Saturday, April 27, 2013

Where do those tensions come from?


 
Home sweet home in the Scottish borderlands. This was one of the last regions of Britain to be pacified and brought under State control. People lived in fortified homes where the second floor could be reached only by an external ladder that could be pulled up. The stone walls were up to 3 feet thick. (source – photo owned by Les Hull)


I first went to elementary school in a largely English Canadian neighborhood of Scarborough. Schoolyard fights were only occasional, and there was almost always a good reason. My family then moved to a largely Scotch-Irish town in central Ontario. There, the schoolyard fights were a daily occurrence, and they seemed to happen for no reason at all. I eventually found out the reason … something to do with “respect” or rather the lack of it.

We like to think that people everywhere respond to situations more or less as we do. If the response is anger—red boiling anger that can kill—we assume there must be a very good reason. Otherwise, the person wouldn’t be so angry.

Hence the puzzlement over the Boston bombers. What drove them to such an act? Had they been treated badly? This was the conclusion reached by Justin Trudeau, the recently elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada:

But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war with a society. And our approach has to be, where do those tensions come from? (The National, 2013)

Actually, the Tsarnaev brothers were hardly excluded from American society. Tamerlan married the daughter of a well-off American family and lived in their spacious home. Sure, if you look hard enough, you may find evidence of exclusion. There must have been slights and indifference, perhaps jokes about his first name, but such things don’t cause normal people to kill.

“Normal” is a relative term. In other societies, people do kill for apparently trifling reasons. In Les damnés de la Terre, Frantz Fanon discusses male violence in Algeria, particularly the lack of restraint and the apparently trivial motives:

Autopsies undeniably establish this fact: the killer gives the impression he wanted to kill an incalculable number of times given the equal deadliness of the wounds inflicted.

[…] Very often the magistrates and police officers are stunned by the motives for the murder: a gesture, an allusion, an ambiguous remark, a quarrel over the ownership of an olive tree or an animal that has strayed a few feet. The search for the cause, which is expected to justify and pin down the murder, in some cases a double or triple murder, turns up a hopelessly trivial motive. Hence the frequent impression that the community is hiding the real motives. (Fanon, 2004, p. 222)

This behavioral pattern begins early in life. Parents seek not to suppress it but to channel it in the right direction, i.e., defense of the family:

In Algerian society for example, children are raised according to their sex. A boy usually receives an authoritarian and severe type of upbringing that will prepare him to become aware of the responsibilities that await him in adulthood, notably responsibility for his family and for the elderly. This is why a mother will allow her son to fight in the street and will scarcely be alarmed if the boy has a fall or if she sees a bruise. The boy of an Algerian family is accustomed from an early age to being hit hard without whimpering too much. People orient him more toward combat sports and group games in order to arm him with courage and endurance—virtues deemed to be manly. (Assous, 2005)

This pattern of behavioral development doesn’t differ completely from my own. The difference is largely one of degree. But there’s also a difference in kind: the violent male as an independent actor who fights for himself and his immediate family. For “normal” boys in Western society, male violence is legitimate only when done under orders for much larger entities: the home team, the police, the country, NATO … Everywhere else, it is evil, criminal, and pathological.

This schizophrenic attitude to violence was the subject of the Milgram experiment. You’ve probably heard of it. Assistants are told to administer ever stronger electric shocks if a subject fails on a learning task. About 65% of the assistants—the real subjects of the experiment—will increase the shock intensity up to the top end of the scale, even when the pseudo-subject pleads for cessation. Yet the same assistants act very differently if the decision is theirs. Only 1.4% of them will, on their own initiative, increase the shock intensity up to the top end of the scale (Milgram, 1974)

You may not have heard, however, that this finding holds true only for societies like our own. When the Milgram experiment was done with Jordanian assistants, they were just as willing as Americans to inflict pain under orders (62.5%). But they were more willing than Americans to inflict pain when no orders were given, with 12.5% of them delivering shocks right up to the top end of the scale (Shanab & Yahya, 1978).

How would Chechens have responded in the same situation? Or Algerians? Or Scotch-Irish? Male violence has long been viewed differently in different societies. In our own, it is stigmatized, except when done “under orders” by soldiers or the police. Some societies, however, had no police or army until recent times. Every adult male was expected to use violence to defend himself and his family. Yes, you could go to a law court to settle your differences with someone. But even if the court ruled in your favor, the sentence still had to be enforced by you, your brothers, and other male family members. That’s the way things were done. For millennia and millennia.

