Physical Anthropology in 1950

flores(Observations on intellectual history and ideological struggle)

I recently took a look at a book which gives a standard account of what physical anthropologists thought they knew about race immediately postwar.  If this book is any indication, “naive twentieth-century racial theories” is a bolshevik slur on excellent, careful, and appropriately modest anthropological claims which closely anticipated many findings archaeogenetics has now proven conclusively.

Races: a study of the problems of race formation in man brings together chapters originally given as lectures by the authors (Coon, Carn and Birdsell).  I picked it up for three reasons: (a) To learn how physical anthropology supplements the new DNA studies. (b) To familiarize myself with the sins of naive 20th century racial theories for which 21st century race-realists are held responsible.  (c) And, as the flip side of the same concern, to see where the old physical anthropology was accurate or misleading and precisely which physical evidence (or which interpretations of it) led them off track.

This post focuses on three topics that are interesting in light how how later anthropologists and biologists portray the work from this era: how the authors connect races to species, the sophistication of their evolutionary concepts (particularly, polygenesis and atavism), and the nature of the Nordic/Alpine/Mediterranean distinction.

I. What is race? 

Race, say Coon et al., is the first identifiable step in a process of divergence between two related populations — the same sort of divergence between isolated populations that in other cases leads to speciation.  What caught my eye was the spin they put on their explicit definition of racial divergence: “when one group has become sufficiently distinct from another group so that the majority of its member are easily identifiable, we call it a race.” They immediately contrast this easy identification to the endless acrimony among scientists about higher orders of classification: “Taxonomists argue about [species, genera, and so on] but on race they agree.”

In 2016, we usually use the opposite approach to sell people on race-realism: something like, “If you believe in species – and you do believe in species, right? species are a basic biological concept – you’ll have no trouble with race, since race is just somewhere between family and species on the continuum of closely-related populations”.  However there are two ways of thinking about race: one presents species as the common ground we can agree on and race as an ambiguous extension of the concept, while the other presents race as the common ground we can agree on and species as an ambiguous extension of the concept.  These two ways offer us a trade-off between the validity of the concept and the precision with which it can be applied.  “Easy identification of the distinctive traits of two groups” does not define a precise concept, because ease itself is a fuzzy concept, so the many clear-cut cases of “an easy identification” will always be surrounded by borderline cases that are nearly as 2375702_d4a2f3d3easy (just as with “a bald man” or “a heap of stones”).  Despite this fuzziness, “easy identification of differences” is logically (and evolutionarily!) prior to whatever degree of difference marks a difference in species, so any questions about the validity or reality of racial categories are ruled out in advance.  In 2016 we have a great deal of excellent and mathematically precise data on the (genetic) traits of human populations; it’s understandable to want to disassociate race from any implications of fuzziness.  But by approaching race as the more intricate, informationally-richer classification, we give up the idea that it is the simpler, logically prior of the two.  In 1950 they couldn’t quite see/quantify the intricacies, so they automatically went for the other horn of the dilemma.

Of course, even if there is a rhetorical trade-off between the two ways to frame the relationship between race and culture, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use both.  Most people who talk about race already use a line like “What, you’re telling me you can’t tell whether someone’s black or white?” now and then, and that’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from treating race as easy-identification.  It may seem like cheating to switch back

Fine, maybe not always. Fuzzy concept, right?

and forth between framings as opportunity presents itself, but I’ll let you in on a secret: your fuzzy experience of easy identification is just peripheral awareness of a highly-trained perceptual heuristic which collects, processes and flags intercorrelations between clusters of related traits… the same intercorrelated clusters which we can now explicitly quantify with principle components analysis.

II. There was nothing naive about physical anthropology’s understanding of evolution in 1950.

When science is under siege for political reasons, the anti-science faction is endlessly bringing up older, imperfect versions of theories to bring their most recent versions into disrepute.  However, on at least two counts the common narrative appears to be false.

fourmodelsPolygenesis.  The bolshevik line on polygenesis: “Once upon a time, heapbad racist supremacists thought non-human hominid species spread all over the world, and in every region the populations started evolving, and in every region they evolved into a new species, but always the same new species (Homo sapiens).”  (Impossible, of course: every isolated population of an ancestral species that evolves into a new species must evolve into a different species.) “But,” the bolshevik continues, “Now We Know™ all Homo sapiens came Out-of-Africa, and very recently, and were fully behaviorally modern before the Africa/Eurasia split, and couldn’t possibly have evolved much in the last hundred millennia, anyway.”  — Not just wrong, wrong in every particular!  Evolution can happen very quickly, for one thing.  And most significantly, many modern populations have DNA from non-human hominids (Homo neanderthalensis and Homo denisova confirmed, others suspected), so even if polygenesis was as crazy as the bolsheviks say, monogenesis is also wrong.

