phenomenon is not only baffling to Israelis. Ms. Tsabari described bonding with an Iraqi friend over the “foreign and strange” practice. But from Russia to China to Italy to the entire Middle East, there are billions of people around the world who are genuinely confused by the penchant of English-speaking peoples to constantly form into queues.

Canadians boarding a bus, leaving low-trust immigrants baffled

 

The low-trust and the high-trust, then, seem to operate on a different civilizational frequency. Can we be surprised that forcing such peoples to live cheek-by-jowl has caused friction?


III) Commonweal Orientation: The Numbers

It is tricky to guage commonweal orientation in numbers. Self-reporting surveys are generally used, such as Transparency International’s Perceived Corruption Index, the  World Economic Forum‘s survey of businessmen, the legendary World Values Survey, or the work of cross-cultural values researchers such as Geert Hofstede, Robert House, Shalom Schwartz, or Fons Trompenaars.

We’ve published some maps, graphs, and tables on the question in our piece about Teutonics.

In the spirit of Ronald Inglehart’s world values maps, and with all the caveats that apply, let us see what the world’s people are saying about trust levels in their countries.

 

1) General trust level

As a tentative proxy for general trust, we took two questions.

  • “Do you think most people would try to take advantage of you if they got a chance, or would they try to be fair?” (WVS) (1-10 where 1 = “people would take advantage,” 10 = “people would try to be fair” –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
  • “How much do you trust people you meet for the first time?” (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = completely, 4 = not at all –>; Respondents who said “4” only)
Data source

 

2) Trust vs. Familism

Does familism correlate with trust?  As a proxy for the former, we used the statement

  • “One of my main goals in life has been to make my parents proud.” (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = agree strongly, 4 = disagree strongly –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
  • “Do you think most people would try to take advantage of you if they got a chance, or would they try to be fair?” (WVS) (1-10 where 1 = “people would take advantage,” 10 = “people would try to be fair” –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
Data source

 

If familism and trust can both be used as tentative proxies for ‘commonweal orientation,’ we could pit them against other factors:

3) Corruption vs. Familism

  • Transparency International Survey Perceived Corruption Index (1-10 where 1 = very corrupt, 10 = very clean –>; entire spectrum shown)
  • “One of my main goals in life has been to make my parents proud.” (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = agree strongly, 4 = disagree strongly –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
Data source: Familism, Corruption

 

4) Corruption vs. Trust

  • Transparency International Survey Perceived Corruption Index (1-10 where 1 = very corrupt, 10 = very clean –>; entire spectrum shown)
  • “How much do you trust people you meet for the first time?” (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = completely, 4 = not at all –>; Respondents who said “4” only)
Data source: Trust, Corruption

 

5) Cost of crime on businesses vs. Familism

  •  “In your country, to what extent does the incidence of crime and violence impose costs on businesses?”(World Economic Forum survey)  [1 = to a great extent; 7 = not at all] (entire spectrum of 1-7 shown)
  • “One of my main goals in life has been to make my parents proud.” (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = agree strongly, 4 = disagree strongly –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
Data source: Familism, Cost of Crime

 

6) Infrastucure vs. Familism

  • “How would you assess general infrastructure in your country?” (World Economic Forum survey) [1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient] (entire spectrum of 1-7 shown)
  • “One of my main goals in life has been to make my parents proud.” (WVS) (1-4 where 1 = agree strongly, 4 = disagree strongly –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
Data source: Familism, Infrastructure

 

7) Electricity Supply vs. Familism

  • “In your country, how would you assess the reliability of the electricity supply (lack of interruptions and fluctuations)?” (World Economic Forum Survey) [1 = not reliable at all; 7 = extremely reliable] (entire spectrum of 1-7 shown)
  • “One of my main goals in life has been to make my parents proud.” (1-4 where 1 = agree strongly, 4 = disagree strongly –>; Respondents who said “1” only)
Data source: Familism, Electricity

 

There are many caveats to be taken with such self-reporting surveys, but they can still help us to see things in ways mere anecdotes cannot.  We present them here without further analysis, but in the hope that they can be of use to those looking for more empirical data.

IV. Commonweal Orientation: The origins

Having looked at the anecdotes and the numbers, let us consider the possible origins of this phenomenon.