Gene-culture co-evolution

Humans differ from other animals in that we create a large part of our environment. We adapt not only to a physical environment of climate, landscape, vegetation, and wildlife but also to a cultural environment of our making: codified laws, behavioral norms, religious beliefs, social and political systems, and so on. We shape our environment, and this environment shapes us. To be more precise, it selects the kind of individuals who can live in it.

Initially, all adult males everywhere had to defend themselves and their families, not by paying taxes but by getting their hands bloody. This situation changed with the rise of the State. In other words, some powerful men became so powerful that they could impose a monopoly on the use of violence. Only they or their underlings could use it. Male violence had been “nationalized” and could be used only if ordered by the State or in narrowly defined situations of self-defense.

In this new pacified environment, the violent male went from hero to zero. He became a criminal and was treated accordingly. Society now favored the peace-loving man who got ahead through work or trade. This process has been described for England and other parts of Western Europe by several academics, like Gregory Clark. With the establishment of strong States toward the end of the Dark Ages, and a subsequent pacification of social relations, the incidence of violence declined steadily. Violent predispositions were steadily removed from the population, either through the actual execution of violent individuals or through their marginalization and lower reproductive success. The meek thus inherited the earth (see previous post).

Or rather a portion of it. In some parts of the earth, particularly remote mountainous areas, State control came very late. These are societies in the earliest stages of pacification. Male violence is a daily reality, which the State can only contain at best. Such is life in Chechnya … and elsewhere.

Genetics of male violence  

But is such gene-culture co-evolution possible? How susceptible is male violence to the forces of natural selection? Are some men more predisposed to violence than others? Is this a heritable trait, or something that men pick up from their peers?

A meta-analysis of twin and adoption studies estimated a heritability of 40% for aggressive behavior (Rhee & Waldman, 2002). A later twin study found a heritability of 96%, where the subjects were 9-10 year-olds of diverse ethnic backgrounds (Baker et al., 2007). This higher figure reflected the narrow age range and the use of a panel of evaluators to rate each subject. In the latest twin study, the heritability was 40% when the twins had different evaluators and 69% when they had the same evaluator. By comparison, many of us accept that homosexuality is inborn even though the heritability of that behavior is much lower: perhaps 34-39% for gays and 18-19% for lesbians (Wikipedia, 2013).

The actual neural basis remains to be sketched out. Perhaps a greater predisposition to violence simply reflects stronger impulsivity and weaker internal constraints on behavior (Niv et al., 2012). Or perhaps there is a lower threshold specifically for expression of violence. Or perhaps ideation of violence comes easier. Or perhaps the consequences of a violent act trigger feelings of pleasure. Frantz Fanon noted that the violent male seems to feel pleasure at the sight of blood. He needs to sense its warmth and even bathe in it. There is in fact an extensive medical literature about “abnormal” individuals who feel pleasure at the sight of blood and even wish to feel and taste it, whereas “normal” individuals feel disgust and often faint (Vanden Berghe & Kelly, 1964). Again, words like “normal” and “abnormal” are relative …

All of this may seem incomprehensible to nice folks like Justin Trudeau. Surely, no one in his right mind would enjoy violence. There must be another reason for such horrors. A good reason. A reason that would make sense to nice folks. Because, deep down, we’re all nice folks, aren’t we?

References

Assous, A. (2005). L’impact de l’éducation parentale sur le développement de l’enfant, Hawwa, 3(3), 354-369.

Baker, L.A., K.C. Jacobson, A. Raine, D.I. Lozano, and S. Bezdjian (2007). Genetic and environmental bases of childhood antisocial behavior: a multi-informant twin study, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 116, 219-235.
http://cnpru.bsd.uchicago.edu/PDFs/Baker_2007_JAP_RFAB.pdf 

Fanon, F. (2004). The Wretched of the Earth, New York: Grove Press.

Milgram, S. (1974). Obedience to Authority, New York: Harper & Row.

Niv, S., C. Tuvblad, A. Raine, P. Wang, and L.A. Baker. (2012). Heritability and longitudinal stability of impulsivity in adolescence, Behavior Genetics, 42, 378-392.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3351554/  

Rhee, S.H. and I.D. Waldman. (2002). Genetic and environmental influences on antisocial behavior: A meta-analysis of twin and adoption studies, Psychol Bull., 128, 490-529.

Shanab, M.E. and Yahya, K.A. (1978). A cross-cultural study of obedience, Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 11, 267-269.

The National. (2013). Trudeau on Boston bombings, April 17
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/ID/2380243779/

Vanden Bergh, R.L., and J.F. Kelly. (1964). Vampirism. A review with new observations, Archives of General Psychiatry, 11, 543-547.