When I’ve had to explain the new multi-hominid theory, I’ve leaned on a just-so story: once upon a time, there was a polygenesis-camp and a monogenesis-camp, and each focused on one part of the evidence, each developed a simple model that captured their insights, but ultimately the adherents of each were too rigid to see that the possibility-space for human origins is actually all of the possible linear combinations of these two pure models.  This parable seems to work pretty well (not great, to be honest), but its pox on both your houses attitude implies a false equivalence and reinforces a bolshevik smear against the polygenists.

Lifelike figure of a Neanderthal Man in the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann by Duesseldorf, Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.
Stand proud, stand ‘thal

According to Coon et al., “polytypical theory” hypothesizes that “several primates, evolving in parallel fashion, all became men, and the living races are descended from more than one kind of subhuman primate.” (p. 85)  Note that they do not say whether or not they descend from more than one species of primate: in the 1950s at least, polygenesis took no stance on whether the parallel hominid populations were separate races, species, or what.  (Cf. the comment I quoted on the difficulty of delineating species, from the same chapter.  The footnote on Gates’ research into the “question of division into species” as a separate issue appears to emphasize this point, but I have not looked at that citation to verify.)  However, the authors do stake out a position on movement between populations: “Whichever of these theories may be true, … mixture [has] been going on from the earliest times.” (They note three different population movements into Australia, a model genetics has only recently confirmed.)  Thus some big movement out of Africa, they take take for granted; among their contemporaries, polygenesis just meant modern traits are a linear combination of traits spread by these large movements and traits that evolved locally over hundreds of thousands of years, while monogenesis denied any traits were locally evolved.  Unless the presentation in Races is atypical (yet somehow uncannily prescient!) this means the polygenetic camp’s views were always quite sophisticated and have now been vindicated.

517px-apomorphy_-_homoplasy-svgDerived/innovative.  It is one of life’s little incongruities that bolsheviks, who in the study of history and culture ruin everything they touch by projecting “progressive” and “regressive” tendencies onto wholly inappropriate objects, fling the exact same accusation back at biologists and anthropologists who study evolving species which really can be traced back to ancestral forms.  Bolshevik biologists never deny human evolution (it was always one of their pet projects to use evolution to undermine faith in revelation, and unfortunately certain fundamentalists took the bait) or denounced the concept of phylogeny, but they did accuse any and all researchers applying phylogenetic concepts to mankind of believing that evolution progressed towards some goal (!!!) and of judging whether races had “approached” or “evolved towards” this goal with inherently evaluative terms like “primitive” and “advanced”.  In other words, the bolshevik indictment of the scary nineteenth- and twentieth-century racialists was not that they cared about hominid phylogeny, but that they were hopelessly naive about it, and used naive dichotomies like primitive/advanced where any non-idiot would be thinking in terms of ancestral/derived (or conservative/innovative or homologous/apomorphic…).  This is an embarrassing accusation!  But I am even more embarrassed, because I believed the accusers long after I knew they were deeply dishonest.  The authors of Races clarify what “primitive” and “advanced” mean in evolutionary theory (on p. 87, if you’re interested), and it turns out they mean… exactly what “ancestral” and “derived” mean in 2016.  The racialists were pretty sophisticated after all.

16xPolygenesis and primitivism are only two of the alleged errors of the old science of races.  Some of these allegations, I hope, are true.  It would be pathetic if the Cathedral castrated biologists to the point that no of theory of 2016 improves over the best of evolutionary thought, pre-1950.  But in the future I will try to reserve judgments about these allegations, since the track record of the accusers is so poor. — In a loose sense Coon, Carl, and Birdsell simply fell victim to something like a euphemism treadmill (we need ever-more neoteric jargon to distinguish strict senses of words from connotations they invariably carry), which is itself a subset of changes in linguistic context which make old books opaque to us.  Those who read little find pre-war books stilted, eighteenth-century books distressingly convoluted, and everything else impossible.  But even a reader who savors an old book’s style may find the concepts opaque: or rather, he will find the substance forbidding because of the false clarity of words (“the mony of fooles”) with which he is familiar, and which he never suspects he has not understood.  The function of a significant amount of bolshevik propaganda and cultural politics is to accelerate this process, to cut potential opponents off from the arsenal of reaction.