Our hunter-gatherer past: To be in the out-group meant instant death

 

As to the ‘why,’ it cannot be stressed enough that out-group emnity is the historical norm in all populations.  We come from small hunter-gatherer groups; our oldest and deepest instincts are ‘trust closest family; be ready to kill all others.’ (Rushton, Diamond)   As E.O. Wilson says, ‘the selection pressures of hunter-gatherer existence have persisted for over 99% of human genetic evolution.’ This is our common genetic heritage. So how did we get from ‘kill all outsiders’ to ‘welcome all outsiders and, why not, even let them kill us’? The long path to our pathologically high-trust present is still a mystery. Some possibilities:

1) Agricultural revolution

From hunting to farming: The Great Pacification?

 

Many researchers believe the very first large farming settlements (of which there is evidence going back to at least 7500 B.C.) were probably violent places, and that the first social controls mandating out-group cooperation were born here. Cochran and Harpending:

Farming led to elites, and there was no avoiding their power. … The old-style, independent-minded personalities that had worked well among hunter-gatherers were obsolete. … Since the elites were in a very real sense raising peasants, just as peasants raised cows, there must have been a tendency for them to cull individuals who were more aggressive than average, which over time would have changed the frequency of those alleles that induced such aggressiveness.

Rubbing elbows with strangers for the first time: Catalhuyuk settlement (Turkey), 7500-5700 B.C.

In addition, the act of farming itself could have led to new traits:

Agriculture itself, and the particular form it took in state societies, must have selected for personalities that can only be called bourgeois, characterized by the traits that make a man successful rather than interesting. … It takes a certain type of personality—with traits including patience, self-control, and the ability to look to long-term benefits instead of short-term satisfaction—and natural selection must have gradually made such personalities more common among peoples that farmed for a long time.

2) Lower inbreeding

From HBD Chick, ‘Tribes and Types of Cousin Marriage’

 

Steve Sailer, in his 2003 ‘The Cousin Marriage Conundrum,’ was the first journalist to succintly point out the problems of ‘democracy-building’ where cousin-marriage is prominent:

By fostering intense family loyalties and strong nepotistic urges, inbreeding makes the development of civil society more difficult. … Extended families that are incredibly tightly bound are really the enemy of civil society because the alliances of family override any consideration of fairness to people in the larger society.

As far as economic consequences, Turkish researcher Melike Bildirici has led several studies searching for links between economic success and consanguinity (Bildirici et al. 2009, 2010, 2011). He asserts that 

The countries that reached the highest development levels banned consanguineous marriages in the 19th Century […] According to our opinion, consanguineous marriage is a significant impediment to economic development.

No one has done more to try to pick apart the biological ‘why’ of low-trust peoples than HBD Chick. Her online research on the history of cousin-marriage is unmatched. Consult her blog for a wealth of data on inbreeding around the world. (See also our detailed sum-up.)  Also note where cousin-marriage is the strongest today, and how many of these places are pumping immigrants into Teutonic countries:

Source: Consanguinity.net

 

According to HBD Chick’s theory, the most familistic, low-commonweal peoples on the planet today are those with the longest histories of inbreeding, and the high-commonweal folks are those who stamped out cousin marriage first.

 

3) Selection pressures in Western Europe

Drawing on Mitterauer, Todd, Clark, and others, HBD Chick has also argued that the Germanic ‘core’ of Northern Europe underwent a series of unusual selection pressures (see her outstanding piece here, also TIJ and Peter Frost). Among them were Church-imposed outbreeding and manorialism, which seem to have fostered nuclear families and individualism, commonweal-orientation, civicness and less violence.

Democracy and the Hajnal Line, via HBD Chick

 

For England in particular, Gregory Clark argued that breeding had its effect:

Generation after generation, the rich had more surviving children than the poor, his research showed. That meant there must have been constant downward social mobility as the poor failed to reproduce themselves and the progeny of the rich took over their occupations. “The modern population of the English is largely descended from the economic upper classes of the Middle Ages,” he concluded. As the progeny of the rich pervaded all levels of society, Dr. Clark considered, the behaviors that made for wealth could have spread with them.  (Nicholas Wade)

One of these behaviors, of course, could be the famous cooperativeness which the whole world wants to get in on today.