Wikipedia (2013). Biology and Sexual Orientation,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

 

 

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent imo.

"We like to think that people everywhere respond to situations more or less as we do. If the response is anger—red boiling anger that can kill—we assume there must be a very good reason. Otherwise, the person wouldn’t be so angry."

Very critical imo e.g. liberal reaction to riots - they *must* have a grievance - and they do but not neccessarily a remotely reasonable one.

Anonymous said...

But there’s also a difference in kind: the violent male as an independent actor who fights for himself and his immediate family. For “normal” boys in Western society, male violence is legitimate only when done under orders for much larger entities: the home team, the police, the country, NATO … Everywhere else, it is evil, criminal, and pathological.

Civilization is gay. Well, ultimately it isn't even gay, it's just asexual or haplodiploid at best. But on the way from converting a sexual species -- a species made up of individual men and women -- it has to mutilate their individuality to mold them into cells. It does this by promoting gayness, and any other perversion of genuine sex (the 600 million year old kind of sex) that is expedient in service of "being part of something greater than ourselves."

All attempts by civilization to be humane during this transition, such as the secular "Rule of Thumb" or the religions that place the man in authority over their wives and children (actually this was secular as codified in Roman law to the point that he could kill legally kill them) are ultimately to no avail so long as "civilization" is the overriding value.

At the boundaries between the civil and natural worlds are pseudo-men:

police (and other "first responders"), soldiers, frontiersmen (cowboys), etc. On these pesudo-men is heaped all the mutilated masculinity of civilization -- a granting of temporary, revokable, strings-attached reprieve in limited circumstances. Playing on that pseudo-masculinity was the genius of The Village People.

Those not sanctioned to have even this multilated masculinity, but who nevertheless exhibit it, are raped in prison.

I first went to elementary school in a largely English Canadian neighborhood of Scarborough. Schoolyard fights were only occasional, and there was almost always a good reason. My family then moved to a largely Scotch-Irish town in central Ontario. There, the schoolyard fights were a daily occurrence, and they seemed to happen for no reason at all. I eventually found out the reason … something to do with “respect” or rather the lack of it.

English public schools of course have been associated with buggery.

There are no common stereotypes regarding Scotch-Irish schools, but if there were, presumably they'd be about fighting rather than buggery.

Anonymous said...

Or Algerians?

Of course, for actual data about violence there isn't much, present day Algerians have a similar murder rate to Belgians, Slovakians, Greeks and Canadians. The Arab region tends to have pretty low murder rates in general compared to Europe or even much of East Asia. There are some standouts, but they aren't quite as high as the high murder European (largely) descended nations of the Baltics (and the United States, although like South America, there is a slightly less than absolute preponderance of European ancestry).

Some societies may have had more diffuse punishment regimes, while our own has a group of punishers.

When I think about police and soldiers, I think that rather than our society necessarily having less punishment, it concentrates it in a smaller group of people.

So you have a small groups of people, who may be very handsomely reproductively rewarded for their capabilities at violence in a larger society which is less violent, in contrast to other societies, where selection for violent traits may be more diffuse (there's no small group with such a strong reward, but it may be slightly more favored in the average person).

Of course, our society does not have castes, so "cop" and "gangster" traits (niches which do not really exist in nations with a less generally pacified population) would just get diffused back through the population again.

JayMan said...

Great post! I've added it to my list of "required" HBD reading, a page with all the basic info a newcomer needs to understand HBD (which heavily features your work):

HBD Fundamentals | JayMan's Blog

Anonymous said...

Peter,

What was the name of that Scotch-Irish to in central Ontario in which you spent part of your childhood? I'm from Barrie.

Anonymous said...

Very critical imo e.g. liberal reaction to riots - they *must* have a grievance - and they do but not neccessarily a remotely reasonable one.

So the British enacted the Riot Act because they were simply bloody minded and cared naught for the revolting classes?

Anonymous said...

The Arab region tends to have pretty low murder rates in general compared to Europe or even much of East Asia.

Ha ha ha ha ha. That's the funniest thing I have heard all day.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha ha. That's the funniest thing I have heard all day.

According to this data, the Arab region does have very low homicide rates:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/oct/13/homicide-rates-country-murder-data

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate#By_country

szopeno said...

http://murder-rates.findthedata.org/compare/4-264/Algeria-vs-Slovakia

And more:

http://murder-rates.findthedata.org/compare/5-31-162-188-192-243-276-306-307/Algeria-vs-Belarus-vs-Latvia-vs-Mexico-vs-Mongolia-vs-Russian-Federation-vs-Sudan-vs-Ukraine-vs-Ukraine

So indeed, Arab region do not seem to have higher murder rates than say central Europe .