III. Tetchy racial distinctions and the politics of early anthropology.  Whenever race realists try to assert that just maybe there might be some kind of biological differences between, say, Sub-Saharan Africans and Eurasians, bolsheviks bring up all the intra-European racial distinctions 19th and 20th century anthropologists proposed: for example, Nordic, Alpine, and Mediterranean.

The relevance of the objection is somewhat unclear, and several of its uses (possibly the main ones) have no special connection to Races.  Sometimes bolshies exaggerate how large the N/A/M differences were claimed to be while minimizing how large they actually are, to tar the whole business of racial categorization with a history of error.  This does not seem to be party line: among anthropologists and biologists not even the most radical leftists deny intra-European biological differences (indeed, many insist on it).  Sometimes they seem to be threatening some kind of slippery slope, a regress into ever-more minute racial categories, either as a half-baked reductio or simply to slander categorization.  It could be an attempt to appeal to an American audience’s misleading biases. Americans, after all, are mostly euro-mutts.  Our ethnic self-identifications reflect neither genealogy nor physical traits.  (They are a result of memetic competition between the maternal clan and the paternal clan, just like Americans’ recipes, heirlooms, and denominations.)

But the major thrust of bringing up these apparently tetchy racial distinctions has always been a sort of divide-and-conquer strategy.  “Nordics”, the (((critical theorists))) tell us, are sort of like the white race within the white race; evil white supremacist Anglo-Saxons and (shudder!) Germans, having first vented their fantasies of racial domination by imagining a white race that is superior to the black, now go on to imagine a Nordic race superior even to other Europeans.  Thus (the bolshevik seems to be implying) any racial theory at all that starts making distinctions between white and not-white is heading towards expelling the Sicilians and the Greeks into the not-white category; the Sicilians feel insulted and worried about where all this “race” business might be headed, the Englishman starts to second-guess himself (“Am I being a trifle unsporting to those swarthy chaps?”) and the bolshevik rubs his hands in glee.

White race in green (?!)

The problem is that (judging on the basis of Races, anyway) these insinuations about the N/A/M racial types are all wrong: in fact nearly backwards.  N/A/M were not part of some obsessive trend to chop races ever finer; if anything, they were the opposite, an attempt to make overly broad sub-categories.  They were not an attempt to fortify white supremacy by bringing a more-white/less-white hierarchy inside the white race itself; if anything, they were an attempt to gerrymander the populations of Europe and its periphery to downplay white Europeans as a distinct race.  Far from trying to push anyone out of being “truly white”, the only race-politics dynamic that might have been at work was an attempt to neuter the social implications of race science… and perhaps even to make sure (((certain ethnicities))) couldn’t possibly be excluded from a Europe-centered white race.  The scope of the “Mediterranean race” which Coon et al. assume says it all!  This concept includes not just Southern Europe, not just the Balkans, not just the residents of the entire littoral of the Mediterranean Sea, but even extends into Iran.  In fact, the plates in the chapter on racial typology use an Iranian man as the illustration of the typical Mediterranean characteristics.

I don’t want to delve too far into the N/A/M classification; I don’t have examples as glaring as the Iranian plate for the Nordic and Alpine races and I don’t have time right now to study 1950s physical anthropology in depth.  But it interests me because (if my suspicions are correct) the classification hints at a broader lesson about how progressives orchestrate their cultural offensives.  If you’ve heard of KMac at all you know (((Franz Boas))) and his (((students))) politicized research, faked findings, and hid inconvenient data to promote the Left’s egalitarian ideology.  Given the triumph of Boas’ descendants (and of their cousins in other academic disciplines) and the resulting demonization of their opponents, we could easily get the impression that these opponents were hard-nosed, reactionary, anti-democratic, truth-loving WASP racists.  What heroes!  The reality may be more nuanced.  Many of the physical anthropologists studying racial difference were probably progressive (or even Marxist, tendance hônnete).  Many of them were probably jewish, and would have brought the same Boasian anxiety to normalize their own ethnic status to their research.  Many were simply normal men swept up in the currents of the times, I assume, and tuned their way of thinking to the Cathedral choirs.  What are the consequences?  First, Cthulhu is guaranteed another meal, since he has sway over both sides; second, whatever leftist deformations have been introduced into the “conservative” side of the argument to advance leftist goals can now be exposed, ridiculed, and imputed to the density of the conservative mind; third, any subsequent dissidents who see past the demonization of the defeated faction will be saddled with subtle leftist memes whose creators’ subsequent demonization they take as a proof of integrity.