Farming + ending cousin-marriage + manorialism + bourgoeis fertility = Commonweal orientation?  No one can say, but the historical evidence is intriguing.

4) Other factors

Other factors affecting commonweal orientation have been proposed. We mention a few:

a) Highlanders vs. Lowlanders

Peter Frost:

Male combativeness is especially strong in highland pastoral societies beyond the reach of State control. … If highland pastoral societies represent one end of this behavioral continuum, the other end seems to be the low-lying farming societies of east and southeast Asia, where State formation, rice farming, and sedentary life favored collectivism over individualism and a general pacification of social relations. Rice farming seems to have been a pivotal factor: water use and maintenance of irrigation networks requires peaceful and orderly cooperation among all community members.

(See also HBD Chick, Flatlanders vs. Mountaineers.)

Tsaatan reindeer herders of Mongolia
For pastoralist groups (especially nomadic ones) in arid or mountainous climates, out-group emnity seems stronger.  Tribal groups remain small, and frequent mobility means attention to constant danger.  Martial values become widespread and highly prized in the group.  Military might and aggressiveness are emphasized; feminine values like cooperation, compassion, compromise become dangerous to the survival of the group.  Outsiders are perceived as potential threats. (See Steve Sailer on the dangers of letting immigrants from such places into your country.)

b) Communism vs. Capitalism

Many have argued that the long-term effects of communism have had a devastating effect on commonweal orientation in countries where it was practiced. Peter Pomerantsev:

Keep your mouth shut!

Imagine if you grew up lying. Not a little bit, for convenience, but during every public moment of your life: at school, at work, at social events. You had to lie to survive, because the punishment for telling the truth was the loss of your academic or professional career, or even prison. For Russians who came of age before 1991, this is the only way they know. The mature generation grew up with this behavior during the later years of the Soviet Union.

(This argument is developed at length in Corruption, Culture, and Communism as well as Culture of Corruption? Coping With Government in Post-Communist Europe.)

There is no clear path towards commonweal orientation. Combinations of any or all of the above can only be considered possible ingredients in the cake, and are offered not as the final word on the subject, but as ideas worth exploring.

*     *     *

We have proposed two major reasons why the global South is today pouring into the global North: Future Orientation and Commonweal Orientation. Where these two traits are found on Planet Earth, the lights stay on, hot and cold potable running water flow on demand, the grocery stores are full and the jobs abundant. One can renew a passport, see a doctor, or speak to a cop without being asked for a bribe. People queue patiently for buses and put their litter in the bin. For us these are banalities; for the third world they are little miracles. Miracles which serve as a siren song to the world’s dissatisfied.

 

But the outgroup-altruism which makes our nations so desirable may very well be on its way to killing us.   When a family starves its own children in order to feed the neighbors’, that family can safely be said to be on the road to extinction. As for the newcomers, as they start to replace us, all the things that drew them here will unfortunately slowly cease to exist.

Europeans left Africa and today, 60 years later, Africans are giving us their verdict on colonialism:  Bring it back. Only this time, you needn’t come to us. We’ll come to you.  Please, we beg you, let us live in a place where we can again be governed by Europeans. That, dear reader, is the ‘re-colonization’ of which the title speaks.

Anything, anything but to be governed by people like ourselves

 

Our love for the outsider has now metastasized into a blind embrace of the world’s poor, of whom there are billions who would very much like to come enjoy what we’ve created.  Are we ready to take them all in? Are we able?  Has the West’s outgroup altruism reached the tipping point–could we truly be on the cusp, as Thilo Sarrazin says, of ‘abolishing ourselves?’ Or will Euros be able to again wrest control of the sinking ship their countries have become?

 

  • guard4her

    Possibly the primary characteristic is language. Thoughts are limited by the language (i.e. symbols) available to grasp and express them. English is by far the most versatile and descriptive language in the world. Of necessity, other cultures must have inferior thinking abilities.

    That is why I see internet-speak as clearly destructive to society. Sickening hackneyed expressions picked up and repeated: jump the shark, having said that at the end of the day it is what it is, constant attempts to turn nouns into verbs, fake adjectives when real ones are available, etc.