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha ha. That's the funniest thing I have heard all day.

You seem easily amused by facts.

....

It's more surprising, as well, when you consider the low median ages of these countries -

after all older people commit fewer crimes, fewer murders.

Anonymous said...

What is interesting is the "Genetic Pacification of Medieval Europe" article. According to the chart (given lack of data) homicide rates ranged from 10 - 20 during early middle ages - which itself is not much violent compared to some contemporary countries like Venezuela (67). In 10 - 20 range lie countries like Bahamas, Kazakhstan, Panama.
I recall some article claiming that most violent times in Europe were between 7k and 5k BC with estimated 10% of all deaths due to homicides. Again, 10% is not so violent for hunter-gatherer tribal societies.
Europeans seem to have predispositions for (relative) low violence.

Anonymous said...

"Very critical imo e.g. liberal reaction to riots - they *must* have a grievance - and they do but not neccessarily a remotely reasonable one."

"So the British enacted the Riot Act because they were simply bloody minded and cared naught for the revolting classes?"

I don't understand your point.

I'm saying if there's a violent riot non-violent liberals will look at it and think what level of grievance would i need to have to be as violent as that when the reality is the people rioting need only a very small amount of grievance to be as violent as that.

Peter Fros_ said...

Anon,

With respect to Algeria, I was referring not only to murder, but also to violent behavior in general. Most acts of violence are not reported in any country, and this is especially so in more traditional countries where people are reluctant to lodge a complaint either out of fear or because they feel that the act of violence is justified.

This is especially so for violence directed at boys by parents, relatives, and teachers. Assous presents data on this phenomenon, which is not only widespread but also, more importantly, considered to be perfectly legal. Such violence goes far beyond spanking. It typically involves the use of blunt, non-cutting objects: a belt, a pipe, or a wire. It is directed (in order of importance) at the head, arms or legs, belly, and chest. The injuries (in order of importance) take the form of multiple fractures, bruises, burns, scratches, and bites.

This brings me to another point. Male violence is restrained in Algeria to a degree that would be unimaginable here in the West. When a boy gets out of hand at school, the teacher will beat him. And then his parents will beat him when he gets home.

Anonymous said...

You're talking about corporal punishment of boys by authority figures. I don't see why that should be included with inter-male physical violence and homicide. They're qualitatively different. And corporal punishment of boys by authority figures was common in the West just a few generations ago. It's still common in parts of East Asia that aren't regarded as particularly violent societies.

It's not clear to me that male violence is restrained in Algeria to the same degree that, say, white male violence is restrained in the US. White male violence in the US is restrained by a hostile legal and prison system that threatens potential white male perpetrators of violence with confinement in integrated prisons where white males are vastly outnumbered by hostile ethnic gangs that threaten them with gang violence, murder, and prison rape. It's just not comparable to corporal punishment.

I regularly got beat bad growing up. With belts, switches, bats, various blunt objects. It's not that bad at all. It's completely blown out of proportion.

Anonymous said...

Peter, what could a public official from one of these "still uncivilized" countries, full of "wild humans" do to alter the genetic predispositions of the population? Will sterilization from childhood of children from families with a history of violent behavior help?

Jprezy87 said...



"With respect to Algeria, I was referring not only to murder, but also to violent behavior in general. Most acts of violence are not reported in any country, and this is especially so in more traditional countries where people are reluctant to lodge a complaint either out of fear or because they feel that the act of violence is justified."

True...but murder is going to be reported to the authorities the vast majority of the time because of the seriousness of the offense....plus the fact that it's hard to ignore a dead body ;). That's why the murder rate is the only reliable crime statistic to compare cross-nationally, and other crimes are probably vastly undereported.(this is especially the case in 3rd world countries where police forces are exceptionally incompetent and corrupt).

And you can't compare corporal punishment to impulsive, violent behavior, especially since the former is meant to act as a deterrent to the latter

Peter Fros_ said...

Jprezy,

It's not difficult to dispose of a dead body in some countries, especially if the authorities are not motivated to look for it. Cause of death can also be falsified. A woman can simply fall to her death. That kind of "accident" is very frequent in some countries.