This memetic pandæmonium is a simple manifestation of a dynamic I referred to today in my reply to EB’s interesting question.  In reality no historical movement, faction, or tendency is all shitlib or all shitlord.  Avoid attribution error!  Coalitions recruit talent wherever they can, and a group which dominates one side may still be present, even overrepresented, on the other.  Different people have many different loyalties, including loyalty to the paycheck. Two people with identical goals may still end up on different sides due to disagreement about how to attain the goal; they may even agree to pursue a mixed strategy[pdf].  Inference from someone’s team to his underlying goals/principles/loyalties is risky, not because the team-to-goal correlation isn’t 1.0 (true of any inference) but because the contrast between the two teams can blind you to the complexity of the team’s structure.

335px-francisco_de_goya2c_saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_281819-182329Even if you wouldn’t have phrased it exactly as I have, you probably already recognize that one major purpose of bolshevik agitprop has always been to encourage this fallacy wherever they can: to get the herd to see everything through the lens of left/right, progress/regress, us/them.  Not until I read Races did I grasp how well demonizing defeated opponents serves this rhetorical strategy.  Demonization encourages conflation of different types of opponents, and this conflation can include not only people who were your enemies for different reasons (fairly obvious) but also people who were not strictly speaking your enemies at all (that is to say, people on the other side with whom you shared some goals, to some degree).  “The Revolution, like Cronos, eats its own children” is easily the best-known of all reactionary dicta; maybe we should add that it vomits this meal back onto the pages of History to frustrate human understanding.

[Thanks for reading. If you’d like to indulge my curiosity about whether people read the whole post, please click on this 26kb portrait of Carleton Coon.]

Religious phylogeny and the “Kike on a stick”

Our text for the day is from the prophet Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”


For a very long time, the poz people have been insinuating nasty things about the origins of Christianity to raise doubts about its theological content and psychological effects, and to demoralize Christians.  A relatively recent attack — initiated by Voltaire, but taken up with relish by Friedrich Nietzsche — has tried to associate Christianity with the unpleasant habits and principles of Ashkenazi jews, in particular.  But the attack is not only intermittently demoralizing to Christians: it breeds spectacular ignorance about the history of religions!

The question comes down to this. Was Jesus Christ a jew? Is a Bible consisting of an Old and a New Testament therefore Judeo-Christian? If the members of the ethno-religious group who have been called “jews” since there has been an English language are jews, then the answer to both questions is No.  If the answer to those questions is Yes, then the “jews” are not jews.

Allow me to explain.


JudenhutIlluminatedThe word jew was originally used to refer to a non-Christian religious group that has lived in and traveled through Europe without belonging to any European nationality; often living in ghettoes and engaging in commercial activities prohibited to Christians; speaking a peculiar dialect of German (in Central and Eastern Europe) or Spanish (in Iberia and other Hapsburg possessions).  Jew, and similar words in other modern European languages, is derived from the Latin word iudæorum, reflecting the fact that this community descends partly or mainly from emigrants from Iudæa.  In the early modern period, this was so well-understood that the translators working on the English Bible (and other Latin texts) translated iudæorum as “jews” rather than “Judæans”.  An innocent enough translation choice, but one that has contributed to an absurd conflation.  In the first place, jews are not Judæans: that is, they are not inhabitants of the Roman province of Iudæa, nor of the eponymous kingdom of Judah which preceded it.  More significantly, the jews have never (since the name existed) practiced the same religion as the Judæans.  The Judæans’ religion was administered by a hereditary priesthood and revolved around a sacrificial cult at a central and unique temple complex.  The jews’ religion has no priesthood, no sacrificial cult, no temple complex; instead it revolves around encyclopedic knowledge of an immense body of texts composed in the Middle Ages, whose earliest elements date back only to the century after the Judæan religion was put down by the Romans (who destroyed the temple complex and its priesthood in 70 AD).  The two religions only share two elements; the creators of the jewish religion continued to use a dialect descended from classical Hebrew as a liturgical language, and the jews also continued to revere some texts which originated with the Judæans (the “Tanakh”, i.e. the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the books of Wisdom) along with their medieval inventions (the Talmud and the Mishnah).