I don't deny your main point. Male violence is more "channeled" in Algeria than it is in Western countries. When North Africans settle in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, there is typically a relatively low rate of violent crime in the first generation and then a much higher rate in succeeding generations, who are under much weaker social control.

"And you can't compare corporal punishment to impulsive, violent behavior, especially since the former is meant to act as a deterrent to the latter"

Two points. (1) If an American teacher inflicted corporal punishment as a Algerian teacher would, he/she would be guilty of a serious criminal offence.
(2) If someone beats you up for not doing something, isn't that violence meant to deter? Isn't deterrence inherent to much if not most violent behavior?

Anon,

My hometown is Pefferlaw, Ontario.

Jayman,

Thanks!

Sean said...

Contrary to what an unsourced assertion on Wikipedia would lead you to believe; hardly any of Scots Irish ancestry was from the Borders. See here. Anyway, Dr. Petty (who surveyed Ireland and planned the plantation) estimated that 64,000 British settlers in Ireland had died in the wars between 1641 and 1652. (p52)

The really sizable plantation began during the reign of Cromwell (who had in 1650 begged American Puritans to settle in Ireland). He wasn't looking for troublemakers who would 'go native' (Cromwell transported many earlier English settlers right along with the Irish rebels for just that reason.) 'Scots Irish' who went to North America were disproportionately from Ulster , and most of their ancestry traces back to South Western Scotland, See here here, here and here. ‘THE southwest has been the Scotland of insurgency – in religion as in politics.’” The period of the plantation of Ulster was in the era of the Covenanters.

Sean said...

"In 1648, the 'Whiggamore Raid' had ridden out of the West and captured Edinburgh, installing a populist clerical dictatorship (the 'Rule of Saints'). The policies of the 'Saints' were a strange combination of social revolution and fanatical repression; they purged church and state of all 'malignants' and moderates, made local parishes responsible for the relief of the poor and the sick, made church attendance compulsory and encouraged a return to witch hunting [...] In 1666 they tied to repeat their success and a small army of ill armed farmers and ministers set of from Ayrshire once again... At Rullion Green they were defeated and massacred."
As dissidents : ‘”WE were indeed amazed to see a poor commonality able to argue on points of government and on the bounds to be set on the matters of religion: upon all these topicks they had texts of scripture at hand; and were ready with their answer to any thing that was said to them; this measure of knowledge was spread even among the meanest of them, their cottagers, and their servants. They were, indeed, vain of their knowledge, much conceited of themselves, and were full of a most entangled scrupulosity; so that they found, or made, difficulties in every thing that could be laid before them.”
(Gilbert Burnet, on the failure of his 1669 mission to calm religious zealotry in south-western Scotland)

They believed that the 'natural' human being was utterly corrupt, but that God, in an act of predestination before the Fall of Man, had chosen a minority to be saved and redeemed through the entry of divine grace... [...] Earthly rulers were almost certainly reprobate, "

They and their descendants in America were important supporters of the the American revolution Page 262 -267

Sean said...

Glengarry County Ontario was settled by McDonnells who had been terrorising the other clans a generation before. I don't think that violence is inherent to Europeans - unless they have a broad face.

Anonymous said...

You're talking about corporal punishment of boys by authority figures. I don't see why that should be included with inter-male physical violence and homicide. They're qualitatively different. And corporal punishment of boys by authority figures was common in the West just a few generations ago. It's still common in parts of East Asia that aren't regarded as particularly violent societies.
Two points. (1) If an American teacher inflicted corporal punishment as a Algerian teacher would, he/she would be guilty of a serious criminal offence.

Apparently, although not outlawed, period, as in neighbouring Tunisia, in Algeria corporal punishment is “is strictly prohibited in schools, within the family and within all other contexts and institutions” while only actually being outlawed in schools.

http://www.endcorporalpunishment.org/pages/pdfs/states-reports/Algeria.pdf

However, whether that is honored would be another question, I suppose. The rule of law is weak, after all.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

Do you have any opinions on the history and role of fighting in hockey?

I ask because of your roots in small town Ontario.

Anonymous said...

Sean
"Contrary to what an unsourced assertion on Wikipedia would lead you to believe; hardly any of Scots Irish ancestry was from the Borders."

Surnames: Armstrong, Nixon etc.

Anonymous said...

@anon
"what could a public official from one of these "still uncivilized" countries, full of "wild humans" do to alter the genetic predispositions of the population? Will sterilization from childhood of children from families with a history of violent behavior help?"

Leaving aside the various straw men any properly functioning criminal justice system changes the proportion of traits over time by locking up violent criminals who then have fewer children.

Are you against locking up violent criminals for crimes they commit?

Anonymous said...

http://dnawars.wordpress.com

Sean said...

Anon, Ulster names search for Ayr. (Ayrshire is spelt different ways on the page). Borders ancestry did exist but by the time the Scots Irish went to the US the Borders genes were a very small proportion of the Scots Irish gene pool.

'Searching for Scotch-Irish Roots in Scottish Records, 1600-1750' Page x-xi "King James planned an organised settlement of Ulster [...] Many of these landlords, known as "undertakers" originated in the Scottish Lowlands and in the south-west in particular. They in turn , recruited settlers largely from own existing estates..." The main counties in Scotland from which these Scots settlers for ulster were recruited were Kircudenbrightshire Wigtonshore Ayrshire RenfrewshireDumfries-shire and Lancashire. [...] (Map of where the the Landlords came from)

During the second half of the seventeenth century Scots flowed steadily into Ulster Some arrived as refugees, such as the Covenanters who fled from Scotland during "the killing time," while others arrived to escape the famines that ravaged much of Scotland during the 1690s and a few were Borders reivers escaping justice. "

Ulster Since 1600: Politics, Economy, and Society (2012) p. 144
"EMIGRATION AND MIGRATION IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

With so much exertion put in to secure parts of Antrim, Down and Londonderry for Scots settlers it is interesting that the firm ground the held acted as a springboard rather than bed, with thousands of their descendants taking part in migrations to the American colonies. Indeed from the 1720s to the 1770's, Ireland- but particularly Ulster - sent almost as many emigrants to the American colonies as England did, Shcholars have noticed that these emigrants included recent immigrants to Ulster as well as those whose families had settled generations earlier. Descendants of English Baptists and Quakers who had first settled Ulster in the seventeenth century, began Ulster migrations to the colonies. These were the forerunners of the great movement of Irish Protestants chiefly Dissenters of Scottish or Irish descent, who dominated Irish emigration."


The thing about the Scots Irish was they were disproportionately made up of people who were extremely concerned (willing to die and suffer persecution) with abstract systems of ideology (religion) that were not able to be proved or disproved. They weren't a collection of freebooters although they could be could be violent, but they were also willing to die before renouncing their beliefs.

MagnaEstVeritas said...

A lucid, rational and very well-written article. It deserves to be widely read by important people and to start influencing policy in all Western nations. It won't, of course. See the first line of this comment.

JC said...

Uncanny - on the front page of my local paper today:

A young killer seen licking his victim's blood after stabbing him has followed in his father's and grandfather's violent footsteps.

Shayd Robinson, 21, was convicted of murder yesterday for stabbing Aaron Hadfield to death during a road rage attack in January last year.

His father, Tom Robinson, has also stabbed and killed someone, and his grandfather, Benjamin Robinson, almost killed a man when he shot him in the back during an armed robbery...

Robinson admitted stabbing Hadfield once but said it was out of panic. It was alleged he licked the knife afterwards and said something like: "Your blood tastes sweet," or "I like the taste of your blood".


http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/8618158/Young-killer-follows-in-fathers-footsteps

Anonymous said...

First anon said:

The Arab region tends to have pretty low murder rates in general compared to Europe or even much of East Asia.

And then when called on it he changed the goal posts to Central Europe and Mongolia.

Great integrity there.

Anonymous said...

Of course, for actual data about violence there isn't much, present day Algerians have a similar murder rate to Belgians, Slovakians, Greeks and Canadians

Governments routinely lie about these statistics, and so do you, it seems.

Which Canadians? White Canadians, Native American Canadians, Black Canadians, East Asian Canadians (ie, Chinese Japanese and Koreans, not Mongolians?)

Which Americans? White Americans or Black Americans?

Jprezy87 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jprezy87 said...

"Of course, for actual data about violence there isn't much, present day Algerians have a similar murder rate to Belgians, Slovakians, Greeks and Canadians

Governments routinely lie about these statistics, and so do you, it seems."

Here are multiple year averages for murder rates for most of the world's countries

http://books.google.com/books?id=DsN5glgW0v4C&pg=PA38&dq=bahrain+table+A2+determinants&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SsiAUfO9LoSo8AShyIHIAg&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=bahrain%20table%20A2%20determinants&f=false (sorry dude you're gonna have to copy and paste i dont know how to link lol)

...the middle east is included..you notice many of them have rates that are just as low as or lower than Western countries. Even putting aside the fact that murder is by far the most accurately reported crime statistic (and thus isn't that prone to manipulation or cover up) the low reported murder rates of many middle eastern countries is backed up the strong feeling of personal safety in those countries
http://www.gallup.com/poll/144083/latin-americans-least-likely-feel-safe-walking-alone.aspx#2
(well before the arab spring that is..the poll is from 2010)..Notice how quite a few middle eastern countries are near the top of the list..