SPQRManhole.jpgIn other words, the religion of the Judæans is as dead as the senatus populusque romanorum (whatever Rome’s manhole-covers say).  It does have living descendants, though.  In fact, the situation is rather more complicated than “descendants”, which implies a family tree.  The graph of religious communities inspired by the beliefs expressed in the Book of Genesis would resemble a mangrove swamp.


The word Abiru (our “Hebrew”) appears in various ancient sources as a sort of pejorative for the loathed herder/robbers who existed in the interstices of the Near East’s irrigation-centric agricultural empires.  If we take Genesis as a record of these herders’ attitudes towards the urban priesthood and its empire, the loathing was mutual.  Of the people following this early desert religion, we can tease out at least two strands; the Jebusites, whom the Judæans considered to practice the same religion, and the Chaldean Abiru, who all claimed kinship through the patriarch Terah, the father of Abraham. The Moabites and

Canaan, in the time of Moses.

Ammonites were recognized as descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot.  The Arabs were recognized as descendants of Abraham’s illegitimate son, Ishmael.  The Edomites, even more closely related to the author of Genesis, were acknowledged to be cousins to Jacob’s descendants.


The descendants of Jacob or Israel, the Israelites, are an intriguing historical enigma — but the origin of these tribes and the circumstances under which they decided to adopt one another as descendants of a single band of brothers is a topic for another day.  For our purposes the important point is that twelve tribes living in historical Palestine forged a relatively long-lasting military-religious federation, and part of the symbolism of this federation was the belief that the founding patriarchs of each of the tribes were brothers, and that their father was Jacob/Israel.  (These were the people who codified the Pentateuch.)

One of these tribes was the tribe of Judah, which later gave its name to the Kingdom of Judah and to the region of Judæa. The division of Israelites into Judæans and non-Judæans is the first division of this family tree with multiple surviving branches.  The northern tribes formed the Kingdom of Israel, which was eventually destroyed as a

The Divided Kingdom, from circa 930 BC to 722 BC. Judah survived until 586 BC.

political unit, but its non-Judæan inhabitants continued to practice their traditional religion in the region known as Samaria. We meet the “Good Samaritan”, who aids a Judæan ignored by his own tribesmen, in the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37).  As the story hints, relations between Samaritans and Judæans were proverbially frosty, so it is a small irony that recent anthropologists have labelled the surviving members of this group “Samaritan Jews”. (Samaritan Judæans?!?)



Now, according to the history recorded in the Old Testament, after the political destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem (at a minimum) were deported to the Assyrian Empire and remained there several generations before a new Persian dynasty permitted the Judæan elite to return to Judæa in order to refound Jerusalem and its temple cult.  (This was the time at which Ezra and Nehemiah compiled the Old Testament in its present form.)  The Persian-sponsored Judæa was short-lived; Persia fell to Alexander’s armies and Judæa was held by the diadochē until the Maccabean revolt founded the Hasmonean kingdom.  (This was the period of the LXX translation.)

The exposure of the Judæans to the culture of their conquerors — first the Persians, then the Greeks — produced a cultural split between Judæans who continued to hold a clannish loyalty to the temple cult and its priesthood, and those willing to conform to the new political dispensation.  The very word for “apostate” which survives from late-classical Hebrew is apikouros: i.e., Epicurean, after the most influential and popular philosophy of the Hellenistic era.  But divisions were also beginning to show among traditionalist Judæans; some remained loyal to the priesthood and the temple cult, while others, the so-called Essenes, escaped into the desert to live a life more centered on personal asceticism and a direct relationship with God unmediated by the temple cult.  These Essenes gave rise to new cults whose characteristic ritual was symbolic immersion; the most famous practitioner of this branch of Judæan religion was Iokaanon, or John the Baptist.