The low crime rate probably has to do with strong social controls and a harsh criminal justice system..

Anonymous said...

"The low crime rate probably has to do with strong social controls and a harsh criminal justice system."

And a long pacification time.

The middle east *ought* to have very low male-male murder rates through having civilization the longest - with some compensating moves in the opposite direction due to various invasions and migrations.

On the other hand i don't believe the stats from those countries when it comes to the murder of females as i think honor type killing have a different motivation and mostly get listed as something other than murder.

Jprezy87 said...

"The middle east *ought* to have very low male-male murder rates through having civilization the longest "

Well I didn't say all that lol..in fact if you look at the chart i linked to relatively high murder rates are found in Iraq .the "cradle of civilization" not to mention that the country has seen some nasty sectarian violence in recent years..the lowest murder rates in the middle east (below 1 per 100 k) are found in the arabian peninsula..an area that was always on the periphery of civilization rather than a center of it. (it was filled with a bunch of warring nomadic tribes before mohammed showed up)

Anonymous said...

First comment (time 02:44 AM EST) seems to have had something happen to it.

But in brief, I am the first anon, I really did not "change the goal" posts (that was a separate comment by another person).

The list of murder rates on Wiki is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate and tends to show Arab North African and Arab countries at relatively low intentional homicide rates per 100,000 population: Bahrain 0.6, Oman 0.7, UAE 0.8, Qatar 0.9, Saudia Arabia 1.0, Tunisia 1.1, Egypt 1.2, Morocco 1.4, Algeria 1.5, Libya 2.9.

Comparative rates for consideration could be: USA 4.8, Thailand 4.8, Taiwan 3.2, South Korea 2.6, Belgium 1.7, Canada 1.6, United Kingdom 1.2, China 1.0, Spain and Germany 0.8, Norway 0.6, Japan 0.4

Figures are gathered by the UN.

There might be some systematic undercounting issue that exists in North Africa but does not exist other poor regions like Central Asia, South America, and Africa, all of which show elevated homicide rates relative to Europe and the West.

Which Americans? White Americans? Black Americans?

http://anepigone.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/white-murder-rates-by-state.html

Audacious Epigone: "The national white homicide rate (excluding Florida) is 3.1." (per 100,000)

http://anepigone.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/black-homicide-rates-by-state.html

Anonymous said...

Jprezy87

"The middle east *ought* to have very low male-male murder rates through having civilization the longest "

"Well I didn't say all that lol.."

Yeah, just me thinking aloud. If the pacification idea is correct then all things being equal the places which have been civilized the longest ought to have been most pacified. Obviously in reality all things aren't equal and you have to take into account churn from various invasions etc but the base idea is there.

So personally it doesn't surprise me if the middle east has a low murder rate (excepting honor crime type murders which i think have a different engine).

.
"relatively high murder rates are found in Iraq .the "cradle of civilization" not to mention that the country has seen some nasty sectarian violence in recent years"

i think the war and civil war may have something to do with that and for some time to come.

.
"the lowest murder rates in the middle east (below 1 per 100 k) are found in the arabian peninsula..an area that was always on the periphery of civilization rather than a center of it. (it was filled with a bunch of warring nomadic tribes before mohammed showed up)"

Good point. This goes against the theory quite strongly - unless of course the murder rate among the native Arabs themselves is higher but the overall average is lowered by the huge number of non-Arab guest workers also from long-pacified regions?

Pure guess though.

.
I think there's a subconscious idea in hbd circles that because criminal violence in America partially follows a color spectrum that that's the reality outside whereas i don't think that's true at all. I think Europeans were mostly pacified much later than most places but relatively speaking very fast - over centuries rather than millenia creating an unusual pattern.

and lots of sports.

Sean said...

Re. the Borders. By 1286, Berwick, " was Scotland's most prosperous and developed burgh."

"[F]inally lost to England in 1482. Based on a peninsular site between the River Tweed and the sea, the settlement was of obvious strategic and commercial importance. Its economic hinterland was rich wool- and grain- producing Teviotdale, returning customs dues of £2,190 in 1286[...] By 1302, however, Berwick seems to have been in a relatively peaceful state and the English burgesses in the town ... [were granted royal permission] This revived many of Berwick's previous privileges, including the right to a twice-weekly market on Mondays. The royal officers in the town were ordered not to interfere with the burgesses' administration of their own affairs." (Oxford companion to Scottish history, P.40)

Review of The Scottish Middle March 1573-1625: Power, Kinship, Allegiance.(2010).