Religious splits within the temple cult continued towards the end of the Hasmonean dynasty.  The two major currents were the Saducees (the traditional hereditary priestly aristocracy, the “sons of Zadok”) and the Pharisees (self-styled religious gurus).  The Pharisees might best be compared to astrologists, numerologists, witch-doctors, psychics, and other popular entrepreneurs of the paranormal.  The Sadducees encouraged the Judæans to worry as little as possible about the trivialities and perplexities of religious revelation and the rituals it commanded; their attitudes towards religious requirements might best be described as “don’t call us, we’ll call you”.  But if someone with a religious preoccupation went to the Pharisees, they would be happy to humor any superstition and offer a satisfyingly complex solution – for a modest consideration, of course!  The Pharisees also seem to have been more receptive to foreign religious and magical doctrines, in particular Babylonian numerology and Zoroastrian mythology; their base of support may have been among the large Judæan communities which remained behind in the Persian Empire.

Enter the son of man.  Jesus of Nazareth was not, technically speaking, a Judæan; rather, He was a Galillean.  Nor was He a Hebrew-speaker; available evidence suggests that sayings of Jesus were originally recorded in the Aramaic language. But He was a member of

Jesus with a whip, Jn 2:15/Mt 21:12

the tribe of Judah and a practitioner of the traditional Judæan religion, well-versed in its prophetic texts and attentive to the dignity of the temple cult.  (For example, He was notably unhappy about the impropriety of conducting forex operations on temple premises.) Theologically, He endorsed and amplified the mild pietism of the Sadducees, as against the superstitious orthopraxy of the Pharisees; but He also showed a strong affinity for the ideals and practices of the ascetic Essenes.  His distaste for the Pharisees was strong enough that “pharisee” is still, two millennia later, a term of abuse.


The crucifixion of Jesus ended His personal ministry in Galilee, but His message was kept alive by His apostles.  It was the Sadducees, ironically, whom the Romans were to extinguish.  The destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the active persecution of the priesthood decimated both the Sadducees themselves and the source of their religious authority (control of the sacrificial temple cult).  Over the next century, most Judæans and Judæan expatriates either abandoned Judæan religion entirely, or converted to the more universalistic Christian strand of it.  These Judæans and their descendants ceased to have a distinct Judæan ethnicity, and blended in to the host population.  However, at the same time the remaining Pharisees were compiling their superstitions and esoterica in two collections, the Talmud and the Midrash.  As they reached peak complexity in the high Middle Ages, the religious doctrine of these books proved capable of preventing the Pharasaic diaspora from (a) converting to other religions or (b) mingling with non-Pharisee populations to the point of losing their distinct Judæan ethnicity.  As a result, the small fraction of the Judæan communities around the Mediterranean which had not yet assimilated when the Talmud and Midrash became available, and who subsequently adopted them, became the foundation of medieval Judaism, the stable form which brought the Pharasaic strain forward through the next dozen centuries.

Was zealotry the last stand of implicit Sadducee identity?


A “jew”, to my way of thinking, is a member of that tribe whose ancestors lived in the medieval Talmudic ghettoes.  Jesus of Nazareth may have been Rex Iudæorum, but not even Pontius Pilate accused him of being King of the Talmudic ghettoes.  Christianity may have suffered Zoroastrian, Manichæan, and Mithraic influence; but Jesus was no more influenced by the Talmud than Plato was, or Arjuna.  And while there is not shame in scrutinizing our favorite writers for the long shadow of “deplorable ghetto inbreeding”, the Fathers of the Church hammered out Christian doctrine centuries before the first wall was build around the first ghetto.


(Part 1 of a series on genocide)

Our text for the day is Exodus 17:14, “Then the LORD said to Moses, Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

Brazil. Grant “white genocide” value as a rallying cry.  Grant that the fevered fantasies of the Left feature the disappearance of the white race.  But as a matter of making accurate,

A dress-rehearsal for The Turner Diaries

exact predictions about the future, can the white race be subject to genocide?  Should we fear the disappearance of the white race?

Answer: qualified “yes”.  I hope to defend that answer in later posts in this series.  But first I want to address a more narrow question: are there any historical examples of whites vanishing in a country with a politically powerful white majority? The fear of white genocide is sometimes framed as a fear that every white country will become “like Brazil”.  In the Brazilification scenario, various non-white human subspecies continue to exist in their original homelands while white exist only as a mongrelized version of their former selves.

(If we need to phrase the Brazilification scenario precisely, let’s say the question is, given a country with a proportion p of whites, 1-p of non-whites, and rate r of miscegenation, and probability Ω(n) that whites will cease to exist within n years, how does Ω(n) change as p falls and as  r rises?)

Let me open with a skeptical observation.  This inevitable comparison to Brazil is not apt. Brazil currently has a population that is just over 1/2 white (“white”), 1/5 black, and 1/5

Three generations of branqueamento

somewhere in between. But this is out of an original population that was 4% white, 96% black or Amerind. Brazil’s current population is the result of one of the world’s most aggressively pro-white demographic policies, whose results are still impressive even though it was abandoned more than three generations ago.  Dicker over what “white” means in Brazil, gripe about genetic purity, but the bottom line: far from getting closer to disappearing, whites are more entrenched in Brazil in 2016 than they were in 1816.  In terms of our model, has been growing and Ω(n) has been falling.  There is no empirical evidence from Brazil’s mixed society to demonstrate that mixed societies lead to the gradual disappearance of the white race.

Can the growth of the impure white population in Brazil at least point to a trend towards impurity?  Again, no.  Only 31% of the Brazilian population has European mtDNA, which implies that at least 20% of the Brazilian population is classified as “white” but had one mulatto or mestizo female ancestor in the nineteenth century.  This implies a much larger mixed-race population at the time which has since been pared down.  (Brazilian anthropologists noticed this elimination at the time, and had the charming theory that it was due to the influence of Brazil’s mild climate.)

The reader may object that this introduction of trace amounts of undesirable DNA into a white population of 100M constitutes white genocide.  But in my experience, the more committed the “white advocates”, the more angry they get at the suggestion that Sicilians, Russians, and other peoples on the periphery of Europe are less-than-fully white. But a half-English, half-Arab would be genetically and phenotypically extremely similar to a Sicilian. A half-English, half-Kazakh would be genetically and phenotypically extremely similar to a Russian. So the people who are most vigilant about white genocide would likely be the least likely to consider a 1/16 or 1/32 non-white population, non-white.  The use of Brazil as a metaphor for white genocide stems from ignorance about Brazil’s demographic history.  (This ignorance, in turn, has grown out of an intentional propaganda campaign to portray Brazil as some sort of post-racial bacchanalia.)

Further reading on Brazil genetic structure.  The NIH has many other studies of Brazil, which I believe are all open-access. “Ricardo” on the EUpedia forums has a thought-provoking analysis which clarifies the magnitude of different contributions to the growth of Brazil’s white population, but caveat lector: he says nothing about his methods and sources, so treat his numbers as a thought experiment.

India. There is, however, a society that does seem to bear out the warning about mixed societies: Vedic India. The Aryan invaders of India were descended (via the Andronovo people) from a proto-Indo-European people who were genetically very similar to the inhabitants of northern Europe today. There are signs that the Aryan invaders were extremely genetically successful everywhere in India, but there are no white people, even in the Brahmin castes. So here we have evidence not just of the decline of the white population in a mixed society, but of its actual elimination.  So not only was the average level of white genes low (in other words, the Aryans didn’t achieve the same level of genetic dominance in South Asia that the Portuguese achieved in Brazil), but pure whites failed to keep these genes concentrated in a single population. How did this happen?  There is no one scenario that could explain the disappearance of whites from India by itself, but here are some hypotheses.  Some of them amount to saying that the caste system was applied with insufficient rigor; the sexual-selection hypothesis, on the other hand, implies the caste system itself created a serious dysgenic problem.

(a) The old theory pushed by academic historians was that caste was an artificial construct pushed by British colonial administrators on an egalitarian society. This was always ridiculous, and recent genetics research shows that Indian castes have been endogamous for a very long time.

(b) A superficially appealing hypothesis: natural selection pushed the children of the conquerors back towards the old pre-Aryan phenotype. But even assuming that 2,500-3,000 years would have been sufficient for this degree of selection, the fretting about the disappearance of classical Brahmin traits began quite early.  Chopei quotes examples of this on p. 131 of Grains of Gold.  (I have not investigated the accuracy of his translations.)

(c) A more realistic theory is sexual selection. Under Vedic law, a Brahmin who was willing to take wives of a lower caste could have four times as many wives (and presumably, four times as many offspring) as one who only wanted a Brahmin woman.  Acquiring, and having large families with, four women is no easy task; those with a stronger attraction to non-Aryan women were presumably the most energetic polygamists and had the most children. This would spread attraction to non-Aryan physical traits widely in the Indian population, which would then lead to positive sexual selection for those traits. The weakness of this theory is that there is no notable preference for these lower-caste traits in India today.  It also only account for the disappearance of physical traits; but perhaps “white” psychological traits are far more recent than the Indo-Europeans.