"In a revisionist approach to early modern Scottish history, she questions the traditional account of rampant violence and ineffectual governance in the Borders. Furthermore, by analyzing the orders during the time of the Union of the Crowns between 1573 and 1625, Groundwater seeks to use
this survey of the Middle March to “inform a more general history of governance in Scotland as it underwent crucial and long-term change” (p. 4). Groundwater has a wealth of recent Scottish scholarship from which to draw. ...have all sought to reinterpret facets of medieval and early modern Scottish history from a Scottish perspective. Making excellent use of this new approach, Groundwater is able to dispel the traditional, Anglocentric view of the Scottish Borders, which assumes them to have been a violent backwater beyond crown control. She shows that, while historians today argue that the English Borders were beyond the influence of the central government ... the Middle March was actually closely connected to Edinburgh and was controlled by the Scottish crown through its calculated use of kinship networks and allegiance."

Sean said...

You can't really compare a gene pool that included Quaker converts and Scots Covenanters ( strongly anti-slavery) to Chechin thugs. There are examples of bloodthirsty Ulster 'Scots' such as Lenny Murphy (though his name or appearance suggest non-trivial native Irish ancestry). The native Irish Chechins, than the Scots Irish are. (See Whiteboys and Captain Rock: The Irish Agrarian Rebellion of 1821-1824 for murders and rapes by Irish gangs. In America New York City draft riots; were there criminal gangs of Scots or Scots Irish? No. Were the Scots well thought of in America? No, although Covenanters (from Ayrshire) went to Carolina in 1684, the original version of the Declaration of Independence had a slur on Scots.

John Witherspoon persuaded Jefferson to have it taken out. Witherspoon had baptized a slave in Beith, which led to a case on the legality of slavery in Scotland. See here and also here.

Witherspoon (who was from a Covenanting family) was one of the first to set out the Scots varient of French rationalism; an Enlightenment project of convergence to a rational and cosmopolitan universal civilization. The special character of the Scottish school was a pessimism about human nature that harked to Calvinistic beliefs in the flawed nature of man. 'Common Sense' became the became the official ideology in the US. James McCosh

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatfield%E2%80%93McCoy_feud

"William McCoy, the patriarch of the McCoys, was born in Ireland around 1750 and immigrated to Doe Hill, Virginia.[1][2] The family, led by grandson Randolph "Ole Ran'l" McCoy, lived mostly on the Kentucky side of Tug Fork (a tributary of the Big Sandy River). Of English origin[3] the Hatfields, led by William Anderson "Devil Anse" Hatfield, son of Ephraim and Nancy (Vance) Hatfield, lived mostly on the West Virginia side. Both families were part of the first wave of pioneers who came from Northern Ireland (Ulster), to settle the Tug Valley (also called the Grand Horse Valley)."

Sean said...

The Taming of Highland Masculinity: Inter-personal Violence and Shifting Codes of Manhood, c.1760–1840).

Mangan said...

OT, Peter, but I don't see an email address for you. Something that may be of interest.

http://archaeonova.blogspot.com/2013/05/myths-of-paleo-part-two-pale-skin-in.html

Sean said...

6 hours ago.

Sean said...

The Ayrshire-Ulster connection.

Peter Fros_ said...

Mangan,

Depigmentation of European skin is estimated to have occurred 11,000 - 19,000 years ago, see the study by Beleza et al.:
http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/~parraest/profile/PDF%20files/Beleza-2012(Mol.Biol.Evol.).pdf

This time frame is well before the arrival of agriculture in Europe, which began about 8,000 years ago in southern Europe and reached northern Europe much later.

http://www.anth.uconn.edu/faculty/munro/assets/articles/Bogucki1996.pdf

Suz said...

I think you're onto something here. Fascinating insights. I do think male violence (and predatory behavior) has genetic components and perhaps its evolutionary value has been displaced in modern civilized society.

You'd think boxing and other sports would satisfy some of that aggression--but obviously not. I'd be interested in reading more on this subject.

BTW--there's all this speculation about whether the Tsarnaevs are jihadi-influenced or not--and I would say yes, but I personally believe ALL shaheedis (Islamist martyrs) are driven by the same force as say, the Columbine shooters: notoriety and the perceived glory of a violent and very public death.

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