(d) Another possibility is that Vedic caste law amounted to closing the barn door after the cow was gone. If the original population of invaders was sufficiently small and no systematic purity rules were followed until after the Aryan phenotype was already endangered, its eventual disappearance is predictable.

(e) A third likely component is the interaction of polygamy with the need for male heirs. I do not know precisely what Vedic law dictates on this subject, but I doubt any upper-caste male with no surviving adult sons by his upper-caste wife would refuse to make a son by a lower-caste wife his heir, if he had any way to bend legal and religious laws to that end. That heir would need to be promoted in caste to take on his father’s religious/political role.  So you can imagine introduction of non-Aryans into the upper castes at approximately the same rate that Europe’s patrilineal aristocratic houses died out… which is to say, rather quickly.

(f) It seems likely that where the Indo-Europeans went, they extended the privilege enjoyed by their own elite castes to the religious and military elites of native allies. In Roman history, when the Sabines were incorporated into the Roman republic their priestly families were recognized as patricians, and went on to give Rome some of its most distinguished aristocrats. Thus some Dravidian priestly and royal families may have been created upper-caste ex nihilo, with privileges of intermarriage that diluted Aryan traits.

However it happened, the case of India is conclusive: even assuming it has supreme social and political power, a healthy birthrate, and a social framework tailor-made to promote genetic purity, it’s possible for a small white minority in a non-white country to disappear completely. We twenty-first century whites will be lucky to have any one of those three!

Historically obscure cases.  I’m not trying to offer any kind of inductive case for the likelihood of white genocide, but this is a good place to mention some other lost white societies.  The Ārśi-kuśiññe (often referred to, misleadingly, as the Tocharians) were a Indo-European people, probably to be identified with Afanasievo culture, who passed on vocabulary related to chariot warfare to the ancient Chinese and later controlled the Tarim Basin, where the only written records of their language have been found.  The most common theory on the disappearance of the Ārśi-kuśiññe people is that they were defeated militarily by Turks and Mongols in the ninth century and then ethnically cleansed by the victors. But it is also possible that phenotypically white Ārśi-kuśiññe had already nearly disappeared long before, and the invasion was only a decapitating blow.  The Tassili herders are a mysterious group known only from cave paintings and their outsized genetic impact on Central Africa. Their characteristic branch of Y-haplogroup R suggest they came from inner Eurasia; their domesticated cattle suggest they were Mesopotamian; their TassiliLadies.jpgphysical features are Caucasian, which is overall a good compromise. Given their technological advantages and the quick spread of the associated Y-haplogroup, presumably they remained powerful in Central Africa and disappeared from continuous intermarriage with their indigenous negroid neighbors.  Greenland had a small community of Norsemen for 500 years, but they dropped out of contact with Iceland and disappeared under unknown circumstances.  One theory is that the Norse starved to death all on their own; a second is that the aggressive expansion of the Thule/Inuit culture defeated the Norse, just as they had earlier defeated the Dorset people; but the theory that the Norse merged into Inuit culture is at least as good.

Dodos and Amalekites.  Note that I began all this by asking whether there was any real danger of the white race disappearing while whites held significant political power.  I take it that it goes without saying that, if whites lose political power (as they did from North Africa to Anatolia in the Middle Ages and as they recently have in Rhodesia and South Africa) then the victors can hack them to pieces, drive them out of their homes, and/or slowly squeeze their populations to death.  But whites are not Tutsis!  If we were, no one would be asking whether white genocide was possible, only whether it was likely that beasts with machetes would gain power in white countries. White genocide is implemented through policies that could not be implemented without the support of many whites, who do not recognize that the policies are a form of genocide because they do not believe white genocide is possible while white support is politically necessary.  (Yes, that’s a complex sentence, read it again.)

Stay tuned… My current plan is for the second post in this series to cover semantic issues.  I may also summarize Darwinian Reactionary’s extremely interesting series on genocide.  Then I will look at demographic, social, and biological aspects of white genocide. But I may put this series on hold while I address some questions about the Alt-Right that have arisen in the wake of Hillary’s speech.